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There had come to the Big Springs Convention two brethren--Father Gillespie and his son, William Gillespie, living at St. George, on the Kansas River, fifty miles above Topeka and about eight miles below Manhattan. These brethren came to tell us that here were two settlements of brethren waiting to be organized into churches; and Bro. Hutchinson and myself both visited them during the ensuing autumn.

A military road ran up the Kansas River from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley, passing through the village of St. George, But if I were to go to St. George by this route, I would lose thirty miles of travel, and I therefore determined to start directly west from my place of residence. But, in doing so, I would have to cross the Pottawatomie Indian Reserve, on which for forty miles there was not the habitation of a white man. Stopping over night with Bro. J. W. Williams, on the eastern border of the Reserve, I started betimes to St. George, traveling to the west. But night came on, and I had not reached the line of white settlements. I picketed my horse on the prairie, made a pillow of my saddle, and slept until morning. The night was warm and pleasant, and I did not suffer with the cold, and in the morning I was ready betimes to ride on to the residence of Bro. Gillespie. He was so glad to see me.  It was worth a journey of one hundred miles to get such a welcome. And then there was Sister Gillespie, and a house full of young Gillespies, and they were all so glad to see me.

"Have you had your breakfast?"

"No."

"Well, where did you lodge?"

This was a poser. I attempted to pass the question by; but nothing would do, and I had to confess I slept under the canopy of heaven.

"O, dear! O, dear!" And had it come to this that their preacher had to sleep on the prairie! This was a family of hospitable Kentuckians, who were born to a love of music, and the old gentleman was a fiddler, and next to his Bible he loved his fiddle. Of course, we had a grand, good time, and were all filled with joy; and this was the beginning of the churches on the upper waters of the Kansas River. Twelve miles above St. George was Ashland, where we found Bro. N. B. White, father to A. J. White, who has hitherto been pastor of the church at Leavenworth City; but since has been acting as district evangelist. Bro. N. B. White came from Carthage, Ky., and long remained a faithful and indefatigable preacher. In my experience as an evangelist, I have known many men of superior Christian excellence; but never one man of more singleness and integrity of heart; never one man that had a clearer conception of the ultimate purposes and results of Christianity; never a man whose life was more unselfish and self-sacrificing. Being of an intensely nervous and high-strung organization, and doing his work in a mixed population that would have taxed the patience of Job in its management, it is no wonder that Bro. White was sometimes misunderstood, and, like all reformers, was made to feel that he was living before his time.

Thus passed in abundant labors the year 1860, and the time drew on for our yearly meeting, which had been appointed to be held at Prairie City in September, 1861. The brethren came together with real enthusiasm. During the past year the number of Disciples had been multiplied, and the cause had been greatly strengthened. It had been a year of constant ingathering. New churches reported themselves at this meeting, and brethren whom we had never known before. As evidence of what was being accomplished I will copy a note which I find appended to the minutes of the Prairie City meeting:

The following letter was received from a church meeting in Monroe township, Anderson County, said church being of the "Old Christian Order":

_To the Elders of the State Meeting at Prairie City_:

We, the Church of God meeting at North Pottawatomie, do recommend to your honorable body, Bro. Samuel Anderson, as our pastor. We also represent our church as in good standing and in full fellowship, numbering twenty-eight members.

 

Bro. Anderson, the bearer of the above letter, came before the Convention and said: "It does yet appear to me that a man's sins are forgiven as soon as he believes; but I do not think that for this cause there ought to be a schism between us. I am willing to unite with you in exhorting men to obey all the commands of the gospel, and in seeking to unite all Christians on the one foundation."

But there appeared one cloud in our horizon, one cause to hinder the perfect success of this, our second yearly meeting. The country was full of rumors of war, and there seemed impending a great national conflict. Bro. Hutchinson had been for one year an eminently successful evangelist; but now he went into the Union army as an army chaplain, and thus his work among us ceased. And now the war was upon us; we were predestined to see dark days, and the hearts of the people were full of forebodings of evil. Many of our young men went into the army, and for two years the produce raised by the farmers brought almost nothing, and many of our preachers retired from their work. And then there appeared in the land wolves in sheep's clothing--thieves wearing the disguise of loyalty to the "old flag," and who held themselves self-elected to punish "rebel sympathizers," and in the estimation of this gentry the best evidence that could be had that a man was a rebel sympathizer was, that he owned a good span of horses. It is said, "There is no great loss without some small gain," and these evil days gave opportunity to some of us who owed a debt of gratitude for kindness rendered to us when we were in sore straits, to pay back this debt by demanding justice on behalf of loyal citizens of Kansas, whose only offense was that they had been born in the South.

It is the purpose of this series of articles to tell how two peoples, the one from the South and the other from the North--the one the sons of the Puritans, and the other the children of the younger sons of the old English cavaliers--came together and settled in one Territory; how they were divided by the question of American slavery, and how they strove in an antagonism as fierce as that which once subsisted between the Saxon and Norman in Old England; how they peacefully settled their controversy, and in one-third of a century have grown into an eminently peaceful, prosperous, enterprising and well-ordered commonwealth, that stands conspicuous as an illustration and proof of the excellence of our national institutions. We are also to tell how that, out of the furnace fires of such a strife, a community of churches grew up that have for their purpose a restoration of primitive and apostolic Christianity, and the unity of all Christians under a supreme loyalty, to the Lord Jesus Christ as our only Leader and Lawgiver, and as the great Author of our American civilization. We are also to tell how the discipline of such a strife has created a people of such heroic temper, that this has been the first government among the nations to grapple with the saloon power in a final and decisive battle, which has banished it beyond the boundaries of the State, and has branded it as an enemy to Christian homes, an enemy to our Christian civilization, and an enemy to the welfare of the whole human race. Other States have paltered with the evil by means of feeble and frivolous legislation, but Kansas has grappled the monster by the throat by incorporating Prohibition into its fundamental law.

But, above all, we are to press upon the attention of the people the imminence of that danger that is threatening us, and that embodies within itself all other perils that hang over the nation. We are threatened to be overwhelmed by a foreign and alien emigration that brings with it the anarchy of atheism and the unAmerican and the anti-American traditions of a paganized Christianity. We have now fifteen millions of foreign-born citizens and of their children of the first generation in the United States. The Rev. Josiah Strong estimates that in twelve years their number will be forty-three millions; and a great part of this population is now, and shall hereafter be, under the control of Jesuit priests, that seek to maintain in the hearts of these millions loyalty to a foreign prince, resident in Rome, as superior to and more binding on their consciences than is that allegiance which they owe to the United States.

The city of New York has eighty persons in every one hundred of its population that are either foreign born or else the children of foreign born parents. Boston has sixty-three; Chicago has eighty-seven; St. Louis has seventy-eight; Cincinnati, sixty; San Francisco, seventy-eight, and Detroit and Milwaukee have each eighty-four citizens in every one hundred of their population that are either foreign born or else the children of foreign born parents. A nation is dominated by its cities, as England is dominated by London; as France is dominated by Paris, and Germany by Berlin; and our great cities have already become foreign cities, controlled by a foreign vote, and dominated by a foreign public opinion. Here in Kansas, in cities where there is a dominant element of foreign born citizens, we have to invoke the power of the State to compel obedience to our temperance laws on the part of this alien and un-American population; otherwise they overawe the city government and rebel against the laws. Self-evident it is that the presence of such a population is a threat against our social and domestic life, against our government, and against the Christian religion. But the presence of such an evil calls for union among ourselves. Poland was dismembered and ceased to exist among the nations, because of intestine strifes and divisions among its nobility, who were its governing class; and in the presence of such a danger menacing the American people it would be a madness unspeakable in us to keep up among ourselves either our religious feuds and bickerings, or the animosities heretofore existing between the North and South.

We must be one people, or this nation will surely perish. And this oneness is not to be brought about by the utterance of feeble platitudes, nor by the hypocritical profession of a good-will we do not feel; we must follow the guidance of that Book of all books that God has given us, by exhibiting that robust and manly courage that looks the truth and the whole truth squarely in the face. After making all necessary discount and rebate because of faults and infirmities, there is enough yet remaining of solid and essential excellence in the citizens of every State in this nation that they can afford to have the honest truth told about themselves. Is the sun less glorious because there are spots on the sun? Is the moon less beautiful because the man in the moon does not wear a handsome face?

On the late Fourth of July there was a rallying of the clans of the veterans--the men in blue and the men in gray--on the field of Gettysburg, to commemorate the battle they fought twenty-five years before, and to do honor to the bravery displayed by each man in fighting for what he honestly thought to be the right. This was as it should be. But there ought to be the celebration of another battle--it ought to be, even though it may never occur--that should never be forgotten. In that battle there was no dreadful carnage as on the battlefield of Gettysburg; there were no desperate charges made by cavalry and infantry; there was no heroic courage displayed under the pitiless peltings of a deadly hail of shot and shell; there were no great generals of national reputation in command, but humble men unknown to fame, in the final result came together, and with honest speech said, "We will shake hands and be friends. We will let bygones be by gones, and see what can be done by a united effort to promote the welfare of all."

Now we insist that Kansas is worthy of more honor than Gettysburg. But as in this wicked world the best men do not get the highest honor, nor the best deeds the highest praise, we will be content to bide our time, knowing that the Lord does not forget, and that he will speak a good word for us at the great judgment day.

Kansas led the nation in the abolition of American slavery; Kansas ought a second time to lead the nation in a universal amnesty, so that there shall be nothing to hinder that we shall preach the gospel to the devotees of the mother of Babylon, and to the millions of godless, Christless heathen that are thrown upon our hands, thus making them good Christians that they may be good American citizens.