Papers of the New England Emigrant Aid Company
This collection consists of microfilmed copies of the official records and correspondence of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, an organization founded to help individuals from the northeastern United States move to the newly opened Kansas territory in order to help the territory become a free state rather than a slaveholding state.
- 1854 - 1909
- New England Emigrant Aid Company (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
History of the New England Emigrant Aid Company
In April 1854 Eli Thayer and others organized the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company in Worcester, MA. The company had four main aims: to secure reduced transportation fees for emigrants traveling west in companies organized by the Company; to provide temporary accommodations for those individuals while they located and built their own homes; to build or buy machinery, such as steam saws and grist mills, to help settlers in building a community; and to establish a Kansas-based weekly newspaper to act as the voice of the Company.
The first party left Massachusetts before the Company had completely finalized its organization, and over the rest of 1854 into 1855 several other parties traveled west to the Kansas territory.
In February 1855 the company was renamed to the New England Emigrant Aid Company. In addition to founding Lawrence, Kansas, the Company also aided in establishing Topeka, Manhattan, Osawatomie, and other free-state towns.
The Company's influence waned quickly. With Kansas entering the Union as a free state in January 1861, the New England Emigrant Aid Company began the process of selling all properties held in Kansas and Missouri, as originally planned, and throughout the rest of the 1860s moved its efforts to other territories newly opened to Euro-American settlers. By 1870 these efforts ceased, and the charter for the Company expired finally in 1907.
9 Reels : 35 mm microfilm
RH MF 99
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Existence and Location of Originals
New England Emigrant Aid Company papers, Manuscripts Collection 624, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.
For additional information on the New England Emigrant Aid Company and description of the materials in this collection, see Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the New England Emigrant Aid Company Papers 1854-1909 in the Kansas State Historical Society at RH C11636 (formerly RH Ref C1711 Handbook) at Spencer Research Library.
- Guide to the New England Emigrant Aid Company Collection
- Papers of the New England Emigrant Aid Company
- Finding aid compiled by chh, 18 February 1978. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2018.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid writtenin<language> English.</language>
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Papers of the New England Emigrant Aid Company Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MF 99, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas