Изображения страниц

midable to the pusillanimous governor. Major C.'s residence was found deserted, the doors wide open, furniture left as just used, and everything betraying that some great fear had driven them from their homes. The fright and confusion at Lecompton were terrible. Any way to get over the river seemed to be the desideratum; many even, in their haste, jumped in to swim over. Col. Titus and eighteen men were taken prisoners. Among them was Wm. Donaldson, who had been my husband's guard on his way from Lexington. Titus had several prisoners in his house, men just arrived in the territory. The order of the previous evening had been to shoot one of them that morning.

Some of the type of the Herald of Freedom office had been taken from the Kaw, and melted into slugs. These were used to load the cannon in the attack upon Titus' stronghold. At the first fire, the cannoneer cried, "This is the second edition of the Herald of Freedom."

The prisoners were taken to Lawrence. The next day, Sunday the 17th, Maj. Sedgwick, Gov. Shannon and Dr. Rodrigue, of Lecompton, went to Lawrence to make a treaty. The two latter were ready to make terms anyhow. They trembled like aspen leaves for fear. Gov. Shannon's second treaty with the people of Lawrence was concluded. The five free-state men arrested after the attack at Franklin, under the bogus laws, and the howitzer taken from Lawrence in May, were to be exchanged for Titus and his band. There were also to be no more arrests under the territorial laws.

Gov. Shannon made a speech, in which he stated "he wished to set himself right, before the people of Lawrence; that he desired peace and harmony for the few days of his continuance in office; and concluded by saying, "and the few days that I remain in office shall be devoted, so help me Heaven, in carrying out faithfu ly my part of the agreement, and in preserving order."

Capt. Shombre, of the free-state party, was mortally wounded, but his expressed sentiment was, "Willingly I yield my life for freedom." When they told him of the treaty, like Wolfe, he said, "I die happy." He died, much regretted by our people, on the

evening of the 17th. The treaty was carried into effect the next day. Titus and Donaldson begged most piteously for their lives. It was humiliating to see men, who had no mercy for any who fell into their power, yet beg so humbly for their own lives. They said "they would go to their old homes, and would never strike another blow for slavery in Kansas."

But Titus, safely in Lecompton again, has sworn vengeance. He was badly wounded in the shoulder and hand, and one of his men was killed. Dr. Rodrigue and family passed down to Westport on the 18th, on their way to Virginia. Judge Elmore, with his family and slaves, left the territory the same day. Gov. Shannon asked for a military escort out of the territory, but was told the people would call him a coward in truth. The difference in men fighting for their homes and lives, and their oppressors, has been clearly marked in this contest. Fear has been the daily and nightly portion of the people of Lecompton since their attack upon Lawrence. Now, when their gangs of desperadoes have been routed in three or four positions, the panic has become general, and the leading men of the pro-slavery party remove their families from the territory. Women leave their homes to ask protection of military commanders, and pro-slavery towns beg a dragoon guard.

Gov. Shannon, immediately after the treaty at Lawrence, sent for all the troops in the fort. When asked by one of the military officers what was the message he sent, he said "he did not know, as he had sent his papers, among which was the copy of his letter to Gen. Smith, by his son, to Westport." Wholly different from this was the course of the men and women of Lawrence. Calmly they looked upon the devastation, and awaited the hour when God would avenge them. People upon claims, close by the ruffians' camp, remained at their homes. Faith in the final upholding of justice was their shield.




On the 19th of August another most brutal murder was committed near Leavenworth. A gentleman named Hops, from Griggsville, Ill., only six days in the territory, was shot and scalped by a man named Fugert, who belonged to Atchison's ruffian band encamped near Leavenworth. He had made a bet of six dollars against a pair of boots, that in less than two hours he would have an abolitionist's scalp. He returned to Lawrence, received the boots, and exhibited the scalp as a token of his prowess.

Mr. Hops had hired a house in Leavenworth, intending to locate there. He then brought his wife to Lawrence, to remain a few days with her sister, Mrs. Nute, wife of the Unitarian clergyman. Upon his return, within two miles of Leavenworth, the horrid deed was committed. It will be remembered that Fort Leavenworth, where United States troops are stationed, is only three miles distant. A German, who spoke freely of the atrocity of the deed, was shot upon the spot.

A day or two after, a young free-state lady, of Bloomington, was carried from her home a mile and a half, by four ruffians, her tongue drawn out of her mouth as far as possible, and cords tied tightly around it. Her arms were pinioned, and she was otherwise so wantonly abused, that for days her life was despaired of.

On the twenty-first, Woodson, declaring the territory in a state of insurrection, called out the militia. For several days Woodson, Jones, and others, at Lecompton, had been trying to induce Gov. Shannon to resign his office, as he would not call out the militia, that Woodson might do it. The ruffians were very loud in their praises of him, saying, "he was just the governor they wanted."

The plan was to have a general war of extermination before Gov. Geary could arrive. Gov. Shannon, most urgently solicited, at length resigned the morning of the day his papers of dismissal came from Washington. He again asked for an escort from the territory; but the military officer declined, upon the plea that the free-state men had asked for an escort upon the same road, stating it was unsafe for them to travel, being infested by pro-slavery camps. The ex-governor's angry retort was, "Then, by G-d, I'll fight my way through!"

On the twenty-second, a party of Georgians made a descent. upon the Quaker Mission in the Shawnee Reserve, plundering it of horses and other property, while they treated the people with barbarity.

On the twenty-third it was ascertained that Atchison's force, numbering four hundred and fifty men, were mustering at Little Sante Fe, on the border of Missouri, and about thirty-five miles from Lawrence, preparatory to another invasion of the territory. At Lawrence there were about two thousand people, men, women, and children. There was great scarcity of provisions, and not twenty sacks of flour in the whole town. People from the Big Stranger Creek, about half way between Lawrence and Leavenworth, had been driven from their claims, and in some instances both men and women had been most barbarously treated. It was considered unsafe to send teams for provisions past the camps of the ruffians. The route to Kansas city was also blockaded. Three times an escort had been asked of the highest officer in command, out of the fort, and three times been refused.

On the 24th of August, five of the citizens of Lawrence called upon Woodson. They found him in the tent of the officers in command of the troops. The committee stated that the people of Lawrence were out of provisions, that their roads were blockaded by armed mobs. They asked whether he intended to allow this overwhelming force to murder, burn, and pillage? He replied, "if the people of Lawrence would obey the laws, this thing (meaning the invasion) could be settled in five hours." C. W. Babcock then said, "Governor, are we to understand that your position is this that if we obey the bogus laws, you will protect

us with the whole force under your command (meaning the troops), and, if not, you will allow us to be murdered? Is that your position?" Woodson replied, "The laws must be obeyed, and writs executed." The committee concluded that they must depend wholly upon the strength of the free-state men, if Lawrence was attacked. Volunteers were continually arriving, and Lawrence again looked warlike. The forts built last winter were repaired, and new ones were built. Wheat and hay were carried in so near town that they could not be destroyed by the marauders. wheat was ground as a substitute for fine flour, and many cattle were driven in near town. A strong guard was again placed around the town, while the scouting guard were on duty miles away. It was estimated that in twelve hours' time from fifteen hundred to two thousand men could be rallied to defend Law



On the twenty-fifth, Col. Cook, commandant at Fort Riley, arrived at the spot where Capt. Sackett was in charge of the state prisoners. He came with a large additional force, which numbered, with the companies called in from different parts of the territory, about five hundred troops. They had five pieces of artillery, and, as they came in over the hills to our quiet little camp, they looked quite formidable. The care of the prisoners at once devolved upon Col. Cook. He manifested the responsibility he felt by putting on an extra guard, with another to stand by to listen to conversation when any company was in the tents. Capt. Sackett, with thirty-five men, had found, for seven weeks, one guard all-sufficient for the protection of the prisoners. Col. Cook, with five hundred, must have felt strangely insecure.

On the twenty-seventh, Mr. Nute, with his widowed sister-inlaw, and John Wilder, a merchant of Lawrence, with a number of teams for provisions, started for Leavenworth. They had been advised by the military commanders to attempt this journey. When near Leavenworth the whole party were captured by a band of ruffians under Capt. Emory. The body of Mr. Hops had been buried, by the troops, in Pilot Knob cemetery, and his widow was denied the consolation of looking pon his grave. After con

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »