I. History of the first female slave in Kansas.
I was one day in an office where I occasionally called.
A colored woman entered the room, inquired for me, and presented a note of introduction from an eminent reformer.
She told me her sad story.
She had been a slave, but had been liberated.
She had a son in slavery.
Having tasted the bitter draught of bondage, she was working, night and day, to save her son from the curse.
He was in Parkville, Missouri
His master or masters had offered to sell him for eleven hundred dollars. She had nearly raised the sum, when she wrote to him again.
Instead of receiving an encouraging reply, the following inhuman note was sent to the gentleman who wrote in her behalf:
The poor mother did not think that Mr. Wallace2
had the remotest intention of removing to “Texs ;” but believed that it was a pretext to raise the price of her boy; and, as she was nearly worn out already with anxiety and travel, she was beginning to despair of rescuing him from bondage.
Could I do anything for her?
Could I not run him off?
I told her I would try. Shortly after this interview I went out to Kansas
It was some months before I could see any hope of successfully attempting to liberate her boy. The weather was so unusually mild that the river was not frozen over until some time after New Year's Day.
I then made a trip to Parkville
; carefully, of course, concealing my intention.
I saw the boy at the livery stable and spoke to him privately.
He refused to try to escape.
He would not run the risk of recapture.
He appeared, in fact, indifferent to his fate.
I afterwards spoke to him, in the presence of a slaveholder, of the efforts of his mother to secure his freedom.
He did not think, he said, that she could do it. She had written about it so often that he had given over all hope.
did n't keer much about it, nohow.
He had n't, he said, much feelina for his kinsfolks.
He had seen his father the other day — the first time for a number of years.
The old man ran to meet him, and put out his hand; but he would n't take it, would n't call him father — only “that man!”
He said that his father was living with another woman now, and had a family not very far off; but he had never called to see them, and never intended to go near them.
He made another remark that shocked me so much that I determined to leave him to his fate.
He told me that he had a brother, the property of a Mr. Pitcher
, who lived in the town of Liberty
I mounted my horse and went there.
I soon saw Pitcher
He was sitting in the public room of the hotel, with his feet against the dirty stove.
His talk was of bullocks and blooded horses, with which, in all their varieties — with their genealogical history, and the various faux pas
of their different branches — and other interesting equestrian information, he was as familiar as the thorough bred cockney is with the scandal of the Green Room
, or the bed-room mysteries of the leading houses of the British
As I rode a splendid steed, I was soon, to all outward appearance, as deeply interested in horse-history as he was. From horses to slaves the transition was easy.
He had come from the North
, he said, with anti-slavery sentiments.
But he soon saw his error.
He was a slaveholder now; and thought that it was not only right, but best for the nigger, for the white man to hold him as property.
“My niggers, sir,” he said, “are well fed; they've got plenty of good clothing; if they're sick, I have to foot the doctor's bill; I work as hard
as they do-and harder too; only, they work with their hands and I work with my head!”
I could not help laughing.
For I never saw a lazier-looking fellow in my life; and, if there is any truth in phrenological science, it might easily be disputed whether he had got any head to work with.
I asked him how much he would sell Georgy for?
Georgy was the brother of Millar
“He would take,” he said, “one thousand dollars down.
Nary cent less.
No, sir, nary cent; he was a right smart boy and would bring that any day.”
I waited in Liberty two or three days in the hope of meeting the boy. I would have waited some days longer, but my departure was hastened by an act of carelessness.
Liberty had distinguished herself, during the Kansas
troubles, by her ultra devotion to “Southern rights.”
She sent out bands of brutal men to vote and fight for slavery in Kansas
When in my room, at the hotel, I perpetrated the following atrocity:
As maids (or un
maids), if you'll pardon the new phrase,
Who ne'er have trodden Virtue's straight and narrow ways,
But sell their foul desires,
Whose path (says Solomon), leads downward to the grave
And the infernal fires,
Are styled by bacchanals and rakes, Nymphs
(of the pave!)
So, on slave soil, we see
A town, renowned for despot deeds and ruffian bands,
Self-styled by men with Freedom's life-blood-dropping hands
The Town of — Liberty!
With my usual carelessness, I left this poetical abortion on the table.
When I returned, it was gone.
Now, as, upon reflection, I saw that the execution of these
lines gave sufficient warrant and excuse for my own execution, I determined to depart without delay, which — saddling up my horse at once — I forthwith did, leaving the “right smart boy” in slavery — in Liberty.
I heard nothing of the slave mother or her children, until, coming to New York to correct the final proofs of this volume, I met her and her son at the house of a gentleman of color.
As the publisher required more copy still, I determined to narrate the history of this slave.
It is subjoined.
I reported her own language, as she replied to my questions.
The arrangement of it, therefore, is all that I can claim.
This woman has never seen the harshest features of slavery; for she lived in the State
, where, of all others, it exists in its mildest form; she had, also, as she says, a kind old master, until the marriage of his children; and Mr. Hinckley
, as is evident, although a Haynau and petty despot, never punished her with unusual severity or frequency.
This, then, is a picture of slavery in its most pleasing aspects.
Of many of the facts she relates I have personal knowledge; and her character for veracity is vouched for by every one who knows her.
Another word, before her narrative begins.
She was the first slave, or one of the first slaves, ever held in Kansas
She was kept there in bondage, in a Military Reservation, under the immediate shadow of the Federal
, whether accountable for or guiltless of slavery in the South
, is morally responsible for its existence in the Federal
Will the Republicans see that their Congressional Representatives shall instantly withdraw this Federal protection, and instantly abolish slavery, wherever — according
to their own theories — they have the power to reach and extinguish it?
Unless the People
compel them, they will never attempt it. But, to the slave mother's narrative:
I was born and raised in Madison county, Ketucky.
I will be thirty-nine next August.
I belonged to Mr. William Campbell.
I was raised in the same family as Lewis Clarke, who has written a book about his life.
My master lived on Silver Creek, about eight miles from Richmond.
He owned nineteen or twenty slaves.
My mother belonged to him; my father to Mr. Barrett, who lived about three miles off. My mother was always the cook of the family.
I lived in Kentucky till I was about fourteen years of age, when old master moved off to Clay county, Missouri, carrying my mother with him, and all her children, excepting Millar, who had been sold to one of Mr. Campbell's cousins.
She had thirteen children at that time, and had one more in Missouri. One daughter died on the journey.
A kind master.
They parted my father and mother; but, when in Indiana, old master went back and bought him. He left us in charge of a son-in-law, and rejoined us with my father in Missouri.
My poor mother!
It seems to me too bad to talk about it. You have no idee what it is to be parted; nobody knows but them that's seen it and felt it. The reason that old master went back to Kentucky and bought my father, was because my mother grieved so about being separated
from him. She did not think about running away.
Slaves did n't long for freedom in those days; they were quiet and had plenty of privileges then.
We were treated pretty well in Kentucky. Mr. Campbell was a kind master; one of the best there was. He had between six and seven hundred acres of land, but he did not push his hands; he was well off and did not seem to care; so we did pretty much as we pleased.
Miller, who was left in Kentucky, was sold South; none of us have ever heard of him since.
Theory of the marriage of slaves.
We girls were all unmarried when we moved to Missouri, and excepting Millar, we all lived together till old master's family began to set up for themselves.
I was the first that got married.
It was the next year after we went to Missouri that I was married to Nathaniel Noll.
There was about three hundred people at my wedding.
When a respectable colored girl gets married, it is the custom there, and in Kentucky, for all the neighbors, white and black, to come and see the ceremony.
Colored people and whites associate more in the South than in the North.
They go to parties together, and dance together.
Colored people enjoy themselves more in the South than in any other part of the world, because they don't know their condition.
We were married by Mr. Chandler, at my master's house.
I remember the words he said after I was married; says Mr. Campbell, says he, “You join these people together; that is, till 1 choose to make a separation.”
I heard it myself.
He went up to the
minister just as soon as the ceremony was over, and said it aloud, in presence of everybody in the room.
I was young and happy, and did n't think much about it then, but I've often, often thought about it since.
Practice at the marriage of slaveholders.
Sam was the first of my master's family married.
When he married, the old man gave him Ellen and Daniel, my sister and brother.
Daniel was twelve or thirteen; Ellen ten years old. She died soon after, from the effects of a cold, brought on by insufficient clothing.
Otherwise she was well treated.
My husband belonged to Mr. Noll, who lived about seven miles below our place.
He was half-brother to his master. His mother was his father's slave.
After we were married, he used to come up every Saturday night, and leave before daylight on Monday morning. He was treated pretty well.
I staid about four years with old master, until his daughter, Miss Margaret Jane, was married to Mr. Levi Hinkle.
Then the old man gave me and two of my children to her. My oldest boy he kept.
I had had a pretty easy life till I got with them.
Hinkle lived at Fort Leavenworth; lie was a forage master.
It was about fourteen years ago. I was taken immediately to Fort Leavenworth, with my two little children, and have never seen my husband since, excepting twice, both times within six months after Mr. Hinkle's marriage.
Nathaniel came up to Fort Leavenworth three months after our separation; and then, again, three months from that visit.
Last lime his master told him that lie would never allow him to leave the State again.
That is fourteen years
ago; I have never seen him since.
My boy, Millar, says that lie saw him recently, and that he lives with another woman, and has a family by her.
The old folks' family.
Daniel, my brother, was sold by Sam. Campbell to a man in Clay county, and lives there yet.
Mahala, my oldest sister, was given to Mr. Green White, who was married to Mary Ann Campbell.
She got married after she went home with them.
She had five children by her husband, and then she was sold away from them.
Her husband, Joe Brown, was driven out — of the house some three or four years before she was sold; he belonged to another master, and Mr. White did not like him about his house.
I know nothing about Joe; his wife was sold somewhere up in Andrew county, and I have heard nothing of her since.
I do not think she has ever seen her children from that time.
I know that four of them are with Mr. White yet, and that she is not there; and that, about two months after she was taken away, her oldest boy, Henry, was sold down South.
My son has kept track of them.
Mahala told me she was treated very badly by her mistress.
She often tried to whip Mahala; but as she was sickly she couldn't do it — for we girls never would allow a woman to strike us — and so she had to get her husband to do it. He often whipped her ; sometimes stripped her, and sometimes not.
A great misfortune.
and Manda, my other sisters, were both sold out of the family, privately, to a man of the
name of Elisha Arrington
of Platte county, Missouri
He lives on the prairie between Fort Leavenworth
and Clay county
, near the dividing line of Platte
I cannot say much of the life of Mandy, as I have only seen her once since.
owned two men also.
Both of my sisters were married while they belonged to him. Mr. Arrington
met a great misfortune, and sold all his slaves, and swore he would never keep another nigger about him, but compel his daughter to do the kitchen work herself.”
“ What do you mean,” I asked, “when you say a great misfortune?”
She hesitated, but finally told me that
his daughter bore a child to one of his slaves.
The boy was frightened, and ran away to Kansas, but was brought back in chains and sold.
Manda was sold to a Mr. Jacks. Mr. Jacks is a very nice sort of man, but his wife treated Manda very badly.
Our family are all high-spirited, and would never let a woman strike them.
That's the reason why we've been sold so often.
Serena was sold to a man named Yates, who lived up in Savannah.
He bought her husband too. Mr. Yates kept her about seven years. None of us knew where she was all the time.
She had two or three children.
Then he sold her, but kept her children. She has been sold twice since; each time with her husband, but each time away from her children. He belongs now to a man named Links, who lives somewhere in Platte county.
The other sister sold.
“ Maria (another sister) was sold by Mr. Campbell
next winter after I was married.
Poor little thing!
she was taken out of the yard, one day, as she was running about — so young and happy-like.
It almost broke old mother's heart.
was an old villain, he was, although he did not whip us often, and fed us well.
Nobody but an old villain would have treated poor old mother so, after she had worked for him so long and faithful.
would always make us take our own part, even against his own young one, or anybody else's: he would n't allow anybody to whip us except himself.
Maria was sold to a man named Phelps
“ The Congressman
“ No,” she said, sneeringly, “not that old Phelps
: he was not smart enough: this Phelps
lived north of Estelle's Mills, near Clinton
She was not treated like human-she was treated like a dog by both of them.
I saw her once at Phelps
's; she was twenty-one or twenty-two then.
But we did not get much chance to talk; I staid there only a few minutes.
She told me she was treated very badly; she looked broken-hearted, poor thing; she was n't clad decent; she had not a shoe to her feet.
I saw the marks of the whip on her neck, and shoulders and arms.
it made me sad to see her. She had two young ones: but I do n't know whether she was married or not.”
Fate of her brothers.
Howard, my brother, the old man gave to his son John, who took to gambling and horse-racing, and got into debt; then he mortgaged him to a man
by the name of Murray, of Platte city.
He is a very good master, I hear.
Howard is with him now.
Lewis ran away into Kansas six or seven years before the wars there; but they brought him back in irons, and he is there yet. Lewis was married to a girl that belonged to another man, and had two children by her. Then Mr. Williams, who owned her, moved into Jackson county, and took her and her young ones with him. Lewis has never seen them since.
The old and young folks.
My youngest sister, I do n't know anything about.
Angeline, another sister, was sold to Col. Park, of Parkville.
She is with him yet. He is a kind master; but you know more of her than I do.
My old father is dead.
The separation of our family broke the hearts of my father and mother.
It was dreadful to see the way my old mother took on about it. You could hear her screaming every night as she was dreaming about them.
It seemed so hard.
No sooner was she beginning to get sort — of reconciled to one child being gone, than another was taken and sold away from her. My poor old mother!
It was awful to see her. And yet they say we have no feelings!
The relation of these facts so excited Malinda, that it was with difficulty that she could compose herself to conclude the narrative.
I told her to confine herself now to her personal history.
I was taken to Fort Leavenworth some two or three years--it may be more — before the Mexican
My oldest boy was three years old then; now he is twenty-two.
My oldest boy, as I said, was kept at home.
My youngest child, Julia, was about three years old; she died about two years afterwards.
Georgy was but a boy.4 Oh!
how I used to worry!
Oh! I was n't nobody.
It did n't seem as if I keered for anything or anybody in the world.
I was worrying about my husband and boy. Then he treated me badly, and she treated me badly.
I was well clothed, and well fed; they couldn't have starved me if they had wanted to; for I was their body servant and housekeeper, and had everything to look after.
They allowed me everything.
We got along pretty well the first two or three years. She did not begin to get ugly till she began to have children.
Then she began to get ugly.
They were bad and it worried her. She did not bring them up right.
She never was pleasant after she began to have children.
You would not have thought it was the same woman.
Slavery in the household.
“She seemed to be very jealous of me
. She seemed to think her husband liked me too well.
She could not bear him to give me anything, or to say anything in my favor.
When he went to Weston
and got anything for me, she would fight about it; and, sometimes, she would get hold of it, and not let me have it; then he would insist on her giving it up; and then they would fight.
I attended to my work well, and he treated me well; but she could not bear to hear me praised.
This sort of tyranny, occasioned
by jealousy, is one of the most common causes of the bad treatment of the domestic servants of the South
. It is far more common than anybody knows of; for Southern gentlemen, generally, are very partial to colored girls.
This makes a continual feud in families.”
“ Does not the church take notice of these things whenever they become public?”
No! Southern clergymen are no better than worldly folks.
I know of my own self about them.
I have known Southern ministers, my own self, make impudent advances to me in the very Sunday schools.
Colored women know what they are.
My mistress used to go home every two or three months. She always took me with her; she would not trust me alone at the Fort.
She never tried to strike me at Fort Leavenworth, because her husband would not allow it. When she got home to her father's, she tried to get him to whip me. He refused.
One day, when I had her child in my arms, she came up behind me, and struck me with a broom over the head.
I had a good mind to throw her child into the fire, but I restrained my temper, and didn't say a word to her. When we got back to Fort Leavenworth, she boasted to Aunt Jennie (her husband's other slave), that she had struck me once and would keep it up now. I heard her, and said, loud enough for her to hear me, that if she ever laid her hand on me again, she would not get off so easy as she did before.
After that, she seemed afraid to try. But, one morning, she got angry at me, seized a broom, and attempted to strike me with it. I seized hold of another, and made at her. She didn't dare to strike.
She told her husband about it. He tied
me up, stripped me, and lashed me, till the blood rained off my back and arms.
Then he put handcuffs on me and threatened to sell me South.
I talked back to him, and told him that I wished he would sell me. It makes me mad to think about it. When these Yankees come out to be slaveholders, are n't they fiends?
,” I asked, “a New Englander?”
“ No,” she said,
he was a Pennsylvanian.
Well: after he got through, I told him that if his wife ever tried to strike me, I would half kill her. She never did try again.
But of all the devils that ever lived, she was the worst.
She tormented me in every way she could, and make me right miserable, I tell you.
I found out that Hinkle was trying to sell me, and sought secretly to find a master to suit me. A gentleman who knew me — a Missouri slaveholder — offered to buy me, take me with him to California, and liberate me after two years. When Hinkle found out that I had a chance to be free, he refused to sell me, and he and my friend had a regular row about it. The way Col. E — did abuse him, and Northern men who held slaves, made him terrible angry.
Hinkle then tried to make me contented; denied that he had intended to sell me, and told me he would never part with me if I would be a good girl.
I told him I would never be contented in his service again, and he had better find a purchaser as soon as he could do it.
Soon after this quarrel, he went to Pennsylvania to see his folks and his wife placed me in the care of Mr. White, her brother-in-law.
They treated me like a lady, excepting that they watched me like a dog. They were afraid that I would run away, and
never trusted me a minute out of their sight.
They took me to meeting in their own carriage, and made me come back in the same way. They made me sleep in their bedroom, on a mattress on the floor, but paid no regard to my feelings, any more than if I was a cat.
When they found that I would not be contented nohow, they agreed to sell me. Major Ogden knew me at the Fort; and, when he heard I was for sale, came down and asked me if I was willing that he should buy me. He said that he would only keep me until I paid for myself in work.
He would allow me ten dollars a month.
But he could not buy my children.
I agreed to go with him. He would not have bought me unless I had been willing to go. I led a first-rate life.
I had more work to do than ever in my life before; but I had plenty of privileges, and did not complain when I was treated so well.
I was thirteen years at Fort Leavenworth, eight years with Hinkle, and five years with the Major's family.
Before my time was out, the Major took me to Connecticut.
He was ordered West with his regiment, and died at Fort Riley.
I did not try to run away; I was willing to work my time out. But, if he had wished me to return to a Slave State.
I would not have gone with him. I would not trust any one with my freedom.
“ A bird in the hand,” I thought, “was worth two in the bush.”
These Northern people, when they taste slavery, like it as well as anybody.
When they change, they are so different.
I have been free, in every way, for two years now.
Here the narrative of the mother ends.
The first thing that she did, after having faithfully carried out
her contract with the Major
's family, was to work till she saved the sum of fifty dollars. That amount she placed in the bank, as the first installment for the purchase of her son at Parkville
It heads the long list of subscriptions which ultimately enabled her to buy him. I find that the fourth name on the list is the Editor
of the Journal of Commerce
. The world does move after all!
She travelled from city to city, and from State to State, receiving pecuniary aid from hundreds of persons — in sums varying from twenty-five cents up to five and ten dollars. The master of her boy unfortunately heard of her zeal and success, and, with truly characteristic barbarity, raised the price of his slave to $1,200. That this amount was duly paid, this copy of his certificate of freedom will show:
“All men,” says a great American State paper, “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
What a comment on this specious declaration is this American bill of sale of a son to his own mother!
felons in fodder: a hisorical sketch of the Federal officers in Kansas.
, for four years past, has held up the mirror to modern Democracy; and in its history the true character of this subtile and stupendous despotism — every hidden and hideous feature of it — is faithfully and unerringly delineated.
Whatever, elsewhere, its partisans and supporters may pretend or say, there, by the pressing exigencies of the pro-slavery cause, and the frequent necessity for prompt, decisive and energetic action, Democracy — as represented by its chosen and honored Federal Executives — has stood forth undisguisedly and boldly as the special and zealous champion of the Southern Aristocracy
Let us briefly review the history of its most prominent officials in Kansas
--the unerring mirror of its secret aims and hidden aspirations.
, the first governor, a conservative among conservatives — a Democrat to whom the Fugitive Slave Law
, even, was neither repulsive in character nor in any feature unconstitutional — a devout worshipper at the shrine of Squatter Sovereignty
and of its high priests Messrs. Pierce
--was promptly disgraced and dismissed from office, as soon as it was found that he would not become a servile and passive instrument of iniquity in the blood-stained
hands of Atchison
and his Missouri
, his successor, who signalized his disembarkment by proclaiming, from the door of a common tavern in Westport
, that he was in favor of slavery and “the laws” of the Missourians, as represented by the Shawnee Territorial legislature, was retained in office and sustained by the party, although notoriously incapable and a sot, until the record of his innumerable misdemeanors and follies, official and personal, endangered the success of the Democracy in pending State elections; or, rather, until he resolutely and publicly declared at Lecompton
that he would not any longer be deceived and used by the ruffians.
, the Secretary of State
, thrice the Acting Governor
--a man who never faltered in sustaining the Missouri
mobs — who hounded on the Carolina
robbers to the sack of Lawrence
and the desolation of the Free State
settlements — was retained in office, and with honor, until, on the acceptance of Geary
, it was necessary to replace him by Dr. Gihon
, whose appointment that gentleman insisted on as an indispensable “condition precedent” to it. Was Woodson
No! the faithful — the unfalteringly
faithful — are never so disgraced; except, indeed, at rare intervals and for a brief period only.
He is now one of the chiefs of
the land office at Kickapoo
— a faithful town and a well-rewarded one!
's administration, the Democracy, some-times, in free-soil districts-never in their Southern strongholds!--attribute the freedom of Kansas
, and the election of Buchanan
His fate is familiar to every one.
The moment that he dared to resist the secret will of the Slave Power
, as uttered by its faithful instrument Lecompte
; when he said that a Missourian should not
be bailed for murdering a poor Yankee cripple, the signal was given from the windows of the White House
, and the remorseless axe fell!
Such heterodoxy was not to be tolerated.
said Mr. Kelley
, a Kansas postmaster, once, “when it comes that a man can be hanged for only killing a d----d Yankee abolitionist, I'll leave the country.”
This sentiment seems to have received high official indorsement; for Lecompte
was sustained, and Geary
--was permitted to retire
: and when his
eyes were opened and his
tongue spake against the too transparent frauds of the party in power, his name at once became the prophet of his fate: and his name was Walker
with threats on his tongue and the spirit of slavery — the desire of domination — in his heart; but when he mingled with the people, heard the story of their wrongs, saw the efforts, unjust and violent, of his party to continue their oppression, the scales fell from his
eyes also, and he ceased to kick against the pricks.
“Off with his head,” said the South
howl,” said Buchanan
“Off with his head” --again did the South
repeat the order, but this time in a sterner tone.
did not dare to disobey--“he winced beneath the Southern
thunder,” as Mr. Bigler
phrased it — and Mr. Stanton
The next governor was Denver
, a Platte County
man, recently from California
, a noted duellist there, whose character and conduct in that country secured for him the terrible title of the Butcher.
The Butcher, however, came too late, and had sense enough to see it. There was an odor of fight around the country, too, that somewhat alarmed him; visions of duels haunted his uneasy slumbers; he thought, upon the whole, that to attempt to enslave such a people might be, and probably would be, an unhealthy operation.
So, we find, that he confined his exertions to the pocketing of important bills, charters, and resolutions.
A sort of mincemeat butcher, this; afraid of the ox's horns, indeed, but willing enough, if need be, to stand behind a fence and goad it gently.
His successor is Mr. Sam. Medary
, a Democratic midwife of territorial governments, who was thus rewarded for his attempt, in Minnesota
, to swamp the ballots of American citizens by the fraudulent and literally “naked
votes” of semi-civilized and unnaturalized Indians
If the history of their executive
officers demonstrates that the Democracy are the special champions of slavery, no less clearly is the fact apparent and transparent in their judicial appointments for Kansas
, and Johnson
were the first supreme judges.
discharged, with Governor Reeder
, nominally for land speculations; but Elmore
, really, as he himself declared in his letter to Mr. Cushing
, in order that the dismission of two acknowledged Free State officials might not give it the appearance of proslavery championship.
This occurred in the earlier history of the Territory
, before the Democracy had entirely thrown off their disguises.
holds office still.
No man doubts his professional incapacity for the high position of Chief Justice
, but no one can ever doubt his eminent ability to advance the iniquitous designs of the Slave Power
Of all Judges, since Jeffrey
disgraced the bench, he has probably been the most subservient to the will of tyranny.
He neither falters nor revolts at its utmost demands.
One specimen of his legal erudition will suffice.
was arrested by Titus
and his men and brought before Lecompte
He demanded that the writ of arrest should be read to him. Lecompte
examined the books, and inquired of his clerk, but could find neither record of complaint nor note of the issue of any writ.
He informed Mr. Wakefield
of this fact, and then advised him to take out a writ of habeas corpus
A brief examination of Judge Lecompte
's record in Kansas
will explain why he has retained his place of honor so long and undisturbed, notwithstanding the incessant and angry remonstrances of the people of the Territory
Here is a brief and incomplete chronological note of it:
, April 30, 1855, addresses and takes prominent part in a border ruffian meeting at Leavenworth
by which a Vigilance
Committee is appointed, who notify all “Abolitionists” to leave Kansas
, and drive several of the Free State
men out of the city.
lie subsequently appointed Lyle
, one of these ruffians (who participated in the tar and feathering of Phillips
), clerk of his court, and refused to strike his name from the roll of attorneys, when a motion to that effect was made by Judge Shankland
He appointed Scott Boyle
, two brutal ruffians engaged in the transaction, to other minor offices in his court.
Published a letter to the Legislature, indorsing their action, and declaring (before any case was before him, and, therefore, extra-judicially), that their conduct and enactments were legal in every respect — thus, without precedent, prejudging a point of law which might subsequently have involved, as it did involve, the legal rights and titles of thousands of citizens.
Invited tie Legislature, by special letter read in the House
, to a grand collation, or, rather, what the Indians style “a big drunk,” and then addressed the inebriated assembly, eulogizing them for their patriotism and wisdom, and indorsing their infamous code of laws.
Attended a “law and order meeting” of ruffians, held at Leavenworth
, and declared his deter-mination to enforce the laws at all hazards
: and this after the delivery of the most sanguinary speeches by Calhoun
and other office-holders, in the course of which Judge Perkins
(one of the most conservative of them all--subsequently a District Judge
), told them to “Trust to their rifles, and to enforce the laws, if abolition blood flowed as free as tile turbid waters of the Missouri
made a violent partisan speech to the Grand Jury
(reported by Mr. Leggett
, who was one of them), in which he earnestly urged the conviction of the Topeka Free-State
officers for high treason, but uttered not a syllable about the murderers of Barber
and other Northern martyrs.
This jury was packed by Sheriff Jones
--thirteen pro-slavery to three Free-State men. The jury became a caucus, the pro-slavery members making abusive speeches against all the Free-State
leaders as Massachusetts
paupers; and then found indictments against several prominent citizens for the crime of high-treason and usurpation of office.
(at the same time) issued writs for the destruction of the Free-State Hotel
as a nuisance.
The only evidence brought against it, according to Mr. Leggett
, was the fact that it was the property of the Emigrant Aid
Co., and had been the Headquarters of the people who assembled at Lawrence
, when it was threatened (in December) by a Missouri mob.
Issues writs, also, for the destruction of the Herald of Freedom
, and Free-State
newspapers, and against a bridge over the Wakarusa River
, built by a Free State man named Blanden
, because he refused to take out a charter for it, and thereby acknowledge the validity of the Territorial laws.
Releases the murderer of Buffum
on straw bail
has him re-arrested.
again liberates him. He is sustained by Buchanan
Liberates, also, on straw bail (both bondsmen, Federal office-holders in these cases), the scalper of Mr. Hops
, the notorious Fuggitt
, who bet and won a pair of boots on the wager that he would have an abolition scalp in six hours.
Last summer, he liberated Jack Henderson
when arrested under the Territorial laws, for stuffing ballot-boxes at the Delaware Crossing
To fancy that such a man, so faithful and so prompt, could ever be disgraced by the Democracy, was an indication, on the part of the people of Kansas
, of the existence of extraordinary powers of imagination.
was dismissed by Pierce
, it is true, but has been reinstated by Buchanan
He has been, and still is, I believe, the largest slaveholder in the territory.
Although conservative both by nature and education, he was the captain of a company of ruffians during the civil wars.
, during Geary
's administration, he perpetrated a most cowardly outrage on the person of Mr. Kagi
, the correspondent of the National Era
. The store of a Free-State man had been robbed at Tecumseh
Law there was none.
The boys of Topeka
threatened vengeance unless the case was examined.
A committee was appointed by the ruffians at Tecumseh
It consisted of the person suspected of the robbery!
proslavery; Judge Elmore
, pro-slavery, and a Free-State man. The evidence, full and positive, was given in. The robber, of course, objected to restitution, and the Free-State
man was in favor of justice!
the decision, therefore, devolved on Judge Elmore
He said he could not make up his mind about it. Mr. Kagi
remarked, after recording the decision in the Topeka Tribune
, that, although Pierce
had dismissed Mr. Elmore
for land speculations, he evidently might have assumed the stronger ground of incompetency; for surely a man who could not decide, after explicit testimony and on mature reflection,
whether a convicted robber should be punished or make restitution, was hardly qualified for a seat on the Supreme Bench
of any Territory!
A few days after the publication of the paper, Mr. Kagi
again visited Tecumseh
, for the purpose of reporting the proceedings of the court, then in session there.
advanced towards him, and asked — just as the assassin Brooks
' great senator on a memorable occasion, when prepared to perpetrate a similar outrage--“Is your name Kagi
” Hardly had the word “Yes,” been uttered, before Kagi
was rendered nearly insensible, stunned and blinded by a savage blow on the head from a bludgeon in the hands of Elmore
From an instinct familiar to Kansas
men — hardly knowing what he did — he groped for his pistol.
Before he could draw it, several shots were fired at him by Elmore
, and one shot by the United States
Prosecuting Attorney, who was perched at a window over-head.
rewarded the cowardly assassin by one shot — fired at random — which rendered him, it is said, a eunuch for life!
was a member of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention.
At first, he opposed the more radical pro-slavery features of the constitution and insisted on its submission to the people.
But he suddenly faltered, and made a speech in favor of the Calhoun
It was understood — openly said at the time — that for this service he would be rewarded and deserved to be rewarded by a seat on the Bench; for, if he had adhered to his original plan, the dodge would undoubtedly have been defeated, and the constitution buried beneath an Alps
-on-Apeninnes of freemen's votes.
The prediction is fulfilled.
is again a judge of the Supreme Court of Kansas
He has received the reward of consenting to endeavor to impose a fraudulent constitution on an unwilling people.
He opposed Lecompton
was surrounded by a Missouri mob, in December, 1856, a peaceful and good man was going homeward with his brother and two neighbors.
He was pursued, shot at, and fell from his horse a pale, bleeding corpse.
“I hit him; you ought to have seen the dust fly,” said an office-holder, speaking of the murder.
The murdered man was Barber
; the office-holder Clark
For so meritorious a servant of the Slave Power
one lucrative office did not suffice.
His brother-in-law (a person who can neither read nor write) was appointed to a high position in the Land Office at Fort Scott
--the murderer drawing the salary of it. When he became obnoxious to the people there, by his frequent marauding excursions and persecutions of the Free-State
men, and was obliged to flee for his life, Buchanan
opened his arms to receive him, and gave him the fat berth of a purser in the navy — a life-long office.7
— faithful sheriff — whose recent presence, when the war raged, was indicated by sacked villages or desolated farms, has been recently rewarded still further for his services in Kansas
by the Marshalship of Arrizonia Territory.
, notorious as a bully and ballot-box stuffer,
long held the office of Postmaster of the city of Leavenworth
, of Westport
, who made himself conspicuous, in 1856, in raising ruffian recruits in Missouri
, for the purpose of invading Kansas
, was Postmaster
of that place until he retired from business.
He was succeeded by II.
, the correspondent of the Missouri Republican
, a man publicly accused by his own towns-people of robbing the mail, who is known to have sacked a Free-State store at Palmyra
, and to have committed numerous other highway robberies.
But, although these facts were notorious, he obtained and still holds the appointment of Postmaster (at a point convenient for the surveillance of the interior of the Kansas mails
), in order to compensate him for his disgraceful and overwhelming defeat by old John Brown
at Black Jack
, the most ultra advocate of proslavery propagandism in the West
, at the instance of the friends of the Administration, was elected to the Speakership of the House of Representatives; and the Rev. Tom Johnson
, of the Shawnee Mission
, who enjoys the unenviable notoriety of having first introduced negro slavery into Kansas
proper — long before the Territory
was opened — was elected by the same influence President
of the Council.
It is said that his sons are provided for, also.
, an ignorant and debauched drunkard — a man hardly ever seen sober — having been effectually used as a tool in a military capacity, was appointed U. S. District Attorney, a position he retained till the day of his death.
One instance of his aptitude for such a post may be recorded as a specimen of Democratic appointments to legal positions in Kansas
, one day, after vainly endeavoring, in thick, guttural accents, to open a case, he exclaimed--“Move-‘journ — please — move” --
“Gentlemen,” said Judge Cato
, “I adjourn the case, as you will notice that the United States
himself, when in power, frequently left the bench for the purpose of “taking a smile,” as western people phrase the practice of imbibing watered strychnine at the bar of a low grocery; and more than once the Counsellors, Sheriff
and Jury, weary of waiting for his Honor's return, left the Court
for the purpose of rejoining him, and indulging in his habits also.
The mention of bar-rooms naturally reminds us of another celebrated Kansas
official, whose name, quite recently, was in all men's mouths.
I refer to Mr. John Calhoun
He has been a faithful servant of both Administrations.
As early as November, 1856, he distinguished himself, at the Law
and Order Convention at Leavenworth
, as an ultra and bloodthirsty member of the pro-slavery party.
On that occasion he hastened to inform the people that--
“I,” --this Prince
of political forgers--“I could not trust an abolitionist or a free-soiler out of sight.”
That--“They” --the Free-State
men--“would kneel to the devil and call him God, if he would only help them to steal a nigger.”
And again that--“I” --this veracious chief of the tribe of Candlebox--“I would not believe one of them under oath more than the vilest wretch that licks the slime from the meanest penitentiary.”
He “declared himself ready,” too, to “enforce the laws” --the enactments of the Missouri
mob — and
“to spill his life's blood if necessary to do it.”
Unluckily he did not deem it necessary to shed his blood — as the future historian and probably Calhoun
's own posterity will record with regret.
's valor and Falstaff
's prudence, he kept himself distant from the battle-field — reserving his strength and ability for another day. His services to slavery, in the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, are known to every one.
By adroit management, and the skillful use of Federal money, he procured the passage of the fraudulent constitution, without a “submission clause,” and so arranged the subsequent proceedings to be had under the instrument, that, had it passed through Congress “naked,” the Legislature might have met at Fort Leavenworth
and elected two pro-slavery United States
The political complexion of that assembly was in his own hands.
The defeat of the conspiracy in Congress prevented the completion of the plot.
, his creature — he whose action in the matter of the Delaware crossing
put everything in Calhoun
's power--United States Senators
, State Government and Legislature — the continuance or the abolishment of slavery in Kansas
--as far, at least, as political power, under the peculiar circumstances, could have affected slavery, was received at the White House
with honor, closeted with Buchanan
, and appointed a Secret
Territorial Mail Agent.
's marauders were presented with arms, and paid by the day for sacking Lawrence
and desolating the surrounding region; and one of their number, a Mr. Fane
, was appointed by the President
United States Marshal.
was made a Colonel of Militia, and he and his men were promptly paid; while Captain Walker
and his Free-State company, organized at the same time and in the same manner, under the same arrangement, have never been remunerated for their services to this day.
, bogus delegate, the leader of several gangs of the invaders of Kansas
--on whose hands rests the blood of many martyrs, slain by his ruffians — after failing to be returned to Congress, was made a chief in the Land Office at Kickapoo
, where he now resides.
, a Virginian, for overhauling a peaceful emigrant train, abusing the Northern
people who composed it, and throwing their bedding and clothing on the miry soil, to be trodden on by the cavalry, has also been rewarded with a lucrative position in the same establishment.
Who has not heard of Colonel Emory
--a man notorious — the husband of a woman who once offered to a company of South Carolina
ruffians, to marry any one who would bring her the scalp of a Yankee!
Rich as she was, and poor and ruffianly as they were, not one of them accepted the offer.
was Secretary of State
in General Walker
's ragamuffin “State” of Southern California
, after his appointment as mail contractor, he signalized his devotion to Democracy by ordering a quiet Free-State German
to be shot down, like a dog, in the streets, for expressing his disapprobation of the murder of Phillips
, that noble and heroic martyr whom, also, he had so brutally massacred.
For these services, and for loaning his horses — for he kept a livery stable — to the South Carolina
ruffians, he was
appointed the comptroller of the Land Office at Ogden
Thus: the murderer of Phillips
, as well as every man who had outraged his person a year before, has been rewarded with government offices.
The press has not been forgotten.
Three Free-State offices in Kansas
have been destroyed by violence--two by order of Judge Lecompte
and the official posse
of the United States Marshal; one (the Leavenworth Territorial Register
, a Douglas Democratic paper), by a legally organized Territorial militia company — the same men who so savagely butchered R. P. Brown
— the infamous Kickapoo Rangers.
The pro-slavery press, on the other hand, has also been rewarded for its
The Squatter Sovereign
, once published in the town of Atchison
, was edited by Mr. Speaker Stringfellow
, already mentioned, and Mr. Robert S. Kelley
has always advocated the most blood-thirsty measures against the Free-State
men — urging their expulsion always, and often their extermination.
He advocated, also, a dissolution of the Union
, and the formation of a Southern Confederacy.
In the pro-slavery camp once, he entered the tent where a young Free-State man, a prisoner, lay dangerously ill, and savagely yelled, “I thirst for blood,” an expression which, in the debilitated condition of the invalid's health, superinduced a brain fever, from which he did not recover for many months.
This man, also, was the leader of the mob which tarred and feathered the Rev. Pardee Butler
, and then put him on a raft on the Missouri River
— for presuming, in a private conversation, to deprecate the lynching of a man who had suffered there a few days before for his political
belief, and also for saying that he himself was in favor of making Kansas
a Free State.
This man was appointed postmaster at Atchison
; his brother-in-law is postmaster still at Doniphan
; his paper received the government patronage, and printed the United States
, published at Leavenworth
, although neither so honest in expression, nor violent in policy, was equally Satanic in its conduct.
It slandered the murdered Free-State martyrs and the Free-State
cause; and by its insidious misrepresentations and appeals did more than any other journal to prolong the troubles in Kansas
was appointed Brigadier-General
of the militia; its associate editor and Washington
correspondent was rewarded with a consulship; and the paper has been the official organ of the administration in Kansas
, the publisher of its laws and its bribery advertisements, from its establishment till now.
Its present associate in these advantages is the Herald of Freedom
, which has been rewarded with the government patronage ever since its attacks on the Republican party.
It is to the credit of the Free-State
men that since they obtained the power, both political and of the mob, no paper has been disturbed, nor the freedom of speech assailed, although the pro-slavery press and pro-slavery stump still echoes the foulest slanders on their creed, their leaders, and their party.
I might prolong to an unendurable extent this list, black — and still blackening as it lengthens — of the ruffianly recipients of official rewards for vile deeds done in the unhappy territory, which has so long been the victim of the Slave Power
's lust; but which,
recently — thank God--proved itself not unworthy of its illustrious and free Puritan
descent, by spurning so unceremoniously and so firmly the bribe that was held up beneath a threat to reduce it But with another instance I will close it, referring those of you who would learn the entire length, and the depth, and the breadth of it, to consult the ensanguined chronicles of Kansas
, which are strewed with similar and even more deplorable outrages.
There was, and yet is, a wealthy firm in Leavenworth
, who have thousands of men in their employ.
They established a branch of their business in the city when it was still a straggling village, and wealth thus contributed greatly to its rapid increase in population.
was surrounded with ruffians.
It was dangerous at Leavenworth
to be known as a Free-State man. This in 1856.
Suddenly every man was asked by the chief of the firm what party he belonged to. Every man who was in favor of a Free State, and every man who was not emphatically pro-slavery, without any regard to his merits as a workman, was instantly cashiered.
A handbill appeared in Lexington
and other Missouri
towns a few weeks afterwards, telling workmen that this firm needed help; but it contained this ominous, and in view of the author's connection with the Government
, this significant postscript: “N. B. None
need apply who are not sound on the Southern
Months elapsed and the war was resumed.
The territory was covered with guerillas, gangs of highwaymen, horse-thieves, and house-breakers from Missouri
, and South Carolina
An immense posse
was gathering at Lecompton
to sack the town of Lawrence
The firm had about
a hundred men at their establishment preparing to start across the prairies.
They were told to go and fight the Yankees
, furnished with arms and powder, and had the same pay that they received for their services at their ordinary work.
This same firm appealed, with Atchison
, to the South
for men and arms; one of them acted as the treasurer to the Southern
contributors, and disbursed the treasury of desolation and civil war as the exigencies of their guerilla forces and armies required.
This firm has made millions
by the government contracts.
For a specimen of the manner in which they have been rewarded, I refer you to the last report of the Secretary of the Treasury
, from which you will see that they have been paid at the rate of $187 per barrel for transporting each and every barrel of flour forwarded to the army at Utah
If, then, as Charles Sumner
says, “he who is not for freedom in her hour of peril, is against her,” be true, and be equally true of slavery, how will the South
and her oligarchy ever be able to defray their indebtedness to the Democracy?
and how, too, will New England
and the North
ever be able to square their
accounts, even when the terrible day of reckoning does come?
Iii. Slave-hunting in Kansas: fate of the Shannon guards.
the most romantic passages of Kansas
history have never yet been penned.
I will relate two authentic incidents, as specimens of these narratives suppressed; and will give them, as nearly as I remember, in the language of a noble friend, who related, and participated in the scenes described.
I had been speaking of the first slave who escaped from Missouri
by the Kansas and Nebraska Underground Railroad, and remarked that I was proud of the fact that I had armed them, and otherwise assisted them to continue their heroic and arduous journey.
“That railroad,” my friend said, “does a very brisk business now. I'll tell you an incident of its history.”