Skip Navigation

Massachusetts State Kansas Aid Committee Report

September 1858

Boyd B. Stutler Collection

In presenting a detailed statement of the Receipts & Expenditures of the State Kansas Aid Committee for Mass., your Secretary has thought it not amiss to give a brief sketch of the formation & action of the Committee as a part of the history of the times & to commemorate an important & now happily decided crisis

On the 3d of June 1856, in consequence of news received in Boston of the sack of Lawrence & other outrages in Kansas, a large meeting was convened in Faneuil Hall at which a Committee was chosen to collect subscriptions in aid of the oppressed Free State Settler of that Territory. - The members of this Committee were George R Russell , William Blake J. Ingersoll Bowditch S. G. Howe (Secy) & Patrick T. Jackson (Treas)

On the 25th June a meeting of the friends of Free Kansas throughout the State was held at 29 Bromfield St. agreeably to a call issued by Dr Howe Secy of the Faneuil Hall Comt - & at this meeting the following gentlemen were chosen a State Committee

George R Russell of Boston
S. G. Howe
William Ropis
Linns Child of Lowell
George A Crocker of Taunton
Samuel F. Lyman of Northampton
Dwight Foster of Worcester

On the 27 of June George L Stearns of Medford was added to the Committee & chosen Chairman & Stephen N Gifford of Duxbury (not a member) was appointed Secretary. On the 28th June Dr William R Lawrence of Boston & on the 5th July John Wells of Chicopee, Elisha Huntington of Lowell & P. T. Jackson Jacob A. Dresser & Thomas Russell of Boston were added to the Committee Dr Huntington taking the place of Mr Child who declined to serve and Mr Jackson was chosen Treasurer - On the 17th July, Chas Francis Adams of Quincy was added to the Committee & on the 2d December Dr Saml Cabot Jr of Boston & F. B. Sanborn of Concord were added: making the whole number of members fifteen. Mr Lyman having resigned & no one taking his place -

Of this committee, however, some have never met with their colleagues & others quite rarely: the business being conducted chiefly by an Executive Committee Consisting at first of Messrs Stearns, Lawrence & G. R Russell, to whom were afterwards added Mess J. Russell, Dresser, Howe, Cabot & Sanborn, Mr Dresser having resigned & Mr George R Russell having been absent from the meetings since Dec 1856. Affairs have been conducted by the remaining six members of the Exec. Comee - them making a quorum - with Mr Stearns as Chairman & Mr Sanborn Secy

Soon after the organization of the State Committee the Faneuil Hall Committee transferred their funds & liabilities to the new organization & dissolved - Their records & accounts are now in the hands of your Secretary, and together with your own give a concise statement of all the operations of both Committees - Our Committee has kept itself distinct from every other organization & though many of its members have acted on other committees & in various capacities in the service of Kansas, they have been careful to separate this Committee from all responsibility except such as has been incurred by regular meetings of the General or Exec. Committee of which a faithful record has been kept - From this & from the extensive correspondence of the Committee a fuller account of our action & that of other committees & persons concerned in the affairs of Kansas may be prepared at some future time

For the present I submit merely the financial account with such explanations as are deemed necessary - The action of the Committee extends over a period of two years & two months but their receipts are all included within the first ten months - Their appropriations have been made from time to time as the exigencies of the case demanded - The best information which we could obtain in such troubled times as the summer & autumn of 1856 was often incorrect & of course money has sometimes been expended to little or no purpose! Yet I believe our transactions will show as few errors of this kind as the nature of things would allow: while there is no doubt that our action did much to save Kansas from present distress & from the future plague of Slavery -

Our expenditures, falling little short of $50,000 are still but about a third part of the whole contributions of our State towards the maintenance of Freedom in Kansas: & when we reflect on the magnitude of the issue there contested & the distinguished part borne by our own State in its decision we shall find satisfaction for many untoward events & many disappointments -

The assets of the Committee consist of

190 Rifles in the hands of our agt $3800.00
150 Shares N. E. Emigrant Aid Co Stock $3000.00
A Bond of E. B. Whitman Agt National Comee 1500.00
Sundry notes of citizens of Kansas 715.00
(of which $670 in hands of E. B. Whitman for col)
A note secured by a Mortgage on
Real Estate in Malden 500.00
& a balance in the Treasury of (Augt 5) $222.45

By a recent vote of the Exec. Committee these are to be converted into Cash by the Chairman & held in trust for two years to meet any liabilities against us or any exigencies hereafter occurring: at the end of which time the balance is to be paid over to the authorities of Kansas for the benefit of Common Schools -

I would suggest that at that time a full account of our doings with extracts from our correspondence be prepared & printed

Respectfully submitted by
F. B. Sanborn Secy

Whole amt Receipts $48,118.04
Do Do Payments       47,895.59
Bal in Treasy               222.45

[in pencil] Faneuil Hall Commee Expd thro their Treasr $17,616.80
Say in all abt $17,800

Secretarys Report Sept. 1858 Mass. State Kansas Committee

Chapter Six: The Eastern Connection

His Soul Goes Marching On

West Virginia Archives and History