Newspaper account of David Hoyt's murder

About the Project

A page from the New York Daily Tribune reporting on the violence occurring in the Kansas territory. In August 1856, David Hoyt was murdered by pro-slavery forces in Kansas Territory. A series of violent political confrontations between Kansas abolitionists known as "Free-Staters" and pro-slavery men took place in Kansas Territory and neighboring Missouri between 1854 and 1861. Known as Bleeding (or Bloody) Kansas or the Border Wars, these events were set into motion by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which nullified the Missouri Compromise and instituted a popular sovereignty approach to slavery. Concerns over whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state led settlers on both sides of the conflict to flood the territory and act out what was essentially a proxy war over the issue of slavery. David Hoyt (1821–1856) was a strong and active supporter of the Free State Cause. Hoyt was sent to negotiate with a group of “Border Ruffians” under Captain Saunders. It is believed he had an amicable interview with the captain, but a couple of the “ruffians” followed him as he left camp to return to Lawrence and shot him from behind. His partially buried body was found by his friends the next day. Help us transcribe an important contemporary account of the events that led to David Hoyt's death.

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(2 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

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