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[244] the sham Legislature, the people did not recognize. Jones rode into town at the head of twenty men, at three P. M., and demanded that all the arms should be given up to him, on pain of a bombardment. The people, unprepared to resist, consented to surrender their artillery, consisting of a twelve-pound howitzer, and four smooth-bore pieces, carrying each a pound ball. All these had been buried some days before, but were now dug up and made over to Jones. A few muskets were likewise surrendered by their owners. The pro-Slavery army now marched down the hill, and entered the south end of the town, where Atchison made a speech to them, declaring that the Free-State Hotel and the two Free-State printing-offices must be destroyed. “Sheriff Jones” declared that he had an order to that effect from Judge Lecompte, of the Federal Court. The whole force accordingly marched into the heart of the town, destroyed the printing-offices, and fired some fifty rounds from their cannon at the Free-State Hotel, which, being solidly built of stone, was not much damaged thereby. Four kegs of gun-powder were then placed in it and fired, but only two of them exploded, making little impression. Fire was now applied to the building, and it was burnt to the bare and blackened walls. The dwelling of Gov. Robinson1 was next set on fire, and, though the flames were twice extinguished, it was finally consumed. The total loss to the citizens of Lawrence by that day's robbery and arson was estimated at $150,000. None of them were killed or wounded; but one of the ruffians shot himself badly, and another was killed by a brick or stone, knocked by one of their cannon from the upper story of the Free-State Hotel.

Such were the beginnings of the so-called “Kansas War,” a desultory, wasteful, but not very bloody conflict, which continued, with alternations of activity and quiet, throughout the next year. One of its most noted incidents is known as the “battle of Black Jack,” wherein 28 Free-State men, led by old John Brown, of Osawatomie, fought and defeated, on the open prairie, 56 “border ruffians,” headed by Capt. H. Clay Pate, from Virginia, who professed to be an officer under Marshal Donaldson. It terminated in the surrender of Pate and all that remained of his band, twenty-one men, beside the wounded, with twenty-three horses and mules, wagons, provisions, camp-equipage, and a considerable quantity of plunder, obtained just before by sacking a little Free-State settlement, known as Palmyra.

The Legislature chosen under the Free-State Constitution was summoned to meet at Topeka on the 4th of July, 1856, and its members assembled accordingly, but were not allowed to organize, Col. Sumner,2 with a force of regulars, dispersing them by order of President Pierce.

The village of Osawatomie, in the southern part of the Territory, was sacked and burned on the 5th of June by a pro-Slavery force, headed

1 Elected Governor under the embryo organization, by the great body of her settlers, of Kansas as a Free State.

2 Since known as Maj.-Gen. Edwin V. Sumner: fought bravely in several battles of the War: died at Syracuse, N. Y., early in 1863.

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Samuel J. Jones (3)
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