KANSAS COLLECTION ARTICLES
LYNN NELSON, LEE WELLER, ANNETTE HAMPTON, TIMOTHY THRUSH, MELISSA CALHOUN, and SEAN FURNISS
produced this selection.
A HISTORY OF LAWRENCE IN RHYME
To those who sleep on Kansas hill-sides,
Beneath stained and crumbling stone-
To those who died out on the prairies,
Their graves unmarked, forgotten, or unknown
Those who walked the hard, rough pathways
Until their strength and life did fail,
And left to us who've followed
A safer, smoother trail.
When God made the Earth, people say,
He didn't start Kansas till late Saturday;
Then He took up rocks, shale, and sand,
And threw them about with a lavish hand;
All kinds of soil, reds, yellows, and blacks,
He scattered about to fill up the cracks.
An inland sea covered too much space,
So He tipped up the World, and dried out the place;
He threw in some salt and volcanic ash,
Just as a good cook seasons her hash;
He put in coal and plenty of oil,
And all being finished He ceased his toil.
Long ages afterward settlers came,
English, German, Russian, and Dane,
Each in his own way tilling the soil,
Earning his living by honest toil;
Building better, perhaps, than he knew-
Kansas and Kansans, we're proud of you!
Lone-wolf is standing high upon the hill-top,
I hear his cry! I hear his cry!
He lifts his voice up to the shining Moon-god,
And so do I! And so do I!
Strange fires are blazing far along the river,
He sees them there! He sees them there!
Strange odors make his nostrils all a-quiver,
He sniffs the air! He sniffs the air!
Westward, Westward, see him take his way!
Westward, Westward, the Moon-god lights his way,
The Moon-god lights his way, The Moon-god lights his way,-his way;
Westward will he go, ???-he F/- Where roams the buffalo.
Eagle-bird is sitting in the highest tree-top,
The dawn is nigh! The dawn is nigh!
He waits to greet the coming of the Sun-God,
And so do I! And so do I!
The white men's boat runs up and down the river,
Its breath is flame! It's breath is flame!
Its snorting makes the woodland all a-quiver,
It scares the game! It scares the game!
Westward, Westward, we go at dawn of day!
The Sun-god lights our way,-our way;
Westward will we go, we go -
Where roams the buffalo.
(Sung to the tune of "Funiculi Funicula")
THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL
How often those who make our laws
Are swayed by some unworthy cause,
For party gain or personal spite
Makes right seem wrong and wrong seem right;
Grand events that rend or crush a nation
Oft' come from faulty legislation.
When Congress met in Eighteen-fifty-three,
The leading issue was slavery,
And months were spent in fierce debate
Ere laws were passed to form our State,
Then all was left to the "people's will"
By passing the "Squatter Sovereign Bill."
Some deemed the measure "just and fair,"
Some did not know, some did not care,
But to each it was a compromise,
A thing all honest folks despise;
And before it really left their hands???,:
Trouble started on the Kansas lands.
By steamboat and wagon train,
From North and South, settlers came
Into Missouri, like armies of invasion
Ready to fight at the least occasion;
Giving small heed to "law and order,"
Hurrying on to the Kansas Border.
Many settlements were made,
Before the land had been surveyed.
Claims were staked, though at the time
No one knew the boundary line;
Disputes arose, and unkind Fate
Stirred the flames of ???greed and hate.
Thus, "Bleeding Kansas" got its name,
Thus, Douglas won unenvied fame,
And our severed Country bowed before
The awful curse of Civil War,
While North and South in life-blood paid
For the two-way law Congress made.
KANSAS PIONEER WOMEN
Written for Mrs. ???Mary Coleman Topping
Seventy-fifth Anniversary of Lawrence
I have been asked to tell you, my dears,
A simple story of the pioneers
This week you will hear, again and again,
Of the glorious deeds of our valorous men,
But the picture I will present to you
Is of some of the trials the women went through.
It was not with the hope of glory or gain
That our fathers and mothers to Kansas came
With the ideals they had and sacrifices made
They came more in the spirit of a Crusade,
And their one big thought ever seemed to be
That Kansas should come into the Union "Free."
From our most famous section of learning they came,
Those people who made up that emigrant train.
Now these men and women I'm telling you true
Came from families whose blood was the bluest of blue;
Their homes bespoke plenty, and of natures refined
And they well represented the best of their time.
So the men formed a company with speeches and song
With the purpose of helping the "Free State Cause" along.
???Asiasm ran high for the Free State volunteers,
And ???they left on their journey with blessings and cheers;
Yet what lay before them not one of them guessed,
Nor dreamed how unsuited they were to "Go West."
They could translate Caesar or talk points in law,
But they couldn't do much with a hammer and saw,
And the houses they built, for those wives from the East
We would now think unfit to shelter a beast;
And if you want to know how real hunger feels,
Just try to live on a few high ideals.
Our claim was located out south-west of town
In a lonely spot with low hills all around.
There was a tiny stream at the foot of the hill
Where our family and cattle both drank at will.
Though Father viewed his farm with greatest pride,
Poor Mother was home-sick, and cried and cried.
Our cabin was built of rocks from the hill,
Laid stone upon stone without mortar to fill.
The roof was of canvas, our beds prairie-hay,
And our family lived there in a ???primitive way.
Mother told me that when Brother Will came
The snow drifted in on her old counterpane.
Indians quite often came roaming around,
They were always begging in country or town;
They would walk right in and by speech and sign
Ask for food or whatever they chanced to find;
We, ourselves, had so little on which to live,
Yet what they asked for, were afraid not to give.
One day Mother was cutting some meat,
When she heard the light ???pad of moccasined feet,
She hid the meat quickly beneath the folds of her dress,
And for once refused the Indian's request;
Though his sharp eyes had seen it, he went away,
So, you see, there were "good" Indians in that early day.
Mother brought with her a coffee-mill,
I have it over at my house still,
In it she ground corn and wheat
To make all the bread we had to eat;
And often enough neighbors came
To borrow our mill to grind their grain.
Oh, the tortures we suffered from hunger and cold
Are parts of the story that can never be told,
But with all of that Fate had worse in store
When the men got mixed up in the Border War;
They would have to hide out for weeks at a time,
For the Raiders shot every man they could find.
"Bleeding Kansas" was much more than a name
To those women and children who "held down the claim."
Yes, they held down the claims, with Death stalking near,
Ever ready to rob them of those they held dear,
And many a night when flames lit the sky
We knew the ???"Grim Reaper" was just passing by.
I am glad for those who lived to see
Kansas come into the Union, "Free."
I am glad for those who have felt with pride
That their faith in "Right" was justified;
And for the churches and schools that have grown and flourished
From the seeds of the Ideals they brought and nourished.
THE MURDER OF CHARLES DOW
If those who so loudly deplore
The final acts that lead to war,
Could look beyond History's ken
Into the lives of common men,
They'd know their own words or deeds
Might prove the very germs or seeds
To lead their fellow-men aright,
Or plunge them into some dire plight.
* * *
Among those camped near the mouth of the Kaw,
Awaiting passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Law,
Were Jacob Branson and his wife,
And little they dreamed that Trouble and Strife
Would soon come knocking at their door,
And eventually lead their Country to War.
The "Bill" was passed the Thirtieth of May,
And Branson started on his leisurely way
Through the Shawnee Reservation by the San???
The Legislature, thus elected, took the position
That they would tolerate no opposition;
Because he disapproved their illegal procedure,
They caused the removal of Governor Reeder,
And Acting-Governor Woodson signed all laws
Designed to kill the Free-State cause.
To enforce these laws they made no bones
Of appointing, as sheriff, a Missourian named Jones.
He was Post-master at Westport and was one
Who had taken in voters to Bloomington.
The Free-State men, you may be sure,
Repudiated the acts of this Legislature.
They took no cases before its judges,
But settled their own disputes and grudges;
So when Coleman and Buckley came riding in,
Sheriff Jones saw a chance to begin
To enforce their infamous Bogus Laws,
And thus to crush the Free-State Cause.
Governor Shannon had arrived at Shawnee Mission,
And he at once granted permission
For Jones to choose his deputies,
So Coleman was made one of these;
They were at great pains for the Governor to see
They were doing everything legally.
Buckley swore Branson had threatened his life,
That he was afraid to return to his home and wife-
Something really had to be done,
So a posse set out to arrest Branson;
But learning of the meeting that afternoon,
And fearing to reach Hickory Point too soon,
They stopped at Blanton's Bridges, and waited around
Until an hour after the sun went down.
When they mounted their horses and rode away,
Blanton ran to Abbott's house, they say,
And messengers rode out into the night
For the men to assemble ready to fight.
* * *
Branson had been asleep an hour or more
When he heard someone knock on his cabin doors,
"Who's there?" he called. "Friends !" someone said,
But before he could rise up in bed,
The door burst open and there in the gloom
A band of armed men crowded into the room.
A man pointed a gun, saying: "You're under arrest,
"Get out of that bed, and get yourself dressed !"
Outside he was mounted, as he afterwards found,
On a mule that Coleman had been riding around;
Then they went to Buckley's, for, of course,
They were in need of another horse.
Their supply of whiskey was running low,
But a man said he chanced to know
Freeland had a full jug yesterday,
And though his place was out of the way,
They had better go there and have a sup,
And not start out till the moon came up.
Such good advice could not go unheeded,
When everyone felt that a drink was needed,
And this explains the mystery
Of where the posse chanced to be
When the Scouts reported, after looking around,
That Jones and his men could not be found.
* * *
The crowd at Abbott's farm(???) could only wait,
And discuss their plans and speculate
On what the outcome might be
If they tried to set Branson free;
Their own lives would be forfeit, they knew,
If they did what they were planning to do.
But American men, if their cause is right,
Have never, yet, refused to fight,
And so it was with this little band-
"The die was cast," they had taken their stand;
And their work this night must not fail,
So they sent two watchers out to the trail.
The moon came up, and an hour had passed
When far to the South they saw at last
A moving shade, and heard the sound
Of horses hoofs on rocky ground;
Quickly they ran and gave the alarm
To the men waiting at Abbott's farm.
When Jones saw the men barring his way,
"What's up!" he cried. "That's what I say!"
Abbott replied, firing his gun in the air,
As much as to say, "Come on if you dare!"
"Branson," Woode called, "Come here!" "They'll shoot if I do!"
"Never mind, we can shoot, too!"
For an hour the parties stood facing each other,
First one man talking and then another,
Till Jones and his posse rode away
With threats to return another day;
He swore he'd have revenge on these men
Before he would (???) to Missouri again.
Stopping at Franklin in a terrible rage,
His men saw him write page after page.
He dispatched his letter to Col. Boone,
Asking him to bring his soldiers soon;
Then he wrote to Governor Shannon,
Asking for three thousand men and two cannon.
* * *
At Abbott's place the Free-State men
Told their story again and again,
And someone suggested after a while
That they go to Lawrence in military style;
Abbott having a sword and a drum,
The idea appealed to every one.
At dawn folks were startled to hear a drum beat,
And see men march on Massachusetts Street.
Dr. Robinson was called from his bed,
That(???) he was provoked, and frankly said:
"You shouldn't have come to Lawrence at all
"For you well know where their vengeance will fall."
Branson, with tears coursing down his face,
Told of Hickory Point and Abbott's place,
And declared he would not stay
To endanger Lawrence in any way.
For him to go, they said, would be wise,
But the citizens must meet and organize
To defend the town, for across the Border
Missourians were coming "to enforce law and order."
THE WAKARUSA WAR
The California Road is hard to trace,
And if you, now, go to the place
Where Franklin stood in the days before
Men gathered there for the Wakarusa War,
A country school and well-tilled field
Are the only things your search will yield.
But Franklin was a thriving town at the date
When Sheriff Jones determined to wait
The coming of troops before he again
Tried to arrest any Free-state men;
It had all been discussed and well he knew
What he could expect the Missourians to do.
Hugh Cameron, who was afterwards to be
"The Kansas Hermit, who lived in a tree,"
Became Justice of the Peace, at Jones's request,
And signed a warrant for Branson's arrest-
Governor Shannon had insisted the law be observed,
And papers made legal before they were served.
What right had Missourians to come at Jones' call?
The answer to this is: "No right at all,"
But many a man with infinite labor
Has sought to prove himself a good neighbor-
Whatever the reason or whatever the claim,
The fact of it is, the Missourians came.
And their line extended, over lowland and ridge,
From Blue Jacket's Crossing to Blanton's Bridge,
While the Platte County Rifles, with Atchison in command,
Camped north of Lawrence on Indian land
And at Lecompton, which was the capital then,
Was General Richardson with seven hundred men.
The whole affair had been well planned,
And all these forces were at Jones' command,
While Lawrence between the two rivers lay,
With no chance to escape in any way;
So with logs and banked earth they built a redoubt
To help in keeping the invaders out.
There were two hundred and fifty men in town,
And others came in from the country around
Dr. Robinson was Commander-and-chief in name,
But the men worked and drilled under Abbott and Lane-
They would die in the defense, for they well knew,
When Jones came in, a massacre would ensue.
Governor Shannon, who was staying at Shawnee Mission,
Soon found himself in a trying position;
At first he had believed, being a stranger,
All he was told of the sheriff's danger,
And in all ways was ready to accede
To Jones' every wish and need.
But two men from Lawrence slipped through the line,
And reached the Mission at breakfast time.
The Governor, alarmed at what they had to say,
Said he would go to Lawrence right away,
But, fearing the troops from over the Border
He took Colonel Boone to help keep them in order.
A conference was called at Shannon's command
But it was hard to keep the Ruffians in hand,
The majority of leaders left no doubt
Of their determination to "wipe Lawrence out,"
While a few agreed, if the defenders surrendered their arms,
They might return to their homes and farms.
The leaders from Lecompton came in late-
Something had happened; perhaps it was Fate
That three men from Lawrence were riding west,
Going to their homes for supplies and rest,
And in crossing the road, three miles from town,
Were fired upon, and one was brought down.
When Shannon came to the hotel next day,
He passed through the room where the body lay,
And saw the young wife, and heard her screams,
As she viewed the end of her hopes and dreams;
The Governor felt there were wrongs he could not right,
And a treaty was made to end the fight..
Then trouble arose in disbanding the men,
Who threatened to "Raise the Black Flag," but again
Fate stepped in: A storm came on with sleet and snow,
While a terrible wind from the north did blow,
So that tents were laid flat and fires put out,
And a Kansas Blizzard put the armies to rout.
But folks in Lawrence had reason to believe
That their "Treaty of Peace" was only a reprieve.
Though the weather that winter was very severe,
Small raids continued throughout the year,
And appeals to the President made matters worse,
For his measures of relief worked in reverse.
President Pierce was a Northern Democrat,
But so anxious to please the Southerners, that
He allowed Jefferson Davis, his Secretary of War,
To shape his policies more and more,
And use the powers at his command
To favor slavery throughout the land.
A Grand Jury was called, and in due season,
Free-state men were indicted for treason;
Some sought to escape, as a last resort,
And were caught and held for "Contempt of Court."
Ex-governor Reeder, as you may surmise,
Was glad to escape through Missouri in disguise.
Robinson was taken from a boat at Lexington
By United States Marshal Donalson.
The jail at Lecompton, as you must know,
Was soon filled to over-flow.
The Grand Jury, also, indicted the Free-State Hotel,
And two Lawrence news-papers, as well.
* * *
By the middle of May eight-hundred men
Were in camps on the Wakarusa again;
The United States Marshal was in charge of the affair,
But Sheriff Jones and his friends were there,
Boone and Buford, Titus and Dunn,
The Stringfellow brothers and Atchison.
To resist the Marshal would be treason, indeed,
And give the administration the excuse it would need
For sponsoring the infamous Bogus Laws,
And would bring disgrace to the Free-state cause,
So the leaders in Lawrence decided to do
Nothing that the officers might construe
As resistance. Men were told to leave town,
And go some place where they would not be found,
Women and children were hidden in a ravine,
So on the streets few people were seen,
And there was no resistance in any way
When the troops came in that morning in May.
The United States Marshal made some arrests,
Then turned the town over to Jones and the rest;
They destroyed the printing presses, and burned the hotel,
Dr. Robinson's house, and other places as well,
And all was given over to pillage and loot,
With instructions that, if resisted, to shoot.
Atchison, who had occupied the Vice-president's chair,
Was as drunk as any Ruffian there;
He said: "Boys, this day I'm a Kickapoo Ranger,"
As he incited them to deeds of violence and danger.
He fired the first shot at the hotel
But was too unsteady to aim very well.
The "Red Flag" of South Carolina was in evidence that day,
And caused a death in a peculiar way:
It was raised on a chimney of the Free-State Hotel
Where it was greeted with the "Southern yell:"
A loosened brick was whipped from its place,
And fell on a young man's upturned face.
* * *
The looting was done, the fires burned low,
But Sheriff Jones seemed loath to go;
He rode about the scene of ruin and strife,
Saying, "This is the happiest day of my life."
Then Shalor W. Eldridge was heard to say:
"I will build a better hotel here, some day."
Written for Mrs. Wary Eldridge Leernard(???)
Seventy-fifth anniversary of Lawrence
fairer land I never saw, Than the fertile valley of the Kaw,
With the silvery river that flows between Its fringing banks of
emerald green. And fair, indeed, were the flowers of May As I saw
them there on that bright day, When first I stood on Mt. Oread's
crest, And viewed the landscape east and west.
But anxious hearts were in our town, For Border Ruffians were
ranging around, And Pro-slavery men with their Bogus laws Were
making trouble for the Free-State cause; And Congress and the
President, then Both wished to crush the Free-State men. So the
days went by in that sad state, While we could only hope and
When morning came on that fatal day In Fifty-six, the
Twenty-first of May, We saw the camps on Oread's height Of armed
forces that had come in the night. The officers came to the
Free-State Hotels, And my father, and the rest, received them
well; A dinner was served them of our best, And each man was
treated as an honored guest.
As we anxiously waited in our sitting-room, It was three, I
think, in the afternoon, The Bell-boy came in and struck this
bell: "You have an hour and forty minutes to leave the hotel!"
Those words still seem to ring in my ears; Again I feel numb with
horror and fears. I was weak and sick, and they carried me out
Where those awful ruffians were running about.
Four cannons were trained upon the hotel, And thirty-two
shots, I've heard them tell, Were fired; but the stout walls
stood, So they went inside, and set fire to the wood. From room
to room the fierce flames ran, And so finished the work they
began. This call-bell is all that is left to tell The tragic
story of the Free-State Hotel.
Those who now dwell in this fair land Can scarce believe or
understand The trials of those early years, And what they cost
the pioneers. After the fire my father was sent With a Memorial
to the President, And President Pierce did all he could do To
avoid permitting an interview.
But finding that father persisted still, The President
received him, though against his will; And meeting him in angry
mood Threw down the Memorial with actions rude, While his words
came bursting forth like flame, Holding the Free-State men to
blame For rebellion, treason, and every vile cause, With no
right to protection from Government Laws.
When, at last, his ire seemed spent, Father asked to speak,
and pained consent; And told his story, straight and true, As one
who spoke of things he knew. The President, listening in pained
surprise, Oft' wiped the tear-drops from his eyes, And bowed his
head in remorse and shame For crimes committed in the
He vowed Governor Shannon should be superseded- Said a man
like John Geary was needed; And he talked to father "as man to
man," Trying to devise a satisfactory plan. Father, confident all
would be well, Bought the site of the Free-State Hotel, And
returning home after much delay Was forced to come through Iowa.
Word reached the East that the Kansas Borders Was the scene of
much suffering and disorder. Fear was expressed that with slight
occasion The movement might turn to armed invasion; So father was
sent with money and supplies, Though his chief duty was to
restrain and advise; When he came into Kansas he brought along A
company two-hundred-and-fifty strong.
During the seven weeks father was away,
Mother and we girls were supposed to stay
In Kansas City at The American Hotel;
And many are the stories I can tell
Of alarms we had, and actual dangers
From Missouri Ruffians and Kickapoo Rangers; And of the terror
we suffered on the way, When returning to Lawrence one August
Governor Geary reached Kansas the Ninth of September, A date
our people should always remember, For, taking the situation
firmly in hand, He established Peace in our troubled land; And
Father was very busy then Helping to build "A Wall of Men"-
Going, frequently, back and forth Bringing new settlers in from
Then to Lawrence, in many ways, Came the dawn of brighter
days; The town was humming with enterprise- Stores were opened,
though they lacked supplies; Business of all kinds was doing
well, And Father began building the Eldridge Hotel, While, as
with New England settlers is the rule, Attention was turned to
churches and school.
By the good people of Boston, and the Emigrant Aid, Provision
for our first public school was made. The basement of the
Unitarian church, they agreed, To equip with all a first class
school would need; Josiah Quincy, I've always thought, Paid for
all the books they bought; That, I think, is how it came That
"Quincy High School" was its name.
April First, in 1857, we were told to meet At the Emigrant
Aid's office on Massachusetts street; Our teachers, Mr. Edwards
and Miss Wilder were there. It was a lovely morning, warm and
fair, And as we marched to school escorted by the band, No
happier children were in this land, For, so long had been our
enforced vacation, We were thrilled at the thought of an
The school was called to order by ringing this bell Mr.
Edwards had carried it from the burning hotel, And Mother gave it
to him as a souvenir; So it stood on his desk throughout the
year, Calling the children from their play, And dismissing them
at close of day; In later years as you may see, Mr. Edwards gave
the bell to me.
* * *
Sometimes I see, as in the long ago,
The school-room desks, row after row;
And youthful faces with eager looks,
Bending over slates and books.
I hear the sound of restless feet-
Of someone asking to "change his seat"-
A whispered word, a laugh suppressed,
Then sounding clear above the rest The Bell.
Quietly, all "rise and pass!"
Just as when "Teacher" called a class.
What were those laws that caused such hate,
And brought in armed men from another state,
That exalted murderers, and condemned honest men,
Perverting justice, again and again,
And made Free-state men, for no other reason,
Liable to arrest and conviction for treason?
I have told you before, as you may note,
How the Legislature was elected by fraudulent vote.
They adopted laws like the Missouri code
With slavery provisos "a la mode,"
And added "black laws" more drastic than
Had ever been used by civilized man.
To steal a slave, or help him run away,
"Death," was the penalty one must pay,
And to speak or write against slavery
"Imprisonment at hard labor," was the penalty,
While to support the Legislature, however loath,
Before he could vote a man must take oath.
So, could they have enforced their Bogus Laws,
It would have killed the Free-state cause,
For the cause would surely have died, when
They had killed or run out the Free-state men;
But a meeting was held that Twenty-second of May
That changed events in every way.
They met at Lane's cabin in the west part of town,
And who should come in but Old John Brown!
Jim Lane was in the East with an indictment on his head,
But his spirit pervaded the meeting, 'tis said-
Impulsive, eloquent, fiery Jim Lane
With tongue, pen or sword he fought the same.
And the men went forth from his cabin that day
Determined to fight in every way-
Diplomatically, legally, politically, bloodily,
If need be, that Kansas people should be Free,
And men could espouse the Free-state Cause
Without being condemned as rebellious outlaws.
* * *
When Shalor Eldridge left Lawrence with the intent
Of taking the Memorial to the President,
It is also in line to mention
He was delegate to the Republican Convention,
The new party that was stirred to life
By the slavery issue and Kansas strife.
In Illinois he met Reeder and Lane,
And took active part in their campaign
To have Kansas at once admitted as a State,
And to induce Northern men to emigrate,
Well armed men with their purpose known
"To invade no man's rights, but maintain their own."
At the First National Republican Convention
The Kansas delegates received marked attention;
All wanted to hear what they had to say,
For Kansas was the issue of the day.
The East was aroused, and men came forth
To join "Lane's Army of the North."
LANE'S ARMY OF THE NORTH
Lane had served in Congress and the Mexican War,
And his name was well-known before
He came to Kansas. He had done his share
In putting "Frank Pierces" in the president's chair,
And he came to Lawrence, folks surmise,
To help his party organize.
But James H. Lane, I have been told,
Was a man who could not be bribed or sold;
He had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill,
But he soon learned that "The People's Will"
Was only a catch-phrase at that time
To keep the Northern Democrats in line
He was too well versed in Law,
To approve the corrupt practice he saw,
And when in protest he raised his voice
He found that he could have no choice
Between the Good Old Party name
And acts that would surely lead to shame.
At Lawrence, Big Springs, and Topeka Conventions
He left no doubt of his intentions
To work and fight for the Free-State Cause,
And in helping draft Resolutions and Laws,
Men to this day find reason to wonder
How he saved the Cause from some legal blunder.
With the Constitution adopted, and State Officers sworn in,
Lane went to Washington to begin
A legal battle for the Constitution's recognition,
And under its provisions, Kansas' admission
To the Union, and it was not long before
The fight was carried to the Senate floor.
While Congress was engaged in useless debates,
Jim Lane was touring the Northern States;
And wherever he spoke, crowds Fathered to hear,
For the Wrongs of Kansas were very near
To the hearts of the people. Men could hardly wait
To answer his call to emigrate.
When word came of Free State Men's arrest
With Governor Robinson's among the rest,
Then that Lawrence was sacked and burned down
Lane's eloquence knew no bound;
And Franklin Pierce had no chance at all
Of being reselected that Fall.
Lane wrote to some friends to make a survey
For a trail to the North through Iowa;
And settlers were gathering near the Line
Ready to move in at any time;
While people in the East began to organize
To promote emigration and buy supplies.
Lane had promised to lead these settlers in,
But the Eastern Organizations supplanted him;
This was not the injustice it might appear,
For his friends had good reason to fear
That the Secretary of War, for a personal reason,
Would be glad to convict Jim Lane of treason.
Why? Well, it's a story of the Mexican War,
When the Armies fought before
Buena Vista. The soldiers knew, by every right,
Lane was the hero who won that fight,
But when General Taylor's report went in
Davis was honored instead of him.
How the mistake was made no one knew,
But Davis allowed it to F° through,
And the soldiers' stories were as "thorns in his side,"
That kept him from enjoying pride
In his military record; and he'd waited long
To catch Jim Lane in a treasonable wrong.
United States troops were sent North with the order
To search all settlers crossing the Border,
And Shalor Eldridge, with his versatile mind,
Was the best man the Committee could find
To make the expedition appear
As merely home-seekers coming here.
In Lecompton prison, Governor Robinson found out
That General Richardson was scouting about
To intercept Lane's settlers on the trail,
And he told Colonel Walker, without fail
To take a company, subject to his order,
And go, at once, to the Kansas Border.
When Walker reached Nebraska City,
He was sent with a letter from the Committee
Across the river to Civil Bend,
Where Lane was staying with a friend.
After reading the letter Col. Walker said
Lane's eyes filled with tears, and he sat with bowed head.
Then he cried, in his impetuous way,
"Sam Walker, if you say,
"The people of Kansas don't want me to come,
"It's all right ! I'll blow my brains out with this gun."
Walker answered: "There isn't a man I could name
"They would rather have come than you, Jim Lane."
"I am not under orders of the Kansas Committee,
"Nor anyone else in Nebraska City,
"If you want to go, I'll take you through,
"Provided you do what I ask you to."
So disguised as Captain Joe Cook, he came,
But the Kansans knew it was General Lane.
Their party had gone but a little way,
When a messenger came from Lawrence to say,
Woodson was again Acting-Governor,
And Missourians were coming as they'd done before;
They were gathering at Franklin prepared to fight.
"We must get there," cried Lane, "by tomorrow night."
Lawrence was a hundred and fifty miles away,
So they rode all night and next day,
And at ten that night reached the Kaw,
Which was out of its banks, and they saw
The ferry-boat was securely tied
To its moorings on the farther side.
There were only six in their party now,
And they were forced to consider how
To cross. Only Walker's horse would swim,
But Lane and Stratton jumped in,
And though their strength was sorely tried,
They succeeded in reaching the Topeka side.
Securing fresh horses they again went on,
But Walkers fell off as they went along
Three times, and each time Jim Lane
Dismounted and helped him on his horse again;
Forced at last to leave the other two men,
Lane reached Lawrence, alone, at three A. M.
Lane led the attack against Franklin that night;
Putting the Border-Ruffians to flight
He captured their stronghold, and burned it down,
And his men were elated when they found
"Old Sacramento," the Lawrence cannon
That had been taken by Jones and Shannon.
I wish I could tell you of Lane's Campaign
In that month before Governor Geary came;
Of the forts taken and prisoners set free,
Without any real authority.
Traitors all, to the Territorial Laws,
But men fighting for a Holy Cause.
Governor Geary came, and made a firm stand
To end the dissentions in the land;
The United States Army obeyed his order,
And sent the Missourians across the Border,
While, that Pro-slavery men might know
He was impartially he had Lane and Brown go.
But in spite of the Governor's ardent hope,
With the situation, he could not cope;
And by the time six months were gone,
Defied, reviled and spit upon,
He, too, fled from Kansas in fear of assassination,
Leaving the problem to the Administration.
The "Army of the North" kept pouring in,
Till the Free-State men were able to win
The elections. Everywhere there was growing hate
When men talked of the Kansas State;
And in the South, more and more,
Was heard the threat of Civil War.
JOHN BROWN'S FOOTSTEPS IN KANSAS
"But what," you will ask, "about John Brown ?"
I wish, my dears, I might turn that page down!
It's hard for us to understand
The actions of that stern old man,
Who, like men of old, with "fire and sword,"
Fought the "battles of the Lord."
He was a New England fanatic, they say,
But religion was an awful thing in that day;
Not only in New England, but the South as well,
Men loved to talk and preach of "Hell,"
Reading their Bibles and shaping their creeds,
To sanction many inhuman deeds.
When but a boy, it chanced that he
Found cause to hate slavery,
And as he grew to man's estate
His observations confirmed that hate;
He ran a station on the underground Rail-way,
And helped many slaves to Canada.
Then there came a time in Brown's life
When he called his children and his wife
And with earnest discourse and solemn prayer
Dedicatedly himself, and each one there,
"To break the jaws of the wicked," and, in brief,
"To pluck the spoil out of his teeth."
His legal mind could but despise
The repeal of the "Missouri Compromise,"
And the "Fugitive Slave Law" inflamed his hate
As did Southerners coming to a Northern State
Attended by slaves, and in very spite
Flouting the North with their "property rights"
A great drouth in Ohio ran their finances low,
So Brown's older sons determined to go
To Kansas. Their uncle, the Reverend Samuel Adair,
And his family were already there,
So that is how it came to be
They located near Osawatomie.
A party of Missourians led by the Reverend White
Soon came to see if they were "Right"
"On the Goose", and with pride
They said they favored the other side.
John Jr. attended the Free-State Conventions,
Helping draft resolutions declaring their intentions.
Brown's sons reached Kansas in May,
And wrote to their father right away
Describing the country and political conditions,
Asking him to come and bring munitions,
"For," in closing his letter, John Jr. said:
"We need arms more than we do bread."
Friends in the towns gave money and arms,
While others brought produce in from the farms,
And General Bierce made a contribution, too,
Of old broad-swords used by a filibuster crew;
With his wagon well loaded, Brown started on,
Taking his son-in-law, Henry Thompson, along.
The "stout young horse" had all he could do
To pull the heavy wagon through;
Oliver joined them at Detroit, and they say,
The three men walked most of the way-
No labor irked them, for they felt they were right
In going to Kansas, to help men fight.
They crossed the Missouri River at Waverly,
And there the old Shepherd, tenderly,
Disinterred Jason's little son,
Who was buried there when they had come
To Kansas. He felt he could not bear
To leave "little Austin's" body there,
"Amidst the ruffian-like people."
When, at last, they reached Brownville
They found all the family ill,
And the new-comers had much to do
Caring for the sick, and working, too,
Building shacks, and storing feed
To meet the winter and its need.
After Dow's murder they thought it wise
For the Osawatomie men to organize;
They were mustered in after Branson's arrest
Ready to move when their leaders thought best.
On the Sixth they were called to Lawrence to fight,
So the Browns kept driving all that night.
At dawn their wagon came over the ridge,
And went clattering across Blanton's Bridge;
Fifteen Ruffians were on guard there,
But none of them seemed to care
To "Halt!" the old man and his four stalwart sons,
All heavily armed with pistols and guns.
On reaching Lawrence they were greeted with cheers,
And mustered into the Fifth Kansas Volunteers;
John Brown was made Captain of the Company,
For there was no one more fitted than he
To lead his men in an unequal fight
And Lawrence then seemed in a desperate plight.
They were given quarters in the Free-State Hotel,
An arrangement that suited the old man well,
For he always liked to be able to see
What was going on. He hated the duplicity
Used in getting Shannon's Treaty of Peace,
Providing for hostilities to cease.
John Brown said, and perhaps he was right,
That it would be better for Lawrence to fight;
He had keener vision than other men,
And he knew the Ruffians would come again,
In larger force, and more legal guise
With government sanction and supplies.
When Shannon's and Robinson's speeches were through,
He got up to address the crowd, too
"We have been betrayed by this Compromise," cried Brown,
But his sons and friends pulled him down,
And never again did he and his band
Pledge to serve under another's command.
* * *
There was a Settlers Meeting in Osawatomie one night,
And for some reason the Reverend White
With a party of his friends came,
And took part in the meeting the same
As the rest. He questioned the Browns and Reverend Adair,
And reported on all the Free-State men there.
Then Judge Cato was sent to the Pottawatomie
To hold courtly and start machinery
To put the "rebels" in their proper place,
And help the Administration "save its face,"
While in the hope of inspiring fear,
A company of Georgians were sent to camp near.
John Brown was out surveying one time,
And made an excuse to run a line
Through the camp. The men boasted what they'd do
To the Browns and all the Free-State crew;
They said they didn't like Kansas very well,
But would stay by Cato "till the Abolitionists were in Hell."
* * *
It was the Twenty-first of May, and since early morn
John Brown, Jr. had been planting corn,
But the corn for him would never yield
And months would pass ere he'd see his field,
For, at four o'clock a messenger came
To say Lawrence was besieged again.
The Pottawatomie Rifles were soon on their way,
And at daylight camped near Ottawa;
Here a messenger met them to tell
Of the burning of the printing presses and Hotel;
The town had put up no resistance at all,
And some men felt they had no call
To leave their work and go to expense
For men who wouldn't fight in their own defense.
Old John Brown had hurried on,
And the others rested after he'd gone,
Then moved slowly on to Prairie City,
As most of them felt it would be a pity
To go back home until they knew
There was nothing in Lawrence for them to do.
A man came from Pottawatomie Creek to say
That as soon as the "Rifles" marched away
Dutch Bill, the Doyles, and some more,
Had gone to old man Morse's store,
And beat and abused him because, they said,
He had sold the Free-State men, lead;
They hanged him twice, and cut him down,
Warning him if he were found
In Kansas, three days hence,
He'd have to suffer the consequence.
As soon as he was able to stand,
His little boy took him by the hand
And led him as far as George Grant's place;
His neck was swollen, he was black in the face,
And so scared he wouldn't stay there,
But was hiding out in the brush somewhere.
John Brown was back in camp next day
Cooking breakfast in his usual way
And when he raised his hand for "grace,"
Men looked on his inspired face,
And felt the will, the urge, to aid
This holy man in his Crusade.
Scouts and messengers came and went,
And a council was called with the intent
Of getting everyone's point of view
Before they decided what to do-
They were merely Settlers, with just cause,
Defying the enforcement of illegal laws;
But, woe ! to a Country, and to its law-makers,
When honest men become conscientious law-breakers
They finally decided the best thing to do
Was to move to Palmyra, and attempt the rescue
Of Dr. Robinson, if he were sent to Lecompton jail
As it was reported, by the Santa Fe Trail.
Four-hundred Ruffians, who had been in the raid,
Were camped four miles east, and men were afraid
They would move on some defenseless town,
Or kill Free-State settlers wherever found.
But what of those men on the Pottawatomie ?
John Brown said: "Leave them to me!"
He chose his men with greatest care,
Taking only such as he knew would dare
To meet the wild wolf in its den,
Or ruthlessly deal with ruthless men;
Throughout camp was heard the sound
Of those old broad-swords being ground
By two o'clock they were on their way,
But, as they were leaving, a man came to say
That in the Senate the day before
Senator Sumner had been beaten to the floor
By "Bully Brooks," Senator from S. C.
Because he said Kansas should be admitted "Free."
They camped that night in a wooded ravine,
Remaining next day so they would not be seen.
John Brown insisted they'd all wait there
Till night, when each beast was in his own lair,
Then he divided his company into two,
With instructions what each party should do.
The details of that night are hard to tell,
But the men did their work, and did it well,
And when the sun arose next day,
John Brown and his men had gone away
Leaving five corpses to testify
An avenging angel had passed by.
Dutch Henry was after cattle, "lifting" them, perhaps, from a caravan,
For it is conceded he was that sort of man,
So he escaped a fate he merited well,
As after events gave proof to tell;
But to this day men cannot agree
That the "Pottawatomie Massacre" was a necessity.
At Palmyra a U. S. officer came with demands
For the dispersal of all armed bands;
Assured Pro-slavery men would be disbanded, too,
John Jr. decided the best thing to do
Was to break camp, and be on their way,
So they could camp that night at Ottawa.
While resting, a rider on a jaded horse
Seeing their company changed his course,
And, stopping in their midst, cried he,
"Five men have been killed on the Pottawatomie-
"Butchered ! Cut and mangled beyond need,
"Old John Brown did it." And the rest agreed.
When John Brown appeared in camp next day,
Even John Jr. turned away
And Jason meeting him alone
Questioned him in fearsome tone:
"Did you do it, Father?" And quite unmoved
He answered: "I did not do it, but I approved."
"It was a wicked, uncalled-for act," Jason cried.
"God is my judge !" the old man replied.
Jason went to the house of the Reverend Adair,
His wife and child had been staying there,
Then started out afoot and alone
Towards the house of the Indian, Ottawa Jones.
A band of Missourians came in sight,
And it proved to be led by the Reverend White,
Who knowing Jason took him prisoner, of course;
His feet were tied beneath a horse
And he was taken to Paola trussed up that way
Where John Jr., too, was brought next day.
They were turned over to the U. S. Cavalry,
Whose officer, Captain Wood, chanced to be
A Southerner. He tied John's hands behind his back,
Put a rope through, and drove him in the track,
Before the column of cavalry
Nine miles, to a camp near Osawatomie.
Unable to bear the torture and pain,
John Brown, Jr., became insane;
His ravings disturbed a soldier so
He struck him down, and blow after blow
Was rained on his defenseless head
Till he lay for hours as if he were dead.
Captain Pate had captured young John Brown,
And hoping to gain added renown
Set out with forty-eight men,
And was camped at Black Jack, when
He was surprised by Captains Brown and Shore
With forces numbering twenty-four.
Some of Shore's men failed to get in the fight,
But Brown's force was there, all right;
???ink Captain Pate sent a "flag of truce,"
Though he confessed its real use
Was to gain time. Reading his purpose in his eyes,
John Brown gave him another surprise-
Pointing his revolver at Pate's head,
"It's 'unconditional surrender,' " he said;
And twenty-two men surrendered to nine,
For that's how their forces stood at that time-
Some on both sides having run away
"To live to fight another day."
For three days they were held as "prisoners of war"
In the old camp on Middle Creek, before
Colonel Sumner with fifty U. S. Dragoons came
And set the prisoners free again.
He gave John Brown a command
For his force to, at once, disband.
Colonel Sumner disbanded a Pro-slavery force, too,
But as soon as his company had passed through
Osawatomie, they gathered again and sacked the town,
Taking furniture, clothing, or whatever found;
And, burning with mortification and hate,
With that force was Henry Clay Pate.
That old John Brown was hiding out
Near Captain Wood's camp there was no doubt,
For sometimes he would show his face,
And lead them on a fruitless chase
So that in time the soldiers knew
He was only planning his sons' rescue.
Fearful, at last, that they might fail
To get their prisoners to Lecompton jail,
The soldiers marched on, and chained two and two,
Their hapless prisoners marched with them, too.
When they reached Lawrence, Jason was set free,
But it was September before John gained liberty.
W. A. Phillips, reporter for the New York Tribune,
Had been at Black Jack the Second of June,
And was going to Topeka for the Fourth of July,
When the Free-State Legislature would try
To hold its session as had been planned,
And see if the Government would make it disband.
John Brown, of course, would not be far away
If trouble started in Topeka that day;
He came into Lawrence, and it pleased him well,
To find Colonel Phillips was at the Hotel.
They went with others, as far as Big Springs
Talking the while, of many things.
"Bivouacking beneath the stars" that night,
Brown marked the hours, in their flight;
Talking of God and the Constellations,
Saying that only men and nations,
So far as he could understand,
Failed to obey God's command.
At Topeka he did not go into town,
But sent word that he would be found
Ready to fight, and for them not to disband,
Even at the United States Army's command;
But to his advice they paid small heed,
And made no resistance, as had been agreed.
Kansas people came to know
Brown was a dangerous man to friend and foe;
He thought everyone should be as anxious as he,
To sacrifice all to make slaves free,
And it's strange how many did risk their lives
Helping him in his great enterprise.
* * *
We next hear of John Brown on his way
With his sick and wounded to Iowa.
Going North to escort settlers in,
Walker's Company filed past him,
And greeted him with a hearty cheer,
But he plodded on as though he didn't hear.
Yet, by the time he had reached The Line,
The old man was feeling fine;
Going about talking to the men,
He decided to come to Kansas again,
And, securing horses for himself and son,
Was as eager to start as any one.
When word reached camp, to come with all speed,
For Lawrence was again in desperate need,
The Browns started in the company with Lane,
And Frederick served with him in his campaign;
Though in some of the fights "Old John" took a hand,
He did not serve under any command.
Shannon left before Geary had come,
Leaving his work to Secretary Woodson,
Who called in Missourians, as he'd done before,
And the whole country was in a State of War.
John Brown went to Osawatomie again,
And was making raids on Pro-slavery men.
Learning Missourians were planning an attack,
0dj??? Lane sent word for him to come back,
And prepare to defend the town.
One of his messengers being Frederick Brown,
Who seeing his Uncle, the Reverend Adair,
Said if he had any letters he'd care
To have sent by the Northern Trail,
To have them ready without fail,
For he was staying at a neighbors that night,
And would come for them before daylight.
His father, at the time, it was found,
Was camped a mile north on higher ground.
Next morning when Fred started for Adair's place
It was, yet, too dark to see a man's face;
Meeting some horsemen he supposed he knew
He said: "Good-morning, boys! I ought to know you."
"I know you Frederick Brown!"
Said the Reverend White as he shot him down.
Then this worthy man told every one,
That Frederick's boots belonged to his son;
He must have had keen eye-sight
To identify them in that dim light,
But money was scare, and prices high,
And a better man might have told a lie.
They chased two men who were going with Fred,
And it was not long till they, too, were dead.
The Ruffian soldiers were fighting in town
Capturing the block-house and burning it down,
Killing, looting, and burning houses, too,
As victorious Ruffians were wont to do.
John Brown was in several skirmishes that day,
And once passed the spot where Frederick lay,
But he did not express regret or grief
For the son whose life had been so brief.
"Take more care," he said, as they rode on,
"To end life well, than to live long."
The day before Governor Geary came,
Due to the efforts of General Lane,
The "Treason" prisoners were set free,
And came to Lawrence for a Jubilee.
One of the most popular speakers in town
Was that rabid abolitionist, Old John Brown.
The two John Browns, father and son,
Believing their work here was done,
Left Kansas, and in an Eastern State
The old man talked with the rich and great;
Many of whom, swayed beyond reason,
Walked with him close to the brink of treason.
When he fell, if a mean man he'd been,
He'd have pulled a great many others in;
But before his last great drama was played
Another trip to Kansas was made,
And we hear of him at this time,
Making raids across the Missouri Line;
Stealing slaves or helping them run away,
"Carrying the war into Africa."
The Missourians, indignant at this invasion,
Stood for their rights on every occasion,
And every man, from the Governor down,
Was wild to captured Old John Brown.
But the Missourians, themselves, had opened the door,
And no one thought to close it before
John Brown had come to say,
"You have started a game two can play!"
And through that door, back and forth,
Passed lawless bands from South and North.
Brown built a fort near the Missouri Line,
And patrolled the border for a time;
This fort was in sight of the ravine
Where occurred the massacre of the Marais des Cygnes,"???
A most vicious, brutal outrage
That put Southeast Kansas on the "front page."
* * *
Brown, and his party, stood on a hill one day
Looking down on a farm a half mile away.
Snyder said: "Loan me your glass! If I'm right,
"That is the house of the Reverend White."
John Brown looked, too, and said, "I declare!
"That's Martin White outside in a chair."
Then the men argued and pleaded with Brown
That he would consent for them to go down.
"Go, if you must!" he finally said,
"But don't harm a hair of Martin White's head!
"People do not understand my objects aright,
"It is not for revenge, but for a principle, I fight."
* * *
His men had known, for a long time,
That John Brown was waiting for a sign
To leave Kansas, so when a slave came there
It seemed an answer to his prayer,
For the "Master" had died, and the man was told
That he and his family would be sold.
When the Israelites left Egypt and its Pharaoh,
They took wagons loaded with spoils, you know!
So John Brown deemed it was right
To take from a Master to finance a slave's flight,
And in this spirit his plans were made
To go to Missouri for one more raid.
But why should we feel undue surprise
That God hardened his heart, and blinded his eyes,
For many a time we've seen since then
Equally hard-hearted and blinded men-
Men who have madly transgressed just laws
In an unholy zeal for some good Cause.
Thus it was, in a righteous mood,
John Brown took slaves, goods, and food
And, to follow the Scriptures aright,
He took teams and wagons for their flight,
While some of his followers, meaning no harm,
Went to get slaves from a neighboring farm.
The Master, there, felt that he
Had a right to defend his property,
And in the melee he was shot down,
But that didn't trouble Old John Brown:
In his "Parallels" he expressed joy in the belief
That "Hell was stirred from underneath."
They remained in a ravine next day,
But by midnight had made their way
To Augustus Wattles' house, and called him from bed;
"What have we here?" Mr. Wattles said.
Swinging his hat at those circled around,
"Meet a part of my family!" said happy John Brown.
The night was cold, for you will remember,
The raid was made the Twentieth of December,
And the refugees crowded close to the heat
While Mrs. Wattles cooked them something to eat;
Women of Kansas richly deserve
A motto emblazoned, "I, too, serve."
The next woman to help them was Mrs. Adair,
Though she knew the danger in having them there,
It was Christmas Eve, and pitying their plight
She let them stay in her kitchen that night.
Then they spent three weeks in an abandoned shack
While Missouri slave-hunters looked for their track.
When the wagons went on there was another refugee,
For a colored child had been born free.
And the mother, in gratitude, was bound
To name the boy for John Brown,
The strange old man so ready to brave
Any danger to help free a slave.
It was fifty miles to Abbott's place,
And it took four days at the pace
Oxen travel. The refugees were hidden away
In warm nests of prairie hay,
But Brown and Gill, plying the goad,
Were forced to walk on the frozen road.
When they reached Abbott's they were given good care,
And among those who came to them there
Was Dr. Doy. He, too, was running slaves out,
And he wanted to talk to Brown about
Going together, but neither man
Was willing to follow the other's plan.
Brown's oxen were taken to Lawrence and sold,
And a neighbor's team, I am told,
Took the party quickly to the "Jim Lane Trail,"
But at Holton it seemed their enterprise might fail,
For they were caught in a heavy snow storm,
And forced to stop at a tavern to warm.
Then someone heard a pickaninny cry,
And pro-slavery men decided to try
To capture the party when they left town,
And get rewards for the slaves and Brown.
Brown's party went six miles the next day
To Fuller's station on the Underground Railway.
A posse came to make their arrests,
But Fuller said the men were his guests;
Then a large burly man, Dr. J. N. O. P. Wood,
Said he was deputy U. S. Marshal, but could
Not show legal papers, and Whipple said:
"If you think you can arrest us, come ahead!"
So Dr. Wood camped his men in the yard,
And went to the cabin and posted a guard.
There was a hole in the wall, and the guard peeped in,
But he didn't try to do it again
For the muzzle of a gun was so close to his eye
He never stopped to say "Good Bye."
After a time Dr. Wood came
To change the guard, but again and again
The same thing happened that night
Until Dr. Wood, himself, took fright;
And he might well be afraid,
For John Brown had sent for aid.
SIen??? left church at Topeka that day,
And walked to Fuller's, thirty-six miles away,
Brown knew there was a posse that would seek
To capture them when they crossed the creek,
And the stream was running bank-full
So at best it would be a hard pull.
Some urged Brown to go to a better ford,
But the old man's trust was in the Lord,
"I have set out on the Jim Lane Trail,
"God marked my course, I cannot fail!
"We are ready to move!" And numbering twenty-two
His men entered the stream and splashed on through.
A Posse-man's horse ran away,
Men tried to catch him, they say,
And not knowing what it was about
They all left in the wildest rout;
This is the incident to which History refers,
In derision, as "The Battle of Spurs."
Four men were made "prisoners of war,"
And forced to march twenty miles before
They were allowed to go back to Atchison,
And John Brown talked to each one
Of the "meanness of slave-hunting and slavery,"
And of every man's right to be free.
When they reached the Nemaha,
Ice had formed, and they saw
The best thing for them to do
Was unload the wagons and pull them through;
Thus John Brown left Kansas for the last time,
His Faith unshaken, following God's sign.
His reception in Iowa was rather cool,
Many felt the Old Man was a fool,
And some freely expressed the belief
That he was just a common thief ;
But there were loyal friends to help him ones???
Though all were glad when he'd gone.
The Tenth of March they left Iowa,
And the slaves were soon safe in Canada ;
Then John Brown went on, and in an eastern state,
Won a martyr's crown, by a traitor's fate ;"
But to the "Cause" his passing was no loss,
For "the Charlestown gallows became a Cross."
Strange, indeed, are the ways of Fate,
And strange are the stories of the Kansas State!
Many a man, with honored name,
Left in Kansas a record of shame,
And National Executives continued to blunder
Until the Nation was rent asunder.
* * *
Congress turned the Topeka Constitution down,
And in a short time it was found
The President was doing all he could do
To help the Lecompton Constitution through,
Saying that lands and valuable concessions
Would be added to the State's possessions.
The new governor was a Southern man
And Buchanan promised him a free hand
In Kansas. He soon made a tour,
And in his addresses he did assure
The ballot would be inviolate,
And a majority vote should form the State.
The Free-State men, you may note,
Had passed resolutions not to vote,
But, believing the election would be fair,
Advice came in from everywhere
Urging men, before it was too late
To turn out and vote against a Slave State.
Dr. Robinson said, and others agreed
That "a change of circumstances might need
"A change of tactics," and Jim Lane
Rushed, headlong, into the campaign;
Pleading, exhorting, commanding, went he
In a storm of frenzied energy.
Word was carried across the Border
That Lane was at the head of a Secret Order,
And "Rumor" left no reasonable doubt
They were prepared to keep Missourians out;
While Old John Brown was in Iowa
And expected in by Election Day.
At the election voters were given their rights,
Soldiers were on guard to prevent fights,
Voters from Missouri did not come in,
And it seemed the Free-State men would win,
But to the surprise of everyone,
The Committee announced Pro-slavery had won.
John C. Calhoun, from what I hear,
Had long been close to the President's ear;
He was Chief of Kansas Land Survey,
And arranged the districts in an ingenious way
So that Free-State towns, like Lawrence, would be
Linked with Border towns, like Oxford and McGee,
And the Topeka district ran right through
To the River town of Kickapoo.
The Free-State Party had watchers, I am told,
And knew how many votes were polled,
So it was a big surprise to them
To hear of the election of Pro-slavery men.
When the returns went to the Governor to sign,
He and his Secretary came to find
That there was a great variation
Between the vote and the registration;
After investigation, the returns were rejected,
And a Free-State Legislature declared elected.
The frauds were blamed to John Calhoun,
And he left for Washington soon,
Leaving affairs in the hands of McLean,
Another man with an honored name;
Governor Walker went, too, after a time,
And, in honor, was forced to resign.
The Lecompton Constitution was being pushed through,
And there was nothing the people could do.
The Legislatures met in extra session,
And again tried to get possession
Of the election returns from Kickapoo
To prove their assertions of fraud were true.
When questioned, the excuse Calhoun had made
Was that the ballots had been "mislaid;"
When the investigators interviewed McLean
"They were in Washington," he'd maintain,
And the Legislature had little power
To force the issue at this hour.
* * *
The Sheriff and deputies rode up one day,
To the office of Kansas Land Survey;
McLean tried to "bluff" them for a while,
But when they began to move the wood-pile
He seized a boat and crossed the Kaw,
And that was the last of him they saw.
Under the wood-pile the sheriff found
A candle-box buried in the ground,
And he rode to Lawrence, you must know,
With that box across his saddle-bow;
In the Justice's office men crowded to see
What the contents of the box might be.
They found a thousand fictitious names
Had been added, with great pains,
To the poll-book. The list was read again and again
To the great amusement of Free-State men,
And all the North was laughing, soon,
About Kansas elections and "Candle-box Calhoun."
* * *
Long years passed ere folks heard the story
That the "tip" was given by Charles Torry,
Who slept at night, and worked by day,
In the office of Government Land Survey,
And had watched McLean, by the stars' dim light
Working about the wood-pile one night.
His timely aid saved the Free-State Cause,
And put an end to the BOFUS??? Laws;
It kept the Lecompton Constitution from going through,
And split the Democratic Party in two,
Making the way for Lincoln's election,
In spite of the South and its objection.
TO THE STARS
Two troubled years came and went,
And still Congress would not consent
That the State of Kansas might be
Admitted into the Union "Free,"
And the voters of Kansas were quick to say
It should come in no other way.
The agitation spread to other states,
Illinois had the Lincoln-Douglas debates,
In Virginia John Brown made his "Raid,"
And on a gallows the penalty paid,
While men in power used their official positions
To shift to the South government munitions.
When they learned that Lincoln had been elected,
South Carolina seceded as was expected,
Then as five other states followed her lead,
The Constitution of Kansas, presented with speed,
Passed both Houses in record time,
And was sent to the President for him to sign.
On the Twenty-ninth of January, he signed the bill,
Which conformed, at last, to the "Peoples will;"
All Kansas rejoiced at their place in the Nation,
And Lawrence staged a jollification;
Old Sacramento was brought into town;
And proclaimed the news to the country around.
* * *
When Lincoln went East for his inauguration.
This was already a divided Nation.
He stopped at cities along the way,
And among them was Philadelphia,
Where he went in answer to a call
To address a meeting at Independence Hall.
There he raised the first flag with the Kansas Star,
And the words he spoke were carried far
To the homes of the people, and came to be
A Pledge of the Rebirth of Liberty,
A Hope in the Nation's darkest hour,
And a renewal of Faith in Divine Power.
INTO THE CIVIL WAR
Why talk of Peace, when Peace there is none?
Hate does not die when the battle is won!
Suppressed and concealed, it waits its time
To break out anew in an orgy of crime,
And ever Hate lurked on the Kansas Border,
Adding its touch to war and disorder.
* * *
Dr. Robinson, who was first State Governor,
Said, in speaking of the impending war,
"Kansas, though last and least State of all,
"Will be ready to answer her Country's Call!"
That his boast was made good you may see,
If you look in your Kansas History.
The first two senators were Pomeroy and Lane,
And we hear of them in Washington again
With Lane in command of a company that went
To the White House to guard the President;
For fifteen days, in that time of gloom,
The company camped in the famed East Room.
As the country began to prepare for War,
Lane rushed back to Kansas once more;
He recruited and organized a brigade,
And went to Fort Scott to give aid
To the small force which, on this occasion,
Was gathering to meet Price's invasion.
Price's advance met with defeat,
And the Kansans followed his retreat
Into Missouri. At Osceola they burned the town
With the Confederate supplies they found,
Then they turned North to Kansas City, in order
To help defend the Kansas Border.
State and Army officers began to complain
That their rights were usurped by Senator Lane;
He was commanding troops without a commission,
And I doubt if he had the Governor's permission,
Yet even his enemies could but admire
The way he "pulled chestnuts out of the fire"
Kansas men were doing their share,
Serving in the Army everywhere;
And as time passed, two years and more,
Lawrence felt safe, as never before;
Many there were who laughed at danger,
And gave the "glad hand" to every stranger.
To be sure the town had its alarms,
And men came hurrying in from the farms;
Some had said at last "light o' Moon
"Quantrill's guerrillas will be here soon,"
But the time passed and no enemy came,
And everyone felt secure again.
People were so tired of these false alarms
An ordinance was passed to forbid carrying arms;
Guns were locked up in the armory,
And only the lieutenant had a key;
There was no use keeping guards around,
So the soldiers' camp was moved North of town.
You, who believe it wrong to prepare,
Read the story of Lawrence! See what happened there
Was it folly or trust, or just bravado,
That set the stage here we do not know,
But the town was defenseless, that I know well,
When Quantrill rode in with his "fiends from Hell."
* * *
Men came from their haunts, on the Blackwater and Sni,
To hear the report of Fletch Taylor, the spy;
Attentive they listened as he went on to tell
Of his stay in Lawrence at the Eldridge Hotel,
And many an eye dilated with hate,
As he told of the town's defenseless state.
When Quantrill questioned them with a roll-call
"On to Lawrence! To Lawrence!" answered they all.
"Then Lawrence it is! Saddle up men"
They mounted and rode away again
To meet next night at their old rendezvous
On Perdee's farm, east of the Blue.
Here other bands joined them and after a while
They counted three hundred, "rank and file."
Soon they met Colonel Holt with a hundred recruits,
"Come with us!" said Quantrill, "and christen your troops."
When camped at Grand River, for their last wait,
The company numbered four hundred forty eight.
At Potter's farm they rested that day,
Until three o'clock, then they rode away;
Captain Pike, at Aubry, saw them cross the Line,
But they were going southwest at the time,
And it is said he did not try
To notify anyone they had passed by.
The guerrillas fed their horses at Squiresville,
Then kept on southwest to Spring Hill;
As they turned north near Gardner they found
The night was dark for the moon had gone down,
So Quantrill called a captain aside,
And told him he must find a guide.
Whether they tried to trick them or not,
In the next eight miles ten guides were shot;
Then a German boy won their praise
By guiding them through the intricate maze
Of streams and woods and hills that abound
In the vicinity of famed Blue Mound.
* * *
While Quantrill approached the town with stealth,
Lawrence was wrapped in dreams of wealth;
The Kansas Pacific was being put through,
And a meeting was held to discuss what to do
About having them change their line of survey
So the road would not be so far away.
If Senator Lane would bring pressure to bear,
But it was whispered that he did not care;
When he did get up in the meeting and say
A Rebel spy was seen in town that day,
Everyone there was ready to believe
It was just some "trick he had up his sleeve."
It was after twelve when the meeting adjourned,
And in many a house the candles burned
Late. There was much to plan, and more to say,
And the lean, hard years seemed to fade away,
While prospects for the future looked very bright
To the men in Lawrence that August night.
* * *
As the first streak of light touched the eastern sky,
Franklin saw horsemen riding by;
They changed formation and four abreast
Rode through town and turned northwest
Toward Lawrence. Just before they entered town
They stopped and shot the Reverend Snyders down.
They had not gone much farther before
They met the son of Mayor Collamore;
He got up early and was on his way
To his father's farm to hunt, that day;
The ranks opened and he rode in between-
A shot was fired and he was seen
Then pandemonium broke loose in town,
They rushed the recruits' camp and rode tents down,
Shooting the defenseless boys on sight-
They had no guns and could not fight;
"Inside of three minutes," Captain Gregg said,
"The tents were down, the soldiers all dead."
Lieutenant John Rankin, and his Cousin Will,
Saw four horsemen ride down and kill
A young recruit, wearing Union Blue
And soon their guns were speaking, too.
The guerrillas turned their horses and fled
When two were hit with the hail of lead.
In the camp of colored recruits, they say,
The commotion was heard and they ran away
Through the weeds and corn that grew near,
To a hiding place where, cowering with fear,
Many a man was hidden that day
Who would gladly have taken part in the fray.
Oh, Lawrence! What shame lies at your door,
That brave, honest men stood helpless before
Such brutes! What humiliation to run
Like rabbits afraid of the hunter's gun!
"The men were cowards," Quantrill said,
Thus he maligned your martyred dead!
As the guerrillas rode down Massachusetts Street,
Dust rolled up from their horses' feet
So that the whole scene was a blur,
And it was hard to determine who they were;
Shooting at everyone they saw
They raced to the Ferry on the Kaw.
With the cable cut and the boat in mid-stream,
They jeered at the soldiers who were seen
Running about as if at a loss
How they were going to get across;
Then they heard a long-drawn, quavering wail,
"Hark! the Indians will be on our trail."
* * *
All that night a brave Shawnee
Had ridden hard that Lawrence might be
Warned. The Kentucky thorough-bred that served him well,
Game to the last, lunged forward and fell
Dead, but the man ran on
In that dark hour that precedes the dawn.
Even the watchful Delaware
Had passed the night unaware
Of danger, but at Pelathe's cry of warning
Their village sprang to life that morning,
And they loaned him a horse to carry
Him quickly on to the Lawrence Ferry.
But before the horse reached its stride
Shots were heard on the other side
Of the river, then a volley that merged to a roar
Like he had often heard in war.
Brave Pelathe! He rode in vain,
But Lawrence will ever honor his name.
White Turkey, coming with his Delaware band,
Saw the situation and took command;
He stationed sharp-shooters up in the trees,
And a guerrilla was shot by one of these-
After that they had no desire
To set buildings near the river on fire.
Gregg ordered out the City Hack,
So they could take the wounded men back
To Missouri. The Ruffians spread all over town,
Looting buildings and burning them down;
Men were shot and thrown into the fires
To satisfy the raiders inhuman desires.
They stopped at the office of the Tribune,
And the building was set on fire, soon;
Two young men who were setting type
Had remained in the printing-office all night-
Whether they were shot or perished in the flames
There was never a trace found of their remains.
The invaders did not rush the Eldridge Hotel,
For they had no means of knowing how well
It might be defended. There were stores below,
And the men were looting in them, we know,
When Mr. Eldridge sent for Quantrill to come,
And arranged for protection for everyone.
Guerrillas went in search of Mayor Collamore,
And it was not very long before
His house was in flames, and folks tell
How the Mayor and Pat Keefe hid in a well
Where fumes from the fire killed them, no doubt,
And also a friend who tried to get them out.
Dr. Griswold was starting down town to his store,
And as he and three friends came out his door
They were captured and marched down street,
But had not gone far when they chanced to meet
The squad that had been at Collamore's place
Who shot them, and all joined in the mad race
After other victims.
Leaders of these bands had lists of names,
And among them, of course, was Senator Lane's;
As they came to his house, he jumped out of bed,
And out a back window, where it is said
Bare-footed and in the night-clothes, he'd worn
He made his way west, through the weeds and tall corn.
They set his house on fire, but it did not burn down,
And the men were elated when they found
His sword and a fine Mexican flag.
Ah! that would be something worth while to brag
About, when they reached "Old Mizzou,"
So they quarreled and tore the trophy in two.
Reverend Fisher's name was on their list,
And those who went there did insist
That he must be home, all right,
For his house had been watched that night.
"Search if you will!" Mrs. Fisher replied,
And her manner was calm and dignified..
But the most careful search did not reveal
Any place that they thought might conceal
A man. Mrs. Fisher was alarmed to learn
That the guerrillas were going to burn
The house, but some of the men stood about
And allowed her to move her furniture out.
They saw her roll up a carpet, on the floor,
And a neighbor help her drag it out of the door
Away to the bushes at the back of the lot
Where it wouldn't get scorched when the fire got hot;
But they did not dream that the minister's wife
Had outwitted them and saved her husband's life.
As "there is honor among thieves," they say,
Quantrill won a reputation for honor that day;
He had boarded, one time, at the City Hotel,
And the proprietor's family had treated him well,
So, after the dash down Massachusetts Street,
He rode to the Hotel, old friends to greet.
He told the family they would not be molested,
And assigned them a guard as they requested;
Prisoners from the Eldridge House were sent there too,
And their guards had all they could do,
And Quantrill, himself, had to take a hand
To protect them from his murderous band.
Quantrill secured a carriage and white team,
And rode about inspecting the scene
Of carnage. Men were in South Park packing loot
When the look-out reported soldiers, in pursuit,
So Quantrill summoned his captains to meet,
And gave orders to begin the retreat.
He told Captain Gregg to take twenty men,
And get the stragglers into line again.
Pointing at a white house that stood on a ridge
Beyond the Wakarusa at Blanton's Bridge;
"I will wait for you, one hour, there.
"Make haste! we will have no time to spare!"
Wagons and pack-horses started on,
And the others joined them as they went along.
At the white house they repacked their loot,
And the boy who had guided them was given a suit
Of new clothes and a horse for his own,
And told that he could return to his home.
As Quantrill stood watching the burning town,
Where flames shot up as walls fell down,
He could see country folks riding in,
And he knew they were preparing to begin
The pursuit, so he hurried his company on their way,
And the order was still to "burn and slay."
Lawrence was a shambles!
In smoke and heat
The dead and dying lay in street
And alley, by door-way or wall,
Just as they'd fallen or where they could crawl,
Trampled by horses, seared by flames,
It was hard to identify their remains.
One hundred and fifty-four buildings were burned,
But the number of dead was never learned;
In ravine or weed-patch, in cellar or well,
How many perished no one could tell;
Mute skeletons were found to testify
The searchers had passed their bodies by.
Even while the guerrillas were there,
Women were going everywhere
Searching for dear ones. A Church stood near,
And many of the dead were taken here,
Charred broken bodies, forty or more,
Were laid out in rows on the Little Church floor.
Brave women of Lawrence! They did not despair;
Of the work before them, each one did her share,
While in rearing their children and building anew
They proved to the World what women could do,
With unfailing courage they met Life's demands,
And Lawrence is proud of the work of their hands.
* * *
Of all the guerrillas in Lawrence that day
Only one failed to get away,
That one was Skaggs;(???) he would not go when
Gregg went out with the other men,
But started out all alone
To have a little raid of his own.
He was drunk, but not too drunk to know
What he wanted to do and where to go;
Quantrill had rebuked him at the City Hotel
So he was going back there to tell
Them, that, while he could ride and shoot,
No one would cheat Larkin Skaggs out of loot.
He was wearing new boots and new "store clothes"-
Such things make a difference everyone knows,
And the fine white horse he had taken that day,
Champed and pulled on the bit like it wanted to play;
Listening to the rhythmic sound of its feet
He turned and rode down Rhode Island Street.
Judge Riggs and wife were standing outside,
And when they saw the Ruffian ride
Toward them, flourishing his gun,
Mrs. Riggs cried: "Run, Sam run !"
And catching hold of the bridle-rein
She swung the horse around and spoiled Skagg's aim.
Swearing and grumbling he went on
And met George Burt before very long;
Riding up, like a modern crook,
He told Burt to give him his pocket-book
And even while complying with the demand
Skaggs killed him with a pistol in his other hand.
Another guerrilla came from somewhere
And the two rode on very debonair
To the City Hotel, and began to shout
For those inside to "come on out !"
Thinking that Quantrill had changed the guard
The prisoners started out into the yard.
But the Ruffians drove them back to the wall,
Saying they were going to shoot them all;
Mr. Stone came out to explain and protest
That, "Colonel Quantrill" said, they would not molest-
But, with flourishing guns and curses loud,
The men began shooting into the crowd.
Mr. Stone and four others fell to the floor,
But the rest rushed inside and closed the door;
They could see the Ferry-boat getting under way,
So the two Ruffians hurried away-
The one to join Quantrill south of town,
But Skaggs kept on riding around.
He stopped at Mrs. Read's, and in a ministerial way
Said: "I have come to call today."
"I am not receiving calls," Mrs. Read replied,
But Skaggs tied his horse and went inside;
He began striking matches to set the house on fire,
But Mrs. Read, with a coolness he could but admire,
Blew them out.
He finally mounted and rode away f(???)
Saying: "I fear I have made too long a stay."
Lightly that grand horse carried its bad???,
And Skaggs turned its head toward the Franklin Road!
From time to time other riders gave chase,
But were soon out-distanced in the race.
The pursuers easily marked his course,
For everyone knew Mr. Perry's white horse;
Seeing some farmers Skaggs entered a lane
Between two corn-fields, and pursued, he came
To a gate, strong and high-???
None but a drunken man would try such a hazard.
The tired horse jumped-there was a rending sound
And gate, horse, and rider, crashed to the ground.
Surrounded by men and forced to disarm
With a gun at his head and a man at each arm
Skaggs struggled to his feet "I fell some how!"
"I was drunk," he said, "but I'm sober now."
With Miles Walters leading Skaggs' horse by the rein,
They started back to Lawrence again;
Near the edge of town at a place called Clay Hill
They met with a crowd who told them to kill
The Ruffian. They said there was neither officer nor jail.
And every able-bodied man was on Quantrill's trail.
There were Indians and soldiers from the North side
All armed and mounted ready to ride;
They had come through town and had seen the dead-
A soldier struck, with his fist, at Skaggs' head,
"Get off that horse, and go! I say!"
With a mighty leap, Skaggs was on his way.
Dodging and feinting the Ruffian ran,
And guns were turned on the desperate man;
But with all his wounds he continued to run
Until Little Beaver took his buffalo gun
And fired, and the large ball, they tell,
Passed through the body. Skaggs was dead when he fell.
* * *
All day, in that terrible August heat,
Lawrence men followed Quantrill's retreat;
Gregg with sixty men, guarding the rear,
Would turn and fight when they came too near,
But ever the pursuers hung on their track,
And lost no chance to provoke an attack.
Soldiers from the Kansas-Missouri Line
Reached the Santa Fe Trail at an opportune time
To turn Quantrill south, and so close their pursuit
He was forced to abandon most of the loot,
While harassed and thwarted at every turn,
He had no more time to "kill and burn."
As the day wore on and the sun went down,
Quantrill saw they were approaching a town;
"What place is that?" he asked his guide,
"It's Morristown, Missouri," the man replied.
Then Quantrill began to rage and swear,
"It's Paola," he cried, "and soldiers are there."
Quickly he halted his whole band,
And ordered them to "charge" Major Plumb's command,
So unexpected and fierce the attack
The pursuing column was driven back,
And when they again reached the top of the hill
The guerrillas were gone, the night was still.
Quantrill's men turned north to the bed of a stream,
And nothing more of them was seen
Until after sun-up and then it was found
They were in Missouri on their old camp-ground;
They could see many soldiers crossing the Border
So Quantrill, reluctantly, gave the order
Friendly trees and bushes grew all around,
And in a short time the bands had found
Sanctuary, with food and care
Some Missourians welcomed them, others did not dare
To refuse any demand that was made
To conceal the out-laws or give them aid.
White Turkey's Braves reached the deserted camp ground,
And took to the trial??? and went scouting around
In the brush, but they soon came back
Bringing with them the Lawrence hack
With three wounded guerrillas inside;
Two begged for "mercy," but Bledsoe cried,
"We showed no mercy, and should expect none,
"But I want to die with my face to the gun!"
To the soldiers: "We are not able to stand, you can see,
"So I ask you to do this one thing for me-
"Take us out of this trap, and put us on our knees!
"Don't shoot us in the back! I ask you, Please!"
They granted his request, and so it was done,
But before a man could lower his gun,
Like a flash, three Indians stood there
With a knife in one hand, in the other "hair."
Civilization's veneer had slipped away,
And they'd taken trophies in the Indian way.
* * *
At last General Ewing came,
And was sharply reproved by Senator Lane;
"When I get to Washington again," Lane said,
"Off goes your official head !"
They went into a cabin that stood near
Where they could talk and the soldiers not hear.
It was a stormy session, there is no doubt,
But they reached an understanding before they came out;
Lane shook his long finger as he walked away-
"You're a dead dog, if you don't do as I say !"
The next day Ewing issued his famous order
To depopulate the counties along the Border.
The Order issued was a new cause for hate,
And many families refused to vacate
Their homes, so in due course
The Federal Army removed them by force,
And throughout the years, till they found rest in Heaven,
They blamed all their woes to Order Number Eleven.
* * *
Long years have passed and the settlers are gone,
But something of hatred still lives on;
You can see it sometimes, when people pass near,
In the lift of an eye or a covert sneer
And the children's children are thinking you slow,(???)
Of things that happened long years ago.
REMARKS AND NOTES
When we moved to Lawrence my father, who was a Union veteran and a man
especially well-informed in all matters concerning the Civil War, remarked,
that the war really started in Lawrence. He told of the organization of the
Emigrant Aid Society at Boston for the purpose of promoting and assisting
Free State emigration to Kansas, of the settlement of Lawrence by people from
Massachusetts, of difficulties with Pro-slavery Missourians and the National
Government, which resulted in the destruction of printing-presses, the
burning of the Free-State Hotel, and the arrest of prominent men, which
brought on the conflict known as the Border War, but I did not realize, at
the time, that he knew of these people and events in a personal way.
During the preparations for the celebration of the Seventy-fifth
Anniversary of the Settlement of Lawrence, I was asked to help write a
Historical Pageant for the Unitarian Church, and in doing so I learned much
of the history of the town and its settlers.
Since then I have read many books and by making comparison I found that my
father did know, personally, some of those who planned the town and others
who came as pioneers.
Boston was the home town of his family. His parents and grandparents were
members of the First Unitarian Church of that city and he invariably spent
his vacations there, staying with a great-aunt whose husband was one of the
oldest Unitarian ministers in the United States. That he was at their home
during the summer of 1856, I am certain, and he must have heard them tell
many times how, on the 27th day of May, as the Reverend WIr.(???) Nute(???)
of Lawrence, Kansas, who was in Boston attending the Thirty-first Anniversary
of the Unitarian Association in America, stepped upon the rostrum of Bedford
Street Church, he was handed a telegram telling of the destruction of
Lawrence by Sheriff Jones.
I remember hearing my father tell, when I was a child, of them taking up a
collection of silver in the Church at Boston and putting the coin in the
molten metal before a bell was cast. I know now that the bell was sent to the
Unitarian Church at Lawrence and it was Mrs. William Sears' cousin, David
McGilvary, who carried the bag of silver to the foundry. The Old Stone Church
in Lawrence is gone, but the Bell still serves to call children to school and
people sometimes pause to listen and remark about the beauty of its tone.
In Lawrence every plot of ground has its tragic story; the foundations are
laid upon the ashes of ruined homes, lost fortunes, and martyred dead.
I have tried to take up the broken, tangled threads of local history and
restore something of the pattern of 1854-1864; and that these stories are
told without prejudice or bias, I believe the most careful research will
prove. Nor is it my object to censure, unduly, the Pro-slavery citizens of
Missouri or the National Administration, but rather to call attention to the
fact that there is nothing so dangerous to the Peace of a Nation as bad laws
Yes, the Civil War really did begin in Lawrence!
Lawrence's Birthday in October 1928(???): Lawrence held a "Diamond
Jubilee" in honor of the city's 75th birthday, with a three-day
The first New England Emigrant Aid party, consisting of twenty-nine men,
walked from Westport, Missouri and reached the "Hill" at noon August 1, 1854.
This they named Mount Oread for Eli Thayer's Mount Oread Seminary in
Massachusetts. Other parties came during the month of September, but it was
not until October 6th that, at the suggestion of Dr. Robinson, the new town
was named Lawrence in honor of Amos A. Lawrence, treasurer of the New England
* * *
"Kansas," was written as a Kansas Day recitation for Mrs. J. R.
"Indian Song," was written for the 75th Anniversary. Indians were still
living on the reservations in Eastern Kansas when the territory was opened
for settlement. They were civilized tribes and many individuals, by wise
council and heroic deeds, won an honored place in Lawrence history.
"The Kansas Nebraska Bill" The bill was introduced into the United States
Senate January 23, 1854 by Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. Senator David R.
Atchison of Missouri was wont to boast: "I told Douglas to introduce it. I
originated it. I got Pierce committed to it, all the glory belongs to
It is true, that in the autumn before Congress met, meetings were held in
the western counties of Missouri and with Atchison presiding at Weston, the
following was adopted: "Resolved, That if the Territory shall be opened to
settlement, we pledge ourselves, to each other, to extend the institutions of
Missouri over the Territory at whatever sacrifice of blood and treasure."
June 10, 1854 at a meeting at Parkville- "Resolved, That we recognize the
institution of slavery as already existing in the Territory, and recommend
slave-holders to introduce their property as fast as possible."
"Resolved, That we afford protection to no Abolitionist as a settler in
"Kansas Pioneer Women" was written for Mrs. J. R. (Mary Coleman) Topping
at the time of the 75th Anniversary of Lawrence and was spoken by her on many
occasions; the last time being at Topeka, January 29, 1938, before the
Women's Kansas Day Club.
Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Coleman came from Massachusetts with the
Emigrant Aid party which reached Lawrence October 9, 1854, little Mary
Augusta being about thirteen months old at the time. Their family is not
related to the Franklin M. Coleman of Virginia who murdered Charles Dow.
1. Mrs. Coleman, before her marriage, was a Wendell, a cousin of Oliver
2. At a meeting in the State House at Boston, May 14, 1854, Eli Thayer
drew up a charter for the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company with capital
stock not to exceed $5,000,000.
3. J. G. Whittier wrote the Emigrant Hymn and four musicians, Joseph and
Forrest Savage and N. and A. Hazen came with this party. They brought their
instruments and played enroute.
At the time of the siege of Lawrence, during the Wakarusa War, Mr. Coleman
was on the staff of Dr. Robinson, the "Commander-in-chief," and he made the
acquaintance of John Brown.
Much to the chagrin of his wife, Mr. Coleman had shipped a heavy
grindstone from Massachusetts and when John Brown first appeared in Lawrence
he brought his broad-swords to help arm the defenders, and about the first
thing he wanted was a grind-stone. There are two excellent articles by Mr. E.
A. Coleman in Sanborn's Life and Letters of John Brown.
"The Murder of Charles Dow" was the event, not in itself so important, but
from which, step by step, the trouble in Kansas grew until the whole Nation
1. Hickory Point is in the south part of Douglas County at the Junction of
the Santa Fe and Old California trails. The towns of Lousiana??? and Brooklyn
were laid out, but did not long survive. Pro-slavery and Free-State settlers
in the vicinity numbered about the same.
2. William McKinney's quarter section was just west of Coleman's, and he
was a Pro-Slavery man.
3. Dow's body was, in time, removed to the Baldwin cemetery. The date of
death on the tomb stone is said to be incorrect. Dow's father and family
came and took over the claim and later sold it to George W. Hastie. Branson
sold his claim to Joseph Eberhart.
"The Arrest and Rescue of Branson" followed quickly the murder of Dow.
1. Andrew H. Reeder, a Pennsylvania lawyer, appointed by President Pierce
as First Kansas Territorial Governor, reached Fort Leavenworth in October,
1854. A delegate to Congress was elected November 29, and a large number of
Missourians came in and voted, electing the Pro-slavery candidate. In
February 1855, Governor Reeder caused the first census to be taken. It showed
a population of 8,601 persons were??? 2,905 voters. At the election on March
20th, 5,000 Missourians invaded the territory, voted and went back to
Missouri. Reputable men took part in this invasion.
2. Samuel J. Jones, postmaster at Westport, Missouri and son-in-law of
Colonel A. G. Boone, was prominent among the voters at Bloomington, an
Illinois settlement twelve miles southwest of Lawrence. He was appointed
sheriff of Douglas County.
3. Blanton had a toll bridge across the Wakarusa, four miles south of
4. The Branson cabin was removed to Green's Lake at Lawrence November 1938
and, as nearly as possible, has been restored.
5. Abbott's house was about a mile south of Blanton's bridge. There were
23 men waiting to rescue Branson and the Sheriff's posse was said to number
6. Branson came over and dismounted. Samuel N. Wood asked him if it was
his mule. Branson said it was not-Wood gave the mule a kick and said: "Go
back to your master, d--n you !"
7. Jones said he was Sheriff of Douglas County with a warrant for Branson
and must serve it. Wood said he was Branson's attorney and asked to examine
the warrant. Jones refused to show it.
8. After fifty days at Fort Leavenworth, Governor Reeder removed the seat
of government to Shawnee Mission, one mile from the Missouri line and two and
one-half from Westport, Missouri. It was here the Bogus Legislature met and
enacted their infamous code of laws, and it was here Wilson Shannon, the
second Territorial Governor, came.
9. The United States Arsenal, which was situated on a hill about three and
one-half miles south of Liberty, Missouri, was raided by one hundred
Missourians and arms and ammunition were appropriated to arm those who were
going to Kansas in answer to Sheriff Jones' call for help. A list of
munitions taken included three brass field-pieces, sixty-seven sabers, one
hundred dragoon pistols, fifty-five rifles and a large amount of
After Shannon's Treaty of Peace most of the arms were returned to the
arsenal. There was a shortage of about $400 worth of material probably
ammunition. Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War, made no protest about this
unlawful seizure, but John Brown, who was at Lawrence helping the defenders,
gained an idea that was to lead to his Raid on the U. S. Arsenal at Harper's
"The Wakarusa war."
1. Franklin was a Pro-slavery town four miles southeast of Lawrence It was
the first stage coach stop on the California Road out of Westport and was
near Blue Jacket's Crossing of the Wakarusa.
2. Hugh Cameron came to Lawrence with the first party of emigrants sent
out by the Emigrant Aid Company.
3. Sheriff Jones had a blank commission for Justice of the Peace, and
induced Cameron to take the office, and Cameron made out the warrant for
Branson's arrest. He lived at what is now known as Cameron's Bluff on the
Kaw, three miles north of Lawrence and served in the Civil War as Captain of
Company F Second Kansas and later as lieutenant colonel.
* In later years Cameron became a recluse and lived in Lawrence in a house
built in a tree. He was called the "Kansas Hermit."
4. The shell fired from the cannon by Senator David R. Atchison of
Missouri was found twenty years afterward, and is now in the possession of
Samuel Elliott. It is said to have been the only shell fired, the others
being round balls.
Lecompton was chosen as permanent capital, and the second Territorial
Legislature met there January 12, 1857. Lecompton is on the Kaw or Kansas
River about half way between Lawrence and Topeka.
"Reminiscences' was written for Mrs. O. E. Learnard, oldest daughter of
Shalor W. Eldridge. The first part, about the Call-Bell, was used as a
recitation by her grand-daughter, Mickey Learnard, and the story of the first
public school was from an article Mrs. Learnard wrote for her grand-daughter,
Mary Learnard, to read at the Pageant at the Unitarian Church. The rest of
the story is from "Recollections of Early Days in Kansas by Shalor Winchell
Eldridge" publication of the Kansas Historical Society. "Reminiscences" was
approved by Mrs. Learnard before her death in 1932.
1. When the first party of Massachusetts emigrants came, Mr. S. C Pomeroy
remained in Kansas City and purchased the Union Hotel (now old Gillis House)
to use as a stopping place for the New England Emigrant Aid Company's
settlers. He induced his old boyhood friend Shalor Eldridge, to come west and
take charge of the hotel. The family spent the winter in Kansas City, then
Mr. Eldridge leased the Free-State Hotel which was being constructed at
Lawrence, and brought his family during the first part of May.
2. The Hotel was not yet open to the public, but the Emigrant Aid Company
had its offices there and besides the Eldridge family, Charles L. Edwards,
General Pomeroy, and S. N. Simpson were staying there.
Quoted from Mrs. O. E. Learnard's story on page 89 of Publications of the
Kansas Historical Society, 1920, Volume II
"The day before the hotel was destroyed a party of us were out
for a ride, and this ride left an impression with me which will never be
effaced. The country all around was very beautiful and the view from the hill
west of town was unsurpassed to our eyes-the lovely wild flowers, many and of
infinite variety, such as had never been my delight to see. And on the point
of the hill was the foundation for the old Unitarian church, in which in
after years I attended school, and which later on became my church
3. A chair from the furniture of the hotel has been added to the
collection in the Lawrence Room of Watson Library to which Mrs. Learnard gave
4. Quoted from Publications of the Kansas Historical Society, 1920, Volume
II, page 63:
"Asking the privilege of replying, which he readily granted, I
submitted my claims for consideration. Personally, I was a Democrat, I had
voted for him for president; my father, also a Democrat, had voted for him,
as had my ten uncles and four brothers, all Democrats; and some of them were
now victims, as well as myself, of these outrages. But such Democracy as his
appointees in Kansas were inflicting upon us we could not bear."
. . "From the first the President seemed deeply interested in my story, and
before it was completed his eyes moistened and tears began to trickle down
the face that at first had been so stern and indignant."
5. About 600 settlers were camped near Nebraska City. Dr. Howe of Boston
and Thaddeus Hyatt of New York City of the National Kansas Committee were
there and the emigrants came in under Eldridge and Colonel Dickey. At their
first camp after crossing the hne??? a settlement called Plymouth was made,
and a little farther Lexington, and third at Holton. They reached the Kaw at
the present site of Topeka, and among the settlers who stopped there was
Edmund G. Ross who was destined to finish J. H. Lane's term as U. S. Senator
and, like him, lose political prestige by supporting Andrew Johnson.
# * #???
"Retaliation"-up to the time of the destruction of Lawrence by Sheriff
Jones the Free-State men had been on the defensive, but with the United
States Government supporting the enforcement of the Bogus Laws they changed
their tactics and defied the Administration from every angle. The Campaign
year gave them an advantage they used to the utter-most.
Lane and Reeder addressed a great meeting of 10,000 persons assembled in
the court house square at Chicago, May 31, 1856.
"Lane's Army of the North."
1. Lane was elected in Indiana to serve in the 32nd Congress and was
induced by Douglass to vote for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.
2. He was a Colonel of the 3rd Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, and
distinguished himself as a capable officer at the Battle of Buena Vista.
Returning to Indiana he raised the 5th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers and was
elected Colonel. He was made provost marshal of the City of Mexico after its
capture by American forces and performed his duties so well that the ladies
presented him with a flag-black broadcloth with the arms of Mexico
embroidered in yellow silk. Border Ruffians called it "Lane's Black Flag." It
and the sword, presented by his regiment, were taken from his house in
Lawrence by Quantrill's men. They dropped the scabbard of the sword, and it
is now in the Lawrence Room in the Watson Library.
3. He said he had made more than one-hundred speeches advocating Pierce's
election and had, as elector at large, cast the vote of the State of Indiana
4. He was admitted to the Bar, and practiced in partnership with his
father, who was a lawyer and politician serving in the Indiana Legislature
and U. S. Congress. James H. Lane also served in the Indiana Legislature and
a term as Lieutenant Governor before he was elected to Congress.
5. July 27, 1855, Lane and others held a meeting in Lawrence in the
interest of the National Democratic Party. Their resolutions endorsed the
Kansas-Nebraska Bill, but condemned the illegal votes by outsiders. This met
with no support from the party in Kansas and Lane met with the Free-State men
in Lawrence for the first time August 15, 1855. Seeing they did not have
confidence in him, he called a meeting and made a speech which left no doubt
of where he stood. "Kansas City Times": "He crossed with a leap the Rubicon
of radical politics and burned all his bridges behind him."
6. The Grand-jury at Lecompton returned indictments for high treason
against Reeder, Robinson, Lane, George Brown, Deitzler, George Smith, Samuel
Wood, and Gaius Jenkins. Also the Free-State Hotel and two Free-State
7. John Armstrong and Colonel John Ritchie.
8. Jefferson Davis was a West Point graduate and had seen service in the
Northwest Territory and the Blackhawk War. He was in the Battle of Buena
Vista and his Mississippi troops were hard pressed when Lane with the 3rd
Regiment Indiana Volunteers came to the relief of the Illinois and Kentucky
Volunteers and turned the tide of battle.
Jefferson Davis became President of the Confederate States.
9. General Taylor, who was Jefferson Davis' father-in-law, said in his
report that Lane had acted "creditably" and threw the honors to Davis; for
this the Indiana veterans, among them General Lew Wallace, would not support
Taylor for President in 1848 and later protested Davis having a place in
10. There were about 600 gathered at Nebraska City waiting to come in.
General Persifer F. Smith had replaced General Sumner at Fort Leavenworth. A
messenger was sent to him asking safe conduct and they would come in without
arms. General Smith refused to have anything to do with them, and is reported
to have said: "I would hang every one of you d-d abolitionists as high as
Haman??? if I had the say so in this business." He intended to intercept them
and had dragoons patrol the road, but they came in much farther west on the
11. "Walker, if you say the people don't want me, it's all right, I'll
blow my brains out. I can never go back to the states and look the people in
the face and tell them that as soon as I got these Kansas friends of mine
fairly into danger I had to abandon them, I can't do it."
12. The party went into camp 12 miles south of Nebraska City. Walker had
fifteen men, but others, including John Brown's party, brought the number up
13. They got food, the first they had since leaving Nebraska City, and
secured fresh horses, in Topeka. "It was raining hard, streams were flooded,
and the night dark." Walker was left at his home seven miles west of Lawrence
and Stratton came on two miles farther and had to give up. Lane reached
Lawrence, alone, August 11, 1856, at three A. M. having ridden 150 miles in
14. Lane was not in actual command of the men who captured Franklin. They
were in line and well on their way before he joined them, but his qualities
of leadership inspired them.
15. "Sacremento," the six-pounder taken from Lawrence by Sheriff Jones,
was in the blockhouse at Franklin and was taken by Captain Thomas Bickerton's
artillery company. They wanted the cannon to use in an attack on Fort Titus,
a well fortified and garrisoned stronghold, a short distance south of
Lecompton. They put the cannon on its carriage and brought it to Lawrence. A
pattern for a ball was made, and type from G. W. Brown's printing press was
used to make the balls.
At sunrise, August 16, 1856, fifty men under Captains Samuel Walker, Joel
Grover, and Shombre, a young man who had just arrived with the Eldridge
party, rushed Fort Titus. Eighteen men were wounded and Shombre was killed
when Captain Bickerton arrived with reinforcements and his cannon. At the
first shot he cried, "This is the second edition of the 'Herald of Freedom.'
16. It is said that Dr. Robinson, Jim Lane, and John Brown were requested
to leave Kansas. Governor Geary made Colonel Samuel Walker, a free-state
leader, captain of militia, and Colonel Titus, the aggressive pro-slavery
man, special aide on the Governor's staff with rank of Colonel.
17. The Bogus Legislature, Judge LeCompte, and practically all the
Pro-slavery officers at Lecompton worked against him. Sheriff Jones resigned
because Governor Geary would not order one hundred ball-and-chains to put on
the "treason prisoners." Sherrard, a worse man, was put into office. Sherrard
made several attempts to assassinate the governor and even spit on him.
Governor Geary made his way to Walker's house and was escorted safety to
"John Brown's Footsteps in Kansas."
1. John Brown sincerely believed he was pre-destined to end slavery in the
United States, and who can say he was not?
2. When he was twelve years old (during the war of 1812) he drove some
cattle more than a hundred miles and delivered them to a "gentlemanly
landlord" who treated him with great consideration. "But the man owned a very
intelligent colored boy of about John's age whom John saw beaten and abused
though he could see no fault in him."
3. Slavery was abolished in Canada in 1803.
4. At about this time (1839) John Brown's ideas changed from nonresistant
to militant. Probably influenced by an intensive study of the "Life of
Cromwell." He named a son "Oliver."
5. A colored preacher, Mr. Fayette, was there and also took the oath.
6. Owen, Frederick and Salmon left Ohio in October 1854 with eleven head
of fine cattle and three horses. They wintered in Illinois and reached the
Territory April 20, 1855. Jason and John Jr. with their families came by
steamboat and arrived at Osawatomie May 7, 1855.
7. During the summer of 1855 there were six conventions in Lawrence, one
at Big Springs September 5, and two at Topeka where a State Constitution was
framed and ratified in December. State Officers were elected in January and
inaugurated March 4th, 1856. John Brown Jr. was elected a member of this
legislature. The election and inauguration of these officers was the cause of
the indictments for "high treason."
8. John Brown raised sheep when he lived in Ohio. He was an expert
9. Jason's four year old son died with cholera and the boat tied up with a
broken rudder at Waverly, Missouri so the family went ashore and buried the
child. Repairs were made and the boat steamed on leaving the family to finish
their journey over-land.
10. When they reached Kansas they had sixty cents in money between
11. They were in a one-horse wagon which also contained their supplies and
extra weapons, including the old broad-swords. At the front of the wagon
stood a staff from which floated an American flag.
12. When Governor Shannon was taken upstairs he was led through the room
where the corpse of Thomas Barber lay, and where the young wife, who had just
been brought in, was lamenting bitterly. Shannon was shocked and knowing his
weakness they gave him liquor.
13. The meeting was held to discuss what to do about paying taxes levied
by the Bogus Legislature.
14. Court was held at "Dutch Henry's Crossing" where the Old California
Trail crossed Pottawatomie Creek.
15. Major Jefferson Buford of South Carolina brought a regiment of men
recruited in, and financed by, the Southern States. They reached Westport in
April and were sent to strategic points in the Territory.
16. He was independent of the company, but, whenever there was trouble he
would, to use his own expression, "hover around."
17. Morse died from injuries and shock.
18. Palmyra was twelve miles southeast of Lawrence where Baldwin is now
situated. Prairie City was about two miles southwest of Palmyra, near the
claim of Captain Shore.
19. Brown took four of his sons, Owen, Frederick, Salmon and Oliver and
his son-in-law, Henry Thompson. Townley took his gray team and hauled the
party in his wagon. Weiner, an Austrian, rode his own pony.
20. John Jr. and Jason ground the swords, and a boy, Bain Fuller, turned
21. The only telegraph station in Kansas was at Leavenworth. Gardner
brought word of the attack on Senator Sumner, carrying the message in his
22. This ravine was about a mile from "Dutch Henry's Crossing."
23. Doyle was appointed Constable and his two sons deputies to serve the
warrants issued by Judge Cato on the Free-State men. Wilkinson was a member
of the Bogus Legislature and "Dutch Bill" Sherman was considered a dangerous
man especially when drunk. He had attacked Weiner in his own store and had
threatened Mary Grant.
24. "Dutch Henry" Sherman had worked for Ottawa (Tauy) ??? Jones, the
"Good Indian," when he first came to the territory, and he acted as guide for
a detachment of Border Ruffians, after the sacking of Osawatomie. Jones
escaped into the cornfield, but his house, a very fine double log structure,
25. Why men, knowing his intentions, cheered his departure and would not
speak to him on his return has puzzled historians. In killing the men with
the broad-swords the bodies were mutilated. Brown and his men also took some
of Dutch Henry's horses.
26. A mob was ready to hang Jason when Judge Jacobs accompanied by Judge
Cato came and showed him a paper, asking him in whose writing it was. "My
Father's," Jason replied. "Is John Brown your father?" they asked, and when
Jacobs assured them he was, Jacobs caused his release and took him to his
house where he was well treated. The letter probably contained a threat from
27. The flesh turned black and was swollen so that the rope was covered.
He was chained by each ankle with ox-cart chains to the center-pole of the
guard-tent. In after years he called his scars his "slave bracelets."
28. Captain Henry Clay Pate was called the "Fighting Correspondent of the
St. Louis, Missouri Republican." He was at the Sack of Lawrence.
29. Frederick Brown and three others were left to guard the horses. Some
of Pate's men tried to escape and John Brown gave orders to shoot their
horses. Frederick became excited and, mounting Jason's colt, Ned Scarlet,
charged down the Santa Fe Trail, yelling that they had them surrounded.
Pate, then, sent the flag of truce. After the surrender Major Abbott came
with the Lawrence "Stubs." W. A. Phillips, correspondent of the "New York
Tribune" was with Frederick Brown at the Battle of Black Jack that day.
30. There were several wounded men on both sides, among them Salmon Brown
and Henry Thompson.
31. Colonel Sumner was surprised to find General Whitfield, member of
Congress, and General Coffee, of the Militia, at the head of two hundred and
fifty Border Ruffians. He read them orders to disperse, but after his army
had gone they sacked Osawatomie.
32. Rings were taken from women's fingers, and clothes from women and
children. A writer said: "They ought to have had a petticoat apiece as
33. Captain Pate and Lieutenant Brockett were to have been exchanged for
John Brown Jr. and Jason Brown. Colonel Sumner did not compel the
Pro-slavery men to release their prisoners.
34. The column halted in front of Adair's cabin to search for John Brown.
Mrs. Adair, "Aunt Florilla," a half-sister of John Brown, came out and gave
the prisoners food and Lieutenant Iverson, the officer in charge, a "good
35. This was W. A. Phillips, correspondent for the "New York Tribune."
Many who came to Kansas were called by military titles for no good
36. Big Springs was eleven miles east of Topeka on the California
37. Captain Pate had an article published in the "Tribune," June 13,
giving his version of the "Battle of Black Jack Point." Brown had prepared a
reply to the article and it appeared in the "Tribune," July ???
38. They had an ox-team and covered wagon. His sons Oliver, Jason,
Salmon and Owen, his son-in-law, Henry Thompson, and Lucius Mills were in the
39. As Shannon went down the Missouri River, Geary was coming up. The
boats met at Glasgow and the Governors had a talk; Shannon excited, nervous
and afraid, Geary calm and confident.
40. This was called the Lane Trail.
41. Colonel John W. Reid, with two hundred and fifty men, reported they
had killed thirty men, destroyed all ammunition and provisions, and the boys
would burn the town to the ground, "I could not help it."
42. On a bank above the river (Marais des Cygnes) John Brown and Jason
watched the flames of burning Osawatomie. "God sees it," Brown cried, with
tears running down his face. "I have only a short time to live-only one death
to die, and I will die fighting for this cause. There will be no more peace
in this land until slavery is done for. I will give them something else to do
than to extend slave territory. I will carry the war into Africa."
43. It is said Governor Geary asked him to go.
44. The Governor of Missouri posted a reward of $3,000 for his
45. The fort was built near the blacksmith shop of Snyder and was well
planned. Here he studied and practiced military tactics. He talked of "my
work, my duty and my mission," meaning the liberation of the slaves.
46. About nine o'clock on the morning of May 19, 1858, a Southerner
named Hamilton crossed the Line with thirty-two men and, gathering up eleven
men, took them to this ravine near Trading Post and shot them down. One fell
with the volley, uninjured, and five others were revived. Hamilton tried to
capture Snyder, the blacksmith, but was wounded and so successfully resisted
he rode away. Shortly afterward, Snyder heard firing in the ravine.
This is the subject of "Old Brown's Parallels," written by himself, and
also of a poem by Whittier.
47. Augustus Wattles who had worked in Lawrence for G. W. Brown, editor
of the "Herald of Freedom," was living two miles north of Mound City and John
Brown went there about the first of July, 1858, on his return to the
Territory. Then under the name of Shubel Morgan he made his headquarters on
the claim of Eli Snyder, one-half mile from the Missouri line and in the
immediate vicinity of the scene of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre. Kagi and
Tidd were with him during his stay and Gill and Whipple, or Stevens as he was
called, joined him there.
John Brown was associated with Colonel James Montgomery and his famous
"Jayhawkers," but they could not agree very long as Brown was too radical in
December 19, 1858, Gill's story: "As I was scouting down the line I ran
across a colored man, whose ostensible purpose was the selling of brooms. I
found his name was Jim Daniels; that his wife, self and babies were to be
sold at an administrators sale in the immediate future."
Gill took him to John Brown who, he said, was expecting or hoping God
would provide him a basis of action and "He hailed this as Heaven sent."
48. From the cabins near Garnett to J. B. Abbott's, John Brown and Gill
drove the ox-teams, "first through mud, then over frozen ground, their shoes
all but falling apart and without a dollar in their pockets." When they
reached Abbott's, Gill's feet were frozen as were also Brown's fingers, nose
and ears. The slaves were taken to a stone barn on the Grover place.
49. Dr. John Doy started to conduct a party of free Negroes north, but was
captured and put in jail at St. Joseph, Missouri and was sentenced to a five
year term in the penitentiary. Ten men from the vicinity of Lawrence, led by
James B. Abbott, rescued him from the jail.
50. Samuel Tappan, one of the rescuers of Branson (1855) loaned a wagon
and team of horses and Eben Archibald went as driver. Abbott, and Grover
51. Dr. Albert Fuller lived on Straight Creek, six miles north of Holton.
The stream was too high to ford and a posse from Atchison was waiting on the
farther side, so a messenger was sent to Topeka for help. Colonel John
Ritchie headed the rescue party and as they had to walk all the way did not
reach Fuller's until noon, Monday. They were given the captured horses so
they could ride back to Topeka.
52. John Brown walked with his prisoners to show he would not impose any
hardships on them that he would not share. When they camped that night he
made the men take part in the prayers and Dr. Hereford of Atchison was
forced, much to the amusement of the others, to repeat "Now I lay me down to
sleep." However, Brown's prisoners parted with him next morning feeling
respect for him and his ideals.
53. John Brown, "All we took has been held sacred to that object and ???
54. With untold hardships and dangers they made their way through Iowa
until, on March 9th, they reached West Liberty and moved into Keith's
steam-mill under a strong guard of white men. The next morning a train from
Iowa City left a box-car and the colored people moved in. At eleven o'clock
the Chicago train came along and the box-car left between the engine and
55. At 4:30 March 11, 1859, they reached Chicago and Brown, Steven and
Kagi awakened Allan Pinkerton, the detective, who helped raise five or six
hundred dollars for a car on the Michigan Central. The slaves left for
Detroit, where they arrived March 12, and took a Ferry-boat for Windsor,
Canada. The paw of the Lion protected them. They had traveled 1,100 miles
in eighty-two days; 600 miles in covered wagons in the dead of winter.
56. The first man who died by the hand of the executioner for political
crime in the U. S.
57. So perish all such enemies of Virginia! All such enemies of the
Union! All such foes of the human race.
58. And so wherever there is battling against injustice and oppression
the Charleston gallows that became a Cross will help men to live and die.
1. Lane was president of the Topeka Constitutional Convention and went to
Washington to hasten its introduction into Congress. It was hastily written
and it seems to have been the understanding that the wording of it should he
changed. This Lane did, and copied the signatures of the signers. Douglas,
in a scathing speech in the Senate, assailed Lane's character and motives and
pronounced the Constitution a fraud. Lane challenged Douglas to fight a
duel, but he refused, saying he would not meet him on the "field of honor"
because Lane was not his equal in rank .
2. Though Robert J. Walker was born in Pennsylvania, he had long been a
resident of Mississippi and had taken an active and prominent part in
3. Governor Walker came to Lawrence May 26, 1857 and attended a
temperance lecture at the Unitarian Church. He was asked to speak and said:
"I recognize no right, but that of the majority, to decide the sectional
questions which have disturbed the Territory... The people are the actual
bona fide settlers, and none others shall be allowed the right of suffrage.
This is guaranteed to you."
Frederick P. Stanton of Tennessee was appointed Secretary and reached
Kansas a month before the Governor. He visited Lawrence April 24, 1857 and
he and McLean had dinner at Dr. Robinson's house. They took supper that night
at the Cincinnati House with prominent citizens present. It was here, in
answer to some very pointed questions, he made the assertion "It shall be war
to the knife, and the knife to the hilt."
4. At a Convention held August 26, 1857 at Grasshopper Falls Dr. Robinson
said: "Men who are too conscientious and too honorable to change their
tactics with a change of circumstances are too conscientious for
5. John Calhoun was surveyor of Sangamon County, Illinois and, in 1833,
hired Abraham Lincoln to assist him in his work near New Salem. He also ran
for Governor of Illinois and for Congress, but was defeated. He was
appointed surveyor-general of Kansas and threw in his lot with the
6. Secretary Stanton was acting governor and he knew if he called the
newly elected Free-State legislature to convene he would be removed from
office, but at last yielded to the pressure brought to bear. The Legislature
assembled at Lecompton and then adjourned to Lawrence.
7. There were names of prominent men in the east such as Horace Greeley,
James Buchanan and pages copied from the Cincinnati directory.
8. Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois was forced to speak against the
Lecompton Constitution and the South never forgave him. He was nominated for
the presidency in 1860 by the Northern Democrats, but the Southern Democrats
"To the Stars."
1. Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, was indicted by the grand jury of
Washington, January 28, 1861, for defrauding the U. S. Government, in aiding
the South to get possession of arms. He fled to Virginia. Howard Cobb,
Secretary of Treasury, had also helped the secession movement at the expense
of the United States Government and the president and others of the
administration were believed to have been accessory to their acts.
2. "Old Sacramento," the cannon, was kept buried on the Bickerton
3. Knowing the danger Lincoln was in, James H. Lane offered him a guard
of Kansas men, but he refused. He narrowly escaped capture or assassination
4. It was customary when a new state was admitted to the Union to add the
Star to the flag and raise it for the first time on the following 4th of
July. The people of Philadelphia took it upon themselves and had a new flag
with the Kansas Star ready for Lincoln to raise after his address at
"Into the Civil War."
With Kansas taking its place in the Union, its troubles were not ended,
for the Civil War was at hand and provided an opportunity for the renewal of
old feuds between people living near the Kansas-Missouri Border.
1. In population. The Census of 1860 gave Kansas a population of 143,643
of whom 34,242 were in the vicinity of Pike's Peak.
2. Kansas exceeded her quota by 3,433. There never was a man drafted nor
ever any bounty offered in Kansas. Captain Samuel Walker of Lawrence
tendered Governor Robinson a company of one hundred men five days after Ft.
Sumter was fired upon.
3. The "Frontier Guard," composed of 180 men and commanded by Senator
Lane, numbered many Kansans.
4. Lane offered to resign his seat in the U. S. Senate and take command
of the Army in Kansas. At Fort Scott there were 4,000 poorly equipped Union
soldiers, while the approaching Confederates under Generals Price, Raines and
Slack numbered 18,000 men. Lane sent 380 men with one howitzer to meet
Price's advance and so furious was their attack that they killed 72 men and
the Confederates fell back. Colonel Moonlight was in command of this attack
on the Confederate advance. With his small force he rode out on the prairie
in front of the enemy and opened fire on the Confederate batteries. The
first two shots had little effect and Moonlight sprang from his horse,
wheeled the gun about and aimed it himself and fired. The shot struck a
Confederate gun pouring out grape, dismounting it and turning it end over end
several yards into the ranks marshaled behind. Soon the entire army
retreated, Kansas was saved from invasion and the Union supplies at Fort
Scott were saved. Quantrill was with the Confederates and afterwards talked
of Colonel Moonlight's marksmanship.
5. Lane turned north to Kansas City to help defend Leavenworth if Price's
army moved against it, but Price went to Lexington and captured Colonel
Mulligan and 2,500 men, then retreated back to Arkansas. Lane's army
followed on his left flank and Fremont advanced from the east. Osceola was
burned Sept. 23, 1861. Missourians to this day are bitter against Lane for
6. Quantrill had intended to make his raid on Lawrence about the 10th of
August, but learning that the town was expecting him, and was prepared, he
did not start.
7. A small detachment of soldiers had been sent to guard the town and
relieve the citizens of sentry duty, but their services had been dispensed
8. The soldiers camped on the north side of the Kansas, or Kaw, River seem
to have been a part of the company that had been on duty in Lawrence, but at
the time of the "raid" it is said they were stationed there to protect the
Delaware Indian lands.
No story of Lawrence could be complete without "Quantrill's Raid." This
was written at the request of Mrs. C. J. (Ida Walters) Saunders and she and
her brother, Lincoln M. Walters, gave much information, especially that in
regards to the capture of Larkin Skaggs. It was their father, Miles Walters,
who, with the help of his neighbors, took Skaggs prisoner. Colonel Samuel
Walker, while stationed with his regiment at Kansas City, learned that
William C. Quantrill, the guerrilla leader, was the same person who had been
in Lawrence two years before under the assumed name of Charley Hart.
1. Many times, that 21st day of August 1863, with threat or apology
various members of Quantrill's band said they were "fiends from Hell."
2. Fletch Taylor was in Lawrence quite often during the summer of 1863. He
had plenty of money and put up at the Eldridge Hotel where he posed as a
business man and was well received by the people of Lawrence.
3. Colonel John D. Holt had been recruiting in Missouri for the
4. "They killed a fat ox and had dinner and prepared rations." Quantrill
told his men they must divide the spoils of Lawrence with the people of
Missouri who were ever willing to share their last biscuit with them
5. Captain Pike, at Aubry, had notified Lieut. Col. Clark of the
appearance of Quantrill on Grand River four miles east of the Kansas line but
did not notify him when they crossed the line. Captain Pike had also notified
Capt. Coleman of Little Santa Fe and it was he who sent messengers to
Westport and Kansas City and went south, himself, to engage in the pursuit.
Captain Pike was a Lawrence man, one of the "Immortal Ten," and his loyalty
was beyond question.
6. The Kansas Pacific, now Union Pacific Railroad, was first surveyed to
run three miles north of Lawrence and it was Senator Lane who bluffed the
Railroad officials into bringing it to North Lawrence.
7. The old pro-slavery town of Franklin was four miles southeast of
Lawrence. Men could be seen strapped to their saddles and sleeping.
8. Rev. S. S. Snyder was Lieutenant of a Colored Regiment that was being
organized. They found him in his cow-lot milking and shot him. He was the
first man killed in Lawrence that day. At this stop orders were issued to all
captains that women and children, negroes included, were to be spared. "Then
Quantrill rose in his stirrups and dismissed them to overspread the city
ending with the order 'Kill! kill!' and you will make no mistake!" Quoted
from Gregg's Mss.??? Gregg was one of Quantrill's most trusted and capable
9. The white recruits were uniformed but not armed. Their camp was south
on New Hampshire Street. Seventeen bodies were found. Several boys escaped
into a cornfield that adjoined the camp. Three hundred feet northeast of
their camp was a camp of twenty colored recruits; they were not uniformed and
most of them escaped.
10. "They were rated the best horsemen in America. With Colt's navy
pistols in both hands and extra weapons in belts and holsters, with the
bridle reins in their teeth or hung over the saddle-horns, they went at full
speed down Massachusetts Street, Quantrill firing to the left and Gregg to
the right were in the lead."
11. Pelathe, a young Shawnee, had ridden to Kansas City, with Capt.
Coleman's messenger. "Theo. Bartles, a famous Red Leg, happened to be at
headquarters and he raged that Lawrence had not been warned. He did not know
the country north of the Kansas River so Pelathe offered to go. It was then
eleven o'clock. Bartles took him to the Six Mole??? House two miles west of
Quindaro and gave him a sorrel mare, a Kentucky thoroughbred, and he started
on. He was dressed like an Indian but was well armed." He was in the pursuit
all the next day and night and was across the Missouri line when White Turkey
and his band found the Lawrence hack containing Bledsoe and two other wounded
guerrillas. Samuel Boies??? of Lawrence was taken to drive the hack and his
account of the retreat is valuable. Note: Red Legs were scouts organized by
Gen. Ewing and Gen. Blunt for desperate service. There were about thirty of
them but many thieves on the Border impersonated them so that the name "Red
Leg" is looked upon as a term of reproach.
12. John M. Speer, a son of John Speer, the editor, and David Purinton???
were burned in the printing-office. William Speer, another son of the editor
was shot and robbed by Larkin Skaggs. He asked a Ruffian to drag him away
from a burning building and was shot again and killed.
13. Dr. J. F. Griswold's drug store was under the Eldridge Hotel. He lived
on the corner of Indiana and Winthrop streets. Josiah Trask, Editor of the
Journal, Professor and State Senator S. M. Thorpe, and H. W. Baker of the
firm of Ridenour & Baker boarded with him. They were promised they would not
be harmed if they surrendered quietly. When their wives, who saw them shot,
went to them they found that Dr. Griswold and Mr. Trask had been killed
instantly. Mr. Thorpe lived a few days and Mr. Baker was saved by skillful
14. Whether Quantrill ever collected any bounty for killing Lawrence men
he certainly expected to.
15. This flag was presented to him by the ladies of Mexico City in
appreciation of his just rule when he was provost-marshal of the City after
its capture by American forces during the Mexican War. His sword, bought by
officers and men of the 5th Regiment and costing eight hundred dollars, was
presented in the House of Representatives at Indianapolis Jan. 8, 1849.
16. Rev. H. D. Fisher of the Methodist Episcopal Church was Chaplain and
served with Lane in western Missouri. Negroes sought refuge near Union camps.
"What shall we do with them?" Lane asked and Rev. Fisher said, "Send them to
Kansas to help the women and children on the farms." Quoted from "The Gun and
the Gospel" by Rev. H. D. Fisher, D. D.???-"When we reached Kansas I halted
the command, drew them up in line, and raising myself to my full height on my
war-horse commanded silence, and there under the open heavens, on the sacred
soil of freedom, I in the name of the Constitution of the United States, the
Declaration of Independence, and by the authority of General James H. Lane, I
proclaimed that they were forever free." About thirty of the men were given
arms, the first negroes armed during the rebellion. From "My Ninety-six Years
in the Great West" by G. W. E. Griffith, "I remember at one time seeing a
long line of Negroes entering Lawrence, some on foot, some in carriages and
wagons drawn by mules and some riding mules. This was one of Fisher's
17. Mr. Fisher was under the floor of the house in what they called the
"potato-hole." The only entrance to this hole was a trap-door concealed by a
carpet. Mrs. Fisher communicated with her husband and let him know when to
come out. He was rolled up in the carpet and the trap-door replaced. The roof
and a shed were burnt but the brick walls of the house remained intact.
18. William Clark Quantrill came to Kansas in 1857 with some neighbors
from Canal Dover, Ohio. He was twenty years old at the time. His father had
died three years previously and the family was left in very straightened
circumstances. There were three other children, two boys and a girl, all
younger than William.
Quantrill was, undoubtedly, a kleptomaniac and had not been in Kansas long
before his friends and benefactors found he was stealing from them-small
articles, knives, blankets, provisions-things he had no personal use for.
They drove him out and in the Spring of 1858 he joined a wagon-train taking
supplies to the U. S. Army in Utah. He was seen at Fort Bridger where, under
the name of Charley Hart, he was winning large sums of money in a gambling
resort. He returned to Kansas in July 1859 and that winter taught a
three-month term of school near Stanton. He was described as, "a good
teacher, quiet and neat."
In the spring of 1860, Quantrill was staying with the Delaware Indians
north of Lawrence. He rode about on a pony and loafed about the Ferry. In
June 1860 he was seen to cross the Ferry and walk to the City Hotel, the old
Whitney House, kept by Nathan Stone. He registered as Charley Hart but Mr.
Stone showed another boarder, the name William C. Quantrill written in the
back of the book and confided that it was the new boarder's real name and
that he was a detective for the Delaware Indians. This boarder, named
Wheeler, described Quantrill as "Five feet nine inches in height and weighing
one hundred and fifty or sixty pounds, bow-legged, sandy hair, rather hooked
nose and a peculiar droop to his eye lids. He wore corduroy pants tucked into
boots, a slouch hat, and carried an oil-cloth grip."
One day a band of Indians rode into Lawrence and a crowd gathered about
them. A young Delaware, named White Turkey, spoke pretty good English and he
told the crowd that some of their ponies had been stolen and brought across
the river near Lawrence and that Charley Hart was one of the men seen with
the ponies. Quantrill came forward with a big bluff and told White Turkey
that "that kind of talk did not go." He made a motion to draw his revolver
but White Turkey whipped out his gun and had Quantrill covered before he
could elevate the revolver. Quantrill backed away, with his gun pointing to
the ground, and slipped around a corner and disappeared.
R. G. Elliott-"The kindness towards him of Mr. and Mrs. Stone during a
slight illness, with the attractions of the young ladies of the family,
awakened a grateful feeling that was not forgotten in his destruction of the
town, but was repaid by protection of the house and all who took refuge in
it." Quantrill had given Lydia Stone a diamond ring and it was this ring
Larkin Skaggs took from her the day of the Raid and Quantrill made him
return. And for this Skaggs came back when the other raiders had gone and
started shooting the prisoners. Mr. Stone was killed.
Gregg's description of Quantrill the day of the Raid-"A spare man, a fine
figure on horse-back. Mounted on a magnificent horse, a brown gelding taken
from Buel??? at the battle of Independence, Missouri. Wore low-crowned, soft
black hat with yellow or gold cord around the band, gray trousers stuffed
into cavalry hoots, guerrilla shirt ornamented with fine needle work.
Unshaven but without a beard. Four Colt navy pistols in belt and in holsters
at saddle-bow, more weapons."
19. The "white house" was four miles south of Lawrence and belonged to
William Meairs, one of the rescuers of Branson, and it is now owned by
William Meairs, his son.
When the guerrillas came to the Meairs' place, the family was out milking
and ran into a corn field. As the Ruffians left they started a fire in an
attempt to burn the house but the family returned in time to put out the fire
by??? throwing milk on it.
20. The little Methodist Episcopal Church stood near the center of the
worst area of destruction and was used as a morgue at this time. The building
was used as a residence for many years.
21. A minister of the Baptist Church and a member of a respected Kentucky
family, Larkin M. Skaggs came to Missouri and settled near the Kansas Border.
He soon became a typical bushwhacker and was conspicuous in raids against
Free-State towns. At the time of the Lawrence Raid he was described as "a man
of middle age, of athletic build, muscular and burly, with massive head and
bushy, grizzled hair, rough, bearded face and grim features. His natural
savagery, expressed in every lineament, excited by the scenes of the day, had
also been stimulated by liquor."
22. Skaggs became confused and started back in the direction from which
the guerrillas came into town.
23. Miles Walters was Captain of Militia and had also served in the Border
War. He, with his neighbors, Thomas and John McFarland, Robert Peebles, and
others, captured Skaggs and were bringing him to town. Walters was in
personal charge of the prisoner and tried to protect him.
24. Little Beaver was with White Turkey's braves. He pulled the boots off
of Skaggs' feet, tied them together and threw them across his saddle.
"Catching hold of Skaggs' hair he made the motion of scalping and with the
characteristic Indian expression 'Ugh, ugh,' mounted his pony and rode
White Turkey had shot at Skaggs with his bow and arrow. One arrow was
sticking in the dead man's back and was so deeply embedded that the Indian
had to put his foot on the body so he could pull it out.
That afternoon some colored men and boys found Skaggs' body and tied a
long rope to it and dragged it behind a horse to a ravine where they tried to
25. Lieutenant John K. Rankin, who had spent the night at his uncle's
house in the south part of town, heard shots in the direction of the
recruits' camp and he and his cousin William Rankin ran out in time to see a
boy from the camp pursued and shot by four horsemen. The Rankins asked no
questions but opened fire at once, and in the exchange of shots two
guerrillas were wounded. They turned their horses and rode away as fast as
Lieutenant Rankin led twenty or thirty men in pursuit of Quantrill, and
James H. Lane came in from west of town with twelve or fifteen farmers and at
once started south on the guerrillas' trail. Major Plumb and Captain Coleman
with small detachments of Federal soldiers met at Blue Jacket's Crossing near
Franklin. They could mark the retreat by clouds of dust and the smoke of
burning houses, so they recrossed the Wakarusa and went directly south and
struck the Santa Fe Trail west of Baldwin causing Quantrill to turn south.
The Lawrence men had caught up with the guerrillas at Brooklyn and driven
them on saving the little town from the torch. Four or five miles south, at
Fletcher's farm, Gregg, with Quantrill's rear guard, and the pursuers lined
up for battle. Lane had put his followers under command of Rankin and Major
Plumb was supposed to come to their support but his horses were so exhausted
he could not get there in time and Rankin fell back and averted what must
have proved a disaster. They had, however, delayed the retreat and Major
Plumb, as ranking officer, took command for the rest of the day and continued
the same tactics.
26. Scouts, probably the Indians, located Quantrill's camp in the woods
about five miles north of Paola. Colonel C. S. Clark was then in command and
he would not permit the force to leave Paola until after daylight, August 22.
He was fifteen miles behind when Quantrill entered Missouri.
27. The three white men were scalped by the Indians before the soldiers
had any idea of their intentions. After this certain white men of Quantrill's
band made a practice of scalping their victims.
28. General Ewing was unjustly blamed, not only by Southern sympathizers
but by Union men. In Ohio many Republicans would not support him for office
because of "Order Number Eleven." And Bingham's famous painting will, for
generations to come, subject??? him to censure for a war-time measure that
was not only justifiable, but had been delayed too long.
go to the
THE KANSAS COLLECTION