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Samuel Johnson Crawford papers

Call Number: RH MS 31


The papers in the collection concern negotiations for settlement of a land sale in Oklahoma Territory for the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Crawford, along with Matt G. Reynolds of St. Louis, D. B. Dyer of Kansas City, and John D. Miles of Oklahoma, served as attorneys employed to prosecute a suit for the land by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. The correspondence is primarily between the four attorneys concerning their actions on behalf of the two tribes.


  • 1889 - 1892


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Samuel J. Crawford (1835-1913)

Samuel Johnson Crawford was born in Lawrence County, Indiana in 1835, the son of farmer William and wife Jane (Morrow) Crawford. His grandfather had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Samuel Crawford attended law school at Cincinnati College, graduating with a law degree in 1858.

Crawford moved to Kansas Territory in 1859 in start a law practice in Garnett. He immediately became involved in territorial politics, participating in the organization of the territory's Republican Party in Osawatomie and serving as a delegate to the Republican convention in Topeka. He was elected to the first state legislature in 1859, at the age of 29, although the legislature did not convene until after Kansas was admitted to the Union as a state in 1861.

Crawford resigned his legislative seat in order to enlist in the Civil War. He was captain of the Second Kansas Volunteer Infantry, participating in several southwestern Missouri campaigns and playing a crucial role in the Battle of Wilson's Creek. In 1862 Crawford was transferred to the Second Kansas Calvary, where he was eventually promoted to colonel and took command of the Second Kansas Calvary. Crawford served throughout Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) during these years. He also fought against Confederate General Sterling Price in Missouri and Kansas following Price's raid, earning the rank of brevet brigadier general in 1865.

Crawford was elected the third governor of Kansas and began his first term in January 1865. He opposed making treaties with Native American tribes, instead wanting to remove all tribes from Kansas reservations to allow white settlers to move in and for the expansion of the transcontinental railroad system.

Crawford ran for various other political positions after resigning from his second term as Kansas governor but was not elected to any of them. He moved most of his law practice to Topeka, Kansas and divided his time between there and Washington, D.C., as well as on a farm he continued to own near Baxter Springs, KS.

Samuel J. Crawford married Isabel Marshall Chase in 1866. Their daughter Florence married prominent Kansan Arthur Capper. Their son George Marshall Crawford published the Topeka Capital. Samuel J. Crawford died in 1913 in Topeka, KS.

[Information retrived from Kansas Historical Society, "Crawford, Samuel J.," Kansapedia,]


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case containing 68 items)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 31

Guide to the Samuel Johnson Crawford Collection
Samuel Johnson Crawford papers
Finding aid prepared by pg, 1976. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Samuel Johnson Crawford papers, RH MS 31, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States