by Gen. Whitfield
But few of the male citizens were at home, and there was no resistance.
, being directly on the border, and easily accessible from a populous portion of Missouri
, was especially exposed to outrages.
It was long under the control of the pro-Slavery party, being a military post, and a point whence overland trains and mails were dispatched, and at which a vast Federal patronage was concentrated.
The office of The Territorial Register
(Free-State) was destroyed by a Missouri band, December 20, 1855.
Many collisions and murders occurred here, and in the vicinity; and at length, on the recurrence of the municipal election (September 1, 1856), a large force, mainly of Missourians, took possession of the town; and, under the pretense of searching for arms, plundered and ravaged as they chose.
, a lawyer, refused to submit to their search, and stood on his defense.
He killed two of his assailants, but was finally killed himself; while his brother, who aided him in his defense, had his arm shattered by a bullet.
Phillips's house was burned, with several others, and every known Free-State man put on board a steamboat and sent down the river.
It was boasted by the Missouri
journals that not a single “abolition vote” was cast at that election!
Meantime, the emigrants flocking to Kansas
from the Free States
were arrested on their passage through Missouri
and turned back: cannon being planted along the Missouri river
to stop the ascending steamboats for this purpose.
Not many of these emigrants were actually plundered, save of their passage-money, which was in no case returned.
A large party was finally made up of those whose progress to their intended homes had been thus obstructed, who proceeded thither slowly and toil-somely, by a circuitous route through Iowa
; but who, on entering Kansas
, were met by a Federal military force, and all their arms taken from them.
Yet the immigration continued; so that, while the office-holders, the military, and all the recognized power and authority, were on the side of Slavery, the Free-State
preponderance among the settlers constantly increased.
The pro-Slavery forces made strong incursions or raids into the Territory
from time to time, but subsided into Missouri
after a few days; and, while a good share of the fighting, with most of the burning and plundering, was done by them, nearly all the building, the clearing, the plowing, and the planting, were the work of Free-State men. Meantime, dissipation, exposure, and all manner of irregularities, were constantly thinning the ranks of the pro-Slavery volunteers from the South
, while many of the better class among them, disgusted and remorseful, abandoned their evil work, and shrank away to some region wherein they were less generally detested.
Under all its persecutions and desolations, Kansas
was steadily maturing and hardening into the bone and sinew of a Free State not only, but of one fitted by education and experience to be an apostle of the gospel of Universal Freedom.
The Democratic National Convention for 1856 met at Cincinnati