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Full text of "Reminiscences of Gov. R.J. Walker; with the true story of the rescue of Kansas from slavery"

GOV. ROBERT J. WALKER. 



REMINISCENCES 



OF 



Gov, R, J. Walker; 



WITH THE TRUE STORY OF 



THE RESCUE OF KANSAS FROM SLAVERY. 



BY GEO. W. BEOWN, M. D, 

HOXORARY CORRESPONDING SECRETARY OF THE HISTORICAL 
SOCIETY OF KANSAS. 



■> ■> '■> 



) e ' 3 ■ 



ROCKFORD, ILL.: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR. 
1902. 






THE LIBRARY OF 

CONGRESS, 
Two Cores Received 

MAY. 19 1902 

COPVHIGHT ENTRY 

CLASS ^toCXa No. 
COPY B. 



COPYRIGHT, BY G. W. BROWN, M. D., 

i8Si, 1902. 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 



t)" 



^h 



DEDICATION. 



To Mrs. SARA T. D. ROBINSON, 

Oakridge, Lawrence, Kansas — 

l^TT^^"^^^' — Permit me to dedicate these humble pages, 
relating to the pioneer history of your great and pros- 
perous State, to your kindly care. You were identified 
with all the early settlers who came from the free North and 
located in and around Lawrence, to whom your hospitality was 
always cordially extended. 

You saw a bald prairie, converted by well-directed toil and 
genius into the homes of an opulent and free people. You wit- 
nessed the aggressions of the slave power, shared in all the hardships 
and dangers which environed us. Your home was often the 
council chamber of the Free State leaders. That home with all 
its valuable contents, was tired by pro-slavery hands, and wholly 
consumed. May 21, 1856, when my own Herald of Freedom 
ofilce, with all its presses, type, and fixtures, Miller & Elliot's Free 
-State ofilce, the Emigrant Aid Company's Hotel, were destroyed. 

Following this terrible outrage on private rights your husband 
Charles Robinson, G. W. Smith, G. W. Deitzler, Gains Jenkins 
and myself were indicted, by direction of a partisan Court, for 
high treason; our only offence was laboring by peaceful means 
to make Kansas free. Held as prisoners for nearly four months, 
guarded much of the time by a regiment of L^nited States troops 
you shared the captivity with your husband, and wrote while 
thus environed, the fullest and most authentic history yet pub- 
lished of those boi'der troubles and pioneer days. 

You were also familiar with nearly every transpiring ev^ent 
connected with thegreat contest, to rescue Kansas from slavery, 
and were frequently advisory to lines of policy. 



4 REMINISCENCES 

While all this is true of yourself, your late husband, by his con- 
summate coolness, courage, careful consideratipn, and practical 
good judgment, was recognized as the head of the Free State 
party in all its trials, adversities and triumphs. He was made the 
first Governor by the suffrages of a free people, on the admission 
of the State into the Union, because of his political, social and 
moral worth. He wisely directed the policy of the State during 
the major part of the War of the Rebellion. In more pacific 
times he laid the foundation of the schools of learning for the 
Commonwealth, and contributed largely for their support during 
their infancy, donating the domain on which the State Univer- 
sity stands, providing by will that his large estate on your de- 
mise, shall inure to that University for its endowment. Hon- 
ored and loved by all classes of a free people, therefore, to you^ 
Mrs. Robinson, to the memory of your departed husband, to the 
few survivors of that great struggle for freedom, and to the de- 
scendents of those who are gone, to the press, the libraries of 
yovir State, and to all in every clime who, by word or deed, aided 
in rescuing Kansas from the curse of slavery, this volume is re- 
spectfully inscribed. 



3Z" 



PREFACE. 



'HE SUBSTANCE of these pages was written in iSSr, and 
was published in the Rockford, III., Gazette where it had a 
large reading. Many prominent actors in the Kansas 
strife during its pioneer daj's, were readers of the paper, while 
two copies were subscribed for, and are now on file in the Kansas 
Historical Society. To date, now over twenty years, not a single 
statement herein made, has been called in question so far as the 
author has information, yet numerous indorsements have been re- 
ceived from those who had personal knowledge of the subjects 
treated. Some of these letters will be quoted as notes, else in our 
closing pages, while their originals in due time will be filed for 
preservation with the Kansas Historical Society. Many other 
letters from less prominent persons, indorsing this narrative, are 
also on file. 

At the suggestion of some of the actors, a few points have been 
elaborated, and new ones in the way of notes have been added, 
which will make the work more valuable to a new generation and 
to youthful readers. 

The information herein contained could not be given the pub- 
lic, with propriety, at the time of its occurrence. For the want 
of this information, many pages of what was designed for truth- 
ful history, have been distorted, while actors in the exciting inci- 
dents, have been misrepresented and frequently maligned. Even 
recent writers have taken their cue from early press correspond- 
ents, ignorant of the truth, or the motive of the actors, and con- 
tinue to falsify and mislead their readers, giving credit for results 
to those whose belligerent policy retarded, and sometimes threat- 
ened to defeat the grand result of making Kansas a free State. 

Having been a personal actor throughout that exciting period 



O BEMINISCENCES 

in history, the editor and publisher of the Herald of Freedom, 
the first and leading free state paper in the territory from the be- 
ginning to the end of the contest, with intimate relations with all 
its men of prominence, and as our Kansas success was the real 
incentive of the South to Secession, ultimating in the extinction 
of American Slavery, and by reflex action in the principal king- 
doms of the world, so while others have placed themselves on rec- 
ord, it seems just that I, too, shall be heard in explanation of 
many events wherein myself, and those acting with me have been 
misunderstood and bitterly censured. 

I greatly regret I was unable to give a wider circulation to the 
truth, before so many of the real heroes in the strife had passed 
away. 

"Hear all sides before deciding," is the substance of a Latin 
proverb with an English rendering. Mine is the "other side" not 
heretofore so fully told. So much as is contained in this little 
volume may induce the re-writing of some pages of tangled Kan- 
sas history to make them better agree with truth. The whole is 
submitted in all kindness to the honest and thoughtful considera- 
tion of a new generation, in whose hands is the correction of the 
false in history. THE AUTHOR. 

907 Kilburn Avenue, 

Rockford, 111. 



OHA-FTER I. 

Introduction. 

fN THE autumn of 1879, the author of these pages 
was solicited to write his recollections of Old 
John Brown, and Gen. Jas. H. Lane. For reasons 
sufficient to himself he has chosen to defer writing 
of Gen. Lane until a future time. While his sketches 
of Capt. Brown were running through the Rockford 
III, Gazette, and several Kansas papers, the reading 
public were so much interested in them the author 
was respectfully solicited, by prominent actors in those 
times, to extend the series so as to embrace most of 
the leading incidents in the early history of Kansas. 

The reader is well aware that the strife between 
freedom and slavery, beginning with the application 
for admission of Missouri into the Union in 1820, had 
increased in intensity until the final repeal of the Mis- 
souri Compromise in 1854, and the passage of the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill, by which those Territories 
were organized and opened to settlement. 

A wild rush of settlers from the North and South 
to these new regions followed. Each party was deter- 
mined the institutions of his own section should pre- 
vail, to the entire exclusion of the other. Missouri, 
bounding the Territory on the East, felt that Kansas 
was positively her own. Her loose population, in 
advance of the extinguishment of Indian titles, set- 
tled along the water courses, and upon the timber 



8 REMINISCENCES OF 

lands, selecting valuable claims for neighbors who 
were expected to follow. 

Settlers from the North and East were met at the 
threshold of the territory, and informed that they 
■hould settle in Nebraska ; that Kansas was slave Ter- 
ritory; and that at any sacrifice of blood and treasure 
the South had resolved to make it a slave State. But 
the brave and adventurous from the North, taking the 
institutions of their own section with them — a free 
press, schools and educated labor — marched on, plot- 
ted cities, and laid foundations for a great and pros- 
perous Kepublic. 

On the 30th of March, 1855, in response to the 
proclamation of Governor Keeder ordering an elec- 
tion for members of the General Assembly, armed 
bodies of men, numbering several thousands in the 
aggregate, swarmed through the Territory from Mis- 
souri, took possession of the polling places, intimida- 
ted and drove away the regularly appointed judges, 
substituted their own men in their places, and elected 
their own supple tools — generally residents of Mis- 
souri — as members of the Legislature. The law- 
making power thus imposed on the actual residents, 
a very large majority of whom were in favor of free- 
dom — extended the laws of Missouri over that young 
empire, and passed others, in what they considered 
the interests of slavery, which were more bloody in 
their leading characteristics, than were those accred- 
ited to Nero. 

The anti-slavery agitation, so long pending in the 
States and in Congress, was transferred with all its 
bitterness, to the plains of Kansas. The Northern 



GOVERNOR WALKER \) 

mind was determined that slavery should not entrench 
itself on free soil. The South was fully conscious 
that its favorite institutions could not survive if sur- 
rounded by a cordon of free States. 

The attempt was first made by hlusier to prevent 
Northern people from settling in the Territory. In 
the autumn of 1853, a public meeting was held at 
Weston, Mo. , presided over by U. S. Senator David 
Atchison, at which the following was adopted : 

'•''Resolved, That if the Territory shall be opened 
to settlement, we pledge ourselves to each other io 
extend the institutions of Missouri over the Terri- 
tory, at ivhatever sacrifice of blood and treasure.'' 

On June 10th, 1854, ten days only after the bill 
organizing the territory was signed by the President, 
a meeting was held at Parkville, Mo., at which, with 
many others, the following were passed : 

^''Resolved, That we recognize the institution of 
slavery as already existing in the Territory, and rec- 
ommend slaveholders to introduce their property as 
fast as possible. 

^''Resolved, That we afford protection to no Abo- 
litionist as a settler in Kansas Territory." 

Similar resolutions were adopted all along the Kan- 
sas border, and were published at length in the Mis- 
souri papers. They were principally designed to 
intimidate Northern settlers and prevent them from 
locating in the contested Territory. 

Having control of the legislative power, with the 
officers and all the machinery of government at their 
command, they next attempted to enforce the laws 
they had made. 

The discord and violence which followed through 
the years of 1855, 1856, and which were arrested by 



10 KEMINISCENCES OF 

Gov. Geary, in September of the last year; in 1857, 
under the administration of Gov. Walker, assumed a 
new form. 

( The Southern States, observing their waning 
^ower, and fully satisfied that they had overdone the 
hlusie}" and violence business, changed their policy, 
and thought by finesse and pacific means, with federal 
aid, to fasten on the people a pro-slavery Constitu- 
tion. Gov. Walker, with a national reputation, Avas 
sent to Kansas from Mississippi, endorsed by the 
President and the entire South, with the arms and 
treasure of the country at his bidding, instructed to 
secure a faithful expression of the popular will, and 
the establishment of a government in harmony there- 
with, but, as the sequel shows, with the purpose of 
the presidential advisers, to make it a slave State. 

This period was the turning point in Kansas his- 
tory. From it came a free State; the election of 
President Lincoln; the long and bloody war of Seces- 
sion; the triumph of federal arms; and the outgrowth 
is the glorious present and the brilliant future which 
is just dawning on the American Kepublic. 

Whatever can throw light upon this forming stage 
in our country's history; this metamorphosis from a 
divided people — partly slave and partly free — to one 
of equal rights to all before the law, must necessarily 
be full of interest to the general reader, and espec- 
ially to the student. History is but the aggregation 
of events, succinctly stated. General history is made 
up of the doings of a large number of people, each 
of whom has contributed somewhat towards produc- 
ing the general result. A correct history of any 
country or event, can not be written until the leading 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 11 

actors have made detailed reports of incidents in 
which they were individually engaged. So far as 
they fail to make such reports so far will the general 
historian be deprived of the requisite material from 
which to collate a correct history of the times. 

Conscious that thousands of others have recollec- 
tions of thrilling incidents during the eventful times 
of which I write, yet each one's experience was pecu- 
liarly his own, and each contributed his full share 
towards bringing about the favorable result. With- 
out attempting to rob any one of his just meed of pop- 
iilar applause, to detract one particle from the honors 
which a grateful posterity will bestow on the real 
heroes in the Kansas struggle, I do propose, in these 
pages, to write mu own reminiscences of Gov. Robert 
J. Walker, with an outline history of the Lecompton 
Constitution, and the final rescue of Kansas from 
Slavery. Lovers of fair and impartial history will 
find much to challenge their attention in these pages, 
and it is to be hoped those who follow us to the con- 
clusion will be interested and instructed. 



CH^FTER II. 



Outlines of History. 

tT^HE MOST interesting period in Kansas history, 
<^\}s and the most important in its consequences to 
the American Eepublic is covered by the interval 
lying between the resignation of Gov. Geary, on the 
10th of March, 1857, and the final defeat of the 
Lecompton Constitution, by a direct vote of the peo- 
ple against it, on the 2d of August, 1858, under the 
provisions of the so-called English law. 

As briefly referred to in our introduction, the pro- 
slavery residents of Missouri had invaded the Terri- 
tory, at its first election for delegates to Congress, 
on the 29th of November, 1854; usurped the fran- 
chises of the settlers, and elected J. W. Whitfield to 
represent them in Congress. They came again by 
thousands, thoroughly organized, ofiicered and 
armed, on the 30th of March, 1855; took forcible pos- 
session of every polling precinct in the Territory, 
save one, regardless of the protests of the actual set- 
tlers; elected their own men to represent them in the 
Territorial Legislature, and to frame a code of laws 
for the government of the people. Gov. Reeder, 
under duress, issued certificates of election to a 
majority of the fraudulently elected members. The 
Legislature was convened under the Governor's direc- 
tion, at Pawnee, near Fort Riley, on the 2d of July, 
1855. A code of laws, highly obnoxious in their pro- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 13 

visions upon the slavery question, as upon all other sub- 
jects, was passed — the judiciary, in advance of their 
enactment, declaring them legal. 

The people, the actual residents of Kansas, in pub- 
lic conventions, through the press, and on the ros- 
trum, repudiated these "bogus" laws. Collisions fol- 
lowed. Gov. Keeder applied the title of "Border Kuf- 
fians * to the invaders, denied the legality of the stat- 
utes, and refused to enforce them. He was removed 
by President Pierce, and Gov. Shannon succeeded 
him. 

For a time Gov. Shannon seemed the willing instru- 
ment of the slavery propaganda; but before the close 
of his administration he discovered his error; at- 

*Gov. Reeder soon after the 30th of March visited Washing- 
ton, hoping to induce Prest. Pierce to disregard the election. On 
his way there he stopped at his old home, at Easton, Pa., and told 
the story of Kansas' wrongs, in a speech to his old neighbors. In 
this he designated the invaders as "Border Ruffians," and said 
they were led by their chiefs, David R. Atchison and B. F, 
Stringfellow. Soon after the Governor's return to Kansas, he 
was called upon by Stringfellow, and a party of kindred spirits. 
Stringfellow demanded of Reeder to know if he made the state- 
ment. The Governor repeated what he said; that the Territory 
had been invaded by a regularly organized company of armed men, 
"Border Ruffians," if you please, who took possession of the bal- 
lot boxes, and made a Legislature to suit the purposes of the pro- 
slavery party; and that in his opinion Gen. Stringfellow was 
responsible for the result. Stringfellow sprang to his feet, seized 
his chair, and felled the Governor to the floor, kicking him when 
down. He also attempted to draw a revolver, but was prevented 
from using it by District Attorney Isacks, and Mr. Halderman, 
the Governor's private secretary. And this the origin of the 
term, so common on the Kansas border for so many years, of 
"Border Ruffian." Who shall say it was not well merited. TSee 
H. of F. Aug, 8, '57, 2d. col., ist p.) 



14 REMINISCENCES OF 

tempted to correct himself; incurred the displeasure 
of the ruffian leaders; and was removed by their head 
at Washington. 

Gov. Geary came to Kansas as the successor of 
Gov. Shannon, in September, 1856. Secretary Wood- 
son, acting Governor, had ordered out the Territorial 
militia, ostensibly to enforce the bogus laws. Missouri 
responded, and sent forward a formidable army, bor- 
dering closely on three thousand, to crush out the 
*'Free State Insurgents." The latter were in arms 
for defense. Thus the questions involved were on 
the eve of a bloody issue when Gov. Geary arrived in 
the Territory, and interposed the federal army 
between the belligerents. 

A Presidential election was pending in the States. 
The people of the North were greatly incensed at the 
action of the federal government, in recognizing and 
sustaining the usurpers in Kansas. The Eepublican 
party was formed out of the Free Soil party, first 
organized at Buffalo, in 1848, fragments of the dis- 
banded Whig party, with many disaffected and inde- 
pendent members of the Democratic party who were 
opposed to the aggressions of slavery. Gen. Fremont, 
the Eepublican nominee, and the friend of free Kan- 
sas, was defeated, and Jas. Buchanan was elected. 

A majority of the lower House of Congress were in 
sympathy with the people of the Territory. They 
passed laws for the relief of the settlers, but they 
were invariably defeated in the Senate. 

As President Pierce's administration neared its 
close he attempted more pacific measures for Kansas. 
His principal adviser, however, was that arch-con- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 15 

spirator, Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War, and 
but little was accomplished. 

The bogus Legislature of 1855, deferred another 
session until January, 1857. The second session was 
held at Lecompton, at which an act was passed mak- 
ing provisions for a Convention to frame a state Con- 
stitution. Gov. Geary, on the 18tli of February, 
vetoed the bill, making as his principal objection to it 
that there was no requirement for submitting the Con- 
stitution when framed to the people for their ratifica- 
tion or rejection. The bill was passed over his veto. 
Provisions were made at the same time for taking a 
census, for the registry of voters, and the election of 
sixty delegates, who were to assemble at Lecompton 
on the third Monday of September following, to com- 
mence their labors. 

A Free State Convention was held at Topeka on the 
10th of March. That body set forth in a preamble 
that the so-called Legislative Assembly, ordering a 
Constitutional Convention, was a creature of fraud; 
that its members were representatives of a people 
foreign to the Territory; that the organic law did not 
authorize the Legislature to pass an enabling act, to 
change the form of government; that the Assembly 
was partisan in its character; that it clearly contem- 
templated further fraud and violence ; that it deprives 
the Executive of powder to prevent or remedy such 
fraud; that it leaves the control of the census, the 
registry of voters, the apportionment of members, 
and the whole machinery pertaining to the election in 
the hands of pretended officers not elected by the 
people; and that there is no provision for submitting 
the Constitution so framed to the voters for their 



16 REMINISCENCES OF 

approval or otherwise. The Convention then resolved 
that they could not participate in such election without 
compromising their rights as American citizens, sac- 
rificing the best interests of Kansas, and jeopardizing 
the public peace. 

On the same day with the assembling of this Con- 
vention at Topeka, Gov. Geary, fearful of assassina- 
tion from the more violent of the pro-slavery party — 
which had been several times attempted — sent his 
resignation to the President, and quietly left the Ter- 
ritory, issuing a farewell address to the people, dated 
on the 12th, filled with valuable advice and sugges- 
tions for preserving the public tranquility. 

On the 10th of April following, Egbert J. Walker, 
of Mississippi, was commissioned Governor, and 
Fred. P. Stanton, of Tennessee, was appointed Sec- 
retary. 

Daniel Woodson, of Virginia, was the first Secre- 
tary of Kansas, serving from June 29th, 1854, through 
the whole period of Governor Keeder's, Shannon's 
and Geary's administrations, officiating as Acting 
Governor during the absence of these functionaries 
from the Territory, and during vacations. He was a 
willing tool of the slave power; and, during the peri- 
ods he was acting Governor, the Kansas troubles 
were at their greatest hight. 

Secretary Stanton visited Lawrence for the first on 
the 24:th of April, 1857, one month in advance of the 
arrival of Gov. Walker, and was Acting Governor dur- 
ing the interim. He was received by the people 
of the city with great cordiality, was entertained by 
Gov. Robinson at dinner, and at the Cincinnati 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 17 

House in the evening, where he partook of a supper 
with many leading citizens. During the evening, 
he was called on by the people generally, for a speech. 
In the course of his remarks he said: 

"You wish to know my position in regard to the 
Territorial laws. Congress has recognized them as 
binding. A majority of that body gave Whitfield a 
seat as a Territorial delegate, and made appropria- 
tions for carrying on the Government. President 
Buchanan has recognized the laws as valid, and they 
must be received as such. [Never! from the multi- 
tude.] You must obey them, and pay the taxes. 
[Never! no never!] There is where I am at war 
with you. [Then let there be war.] It shall be war 
to the knife, and knife to the hilt! I say it without 
excitement, and wish you to receive it as such ; the 
taxes must be collected, and it becomes the duty of 
my administration to see that they are collected. 
[Then you bring the government into collision with 
them. ] 

Aside from this episode, the speech of Acting Gov- 
ernor Stanton was well received. But here seemed 
the elements of future discord, which Gov. Geary's 
six months' pacific administration just closed, had 
almost wholly allayed. 

I introduce this incident to show the condition of 
the public pulse, and the determination of the offi- 
cials at the time of Gov. Walker's arrival at Law- 
rence, just five weeks thereafter. 



CH^FTER III, 



Arrival of Governer Walker. 
f^ OV. WALKER reached Leavenworth on the 
l£r 25th, and Lawrence on the 26th of May, 1857. 
He had been accompanied up the Missouri by Senator 
Wilson, of Massachusetts. Eev. John Pierpont, and 
Dr. Howe reached Lawrence a day in advance of the 
Governor, and arrangements had been made for a tem- 
perance meeting, at the Unitarian Church, on Tues- 
day evening. Gov. Walker, who tarried over night in 
Lawrence, was in attendance. 

I am sure my Kansas readers will allow a slight 
digression, while I recite brief paragraphs in the 
remarks of Senator Wilson and Rev. Pierpont, com- 
plimentary of the country, made on that occasion. 
Said Mr. Wilson: 

"I have never seen a more pleasantly located place 
than Lawrence, or a more fertile region than that sur- 
roimding the city. I do not think there is another 
such a lovely site for a town on the western continent. 
[Turning to Mr. Pierpont,] Perhaps my venerable 
rriend, who has traveled all over the old world, may 
have seen a more beautiful landscape, or more en- 
chanting scenery. [Mr. P. answered "No, sir!"] He 
says 'No, sir.' I did not know but he might some- 
where, in his many wanderings, have found a lovelier 
spot, but I have not seen it." 

Rev. Pierpont, possibly inspired by Mr. Wilson's 
appeal to him, in the course of his address, which 
followed, said: 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 19 

"I have probably traveled more than most men of 
my profession, having journeyed all over the United 
States, and visited each of them, save those on the 
Pacific coast; I have wandered through the East, 
looked out upon the gorgeous scenery of Northern and 
Middle Europe, on the vine-clad vales of the Rhine, 
and down from the Alpine heights of Switzerland; 
I have traveled through sunny Italy, classic Greece, 
the land of Pyramids, Holy Palestine, but in all my 
wanderings I have never looked upon a more beautiful 
prospect than that which I beheld from Mt. Oread 
to-day. I can well say, in the amended language of 
another, 'God might have made a more lovely country, 
but I am sure He has never done it." 

Gov. Walker spoke briefly, but he touched upon 
those subjects in which all were interested. He 
referred to his inaugural, which would be published 
the next day, embracing his views in detail. Among 
other things he said: 

''I recognize no right but that of the majorty, to 
decide the sectional questions which have disturbed 
the Territory. Upon that basis I shall rest the admin- 
istration of Kansas affairs ; and it will be my endeavor 
to establish that principle, and make it so complete 
that the difiiculties now existing may be obviated in 
the shortest way. The people — the actual bona fide 
settlers, and none others, shall be allowed the right of 
suffrage. This is guaranteed to you, and it shall be 
my province, while I remain your Governor, to enforce 
to the fullest extent, your legal rights in this regard." 

The masses of the people were very much pleased 
with Gov. Walker's avowals, and leading men did not 
hesitate to so express themselves to him. 

On Wednesday, the 27th of May, he continued his 
journey to Lecompton, where he read his inaugural, 
which, it was afterw^ards stated, was prepared in 



20 REMINISCENCES OF 

Washington, and submitted to President Buchanan, 
who approved of it, also to a few friends in New 
York, as well as to Senator Douglas, whom the Gov- 
ernor called upon in Chicago. In his address he 
declared himself devoted to the Union, believing that 
upon its preservation depended the hopes, not of this 
country alone, but of the world. He was profoundly- 
anxious to remove everything which endangered its 
peace, or menaced its existence. The Kansas ques- 
tion, in his judgment, constituted the most serious 
of the perils with which it is now environed; and he 
hoped if this could be fairly and satisfactorily adjusted 
the last of the dangers which threatened its peace and 
prosperity would be dispelled. 

While tarrying in New York, on his way^to Kansas, 
a few personal friends gave him a public entertain- 
ment. In response to a toast on that occasion he 
said: 

"Nothing could have induced me to accept the office 
of Governor of Kansas, tendered me by the Presi- 
dent, but the hope of restoring peace to that Territory, 
and of doing something to settle decisively and finally 
the great controversy which has divided the country 
and which is the only thing endangering the peace 
and stability of the Union," 

Gov. Walker's name was familiar to the entire 
country. A native of Pennsylvania, and a son of one 
of the distinguished Judges of the Supreme Court of 
that commonwealth; a lawyer by education; locating 
in Mississippi in early manhood, he became identified 
with the material interests of the state. He filled 
various resjponsible positions in the local government; 
was elected to the United States Senate, which impor- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 21 

tant position he filled from 1837 to 1845; then, as 
Secretary of the Treasury, he was a leading member 
in President Polk's cabinet. In 1846, he revised the 
tariff system of the country, and his project became a 
law almost as it came from his hands. To his great 
credit it can be said, one of his official reports on the 
finances of the country, was published at length, at 
the instance of Sir Robert Peel, in the London Times, 
the only document of that character which ever 
receied such marked consideration in a foreign coun- 
try. Gov. W. married a grand-daughter of Benjamin 
Franklin.* 

In coming to Kansas, he was welcomed with great 
cordiality by all classes. The pro-slavery men saw in 
him a member of their own party, sympathizing fully 
with Southern institutions, and ready at all times, as 
they hoped, to advance their interests at whatever 
sacrifice. Many of the Free State men, indeed, per- 
haps all at first, were apprehensive that, with his 
superior executive ability, great talent and personal 
popularity in the South, he would so manage affairs 
as to fasten slavery upon the people as a permanent 
institution. Correspondents of the Eastern press 
located in Kansas, commenced denouncing him before 
his arrival, and they continued that course long after 
he left the Territory. Not content with assailing 
him, they were violent in their abuse of all Free State 
men who were on friendly terms with him, and who 

*Gov. Robert J. Walker was born in Northumberland, Pa., 
July, 2;^. iSoi. He died in Washington, D. C, Nov. ii, 1869. 
He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, studied law 
with his father, married a daughter of Franklin Bache, a grand- 
daughter of Benjamin Franklin, 



22 REMINISCENCES OF 

said, wrote or published a kindly word in his defense. 
Even a small portion of the Kansas press pursued a 
similar line of policy, and, so far as it had the power, 
embittered many good men against him at the outset. 
The writer had the pleasure of listening to the 
Governor's few remarks at the Unitarian Church, and 
reported portions of them which were published in 
the Herald of Freedom of May 30. He thought he 
saw in him a desire to deal justly by all, and deter- 
mined that he would do nothing, with word or pen, 
to drive him to antagonism with the Free State party. 



Interview with Gov. Walker. 

On Saturday, the 30th of May, Gov. Walker 
returned to Lawrence, from Lecompton, and again 
stopped at the Morrow House. He was waited upon 
by many of our leading citizens, who welcomed him 
and his escort to the Territory. 

On Sunday morning, Sec'y Stanton and E. O. Per- 
rine, who came to Kansas with the Secretary, and 
who became famed among the people for his brilliant 
speeches, and who was popularly known as "Spread- 
Eagle Perrine," called upon the writer, at the sanc- 
tum of the Herald of Freedom office, and stated 
that among the many callers on the Governor the day 
before the neglect of the editor to visit him had been 
noted; that the Governor had remarked about it, and, 
as his stay in Lawrence would be brief, it would give 
him pleasure to have an interview. 

"Please say to the Governor," I replied, "that he 
has mistaken our positions. I am the editor of the 
Herald of Freedom^ Mr. Walker is a mere Territo- 
rial Governor, an office so humble, judging by the 
number who have filled that station during the last 
year or two, as hardly to be worthy of mention. Tell 
the Governor I shall be sincerely glad to see him, 
and shall welcome him with great cordiality to my 
sancium sanctorum, but I cannot think for a moment 
of leaving my tripod to visit merely a Kansas Gov- 
ernor." 



24 REMINISCENCES OF 

"You mean, simply that as the mountain will not go 
to Mohamet, Mohamet must go to the mountain,'* 
replied Stanton, laughing. 

"That is it exactly." 

"A good joke," said Perrine. "I will report you, 
word for word to the Governor ; and unless I mistake 
his make-up you may expect a call from him this 
morning.*' 

I begged him to modulate the remarks somewhat, 
if I was to he reported; but be assured us it would 
be reported verbatim. Placing himself in position 
he repeated the speech, whilst Stanton seemed ready 
to burst with laughter. 

They left, begging me not to leave the office for a 
short time. 

Perhaps twenty minutes elapsed, when the same 
gentlemen returned with Gov. Walker, and we were 
introduced. Yet holding the Governor's hand, and 
standing near the door, I said: 

"Governor, I understand you are a native of Penn- 
sylvania." 

"I was born there, sir, and spent the early years of 
my life in that State, and I still look upon the old 
Keystone as the brightest in the federal arch." 

"I hail from that State, and indorse your senti- 
ment," said I. 

"Indeed, from what county?," 

"Crawford." 

"From Crawford county! Why, Mr. Brown, I 
spent the first years of my life after my graduation 
in that county, surveying for the Holland Land Com- 
pany." 



GOVERNOR AVALKER. 25 

"You know Mr. Huidekoper, then?" 

"I was in the employ of Harm Jan Huidekoper, 
and when I left his service he presented me with a 
purse, [I think he said three thousand dollars], with 
which I purchased my law library — locating in Pitts- 
burg." 

"Why, my father purchased his lands," said I, "of 
Mr. Huidekoper," telling him where they were 
located. 

"I remember that region well. John B. Wallace 
owned lands in that section. How strange. Those 
old names come back to me so strongly. Alexander 
Power, a surveyor, must have been near you." 

"Yes, I understand he took a quantity of land in 
part payment for his services. Conneautville is 
located on his lands." 

"Why, Mr. Brown, we are old acquaintances. I am 
really glad to meet you.'' 

All this time we had remained standing. Taking 
chairs we talked of others of the old settlers about 
Meadville, most of whom I had known in my boy- 
hood; all of whom had since passed away. 

The Governor then remarked that he had been hav- 
ing a very rich experience for the last few weeks. 
"I'our weeks ago to-day," said he, "I was in New 
York. I thought I would like to hear that eccentric 
preacher. Henry Ward Beecher. So I paid a visit to 
his church. He gave us a genuine anti-slavery 
speech. If he had known I was in the audience I 
should have believed it was designed expressly for 
my ears; but it was impossible for him to have 
known I was there. The following Sunday I spent 



26 REMINISCENCES OF 

Buffalo. There I had the pleasure of listening to 
another anti-slavery sermon. I came up the Missouri 
on a steamer with Senator Wilson. The passengers 
teased him to make a speech, and of course it was 
anti-slavery. To-day I am going to the Unitarian 
church to hear Eev. Mr. Nute. I expect I shall be 
entertained with another sermon of the same sort. 
Possibly they will convert me to their views yet," 
with a hearty laugh, in which all joined. Looking at 
his watch, and turning to Mr. Stanton, he continued, 
'•I see it is time we were on our way to church. Mr. 
Brown, I want a long interview with you. At what 
hour can I see you?" 

"Consult your own convenience, Governor. I can 
be at leisure at any time.'' 

"Two o'clock, then, promptly at two o'clock I shall 
call upon you. I must not miss that anti-slavery 
sermon." 

I am thus particular in repeating this my first inter- 
view with Gov. Walker, at length, as furnishing in 
part a key to the pleasant relations which afterwards 
existed between us, and which, I am glad to write, 
were in no manner interrupted for a single moment. 
As we proceed with these 'Reminiscences' I trust the 
reader will see the importance attached to this and the 
afternoon interview in moulding the future of Kan- 
sas, of the National government, and, may I not add, 
of the world? 



CHA-FTER V. 



Important Interview. 

EIFTEEN minutes before two o'clock Gov. 
Walker called again at the Herald of Free- 
dom office. He made no mention whatever of the 
church service. He was unattended and appeared 
in excellent spirits. Being seated, he began: 

"Mr. Brown, I had a long interview with Gov. 
Geary before leaving Washington in regard to Kansas 
matters. He told me of you, and requested me to 
make your acquaintance. He represented you as an 
honest, conscientious and truthful journalist, strongly 
anti-slavery, but opposed to all sorts of disorder and 
violence. He said any statement you may make to 
me I can rely upon implicitly. Now I would like to 
have you give me a full and detailed account of your 
troubles, their causes, and any suggestions you may 
be pleased to make for their avoidance in the future. 
I wish you to give me especially your views of Gov- 
ernors Keeder and Shannon, and I do not wish you to 
make any reservation because of our party diffier- 
ences. I am an inquirer after trath, and I have come 
t o Kansas with an earnest determination to right your 
wrongs so far as I have the ability." He then went 
on to say that the strife in Kansas was only a removal 
to another field of a long struggle in the South, 
headed by Calhoun, looking to a dissolution of the 
Union. He had met and fought it on every stump in 



28 REMINISCENCES OF 

Mississippi. "Why, Mr. Brown, I literally wrapped 
the flag of my country around my person, in some of 
my campaign speeches in the South, and declared 
that when I died I would die under its protecting 
folds. I meant, it sir, not as a rhetorical flourish, but 
as a simple fact.* You of the North have another 
set of extremists, with the same ends in view, urging 
a different cause for reaching that end; but they are 
revolutionists and disunionists nevertheless, and it is 
the duty of all good men everywhere to unite, put an 
end to these difficulties, and the dangers threatening 
us. Unless we do so but a few years will find us 
engaged in a fratricidal war, the most calamitous in 
its results of any which has ever visited the world. I 
hope to do my share in Kansas to avert those conse- 
quences. Now begin, commencing with Gov. 
Reeder's administration." 

I then gave the Governor a short sketch of the lead- 
ing events connected with Gov. Reeder's administra- 
tion. Mentioned the first election of a Delegate to 
Congress, on the 29th of November, 1854, and of the 
scenes of violence and disorder enacted at Leaven- 
worth, as furnished me by my own special corres- 
pondent, who was on the ground. Passing this, I 
gave him an account of the invasion of every election 



*Perhaps it is as well in this place as any other to state that 
on the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, Gov. Walker be- 
came an intimate acquaintance of President Lincoln, and because 
of his great financial reputation, was sent to Europe, where he 
negotiated sales for $250,000,000 of United States bonds, giving^ 
great relief to our pecuniary necessities for ready money to pros- 
ecute the Avar. He published four pamphlets in England on the 

-4- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 29 

precinct save one, on the SOth of March, 1855, by an 
armed body of strangers from Missouri, who came in 
force, nominated and elected their own men to seats 
in the Legislative Assembly, excluding the Free State 
settlers from the polls, or allowing a few to vote 
near the close of the day; that they took the election 
returns with them to the Shawnee Mission, near the 
Missouri border, where Gov. Reeder was sojourning, 
and compelled him, under threats of violence, to issue 
certificates of election to a majority of the members 
of the first Legislature thus fraudulently elected. I 
said: "This was Gov. Reeder's first great error." 

" Consented to do, and did a great wrong, from fear 
of personal violence. Why, Mr. Brown, I would have 
suffered the amputation of my right hand before I 
would have done such an act; yes, would been bored 
throught by a bullet. You do. justly in holding Gov. 
Reeder responsible for the consummation of that ter- 
rible wrong which bad men had inaugurated. But 
I am interrupting you. Proceed." 

I then gave an account of the second election which 
Gov. Reeder had ordered, to elect new members in 
those districts to which he had not issued certificates 
of election. 

"A silly act," replied the Governor. "All parlia- 
mentary bodies decide upon the rights of its own 
members to seats. A majority of that Legislature 
held certificates of election from the Governor. They 
constituted a quorum for business, and as such, could 
give the residue of the seats to whom they pleased." 

I stated that the body so acted when convened at 
Pawnee, on the 2d day of July following, and that 



30 REMINISCENCES OF 

all holding certificates from the Governor, issued for 
the second election, were removed, and the invaders 
from Missouri were given the seats in their stead. I 
then gave the Governor a specimen of " hasty legis- 
lation," which I witnessed at Pawnee on the 4th of 
July, 1855. Dr. J. H. Stringfellow introduced a bill 
in the lower House, on the morning of that day, with 
the statement: 

"I hold in my hand a bill, more important in its 
consequences, than that signed by the fathers of the 
American revolution, seventy-nine years ago to-day. 
The Declaration of Independence gave freedom to 
America. This bill which I shall introduce will per- 
petuate it. I ask immediate action on the subject, 
and hope the House will suspend the rules, and allow 
it to pass through all the parliamentary stages, without 
the usual delay." 

He read substantially as follows : 

"Be it Enacted by the Governor and Legislative 
Assembly of the Territory of Kansas: That the gen- 
eral laws of Missouri, not locally inapplicable, be and 
the same are hereby enacted and extended over the 
Territory of Kansas," 

Some member, I think it was Mr. Wilkinson, of 
Pottawatomie Creek, moved to amend by substituting 
the statutes of Tennessee. He said he was acquainted 
with the laws of that State, but not of Missouri, there- 
fore he preferred the amendment. Another member 
sprang to his feet and said: 

"Both, the statutes of Missouri and Tennessee pro- 
tect the institution of slavery, and that is enough for 
me to know. I am prepared to vote for the bill as 
it now stands." 

The motion to amend was not seconded. The rules 
were suspended, and in one hour from the introduc- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 31 

tion of the bill it had passed its several readings, and, 
as far as the Lower House was concerned, it possessed 
all the elements of a law. It was signed by the 
Speaker, and carried by a messenger to the Council. 
I followed the messenger to that body, and saw the 
bill introduced; but my recollection is, it was referred 
to a committee, and delayed in its final passage until 
the body had removed, a few days after, to the Shaw- 
nee Mission. [It is proper to state that the House 
Journal does not make mention of this proceeding. 
Mr. Wattles, in his history of Kansas, published in 
the Herald of Freedom^ applies this language of 
Stringfellow's to another measure, and says that "An 
act to establish the statutes of the Territory of Kan- 
sas," was introduced on the 5th. I made notes of the 
transaction at the time, and feel confident that I am 
not mistaken in this statement.] 

The Governor laughed heartily over the incident 
as I narrated it, and said: "There are fanatics in all 
legislative bodies, and it is evident Stringfellow is 
troubled in that direction." 

I then called his attention to the laws they passed, 
among others making it a criminal offense, punish- 
able in the penitentiary, to write, print, publish or 
declare that slavery has not a legal existetice in 
Kansas." 

''Were not those unwise laws repealed at the late 
session of the Legislative Assembly?" 

" Some of them were, but enough are left to damn 
any law-making body." 

"Did Gov. Eeeder sign those laws?"' 

"No, he repudiated the action of the Legislature 



32 REMINISCENCES OF 

after its removal to the Mission, and he was soon 
after removed by the president." 

''Well what of Gov. Shannon?"* 

"Our whole people gave him the cold shoulder 
on his arrival in the Territory. He was welcomed, 
and feasted, and wined by pro-slavery leaders, and 
looked upon the actual settlers as outlaws, and, for a 
time, treated them as such. He brought on the 
Wakarusa war, by calling the Territorial militia into 
service against the Free State settlers. His militia 
consisted almost wholly of the rowdy and drinking 
element in Missouri, who responded to his call, and 
came over in organized companies, with all the muni- 
tions of war, swearing vengeance against the 'd — d 
Yankee paupers at Lawrence.' " 

" There was no collision between your people and 
the Governor's forces?" 

"No. As soon as the facts were made known to 
the Governor, he disbanded his 'militia' and sent them 
back into Missouri." 

" The sacking of Lawrence, the destruction of the 

*Gov. Wilson Shannon was a lawj'er of some prominence. In 
1838 he was elected Governor of Ohio; was defeated bv Tom 
Corwin in 1840, re-elected in 1842; in 1844 was made Minister to 
Mexico; in 1853 was elected to Congress; in 1855 was appointed 
by President Pierce as Governor of Kansas. Resigned in the 
summer of 1856; subsequently located with his family in Law- 
rence, where he was in the practice of law until his death, August 
30, 1897. Gov. Shannon was a man of sterling integrity, of first 
class legal ability, and only lacked efficient firmness to resist, at 
the outset, the demands of the pro-slaverv leaders in Kansas. He 
died universally sespected by all parties. His wife, whom he mar- 
ried in Harrison County, Ohio, survived him, and died in January, 
1881, universally beloved. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 33 

Free State presses, your Herald of Freedom office 
included, and the demolition of the hotel as a nuis- 
ance, was under his administration?" 

''Yes;" and I gave him a brief history of the out- 
rages. 

" Sent here to protect the people, and conniving at 
their destruction. I have no sympathy with such 
transactions. Gov. Shannon left the Territory under 
a cloud, did he not?" 

" Yes, after the destruction of Lawrence he seemed 
to fall into bad odor with the leaders of his party. 
He had been applied to for United States troops to 
aid in assessing and collecting taxes under the bogus 
laws. He refused to lend the army for such services. 
It is said for this reason his associate officers and 
party generally opposed him, and succeeded in secur- 
ing his removal. They threatened him with a bath 
in the river before leaving. It was reported that he 
went in some sort of disguise, in a government 
conveyance, to Fort Leavenworth, where he took a 
steamer down the Missouri." 

" I think Gov. Geary told me you. with others, were 
indicted for high treason. AVhat was your offense?" 

"For publishing a Free State newspaper, I sup- 
pose. We were charged with levying war against the 
Government; but this was only const yudively. Judge 
Lecompton instructed the Grand Jurors that advising 
resistance to the Territorial laws was construciive 
high treason^ and if the jurors found any persons had 
so advised, to find indictments against them." 

"Under our Constitution we have no constructive 
high treason. An overt act must be committed to 



34 REMINISCENCES OF 

constitute the crime, and this must be proved by two 
witnesses. You had no trial?" 

"No; we were held some four months as prisoners, 
refused bail, guarded a portion of the time by a regi- 
ment of United States troops, then released on our 
personal recognizances to the next term of court, 
when the indictment was nolle prossed."" 

" The Legislature last winter passed a law calling a 
convention to frame a State Constitution, I am told. 
What are your people going to do about it?" 

"Nothing." 

"Is that wise?" 

"We think so." 

" Why do you take such a position ? It seems to 
me you are imperiling everything. You claim that 
your friends are largely in the majority. If so, it 
occurs to me, that it is your duty to engage in the 
election, send up a majority who favor your views, 
and form a constitution in harmony with them. In 
this way you can easily slide out of your Territorial 
condition into that of a State, and get rid of all your 
political troubles." 

"I apprehend. Governor, that you take a wrong 
view of this question. The Legislature provided for 
the taking of the census, and the registry of the voters 
of the Territory, and made a provision that no person 
should be allowed to vote for delegates to the conven- 
tion whose name is not registered. There is no power 
in the people to correct that register. The work has 
been done, so far as done at all, by violent pro-slavery 
men, and they have been careful to exclude nearly all 
the Free State men from the register. It is impos- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 35 

sible under the law, with the fraudulent registration, 
to elect a Free State delegation from any district in 
the Territory. No provision is made for submitting 
the constitution to the people. It is wholly a one- 
sided affair, and, as such, we have decided to pay no 
attention to it, and resist its adoption by Congress." 

"A very unsafe proceeding. The President and 
Senate are understood to favor the formation of a 
State Constitution, as the easiest way of getting rid of 
you. You cannot count with safety on the House. 
But we will waive that matter. You are to have a 
new election the coming autumn for a Delegate to 
Congress, and for a Legislative Assembly. What 
action will your people take on these matters?" 

"They have resolved not to participate in any 
election held under the bogus laws ; and as the ballot- 
box is hedged in, no Free State man can participate 
in the election under them without dishonor." 

"To what do you refer?" 

"A test oath is required of all who vote, that they 
will sustain those villainous laws, and they are required 
to pay a poll tax of one dollar." 

" Suppose I issue a proclamation declaring any 
such provisions inoperative and void; that the elec- 
tions must be held under the provisions of the organic 
act, without regard to your local legislation? How, 
then, will your people feel in regard to voting?" 

" If we could have satisfactory assurance that we 
shall have a fair and impartial election ; that none but 
bona fide residents of the Territory shall participate 
in the elections; that fraudulent returns shall be dis- 
regarded, by the election committee of which your 
honor and the Secretary are members, and a major- 



36 REMINISCENCES OF 

ity; and the objectional features just'mentioned shall 
be ignored, I think the Free State party will engage 
in the election. I feel like doing so, and will use the 
Herald of Freedom to influence the party in that 
direction." 

Mr. Brown, your propositions seem just, and I now 
give you my pledge that each suggestion you have 
made shall be carried out to the letter, on condition 
you will get your party to participate in the elections." 

" I promise you only as regards the election of a 
delegate to Congress, and for members of the Legis- 
ative Assembly." 

" Suppose the Constitution is submitted to a full 
vote of the people, will you not vote for its reception 
or rejection?" 

" Governor, we cannot so far recognize the bogus 
Legislature, as to vote even against a Constitution 
framed by its authority. If, however, the instrument, 
as an entirety, is submitted to the whole people of 
Kansas, and our friends can have assurances of a fair 
chance under it, possibly they may be induced to vote 
it down; but I will not promise at present to favor 
such a measure through my paper." 

*' We agree very well. There is another matter I 
wish to compare views with you — that is, in regard to 
the collection of taxes. What are your views in 
regard to them ?'' 

"That we will resist their collection to the extent 
of our power." 

"You do not mean to be understood that you would 
advise forcible resistance?" 

*'I mean. Governor, that the people of Kansas 
occupy the same position in regard to these laws, and 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 37 

taxes imposed under them, as did our revolutionary 
ancestors in regard to the tax levied by the British 
government on the colonies. The body imposing 
these taxes on the people of Kansas was foreign to the 
soil ; it had no interest in common with us ; we had no 
voice in its election, and we cannot consent to be gov- 
erned by it, or forced to contribute of our means for 
its support. We have been anxious to make a case 
for the Supreme Court, where this matter may be 
fully adjudicated." 

"You are aware, Mr. Brown, that the President 
recognizes these laws, to which you object, as valid; 
he has instructed me, as your Executive, to so treat 
them; and has placed the military forces of the United 
States subject to my order to put down any opposition 
to their enforcement. I do not wish any collision 
with your people and will do all I can to avert any; 
but from your position I cannot see how it can be 
avoided. Suppose I am called upon, as I probably 
will be, by the Sheriff to furnish a military force to 
aid in the collection of taxes. Under my instructions 
what am I to do but furnish him such force?" 

"Do this, Governor, procrastinate action until after 
the October election. If you give us a fair and 
impartial election, as you have promised, our people 
will engage in it. Jf we elect all the officers, or a 
majority, even, who are opposed to those laws, or who 
favor their repeal, then you will not be called upon 
after such election for the posse you contemplate. 
If we are defeated by fair means, then it will be evi- 
dent we are in the minority, and we ought to pay the 
taxes, and I will no longer oppose their collection?" 

"I like your position, Mr. Brown, and am inclined 



38 REMINISCENCES OF 

to favor your suggestion. Possibly we could do the 
same way as to all the statutes, and delay their execu- 
tion, other than as regards the elections, until the 
whole matter shall be thus settled in October. I will 
talk with Secretary Stanton in regard to the matter; 
but without regard to his views I will agree not to 
use the troops to aid in the collection of taxes until 
after the October election, and not then if you Free 
State men get control of the elective offices." 

" Thank you. Governor, for your decision. I shall 
hold you to this, as to the other promises you have 
made." I then called his attention to an editorial in 
the Herald of Freedom of April 18th, headed "There 
is Hope," written soon after his appointment We 
said: 

"From all the information we are able to collect 
from our exchanges, we are not without hope in 
regard to our new Governor. It is true he is a 
Southern man, residing in the extreme South, but he 
is not an ultraist, nor a disunionist. If he consults 
the best interests of Kansas, and regards the will of 
the majority, and does justice by all parties, we are 
satisfied. We do not ask for the Free State Party any 
special privileges. Give us equal and exact justice, 
and no man shall ever find a word of censure for him 
in the Herald of Freedom; on the contrary, if he will 
labor to correct abuses in this Territory, we will exert 
our humble influence to strengthen his administra- 
tion, by presenting him properly before the public. 
Others may oppose us, as they have in the past, and 
may labor to embarrass Gov. W. in the discharge of 
his official duties; we shall not, unless we are satis- 
fied his intentions are to oppose us, and enslave the 



GOYEENOR WALKER. 39 

people, then we shall not hesitate to 'let slip the dogs 
of war.' " 

" This is more, Mr. Brown, than I asked, or even 
exi^ected.' I am truly glad I have met you; glad I 
have made your acquaintance; glad you extended the 
olive branch to me, before I started ^Kansas-ward; 
glad you are from PeniTsylvania, my native State, in 
which I have always taken great i^ride. I give my 
hand, as a token of personal friendship. Whatever 1 
can do to advance your interests please command 
me." 

Our interview lasted several hours, and it was in no 
way interrupted. It made a favorable and lasting 
impression on my mind as to the good intentions of 
the Governor, and from that hour I felt the freedom 
of Kansas was fully assured. 



CH^FTER VI. 



Gov. "Walker's Inaugural. 

fN HIS Inaugural Address, of date May 27, 1857, 
Gov. Walker took occasion to urge the people of 
Kansas to participate in the election of delegates to 
the Constitutional Convention. He assured them 
that "the authority of the Convention is distinctly 
recognized in my instructions from the President." 
He said: "I cannot doubt that the Convention, after 
having formed a State Constitution, will submit it for 
ratification or rejection to a majority of the then 
actual bona fide resident settlers of Kansas." He 
stated that his instructions were to sustain the reg- 
ular Legislature in assembling a Convention to frame 
a State Constitution; and that in submitting it to the 
people, "the fair expression of the popular will must 
not be interrupted by fraud or violence." The Gov- 
ernor labored at great length to convince the people 
that their interests favored the formation of a State 
government. In regardt o the slaA^ery question he said : 
"There is a law more powerful than the legislation 
of man, more potent than passion or prejudice, that 
must ultimately determine the location of slavery in 
this country. It is the isothermal line, it is the law 
of the thermometer, of latitude or altitude, regula- 
ting climate, labor and productions, and, as a conse- 
quence, of profit and loss." He promised a glowing 
future for Kansas, "a career of power, progress and 
prosperity unsurpassed in the history of the world,'* 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 41 

if the questions growing out of slavery were peace- 
fully settled by the people, while, in vivid contrast, 
he showed the effects if this strife was prolonged. 
*'Fraud, violence and injustice will reign supreme 
throughout our borders, and we will have achieved 
the undying infamy of having destroyed the liberty 
of our country and the world. We will become a by- 
word of reproach and obloquy; and all history will 
record the fact that 'Kansas was the grave of the 
American Union.'" He closed his long address, filling 
a page in the Herahl of Freedom, of June 6, 1857, 
with laudations of the American Constitution, and 
unshaken trust in an overrulingProvidence, saying, 
"It is this hand which beckons us onward in the path- 
way of peaceful progress, expansion and renown, 
until our continent, in the distant future, shall be 
covered with the folds of the American banner, and, 
instructed by our example, all the nations of the 
world, through many trials and sacrifices, shall estab- 
lish the great principles of our constitutional con- 
federacy of free and sovereign States." 

This Inaugural was published in most of the papers 
in Kansas, was distributed in large numbers in 
pamphlet form among the people, and was generally 
very well received. Of the Governor and his address 
the writer of these pages at the time, in a leading 
editorial in his paper, said: 

"The policy of Gov. Walker is a policy the people 
of Kansas have reason to hail with delight. It will 
release them from political thraldom, it will give 
them possession of all their God-given rights. The 
Territorial Legislature laid a plan to perpetuate their 
power, but through the kindly instrumentality of 
Gov. Walker they will signally fail." 



CHAPTER T^IL 



Strife Brewing. 

C^ OV. WALKEE, accompanied by Secretary Stan- 
ly ton and E. O. Perrin, visited Topeka on 
the 6tli of June, and each addressed the people at 
length. Here the Governor delivered his real inau- 
gural. That of the 27th, as before stated, was pre- 
pared in Washington, while yet unacquainted with the 
people he was going out to govern; the address at 
Topeka was evidently an extemporaneous effort, with 
the people of Kansas before him. He was still 
solicitous they should participate in the election, and 
made this the burden of his logic. He claimed that 
since the President and Congress recognized the Ter- 
ritorial authorities, there was no other way by which 
our lost rights could be regained. The Governor 
pledged the people anew that they should have jus- 
tice at the ballot box; that no invasion from Missouri 
or elsewhere would be allowed to influence or control 
the election; that the Constitution about to be framed 
shall be submitted in its entirety, to the whole peo- 
ple, that if it is not so submitted, he will join in 
opposing it; that they can get control of the Territo- 
rial government in October if they have a bona fide 
majority of voters, repeal the obnoxious laws, and 
enact new ones such as the majority shall approve. 

The Governor argued at length against the Topeka 
Constitution; showed that organization with an 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 43 

attempt to enforce any pretended laws enacted under 
it would be revolutionary, and that he could not allow 
any action of that character. 

During his speech the Governor was asked: "What 
of the taxes?" As if recalling his agreement made 
with the writer on the 30th of May, only eight days 
before, he replied: "Long before I am called upon for 
any official action, the reign of law, of justice, and 
the people will be so fully established here, that, as 
good citizens, you will cheerfully pay this small pit- 
tance to support your own government." 

While Gov. Walker was making this pacificatory 
speech in Topeka, Deputy Marshal Faine, who was 
also Deputy Sheriff and Assessor, was in the vicinity 
of Lawrence attempting to levy taxes. This was no 
doubt expressly designed by the pro-slavery revolu- 
tionists as an element of strife, hoping to enlist the 
Governor in their mad schemes, and force him into 
collision with the Free State people. 

The latter had learned of the intentions of these 
agitators, and held a public meeting in Lawrence, 
Col. James Blood in the chair, in which they sol- 
emnly resolved they would pay no taxes imposed. 

About the same time a movement was on foot in 
Lawrence to organize an independent city govern- 
ment. This last movement was not generally favored 
by the property holders. However, springing from 
those who participated in the election, a charter was 
made and adopted, and officers were elected under it. 

Rumors were continually rife that the "fire-eaters" 
at Lecompton were daily importuning the Governor 
for United States troops to send to Lawrence to aid in 



44 REMINISCENCES OF 

the assessment and collection of taxes, and to prevent 
the Topeka Legislature from assembling. 

The Topeka Legislature assembled on the 9th of 
June. They continued in session until the 13th, and 
adjourned sine die, first making provision for its own 
perpetuation, that it might be used in case of neces- 
sity. 

On the 15th of June that portion of the "regis- 
tered" voters of Kansas, who desired, engaged in the 
•election of delegates to a Constitutional Convention, 
under bogus authority, no Free State men partici- 
pating in such election. Though Gov. Walker had 
repeatedly given it as his opinion that the voting pop- 
ulation of the Territory equaled 25,000 to 30,000, yet 
a trifle less than 2,000 votes were polled, and many of 
these were fraudulent. Whole counties, quite densely 
populated, had no chance for representation ; however 
the census was not taken in such counties, neither 
were any voters registered, without which they had no 
right to vote under the law. 



CH^FTER VIII. 



A Policy for the Future. 
tTtHE LEADING editorial in the Herald of Free-^ 
^1^ dom of July 4, 1857, defined at length the 
writer's position in regard to the future policy of that 
paper, and what was deemed by the editor, indis- 
pensable to the final success of the Free State party. 
Before putting it in type we invited a dozen or more 
personal friends, gentlemen who had been frequent 
contributors to the paper, to meet at our office, to 
whom we read the article at length, and asked each 
in turn his candid opinion of the program. Among 
the number present was our associate, Augustus 
Wattles; our head clerk, A. P. Nixon; and foreman,, 
H. Bisbee; John M. Coe, Erastus Heath, E. S. Low- 
man, Judge G. W. Smith, and, if we remember rightly, 
J. S. Emery and Joel K. Goodin were of that num- 
ber. Each one fully approved of the editorial, and 
promised to labor with voice and pen, to carry out in 
good faith the propositions. Knowing full well the 
violent opposition the new position would meet from 
our own party friends, we took this action to know on 
whom we could rely during the protracted con- 
troversy which would inevitably follow. The 
importance of that editorial justifies its publication 
entire. It was headed, "The Past — A Plan for the 
Future." We quote: 

"In another place will be found the leading edito- 
rial which was published in the first number of the 



46 REMINISCENCES OF 

Herald of Freedom. That number was worked off 
on our power press, in Pennsylvania, before taking it 
down to ship to Kansas. Twentij-one thousand copies 
were printed, bearing date October 21st, 1854, though 
it was actually printed as early as the 20th of Sep- 
tember previous. We re-publish it, that all our pres- 
ent readers may see where we stood at fhaf time — 
our motive in coming here, as indicated in the fore 
part of March of that year — what our hopes were, 
and the instrumentalities we desired to employ in 
working the freedom of Kansas. Devoted then, as 
now, to the American Union; believing that all our 
political ills could be cured by the ballot box; and 
believing that Kansas was rich in the natural ele- 
ments which are the foundations of wealth, we relied 
upon the press to develop the resources of the coun- 
try, induce a heavy immigration, and through that 
emigration to control the political destinies of the 
Territory. 

"It was not a part of our programme, nor never has 
been, to array ourselves against the Federal Union. 
As a Republican, we believed in the doctrine that the 
majority must rule; if they cannot rule by the bal- 
lot, they will be the minority in strength, when the 
issue is decided by the sword, and might as well sub- 
mit first as last. 

"Our troubles came on here in Kansas. The major- 
ity were beaten and ground down by invaders from 
abroad, and the principles of republicanism were 
crushed for the time. Notwithstanding this, we have 
always been strong in the faith that the majority 
would triumph. In the language of our leader, 
referred to, 'We might be stricken down at first, but 
not defeated.' In the darkest hours of our Territo- 
rial history, when the black cloud enveloped the whole 
horizon, and our people were driven with violence 
from the Territory, and the air was filled with smoke 
from burning dwellings, the earth was wet with 
human gore, and the dead and dying blocked up the 



GOVERNOR WALKER 47 

road — though a prisoner, charged with an infamous 
crime, and denied all intercourse with the outer 
world; yet never for a moment did we despond. 
Through all the clouds and darkness we saw a brighter 
day, and rejoiced at the prospect of peace, the tri- 
umph of the right, and the restoration of order. 

"Political sunlight gradually dawned. The clouds 
did not recede at once ; but one by one they sank below 
the horizon. With an abiding faith in the wisdom of 
Providence, a firm reliance on His interposition to 
secure the triumph of justice, we have waited and 
watched the development of affairs. Though but one 
year has intervened, how different the aspect of the 
country to-day from what it was at that period. Now 
peace and tranquility reign on every hand. Others 
may prognosticate evil, and tell us it is the quiet 
which precedes the storm, yet the calm observer 
knows such is not the case. Our civil rights are now 
within our reach, and nothing but impolitic action or 
^masterly inactivity' can defeat us. 

'' With a i^opulation of twenty for freedom to one 
against it, we must go to work. We must work 
unitedly and effectually. We must work to triumph^ 
and if we cannot have the selection of implements for 
working our disenthrallment, we must use those of 
the enemy. Never, save in Kansas, have we known a 
people too fastideous to use the arms of an enemy to 
work their liberation from slavery. The Israelites 
did not hesitate to borrow the wealth of their opi)res- 
sors to aid in working their way from Egyptian bond- 
age. The fathers of the revolution did not stand on 
etiquette at Bunker Hill, Saratoga or Yorktown, when 
striking for independence. But we in Kansas have 
allowed the enemy to coil his chain, link after link, 
around us; and we, with the dignity of injured inno- 
cence, have stood quiet and watched the i^rogress of 
the work, until now the few last links are being laid, 
and the rivet is being prepared which shall fasten the 
work and leave us forever in his power. 



48 REMINISCENCES OF 

"Freemen of Kansas! Do yoii not see the progress 
of the enslaver? The last hope is dying out! Another 
period lost, and we are lost — irrevocably lost. 

" While the enemy has been at work, employing 
every artifice his ingenuity could invent, to i^erfect his 
w^ork of crushing us, we have been hugging a delusive 
phantom to our bosoms — a phantom which has exhaus- 
ted our best efforts to enfuse life into it, and yet it is 
^ phantom . [Alluding to the Topeka Constitution.] 

"The opportunity which, if improved, would have 
given us a controlling influence in the Constitutional 
Convention has been allowed to pass. Such was the 
decree of the Topeka Convention of March last. It 
was political heterodoxy to oppose its action. No Con- 
vention now binds our hands; and we wish to be 
understood as laying down a platform upon which we 
are going to stand, unless it is manifestly the will of a 
majority of the Free State party to occupy other 
grounds. In that case we shall sacrifice our private 
convictions to secure harmonius action. 

" Our policy is this : 

" First — If the Lecompton Constitution shall be 
submitted to a vote of the people, whether to those 
who are registered, or those who have been here three 
months, or six months, or any other period, we must 
vote, and vote it down. It matters not what the char- 
acter of that Constitution may be. Thoiigh it is the 
Topeka Constitution itself, or one which is entirely 
unexceptionable, it is an exotic, foreign to our soil, 
imposed upon us by fraud, and it must he voted doini. 

'^Second — Though the Constitution is not submitted 
to a vote of the people, or any part of them, we must 
take possession of it, and elect every officer, executive, 
legislative, and judical, under it; and although we 
cannot produce an abortion, we can strangle it at its 
birth, by getting possession of the monster when it 
begins to give evidence of life. Thus we can defeat 
our enemies in their scheme to trade off the freedom 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 49 

of Kansas to secure the admission of Minnesota into 
the Union. 

'' Th{7\l—We must elect a Territorial delegate to 
Congress, by claiming the application of the organic 
act to the election of that officer; and if this privilege 
is denied us, we must adopt the advice of a father to 
his son: 'Labor to get rich, honestly if you can, but by 
all means get rich.' Not that we advise dishonest 
means; but we must vote under bogus authority, if 
we cannot otherwise. At all events, we must elect the 
next delegate to Congress, and he must be a sterling 
man; one who has not been mixed up to too great an 
extent with our past troubles, but, nevertheless, one 
who is sufficiently known to the country to ensure a 
harmonious vote in his favor. 

"Fourth — We must elect the next Territorial Leg- 
islature — not a part of it, but the whole. We have 
numbers sufficient to secure such a result in every 
election district, and will have hundreds to spare. To 
make the moral effect as complete as possible, it will 
be policy for all to vote, and thus secure the next 
Legislature in our own hands. This done, the whole 
bogus statutes should be erased by one act of i\e 
Legislature, and if vetoed by the Governor, it should 
be passed over his veto. Then a wise code of laws, 
such as is suited to our condition, should be passed, 
and then will commence our prosperity. 

" Fifth — Congress should be petitioned for large 
grants of lands, which would place us on an equality 
with the most favored of the Territories. While we 
can draw nourishment from Uncle Sam to keep our 
government alive, we should continue our Territorial 
existence, and only seek to throw off our swaddling 
clothes, in time to entitle us to vote in 1860, for 
Presidential electors. 

''Sixth — The Topeka Constitution, which was only 
brought forward as a means to enable Congress to 
help us out of our unpleasant position, having been 
virtually twice rejected by that body, will be allowed 



50 REMINISCENCES OF 

to go by default, without wasting further time or 
money trying to give it a galvanic life, lasting only 
while the wires are in direct contact with it. 

****** 

"Thus much for our position. Without caring 
what the opinions of the New York Tribune, or the 
corps of Eastern correspondents may be in regard to 
it, we submit the whole to the honest consideration of 
the actual settlers of Kansas, and trust they will give 
it their impartial consideration. Our policy may not 
be the best, but we believe it the only one which will 
ensure the freedom of Kansas." 

The publication of this leader, which contemplated 
a solution of our difficulties through a resort to the 
PEACEFUL ballot, and not by forcible resistance, 
aroused the animosity of the letter writers against the 
Herald of freedom as never before. From that time 
forward, misrepresentation, calumny, and every 
species of vituperation, which Bohemian ingenuity 
and malice could invent were employed to crush 
the paper and its editor. No falsehood was too base 
to publish, no slander was too villainous to repeat, 
and as we look back through the long years since 
then, we confess a feeling of indignation that men so 
wholly destitute of truth or honorable impulses should 
have been allowed by respectable Eastern journalists? 
to transcend their vocation, to falsify and belittle 
those who were infinitely their superiors in every- 
thing that constituted genuine merit.* 

*To illustrate the feelings of others in regard to our abuse by 
the letter -writers, we quote from that sterling Free State paper, a 
take-off, by Sol Miller, of the White Cloud Chief: 

" We think certain Eastern journals and some in Kansas, that 
profess to have much concern for the welfare of the Terr.itory, 
might do her far more service, if they would pay a little more 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 51 

Referring to those slanders, and our position, in an 
editorial of date August 1, 1857, replying to the N. 
H. Sentinel, we said: 

"We know our position is approved by a very large 
number of leading Republicans in the States, and a 
great majority of the Free State settlers in the Terri- 
tory. It is a policy which will relieve us from our 
present diifficulties, without resort to revolution, and 
will give freedom to Kansas, and all that unoccupied 
public domain lying north and west of us to the 
Pacific. With this knowledge we can afford to be 
misrepresented, slandered, anything, so we secure our 
aspirations in coming to Kansas." 

The great mass of people were with us at the out- 
set, and many of the public leaders occupied the same 
position, among whom I note with pleasure. Gov. 
Ohas. Robinson, though for reasons which will after- 
ward appear, this was not known to the writer at the 

attention to her real interests, and not quite so much to retailing 
sillj stuft' about G. W. Brown, of the Herald of Freedom. There 
are correspondents of the St. Louis Democrat., Chicago Tribune^ 
New York Tribune, and other Tribunes, whose main object, 
judging from their letters, seems to be to bark at Brown, who can- 
not blow his nose, spit on the sidewalk, or accidentally tread on a 
cat's tail, without they immediately post it off by express to their 
respective journals, as "Another Contemptible act of 'Gusty 
Windy' Brown," or something of that sort. And there are papers 
in the Territory silly enough to peddle out this trash here. What 
is the object of this.^ In what way does it aftect the cause of Free 
Kansas, whether Brown eats onions for supper, wipes his nose on 
his coat sleeve, or wears a shirt six weeks without washing.'' To 
read some of the papers, one would think Brown's legs were a 
pro-slavery infernal machine, and that the seat of some obscure 
person's breeches were the nest wherein the Bird of Freedom has 
deposited her eggs, and that if the former came in contact with the 
latter a general smash-up of human liberty would ensue. Come, 
gentlemen, can't you be prevailed upon to 'Don't.' " 



52 EEMINISCENCES OF 

time, Gen. S. C. Pomeroy, Judge P. C. Schuyler, 
Hon. G. W. Smith, C. K. Holliday, Marcus J. Parrott, 
Joel K. Goodin, Gen. Thomas Ewing, C. V. Eskridge, 
S. N. Wood, Dr. Jas. Davis, in short, a very large 
majority of the leading, influential and substantial 
citizens of the Territory. Of those known to the 
public who violently opposed this program, until it 
was adopted by the Free State party, in convention 
at Grasshopper Falls, in August after, of which I 
shall have occasion to mention at greater length, a& 
we advance, were P. B. Plumb, T. D. Thacher, Wm. 
A. Phillips, Martin F. Conway, Eichard Kealf, John 
E. Cook, K. J. Hinton, Jas. Redpath, and the whole 
herd of professional letter-writers. Of Gen. Jas. 
H. Lane, it is due to truth to state, that he opposed 
the "voting policy" as it was called, until after his 
arrival at Grasshopper Falls, when he surprised 
everybody, friends and fo3s alike, to the great chagrin 
of the former, by making a speech advocating the 
measure. His opposers ascribed the sudden revolu- 
tion in feeling and expression to the fact that he had 
an earnest desire to be on the njinning side. Perhaps 
it is just to say of these "lunatics," as an Eastern 
journalist very felicitiously termed those who were 
opposed to voting, as soon as the party decided to 
participate in the election they were the first to 
demand the public offices. As the years have gone, 
two of these "lunatics'' have suicided, two have died on 
the gallows, some have lingered for years, and others 
have died in insane asylums, one is still connected 
with the public press, while — most lamentable of all 
— two have been elected to Congress, and three others- 
to the United States Senate. 



CH^r^TEK IX. 



Gov. Walker in a Rage. 
YTTHE independent charter of the city of 
€^X^ Lawrence, which originated with a few "uneasy 
politicians," and which was generally repudiated by 
the citizens as an illegitimate bantling, elected officers 
under it on the 13th of July, the charter itself hav- 
ing been adopted on the 8 th, less than one-third of 
the voters in the city participating in the election. 

On the morning of the election for officers under 
the organization. Gov. Walker, in an army ambulance, 
accompanied by Lieut. Carr, of the United States 
army, arrived in Lawrence. The Lieutenant, who 
acted in the capacity of Aid to the Governor, called 
at the Herald of Freedom office, and stated that the 
Governor wished to see the editor in his private room 
at the Morrow House. The writer was conducted to 
the Governor's room on the second floor in that cara- 
vansary, and was received with much warmth by his 
Excellency, Lieut. Carr retiring. After being seated 
Gov. Walker began recounting a series of grievances 
against the Free State party. He said the Topeka 
party, late in session in a legislative capacity, had 
attempted to pass a code of laws, and put them in 
force in opposition to the Territorial laws, and to 
their exclusion; that the more conservative of that 
body had opposed such measures; then an effort was 
made to organize counties and cities; that scheme 



54 REMINISCENCES OF 

also failed as a legislative measure; but the people 
were advised to organize cities and counties, inde- 
dendent of any legislative action; in short were to do 
in detail what they dare not attempt as a whole; then 
with the machinery of government in operation in the 
principal localities of the Territory ; they could set in 
motion their State machinery and run out the Terri- 
torial government. In furtherance of this movement 
he said Gen. Lane had asked for authority to organ- 
ize the Free State men in military companies, osten- 
sibly to protect the ballot-box, but his object was 
clearly to expel the Territorial government, and set in 
force, in defiance of law, the Topeka government. 

The Governor seemed considerably excited while 
making his narration; called the acts "incipient rebel- 
lion," and said the thing must be put down. While 
he was yet talking, a young man entered the room, a 
stranger to the writer, who walked back and forth, 
evidently taking in the whole conversation. Gov. 
Walker seemed greatly nettled for a time, then sprang 
to his feet in great anger, and said : 

"Mr. Brown, I have never come to this house since 
arriving in the Territory, but there have been spies 
upon my every movement. I feel perfectly outraged 
that I cannot talk with a friend without being sub- 
jected to such insolent surveillance. Go back to your 
ofiice, and when I wish to see you again, I will call 
upon you at your own rooms. The j)eople of Law- 
rence will have occasion to regret this insult." 

I tried to interrupt the Governor, and to explain 
the condition of things, and show him that he was 
misinformed in regard to the action at Topeka, and 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 55 

that the municipal movement was not an expression 
of the popular will ; that Mr. Morrow, the proprietor 
of the hotel, was perfectly ignorant of the insults he 
was receiving, but he cut me short, and, in a com- 
manding tone and manner, bade me go away at once. 
Not wishing to increase the storm, I obeyed, and from 
the door of the Herald of I'^reedom building, a few 
minutes after, saw Lieut. Carr drive in front of the 
hotel with an ambulance, the Governor enter, and 
start towards Leavenworth. 



OHE^FTER X 



An Army Marching on Lawrence. 
tT7HE NEXT thing we hear of Gov. Walker was 
dj[fe on the following Thursday, the 16th of July, 
when a messenger arrived from Leavenworth, stating 
that Gov. Walker and a regiment of United States 
troops, with a battery, were moving on the town from 
the fort, and would reach us on the next day; that he 
had issued a proclamation directed to the people of 
Lawrence; its character was not w^ell understood. 

A meeting of the citizens was convened in front of 
the Morrow House that evening, when the matter was 
discussed, and a committee of five were appointed, 
consisting of G. W. Collamore, G. W. Brown, E. A. 
Coleman, A. H. Mallory and Charles Stearns, to wait 
on the Governor, and inquire of him if the proclama- 
tion was genuine, and his object in invading the city 
with a military force. 

Friday morning the committee held a meeting. 
Messrs. Collamore and Brown were instructed to wait 
on the Governor, on his arrival, and learn when it 
would be convenient for him to receive the Com- 
mittee. 

The Governor, with his troops, crossed the river 
on the ferry, and passed through town, while the 
Committee were in a little controversy over some 
trifling matter of etiquette, Mr. Stearns being over- 
ruled in the premises. Mr. C. and myself followed 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 57 

the troops, and found them erecting tents on the 
prairie, about one-half mile west of the town. The 
Governor received us very politely, invited us to seats 
in his ambulance, and voluntarily gave us the reason 
for his movement. We endeavored to disabuse his 
mind of the false impressions he had formed; assured 
him that the charter movement was the action of an 
irresponsible faction, which we had been resisting as 
illegal and outside of law; that it was merely boy's 
play, and was so regarded by all our better citizens, 
though the instigators of the movement had used the 
names of several of our prominent citizens as officers^ 
merely to give it the appearance of respectability; 
that he might as well hold the people responsible for 
the action of a moot Legislature, as for such a body, 
and their doings. 

The Governor thanked us for the call, expressed 
regret that he had taken such hasty action, said, if in 
his interview with Mr. Brown on Monday morning he 
had not been outraged and insulted by a system of 
espionage, which always angered him, he should not 
have acted so unwisely. We told him the object of 
our visit, and wished to know when he would give the 
committee a formal hearing. He named five o'clock 
in the afternoon. 

The committee, with the exception of Mr. Stearns, 
who declined to act, met Gov. Walker at the hour des- 
ignated, and the same subject was again canvassed, 
but not so fully or freely as at the informal 
meeting. 

Gen. Lane and Gov. Kobinson came down from 
Topeka while Mn Collamore and myself were with 



58 EEMINISCENCES OF 

the Governor. Mr. Steams, a disunion abolitionist 
of the Garrison school, made a prejudiced report to 
these leaders, of what the committee proposed to do. 
Another meeting was hastily called in the street, a 
shameful misrepresentation of facts was made, and 
the committee and their acts were repudiated. A 
negro messenger on horseback met us on our way to 
town from the camp, who handed us the repudiating 
resolutions. Mr. Collamore, afterwards mayor of the 
city, and a victim of the murderous Quantrell Raid 
in August of 1863, was greatly outraged at Gen. Lane 
because of this petty insult. The committee, never- 
theless, discharged their duty faithfully; reported 
their interview with the Governor in writing, to an 
adjourned meeting of the citizens on Saturday even- 
ing, and received the thanks of the people for their 
action. 

Capt. Samuel Walker, one of the bravest and most 
trusty of our Free State leaders, informed the writer 
that as Mr. Collamore and myself left camp, at the 
informal interview, he entered it, and met Gov. 
Walker, who grasped his hand and arm with both 
hands, and said: "Captain, I have acted hastily and 
imadvisedly in bringing these troops here. You must 
aid me in getting out of this difficulty." 

The proclamation was a bombastic document, 
wholly unworthy the head and heart of so distin- 
guished a gentleman as Gov. Walker. Reading it 
over as we write, we do not wonder the letter-writers 
made mirth of it, or that a fictitious proclamation 
was issued, filled with "blood and thunder." How 
the Governor could wade through nearly two columns 
of a newspaper, "imploring the people to not compel 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 59 

liim to use the military power," and "adjuring them 
to abandon their unlawful proceedings before involv- 
ing themselves in the crime of treason," is certainly 
unaccountable on any other hypothesis than that he 
was simjply ''luny" when he wrote it. I make the fol- 
lowing extract from a letter of his, written at Leaven- 
worth, before marching on Lawrence, addressed to the 
Secretary of State at Washington, quoted by Presi- 
dent Buchanan in a special message to Congress on 
Kansas affairs, dated Feb. 2, 1858: 

"The movement at Lawrence was the beginning of a 
plan originating in that city ; to organize an insurrec- 
tion ttiroughout the Territory, and especially in all 
the towns, cities and counties where the Republican 
party have a majority. Lawrence is the hot-bed of 
aU abolition movements in this Territory. It is the 
idea established by the Abolition societies of the 
East, and whilst there are a number of respectable 
people there, it is filled by a considerable number of 
mercenaries, who are paid by the Abolition societies 
to perpetuate and diffuse agitation throughout Kan- 
sas, and prevent the peaceful settlement of this ques- 
tion. Having failed in inducing their now so-called 
Topeka State Legislature to organize this insurrec- 
tion, Lawrence has commenced it herself, and if not 
arrested, rebellion will extend throughout the Terri- 
tory. * * The continued presence of Gen. Harney 
is indispensable, as was originally stipulated by me, 
with a large body of dragoons and several batteries." 

In an editorial published by us. with the proclama- 
tion, and immediately following it, we said: 

"We regret this act on the part of Gov. Walker, as 
its tendency is to inflame the people at a time when 
all parties should be laboring to establish an era of 
peace. We have no sympathy with the independent 
city organization, as was indicated in our last number, 



60 REMINISCENCES OF 

and greatly regretted it, as we were apprehensive it 
would bringiipon ns just what seems rapidly approach- 
ing. While we take exceptions to that movement, we 
also take exceptions to Gov. Walker bringing the 
military to Lawrence. If he had legal process to 
serve, it should have been served by United States 
authority, and no man in Lawrence or out of it, would 
have resisted. Our people — all of them, the extrem- 
ists included — know too well that Uncle Sam's author- 
ity is not to be opxDosed with impunity. 

"Gov. Walker may send troops here, and may arrest 
those connected with the organization of the City 
Government. This is all he can accomplish. There 
will be no resistance, hence no bloodshed. Matters 
will move on quietly, and the agitators on either side 
will not be able to get up a serious collision. 

''We hope Gov. Walker will not allow bad counsels 
to govern him in this crisis. He is surrounded by 
men who desire to drive our people into extreme 
measures; but we are conscious the Free State party 
is occupying high vantage ground, and we shall not 
be driven from it^ by sustaining extreme measures on 
the one hand or resisting federal authority on the 
other. The policy of our people and Gov. Walker is 
identical, as shadowed in his speech at Topeka, the 
first, to preserve the quiet of the Territory, 'peace- 
ably if we can, but at all events to preserve the gen- 
eral quiet;' secondly, for the joeople to get the Terri- 
torial government into their own hands, and adminis- 
ter it for the benefit of the actual residents. 

"This being the case, it is the interest of Gov. 
Walker as well as the people, to keep agitating ques- 
tions out of sight, and avoid every movement which 
tends to acerbation on either hand. The bringing of 
troops to Lawrence cannot be viewed in any other 
light than to overawe and intimidate the people, 
and induce them to acquiesce in the plans of the Gov- 
ernor. He may succeed in convincing the South, that 
he is true to his first love, but he cannot succeed in 



GOVERNOR WALKER 61 

subjugating the people of Lawrence, or of the Ter> 
ritory." 



CHAPTER Xr. 

Danger Averted. 

YT/HE people of Lawrence and the whole coun- 
^\}S try were greatly excited over Gov. Walker's 
movement with the troops. Every sort of wild rumor 
immediately filled the air, and was sent to the States 
by letters and telegrams. Hardly an hour passed but 
parties were calling on the editor of the Herald of 
Freedom for explanation of the affair. Those who 
had been so violent in their denunciations of the 
paper and its editor were still more denunciatory, and 
Eastern i3apers joined in the "hue and cry" until the 
very atmosphere seemed hazed with their bitterness. 
A few silly patrons in the States sent back their 
papers with insulting indorsements upon them. The 
Free State papers which had opposed Gov. Walker 
from the beginning renewed their hostility and violent 
abuse of that functionary. The Governor became 
enraged, and threats of vengeance were reported as 
coming from him. I became alarmed myself, fearful 
that the calumnious charges against the Governor 
and his friends, would defeat all our hopes. Filled 
with these emotions, and recalling my first interview 
with him, I wrote the following, and passed a copy of 
it to the printers to put in type, reserving the 
original for my own use. Telling my associate editor, 
Mr. Wattles, my purpose to visit the military camp, 
I took my way there alone. 

Entering Col. Cook's camp, and learning which 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 63 

was the Governor's tent, I made my way to it. Gov- 
ernor Walker came out of the tent as I neared it, and, 
unlike his usual cordiality and open hand, with a 
generous warmth of expression, extended only his 
index finger. I received it with a full hand, announced 
my business to read him an editorial, already in type 
for the next number of my paper, in regard to him. 
He thanked me for calling, brought camp stools from 
the tent, and we took seats near the front of the tent. 
I then read him the following, published verbatim as 
written, in my issue of August 1st, headed: 

"Lies Nailed. — It is false that Gov. Walker has 
said he will interfere with the election of State officers, 
under the Topeka Constitution on Monday next. On 
the contrary, he has repeatedly stated he would not 
forcibly interfere with the carrying out of measures 
for the preservation of the State organization, so far 
as contemplates an application to Congress for admis- 
sion into the Union under the Constitution. 

'• It is false that Gov. Walker has declared it his 
intention to call upon Missouri for volunteers to aid 
him in any event in his Kansas mission. He has 
always said if military power is required to preserve 
the peace of the Territory, he would call to his aid the 
United States troops, which are, or may be subject to 
his orders. 

" It is false that the Governor brought the troops 
to Lawrence, with a view to the collection of taxes; 
on the contrary, his object was expressed in his proc- 
lamation, which we published last week, which all 
men can read at their leisure. 

"It is false that Gov. Walker has at any time 
stated that the voters in the election of October next 
will be limited to those who were registered under the 
last census act. He has declared repeatedly that no 
such legislation shall be imposed upon voters; and 
this he asserted publicly in his speech at Big Springs, 



64 REMINISCENCES OF 

in June last, in reply to interrogatories propounded 
to him at that time. 

" It is false that the Governor brought the troops 
to Lawrence with the view of embroiling the people, 
and demolishing the towm; on the contrary, he will 
labor to prevent snsch a catastrophe, having in view 
only the arrest of the officers under the municipal 
organization, should they proceed to complete the 
organization under the independent charter. 

" It is true Gov. Walker has declared to all persons 
with whom he has discoursed on the subject, that he 
will preserve the quiet of the Territory at whatever 
cost; and will call the entire force of the United 
States troops at his command, to aid in preventing a 
reign of terror in Kansas, if their services are nec- 
essary." 

The Governor listened attentively until I reached 
the conclusion, when, taking the manuscript in his 
hand and glancing over it, he said : " All very well, 
Mr. Brown, but you will have to amend the third 
paragraph by inserting after 'taxes,' 'hut circumstan- 
ces have occurred since his arrival here which render 
it probable he loill emploij them in this direction.'" 
He then went on to say that the Sheriff had only a 
few days before called on Wm. Jesse, at Bloomington, 
to assess taxes; that Jesse caught a carpenter's adz 
near him, and ran the Sheriff off his premises. ''The 
Sheriff has called on me for troops to aid him, and I 
see no other way than to furnish them." 

"Governor, that would be in violation of your 
agreement made with me at our first interview. You 
said, as you will well recollect, that you would refuse 
to aid in the collection of taxes until after the October 
election, in consideration of the people participating 
in the Territorial elections. This editorial was writ- 



^ GOVERNOR WALKER. 65 

ten, predicated on that agreement, and I cannot con- 
sent to alter it in a single word." 

"Then it will not agree with the facts." 
" I give the article based upon your solemn agree- 
ment. If you have changed your purpose it is not to 
be presumed I know anything about it. If you 
act differently from what you promised. I shall tell 
my readers of the pledge you made me at our first 
interview; that in consequence of that pledge I have 
thus far sustained Gov. Walker's policy; that as he 
has broken faith with me I am no longer under obli- 
gations to him, and that I cannot sustain his adminis- 
tration any farther. You know the fact, Governor, 
that I had over 8,000 subscribers to my paper when 
I commenced endorsing you. I have lost a good 
many subscribers because of that support. Life-long 
friends, whom I esteemed highly, have listened to the 
falsehoods of your enemies, and have arrayed them- 
selves against me. If, however, you do as you prom- 
ised, the result will be satisfactory; the people will 
see that I was right, and that those who opposed me 
were wrong, and all will be well in the end ; but if you 
go back on your promises, I shall put myself right 
before the public by showing that it is you who have 
]3roken faith in the premises." 

"You can show the public how I have been driven 
into this measure by the violent action of your peo- 
ple, and you can set yourself right with the public in 
that way." 

"Governor, I shall abide* by my agreement with 
you to the letter, and if you break it I shall act 
accordingly." 

The conversation was somewhat lengthy, but all in 



66 REMINISCENCES OF 

the direction indicated. I arose, bade the Governor 
good day, and started on my return. Perhaps a 
couple of rods away, he called me back, bade Lieu- 
tenant Carr, who first put in an appearance at this 
point, to bring out a bottle of wine and two glasses. 
The Governor opened the bottle and said: 

"Mr. Brown, take a glass of wine with me." 

"I never drink wine. Governor." 

"Never drink wine? Well, I take a glass of 
Maderia occasionally. What will you take?*' 

" A glass of cold water, please, 1 never take any- 
thing stronger." 

"Yoil are rather puritanical, Mr. Brown." 

Again the proposed change in the editorial was 
talked over. Again I answered him that it would 
appear as written; again bade him good day, and 
returned to my office. The article appeared in my 
Saturday's issue unchanged. Gov. Walker did not 
employ the troops to aid in the collection of taxes; 
indeed there was never any further effort in that 
direction; and thus another source of danger — that 
threatened by Secretary Stanton when he first entered 
the Territory, and which the pro-slavery element had 
labored so hard to bring about, with the hope of 
bringing on another collision with the authorities — 
was turned aside. 

When in Kansas in September, 1880, I told Col. 
Samuel Walker, one of the first Free State settlers in 
the Territory, and now a resident of Lawrence, of this 
interview. In giving the words of the Governor, he 
added to my narrative additional remarks of the Gov- 
ernor. "True." I replied, "but how did you know 
thisr" 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 67 

" T heard the whole conversation between you and 
the Governor." 

"Is that possible? Where were you?" 

"I was in the Governor's tent; had called to talk 
with him on the same subject. Our conversation was 
interrupted by your appearance. I was reclining 
upon his lounge, separated from you by the cloth tent 
only. After you left, and the Governor entered the 
tent, he said: 'That Brown is a remarkable person. 
He will not swerve a hair's breadth from his position. 
He even refused a glass of wine with me.' You lost 
nothing in your influence with the Governor by your 
firmness to principle on that occasion."* 

Whatever may have been Gov. Walker's real motive 
in stationing a regiment of United States troops near 
Lawrence ; thence to Fort Riley, on the 3d of August^ 
and back to the vicinity of Lecompton, it was clearly 
apparent that the Governor felt greatly annoyed when 
the President ordered the return of the troops to Fort 
Leavenworth. He left Lecompton and accompanied 
them to their old quarters, where he remained for 
several weeks, the report being current that he had 
resigned and left the Territory in disgust. Indeed, 
if I remember rightly, he spent nearly all his time at 

*Col. Samuel Walker, one of the first settlers in 1854 in the 
vicinity of Lawrence, was born in Pennsylvania in 1823, and died 
at Lawrence on February 6, 1893. He was an active worker in 
the Free State ranks; commanded a regiment in the war of the 
Rebellion, served several terms in the State Legislature, and was 
always faithful to duty. He was breveted Brigadier General for 
distinguished services against the Sioux Indians. A letter from 
the Colonel, indorsing the above statements, will be found in the 
Appendix. 



€8 



REMINISCENCES OF 



the Fort fromjhen until immediately after the Octo- 
ber election. 



oh^:pter xii. 



Preparing for the Contest. 
(^ FEEE STATE CONVENTION was held at 
/Ir Topeka, on the 15th and 16th of July, 1857, ta 
nominate candidates for the offices under the 
Topeka Constitution, the term being near the close 
for which the officers were elected in 1855. At this 
July Convention the question of participating in the 
Territorial election in October was discussed at con- 
siderable length. Conventions, mass and delegate, 
were finally provided for, to assemble at Grasshopper 
Falls, on the last Wednesday in August, "to take such 
action as may be deemed necessary with regard to the 
election." A resolution was also adopted, on motion 
of M. F. Conway, who was identified with the "fight- 
ing policy," as it was called in contradistinction to 
the "voting policy," authorizing "Gen. Jas. H. Lane 
to organize the people of the Territory into military 
districts, etc., to protect the ballot-boxes at the 
approaching election in Kansas." This resolution was 
a favorite project of Gen. Lane and his endorsers, at 
the Convention, and as an attempt was afterwards 
made on two occasions to use the forces thus organ- 
ized for serious disturbing purposes we here, in pass- 
ing, call attention to the public source of his power. 
In the interim, between the Topeka Convention, 
and the assembling at Grasshopper Falls, the contest 
between the opposing factions of the Free State party 



70 KEMINISCENCES OF 

were more bitter than at any other period. The cor- 
respondents of the Eastern press were ubiquitous. 
They forced themselves into every private caucus, 
and attempted to control it by their votes; then, 
through their respective journals, denounced those of 
opposing views in unmeasured terms, who generally 
triumphed with the people. We recall two or three 
of these district conventions — one at Centropolis, on 
the 14th of August, at which the letter-writers were 
present in full force, with a considerable number of 
their endorsers. A dinner — more properly a barbe- 
cue — was furnished by the citizens, of which the cor- 
respondents participated. They then falsely reported 
to their respective journals, that "Gov. Walker con- 
tributed $500 to get up the dinner." Notwithstand- 
ing their hostility, resolutions were adopted by less 
than a dozen opposing votes determining to partici- 
pate in all future Territorial elections. One was held 
at Judge Spicer's, a few miles west of Lawrence, 
called by the voting element. This was taken posses- 
sion of by their Free State opponents, and they abso- 
lutely elected Gen. Maclean, a most violent pro-sla- 
very leader, residing at Lecompton, and afterwards 
known to the country as "the candle-box conspirator," 
chairman of the meeting. After making a denunci- 
atory pro-slavery speech, Maclean had the good sense 
to decline the duty. The discussion which followed 
greatly revolutionized the general feeling in favor of 
those who called the convention. 

Large meetings were also held at Willow Springs; 
at Rockingham, in Pottawatomie county; on South 
Pottawatomie Creek, in Anderson county; at Sugar 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 71 

Creek, in Linn county; and, indeed, all over the Ter- 
ritory, all indorsing the voting policy. 

The general convention, at Grasshopper Falls, on 
the 26th of August, was fully represented by the 
people. The mass convention, in which all partici- 
pated, was designed to adopt a policy for the govern- 
ment of the party; while the delegate convention 
would nominate a candidate for delegate to Congress, 
in case the mass convention deemed it advisable to 
contest the Territorial elections. 

The men engaged in stirring up strife were there; 
but it was soon apparent the people were determined 
to try the peaceful ballot. They reasoned that if they 
went into the election and were defeated by fraud or 
by violence they could go before the country and Con- 
gress with their grievances, with some hope of redress ; 
while, if they remained silent and inactive, the pro- 
slavery party would elect their candidates for offices 
again without opposition, probably using neither 
fraud nor violence, hence, because of our apathy they 
would have an easy victory; that our friends in the 
States would be disgusted at our neglect to grasp the 
favorable opportunity when we could have regained 
our rights. M. F. Conway, Wm. A. Phillips, P. B. 
Plumb, Jas. Eedpath, and T. D. Thatcher, led the 
opposition to the voting policy. Arrayed against 
them were the substantial leaders of the Free State 
party, among whom, well-known to the public, we 
note with pleasure the names of Chas. Robinson, G. 
W. Smith, W. Y. Roberts, C. K. Holliday, Robert 
Morrow, S. C. Pomeroy, F. A. Adams, Dr. Jas. Davis, 
P. C. Schuyler, etc. Gen. Lane was opposed to tak- 
ing any part in the October elections, even declaring 



72 REMINISCENCES OF 

to the committee on resolutions, of which he was a 
member, that it was impracticable to do so. He, how- 
ever, afterwards made an earnest speech in favor of 
thgpt policy. Gov. Eobinson spoke at considerable 
length in favor of that measure. He compared the 
bogus laws to a battery which had been playing with 
shot and shell on the Free KState party. He was in 
favor of turning it on our enemies, also making it 
ineffectual by spiking it. Characteristic of the oppo- 
sition, a voice in the crowd cried out, "He has sold 
himself to Gov. Walker." 

On motion of the writer, the resolutions reported 
by the business committee, in favor of voting, were 
adopted by acclamation. In the reported proceed- 
ings, I find the following paragraph: 

"James Kedpath. from the stand, addressing G. W. 
Brown, said: 'Yoiii^ policy hcis pre railed! You have 
triumphed! and the people are evidently with you. 
You have been assailed from all quarters, but the peo- 
ple have taken their position on your platform, as 
appears by the action of this convention.' " 

Marcus J. Parrott was put in nomination as dele- 
gate to Congress; and after electing a new Territorial 
Committee, of which the writer continued one. the 
convention closed in harmony, having 

Resolved^ That we, the people of Kansas, in mass 
convention assembled, agree to participate in the 
October election ; that in thus acting we rely upon the 
faithful fulfilment of the pledges of Gov. Walker; 
and that we, as heretofore, protest against the enact- 
ments forced upon us by the voters of Missouri. 

The bogus Legislature, at its last session, repealed 
the law requiring a test oath and a dollar tax to be 
paid by each voter. They also made provision for the 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 73 

election of a new legislature; requiring the Governor 
to make an apportionment by the first day of June. 
Failing to do so, the President of the Council, and 
Speaker of the House were required to make such 
apportionment by the middle of the month. The 
manuscript laws were sent to St. Louis to be printed, 
and as the Governor never knew of their provisions 
he failed to comply with them, hence the pro-slavery 
heads of the House and Council made the apportion- 
ment, and so gerrymandered every Representative 
and Council district as to connect the interior districts 
save one, with a county bordering on Missouri. Such 
districts, however distant, in one case reaching to the 
summit of the Rocky Mountains, had a voting pre- 
cinct easily accessible by those who had heretofore 
done our voting for us. Some of the counties com- 
posing the districts were not even contiguous, but 
were separated more than fifty miles from their asso- 
ciated counties. An appeal was made to Gov. Walker 
to correct the apportionment, but he was powerless to 
act; so the election was forced upon us, with all these 
terrible disadvantages. 



OH^FTER XIII 



The Election and Fictitious Returns. 

E HAYE now reached the most important 
epoch in Kansas history, and one the future 
historian will find full of thrilling incidents, 
for on it hinges the destiny of an institution whose 
beginning antedates the oldest human records, — 
whose end in Republican America, and, by reflex 
action, throughout the civilized world— though effaced 
with an ocean of blood, is clearly traceable to that 
period when the Free State party triumphed at the 
polls at the October election of 1857, obtained control 
of the law-making power, and wielded it for freedom 
against their oppressors. Not that our victory was 
complete, for we shall observe, before closing these 
chapters, as soon as one danger was removed, we were 
beset by another, and still another, until the hopes of 
many failed them. 

The Grasshopper Falls' convention united the 
antagonistic elements of the Free State party, the 
conservative element of it very generally subordi- 
nating their claims to the public offices to the more 
radical wing, to the end that there should be no 
cause for further division. 

The pro-slavery party seemed inactive. No fears 
were entertained of a general invasion from Missouri ; 
that if attempted at all, it would be limited to the 
polling precincts on the border, through which they 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 75 

would secure further control of the legislative power. 
It was believed they were so confident of being 
admitted into the Union under the Constitution, then 
in progress of formation, they would not care to incur 
the trouble and expense of electing a Territorial Leg- 
islature. Each party, however, entered the canvass 
with a full ticket. 

Gov. Walker, on the 16th of September, published 
a letter, in the nature of a proclamation to the people, 
occupying seven full columns closely set, in the 
Herald of Freedom, in which he reviewed the law 
covering the election. In closing he declared, in sub- 
stance, which we somewhat abridge: 

" However solicitous I may be about the result of 
the pending election, or anxious, those views of public 
policy which I have entertained and expressed from 
my youth up, especially as regards the equilibrium of 
our government, should triumph in October, yet I 
cannoi and will not do any act, or countenance or 
sustain any, the effect of which will deprive the peo- 
ple of Kansas of any rights secured to them by the 
federal compact, the organic act, or the laws of the 
Territory'' 

The Governor stated in this letter that the troops 
at his command would be placed in the neighborhoods 
of election precincts where violence or outrage on the 
ballot-box was apprehended, on request of either 
party, ''not for the purpose of overawing the people, 
or of interfering in any way with the elections, but, 
by their mere presence, guarding the polls against 
attempts at insurrection or violence." 

The election was held on Monday, October 5th. 
The day was wet and cheerless, while previous pro- 
tracted rains had made the mud deep and the traveling 



76 REMINISCENCES OF 

difficult. The polls were few, and the people, other 
than residents of towns, had to make long journeys to 
exercise the right of suffrage. Besides, it was at the 
season of the year when there was much sickness in 
the Territory. From these and other causes, it was 
estimated one-fourth of the Free State vote was lost; 
nevertheless, as the returns arrived from distant 
points, it was evident the Free State candidates were 
elected by handsome majorities. 

When we were triumphing over the result news 
arrived, first, that 500 votes were polled at the pro- 
slavery town of Kickapoo, on the Missouri river 
opposite Weston, Mo., by which the Leavenworth 
district, with its eight members in the House and 
three in the Council were given to the pro-slavery 
party. It was well known this vote was almost 
wholly fraudulent or simulated ; but the next question 
was how to controvert it. 

Then came a report that Oxford, an insignificant 
point, directly across the Territorial line from Little 
Santa Fe, Mo., without half a dozen legal voters, had 
returned 1,626 votes. This precinct was attached to 
the Lawrence district, and these simulated votes, if 
counted, would overcome the heavy Free State vote, 
and give eight more pro-slavery members to the House 
and three to the Council, united with the Leavenworth 
district and the Legislature would again be in the 
hands of the enemies of freedom. 

And then from McGee county there were returns 
of some 1,200 votes, while there was not a legal voter 
in the county, it being Indian territory, and not open 
to settlement, "exempted out of and forming no part 
of the Territory of Kansas," by express provision of 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 77 

the organic act. If these simulated returns were 
counted by the Governor and Secretary, not only 
would the Legislative Assembly remain in pro-slavery 
hands, but so would the delegate to Congress, and 
most of the county officers. 

The excitement of the jjeople became almost vio- 
lent. To add to its intensity — as it was well known 
Gov. Walker was at Fort Leavenworth at the time of 
the election — it was reported he was appealed to on 
the day of election, and decided that soldiers sta- 
tioned at the Fort had a legal right to vote, and, in 
consequence, they had exercised the franchise and 
swelled the opposition. 

The Free State military organizations were aroused 
into activity ; a small party of armed men set out for 
Oxford to make observations, and learn the facts 
which transpired at that precinct, and the names of 
the scoundrels who were the perpetrators of the fraud. 
Threats of assassination of the Territorial officers 
were rife, and those who had been most earnest in 
supporting the voting policy, were the most bitter in 
their determination to thwart the outrage by fair 
means or foul. 

The writer was waited upon by a committee of three 
prominent gentlemen of Lawrence, and requested to 
visit Lecomi)ton, see the Governor, present the condi- 
tion of affairs to him, and induce him, if possible, to 
reject those fictitious returns. It was urged that it 
was through the instrumentality of the Herald of 
Freedom the people had participated in the election; 
that reposing confidence in Gov. Walker's pledges, 
guaranteeing a fair and honest election, the result 



78 REMINISCENCES OF 

had been brought about; they tendered a span of 
horses and carriage, with D. W. Wier. Esq.. a young 
lawyer then resident of Lawrence, for company on 
condition I would go. 

A paper was drawn up, reciting the facts in regard 
to the frauds, signed by thirty well known citizens, 
who made oath before a Notary to the truth of the 
statements. They solemnly protested against these 
returns being counted. 

It was reported the Governor returned to Lecomp^ 
ton the day before and immediate action was neces- 
sary. It was near sundown when we set out on our 
mission, probably on the 14th of October, for that 
was the date of the protest. 

Lecomx3ton had no particular charms for us. We 
had first visited it on the 20th of May, 1856, under 
duress, guarded by a body of horsemen commanded 
by Col. Titus, at last advices an incurable paralytic of 
Titusville. Florida, the redoubtable pro-slavery ruf- 
fian, who was afterwards connected with the Nica- 
ragua expedition, commanded by "Fillibuster 
Walker." For nearly four months we had been held 
a prisoner, with others, in that vicinity. Whenever 
the name was mentioned the bitter sarcasm of Judge 
Smith, a fellow prisoner, semi-delirious with chills 
and fever, would come to mind: ''Hell is just over 
the hill yonder. I get the sulphurous odor every 
time I turn my head that way. Don't you smell it!" 
When we first came to the town it was filled with 
Southern ruffians, hundreds of whom had gath- 
ered there preparatory to a descent on Lawrence on 
the following day, to destroy our printing ofiice, with 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 79 

that of Messrs. Miller <fe Elliott's, and the Free State 
Hotel. On entering Lecompton on that occasion the 
streets were filled with the cowardly desperadoes, 
who, as we passed, cried out: "There is that G — d 
d — d Abolitionist Brown, of the Herald of Freedom. 
Shoot him! Shoot him! Why don't you shoot the 
d — d nigger thief? Loan me a gun, and I'll shoot 
him." These and similar expressions, always well 
mixed with oaths, were heard continually until we 
reached the quarters assigned us. Reader, do you 
wonder we call these bravos "cowardly," who treated 
a prisoner, unarmed and wholly in their power, in this 
shameful manner? Or that we never had any love 
for Lecompton or its pro-slavery inhabitants there- 
after? And is it strange that the incidents of our 
first visit there were recalled on the occasion of our 
second, some thirteen months after our release with- 
out trial? Hon. Wm. H. Seward, in a speech at Law- 
rence, a couple of years later, emphasized Lecompton 
as "A forlorn widow, sitting there alone in her deso- 
lation." Even her "Lane University" will hardly 
save her from oblivion. 

A part of the traveled road to Lecompton was 
unknown to us, and as it was only starlight, we lost 
our way, and brought up at Big Springs. Returning 
to Judge Wakefield's, and the night being so far 
spent, we tarried until morning. Renewing our jour- 
ney at dawn, the incidents of our former journey to 
Lecompton, as just narrated, were vividly recalled. 

It seemed as if our detention en route was provi- 
dential, for the Governor only arrived at Lecompton 
about two o'clock in the morning from Ft. Lcayen- 



80 REMINISCENCES OF 

worth. It is probable, had we met with no delay, we 
should havfe missed an interview with him. 

After breakfast, I sent my card to the Governor's 
room, who boarded at the same hotel where we 
stopped. No attention was paid to it. Waiting an 
hour or two, a second card was sent up requesting an 
interview; a third; dinner; and no attention to my 
cards. About two o'clock, Lieut. Carr, the Gover- 
nor's Aid, presented himself, and said the Governor 
was very busy; that he was having an interview in his 
room with several gentlemen, and that it would be 
impossible for him to see me before three o'clock. 

At three o'clock, I presented myself at his door, 
and was invited to his room, where, I should suppose, 
were from ten to a dozen well known pro-slavery 
men, who seemed in earnest conversation as I entered. 

The Governor invited me to a seat. I stated that I 
wished to see him alone, on important matters. He 
replied that he was busy, but would give me his first 
leisure moment. A short time passed, when Lieut. 
Carr announced the Governor was alone, and would 
give me a hearing. I went to his room again, when, 
casting about me, I said: 

"Governor, my mission to you to-day is of a very 
important character, and it is with you alone. These 
walls, I observe, are of a kind that ears may be all 
around us. I wish to see you where we shall not be 
interrupted, and where there will be no reporters for 
either of us." 

"We can go to the Executive Office," was his reply. 

^'Anywhere so we can be wholly alone, and where 
neither of us can be reported by others to our preju- 
dice." 



GOVERNOK WALKER. 81 

Together we went to the second story of a building 
a little distance away, which, though I had never 
entered before, from its surroundings was evidently 
his office. Giving me a chair, and taking one himself 
near by, he said: 

"Here there are no ears to listen, and I have bolted 
the door so there will be no intrusion. Proceed with 
what you would say." 



ch:a.fter XIV 



Important Interview with Governor Walker. 

^ ^ r@f OVERNOE, I have called to talk with you in 
[^ regard to our present political condition. You 
are aware the people are worked up to fever heat over 
the fraudulent returns which have been sent to the 
Executive office from various election precincts, par- 
ticularly from Oxford, in Johnson county, and those 
from McGee county, as also from Kickapoo." 

**What evidence have you Mr. Brown, that those 
returns are fraudulent, as you allege?" 

"Simply because we know there is no such popula- 
tion in the districts. Johnson county, in which this 
populous city is located, has been open to settlement 
only about six months, the length of time a person 
must have been a resident in the Territory to entitle 
him to a vote. Oxford is only separated from Little 
Santa Fe, Mo., by the Territorial line. There are 
not half a dozen houses in the town, and, proba- 
bly, not fifty inhabitants all told in the precinct; and 
yet 1,626 votes are returned as cast there at the recent 
election. On the first day of the election we have 
positive proof that only ninety names were entered 
on the poll books when closed for the night, leaving 
1,536 to be polled on the second day, a thing practi- 
cally impossible, even had the voters all been formed 
in line, and each moment had been employed in 
receiving the ballots and entering names." 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 83 

"Well, what do you say of McGee county?" 

**Tliat McGee county is Indian territory, not open 
to settlement, and there cannot be a legal vote there." 

"But election precincts were provided for." 

"By some person who was ignorant of the condition 
of the country, else with the design of paving the 
way to the fraud they have attempted to consummate." 

"What of Kickapoo?" 

"It is an unimportant town on the Missouri river, 
above Leavenworth, with not two hundred inhabit- 
ants, men, women and children in the precinct." 

"Yes, we have received returns from these places 
you mention. The polls were opened in due form, at 
the time provided for by law; the returns are strictly 
formal; certified to by the officers authorized to hold 
the election; they are found correct in every respect.'* 

"But nevertheless fraudulent." 

"We have no means to determine that. The signa- 
tures of the officers seem genuine, and we have not 
been clothed with authority to go behind the returns, 
and inquire what transpired prior to the making up 
of the record." 

"What did you mean then, Governor, by your prom- 
ise to give us a fair and impartial election?" 

"Simply just what I said. Has any man been 
deprived of his vote who was legally entitled to cast 
one? Have any polls been closed before the hour 
when they should have been closed? Tell me wherein 
you have not had a fair and impartial election." 

"We do not complain of the election, but of the 
fictitious returns. It is to the counting of these to 
which we enter our protest." 

"If the Legislature had given us power to go beyond 



84 REMINISCENCES OF 

the returns, and inquire into the objections you urge 
we would cheerfully do so, but we are as powerless a& 
you are in the premises." 

"Governor, in our first interview, you said, had you 
been in Gov. Reeder's place you would have suffered 
the loss of your right arm, and been bored through 
by a bullet before you would have given certificates 
of election to those persons elected by non-residents 
on the 30th of March, '55." 

"And so I would. The cases are not parallel. Here 
everything is formal." 

"And everything was formal there." 

"Then Reeder had no right to go behind the returns. 
He acted in harmony with all the precedents in Leg- 
islative bodies, and even in Congress." 

"They do it, nevertheless." 

"A usurpation of power not conferred upon them 
by the constitution." 

"You are greatly disappointing us by your actions,, 
and placing those who relied upon your promises in a 
very awkward dilemma." 

"I am sorry if any one supposed I would violate 
the law to carry a point against my own party." 

"We supposed in your official action you would 
stand above party." 

"And so I have and will. But I will not strain a 
point against my own convictions. My party friends 
in the South have denounced me in unmeasured terms 
because of my faithful discharge of duty; and the 
radicals of Kansas and of the whole country have 
assailed me constantly ever since I came here. Even 
the Leavenworth Times, the other day, gave me a 
column and a half of personal abuse. You have 



GOVEENOR WALKER. 85 

always treated me courteously and kindly, but I sup- 
pose if my official action in this case does not meet 
your approbation, you, too, will not be sparing of 
denunciations." 

"From your first arrival in Kansas, Governor, I 
have endeavored to do justly by you. Wherein I have 
differed from you I have not hesitated to say so; but 
never in a vindictive, malevolent spirit. You are we 11 
aware that my pecuniary loss, because of this action, 
must be measured by thousands of dollars. If you go 
back on your pledges, as we understand them, the 
Herald of Freedom may as well close its existence, 
unless I can regain my position by out-Heroding 
Herod. The truth is, those of your friends who 
place confidence in you — all of us — are compelled to 
take a public stand against you or go under." 

"Be it so, then, but I shall discharge my duty faith- 
fully." 

"And count those fraudulent returns?" 

"Count any returns that come to us properly authen- 
ticated with the signatures of the judges of the elec- 
tion, provided they are otherwise formal." 

And thus point after point was introduced, and 
each was met firmly but courteously by the Governor. 
When every other resource seemed exhausted, I 
thought to try still another, a last resort, but was 
doubtful of its effect. Said I : 

"Governor, before leaving there is a fact perhaps I 
ought, as your friend, to communicate to you; and 
yet it will cost me my life if it should be known to my 
party friends. 

"What is it?" 



86 REMINISCENCES OF 

"I will only communicate it to you on condition you 
will treat all I shall say as a profound secret — tell it 
to no one, and take no action, official or otherwise, to 
thwart it." 

"You do not expect me to make you such a pledge?" 

"Then you do not expect me to communicate a 
secret to you to save your life!" 

"Is it of such a serious nature?" 

"More so. It involves every government official in 
Kansas, and the stability of the Union itself!" 

"What is it? Lose no time in telling it all." 

"Only on condition of your solemn pledge as indi- 
cated." 

"I give it." 

"That you will not communicate to any one what I 
shall tell you, and that you will take no official or 
other action to prevent or defeat the plans, save as 
regards your own life." 

"Yes." 

"Do you know there is a secret Free State organi- 
zation permeating this Territory, with a membership 
considerably exceeding ten thousand?" 

"I have been told so." 

"Were not the facts established by the report of 
the Congressional Investigation Committee in 1856?" 

"Yes; the numbers were not given, but it was 
understood the membership was very large." 

"And most thoroughly armed?" 

"That is the understanding." 

"And that they are acting in concert with the 
Hepublican party in the States, who will sustain this 
organization to the bloody issue?" 

"I believe it." 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 87 

[I was very glad he did, for I believed but a very 
small portion of it.] 

"When 1 left Lawrence last night the people were 
in a perfect furor of excitement. They were organ- 
izing companies, one of which was about to proceed 
to Oxford to arrest the perpetrators of those villain- 
ous returns. It was proposed to execute every Terri- 
torial officer, and some were even desperate enough 
to favor a collision with the federal government if it 
stands in the way." 

The Governor sprang to his feet in wild excitement, 
caught his hat, and said he would put a stop to such 
proceedings at once. 

"Your pledge of honor, Governor, to take no action, 
official or otherwise, on any information I may impart 
to you." 

"I will take measures to learn these facts from other 
sources. 

"There will be no action save organization, and 
no movement of the company already in search of 
Batt Jones and his associates, until my return to Law- 
rence. Sit down; and let us talk these matters over." 

He did so, and inquired: "'Who are these con- 
spirators?" 

"They are not conspirators, Governor; They are 
freemen who know their rights and dare maintain 
them. The leaders are your best friends." 

*'And who are they?" 

"Col. Eldridge, Robert Morrow, Jas. Blood. Judge 
Smith, Capt. Walker." 

"You don't say that Capt. Walker is false to me?" 

"No, he is true as steel, and will stand by and defend 
you to the last moment; but if you go back on your 



88 REMINISCENCES OF 

pledge, he and Col. Eldridge, with every other con- 
servative in the Territory, will take an open stand 
against you." 

''AVhat can I do?^" 

"Eedeem your pledges, and every conservative will 
die in your defense, if need be." 

"But your people have abused and falsified me 
shamefully.'' 

"This has all come from the radical element, who 
have sought to involve the country in strife, hoping 
to bring on a general war, to end in the dissolution 
of the Union and of American slavery." 

"Yes, and they will accomplish their wicked and 
treasonable purposes unless arrested in their mad 
schemes." 

"You can arrest their plans by doing justly by the 
people." 

"Suppose I reject these returns as simulated and 
fictitious, what will you do for me?" 

"Anything you demand." 

''Will you set me right before the people?" 

"Most assuredly I will." 

"And will you correct those damnable lies which 
they have been repeating about me, even stating that 
Gov. Walker changed clothes with a soldier at the 
Fort, and then went up to the polls and voted the 
pro-slavery ticket throughout, and advised everybody 
else to do so?" 

"Of course I will.'' 

"And you will go to Lawrence and stop the insane 
action of these men, who would engage in wholesale 
murder and pillage; who would break up the govern- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 89 

ment and involve all the States in a general war?"' 

"I can promise you, Governor, that all this is con- 
tingent on your action." 

"And yon know there is no such population as the 
Oxford and McGee county returns indicate?" 

"I have so officially certified in my Jwra/, attached 
as Notary to the protests against your and Secretary 
Stanton counting these returns." 

"Will you write your next leader for the Herald of 
Freedom here, and allow me to dictate it?" 

"I will." 

"And, Mr. Brown, I am frank to say that I have 
some political aspirations of my own, after Kansas is 
admitted a State into the Union. My people in the 
South have gone back on me, and my future hope of 
position rests with the people of Kansas. Will you 
aid me with your paper?" 

"When we are admitted a State under other than 
the proposed Lecompton constitution, if there is any 
place in the government you wish, from United States 
Senator down, if I can aid you to it, it is yours." 

The Governor produced some paper, placed pen 
and ink before me, and said: "Write as I dictate." 
He folded his arms, and commenced walking back 
and forth, the length of the room, on the opposite 
side of the table from which I sat, reciting slowly, 
with lengthy pauses, as if reading from a book. Turn, 
reader, if accessible, to the Herald of Freedom of 
October 17th, 1857, copies of which are on file with 
the Historical Society, at Topeka, Kansas; with the 
Antiquarian Society, of Worcester, Mass.; in the 
State Library of New York; and, through the polite- 



90 REMINISCENCES OF 

ness of the honorable Secretary of the Historical 
Society of Kansas, a copy is temporarily in the wri- 
ter's possession, while these sheets are being pre- 
pared; and on the second page, read the first article 
headed: "Complicity of Gov. Walker in the Election 
Frauds," filling two and one-fourth columns. That 
article, every paragraph, sentence, line, and even punc- 
tuation mark, was dictated by Gov. Walker in the 
manner indicated. When done, he said: "Bead it 
over carefully, and repeat the punctuation marks." I 
did so. He said: "It is correct. And you will make 
that article your leader in the next issue of your 
paper?"' 

"I will." 

"On Monday morning Secretary Stanton and I will 
go down to Oxford, and see the country for ourselves. 
Unless it is clear they have a population on which to 
base such a vote, the returns from there shall be 
rejected. Go back to Lawrence and assure your 
friends that all will be well; that Gov. Walker will 
keep faith with the people of Kansas; that he will 
not go back on any of his pledges. Kestrain them 
from any acts of violence, and advise me if there is 
danger of any further disturbance." 

Thus, reader, 1 have detailed to you the substance 
of an interview lasting from six to seven hours with 
Gov. Walker, and though it may be I was induced to 
promise what I would not, under other circumstances, 
yet the consideration was great, involving results that 
no one then dreamed of. We shook hands, bade each 
other good night, and I made my way to the street. 

Here is that editorial dictated by Gov. Walker. Its 
pul)lication was advised by Hon. Eli Thayer, after 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 91 

reading the newspaper edition of these Keminis- 
cences: 

Complicity op^ Gov. Walker in Election Frauds. — 
Among the multiplicity of reports hourly reaching us of frauds 
in the late elections, the interference of Missourians, soldiers voting,, 
and other grave charges against Gov. Walker, we have thought 
it but just to the Governor and the public that we should inquire 
into them, and give our readers the result of our own investiga- 
tions. Our purpose has been to arrive at the truths not to shield 
the Governor, or any person acting in concert with him from 
deserved censure. 

The first charge against Gov. Walker represents that he has 
labored to induce a Missourian by the name of Hern don to vote 
at Kickapop. When we heard the report we pronounced it false r 
because we felt it was in violation of his instructions from the 
President, and diametrically opposite to all his pledges made 
repeatedly to the Free State party and the public generally, and 
his expression to us personally. While at Lecompton the other 
day we chanced to meet Lieut. Carr of the U. S. Army, a 
gentleman from New York of unimpeachable integrity, and a per- 
sonal acquaintance of ours. Lieut. Carr, we believe, is the aid of 
the Governor, and has generally accompanied his Excellency on 
his tours through the Territory. The Lieutenant states that he 
was with Gov. W. at Kickapoo, and that he was present at the 
interview with the Governor and Mr. Herndon. Gov. W. inquired 
of Mr. H. if he had voted. The latter replied that he had not; 

that he was a resident of Missouri. "Then, said the Governor 

» 
"3'ou have no right to vote."' This expression is in keeping with 

Gov. W's action and advice in regard to foreign interference in 
our elections, and agrees with his late address over his own sig- 
nature, and to the fact that in carrying out the spirit of the address 
he had placed troops at the instance of the Free State party, at 
five points in Kansas, contiguous to the Missouri line, to prevent 
frauds upon the citizens, and particularly against voting by Mis- 
sourians. It will be seen, then, that the above story is wholly 
false, and if reported was gotten up for eftect. 

Let us state here, that we were informed weeks ago by pro- 
slavery men, and by persons from Leavenworth and other places 
along the border, that immediately after the October election a 
concerted movement would be made by tlie pro-slavery party to 



92 REMINISCENCES OF 

get rid of Gov. Walker. This information we have communicated 
repeatedly to friends, and to the Governor himself. Of course we 
had no knowledge of the mode of attack; but we felt confident it 
would be made. We firmlj believe that if Mr. Herndon, or any 
other men, are making such gross representations against Gov. W. 
they are doing it for effect; that it is a part of the great plan for 
getting his Excellency out of the waj-; and that they are laboring 
to make cats' paws of the Free State party in their dirty work; 
and from present appearances are likely to be quite successful. 
The pro-slavery party in the past has not hesitated to resort to 
fraud and falsehood, and even perjury to carry out their ends. 
The tendency of their late gross frauds has not been to give them 
a better character. We would earnestly caution the public that 
they be not too hasty in condemning the Governor on flying 
rumors, and newspaper reports ; nor even volunteered and extra- 
judicial affidavits; for good men have been lied down, and others 
may be. Theie is danger of striking down our best friends when 
we allow such instrumentalities to be employed successfully in 
crushing them. 

It is stated that a large number of U. S. troops voted under 
Gov. Walker's directions at Kickapoo, and the Leavenworth 
Times devotes a column and a half to that subject. Let us state 
the facts as we understand them : 

When Gov. Walker wrote his late address to the people of Kan- 
sas, it has been contended, first, that no person could vote at the 
recent elections without having paid a tax. The pro-slavery 
Grand Jury of Lecompton some two months ago, had so decided 
in their letter to Judge Cato; he concurred most fully in that 
opinion. Attorney General Wier coincided in an elaborate 
argument. Under this formidable weight of authority Gov. W. 
addressed the Government at Washington stating most emphati- 
cally his opinion that the people could vote without the payment 
of this tax, and his determination to act on that opinion, with the 
view, however, to give additional force to his own views he 
requested those of the President and Cabinet. Now it is manifest 
that if the authorities had not concurred with Gov. W. in his 
views, they must have recalled him, and, therefore, he put his office 
and position at stake on this question, for the benefit of the people 
of Kansas; but most fortunately the question was so strongly and 
clearl}'^ argued by the Governor that the President and all his 
Cabinet — as he tells us in his late address — endorsed his opinion; 



GOVERNOR WALKER. ^ 93 

and if the peace of Kansas has been preserved, and the people 
have elected their Delegate to Congress, and their Territorial Leg- 
islature, and shall for the first time obtain control of their own affairs 
we owe it most distinctly to this very just act on the part of the 
Governor. Now that the Governor should set about to destroy 
the work of his own hands seems incredible. What is the evi- 
dence to the contrary .? It is said that the Governor interfered so 
far as to direct the troops, as stated above, to vote at Kickapoa 
against the Free State party. We would here ask, inasmuch as 
Gov. W. had 2,600 troops under his command, why he did not 
induce them all to vote, instead of the 40, as alleged at Kickapoa 
only.'* Now we believe the facts will turn out to be substantially 
as follows: When Gov. W. was preparing his address as to the 
qualification of voters, the first question which naturally presented 
itself to his consideration was this: As the organic act permits 
the Territorial Legislature of Kansas to prescribe the qualification 
of voters at every election but the first, does the proviso or the 
organic act, prohibit soldiers and persons attached to the army 
"^r reason of their being on service therein'''' from voting at the 
first, or all subsequent elections.'' This question was decided in 
our favor, as his address fully shows. Now the Territorial enact- 
ment of Feb. 20, '57, declares that '•'all citizens of the United 
States, who have resided in the Territory six months before the 
election, shall be permitted to vote." The question: how was this 
organic law to be reconciled with the Territorial act on this point.-* 
We understand they were reconciled thus: that soldiers and 
persons attached to the army could not vote "by reason of their 
being on service therein," but if thej^ possessed all the qualifica- 
tion of voters i?idepende}it of such service, and were citizens of the 
United States, and had a bona fide residence of six months next 
preceding the election in the Territory, they had a right to vote 
under the Territorial law. That is, if a soldier, teamster, or 
mechanic, resided with his family in Missouri, he should not vote 
by reason of his being on service here, but if such soldier, team- 
ster or mechanic, was a bo7ta fide resident here, independent of 
such service, especially if prior to his enlistment, and had no other 
residence but this for the six months next preceding the election,. 
he had a right to vote, not as a soldier, but as a resident citizen. 
These, too, were Gov. Reeder's views, as we chance to know 
under the sanie organic law, as several officers at Fort Riley were 



94 • REMINISCENCES OF 

permitted to vote as early as 1855, under the same constitution; 
and this right has never been previously questioned. Gov. W., 
however, as we understand, did not wish the soldiers to vote; 
indeed, we are told when this question was discussed at Fort 
Leavenworth for several days preceding the election. Gov. W. 
expressed a hope that the soldiers would not vote, though he gave 
no order on the subject, and had no right to give any. Now, how 
did anv of them come to vote? We may state, the election having 
passed off quietly at Leavenworth on the first day, and going off 
with equal quietness on the second, the Governor, as we under- 
stand from Lieut. Carr, sometime after dinner on the second day 
rode to Kickapoo, not to participate in any barbacue, for none was 
given there, nor to take any part in the election, nor to interfere 
in any way in the proceedings, but to see that everything was 
passing off quietly there, and then to return to the Fort. Shortly 
after arriving at Kickapoo, as we have the statement from Lieut. 
Carr, the Governor was informed that several soldiers who had 
obtained leave of absence from the camp had voted, and they had 
actually voted the Free State ticket. Gov. Walker was then 
urged by citizens to withdraw the expression of his wishes in order 
that the other soldiers, if they desired, might also participate in the 
election. After considerable delay and hesitation, he did consent, 
provided those soldiers only should vote, who, independent of 
their being in the service, had the citizenship and evidence required 
by law. And a few of them, our Free State friends say, to the 
number of forty, did vote; but how they voted or for whom, Gov. 
W. declares, as Lieut. Carr states, he never knew, and does not 
now know how they voted, as the Governor rode away immedi- 
ately to the Fort, and the election was then drawing to a close; 
but even if they all voted the pro-slavery ticket, which is absolutely 
denied, it would not change the result, either for Delegate to Con- 
gress, or Territorial Legislature, or any county offlcer. 

Lieut. Carr also states that none of the ofHcers went to the 
polls, and that they did not even intimate to the men which way 
their own political proclivities lay, but only gave permission to go 
to the polls to such men as desired it, and their opinion is that not 
more than twenty-five did go. 

But how as to Johnson county, which does change the result as 
regards the Territorial Legislature? Why, Gov. Walker, at the 
request of the Free State party, sent a strong force consisting of a 
Isattery and three companies of artillery, equal to a force of 1.300 



GOVERNOK WALKER. 95 

men, under the command of Col. Brooks, formerly of Massachu- 
setts, himself a Free State man, to Shawnee in Johnson county, 
the supposed point of danger, to prevent illegal voting, especially 
from Missouri. Westport in Missouri, but three miles distant 
from the Shawnee precinct, was the anticipated point for the concen- 
tration of the Missounans, and from this point originally, they 
intended to come. This was evident from previous experience, as 
well as from what occurred before and after the election. Col. 
Brooks arrived at Shawnee the day before the election. When 
Col. B. arrived, he states, that he was called upon by the cele- 
brated Col. Titus and also by a Mr. Anderson of Westport, who 
complained bitterly of the stationing of troops there, and said that 
"The people would be compelled to vote at the point of the 
bayonet." 

Col. B., however, remained firm at his post, exhibiting Gov. 
W's address against foreign voters as his letter of instructions. 
What followed.^ Why the Missourians changed their place of 
voting and went on the second day to Oxford, which is twelve 
miles distant from Shawnee, and some fifteen miles from West- 
port, a point directly on the border of Missouri opposite the town 
of Little Santa Fe. Here the fraud was perpetrated, rot on the 
first, but quietly on the second day of the election. Inceed we do 
not believe an}- of these votes were given, but were merely entered 
and counted as such, as appears by the certificates on file at 
Lecompton, to the number of 1,538 on this second day, which 
was impossible, or even one-half that number, to be polled on one 
day. Now it is upon the Oxford precinct of Johnson county that 
a majority of the voters for the Territorial Delegate to Congress, 
probably, and certainly a majority of the Delegates to the Terri- 
torial Legislature will turn. If this Oxford precinct is rejected, 
the people will have the Delegate and the Territorial Legislature, 
and the result will mainly depend upon the action of Gov. Walker. 
If he is true to the solemn pledges contamed in his inaugural 
address, in his Topeka speeches, and his late proclamation on the 
tax question, he will reject this fraudulent return with scorn and 
indignation. This we firmly believe he will do from his past 
course. Indeed if he did not wish the people to rule Kansas why 
did he issue his address on the tax question, which address, if we 
do succeed, issued under the most trying circumstances, will have 
given us peace and victory.' 

We are happy to learn that a protest has been signed and for- 



96 . REMINISCENCES OF 

warded to the Governor and Secretary in regard to these Oxford 
returns, which will be found in another column. If the Governor 
proves false to his pledges, and not till then, will be the time to 
seek other modes of redress. 

If the last resort of freemen shall become necessary, let us at 
least first know whether Governor Walker will not do his whole 
duty, and render the last alternative unnecessary. 

Let us have our rights, '•'•peaceably if we can, forcibly if we 
must." 

And thus my sale to Gov. Walker, of which some 
very small men have accused me, and have continued 
to repeat almost down to the period this book was put 
to press, my consideration, as the facts show, the 
freedom of Kansas, and, incidental thereto, the free- 
dom of the civilized world from chattel slavery, was 
cotingent on this action. My compeers were similarly 
maligned. Would that our traducers, who judged of 
our market value by their own worthlessness, had 
realized a millionth fraction of that consideration for 
their malicious libels. 



OHA FTER XV^. 



Score One for Freedom ! 
Ty EAVING the Executive office, I sought the 
l^\ hotel, where I found Mr. Wier waiting with 
deep anxiety my return. I had not seen or commu- 
nicated with him since going to Gov. Walker's room, 
soon after three o'clock, and my long absence proba- 
bly recalled former incidents in Kansas history, when 
committees, representing the people, sent to Lecomp- 
ton to consult Territorial officials, were arrested for 
some fictitious offense and imprisoned. 

We set out for Lawrence, and made a speedy trip 
home. Col. Eldridge and two other gentlemen, 
names not remembered, called at my office, to whom 
I gave a brief account of the interview with the Gov- 
ernor, and read the editorials in manuscript, written 
under his dictation. I also stated the promise he 
made me, to reject the fraudulent returns; and that 
on the following Monday he, with Secretary Stanton, 
would drive dovm. to the newly-found city of Oxford, 
with its dense voting population, and on his return 
they would make public their decision. 

This intelligence quickly spread over Lawrence, 
and the excitement was greatly allayed thereby. On 
Saturday the editorial referred to appeared in the 
Herald of Freedom, and on the Monday following 
Gov. Walker, Secretary Stanton, and, I think, Lieut. 
Carr, with the government ambulance, passed down 



y» EEMINISCENCES OF 

from Lecompton, on their way to Oxford, stopping 
for a short time at the Herald of Freedom office, 
where they made much mirth over the newly-discov- 
ered city, whose name was unknown to all of us until 
these returns gave it notoriety. 

At Fish's, a place of entertainment, a little distance 
below Blue Jacket's, they met a small party, of which 
G. W. Deitzler was one, from Lawrence, who had 
been down to the State line to learn facts, and were 
on their return. A much larger party were on their 
way to arrest the Judges, if they could be found, and 
these passed the Governor's party at this place. 

John Speer is reported as intimating, at Bismarck 
Grove, on the occasion of the Quarter Century cele- 
bration, in September, 1879, that the threats of these 
men induced Gov. Walker and Secretary Stanton to 
reject those fraudulent returns. The writer had the 
Governor's promise, several days before, as narrated 
in the preceding chapter, to so act; and this knowl- 
edge was in possession of five persons certain, and 
such others as could be trusted with the secret. We 
regret that Mr. Speer was not of this number, then 
he would have done the Governor better justice. 

The Governor and Secretary were absent some two 
or three days, when they returned to Lawrence, 
unrolled in the hall of the Morrow House, and exhib- 
ited to the public the Oxford returns, measuring 
nearly fifty feet in length, with the names of 1,626 
persons, who it was claimed voted at that precinct, 
and which seemed to have been copied from some 
city directory. They stated that the city, with so 
large a population, contained just six houses; that the 
village of Santa Fe, Mo., containing twenty houses, 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 99 

was separated from it by a street, the center of which 
was the State and Territorial line; that the people of 
all classes ridiculed the idea of there being one-tenth 
the number of the people represented as voting in 
the place during the two days of the election. They 
returned to Lecompton on the 19th, published a proc- 
lamation rejecting the returns, and issued certificates 
of election to the Free State candidates. 

While the Free State residents of the Territory 
were greatly rejoiced at the result, the excitement, 
which had been so violent at Lawrence and other 
Free State towns, was now transferred to the pro- 
slavery residents of the Territory, being most bitter 
at Lecompton, where the principal leaders of the 
party resided. Threats of violence to the Governor 
and Secretary were heard on every hand. 

The principal residents of Lawrence, to the num- 
ber of over a hundred, joined in a letter, addressed to 
the Executive and Secretary, thanking them for 
their just action, and inviting them to remove to Law- 
rence, promising them full protection against the 
"fiends who desired to crush them, and trample on 
the dearest rights of the people." The writer, accom- 
panied by Eobert Morrow, conveyed the letter to the 
Governor, who we found quite ill, with a high fever, 
at the residence of Secretary Stanton, some two miles 
east of Lecompton. The labor and excitement of the 
last few weeks had been too much for the Governor's 
age and feeble constitution. 

But a little time after our arrival, Secretary Stan- 
ton entered the room, and introduced a Mr. Faunt. 
The latter gave the Governor a sort of process, 
designed for a mandamus, issued by Judge Cato, 

•L.ofC. 



100 REMINISCENCES OF 

dated Oct. 20th, directed to Kobert J. Walker and 
Frederick P. Stanton, "enjoining" them to issue cer- 
tificates of election to the pro-slavery candidates 
therein named. 

The Governor sprang from bed greatly excited, 
and declared that Judge Cato had forgotten his posi- 
tion; that he was subordinate to the Executive, 
instead of the Executive to himself; that he was so 
ignorant of law he had issued what was evidently 
designed for a perempiorij mandamus, directed to 
them instead of to the Marshal of the Territory — 
the ministerial officer of the court; that if issued at 
all it should have been alfernative, leaving it with 
them to do as commanded, or show cause for not 
doing so. Secretary Stanton, who was also a lawyer 
by profession, was as denunciatory as the Governor 
of Judge Cato's action, who was attempting to deprive 
them of the prerogative of counting the returns, 
which the law exclusively vested in them. They said 
the Legislative Assembly could only review their 
action, as regarded its own members, and Congress as 
regarded the delegate to that body. Instead of mak- 
ing a point with these officials, the latter were still 
farther estranged. Indeed, the breach was made so 
broad by this action it was never healed. 

On the 21st the Governor and Secretary joined in a 
letter to the people of Lawrence, thanking them for 
their kind invitation to remove to that city. They 
said the interests of the Territory required their 
presence at the capital, and "no hazard of personal 
consequences would deter" them from remaining 
there and faithfully discharging their duties. They 
also declared in that letter: "From our first inspec- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 101 

tion of the Oxford returns we never hesitated as to 
their rejection," and announced that they had rejected 
as spurious and illegal the returns both from Oxford 
and McGee county. 

The answer of the officials to the mandamus of 
Judge Cato was decidedly interesting. They showed 
conclusively, that the Judge had no jurisdiction in 
the premises; that such authority had never been 
exercised in any State or Territory, and quoted numer- 
ous decisions of the Supreme Court of the United 
States adverse to such jurisdiction; that the rights of 
the opposition candidates would be affected, and that 
they should be made a party; that they had issued 
certificates of election to the adverse claimants, 
before process was served on them, and that such cer- 
tificates w^ere in the hands of the officers and beyond 
recall; that if, in disregard of all this, the Judge 
decided adversely, they begged an appeal to the 
Supreme Court; and if they were still held in con- 
tempt, and the Court ordered their imprisonment, 
and feared the interference of the populace, they 
would issue an order to the military to place such 
force as his honor should deem necessary at the serv- 
ice of the Marshal, to enable him to hold them safely 
in custody. 

The laugh was on the Judge, and his ruling, what- 
ever it may have been, was never made public. 

The reader inquires: "Was it really the intention 
of Gov. Walker to go back on his pledges?" This 
was at the time, and has been ever since a subject of 
earnest consideration. The opinion arrived at then, 
and which the writer has seen no occasion to change, 
was, that he was angered by the course of the radical 



102 REMINISCENCES OF 

press, particularly the Lawrence Republican and the 
Leavenworth Times, the latter a semi-conservative 
paper, which contained a lengthy article filled with 
personal abuse and misrepresentation of the Gover- 
nor, which he had just seen. He no doubt felt that 
if his best acts were to be falsified, and that continu- 
ally, he would retort in a way which would be effect- 
ive. During the entire day before my interview he 
had been closeted with the most prominent pro- sla- 
very leaders. Gov. Walker had lost his political 
standing in Mississippi, overborne by the disunion- 
Jefiferson-Davis school, and of course hoped to regain 
it in Kansas. Probably he had been encouraged by 
promises of favor and position under the Lecompton 
Constitution. Be this as it may, the Governor's 
whole manner and language showed conclusively to 
my mind, that his purpose was to count the pro-sla- 
very men into ofiice and the Free State men out. 
When assured of continued confidence and support 
from the Herald of Freedom, and possibly his per- 
sonal fears were aroused, he resolved to stem the tide 
of opposition in his own party, act with the stronger 
and do justice to them. * 

Secretary Stanton, on the contrary, had not shared 
so liberally in the personal abuse of the radical press 
and the letter-writers. He had removed to Kansas 
with his family, and determined to make the Terri- 
tory his permanent home. His interests and future 
were of a different character from those of the Gov- 
ernor. A younger man, with more personal courage, 
he had resolved from the first to do right. Dining at 

*See Secretary Stanton's letter in the Appendix. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 103 

my own table, a few weeks before, he said, in so many 
words, written down within an hour from their utter- 
ance: "My right hand shall sooner be severed from 
my body than I will sign a certificate of election 
where I am satisfied a person is elected by fraud." I 
thought at the time, and wrote soon after [See Her- 
ald of Freedom, of Oct. 24, 1857, 2d page, 3d col- 
umn,] "Let Secretary Stanton keep that solemn 
pledge, and his name will be endeared to the people 
of Kansas." He kept it faithfully, and I now write 
with pleasure, he and Gov. Walker, in this emergency, 
were the people's real deliverers! 

Thus the first step in the Herald of Freedom plat- 
form, of July 4th, was successfully taken, and so far 
as a voice in Congress thereafter was concerned, we 
were victorious, as also with regard to the Territorial 
Legislature, and the local administration of the laws ; 
but all the while we had been thus actively endeavor- 
ing to regain our rights in these directions, we were 
conscious a new danger was threatening, which was 
still more formidable than those we had so success- 
fully encountered. 



"Blood and Thunder." 

fN TEACING the action of the Free State party 
to get possession of the Territorial government, 
we have neglected to watch the State movement, under 
the proposed Lecompton Constitution. It was evi- 
dent the pro- slavery leaders had an understanding 
with President Buchanan and his Cabinet, and that 
all their movements were inspired at, and directed 
from Washington. Even Gov. Walker was instructed 
to recognize the Convention as a legal one, and give 
it his protection. 

When the Constitutional Convention assembled at 
Lecompton, on the 7th of September, 1857, the troops 
were still before Lawrence. On the 9th of Septem- 
ber Col. Cooke received imperative orders from 
Washington, to remove his command, without delay, 
to Fort Leavenworth. Gov. Walker was greatly 
incensed because of this, and declared he would not 
remain in the Territory without the -troops to aid in 
maintaining order. He left immediately on the 
receipt of the dispatch for the Fort, hoping to get the 
order countermanded. He failed. On the morning 
of the 11th the entire regiment was on the move, and 
the beleagured city was relieved of its long surveil- 
lance. 

With the removal of the troops, as if fearful of its 
personal security, the Convention adjourned until the 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 105 

19th of October, late enough , before again assem- 
bling, to learn the result of the Territorial election 
to be held on the 5th. 

In our "Reminiscences of old John Brown," pub- 
lished in 1880, mentioning the period from the 7th of 
August, to the 2d of November, 1857, and the resting 
of Capt. Brown at Tabor, Iowa, with the leading 
spirits of his command; his ])rief visit to Lawrence, 
change of plans, and then to the East, we said, page 
52, second column: 

"I have one of the most exciting chapters in Kan- 
sas history, to detail sometime, which occurred during 
this interesting period, and which may partially 
explain John Brown's reasons for hovering on the 
borders of Kansas during this interval. To introduce 
it in these pages would require the introduction of 
other characters, which are not at present subjects of 
inquiry, hence it is reserved for another occasion." 

That occasion is before us, and we hasten to its nar- 
ration : 

It is remembered that on the 16th of July, Gen. 
Lane was instructed to organize the military forces 
in Kansas "for the protection of the ballot box.' But 
this was not the source of his authority. A secret 
Order was instituted by Lane, ostensibly to oppose 
the aggressions of the slave power in Kansas. This 
organization was under the management of those who 
opposed the voting policy. They were always talking 
about fighting the government if it stood in their way. 
Their leaders fled the Territory on the first approach 
of danger, to return when all was over, and renjew the 
agitation which cooler heads had allayed during their 
absence. 

Wm. A. Phillips, the special Kansas correspondent 



106 REMINISCENCES OF 

of the New York Tribune, wrote his journal, dated 
June 17, 1857: "Mark my words! Nothing but a suf- 
ficient force of the United States army will be able 
to keep that Constitutional Convention in Kansas." 

At Osawkee, in July, while the Delaware Trust 
Lands were being sold, speaking of his military 
organization, Gen. Lane said: '^They will assemble 
at Lecompton on the day the Constitutional Conven- 
tion assembles for review." 

I think it was near noon of Saturday, the 17th of 
October, 1857, Augustus Wattles, at that time our 
associate editor, entered the sanctum of the Herald 
of Freedom office in an excited manner, very unusual 
to him, and said hurriedly: 

"Why, Brown, we are on the eve of a revolution! 
Gen. Lane has ordered the organized Free State for- 
ces of the Territory to assemble on Monday next, 
with arms and three days' supply of provisions, the 
purpose of which is to march on Lecompton and kill 
every member of the Constitutional Convention. It 
is also his purpose to wipe out the Territorial Gov- 
ernment, and set up the Topeka Government. The 
United States troops are en route for Utah, and now 
is thought a good time to strike. Unless headed off 
in his insane movement, notwithstanding our recent 
success at the polls, all is lost; for the country will 
never indorse this scheme of wholesale murder!" 

I questioned him sufficiently to know he was mak- 
ing a statement on positive knowledge. Catching my 
hat I rushed to the different business houses, and 
made them acquainted with the information Mr. 
Wattles had imparted. G. W. Collamore, G. W. 
Smith, Wesley and Charles Duncan ( both now living 



GOVERNOR WALKER 107 

at Lawrence, ) George Ford, Columbus Hornsby, and, 
indeed, all the substantial men whom I met, were 
invited to assemble immediately in a vacant room 
over the store of Messrs. Duncan, for consultation. 
In a very short time they were in session, probably 
from fifty to one hundred. We organized with Judge 
Smith as chairman. The object of the meeting was 
briefly stated, when, on motion of Mr. Collamore, a 
committee of three was appointed to invite Gen. 
Lane to attend the meeting. 

The committee soon returned accompanied by the 
General. The chairman stated to him what the people 
had casually learned, in regard to his proposed 
descent on Lecompton, and the assassination of the 
members of the Constitutional Convention, and 
inquired of him if they were correctly informed. 

The General at first seemed to evade a direct 
answer. He entered into a disquisition on the 
wrongs the people of Kansas had sustained from the 
pro-slavery party, and was really eloquent, in his loay, 
as he recounted our grievances. While he was speak- 
ing in this strain, avoiding an answer to Judge 
Smith's interrogatory, a crowd of young men, "boys," 
as Lane always called them, came pouring in at the 
lower end of the room, and, as was their habit, when 
Lane pointed his long, bony finger and said, "Great 
God!" in his peculiar way, they cheered heartily. 
Seeing that his backers were with him, he became 
more bold and defiant. I was without writing mate- 
rial, but with pencil, old envelopes, backs of letters 
and on finger nails, wrote down the substance of 
Lane's wildest utterances. 



108 EEMINISCENCES OF 

The speaker, having observed what I was doing, 
stopped in the midst of his extravagant expressions 
and said: 

''George, do me the personal favor not to report 
this speech." 

Of course I gratified him, and ceased taking fur- 
ther written notes ; but carefully treasured in memory 
the substance of what he said, which is still retained 
as if rexDeated yesterday. 

It was apx^arent, b}^ the vociferous cheering, long 
before he concluded, that then and there was not the 
time or place to vote on the question, so an adjourn- 
ment was had until evening, in front of the Morrow 
House. 

During the afternoon the whole town was advised 
of the character of the proposed evening meeting, 
and the attendance was very large. Judge Smith 
called the meeting to order. Gen. Lane desired a 
further hearing, and was given the temporary stand. 
He came prepared for the occasion, and his backers 
were with him. They cheered him to the echo. Mr. 
Collamore and myself moved among the crowd, and 
both despaired of the result. 

Some other person, I think it was Judge Schuyler, 
followed Lane, who, in a mild and pacificatory speech, 
deprecated such a condition of the country, and 
expressed his opinion that the occasion did not 
demand such extreme measures as were proi^osed. 

As the second s]3eaker retired, Joel K. Goodin 
mounted the rostrum. Mr. Collamore and myself 
expressed surprise to see him take the stand. He 
commenced by saying he had received an order from 
his superior officer to report at Lawrence, armed and 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 109 

equipped for efficient military duty, and to bring pro- 
visions and camp-eqiiipage for three days' service; 
that, "in obedience to that order, I am here to-night 
with my command, having made the journey all the 
way from Centropolis especially to obey it. [Cheers.] 
I feel that the occasion is one which demands great 
sacrifices. [Cheers.] We have worked all summer in 
a quiet way to regain the rights wrested from us by 
the invasion of the 30th of March, '55, and in spite of 
fraud and artifice we have triumphed. We have seen 
this Territory torn and disturbed by hostile parties; 
men murdered in cold blood; our homes burned, and 
our families scattered, and we, at times compelled to 
seek personal safety in flight. Gov. Geary came here 
and restored order, and Gov. Walker has bent all his 
energies in the same direction. Under his wise 
administration, we saw in imagination a brilliant 
future before us. But here is that Lecompton Con- 
stitutional Convention threatening us with new dan- 
ger, when we supposed our dangers were all passed. 
Gen. Lane tells us that further peaceful measures are 
out of the question; that our only remedy for this 
new trouble is by shedding blood. I fully agree with 
him! [Boisterous cheers.] Nothing but blood will 
quiet this agitation, and restore tranquility to Kansas. 
Nothing but blood will make Kansas a Free State. 
[Cheers.] I came here expressly to spill blood, and 
I propose to do it before I return home. [Protracted 
cheering.] It is not just that the whole country 
shall be convulsed; that disorder and violence shall 
be continued; that the perpetuity of the government 
shall be endangered by a revolution, when a little 
waste of worthless blood will restore order and 



110 EEMINISCENCES OF 

tranquility again. [Cheers on cheers.] But I may 
differ with some of you as to the proper place to 
begin this blood-spilling business. [Hear! hear!] No 
person has occasioned more strife, or been the more 
fruitful cause of our disturbances than — James H. 
Lane! He demands blood! We all want it; but it is 
his blood that is demanded at this time; and if he 
presses on his assassinaiion project, I propose he 
shall be the first person to contribute in that direc- 
tion.'' [The wildest cheering possible, greatly pro- 
longed, followed.]* 

*Joel K. Goodin, Esq., after reading Chapter i6, in which he 
plays an important part, wrote: 

Ottawa, Kan., March 30, 18S1. 

My Old Friend: — I received yesterday the galley proof of 
your "Blood and Thunder" article, [Chap. 16,] in your "Remi- 
niscences of Gov. Walker," and have carefully read it. It freshly 
brought to mind many past scenes and incidents. My little 
"blood speech" is correctly reported so near as I can remember it 
— at least you have given its import. We were being called from 
our homes every few days to satisfy the ambition and caprice of 
the uneasy and tireless Lane, and were beeoming not only dis- 
gusted but mad, and proposed to have it "dried up.' A most 
fearful and wanton system of savagery and assassination was being- 
planned by Lane, which the Free State party were intended to be 
held responsible for, not only to our own government, but to the 
world. For one I was unwilling to take any such responsibility. 
Those I had with me felt the same way, and urged that I give 
public expression to their views. This I did fearlessly and plainly, 
and was most happy then, as I am now, that I contributed some- 
thing towards turning the tide of proposed outlawry and bloodshed 
into the channels of peace. 

In the early days we always had a bad element at Lawrence. I 
refer to the young, undisciplined bloods, who were without repu- 
table means of support, always ready and anxious to take part in 
any hellish scheme set on foot to stir up strife. This element was 
rather, was ready to effervesce at the die- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. Ill 

Gen. Lane seemed perfectly confounded. The 
whole throng were taken by surprise; and the busi- 
ness portion of it were delighted beyond expression, 
that some person had the ability and sufficient force 
of character to meet a bold, bad man, and throttle 
his murderous plans at their inception. The writer 
thought it a good time for action. Hurrying to the 
stand, he said: 

"It is evident from the statements of Gen. Lane, 
and what we have heard from others, that there will 
be a goodly number of people in Lawrence by Mon- 
day next, who feel as we do, that the convention 
about re-assembling in Lecompton is not a body rep- 
resenting the people of Kansas; that I propose we go 
there on Monday next, in a quiet and orderly man- 
ner, as peaceable citizens, avoiding all riotous demon- 
strations, to arrive by noon, if possible, and there, 
before the hall in which that body is assembled, for- 
mally protest against that convention framing a Con- 
stitution for us; that they are a body foreign to our 

turn of Lane. Their time was nothing; while we in the countrv 
had to undergo many severe privations in running after Lane's 
orders, messages and commands as self-imposed military dictator. 
No wonder we tired and felt in a degree revengeful. For years I 
could not agree with him, and was constantly in his way in the 
"Executive Committee," thwarting his ridiculously impracticable, 
reckless, extravagant and sometimes atrocious plans and sugges- 
tions. Usually I had Judge Smith, yourself, and Holliday, when 
present, with me, which gave us the majority. He would 
come and fume, but we were firm and inflexible, so he would soon 
drop his crazy project, to immediately concoct another equally 
objectionable. I feel that we did our duty well, and am content 
to abide the decision of the future historian who shall review our 
actions. Trulv Yours, T- K. GOODIN. 



112 REMINISCENCES OF 

soil, with no interests in common with the people of 
Kansas." 

Gen. Lane stepped forward, seconded the proposi- 
tion, and made a short speech in its favor. A com- 
mittee was appointed to make arrangements, appoint 
marshals to lead the procession, and to do everything 
necessary to carry successfully into execution the 
measure. 

On Monday the procession was formed, and pro- 
ceeded quietly to Lecompton, where they formally 
organized, with P. C. Schuyler as President. A com- 
mittee on resolutions was appointed, of which Wm. 
Hutchinson was chairman. While the committee 
were in consultation on the resolutions, Gen. Lane 
made one of his most effective political speeches. 

The protesting resolutions were reported, and 
adopted by acclamation. Maclean, of the Land Office, 
Stewart, of the Convention, and Sam Young, a prom- 
inent lawyer, all pro-slavery, made speeches; to which 
Gen. Lane replied; after which the protestants 
adjourned, and retraced their steps to Lawrence. All 
felt that the movement set on foot to drench the 
country in blood had been fortunately turned into an 
instrumentality of good. 

In this connection, I recall an interview with Gov. 
Robinson, in which this abortive attempt of Gen. 
Lane to inaugurate a revolution was under discus- 
sion. He mentioned being present at a meeting of 
Lane's secret military organization, in Masonic Hall, 
the date of which he did not remember, at which he 
was initiated a member, At the conclusion of the 
ceremony Gen. Lane, in his characteristic style 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 113 

recounted the work before the Order. He said : " I 

have ordered Gen. to strike at Leavenworth; 

Gen. to strike at Atchison; Gen. — — to strike 

at Doniphan; Gen. to strike at Kickapoo; now 

it remains for you to say what shall be done with 
Lecompton;" his extreme modesty, no doubt, pre- 
venting him from assuming command of the exj^edi- 
tion against that delectable town, preferrimg the 
Order, of which he was the head, to so depute him. 
Gov. Kobinson said, that after a period of silence he 
was called upon for remarks. Rising and addressing 
the chair, he inquired by what authority this proce- 
dure, to attack and destroy pro-slavery towns, had. 
been inaugurated? Gen. Lane replied: "By direc- 
tion of the Military Board." The Governor con- 
tinued: "The Board can give no such authority. It 
would be foreign to the purpose of its organization." 
He then gave notice that he should oppose any such 
movement with all the ability he possessed. Gov. 
Eobinson never met with the secret conclave again, 
possibly feeling like the intruding guest ejected from 
a hotel. Finding himself forcibly thrust into the 
street, slowly rising, surveying his condition, and 
brushing the dust from his person, an observer ven- 
tured the question, "How did you feel as you were 
tumbling down stairs?" "Very much as if I was not 
wanted there!" was the prompt reply. It is very cer- 
tain Gov. Robinson never desired to enter that mystic 
circle again; and his readiness to suppress an incip- 
ient revolution, set on foot by the "Grim Chieftain" 
and his Danite band, did not tend to make him more 
popular with that class of men. 

Whether this proposed general movement against 



114 REMINISCENCES OF 

the leading pro-slavery towns of the Territory, was 
planned to come off at the same time with the pro- 
posed military descent on Lecompton, we are not 
advised; but, from the date of an order in Gen. Lane's 
handwriting, signed by him, and now in onr posses- 
sion, directed to "Capt. Charley Lenhart," ordering 
him to "take such number of active young men as you 
shall deem necessary, and proceed with as little delay 
as possible to colonize Kiokapoo," we are convinced 
that the two periods were concurrent in time. 

So, too, in this proposed assasination of all the mem- 
bers of this Constitutional Convention, we have the 
secret of old John Brown remaining so long at rest — 
from the 7th of August to the 2d of November — with 
all the members of his clan, who were members of this 
secret organization, and familiar with its plans, hov- 
ering on the Kansas border, watching hourly for 
advices from Kansas, delaying for twelve days after 
the period fixed for striking the fatal blow; thence, 
with a single son, overland to Lawrence; a brief inter- 
view with Gen. E. B. Whitman, a high functionary 
and second in command in this secret organization; a 
short visit to Gov. Kobinson, who frankly told him he 
was damaging the cause of Free Kansas by his pred- 
atory operations along the border, and then his return 
east, "■disgusted until the Kansas leaders!'' 



CH^r'TER XT^II. 



In a New Role. 

EROM the first settlement down to the period 
of which I write, the whole Democratic press. 
North and South, seemed united against the Free 
State pioneers of Kansas, and the cause they repre- 
sented. The administration at Washington was Dem- 
ocratic. As it had joined hands with the usurpers, 
of course the Democratic press sustained them ; and 
the reader of those journals floated along with the 
popular current. 

Cogitating on this condition of things, with a large 
Democratic exchange list, I saw that the St. Louis 
Republican was the text book which furnished the 
key-note for the party, from the President down to 
the meanest Border Euffian who made his annual 
visit to Kansas to do its voting. 

Henry Clay Pate, of Westport, Mo., was the Kan- 
sas correspondent of the Republican^ and his crimi- 
nally-false statements were continually going the 
rounds of his party papers, always to the prejudice of 
the cause for which we were laboring. 

Recalling these facts, it occurred to me that if the 
tone of that paper could be changed, a great good 
could be accomplished. I wrote out at length the 
leading incidents in the preceding chapter, added to 
it some facts in my possession regarding the move- 
ments of Gov. Walker and Sec'y Stanton, was careful 



116 EEMINISCENCES OF 

that every statement should bear the severest criti- 
cism, and sent the same to the Republican, placing it 
at the editor's disposal, stating, in an accompanying 
letter, that if he wanted a correspondent who was 
intimately acquainted with every fact in Kansas his- 
tory from its first settlement; who held confidential 
relations with both the Territorial officials and the 
Free State party; and who would pledge himself 
never to write a falsehood, then it would give me 
pleasure to fill that position. 

By return mail, I received a letter from the propri- 
etor of the Republican, stating that my proposition 
was accepted; that the letter received would appear 
in the next morning's paper; that he wanted me to 
write at least one letter a week, and as much oftener, 
even if it was daily, as I had important events to 
communicate; that he would pay me five dollars for 
each letter used, and would place no restrictions on 
me, only to keep my promise to write the truth let it 
militate against whom it might. It further stated 
that Mr. Pate was already discharged, and they had 
no other correspondent from thenceforth but myself. 
I made a similar arrangement to write for the N. Y. 
Commercial Advertiser, and a few letters to the N. 
Y. Eveyiing Post. 

I communicated to no one, not even my nearest 
friends, the position I was filling; and to avoid sus- 
picion of the postmaster, the letters were directed to 
the editors by name, and not to the papers. I had 
the pleasure of seeing those letters copied into the 
almost entire Democratic press of the North, headed 
with heavy display lines of ''The Truth from Kansas 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 117 

at Last," "Wholesale Assassination Proposed by Jim 
Lane," "Gov. Walker Playing an Honest Hand," 
"The Free State Party Largely in the Majority," 
*'The Lecompton Constitution Eepudiated by the 
People," and thus on through successive numbers of 
the paper. 

Not only the Democratic press, but Kepublican 
journals as well, copied these letters, usually with 
approving comments, at the same time calling atten- 
tion to the changed tone of the opposition. 

Congress was about to convene. As I was conscious 
the fraudulent Constitution would be submitted to 
that body at an early day in its session, and recog- 
nizing that Senator Douglas was a power in the Sen- 
ate Chamber, I wrote that distinguished gentleman a 
long letter, showed up the iniquity of the Constitu- 
tional Convention, and, to secure his confidence and 
assure him that I was "behind the scenes," I sent him 
a ritual of a secret Order, printed at the Herald of 
Freedom office. The Order was instituted at an 
early day, had ceased to be operative and had been 
superseded by another. Of the latter facts I said 
nothing. Mr. Douglas wrote me a very pleasant let- 
tor in reply; thanked me for having communicated 
such important information, which he would make 
use of when he had occasion to again address the 
Senate on Kansas affairs. At the same time he made 
numerous inquiries in regard to various matters 
touching that Constitution; of the body by which it 
was made; their election, etc. Any one having the 
curiosity to know what Mr. Douglas said of the writer, 
without mentioning his name, or of his action to 



118 REMINISCENCES OF 

defeat that Constitution, can consult the Congres- 
sional files of that time. Sufficient for me to say, 
from henceforth Mr. Douglas opposed that villainous 
Constitution, and the ruffians who called it into being, 
with all the energy of which he was so largely the 
master. 

Those who are willing to do the opposition justice 
were frank to concede had Mr. Douglas' great inliu- 
ence been turned in the other channel, notwithstand- 
ing all our struggles to the contrary, in all probability 
we should have been admitted into the Union a 
slave State. I am glad to record in this connection, 
that other gentlemen exercised great influence with 
Senator Douglas at this critical period in our history. 
Gov. Eobinson held a long personal interview with 
him, soon after the bogus Constitution reached Wash- 
ington; and Gov. Walker relied upon Douglas' efforts 
in the Senate to secure justice to Kansas, since it was 
denied by President Buchanan and his infamous 
Cabinet. 

I shall have occasion in our next chapter, to show 
stil further valuable services my position as corres- 
pondent ofthe St. Louis Republican enabled me to 
perform in antagonizing the Constitution. 



New Dangers to be Combatted. 
tTTHE CONSTITUTIONAL Convention re-con- 
&](9 vened on the 19tli of October, withont a qno- 
rnm, however, for several days, as the publicity given 
to Lane's assassination scheme frightened the more 
timorous of that body into temporary exile from the 
capital. Gov. Walker succeeded in getting a small 
force from Fort Leavenworth, under the immediate 
command of Maj. Sedgwick, to protect the Conyen- 
tion from the violence of the people for whom they 
were making a Constitution, after which they resumed 
their work of forging chains for those they wished to 
enslave. 

That body completed its labors on the 7th of 
November, and made provision for submitting only 
the article relating to slavery to the jjeople. They 
had taken the precaution to provide for the existence 
of slavery by other articles of the Constitution; so 
that in reality it made no difference in the legal effect 
whether the article referred to was adopted or 
rejected; slavery was still, by its provisions, the fun- 
damental law of the State, and was placed beyond the 
power of repeal. 

Both Gov. Walker ^nd Secretary Stanton had 
labored with the members of the Convention to i)ro- 
cure the submission of the Constitution as a whole to 
the people, but in this they were defeated. 

Soon after the adjournment of the Convention 



120 REMINISCENCES OF 

Gov. Walker, under the pretext of important personal 
business, left for Washington, he said, to be absent 
three or four weeks. Arriving there he held long 
personal and very animated interviews with President 
Buchanan, trying to induce him to give the Consti- 
tution no countenance ; but all to no purpose. Finally, 
on the 17th of December, the Governor wrote a long 
letter to Secretary Cass, reviewing the condition of 
Kansas affairs, denouncing the attemiDt to rob the 
X)eople of their liberties, and tendered his resignation, 
which was formally accepted on the following day. 

There seemed no other way to get a legal expres- 
sion of the popular will with regard to the Constitu- 
tion, to go before Congress, than through action of 
the Legislature.* That body, under existing law, 
would not meet in regular session until the 4:th of 
January, 1858, the very day provided in the Consti- 
tution for the election of officers under it. 

*"'The plan of an extra session of the Legislature, to meet the 
extraordinary^ crisis in our Territorial affairs, ivas first ftiblicly 
advocated by us in a short speech to our fellow citizens, over 
Messrs. Duncan's store, on the 17th of October last, though we 
had previously suggested it to our associate, Mr. Wattles. Since 
then we have been unremitting in our exertions to get an extra 
session convened, and on Monday last, had a long interview with 
Acting Gov. Stanton on the subject, and drew up in our own 
hand the application, since signed by the members of the Legisla- 
tive Assembly, as also the indorsement by the citizens which we 
led off in signing, asking him to convene that body." — Herald of 
Freedom, Dec. 5, 1857, first page, eighth column. .See further in 
this direction, closing sentence of first article, third page, of Nov. 
7; also second column and closing of first article on fourth column, 
Nov. 14; and second page, sixth column, of Dec. 19, article headed, 
"Stealing their Thunder." It is wonderful to see what claims are 
set up for others in this direction. See John Speer's speech pub- 
lished in the Kansas Memorial, p. iSo. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 121 

While Gov. Walker was yet at Leavenworth, pre- 
paratory to descending the Missouri, he was waited 
upon by a committee from Lawrence, asking him to 
convene the newly elected Legislature. He declined, 
giving as a reason that he had already passed the re- 
sponsibilities of the executive offce to Secretary Stan- 
ton, who, by virtue of the Organic Act, would be Act- 
ing Governor during his absence. 

Acting Gov. Stanton was beseiged from all quar- 
ters for a like purpose. John Speer, in his reported 
speech at Bismarck Grove, September, 1879, repre- 
sented that Col. Eldridge was instrumental in secur- 
ing a promise, on certain conditions, for the issuance 
of the desired proclamation ; and that he carried the 
petition of the members of the Legislature to the 
Governor asking his action in the premises. It is 
merely possible some of the statements made by Speer 
are correct; for each person having influence with 
Mr. Stanton, was doing his best to attain that end. 
The facts, however, will be best determined when 
each prominent actor shall report his own individual 
experience in that direction. As Gov. Stanton was 
yet living when these pages were first published, I 
took the more pleasure in stating what I knew about 
it, and appealed to him to correct me if I misrepre- 
sented in the slightest degree.* 

^Secretary Stanton was born in Alexandria, D. C, December 
22, 1814, and died in Ocala, Florida, Jime 4, 1894. He was a man 
of sterling ability, a lawyer by education, and for a time a Repre- 
sent-ative in Congress from Tennessee. He identified himself with 
the Free State party during its closing days, and, like Gov. 
Walker, was a faithful supporter of the Constitution and the 
Union, in opposition to the political heresies of Secession. A let- 
ter from him in the Appendix indorses such facts as are herein 
stated as came under his observation. 



122 REMINISCENCES OF 

A petition was drawn up asking Gov. Stanton to 
convene the Legislature. It was professedly signed 
by a majority of the members of the Legislature, 
many of whose names, however, were signed to it by 
Lane, as the members were scattered over the Terri- 
tory, and were difficult of access. That fact was well 
known to Gov. Stanton. The instrument, instead of 
being carried to the Governor by Col. Eldridge, was 
carried by Capt. Samuel Walker, who, by the way, 
was living in Lawrence, a distant relative of Gov. 
Walker, when these pages were originally published. 
After receiving it. Gov. Stanton called at my office, 
and we had a long conversation in regard to an extra 
session. I urged the necessity of it, and pressed the 
point with all the logic I could muster. He agreed 
with me as to the necessity of such a measure, and 
thought it the most effective weapon which could be 
employed in Congress to defeat that Constitution; to 
show by a legal vote of the people that nineteen-twen- 
tieths of them are opposed to it; but, he urged: "So 
soon as intelligence shall reach Washington of official 
action in that direction, my head will be lopped off, 
and I shall be deprived of further power to aid you." 

I inquired of him what the effect would be if the 
Kansas correspondent of the St. Louis Repuhlican 
would write a letter to that journal setting forth that 
the people w^ere terribly convulsed because of their 
fears of being admitted into the Union under that 
Constitution; that unless something was done, and 
immediately, to allay the excitement, there was great 
probability it would break out in new scenes of vio- 
lence and disorder, requiring a strong military force 
to suppress it; that the Acting Governor was well 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 123 

advised concerning this condition of things, and the 
pressure is so great and the danger so imminent it is 
probable he will feel compelled to grant the popular 
request, and issue the desired proclamation. He 
inquired: 

"Are you acquainted with this correspondent?" 

"I am." 

"How soon can you see him?" 

"Within a very short time." 

"Do you think he will be able to write the letter 
propo-sed by two o'clock this afternoon?" 

"I think so." 

"Get him to write it and let me see it. I will go to 
dinner, and call here at two o'clock promptly. See if 
he can insure the forwarding of an advance slip 
from the Republican office to President Buchanan. 
This will be important." 

Gov. Stanton left for dinner, and the letter for the 
RepuhUcan was written during his absence. 

On his return at two o'clock, I read him the letter, 
which appeared a few days after in the St. Louis 
Bepiihlican. 

''Have you any objection to communicating to me 
tlie name of this correspondent?" 

''Sub rosa, Governor?" 

"Yes, in strictest confidence, if required." 

"It is granted you on that condition. I have had 
the honor of acting in that capacity for the last month 
or more." 

"Well, I am astonished! Gov. Walker and I have 
talked this matter over several times, but we could 
not arrive at any satisfactory conclusion as to the 
author of those letters. He was as much unknown 



124 REMINISCENCES OF 

to US as the author of the Junius letters. We agreed 
it was some person in our confidence, as also in the 
confidence of the leaders of the Free State party, and 
somebody who was not afraid to tell the truth. We 
guessed everybody but you. The fact that you had 
not the aid of your associate for a long time, and your 
editorial columns were so full, we supposed it would 
be impossible for you to do any outside work." 

The Governor thanked me for having done him 
and Governor Walker full justice in all these letters; 
that they had given them backbone as they were seen 
floating through the press, with the almost entire 
commendation of all parties. 

"And you will forward this by first mail to the 
Republican, and write the editor to send a corrected 
proof-slip to the President. And will you embody 
the substance of it in your forthcoming paper?" 

"I will." 

"Your paper is dated on Saturday?" 

"Yes; but I go to press on Friday." I think this 
was on Thursday. 

"Do so, and I will come down on Tuesday next and 
issue a proclamation, provided I can have satisfactory 
assurance that the Legislature, when so convened, 
will limit its action to merely submitting the Lecomp- 
ton Constitution to a vote of all the people." 

The article referred to appeared as a part of the 
leader in the issue of the Herald of Freedom of Nov. 
21, '57. In the concluding paragraph we said, in 
italics: "TFe have not a doubt but the Legislature 
icill be convened.''' In our issue of Dec. 5th, first 
page, third column, we quoted the petition of the 
members of the Legislature, including those "simu- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 125 

lated" by Lane, and also an agreement, drawn up by 
myself, and signed, "G. W. Brown, G. W. Smith, C. 
Kobinson, J. H. Lane, and upwards of one hundred 
other leading citizens," concurring with the petition- 
ers in the importance of convening the Legislature. 

[John Speer said, in his Bismarck Grove speech: 
"Gen. Jas. H. Lane commenced a canvass of the Ter- 
ritory, holding meetings to urge the Governor to call 
the Legislature in extra session, to provide for a fair 
vote on the Lecompton constitution. He traversed 
the Territory, sometimes on horseback, sometimes on 
foot, addressing assemblies in villages, in school- 
houses, and under the trees." The facts were, as the 
reported proceedings of those meetings will show, 
he was laboring to induce the members to meet in 
voluntdvy session at "Lecompton, on the 3d day of 
December, to suggest such measures and adopt such 
action as the crisis demands." He had been elected 
Senator under the Topeka Constitution, and every 
movement of his, as we can furnish abundant proof, 
was looking toward a setting in motion of that gov- 
ernment, hoping through the turmoil induced by it he 
would rise to higher prominence. The proposed 
action, through Gov. Stanton, was not of his origina- 
tion ; but he came into the support of the measure, as 
he did of sundry others, when his own pet schemes 
failed, and his partisan friends would always repre- 
sent him as the father of the idea. The reader will 
excuse this digression in the interest of truth. ] 

The proclamation was published on Tuesday, in an 
extra of the Lecompton Democrat, and the Legisla- 
ture, agreeably to its provisions, assembled at Lecomp- 
ton on the 7th of December. 



126 REMINISCENCES OF 

That body was formally organized, after which an 
act was passed submitting the Constitution to a vote 
of the electors on the 4th day of January, 1858, the 
same day and at the same places the election was to 
be held for officers under the Constitution, but with 
different judges and clerks. An act was also passed 
making provisions against fraudulent voting; and, in 
defiance of the solemn written pledge of the members 
of the Legislature, endorsed by Gen. Lane, a law was 
enacted over the Governor's veto, providing for a Mil- 
itary Board, with Lane at the head. This bill was 
engineered through by Lane and his friends, to the 
lasting discredit of all concerned in it. 



CH^FTER XIX. 

The Contest Begins. 

LL QUE- advices from Washington showed con- 
r^x' clusively that the friends of Free Kansas 
had nothing to hope from that quarter. The 
President, in his annual message, on the assembling 
of Congress, showed that his sympathy was with the 
framers of the bogus Constitution. 

A Free State delegate convention, which proved the 
largest ever held in the Territory, was called by the 
joint action of G. W. Smith, Chairman of the Ter. 
Ex. Com., and G. W. Hutchinson, Chairman of the 
State Ex. Com., to be held at Lawrence on the 2d 
of December, "to take into consideration the present 
political situation of the Territory." This body was 
organized with Charles Robinson as President. By 
resolutions it declared that everything connected with 
the Lecompton Constitution from its inception was a 
swindle, and that the people would gain nothing by 
voting down the fraudulent proA^sions relating to sla- 
very; that, taking into consideration the whole facts, 
it was not advisable to participate in the election of 
the 21st of December. This position was unani- 
mously adopted by the press and people. 

The Herald of Freedom, while it coincided fully 
with the action of the Convention, as far as expressed 
in that direction, insisted that it was our duty to 
engage in the election for officers under it, on the 4th 
of January; that we had the power to elect them; 



128 KEMINISCENCES OF 

that by getting control of the offices, even if Congress 
should admit us a State, we could refuse to organize 
under it; or if it was deemed wise to organize, we 
could call a new Convention and frame a new Consti- 
tution to meet our wishes, and that in disregard of 
the ten years' restriction prohibiting its amendment. 

These positions were pressed with such force by 
editorials and communications, and the active work- 
ers in our Free State organization were so clamorous 
in this direction, the Chairman of the Territorial 
Executive Committee, who had been authorized to 
re-convene the Convention, if the public exigency 
demanded it, determined to do so, and issued the call 
for it to re-assemble at Lawrence on the 23d of 
December. 

The body came together in the Congregational 
Church, in West Lawrence, at 10 o'clock on Wednes- 
day. As many of the organized counties were with- 
out delegates, the letter-writers and their sympathi- 
zers appeared in force, and claimed seats. This was 
very readily granted. Then it was proposed the del- 
egate or delegates acting for a county should be enti- 
tled to cast the full vote of such county. By this 
provision, the control of the convention passed into 
the hands of those who had opposed the voting pol- 
icy from the beginning. On the afternoon of Thurs- 
day, the 24th, the yeas and nays were called, when 47 
delegates voted in favor of participating in the elec- 
tion for officers, and 44 against doing so. This major- 
ity of names embraced the old, substantial, self-sacri- 
ficing hard workers, from the first settlement of the 
Territory, who had labored in season and out of sea- 
son to make Kansas free. Opposed to them were the 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 129 

members of Gen. Lane's secret organization, his 
indorsers, their sympathizers, and the radical corres- 
pondents of the eastern press. Though in the minor- 
ity in numbers, by the packing of the Convention, 
and voting by districts, the opponents of voting had 
a count of 75 nays to 64 ayes. 

And this result was reached by an artful ruse of 
Gen. Lane and his backers, which is worthy of note 
in this connection. Just as the vote wag being taken, 
Gen. E. B. Whitman appeared on the scene, and 
asked to be heard. He represented that he had left 
the camp of Gen. Lane, near Sugar Mound, in South- 
eastern Kansas, on Tuesday night, at nine o'clock; 
that he had ridden continually, changing horses four 
times, having been twenty hours in the saddle; that 
he had traveled one hundred miles, stopping to eat 
but one meal on the whole route, to bring the Conven- 
tion the intelligence. He said Gen. Lane had about 
two hundred men under his command; that he had a 
strong position; was well supplied with provisions, 
and was expecting an attack the next day from one 
hundred United States troops and a large force of 
Missourians. He further stated that Gen. Lane had 
issued a proclamation stating that war had been made 
upon the peaceful, unoffending inhabitants, and that 
he had consented to take command of the people, at 
their urgent solicitation, to resist aggression; that all 
persons taken in arms from Missouri, who were 
arrayed against the people of Kansas, would be put 
to death; that he is only acting on the defensive, and 
when the attempt at subjugation shall be abandoned, 
his command will return to their ordinary avoca- 
tions. 



130 REMINISCENCES OF 

Gen. Whitman went on to say, that persons were 
marching forward from all parts of the Territory to 
the scene of excitement, to stand or fall with Gen. 
Lane and his brave command. He represented the 
danger as imminent, and the probability is that the 
contest will become general. After this statement he 
proceeded to harangue the Convention, charging them 
with wasting their time over a question of no import- 
ance whatever, while the real battle was being fought 
between freedom and slavery in Southern Kansas. 
"This is no time for hair-splitting questions," said 
he, "but it is the moment for brave and vigorous 
action." 

The frenzied orator was doubtless familiar with 
Homer's Iliad, and gave in his own words Book II, 
lines 966 to 971: 

"Cease to consult; the time for action calls; 
War, horrid war, approaches to your walls! 
Assembled armies oft have I beheld, 
But ne'er till now such numbers charged afield. 
Thick as autumnal leaves, or dri\ ing sand. 
The moving squadrons blacken all the strand." 

Whitman's wild manner and excitement were 
extended to the audience. Hinton. falsely represent- 
ing Breckenridge county, being a resident of Law- 
rence, sprang upon a seat and called for three cheers 
for Gen. Lane. The vote was taken immediately fol- 
lowing this episode, with the results stated. 

After packing the Convention on Wednesday, it 
was very apparent the result desired would be at- 
tained. On that evening about thirty members of the 
Convention held a meeting at the Herald of Freedom 
office, when the situation was discussed, and the fact 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 131 

was shown that the Convention was controlled by a 
secret organization, at the head of which was Gen. 
Lane, Whitman being understood as second in rank. 
This fact was demonstrated a day or two after Whit- 
man's crazy speech, by the redoubtable General, who 
was "on the eve of fighting the United States troops," 
appearing on the streets of Lawrence congratulating 
his friends on the result of the Convention. Those 
thirty men, before mentioned, resolved that the peo- 
ple were not willing to remain inactive; that all they 
needed was a ticket, composed of tried and true men, 
who could be trusted to take charge of the Lecomp- 
ton Constitution and destroy it. They instructed W. 
Y. Roberts, who was one of their number, to 
announce from the platform, immediately after the 
result should be reached, if adverse to voting, that all 
who were in favor of putting a ticket in the field, and 
would sustain such ticket, to meet at Masonic 
Hall, at seven o'clock that evening, for such action. 
Mr. Roberts accepted the trust. 

On my way to the Convention, on Thvfrsday morn- 
ing, I fell in with Thomas Ewing, Jr., of Leaven- 
worth. He was a member of the law firm of Ewing, 
Sherman, and Denman — the afterwards Gen. W. T. 
Sherman, so well known to the whole country — and 
Mr. Ewing, with a Major General's commission, also 
distinguished himself in the war of the Rebellion, as 
since on the floor of Congress. He said he had a let- 
ter from his father, the Hon. Thos. Ewing, of Ohio, 
that his father was of the opinion we would be admit- 
ted into the Union by act of Congress, under the 
Lecompton Constitution; that the only instrumental- 
ity remaining in our hands to make Kansas free, was 



132 REMINISCENCES OF 

to get possession of the offices under that Constitu- 
tion, then we must change the instrument through a 
convention called by the Legislature, and make one 
to meet our will. He said he was very anxious the 
people should engage in a contest for the offices, and 
it would require hard work to organize in the short 
time remaining until the election; but he would give 
the committee in charge of the duty ^200 to pay for 
tickets and the expense of organizing for the brief 
campaign. 

When the result of the vote was announced in the 
Convention, I made my way direct to Mr. Roberts, 
and requested him to make the announcement agreed 
upon the night before. He said the feeling of the 
people was such it would be useless to put in nomina- 
tion a ticket. I labored earnestly with him, but he 
positively declined to act. I next called on Gen. S. 
C. Pomeroy, who was also with us. He expressed 
great sorrow for the result; thought now there was 
no doubt Kansas would be a slave State, and that all 
our efforts to the contrary would prove a failure. I 
asked him to make the announcement. He, too, 
declined. I next found P. C. Schuyler, of Burlin- 
game, and begged him to give the notice. With tears 
streaming down his cheeks, and his voice half sup- 
pressed with emotion, he said: "Kansas is lost, lost 
to freedom ! Nothing remains to us but to pack our 
goods and leave the Territory to its fate." Dr. Jas. 
Davis, of Leavenworth, also one of the thirty, 
refused, and desponded as to the future. 

The convention was rapidly breaking up, and mem- 
bers were leaving, though an adjournment had not 
been declared. I was almost wild with anxiety. In 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 133 

this dilemma I met Mr. Ewing — Kansans, let his 
name be immortal! I hurriedly told him what I had 
done, and of the answers. Said Ewing: 

"Who of these showed the most feeling in the 
premises?" 

"Judge Schuyler." 

"Where is he?" 

Getting upon a seat, and looking oVer the heads, I 
saw his fine manly form, and pointed him out to 
Ewing. 

"Come with me,'' was his response, and we were 
soon by Schuyler's side. Ewing, addressing Judge 
S., said: 

"Come with us." Turning to me, "Who next has 
the most interest in this matter?" 

"Gen. Pomeroy:" 

We soon found him, and Dr. Davis, and to all 
"Come with us," was Mr. E wing's imperative com- 
mand. Without a word of explanation we moved in 
a body, under the command of a master mind, to 
Gov. Roberts, whom Ewing addressed: 

"Why don't you make the announcement you agreed 
to last night?'' 

"It is no use." 

"This is not the time to discuss that question. You 
agreed, as a gentleman, last night, to make the 
announcement, and we now want you to do it. Say, 
if you prefer, that you are requested to do so. You 
need not assume any responsibility if you don't wish 
to." 

Gov. Roberts stepped to the stand, called the meet- 
ing, still in confusion, to order, and made the desired 
statement. 



134 REMINISCENCES OF 

Reader, your pardon; but I know you will excuse 
the narration of an incident occurring at this mo- 
ment, which I look back upon through the long years 
since then with sadness and with pleasure, and which, 
in its consequences, the human mind is incapable of 
fathoming. 

Gov. Chas. Robinson and myself had been es- 
tranged since the 3d of July, 1856. We had fallen 
out while prisoners in camp. The letter-writers had 
subsequently fanned our private differences into a 
public flame. Like such feuds generally, ours was 
but a trifling one to begin with, and if let alone 
would have remained so. For nearly eighteen months 
we had not spoken to nor recognized each other. He 
presided at the Convention whose history we have 
just written. A delegate from the Lawrence district, 
his vote was recorded in favor of participating in the 
election, and he made a short but very earnest and 
impressive speech in the same direction. 

With Mr. Roberts' announcement of the proposed 
evening meeting, the convention was adjourned, and 
Gov. Robinson came down from the stand, passing 
throiighthe aisles, and reached the vestibule, where 
I met him, with an extended hand, and said with a 
choking voice: 

"Governor, can we forget our personal quarrels for 
a time, and work together for the freedom of Kansas?" 

The Governor seemed touched at a tender point. 
Looking through moistened eyes, and showing much 
emotion, he responded: . 

"I guess so." 

We walked to a window, exchanged a few hurried 



GOVERNOK WALKER. 135 

ideas as to the immediate future, and separated. 
While I concede so much to Thomas Ewing, Jr., 
which I shall more fully delineate in my next chap- 
ter, without Charles Robinson's hearty co-operation 
from that time forth, I firmly believe Kansas would 
be a, slave State to-day, with all those new States and 
Territories lying ivest and north of her to the Pacific, 
as ivell as those at the south ichicli were such cd the 
time of the Greed Rebellion f 

And here the reader will allow me, in closing this 
chapter, to say, that the private animosities of 
Charles Robinson and G. W. Brown were thus oblit- 
erated from our earnest determination to make Kan- 
sas free. It is hoped the recording angel dropped a 
tear upon the record of our foolish quarrel, and 
effaced it forever from his tablet. May the Gover- 
nor's life be prolonged until a truthful history of 
Kansas shall be written, when his name shall receive 
the just reward of Fame, so richly merited.* 

*Gov, Charles Robinson died at his home of Oakridge, near 
Lawrence, Kansas, August 17, 1894, aged 76 years, universally 
lamented. See a sketch of the Governor's Life by Prof. Can- 
field, in the Appendix. 



CH^FTER XX. 

"Brown's Cellar Kitchen Convention." 
tT/HOSE in favor of nominating a ticket under 
e)J[C© the pro-slavery Constitution, to be voted for on 
the 4th of January, 1858, assembled at Masonic Hall, 
over Woodward & Finley's drug store, on Thursday 
evening, Dec. 24th. at 7 o'clock, Dr. Davis, of Leav- 
enworth, in the chair. 

The attendance was quite large, much greater than 
was expected. The President called on the writer to 
state the object of the meeting, which he did at 
length, though in the reported proceedings the lan- 
guage was credited to the chair, for effect abroad. 
Near its conclusion a w41d. hooting, disorderly rabble 
came streaming into the hall, filling every aisle and 
vacant place, jumping upon seats, and cheering at the 
hight of their voices. They were led by the press 
correspondents, and those who were interested in pro- 
longing the Kansas strife. They were young adven- 
turers; intent on forcing a conflict between the North 
and South, who had nothing to lose but everything 
to gain by hastening a bloody issue. 

Wonder how the names of the leaders of this 
''incipient revolution" would appear in print, in the 
light of subsequent events, many of whom are still 
living? Since then they have been continually labor- 
ing to give credit for the grand results which fol- 
lowed, to those who absolutely did nothing to aid in 
the great work of RESCUING KANSAS FKOM 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 137 

SLAYEEY, but positively obstructed the labors of 
others. Like Fame, in classic story, they demand 
adoration for their heroes, and are ever laboring to 
falsify those who oppose their claims.* 

Arranging with a few friends near, while the rabble 
was the most furious, each made his way to a light, 

*The ancient Romans used to personify nearfy every idea, and 
worship it as a deity. They had a goddess whom they called Fama, 
in English Fame or Renown. She was represented as a messen- 
ger from Jupiter, with innumerable wings and manv voices, car- 
rying in her hand, as a symbol of her duties, a trumpet. Virgil, 
who knew all about the gods and goddesses, having written while 
they were young, says of her: 

"Millions of open mouths to Fame belong, 
And every mouth is furnished with a tongue." 

She was always on the wing, journeying everywhere, in everv 
land, spreading abroad the merits of those she would reward. 
Those she wished to immortalize she sang in their praise, which 
she repeated ten thousand times. Truth and Falsehood .alike 
furnished themes for song. These she taught others to repeat, 
until the names of those she admired were on every tongue. When 
a hero was to be enshrined she knew no rest until her end Avas 
attained. 

Fame has de\ otees in our day, who are as acti\e in doing her 
work as were those of two thousand years ago. A trumpet blast 
Is pealed; it rings out on the startled air; Echo catches the sound 
and bears it on. The wide globe is quite too small for her labors, 
so she builds another, and peoples it with those she loves. Those 
she has determined to laud she allows no one to defame. Envj-, 
Hatred, Malice, Falsehood, and Revenge are each enlisted in her 
service, to destroy the influence of those who would whisper a 
Avord against the fullest accomplishment of her desires. Though 
no longer worshiped as a goddess, nor are chaplets woven for her 
brow, yet she still does service; has her devotees; enshrines her 
heroes, and demands their adoration. She has a long train of fol- 
lowers, each repeating, with increased fervor, her words ot adula- 
tion, and each is laboring to crush those who oppose the popular 
acclaim. 



138 BEMINISCENCES OF 

which, at a concerted signal, was extinguished, leav- 
ing all in pitchy darkness. 

Crowding hurriedly through the tumultuous mob, I 
reached the stairs on the outside of the building, and 
at the foot, looking up, it being star-light, I recog- 
nized many of our friends as they came down, to all 
of whom I said in a low voice: "Go at once to the 
Herald of Freedom building, and wait in front my 
arrival." When all had descended I ran to the office, 
less than a block away, opened a basement door, and 
directed those there to enter, though all was dark. 
Procuring lights, the windows were darkened with 
paper. [ It was publicly reported and published, that 
I stood at the door with a revolver, and threatened to 
shoot any person who attempted to enter without 
leave. This, however, was not true. No one who 
presented himself for admission was refused. ] When 
all were in the doors were locked, and we proceeded 
to business. There were sixty persons present, names 
which deserve immortality. A large number of others 
in sympathy, were not informed of the new place of 
assembling, and of course were not with us. 

S. C. Pomeroy, P. C. Schuyler, S. N. Wood. H. D. 
Hall, John Hanna, A. Appleman, Judge J. D. Pass- 
more, E. Heath, Kobert Morrow, G. W. Zinn and 
Judge McKay were Vice Preisdents, with Wm. Aus- 
tin, of the Kansas Leader, and D. H. Wier, as Secre- 
taries. Thomas Ewing, Jr., P. C. Schuyler, F. S. 
Lowman, W. Y. Roberts, and J. K. Goodin, were 
appointed a committee on resolutions. 

Resolutions were reported by the committee favor- 
able to participating in the election, and of nomina- 
ting a ticket. Among these was one declaring the 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 139 

candidates would be considered "pledged," should the 
constitution be approved by Congress, to adopt and 
execute immediate measures for enabling the people 
through another convention, to obtain such a consti- 
tution as the majority shall approve. And another, 
"That should Congress admit Kansas a State under 
that unsubmitted constitution, it will commit a gross 
infraction of the organic law of the Territory, and of 
the rights of the people." 

It was at first proposed to nominate Hon. Fred. P. 
Stanton for Governor, but he thought, with others, 
that it was not wise to do so, as it was presumed there 
were many good men who were yet ignorant of his 
earnest hostility to the constitiition, and that his posi- 
tion would be falsified by the radical press. The 
ticket was finally made up of the most sterling Free 
State men in the Territory, to-wit: For Governor, G. 
W. Smith; Lieut Gov. W. Y. Koberts; Sec'y of State, 
P. C. Schuyler; Treasurer, A. J. Mead; Auditor, Joel 
K. Goodin; Representative to Congress, Marcus J. 
Parrott. 

A Territorial Committee, with S. N. Wood as chair- 
man was appointed. At 2 o'clock on the morning of 
Christmas Day, ''Brown's Cellar Kitchen Conven- 
tion," as it was stigmatized by the radicals, adjourned 
for work. 

I had instructed my foreman in the newspaper 
department to have full cases of type distributed, and 
every printer at his post for prolonged service. 

With the adjournment of the Convention, accom- 
panied by Mr. Thomas Ewing, Jr., I ascended to the 
third story of the office, not stopping at the sanctum 
on the 2d floor. Taking a place at the imposing 



140 KEMINISCENCES OF 

stone, with pencils sharpened in quantity from thence 
on by Mr. Ewing, and strips of paper at hand, com- 
menced writing up the proceedings of the last two 
eventful days, and such other matter as would bear 
upon the forthcoming election. Without leaving my 
place for any purpose, I continued to write, and the 
printers to put in type the matter thus prepared, 
proofs being taken as galleys were filled, which were 
read by Mr. Ewing, corrected, and immediately jjut 
into form. And thus we labored until 4 o'clock p. m., 
when sixteen newspaper columris were prepared and 
in type. At 5 o'clock the forms were on the power 
press, which was running at its highest speed.* 

*'*The Herald of Freedom helped in days of peril, especially 
when its editorial page was controlled by the scholarly wisdom 
and comprehensive insight of Augustus Wattles." So said a self- 
styled "Colonel," before the Kansas State Editorial Association, 
at Fort Scott, Jan, 2T„ 1900, and which the Kansas Historical 
"Society has deemed so valuable as to copy into its Historical Col- 
lections, Vol. 6, p. 371. 

It may be proper to here state, that Mr. Wattles was less than 
five months in the service of the Herald of Freedom. The greater 
part of that time was spent in collecting the material and writing 
the History of Kansas, which appeared on the first page of the 
paper, running through the entire period Mr. W. served us. He 
never '■'' controlled''^ the editorial columns of the paper for a single 
issue, and never directed its policy. 

A dozen other persons, more or less, are named by the same 
veracious gentleman as contributors to the editorial columns of 
the paper, among whom were himself, P. B. Plumb, Thomas A. 
Osborn, S. S. Prouty, etc., not one of whom ever wrote a line for 
the paper so far as I have knowledge. If they did so it was dur- 
ing my temporary absence for a few days from the office in select- 
ing the town site of Emporia. They were typos and little else. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. Ml 

Mr. Ewing secured horses at the livery stables, 
with trusty riders, and dispatched them to all parts of 
the Territory, each setting out on his particularly 
designated route as soon as 500 pai^ers could be 
printed and put up for him, the most distant points 
being first supplied. With each paper there were 
printed on the margin ten tickets. 

We thus worked off fourteen bundles — twenty- 
eight reams — of paper, and forwarded them by mes- 
sengers. Gen. Ewing subsequently told me he paid 
from his own pocket, in cash, for horses and riders on 
that occasion, eleven hundred dollars, not one cent 
of which was ever refunded to him. 

My own individual expenses I never cared to foot 
up, but they were very large. Much of the matter 
was used in the regular edition of my Saturday's 
paper, so all was not lost; besides a small sum was 
subscribed to meet this expense, but, like such sub- 
scriptions generally, only a small part was paid. 

But seven days, excluding Sunday, and the reader 
well know^s that politicians never labor on that sacred 
day, remained to us until the election, and we had a 
powerful secret organization in our own party to com- 
bat, who exhausted every resource they possessed, to 
keep men from voting. 

Gov. Robinson wrote letters to Leavenworth, and 
all points he could readily reach by mail or private 
hands, begging all to work incessantly till the last 
hour, and get every Free State man to the polls, to 
vote down the constitution with one hand, and officers 
under it with the other. He visited Topeka in per- 
son, called a public meeting, and addressed it in the 



142 EEMINISCENCES OF 

same direction. Night and day until after tlie election 
found him constantly at worki 

Gen. Ewing, as soon as he had dispatched the 
papers, and made arrangements for the payment of 
all the messenger bills, returned to Leavenworth and 
organized the opposition to the constitution there, 
while Gen. Pomeroy did the same at Atchison, and 
Judge Schuyler at Burlingame. At the same time 
each member of the Executive Committee, of which 
there were seventeen, scattered all over the Territory, 
under the general direction of its chairman, S. N. 
Wood, was active. 

The Lawrence Republican, under the editorial 
management of T. D. Thacher, headed the opjiosition 
to voting. "Brown's Convention" was ridiculed and 
treated as an insignificant affair; "indorsed by a few 
sore heads who wanted ofiices, political Judases, who 
had sold out the party, or were angered because they 
could not rule.*' Those of our Kansas readers who 
wish to see a specimen of newspaper bitterness, have 
only to consult files of the Republican, and two or 
three similar papers, where they will find it ad nau- 
seum. 

The Free State voters in most of the counties put 
in nomination candidates for the Legislature. So 
strong was the current in favor of the "voting policy" 
again, at a delegate convention of Douglas county, 
held at Masonic Hall on the 31st of December, to 
nominate candidates for the Legislature, under that 
infamous constitution. Gen. Jas. H. Lane, who was 
one of the delegates, and who had opposed with so 
much earnestness the taking of any part in the com- 
ing election, and who resorted to such a disreputable 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 143 

ruse to carry the late one, in opposition to voting, 
absolutely presided at this county convention. [See 
Herald of Freedom, p. 2, 2d col., of date Jan 2, 
1858.] 

We have neglected to state that, as contemplated by 
Secretary Stanton, he was removed by the President, 
notice of which, however, did not reach him until 
after the adjournment of the extra session of the Leg- 
islature. The reason given for such removal was for 
his convening that body. Gen. J. W. Denver, of Cal- 
ifornia, who was on his way to Kansas from Wash- 
ington, on some executive business pertaining to 
Indian affairs, was his successor, arriving at Lecomp- 
ton on the 17th of December. He entered at once on 
the discharge of his duties as Secretary and Acting 
Governor. In the latter cajjacity, a few days after 
his arrival, he issued a proclamation calling attention 
to the recent acts of the Legislature submitting the 
constitution to a vote of the people, and another in 
regard to fraudulent voting, with an expression of a 
determination to bring every offender against the lat- 
ter statute to speedy justice. Though understood to 
be pro- slavery in his views, yet he openly expressed 
himself in full sympathy with the positions of both 
Gov. Walker and the late Secretary. Like preceding 
Governors, he was soon on amicable terms with the 
conservative wing of the Free State i^arty. Secretary 
Denver was commissioned Governor in May, 1858, 
and remained in the Territory till November 7th, 
when he resigned and returned to Washington, car- 
rying with him the good wishes of the whole popu- 
lation. 



CH^FTER XXI. 

Condensed History. 

fT IS not my purpose to follow future events relat- 
ing to the Lecompton Constitution in detail, as 
histories of these are already before the public, and 
are accessible to all. 

At the election on the 21st of December, there 
were returned 6,143 votes as cast "For the constitu- 
tion with Slavery," and 569 "For the Constitution 
without Slavery." A very large majority of these 
votes were fraudulent. Indeed, it is questionable if 
they had to exceed 1,000 honest votes in the Ter- 
ritory. 

At the election under the Territorial law, on the 
4th of January, in which the Free State men par- 
ticipated, there were returned and counted by Acting 
Governor Denver, assisted by Messrs. Babcock and 
Deitzler, President of the Council and Speaker of the 
House, ''Against the Constitution," 10,226; 'Tor the 
Constitution with Slavery," 138; ''For the Constitu- 
tion without Slavery," 23. 

At the election for officers under provision of the 
constitution, held on the same day and place with the 
election of the 4th of January, but with different 
judges and ballot-boxes, notwithstanding over 3,000 
fraudulent votes were returned, 1,266 of which were 
from the populous city of Oxford; 729 from Shawnee, 
another unimportant place in Johnson county; and 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 



145 



1,017 fromKickapoo, all of which were counted by 
Calhoun, yet the entire Free State ticket, nominated 
at "Brown's Cellar Kitchen Convention," was tri- 
umphantly elected by majorities over and above all 
fhese frauds, ranging from 301 to 696. The Free 
State party also elected 29 members of the House, to 
the pro-slavery 15 ; and 13 members of the Senate, to 
pro-slavery 6. 

With this state of affairs the people of Kansas now 
felt secure against the final effects of any policy that 
thereafter might be adopted, either in Congress or 
out of it, touching their future. 

I would love to give a chapter to the "Candle-box 
Fraud," wherein the election returns were deposited 
by Maclean and his coadjutors, then buried out of 
doors under a wood-pile, to keep them from the reach 
of the Territorial Legislative Committee, and of their 
being unearthed and given to the committee by the 
intrepid Col. Samuel Walker, as well as of various 
other criminal devices of the pro-slavery leaders to 
farther defeat the popular will; but I fear the reader 
is wearying with our prolonged history. The facts, 
however, are in reach of the general public, through 
the reports of the committee, appointed specially to 
inquire into these frauds, which they did in a mas- 
terly way, — Thomas Ewing, Jr., being chairman and 
the most active member of that committee.* 

♦Since these pages were originally written Gen. Ewing pub- 
lished in the Cosmopolitan Magazine, and subsequently in a 
pamphlet, a full account of the unearthing of that Candle-Box 
Fraud, with a general account of the Convention which paved the 
way to it. Being so very important we feel justified in transfer- 
ring much of it to these pages. It will be found in the Ap- 
pendix, with a sketch of his life. 



146 REMINISCENCES OF 

On the 2d of February, 1858, President Buchanan 
sent a special message to Congress, with the Leoomp- 
ton Constitution, and recommended the admission of 
Kansas into the Union as a State under that instru- 
ment. Mr. Douglas, in the Senate, made a masterly- 
exposure of the frauds which had characterized its 
history from the beginning, and led the opposition to 
it until its final defeat. 

Gov. Walker was equally faithful in organizing and 
shaping resistance at Washington, and elsewhere, to 
secure its overthrow. Secretary Stanton, immediately 
after the returns of the 4th of January election were 
received at Lecompton, procured certified copies and 
proceeded with them to Washington where he joined 
Gov. Walker, and made an earnest personal appeal to 
members of Congress, with whom he had formerly 
associated as a member of that body, to defeat the 
fraud. 

In April the opposition had become so strong, Mr. 
English, of Indiana, introduced into the House, what 
he called a "compromise bill," for the admission of 
the State. It contained many obnoxious provisions, 
and afterwards became a law, but as it submitted the 
question to a vote of the people under just and 
proper restrictions, which ensured fairness, no anxi- 
ety was felt for the result. 

The election was held under the English bill, as it 
was popularly called, on the 2d of August, 1858, 
which resulted in a vote of 1,788 for the proposition, 
to 11,300 against it. A proclamation was issued by 
the proper ofiicers, declaring it rejected, and thus 
ended forever the Lecompton Constitution, and its 
power to enslave a free people. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 147 

From the day the Free State officers were elected 
under that constitution its former friends . lost hope 
in it. Aside from additional efforts at fraud, they 
almost wholly abandoned further attempts to fasten 
it on the people. Indeed, they had little motive for 
making other attempts in that direction, for it was 
clearly apparent with Free State officers to adminis- 
ter it, — it could no longer be used as an instrumen- 
tality to advance the interests of slavery. 

Hon. 0. B. Lines, at Bismarck Grove, September, 
'79, used this language in regard to this movement 
which placed that Constitution in Free State hands: 

"A few of our excellent Free State men, led by 
Geo. W. Brown into the basement of his office, 
deemed it best to get up a ticket, and elect it if pos- 
sible; and they did so; but the vote was by no means 
a general one. Not a ballot was opened in Wauban- 
see county, and the same was true of many others. 
But the ticket was elected and no harm grew out of 
U, as the State was not admitted." 

We regret that Mr. Lines had not stated the fact, 
that that teas just ivhy it teas not admitted. And 
while he was seemingly pleased that Waubansee did 
not contribute anything in this direction, he might 
have told with equal truth that James Montgomery, 
of his way of thinking, at Mound City, after 92 votes 
for the Free State nominees were polled, forcibly 
wrested the ballot-box from the possession of the 
judges, and destroyed it, preventing further balloting, 
and causing the entire loss of the large poll already 
made at that point; that at Clinton forcible means 
were employed by non-voters to prevent the opening 
of polls there; and so wherever those misguided 
men of that faction were in the majority they 



148 REMINISCENCES OF 

attempted to defeat the people and prevent their get- 
ting possession of that constitution to either destroy 
it, or use it in case of compulsion, for freedom. 

And thus the last of the whole series of proposi- 
tions of the Herald of Freedom, of July 4, 1857, 
was adopted by the people, and Kansas was Free 1 
free from the galling chains of usurpation, which had 
so long held the public in thrall ! free from the power 
of a corrupt administration at Washington to longer 
tyrannize over it ! free from the curse of slavery, and 
free to regulate its own institutions in its own way. 

Even the Topeka Constitution was also virtually 
dead, and an era of peace, prosperity and happiness 
dawned upon the Territory. 

The agitation produced by the settlement of the 
slavery question in Kansas, convulsed the whole coun- 
try. It destroyed old parties and built a new one ; it 
culminated in the War of the Rebellion, and ended in 
giving freedom to a long-enslaved race, and in estab- 
lishing the principles of a republican government on 
a perpetually enduring basis. 

Looking back upon the Past, and forward to the 
Future, is there a patriot who shall intimate that the 
anxieties and sacrifices, the toils and sufferings of the 
Kansas pioneers were not worthy the best days of the 
Hepublic ? 

And in awarding credit to those who were instru- 
mental in producing this result, I would include the 
name of every person who located in Kansas, and cast 
his vote or used his influence for freedom; and I 
would also add all those in every clime, who by cheer- 
ful words, pecuniary contributions, or kindly influen- 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 149 

ces encouraged or assisted the pioneer to remain 
there and combat the organized elements of wrong. 
All their names are worthy to be inscribed on a 
lengthened scroll, and deposited in the archives of her 
Historical Society, for endless preservation. And 
above all the rest should be written in letters of bur- 
nished gold the name of Hon. ELI THAYEK, of 
Massachusetts, who anticipated all our movements 
Kansas ward, organized the first Free State emigra- 
tion, and continued to send it forward as our lines 
were decimated by desertion, disease or death; who, 
at his own expense, traveled more than 60,000 miles; 
made more than 1,000 speeches, devoted three entire 
years to the work without pecuniary compensation; 
and sacrificed a then present and prospective fortune 
to aid the movement; for whose head a heavy reward 
was ofi'ered by the secret pro-slavery lodges of Mis- 
souri; and who everywhere, on every occasion, in- 
spired hope and confidence when that of others failed. 
If all other names are forgotten, his, with those of 
Gov. CHAELES KOBINSON and Gen. THOMAS 
EWING should remain imperishable.* 

* While this book was being revised for publication, a letter 
was received from a member of the Kansas press, inquiring: 
"What service did the older John Brown render the Free State 
cause? Was he an aid or an injury to free Kansas?" 

I will answer mv interrogator by stating an occurrence of more 
than forty years ago: 

Business called me in January of i860, to my old home in Con- 
neautville, Pa., where I founded the Courier, published it some 
seven years, and where I raised a colony of two hundred and 
eighty persons who went out with me to Kansas. A committee 
representing the leading citizens waited on me, and asked me to 
give a public address on Kansas affairs. This was on Monday. I 



150 REMINISCENCES OF 

accepted, conditioned the meeting could be held not later than 
Thursday evening. This was agreed to. 

I was sitting at the table of a friend to supper at 6 o'clock on 
that Thursday evening, when a committee called, said the large 
public hall was already filled to overflowing; that they had been 
sent to invite me not to dela}^ the speaking to the usual hour, but 
to commence at once. I dismissed my supper uneaten, and made 
my way to Boynton's Hall. On arrival, the point of commenc- 
ing the address at onee burst on me with terrible force; it was 
difficult to crowd my Avay through the dense, impact body to the 
rostrum. Called for, I began immediately the story of Kansas' 
wrongs and her triumphs, substantially as given in these pages. 

About 9 o'clock I noticed the hour, and seeing it was late I 
apologized for the time consumed, but the call from every quar- 
ter was "Go on, go on!" I did so until lo o'clock, when I rested. 
A book merchant from Meadville, a Mr, Balsh, if I remember 
his name correctly, arose in his place, told how he had been inter- 
ested and instructed, proposed all should rise to their feet, sing 
"Old Hundred," and that Mr. Brown be invited to continue his 
narration. Omitting the singing I continued with a hasty con- 
sideration of our hopes of a speedy admission as a free State into 
the federal Union. The audience applauded to the echo; thanked 
me for the address, and a rush was made to take me by the hand. 
At this stage some one called the meeting to order and John 
Brown, Jr., appeared on the rostrum. He had come there at the 
instance of a rival politician of mine of a few years before. He 
began by saying: 

"George W. Brown has addressed you for more than four hours 
on Kansas affairs, and has not said one word about my father. He 
who did so much to make Kansas free, receives no attention from 
G. W. Brown. I deein it a gross insult to the memory of my 
father, and were I to meet him on the prairies of Kansas I would 
shoot him down as I would a dog." Hisses long continued, and 
John, rattling chains with which he said he was bound when 
marching forty miles in a boiling sun after his arrest in Kansas by 
the military, but which chains he never wore, was shut off. 

I was again called for, and responded by simply saying: "Capt. 
John Brown, Sr., contributed in no way to make Kansas free. He 
never co-operated with the Free State leaders; he attended none 
of our Conventions; he did not favor us with his counsels. He 
never voted at any of our elections; never had a home of his own 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 151 

with us; his family were residents of my natal county of Essex, 
New York; he did not contemplate a removal of his family to 
Kansas, hence he was in fact and in law as much a foreigner to us 
as were the Border Ruffians who came from Missouri, did our 
voting, and made laws for us. His policy was one of blood; 
which the best minds labored to counteract." 

And so, in my present story of the "Rescue of Kansas from 
Slavery" I don't know Old John Brown. He acted the part of a 
freebooter through all the summer of 1856, and as such he will 
be treated when a truthful and impartial history of Kansas is 
written. But it is said his murderous policy of taking five men 
from their beds at night and killing them in cold blood, fright- 
ened the pro-slavery party, and prevented their location in Kan- 
sas, and that so far his insane acts were beneficial. 

It may be the scare-crows set up in the field to frighten destruc- 
tive birds, are entitled to more credit than is the husbandman who 
mellows the ground, plants the seed, keeps down the weeds, and 
gathers the harvest; but the honest farmer views them as old 
clothes stuffed with straw, stick in hand, in the similitude of a 
man, and nothing more; so the midnight assassin who robbed and 
pillaged at will, accountable to no one; and he who planned and 
would have executed wholesale murder if not thwarted in his pur- 
pose, instead of being honored with statues and towering shafts, 
covered with lying inscriptions, should be classed with the 
scourges of mankind and consigned to an inglorious oblivion. 



CH^I'TEIR XXII. 



Conclusion.* 

(^ GENERATION has passed away since the inci- 
fi)± dents I have written transpired. Most of the 
actors in those times have closed their earthly 
record. 

Kansas has become a great and powerful State, 
with a population of one million. Her broad and 
lonely prairies are now teeming with life, and beauty, 
and prosperity. Her long Santa Fe trains, drawn by 
mules, laden with merchandise, slowly winding their 
way to an interior Territory, have given place to two 
lines of railway, which daily sweep the whole length 
of the State, which in turn are connected by metallic 
bands with the Atlantic and the Pacific, while others 
cross these from North to South, uniting the Mexican 
Gulf with the Upper Mississippi and Missouri, while 
still others intersect these, forming a net work of iron 

*The reader will remember this chapter, like the preceding 
ones, was written twenty-two years ago, and is here giv^en with- 
out change; though the subsequent growth and prosperity of the 
State has surpassed that of any other country in the world. The 
marvels of romance are here excelled. An active and cultured 
imagination could scarcely have pictured such a glorious future 
as the reality presents. And the end of the greatness and glory 
of Kansas is not yet ! When a general system of irrigation and 
forestry shall be adopted in practice, her barren prairies of the 
West will rival Egypt in productiveness and dense population, 
as do her people now in intelligence, moral worth and practical 
virtues. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 153 

rails within her borders, more than 3,000 miles in 
length. Wonderful change! Mighty transformation! 
Surely the work of the enchanter is here with his 
magic wand! He has touched all the wheels of active 
life, and they have sprung into being obedient to his 
will. 

In the early part of November, 1854, we unloaded 
our press, type and fixtures on the open prairie, where 
now is Lawrence; then a city of tents, with a few 
cabins built of cottonwood; thatched with wild grass. 
A city of 10,000 inhabitants, with schools, churches, 
printing presses, manufactories, and all the applian- 
ces of an advanced civilization are there. On the 
high elevation, known as Mt. Oread, over which swept 
those heavy, searching winds when we first ascended 
it, on that cold autumnal morning, to get a larger 
view of the country in which so many important 
events were to be enacted, now stands the State Uni- 
versity, the proudest institution of learning in the 
whole West, sending forth its educating and refining 
influence to all the land. 

Topeka! Its site was visited by us a few months 
later. Beautiful in situation, a lovely landscape, a 
few hopeful settlers; but the rudest of cabins marked 
the places where now stand palatial residences and 
costly structures, in magnificence rivaling those of 
many Eastern cities. The Capitol Building, now in 
process of construction, at no distant day will be 
worthy of imitation by many older States. The city 
boasts a population of 15,000, and is already assum- 
ing metropolitan airs. 

Emporia! Three weary days Gen. Deitzler and the 
writer rode over a barren prairie on horseback, to 



154 REMINISCENCES OF 

select a town site on the "Upper Neoslio." Three 
more days were consumed in attempting to ford the 
river at various points, to reach the location of our 
proposed town. At length we found it. The earth 
was covered with snow. Desolation was everjrwhere. 
Before leaving Lawrence we had plotted it — a city on 
paper — and given it a name, a new one in the post- 
office directory, borrowed from a country known in 
the classical era in North Africa. We were hunting 
a point which in the future would fit the name — a 
great commercial center. Twenty.four years have 
flitted by; but Emporia, the child of the writer's 
hope and brain, is there with its thriving population, 
one of the prettiest towns we know, with its State 
Normal School, its banks, its places of industry, its 
thriving people, and its Holly system of Water 
Works, and withal its brilliant future, though claim- 
ing a population of full 5,000. It has now several 
connecting links of railway, where we found but con- 
verging Indian trails. 

Every town in Kansas, save Leavenworth and Law- 
rence, has been located and received its name, its 
population, and its wealth since we first set foot on 
her virgin soil, and looked out upon her beautifully 
undulating and varied landscape. 

Her prosperity, her greatness, her power, her 
brilliant destiny, owe their origin to the anxiety, the 
industry, the sacrifices, the good judgment and un- 
swerving adherence to principle of her early pioneers. 
She little recks in her present condition the ceaseless 
struggles of those who laid and maintained the foun- 
dation of her future opulence. 



GOVERNOR WALKER. 155 

The reader who has journeyed with us through 
these pages, has learned much that has heretofore 
been told in a desultory way. Many, even promi- 
nent actors in the strife, who shall read these Rem- 
iniscences, will be allowed for the first time to step 
behind the scenes, witness events and their causes 
never before chronicled. It has been my pur- 
pose to tell the truth, without the most distant hope 
of reward. If there is the slightest exaggeration of 
fact, or misrepresentation in any degree, the author is 
not conscious of it. Should such be discerned by any 
one, he will place the writer and the general public, 
as well as the future historian, under lasting obliga- 
tions by calling the author's attention to it, to the end 
that it shall be corrected in his amended copy, 
which will be placed for preservation in the archives 
of the Historical Society of Kansas, in case it is not 
called for by the public to be reproduced in a still 
more enduring form. 

The resistless stream of Time bears on its surging 
flood the wasting Years. Soon the last actor in these 
memorable scenes will sink beneath its turbid waves, 
and others will occupy his place. As we now look 
back with pride and satisfaction to the pioneers of the 
Mayflower, bringing to America their puritanical 
habits and desire for religious liberty, so may the 
inheritors of the free institutions planted in Kansas 
by our worthy compeers, look back with some kindred 
gratification to those who witnessed her sufferings in 
her natal morn, and who sacrificed much that she 
might be FREE ! 

Reader, Farewell ! 



APPENDIX, 



WITH 



INDORSEMENTS, 



AND OTHER MATTER. 



END OF THE CONTEST. 

BY GEN. THOMAS EWING, JR. 

trtHE STORY of the Rescue of Kansas from 
®^X^ Slavery would be very incomplete without the 
last act in the drama, as told by Gen. Thomas Ewing, 
a star actor, in the Cosmopolitan Magazine, of May, 
1894. A few brief, and not very important passages 
are here omitted, to accommodate the narrative to our 
space. No other could have supplied the information 
he imparts, and much false history has been written 
for want of that knowledge, which has not been easily 
accessible. The article was entitled, " The Struggle 
for Freedom in Kansas." We quote : 

"In February, 1854, I sat in the gallery of the Senate chamber 
at Washington, and heard much of the debate on the bill to 
repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820. I was then about com- 
pleting my collegiate course in Brown University, at Providence, 
Rhode Island. Four years before, I had sat in the gallery of the 
old Senate chamber, now the Supreme Court room, in company 
with Captain William Tecumseh Sherman, then in Washington 
from the Pacific coast, and about to be married to my sister, and 
heard that ever memorable debate which ended in the compro- 
mises of 1850, growing out of our vast accessions of territory 
from Mexico, and in the enactment of the cruel and barbarous 
fugitive slave law. I was intensely anti-slavery, — far more so 
than my Whig training would account for, I was hot with indig- 
nation at the Whig leaders who supported the repeal of the Mis- 
souri Compromise, or acquiesced in it, or resisted it but feebly. I 
recollect my pang of disappointment at the labored speech against 
the bill of Edward Everett, who was regarded as representing the 
conservative Whigs. It was 80 cool, didactic, elegant, without a 



160 GEN. swing's 

glow of the indignant spirit of the North which blazed in the 
hearts of the people. 

"The gage thrown down by the South to fight for the posses- 
sion of the Territories was promptly taken up; and Kansas became 
the battle-ground. While studying law at Cincinnati, I watched 
eyerj step in the struggle, — saw how the genius and energy of Eli 
Thaj^er taught the North to win K ansas for freedom by organized 
emigration, against the sporadic hordes from the populous borders- 
of Missouri who poured oyer the line to plant slavery there. 
When admitted to the bar in the winter of 1856-7, I was mar- 
ried, and remoyed with my wife to Leavenworth. " 

Passing over near two pages of general Kansas history leading 
up to the final act under the Lecompton Constitution swindle. 
Gen. E wing came to that question, and said in substance: The 
final crisis in the struggle for freedom in Kansas, growing out of 
the Lecompton Constitution, came soon after the fall election of 
1S57, when the Free State party, by participating in the election^ 
had gained control of the Territorial Legislature. Then, quoting 
the General verbatim : 

" If the Free State men should elect a majority of the State and 
local officers and of the Legislature, under the Lecompton Con- 
stitution, we would thereby kill that attempted usurpation in Con- 
gress, because the South could gain nothing by admitting the 
State into the Union, with the certainty that the Constitution 
would be immediately amended, prohibiting slavery utterly and 
forever. While, if the Free State men should refuse to vote, the 
pro-slavery men would control all departments of the proposed 
State government, and the State would, in all probability, be 
admitted under the Lecompton Constitution. 

" The expediency of our electing officers under the Lecompton 
Constitution was obvious to a large majority of the Free State 
men of Kansas, and was well supported by the Herald of Free- 
dom, the Leavenworth Times, and other influential newspapers of 
our party. That policy was also urged on us by many influential 
friends of free State in and out of Congress — by my father, the 
Hon. Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, who wrote my elder brother, Hugh 
Ewing, then in partnership with me in the practice of law at 
Leavenworth, most strongly insisting that the Free State men in 
Kansas, who were known to have a large majority in the Terri- 



NARRATION. 161 

torv, should elect the State officers and members of the legisla- 
ture under the Lecompton Constitution, and thus take posses- 
sion of the government, and control it, so as t > make Kansas a 
free State — ^just as in the then recent October election the Free 
State men chose the Legislature and took possession of the Terri- 
torial government. The Hon. Salmon P. Chase, then Governor 
of Ohio, wrote an urgent letter to Governor Robinson, advising 
the voting policy, which, as well as the letter from my father, was 
read to the Convention with great efiect. The Hon, Samuel F. 
Vinton, an eminent member of the House of Representatives 
from Ohio, wrote a similar letter to me, which I read to the Con- 
vention, in which he said: ' If the Free State men shall stub- 
bornly and fanatically refuse to adopt this policy, I for one will 
abandon the struggle in Congress in your behalf.' 

"But that was the path leading to a peaceful solution of the 
Kansas strife, and many of the most active Free State leaders in 
Kansas did not want to tread it. They hoped for armed collis- 
ions between the Free State men and the general government, 
expecting that all the States would become involved, and that 
though the North would be in rebellion, and the South would 
have the prestige and power of the legitimate government, the 
superior numbers and resources of the North would certainly tri- 
umph. John Brown, of Osawatomie, was the inspirer, though 
not the active leader, of the radical wing of the Free State party. 
He regarded slavery as a crime, to be expiated in blood, and him- 
self as a chosen instrument of its expiation — ' the sword of the 
Lord, and of Gideon.' His oft-repeated maxim was, ' Without 
blood there can be no remission.' His dream was of the abolition 
of slavery' by Northern bayonets, aided by the torch of the slave. 
He never doubted that the blacks would rise en masse, so soon as 
the North should be in the field to support them. He and his 
influential followers, mostly correspondents of Eastern papers, 
were, therefore, determined to defeat the proposition to vote for 
officers under the Lecompton Constitution, and were active and 
enthusiastic in securing control of the Convention, held on the 
twenty-third day of December, 1857. 

"Charles Robinson, who had been chosen Governor under the 
Topeka Constitution, — a man of great ability, earnestness and 
honesty of purpose, — presided at this Convention and strongly 



162 GEN. ewing's 

urged the adoption of the voting policy. Most of the recognized 
leaders of the Free State party supported it — George W. Brown 
(now of Rockford, Illinois); S. N. Wood, P. C. Schuyler, M. F. 
Conway, J. P. Root, Robert Morrow, James Davis, S. C. Pome- 
roy, myself, and others spoke for that policy. General James H. 
Lane, who was by many regarded as pre-eminently the leader of 
the Free State party, was absent — non-committal — crafty-sick. 
* * ■5t 

"The debate in the Convention, on the proposition to take part 
in the election, was protracted throughout the first day, and was 
very acrimonious and exciting. On the second day, December 
24th, the debate went on, and the friends of the voting policy had 
almost silenced opposition, when 'General' E. B. Whitman, one of 
General Lane's political lieutenants, rode up to the church where 
the Convention was being held, and, dismounting from 'his steed 
of foam,' strode into the Convention and on to the platform 
booted and spurred, 'stained with the variation of each soil' 'twixt 
Sugar Mound and Lawrence, and in a passionate speech declared 
that he had just ridden eighty miles, from Sugar Mound, without 
stopping for food or sleep, to call the people of Kansas to arms: 
that General Lane was in command there, and a desperate battle 
was impending with the Federal troops. The excitement that fol- 
lowed this announcement was furious and indescribable. I sprang 
on a table and bitterly denounced the statement as an obvious 
trick and fraud to control the Convention. But the vote was 
forced at once, and the voting policy was rejected. 
* * * 

"While the assemblage was breaking up, I called several friends, 
to accompany me, and hastening to W. Y. Roberts, Vice Presi- 
dent of the Convention, and a strong supporter of the voting pol- 
icy, we persuaded him to announce to the dispersing crowd that 
the friends of that policy who were willing to bolt the action of 
the Convention would meet at Masonic Hall on Massachusetts 
street, at seven o'elock that evening, to nominate a State ticket 
and organize the Territory for the election. The announcement 
was received with violent denunciations and yells of dissent. The 
bolters' meeting, when convened that evening, was broken up by 
a mob, who put out the lights and forcibly ejected all the bolting 



NARRATION. 163 

delegates from the hall.* We re-convened, on the invitation of 
George W. Brown, in the basement of his Herald of Freedom 
printing-office. Only thirteen bolting delegates appeared out oi 
sixty-four, who in the Convention supported the voting policy to 
the last. A Free State ticket was nominated, as follows: for Gov- 
ernor, George W. Smith; Lieutenant-Governor, W. Y. Roberts; 
Secretary of State, P. C. Schuyler; State Treasurer, A. J. 
Meade (now a resident of New York City); State Auditor, Joel 
K. Goodin; Representative in Congress, Marcus J. Parrott, who 
was then delegate in Congress from the Territory — all tried and 
true Free State men; all pledged, if they should be elected and 
the State admitted under the Lecompton Constitution, to favor 
an immediate call of a Convention to wipe out every vestige of 
that odious Constitution, and to frame and adopt a new one — a 
pledge which was exacted from every Free State candidate, big 
and little, nominated in the bolting movement. 

"The next day — Christmas— a large edition of the Herald of 
Freedom was gotten out by George W, Brown, its editor and 
proprietor — to whose pen and purse, zeal and sense, the Free 
State cause, from beginning to end of the struggle, was greatly 
indebted for its triumphs. It was filled with arguments and infor- 
mation in favor of our movement, and with tickets for the Free 
State candidates. I hired everj^ livery stable horse and rider that 
could be obtained in Lawrence, and had many volunteers, who 
carried the Herald of Freedom post-haste to every considerable 
settlement in the Territory. It will be considered, I hope, only 
a pardonable vanity in me to say that I personally expended in 
the movement over a thousand dollars — being all the money I had 
or could borrow. We had but nine days in which to organize 
and conduct the campaign, over a settled territory two hundred 
miles square, without a railroad. 

"The pro-slavery men and newspapers fought us fiercely. Fully 
half of the Free State newspapers supported our movement, but 
the other half bitterly opposed and ridiculed it, calling our voters' 
assemblage 'Brown's Cellar Kitchen Convention,' and all of us 
'disappointed, ambitious kickers' and 'soreheads.' S. N. Wood, 
of Council Grove, who had been appointed chairman of the 

*Gen. Ewing was in error in this. The lights were extinguished by my 
direction as the best way to get rid of the turbulent mob.— Brown. 



164 GEN. ewing's 

Executive Committee by the Bolter's Convention, did great work 
in organizing and conducting the campaign. Never was there a 
nine days' canvass conducted over a greater area, under greater 
difficulties, or more vigorously. The result was watched in Wash- 
ington and throughout Kansas with breathless interest, as likely to 
settle forever the vexed Kansas question one way or the other. 

"At Leavenworth, a town of perhaps four thousand people, the 
largest in the Territory, the election was regular and the vote 
full, free and fair on both sides. At Mound City, in Linn county, 
Montgomery seized and destroyed the ballot-box and broke up 
the election when about half the votes had been cast. At Sugar 
Mound, also, the ballot-box was destroyed and the ballots scat- 
tered to the winds by a party of Free State men who were hostile 
to the voting policy; and so, also, at Clinton. In Wabaunsee 
county it was the boast of some of the extreme Free State men 
that the feeling was too intense there to suffer an election for offi- 
cers under the Lecompton Constitution to be held in any precinct 
in that county. The night before the election I organized a com- 
pany of about thirty armed Free State men under Captain Losee, 
and towards morning went with them to Kickapoo, a pro-slavery 
village numbering a few hundred people, eight miles above Leav- 
enworth, and directly across the Missouri river from Weston, 
Missouri, a large town which had contracted the habit of sending 
its men at every election to swell the pro-slavery vote in Kick- 
apoo. We rode into Kickapoo at daybreak, and had tied 
our horses and taken position near the polling place before the 
voting commenced, intending to see who voted and how many. 
Our appearance caused great excitement, and threats of violence, 
especially among the Missourians, who came from Weston as fast 
as the one ferry-boat could bring them. By ten o'clock, we were 
so overwhelmingly outnumbered that all of our troop had been 
induced to return to Leavenworth, except only the venerable John 
C. Vaughan, Wolff, Currier, and myself. We four gave our pis- 
tols to our retiring comrades, as more likely to provoke attack on 
us than to be useful in defense against such numbers. We then 
took position near the polling window, in a corner made by a pro- 
jection of the building, where we might be crushed, but from 
which we could hardly be ejected, and there we stood 3II day. 
The voters, generally, made headquarters in several saloons, frorri 



NARRATION. 165 

which they poured out from time to time, noisy, drunk,, 
armed with two revolvers to the voter — each man voting several 
times; several gangs voting as often as six times, — threatening us 
with death if we did not leave for Leavenworth. A friend of 
mine named Spivey, who was a clerk for Gen. Whitfield in the 
Kickapoo land office, and who was a sober and sensible man, acted 
as an intermediary between the mob and us, warning us most sol- 
emnly to leave for Leavenworth, or we would be murdered. I 
told Spivey, and had him tell the mob, that we would not leave 
until the polls should close, and they would not dare to fire on us, 
because they knew if they should kill one 'of us, the Free 
State people of Leavenworth would burn both Kickapoo and Wes- 
ton to the subsoil before morning. Just before the polls closed, to 
mark the end, Mr. Currier and I voted — as we had a right to do,, 
being citizens of that county. Our votes were numbered 550 and 
551. Only two votes were cast after we voted, when the polls 
were closed, the total vote being 553. Whereupon, about dark,, 
having submitted to a good deal of hustling and rough handling, 
we rode off for Leavenworth in a shower of rotten eggs and pis- 
tol shots. 

"The returns of the election, as provided in the schedule of the 
Constitution, were sent to John Calhoun, at Lecompton, who was 
surveyor-general of Kansas, and president of the Convention. He 
made and published his official statement of the result in each 
county, showing the election of the entire pro-slavery State 
ticket, and a pro-slavery majority in both branches of the Legis- 
lature. His decision was prima facie correct, and beyond review 
or reversal by any Territorial authority. Calhoun forthwith left 
for Washington to report the result to Buchanan's administra- 
tion, that it might be officially laid before Congress. 

"Immediately on this announcement, and solely on my own 
impulse and initiative, I went to the Territorial Legislature, which 
had assembled at Lawrence in regular session, January 4, 1858^ 
and was controlled by the Free State party, and there procured 
the passage of a law, approved January 14, 1858, creating a Board 
to investigate and report upon the frauds committed at the elec- 
tion on the adoption of the Constitution, December 21, 1S57; and 
also at the election for officers under the Constitution, January 4,. 
1858, and in the returns thereof. Henry J. Adams, J. B. Abbott, 



166 GEN. ewing's 

Dillon Pickering, E. L. Taylor, H. T. Green, and myself, com- 
posed the Board. L. A. McLean, who was Surveyor-General 
Calhoun's chief clerk, was summoned to appear before us as a 
witness, together with other pro-slavery men employed in the office 
of the surveyor-general at Lecompton, where the election returns 
and all the other archives relating to the Lecompton Constitution 
had been filed. McLean appeared and swore that Calhoun had 
taken all the returns relating to the elections under the Lecomp- 
ton Constitution with him to Washington. This struck us as a 
very improbable story; but McLean stuck to it with a respectful- 
ness, dignity and sincerity of manner which were very impress- 
ive. No one could be found to 1 hrow a doubt on his statement. 
We had the Surveyor- General's office at Lecompton searched for 
the returns by our sergeant-at-arms; but not a scrap of them was 
found. Our investigation, obviously, could amount to nothing 
without these returns; so, with Calhoun in Washington, and his 
subordinates swearing that he took the returns with him, we felt 
utterly baffled and beaten. 

"At a late hour of the second night after McLean's testimony 
was given, as I was returning to my room at the Eldridge House, 
I was accosted in the dark, on a lonely street, by a man whom I 
did not know, who asked my name, but refused to give his own. 
He handed me his revolver as an assurance of his pacific intentions, 
saying that he had been watching on the street for me for several 
hours. He said he had heard a report of McLean's testimony 
before our board, and desired to know if it was given as stated. I 
replied that it was. He said it was a lie, and he could prove it, if 
it would do any good. He said, however; that he lived at Le- 
compton, and would in all probability be murdered if he should 
be known to have informed on McLean and his associates. I sat- 
fied him that if he could and would give me information exposing 
the falsity ot McLean's testimony, his action should not be 
known, and that with that information, we could drive Calhoun 
and his gang from the Territory, and defeat the Lecompton Con- 
stitution. 

" He then said that late in the night preceding the day when 
McLean appeared as a witness before our Board, he [McLean] 
had buried a large candle-box under a woodpile adjoining his 
office, and that he had been seen by Charley Torrey, the janitor, 



NARRATION. 167 

who slept in the building and who told my informant. He then 
gave me his name as Henry W. Petrikin, and described himself as 
being a clerk in the office of William Brindle, receiver of the Uni- 
ted States land office at Lecompton. This was a voucher for his 
good faith, for I knew enough of General Brindle to know that 
he would have no rascals about him. 

"Next day, aided by my official position as one of the commis- 
sioners to investigate the election frauds, I obtained from Josiah 
Miller, Probate Judge of Douglas county, now deceased, a search 
warrant directed to Captain Samuel Walker, sheriff of Douglas 
county — who had already done loyal service to the Free State 
cause and was eager to do more — commanding him to enter upon 
and search the premises of the Surveyor-General, in Lecompton, 
and — if practicable — to find, take and bring before Judge Miller 
all the original returns of elections on or under the Lecompton 
Constitution. Enjoining Judge Miller to secrecy, I then sought 
Sheriff Walker and requested him to pick out a dozen fighting 
men well armed, to go with him as a posse, and told him I had a 
writ for him to execute, and would tell him at daybreak next 
morning where to go and what to do. Captain Walker was on 
hand punctually, with his trusty squad in a back alley; and after 
receiving the warrant and full instructions from me, he set out 
unobserved from Lawrence for Lecompton, eight miles away. He 
pounced upon the Surveyor-General's premises early in the morn- 
ing, dug up a buried candle-box from under a great woodpile 
adjoining the office, and before noon he rode up Massachusetts 
street, in Lawrence, at the head of his squad, holding the candle- 
box on the pommel of his saddle. 

"C. W. Babcock, President of the Council; G. W. Dietzler, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives; and J. W. Denver, 
acting Governor, met the Investigating Board in the office of 
Judge Miller. Sheriff Walker made return ot his search-war- 
rant and delivered the candle-box to Judge Miller, who opened 
and produced from it all the returns of the election for officers of 
the Lecompton Constitution, which McLean had sworn had been 
taken by Calhoun to Washington. The Kickapoo returns had 
swollen to 995, from 553, which was the actual vote — chiefly 
fraudulent — when the polls closed, there being 442 names added to 
the list of voters after the names of Currier and Ewing, and after 



168 

the polls closed. Oxford, which had a legitimate vote of about 
one hundred, had the number increased in the returns, through 
obvious forgery, to 1,266; the returns from Shawnee showed 
about fifty real voters, to which had been added names — fictitious 
names, bringing the total up to 729. The fraudulent additions 
were as apparent on the face of the returns as would be extension 
in the leg's of a boys trowsers. They were all on the pro-slavery 
side; but proving insufficient to effect the desired result, a return 
from Delaware Crossing, in Leavenworth county, which had been 
honestly made by the two judges of election, was forged, by splic- 
ing with a sheet containing 336 additional names of pro-slavery 
voters in a different handwriting and in different ink — these fraud- 
ulent votes electing the whole legislative ticket of eleven members- 
from Leavenworth county, and giving both branches of the Leg- 
islature to the pro-slavery party. 

"These entire returns showed 6,875 votes cast for Free State 
candidates, and counting in all the returns, valid and fraudulent, a 
few hundred more for pro-slavery candidates. On the same 
day, the fourth of January, 1858, an election was held under a 
statute then recently passed by the Free State legislature, to take 
a vote on the adoption or rejection of the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion, at which 10,226 votes were cast against it, and none in its 
favor. This last-named vote shows the whole strength of the Free 
State party of Kansas, while the vote of 6,872 for Free State can- 
didates under the Lecompton Constitution, shows that 3,351 Free 
State men who voted against the Lecompton Constitution did not 
vote for officers under it. In other words, the Free State men 
who opposed the voting policy were thus shown to comprise only 
one-third of the Free State party. 

"Immediately on this exposure — ^January 28, 1858 — I swore out 
a warrant for the arrest of McLean, for perjury. But as soon as 
the candle-box had been dug up from the woodpile, he had fled 
with his fellow conspirators never to return to Kansas. 
* * * 

"The exposure of the frauds struck the Lecomptonites dumb. 
Every incident was telegraphed and published everywhere. On 
the day of the exposure, Henry W. Petrikin, who is now living at 
Montoursville, Pennsylvania, got a brief statement of the facts 
signed by the presiding officers of the two houses of the Legisla- 



NARRATION. 169 

ture, and by Acting-Governor Denver, which statement he car- 
ried post-haste to Washington and laid before President Buchanan, 
in presence of Senator Bigler, of Pennsylvania; Senator Dickin- 
son, of New York; Gen. Sam Houston, of Texas; Hon. Allison 
White, of Pennsylvania; and R. Bruce Petrikin, of Pennsylva- 
nia. I followed in a day or two with the report of our board to 
investigate the election frauds, accompanied by an abstract of the 
candle-box returns, and a memorial to Congress, all of which I 
caused to be printed at once and laid on the desk of each member 
of Congress. 

"Thereupon, the bill then pending in Congress for the admis- 
sion of Kansas into the Union, under the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion, dropped dead. A few months afterwards the English bill 
was forced through Congress by the administration. It provided 
for the submission of the Lecompton Constitution to a free vote 
of the people of Kansas, and ofiered them five and a half millions 
of acres of the public lands for common schools and a univer- 
sity, and five per cent, of all the public lands in the Territory 
— being about two and a half millions of acres more — for internal 
improvements — all the grants being conditioned on the acceptance 
of that constitution by the people. The offer and the constitution 
were contemptuously rejected on the second of August, 1S58, by 
a vote of 11,300 against the proposition, to 1,788 in its favor. 
Thereupon the Lecompton Constitution was abandoned, and Kan- 
sas was kept out of the Union for more than two years longer to 
do penance for its devotion to freedom. 

"The waves which rolled high in Kansas during the political 
storm of 1855-6-7 extended throughout the Northern States and 
were long in subsiding. As late as the fall of i860, the Kansas 
questions were uppermost for political discussion in every North- 
ern State. On my way through Cincinnati to Lancaster, Ohio, 
during the political campaign in October, 1859, I was taken to 
make a speech at a Republican meeting in Fifth street. Market 
space, then being addressed by Tom Corwin and Caleb B. Smith. 
When I reached the stand, Corwin was speaking. He had been 
discussing only Kansas questions. As I ascended the steps, he 
turned and greeted me with some pleasant words of recogni- 
tion, and then branched off' on Kansas politics, appealing to me 
as a witness and a participant. He told with mock gravity of our 



170 - GEN. EWING'S 

many governments there; spoke of the Lecompton territorial 
government, the Topeka provisional government, the Lecompton 
State government, the Topeka State government, and the Leav- 
enworth State government, and described them all as being in full 
operation, electing State, territorial, county, township, and city 
officers under each government, and all in full operation at the 
same time. He said it brought on a general election every month, 
and a county, city, or township election every other day. He 
said: 'My fellow-citizens: Kind and benignant nature always 
responds to the wants and habits ,of men; and I now make the 
prediction that the next generation in Kansas will be born with 
ballot-boxes in their bellies, like 'possums; so they can vote when- 
ever they want to I' 

"Thirty-six years have passed since the Free State struggle in 
Kansas ended. I have never, until recently, told all of this story 
to any but my own family. In making it public now, I wish not 
to seem unmindful of the heroism of the Free State men in the 
earlier phases of the contest, when many suffered capture, impris- 
onment and death in the cause; nor of the wisdom and forbear- 
ance of Governor Robinson and his associates, and the patriotic 
resistance to party dictation of Governors Walker, Stanton and 
Denver, which contributed so much to the happy solution of the 
controversy. I have written only of the last phase of that pro- 
tracted struggle, which ended in February, 1858, in the abandon- 
ment of all attempts to force slavery on Kansas." 

After a brief mention of the press correspondents, saying their 
hope of freedom in Kansas rested in inciting a war of the North 
against the South,* Gen. Ewing continues: 

"In their correspondence with the Republican newspapers, 
they wrought up and magnified the incidents of the Kansas 
struggle in 1855-6-7, when it was a struggle of force and blood; 
but they were not friendly to the efforts by which the Lecompton 
Constitution was at last peacefully defeated. Hence the final and 
decisive movements which I have here narrated were ignored or 
under-estimated in the contemporary press, and have been almost 
overlooked in nearly all the histories of the Kansas struggle. 

"The importance of that struggle cannot be overestimated. It 
was the prelude to the War of the Rebellion, and prepared the 



NARRATION. 171 

people to realize its magnitude and to resolve that it should be a 
fight to the finish. But for this long preparation, it is not improb- 
able that the Rebellion would have ended in a compromise, leav- 
ing slaverj^ though crippled, a lasting cause of bad blood and 
strife between the sections. Had John Brown's purpose to bring 
on a war between the sections succeeded, with the South in pos- 
session of all the power and prestige of the General government, 
and the North in rebellion, all the nations of the world would 
have stood bj the South and the General government; while the 
North would have been divided, overwhelmed and conquered. 
But there was a higher power which foiled John Brown's mad 
scheme. The great sweep of events, from the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill to the surrender at Appomattox, was no doubt divinely 
directed to unify and purify our people for their glorious mission. 
Whoever bore an honorable part, however humble, on the North- 
ern side in the great struggle, has reason to thank God for having 
made him an instrument in preserving this beneficent Republic, 
which is the hope and light of the world." 

[*It has been denied by alate writer, who was born long after the events 
occurred narrated by Gen. Ewing. that there were two lines of policy urged 
for the rescuing of Kansas from slavery— one of peace, the other of blood; 
the peaceful policy, that pursued by Gov. Robinson and those who co-oper- 
ated with him— the bone and sinew, as well the intellect of the Territory; 
the other that of the most prominent press correspondents, of which Red- 
path, Phillips, Raelf, Hinton,2V/ genus onme, all foreigners and indorsers of 
Old John Brown and Gen. Lane, are types. Redpath placed himself on rec- 
ord, in his Roving Editor, a book of 365 pages, published prior to the Har- 
per's Ferry Raid by John Brown, evidently designed to incite that rebel- 
lion. Turn to page 300, and read: 

"I believed that a civil war between the North and South would ultimate 
in insurrection, and that the Kansas troubles would probably create a mili- 
tary conflict of the sections. Hence I left the South, and went to Kansas; 
and endeavored^ personally and by tny pen, to precipitate a revolution. That 
we failed— for I was not alone in this desire— was owing to the influence of 
prominent Republican statesmen, whose unfortunately conservative char- 
acter of counsel— which it was impossible to openly resist— eft'ectually baf- 
fled all our hopes; hopes which Democratic action was auspiciously pro- 
moting."] 



GEN. THOMAS EWING. 

tiynOMAS EWING, Jr., was born in Ohio in 
&\}9 1830. He was the son of Hon. Thos. Ewing, 
Sr., for many years United States Senator from Ohio, 
and Secretary of the Treasury under Wm. Henry 
Harrison. 

Young Ewing at the age of 27 located in Leaven- 
worth, and was the head of the law firm of Ewing, 
Sherman & McCook. He has told us somewhat of 
his history in the preceding pages from his pen. He 
was a member of the Leavenworth Constitutional 
Convention, and became favorably known to the prom- 
inent men of the Territory, who were members of that 
Convention. 

On the admission of Kansas into the Union Mr. 
Ewing was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court. The War of the Rebellion coming on soon 
after, he resigned his office and organized the 11th 
Regiment of Kansas Infantry, of which he was made 
Colonel. For conspicuous ability and bravery, he 
advanced step by step, until he became Major Gen- 
eral. His heroic conduct at Pilot Knob, doubtless 
saved Missouri to the Union in that bloody contest for 
national existence. 

At the close of the war Gen. Ewing returned to 
Ohio, and served two terms in Congress. In 1879 the 
General was a candidate for Governor of Ohio, but 
was defeated. Removing to New York he established 



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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 



GEN. THOMAS EWING. 



IN MEMORY OF GEN. EWING. 173 

the law firm of Ewing, Whitman & Ewing, and gained 
great prominence as a successful lawyer. 

Gen. Ewing is best known to the people of Kansas 
and the Missouri border, by his famous Military Order 
No. 11, by which two tiers of counties lying east of 
the Kansas state line, and south of the Missouri, were 
depopulated, after the Quantrell raid on Lawrence, 
August 21, 1863. The ''Bushwhackers," as these des- 
peradoes were best known, had their headquarters in 
the afterwards depopulated region. They would 
come together at a given signal, invade Kansas, pil- 
lage, desolate and burn towns, murder the inhabi- 
tants, then return to Missouri laden with booty and 
scatter among the homes, where they would secrete 
themselves, until ready for another raid. But the 
depopulation of those counties ended that sort of 
warfare. 

Tlie Cincinnati Enquirer said of Gen. Ewing, in 
announcing his death, crushed by a cable car January 
20, 1896: 

"Gen. Ewing was an ideal gentleman; handsome in 
person; easy and gracious in manner; lofty in ideas, 
and he made a favorable impression on everybody he 
met, though he was wholly unaffected. He was a gal- 
lant and effective soldier, an able lawyer, a sincere 
statesman, and a politician who set a high example in 
the practice of politics." 

Gen. Ewing always retained a profound interest in 
everything pertaining to Kansas, identified as he was 
in her pioneer history. He was on terms of friendly 
relation with many of the leading citizens, and con- 
tinued correspondence with some of them down to 
the period of his untimely death. 



TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF 

GOV. CHARLES ROBINSON. 

fT WAS our purpose to write a brief sketch of the 
life of Governor Robinson, to accompany these 
pages. As we took up our pen for that purpose, and 
was consulting authorities for dates, and for other 
matters therewith, we chanced to fall in with tributes 
to his memory from Prof. Jas. H. Canfield, for- 
merly Professor of History in the Kansas State Uni- 
versity at Lawrence, now Librarian of Columbia Uni- 
versity, in his reviewal of the lately published Life 
of Gov. Robinson; as also an extract from the speech 
of Hon. Charles F. Scott, a member of the Board 
of Regents, and in their behalf, on the occasion of 
accepting from the State the custody of a marble 
bust of Gov. Robinson, to perpetuate his renown. As 
the task was so much better done by them than we 
are capable, we gladly accept what they say, in prefer- 
ence to words of our own, fully indorsing all they 
have said. 

Wrote Prof. Canfield: "Li its civic history and ma- 
terial development and in the character of its citizens 
Kansas has always been unique and attractive. Born 
in a whirlwind of political strife and cradled in a storm 
of National conflict, probably no State in the Union 
outside the original thirteen had more interesting be- 
ginnings or has kept a closer hold on the attention of 
the country at large. It has known all the extremes of 
vicissitude. More than any other section of the 




GOV. CHARLES ROBINSON. 



GOV. ROBINSON. 175 

Union lias it experienced abounding prosperity and 
the very depths of poverty, immigration by thousands 
and emigration by hordes, National favor and high 
esteem, to be followed all too quickly by a fall which 
made it a byword and a reproach among all people. 
It has been devoured by locusts and by politicians 
and partisans even more voracious and destructive; it 
has been seared by the hot South winds and by burn- 
ing human passions; it has suffered from months of 
drought and from the withering of every hope of its 
people; yet again and again it has risen out of all this 
and more, and above it all, and has shown superb 
endurance, most intelligent purpose, imperial deter- 
mination, and magnificent enthusiasm. But, rising 
or falling, in honor or in disgrace, iDowerful or weak, 
Kansas has never been dull; it has always held the 
centre of the stage — it has always been at the focus 
just in time to be thrown up large upon the canvas. 

In many respects, perhaps in most resiDects. its peo- 
]Ae have been greatly under-estimated and sadly mis- 
understood. No more earnest, sincere, unselfish, i3ub- 
lic-spirited block of population can be found in the 
Union to-day. Though weak and worn and almost 
wrecked by the border strife which immediately pre- 
ceded the civil war, even if it were not the immediate 
cause of that struggle, the new State sent to the front 
a larger proj^ortion of its male population than did 
any sister State; while women and children gathered 
the golden harvest, often working long after moon- 
light had fallen upon the fields. When the war closed, 
with what might be called a fraternal instinct, thou- 
sands of veterans and hundreds of civilians, all excel- 
lent exponents of the strenuous life, entered their 
names on the roll of Kansas citizens and began the 



176 IN MEMORY OF 

creation of a mediterranean republic. They built 
their churches and their schoolhouses first, they 
pledged personal credit to the utmost for public 
improvement, they were determined to master time 
and space, and quickly to make the civilization of that 
Western State equal to that of any other section of 
the country. As some one has wittily remarked, 
"They were the joeople who started west and had nerve 
enough to push on, instead of sto^jping in Ohio." In 
all the years which have passed they have dreamed 
dreams and they have seen visions, but in either 
dream or vision the central thought, the all-inspiring 
purpose, has always been the betterment of the race. 
Extremists, even fanatics, many of them became — 
some of them still are. Often duped or misled by 
designing men and by the self-seekers who everywhere 
abound, undoubtedly they have been. But from the 
standpoint of purpose, intention, desire, this people 
has always occupied an extraordinarily high plane of 
thought and life. 

Charles Robinson was born in Hardwick, Mass., in 
1818. Necessity early became his stern taskmaster. 
From the time he entered the old academy at Hadley 
he was largely self-supporting. At Amherst Acad- 
emy he made and repaired the desks and seats to i^ay 
his tuition. For three winters he taught in the pub- 
lic schools. He was a student in Amherst College for 
a year and a half, when threatened failure of eyesight 
comijelled him to droj) his studies and seek medical 
advice. He walked forty miles to Keene, N. H., to 
find proper treatment. He became a student of med- 
icine under the physician who ministered to his 
relief. He commenced the general practice of medi- 
cine in Belchertown, Mass., in 1843, in his twenty- 



GOV. ROBINSON. 177 

fifth year, and almost immediately became an active 
citizen of the town. At an age when the active young 
man of to-day who is looking toward professional life 
is still a dependent, and is but half through his course, 
Robinson was an influential American citizen. In 
two years his reputation and practice had so increased 
that he removed to Springfield, where he associated 
with himself Dr J. G, Holland, and the two opened a 
private hospital. His zeal and intensity in all his 
work, both professional and civic, broke his health in 
a single year. After an imsuccessful struggle for 
renewed strength, in the spring of 1849 he made the 
overland trip to California, crossing the territory 
which was to be his later home. 

During the two years spent in California — full to 
overflowing with all the adventures of that day, years 
in which he was ''physician, editor, restaurant keeper, 
leader of a squatter rebellion, and a member of the 
State Legislature" — Robinson regained his health, 
and in 1851 retiQ'ned to Massachusetts. There he 
remained till June of 1854, when he started for Kan- 
sas. From the hour he crossed the Territorial 
line till the day of his death in 1894, at the age of 
seventy-six, he was a conspicuous figure in all Kansas 
history. For the great part of this time he was the 
very central figure. It is impossible to write this kis- 
tory without granting him this prominence. To pre- 
pare his biography is to touch all phases of Territo- 
rial and State life and experience. The first accredi- 
ted agent of the New England Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany, the leader of the Free State men in all their 
struggles, elected Governor under the Topeka Consti- 
tution in 1856, re-elected under the Wyandotte Con- 
stitution in 1859, the first Governor after the admis- 



178 IN MEMORY OF 

sion of the State and during all the stress and strain 
of the civil war, State Senator for two terms, Superin- 
tendent of the Indian School at Lawrence — known as 
the Haskell Institute, — Kegent of the State Univer- 
sity, President of the State Historical Society — this 
is but a partial list of his public positions and ser- 
vices. In and through them all he was a typical New 
Englander, intellectual rather than emotional, cool, 
shrewd, calculating, — in a good sense of the word, — 
self-contained, fearless, and conscientious. His chief 
aim was justice and equity. His temper was that of 
the Anglo-Saxon, the temper of law and order and 
truth. He was philanthropic without being senti- 
mental, generous without weakness, considerate with- 
out undue concession, intelligent in all things. And 
he was a typical American citizen. In his opinion the 
public business of the State or of the Nation is the 
private business of every citizen; political parties are 
the scaffolding with which to erect a building, not the 
building itself; legislation is to concern itself with 
public affairs, not with private pocketbooks; self-gov- 
ernment is little more than a remarkably well-planned 
co-operative scheme. He was a firm believer in a nat- 
ural aristocracy, the leadership of the best because 
they are the best fitted to lead, because they are the 
most efficient, because they can render the largest and 
most valuable public service; but he was a thorough 
and sincere democrat in advocating the widest path- 
way, the largest opportunity for all to enter this lead- 
ership and this service." 

Hon. Charles F. Scott, as one of the Eegents of 
the University, and in its behalf, in accepting the gift 
of Gov. Robinson's marble bust from the State, 
said: 



GOV. ROBINSON. 179 

"The story of the life of Charles Robinson is so 
familiar here, where the greater part of that life has 
lived, that it needs not be rehearsed. It is a heroic, 
almost a romantic story. It is the story of a man, a 
man who took early a man's place in the world, and 
held it staunchly and sturdily to the end. I trust I 
shall not be misunderstood when I say it is the story 
of a fighter, a man so constituted that he must take 
one side or the other of every question upon which 
men divided; and who, having chosen his ground, 
must maintain it earnestly and aggressively against 
every challenger. It is the story of a wise counsellor, 
of one whose brain was always cool and clear, no mat- 
ter what fires might be flashing from the blue eyes. 
As nearly as any man I ever knew, Charles Eobinson 
deserved the tribute which the Laureate paid to the 
Iron Duke when he said of him that he 'stood four- 
square to all the winds that blew.' He came as near 
standing by himself, balanced by his own judgment, 
requiring no strengthening support from other men, 
either as individuals or as aggregated into i^arties or 
churches or societies of any kind. At various times 
in his life he worked with various political parties, 
but when the particular object of the work was accom- 
l^lished he put the party aside, apparently with as 
little concern as he would lay down a tool that he was 
done with. In fact no fear of any kind, either morah 
or physical, ever troubled him. He said what he 
thought ought to be said with as small regard to con- 
sequences as he did what he thought ought to be 
done. And if the words of to-day contradicted those 
of yesterday, that did not concern him, for the words 
of both yesterday and to-day were honest words. He 
did not know what policy meant so far as the word 



180 IN MEMOBY OF 

might be applied to his own fortunes. He kneWy 
doubtless, as well as everybody else knew, that he sac- 
rificed all the political honors which a grateful and 
admiring people would have been proud to bestow 
when he severed his connection with the dominant 
party. But the thought, if it occurred to him, never 
bade him a moment's pause. 

"Men of the ancestry and mould and temper of 
Charles Robinson do not have to hold public office to 
be a part of the public life of their community or 
commonwealth. More than thirty years before his 
death Gov. Robinson laid down the only elective office 
he ever held and retired to his farm, but as a private 
citizen he was hardly less a factor in the affairs of the 
State than he had been as its chief executive. As a 
contributor to the newspapers and a frequent speaker 
at the hustings and on the platform, he contributed 
his share to the discussion of the questions that dur- 
ing all those thirty years made Kansas the most inter- 
esting spot on earth, writing and talking, not to gain 
some personal end, but because the convictions within 
him must have utterance. As late as June before his 
death in August, I saw him for the last time in life, 
and although the pallor of the fatal illness was on his 
face, the old time light was in his eyes, and he talked 
with the old time interest and positiveness about the 
things that were happening in the State and the 
world. 

"For more than a year it was my great good fortune 
to be associated with Governor Robinson on the 
Board of Regents of this University, engaged in 
work that was very dear to the heart of both of us, 
and so I learned to know him intimately. And I 
learned to know him to be a just man, a generous 



GOV. ROBINSON. 181 

man, an inflexibly honest man, and with all his appar- 
ent austerity, a charmingly genial and hospitable 
man, whom one could love as well as admire. 

"His death came in the fullness of time, when his 
soul 'was fit and seasoned for its passage,' and the 
end was painless and peaceful. The stalwart, manly 
figure of him has j)assed over from the gaze of men, 
the eyes are shut and the voice is still forever. But 
so long as there remains on the map of the earth a 
spot called Kansas, and so long as there remains even 
the dimmest tradition that there was a long, heroic, 
and finally successful struggle there for freedom, and 
so long as there remains one stone upon another of 
the stately walls of this university, which was as the 
apple of his eye, so long will live the name and the 
fragrant memory of Charles Eobinson. 



TO THE MEMORY OF 
HON. ELI THAYER. 

BY FRANKLIN P. RICE, WORCESTER, MASS. 

MLI THAYER was born in Mendon, Massachu- 
setts, June 11, 1819. He was a descendant in 
the seventh generation in this country from Thomas 
Thayer, the emigrant, and in the sixth generation 
from John Alden, who came in the Mayflower. 

Eli Thayer received his early education in the dis- 
trict schools of Mendon and the Bellingham high 
school. Later he attended the Academy at Amherst 
and the Manual Labor School, now the Worcester 
Academy, at Worcester. In 1835-6 he taught a 
school at Douglas, and the next four years assisted 
his father in a country store in Millville. In 
May, 1840, he re-entered the Manual Labor School to 
fit for Brown University, and was entered a student 
at that institution in the fall of that year. In 1842 
he taught school at Hopkinton, Rhode Island, and 
while there was elected a member of the Phi Beta 
Kappa Fraternity, an honor seldom conferred before 
the senior year. In September of 1844 the superin- 
tendent of schools in Providence, Nathan Bishop, 
induced him to take charge of the boys' high school 
for the remainder of the year by the offer of $600. 
This school, which had proved unmanageable in the 
hands of several masters, he reduced to order and 
subjection; but in consequence of these undertakings 
he lost a year in college. He was graduated in 1845, 




HON. ELI THAYER. 



HON. ELI THAYER. 183 

the second in his class. He immediately went to 
Worcester to teach in the Manual Labor School, and 
later became principal. 

In 1845 he purchased the rocky eminence known as 
"Goat Hill," and in 1848 began the erection of the 
building called the Oread, which was completed in 
1852. Here he established the famous school for 
young women, which he conducted with great success 
until he entered into his Kansas and Congressional 
work. He was elected a member of the School 
Board in 1852, was an alderman in 1852-3, and he 
served in the State Legislature in 1853-4. During 
the first year he became conspicuous by the introduc- 
tion of a bill to incorporate the Bank of Mutual Re- 
demption, which was hailed with delight by bankers 
and moneyed men throughout the State, as it afforded 
a means of release from the autocratic rule of the 
Suffolk Bank of Boston. 

But it was in 1854 that Mr. Thayer accomplished 
the great act of his life, which will enroll his name 
among the benefactors of mankind, in originating 
the plan which saved Kansas and the other Territo- 
ries to freedom, and settled the destiny of the nation; 
for if the Southern leaders had secured the Territo- 
ries, it would have given them the balance of power 
for many years to come, and there would have been 
no Rebellion ; the North would have acquiesced, as it 
always had, in the decision of a Congressional 
majority. 

It was at a meeting to protest against the repeal of 
the Missouri Compromise, held in the old City Hall 
in Worcester, on the evening of the 11th of March, 



184 IN MEMORY OF 

1854, that Mr. Thayer announced his celebrated 
"Plan of Freedom." It was simply to take possession 
by lawful means of the new Territories through 
organized emigration of Free State men, sustained by 
a base of supplies. This Mr. Thayer tersely defined 
as "Business Anti-Slavery," distinguished from sen- 
timental and political anti-slavery, both of which had 
been tried for many years and failed, slavery in the 
meantime constantly growing stronger. Mr. Thayer 
clearly saw that whichever side obtained the majority 
of actual settlers would control the institutions of the 
new section in spite of all efforts to establish others 
among them, and to the purpose of securing this 
majority for freedom, he devoted all his energies and 
all his means until that end was accomplished. 

He immediately took measures to secure the pas- 
sage of an act to incorporate the Massachusetts Emi- 
grant Aid Company, and two months before the vote 
to repeal the Missouri Compromise was finally passed 
by Congress, hired a hall in Boston and began to 
speak afternoons and evenings in promotion of his 
undertaking. The press throughout the North and 
West gave wide currency to the announcement of his 
intention, and for a time there were indications of 
interest in the project. But the intense excitement 
and strong foeling which were manifested while the 
repeal of the Compromise was pending, in great 
measure subsided after that act was accomplished, 
and Mr. Thayer found extreme difficulty during the 
next two months in persuading a sufficient number of 
men to join in his enterprise to form the first colony. 
The Native American or Know Nothing frenzy so 
fully absorbed the public mind that other considera- 



HON. ELI THAIER. 185 

tions were almost entirely excluded, and the Free Soil 
vote dwindled to a few thousand, the Eepublican 
candidate for Governor of the State himself desert- 
ing his party and voting with the Native Americans. 

Mr. Thayer traveled over a wide section, and ad- 
dressed many thousand people before he was able to 
revive the enthusiasm which had greeted his appeal. 
But after the departure of the advance colony in July, 
1854, there was little difficulty, and the South soon 
awoke to the fact that it had at last met a formidable 
power. The unlawful aggression of the slave power 
against the Free State settlers in Kansas soon aroused 
the North, and the conflict which followed is familiar 
in history. Mr. Thayer gave all his strength, his 
time, his money to the work of saving Kansas, until 
the border ruffians and the powers at Washington 
abandoned the fight at the end of 1856. 

He then turned his attention to the colonization of 
w^estern Virginia with Free State men, and founded 
the town of Ceredo. His "Friendly Invasion" of the 
Old Dominion had the countenance of Gov. Wise and 
other prominent men of that section, and the under- 
taking progressed to considerable extent, but the 
opening of the war suspended the work. 

In the fall of 1858 Mr. Thayer was elected to Con- 
gress as the representative from the Worcester dis- 
trict, and at once took a leading position in the 
National Legislature. His speeches on Central 
American colonization, on the "Suicide of Slavery," 
and on the admission of Oregon, brought him great 
fame. By the former he extinguished the hopes of 
the Southern propagandists, who were planning a 



186 IN MEMORY OF 

great slave empire, to include Mexico, Central Amer- 
ica and Cuba; and by the latter and by personal effort 
he secured the admission of Oregon into the Union 
against the caucus decision of his own party. In 
this act he planted himself upon broad and states- 
manlike grounds in opposition to partisan dictation, 
and was sustained by leading Republican organs 
throughout the country, although he received some 
censure at home. In 1860, after a most exciting can- 
vass, he failed of re-election by a narrow margin. 

During the Rebellion Mr. Thayer proposed to Sec- 
retary Stanton a plan for the military colonization of 
Florida as an effective method of quelling the insur- 
rection and restoring the Union. The plan was ap- 
proved by President Lincoln, several of the military 
leaders, and a majority in Congress, and w^as sup- 
ported by great meetings held in Cooper Institute, 
New York, and in Brooklyn, but other military oper- 
ations intervened and the opportunity passed, much 
to the regret of those interested. In later years Mr. 
Thayer advocated his colonization scheme as a rem- 
edy for polygamy in Utah. 

Mr. Thayer was the author of "The Kansas Cru- 
sade," a graphic account of his great work; and he 
wrote much of history for the press, to show that in 
the events above recorded the present and most 
important epoch of our country's history had its ori- 
gin. He died at Worcester, April 19, 1899. 

Gov. Robinson, in the course of a letter in Septem- 
ber, 1887, to Joseph A. Howland, of Worcester, Mass., 
who controverted Mr. Thayer's severe reflections on 
the Garrisonian, disunion Abolitionists, indirectly in- 



HON. ELI THAYER. 187 

quired of the Governor if he indorsed Mr. Thayer's 
utterances, to which the Governor replied: 

"Does Mr. Thayer claim too much credit for his 
part in saving Kansas to freedom? I think not. In 
a letter to the Historical Society, when his marble 
bust was accepted, not being able to be present, I 
wrote that 'Kansas can never too highly honor her 
early friends without whose exertions freedom would 
have been driven from our borders. Of the long list 
of names that Kansas will ever delight to honor, that 
of Eli Thayer stands at the head. It was his brain 
that conceived, and his indomitable will and energy 
that accomplished the organization of emigration, 
without which Kansas and the country would have 
been cursed with slavery to this hour. Let us see: 
During the critical period Kansas Territory was all 
pro-slavery except Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, 
Ossawatomie and Wabaunsee; and all these towns, 
except perhaps the last, were settled under the auspi- 
ces of the New England Emigrant Aid Society. So 
it is safe to say that without these settlements Kansas 
would have been a slave State without a struggle ; and 
without the Aid Society these towns would have never 
existed. And that Society was born of the brain of 
Eli Thayer. Such being my conviction, I can never 
cease to honor his name while life shall last.' Charles 
Sumner said he would rather have the credit due Eli 
Thayer for his Kansas work than be the hero of the 
battle of New Orleans; and I, if ambitious for fame 
in future generations, would prefer the name of 
Thayer to that of Lincoln, or Washington even, for 
while these men acted well their part in official posi- 
tion, Thayer invented the machinery, and engineered 
it, that set at liberty four millions of people." 



INDORSEMENTS. 

LETTER FROM SECRETARY ADAMS. 

Kansas Historical Society, 

ToPEKA, May iO, 1881. 
Dr. Geo. W. Brown, 

My Dear Sir : — This Society is greatly indebted to 
you for the interest you take in its object, manifested 
in many ways, not the least of which is your history 
of Kansas, as given in your several publications. I 
sent for and am carefully preserving two copies of the 
papers containing your "Reminiscences of Gov. 
Walker." But your own copy which you give us, 
with your annotations, will be a valued boon. 

To be sure, only a few now appreciate the value of 
these records of history, though written down by the 
actors and observers; but the number of such will 
increase as time lapses; and they will, for all time, 
regard such work as that done by you as of priceless 
value. I trust you will not fail to give us the News- 
paper history of which you write.* 

Our work of collecting newspaper history is a spec- 
ialty with us, believing they are the best materials of 
history, and our work being for the whole State, and 
not for any one locality, we are saving all the papers 
of the State. I think we are doing better work in this 
line than is being done elsewhere. It is our purpose, 

*I regret to write that the promised history of the Herald of 
Freedom has not been written, though many falsehoods in regard 
to it and its positions have assumed great prominence. — Brown. 



LETTEK FROM SECRETARY ADAMS. 189 

in our next report, to give a complete chronology of 
Kansas Newsi^apers, and that of the Herald of 
Freedom we must by all means have — the true his- 
tory, with the truth as to other papers. 

Yours Very Truly, F. G. ADAMS, Sec'y. 



LETTER FEOM ACTING-GOV. STANTON. 

Washington, D. C, April 18, 1881. 

My Dear Sir: — Your "Keminiscences of Gov. 
Walker'* is before me, and has been read hastily. 
Many of the transactions you describe took place 
before I went to the Territory, and I had no other 
means of knowing the facts than what were gathered 
from the newspapers, and the reports of those who 
professed to have access to reliable sources of infor- 
mation. 

I do not doubt you have given a correct version of 
Gov. Walker's doings in Kansas, and of interviews 
with him; and I think you have done good service in 
the cause of truth by stating the facts bluntly and 
plainly. 

As regards your 14th chapter I know the Governor 
had some scruples about his power to go behind the 
returns. I had none, for I felt the frauds were too 
palpably gross and patent, to admit of any hesitation. 
Neither of us had any difficulty after we had visited 
the localities, and ascertained the facts. 

What you say in the 15th chapter about John 
Speer's statement, in September, 1879,* surprises me 

*See Speer's representation, near the head of page i8o, Kansas 
Memorial Vohime of 1S79. 



190 LETTER FROM GOV. STANTON. 

greatly. I do not remember that any one threatened 
Gov. Walker and myself at Fish's below Blue Jacket's, 
or at any other place on our way down. If such an 
occurrence had taken place, I could hardly have for- 
gotten it. You are certainly right in denying that 
any such threats influenced Gov. Walker or myself. 

In your account of Gov. Walker's action in bring- 
ing troops to Lawrence, you say his proclamation was 
^'bombastic," etc. I think myself, the proceedings in 
that emergency placed the Governor at a very great 
disadvantage, inasmuch as the restless and mischiev- 
ous element of the Free State party, with Lane at 
their head, had the tact to deny their real purpose, 
and refrain from any overt acts of a decisive charac- 
ter; and thus the Gt^vernor's military display looked 
a little ridiculous. 

Before Gov. Walker started for Washington I 
begged him to convene the Legislature. I told him 
if he did not do so, he would find a proclamation 
from me before he should reach the Federal city. 

On the whole your book is valuable and interesting, 
as showing much of the inside operation of parties 
and prominent actors in the affairs of Kansas at the 
important period of which you write. 
Very Truly, Your Friend, 

FEED. P. STANTON. 



LETTEE FEOM HON. ELI THAYEE. 

Philadelphia, Pa., April 29, 1881. 
Dear Sir: — It gives me pleasure to acknowledge, 
with many thanks, the receipt of 20 chapters of your 



LETTEK FROM HON. ELI THAYER. 191 

"Reminiscences of Gov. Walker," as they have been 
IDiiblished. 

It is fortunate for the history of Kansas, as well as 
for the history of the United States, that the decisive 
struggle between freedom and slavery should be 
recorded by the facile pen of one who can truthfully 
say, as did iEneas: 

"All that I saAv and part of which I was." 

Allow me to express the hope that no obstacle may 
prevent the continuance of these narratives so long 
as the minutest details of this epoch of our country's 
history — most potential in results — shall remain unre- 
corded. 

It is fortunate, also, that you have begun this great 
work while there are many still living who are ready 
to bear witness to the truthfulness of your words. 

Of the minute details of political action in the 
Territory at the time of which you write I have 
learned more from your pen than I ever knew before. 

From the very first agitation of the repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise, early in the year 1854, to the 
end of 1856, my thoughts and efforts were confined to 
one idea. That was to keep at all times in Kansas a 
strong majority of Free State men. Always after the 
end of the year 1854 we had such a majority. That 
was the one grand point, and I cared but little for 
Shawnee Legislatures, Lecompton Constitutions, or 
the pro-slavery tendencies or sympathies of the terri- 
torial officers. All these were only the foam on the 
sublime waves of Freedom sweeping over the prairies 
towards the setting sun. To submit to the inevitable 
was the sensible thing for slavery to do at that time. 



192 LETTER FROM HON. ELI THAYER. 

for to resist those waves in their majestic progress 
was to make one tidal wave which would bury slavery 
in oblivion. That was done by the Kebellion. 

Hoping you may continue to revive these memories 
of the great struggle, "the cause of causes," I. 
remain, 

Very Truly Yours, ELI THAYEK. 



GOV. KOBINSON'S INDORSEMENT. 

Lawrence, Kan., Jan. 26, 1881. 
Friend Brown: — So far your "Reminiscences of 
Gov. Walker*' are very interesting, and strictly accu- 
rate so far as they cover matters of which I was cog- 
nizant. 

On the 29th of March Gov. Robinson wrote again: 
I have read all your chapters with increasing inter- 
est, as they appear, and as yet find nothing to criti- 
cise. Your chapter 16 contains much that was not 
personally known to me, but so far as I do know it is 
correct. Kansas history would be very incomplete 
and one-sided without your statements, and I am 
very glad you have lived to make them. Heretofore 
the effort has been to make all matters hinge on a few 
conflicts, on a few insane movements, ignoring the 
vital questions that decided the contest in favor of 
freedom. It is high time the truth was told, and the 
whole truth, and your "Reminiscences" were written. 
No one else has the material and facts to write this 
part of our history as well as yourself, and I feel that 
we owe you more than we can ever pay for your ser- 
vices to the cause of truth. 



LETTER FROM GOV. ROBINSON. 193 

After completing the work the Governor wrote 
again, as follows, on May 2, 1881 : 

I have just finished reading the slip containing the 
"Conclusion" of your "Keminiscences of Gov. 
Walker." To say that I have read every line with 
deep interest and great pleasure, is but half the 
truth. I am exceedingly pleased that the political 
history of Kansas is at last being recorded, and by so 
able and competent a pen as yours. No person can 
better write of these events than yourself, as you are 
a very important part of them, and were in a position 
to learn every material fact. 

You and I well know that the struggle in Kansas 
was chiefly political, and it was the policy adopted 
by the people which saved the Territory to freedom, 
and not the incidental skirmishes in a few localities. 
Unyielding devotion to principle and unflinching 
moral and physical courage were essential, but with- 
out political sagacity all would have been lost. In 
every instance the policy we advocated was adopted 
by the people, so far as I remember, always excepting 
some impracticables, demagogues, and a few well 

meaning persons. 

* * * 

I am more and more convinced that it is your duty 
to keep your pen employed till it has covered the 
whole field of the Kansas struggle. Posterity will 
do you ample justice, if the present generation does 
not. Should you continue, and publish your writ- 
ings in book form, it wilfbe more valuable than all 
the works of the kind I have seen, and I have no 
doubt will be in great demand. 

Very Truly, C. KOBINSON. 



194 GEN. 

LETTER FEOM GENERAL EWING. 

Fifth Avenue Hotel, 

New York, May &, 1881. 
De. G. W. Beown, 

Deae Sie: — I have read with great interest and 
pleasure your "Reminiscences of Gov. Walker." I 
took no prominent or active part in the public events 
therein described, except in the 23d of December 
Convention, and in the campaign and election which 
followed it; and in the signal exposure of the frauds 
by which the attempt to make Kansas a slave State 
was baffled and finally defeated. So far as your nar- 
rative covers these most important events, I believe it 
to be a valuable contribution to the history of the 
ever memorable struggle for the freedom of the Ter- 
ritories, and fully accurate. 

Very Truly Yours, THOMAS EWING. 



LETTER FROM COL. WALKER. 

Laweence, Kan., May 9, 1881. 
Feiend Beown: — I see by the last Gazette you 
have concluded your very interesting "Reminiscences 
of Gov. Walker." The subject of your recollections 
never had justice done him by former writers on Kan- 
sas affairs, and I am pleased to know there is one man 
living who has the courage and ability to write the 
true history of those dark days. It takes more cour- 
age than I possess — and I always thought I had a 
good share of it — to write the truth about those 
times, while so many of the participants still live to 
criticise each trifling error. I believe I could face a 



COL. walker's letter. 195 

twelve pound battery without flinching; but I could 
not write of those early times and endure the bitter 
personal assaults from those who had less opportuni- 
ties for observation than myself, which would be sure 
to follow. 

Much of our history has been misrepresented. You 
had opportunities of knowing much that was trans- 
piring which was hidden from others. I was located 
near the Border Kuffian capital; was forced into 
repeated conflicts with the conspirators, and partici- 
pated in all the troubles to the end. Appointed U. S. 
Marshal, and elected Sheriff — the first Free State 
man serving in those capacities — I think I can tell 
when genuine Kansas history is written. Of course 
you saw many things which did not come under my 
personal observation. We used to wonder who was 
the correspondent of the St. Louis Eepublican, and 
talked of the correctness of the reports from Kansas 
during the autumn of 1857. I own 1 was greatly sur- 
prised in reading your Reminiscences, to learn that 
you were their author. 

On Gov. Walker's first arrival in Kansas, he sent 
for me, and we had a long conversation. He said he 
had heard of my aff'air with CoL Titus and others; 
that I was a native of his own State, of the same 
locality and of the same name. We even found we 
were of the same family. He always treated me 
afterwards with great kindness and confidence. 

You are correct in your statement that I was in the 
Governor's tent and heard the conversation reported 
by you in regard to the collection of taxes, etc., as 
detailed in your 11th chapter, and I can vouch for the 
truth of what you have there written. I was also a 



196 COL. walkee's lettee. 

member of the secret organization which you men- 
tion, but I am glad to write, / never favored the mur- 
dering policy. I was always for open war, not secret 
assassination. 

Govs. Geary, Walker, Stanton and Denver, all, 
were in favor of "equal and exact justice to all men," 
and, consequently, were true to the Free State party, 
though known as Democrats. Republican as I am, 
it gives me pleasure to know that you have done jus- 
tice to all of them. 

You may be interested in an incident in which I 
took a small part. While the Lecompton Constitu- 
tional Convention was in session the Governor's sig- 
nature was desired for some purpose. He refused to 
give it. The Ruffians threatened to take his life. He 
fled to Secretary Stanton's cabin, on the river three 
miles east of Lecompton — where you and Robert 
Morrow found him on the 19th of October — and dis- 
patched his then Aid, Capt. Walker, of the regular 
army, to me to come and help defend him. We 
found Mr. Stanton and the Governor, with another 
man, and at once barricaded the doors and windows 
for an attack. About ten o'clock at night we were vis- 
ited by a man from Lecompton, who said the leaders 
had learned of the Governor's hiding place, and had 
determined, if he would not sign his name to the 
instrument, to kill him. But the Governor remained 
firm and unflinching, resolved to die before he would 
do what he conceived a wrong. At the same time 
some of our own party were abusing him because he 
was a Democrat. We remained on guard until 4 
o'clock in the morning, when I was sent to Lecomp- 
ton to learn what was transpiring there. I found the 




HON. ROBERT MORROW. 



COL. walker's letter. 197 

saloons full, but soon came to the conclusion from 
what I heard, that their threats were bluster, so I 
returned and reported, and was soon after discharged 
from duty. Yery Truly Yours, 

SAMUEL WALKBK. 



LETTER FROM CHAS. S. DUNCAN. 

Lawrence, Kan., May 8, 1881. 
Doctor Brown : — With regard to your "Reminis- 
cences of Gov. Walker," I am glad to say, after a 
careful perusal of the work, it embodies the exact 
facts, in every essential particular, as they came under 
my personal observation. In reading I could not but 
feel grateful that one of the "old guard" survived 
who could so truthfully and minutely record every 
important event occurring during the period of which 
you write. I assure you, Friend Brown, that your 
work is highly prized and shall be carefully pre- 
served.* Yours Respectfully, C. S. DUNCAN. 

*See p, 107. Mr. Duncan is still living at Lawrence. He was 
one of our earliest and most substantial merchants. 



LETTER FROM HON. ROBERT MORROW. 
Lawrence, Kan., April 21, 1902. 

Doctor Brown — Dear Sir: — I have read the 
advanced sheets of your forthcoming "Reminiscences 
of Gov. Robert J. Walker, and the True Story of the 
Rescue of Kansas from Slavery," with great interest. 
Your statements are very interesting, and so far as I 
have knowledge are strictly truthful. 



198 

You understood Gov. Walker better than most of 
us. I greatly regret our people did not treat him 
with more consideration, and not with so much dis- 
trust. He gave us good advice, and faithfully 
observed his promises. 

I remember going with you to Lecompton, to invite 
the Governor to come to Lawrence. We found him 
and Secretary Stanton, two miles east of Lecompton, 
occupying a log cabin in the woods, near the bank of 
the river. You describe very accurately the incidents 
of that interview. 

I lived at Lawrence all the time you mention, and 
was conversant with all the leading events as they 
transpired. I was a member of the Committee of 
Public Safety, of which you were one, as were 
Charles Eobinson, Jas. Blood, Wm. Hutchinson, C. 
W. Babcock, G. W. Smith, Lyman Allen, Samuel 
Walker and G. P. Lowry, the latter serving as chair- 
man; and was intimately concerned with every 
important event connected with the Free State cause. 
I was one of the party after the fall election of 1857, 
who went to Oxford to look after the frauds there 
perpetrated. On our return we met Gov. Walker and 
Secretary Stanton on their way there. 

My recollection is, that I went with you on a sec- 
ond occasion to see Secretary Stanton, then serving as 
Acting Governor. Gov. Walker had left Kansas. 
Our object was to induce him to convene the Territo- 
rial Legislature to head off the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion. Gov. Stanton said it would cost him his official 
head, but he encouraged us to expect a proclamation 
from him in the direction we asked. 

In looking over the names mentioned in your book 



199 

as in attendance at the Grasshopper Falls convention, 
where the voting policy was fully adopted, I think 
you and I only remain. All the rest have joined the 
silent majority, but the people of Kansas are enjoy- 
ing the rewards of their labor. 

AYe have Gov. Walker, yourself, and those who 
acted with you, to thank for the glorious outcome. 
Even after we gained control of the Territorial Leg- 
islature there were persons so unwise as to urge that 
the Territorial Legislature adjourn sine die, and give 
place to the Topeka government. I was a member of 
that Territorial Legislature, and was well posted in 
the movement. Those who favored it were very 
indignant because the Territorial government, then 
in Free State hands, and was being wielded for 
freedom, would not give way to the new project. 

I know well the element you had to contend with 
which did you all the injury they were capable, but 
you have outlived them all. You have done a valua- 
ble work in writing your history. It is only justice 
to the memory of Gov. Walker that you, who know 
the truth so well, should relate it for the benefit of 
posterity. Yours Truly, KOBEKT MOEROW.* 

*Mr. Morrow came to Kansas in the early spring of 1S55, 
and located in Lawrence. He identified himself from the begin- 
ning with the Free State party, and with the material interests of 
the city, and was one of our most trusty advisers on all political 
questions. He erected the Morrow House, the first creditable 
hotel in the city, which was greatly esteemed under his excellent 
management. Mr. Morrow was a member of the Territorial 
Legislature and v^oted for the repeal of the bogus statutes, and 
served one term in the State Senate. Faithful to every trust, he 
and his good wife, both far advanced in years, are still in Law- 
rence where they probably expect to spend the residue of their 
lives. May they be long protracted. Mr. M's photograveur 
faces these pages. 



THE LAST WORDS. 

tjYHE PEO-SLAVEKY party which had usurped 
djfe the Territorial goyernment of Kansas, and ad- 
ministered it in the interests of slavery, in casting their 
eyes over the field, and seeing who were their most 
active opponents, indicted by a servile Grand Jury, un- 
der instruction of a violently partisan Court, Charles 
Eobinson, G. W. Brown, G. W. Smith, G. W. Deitz- 
ler, and Gains Jenkins, for constructive high treason, 
an offense unknown to our laws. Yet these men 
were arrested and held as prisoners under that false 
charge for four months, guarded by a regiment of 
United States troops. It is reasonable to suppose 
the enemies of free institutions knew very well from 
whom they had most cause to apprehend danger to 
the success of their vile measures. During that un- 
just imprisonment the prisoners received from the 
Poet Whittier "Lines" inscribed to them, see p. 108 
of his "Panorama," published in 1856, of which the 
following is the closing stanza : 

"God's wa^'S seem dark, but, soon or late, 
They touch the shining hills of day; 
The evil cannot brook delay, 
The good can well afford to wait. 

Give ermined knaves their hour of crime; 
Ye have the future grand and great. 

The safe appeal of Truth to Time." 

Eelying upon that assurance, amid all the malicious 
slanders, libels and distorted history, the writer has 
been conscious that another generation, with &x_ 
enlightened vision, would discern who were the REAL 
heroes that Eescued Kansas Feom Slavery and 



THE LAST WORD. 201 

award them that merit heretofore rendered to aspir- 
ing demagogues, and brutal midnight assassins. 
These deliverers were the honest, conscientious toil- 
ers who went to Kansas in advance of the "heroes," 
taking their families and their fortunes with them, 
and who labored in season and out of season to build 
up homes free from the curse of chattel slavery. 

Gov. Kobinson, on numerous occasions, declared it 
was not the politicians, nor aspiring ambition, which 
produced the result; but it was the product of honest 
votes, cast by honest men in 'a righteous cause, that 
made Kansas free. He predicted another generation 
would give credit to those who were entitled to it, how- 
ever numerous the garbled accounts of fiction-writers 
who make history from reports of interested, sensa- 
tional and untrustworthy press correspondents, who 
were more zealous for the compensation given for 
those services than they were for truth. This predic- 
tion of the Governor, is well expressed in the axiom: 

"Time fights the battles of Truth, an unwearied and unimpas- 
sioned ally." 

This truism is already being verified. There are a 
few writers, without reputation, who take their cue 
from the unreliable correspondents; but the better 
class of historians have investigated for themselves 
and do not believe, as one of those romancers asserts, 
that the Sovereign Kuler of the Universe inspired 
assassination, and projected the murder of men and 
boys to carry forward a great reform. Of such we 
are glad to mention a recent work by Prof. J. W. 
Burgess, of the Columbia University, in his Mid- 
dle Period, published by the Scribners in 1897, p.471 : 

"With the rejection of the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion by the people of Kansas, on August 2nd, 1858, 



202 THE LAST WOKD. 

the struggle for Kansas was closed. It was to be a 
non-slaveholding Commonwealth and a Republican 
Commonwealth. The record of this struggle is cer- 
tainly one of the most remarkable chapters in the 
history of the United States. There is much to 
admire in it, much to be ashamed of. and much to be 
repudiated as foul and devilish. The prudence, mod- 
eration, tact, and bravery of Dr. Robinson and his 
friends have rarely been excelled by the statesmen 
and diplomatists of the New World or of the Old. 
They were placed in a most trying situation both by 
their foes and by those who, professing to be their 
friends, endangered the cause more by violent and 
brutal deeds than did their open enemies. Their 
triumph over all these difficulties is a marvel of 
shrewd, honest, and conservative management, which 
may well serve as one of the best; object-lessons of 
our history for succeeding generations." 

Other historians have expressed themselves no less 
emphatically. With the whole truth, long sup- 
pressed, in their possession, there will be but one 
voice in the premises, and that in denunciation of the 
offenders, of which the words of the lamented Win- 
wood Reed are specimens: 

"Murder is not less murder because it is conducive 
to development. There is blood upon the hand still, 
and all tlie perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten iV 

And ^schylus: "Not all the world poured in one 
libation, can atone for one man's blood." 

Then Sophocles: "All the rivers of the earth can- 
not wash away the pollution which clings to the house 
and family of the murderer." 

Such sentiments will be echoed the wide world 
over when reason and an enlightened judgment gain 
control over the passions and prejudices of igno- 
rance and anarchy. Farewell ! 

May 15, 1902. 



■ CONTENTS: 

Dedication, Page 3 

Preface, ^ 

Chap. Page. 

I. Introduction, 7 

II. Outlines of History, ... 12 

III. Arrival of Gov. Walker, ... 18 

IV. Interview with Gov. Walker, . . 23 
V. Important Interview, . . . .27 

VI. Gov. Walker's Inaugural, ... 40 

VIL Strife Brewing, .... 42 

VIII. A Policy for the Future, . • 45 

IX. Gov. Walker in a Kage, . . .53 

X. An Army Marching on Lawrence, . 56 

XI. Danger Averted, .... 62 

XII. Preparing for the Contest, . . 69 

XIII. Election and Fictitious Keturns, . . 74 

XIV. Important Interview with Gov. Walker, 82 

XV. Score One for Freedom, ... 97 

XVI. "Blood and Thunder," ... 104 

XVII. In a New Bole, .... 115 

XVIII. New Dangers to be Combatted, . 119 

XIX. The Contest Begins, .... 127 

XX. "Brown's Cellar Kitchen Convention," 136 

XXI. Condensed History. ... 144 

XXII. Conclusion, . . . . .152 

APPENDIX: 

End of the Contest, 159 



204 CONTENTS. 

In Memory of Gen. Ewing, . . . 172 

Tribute to the Memory of Gov. Eobinson, 175 

To the memory of Hon. Eli Thayer, . .182 

INDOKSEMENTS: 

Letter from Sec'y Adams, . . . 188 

Letter from Acting Gov. Stanton, . . 189 

" Hon. Eli Thayer, . . 190 

Gov. Eobinson's Indorsement, . . . 192 

Letter from Gen. Ewing, . . , 194 

" Col. Walker, .... 194 

Chas. S. Duncan, . . 197 

" " Hon. Kobert Morrow, . . 197 

The Last Word, 200 

ILLUSTRATIONS: 

Gov. Robert J. Walker, Facing Title Page. This 
photogravure was made expressly for these pages, 
from a likeness found in the Treasury Depart- 
ment, for which it was made about 1849. 
Gen. Thomas Ewing, Jr., Facing page 172 

Gov. Charles Robinson, Facing page 174 

Hon. Eli Thayer, Facing page 182 

Hon. Robert Morrow, Facing page 197 



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