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Colonel Boone Acquires Squire Wright's Enmity.

In 1861, however, Judge Wright of Indiana, a member of Congress during Boone's administration as Indian Agent, brought his dissipated son to Colonel Boone's. Colonel Boone told the Congressman to leave him with him and he could clerk in the Government store and issue the Indian annuities.

This boy soon became a very efficient clerk, quit his drinking, and under Colonel Boone's persuasion, developed into an honorable and upright citizen of the United States.

When congress adjourned, Congressman Wright came again to the Indian Agency at Fort Lyons where he had left his son with Colonel Boone. Finding this son so changed, so assiduous to business, so positive in manner, so thoroughly free, as it seemed from the follies of his younger days--follies that had warped all his best natures--due, as Judge Wright was compelled to confess, to the timely efforts of Colonel Boone, there sprang into the breast of Judge Wright an unquenchable flame of jealousy. What right had Colonel Boone to hold such an influence over this boy, the pampered and humored dissipate of this Congressman from Indiana, when his own commands, and his mother's prayers had held no such influence?

It was with sadness that Judge Wright remembered the weak lad he had left on Colonel Boone's hands, a victim of a father's lack of training, and found here, instead, the same lad, but with much of the weakness erased, a man now, with an ambition to do and to be.

At sight of this miracle wrought by the cleverness of Colonel Boone, Judge Wright rebelled. There entered his heart, a subtle fiend, a poisoned arrow, inspired by the rescuer of his son, good, brave, Colonel Boone. Had not this stranger entered the heart of his boy and opened up the deep wells of his intellect, buoyed up a hope within his heart that goodness was greatness, and opened his eyes to the pitfalls into which he would eventually fall, if he kept on the way he was going? In fact, Colonel Boone had sounded the message of salvation, and Wright, Jr. had accepted its graces, and before his father stood a righteous transformation, to the honor and glory of Colonel A. G. Boone, the tried and true friend of the Indian.

Again Judge Wright feels the sting of the serpent. He implored his son to return to his parental roof, but this the boy declined to do, so Judge Wright went at once to Colonel Boone and with many unjust and unscrupulous epithets accused him of having alienated the affections of his son. Colonel Boone had but to hear him out and bare his shoulders for such other blows which Judge Wright sought to pelter him, and we will hear with what blow he was driven from his post as Indian Agent.

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At the next session of congress, Congressman Wright sought to deal his death blow to Colonel Boone, and to thus avenge the disloyalty of his son to his father, at no matter what cost to his own honor and integrity. This blow he dealt the rescuer of his son, from shame and disgrace, and who but for Colonel Boone might never have succeeded in being sober long enough to sell a pound of bacon. In Congress Judge Wright accused Colonel Boone of disloyalty toward the Government, declared that he was a secessionest, and that he was robbing the Indians, etc., and so succeeded in having him removed. To this act might fitly be applied the old adage: "Save a man from drowning and he will arise to cut off your head."

After Colonel Boone was relieved by the new agent, Mr. Macauley, Majors Waddell and Russell gave Colonel Boone a large ranch on the Arkansas River, about fifteen miles East of Pueblo, Colorado, afterwards known as Boonville. Waddell and Russell were the great government freight contractors across the plains. This ranch consisted of 1,400 acres of good land, fenced and cross fenced, having several fine buildings thereon, and otherwise well improved.

In the fall of 1863, about fifty influential Indians of the various tribes, visited at the home of Colonel Boone and begged him to return and be their agent, stating that an uprising was imminent. Colonel Boone told the Chief that the President of the United States had ejected him and that the President would not let him do the thing they asked him. Then the Indians offered to sell their ponies to raise the money for him to go to Washington to intercede with the "Great Father," to tell him of the "doin's" of their new agent, and to get reinstated himself. When Boone told them that it was impossible, and for them to go back and trust to the agent to do the right thing, they were greatly disappointed.

Soon after Colonel Boone had installed himself in his new home on the Arkansas River, he became the innocent victim of another man's wrath. A certain Mr. Haynes was keeping the Stage Station and was not giving satisfaction to the company, inasmuch as the mules seemed to be lacking the care and attention the company thought due them. The corn sent by the company (government) to feed the mules did not find its way to the mule troughs. So the Stage Company began to negotiate with Colonel Boone to take the station, and he took it.

This arrangement angered Mr. Haynes, and he reported to a Union Soldier that Colonel Boone was a rebel of the deepest dye, and further said that he had a company of Texas Rangers hidden, and intended to "clean out the country." The Lieutenant to whom this deliberate falsehood was told, sent fifteen soldiers to the home of A.G. Boone to confiscate his property and to burn him out if they found indications that the report was true.

Mr. Boone's residence was seven miles from Haynes' and the soldiers reached Boone's place about 1:30 o'clock P.M. and their horses looked, to a casual observer, like they had been ridden fifty miles. They were all covered with dust which the crafty soldiers had thrown upon them and were flecked with sweat. One soldier went forward and asked politely to be given something to eat.

Colonel Boone who was a whole-hearted, "hail fellow well met" sort of a man, invited them to come in and to put their horses in the barn and to give them one really good feed, remarking at the same time that they had better remove their saddles and allow the horses to cool off.

One soldier, without a first thought, began to throw his saddle off, but was quickly prevented by a quicker witted soldier, but the action was not quick enough. Colonel Boone had observed without appearing to do so, the normal condition of the back of the horse, and something had flown to his mind, that "all was not right on the Wabash," and he concluded to keep cool. Something told him that they were agents of Mr. Haynes, and were on mischief bent.

After caring well for the horses, the soldiers were invited to the house where they went to the back porch and refreshed themselves with clean cistern water and fresh towels. While they were getting "slicked up" as some of the soldiers jokingly called their face wash, Colonel Boone called the old negro woman to bring a pitcher of whiskey, glasses, sugar, nutmeg, and eggs, and make them a rich toddy. When this was done, Colonel Boone with a lavish hand distributed it generously among his guests, after which they were escorted through the old-fashioned long hall to the front porch where they rested and awaited the good dinner already in progress for them.

Mrs. Boone was sick in bed, and one or two of the soldiers seeing some one in bed, and more to find out who was there than anything else, sauntered into the room and up to the bed. As soon as he saw he had made a mistake, he quickly apologized and retreated to the front porch, where, to cover his embarrassment, he asked how far it was to Haynes'. Boone told him it was seven miles.

Fearing the soldiers would become restless by their prolonged wait for dinner, Colonel Boone went into the house and told his two daughters, Maggie and Mollie, to help the old negro lady get dinner, and to stay in the dining room during the dinner hour and wait on the soldiers, and be as pleasant as possible with them. He told the girls that he was afraid the soldiers were messengers of mischief, sent there at the suggestion of Mr. Haynes, but that he had not decided just what they intended to do. It was the idea of Colonel Boone to make the whiskey draw the object of this visit to him, from his guests, and some of the more talkative ones had already begun to divulge their business. The Colonel decided to leave them alone so they could consult with themselves, so busied himself about the house making his visitors comfortable wherever he could. He stopped in the living room and listened to the conversation going on between the soldiers out on the porch, which conversation sometimes developed into an argument about Mr. Haynes and the Lieutenant, the full import of which he could not glean. Then he returned to the porch, in a round-about way, brought up the subject of distance, from his place to Haynes. He then said: "Mr. Haynes had an ill-feeling toward me, and I have been told that he is circulating a report that I am a rebel, and that he intends to do me bodily harm." One soldier was in good condition then to talk--the toddy had done its work well--and he said: "I gad, Colonel, you ah jes' about right----;" but he could get no further. One soldier had closed his mouth, with the remark to Colonel Boone, that some soldiers never knew what they were talking about, when they had enjoyed a good glass of whiskey. The Colonel laughed as though the subject was of no importance to him and strolled out in the yard. Just then Mollie Boone appeared at the dining room door with a cheery smile, beguiling as the flower in her hair was fragrant, and with a "welcome, gentlemen, to the Boone home," in her comely face, bade them all go in to dinner. At the dinner table wit and mirth flowed as freely as did the water down the throats of those hungry boys in blue.

When these boys had partaken of this bounty to their full satisfaction, they thanked the pretty waitresses for the excellent dinner. The daughters followed them from the dining room begging them to never pass this way without coming in to see them, and promising to have a feast prepared for them. They departed, the girls returning to the dining room to peep behind curtains to watch the manly soldiers disappear around the house, to the stables where their horses were still munching the hay, caring nothing at all about returning to the station at Haynes'.

The next trip I made to Bent's Fort was made without a conductor on the stage. One of the owners of the Stage Company, Mr. J.T. Barnum, said to me: "Billy, you go through to Denver with the express and mail, and then act as conductor back again to the Fort."

On my return trip, I came in contact with a company of soldiers camped at Pueblo, Colorado. Several of the soldiers were at the Hotel at Pueblo, and during our talk together, I asked one of the soldiers if he knew a Sergeant by the name of Joe Graham. "Oh, yes," one man replied, "he is down there in camp now." This soldier volunteered to bring him to see me.

Mr. Graham's father was a Methodist preacher in Monterey, New York, when Joe and I were small boys, and we greeted each other with warmth and affection, and had a jolly time talking over the "old times" when we were bare-footed school lads. Finally Joe asked me where I "was holding forth and what I was doing?" I told him that I had been living with Colonel Boone, driving the stage coach from there to Bent's Old Fort, but this trip I was on my way from Denver acting as conductor of the mail. Mr. Graham asked me how long I had been with Colonel Boone. I told him I had been with him up to that time, about six months. "I understand," said Mr. Graham, "that Mr. Boone is a rebel." I told him that he was most emphatically mistaken, that Colonel Boone was one of the strongest Union men I had ever known, and that he was as strong a Unionist as ever lived. Then it was that I found out what mischief Haynes had sent the soldiers to the home of Colonel Boone, to do.

Joe Graham told me that he was the Orderly Sergeant of the company that had camped at Mr. Haynes, and Mr. Haynes had told the Lieutenant that Colonel Boone was a rebel, and had a company of Texas Rangers camped close to his premises for the purpose of making a raid on the Union soldiers. Joe Graham stated that the Lieutenant had ordered him to take some soldiers and go to the home of Colonel Boone, and if he found things as Haynes had represented, to confiscate all his property, and to burn all his buildings, but that the Lieutenant had cautioned them to be careful and to ascertain if the story Haynes had told was true before they began depredations.

When Old Joe had finished his recital, my "dander was up." "Joe," said I, "will you give me an affidavit of these facts, with the statement of Mr. Haynes to the Lieutenant?" He told me that he would be pleased to do so. We went to the Stage Company's office where Dan Hayden, a Notary Public in and for Pueblo, Colorado, drew up the statement and Sergeant Graham verified it.

After thanking Mr. Graham for his kindness in this matter, I proceeded to Bent's Fort, with what I considered good evidence of Mr. Haynes' guilt. When I arrived at Bent's Fort, I had time to go from there to Fort Lyons to meet the stage coming from the States, and I took this affidavit with me to Major Anthony, the Commanding Officer of Fort Lyons. Mr. Anthony told me that he had heard of some such talk as this, coming from Mr. Haynes. He immediately sent two soldiers to Mr. Haynes' and had him put under arrest and brought to the Fort. Mr. Haynes was taken to Denver, Colorado, given a trial, convicted, and sentenced to the penitentiary.