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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

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The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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A Ride Through Kanzas (XHTML)

        ANTI-SLAVERY TRACTS.                     No. 20

________________________________

 

 

A RIDE THROUGH KANZAS.

 

By Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

 

[The following letters were originally published, with the signature of Worcester, in the

New York Tribune.]

 

 

I.—Nebraska City.

 

Nebraska City, Sept. 12, 1856.

 

            Nebraska City is a handful of one-story cabins, interspersed with an equal number of magnificent distances, all beautifully situated on a bluff overlooking the muddy Missouri.  It has one or two groves of “timer” about it, and there are noble woods on the rich bottom-land across the river.  The village itself, like other Western villages, has a tavern and three or four land offices, and the principal pursuit of the inhabitants consists in sitting on the doorsteps of these structures, waiting for real estate to rise.  It does rise, however, very fast, and the name of the settlement may be more veracious at some future time.  At present, in this region, if a place is tolerably large, it is called a town.  If otherwise, something must be done for it, and it is christianed Something City.

            This is a good way into the Far West.  From childhood I had learned by Worcester’s Geography that Council Bluffs was the extreme verge of the imaginable horizon.  When at last the stage rolled me in there, I felt as strangely as a little boy on the Canada Railway, who, as the conductor shouted the name of the little village of London, sprang up, half awake, behind me, exclaiming, “Do we really pass through LONDON, that great city!”

            Set it down as a general rule that all statements of Iowa Kanzas Committees in regard to stage routes are incorrect; and in fact those of everybody else, for the only fixed rule of the Western Stage Company is to do nothing to-day, as it was done yesterday.  And as each driver goes but ten or fifteen miles, and knows nothing beyond his own route, and as the agent at each end hardly knows that, it is impossible to state at any given moment what will be done.  When the stage ought to go, it stops, and when it should stop, it goes.  No wonder, then, if Kanzas Committees are wrong, when nobody is right.  But it may save some disappointment if I say that there is not a single direct stage route across

 


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Iowa to Nebraska City, of any sort, and that whether one starts from Iowa City to Mount Pleasant, it is equally necessary to bring up at Council Bluffs, and thence get down the river as one can, the best way being to take a stage which leaves twice a week for Sidney, at the convenient hour of midnight.  Sidney is fifteen miles from this city, and one must choose between a private conveyance thence, and a hack which is said to run twice a week with the mails.

            There is thus no stage line over the greater part of either route, and this is a great inconvenience.  A route has been talked of in the newspapers, and even announced in handbills, running directly from Mount Pleasant to this place, through the second tier of Iowa counties, but I am satisfied that there is no prospect of its being opened.  In the mean time, the one hope of Kanzas emigration is the Burlington and Missouri Rivers Railroad.  Let Eastern capitalists remember this. 

            At present no person, without actually traveling across Iowa, can appreciate the injury done by the closing of the Missouri River.  Emigrants must toil, week after week, beneath a burning sun, over the parched and endless “rolling prairie,” sometimes seeing no house for a day or two together, camping often without wood, and sometimes without water, and obliged to carry with them every eatable they use.  It is no wonder that they often fall sick on the way; and when I consider how infinitely weary were even my four days and nights of staging, (after as many more of railroad travel,) I can only wonder at the patience and fortitude which the present emigrants have shown.

            As soon as one approaches the Missouri River, even in Iowa and Nebraska, he begins to feel as if he were in France or Austria.  Men are very cautious in defining their position, and wait to hear what other will say.  Then, perhaps, their tongues are slightly loosed, if they think there are no spies about them.  But it is no slight risk when a man may have to pay with his life, further down the river, for a free word, spoken at Council Bluffs or Sidney, both Pro-Slavery towns.

            The first night I spent in this place, it seemed as if a symbolical pageant had been got up to remind me where I was.  I sat writing by an open window in the beautiful moonlight.  A party of boys in the street were shouting and screeching, playing “Border Ruffian,” and “storming the fort.”  In a building beyond, two very inexperienced performers played martial tunes with a drum and fife.  Within, the small tavern rocked with the music and dancing of a border hall.  Thus I sat between tragedy and comedy.

            But there is plenty of genuine tragedy.  Coming from a land where millionaires think themselves generous in giving fifty dollars to Kanzas, I converse daily with men who have sacrificed all their property in its

 


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service, and are ready at any hour to add their lives.  Refugees come every few days from Leavenworth City, and tell, with a quiet desperation, of the wrongs and outrages there transacted.  "Come, Uncle George," says the latest informant, "have a seat on this log, and I'll tell you all about it."  So Uncle George sits down, takes out his long jack-knife, selects a convenient stick, and beings to whittle.  The informant takes out his knife, and follows suit, and a few bystanders settle down and begin to whittle likewise.  Then comes the story, "all which he saw, and part of which he was"—how the Missourians came over to vote, and voted—how enraged they were that the Free State men would not vote—how they collected in mobs at last, maddened by whiskey—how they went from house to house and shop to shop, while men took their wives and children to the fort, and fled themselves—how they tarred and feathered one of Uncle George's friends, and ran another out of town, and murdered another—how, like devils, they behaved inside his handsome house, destroying what they could not steal, and trying at last to set it on fire.  "Your loss can't be less than $6,000, old fellow," concludes his frank informant, who was himself lost that or more, "even if they didn't burn your block of stores, which they allowed to do after I left."  Uncle George hears it all in silence, whittles faster or slower according to the excitement of the narrative, and quietly says at least, with a slight moisture in the corner of either eye, "Well, my old woman was out of it, anyhow."

            Meantime, in regard to Topeka and Lawrence, the accounts are somewhat confused even here, only one hundred and twenty-five miles off.  The last arrival left Topeka on Friday, Sept. 5.  He reports the condition of affairs such as you have doubtless had narrated before now.  The fortifications around Lawrence, and so on;—the people provided with beef and potatoes, but entirely out of flour and of lead.  As to the road between here and there, he saw fewer Missourians than previous parties have seen; and there is reason to think that Richardson's bands have been drawn off for a time, to re-enter at a time agreed upon—probably when their spies report that our emigrant train is ready to set forth—though if it amounts to half their number, it is not likely that they will dare to attack it.

            The train is passing through here piecemeal, on its way from a temporary encampment at Tabor to another at the Little Nemaha, twenty-five miles south of this place.  The largest section of it is a party of some fifty Massachusetts and Maine men.  Having personally assisted in organizing this party and starting them from Boston, I can testify to their character.  Some of them own their own wagons and bring pecuniary means with them; others have only brave hearts and strong bodies;


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and they complain of nothing but the long delay, as they left July 24.  Beside these, there are smaller parties from Vermont, Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa, who bring much valuable property.  When we are all collected on the Little Nemaha, I shall, perhaps, have time to write more definitely as to the numbers of the train, which will probably count up to several hundred.

            Every one admits the fine appearance and excellent conduct of the whole party thus far.  Even the mean editor of The Nebraska News, a little Administration paper published here, can find nothing against the emigrants, except that they look dusty and ragged.  Probably he would prefer them if they had tramped across three hundred miles of prairie in ruffles and patent leather.  But the article has been of use in the reaction which it has produced.  Even Pro-Slavery men here see that it may injure the place, though not the emigrants, and the first citizens are signing a protest against it.  The fact is, that an effort is already being made to turn the emigration through Plattsmouth, (where the ferry is better than here,) and the people of this village perceive where their interest lies.  The train will spend some $2,500 or more here, first and last, and not the slightest disorder has yet been charged on a single member of the company.  If the market were larger, our purchases would be larger also.  I have myself bought up for the emigrants all the cowhide boots to be found in town, (except extra sizes,) and nearly all the flannel shirts and blankets.

            Missouri, however, expects to rule Iowa and Nebraska, as well as Kansas.  It is openly threatened that the new steam ferry boat, now being built at St. Louis, shall never come up the river to be used in carrying emigrants; and this is fast converting the owner of the ferry, born in Missouri, and hitherto Pro-Slavery, into an Anti-Slavery town.  Indeed, the citizens of Tabor are entitled to everlasting gratitude for their unwearied kindness to emigrants.  The sick have been cared for, clothing has been made, and every house, stable, and melon-patch, has been common property.  Let the Eastern States hold this thriving little village in grateful remembrance.

            I am here as a sort of General Agent, to put the train through, and shall, of course, go in with it, to Kanzas.

 

 

                                                II. NEBRASKA TO KANZAS.

 

                                                                                    Topeka, Sept. 25, 1856.

 

            I wrote last from Nebraska City, just before the train of emigrants left at place for this.  I reached here yesterday, a day or more in ad-


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vance of them, having pushed through, for the last two days, with a few companions.  The distance on the route are about as follows:—To Camp Creek, or Worcester, twelve miles; thence to Little Nemaha River and Village, fifteen miles; to Archer, fifteen miles; to Plymouth, (Kanzas,) twelve miles; to Lexington, ten miles; to Indian Village, thirty-five miles; to Topeka, fifteen miles.  This would make the whole distance one hundred and fourteen miles, and it is variously estimated from that up to one hundred and forty.  The route is also somewhat circuitous, and will be shortened hereafter.  The road is uniformly a good prairie road, except where a creek is to be crossed, and there is a steep pitch on each side, with a slough between.  No serious accident, however, occurred to any of our teams.  Of the localities above-named, Nemaha and Archer are thriving little Nebraska settlements, each with lodging house and store.  Worcester, in Nebraska, is one log-house.  Plymouth consists of an earthen redoubt on a hill, and two log-houses in the distance.  Lexington is a log-fort in the center of a prairie, where seven of our brave Worcester boys were laboriously digging the best well I have seen in this region—thirty-five feet deep and nine wide.  Both Plymouth and Lexington, however are very favorable town sites, and well laid out.  The companies who settled them are now returning from the seat of war, and if they can only obtain food and clothing during the winter, (a doubtful prospect,) these will yet be flourishing towns.  That well of water, at least, will be a clear gain to Kanzas in all coming time.

            Except these, there are no settlements over this long route till Indianola, a few miles from Topeka.  There are occasional log-houses, however, and it is, on the whole more inhabited than the western part of Iowa.

            Our train included about hundred and forty men and some twenty women and children.  There were twenty-eight wagons—all but eight being horse-teams.  Our nightly tents made quite a little colony, and presented a busy scene.  While some watered and fed the stock, other brought wood for the fires; others prepared the tents and wagons for sleeping; others reloaded pistols or rifles, and the leaders arranged the nightly watch or planned the affairs of the morrow.  Meanwhile, the cooks fried pork, made coffee, and baked bread, and a gaping crowd, wrapped in blankets, sat around the fire.  Women brought their babes, and took the best places they could find, and one worthy saddler brought out his board and leather every night and made belts and holsters for the men.  We slept soundly in spite of the cold and of the scarcity of wood, and each kept watch for an hour, striding in thick boots through the grass, heavy with frost.  Danger always seemed before us, though


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we never actually got into it, and we were never far from our rifles and revolvers.  Truth compels the admission that my rifle was never pointed at anything more formidable than a superb hawk, which it brought down, and even that shot was disputed by a comrade, who fired at the same time.  However, I have the wings.

            We came through without attack from the Missourians, as General Lane assured us that we should; we had had their spies among us, but they had seen that we were well armed, and that our men, though quiet, were determined.

            The one thing that discouraged our party, however, was to meet other parties, day after day, returning.  Men on horseback and on foot, with wagons and without, came along in ominous numbers.  All told the same story.  "What the Missourians have been trying for two years to do, Governor Geary has done it two weeks at last," said one man; "the Free State men are driven out."   It was like entering Hungary just after the treachery of Gorgey.  Each had his story to tell of arrests and tyrannies; how a Pro-Slavery witness had only to point at a man as identified with any measure of public defense, and he was seized at once.   Several whom we met had been arrested in person, herded with a hundred others, like cattle, on the bare prairie, been scantily fed once a day, and escaped by rolling half a mile through the grass while the sentinels' backs were turned.  The bravest young men of Lawrence were put under arrest, charged with treason, murder, arson, robbery, and what not; while not a Pro-Slavery man was seized.  This was the penalty they had to pay for defending themselves vigorously at last, and clearing their own soil form the invading Missourians.  "The worst enemy Kanzas had ever had," they pronounced Governor Geary to be; and they were going into Iowa to wait for better times.  "Will you give up Kanzas?"  I asked.  "Never!" was the reply from bronzed and bearded lips, stern and terrible as the weapons that hung to the saddle-bow.  "We are scattered, starved, hunted, half-naked, but we are not conquered yet."

            Some of these were young men, whom I had seen go from prosperous homes, well clothed and cared for.  I had since heard of them performing acts of heroic courage in this summer's battles.  Lane had praised them to me, and declared that there never was such courage in the world as that of the Free State men of Kanzas.  "I saw one of them," said he, "ride up alone within thirty yards of a body of a hundred and fifty men, during an engagement, take deliberate aim, and bring one down."  I now say that very man—that boy rather, a Worcester boy—retreating from his adopted country, hungry, ragged, and almost barefooted, walking wearily on, with others hunted like himself, while some, who had been less scrupulous, rode by on horses which they had plundered from the Missourians, who had at first plundered them.


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            It was such processions as this which welcomed us to unhappy Kanzas.  And when we reached the muddy banks of the world-famous river, we found not less than nineteen wagons of emigrants, fleeing with heavy hearts from the land of promise they sought so eagerly two years ago; a sad greeting for the families we brought in.  "Truly," said our informant again, "The Free State men are leaving Kanzas at last; Governor Geary has conquered them."

            As Hungary, having successfully resisted her natural enemy, Austria, yielded at length to the added strength of Russia; so the Kossuths of Kanzas, just as they had cleared her borders of Missourians, are subdued by the troops of the United States at last.

 

 

                                                III. AN ARREST.

 

                                                                        Lawrence, Kanzas, Sept. 28, 1856.

 

            It produces a singular effect upon the mind to awake in the morning, before daybreak, and find the house surrounded by a cordon of dragoons, each sitting silent on his horse.  This was my experience this morning, followed by the information that they intended at daylight to search the house for the leaders of the party of immigrants of which I had been one of the conductors.   Sallying forth and inquiring for the commanding officer, I was astonished at being accosted by name and discerning an old acquaintance.   I then ascertained that the man chiefly aimed at was our common friend Redpath.  Then appeared a gentlemanly young Virginian, Colonel Preston, who introduced himself to me as the marshal who was to make the arrest, and gave further elucidation.

            I must go back and say that, as the emigrant train was arriving on the previous day, one hundred and forty United States dragoons had come riding through the town, followed by baggage wagons enough for a winter's campaign.  They passed us with such unconcern that we regarded them with much the same indifference; but Colonel Preston explained all that.  It seems that the vigilant Governor had sent him in pursuit of an armed force of terrific numbers, said to be entering the Territory from Nebraska, under the most ferocious leaders. Therefore a special marshal was sent, clothed with almost unlimited powers, which he showed me, to arrest any or all of this party, and by all means to secure the leaders, especially Redpath.  So the marshal rode past our peaceful train, looking for the warlike one, and happening to inquire at the last wagon, found that we, and none but we, were the expected army.  Either the bird had flown, or it was a dove and not a hawk.   True, the dove carried a Sharp's rifle under his wing, but it was for defensive purposes only.  So Colonel Preston and Captain Walker halted their force, unloaded their baggage wagons, camped uncomfortably on the prairie, and waked sadder and wiser men next morning.


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            True, they still wished to arrest Redpath, but after some courteous debate with Governor Robinson and myself, it was finally agreed, especially as the victim could not be found, that he should be amicably invited to drive down to Lecompton with us, and call on the Governor.  This seemed very natural and proper to me, as I had been twice arrested myself, in the same amicable manner, in the Bay State region.  (Being brought before potentates in that manner suggests the same criticism made on the sedan chair with no bottom to it—"If it were not for the name of it, it is very much like walking.")

            So we four rode down behind the Governor's pair of horses (respectable, but not dashing steeds, well worked); and the traitor and the captor rode on the back seat together, and they interchanged cigars, and Redpath, who would be on easy terms with the Great Mogul at the second whiff, joked the young Colonel rather closely, and put in little keen questions about the decay of Virginia, and the good, generous, manly Governor Robinson had always a sensible word to add; and we told our guest that we didn't approve of stealing horses, but approved particularly of "stealing niggers," and I really was pleased with his exemplary courtesy.  I must, however, put in the brief Yankee criticism of Captain W., a staunch Free State man, on my praising these attributes in the young Virginian: "Confound him, does the manners well; so they all do, and shoot you the next minute, if they dare."

            We rode into the little village of Lecompton, caught a glimpse of the prisoners (whom I shall visit to-morrow), and found the Governor in a house pleasantly situated by the river.  Poor man, there is nothing else that is pleasant in his situation.

            There is much more harmony in the opinions held here about the Governor than appears to have existed a week or two ago.  It does not take long to see through him.  When you see that a man makes an effort to be dignified and commanding, it is all over with him.  The new Governor's eyes look at you, as a certain poet once described somebody's to me, "with a very intensified nothing in them."   He impressed me as a man who intends to do the right thing, and is profoundly convinced that he has the full ability to do it, and is profoundly mistaken in that belief.  He appears to have energy of will, without real energy of character; can do single acts of decision, and has done them already, but has neither the mental ability to understand the condition of Kanzas, nor the moral power to carry out any systematic plan for its benefit.  His present plan, to coerce both parties and play a little Napoleon at Lecompton, will inevitably fail, and is failing already.  Both sides will cease to respect him as soon as they understand him, and it is mere chance which he will fall out with first.  But he will be the last person in the Territory to discover his own failure.


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            He thinks he has plenary power, commits the most despotic acts without apparently understanding what he does, set aside the Territorial laws at pleasure, and the United States laws, and all other laws, and yet cannot be made to see that he does so.  He puts Pro-Slavery militia over Free State men, and is organizing bodies of Free State men to keep down Pro-Slavery men, and all without law or precedent.  So far, he has only arrested Free State men; but I shall not be at all surprised if he arrests others.  Still, the Free State men cannot consistently make complaints under the Territorial laws, and they do not; and as they keep aloof from him, and are learning to despise him, he is almost wholly under the influence of the other party.

            What can be expected from a man who proclaims in presence of a dozen people, as I heard him, in the most grandiloquent manner, "Gentlemen, rely upon it that I was over you always, my information extends everywhere;  my spies are everywhere; I shall spend $10,000, if necessary, in obtaining information; two men cannot talk together in the streets of Kanzas without my knowing the subject of their machinations; in fact, a man can scarcely think, without my knowing the subject of his thoughts."  Yet these are almost his precise words, not in private conversation, but delivered in an almost public manner, and written down by me directly after.

            I gave this description of the new Governor of Kanzas, because there is no public man in the United States whose blunders or errors may be more destructive.  Of his private life I have nothing to say, and indeed know nothing; but he has undertaken a position so inconsistent and difficult that the wisest man could not fill it; and he is a great way from being the wisest.

            As to Redpath's case it was soon dismissed, but not till his keen with had had ample play upon the lofty Governor, who did not for some time discover whom he had to deal with; and when they finally parted, Redpath assured the Governor that he need not apologize for his treatment of him, and if their positions were ever reversed, he would certainly treat him with the same generosity.   It was impossible not to laugh, and his Excellency bowed us out, looking a little puzzled, and I closed the door, feeling that pity one entertains for a man not without good intentions, but who has undertaken a task utterly out of proportion to his calibre. 

            We came down to Lawrence that night in the Governor's carriage, (the real Governor, who by the way made a noble speech to our emigrants, the day before, in his own simple way,) and it was through the most tremendous, sudden storm I was ever out in.  It was just after sunset, and in an instant all was absolute darkness around us, and the lightning came in such intensity that we could see no more than we saw


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without it.  The hail came in sheets upon the roof of the vehicle, then the rain saturated even its interior; the horses had to be held in their fright; it was uncomfortable.  But I reflected that I had come to Kanzas expecting adventures, and here was one; and then I was being driven by a Governor, in his own carriage, moist though it might be.  And we arrived safely at last.

            Lawrence is three times the size of Topeka, and delightfully situated; hills, river, and "timber' in plenty; more in this vicinity than I have seen anywhere else.  Things look less utterly paralyzed than in Topeka, where I counted forty-four occupied buildings, and nineteen on which work had been begun and abandoned.  Here there seems to be some employment, but the ruins of the large hotel, and the bare spot where Governor Robinson's house stood, and the fortifications across some of the principal streets, tell a tale about as sad.  There has also been far more suffering here.  Flour has just arrived in abundance, and sells at $5.00 per sack of 100 lbs., but, where to get the money!

            Never have I been in such a community as this; never seen such courage, such patience, such mutual generosity, such perfect buoyancy of spirit.  Not a man nor a woman seems bent or depressed by all that they have suffered; and they speak of the attack upon the town, a fort-night ago to-day, with two thousand eight hundred Missourians outside and two hundred and fifty fighting men inside, as lightly as I can now speak of the prairie tempest last night.

 

 

                                                IV. THE PRISONERS.

 

                                                                        Topeka, Sept. 30, 1856.

 

            Yesterday I visited the prisoners of State, now under confinement at Lecompton.  It was my second visit to that forlorn little Virginia town.  I call it thus because the whole sensation is that of the Old Dominion.  Instead of the rising school-houses and churches of Lawrence, the little street is lined with bar-rooms, whereof the chief is the "Virginia Saloon."  The tavern is true Virginia—bacon, corn-bread, and dirty negro boys and girls to wait at table.  Southern provincialisms strike one's ear at every moment, and the town is garrisoned by Colonel Titus's militia, re-enforced yesterday by twenty-five precious youths from Georgia, in a high state of whiskey.

            The Governor disavows all control over the prisoners, but Marshal Donelson was very ready to admit me to see them.  In fact, they were very visible, being allowed an area of a square rod or so before their prison door, guarded by a few young Missourians, who paced up and down with loaded muskets.  I met one of the poor fellows, allowed for some reason to cross the street, pursued by an evil-looking scoundrel.


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with fixed bayonet.  It is singular how much alike all Slavery's officials look.  I saw half a dozen times repeated the familiar features of my Boston friend, Mr. Asa O. Butman.

            The hundred and five prisoners lounged about, looking as prisoners everywhere do.  They are kept in a large unfinished wooden building, without an atom of furniture of any description.  They do their own cooking, with very scanty utensils, and such provisions as I shall hereafter describe.  They have obtained with great difficulty fifteen straw pallets for the whole company.  Some have no blankets; but the majority possess the luxury of one apiece.  It was an exceedingly cold, windy day, when I was there; the exposed side of the house was unfinished, and about half its superficial extent consisted of great gaps through which the wind whistled.  A few of the men lay about the floor sick with fever and ague.

            Most of them are young men, the flower of the youth of Lawrence.  They are a light-hearted set of boys, and are resolved to avenge themselves on their captors by perfect indifference to captivity.  It comes hard, however, on some fathers of families and owners of farms, which are alike suffering from their absence.  Three weeks labor of a hundred men, all lost, in the busiest season of the year, for it is the only time to get in the hay for the Winter's supply.

            One man had left six children, all sick, and his wife accidentally absent from home; he said he supposed some of the neighbors would look after them!  Another carried in his arms a child, who was, I was told, the first child born in Lawrence, and was christened with the name of the town.  The poor little thing looked rather forlorn, as its pallid father carried it up and down the bare prison room; an early initiation into the sorrows of Kanzas.

            Among the crowd I found two of the best emigrants whom Worcester had sent, and others who belonged to companies which I had organized.  Not one of these seemed depressed, but all appeared proud of being there.  At first, they said, while in the care of the United States troops, and encamped on the prairie, there were many escapes; now the guard was so close it was almost impossible.  Colonel Titus, who has charge of these men, is the head of one division of Kanzas militia, his force being chiefly from Missouri and other Southern States; he is the man whose life was humanely spared by the Free State men when they broke up his camp of outlaws.  He showed his gratitude by informing his Free State prisoners that if one of them attempted to escape, he should blow the building to atoms.  I looked and saw the cannon actually pointed, not upon the entrance, but so as to command the main portion of the building.  There stood the emblem of despotism, with its conical pile of


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balls beside it.  I never saw but one cannon, before, that looked so detestable.  That was employed in the same cause, but in Boston instead of Lecompton.

            Even now, the men say that some could escape by killing a few sentinels; but this they will not do, for a true Kanzas reason—they would lose their rifles; whereas if liberated, Governor Geary assures them that they shall be restored.  I doubt this prospect, however, from the fact that out of fourteen horses, possessed by different individuals of the number when captured, only three can now be found; and a horse ranks second to a Sharp's rifle in the affections of a Kanzas man.

            All of these prisoners are bound over for trial in October, on the charge of murder in the first degree.  You are aware of the brilliant series of engagements in which the freemen of Kanzas had driven the invaders form their borders before Governor Geary appeared.  In most of these a few Missourians were killed,   In return for this, every Free State man who is accused by anybody of having taken part in those engagements is in danger of arrest.  The great part, however, were taken after the battle at Hickory Point, while of the Pro-Slavery men, who s till had the black flag flying when these were taken, not one was captured.

            If each of these prisoners had, in broad daylight, deliberately murdered a man, they could have been placed in no worse position than they are now, for simply defending the liberties of their country under most fearful provocation.

            For instance, in the attack on Osawkee, the Free State men, on entering the Pro-Slavery fort, found a man chained to the floor, by a heavy log chain, about eight feet long, which was riveted to his leg.  In this position he had been kept for six weeks, on the charge of stealing a horse.  In all the exasperation produced by this discovery, no man was killed; buy the Missourians were compelled to perform the labor of detaching the chain from the leg.  My informant saw it done.  For this affair, some of those whom I saw at Lecompton were imprisoned, and others in this place are hiding from arrest, or working on their farms with a horse ready saddled for instantaneous escape from any suspicious visitors.

            All of these arrests have been made by the United States troops, whom it is the present policy of the people not to resist.  But this patience cannot last forever; and I only repeat, what I have every day asserted, when I say that the election of Fremont is the only thing that can avert a bloodier conflict than has ever yet stained this soil.  For myself, I do not believe that even that will do it.  When not a single Pro-Slavery man is arrested, how can men help seeing that the power of the Union is sustaining Missouri?


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            The Governor excuses himself by saying that the Free State men make no complaints.  But he does not wait for complaints on the other side, and he admitted to me that he was sent up to arrest the leaders of our train of emigrants without an affidavit from any one.  He has been repeatedly informed of the reason why the Free State men do not make complaints—namely, that they repudiate the bogus laws and despise the Judges.  But he never will understand it, if it is stated to him everyday during his stay in Kanzas.

            I think he means to be kind to the prisoners, and he readily consented to order some additional blankets for them, and to suggest some improvement in their fare; he also, on being requested, directed the Marshal to close up the chinks in the building above referred to.

            I took down a list of the prisoners.  They came from the following States: Maine three, New Hampshire one, Vermont three, Massachusetts twelve, Rhode Island two, Connecticut one, New York thirteen, Ohio twelve, Michigan five, Indiana twelve, Illinois twenty-three, Wisconsin five, Iowa nine, Missouri six; total one hundred and seven.  I took pains to collect their names and origin, from their own lips, that we of the Free States may see that these are our fellow-citizens.

            The first prisoners were captured Sept 10, kept by the United States troops ten days, (having on one occasion but one biscuit each for thirty-six hours, and then transferred to their present position, of which I add a further illustration from another source.

 

Statement of Provisions furnished the Prisoners for their first

week at Lecompton.

 

"Monday, Sept. 20.—Received no rations from United States Camp.  Move to Lecompton. Received at 5 o'clock, 1 sack of 'shorts,' baked into bread—1 do. not baked; 75 lbs. of bacon; 6 candles.  103 men.  No coffee or sugar.

            "Tuesday Evening.—1 sack of shorts, 103 lbs. or bacon, 4 lbs. of coffee, 6 lbs. of sugar, 8 or 10 lbs. of salt, 1 lb. of saleratus, 1 gallon of molasses.  103 men.

            "Wednesday Evening.—1 sack of shorts, 5 lbs. of coffee, 5 lbs. of sugar, 1 gallon of molasses, 1 lb. of saleratus. 105 men.

            "Thursday Evening.—1 sack of flour, 50 lbs. of bacon, 6 lbs of coffee, no sugar, 1 lb. of saleratus, 1 gallon of vinegar, 3 candles, 1 gallon of molasses.  Provisions brought after dark.  105 men.

            "Friday, 2 o'clock.—Called on Sergeant of the Guard for provisions: was informed that he had spoken to the Marshal and that we were curtailed to two meals per day.  Half past 4, Marshal came, brought 50 lbs. of bacon, fore-quarter of beef, about 110s., 125 lbs. of flour, 1 bushel of green beans in the pod, 6 lbs. of coffee, no sugar, no salt; we got about 1 quart of salt from a neighbor.  7 o'clock, fresh arrival of nine prisoners.  Marshal brought 3 candles for the whole amount of us, 111 men; furnished 15 mattresses to sleep on.


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            "Saturday.—Received 25 lbs. of beef, 125 lbs. of flour, one small sack of salt, one gallon of molasses, 6 lbs. of coffee. [111 men]  Spoke to Marshal in behalf of nine men brought here yesterday, who had no blankets, and was told that it was impossible to furnish any for them.  He afterwards brought three quits for them.

            "Sunday.—About 100 lbs. of beef, much damaged, 125 lbs. of flour, 6 lbs. of coffee, ½ lb. saleratus, 1 peck of beans, 3 candles, 4 lbs. of sugar.

            "We give the above as the amount of provisions received by the prisoners since coming to Lecompton, and are willing to make oath to the same.

 

                                                                        "E. R. Falley,

                                                                        "Artemas H. Parker,

                        "Commissaries for the prisoners to distribute their provisions."

            N.B.—Mr. Parker is well known to me as a worthy citizen of Clinton, Mass., who emigrated this Spring.

 

 

                                                V.—THE PEOPLE.

 

                                                                                                Lawrence, October 4, 1856.

 

            Ever since the rendition of Anthony Burns, in Boston, I have been looking for men.  I have found them in Kanzas.  The virtue of courage (for although these two words originally meant the same thing, they have become separated now) has not died out of the Anglo-American race, as some have hastily supposed.  It needs only circumstances to bring it out.  A single day in Kanzas makes the American Revolution more intelligible than all Sparks or Hildreth can do.  The same event is still in progress here.

            I have always wondered whether, in the midst of war, tumult, and death, the same daily current of life went on, and men's hearts accommodated themselves to the occasion.  In heroic races, I know see that it is so.  In Kanzas, nobody talks of courage, for every one is expected to exhibit it.

            Take, for instance, the Sunday attack on Lawrence, a fortnight ago.  The army which approached it consisted of 2,800 by the estimate here—3,000 by Governor Geary's estimate, and 3,200 by the statement of The Missouri Republican, in a singular article, which described the capture of the town, although it never happened.  This force was in sight the great part of the day, and though Governor Geary's aid was invoked, it was known that it could not arrive till evening; thus allowing time for the destruction of everything.

            Against this force, the number at first counted upon was one hundred; that being the supposed number of fighting men left, after the arrest of the hundred about whom I wrote to you, as prisoners.  To the surprise of all, however, more than two hundred rallied to the fort.  The lame came on crutches, and the sick in blankets.

            Two hundred men against fourteen times their number!  And the


[page 15]

 

fort a mere earthen redoubt, of no pretensions—for the only fort worth the name is on the hill above the town, and was at this time useless.  And yet (here comes the point) I was assured by Governor Robinson and a dozen others, that among this devoted handful the highest spirits prevailed; they were laughing and joking as usual, and only intent on selling their lives as dearly as possible.

            They had no regular commander, any more than at Bunker Hill; but the famous "Old Captain Brown" moved about among them, saying, "Fire low, boys; be sure to bring down your eye to the hinder sight of your rifle, and aim at the feet rather than the head."

            A few women were in the fort that day—all who could be armed.  Others spent the whole Sunday making cartridges.  I asked one of these how she felt:  "Well I can't remember that I felt any way different from usual," answered the quiet housekeeper, after due reflection.  So they all say.  One young girl sat at her door, reading a mile or so from the scene of action.  "Once in a while I looked up," she said, "when there was a louder shot than usual."

            The chief fighting was among skirmishers, and there was no actual attack on the fort.  The newspapers have had the particulars before, and I only mention the affair to show the spirit of buoyant courage which almost universally prevails.  It must be remembered, also, that even now these people are poorly armed, and still worse off for ammunition.  On this occasion they had but a few rounds apiece.

            Persons at the North who grudge their small subscriptions to Kanzas, should remember that a few dollars may sometimes save a thousand.  Osawatamie was sacrificed, after one of the most heroic defences in history, for want of ammunition. Brown and twenty-seven others resisted two hundred, killing thirty-three and wounding forty-nine, (eighty-two in all, by the Pro-Slavery statement,) and then retreated through these, with the loss of but one man, shot as he was swimming the creek.  A hundred dollars worth of ammunition would have prevented, on that occasion, the destruction of $60,000 worth of property.

            I walked out yesterday to the scene of the last fight at Franklin, and heard the narrative from one of the Pro-Slavery men who had defended the fort.  He said "he didn't like those d—d Sharp's rifles; didn't mind the ball so much, but hated the whizzing of them:—just, I suppose, as the hum of  a mosquito is more annoying than the bite.  He said also: "As soon as they shoved up the wagon-load of hay, and set it on fire, we boys cried for quarter, and then we all ran."  I saw where the hay was taken from, a very exposed place, and where the door had been burned by it.  He showed also the narrow space through which the defenders fired, and I observed that nearly all the rifle balls of the assail-


[page 16]

 

ants went above it, the tendency of Sharp's rifles in inexperienced hands.  My Pro-Slavery friend dug out one of these for me, as a memorial.

            Franklin was the place where the Free State men were charged with plundering the letters from the Post-Office.  I suppose it will not have the smallest effect on the Democratic newspapers when I say that this young man, the postmaster's son, entirely denied this story.  He only charged them with stealing sixty dollars worth of stamps.  But as the village of Franklin consists of less than a dozen houses, and as I have found it hard to buy a dollar's worth of stamps at much larger places in this region, I must doubt the precise accuracy of these figures, and I told him so.

            Since breaking up this den of thieves, the vicinity has been quiet, except when the noble army of two thousand eight hundred, on returning, burnt a large mill close by, on which the whole neighborhood depended for meal and lumber.  It is not far from here to Blanton's Bridge, which the Grand Jury declared a nuisance, because it gave aid and comfort to Free State men.  I suppose that this mill was a nuisance for the same reason.  The heaps of sawdust of the building were still in flames as I stood before them.

            The owner of this mill was a Pennsylvanian named Straub.  We saw his daughter, a noble looking girl of 20, but rather unnecessarily saucy and spirited in her replied, I at first thought.  Presently she said, with surprise, "Why, I thought you were Missourians, and I was resolved that you should hear the truth."  This was a piece of genuine Kanzas pluck, as it was a lonely place, and we were three to one.  Afterward, we found that this girl had walked alone into the midst of the Missourians, while the house and mill were burning, and demanded her horse from one of them with such spirit that the others compelled him to dismount.  She mounted it and rode away—he presently followed and attempted to get the halter from her hand.  She held on.  He took his bowie-knife and threatened to cut her hand off; she told him to do it if he dared; he cut the rope close to her hand, and led the horse away.  She slipped off, and presently two of the man's companions rode up and brought her the horse once more.  A horse is worth more than a life in this region, and you can estimate the extent of such a triumph.

            As for Lawrence, it has one of the most beautiful situations I ever looked upon.  It stands on a bank above a bend in the river; across the river are miles of woods, while behind the town rise two beautiful hills, which are hills, and not merely the endless swells of rolling prairie of which my Eastern eyes have grown so tired.  Indeed, this whole region far surpasses, in respect to hills and forest, both Iowa and Nebraska, and even Northern Kanzas, while the prairies are richer, and coal and stone are interspersed.  Give it freedom, and a few years will make Kanzas

           


[page 17]

 

the garden of America.  This year the Missourians have almost ruined the corn; but never have I seen such luxuriance of melons, squashes, and pumpkins.  I have seen some fine stock, too, on the more favored farms; but that kind of riches soon takes to itself legs, more dangerous, in the present state of Kanzas, than the proverbial wings.

            Lawrence is three times as large as Topeka, and at present much more busy.  It has, however, suffered much more from want of food.  For instance, I have just talked with a man whom I knew at the East.  "I came out here," said he, "with $1,500 in money.  I have served through the whole war.  My wife and nine children have lived more than two weeks on green corn and squash.  I have in my house no meat, no flour, no meal, no potatoes, no money to buy them, no prospect of a dollar; but I'll live or die in Kanzas!"

            Afterwards this man's wife wrote to me in almost the same words.

            Such is the spirit of multitudes, many of whom are as badly off as this man.  There is the greatest generosity, and men share with each other while anything is left; but after that, what then?

            The State Committee works with energy and system to relieve distress, and may be entirely relied upon, but its funds are also exhausted.  The expense of sending emigrants, arms, and ammunition, through Iowa and Nebraska, has been so enormous, that but little has yet reached Kanzas in any other form; and the cost of supporting the army here has been also enormous—some $300 per day.   At the very time when farm labor was most needed, all the able-bodied men have been obliged to live for weeks in camp, at the public expense—they themselves being the principal public.

            This discourages and drives out the timid and lukewarm, and educates the remainder to endurance.  People in Kanzas are like Indians—they eat what they can, and sleep where they can; and when they have no house and no food they wait awhile till something turns up.  I can see that this state of things brings out some bad qualities, but far more good ones.

            Last Sunday I preached in this place (though I must say that I am commonly known here by a title which is elsewhere considered incompatible with even the Church Militant.)  It was quite an occasion; and I tool for my text the one employed by the Rev. John Martin the Sunday after he fought at Bunker Hill—Neh. iv:14; "Be not yet afraid of them; remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons and your daughters, your wives an your houses."

            To-night I speak again, and leave to-morrow for Leavenworth, there to witness a Border Ruffian election, as there is to be no voting at Lawrence.


[page 19]

LAW AND ORDER TICKET.

________

For Congress.

Gen. J.W. WHITFIELD.

_______

For Convention.

___________

Legislature.

_________

No Regular Nomination.

_______

Four to be elected.

 

W.G. Mathias,            A. Payne,

           J.W. Martin,             D. J. Johnston,

     Mat. Walker,                  A.R. Kellum,

    L.F. Hollingsworth,       E. M. Kennedy,

   S.J. Kookogy,                     Moses Young.

 

            There are local interests and jealousies for particular candidates, four only out of ten being eligible, but the Slavery question is not raised.  The favorite candidates, Martin, is captain of the atrocious Kickapoo Rangers, and the character of the whole may be easily inferred.

            As for the voting, nothing can be more free and easy.  Strangers are pressed to take a share in it, as if it were something to drink.  Nothing seems necessary except to hand in a ticket at a small office window, and announce one's name; no questions appeared to be asked.  I was urged to do this by bystanders, in spite of my assurances that I was merely a traveler, not a resident; they assured me it made no difference.  I saw the same persuasions succeed with persons who obviously did not come in for the purpose.  But many openly proclaimed that as the only object of their visit, and coolly debated the most available points to throw Pro-Slavery votes, just as a knot of country merchants might debate whether to go to New York or Boston for their purchases.

            Indeed, there is a delightful absence of hypocrisy in all this region.  They leave all that to Eastern politicians, editors, and clergymen.  There is very little dispute about the main facts of the case.  Every Pro-Slavery man admits the important ones, and defends them.  "The end (i.e. Slavery) justifies the means."  I wish some of our beclouded and befogged Democratic brethren could sit for an hour or two on McCarty's door steps, of an evening.  For instance, last night there was general applause when a leading man said, "By —, I wish the Abolitionists would just kill one or tow of our men, moderate men, you know, not good for much, but just enough to let us claim them as ours—anything to give us a handle."  And yet the political allies of this worthy personage are every day declaring that the whole excitement is only kept up to make capital for the Fremont party.

            Once the conversation began to grow rather personal.  Said on man, just from Lecompton, "Tell you what, we've found out one thing, there's a preacher going about here preaching politics." "Fact?" and "is that so?" was echoed with virtuous indignation on all sides.  "That's so," continued he, "and he fixes it this way; first he has his text and preaches religion; then he drops about the sufferin' niggers" (with ineffable contempt); "and what's more, he's here in Leavenworth now."  "What's his name?" exclaimed several eagerly.  "Just what I don't know," was the sorrowful reply, "and I shouldn't know him if I saw him, but he's here, boys, and in a day or two there'll be some gentlemen here that know him."  (N.B. At my last speech in


[page 20]

 

Lawrence, I was warned that three Missouri spies were present.)  "It's well we've got him here, to take care of him," said one.  "Wont our boys enjoy running him out of town?'  added another, affectionately; while I listened with pleased attention, thinking that I might, perhaps afford useful information.  But the "gentlemen" have not yet appeared, or else are in search of a higher game.

            The causes of the quiet which reigns to-day are apparently the presence of a few United States troops, and the absence of provocations from the non-voting party.  That the latter cause would not be alone sufficient is manifest from the fact that the last riots were produced merely by a similar refusal to vote.

            I observe here a large class of young men who are evidently not Missourians, but from other Southern States—a slender, puny race, with good manners and bloated faces.  One of them, a Virginian, bearing the appropriate name of Stringfellow, has apparently felt called upon, in a drunken fit, to vindicate the character of the peculiar institution, and has, therefore, just summoned before him his slave, a neat-looking boy of sixteen.  "B-B-Bill," says the representative of chivalry, "do you know me?"  "Yes, mas'r," returns Bill respectfully.  "Have you ever been in chains, Bill?" stammers out the specimen of the superior race, with the impressive seriousness of inebriation.  "Never, sir."  "Ever expect to be in chains, Bill?"   "Never, sir."  "G-g-good boy, Bill, take something to drink, Bill?"  Which offer Bill declines, rather to my surprise, and is dismissed with a slight contempt as being after all a poor creature, chains or no chains.

            A party of these gentry leave with me, to-night, in the boat for St. Louis, and I shall make further acquaintance with them.

 

VII.            DOWN THE RIVER.

                           

Steamboat Cataract, Missouri River, Oct. 9, 1856.

 

            We have left Kanzas behind, and my last association with it is of three pistol-shots which killed, in a drunken row, one of the self same company of Virginia and South Carolina youths who were swaggering in our cabin when I went to bed.  I did not, however, know of the catastrophe till the next morning.  I am told that the remains of the poor young man were taken into a gambling-room and laid upon a table, after which the gambling went on as before.

            We are gliding down the rapid Missouri, now shouldering over a sandbank, now shuddering over a snag; while the endless woods look dewy and beautiful in the early morning or moonlight, and very hot at noon.  The yellow dust drifts over the bare islands which the shrinking water has left, and buzzards and wild geese shriek and soar away through its midst.

            The tumultuous steamboat dinner is dispatched with that rushing rapidity which is usual on such occasions, where people, having nothing to do afterward, are in a proportionate hurry to do it.  As I look up and down the long table, and at the row of guests who sit with their glasses of Missouri water like tumblers of lemonade before them, it is sad to think that among those sixty men there are not half a dozen who belong to the same nation with myself.  For what constitutes a commonality except common ideas, principles, habits, and purposes?  And in all these I find myself more alone that I should be among English, French, or Russians. 

            The majority are young men from various Southern States—Virginia,


[page 21]

 

Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Georgia—who have been to Kanzas expressly to fight men from Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and so on.  And yet people speak of civil war as only a thing that may be, when there is scarcely a State in the Union which has not already involved in civil war, through its representatives here.  The simple fact is, that slaveholders and freemen are always two nations.  I could speak my whole thoughts more safely in Berlin or St. Petersburg than here, except indeed that these enemies are more susceptible of fear.

            By there own account, indeed, they show a poor record in this respect.  Yesterday they were declared by their lieutenant, who alone wears a military cost, to be a pack of cowards; and he further asserted that in the point of danger they had been accustomed to take a vote whether to fight or run, and always run!

            Most of them are quite young and slender, with a dull, profligate look, while a few have open, simple faces, that seem strangely out of place.  They have an easy, natural politeness, and swear, or chew, and play cards enormously.

            They are not in the least hypocrites or doughfaces; too uninstructed for that.  One of them said, naively, in my hearing, with a sort of tender regret, "Don't you remember when we went up the river, we were all of us drunk all the time?"  "So we were," replied another, himself not far from that condition, "and so we should be now, only we've got no money."

            They proclaim openly that they went to Kanzas to fight and vote for Slavery.  All finally voted at Leavenworth; and, having done that, are going home.  But they complain bitterly of Atchison and others, who induced them to go; they say they were promised support for a year and fifty dollars in money, and yet they have had to support themselves to St. Louis, and some were unable to leave Leavenworth for want of even that.  "Let me once get home," said the same youth who made the above confession, "and I'll stay at home, sure.  It's cost me the price of one good nigger, just for board and liquor, since I left home." 

            "Wo unto them, for they have cast lots from people and sold a girl for wine, that I may drink."  Let me confess that this apt bit of Scripture I obtain not from memory but from "Dred," of which I bought an early copy Lawrence.  Several of the passengers have borrowed and examined it, with various comments, but no threatening ones.  I could easily fill the margin of the book with sketches of illustrative faces, especially those of Ben Dakin, Jim Stokes, and the unfortunate Cripps.  The romance reads well in the midst of the reality, though to be sure we have no actual slaves on board, except a young Topsy in a yellow apron, who stands as patiently as her nature permits, behind the charity of a stout lady, in the consecrated upper end of the long cabin.  (I never saw the aesthetic inequality of the sexes so fully recognized as in a Missouri River steamboat.)

            October 11.—Yesterday we spent on a sand-bank, till at nightfall the steamer F.X. Aubry came along and pulled us off.  We proceeded in company till at another difficult place the two boat-loads were disembarked, and we all walked half a mile along the shore.  Then came out a startling story; how H. Miles Moore, Esq., Secretary of the Kanzas State Committee, had taken passage on board the other board the other boat—after being released from a malicious arrest at Kanzas City; how the South


[page 22]

 

Carolina and Virginia rowdies on the boat, finding him alone an unattached, had threatened to hang him, and were proceeding to actual violence, when Governor Cobb, of Alabama, and the captain interfered and put him, for protection, in a state-room in the ladies' cabin; and how all thought it was all true; although the "honor" of Governor Cobb and some of the rowdies themselves now pledged for his safety.  It appeared to me, however, that a transfer to our boat and the loan of a revolver would be a better security; and that night he availed himself of it, there being fortunately a vacant berth in my state-room.  The men on our boat were quite as far gone with whiskey as those on the other, and made common cause with them; but these were fewer in number, and we had three or four very reliable New England men, who kept a good lookout.  And caution was needed, for the excitement rose again as we lay at Jefferson City over night, and inquiry began to be made as to the whereabouts of Moore.  But Governor Cobb got up a visit to Governor Price, on the part of the passengers; and then there was a dance in the other boat; and when, about 10 o'clock, the ringleaders began to whisper mischief again, part of their men were asleep and part in a worse condition, and the noble design fell through and we were undisturbed.  I was glad to have him there, for I could not bear that he should owe his safety to the protection of a slaveholder.

            We reached St. Louis this afternoon, four days and a half from Leavenworth, a trip which usually takes less than three.  Kanzas and its perils lie behind, and there is no excitement but elections.  Well, one does feel a little homesick for Kanzas, I can assure you, and at some future day The Tribune may hear again from its correspondent.

            I did not, however, go out as a settler, but simply to see the country for myself.  Yet if I did not live in Massachusetts, I would live in Kanzas.

 

 

VIII.         THE FUTURE.

 

Worcester, Mass.,  October 20, 1856.

 

            I find that my letters from Kanzas seem incomplete without a final appendix, in regard to the immediate future of that region.  Perhaps the observation of a visitor to the Territory may have seen some things in a different light from that of its residents, or from that of those who have never been there.

            Moreover, I have observed for many years that the more thorough an Abolitionist any man is, the more correct are his prophecies as to American affairs; and in this respect, at least, the present writer is pretty well contrary to the opinions of many at the Eats, that the present comparative quiet of Kanzas is only the prelude to a severer struggle than any she has yet seen; that this struggle will occur soon after the Presidential election; and that it will be almost equally certain to occur, whether Fremont or Buchanan be elected.

            The foundation for these opinions can be made very intelligible.

            1. The real question at issue is, not the invasions of Missourians, nor the blockading of the river, but the enforcing of the bogus laws.  The laws still exist, the Courts are still controlled by Missouri, and this is the real root of the difficulty, over which neither Governor Geary nor any one else (except Congress) has any legitimate control.  The essential trouble, therefore, must either remain unsettled till Congress meets again, or be settled by force


[page 23]

 

  1. There is not the slightest increase of harmony between the parties, but the contrary.  Both sides expect to see the contest renewed.  I did not hear of a single man, on either side, except Governor Geary and his satellites, who thought otherwise.

3.       Both sides are making actual preparations for a renewal.  The settlers are collecting arms, ammunition, and fresh men.  The Missourians are doing the same.  True, men from both sides are leaving the country; but they are going, either with the design to return soon after the election, or else from personal dissatisfaction—not because they expect permanent peace

  1. Neither party desires peace, under the present auspices. The Missourians do not desire it, until they see that it involves the speedy introduction of Slavery.  And the settlers do not desire it, when it means submission to the laws which a foreign State imposed upon them, and the daily arrest of their own men while Pro-Slavery men go free.
  2. War always educates men to itself, disciplines them, teaches them to bear its fatigue, anxiety, and danger, and actually to enjoy them.  I saw abundant instances of this on the Free State side; and I believe it to be so with the Missourians.  Everybody testified that the army of two thousand eight hundred, which last besieged Lawrence, was better armed and better drilled than any previous invading force; and all agreed that at the battle of Hickory Point the Missourians showed more courage than ever before.
  3. The whole tendency of Governor Geary's policy is to exasperate both sides, and, indeed, actually to strengthen both.  Take a single instance: What can be more preposterous than his plan of organizing the two parties, "man for man," (as he expressed it to me,) into military companies?  Imagine an Irish mob, and the Governor stopping them to say, "Hold on my hearties!  Lay down your shillelahs, while I give you Sharp's rifles, teach you the art of war, and pick out your bravest men to lead you properly! Yet this is precisely what Geary has done.  He has organized two companies of Free State men, and two of Pro-Slavery men; he arms them, pays them, and officers them with the very leaders who have been foremost in the fray.  At Lawrence, Captain Walker, who led the attack on Titus's fort, now heads one company under the Governor's system, while Titus heads another.  Lieutenant Harvey, of the new Lawrence company, is the Colonel Harvey of Hickory Point notoriety.  His men lie in prison, while he is put in office: but there is no change in him, only in the Governor.  And in Topeka, with the other Free State company, the same folly is played over.  The Governor may fancy this a peace measure, if he will; I call it a war measure, and confidently expect to see the conflict recommence among his own troops.
  4. The reason why the strife is postponed, by tacit agreement, is easily told.  The Missourians are waiting, in stronger and stronger hopes that Geary will do their work.  The Free State men submit to his aggressions, only because the election is coming.  That, and that only, gives them patience; precisely as the hope of flight to Canada keeps slaves from insurrection.  They cling to the hope, not of escaping the contest, but of placing it on a more favorable footing.  Take away the dream of Fremont, and not power could make these injured men endure a week longer the combined oppression of the Administration and of Missouri.  Besides, every letter that comes to them from the East, ex-

[page 24]

 

horts them to "endure till November, and all will be well."  Is it strange, then, if they seem almost too submissive, with such a prospect?

        8.   The trial of Lecompton prisoners will furnish fuel to the flames, and perhaps the final explosion.  Most of them will, no doubt, be acquitted.  But the Pro-Slavery men will not submit to the liberation of all, nor the Anti-Slavery men to the execution of any.

         9.  Look out, therefore, for trouble, in Kanzas, in November.   Elect Fremont, and there will be a last desperate effort of Missouri to obtain possession of Kanzas.  In this they will rely on the aid of the United States Courts and troops, and will have it, whatever Gov. Geary says.  The policy of the Administration will be unchanged.  It is absurd to suppose that Pierce, Cushing, and Douglass will not still bid for Southern favor, after the election of Fremont.  They will have nothing else left to do.   They will look out for a Pro-Slavery reaction four years afterward, (and it will come then, if not sooner,) and steer for that wave.  Still, the Kanzas men will have a great advantage, for the United States troops will not in that case act against them with a will, and they have nothing else to fear.

In case of Buchanan's election, the whole power of Missouri, backed by the whole power of the Administration, will be directed upon Kanzas.  The two forces will be identified.  They will be brought to bear as one; and, thank God, resisted as one.  The defenders of Freedom will fight, at last, as they never yet have fought.  Heretofore, they have submitted to injuries from the weakest United States official, which they would never have borne from whole armies of Missourians.  They will not make this nice distinction much longer.  Oppression is oppression, wherever it comes from, they will say.  "If that is treason, make the most of it."

We must have a new dictionary, and the definition of this much abused word must be: "Treason, the rope by which the real traitors seek to hang those who resist them."

Such treason as this is fast ripening in Kanzas.  Call it revolution if you please.

If the United States Government and Border-Ruffianism are to mean the same thing, the sooner the people of Kanzas have revolution the better.  So they will say, and who shall gainsay it?  They have borne to the utmost.  Another ounce of eight, and they will bear it no longer; and a less thing than the dispersion of their Legislature, or the destruction of their hotel, will be the signal.

Before I went to Kanzas I feared that her children would gradually scatter and flee, rather than meet a final, desperate struggle.  I stand corrected.  They will stay and meet it.  They will meet it, if need be, unaided.

Will they be unaided?  Ask Governor Grimes and the thousands of freemen in Iowa.  Ask every man who has a heart left in his bosom. 

Kanzas may be crushed, but not without a final struggle more fearful than that of Hungary; a struggle which will convulse a continent before it is ended, and separate forever those two nations of North and South, which neither Union nor Constitution has yet welded into one.

 

 

Published, for gratuitous distribution, at the Office of the American Anti-Slavery Society, No. 138 Nassau St., New York.  Also, to be had at the Anti-Slavery Offices, No. 21Cornhill, Boston, and 31 North Fifth St., Philadelphia, and at the Anti-Slavery Depository, Salem, Columbiana Co., Ohio.