EARLY on the morning of the 17th, with a brother of my husband, and a friend, I left for Lecompton, or for Uncle Sam's Bastile on the Kansas prairies, which had been moved a mile and a half, or two miles, from that tribunal of justice. It was only a day or two since persons had been allowed to go in, and some doubt existed whether I could have the privilege. We came in sight of the tents. There were three in one row, with poles set along in front, and cloth spread over them, and upon the tents, making a long shady place, which E. told me was called the "pavilion." The tents being a few feet apart, the cloth stretching over them, made a fine place to sit, for the table and all culinary arrangements. Another row of tents was pitched in front of them, with only a driveway between, while the captain's tent was on a rise of ground a little distant.
The carriage was driven to the officers' tent, and A. went to inquire if we could go in. He looked vexed as he returned and said, "You can go in." I said, "Can't you go too?" "Not without going to Jones, for a pass, and unless C. wants to see me very much, I'll not go to him."
I ran down, and met my husband just outside the tent; the sentinel was pacing back and forth close to the pavilion, musket in hand. He stopped a half moment at the sight of a new face, then resumed the everlasting tread. I went back to tell A. that C. wished to see him, and he started for Lecompton. The prisoners looked well, with the exception of Judge S., who was suffering with chills, and were contented, and hopeful that their imprisonment would accomplish more good than their liberty could. The prisoners now had their papers, and letters, and two or three friends had been in. Some books also had been sent up. For exercise, they walked in front of the tents, brought wood from the timber close by, and water from the spring a little distant. They notified the guard of their desire to take these short trips, by saying, "I want a gun;" and a man with a musket would be provided. The screeching of the trumpets, calling the soldiers to their various duties, added not a little to a headache, induced by weariness and anxiety. If ever I realized that there was more truth than poetry in the words of Mrs. Swisshelm, when she said, "I never see a man in regimentals but I think somebody has lost his monkey," it was when I saw daily the want of power to set out one's manliness, while remaining in the army. One's feelings were continually outraged by arrests made, the troops acting as "posse commitatus." To join the army is to become an automaton, in action at least.
On the 19th, Haney again appeared in the streets of Lawrence, at the head of about forty dragoons. Mr. Legate was in the street. Haney commanded him to assist in arresting a Mr. Colburn; he refused to do it.
"Haney became excited, and ordered the troops to arrest Mr. Legate, and take him to the camp. They then commanded the prisoner to walk before them, which he refused doing under any circumstances whatever. One of the dragoons then dismounted and Legate took his seat in the saddle, and a company of horse conducted him to the camp.
"Haney then rode up and down Massachusetts-street with the troops, looking for some one to make prisoner; at the same time swearing vengeance against the people of Lawrence, and declaring that 'he would keep the troops here until the snow fell, if necessary, to arrest the free-state men or abolitionists;' 'the d--d town must be subdued,' etc.
"At this time, he saw Major Hoyt walking across the street. He immediately drove up to where Hoyt was, followed by the dragoons, and said:
"'Mr. Hoyt, you are my prisoner.'
"'By what authority do you arrest me?" asked Hoyt.
"By the authority of the territorial laws,' replied Haney.
"Hoyt then demanded to see the writs for his arrest. The deputy said he had none. Hoyt then refused to be molested by him, and proceeded to walk across the street. Haney did not know what to do at this crisis. He was relieved from his dilemma by the lieutenant of the company, riding up to Hoyt, and commanding him to halt, and saying,
"'I arrest you; you are my prisoner, and must go with me.'
"The dragoons surrounded their victim, and he was forced go to the camp. The soldiers soon returned, and went to a grocery where they were all treated to a drink. The whiskey was passed around among them in large wooden buckets, and they were allowed to drink as they could. They then returned to camp and took the prisoners to Lecompton.
"When they reached there, Gov. Shannon refused to recognize Haney as having any authority to arrest prisoners, and informed the worthy that he had no right to bring prisoners there.
"Sheriff Jones was on hand, and prepared papers for the re-arrest of the prisoners instanter.
"Gov. Shannon, seeing that Jones had the advantage of possessing 'legal' papers for the arrest, said no more, and the prisoners were then taken to a cabin. Dr. Legate was put in irons by order of the sheriff, and they were both locked up for the night."
The same night, the soldiers, in a state of intoxication, were prowling about Lawrence, breaking into houses, and making a noise generally. At this time the people of Lawrence came in carriage-loads to see the "traitors." Capt. Walker, the officer in command, had power, for a few days, to allow any persons to come in. The opportunity was improved. They came bringing books, strawberries, gooseberries, figs, lemons, prunes, ice-creams, and early vegetables. There was a general thoughtfulness for the "prisoners," and none came empty-handed. Little Marshal Cramer, whose inferior, even distressed looking face, has gained him the soubriquet of "monkey-faced," called one day with Col. Preston, who had been one of my husband's guard on his removal from Lexington. He did not say anything, but he evidently thought the prisoners were bearing the changes of life too lightly. He gave the captain orders not to let any one in, or even letters. Then there was a day or two, when persons coming were not allowed to see the prisoners, but Mrs. J. and I could go out to the captain's tent, and see them. I was much amused one day, when a gentleman from Lawrence with his wife came. He had also with him the wife of a gentleman, against whom the pro-slavery party had some bitterness, and she was introduced to the captain and lieutenant by her maiden name. She was very young and girlish looking, and as she was talking pleasantly with the lieutenant, though earnestly, upon the outrageous course of President Pierce, he, in a laughing way, said, "You are a little fanatic, but you'll marry some Southerner one of these days." She laughed, and went on talking. The lieutenant is of southern birth, but is far from intolerant, and no one could have treated the prisoners more gentlemanly. Capt. Walker too seemed to feel hurt at this "shutting down" upon the prisoners, and told me "he would do anything he could for them, but he must obey orders." Marshal Donaldson came in a day or two, and denied having sent any new orders to Cramer, and again any one could come in.
Evans was released toward the last of June. Efforts had been made to bail him out, but the bogus Probate Judge, Dr. J. N. O. P. Wood, of former notoriety at Lawrence, fixed the bail at five thousand dollars. The love of freedom is a crime in Kansas. The probable reason of the release was a disinclination on the part of the pro-slavery men to bear the extra expense of prisoners. Not being "traitors," the United States government could not be charged with their support.
On the 26th, two young men arrived in Lawrence, from New York, by means of a pass from Atchison. Sixty men coming to settle in the territory, with ploughs, harrows, and all farming implements, were turned back, after being disarmed, first at Lexington, then at Leavenworth, by Atchison and Stringfellow.
The Missourians not only have become plunderers and highwaymen, but pirates, in the service of the present administration. A few days after, Dr. Cutter's party, from Massachusetts, were also robbed, and sent back. At Liberty, the cannon on the shore was fired, and directions were given to the gunner "not to fire too high, as people were on the opposite bank." At Weston, Buford, and twenty others, came on board, and kept them under strict surveillance until the boat reached St. Louis.
While such deeds of blood and violence were being committed on the river, the Indian agent, Gay, was killed, near Westport, by some of Buford's men. Upon his replying in the affirmative to the question, "Are you in favor of making Kansas a free state?" he was immediately shot.
Bands of the marauders infested the woods on the Westport route. They plundered wagons of provisions, for subsistence, and struck down the unwary. In camp we were awakened one morning by loud words near by. One of the "chivalry" was talking to Col. Sumner in no gentlemanly way.
When the news of the nomination of Buchanan and Breckenridge was received in Lecompton, a meeting was called. The celebrated "Sheriff Jones" was the president of the meeting, while kindred spirits filled the other offices. The following resolutions was unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, That we have entire confidence in James Buchanan and John C. Breckenridge, as sound and true national democrats, and believe them to be the best men who could have been selected as the exponents of the principles of the platform adopted by the Cincinnati convention, and noble standard-bearers, who will rally to themselves and their platform all Union-loving men and true democrats.
"Resolved, That we do most heartily approve and endorse the leading measures of the administration of Franklin Pierce, and have the utmost confidence in the integrity and patriotism of S. A. Douglas; and while some of us may have preferred the nomination of one or two other of these able statesmen, yet we do heartily endorse the nomination of James Buchanan, and look upon his election as necessary to the stability and safety of the Union."
On the 23d the prisoners received an accession to their numbers in the persons of Capt. John Brown, Jr., and H. H. Williams, likewise dignified with the name of "traitors." The former was still insane from the ill-treatment received while in charge of the troops. These gentlemen, upon hearing of the intended attack upon Lawrence in May, had, in company with one hundred others from the region of Osawattomie, left their homes for her defence. Having heard, when a few miles distant, that the people of Lawrence would make no resistance to the force brought against them, they returned to their homes. Fifteen of them were at first taken prisoners by a part of Whitfield's gang of ruffians. Seven were rescued, and eight taken for trial to Tecumseh, after being kept in irons two weeks, under the guard of United States troops, Capt. Wood, of company C, commanding.
Capt. Brown had a rope tied around his arms so tightly, and drawn behind him, that he will for years bear the marks of the ropes, where they wore into his flesh. He was then obliged to hold one end of a rope, the other end being carried by one of the dragoons; and for eight miles, in a burning sun, he was driven before them, compelled to go fast enough to keep from being trampled on by the horses. On being taken to Tecumseh, they were chained two and two, with a common trace-chain, and padlock at each end. It was so fixed as to clasp tightly around the ankle. One day they were driven thirty miles, with no food from early morning until night. The journey in a hot June day was most torturing to them. Their chains wore upon their ankles until one of them, unable to go further, was placed upon a horse.
The testimony at Tecumseh was general against them, all alike; but five were released, while the three, who are members of the Topeka Legislature, were retained.
The people of Lecompton, hearing of the new arrival of the free-state men in the territory, were in continued fears of attacks. Their days were filled with rumors of intended attacks, and their nights with vigils. For several days before the 3d of July, Col. Titus, and other choice spirits, had called upon Capt. Walker more frequently than usual, and the 31st of June was spent by them in consultation. July 1st, about eleven and a half o'clock, Mr. P., of the N. Y. Tribune, and E., the young lady who had been part of my household, came from Lawrence. Our plan had been for E. to remain with me a few days, while Mrs. J. could go down to look after her family at home. They were informed by the captain that they "could not come into the tents." Afterwards an unwilling consent was given that "E. could come in, and Mrs. J. go to Lawrence; but Mrs. J. could not come back until after the sixth, and not then if there was any trouble at Topeka."
Mr. P. asked "what authority he had for such restrictions; and the officer's reply was, "I have authority." Mr. Dietzler also asked him "if he had orders from the marshal;" and his reply, given with a good deal of hesitancy, and an evident effort at dignity, "I do not act without orders," was certainly equivocal.
After the carriage conveying our disappointed visitors back to Lawrence was fairly out of sight, Capt. W. returned to our tents saying, "I forgot to mention that I shall move camp in about an hour. I will have a wagon here to convey you there." So, with finishing getting dinner, etc., the hour passed away, and Col. Titus' big wagon, greasy from having transported bacon, was obliged to wait a half hour, while I washed, and Mr. Dietzler dried the dishes, Judge Smith and my husband packing them in boxes and baskets. Mrs. J. was busy in other matters preparatory to a move, while the rest were striking the tents, and taking down our pavilion. At last we were packed in with bags, baskets, and anything we preferred carrying in our own care, and jolted along the mile and a half in a scorching sun. A mule team was in advance. Some of the blue coats rode each side of us, and the main body of this portion of the President's army of subjugation brought up the rear. Out in the prairie, less than a mile from Lecompton, we came to a double log cabin, and as we alighted, and our chairs were taken from the wagon, the captain, pointing to the right hand cabin, said, "You can go in there, and stay." We went in. There was no window, and no air in the cabin; but a woman, dressed in bright-red calico, with blue undersleeves, black mits, and shingle sun bonnet, sat there sewing on a muslin of gay colors, in stripes of exceeding width. My husband said something to her; but she seemed anything but social, and we took our chairs and walked out again. The space between the buildings was shady; so we sat there and read our newspapers, and looked at the men as they pitched the tents in the rear of the cabin.
The other room was occupied by the owner of the place, a Pennsylvanian and a free-state man; and for a week only had this cabin been rented to a pro-slavery family. Neither of these families had been consulted in this arrangement of the camp; but a brother of the pro-slavery man, living in Lecompton, had expressed his approval. When the pro-slavery man came home at night, he made loud threats of "driving off the free-state man, and holding his claim."
Towards evening a padlock was tried upon the door, and at dark we were ordered to sleep in the log cabin, the family being driven from their home. It was the intention of Capt. W. to lock the door; but Messrs. J. and D. talked to him so rousingly, telling him, "if they were to be hung, he had better begin then, as it would be better than suffocation," that he failed to carry his plans into execution. So seven men and two women had to stay in one little room without a window. The mattresses lay so close upon the floor that ours was slid partly under the bedstead, upon which Mrs. J. sat up to fan herself until near morning, when she retreated to the tents for a short nap. Had the want of air, and the oppression been less, sleep would have been prevented by the continual noise during the night. Fifteen "law-and-order" men, from Lecompton, came in at different times in the night to offer their services in case of a rescue; and that Capt. W. took them to his tent and "treated" them, has never been denied. All night "Halt!" "Who goes there?" "A friend." "Sergeant of the guard!" "Advance!" resounded.
July 3d. -- Yesterday and to-day the heat has been oppressive. Some of the prisoners suggest that it is greater on account of our proximity to Lecompton. They say "they can smell the brimstone and see the smoke." A part of our things were not brought from the other camp, as promised, and, without any shade, we have to cook and eat, suffering much from the heat. If we did not laugh and make merry, the wrinkles in our faces would become indelibly fixed. While we, as all dwellers in Kansas, feel a terrible hatred to tyranny, which those living in quiet homes can never appreciate, we are still quick to catch the stray sunbeams on our pathway, and to our courage add cheerfulness. Judge S., with his dry saying, would make the longest and most sedate countenance shorten in a smile; and no company of the same number could have been found with a more pervading love of fun, and a greater fund of good-humor. So, however "dark the cloud, we find the silver lining."
There is an ever-present indignation at the course of the administration and its underlings; but with it there is the realization strong as the "everlasting hills," that its villany will work its own ruin.
Woodson, Fain, and other "law-and-order" men from Lecompton, were in camp yesterday. Several of these men have sat in their wagon watching us a long time to-day. They tried quite perseveringly to learn who were the tenants of the various tents, and "which was which" of the prisoners. One of them came into our tents without asking permission of the captain, and was ordered away several times by the guard before leaving. They appeared to feel themselves particularly privileged above other men, and it was amusing to see them march along with great nonchalance in spite of the sentinel's cry of "Halt!" but it was more so when a sudden period was put to their locomotion, as the guard levelled his gun at them, and they, with an assumed air of innocent ignorance, cried, "Halt! halt! is it us you are hallooing at?"
Capt. Brown has been ill several days; and, for a day or two, delirious. To get the air, he lay out upon the ground in the shadow of the tents. Physicians from Lawrence were sent for; also provisions.
Towards evening great preparations for defence were made. Large government wagon-bodies were taken from the wheels, and placed against the open space between the cabins. They were filled with corn, barrels, and sacks. Capt. W. flitted around, as though he had the affairs of a continent resting upon his shoulders, until the barricades were completed. He also compelled the free-state family to vacate their room. He knocked the chinking out of the walls and took possession.
The family went half a mile to their nearest neighbor's to sleep, and every night and morning we had a general move between the house and tents. When the "tattoo" sounded, it was our signal for retreat to the poor little prison.
Drs. P. and T. did not arrive at camp until after nine o'clock, and Capt. Brown was obliged to go to the officers' tent to see them. Provisions and clothing, brought in by another team, were taken there, as well as the mail, and not an article escaped strict search.
4th. -- There were three men in from Lecompton last night. The captain took them into his cabin to show them the port-holes. There was also a ruse last night. A pistol-shot was fired; then the word came that the picket-guard had been fired upon. Capt. W. was in motion -- but some little time elapsed before he sent any one down to the guard. The matter was probably understood among the men.
There has been no battle yet! The wagon-bodies are all whole, and the corn-bags yet undisturbed! Capt. W.'s head is yet safe, and the world moves on! At daybreak there were three more ruffians at the captain's tent. About eight o'clock Crowder, one of the pretended officials, came also to his tent, and had a long conference. The horses of the privates are continually lent to these men, of which they complain bitterly. We did not receive our papers from the officers' tent until the middle of the forenoon. (A letter was never given to one of the prisoners.)
Was there ever such a glorious country as this, with petty tyrants made weak-headed by a little power? Austrian despotism is liberty in comparison.
We heard this morning, from Lecompton, that the cause of our removal here was to protect that town; an agreement of mutual protection having been entered into by the people there and Capt. W. We are also acquainted with the movements of our friends, notwithstanding the watchful vigilance of our heroic keeper.
5th. -- Last night brought the intelligence of the dispersion of the Legislature at the point of the bayonet. Col. Sumner arrived here this morning, and three companies of troops passed by. Capt. W. came down to our tents with Col. Sumner. Col. S. said "he was sorry the Legislature did not disperse at the reading of the proclamation; that the free-state men had injured their own cause."
My husband replied, "that he was sorry they dispersed until he fired upon them, and, if he had been there, he would obliged him to do so."
"You could not have obliged me to do it, for I should not have fired." When Col. S. was asked what he would have done he said, "I might have tied your arms behind you."
My husband told him the constitution gave them a right to meet and memorialize Congress. The treatment we had received the last week was also plainly stated to Col. S., and he at once ordered our letters given us, and our friends to be allowed to come in. Judge S. was very ill again, and in his delirium the week's course of discipline seemed to be on his mind.
Another page has been written, in the history of the American people, in unparalleled infamy. Another scene in this dark and tragic drama of crushing out a free people has been enacted. Instead of the brilliant panorama and festive scenes which for years past, on this anniversary, have spoken the heart-gladness for liberties gained through years of struggle, the people of this mighty nation wear sackcloth and mourning. The star-spangled banner no longer waves over a free people, but is dragged through the blood of those slain, at the bidding of a merciless administration, on Kansas plains. Mr. P., an eye-witness, eloquently tells the thrilling story:
"The national flag floated proudly over Topeka on the Fourth of July; and over the hall of legislation, or state buildings, was displayed a flag, American in every respect, save that among the stars was a larger additional star on the corner -- the orphan star of Kansas.
"Around the large new hotel the convention had assembled and proceeded to transact its business. Some half a dozen military companies, in handsome uniform, paraded about. Ladies promenaded, with little banners flying from their parasols. The scene was highly interesting.
"In spite of the apparent indifference, many hearts throbbed anxiously for the denouement of the day's proceedings. It was well known that nearly all the military force in Kansas was concentrated within a few hundred yards in Topeka, and that in the camp of Col. Sumner was Secretary Woodson, the infamous Jeffreys Lecompte, Donaldson, who led on the plundering hordes to the sack of Lawrence, Judges Cato and Elmore, and other influential pro-slavery men; and it was also known that those men, who have shown the most inveterate hostility to the settlers of Kansas, were plotting mischief against them. All this was known, and, although it might make the pulsation of some hearts beat quicker, it neither disturbed nor affected their action.
"About ten o'clock, United States Marshal Donaldson, accompanied by Judge Elmore, entered the town, and gave it to be understood that he had a proclamation to read. The convention paused in its business, and invited these gentlemen to the stand. Donaldson being, like Moses, not particularly well qualified for public speaking, called on his Aaron, in the shape of Judge Elmore, who read the proclamation of the President, dated in February -- a law-and-order document, the signification of which was comprehended at the time, and which was now made to do its work in the drama, 'We will subdue you.' Next was read the second proclamation of Gov. Shannon, issued a month ago; and then followed the proclamation of Secretary Woodson, which, acting under presidential authority, commanded the Legislature to disperse, and threatened it with violence from the troops in case they did not submit to this order. The proclamation being read, these gentlemen made their exodus as they had made their advent, neither being accompanied by any external or visible symptoms of a moral earthquake; and the convention proceeded with its business, which had been interrupted. This evidently chagrined Donaldson, who turned round and interrupted the debate upon a resolution, by asking if we had any reply to carry down to Col. Sumner. The president informed Mr. D. that this assemblage was not the Legislature, to which the proclamation had been specially addressed, but asked him if it was desired that we should send any reply. Donaldson said No, but, if we had anything to send, he would convey it. The president, on behalf of the convention, informed him that we had no communication to send.
"These gentlemen left, and matters went on as before. It was nearly twelve o'clock, the sun was blazing down, and the thermometer stood at 100ø, when we learned that Col. Sumner, with five companies of cavalry and two pieces of brass cannon, were leaving their camp and approaching Topeka in full military array. Although they were only two hundred yards off, the report did not disturb the convention or other matters. If resistance had been intended, Col. Sumner never would have entered Topeka, and would have been met before he could get possession. It had been determined that no resistance should be offered the United States troops, but that we should proceed with our business, and let them do their worst.
"But Col. Sumner fulfilled his duty in as gentlemanly a manner as such wretched orders could be obeyed. At the moment of his approach, the two Topeka companies, F. and G., were drawn up before the legislative hall building. They had just marched up the street, preceded by martial music, and had formed in front of the State House to receive a banner the ladies had made for company G. The street was filled with a crowd, among whom were many ladies and children, when Col. Sumner appeared with his forces, rapidly debouching into Kansas Avenue. With great rapidity and considerable military skill he threw his men forward, and by rapid orders, shouted in a stern, shrill voice, formed his companies into the strongest form they could occupy for their service. Perhaps many hearts beat faster when they thought that a scene of carnage might in the next few minutes blot out the startling and brilliant panorama. On the one hand, the armed and uniformed dragoons, with flashing sabres; on the other, only two Topeka companies, with their two banners, one of them just received, bearing the inscription, "Our lives for our rights.' Nobly they stood. While the dragoons approached, the band was playing, but the drummers continued to drum until the drumsticks nearly touched the noses of the advancing horses of the dragoons, and only stopped when Sumner requested them. One little boy was beating the kettle-drum, and rattled it manfully, never turning to look at the dragoons. In the rapid movements of the dragoons in forming into position, they pressed on the Topeka companies, but those men kept their position, and only stepped out of their ranks when the horses were ridden up to them, and only then far enough not to be trampled on. The sharp, shrill voice of Sumner rung through Kansas Avenue and all around the State House, as he gave orders, and the dragoons wheeled into form. The two pieces of artillery were planted about a hundred yards up the street. They were said to be loaded with grape. The slow-match was lighted.
"After the dragoons were placed so as to suit Col. Sumner's taste, he dismounted, and walked towards the Assembly rooms. Both Senate and House stood adjourned to meet at twelve o'clock; a fact of which Col. Sumner appeared to be aware. The lower house was just assembling, when Col. Sumner inquired in the hall where the Legislature met. Mr. S. J. Tappan, Clerk (the Speaker, Mr. Minard, being absent), called the Legislature to order by rapping with the gavel on the Speaker's desk. He then called the roll, and, there not being a quorum, sent the Sergeant-at-Arms after the absentees. When Sumner had first entered, and had been invited forward, he was offered a chair at the desk; he jocularly asked if they wanted to make him Speaker. This was received by a hearty shout and laughter. The rooms were crowded by the citizens to witness the spectacle, and some ladies got into the room. The roll was again called by Mr. C. S. Pratt, Recording Clerk, and the absentees marked, when Col. Sumner rose and said:
"'Gentlemen, I am called upon this day to perform the most painful duty of my whole life. Under the authority of the President's proclamation, I am here to disperse this Legislature, and therefore inform you that you cannot meet. I therefore order you to disperse. God knows that I have no party feeling in this matter, and will hold none so long as I occupy my present position in Kansas. I have just returned from the borders, where I have been sending home companies of Missourians, and now I am ordered here to disperse you. Such are my orders, and you must disperse. I now command you to disperse. I repeat that this is the most painful duty of my whole life.'
"Judge Schuyler asked, 'Col. Sumner, are we to understand that the Legislature are driven out at the point of the bayonet?'
"Colonel Sumner: 'I shall use all the forces in my command to carry out my orders.'
"The Legislature dispersed. Some of the members in town did not appear at the hall; but the immortal number who responded to their names occupy a proud position. Some pleasant interchange of civilities occurred between Col. Sumner and persons in the hall-members and others. He left the hall, and mounted his horse, when he was reminded that he had not dispersed the Senate. He dismounted, and returned to the Senate Chamber, Donaldson going with him; Donaldson having also been present at the dispersion of the Legislature. The Senate had not yet been convened, as it was but very little past the appointed hour; but Col. Sumner, addressing them in their collective capacity, proceeded to disperse them in terms something similar to those used in the hall below. When he concluded there was a pause, the senators standing in a circle silently but respectfully. No one was in the hall but the senators, the Senate officers, Col. Sumner, Donaldson, and your correspondent. Col. Sumner broke the pause by asking if they intended to disperse. With calmness and dignity, Mr. Thornton, President of the Senate, replied that the Senate had not yet convened, and could not make any reply. He asked Col. Sumner if he could convene the Senate, so that they could make a reply to him. Col. Sumner replied that his orders were to prevent them from meeting, and that they could not convene, but must disperse.
"Here Donaldson stepped forward, and made the outrageous demand that the senators should promise not to assemble again, or he would arrest every member. Monstrous usurping villany for a federal officer! If he had writs from a court to serve on either of these officers, it was his duty to serve them independent of any contingency; if he had none, he had no right to arrest or molest a man, and as little thus to insult popular representatives thus assembled. Several senators told Col. Sumner that, when thus dispersed by him, they would of course disperse. Mr. Pillsbury said that they were there in no condition to resist the United States troops, and must of course disperse. Thus was the Senate dispersed.
"When Col. Sumner first entered the town, a committee from the mass convention immediately waited on him to ask if he intended to disperse the convention, or disband the military companies on parade. He replied that he did not; he merely intended to disperse the Legislature. While the dragoons were thus drawn up, and while Col. Sumner made this reply, three cheers were given for Col. Sumner. Mr. Redpath cried, 'Three cheers for Gov. Robinson!' which were given very heartily, and then three cheers for liberty. After Col. Sumner had dispersed both branches of the Assembly, and just as he proceeded to march off with his forces, in order to show that they respected him for his gentlemanly conduct, and did not hold him responsible for the grievous outrage, three cheers were given for Col. Sumner again, three cheers for the national flag, three cheers for the State Legislature, three cheers for John C. Fremont, which were given as the dragoons were moving off, and three groans for Pierce."