Harvey's Administration.Gov. Harvey was inducted into office at the opening of the legislative session which met on Jan. 12, 1869. Being a farmer and surveyor, he made no pretense of great erudition in his inaugural message, but dealt in a plain, straightforward way with those subjects which he considered of great interest and highest importance to the people of the state. In discussing the financial situation, he showed the state's liabilities to be $1,398,192.37, and the resources to be $423,309.95. Military matters, Indian affairs, education, railroads, immigration, agriculture, suffrage and the general statutes of the statejust revised by a commissionall received attention and intelligent treatment.
After enumerating several lines of railroad, among them the Union Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe, and reporting the progress made in their construction, he said: "I would recommend a liberal and just policy towards all the railroad enterprises in the state, and that, while by judicious legislation you secure the people from wrong and extortion, and impose a fair share of the public burden of taxtation upon the property of these corporations, you should encourage in every judicious and proper manner the rapid construction of all these roads."
He referred to the work of his predecessors regarding immigration, and added: "I recommend that you at least make provision for the compilation, publication and dissemination of a large number of pamphlets in the English, German and Scandinavian languages, showing the advantages and resources of the state and giving the immigrants directions how to avail themselves of the reductions in the cost of transportation made for their benefit; there are many calls for such information and it is important that it be furnished."
The population of the state at that time was a little over 300,000. The entire western portion of the state was inhabited only by wandering bands of Indians and the herds of buffalo which supplied the savages with their principal article of food. All felt the necessity of increasing the civilized population of the state and bringing this vast domain under cultivation. Hence, the question of immigration was one of great interest in determining the future of Kansas. (See Immigration.)
In this legislature of 1869, the first to hold its session in the new state-house at Topeka, Lieut.-Gov. Charles V. Eskridge presided over the senate and Moses S. Adams was chosen speaker of the house. The session lasted until March 4. During the session the state debt was increased $259,000 by bond issues, as follows: $75,000 "for the purpose of liquidating the expenses incurred for military purposes for the year 1869; $100,000 for a military contingent fund "to be used in protecting the frontier of the state;" $70,000 "to the exclusive use of erecting the east wing of the state capitol building at Topeka, as provided by law;" and $14,000 "for the purpose of paying the expense of organizing the Nineteenth regiment of Kansas volunteer cavalry."
The sum of $15,000, "or so much thereof as shall be necessary," was appropriated "to purchase 6,500 bushels of good, spring wheat, to be distributed by an agent appointed by the governor among the destitute citizens on the western frontier." What was then the western frontier is now the central part of Kansas, as may be seen by the provisions of the act, which directed that 1,000 bushels of this wheat were to be distributed at Ellsworth for Lincoln, Mitchell and Ellsworth counties; 2,000 bushels at Salina for Saline, McPherson and Ottawa counties; 2,000 bushels at Junction City for Marion, Clay and Cloud counties; and 1,500 at Waterville for the counties of Jewell, Washington and Republic.
A commission was created by the act of Feb. 17 for the purpose of "auditing, settlement and assumption of the Price Raid claims" (q. v.), and by the act of March 3 the governor was authorized to appoint a commission of three disinterested citizens to examine into claims for stock stolen and property destroyed by Indians during the years 1867 and 1868. The claims thus audited and the allowance therefor were to be transmitted by the governor to the Kansas representative and senators. in Congress, with a request to secure the passage of a law withholding annuities and goods due such Indians to indemnify the claimants. Immediately after the passage of the act, Gov. Harvey appointed as commissioners Z. Jackson, of Ellsworth; Edson Baxter, of Saline; and James F. Tallman, of Washington. The commissioners met and organized soon after their appointment, and on May 7 reported that they had audited and allowed claims amounting to $43,441.64.
The report was forwarded to the Kansas Congressional delegation, as the law provided, but nothing was done in the matter by Congress until the following session. On Jan. 12, 1871, Mr. Ross introduced a bill in the United States senate making it the duty of the secretary of the interior "to cause to be investigated, under such rules and regulations as he may establish, all alleged claims for property unlawfully taken in Kansas, or for damages sustained in said state, by reason of depredations committed without the bounds of any Indian reservations since the 1st day of Jan. 1860, by any of the Indian tribes or members thereof located in the State of Kansas with whom treaties of peace have been or may hereafter be made. . . . And whatever sum or sums may be found to be justly due, when approved by Congress, shall be paid by the secretary of the interior, if against the Indians, out of any moneys due or to become due from the United States as annuity or otherwise, to such tribe or tribes against which said sums shall be found due," etc.
The bill passed the senate on March 1, and the same day was sent to the house, where it was passed over on account of the objection of Mr. Buck of Alabama, and thus the settlers failed to receive justice for the many wrongs and outrages committed against them.
Some trouble resulted in the spring of 1869 between the settlers on the "Neutral Lands" and the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad company. During the war a number of people settled on the Neutral Lands, and after the treaty of 1866 others came in with the expectation of being permitted to buy their lands from the government. The railroad company acquired title to 639,000 acres of the lands, and on Nov. 10, 1868, issued a statement to the effect that any settler, showing he had located prior to June 10, 1868, would be allowed to purchase 160 acres at from two to five dollars an acre upon long credit. Ten days later the company opened a real estate office at Fort Scott, but the settlers organized a "land league" to resist the company's taking possession. The company's land office was mobbed and construction of the railroad was brought to a standstill by the threatening attitude of the people.
On May 25, 1869, Gov. Harvey asked Gen. Schofield to send a detachment of troops to the scene of the disturbance. On the 31st he issued a proclamation calling upon the people of Crawford and Cherokee counties to obey the civil authorities, and again asked for troops to assist in protecting property and preserving the peace. This time Gen. Schofield responded by ordering a detachment into the Neutral Lands and thus order was restored by the presence of an armed force, but at the next session of the legislature a resolution censuring the governor for requesting troops was introduced in the house and was defeated by only a small majority. In his message to the legislature of 1870 Gov. Harvey explained the difficulties and announced that the troops were still there. "I have refused," said he, "to request their withdrawal, for the reason that the controversy is still unsettled, and I believe their presence conducive to the peace and consequent prosperity of the locality in which they are stationed." (See Neutral Lands.)
Nov. 2, 1869, was the date of the election for members of the tenth. legislature, which met in regular session on Jan. 11, 1870. Lieut.-Gov. Eskridge again presided over the senate and Jacob Stotler was elected speaker of the house. In his message, Gov. Harvey gave the state's resources as $809,550.43, and the liabilities as $1,771,407.94. Said he: "I desire to call your attention to the fact that the constitutional requirement relative to the levy and collection of taxes each year, for the creation of a sinking fund adequate for the liquidation of the state debt, has not been complied with in former years, and that the levy for that purpose the past year is inadequate. . . . Each law creating any part of the state debt contains the provision required by the 5th section of Article XI of the constitution; but in making the yearly levies, legislatures have failed to include in the revenue bill amounts set apart for this purpose sufficient to comply with the constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. I hope, and believe, that no argument is necessary to convince you that this fund must be raised and sacredly applied to its legitimate purpose. Honor and interest alike demand it." (See Finances, State.)
The legislature of 1869 authorized the appointment of an agent to collect the military claims due the state from the general government, allowing him three per cent. of the amount collected. Gov. Harvey visited Washington soon after the adjournment of the legislature, and discovered that nothing could be accomplished in the way of collecting the claims, which at that time aggregated $846,000, until further legislation by Congress. In his message to the session of 1870 he thus explains the situation: "It was also suggested to me that to have a claim prosecuted by an agent having a large contingent interest in its liquidation, might prevent or delay the legislation necessary to secure an equitable settlement. I therefore refrained from making the appointment."
Early in the session charges were made that George Graham, treasurer of state, had been in the habit of depositing the state's funds in banks and appropriating the interest thereon to his private use. An investigating committee, consisting of Byron Sherry, Levi Wilhelm, George P. Eves, John Parsons and Levi Billings, all members of the house, was appointed, with instructions to report as soon as possible. The committee reported on Jan. 27, that Graham had a contract with the Topeka Bank by which he was to receive interest of four per cent. on current balances; that there had been placed to his credit, as interest, the sum of $1,056.88; that the governor, secretary of state and auditor were guilty of non-compliance with section 52 of the general statutes in not making monthly examinations as the law required. It developed, however, that the interest on state funds had been placed to Mr. Graham's private credit without his knowledge or connivance, and that he had not accepted it for his private use.
The legislature adjourned on March 3. The principal acts of the session were those providing for a normal school in northern Kansas; creating the office of state librarian and a board of directors of the state library; ratifying the fifteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States; ceding to the United States a site for a national cemetery at Fort Scott; granting authority to the city of Lawrence to issue bonds to the amount of $100,000 for the erection of a building for the state university, and authorizing the state school commissioners to buy said bonds.
According to the United States census for 1870, the population of Kansas was 364,399, an increase of 257,193, or nearly 240 per cent. during the preceding decade. This entitled Kansas to three representatives in Congress. In June, 1871, an assessment of all the property in the state was made by order of the census bureau, and the value was reported as being $89,905,470. An assesment made about the same time by the officers of the several counties showed the value of all property to be $183,998,774, or more than twice as much as the value reported by the census bureau.
The political campaign of 1870 was opened by the Republican party, which held a state convention at Topeka on Sept. 8. Gov. Harvey was renominated, and the rest of the ticket was as follows: Peter P. Elder, lieutenant-governor; William H. Smallwood, secretary of state; Alois Thoman, auditor; Josiah E. Hayes, treasurer; Archibald L. Williams, attorney-general; Hugh D. McCarty, superintendent of public instruction; David J. Brewer, associate justice; David P. Lowe, representative in Congress. The platform adopted indorsed the administration of President Grant; rejoiced in the rapid reduction of the national debt; expressed sympathy with the German people in their war with the French; demanded full protection of the rights of the settlers in the distribution of lands acquired by treaty with the Indians, and the reservation of sections 16 and 36 in each township for educational purposes.
On Sept. 15, the Democratic state convention assembled in Topeka. Isaac Sharp was nominated for governor; A. J. Allen, for lieutenant-governor; Charles C. Duncan, for secretary of state; Hardin McMahon, for auditor; S. C. Gephart, for treasurer; A. W. Rucker, for attorney-general; Thomas S. Murray, for superintendent of public instruction; Robert M. Ruggles, for associate justice; R. Cole Foster, for representative in Congress. The platform demanded the reduction, if not abolition, of the "hateful and oppressive internal revenue tax;" a national currency, secure against the effect of speculation, and distributed in a just ratio among the states; and condemned the state administration for "the quartering of United States troops upon the people of Cherokee and Crawford counties."
A "Workingmen's ticket" was nominated by a convention held at Topeka on Sept. 22, and was made up as follows: W. R. Laughlin, governor; T. Moore, lieutenant-governor; G. T. Pierce, secretary of state; W. C. Fowler, auditor; T. S. Slaughter, treasurer; Hugh D. McCarty, superintendent of public instruction; George H. Hoyt, attorney-general; G. M. Harrison, associate justice; John C. Vaughan, representative in Congress.
At the election on Nov. 8 the vote for governor was: Harvey, 40,666; Sharp, 20,469; Laughlin, 108. The vote for Laughlin was confined to two countiesMontgomery and Neoshothe former casting 97 votes and the latter 11. The remainder of the Workingmen's ticket did better, the lieutenant-governor and secretary of state receiving over 1,000 votes each.
Some excitement occurred in Butler county toward the close of the year. On election day a vigilance committee arrested several horse thieves and desperate characters; hanged Lewis Booth and Jack Corbin, while James Smith was shot to death. On Dec. 2, Mike Drea, William Quimby, Dr. Morris and his son Alexander were hanged at Douglass, a little town about twenty miles south of Eldorado. Adjt.-Gen. Whitaker hurried to Eldorado with a supply of arms and issued an order calling out the militia, but quiet being restored, the order was countermanded.
The eleventh regular session of the state legislature met on Jan. 10, 1871, and organized with Lieut.-Gov. Elder as the presiding officer of the senate and B. F. Simpson as the speaker of the house. Much of Gov. Harvey's message, delivered on the opening day of the session, was devoted to a review of the state's financial condition, the public institutions, and the educational progress of the preceding year. Immigration also received considerable attention, the governor urging that provision be made for "the publication and distribution of a large number of pamphlets, printed in the principal languages of Europe," and also for "the publication of the history of the Kansas State Agricultural Society from its inception."
On the question of suffrage, the governor said: "In my last annual message I recommended that steps be taken for the removal of disabilities imposed by our state constitution for participating in the late rebellion or dishonorable dismissal from the army. Legislation was attempted with that view, but, through inadvertence, failed to become effective. I now renew the recommendation. . . . Now, when victory has brought assured unity, and passions and feelings of hostility to rightful authority have passed away, magnanimity and clemency are as much in keeping with the character of a great people as valor in time of war."
The amendment to section 2, article 5, imposing the disabilities referred to by Gov. Harvey, was recommended by Gov. Crawford in his message of 1867, and was ratified by the people at the general election in November of that year. It provided that the disabilities could be removed by a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house. Gov. Harvey himself was a soldier, and when he showed the disposition to pardon those who had thus been placed under the ban, the legislature caught the spirit and by the act of March 3, 1871, the political restrictions were removed from some 10 persons, most of whom resided in the eastern counties.
The message of 1871 congratulated the people of the western frontier upon their freedom from Indian attacks, a condition which the governor attributed to "the exertions of Gen. John Pope, commanding the Department of the Missouri," and to the activity of Adjt.-Gen. Whitaker, who was "indefatigable in organizing the frontier settlers and providing them with arms and ammunition for their protection."
Gov. Harvey also urged the passage of a stringent law for the suppression of prize fighting, and that provisions be made for the prevention of prairie fires by designating "some local officer whose duty it shall be to investigate the origin of the fires and prosecute the parties responsible therefor." The absence of legislation prohibiting prize fighting had led promoters of such enterprises, residing in other states, to make Kansas the scene of several disgraceful affairs of this character. But by the act of Feb. 16, 1871, a penalty of from one to ten years in the penitentiary for promoting or procuring a prize fight within the limits of the state was imposed.
The assembly adjourned on March 3. Among the acts passed were those making a new apportionment for members of the legislature; authorizing the school commissioners to purchase $50,000 worth of the Lawrence bonds, issued for the benefit of the state university; creating the 12th judicial district; appropriating $6,000 for the purchase of seed wheat and corn for the settlers in the western counties; directing the election of a board or railroad assessors, and several acts authorizing municipalities to issue bonds for certain specific purposes. On Jan. 25, 1871, the fifteenth day of the session, Alexander Caldwell was elected United States senator to succeed Edmund G. Ross.
At the succeeding session of the legislature, which met on Jan. 9, 1872, Lieut.-Gov. Elder again presided over the senate, and Stephen A. Cobb was speaker of the house. Gov. Harvey's message dealt with the usual topics, such as financial matters, education, the public institutions, military affairs, industries, etc. He reported the state's liabilities as $1,403,069, offset by resources of $782,669.88, composed of current and delinquent taxes, cash in hand, and the sinking fund in cash and bonds. He recommended a constitutional amendment giving members of the legislature an annual salary, instead of the present per diem allowance, and announced that, in response to an invitation from Hon. Hamilton Fish, he had named as commissioners for the State of Kansas to the Centennial exposition at Philadelphia Hon. John A. Martin, of Atchison county, and Hon. George A. Crawford, of Bourbon county, who had been appointed and commissioned. (See Expositions.)
Considerable time was taken up at this session in investigating the elections of United States senators by the legislatures of 1867 and 1871. On Jan. 24 a special committee of five representatives and three senators was ordered by resolution to investigate the charges of bribery and report. James D. Snoddy, Elias S. Stover and H. C. Whitney were appointed on the part of the senate, and William H. Clark, G. W. Clark, J. Boynton, D. H. Johnson and J. J. Wood on the part of the house. On Feb. 24 the committee reported that, "At the senatorial election of 1867, a large sum of money was used and attempted to be used in bribing and in attempting to bribe and influence the members of the legislature to secure the election of S. C. Pomeroy, E. G. Ross and Thomas Carney, by S. C. Pomeroy, Thomas Carney, Perry Fuller and others in their employ." (See sketch of Samuel C. Pomeroy, who was elected senator on Jan. 23, 1867.)
Regarding the election of 1871, the committee reported that Sidney Clarke's friends engaged for himan act which he afterward approved some eighty rooms at the Tefft House; that Clarke offered to members of the legislature appointments to office and other inducements, and that "From all the testimony, your committee find that Alexander Caldwell used bribery and other corrupt and criminal means, by himself and his friends, with his full knowledge and consent, to secure his election in 1871 to the United States senate from the State of Kansas." (The full report of the committee may be found in the House Journal of 1872, p. 985.)
On March 2 the legislature adjourned. The most important laws enacted during the session were those creating the state board of agriculture; providing for the settlement of claims for losses by Indian depredations from 1860 to 1871; authorizing cities and counties to issue bonds increasing the salaries of the state officers, the justices of the supreme court and the district judges; and providing for the sale of lands belonging to the state normal school.
The political campaign of 1872 was probably the most exciting in the history of the state, up to that time. A Republican state convention met at Lawrence on Feb. 21 and selected as delegates to the national convention Henry Buckingham, Benjamin F. Simpson, John A. Martin, William Baldwin, H. C. Cross, Charles A. Morris, George Noble, John C. Carpenter, Josiah Kellogg and John M. Haeberlein. The national convention met at Philadelphia, Pa., and on July 6 nominated President Grant for a second term, Henry Wilson being the nominee for vice-president.
In the Republican party was a strong sentiment against the renomination of President Grant. A caucus of Republicans holding this view was held at Topeka on Feb. 23, two days after the Republican state convention at Lawrence. On the 28th there appeared an address to the people of Kansas, signed by Marcus J. Parrott, Edmund G. Ross, N. A. Adams, Samuel N. Wood, Alois Thoman and others. This address favored civil service and revenue reform, and was opposed to "absolutism and imperialism." On April 10 this element of the party held a convention at Topeka, when the name "Liberal Republican" was adopted and delegates elected to the Cincinnati convention of May 3, where Horace Greeley and B. Gratz Brown were nominated for the presidency and vice-presidency, respectively.
A Democratic convention met at Topeka on June 11, and was presided over by ex-Gov. Wilson Shannon, who advised the party to unite with the Liberal Republicans. Marcus J. Parrott addressed the convention along the same line, after which a resolution indorsing the candidacy of Greeley and Brown was adopted and the following delegates to the Baltimore convention of July 9 were elected: Wilson Shannon, Thomas P. Fenlon, F. M. Hulett, R. B. Morris, George B. Wood, W. R. Wagstaff John Martin, Isaac Sharp, B. F. Devore and T. W. Waterson.
On Sept. 4, the Republican party held a state convention at Topeka for the nomination of candidates for the various state offices. Six candidates for governor were presented to the convention, and on the tenth ballot Thomas A. Osborn was nominated, receiving 103 votes to 71 for John M. Price and 20 for John C. Carpenter, the other three candidates having dropped out of the race. The ticket was then completed by the nomination of Elias S. Stover for lieutenant-governor; William H. Smallwood, renominated for secretary of state; Daniel W. Wilder, for auditor; Josiah E. Hayes, for treasurer; Archibald L. Williams, for attorney-general; Samuel A. Kingman, for associate justice; Hugh D. McCarty, for superintendent of public instruction, the last three being renominated.
Although Kansas was entitled to three Congressmen by the census of 1870, the stale had not yet been divided into districts, and on Sept. 4 a Republican state convention met at Lawrence for the purpose of nominating three Congressmen at large and presidential electors. The Congressional nominees were David P. Lowe, William A. Phillips and Stephen A. Cobb; the presidential electors were Charles H. Langston, John Guthrie, James S. Merritt, William W. Smith and Louis Weil.
Just a week after the Republican conventions were held the Liberal Republicans and Democrats met in convention at Topeka. A conference committee of the two parties was appointed and reported in favor of a fusion ticket, the Liberals to have the candidates for governor, three presidential electors, attorney-general, auditor, superintendent of public instruction and two Congressmen, the other places on the ticket to be filled by Democrats. The conference committee also presented a list of names from which to select candidates, and the ticket as finally made up was as follows: Thaddeus H. Walker, governor; John Walruff, lieutenant-governor; J. F. Wasken, secretary of state; Vincent B. Osborne, auditor; C. H. Pratt, treasurer; B. P. Waggener, attorney-general; L. J. Sawyer, superintendent of public instruction; H. C. McComas, supreme court justice; W. R. Laughlin, Samuel A. Riggs and Robert B. Mitchell, representatives in Congress; Pardee Butler, William Larimer, Alois Thoman, F. W. Giles, N. A. English and A. W. Rusker, presidential electors. Ex-Gov. Robinson presided at the convention.
Some Democrats refused to indorse the nomination of Greeley and Brown and on Oct. 3 selected the following presidential electors to vote for Charles O'Conor and John Q. Adams: William Palmer, J. C. Canaan, G. E. Williams, W. H. Peckham and R. E. Lawrence. The highest vote received by any one on this ticket was 440 for William Palmer. James S. Merritt received the highest vote (66,942) of any of the Republican electors, and Pardee Butler's vote of 32,970 was the highest received by any one on the fusion ticket. Mr. Osborn's majority for governor was over 30,000. He was inaugurated at the opening of the legislative session the following January, and Gov. Harvey retired from the office after an administration of four years, during which time the State of Kansas made great progress along all lines.Pages 817-826 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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