Kansas Free State
Articles in database from Kansas Free State: 26
Vol. 1, No. 1. Josiah Miller & R. G. Elliott, editors and proprietors. The Free State will be published every Wednesday at $2.00 per year, in advance.
The Kansas Free State. In order that our objects and the propriety of selecting the above as the name of our paper may appear more fully, we deem it necessary to make a few comments....It is new, significant, and sounds well to the lover of freedom and independence....The Free State shall...be uncompromisingly opposed to the introduction of slavery in Kansas as tending to impoverish the soil, to stifle all energy and enterprise, to paralyze the hand of industry, and to weaken intellectual effort....We then say no interference with slavery in the States, except so far as moral power and the force of example are concerned. Our friends in Missouri and at the South need have no apprehension of us interfering with their rights, or their own peculiar institutions....We are a Southerner ourselves -- late of South Carolina -- have a high admiration of Southern character,...but differ widely with the great majority in the great problem of the age -- African slavery....In conclusion, the Free State shall use every endeavor to maintain free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, free press, and freedom of religious faith. -- M.
Difficulties and Delay. No one can fully realize the many difficulties and disappointments incident to locating a press in Kansas....We visited the Territory in August and, after calling upon some of the most prominent men in the Territory, we learned that there were no papers established in Kansas and that they were in great demand, though we had determined early in April to establish a paper in Kansas, and visited the Territory for that purpose; Mr. Elliott, in the meantime, remaining near Cincinnati, intending to purchase our material and bring it on....But just at this time we discovered that Uncle Sam's mails were of no service to us whatever. We could receive nothing by mail from Mr. Elliott, and after waiting several weeks...we were obliged to leave the Territory and go to Cincinnati. There we found that he had written a great many letters, concerning our affairs, none of which came to our presence. We then purchased a portion of our office and set out for Kansas; but by this time the rivers had become so low that it was very tedious and expensive. After arriving at St. Louis, we were again detained, waiting until our type could be manufactured, the demand being so great Mr. Ladew was unable to keep a great variety on hand. Our office was also a long time getting up the Missouri River, owing to the low water.
Though, before we left the Territory, we had made a conditional arrangement for winter quarters at the Friend's Mission, we considered it best to come on to this place immediately; after having had promises, in August, from the agent of the Emigrant Aid Company, to furnish us lumber and otherwise assist us, provided we should locate our office in this place; and upon our arrival, being reassured that we should have lumber, both by those having control of the mill and the agent, Dr. Robinson, we went to work and prepared a frame house, all ready for the lumber. It was just then we were informed by these gentlemen that we could get no lumber upon any consideration -- thus utterly disregarding the fairest obligations. Not only this, but the logs, on which we had advanced the gold some time previous, were sawed up, and the lumber given to Mr. Brown of the Herald of Freedom.
These facts...show an evident disposition on the part of some of the ruling ones to "crush us out" of Lawrence, seeing that their organ, the Herald of Freedom, was about locating at this place. But we give these men...to understand, distinctly, that we are not composed of the sort of stuff that is capable of being "crushed out" of this or any other place. We are going to publish the Free State, for the present in Lawrence despite all the efforts of a clique of monopolists to the contrary notwithstanding....But we at last succeeded, through the accommodation of Mr. Mack, in getting our office up, in a building made of very ordinary split oak boards. It is not at all comfortable, having no floor, ceiling or window sash....
Our subscriptions....Our friends have procured us some subscriptions,...but they could do very little until they could get a specimen number....Our list at present is very small, indeed, and we shall lose considerably unless it is greatly increased soon. But we came here for the sake of principle, and we expect to lose money at the start....The expense of establishing a paper here is nearly double that required in the States and we, not fully anticipating the cost, have put our terms too low....The (Kickapoo) Kansas Pioneer, and the (Leavenworth) Weekly Herald, pro-slavery sheets, are well sustained, and why not the Kansas Free State? Ours is the first Free State paper established in the Territory. It is true, the Herald of Freedom, the Organ of the Eastern Emigrant Aid Company, is located here, but it is neutral and conservative on the slavery question....
Lawrence. This thriving village has risen, as if by magic, from the plains where a few months ago could be found no traces of civilization....It now contains 117 buildings, already completed or in the process of erection. Among these are 1 steam saw mill, 2 stores, 3 boarding houses, 2 blacksmith shops, 2 printing offices, from which are issued 3 weekly newspapers, and a church....
Apology. It becomes us to offer an apology for the appearance of our first issue, considering the very unfavorable circumstances under which we labor. Our office is, as yet, very cold and disagreeable, so that our material does not work as well as we desire. Our editorial has all been prepared within a few days, in a cold room, with a half dozen loafers standing over our shoulders, debating loudly....
*Never, in the annals of America, have the people of the United States been so intensely moved in political affairs as they have been for the past year. The repeal of the compromise aroused the great masses, and we see a political tempest sweeping over the land, second to none in its effects since the foundation of the government. But it is now all over ? everything is calm and quiet ? and all eyes are turned to Kansas to see what the sovereign squatters will do with this vexed question. This is the field upon which the contest shall be decided. We appear upon the arena not as contending with an enemy. No, we are differing in opinion merely with men ? honorable men ? men, a majority of whom regard slavery as an evil, yet, through provocation and a mistaken policy, are striving to extend it over territory now virtually free....We come not, then, as the peculiar advocate of any section. We disavow all connection with Emigrant Aid Companies ? have nothing to do with them, and have no confidence in them. We stand here upon our own individual responsibility, claiming nothing more than to be considered two of the humble citizens of Kansas Territory. Our paper shall be the organ of principle, justice, reason and the common sense of mankind; the squatter's and poor man's friend, and devoted to unfolding all the various elements useful in building up a wealthy and powerful Free State....
*A preliminary meeting for the purpose of organizing a Free State Society, which should use its influence to secure the prohibition of slavery in Kansas, was held at the residence of Dr. Wood on the 29th of January, 1855. S. S. Snyder was appointed chairman and John Speer secretary, and the following gentlemen a committee to prepare a constitution, &c.: R. G. Elliott, Wm. Tacket, J. T. Wilson, S. Y. Lum, Amos Frick, S. C. Safford. S. C. Pomeroy, John Speer, Charles Stearns, E. D. Ladd, S. J. Willis, John Doy, E. Chapman, Sam'l F. Tappan, J. Garvin. The meeting then adjourned, to assemble at the Lawrence House on the 1st of February. The meeting assembled pursuant to adjournment. R. G. Elliott, chairman of the committee appointed for the purpose, then presented a preamble and constitution....
*Another Newspaper for Kansas. For some time we have had before us the prospectus of The Central American, to be published at Polistra, a prospective town situated at the mouth of the Blue River. It is to be conducted by Park & Patterson, the present editors of the Parkville (Mo.) Luminary, and will be issued about the first of March. Until suitable arrangements are made at Polistra, it will be issued at the office of the Luminary....
It is usual for editors to publish their papers several days before the date. But we have thus far been pursuing a different policy, viz: to issue several days after date. It has only been the result of a lack of compositors in our office. It is impossible for us to get at present the necessary amount of help. We have changed the day of publication of the Free State from Wednesday to Saturday.
We must again excuse ourselves in relation to the great want of a variety of news in our paper. The first week after the issue of our first number, a heavy snowstorm fell, which was very general. The mails were immediately intercepted, and in consequence we have received no exchanges east of the Mississippi River except the Ohio Columbian....As soon as the boats begin to run on the river, we shall send our papers to St. Louis, to be mailed from that point. The great detention of the mails at this time is in consequence of the great quantity of snow drifting on the railroads in Illinois....
*Death of the Free State Papers. We have observed that several of the pro-slavery editors in Missouri and the Territory have predicted for the Free State papers of Kansas "a short and sickly existence ? an entire death before spring," &c....These editors know enough of human nature and the character of the masses in the different sections of the Union not to be altogether deceived in this matter. They know well that the pro-slavery party have, in every instance, out-generaled the friends of freedom; that this party never boast of doing anything without accomplishing its end; that every individual endeavoring to do anything for the benefit of this party has always been well compensated for his labor. They also know that, on the other hand, all efforts made in behalf of the Free State men are done at the expense of the individual making them; that loud professions, great boasting, many speeches and editorial articles have been made, from Maine to the Mississippi River, in regard to making Kansas a Free State ? when, at the same time, notwithstanding all these professions of devotion to the cause, not one single effort has been made, not one single cent contributed for the benefit of Freedom in Kansas Territory....There are thousands of citizens of Missouri who freely give $25, $50 or even $100 to sustain the pro-slavery press of Kansas, whereas there are but few north of Mason & Dixon's Line who are willing to do anything more than pay $1.50 or $2.00 for a year's subscription, and then they want to see a large sheet, entirely filled with reading matter. And even the number of those who are willing to sustain the Free State press by subscription is very small indeed. The pro-slavery papers of the Territory, though of small size and half filled with advertisements, are well sustained....We have been at great expense and trouble to get up a list sufficiently large to sustain the actual expense; but we have failed to command that support which we had every reason to anticipate, and which we think the cause here deserves. But we shall battle on, ever confiding in the honest masses, until we exhaust all our means and are compelled to give it up ? which we will do with the consolation that we have ever aimed to do all in our power for the best interests of Kansas Territory....
*Emigrant Aid Society. Nothing connected with the settling of any of the Territories has attracted so much of the public attention as the New England Emigrant Aid Society. Many of the newspapers have noticed this society and its organ, the Herald, in such a way that all reading persons in the United States have heard of it....We have spoken, in another column of this paper, as to the original policy of this company, viz: that it was gotten up with the ostensible purpose of making Kansas a Free State. It has been charged with designs of speculating in real estate in the Territory. Whether this is so or not we will not pretend to say. We know that one-fourth of the lots in Lawrence have been set apart for the company, and that its secretary states, as an inducement for persons to take stock, that any investment which they might make in Kansas would suddenly become valuable, that even their property in one locality would declare a large dividend to the company. No one has as yet made anything by speculating in lands in Kansas. We will not vouch as to this for the future....Various views exist as to the company. While many of the Eastern papers regard the company as the great death blow to slavery, nearly all here, except a few who are connected with it, consider it as productive of the greatest injury to the cause of Freedom in Kansas....
No movement of the North has attracted so much attention and roused up the feeling of the South to the danger of her peculiar institution as this Emigrant Aid Society. The fact is that the company, with its boasts of $5,000,000, has scared off private enterprise and have accomplished nothing for the settlement itself. While we admire the pretended motive of this company, we have the most supreme contempt for the wisdom displayed in the execution of its designs....There are about 300 or 400 persons in the Territory who came out under the auspices of this company. A great majority of them are very good citizens and feel somewhat deceived as to the company's operations. One old saw mill, which sometimes saws and most of the time does not, a printing press (but not a steam press), and this is the sum total of the company's operations in Kansas. So far from its having the effect that the Age intimates, it has as yet done more to extend slavery than even the repeal of the Missouri Compromise itself. ? M.
*The Contest. For a long series of years prior to the passage of the Nebraska Bill, everything was quiet and everyone supposed the great question of slavery was forever settled in all that territory acquired from France, known as the Louisiana Purchase, north of 36 degrees, 30 minutes. Iowa was organized and came in as a flourishing state; in connection with which not one word was said in relation to slavery. Minnesota was also organized out of this territory, and is now well nigh a state. No one thought of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise all this while. But, when it became necessary to organize Kansas, it must be repealed, though it should require the sacrifice of the whole Democratic party. The Compromise which forever prohibited slavery north of 36 degrees, 30 minutes is repealed....But, when the bill passed, the news startled a great majority of Northern men ? every real and imaginary evil connected with slavery flitted through the imagination of some men ? the groans of departing slaves, chains, shackles, negro whips and bloodhounds are all distinctly seen and heard on the beautiful plains of Kansas. About this time the enterprising genius of the East...conceives a magnificent plan by which to make Kansas, not a pioneer, but all on a sudden a model New England Free State. At first applies for a charter, and then refuses to act under it ? speaks of contracting with various railroads for the conveyance of 20,000 persons to Kansas last fall ? that a vast amount of machinery would be taken out ? also a printing press from which a paper would be issued being the organ of the agents ? would be instrumental in encouraging emigration, &c. That, as an inducement to emigrate, large settlements would be formed, from which other settlements would radiate, and thus property would suddenly become valuable, &c. The result was that many of the mammoth newspapers of the cities...noticed as the most gigantic enterprise of the age the New England Emigrant Aid Society, that this association, having $5,000,000 of capital, was about conveying 20,000 to 30,000 persons to Kansas last fall, that they were going to build up a powerful model state in a short time and, having finished Kansas, they intended continuing their efforts by building a fortress of such states from Nebraska to the Gulf of Mexico. Such being heralded forth weekly, many were of opinion that, so far as slavery in Kansas was concerned, everything was safe. At first, the strongest hearts and most enthusiastic slaveholders were appalled and thought it useless to attempt doing anything more than vent their indignation in a few violent resolutions. But when they began to witness the abortive attempt of said society in settling Kansas ? when they saw 20,000 dwindle down to two or three hundred ? when they saw all the vast machinery of the company amount to nothing but an old worn out sawmill, that has been a great deal more injury to the settlement than benefit, they took courage and concluded at once that all this blow about settling Kansas and making it free was only so much Northern gas. Very soon there is an organized effort in Missouri and throughout the South for the purpose of secretly but efficiently throwing a great many pro-slavery men into Kansas. This they have done and are now doing, as they say, through self-defense, and for the purpose of more thoroughly counteracting the efforts of the Aid Societies in Abolitionizing the Territory. This being the state of things here, the great contest now is for the victory ? for the triumph. The pro-slavery party wish to beat the Aid Societies at their own game of settling Kansas. The New England Emigrant Aid Company, being so far a signal failure, has greatly encouraged the friends of slavery....Had there been no effort made to stimulate emigration, but everyone left to pursue his own course,...the great influx of Free Labor would have secured it forever to freedom....There might be considered three parties in the Territory, the Pro-Slavery, the Free State, and the Administration. The last, so far as the Territory is concerned, we understand will throw its power in behalf of freedom. If it does this, Free State men are with it. But, unless it does, never once.... ? M.
The Printer. The night grows late ? the streets are hushed ? the moonbeams fleck the deserted pavement, and sleep strews it slumberous poppies over the inhabitants of the silent city. All are at rest save the printer at his case.
Dreams, lovely as the winged cherubs, hover about the repose of man and maiden; visions pure as lilies, and beautiful as the sunset of early summer, haunt the couches of matron and child; but to the printer all is reality, toil and weariness.
How nimbly and cheerfully does he adjust the faithful types, as if he took no note of time ? as if the duties that were wearing out his life were more a diversion than laborious occupation. But amid their monotonous discharge, believe us, the printer thinks of home and sweet rest and sighs within himself for the better lot of which others are possessed. And yet there is no repose for him, though the night tramps on, and the jocund dawn will soon appear.
Why do his motions grow less rapid ? why move his fingers in so deliberate and mechanical a way? Whence is the smile that lingers on his lip like the first sunbeam of early morning? There is a gentle presence at his side; an eye, blue as violets, glancing into his own; an accent, sweet as music, entrancing his ear and reaching his heart. It is but a moment; it was only a reverie; it did not even win him from his occupation; it only caused his hand to falter, not to cease; the printer awakens to busy toil again.
Ye who receive our sunrise favor, and wander, perhaps listlessly, over its pages, remember that it is the fruit of toil, which was active and untiring while you were quietly sleeping; that life is imprinted in its columns; that your convenience and comfort is brought with the price of weariness.
There is an electric "chord" which, being charged with sympathy, will carry the gentle burden even unto distant hearts. We bespeak its agency in behalf of the faithful printer.
So odious was the name of our paper to the editor of the Herald (of Freedom), when he first heard of it, and so much was he perplexed at our audacity in attempting to publish a paper in Kansas, that he declared he never would use the name Kansas Free State in his paper....He has, on several occasions, referred to us in a very insinuating, cowardly and dishonorable way, and has some long articles in his paper this week about a professedly anti-slavery sheet that is doing all it can to make Kansas a slave state, &c. He is referring to us because we told the truth about the Aid Company last week, speaking rather disparagingly of its operations....After every effort had been made, by a certain clique, to induce us to leave this place by moral suasion, they tried to crush us out by depriving us of getting a place in which to issue our paper. When they found we were not of the kind that could be ruled in this manner, they tried to buy us with what is known here as a "city interest." They supposed that this would be sufficient to induce us to publish weekly a number of falsehoods ? to smooth over things ? turn against all Missourians and Western men, and know no persons outside of a certain clique. Never were men more mistaken....Mr. Brown, on the other hand, put himself up to the highest bidder, and the Aid Company bid him off....We hope our articles will stir this Company to doing effectually something for the settlement of Kansas.... ? M.
No Election! Never...were there so many human beings (?) upon the soil of Kansas Territory as there were on the 30th. Emigration poured in very rapidly for about one week previous to the 30th, insomuch that the population of Lawrence (500) was increased to near 1,500 in two days. The roads were cut up very much with wagons and the atmosphere was filed with smoke from their camp fires. On the day preceding the election, large numbers of persons in wagons from Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia made their appearance near the polls in the various precincts. The great majority were from Missouri. There were near 700 came to this place before the polls opened....Considering the large crowd and the fact that there was a good deal of liquor among them, they behaved exceedingly well....They were all well-armed with revolvers, knives and double-barreled guns. We were told by some of their company that they had brought along two six-pounders so as to have them ready in case of emergency....The whole affair was a miserable farce. A great many of the settlers who came in to vote early in the morning, being kept from the polls so long, and thus seeing their rights so basely trampled upon, retired home without voting, saying that they regarded it no election, and would, therefore, have nothing to do with it. The foreign voters, finding they had too many here, sent 250 up to Tecumseh; even then there were a great number of the most respectable class that did not vote....There were from 75 to 100 Eastern emigrants, just arrived, who voted the Free State ticket. This we tried to prevent, but could not, as the pro-slavery imported voters use this as their great argument that, if Eastern persons have a right to come in just before the election and vote, persons of other states have also the same right....The election passed off in all other places just as it did here. So thorough was the organization of the imported voters that they designed carrying every precinct in the territory by large majorities....In many places the Free State men were driven from the polls ? so that this election will be no test of their strength....
*Our Ducking in the Kansas River. Among other things telegraphed from Independence, Mo., in regard to the election, we find the following in many of our exchanges: "The editor of the Kansas Free State, in consequence of a speech, was taken by the Missourians and ducked in the Kansas River." Whether this was contemplated by the Missourians before they left Independence for the election, and someone telegraphed accordingly, we shall not at present say. But, if it was the intention, it was not carried into execution. We were not disturbed on the day of election. But, on the night previous, between 10 and 11 o'clock, as we were passing alone near the Missouri camp, on the way to our boarding house, near a mile out of town, we were taken charge of by some half dozen men with double-barreled guns and revolvers.
Not having any weapon of defense with us, we demanded by what authority they apprehended us while on the road? They replied, by the authority of their captain, and that we would have to see him before they would proceed further. After accompanying this armed mob to their fire, the captain was called out and the prisoner delivered over. The captain seemed to be a kind of social, jovial fellow, at that hour more inclined to sleep than to go into a hearing of the case, or even proceed summarily without a hearing. After talking and laughing a while with the captain about the absurdity of Southern chivalry in a band of armed men to attack and bully a single person unarmed, while passing quietly to his lodgings, he and the majority decided that we should proceed on our way without interruption.
We were in Missouri shortly after the election and conversed with some of the gray heads, who thought the "boys had done tolerable well at Lawrence, but they missed it on one thing ? that the did not destroy the presses." But the leaders and better class of those who came here to vote were too cunning and knew what their cause demands too well for a moment to entertain the idea of injuring anyone's person or property. ? M.
*Mob in Parkville ? Press Thrown into Missouri River. We are credibly informed that, a few days since, the printing press of Park & Patterson, editors of the Industrial Luminary, was taken by a mob and thrown into the Missouri River, and the editors notified to leave within two weeks. The precise reasons for this gross outrage we have been unable to learn; but understand that it was that they were suspected of being unsound on the slavery question. If this be the only reason, we think that the pro-slavery party have taken upon themselves unnecessary trouble, and have sacrificed one whom, at least, while they are in power, would have been a supporter of their darling institution. But now their uncalled for violence will probably force him into a hostile attitude and cause him to take a stand where we believe his unbiased judgment and natural good sense dictates. Such outrages do more injury to the cause they are designed to serve than a dozen presses controlled by wavering editors who are pointing every course, ready to move in whatever direction self-interest may direct. Persecution on account of principles which a man is suspected of holding is generally the means of confirming him when he may have been wavering, or converting him when he may have been opposed to them. We are very much inclined to hope that the Luminary, if ever resuscitated, will take a decided stand upon one side or other of the great question which is now agitating the public mind. If reports be true, he has learned by experience that suspicion of heresy, however groundless, on the slavery question subjects him to the same penalty as that inflicted upon the open and avowed heretic. Such outrages, and they are neither unexpected nor uncommon, afford the simplest and strongest argument against the institution which needs the gag law and the terrors of the mob to support. If slavery be an institution of the Bible, directly instituted and sanctioned by God himself (as its great defender here attempts to prove), why violate the spirit and the direct commands of the same authority in its defense? In the opinion of all thinking men, such a course is an admission that brute force is the only weapon of defense that can be used.
*The following article from the Herald of Freedom is by far the smallest and most laughable thing we have ever seen in print: "It was said by the rioters in Parkville last Saturday that the destruction of the Luminary office was designed as an example to others, and it is very knowingly hinted that ours will meet with a similar fate. Very well, we have concluded to give any number of persons who wish to perpetrate such an act of folly a free pass to 'kingdom come,' and we pledge them every assistance in our power.
Probably many of them never took an upward journey and would like to try the experiment of sailing on a blaze of glory, such as a couple of kegs of gunpowder exploded at an opportune occasion would furnish. We have not a member in our family, ourself included, who would not deem a transit into the future life with companions deu voyage of a goodly number of printing press destroyers as a favor rarely to be met with. Should the Herald of Freedom office at any time be invaded for the purpose of destruction, we give this timely warning to all, both friend and foe, that unless they wish to 'go up' they had better keep aloof from its immediate vicinity, for our purpose is fixed and the consequences cannot be prevented.
We have prepared a duplicate copy of our subscription books and, that subscribers may not be losers by any contingency which may arise, we hereby authorize and deputize our esteemed friend and general agent, H. A. Billings, to resume the publication of the Herald of Freedom, should it be suspended by violence, at such point as he may designate, and we further donate to him our entire effects in Kansas, Pennsylvania or elsewhere to prosecute the publication of such paper, with this one condition that he shall give the advocates of slavery particular 'Jesse' during the balance of his life."
When we first heard the above being laughed at on the streets, we supposed that some of the boys had got up the idea as a joke on this man who has so often been duped, until a friend directed our attention to it in his columns. It never entered his small cranium that said "printing press destroyers" might take occasion to remove said powder to some proper place, and put said press and Mr. Brown on the powder, and start him and the material on "the blaze of glory to kingdom come" without those "companions due voyage" of which he speaks.
Mr. Brown would like very well to have his office destroyed, as it would retrieve his character as being "neutral and conservative," which he was at first; but would like to have it done without any personal injury to himself. This is the great difficulty. He wishes to create the impression in the East that he is the great hero of Liberty in Kansas and that he, his family and press are in danger of being utterly destroyed, when there is not the slightest grounds for suspicion of danger ? the election being over and the Missourians all gone. The Parkville Press was destroyed by some anti-Benton men because it was a Benton office. It has always been a pro-slavery, Benton office. The Herald of Freedom office is in no danger, as some of our citizens have a squad of little boys, from five to ten years of age, all in readiness to defend it with pop-guns in case of necessity....
...For the first time do we ask all of our readers to make one effort to send us each one additional subscriber. This would assist us very much and would be very little trouble to you. One quarter of the year has now expired and our list is nothing like so large as we had reason to expect it would be. Nor is it sufficiently large to justify us in continuing long to give you the paper which the cause in which we are engaged so eminently demands. We want you, one and all, who wish Kansas to be Free, to rally to the support of the press engaged in that cause. Many consider it a great contribution to pay $2 for one year's subscription, never once thinking that we have given our entire capital and time and are now likely to lose the whole if we are not better sustained. We can do but little toward circulating our paper in the Territory, as we have no mail service yet....The Herald (of Freedom), the organ of the Aid Company, though it has had all the advantage of the company's publications and their many traveling lecturers and agents, and in this manner present its name all over the Union, yet it complains weekly about its subscription list being too small....Everything connected with our office costs us the highest prices. The simple freight on our paper from St. Louis to this place cost $3.50 per hundred. This is a fair instance of what our expenses are here.
Slanders Refuted. Though we have had great cause to be angry with the editor of the Herald of this place for the manner in which he and some of his friends have treated us since we came here, such is not the case. Though we differed with him in policy, we do not yet hate him as he hates us. At first, he and his friends tried to crush us out by little mean acts that did not appear in his paper. But the moment he suspected the Free State was gaining a good reputation in the States, then he begins to publish all the slanderous lies he could for the purpose of injuring us....As to the base calumniation that we printed a pro-slavery circular,...we can prove to be false by every man in and around Lawrence. We printed a Free Soil circular sent to us by Judge Wakefield, who was the Free State candidate for Congress in opposition to Whitfield last fall, and is well-known to be a thorough Free State man. This circular the lying heart of Mr. Brown twisted into a pro-slavery circular....As to our press being in the employ of pro-slavery men on the day of election, we can also prove to be false by every man in Lawrence....He has denied in private conversation and in a public verbal explanation of it before a large audience that he was the organ of the Aid Company, or in any way connected with it, but dared not deny it in his paper because his subscribers in the East and the Aid Company would have sent him adrift immediately....When he finds all his efforts...have failed, and that the Free State has obtained the largest circulation in the Territory, and has acquired a good reputation in the States, he resorts to publishing weekly a number of slanderous falsehoods, designed to injure us where our paper is not read....
The "Sub" of the Tribune, in giving utterance to the slanders published by the Herald against us, is extremely grateful, when it is considered that we for three months nurtured and kept the Tribune in existence, to the great detriment and actual loss of ourselves. We took as much interest in publishing the Tribune and getting it along while there was none of its material in the Territory as we did in keeping up the Free State; yet, the moment it gets from under our roof, it stabs at our heart....There will be a day of reckoning.
*From the extract below, it appears that the Luminary, not being "sound on the goose," as appeared by its condemning the recent outrages in Kansas, was thrown into the Missouri River to give place to a paper that was "sound." So long as men are permitted with impunity to domineer, and set all law at defiance, it is natural to expect such scenes: "A New Paper in Parkville. By a note from our old friend, T. H. Starnes, we learn that he has associated with him F. M. McDonald and will soon commence the publication of a pro-slavery paper in the 'decidedly fast' town of Parkville, Mo. The paper will bear the name of The Southern Democrat....We can endorse both of the above named gentlemen as being 'sound on the goose,' and in every way deserving the liberal support which we have no doubt will be extended to them. Success to you gentlemen, and the noble cause in which you have embarked." ? Squatter Sovereign.
In Trow's printing establishment, New York City, five of Mitchell's type-setting machines are in operation under the supervision of the inventor, who is a younger brother of John Mitchell, the Irish patriot....The machine is of a triangular shape, somewhat resembling a grand piano forte, only not as large. It has a keyboard corresponding to the letters of the alphabet and the punctuation marks,...and the work is done by playing upon the finger-board....This part of the performance is done by girls, who acquire the art with great facility. The letters are supplied by long galleys, each filled with a single letter, which requires constant replenishing; and every touch upon the key sends the desired letter into a long line beneath the machine, from which it is taken by a compositor, broken into lines to suit the width of his page or column, and "justified." The distribution of the type is as ingeniously managed as the composition.
*P. Park, the editor of the Parkville Luminary, whose office was destroyed by a mob, was from Crafton, Vermont. He left for the College of Springfield, Ill., and while there pursuing his studies the war broke out between Mexico and Texas, in which he enlisted and served under Gen. Houston. He was at the massacre of San Jacinto and barely escaped with his life. At the close of the war, he returned to Illinois and received a lieutenant's commission, but left again to take part in the border war with the Comanches....
The Kansas Freeman. This is the name of a new paper just about being issued at Topeka, K.T. We have not yet learned which side of the question it will take....Mr. Garvy, the editor and proprietor, is said by the Herald of Freedom to be a great "Capitalist," and that he will publish a Free State paper. This is all good enough, but it would have been much better for Mr. Garvy to have defined his position on the slavery question in his prospectus. The day for such milk and water trash has passed away, and we care not if he be as wealthy as Croesus, he cannot sustain a paper if conducted on such neutral policy as is indicated by his prospectus.....
Absence and sickness has taken our attention from the Free State for four or five weeks past. We are pleased to get into the office again. Probably no disease is calculated to reduce the system so suddenly as a severe attack of the bilious diarrhea, so peculiar to the Western country....Exposure and the diet we are obliged to live on has no doubt produced most of the sickness to which our citizens have been subjected this summer. -- M.
A good journeyman printer is wanted very much at this office, to whom good wages and constant employment will be given.
The Council City Banner is the title of a paper to be published at Council City about the 1st of September. It will oppose the introduction of slavery into Kansas....The Banner will be conducted by P. O. Conver & Co....Terms $2.00 per annum in advance.
We must beg pardon of our readers for not giving them a paper last week. We have been sadly disappointed about paper, it not arriving from St. Louis in any reasonable time, and being unable to buy or borrow any in town, the Tribune being in the same fix with ourselves. We however, through the kindness of Mr. Jenkins of this place and the very obliging disposition of Mr. Strong of the Kansas City Enterprize, are enable to again appear before the public....
We Must Have Money. Near one-half of our subscribers have been reading the Free State eight months and have not paid anything yet....Since we commenced publishing the Free State, we have been paying out about 3 dollars to every one that wee have received....Let us have enough money to pay our board at any rate. It is physically impossible to borrow money in this country.
The address of P. O. Conver, editor of the Council City Banner, will be, until further orders, at Topeka, K.T....It is Mr. Conver's design to issue the Banner on Mr. Garvey's power press at Topeka until his own arrives.
Last week we failed to issue a paper, owing in the first place to a disappointment about our paper, and secondly we wished to move into Messrs. Duncans' large stone building, upper story, to be better prepared for the approaching winter than we were last. But, being unable to get persons to prepare the building, failed to get moved. We have enough paper now on hand to do us to spring, so there will be no disappointment in future.
Mr. Elliott, one of the editors of this paper, has been sick with fever for four or five weeks....He is getting better, and it is hoped that he will be at his post again in a few days.
Propper & Co. are now engaged in getting up a work entitled the Kansas Messenger. It will be a faithful account of Kansas, as matters its towns and business. It will be a book of near 400 pages....
Removal. Since the issue of our last number, we have removed our office to the more comfortable and commodious room above the store of the Messrs. Duncans. On this account, we were forced to omit publication last week. We are now fitted up so that these irregularities will occur, we hope, less frequently.
*Another Outrage, the Register Printing Office Destroyed.
We are called upon to chronicle another of those dastardly outrages which made the history of the Slave Propaganda. Another press is consigned to destruction and its supporters driven from their homes....On the night of the 22d ult., while Mr. Delahay, the editor, was at this place attending a Free State convention, his printing office was thrown into the river by a gang of marauders collected from Kickapoo and Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, and Weston, Missouri.
Mr. Delahay was the last man against whom the charge of abolitionism could be justly laid. His course since establishing himself in the Territory has been very conservative, his sympathies, at least, appearing to be rather with the South, where he had formerly resided and owned slaves. The Register had been, from the first, the organ of the Nebraska Democracy, and an ardent advocate of squatter sovereignty. Though he exposed the outrages practiced upon the citizens of Kansas, he did it with such mildness and impartiality that no sane man could take offense.
That all may see for themselves the character of the press which was destroyed, we subjoin from the last number of the Register the following article:
*"With this number of the Register my connection with it ceases....Certain demagogues near at hand have succeeded in creating an impression that we commenced our paper with pro-slavery proclivities....We stood...where we now do, upon the broad principles of squatter sovereignty, ready then, as now, to abide the free, untrammeled action of the bona fide squatters of Kansas....We have deemed it advisable to withdraw from the Register, and have disposed of the establishment to Messrs. Arch M. Sevier and Thos. Newman, both of whom are practical printers, the former having been connected with this office since its commencement.... -- M. W. Delahay.
*"It will be seen from the above that the undersigned have become the proprietors of the Register. We deem it unnecessary to give to the public a lengthy account of the course we shall pursue. Suffice it to say that our endeavors will be to present to our patrons a truly national paper. We are firm advocates of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, in all its bearings, and whatever ability we may possess will be brought to bear in its support. We are in favor of a rigid enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law ? in a word, we are for the Union, the Constitution, and its Compromises. In advocating the policy of making Kansas a Free State, we will enter into no fanatical crusade against the institutions of the South, for we are not of those who believe slavery either a moral or political evil. We believe the resources of Kansas will be developed faster, that she will improve more rapidly under free than slave labor, and for these reasons we advocate free institutions. While we condemn the spirit in which a great many of the laws of Kansas were conceived, yet we are in favor of having them enforced until repealed by the proper tribunal. ? Arch. M. Sevier, Thos. Newman."
*Valedictory. A year has passed since we commenced issuing the Kansas Free State ? a year to us full of trouble, toil and pecuniary loss. But, amid all this, we are consoled with the conscious reflection that our efforts, through the paper, have been attended with highly beneficiary results to the great cause in which we have been engaged....Our great-grandfathers settled in South Carolina whilst it was a colony....Our father was,...in South Carolina, mobbed, robbed and grossly maltreated...because he took part in having some fiends prosecuted for tarring and feathering a minister from Illinois...robbed because he was able to own slaves but did not own them. Our own life has been threatened and we see it claimed by the South Carolinian, lately, that we were driven from that state as an Abolitionist. But our district paper does us the justice to contradict this assertion....
In the winter prior to the Compromise, we determined to select Kansas as our future home. We accordingly visited the Territory and found its inhabitants in a great state of excitement about claims and the slavery question, and the Free State portion were highly clamorous about a printing press ? a medium through which they could be heard, as the border press only gave one side of every difficulty. We determined to bring out a press immediately and, after spending a whole summer and encountering every possible disappointment, we at last got it onto Kansas soil. We knew we had mingled enough with Southern and Western men to know what course to pursue to most effectually make Kansas a Free State.
We carefully examined the line of policy adopted by the East, and the officers of the Aid Company. From our knowledge of the institution with which we had to deal, we at once pronounced it impracticable. Their programme was that eloquent speakers should traverse the country and stir up the common people to emigrate to Kansas, and the wealthy to contribute their money to assist them in going, and thus by an organized system of emigration they could at once build up a "great Free State" and pass immediately to all the high "civilization and refinement" of an Eastern state without going through the ordinary process of pioneer life ? that having made a state so readily, and having taught Western and Southern men how to manufacture civilization and refinement, they would then eradicate slavery in Missouri, Arkansas, and the Territories south, and in this manner form a line of Free States to the Gulf of Mexico, as $5,000,000 of money had been already contributed for that purpose. It would occupy too much space to notice all that these colonizationists intended doing....
It should be remembered that, at that time, fully one-third of the settlers were from Missouri and other slave states. It was natural that they would think of their good old ways of living...and it was hard for them to believe that the world could be so easily turned upside down, and a Free State made with gas by this Aid Company, and there were many Western men from the Free States who did not like to be taught morals by the people of Eastern cities, or how to develop a new country by the wealthy aristocrats of Boston, who knew nothing of practical life. The result was that all this force was turned against the idea of making Kansas free....We pursued the opposite policy ? careful not to offend the pride of any class of people. That is, if a Missourian wished to eat corn bread or live without any carpet on his floor in Kansas, to let him do it. Or, if he wished to own a slave, he could do so; we were not disposed to steal it. Or, if he wished to exclude the negro from the Territory, we were willing; also to cultivate the acquaintance of pro-slavery men ? to reason with them, convincing the judgment as well as using the pecuniary argument. For doing this, we were pronounced as being pro-slavery in disguise by the more radical Abolitionists who were in the employ of the Aid Company, which injured the success of our paper very materially because their letters and editorials were copied into some papers in the States, where the masses did not know the character and objects of those who wrote them.
This system of persecution was carried on throughout the entire year. Some say it was provoked because we condemned many little tyrannies of the majority in this place, being Eastern men under the leadership of the agent of the Aid Company, such as forcibly taking timber from the claims of Western men, he taking the ground that a man had a right to take timber where he chose, as no pre-emption claims could be legally made until the land was surveyed. But these things soon became unpopular, as it was ascertained that it took a good many men to make a "great Free State," and that while the East with its $5,000,000 would send one man to Kansas, the West, with no money, would send ten.
There also seemed to be a spirit of monopoly. The East wished to have all the glory of making Kansas free. They did not like to see any papers established but those in their employ, as they tried to exclude us from this place, and refused to extend any assistance to Mr. Speer in getting out the Tribune, when he failed to get his material on. He came to us and we assisted in the publication of the Tribune for three months to the great injury of our own interests, but we hoped for the great advantage of the Free State policy.
This disposition to monopolize and make a "New England state" all at once exasperated the citizens of our neighboring state, and they rallied to the assistance of their pro-slavery friends and carried every election under the organic act. In addition to this, the excitement kept up by the Border Ruffians and the Aid Company has turned from Kansas soil 20,000 human beings while the Aid Company has not, at this time, 400 souls who came out under its auspices in the Territory, but hundreds have arrived here, remained a while, and left for the States with nothing but curses in their mouths for Kansas; so that the whole concern has turned out just as we predicted at first. We could take a half dozen good stout Western men, with plenty of good tools, and do more towards settling Kansas in six months than the entire Aid Company have accomplished in one year.
The whole concern was a Yankee trick, gotten up by a few designing men for the purpose of procuring money under false pretenses, by playing upon the feelings of the benevolent, and thus furnishing good salaries to a number of officers, but no practical advantage whatever to the settlers of Kansas. The first election was carried by the pro-slavery men of Missouri and Gov. Reeder, wishing to steer between the two parties, granted Whitfield a certificate of election and he went to Washington and obtained his seat. This act in Reeder we condemned, as it was an imposition upon the settlers of the Territory and established a precedent for future elections. Time rolled on in a confused condition until the 31st of March, when all the members of the Legislature were elected by invaders from slave states, and here Reeder again granted certificates of election to a majority of men fraudulently elected. This we condemned in severe terms, for which we were greatly censured by leading men in the Free State party.
But it was this act that gave that body all the technical legality of which it was possessed, and for this it should be more properly called a Reeder Legislature than a Missouri Legislature. This body met at Pawnee, Reeder's favorite town site, and we find John Hutchinson and E. D. Ladd, of this place, and other Free State men, elected at a special election to fill vacancies, appear before that body and plead in long three-hour speeches for their seats. But no one who was not "sound on the goose question," could get a seat in that body. Those men came home disgusted at the manner in which they were expelled and called a mass meeting at Lawrence to ascertain what we should do about those sour grapes that the foxes had sprung at and failed to obtain.
But, previous to this time, there had been no thorough organization of the Free State party ? meeting after meeting had been called at Lawrence, but nothing resulted except inflammatory resolutions and fanatical speeches; when on the evening of the 17th July, Mr. Elliott, ourselves and several other liberal men met on the bank of the Kansas to take a cool and deliberate view of this whole question. We resolved to call a convention at Big Spring on the 5th of September to adopt a platform broad enough for all who could go for a Free State to stand on, and then adjourned. This convention was censured in severe terms by the Tribune as being pro-slavery, assembled for the purpose of saving the Union. We then took measures to have the right kind of a delegation at the convention, taking special pains to prevent the sending of a single Abolitionist.
The world now knows the result; since the 5th of September we have built up a Free State party that can, when united, contend successfully with the combined fanaticism of the Abolitionists and Border Ruffians; and since that date all reasonable men pronounced Kansas a Free State. Reeder was nominated as delegate to Congress at this convention, and the only injudicious act was fixing the day of election on a day different from that fixed by the Legislature, for to repudiate his own offspring looked exceedingly bad in so distinguished an individual as Gov. Reeder. The next idea that absorbed the minds of Kansas politicians was the formation of a state government. This was suggested by the Hon. J. B. Chapman who, in the month of June, sent us a plan for a state organization.
We laid it before a convention (as conventions, in those days, were very common) which met at this place. The idea was laughed at and the meeting did not wait to hear the whole plan read. But when the politicians reflected on the matter, and
*Arrests. U.S. Troops. Sheriff Jones Shot.
Within a week our community, so subject to excitement, has passed through, or rather into, another convulsion. On Saturday, the 19th, Sheriff Jones attempted to arrest S. N. Wood, for whom he had a writ, on a charge of assisting in the rescue of Branson from the Sheriff last November.
The Sheriff happened upon him rather unexpectedly in the office of Mr. Christian. Wood refused to submit to the arrest and asked permission to go to his house with the promise that he would return. Jones refused and attempted to take him by force. With the assistance of another person who accompanied him, he dragged Wood into the street. Several persons in the crowd, which had by this time collected densely around the Sheriff and prisoner, gave assistance to Wood by pulling him away from Jones. No violence or threats however were used. During the scuffle, Jones attempted to draw his revolver, which was in a holster buckled around him, but Wood or some other person prevented him by slipping it out first.
After the rescue, and in the presence of a large crowd, Jones remarked that "it was all right. I will have him yet, or kill every damned man connected with him." So far as we can learn, no threats had been made to Jones, though he had been taunted with his failure.
On the next day, the Sabbath, Jones again made his appearance in company with seven or eight others. The entire company, after dismounting, proceeded immediately to a whiskey shop and, after drinking, commenced by summoning a number of persons whom he found in the street to "assist him in the execution of writs in Lawrence." Most of those called upon treated the matter lightly and some positively refused to assist, urging as a reason that they did not recognize the validity of the laws under which the writs were issued. Two arrests were attempted. But, as the parties showed resistance, and some of the bystanders interfered, and as the posse did not offer assistance, the attempts were abandoned.
All was quiet again until Wednesday afternoon, when Jones, accompanied by 10 or 12 U.S. Dragoons, rode into town. Those who suspected danger were not to be found. It was soon evident that all who had been summoned to assist the Sheriff were to be punished for their contumacy. Lyman, Hutchinson, Warren, Smith, Hunt and Fuller were arrested. No disposition was manifested on the part of anyone to resist the authority of the General Government, which had now been called into requisition ? a fact that proves conclusively that with all the hatred and contempt which they have to the territorial authorities, they are not wanting in respect to the acts of the Federal Government.
It should be remembered that the whole crime that could be charged against most of these was not that they offered resistance, in either words or actions, to the discharge of any duty of the Sheriff, but that they did not assist him in making an arrest upon a very unimportant charge, on the Sabbath.
The troops and the Sheriff remained in town during the night, for the purpose of making further arrests. While sitting in the tent in company with one of the officers, about 10 o'clock at night, he was shot by some person unknown, the ball passing through the tent into his back, immediately below the shoulders and near the spine. For a time it was thought that the wound would prove fatal; but hopes are now entertained of his entire recovery. Who it was that did the deed is yet unknown to all except himself and his accomplices, if he had any.
On Thursday, a meeting was held for the purpose of giving expression to the opinion of the citizens in reference to the attempted assassination. The meeting was addressed by Ex-Governor Reeder and Governor Robinson, in condemnation of the act, and urging the duty of the citizens to ferret out the perpetrator of the deed and bring him to justice. The following resolutions were offered by G. P. Lowry and unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That the attempt made in our town last evening upon the life of S. J. Jones, whilst claiming to act as the Sheriff of the county, was the isolated act of some malicious and evil-disposed individual, unexpected and unlooked for by our community and unsustained by any portion of them.
Resolved, That in the opinion of this community, it was a cowardly and atrocious outrage upon Mr. Jones ? an insult and an injury to the public sentiment and reputation of our town and a crime deserving...punishment.
Resolved, That notwithstanding the unpleasant relations which existed between Mr. Jones and our citizens, if the attack could have been foreseen or considered at all probable, we would have neglected no means to prevent or defeat it; we deeply sympathize with the wounded man, and will afford him all the aid and comfort in our power.
Resolved, That we deeply regret that the perpetrator of this deed is unknown; and if known to us, we would unhesitatingly expose and denounce him as the criminal.
Resolved, That it is due to the reputation of our town, and loudly demanded by the deep and universal indignation which pervades our community, that the guilty author should, if possible, be sought out and surrendered to justice.
Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed whose duty it shall be to investigate the circumstances connected with this deplorable occurrence and, if possible, to ferret out the guilty agent; and we pledge ourselves that, although not responsible as a community for this act of a depraved individual, we will use our best efforts to show to the world that we have no sympathy for the crime in any shape, and are prepared to treat the perpetrators with that stern justice which shall not stop to inquire whether they are friends or foes.
*Another Invasion Threatened
The attempt to assassinate Jones on Wednesday night last has aroused Missouri to the highest pitch of excitement. Though the deed was perpetrated at 10 o'clock at night, it was known in most of the border settlements early on the following day. As is natural, the report was greatly colored and highly exaggerated....
Even before any attempt had been made to execute any of the writs, the citizens of Westport were aware that there was trouble brewing in Lawrence and appeared to be prepared for it. The first attempt to make an arrest was on Saturday about 5 o'clock p.m., yet on the morning of the same day the military were drilled in Westport (it being, we presume, their regular muster day) and all seemed conscious of what was to take place in Lawrence ? pretty strong evidence that the whole thing was preconcerted.
Dr. Stringfellow, the editor of the Squatter Sovereign, the captain of the Kickapoo Rangers ? the company that murdered Brown and a number of others who have been prominent actors in the Kansas drama, were in Lawrence while the arrests were making.
Immediately after receiving the news, the Border Times issued an extra of a character highly incendiary, urging another invasion for the purpose of avenging the shooting of Jones, indiscriminately upon the citizens of Lawrence.
A number of those who have been in town for several days have gone to Westport, as we learn. What their purpose is can only be surmised....They swear that Lawrence shall be razed to the ground and every "Abolitionist" hung. We hear that large companies are constantly drilling in Weston with the intention of making an assault upon us and wreaking vengeance on us as the murderers of Jones.
There is evidently a desperate attempt made to bring against us another murderous horde. We have only to say that we have now little fear from them. They will have neither the shadow of law nor justice upon their side. Not even the Territorial authorities will dare to countenance them, much less cooperate with them.
The U.S. troops, which they before hoped by false statements to enlist on their side, will be decidedly against them. Already five companies are stationed but a few miles distant, under orders to protect the citizens. And, when called for, almost any number of volunteers and potent rifles will be placed under Col. Sumner's charge.
Published weekly by R. G. Elliott, Vol. 2, No. 7
*Affairs in Kansas
The Locofoco newspapers are rejoicing at what they claim to be an inauguration of a new state of affairs in Kansas, brought about under the administration of Robert J. Walker, the newly appointed governor of Kansas. Gov. Walker as yet has simply done nothing at all but made the most alluring promises to the Free State men, who are largely in the ascendant in Kansas....
When Wilson Shannon was selected to succeed Gov. Reeder in Kansas, we were told that the millennium for the settlers of that Territory had arrived. Shannon's official career in Kansas, under the aid and countenance of the Pierce Administration, startled the whole country, and he was removed.
He was then succeeded by Mr. Geary, when we were again assured by the Locofoco party that peace would be established in Kansas. Everyone is familiar with Governor Geary's career. The same story is repeated in the case of Gov. Walker. We shall see....
Kansas is today, in substance and in fact, a military despotism; as truly so as any country in the world. Despotic as the Territorial Legislature has proved itself, the Bashaw of Kansas, R. J. Walker, has surpassed the most tyrannical act of that notorious body.
The most flagrant acts of the usurping government were committed under some form of law. Even horse stealing, house burning, murder, pillaging and the destruction of printing presses were carried on under guise of legislative authority, and were legalized by the quasi courts of justice.
Sheriff Jones shielded himself behind an order of the Federal Court when he sacked Lawrence on the 21st of May, 1856; and Shannon and Donaldson, when ravaging the country, had certain legal forms and warrants which they presented as authority for their murdering and plundering.
But Buchanan's Bashaw does not pretend to have even such authority. Without any warrant or legal process of any kind whatever, he has marched the U.S. troops into Lawrence, and in his proclamation threatened death to the citizens unless they submit to his arbitrary dictation.
Even the imbecile Shannon, when drugged with bad liquor, and goaded on by the most reckless demagogues, never attempted to commit so despotic an act.
If the citizens of Lawrence be guilty of treason in making municipal regulations of their own, the legal course would be to obtain warrants from the Federal Court for the arrest of the leaders of the movement.
...Walker has constituted himself the complainant, court, and Marshal, and marched at the head of seven companies of U.S. troops against the citizens of Lawrence indiscriminately. He is still encamped near Lawrence with his troops and repeats the threats made in his proclamation.
Such a despotic act as this has never been committed by any officer of our government....The effect of this gross usurpation has been to thoroughly unite the Free State party in the support of the citizens of Lawrence, and to make Walker the laughingstock and butt of ridicule even among those who were formerly his friends and supporters.
...He may as well learn now as hereafter that Federal officers and U.S. troops are entitled to as much respect as other citizens of the United States, only so long as they maintain a proper position and do not transcend their legitimate power. But should they go beyond their proper limits they may expect to be treated as robbers and desperadoes....
*Sketch of a Border Ruffian
Dr. Gihon, the private secretary of ex-Governor Geary, in his forthcoming work on Kansas, gives the following truthful and graphic picture of the world-renowned Border Ruffian. Every citizen of Kansas will attest to its accuracy. As the race is fast becoming extinct, so few now being found who will acknowledge the name, they will soon be as scarce as witches. Hence a painting of them, drawn from life, will in a few years be of great interest:
"Active preparations for war were discerned at all the river towns. At Lexington, a...crowd was assembled on the levee, many of the persons comprising it loaded with arms. But in Kansas City the warlike demonstrations were still greater. This town is on the southern side of the mouth of Kansas River, which at this point separates Missouri from the Territory of Kansas. It is situated about five miles from Westport, near the eastern landing of Kansas, where the Missouri army was concentrating preparatory to the invasion of the Territory.
"Both of these towns have become notorious as places of refuge for the...desperate characters, whose almost nameless crimes have blackened the annals of Kansas and as being the resorts of numerous combinations which have there congregated to plot against its peace. In a word, they are the strongholds of the worst of the 'Border Ruffians.'
"Let it not be understood that this latter term is considered by those to whom it is applied as one of reproach. On the contrary, they boast of it, are proud of it, glory in it, and do all in their power to merit it, and very many of them have been eminently successful. In their manner they assume the character of the ruffian ? in their dress they exhibit the appearance of a ruffian ? and in their conversation they are ruffians indeed.
"They imitate and resemble the guerrillas, ladrones, or greasers of Mexico ? the brigands of Spain or Italy, or the pirates, robbers and murderers of the theatre. On the levee at Kansas City stood a sort of omnibus or wagon, used to convey passengers to and from Westport; upon either side was painted, in flaming capitals, the words 'Border Ruffian.' Standing about in groups, or running in every direction, were numbers of the men who claim for themselves that gentle appellation.
"A description of one of these will give the reader some idea of their general characteristics. Imagine, then, a man standing in a pair of long boots, covered with dust and mud, and drawn over his trowsers, the latter made of coarse, fancy colored cloth, well soiled ? the handle of a large Bowie knife projecting from one or both boot-tops ? a leather belt buckled around his waist, on each side of which is fastened a large revolver ? a red or blue shirt, with a heart, anchor, eagle, or some other favorite device braided on the breast and back, over which is swung a rifle or carbine ? a sword dangling by his side ? an old slouched hat with a cockade or brass star on the front or side, and a chicken, goose or turkey feather sticking in the top ? hair uncut and uncombed, covering his neck and shoulders ? an unshaved face and unwashed hands.
"Imagine such a picture of humanity who can swear a given number of oaths in any specific time ? drink any quantity of bad whisky without getting drunk, and boast of having stolen a half dozen horses and killed one or more abolitionists, and you will have a pretty fair conception of the border ruffian as he appeared in Missouri and Kansas.
"He has, however, the happy faculty of assuming a very different aspect. Like other animals, he can shed his coat and change his colors. In the City of Washington he is quite another person. You will see him in the corridors of the first-class hotels, upon Pennsylvania Avenue, in the Rotunda of the Capitol, or the spacious halls of the White House, dressed in the finest broadcloth, and in the extreme of fashion; his hair trimmed, his face smoothed, and his hands cleansed; his manner gentle, kind and courteous, his whole deportment that of innocence; and his speech so smooth, studied and oily as to convince even the sagacious President himself that he is a veritable and polished gentleman, and obtain from the wise heads that form the cabinet the most important posts of trust, honor and emolument in the gift of the nation."
Apology. For two weeks the Free State did not make its appearance. The reason...was the most usual one in Kansas -- no paper. A lot which had been shipped in good time was, by culpable negligence or intentional meanness of somebody, taken past this place and deposited in an obscure warehouse in Leavenworth....
(Last newspaper in Free State file)