Few settlers had made their way into Kansas Territory before 1855. Only two organized emigration parties sponsored by the New England Emigrant Aid Society had arrived during the summer of 1854; the first party of 30 men establishing the town of Lawrence on August 1, and the second party of 100 men joining them before the first of September. The journey of these migrants as well as the various individual parties, such as the two wagon Goode-Griffing caravan, was "spontaneous and peaceful" during the summer and fall of 1854. Most of the new settlers were from the states of the Old Northwest and they selected various locations on the Kaw and Marais de Cygnes Rivers to build their crude cabins.
the beginning, there was only self-regulating law and order in the newly created
Kansas Territory. Although President Pierce had appointed Andrew Reeder as
Territorial Governor, he did not arrive in the Territories until October and did
not establish his executive offices at the Shawnee Indian Mission, west of
Kansas City on the Santa Fe Road, until late November, 1854.
With the exception of Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Scott, and Fort Riley, as well
as a few small Indian Mission and Agencies, there were few other
"civilized" dwellings within the Territory for a Governor to inhabit.
James Griffing entered Kansas Territory in 1854, he found only widely scattered
settlements. In a hand drawn sketch, scale
inexact, he marked the few settlements that already existed (mostly in name) when
he made his first trip to the Big Blue River in November.
On the map, Topeka and Manhattan are noticeably absent, and Lecompton,
the pro-slavery "capital" of Kansas Territory, is identified by its
former name, "Douglas." The map
contains the names of the settlers he encountered when first visiting the Big
Blue River Valley.
Approximately three weeks after entering the territory, James wrote another letter to Augusta from somewhere in the vicinity of the Big Blue River. Most likely he wrote the letter while at Brother Dyer's home where the Government Road between Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Riley crossed the Blue River.
You will think the interval long between my letters, but to tell you the truth, I have not been within 40 miles of a P.O. since I came into the territory. Tomorrow evening, I learn that a government waggon will pass by which a letter can be sent to the post routes. I therefore improve the present in writing a few lines not knowing [for] certain whether it will reach you or not. I have been in the territory about three weeks and have spent much of the time among the Wyandot Indians at the mouth of the Kansas River where Br. Goode is making his home at present.
Eight days ago [on November 16, 1854], I started for my circuit [which is] the Wakarusa Station, Kansas Territory. Part of this time, I have travelled in company with Mr. [John] Wilson, the gentleman who drove through one of Br. Goode's teams. Last Saturday, however, he left me and went with a company on an exploring trip in the southern part of the territory. Since which I have been travelling alone -- not alone exactly, but with "Jacob," my faithful Indian pony. After coming in the territory, finding that there was nothing as yet but prairie grass to feed a horse, I found it necessary to procure an Indian pony as they alone can endure the hardships of the territory at present. And I must say the more I use one, the better I like him as a riding horse. Jacob and myself have become quite attached to each other, and nothing but the largest inducements or dire necessity will cause us to part.
We have just been making a trip up through the Pottawattamie Nation of Indians and, as you see now, am very far away in the territory. And now I am prepared to say something about this territory. Will try and represent things just as they are and impart impressions as they have been made upon my own mind whilst travelling about. I find the territory as had been represented quite destitute of timber and the amount ill-proportioned to the vast extent of prairie. Yet those who are taking claims in the territory now can secure to themselves all the timber they wish. I think the prairie quite superior to the land east of the river for the reason that it is equally as rich and, at the same time, quite rolling -- at times running up to high ridges from which good building stone may be procured. But oh!, to reach the summits of these elevations and allow the eye to sweep around in every direction and a richer, lovelier view seldom falls upon the eye. It must be seen to be comprehended or appreciated.
You can hardly form any idea of the great rapidity with which this territory is filling up. One year ago and hardly a cabin was to be found of settlers from the States. And now, at the least calculation, there are over ten thousand settlers -- and what is very pleasant indeed, a great many of them are from New England. Villages are springing up like magic. Many that come here are so delighted with the country that they almost think there can be none like it on the earth. For agricultural purposes, I do not think there are few places superior to the valley of the Kansas [River]. I am sorry [your brother] James [Goodrich] did not come here to look before finally settling. I am sure he would not have left without taking a claim. The scarcity of timber is all made good by the superabundance of stone. Iron ore is also abundant. Mud for brick is abundant. Much of the stone is limestone, so that timber will not be in so great demand for building as where there is a distribution of these.
I have taken a claim of 160 acres and shall be obliged to build upon it in order to retain it. It is within sight of the village of Franklin and within six or seven miles of Lawrence, a city started by an eastern company. I expect to put up a small log cabin this winter and hope to cultivate a few acres of it next summer by way of experiment if I can do it without interfering with my other duties. I only wish many of the young men from the East would only come and see the country for themselves. I am sure they would not consent to work there upon land so very far inferior when nearly the best farming land in the world can be had at government price. [By] merely cultivating twenty acres for two years, it will more than pay for their farm and improve its value from ten shillings to five dollars per acre or more, depending on its location. But I wish to write to [my brother] Ossy and have not heard from him in so long that I hardly know where to send [my letter]. I wish both he and [my brother] Henry were only here or could come quite early in the Spring.
Many will suffer in the territory this winter from the fact that no provisions can be obtained -- only in the States and that at a high price owing to the great drowth last summer as no one came here early enough to raise a crop. Some little can be bought of the Indians down on their reserves, but only in small quantities and at a dear rate. It will not be so after next summer as the settlers will have crops of their own. I am sure you will like Kansas, especially if we succeed in making a free state of it. Now could you endure living in a log cabin for a year or two upon a far better farm than can be found in Tioga County? If so, such arrangements will be made just as soon as they conveniently can be. Almost our nearest neighbor will be Rev. Mr. Hermmer, a Presbyterian clergyman whose cabin is in sight but, as yet, is without a floor. But he and [his] wife live in it. I took tea with them and found them very pleasant.
But I must stop. There are a great many things I would be glad to tell you, but must postpone. Ask all the questions you can think about. Direct to Westport, Jackson County, Missouri for Lawrence, Kansas Territory, and it will be sent right up to Lawrence. I have not yet received your letter from St. Joseph. Your last [letter mailed to] Westport came for which I am thankful. Will try and get it forwarded. But as I shall not be within forty miles of any P. Office, I can not write as I would otherwise do.
Please write often.
Direct as above. Be sure to put on both places. Tell [your brother] Ralph I will
remember his favor and write him soon as convenient. My kindest regards to all,
reserving for yourself my earnest desires for your present and future happiness.
his return trip to the "Wakarusa Mission," 
James undoubtedly retraced his route on the California Road until he crossed the
Kansas River near present-day Topeka. At
this point, it is believed that he struck a course for Lawrence that would take
him by the largely pro-slavery settlements of Tecumseh and Douglas [later
Lecompton]. Although he did not write of
it, years later it was reported that near Tecumseh, James met and talked with
the founders of Topeka on their way to lay out the town.
In his book Outposts of Zion, Rev. Goode recalled his first meeting held upon the Wakarusa  on Sunday, November 26, 1854. "Here, he wrote, I found brother Griffing, who had preceded me, and who was actively engaged in his work." Later in the week, James wrote to Augusta from the Wakarusa Mission.
My Dearest Augusta.
I am now at the house of Dr. Abraham Still where at times I am
allowed to have a home, after several days travel about my circuit. I came here
day before yesterday after a journey of nearly two hundred miles away upon the
waters of the Big Blue waters and Wildcat, and was very glad to meet here my
good presiding elder awaiting my return. It seemed very pleasant indeed to see
his kind familiar face after so long a journey among strangers -- and many of
them wild sons of the forests, whose names are on our waters and can not wash
them out. 
For two days travel, with the exception of now and then a prairie wolf and
swarms of prairie chickens and quails, the [Indians] were the only living things
my eyes could meet.
From facts in our country's history and from [stories] I had read of captivities among them, I had formed quite incorrect notions of Indian character. Coming in actual contact, traveling among and dealing with them, attending their meetings, &c., I begin to entertain quite different views concerning them. I always supposed, from descriptions given, that they possessed much more of native talent and genius than the whites and that it only needed education and religion to develop and refine these powers [for them] to become a nation superior to the whites. But I have yet to see the first thing to give indication of this. Whilst on the other hand, so far as native intellect is concerned -- unless I see something farther to change my mind -- I should be inclined to place them below the blacks, allowing them equal advantages.  For nearly twenty years, an untiring missionary effort has existed, endeavoring to civilize, christianize, and elevate the Indian. Schools have been established among them and the most philanthropic, talented, and pious have been engaged in this noble work. Government, seeing the great advantages that would accrue to itself, has made large appropriations for the promotion of this object but discouragement and want of success seems written upon almost every effort. The Indian, without there is white blood in his veins, seems disposed to retain all the evidences of his wild savage nature. Seldom can he be induced to apply himself mentally to study and, for this reason, very seldom becomes much versed even in the most common branches of an education.
I could not but be impressed with this fact whilst visiting the large Catholic Indian School [St. Mary's]  among the Pottawattamies in which were nearly two hundred pupils. When in the young ladies department, I took the liberty to ask some of the most simple questions that any child of five with ordinary calibre ought to answer. All were as mum as you please for quite a while when a full grown girl of at least 18 seemed to have mental penetration to answer with partial correctness a few of the questions. Many, after remaining for seven and ten years at school, scarcely obtain even a smattering of the commonest branches of an education. The Baptist Mission school has proved almost an entire failure, proving of little or no benefit to them so far as book information is concerned. "With patient continuance in well doing," they have taught them in some of the domestic affairs and worn off a little of the roughness of their nature. Yet with these advantages I do think that their becoming familiar with our language only enables them at every visit to our frontier villages to become acquainted and initiated in all the vices of the whites. And there is in them a proclivity for a evil rather than good such that they quickly imbibe all our bad habits. If we could only keep them away from the dens of iniquity continually opening on the frontiers by the whites to get from them their annuity money for vile liquor, probably something of a reformation might after a long time be effected. But as my impression [stands], but little permanent good can be done. There are but few, very few indeed, among the Indians that can resist the temptation to drink liquor when it is brought within their reach -- even church members. Yet, [some of them] have some good traits. Whilst journeying among them, I was very hospitably received, treated, and shared the very best the house afforded.
The first night [I stayed among the Indians], I stopped with Joseph Lafromboise,  chief among the Pottawattimies. For supper, we had warm shortcake, port soup - beef stake, two kinds of preserves, and plenty of sweet milk all prepared in the very best of style. And I suppose [it] ought to be prepared about twice as good as any other family as he had two wives, one Indian and one white woman. Everything moved along very pleasantly without any apparent bickering or jealousy.
The boys waked me at quite an early hour to see them catch a wolf on their Indian ponies -- but they started none and, consequently, I did not see the sport. My journey among the Indians was only in company with my faithful pony (Jacob). I found the country very thinly settled. I took along matches so that if night might overtake me or I should become bewildered or lost amidst the endless prairies or scattering timber, I might strike my camp fire and remain until morning. Yet, oh, the scenery of those prairies. Description must ever be lame in attempting to portray anything like a true description of the grandeur and beauty of some of these prairie views. I often wished you could only have [shared] the [visual] reward which these made to my long toilsome journeyings.
can hardly think that there is a more healthy, agreeable climate in the world.
Whilst its winters are free from the severity found in more northern latitudes,
its summers are said to be the most delightful. 
Many of the cattle graze upon the prairies the whole winter long and
are in tolerable order in spring. In more northern states, it takes much of
one's earnings to winter the stock. Not so here. On the other hand, the soil is
just as rich -- if no more so -- than North. Its society is becoming Eastern.
Yet matters are much unsettled here. It is the field of battle at present upon
the slavery question. Men become much and easily exasperated at trifling things
and even become desperate. And as there are no efficient laws, it renders human
life at present less safe. Two men were murdered on Wednesday (Election day)  and, the night before last, a house was entered by four or
five ruffians, the man shot and wounded, the woman half frightened to death,
$500 were taken, and the ruffians decamped and have not been heard of [since].
But these are the very darkest pictures -- which I ought to mention -- as well
as the brightest.
spring, we hope to have a territorial legislature and an efficient official
board so that justice in all its strictness may be administered. We are looking
and hoping and praying for better times. There is much to be done here in
endeavoring to pour oil upon the troubled waters and in showing men the
importance of giving heed to the Savior's teachings and being governed by the
same in their dealings with each other.
Tomorrow, for the first time, I attempt to preach to the Indians through an interpreter.  How I may succeed, I know not. I wish I could tell you when I may come home. Monday -- the Lord willing -- I commence building a log cabin on my claim which I am obliged to do in order to retain it and then must make it my home. So that probably my next letter will be written from my prairie home on the banks of the Wakarusa. Dr. Still's son [has a] claim [that] joins mine and [he] will help me keep house. After our cabin is built, we intend it for a studio. He is preparing for college and will study and recite to me. I do hope I may get some time for study.
When will you be ready
to come and live in a little log cabin? Only set the time when most suitable and
I will endeavor to be ready -- if you can consent to sacrifice so much. Next
June or September will be the most favorable times for me as I wish to spend all
my spare time in trying to improve my claim. Could you have collected choice
cherry, peach, plum, or pear seeds, garden seeds of any kind [by then], they
will all come very acceptable. I have engaged some fruit trees and want to do as
much as possible the first year. I hope to get several acres improved. I cannot
get your letters only occasionally. I wrote one from Brother Goode's and one
from the Big Blue, from which I have received no answers. Please write when
convenient. Give all the news. Remember me to all inquiring. And ever believe
you will share the sincere wishes of your best friend,
 Several of the names listed are identifiable in the following account of "Early Days in and around Manhattan, Kansas" (unpublished) as remembered by Mrs. Abbie B. Garrett, formerly Miss Abbie B. Allen and extracted from the journal kept by her mother, Mrs. Chestina Bowker Allen:
On the 17th of October, 1854, Mr. Asahel G. Allen started from Boston, Massachusetts, with his family consisting of his wife, Chestina, three sons -- William F., Charles B., and John A., and two daughters -- Henrietta C. and Abbie B., for Kansas Territory, having joined the 4th company sent out by the New England Emigrant Aid Society. The object of these companies was to help make Kansas a free State. [Some] parties came from Maine to join this company; others joined them on the way.
They traveled by railroad cars the first day; crossed the Hudson River by steam ferry-boat; then walked to the Delevan House in Albany, N.Y. to spend the night. The next morning, they took another train for Buffalo, N. Y... It was five o'clock next morning before they reached Buffalo. Here they boarded a steamboat on Lake Erie for Detroit, Michigan. At Detroit, they again took the railroad for Chicago, Illinois, where they stayed overnight in the cars, being too late for the night train. On October 21st, [they took] omnibuses to Smith's Hotel for breakfast. Then the railroad sped them over the prairies of Illinois to Alton on the Mississippi River, arriving at daylight the next morning. Here they left the cars for the last time and went down the river to St. Louis by steamboat. Another steamboat took them up the Missouri River to what is now Kansas City, Missouri, arriving on Saturday night, October 28, after five days on the river.
It was dark and muddy [when they arrived] and the company of about 200 went to Mr. Pomeroy's Hotel on the levee and were packed away for the night. Mr. Pomeroy was a prominent man in the early days of Kansas and later became a U.S. senator from the state. But finally, he disgraced himself by trying to bribe members of the legislature [and] he left Kansas for good. This Kansas City hotel was badly crowded and gave very poor accommodations; many having to sleep on the floor and some going to the barn to sleep. But 75 cents a day was charged for everyone.
On October 30th, Mr. Bisby and Mr. Allen rented a double log house with fireplaces in the city for the use of their families for a few weeks. Other families [did likewise] until arrangements could be made for their entrance into the Kansas for settlement. On November 4 [the same day as the Goode-Griffing crossing of the Kansas River], Mr. Allen and his sons William and Charles, with many others, went to Lawrence to meet the committee who had gone on ahead to decide on a good place to settle. This committee could not agree. Mr. Knapp was one of the committee. [Frustrated by the indecision of the others] Mr. Knapp and Mr. Allen decided for themselves, [selecting] Rock Creek as their first choice, Wild Cat Creek as their second. Both of these creeks were on the north side of the Kansas River. Mr. Allen and Charles traveled on to build a house. William Allen and Mr. Bisby returned to Kansas City to get the families started on their journey into the Territory. They, with others, engaged an Indian to take their goods [all the way] up the Kansas River to Rock Creek on a flat boat in eight days for $1.50 per cwt. with two of the men, and William, to go on the boat to look after the goods...
By this time, some of the emigrants had become discouraged at Kansas City and turned back for the East. But the emigrant train started into Kansas the afternoon of November 16th [the same day James S. Griffing left the Wyandotte Reservation to start on his circuit] and arrived at the Quaker Mission that night. Here was hospitality and kindness for these emigrants, though the house seemed to be full of travelers, boarders, and quite a lot of Indian boys and girls, for here was a school for them.
The next day, squads of Kaw, or Kansas, Indians were [encountered]... They begged at every wagon but received little. Some of the men loaded their guns but the [hired] drivers showed no fear. The second night these families camped out near an Indian house. They were then [deep] in the Shawnee Indian Reservation [traveling on the California Road]... On the 18th, about 2 p.m., they arrived in Lawrence. The wind was blowing hard and cold [that day] and the driver of the wagon Mrs. Allen was riding in refused to go any further, saying one of his mules was sick. Mrs. Allen found shelter in Lawrence in the big meeting-house with other families. This meeting-house was made by standing poles on end, resting on a ridge pole at the top; covered with grass and sod; with the ground for a floor, but covered with straw. There were windows in the ends and plenty of room. On the Sabbath, there was preaching; a pulpit was made of trunks covered with a buffalo robe. Three ministers were present. Rev. Burgess of the Christian denomination preached in the evening. Other buildings in Lawrence were built in the fashion of the meeting-house, and others were erected hastily and of cheap material... Mrs. Allen met Mr. George Tilton at Lawrence and learned that he had just come in from the West and had seen Mr. Allen. [When she learned that] he had a horse team and covered wagon, she engaged him to take her and her three children and their baggage to Mr. Allen.
It was near noon on November 21 [Tuesday] when they started from Lawrence for their future home in the wilds of Kansas Territory. That night they stayed with the Harper family who had earlier that day moved into their new log house -- which had no window or floor -- but they were kindly received. The next stop was at the Baptist Mission. Here Elder Gilpatrick introduced Mrs. Allen to Mrs. Saunders, the Lady Superintendent, who invited them to stop for the night. Though it was early to stop, the invitation was accepted with pleasure. [The next day, November 23,] they forded the Kansas River and met Mr. Roosa, who gave them a letter from Mr. Allen which told them he had located on a claim on Wild Cat Creek, about 7 miles northwest from the mouth of the Big Blue River and 23 miles west of Rock Creek, where they expected to find him and Charles. They passed the Catholic Mission in the Pottawatomie Indian Reservation before night. They crossed the Vermillion Creek whose banks were so steep that all had to get out and walk up after crossing the water. The prairie was on fire, extending into the timber near them. The grass was very rank in those days and made fearful fires. After dark, they arrived at Mr. Wilson's, an Indian agent. He lived in a double log house. They were now near Rock Creek where Louisville has been built... Before night the next day [Friday, November 24], they came to the Big Blue River where the Government Bridge crossed the river. (This was at the site of the old town of Juniata, east of the mouth of Cedar Creek.) Mr. S. D. Dyer had been settled here on the east side of the river for some time, having been employed to run the ferry-boat before the bridge was built. This was a government ferry-boat. Mr. Dyer had a large family of boys and girls, some of them grown. He was formerly from Tennessee. He had a log house "three stories long" -- as they used to call it -- with three big fireplaces. Mrs. Allen decided to stop here and found a kindly people. [Mrs. Allens' arrival at Brother Dyers late in the evening of November 24, 1854, places her there on the same day as James Griffing. Whether their paths crossed is unrecorded.]
After spending the night, [Mrs. Allen and her family decided] to go as far as Mr. Eubanks, which was within two miles of their intended home. As their house [on Wild Cat Creek] was not ready for them, they stopped with Mr. Eubanks for two weeks. The Government road crossed Wild Cat Creek at Mr. Eubanks. Mr. Allen's claim was farther up the Creek, two miles off the road and there were no settlers above them on the Creek at that time.
On December 6, the Allens began housekeeping in their own house; and on the same day, Mr. Knapp arrived with his family, and all took shelter under the same roof. The Knapp family had joined the Emigrant Company in New York and he was one of the committee to locate the company for settlement. But as this committee could not agree, the company scattered like sheep without a shepherd; a number of them reached the Big Blue and Kansas River country. Messrs. Thurston, Wilcox, Knapp, Dr. Whitehorn, George Tilton, M. B. Powers, and others did so. Mr. Bisby settled down the Kansas River on the south side; some remained at or near Lawrence.
Now this new log house in which the Allen's and Knapp's camped had no windows, no door hung, little chinking, [and only] the ground for a floor. But they hustled and finished the chinking, plastered the cracks with mud, made and hung a door. Every board had to be split out of a log but there were plenty of fine trees free for the cutting, many of them black walnut. In about a week, William [Allen] arrived from Lawrence having left the goods there. The Indian had failed to get the flat boat farther up the river and had been 16 days in getting up that far.
[During December] William and Charles [Allen] attended two house raisings; one at Mr. Eubanks, and one at Mr. Dyers... Mr. Dyer built a large one and a half story house with four rooms besides the kitchen, which was connected with the main part by a roof and a floor, the sides being open [dog-trot construction]. Every room had a fireplace. Mr. Dyer needed such a house for this was the headquarters for a time of many newcomers. It was quite a home-hotel place.
December 25th, Mr. Knapp moved his family to Pawnee, which was near Ft.
Riley, where they lived in a tent. [In January], Mr. Allen decided it would be better to move his
family down to the Blue River. Mr.
Dyer planned a town near the bridge [which he] called Juniata. In February, Mr. Dyer sent an ox team to move the [Allen family] to
Juniata and he furnished them a small house until they could build [their
In The First One Hundred Years -- A History of the City of Manhattan,
Kansas, by Carolyn Jones, Samuel D. Dyer came to the "government
station" at the crossing of the Blue River in the Spring of 1853. She further reports that "Juniata's transition from a
government station to a settlement probably began in 1855 when Rev. and Mrs.
Charles E. Blood arrived there from Leavenworth to make their home.
They had been persuaded to come by Marsh Garrett, keeper of the
grocery store in Dyer's log hotel, who had gone to Leavenworth after
supplies. Before leaving, Garret had
asked of Dyer, 'Hadn't I better get some whiskey?
It would sell to the teamsters.' Dyer
answered, 'If you see any preacher that will come and preach to us, bring
him in place of whiskey.' Juniata had
been visited earlier by Rev. James Sayre Griffing, who appears to have been
the first minister in the Manhattan area, with the possible exception of
earlier missionaries. Rev. Griffing,
a native of Owego, New York, was sent out by the Methodist church, arriving
November 4, 1854. He established a
circuit that extended from the mouth of the Kaw to Fort Riley.
He organized a number of classes with a total of about 200 members,
in various settlements which included Juniata."
According to Carolyn Jones in The First Hundred Years, "[Samuel
Dexter] Houston, who came from Illinois with his second wife and two
children, looked for a cabin site first along the Missouri river, but
finding that country occupied by Indians he continued to the Blue River near
Manhattan. There he selected his
claim, improvised a cabin and began to improve the land -- when at the time
he believed there was not a single white family within the present limits of
Kansas except the Indian missionaries and government employees... In the
summer of 1854, after reaping a small crop of corn and only a few vegetables
from the 35 acres which he had plowed and cultivated, he was obliged to
build a heavy log house, with one door and no windows... On October 18
, according to the account, Samuel Houston staked off a town and
marked the date on a cottonwood tree at the foot of Bluemont hill.
Just what was Houston's part in organizing the group that settled
Canton has apparently not been recorded, except for faithful mention of his
name among the town founders. It is
presumed that he did not leave the townsite, but wrote each of the four
other men [Judge Saunders W. Johnson of Ohio, Judge J. M. Russell of Iowa,
Attorney E. M. Thurston of Maine, and Dr. H.A. Wilcox of Rhode Island],
persuading them to meet him here."
 There is sometimes some confusion as to what was the "Wakarusa Mission." Originally, the Wakarusa Mission was a cluster of cabins located near the present site of Eudora, Kansas, near the mouth of the Wakarusa River. Here, in 1848, a Northern Methodist mission was established for the Christian education of the Indians. According to Rev. Goode, "In 1851, the Rev. Abraham Still, with his family, went to reside there. [Section 8, Township 13, Range 21 East, Douglas County] Dr. Andrew Still was a son of Rev. "Abram" Still and, in 1853, [he] brought his wife to the Wakarusa Mission where they worked among the Indians. In the same neighborhood were a number of Indian dwellings of the better class, occupied by Paschal and Charles Fish, King, and other Indians prominent among the Shawnees. All these kept open houses. Interspersed along the road were a number of Indian farms offering but little in the way of accommodations to travelers."
was to this "Shawnee Mission" on the Wakarusa that Rev. Goode had
originally planned to bring his family. In
Outposts of Zion, Rev. Goode notes that, "It was accordingly
arranged that I should, in addition to the general charge [of the work among
the white settlers], be appointed to the Shawnee Mission, thus giving me the
occupancy of the mission farm and buildings upon the Wakarusa, with a young
man [Rev. Griffing] as my colleague who should make his home with me and
perform the principal labors of the mission." [p. 279] Upon receiving his appointment at the conference he attended in
Hannibal, Missouri, in transit to Kansas Territory, however, Rev. Goode was
advised that the Mission would not be available for the use of his family.
He writes, "Here [at Hannibal], a disappointment met me, rarely
equaled in my life... On reaching Hannibal, I learned that the title of the
farm and improvements had been transferred to an Indian, who wished to lay
his large claim or head-right, under the late treaty, so as to embrace these
premises. It had been sold and his
notes taken; possession to be given in the Spring.
Here I was brought to a stand, on my way with a large family to the
frontier -- winter just at hand, and no shelter in view."
The circuit embracing
the settlements between Kansas City and Ft. Riley was also referred to as
the Wakarusa "Mission" or "Circuit", the words often
used interchangeably. It was this
first circuit, running the length of civilized settlement along the Kansas
River, and for many miles on either side of it, to which James Griffing
received the first appointment by the Methodist Church [then a part of the
Northern Missouri Conference].
This information was taken from a paper read by J. Augusta [Goodrich]
Griffing at the Annual Meeting of the Shawnee County Old Settlers
Association, Topeka, Dec. 5, 1899. It
was only a few days after James met these nine men [December 5, 1854] that
"they met in a crude log cabin just south of the Kansas River and
debated whether to build a fort or a town. They
were business men from the East who shared a common goal: to found a new
town on the Kaw River. They met and drew up
the 'articles of agreement' that served as the legal basis for founding a
town. The nine were Cyrus K.
Holliday, M. C. Dickey, J. B. Chase, George Davis, Enoch Chase, Fry W. Giles,
D. M. Horne, L. G. Cleveland, and S. A. Clark... The nine who founded Topeka
were determined to make Kansas a free state.
They had come from New England, sponsored by the Emigrant Aid Company
of Massachusetts. They stopped
briefly at Lawrence, another Emigrant Aid town, which was founded by
Robinson, who was then emigrant aid agent. For
several days prior to Topeka's natal date, men had been arriving at the
bustling crossing site of the Kansas River to cast their fortunes with the
founding of a town, which many people knew was planned."
"...the first Quarterly Meeting for the Wakarusa Mission was held at
Lawrence by Mr. Goode late [in November], at which time he is believed to
have administered the sacrament to about twenty persons."
Mary Patterson Clarke, History of the First Methodist Episcopal
Church of Lawrence, Kansas, p. 8.
This first encounter with Indians is a typical Anglo-educated reaction.
It was incomprehensible to James that the Indians he encountered were
not interested in gaining the white man's knowledge nor accepting his
religion. Living as they were, most
emigrants viewed the Indians as slovenly barbaric and, when attempts to
"christianize" them failed, hypocritically urged them to move on.
The Potowatomie Mission of St. Mary's was established by the Jesuit priests
in 1848. Father Duesinck ran
the mission beginning in 1853. "The
Catholic Mission is said to be the most lovely spot in this Indian Country.
The mission buildings, with the adjacent trading houses, extensive
cornfields... Travelers on the Oregon Trail often stopped there."
 Chief Joseph Lafromboise was born about 1798 in Michigan, the son of of Francois La Framboise and Shaw-we-no-quah, the daughter of an Ottawa Chief. Francois was the son of Jean Baptiste Fafard Lafrombois. Francois operated a very early trading post in the vicinity of what is now Milwaukee before relocating to Chicago sometime prior to 1800 -- a location then called "Skunk Grove." He and his son, Joseph, were among the first 27 registered voters in Chicago (see The Inhabitants of Chicago, 1825-1831).
Joseph became one of the five "Chicago Chiefs." Besides Joseph, they included Alexander Robinson, Billy Caldwell, Perish LeClair, and Waubunsee. They each signed the treaty for their band to remove to the West in 1835. Alexander Robinson remained in the Chicago area and the rest moved to the Council Bluffs, Iowa, area. They became known as the Caldwell Band or Prairie Band of the Potawatomi Nation and stayed there for nine years. During that time, Waubunsee and Caldwell died and Lafromboise and LeClair signed yet another treaty which compelled their relocation to the Kansas reservation northwest of present-day Topeka. There they joined other Potawatomi from Michigan and Indiana who had preceded them.
Joseph Lafromboise married in Chicago a woman named Theresa E. Peltier, born about 1802, and had several children. According to his descendants, there is no factual evidence that Joseph was a polygamist. His Catholic faith, they insist, would have precluded his engagement in such a practice. There is at least one other source, however, that suggests the Chief had two wives. In a letter written by visitors to Joseph's home in 1855, it was reported that, "We remained there several days and feasted. The old buck had two wives and a big family all at home. But he certainly was a good provider!" Source: Rella Looney to Mrs. David McEvers, 22 Nov 1971. Provided by Harry Watkins, 25 June 1991.
"The election of John W. Whitfield, the proslavery candidate, as
territorial delegate (29 November 1854) was accompanied by fraud and
violence, most of it the work of about 1,700 armed men from western
Missouri." Richard B. Morris, Encyclopedia
of American History, p. 219.
 James later described his experience in preaching to the Indians as follows: "At my two appointments among the Shawnee Indians, a half breed named Fish acted as my interpreter. It seemed to take about double the words in Shawnee that it did to express the same thoughts in English." In Outposts of Zion, p. 295, Rev. Goode says, "Among the prominent men of the [Shawnee] tribe were Pascal Fish, a local preacher of our church, and his brother Charles, who acted as our interpreter. These were good men, and remained firm in their adherence through all the persecutions."