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Category: Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler
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The _Squatter Sovereign_, in its issue of July 1st, made the following announcement:

The steamer, Star of the West, having on board seventy-eight Chicago Abolitionists, was overhauled at Lexington, Mo., and the company disarmed. A large number of rifles and pistols were taken at Lexington, and a guard sent upon the boat, to prevent them from landing in the Territory.

After leaving Lexington, it was ascertained that they had not given up all arms, but still held possession of a great number of bowie knives and pistols, which were probably secreted while the search was going on at Lexington. At Leavenworth City, Captain Clarkson, with twenty-five men, went on board of the boat and demanded the surrender of all the arms in the possession of the Abolitionists. Like whipped dogs they sneaked up to Clarkson and laid down their weapons to him.

The men thus robbed of their arms give the following version of the matter: They say that at Lexington they were taken by surprise; that their arms were not accessible to them, and that there was nothing to do but to yield. But that a pledge was made to them, that if they would give up their arms, they should be allowed to proceed peaceably to Kansas. They furthermore state that at Kansas City Col. Buford came aboard the boat, accompanied by a company of soldiers; that David R. Atchison and Gen. B. F. Stringfellow came on board, and that after the boat had left the landing these gentlemen informed them that they would in no wise be allowed to enter the Territory; that after the boat had stopped at Weston, they should be taken back to Alton; but that if they would not accept this arrangement, "they should be hung, every mother's son of them."

At various times the _Squatter Sovereign_ and _Leavenworth Herald_ report similar outrages. The latter paper reports, July 5th, the sending back seventy-five emigrants that had come upon the steamer Sultan. In reference to this occurrence, the _Squatter Sovereign_ makes the following remark:

We do not fully approve of sending these criminals back to the East, to be reshipped to Kansas--if not through Missouri, through Iowa and Nebraska. We think they should meet a traitor's death; and the world could not censure us if we, in self-protection, have to resort to such ultra measures. We are of the opinion that if the citizens of Leavenworth city, or Weston, would _hang_ one or two boatloads of Abolitionists, it would do more towards establishing peace in Kansas than all the speeches that have been delivered in Congress during the present session. _Let the experiment be tried_.

The Missouri River was thus blockaded against the incoming of emigrants from the free States, and this created intense excitement throughout the North. The result was, that the immigration to Kansas, instead of being diminished, was largely increased; but it changed its direction, and Iowa City became the _entrepôt_ for the incoming tide of free State settlers, which now sought an overland route through Iowa and Nebraska, and began to reach Kansas about the 1st of August.

The leaders of the Pro-slavery party made a pathetic appeal to the people of the South to send a corresponding class of emigrants; but the appeal was feebly responded to. Slave-holders would not come, because their slaves would be insecure; and now slave-holders felt that they had small cause to come to fight a battle that was not theirs.

Gov. Shannon held the scepter of power with a more and more feeble hand. He was going to resign, and he was not going to resign. But whether he did or did not resign, the substance of power had already passed into the hands of his secretary, Mr. Woodson, who was hand and glove with his fellows in this conspiracy to make Kansas a slave State.

Meantime Col. Sumner had been superseded in command at Fort Leavenworth by Persifer F. Smith. Col. Sumner had obeyed orders like the brave soldier that he was, but he had shown too much sympathy for these victims of oppression in the discharge of his shameful duties. [5] He did his appointed work, but he did not do it with an appetite, and he had been succeeded by a man that felt no more pity toward the Free State people than the wolf feels for the lamb out of which he makes his breakfast. The consequences of this state of affairs began soon to appear. The Missouri River had been blockaded. Trains sent to Leavenworth from Lawrence and Topeka were robbed on the public highway of the merchandise and provisions with which they were loaded, and these interior Free State settlements began to feel the sharp pressure of hard necessities, while they a third time saw companies of so-called "Law and Order" militia occupying various points in the Territory which these men proceeded to fortify, and from which they could overawe the inhabitants and make raids on the citizens; and thus the old business of robbery, murder, spoliation and oppression was again begun.

And now this new immigration of a squatter soldiery, who came bearing their muskets in one hand and their implements of husbandry in the other, and were perfectly indifferent whether it should be work or fight, came pouring over the Nebraska line and into Kansas Territory. A feeble attempt was made to stop them, but it amounted to nothing. They were not now on a Missouri River steamboat. Jim Lane came with them. He remained _incognito_ a few days, and then threw off his disguise, and Capt. Joe Cook was Jim Lane. And now the old, hard rule of the law of Moses, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," was again the law of Kansas. It was, "You have robbed us, and we will rob you; you have subsisted yourselves upon us, and we will subsist ourselves on you; you have blockaded the Missouri River, and waylaid our freighting trains, and pillaged them of their freight, with intent to starve out the Free State people, and all that belongs to you and yours shall be free plunder to us."

The places that had been fortified by this "Law and Order" militia were one by one stormed and the garrisons driven off. Franklin was a second time attacked and its occupants taken prisoners. Col. Titus had fortified his residence in the suburbs of Lecompton, and here he kept a company of men that made raids on the surrounding Free State inhabitants. This fort was taken by assault, and Col. Titus and his men were taken prisoners, while Major Sedjwick, with a company of United States troops, was encamped only two miles away. The citizens of Lecompton were frightened out of their wits, and Gov. Shannon was found under the bank of the Kansas River, badly demoralized, and trying to get across the river on an old scow, and thus escape the danger. He came the next day to Lawrence, accompanied by Maj. Sedjwick, to make peace and negotiate an exchange of prisoners, He announced this as his last official act, and exhorted the people in a speech he made to them, to live in peace with each other, while they shouted in angry retort, "Give us back Barber and the men that have been murdered under your rule."

But in spite of all these reverses that had come upon the "Law and Order" party, they still had faith that Providence is on the side of the heaviest battalions, and that they would yet succeed in driving out these Free State rebels; and they proceeded to raise, along the Missouri border, a larger army than it would be possible for the Free State people to raise. Did they not have on their side the President and his Cabinet? Was not Congress on their side? Was not Persifer F. Smith, Commandant at Fort Leavenworth, at least indifferent to all their deeds of violence? And more and better, Woodson had succeeded Shannon as acting Governor, and it would be a bad day that should not see the full fruition of their hopes.

But there was one thought to mar their otherwise perfect joy, just as Providence always pours a drop of bitterness into every cup. A Governor unfriendly to their purposes might be appointed, and it became them, therefore, to make hay while the sun was shining. They, therefore, addressed the following pathetic appeal to the people of the South:

We have asked the appointment of a successor who was acquainted with our condition; who, a citizen of our Territory, identified with its interests, familiar with its history, would not be prejudiced or misled by the falsehoods which have been so systematically fabricated against us.

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.

With, then, a government which has proved imbecile, has failed to enforce the laws for our protection, with our army of lawless banditti overturning our country--what shall we do?

Though we have full confidence in the integrity and fidelity of Mr. Woodson, now acting as Governor, we know not at what moment his authority will be suspended. We can not await the convenience of the incoming of the newly appointed Governor. We can not hazard a second edition of imbecility or corruption.

We must act at once, and effectively. These traitors, assassins, and robbers must be punished; must now be taught a lesson they will remember.

It is, then, not only the right, but the duty of all good citizens of Missouri and every other State to come to our assistance, and enable us to expel these invaders.

Mr. Woodson, since the resignation of Governor Shannon, has fearlessly met the responsibilities of the trust forced upon him, has proclaimed the existence of the rebellion, and called on the militia of the Territory to assemble for its suppression.

We call on you to come, to furnish us assistance in men, provisions, and munitions, that we may drive out the army of the North, who would subvert our government and expel us from our homes.

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