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[283]

Of course, he was not pleased with what he found and saw in Kansas. There were too much policy, too much politics, and too general a regard for personal safety and comfort. He would have preferred a good deal less riding about, especially at night, with more solid fighting. Redpath, who visited him in his camp near Prairie City, not long before the battle of Black Jack, says:

I shall not soon forget the scene that there opened to my view. Near the edge of the creek, a dozen horses were tied, all ready saddled for a ride for life, or a hunt after Southern invaders. A dozen rifles and sabres were stacked around the trees. In an open space, amid the shady and lofty woods, there was a great blazing fire with a pot on it; a woman, bare-headed, with an honest, sun-burnt face, was picking blackberries from the bushes; three or four armed men were lying on red and blue blankets on the grass; and two fine-looking youths were standing, leaning on their arms, on guard, near by. One of them was the youngest son of Old Brown, and the other was “ Charley,” the brave Hungarian, who was subsequently murdered at Osawatomie. Old Brown himself stood near the fire, with his shirt-sleeves rolled up, and a large piece of pork in his hand. He was cooking a pig. He was poorly clad, and his toes protruded from his boots. The old man received me with great cordiality, and the little band gathered about me. But it was for a moment only; for the Captain ordered them to renew their work. He respectfully but firmly forbade conversation on the Pottawatomie; and said that, if I desired any information from the company in relation to their conduct or intentions, he, as their Captain, would answer for them whatever it was proper to communicate.

In this camp, no manner of profane language was permitted; no man of immoral character was allowed to stay, except as a prisoner of war. He made prayers, in which all the company united, every morning and evening; and no food was ever tasted by his men until the Divine blessing had been asked on it. After every meal, thanks were returned to the Bountiful Giver. Often, I was told, the old man would retire to the densest solitudes to wrestle with his God in secret prayer. One of his company subsequently informed me that, after these retiring, he would say that the Lord had directed him in visions what to do; that, for himself, he did not love warfare, but peace — only acting in obedience to the will of the Lord, and fighting God's battles for His children's sake.

It was at this time that the old man said to me: “I would rather have the small-pox, yellow fever, and cholera, all together in my camp, than a man without principles. It's a mistake, Sir,” he continued, “that our people make, when they think that bullies are the best fighters, or that they are the men fit to oppose these Southerners. Give me men of good principles--God-fearing men, men who respect themselves — and, with a dozen of them, I will oppose any hundred such men as these Buford ruffians.”

I remained in the camp about an hour. Never before had I met such a band of men. They were not earnest, but earnestness incarnate. Six of them were John Brown's sons.

In the August following, a new invasion, on an extensive scale, of Kansas, from the Missouri border, was planned and executed. Inflammatory proclamations were issued, which affirmed that the pro-Slavery settlers either had been or were about to be all killed or driven out of the Territory by the Abolitionists, and the Missourians were exhorted to rally all their forces for the conflict. Lexington, Mo., was assigned as the place, and August 20th as the time, of assemblage for La Fayette County, and New Santa Fe, Jackson County, as the general rendezvous. “Bring your guns, your horses, and your clothing, all ready to go on to Kansas: our motto will be this time, ‘ No Quarter!’ Let no one stay away!” A similar appeal.was issued from Westport, signed by Atchison, Stringfellow, and others. A force of two thousand men was, by virtue of these appeals, collected at the petty village of Santa Fe, directly on the border; but soon divided into two expeditions, one of which, led by Senator Atchison, was confronted at Bull's Creek by not more than half its number

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