Dec. 15th. -- The day of the election upon the adoption of the state constitution. The vote for the constitution was small, coming as it did on the heels of the invasion. In some of the districts the constitutions were not received. There was no opportunity to canvass the territory; and where appointments had been made for meetings, there was no speaking. At Leavenworth there was a gathering of some of the forces who had been before Lawrence. As the election was proceeding quietly, Charles Dunn, with a party, smashed in the window of the building where the election was being held, jumped in, and drove off the judges of election. One of the clerks of election, in attempting to save the ballot-box, was seized by the throat by Dunn. He was also struck in the face by Dunn, and by another person, until he fell, when the crowd rushed upon him, kicking him in the head and sides. Dunn and party then carried off the ballot-boxes.
16th. -- It is a clear, bright December day, and the snows, which came in small quantity, are fast melting, and mingling with the clayey soil. So, besides the burden of rubbers, one has to carry no little portion of the native earth. But, as Mr. Barber was to be disinterred from his hasty burial in town, to be buried with martial honors to-day, we made the half-mile walk. First, however, arranging for the sick man at home. Mr. C. had gone beyond his strength, in an attempted journey, and he was again a fixture in the chimney-corner. He threatens, with a mixture of "quinine and sulphuric acid," to drive away the chills; but whether he may not drive himself away, his fragility continually suggests. However, in these days of reform and progress, it has become fashionable to "die of the doctor rather than the disease."
As we reached the hotel, which had indeed become the place for all assemblies, meetings to discuss the affairs of the country, or pleasure-gatherings, the barracks for soldiers, and now where the services for the dead were to be performed, the wagons and carriages standing around, and the groups of people hurrying in all directions, showed that the feeling of the people was aroused. We passed among the crowd, and, narrowly escaping a fall into one of the ditches made by the throwing up of the entrenchments, ascended the inclined boards at the doorway, which served for steps.
As I entered the long dining-hall, where but a week since was the sound of rejoicing, it seemed as though every place was full. But a friendly heart, though a stranger's, made room on one of the long settees. Long boards had also been brought in for extra seats, and these were full of this sympathizing community.
It was a strange, a motley group. There were hats of satin and velvet, with plumes, and Paris flowers, with dresses of rich material, and costly furs. There were brides of a few months, just arrived in this western home, and city belles come out for a winter's sojourn where the artificial has wholly given place to simplicity and nature. There were some with log-cabin bonnets of black silk, or cotton velvet, and dress of plain coarse stuff, giving to the wearer an odd, strange look. There were others whose apparel is the safer medium between the two, which ever bespeaks the taste and intelligence of the wearer.
There were many who have lived their whole lives in cities, accustomed to their elegancies and refinements, who are now roughing it with the simple dwellers in nature's halls. Yet, over all this immense crowd, who had gathered from many miles around to take part in this mournful service, was spread the hallowed, chastening influence of this great sorrow. There was not one present but would willingly have taken part of the burden, could it have lessened the crushing woe of the lone bereaved one. Silence pervaded the assembly, and many a heart whose tendrils yet cling unbroken around their loved ones, who seemingly had been in perils more and greater, felt a deep thankfulness that, rudely torn asunder, they did not then lie bleeding, the fond object dying, withering.
There was a sound of people moving, the tread of many feet, a heart-breaking sob, and many turned to look. Had they passed through hours when the death angel had stricken down the loved from their own pathway, they would have realized how like sacrilege is this gazing of the multitude upon the broken, crushed spirit, burying its dead.
Then the sob came from the other end of the hall, and the tall, white-haired, blue-eyed man, who knew her husband, and would perform the service, bent over her, to speak some comforting word. But, like Rachel, she refused to be comforted. A hymn was read, and the audience sang an old, familiar tune; but ever and anon, amid the singing, there came this wailing, this moaning, as though the heart must break through its earthly fetters. Short speeches followed from Generals Lane and Robinson, and then a sad sermon.
When the preacher spoke of death finding the one taken in the performance of his duty, a duty cheerfully performed for his country; that from this service he had been taken to a higher; of him who will be to the widow more than husband or child; of the evanescence of human life, and of that fairer country, beyond the dark waters of death, where the cruel reign of the tyrant is over; we felt that a response went out from the poor lone one's heart, -- that she had caught a glimpse of the bright chain reaching from heaven, earthward, and that she would realize, more fully than in life, the nearness of the loved spirit.
The services were over, and preparations were made to bear the lamented dead to the burial. The military companies, with arms reversed, walked first, the generals, upon horseback, leading the way. There was the company from Lawrence, and the "Barker Guards;" then the body of the dead, and the sad mourners -- the widow and brothers; then the neighbors of the quiet, inoffensive man, who felt most keenly his death; then the whole community. All kinds of vehicles, wagons, and carriages, fell into the rear, and in solemn procession made a long line over the prairie. Soon they wound up the lone, steep way, over Mount Oread.
A mile further over the level prairie the procession moved on slowly, "for it was a man they bore." The soldiers formed in lines on either side, with bowed heads and lifted hats. The mourners passed through, and stood around the open grave. The coffin was gently lowered, the falling earth rattled upon its lid -- a dread, fearful sound; the bitter wailing of the desolate, childless, earth-stricken widow rose above the sad moaning of the winter wind, and broke in upon the words, "Dust to dust," -- "I am the resurrection and the life."
The mourners fell back, giving place to the soldiers, who then stood around the grave, and each division fired their rifles into the last resting-place of their loved and honored comrade.
Such a scene as this the actors in it had never before witnessed, and with similar emotions never will again. In this glorious old country, with its hills so smoothly terraced, its prairies boundless, over which, a twelvemonth since, the Indian alone roamed with the wild deer in the venerable forests, now in concord the white man dwells with his red brother. There is no war between them, no enmity. But another power, more hideous, more grasping, has arisen. These beautiful lands are coveted by the slave power. It threatens boldly, and with all its treachery, all its hateful wiles unmasked, to bring the dark-browed race, whose color is their crime, to suffer here; that with the sweetly-perfumed breath of these green prairies shall come to our ears the wailing of her who is worse than widowed, and the sad cry of children who know no tenderer words of man than those of the bloody task-master and tyrant.
For this the slave power has another victim, and the solemn prairie has witnessed the burial of liberty's third martyr to-day. Stern men, unused to weep, and timid women, have bowed with the stricken, and shared their grief. The blow, falling most heavily on her, leaves them not untouched, and the warning is loud and deep, "Death to your liberties." The love we had always bore to freedom is ten-fold increased, while the hatred of oppression is intensified and strengthened. A new consecration of our energies in this unequal fight for freedom is made over the new-made grave. And it is no child's play, -- no work merely of to-day, -- but a life-service. It is easy to boast of putting on the harness, and to be full of courage, when quiet sits by one's own fireside, and when the crowd are pressing eagerly on to victory, with banners waving, and music filling the air; but it is another thing in this frontier land, where for very weariness with watching the soul faints, where there is no gloss of military trappings, where the plumes are tattered, and the little army, weary and struggling, is passing through sorrow and the wilderness.
In the prospect of freedom's bulwarks raised high and strong we can yet exult. It will be accomplished by no magic power, but by faithful service, and patient endurance. Strong arms will hew out the timber, dig broad and deep the trenches, and rear high the walls. It will cost many tears and cares, anxieties and prayers, and the sorrow of many spirits hopeful to-day. It may cost many valued lives; but we will lay each corner-stone of this altar of freedom with the serene, abiding strength of a holy faith; trust all to Him who maketh "the darkness as the noonday," and the end will be glorious.
Sheriff Jones called at the door, before the day was over, for S. and T., two young men of New England origin, and of whom she may well be proud. They went with him to Lecompton for trial, having been engaged in the "rescue" case, and from that court will appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, hoping thus to test the validity of the territorial laws. We hope this willingness of theirs to be the instruments in testing these laws will not be at too great a cost. Another of the rescuers was sitting in the parlor when Jones called for Smith and Tappan, upon whom he had previously served the warrant; but his eye did not fall upon the man he had so much longed to arrest.
22d. -- A convention was holden to-day in Lawrence to nominate state officers. It was fully attended. The forenoon was warm and pleasant; but the change in the weather, soon after dinner, was terrible.
The cold every moment increased, and snow commenced falling with the evening shadows. E. wrapped herself in blankets, and took a nap on the lounge. I tried to write a letter, sitting on a cricket, close to the stove, with lamp upon a music-stool; but it required so much time to change positions, to keep some part of me from freezing, that I concluded to lay it by for a warmer day. The next suggestion was, as it would be late before they would return from the convention, to try to go to sleep. There was a crispy sound of new-fallen snow, the moment one's foot was on the stairway, and all through the chambers, over trunks, bureaus, beds, and everywhere, was spread this white mantle. The roof was impervious to rain, but the fine snow sifted in everywhere. So, gently shaking the pillows, I lay down, and the fleecy covering was still falling. Twice I went down to replenish the fire, lest when they came they would be almost frozen, and the clock struck three, ere, through the wildness of the night, I heard cheerful voices approaching the house. Some of the gentlemen had frozen their ears, and were free to declare that the night was awful.
We New Englanders consoled ourselves by thinking that in her borders it was even colder than here, while our guests, who had been used to the mild climate of southern Illinois and Kentucky, could hardly believe that this was the "very mild climate" which travellers have termed it, or that "cattle could graze" and "flowers bloom the whole year." Before the gentlemen retired, I made an effort to remove the snow from their bed; but it was continually falling, and the attempt was nearly useless.
23d. -- T. and S. have returned from Lecompton. They were committed for trial, but Jones let them out on parole, until the time they are to go to Leavenworth to be imprisoned.
24th. -- Still snowing, and the weather terribly severe. The thermometer seventeen degrees below zero, wind is blowing, and the snow drifting into all imaginable shapes. To travel in it seems impossible, and many times to-day I am querying what will become of the party who left here last evening. To face a Missouri mob is nothing to facing these winds which sweep over the prairies.
Four young men -- two from New England, one from England, and our Scotch friend -- are stopping here. They try to write, but the ink can only be kept in a fluid state by keeping it on the stove, while it freezes in their pens. Were it not for their good spirits, and fun-loving natures, I believe we should all freeze together. As it is, there are many things to provoke a laugh even amid the discomforts, and a little warmth remains. We think such weather as this can only last a day or two; for last year, at Christmas, people sat with doors and windows open.
The cows and mules, wandering about without shelter, not being able to get a nibble for themselves, look at me pleadingly, as much as to say, "Why don't you feed me?" while many of them find their way into our barn and help themselves.
25th. -- Cold, bitter, stinging cold; not so windy as yesterday, but the cold more intense. Thermometer ranging between twenty and thirty degrees below zero. The water freezes in the tumblers at breakfast, and everything eatable, or intended to be eaten, is frozen hard. The bread can only be cut as we thaw it by the fire, setting the loaf down and cutting one piece at a time. Potatoes, squashes, pumpkins, citrons, and apples, are as hard as rocks. Several glass pickle jars, filled with ketchup, are broken open from top to bottom.
26th. -- It is no warmer yet. What will the poor settlers do who have no floors in their cabins? -- and there are many such. Will their hopeful, cheerful spirit, which has borne them through the dark hours now scarcely passed, sustain them against physical suffering, it may be actual want? The sacking of their granaries and open houses will cause untold ills.
Now, when New England hears of the destitution of her own children, fighting her battles, trusting their all in this dangerous strife, will she put her hands into her well-filled pockets, and send of her fullness for their necessities? Hungary, yes, poor, bleeding Hungary, sought aid and found it here. The nation's heart responded. Greece stretched forth her hands not in vain. Shall the imploring cry of destitute, starving Kansas reach no pitying heart?
Gov. Shannon has been at Lecompton for some time. He did not come to Lawrence, as he proposed, and it is said he is soon going home. The glory won here in his famous war will probably suffice him for the remnant of his life, and he may conclude to retire upon his laurels.
The circuit court should have met last week at Lecompton, but after keeping the prisoners there all of the week, the judge not then appearing, the court was adjourned until the March term. Some of the rescuers have given bail, but T. and S. still refused to do so, as it would be recognizing the Missouri territorial justice. Getting weary of waiting for Judge Lecompte's appearance, the patience of the border ruffians at Lecompton was exhausted. They even went so far as to threaten his removal, and cursed him in no stinted terms. S., with his love of a good joke, said,
"If you want to get him removed, I'll tell you how you may easily do it."
"How is it?" asked the renowned Sheriff Jones.
"Why, get him to join the free-state party."
Another outrage has been committed at Leavenworth. During Col. Delahay's absence, while attending the convention here, his press was thrown into the river. It looks singular, as he is a national democrat, and a personal friend of Stephen A. Douglas. He has also always been wonderfully conservative, and ever counselled no resistance to the laws. He was, with other leading men at Leavenworth, so fearful of doing anything to offend the border men, that he declined to do anything for the defence of Lawrence. Some of them said, "They have got into a scrape; let them get out the best way they can!" and one of them, a bachelor, said, "We must stay at home and defend our own wives and children." Col. Delahay, however, was a member of the constitutional convention, and it may be for this that the Missouri mob treated his press so rudely.
29th. -- Doctor arrived home from Kansas city. He had, in addition to his heavy fur coat, fur gloves, and fur-lined overshoes, a heavy shawl and mittens, and was very cold even then. On his way down he suffered so severely from the cold, that with assistance he went into an Indian hut to warm, and for a half hour lay fainting on the door. The cold at Kansas city has been even greater than here. It is apparently quiet along the border, yet the press in the frontier towns, as well as those papers of pro-slavery sentiments in the territory, are endeavoring to inflame the populace in such articles as the following, taken from the Kickapoo Pioneer, of Dec. 26:
"But the abolitionists, or free-state men, if you please, have become dissatisfied, and are willing to violate the constitution of their country, which explicitly recognizes slavery, and disfranchise themselves as loyal citizens, for the purpose of stealing negroes, and committing other unconstitutional and unlawful depredations. Should such men receive any compassion from an orderly, union-loving people? No! It is this class of men that have congregated at Lawrence, and it is this class of men that Kansas must get rid of. And we know of no better method than for every man who loves his country, and the laws by which he is governed, to meet in Kansas and kill off this God-forsaken class of humanity as soon as they place their feet upon our soil."
While articles like these are circulated through the borders, letters, calling for men and money, are industriously written and published throughout the South. Southern Kansas aid societies are being formed, and it is rumored that Gen. Quitman, of Mississippi, of fillibuster renown, has given twenty-five hundred dollars to this society, and will be here in the spring with several hundred men from that state. Major Buford, of Alabama, has contributed twenty-five thousand dollars for a similar purpose, and upon the opening of navigation proposes to be here with three hundred southerners. Notwithstanding the hue and cry made over northern emigrant aid societies, will there be aught said against these?
Jan. 1st. -- A beautiful, sunny morning ushers in the new year, but the air is still keen and cold. For nearly ten days the cold has been without precedent, and we, of New England, who came hoping to find warm and pleasant winters, begin to surmise we are in the wrong latitude, and talk of a new emigration still southward.
A gentleman here to-day, who has lived in Missouri over twenty years, says he has never seen such weather as this. With his large, blue blankets, a place being cut in the centre through which he slips his head, his ears and nearly the whole of the face being protected by a worsted fabric of gray color, one can hardly tell whether he belongs to the Anglo-Saxon or the aboriginal race. The little boy, whose family has but recently moved into the next house beyond us, has been in, nearly frozen. He carries all the water the family use from our spring, making a distance of nearly half a mile. He is a slight little fellow, and only twelve years old. He has two pails, and dips the water with a half-pint cup. He sits a long time by the dining-room stove, and seems to suffer much from his frost-bitten fingers. There is to be a new-year's party at the hotel, and the lovers of gayety will be there.
6th. -- Who ever saw so clear a morning as this? The smoke from the Indian houses over in the Delaware Reserve, and five miles away, could be seen gracefully curling and rising above the trees, as plainly as that from the house nearest us. The smoke rising from so many dwellings, far and near, from the compact settlement of Lawrence, and the sun shining upon the snow, making it look like a broad mantle studded with glittering gems, formed a pleasing, novel sight, well worth a place in memory's gallery.
10th. -- What odd-looking sleighs our people ride in, and how they glide over the smooth, level way! Yankee invention, so much despised, brings a mine of comfort to her frontier children. A sleigh is wanted; the enterprising youth goes into the woods, and cuts two poles long enough for runners and shafts. A little part between the shafts and runners, leaving each the required length, is shaved from the upper side, so that they will bend easily. A few little cross-pieces being put in, and two or three cross-boards on the runners, with a box for a seat, the vehicle is complete. This is the most simple contrivance of all. There is another variety of wagon-body on runners, which has the advantage of greater safety over the other, with sufficient lightness. From the first we have learned of some laughable accidents. A day or two since, two young men were riding quite briskly along, when, coming to a drift, the horse stopped suddenly, and one of our friends, quicker than thought, found himself head foremost in a deep bank, little more than boots being visible. He was so completely pinioned by the depth of snow, and by the force with which he was sent from the slight vehicle, that it was only after extra help had arrived that he was extricated. He suffered no injury, and joined in the laugh of the bystanders.
19th. -- Word came in last night, about eleven o'clock, of an attack at Easton, two messengers having narrowly escaped with the intelligence. S. had gone down, late at night, to see if there was any news, and he brought back the startling intelligence that a fight had occurred at Easton. One pro-slavery man, named Cook, mortally wounded; some free-state men in the hands of the mob, whom they threatened to hang if Cook dies. The council of war was to be held, and doctor went down with S. immediately. Not long after I was awakened again by a loud knocking at the door. I opened the window and asked, "What's wanted?" The reply was, "The general wishes T. to saddle the horse and send him down by me." After some amusing and fruitless efforts, T. was at last awakened enough to know that war was abroad, and the horse was soon on his way to head-quarters.
Two or three horsemen left immediately for Leavenworth, to apply to Judge Lecompte for a writ of habeas corpus, that the prisoners might be released from the gang, while others started for Easton, the scene of the trouble. Our people are feeling much excited, and ready to lend any assistance to their neighbors in peril.
Owing to the disturbances at Leavenworth on the fifteenth of December, and from rumors of another mob gathering just across the river, to prevent this election of the fifteenth of January, the mayor issued a proclamation forbidding an election to be held at Leavenworth. A few of the free-state men then went to Easton, about twelve miles from Leavenworth, where the election had been postponed until the seventeenth. On their way to the polls, some persons were stopped and disarmed by a body of armed men. In the afternoon a company came to Mr. Minard's house, where the election was held, and threatened to destroy the ballot-boxes. Late at night, as Mr. Sparks and his son were leaving for home, they were attacked and taken prisoners by three men. Information of it reached Mr. Minard immediately, by a man who left his house in company with Mr. Sparks. Mr. Brown and a company of others went to the relief of Mr. Sparks, and saved him when in imminent peril. As the rescued returned with the rescuers to the house, they were fired upon. They returned the fire, and an irregular fight, firing from behind buildings, commenced. One or two free-state men were slightly wounded, while a Mr. Cook, of bitter pro-slavery feelings, was wounded mortally.
21st. -- Sunday. Our messengers returned to-night, and brought certain knowledge of the murder of R. P. Brown. The blood chilled in our veins as we heard the recital of the horrid outrage, and the beating heart cried, is there no justice -- no avenger? After Mr. S. left for Lawrence, Mr. Brown, and seven others from Leavenworth, attempted to return there. They were followed, and taken prisoners by the Kickapoo Rangers, headed by Capt. John W. Martin. Mr. Brown was placed in a room apart from the others of his party. The hours were passing, and the men who had them in their power were becoming yet more brutal by the free use of liquor, and they were bent upon the death of Mr. Brown. Capt. Martin used his influence to prevent such a deed; but, after doing all in his power to save him, he went home. The cruel crowd then took him out of the house, and, with blows and kicks, and knocking him upon the frozen earth, and literally hacking him in pieces with a hatchet, they showed themselves fiendish beyond the unenlightened savage. Then throwing him into a wagon, with wounds undressed, he was borne several miles, through the piercing cold of a January night, to his home. He could only say to his wife, "I am murdered by a set of cowards," and death ended his sufferings.
The slave power has another victim, and the shame, the eternal infamy of his mournful death will forever, like an incubus, rest upon his soul who has the power, yet offers no interference against the hunting down of our citizens, by worse than Florida blood-hounds! Was there ever an administration so utterly vile as this?
Mr. Brown was a tall man, with pleasant dark eyes, olive-brown complexion, and dark abundant hair. He was at Lawrence during the siege; one of the few from Leavenworth who ventured so far from home. While Kansas' wrongs are written in the blood of her citizens, the cruel, bloody death of her fourth martyr for freedom will never be effaced from the memories of the dwellers in this far-away land.
23d. -- More messengers are in from Easton; men driven from their homes upon peril of their lives, and with continued threats of violence. They come to Lawrence, as to a city of refuge. Mr. Sparks is now in peril from bands of armed Missourians. Some twenty-five men go up from here and Topeka. One man, who came down to notify the people here, escaped from a band of twelve-men in hot pursuit, -- something after Gen. Putnam's mode, of revolutionary memory, -- by leaping over a precipitous bank, while the enemy did not dare follow. While they were looking for a smoother descent, he had time to escape. After Mr. M. had been obliged to leave his home, some of the ruffians went to his house, asking "if they could come in to get warm." Mrs. M. replied, "they could do so by giving her their guns." As they sat by the fire, they told her "they had killed her husband." However, she gave no credence to it.
Major Robinson, of Tecumseh, died to-day. He has been ill most of the time since the invasion of Lawrence, the disease having been contracted from exposure at that time. For some time he was sick at the Cincinnati House; but there is little room there for sick people, and no quiet; and the noble woman, who has sacrificed much for the cause, in the exposures of last winter and this, and the constant absence of her husband, offered her cabin, under the shadow of the hotel, as a place of rest and quiet to the sick stranger. The unconsciousness of disease was upon him much of the time, and when his mind was dull to things about him, faraway scenes were fresh in his memory, and friends he had long loved were ministering by his bedside. He talked much with his mother, when clouds darkened his mental vision. He said to her, "Take off my shoes, mother, for I am tired and weary, and I cannot travel further." So, with this sweet consciousness of loved friends around him, his life's journey closed.
24th. -- It was a little milder this morning; and, not having been out since the cold weather came, I proposed to T. to take me to call on a friend, and to the stores. Not knowing my arrangements, the doctor had lent both horse and carriage; and, as I came down stairs, cloak and bonnet on, they were already out of sight. T. said, "We'll not lose our ride in this way," and suggested taking Mr. P.'s buggy, which was in a sadly dilapidated condition, and a mule of somebody's else, quartered in the barn for a few days. My only question was as to safety, and we were soon rattling over the drifts, now one side inclining far down, threatening to spill us out, and then the other. This incessant rattling put speed into the wild mule, and a John Gilpin ride was had of it for the first quarter of a mile. However, by clinging to the frame-work of the seat, for there was nothing left of it but the frame-work, we passed over the ravine at the foot of the long sloping hill west of the house, in safety, and the mule took an easier gait both for himself and us. We reached the place of our destination. A gentleman opened the door, and asked very blandly, "Is this the state carriage?"
Doctor having had a more recent title than that of general bestowed upon him, I answered, "Yes; and will your wife accept the honor of a ride?"
He looked with a dubious expression at the broken dasher, swinging forward and back at every motion, the bottom half broken out, the shafts tied on with ropes, and the seat cushionless, and destitute of every bit of leather it ever boasted, to say nothing of broken springs, and wheels with tire half off, and said, "Yes, if you will insure her safety."
With blue blankets before and around us, instead of buffalo-robes, we were soon on our way to town, and harried along at the mule's own pace. We laughed until we were weary at the mule's antic motions, never before having had the honor of a ride after one. T. and Mrs. C., both Boston bred, laughed at the idea of what an impression such an establishment, and such speed, would make down Washington-street some pleasant winter's day. After a short call at our stores, than which there are none better in most New England villages, neatly furnished as some of them are with black walnut shelves and counters, we went home.
Letters from Kansas city and Leavenworth state that some deep-laid scheme for our ruin is being planned. They do not know what it is, yet advise us to prepare for the worst. There is a perfect lull at those places, -- no bravado, no threats, -- all of which reminds us of the fearful calm always preceding the bursting out of a volcano. Prominent pro-slavery men are seen riding into a town; they hold a few moments' conversation with the leaders of their party there, then disappear. Quickly they are at another settlement; but no word is dropped as to the designs.
A half ton of lead, and nearly as much powder, arrived to-day. Other teams, loaded with the same needful, are on the way. Provisions, too, are fast coming in, and we will soon be able to stand quite a siege. Sixty men, detailed from the various companies, are at work upon the different fortifications. A guard is again to watch hourly for our safety.
The Kickapoo Pioneer office issued, on the morning after the murder of Brown, January 18th, the following extra, commencing, "Rally! rally!" After making several misstatements, -- among others, that an abolition company from Lawrence had made an attack upon the pro-slavery men, -- it goes on: forbearance has now ceased to be a virtue; therefore, we call upon every pro-slavery man in the land to rally to the rescue. Kansas must be immediately rescued from the tyrannical dogs. The Kickapoo Rangers are at this moment beating to arms. A large number of pro-slavery men will leave this place for Easton in twenty minutes. The war has again commenced, and the abolitionists have again commenced it. Pro-slavery men, law and order men, strike for your altars! strike for your firesides! strike for your rights! Avenge the blood of your brethren who have been cowardly assailed, but who have bravely fallen in defence of southern institutions. Sound the bugle of war over the length and breadth of the land, and leave not an abolitionist in the territory to relate their treacherous and contaminating deeds. Strike your piercing rifle-balls and your glittering steel to their black and poisonous hearts! Let the war-cry never cease in Kansas again until our territory is wrested of the last vestige of abolitionism."
25th. -- Still more snow. The beautiful white covering lies two feet in depth on a level, and four or five in the drifts all over the country. It is the shield, the protection of the good Father for our defence. While the administration, with that corruption which will make it infamous in the annals of our country in all coming time, turns a deaf ear to the agonized cry of widows and orphans; while the President says, "No acts prejudicial to good order have occurred under circumstances to justify the interposition of the federal government," the ear of Him, who will call to account for his stewardship any who make so base a use of power, is open, and he sends, for the present safety, this weather of unequalled severity, and fast-falling snows.
Horses go ploughing through it, with difficulty making any headway. The most people we see moving to-day are with heavy sleds of wood, drawn by three or four yoke of oxen. We burn a cord and a half of wood a week, and, our wood-pile growing less not very gradually, we have watched with a good deal of interest a load which attempted to come up the hill this afternoon. The oxen pulled with all their strength; the driver now coaxed, and then scolded. The oxen would lose their foothold, and plunge headlong into the deep drifts. Sometimes the forward yoke of cattle would turn fairly around, and face the load. All exertions to right them were of no avail until they were unyoked. As the night was coming fast, and the driver two miles from home, the load was thrown off about half way up the hill. The next morning the man came back, and succeeded in getting half of the load to the house. He was until midnight getting home the previous night, as he lost his way and wandered about hours in the darkness.
Wood is one of the principal articles of consumption here this winter. Most of that burned is black walnut. There is also no lack of provisions here. Flour of the best quality can be bought in Missouri for four dollars and a half per hundred. We have always had good flour until this winter. Just after the invasion, a load of flour made of grown wheat was brought in. Apples, of the best quality and flavor, are very plenty. They sold in the autumn for one dollar a bushel. Sweet potatoes were abundant at one dollar twenty-five cents. These, with the apples, came from Missouri, but the nicest squashes and other vegetables were raised in the territory. Squashes sold for one cent per pound, and pumpkins one dollar and fifty cents per hundred. Butter, made here, is very nice, and until quite recently has been plenty at twenty-five cents. Milk varies from four to ten cents per quart. Beside the meats, beef, etc., venison, prairie chickens, turkeys, rabbits and squirrels, are often in the market; also oysters, in sealed cans. Yet, with all these gratifications for the palate, it is more than probable that, all these long days, some of our people have not tasted of them for want of money to buy them. Many a person gave freely of what he had in the siege of December, and while on guard at Lawrence lost all of his crops at home. As a people we are bankrupt. Remittances from the East are lost, or the same thing to us, retained, with letters, by the officious meddlers in government pay in a neighboring state. Money drafts are months on their way, when twelve or fourteen days is all-sufficient time for the journey. The people in the territory are at no time safe. The cabin of the lone settler on the prairie is momentarily exposed to attack, yet no light comes from Congress -- none from its head.
This winter will be ever remembered for its unprecedented severity, and for that wicked use of power by the administration which would make the career of Caligula magnanimous and spotless in the comparison. Those who sit in sealed houses, and by warm hearth-stones, no foes without or fears within, can never realize, as we in Kansas, on the exposed outposts, what a winter this has been to us. Our senses sharpened by the actual necessities of life, and our perceptions quickened by their unsleeping vigilance and constant action, none better than we can realize the terrible infamy which will cling to those who have been the chief abettors in filling up this cup of evil. Wrong-doing has marked their pathway, and shame will be their reward. Yet there is a golden bow of promise over us, the bright rainbow of hope; and, in characters clear as the sunlight and radiant as truth, beneath the arch encircling the snow-clad hills and prairies, and the sad dwellers among them, is written: "The days of the tyrant are numbered. He will hasten on his own downfall."