Kansas Territorial Documents



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A letter written by A. J. Huntoon to his wife, Elizabeth "Lizzie" P. (Foster) Huntoon. Huntoon was a doctor who had moved to Kansas in 1857 hoping to help the people who were fighting to bring Kansas in as a free state. In 1861, he enlisted in the 5th Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry and was later commissioned as the regiment's surgeon during the Civil War. He gave up his career as a physician and became a livery stable owner in Topeka. He and Lizzie were married on November 22, 1854 and had four children. Huntoon died in Topeka on May 27, 1902. In this letter written in 1862, Huntoon writes about the charges of impeachment against Governor Charles Robinson, the various churches being built, and some of the businesses that are starting in the town of Topeka. The letter also mentions Joel, but it is not known if this is Joel Huntoon who later became city surveyor of Topeka and for whom Huntoon Street in Topeka is named. (Some of this information came from the Special Collections, Local History and Genealogy Room at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public library.)

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2 pieces of paper measuring 5" by 8" and an envelope measuring 5.2" by 3.1"


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Topeka Feb. 28th 1862 My Dear Wife; During the month of Jan. I received but one letter from you dated Dec. 29th. In Feb I have received one dated Jan 26th. Lizzie I would like to receive a line, if but a few words oftener than once a month. You would think I had nearly forgotten you if I did not write you oftener than that. I know my letters are not interesting, but I do the best I can. You know, if you have received my previous letters that I am here awaiting my commission from Gov. Robinson. I have waited upon him several times but with no success. Do not know as I will succeed in fetching it but believe I will. I shall wait here for a couple of weeks unless I do. Please answer this immediately and direct (more on top of the page) - You have never written me anything in regard to your style of dress. Are you wearing mourning. I expect so. What new clothing have you. I feel a very deep interest as you must know, to hear everything in which you are interested and connected. You can tell me many little things that I shall deem of importance. A. J. H. Kisses & Love. here. Our state legislature is still in session but I do not know much, what they are doing. The senate have charges of impeachment presented before them on the official conduct of Gov. Chas. Robinson. Sect. John Robinson and Auditor G. W. Hiller. It is not yet decided when the trail will come off. I hope they will get their just deserts. There is no doubt in my mind that they are guilty of defrauding the state out of thirty five, or forty, thousand dollars, which they have disposed of for individual use after admitted Bob Stevens as their accomplice in crime; he not being a public officer looks upon it as a fine business transaction I suppose. Ex Gov. Shannon, Ex Gov. Stanton & Mr. case are employed as attorneys for the defense. I suppose this is my birth day, as nigh as I can have one this year, making me thirty years old. I feel that the time allotted to me is fast passing away, and I fear to but little purpose. I will have to leave my writing as supper is ready. Eva has been unwell for a few days but was able to go to school today. Joel started for Leavenworth again this morning with eight mules he is buying for government & I guess makes from 10 to 20 dollars per head for his trouble. With a kiss for yourself & Prentiss I will close for to-night. Thursday evening I am alone this evening having just put Eva, Joe and Fitz to bed and waited upon Ellen down to the society at Mr. Preston's while Loudean & Fred are down town. I was urged to attend the society but had no desire to. Ellen has several new dresses last fall, but has only made her black silk. Has a brown worsted & a [illegible] to make up. The Episcopal church have up the walls of a church. Will roof it this spring. What they receive at their weekly societies will be appropriated in church furniture Ellen says they have received since the legislature were convened near one hundred and twenty five dollars. The Methodist church have their church walls up also, ready to roof. The congregational society have theirs ready for use. Kellum Brothers have got into their new store room, I think their business is not very heavy. Giles is still doing insurance & express business. Am speculating generally. Have not seen either Mrs. Giles or Mrs. Kellum since my return. Mr. Goodet I see every day. His wife has not been very well this winter. Mrs. H. K. Winans & Mrs. Hamilton wish to be remembered to you in particular. I can send you more money if you want. Can buy some city lots reasonable. Would you like to have me get some & build, or had you rather go on the farm. It might prove a good investment if we did not prefer to occupy it ourselves. Give respects to all. Write in reply to this immediately. With love & kisses for Lizzie & Prentiss I remain affectionately yours A. J. Huntoon Mrs. Lizzie P. Huntoon Walpole Cheshire Co. N. H. Cancellation stamp says Topeka Kas Mar 1 and 1862 is written in pencil next to it

Letter from A. J. Huntoon to his wife Lizzie Huntoon


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