Correspondence from Marcus Parrott to his Dayton, Ohio family members
The collection contains 34 letters written by Marcus Junius Parrott to his Dayton, Ohio family members. The letters date from April 7, 1851 to April 28, 1862, and are arranged chronologically. Also included in the collection are a brief handwritten statement by [Laurette?] Parrott [Irvin?] regarding the collection content, and an offprint of a published 1865 sermon by Phillips Brooks, delivered at the time of Abraham Lincoln's death.
- 1851 - 1862
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Biography of Marcus Junius Parrott (1828-1879)
Marcus Junius Parrott was born on October 29, 1828 in Hamburg, South Carolina. He graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1849 and afterward studied law at Cambridge Law School in Massachusetts. He was admitted to the bar and in 1851 established a law practice in Dayton, Ohio. In October 1853, he was elected to a two-year term in the Ohio house of representatives, resigning at the close of the first year.
Parrott moved to Kansas Territory in 1855, first living at the Methodist Mission near Westport, Missouri before settling in Leavenworth. From 1855 until admission of Kansas to the Union in 1861, he was politically active in the Kansas Territory's free-state movement and a personal witness to the armed conflict between pro-slavery and free-state factions. He served as court reporter of the first session of the Territorial supreme court in 1855 and as legal defense for many free-state prisoners, including Governor Charles Robinson. Parrott was named to the Free-State party's Territorial Executive Committee at its 1855 Topeka Convention, and in 1857 was elected the Territory's first free-state delegate in Congress, representing the Territory at the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses, which immediately preceded Kansas statehood.
Parrott was defeated as a Congressional representative in later Kansas elections, including its first senatorial election, but remained active in Kansas politics through 1876. He died in Dayton, Ohio on October 4, 1879.
For additional biographical information on Parrott, see H. M. Moore, Early History of Leavenworth City and County, University of Kansas Libraries, available at call number RH C9675.
.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)
Scope and Contents
The collection contains 34 letters written by Marcus Parrott to his Dayton, Ohio family members. The letters date from April 7, 1851 to April 28, 1862, and are arranged chronologically. They include 27 letters to his brother Edwin A. Parrott, six to his father Thomas Parrott, and one to his mother.
Parrott's letters to his family include accounts of his investment interests and law practice in Leavenworth; his political career in the Kansas Territory's free-state movement; the armed conflict between pro-slavery and free-state factions, including his own capture by pro-slavery forces; national politics during his term as Territorial Delegate in Congress; and his military service during the early years of the United States' Civil War.
The collection's earliest letter, dated 1851, is written from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Parrott attended law school. The next 26 are written during his years in the Kansas Territory, beginning soon after his arrival in 1855 and ending in January 26, 1861, three days before admission of Kansas to the Union. They include letters written from Kansas and from Washington, D.C. His letters which follow the announcement of Kansas statehood include three 1861 letters which describe his candidacy in the state's first senatorial election, followed by four letters written in 1861 and 1862, relating his activities during the Civil War while commissioned in military service at Fort Leavenworth.
Also included in the collection are a brief handwritten statement by [Laurette?] Parrott [Irvin?] regarding the collection content, and an offprint of a published 1865 sermon by Phillips Brooks, delivered at the time of Abraham Lincoln's death.
RH MS VLT 554
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase, Carmen D. Valentino, 2001
- Guide to the Marcus Junius Parrott Collection
- Correspondence from Marcus Parrott to his Dayton, Ohio family members
- Finding aid prepared by mh, 2002. Finding aid encoded by amh, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2020 and cmp, 2021.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Marcus Junius Parrott correspondence, Kansas Collection, RH MS VLT 554, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas