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Governor Andrew Schoeppel capital punishment correspondence

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Unit ID 221203






Page 1.


[Postcard addressed to  "governor", Topeka, Kansas.]


Page 2.



Sir. I think same as lots of others, I have heard say, that the death penelity should be abolished: as everyone that makes a death sentence on a person is a murder same as they are. Life in prison is more punishment, as they have to study and greave over what they done the rest of their life. see if you can have it changed to life in prison instead of death.


A. Parr

Winfield Kan.


Page 3.


[A Topeks newpaper article, quoting a letter from a Girard, Ks. citizen, objecting to  sentencing a criminal without a trial.]


Page 4.


[An undated, typewritten letter from University Friends Church, Wichita, Ks., objecting to the state's practice of Capital punishment.]


Page 5.


Oneonta, New York          [Not answered]

July 26, 1943 


Gov., state of Kansas

Kansas City



Dear Mr. Gov.:

I am enclosing a clipping from the New York "Daily News" paper dated today. This seems quite a tragedy that any soldier colored or white should be sacrificed at such a critical time. I consider your state laws or the Army laws all wrong. People are just strung up and hung for such offenses in an enlightened age. The soldiers should have been punished but not hanged. Perhaps the girl was somewhat to blame too. Has she been punished? I'll wager not.


The article sounds like history in the days following the Civil War. When will the old ideas against the colored people change? If a color soldier is in Uncle Sam's army is as good as most everybody isn't he?


Signed by-a mother, a US citizen, a taxpayer, the teacher in a white woman.


Page 6.


[The newspaper article referred to in the above letter.]


Page 7.


Feb. 20 1944


3055 Sherbrooke st W.

Westmount, Montréal


Gov. Andrew Schoeppel

Topeka Kansas


Dear Sir,  Re capital punishment

I am venturing to write to your Excellency as a private individual and Canadian subject who has been interested for many years in the cause for the abolishing of capital punishment, for which there exists a league in New York of very fine people with whose splendid work I have become acquainted, and who are under great strain.


The state of Kansas has had a clean sheet for 70 years, and I beg most humbly of you sir, not to be the one to soil its


Page 8.


when it has taken so long a stand for penal reform do not force you to take a step back. Capital punishment does not prevent murder but only advertises it.


Victor Hugo wrote:" the law that dips its finger in human blood to write the commandment Thou shalt do no murder is legal transgression against the law itself."


Do you not appreciate Sir, the sterling quality of your unusually humanitarian Warden (M.T.Amrine) who has resigned his post in protest against starting the barbaric rite of capital punishment in the state that has gotten along without it all these years?


Do you not think Sir that a man of that type is infinitely of more worth in reforming your criminals


Page 9.


than the executioner could be?


Are you going to lose a good man just because he is too good to let himself stoop to such practice. Are you going to take his good well earned money and put it into the pocket of an executioner who like a leech lives on the blood of human beings?


I beg of your Excellency to reconsider your decision and save one life in a world that is taking life by the thousands these days with the approval of the governments of each country. Excuse an elderly woman expressing herself thus and asking for clemency for the sake of your state's good name your warden and the condemned prisoner.


Yours in the cause of mercy

Catherine Frasur


Page 10.


A typewritten letter from Gov. Schoeppel's representative to an Ellsworth, Ks. citizen, who apparently sent the Gov. a letter pertaining to the recent denial of clemency.


Page 11.


[The contents of the letter referenced above, thanking the governor for denying clemency.]


Page 12.


Parsons, Kansas,



Hon. Gov., Mr. Andrew Schoeppel.


Well most honorable Sir:

I have writen to you once before on a very serious matter, in which you very wrong in your idea about the Japanese people of this country. Now most high and honorable gentleman of the wonderful state of Kansas," you" have just let one of the most inhuman


Page 13.


unlawful barbarians incendent happened here in the state of Kansas that has never been allowed to happen in the past seventy four years, which is nothing more or less than plain legal " murder." And from all indications you are still about to let three more legal " murders" take place in the very honorable state of Kansas who has not had any murder blood on her hands for seventy four


Page 14.


long bright prosperous clean on tarnished years. Now most honorable Sir if you are a true blue American citizen and are a Christian you will not under no circumstances allow another legal murder to be performed in the state of Kansas as long as you have a voice to protest aginst it. For if you have read the ten Commandments you know quiet well that it says thou shalt


Page 15.


not kill or commit murder, legal or otherwise. But of course we are all supposed to know that. But we are just as God says we are, sheep going astray. And we all make very serious mistakes. But God also says that if we did not sin and make mistakes we would not be humans. Now most honorable Sir if what I say in this letter makes you get hot under the collar and you wish to have me arrested and send


P's treatment age 16.


the sheriff after me, he will not have any trouble finding me, as I will either be at my home or at work on the M.K.J. railroad here in Parsons. Now most honorable Sir I am not crazy or out of my head or a religious fanaite, but a real true blue American Indian who believes strongly in the teachings of our most beloved book, the holy Bible. And there just isn't any common sense or sound human


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reasoning in capital punishment regardless of what the crime committed may be. For legal " murder" is just as serious the eyes of God as just common murder. And any clear logical minded person will agree that what I say is very true. For legal " murder" by any one of the forty-eight states will and cannot bring back the first murdered person by


Page 18.


The so-called capital punishment, or just plain legal" murder" at now if you will allow the other three men and sentenced to death to be hung you are not human or even classed as one of God's chosen people. The Hon. Warden of Lansing prison who was an honest fair dealing penal servant for twenty-one long years, more than proved to the people of Kansas that capital punishment and legal murder


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are wrong has been and will always be. No matter what man may say or do as God's word and will stand for ever and ever. But man's word is as nothing. Now please just remember that I am not the only sane thinking person who has voiced the same opinions about capital punishment and legal " murder". And if you will allow these other three men to go to their deaths, you are not any better than the


Page 20.


on knowen cowardly skunk that tripped the trapdoor that sent Ernest Hoefgen to his death just because he murdered a man. Why he did it no one knows. But with God he knows everything and he should be allowed to judge all cases regardless of what courts does and man's minds might think and do. Well now most honorable Sir I feel quite sure that you will not allow any more murder blood to be on the hands of


Page 21.


the wonderful state of Kansas, as the blood of those three men will always be on your hands as well as the state, and all the power layes in your hands only. To see that these three men does not die by hanging but make their sentences so strong that they will have to remain in prison for the full remainder of their lives, which you can and should do regardless of what any


Page 22.


one may say. For you are at the head of the state government and your word is and should be law against what ever any one may think. Well now I will close for this time hoping that you will show me and all the people of Kansas that you are a child of God and believe in God's wonderful word thou shalt not kill.


So I humbly beg to remain yours resp.


Page 23.


and wish to assure you that I am one hundred percent for you if you are really a true and just man and believe in the true word of God. Yours for wonderful health and success as a real human Gov. of the state of Kansas



Chief Silver-Star-White- Eagle

21021/2 Corning ave

Parsons Kansas.


Page 24.


[A typewritten letter from Gov. Schoeppel's Secy. to Attorney Earhart of Hutchinson, thnking him for his letter supporting for the death penalty.]


Page 25.


[Contents of the letter from Earhart, referred to above.]


Page 's situation. I 26.


[Postcard addressed to Gov. Schoeppel.]


Page 27.



March 23, '44.


Dear Mr.Schoeppel,

As governor of Kansas we appeal to you to transmute the death sentences into prison terms. It is indeed regrettable that Kansas law now permits the death sentence. Human life, even that of criminals, is not to be taken by men- this is a relapse into unchristian ways.


There are other, better ways of dealing with men who have sinned against human society, and these should be sought and used.



Mr. & Mrs.Gerherd Friesen


Page 28.


Salina Kansas,

April 2 44.


Hon. Gov.

I am here closing a clipout of the Salina Journal, asking you a civil question is that fair to send people to the Pen and let the theif that was caught with $65.00 or $75.00 worth of stolen goods from the Joe Mar Dairies by the Salina Police know your honor I never heard of letting people free on two cases more did others, futhermore Emil Homolka never bought one cents worth of that butter (say he


Page 29.


is innocent of the whole dirty deal. But we still have plenty of find friends left and election isn't far off then we will see about it all. Your honor Gov. We all said you are a very fine man a man with fine spirit am not one bit independent that's fine we are all back of you 100%. A good man don't have to fear the Devil I think your wife as I hear is Bohemian related to the Jilkas Emil's wifes folks. Well I shal close hoping you will help Emil Homolka.


Page 30.


They have rushed him out of town as he was putting out some talk referring to money, but I shal talk to Glen Hayes when he comes back and get the true facts of this letting people go on two cases, and take innocent people away from their homes and dear family and send them to the Pen and then laugh. If it takes me five years I shall get to the bottom of true facts.


Page 31.


I will close hoping you will be our governor the second term also the third as you are just fine.


I remain yours respectfully

James Homolka

Salina Kans.


P.S. what surprises the public not to try the party on theft of the kind Glen Hayes was charged with just put out a lot of lies and he was free sure is dirty and nothing else.


Page 32.


[The newspaper article rfereed to in the above letter]


Page 33.


Coffeyville, Kansas

April 7,1944


Gov. Andrew Schoeppel

Topeka, Kansas


Dear Sir:

I protest, the state of Kansas executing any person or persons. As to my way of thinking, it serves no good purpose, and has been proven it does not prevent crime.


I have talked to quite a number on the subject and find the majority believe as I do, altho they may not protest.


I cannot see why Kansas has to have this horrible thing back after 75 years without it, and I do not believe our state, without it, had any more capital crimes than states with it.


Thank you,

Very truly yours

Wm. Perry

1514 West 5th St.


P.S. I am no relation whatsoever of any of the condemned men or acquainted with them or their relation.


Page 34.


Kansas City, Kansas

April 11, 1944



Dear Sir,


Allow me to congratulate you on your decision to let the two hanging candidates, now awaiting execution, hang this coming Saturday. Kansas has needed a Gov. who is not weak kneed for a long time.


Yours sincerely

Carl Truet

Box 251 G.P.O.

Kansas City, Kansas


Page 35.


Newton Kansas

Apr. 14, 1944


Gov. Andrew Schoeppel

Topeka Kansas


Dear Mr. Schoeppel

I just noticed in our local paper that there are to be two capital punishment cases tomorrow. I would sincerely & earnestly petition you to change that to life imprisonment. It is too unChristian to rob a person of his life which no man can restore. It is a sad thing that Kansas has permitted that blot to come into its history. It is in your power to keep it from growing.


Yours sincerely

Mr. & Mrs. Gerhard Friesen


Page 36.


[This page has no content]


Page 37.


[A typewritten reply by Gov. Schoeppel to a letter received from Mr. Will Johns, Chief od Police, Kansas City. The letter begins "Dear Pop".]


Page 38.


[The typewritten letter to Gov.Schoeppel from Mr.Will Johns, referred to above. Mr. Johns strongly favors capital punishment.]


Page 39.


[A typewritten letter from Gov. Schoeppel to Dr. Mayer Shoyer, thanking him for  his letter supporting capital punishment.]


Page 40.


Holton Ks. Apr. 15, 1944


Hon. Andrew Schoeppel

Gov. of Kansas

Topeka Ks.


Dear Gov.,

Please allow me to congratulate you on the stand you have taken in regard to murderers convicted of first-degree murder.


Murderers in the past who have been convicted in in just a lawful court have had their sentences converted to life imprisonment by some sentimental Gov. Maybe Gov. time will show that you one of the best governors that this state has ever had and also the most courageous.


Very respectfully yours,

Mayer Shoyer


Page 41.


[A typewritten start letter from Gov. Schoeppel to William Sherman, thanking him for his letter of support for capital punishment.]


Page 42.


Leavenworth Kansas

April 14th 1944.



Please consider this a letter of congratulations, for your fearless action in upholding the action of our courts, in the matter of the violators of the state's statutes, being given executive clemency in the past.


While it is deplored that such action must be taken in upholding the law, I cannot but feel the pride in the fact that we have at last the Gov., who is not afraid to keep the teeth in our laws.


Let us hope that, where merited, your action in not interfer-


Page 43.


ing, with the executions, will set an example for the states chief executives of the future, and they in turn will continue the hands off policy in this regard. In closing please be assured that, the law abiding citizens of our state, in the opinion of the writer, are behind you one hundred percent.


Wishing you continued success in your office, and with best wishes for your continued political success,


I am sure,

Yours very respectfully,

William M. Sherman

914 No 9th st.

Leavenworth, Ks.


Page 44.


[A May, 10 44typewritten letter from E.Stagg Whitin, Chr. Natl. Comm. Prisons & Prison labor, to Gov. Schoeppel.]


Page 45.


[A typewritten government directive attached to the above letter, pertaining to state prison industries and purchasing depts.]


Page 46.


[Another letter from E. Stagg Whitin to Gov. Schoeppel  pertaining to prison commerce].



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