National Historical Publications & Records Commission

New England Emigrant Aid Company papers, 1854-1909

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Trade sign made of sheet metal, most likely used at the Boston headquarters of the New England Emigrant Aid Company.


Kansas State Historical Society

Additional information at and

One of the organizations created to encourage abolitionist settlement of Kansas was The Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company. Incorporated under the guidance of Eli Thayer of Worcester in April, 1854, the company was a venture designed both for benevolence and moneymaking. In February, 1855, a new charter changing the name to the New England Emigrant Aid Company and making organizational improvements was secured. In March the company was reorganized and business began in earnest as mills were established in Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Osawatomie, Burlington, Wabaunsee, Atchison, Batcheller (now Milford) and Mapleton. In Kansas City the Gillis House was purchased and renamed the American Hotel. For years it served as the unofficial rendezvous of Free Staters in the area and was the jumping-off place for settlers bound for the Kansas plains. 

9 reels


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