Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

ating. There were two or three tents still standing, the remnant of the invaders' camp. Everything was quiet, and perfectly dull. With two carriages of gentlemen, which came from Lawrence in the morning to attend the court, the ambulance, and two others under military escort, we left for Lawrence. Within a mile of the town, the "Stubs were waiting to welcome us. Soon after, we were met by Gen. Lane and his staff, who led the way into Massachusetts-street, where crowds of people had gathered to greet their long-absent townsmen.

My husband made them a short speech. In the evening the people had a jubilee of rejoicing, and short speeches from several of the prisoners. The arrival of Mr. Nute and fellow-prisoners, the same evening, added not a little to the enthusiasm of the hour.

On the fourteenth of September a new invasion was made against Lawrence. Gov. Geary was notified of the fact, and he commanded their dispersion. They burned several houses, and the saw-mill in Franklin, and drove off two hundred head of horses and cattle.

A part of the same force passed up to Lecompton on the sixteenth, and killed David Buffum, a reliable free-state man, the same who brought the little howitzer into Lawrence, during the fall invasion, by singular skill and bravery.

Rumors having come into Lawrence of the invaders committing depredations on the northern part of the territory, by the advice of Gov. Geary's friend, a few men were sent to drive them out. On their way back to Lawrence, they were taken prisoners and carried to Lecompton, where they have since been retained. The horses of free-state men are being taken by the other party, under forms of law, and the system of robbery and outrage has received no check.

Two gentlemen, new-comers in the territory, on the twentysecond were taken from the stage, as they were passing from Lawrence to Kansas city, and one is still missing.

The promised peace has not yet come to Kansas. Hopefully the settlers have waited for it; but their hope in the present administration has turned to despair. With many fears, and

many sufferings before them in the cold months coming, they still look forward to a day of deliverance when the genial breath of spring shall have melted winter's icy bands, and the new reign of peace and righteous laws takes the place of oppression and tyranny.

CHAPTER XXIV.

AN APPEAL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Two years have passed since the territory of Kansas was thrown open to settlement. Under the Squatter Sovereignty bill, expecting to be protected, settlers came from the far East and North, as well as from the more Southern and Western States. They had a right to look for such protection to the President of these United States in the very provisions of that bill. How have they been. protected? Let his infamous appointees in the territory the vile tools of tyranny answer to an enlightened public sentiment. Let freemen, imprisoned for months on the prairie, under the burning sun, and amid drenching rains, for no crime but the innate love of freedom, tell the tale. Let the booming cannon battering down hotels, and printing-presses thrown into the Kansas river, tell afar the bloody despotism that rules our land. Let the bristling bayonets of the United States army tell how the free settlers have been outraged and plundered, while ruffian bands have been protected by it, under Gov. Shannon's orders. Let the loud moan of lone men, murdered by these hordes of the administration, and the bitter wail of desolate homes, borne on every gale, tell to the world the blackness of the demon Slavery, and the unmitigated villany of those who have aided, abetted, and connived at all these atrocities those who have brought disgrace upon our country's name, and clothed their own in darkness so dense, that no after acts of a lifetime can erase the stains of blood and guilt. While the ghost-like forms of their murdered victims flit around their nightly pillows, and the cry, "O, God! I am murdered!" comes to them on every morning breeze, and the low plaint of the insane widow, as she starts and listens at every footstep, saying,

"Is it my husband?" as he comes never more, "O, my soul, come not thou into their secrets!"

The appointees of the President in this territory, both judicial and executive, have, with two or three exceptions, in every possible way aided these invasions of the territory, the mobs, the murders, the downfall of freedom by fire and sword. When Gov. Reeler acted out his manliness, and refused to be a tool to carry out the nefarious plans of the administration, he was dismissed on a charge so false that even the vile minions of slavery denounced the President.

This dismissal did not come, however, until the President had urged Gov. Reeder to resign, promising him an appointment upon a foreign mission. Then a new governor was appointed. He declined the appointment. Then another was found mean enough to accept the appointment, after a dismissal of the former governor under such circumstances, and the refusal to accept of the second appointee. And well has he fulfilled the promise of meanness, heartlessness, and perfect servility to the great Moloch of Slavery, an acceptance, at such a time, warranted us to expect. He made a league with our enemies before he set foot in the territory. He brought them against Lawrence, in December, 1855, by a tissue of lies. He made a treaty with his own people, when he found his fiat was not sufficient to annihilate them. When he feared his own life was in danger, he gave the people of Lawrence a right to protect themselves, and him. In May a new horde of blood was brought against Lawrence. The protection of this instrument of the slave power was implored again and again; but the last conference was closed by his demand of the guns being given up, because one hundred South Carolinians, just arrived in the territory, would not be satisfied without, and the hotel must be destroyed for the same laudable reason. Magnanimous governor! What laurels will crown his brow, as his name goes down to posterity; and how the closing remark of that conference will add lustre to them!

This brave champion for slavery has dared to tell lone women on the Kansas prairies he would "cut their d-d hearts out!" He has given passes to a few men travelling in the territory, show

ing his connection with the murders and outrages daily committed. He has at all times, when outrages have been committed by his accomplices, and he feared the just wrath of the people, protected them by United States troops. He has, when fearing an attack upon Lecompton, been seen entering the scow to cross the river to save himself, and, under the protection of Major Sedgwick, has made his second visit to the people of Lawrence, and made another treaty with them. He has asked for an escort to get him out of the country. But the President, at last, seeing the Democratic party in danger, has numbered the days of the governLet" de mortaibus nisi bonum " be our motto. Judge Lecompte was particularly qualified to be the chief justice in Kansas, by his want of legal knowledge, and lack of intellectual ability. His particular forte in packing juries, and instructing grand jurors to indict freedom-loving citizens for high treason, as well as hotels and printing-presses as nuisances, has probably fulfilled the President's expectations in regard to him, as well as made him a worthy fellow-worker with the decapitated governor. Another of the judges declared that he would leave the bench to assist in arresting persons who said they would pay no regard to the territorial laws. Such has been the partisan character of all these appointees.

or.

When Congress was memorialized as to these grievances of the people, and a plain statement was laid before the President of the invasion of March thirtieth, he signified his alliance with the ruffians by removing Gov. Reeder. During the siege of Lawrence, in which Gov. Shannon had for his counsellors men from Westport and Independence, when Clark, the Indian agent, in a most wanton manner, murdered an unarmed man, Judges Lecompte, Elmore, Johnson, Cato, and Burrill, being of the same party, as they left Lecompton, on their way to head-quarters on the Wakarusa, the President was silent. He offered no protection to the people of Lawrence. He has done nothing since towards the removal of the murderer. When, however, a new invasion being in preparation, word was sent to him, he suddenly found that some things in Kansas required his interposition. His special message was crowded upon the House, and his proclamation soon followed. Did he speak of the murder by his official? Not one word. Did he

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »