Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Gov. Shannon left the Territory a disgraced and ruined man. He had proved himself, both to the Free State party and the Law and Order party, a broken staff that pierces the hand of him that leans on it. Mr. Woodson, who took his place as acting Governor, showed himself hale fellow well met with such spirits as Sheriff Jones and Judge Lecompte; and this faction made piteous appeals to the Great Father at Washington to give them a man after their own heart, and this they found in John Calhoun, Surveyor-General of Kansas and Nebraska, whose official patronage made him a man of considerable influence, and whose freighting outfit, kept for his peculiar business, would have made him eminently useful to this party in the transportation of military stores. But their appeal had been denied them, and instead of Surveyor-General Calhoun, Mr. Geary, of Pennsylvania, had been appointed.

 

That great party, of which the President was the official head, was convulsed with such internal feuds and contentions, consequent on these very Kansas troubles, as threatened its existence. A Presidential election was pending, and attention must be paid to this fact, rather than to the desperate schemes of this Kansas faction. John W. Geary was, therefore, announced as the appointee of the President. Mr. G. came with high claims to public favor. He had passed through the Mexican war with honor; he had discharged high public trust in California with such fidelity and skill as won for him a distinguished reputation. He was the friend, and almost the neighbor, of the incoming President, James Buchanan, and he enjoyed the confidence of the outgoing President, Franklin Pierce; and was closeted with him and with his Secretary of State, Mr. Marcy, before leaving Washington. That nothing might be wanting to his success, he spent a day at Jefferson City, Mo., with Gov. Sterling Price, and with him arranged to have the blockade removed from the Missouri River.

Mr. Geary met at Glasgow, Mo., the retiring ex-Governor, and Dr. Gihon reports that he was fleeing in terror that his life would be taken by the men for whom he had been such an abject tool.

While these parting ceremonies were being performed a steamboat bound down the river, and directly from Kansas, came along side the Keystone. Ex-Governor Shannon was a passenger, who, upon learning the close proximity of Gov. Geary, sought an immediate interview with him. The ex-Governor was greatly agitated. He had fled in haste and terror from the Territory, and still seemed laboring under an apprehension for his personal safety. His description of Kansas was suggestive of everything that is frightful and horrible. Its condition was deplorable in the extreme. The whole Territory was in a state of insurrection, and a destructive civil war was devastating the country. Murder ran rampant, and the roads were everywhere strewn with the bodies of slaughtered men.

Dr. Gihon afterwards published a small volume of 348 pages, from which the preceding extract has been taken. The work is entitled "Governor Geary's Administration in Kansas." This work does not bear the sign manual of Gov. Geary, but as it was written by the Governor's private secretary, it must be taken as an authentic statement of what these gentlemen saw with their own eyes, and heard with their own ears, as touching the condition of things in the Territory. Dr. Gihon gives the following testimony concerning the troubles in and around Leavenworth and their cause:

After the removal of Shannon on the 21st of August, when Secretary Woodson became acting Governor until the arrival of Gov. Geary in September, the belligerents had matters pretty much their own way, and the ruffians improved the time, under pretense of authority from Woodson, to perpetrate with impunity the most shocking barbarities.

During this time Gen. Smith received much censure from the Free State people. Emory, Wilkes, Stringfellow and others were driving these from their homes in Leavenworth, and many of them fled in terror for protection within the enclosures of the fort; when the General caused hand-bills to be posted over the grounds commanding them to leave before a certain specified time, and gave orders to his subordinates to enforce this command. These unfortunate people, among whom were men of the highest respectability, and even women and children, were compelled, some of them without money or suitable clothing, to take to the prairies, exposed at every step to the danger of being murdered by scouting or marauding parties, or at the risk of their lives effect their escape upon the downward-bound boats. Some of these were shot in the attempt upon the river banks, whilst others were seized at Kansas City and other Missouri towns, brought back as prisoners, and disposed of in such a manner as will only be made known at that great day when all human mysteries will be revealed.

Captain Frederick Emory, a United States Mail Contractor, rendered himself conspicuous in Leavenworth at the head of a band of ruffians mostly from Western Missouri. They entered houses, stores and dwellings of Free State people, and in the name of "Law and Order" abused and robbed the occupants, and drove them out into the roads, Irrespective of age, sex or condition. Under pretense of searching for arms, they approached the house of William Phillips, the lawyer who had been previously tarred and feathered and carried to Missouri. Phillips, supposing he was to be subjected to a similar outrage, and resolved not to submit to the indignity, stood upon his defense. In repelling the assaults of the mob, he killed two of them, when the others burst into the house, and poured a volley of balls into his body, killing him instantly in the presence of his wife and another lady. His brother, who was also present, had an ana broken with bullets, and was compelled to submit to an amputation. Fifty of the Free State prisoners were then driven on board the Polar Star, bound for St. Louis. On the next day a hundred more were embarked by Emory and his men on the steamboat Emma.

At this time civil war raged in all the populous districts. Womi n and children had fled from the Territory. No man's life was safe, and every person, when he lay down to rest at night, bolted and barred his doors, and fell asleep grasping firmly his pistol, gun or knife.

Emory's company were all mounted on "pressed" horses, the owners of some of which were present to point out and claim them; but as there existed no courts or judges from whom the necessary legal process could be obtained, and as Gen. Smith would not listen to their complaints, they had no means by which to recover their property.

Emory and his company held their headquarters at Leavenworth City, whence they sallied into the surrounding country to "press," _not steal,_ the horses, cattle, wagons and other property of Free State men. It was during these excursions that Major Sackett, of the United States Army, found in the road near Leavenworth City a number of the bodies of men who had been seized, robbed, murdered and mutilated, and left unburied by the wayside.

On the 17th of August, 1856, a shocking affair occurred in the neighborhood of Leavenworth. Two ruffians sat at a table in a low groggery, imbibing potations of bad whisky. One of them, named Fugert, bet his companion six dollars against a pair of boots that he would go out and in less than two hours bring in the scalp of an Abolitionist. He went into the road, and, meeting a Mr. Hoppe, who was in his carriage just returning to Leavenworth from a visit to Lawrence, where he had conveyed his wife, Fugert deliberately shot him; then, taking out his bowie knife, whilst his victim was still alive, he cut and tore off his scalp from his quivering head. Leaving the body of Hoppe lying in the road, he elevated his bloody trophy upon a pole, and paraded it through the streets of Leavenworth. On the same day a teamster, who was approaching Leavenworth, was murdered and scalped by another human monster.

A poor German, when the scalp of Hoppe was brought into Leavenworth, was impudent enough to express his horror of the shocking deed, when he was ordered to run for his life--in attempting which a number of bullets sped after him, and he fell dead in the street.