John C. Archibald

Lawrence from Mount Oread in 1867

[Kansas State Historical Society]

John Christie Archibald was a Massachusetts carpenter who came out to Kansas with the first New England Emigrant Aid Company party in July 1854. The party arrived in Lawrence on August 1st and ate their first meal on a high ridge where the University of Kansas now stands. They named it "Mount Oread" and so it remains today. They held a meeting and "organized" as always happened "wherever two or three Yankees are met together." They elected a chairman and decided to stay, being a "a good position to view the landscape o'er." About half the company returned east, "intending to bring their families in the spring." [Cordley, History of Lawrence, 6]

Archibald stayed on in Lawrence and was listed in the first census and among the body of Lawrence men who voted in the November 1854 Congressional Delegate election. [Barry, Emigrant Aid, 117] He was Secretary of the Common Council of Lawrence when on October 16 the council decided that those who had left for the East would be entitled to city lots only if they returned for the congressional delegate election. A drawing was held for award of city lots to 12 men from the first party and 14 from the second. [Malin, Emergency Housing, 38]

John Archibald remained active in the free-state cause, signing an affidavit of fraud in the March 1855 "bogus" election. [Kansas Historical Collections 3;263] He was a delegate to the Big Springs meeting and was remembered in 1886 at the 25th Celebration of statehood as among the stalwart New Englanders who "came to stay- came in the right time, and were a most welcome reinforcement to the Free-State men already there...our hearts went out to them at this trying time in our early history." [Kansas Historical Collections 3:428]

Charles Clark