History, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-13-2015


Buchkoski, Courtney. "Philanthropy and the New England Emigrant Aid Company, 1854-1900." MA Thesis, University of Nebraska. Lincoln, 2015.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: History, Under the Supervision of Professor Kenneth Winkle. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Courtney Buchkoski


This project examines the New England Emigrant Aid Company colonization of Kansas in 1854 as a solution to the growing debate over popular sovereignty and slave labor. It uses the Company as a lens to reinterpret the intellectual history of philanthropy, tracing its roots from Puritan ideas of charity to the capitalistic giving of the nineteenth century.

It argues that the Company’s vision was simultaneously capitalistic and moralistic, for it served both as an imposition of “proper” society upon the West and South, but also had the potential to benefit the donors financially and politically. Using a settler colonial framework, it examines how domestic colonization project created hierarchical relationships between white men, Native Americans, women, and freed slaves. This includes an examination of how the seemingly liberal idea of philanthropy resulted in the removal of Native Americans from Kansas in the 1850s and discouraged the entry of freed slaves into the territory, despite the Company’s moral claims. It also studies the NEEAC’s expansion into Florida, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, both before and after the Civil War. Finally, this project examines the public memorialization of the NEEAC and Bleeding Kansas.

Advisor: Kenneth Winkle