Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

While the town of Lawrence was undergoing burning and pillage, Governor Shannon wrote to Colonel Sumner to say that as the marshal and sheriff had finished making their arrests, and he presumed had by that time dismissed the posse, he required a company of United States troops to be stationed at Lawrence to secure "the safety of the citizens in both, person and property," asking also alike company for Lecompton and Topeka.

The next day the citizens of Lawrence had the opportunity to smother their indignation when they saw the embers of the Free-State Hotel and the scattered fragments of their printing-presses patrolled and "protected" by the Federal dragoons whose presence they had vainly implored a few days before. It was time the Governor should move. The guerrilla bands with their booty spread over the country, and the free-State men rose in a spirit of fierce retaliation. Assassinations, house-burnings, expulsions, and skirmishes broke out in all quarters. The sudden shower of lawlessness fell on the just and the unjust; and, forced at last to deal out equal protection, the Governor (June 4) issued his proclamation directing military organizations to disperse, "without regard to party names, or distinctions,"[1] and empowering Colonel Sumner to enforce the order.

That careful and discreet officer, who had from the first counseled this policy, at once proceeded to execute the command with his characteristic energy. He disarmed and dispersed the free-State guerrillas,--John Brown's among the earliest,--liberated prisoners, drove the Missourians, including delegate Whitfield and General Coffee of the skeleton militia, back across their State line, and stationed five companies along the border to prevent their return. He was so fortunate as to accomplish all this without bloodshed. "I do not think," he wrote, June 23, "there is an armed body of either party now in the Territory, with the exception perhaps of a few freebooters." The colonel found very soon that he was only too efficient and faithful. "My measures have necessarily borne hard against both parties," wrote Sumner to the War Department, "for both have in many instances been more or less wrong. The Missourians were perfectly satisfied so long as the troops were employed exclusively against the free-State party; but when they found that I would be strictly impartial, that lawless mobs could no longer come from Missouri, and that their interference with the affairs of Kansas was brought to an end, then they immediately raised a hue and cry that they were oppressed by the United States troops." The complaint had its usual prompt effect at Washington. By orders dated June 27 the colonel was superseded in his command, and Brigadier-General P.F. Smith was sent to Leavenworth. Known to be pro-slavery in his opinions, great advantage was doubtless expected by the conspiracy from this change. But General Smith was an invalid, and incapable of active service, and so far as the official records show, the army officers and troops in Kansas continued to maintain a just impartiality.

The removal of Governor Shannon a few weeks after Colonel Sumner once more made Secretary Woodson, always a willing instrument of the conspiracy, acting Governor. It was under this individual's promptings and proclamation, Shannon being absent from the Territory, that Colonel Sumner, before the arrival of the orders superseding him, forcibly dispersed the free-State Legislature on the 4th of July, as narrated. For this act the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, was not slow to send the colonel an implied censure, perhaps to justify his removal from command; but not a word of reproof went from President or Secretary of State to the acting Governor.

It has already been stated that for a considerable length of time after the organization of Kansas Territory the Missouri River was its principal highway of approach from the States. To anti-slavery men who were unwilling to conceal their sentiments, this had from the very first been a route of difficulty and danger. Now that political strife culminated in civil war, the Missourians established a complete practical blockade of the river against the Northern men and Northern goods. Recently, however, the Northern emigration to Kansas had gradually found a new route through Iowa and Nebraska.

It was about this time that great consternation was created in pro-slavery circles by the report that Lane had arrived at the Iowa border with a "Northern army," exaggerated into fabulous numbers, intent upon fighting his way to Kansas. Parties headed by Lane and others and aggregating some hundreds had in fact so arrived, and were more or less provided with arms, though they had no open military organization. While spies and patrols were on the lookout for marching companies and regiments, they, concealing their arms, quietly slipped down in detached parties to Lawrence. Thus reënforced and inspirited, the free-State men took the aggressive, and by several bold movements broke up a number of pro-slavery camps and gatherings. Greatly exaggerated reports of these affairs were promptly sent to the neighboring Missouri counties, and the Border Ruffians rose for a third invasion of Kansas.

Governor Shannon, not yet notified of his removal, reported to General Smith that Lecompton was threatened with an attack. General Smith, becoming alarmed, called together all his available force for the protection of the territorial capital, and reported the exigency to the War Department. All the hesitation which had hitherto characterized the instructions of Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War, in the use of troops otherwise than as an officer's posse, instantly vanished. The whole Kansas militia was placed under the orders of General Smith, and requisitions were issued for two regiments from Illinois and two from Kentucky. "The position of the insurgents," wrote the Secretary, "as shown by your letter and its enclosures, is that of open rebellion against the laws and constitutional authorities, with such manifestation of a purpose to spread devastation over the land as no longer justifies further hesitation or indulgence. To you, as to every soldier, whose habitual feeling is to protect the citizens of his own country, and only to use his arms against a public enemy, it cannot be otherwise than deeply painful to be brought into conflict with any portion of his fellow-countrymen. But patriotism and humanity alike require that rebellion should be promptly crushed, and the perpetration of the crimes which now disturb the peace and security of the good people of the Territory of Kansas should be effectually checked. You will therefore energetically employ all the means within your reach to restore the supremacy of the law, always endeavoring to carry out your present purpose to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood."[2]

The Secretary had probably cast his eye upon the Platte County battle-call in the "Weston Argus Extra," which formed one of the general's enclosures: "So sudden and unexpected has been the attack of the abolitionists that the law-and-order party was unprepared to effectually resist them. Today the bogus free-State government, we understand, is to assemble at Topeka. The issue is distinctly made up; either the free-State or pro-slavery party is to have Kansas.... Citizens of Platte County! the war is upon you, and at your very doors. Arouse yourselves to speedy vengeance and rub out the bloody traitors."[3]

It was perhaps well that the pro-slavery zeal of General Smith was less ardent than that of Secretary Jefferson Davis, or the American civil war might have begun in Lawrence instead of Charleston. Upon fuller information and more mature reflection, the General found that he had no need of either the four regiments from Illinois and Kentucky or Border-Ruffian mobs led by skeleton militia generals, neither of which he had asked for. Both the militia generals and the Missourians were too eager even to wait for an official call. General Richardson ordered out his whole division on the strength of the "Argus Extra" and neighborhood reports,[4] and the entire border was already in motion when acting Governor Woodson issued his proclamation declaring the Territory "to be in a state of open insurrection and rebellion." General Smith found it necessary to direct his first orders against the Border-Ruffian invaders themselves. "It has been rumored for several days," he wrote to his second in command, "that large numbers of persons from the State of Missouri have entered Kansas, at various points, armed, with the intention of attacking the opposite party and driving them from the Territory, the latter being also represented to be in considerable force. If it should come to your knowledge that either side is moving upon the other with the view to attack, it will become your duty to observe their movements and prevent such hostile collisions."[5]

Lieutenant-Colonel P. St. George Cooke, upon whom this active fieldwork devolved, because of the General's ill health, concentrated his little command between Lawrence and Lecompton, where he could to some extent exert a salutary check upon the main bodies of both parties, and where he soon had occasion to send a remonstrance to the acting Governor that his "militia" was ransacking and burning houses.[6] To the acting Governor's mind, such a remonstrance was not a proper way to suppress rebellion. He, therefore, sent Colonel Cooke a requisition to invest the town of Topeka, disarm the insurrectionists, hold them as prisoners, level their fortifications, and intercept aggressive invaders on "Lane's trail"; all of which demands the officer prudently and politely declined, replying that he was there to assist in serving judicial process, and not to make war on the town of Topeka.

If, as had been alleged, General Smith was at first inclined to regard the pro-slavery side with favor, its arrogance and excesses soon removed his prejudices, and he wrote an unsparing report of the situation to the War Department. "In explanation of the position of affairs, lately and now, I may remark that there are more than two opposing parties in the Territory. The citizens of the Territory who formed the majority in the organization of the territorial government, and in the elections for its Legislature and inferior officers, form one party. The persons who organized a State government, and attempted to put it in operation against the authority of that established by Congress, form another. A party, at the head of which is a former Senator from Missouri, and which is composed in a great part of citizens from that State, who have come into this Territory armed, under the excitement produced by reports exaggerated in all cases, and in many absolutely false, form the third. There is a fourth, composed of idle men congregated from various parts, who assume to arrest, punish, exile, and even kill all those whom they assume to be bad citizens; that is, those who will not join them or contribute to their maintenance. Every one of these has in his own peculiar way (except some few of the first party) thrown aside all regard to law, and even honesty and the Territory under their sway is ravaged from one end to the other... Until the day before yesterday, I was deficient in force to operate against all these at once; and the acting Governor of the Territory did not seem to me to take a right view of affairs. If Mr. Atchison and his party had had the direction of affairs, they could not have ordered them more to suit his purpose."[7]

All such truth and exposure of the conspiracy, however, was unpalatable at Washington; and Secretary Jefferson Davis, while approving the conduct of Colonel Cooke and expressing confidence in General Smith, nevertheless curtly indorsed upon his report: "The only distinction of parties which in a military point of view it is necessary to note is that which distinguishes those who respect and maintain the laws and organized government from those who combine for revolutionary resistance to the constitutional authorities and laws of the land. The armed combinations of the latter class come within the denunciation of the President's proclamation and are proper subjects upon which to employ the military force."[8]

Such was the state of affairs when the third Governor of Kansas, newly appointed by President Pierce, arrived in the Territory. The Kansas pro-slavery cabal had upon the dismissal of Shannon fondly hoped that one of their own clique, either Secretary Woodson or Surveyor-General John Calhoun, would be made executive, and had set on foot active efforts in that direction. In principle and purpose, they enjoyed the abundant sympathy of the Pierce Administration; but as the presidential election of 1856 was at hand, the success of the Democratic party could not at the moment be endangered by so open and defiant an act of partisanship. It was still essential to placate the wounded anti-slavery sensibilities of the Northern States, and to this end, John W. Geary, of Pennsylvania, was nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He was a man of character and decision, had gone to the Mexican War as a volunteer captain, and had been made a colonel and entrusted with an important command for merit. Afterwards he had served as postmaster, as alcalde, and as mayor of the city of San Francisco in the turbulent gold excitements of 1848-9, and was made a funding commissioner by the California Legislature. Both by nature and experience, therefore, he seemed well fitted to subdue the civil commotions of Kansas.

But the pro-slavery leaders of the Territory were very far from relishing or desiring qualifications of this character. In one of their appeals calling upon the Missourians for "assistance in men, provisions, and munitions, that we may drive out the 'Army of the North,'" they had given the President and the public a piece of their mind about this appointment. "We have asked the appointment of a successor," said they, "who was acquainted with our condition," with "the capacity to appreciate and the boldness and integrity requisite faithfully to discharge his duty regardless of the possible effect it might have upon the election of some petty politician in a distant State. In his stead we have one appointed who is ignorant of our condition, a stranger to our people; who, we have too much cause to fear, will, if no worse, prove no more efficient to protect us than his predecessors... We cannot await the convenience in coming of our newly appointed Governor. We cannot hazard a second edition of imbecility or corruption!"

Animated by such a spirit, they now bent all their energies upon concentrating a sufficient force in Kansas to crush the free-State men before the new Governor could interfere. Acting Governor Woodson had by proclamation declared the Territory in a state of "open insurrection and rebellion,"[9] and the officers of the skeleton militia were hurriedly enrolling the Missourians, giving them arms, and planting them in convenient camps for a final and decisive campaign.

It was on September 9, 1856, that Governor Geary and his party landed at Leavenworth. Even on his approach, he had already been compelled to note and verify the evidences of civil war. He had met Governor Shannon fleeing from the Territory, who drew for him a direful picture of the official inheritance to which he had come. While this interview took place, during the landing of the boat at Glasgow, a company of sixty Missouri Border Ruffians was embarking, with wagons, arms, and cannon, and with the open declaration that they were bound for Kansas to hunt and kill "abolitionists." Similar belligerent preparations were in progress at all the river towns they touched. At Kansas City, the vigilance committee of the blockade boarded and searched the boat for concealed "abolitionists." Finally arrived at Leavenworth, the Governor saw a repetition of the same scenes--parades and military control in the streets, fugitives within the enclosure of the fort, and minor evidences of lawlessness and terror.

Governor Geary went at once to the fort, where he spent the day in consultation with General Smith. That same evening he wrote to W.L. Marcy, Secretary of State, a report of the day's impressions which was anything but reassuring--Leavenworth in the hands of armed men committing outrages under the shadow of authority; theft and murder in the streets and on the highways; farms plundered and deserted; agitation, excitement, and utter insecurity everywhere, and the number of troops insufficient to compel peace and order. All this was not the worst, however. Deep in the background stood the sinister apparition of the Atchison cabal. "I find," wrote he, "that I have not simply to contend against bands of armed ruffians and brigands whose sole aim and end is assassination and robbery--infatuated adherents and advocates of conflicting political sentiments and local institutions--and evil-disposed persons actuated by a desire to obtain elevated positions; but worst of all, against the influence of men who have been placed in authority and have employed all the destructive agents around them to promote their own personal interests at the sacrifice of every just, honorable, and lawful consideration.... Such is the condition of Kansas faintly pictured... In making the foregoing statements I have endeavored to give the truth and nothing but the truth. I deem it important that you should be apprised of the actual state of the case; and whatever may be the effect of such revelations, they will be given from time to time without extenuation."

Discouraging as he found his new task of administration, Governor Geary grappled with it in a spirit of justice and decision. The day following his interview with General Smith found him at Lecompton, the capital of the Territory, where the other territorial officials, Woodson, Calhoun, Donaldson, Sheriff Jones, Lecompte, Cato, and others, constituted the ever-vigilant working force of the Atchison cabal, precisely as had been so truthfully represented to him by General Smith, and as he had so graphically described in his letter to Marcy of the day before. Paying little heed to their profusely offered advice, he adhered to his determination to judge for himself, and at once issued an inaugural address, declaring that in his official action he would do justice at all hazards, that he desired to know no party and no section, and imploring the people to bury their past strifes, and devote themselves to peace, industry, and the material development of the Territory.[10] As an evidence of his earnestness, he simultaneously issued two proclamations, one disbanding the volunteer or Missouri militia lately called into service by acting Governor Woodson, and the other commanding the immediate enrollment of the true citizen militia of Kansas Territory, this step being taken by the advice of General Smith.

He soon found that he could not govern Kansas with paper proclamations alone. His sudden arrival at this particular juncture was evidently an unexpected _contretemps_. While he was preaching and printing his sage admonitions about peace and prosperity at Lecompton, and laboring to change the implements of civil war into plowshares and pruning-hooks, the Missouri raid against Lawrence, officially called into the field by Woodson's proclamation, was about to deal out destruction to that town. A thousand Border Ruffians (at least two eye-witnesses say 2500), led by their recognized Missouri chiefs, were at that moment camped within striking distance of the hated "New Boston." Their published address, which declared that "these traitors, assassins, and robbers must now be punished, must now be taught a lesson they will remember," that "Lane's army and its allies must be expelled from the Territory," left no doubt of their errand.

This news reached Governor Geary about midnight of his second day in Lecompton. One of the brigadiers of the skeleton militia was apparently in command, and not yet having caught the cue of the Governor's intentions, reported the force for orders, "in the field, ready for duty, and impatient to act."[11] At about the same hour the Governor received a message from the agent he had sent to Lawrence to distribute copies of his inaugural, that the people of that town were arming and preparing to receive and repel this contemplated attack of the Missourians. He was dumbfounded at the information; his promises and policy, upon which, the ink was not yet dry, were already in jeopardy. Instead of bringing peace, his advent was about to open war.

In this contingency, the Governor took his measures with true military promptness. He immediately dispatched to the Missouri camp Secretary Woodson with copies of his inaugural, and the adjutant-general of the Territory with orders to disband and muster out of service the Missouri volunteers,[12] while he himself, at the head of three hundred dragoons and a light battery, moved rapidly to Lawrence, a distance of twelve miles. Entering that town at sunrise, he found a few hundred men hastily organized for defense in the improvised entrenchments and barricades about the place, ready enough to sell their lives, but vastly more willing to entrust their protection to the Governor's authority and the Federal troops.[13] They listened to his speech and readily promised to obey his requirements.

Since the Missourians had officially reported themselves to him as subject to his orders, the Governor supposed that his injunctions, conveyed to them in writing and print, and borne by the secretary and the adjutant-general of the Territory, would suffice to send them back at once to their own borders, and he returned to Lecompton to take up his thorny duties of administration. Though forewarned by ex-Governor Shannon and by General Smith, Governor Geary did not yet realize the temper and purpose of either the cabal conspirators or the Border-Ruffian rank and file. He had just dispatched a military force in another direction to intercept and disarm a raid about to be made by a detachment of Lane's men, when news came to him that the Missourians were still moving upon Lawrence, in increased force, that his officers had not yet delivered his orders, and that skirmishing had begun between the outposts.

Menaced thus with dishonor on one side and contempt on the other, he gathered all his available Federal troops and hurrying forward posted them between Lawrence and the invaders. Then he went to the Missouri camp, where the true condition of affairs began to dawn upon him. All the Border-Ruffian chiefs were there, headed by Atchison in person, who was evidently the controlling spirit, though a member of the Legislature of the State of Missouri, named Reid, exercised nominal command. He found his orders unheeded and on every hand mutterings of impatience and threats of defiance. These invading aliens had not the least disposition to receive commands as Kansas militia; they invoked that name only as a cloak to shield them from the legal penalties due their real character as organized banditti.

The Governor called the chiefs together and made them an earnest harangue. He explained to them his conciliatory policy, read his instructions from Washington, affirmed his determination to keep the peace, and appealed personally to Atchison to aid him in enforcing law and preserving order. That wily chief, seeing that refusal would put him in the attitude of a law-breaker, feigned a ready compliance, and he and Reid, his factotum commander, made eloquent speeches "calculated to produce submission to the legal demands made upon them."[14] Some of the lesser captains, however, were mutinous and treated the Governor to choice bits of Border-Ruffian rhetoric. Law and violence vibrated in uncertain balance, when Colonel Cooke, commanding the Federal troops, took the floor and cut the knot of discussion in a summary way. "I felt called upon to say some words myself," he writes naïvely, "appealing to these militia officers as an old resident of Kansas and friend to the Missourians to submit to the patriotic demand that they should retire, assuring them of my perfect confidence in the inflexible justice of the Governor and that it would become my painful duty to sustain him at the cannon's mouth."[15] This argument was decisive. The border chiefs felt willing enough to lead their awkward squads against the slight barricades of Lawrence but quailed at the unlooked-for prospect of encountering the carbines and sabers of half a regiment of regular dragoons and the grape-shot of a well-drilled light battery. They accepted the inevitable; and swallowing their rage but still nursing their revenge, they consented perforce to retire and be "honorably" mustered out. But for this narrow contingency Lawrence would have been sacked a second time by the direct agency of the territorial cabal.

Illustration: General John W. Geary.
Illustration: General John W. Geary.


Nothing could more forcibly demonstrate the unequal character of the contest between the slave-State and the free-State men in Kansas, even in these maneuvers and conflicts of civil war, than the companion exploit to this third Lawrence raid. The day before Governor Geary, seconded by the "cannon" argument of Colonel Cooke, was convincing the reluctant Missourians that it was better to accept, as a reward for their unfinished expedition, the pay, rations, and honorable discharge of a "muster out," rather than the fine, imprisonment, or halter to which the full execution of their design would render them liable, another detachment of Federal dragoons was enforcing the bogus laws upon a company of free-State men who had just had a skirmish with a detachment of this same invading army of Border Ruffians, at a place called Hickory Point. The encounter itself had all the usual characteristics of the dozens of similar affairs which occurred during this prolonged period of border warfare--a neighborhood feud; neighborhood violence; the appearance of organized bands for retaliation; the taking of forage, animals, and property; the fortifying of two or three log-houses by a pro-slavery company then on its way to join in the Lawrence attack, and finally the appearance of a more numerous free-State party to dislodge them. The besieging column, some 350 in number, had brought up a brass four-pounder, lately captured from the pro-slavery men, and with this and their rifles kept up a long-range fire for about six hours, when the garrison of Border Ruffians capitulated on condition of being allowed "honorably" to evacuate their stronghold and retire. The casualties were one man killed and several wounded.

The rejoicing of the free-State men over this not too brilliant victory was short-lived. Returning home in separate squads, they were successively intercepted by the Federal dragoons acting as a posse to the Deputy United States Marshal,[16] who arrested them on civil writs obtained in haste by an active member of the territorial cabal, and to the number of eighty-nine[17] were taken prisoners to Lecompton. So far the affair had been of such frequent occurrence as to have become commonplace--a frontier "free fight," as they themselves described and regarded it. But now it took on a remarkable aspect. Sterling G. Cato, one of the pro-slavery territorial judges, had been found by Governor Geary in the Missouri camp drilling and doing duty as a soldier, ready and doubtless more than willing to take part in the projected sack of Lawrence. This Federal judge, as open a law-breaker as the Hickory Point prisoners (the two affairs really forming part of one and the same enterprise), now seated himself on his judicial bench and committed the whole party for trial on charge of murder in the first degree; and at the October term of his court proceeded to try and condemn to penalties prescribed by the bogus laws some eighteen or twenty of these prisoners, for offenses in which in equity and good morals he was personally _particeps criminis_--some of the convicts being held in confinement until the following March, when they were pardoned by the Governor.[18] _Inter arma silent leges_, say the publicists; but in this particular instance the license of guerrilla war, the fraudulent statutes of the Territory, and the laws of Congress were combined and perverted with satanic ingenuity in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The vigorous proceedings of Governor Geary, the forced retirement of the Missourians on the one hand, and the arrest and conviction of the free-State partisans on the other, had the effect to bring the guerrilla war to an abrupt termination. The retribution had fallen very unequally upon the two parties to the conflict,[19] but this was due to the legal traps and pitfalls prepared with such artful design by the Atchison conspiracy, and not to the personal indifference or ill-will of the Governor. He strove sincerely to restore impartial administration; he completed the disbandment of the territorial militia, reënlisting into the Federal service one pro-slavery and one free-State company for police duty.[20] By the end of September he was enabled to write to Washington that "peace now reigns in Kansas." Encouraged by this success in allaying guerrilla strife, he next endeavored to break up the existing political persecution and intrigues.

It was not long, however, before Governor Geary became conscious, to his great surprise and mortification, that he had been nominated and sent to Kansas as a partisan maneuver, and not to institute administrative reforms; that his instructions, written during the presidential campaign, to tranquilize Kansas by his "energy, impartiality, and discretion," really meant that after Mr. Buchanan was elected he should satisfy the Atchison cabal.

In less than six months after he went to the Territory, clothed with the executive authority, speaking the President's voice, and representing the unlimited military power of the republic, he, the third Democratic Governor of Kansas, was, like his predecessors, in secret flight from the province he had so trustfully gone to rule, execrated by his party associates, and abandoned by the Administration which had appointed him. Humiliating as was this local conspiracy to plant servitude in Kansas, a more aggressive political movement to nationalize slavery in all the Union was about to eclipse it.

[1] Shannon, proclamation, June 4, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 47.

[2] Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, to General Smith, Sept. 3, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 29.

[3] August 18, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Session 34th Congress. Vol. III., pp. 76-7.

[4] Richardson to General Smith, August 18, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 75.

[5] George Deas, Assistant Adjutant-General to Lieut.-Colonel Cooke, August 28, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Session 34th Congress. Vol. III., p. 85.

[6] Cooke to Deas, August 31, 1856. Ibid., p. 89.

[7] Smith to Cooper, Sept. 10, 1856. Senate Executive Document, 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., pp. 80, 81.

[8] Sec. War, indorsement, Sept. 23, on letter of Gen. Smith to Adjutant-General Cooper, Sept. 10, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 83.

[9] Woodson, proclamation, August 25, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 80.

[10] Geary, Inaugural Address, Sept. 11, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 116.

[11] General Heiskell to Geary, Sept. 11 and 12, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. II., p. 97.

[12] Geary to Marcy, Sept. 16, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. II., p. 107.

[13] Colonel Cook to Porter, A.A.G., Sept. 13, 1856. Ibid., Vol. III., pp. 113, 114.

[14] Colonel Cooke to F.J. Porter, Sept. 16, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 121.

[15] Cooke to Porter, Sept. 16, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III., p. 122.

[16] Captain Wood to Colonel Cooke, Sept. 16, 1856. Senate Ex. Doc., 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. III, pp. 123-6.

[17] Geary to Marcy, October 1, 1856. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Sess. 34th Cong. Vol. II., p. 156.

[18] Gihon, pp. 142-3. Geary, Executive Minutes, Senate Ex. Doc., No. 17, 1st Sess. 35th Cong. Vol. VI., p. 195.

[19] The Kansas Territorial Legislature, in the year 1859, by which time local passion had greatly subsided, by law empowered a non-partisan board of three commissioners to collect sworn testimony concerning the ravages of the civil war in Kansas, with a view of obtaining indemnity from the general Government for the individual sufferers. These commissioners, after a careful examination, made an official report, from which may be gleaned an interesting summary in numbers and values of the harvest of crime and destruction which the Kansas contest produced, and which report can be relied upon, since eye-witnesses and participants of both parties freely contributed their testimony at the invitation of the commissioners.

The commissioners fixed the period of the war as beginning about November 1, 1855, and continuing until about December 1, 1856. They estimated that the entire loss and destruction of property, including the cost of fitting out the various expeditions, amounted to an aggregate of not less than $2,000,000. Fully one-half of this loss, they thought, was directly sustained by actual settlers of Kansas. They received petitions and took testimony in 463 cases. They reported 417 cases as entitled to indemnity. The detailed figures and values of property destroyed are presented as follows:

    "Amount of crops destroyed, $37,349.61; number of buildings burned and destroyed, 78; horses taken or destroyed, 368; cattle taken or destroyed, 533. Amount of property owned by pro-slavery men, $77,198.99; property owned by free-State men, $335,779.04; property taken or destroyed by pro-slavery men, $318,718.63; property taken or destroyed by free-State men, $94,529.40."

About the loss of life the commissioners say: "Although not within our province, we may be excused for stating that, from the most reliable information that we have been able to gather, by the secret warfare of the guerrilla system, and in well-known encounters, the number of lives sacrificed in Kansas during the period mentioned probably exceeded rather than fell short of two hundred... That the excitement in the Eastern and Southern States, in 1856, was instigated and kept up by garbled and exaggerated accounts of Kansas affairs, published in the Eastern and Southern newspapers, is true, most true; but the half of what was done by either party was never chronicled!"--House Reports, 2d Sess. 36th Cong. Vol. III., Part I, pp. 90 and 93.

[20] We quote the following from the executive minutes of Governor Geary to show that border strife had not entirely destroyed the kindlier human impulses, which enabled him to turn a portion of the warring elements to the joint service of peace and order:

    "September 24, 1856. For the purpose of obtaining information which was considered of great value to the Territory, the Governor invited to Lecompton, Captain [Samuel] Walker, of Lawrence, one of the most celebrated and daring leaders of the anti-slavery party, promising him a safe conduct to Lecompton and back again to Lawrence. During Walker's visit at the Executive Office, Colonel [H.T.] Titus entered, whose house was, a short time since destroyed by a large force under the command of Walker; an offense which was subsequently retaliated by the burning of the residence of the latter. These men were, perhaps, the most determined enemies in the Territory. Through the Governor's intervention, a pacific meeting occurred, a better understanding took place, mutual concessions were made, and pledges of friendship were passed; and, late in the afternoon, Walker left Lecompton in company with and under the safeguard of Colonel Titus. Both these men have volunteered to enter the service of the United States as leaders of companies of territorial militia."--Geary, Executive Minutes. Senate Executive Documents, 3d Session 34th Congress, Vol. II., pp. 137-8.