From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
The Anthony Letters
Next to Leavenworth, St. Joe Is Best Point on the River
Leavenworth Times, 1956-7
March 25th, 1859
I wish to write you and Aaron about St. Joseph. It is the best point on the Missouri River next to our city, and the Aetna is going to establish an agency there.
they are well known and will command a large proportion of the business. A good industrious agent could make $2,000 per annum there. What say you, do you wish to step in and try it?
St. Joseph has 5,000 to 7,000 people; many good fine three story brick buildings of 100 to 200 feet deep; is the terminus of the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad--which is now completed -- first train went over it Monday.
Your best route is via Chicago and Hannibal and St. Joseph. Fare from Chicago to Leavenworth $16.50 via rail to St. Jo and steamer to Leavenworth. Now you can learn whether tickets from Rochester direct to Leavenworth are too high priced in Rochester.
Susan thinks Mother may be too unwell, or the climate may affect her health. Of the latter I have no fears. As to Mother remaining at home alone with Susan for a time, you at home are best judges.
Our town is flooded with emigrants to Pike's Peak. The New York Life have sent me their agency with instructions to insure Pike's Peak men.
I want a new safe -- about No. 6 to No. 8 -- and I want the new style lock with combination numbers -- no key used. I want it to be fire and burglar proof. Write me the cost of one got up in good style with description by the maker.
And I would like arrangements made with more NY banks to loan and circulate their notes here. I know that I can do a business that will please them as I have better facilities than many others here. It will pay both parties handsomely.
Am well except for a slight headache which I hope to get rid of soon. I weigh 167 pounds.
D. R. Anthony
Slave Catcher Drew Revolver, But Put It up, Walked Away
Leavenworth Times, 1956-7
Leavenworth, K. T.
28th March 1859
Dear Sister Susan:
Your letter from Albany came to hand in about ten days and it was a welcome visitor.
We has a Negro kidnapping case here which made some excitement for a while, but it has mostly died away. They were going to "drive out" certain radicals--this was old doctrine--and it awoke a spirit of "won't go."
The conservatives had a meeting and denounced The Times. The next night we had a meeting and a clincher it was. I made the most calm speech of the evening and was even complimented by my political opponents. They didn't injure anyone or drive anybody out of town although the slave catcher drew his revolver on me, but concluded to put it up hastily and walk away.
We made about 20 men swallow lies in pretty short order and were quiet again.
The people of Kansas are not anti-slavery. Many of them come from such slave states as Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Indiana. I think Missouri and Indiana are two of the hardest pro-slavery states in the union.
The Democracy are making great efforts to carry Kansas. I am very certain I shall carry Kansas on the insurance question. I continue boarding at Mr. Knight's and shall move into my new office about April 15th -- the best in town.
Our winter has been very pleasant. Grass begins to grow, trees to leaf out, boats running and the town full of strangers. Everything looks brisk.
I weigh from 165 to 170 pounds this past winter -- 15 pounds more than usual.
Think a Kansas visit would open Father's eyes. He don't have any faith.
W. W. Bloss is home by this time. I think H. C. Bloss will think I wrote him a singular letter, but then nobody can appreciate the meanness of these would-be defenders of slavery. Write all the news.
D. R. Anthony