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S. J. Crawford Copies of Letters Sent and Essay, 1868-1905

Samuel J CrawfordMiscellaneous Manuscript Collection




Four letters and 1 essay, all written by Crawford. The 1st letter discusses Indian attacks on settlers and workers in Kansas, the 2nd letter argues against retaliation for the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana in 1898, and the 3rd and 4th letters were written in response to a request for information. The essay is a denunciation of colonialism and lax government oversight, which Crawford believed led to an abuse of political power overseas and an economy driven by corporate greed.


1868 - 1905.


4 items


Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913.


S. J. Crawford copies of letters sent and essay

Portion titles:

  • Copies of letters sent and essay
  • Essay

Other title: Papers


Misc.: Crawford, S


Text is in English.


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Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)


Samuel Johnson Crawford was the third Governor of the State of Kansas, taking office January 9, 1865. He is the youngest man to have served as Governor, being only 29 years old when elected. He resigned from office November 4, 1868, in order to take command of the 19th Kansas Regiment. He died in Topeka on October 21, 1913.

Scope and Content

The first item is a reprint of a scathing letter S. J. Crawford wrote to Senator Edmund G. Ross regarding Indian atrocities in Kansas and the inadequacies of the federal government in preventing them. In it he threatened to move against the Indians in western Kansas with a militia force if Congress refused to act. It was reprinted in the Topeka State Record Extra on July 5, 1868, five days after Governor Crawford’s request to the federal government for permission to raise a battalion to protect settlers and railroad workers was denied.

The second item is a typed copy of a March 24, 1898, letter sent to Russell A. Alger, the Secretary of War under William McKinley. In the letter Crawford urged that the government not move against Spain in Cuba in retaliation for the destruction of the U.S.S. Maine and therefore escalate the situation that eventually led to the Spanish - American War.

The third item is a typed essay titled “Observations on the War with Spain, -the Filipinos, -Expansion, -Colonial Empire, -Tariffs and Trusts,” which Crawford wrote April 10, 1899. In it he decried the real motivation of the wars in Cuba and in the Philippines, the lack of development in the South and West, the control of the economy by trusts, and the imposition of harsh tariffs.

The last item is two letters, both written by Crawford on November 17, 1905. The first letter is a request to George W. Martin of the Kansas State Historical Society that the following letter be filed for future reference. The subsequent document is a handwritten copy of a letter that was sent to J. W. Fisher regarding an inquiry he made about the role of his father in selecting a replacement for the deceased Senator James Lane during Reconstruction.

The Society’s state archives holdings includes records of Samuel Crawford’s tenure as governor of Kansas, record group 252; a finding aid is available on the Society’s web site or in the Kansas State Historical Society’s Reference Room. The Kansas Collection of the University of Kansas libraries (Lawrence) also has a collection of Crawford’s papers consisting of 68 items pertaining to negotiations for settlement of a land sale in Oklahoma Territory for the Cheyenne and Arapaho; a finding aid is on - line at http://ead.diglib.ku.edu/xml/ksrl.kc.crawfordsamuel.html.

Contents List

 Arrangement of the Papers

Collection. Arranged chronologically.

Related Records and Collections

Letters, telegrams and other materials relating to Samuel Crawford can be found in the following ms. collections:

Microfilm MS 445: Anderson, J. A. (1 letter dated March 22, 1905)

RR 139 (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Claim dated 1897)

Misc.: Beals, Minnie (notes on her biography)

Misc.: Blair, Henry (1 letter dated Nov. 6, 1905; 1 letter dated Nov. 16, 1905)

Coll. 331: Dougherty, John (1 letter)

Coll. 684: Ellsworth County history (Proclamation dated June 22, 1867)

Coll. 370: Halderman, J.A. (1 letter dated Nov 15, 1888)

Coll. 590: Indians history, Quapaw section (#20) (1 letter dated Feb 14, 1906)

Coll. 407: Kelley, Harrison (1 letter dated July 5, 1882)

Coll. 617: Military history (Proclamation dated Sept. 14, 1868; 1 letter on the 19th Kansas Cavalry dated July 13, 1908; Interview about the 19th Kansas Volunteers dated June 19, 1908; memo on the Civil War dated June 19, 1908; 8 letters and telegrams on the Frontier Battalion in the Indian Wars dated between 1867-1868)
Old Settlers history collection (1 letter dated Sept. 7, 1879)

Misc.: Riggs (1 telegram dated Sept. 11, 1905; 1 telegram dated March 4, 1907)

Coll. 491: Ross, E. G. (1 letter dated March 15, 1866; 1 telegram dated March 16, 1866; 1 letter dated Nov. 17, 1873; 1 letter dated Aug. 31, 1889)

Coll.86: Ware, E. F. (2 letters dated between 1907-1910)

Microfilm MS 1117, MS 1120: Wood, S. N. (1 letter dated Aug. 11, 1860; 1 letter dated July 25, 1874)

 Other Finding Aid

Copies of this finding aid are available in the Research Room of the Kansas State Historical Society and on its web site, http://www.kshs.org.


Information for the Biography, above, was taken from Kansas Governors, Kansas State Historical Society web page /people/governors.htm, viewed August 2005.

Index Terms


Alger, R. A. (Russell Alexander), 1836-1907. (correspondent)

Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913.

Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907. (correspondent)

Corporate Names

United States. Army. Kansas Cavalry Regiment, 19th (1868-1869)

United States. War Dept. (correspondent)

Geographic Names

Kansas-Politics and government-1865-1950.

Philippines-History-Philippine American War, 1899-1902.


American letters-Kansas-History-19th century.

Indians of North America Kansas.

Indians of North America Wars 1866-1895.

Spanish-American War, 1898.

Tariffs Untied States.

Trusts, Industrial United States.



Additional Information for Researchers

 Restrictions on Access


 Restrictions on Use

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is believed that these documents entered the public domain on 1 January 2003 in conformance with applicable provisions of copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

 Preferred Citation

Crawford, S. J. Copies of Letters Sent and Essay, 1868 - 1905, miscellaneous ms. collection, Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka.

 Acquisition Information

Gift: S. J. Crawford, 1905.

 Processing Information

Finding aid written by Ashley Dosien, Lela Barnes intern, 2005. Administrative costs paid by the Kansas State Historical Society; personnel costs paid by the Kansas State Historical Society, Inc.


No further donations of materials relating to S. J. Crawford are expected.