To the Close of 1865
by T. F. Robley
Fort Scott, Kansas 1894
SECOND ELECTION ON LECOMPTON CONSTITUTION
The year 1858 opened politically with the now almost periodical election on the Lecompton Constitution. This one occurred on the 4th of January, as was provided for, as will be remem-bered, by the Territorial legislature in the special session of December, 1857.
In Bourbon County the vote was as follows:
For the Constitution with slavery 55
The total vote in the Territory, as published, was:
For the Constitution with slavery 138
There was little or no deliberate or prearranged fraud in this election in Bourbon County. The Pro-slavery men in their turn abstained to a great extent from voting, but the Free State men went at it in great shape this time.
No analysis of the vote can be made. It will be noted that Bourbon County cast nearly one-half of the total votes in the Territory for the Constitution with slavery, as they were finally counted. But the vote proved nothing as to the relative strength of parties in this county. If an accurate poll of the legal voters in the county that day could have been taken for the Constitution with slavery, or against the entire Constitution, it would have resulted in about 250 votes for each side of the question.
FIRST NEWSPAPER ESTABLISHED
The Fort Scott Town Company fell heir to the press and material of the "Southern Kansan," which was started and two numbers issued by Kline, who went to war, and got killed in 1856, as you have read.
This material was afterwards stored in the black-smith shop of Arnett's corral, where it remained until January, 1858, when it was resurrected under the aus-pices of J. E. Jones. It was removed to the south room of the second floor of the Land Office building, where Joe Williams, Jr., and Charlie Bull-scrub typos, proceed to sort the pi, and make ready for the publication of the Fort Scott Democrat. The first number of the Democrat made its appearance on the 27th of January, 1858, J. E. Jones, editor.
The publication of the Democrat was continued by Mr. Jones until sometime in 1859, when he left town.
THE FIRST GRAND BALL
About the 1st of January, 1858, W. T. Campbell, who with his family, had been living at Barnesville, whither he had moved from Kalamazoo, Michigan, came to town and took charge of the Fort Scott or Free State Hotel. Soon after, he gave what might be termed the opening ball. All the elite of the city were present. One fiddle furnished the music. Joe Ray "called," and alamand left" was heard at regular intervals until the "wee small hour" of seven o'clock next morning. We don't remember very well all the ladies who were there, but we do remember Miss Jemima Roach. Jemima was the belle of the evening. For the benefit of the rising generation we will give something of a description of her ball costume, which will answer for a description of all, for they were all about alike cut off the same piece in Colonel Wilson's store. Well, Jemima had on a good warm linsey woolsey dress, with small check, say, half-inch square, cut high neck and low sleeves, trimmed with a feathery ruche of cut calico, and a dove colored belt, a la cinch Mexicano. We believe the dress was not cut bias anywhere, unless it was under the arms. Just a good plain every day dress that would do to milk in. Then good warm woolen stockings, Government red tape garters, and good stout calf-skin shoes, laced with buckskin strings. That's all. Sally Duncan was the only one known to complain about a thing at the ball. She said she "didn't like the durned abolition callin'; too much cheatin' yer pardners."
TROUBLE BEGINS AGAIN
The troops remained here until the 10th of January 1858, when they were ordered away, and then trouble commenced again. Some of the Border Ruffians took a squad out to where Mr. Johnson lived and abused him, took some of his stock, and threatened to make him leave. Johnson got word to Montgomery about it, and asked him to come down and see about some fellows whose names he gave as the leaders, who were then stopping in Fort Scott. About the 10th of February Montgomery was sighted by some of their scouts, coming in sure enough, with a party of twenty men. Out about the California ford on the Marmaton they were met by a delegation to ascertain what he wanted. When he told them who he was after, they informed him that this particular man had leaked out into Missouri. But Monty thought he would come in and see for himself. So he did. But they were gone. Then Crawford and Judge Williams and some others, invited him and his forces to take breakfast at the Free State Hotel; presented him the freedom of the city, so to speak-on a tin platter. So the boys, who were in their "working clothes," and not overly well dressed, took on a good breakfast, and then went quietly home.
On the 15th, the men Montgomery had been looking for returned, Brockett among them. Soon after that a difficulty occurred between Brockett and Charley Dimon, which might have resulted seriously, had it not been for the firmness and courage of Colonel Campbell.
OBJECT LESSON IN SURGERY
On the 28th of February a party under command of Dr. Jennison and "Rev." Stewart, alias "Plum,'' went to the house of a Pro-slavery man named Van Zumwalt, on the Osage, and routed him out. When the door was being opened-which was hung on wooden hinges and opened outward-the muzzle of a gun was noticed being poked out through the crack near the upper hinge. Some one shot at it and Van received the ball in his arm. He then surrendered. It was found to be a bad wound, and Jennison, who was a very good surgeon, then went to work and washed and dressed the wound, giving the boys a clinical lecture as he went along, explaining everything, and giving them instructions how to proceed in similar cases which were likely to to occur in the future.
If Van had been killed it is presumed Rev. Stewart would have made a "few remarks" about the uncertainty of this life, and said a few words for the repose of his soul.
The Jayhawkers always went well fixed in the matter of the learned professions. They generally had a doctor and a preacher along, and quite often a lawyer.
ORIGIN OF "JAYHAWKER"
On this trip the word, Jayhawker, originated. Jennison had with him a regular all-around thief named Pat Devlin. After the boys went into camp north of the Osage, the next morning after visiting Van Zumwalt, they noticed Pat coming in riding a yellow mule loaded down with all sorts of plunder. In front of him were hanging from the horn of the saddle, a big turkey, three or four chickens and a string of red peppers, behind him a 50-pound shoat, a sheep-skin, a pair of boots and a bag of potatoes.
"Hello, Pat, where have you been? asked Doc.
"O I've been over till Eph. Kepley's a-jayhawking."
uJayhawking? What in thunder do you mean? What kind of hawking is that?" said Doc.
"Well, sir, in old Ireland we have a bird we call the jayhawk, that whein it catches another bird it takes delight in bullyragin the life out of it, like a cat does a mouse, and, be Jesus, I bethot me I was in about that same business meself. You call it "foraging off the enemy," but, begobs, I'll call it jayhawking. "
"All right,'' laughed Jennison. "We'll call it Jayhawking from this on." And so it was.
This same Pat Devlin took a claim on the Osage some time before the incident related, laid a foundation for a cabin on it and prepared for pre-emption. But his inclination to jayhawk overcame any desire he may have had to become a farmer, and, in consequence, he was away so much "on that business" that he forfeited all right to his claim. John Hinton, of the Osage, then jumped the claim, built a cabin and moved his father and mother and family into it. Among the family was the old grand father, a man about 85 years of age, who was bed-ridden and helpless from rheumatism. One day Pat was riding by the cabin, and on examination, he found that the family were all away from home except the old man. What did he do then but turn in and first tearing the roof off the house he rolled the logs off one at a time clear down to a level with the old grand pap's bed, leaving him there in the weather, alone and utterly helpless.
About the 20th of February, 1858, McDonald's saw-mill
was completed and steamed up for the first time. The boys thought this was a proper occasion to steam up likewise,
and Alex. McDonald aid "gave a party" that night Eggnog was" the principal ingredient. Ben. McDonald,
John Little and Ed. Smith were chief cooks and did the mixing. They thought they had plenty of fuel when they started
in, but Ben said they run out of Polk County sour mash, and towards the last he had to chuck in some bay rum. Anyway,
they laid the boys all out, bottom side up." They didn't know whether they were border ruffians or prohibitionists.
Joe Ray said the next day, they had to dust their hats with slick powder and put them on with a shoe horn.
On the 6th of February, 1858, an act was passed by the Legislature incorporating the town of Marmaton. W. R. Griffith, W. B. Barber, W. H. Krotzer and Horatio Knowles were named as the incorporators. On the nth of February another act was passed incorporating the Town Company of Marmaton. The incorporators were T. R. Roberts, J. E. Jones, Orlando Darling and Charles Dimon. This Company spelled the name with an "i" instead of an "a" thus: "Marmiton." The correct way to spell the name of the town and the river is as the Town Company had it. The name was given the river by the French fur traders who were here before any other white people. The word means scullion, or kitchen boy, the one that empties the pots and slops. But the people of the town and township preferred to spell the name " Marmaton," and they petitioned the County Court to have the spelling of the name changed, and it was so ordered.
Uniontown was laid out in 1858, by Aleph Goff, W. W. Wright and B. F. Gumm, who were members of the Town Company. Uniontown took the place of "Turkey Creek" post office, which was a well known point in the early days of the Territory, when it was in "Russell" Township. It is surrounded by as fine an agricultural country as there is in the county, and the settlers, old and new, are of the best class of people.
THE LEAVENWORTH CONSTITUTION
The Legislature on the 10th of February, 1858, passed an act providing for the election of delegates to another State Constitutional Convention. The election was held on the 9th of March. W. R. Griffith was delegate from this county. The Convention met at Minneola on the 23rd of March, and after organizing adjourned to Leavenworth, where the first session was held on the 25th of March. On April 3d the "Leavenworth Constitution" was completed. The prominent feature of this Constitution was that it nowhere contained the word "white."
The Leavenworth Constitution did not figure to a great extent in the history of Kansas. President Buchanan had, on the 2nd of February, 1858, trans-mitted the old Lecompton Constitution to the Senate and recommended the admission of the State under it. This he did in the face of the known and often expressed opposition to that Constitution by both the Free State Republicans and the Free State Democrats.
THE ENGLISH BILL
Congress, being unable to agree on the question, finally appointed a conference committee, and on the 23d of April, W. H. English, of Indiana, reported for the committee what is known as the "English Bill." This act provided that the Lecompton Constitution be again resubmitted to a vote of the people; provided stringent regulations for securing a fair vote, and provided for an immense grant of lands to the State for various purposes, aggregating nearly six million acres, as a straight bribe to the people if they would adopt it. We will vote on this proposition as quick as we can get around to it
JAYHAWKING REDUCED TO PLAIN STEALING
Everything being somewhat quiet this winter in the "political" circles of this section, Montgomery decided to retire from the field, and do a little work in the way of improvements on his farm in Linn county when spring opened. There were others, he thought, who could continue the watch on the border and keep the upperhand of the Border Ruffians in this part of the Territory. The man principally relied on to do that was a Methodist preacher called Captain, or "Rev." Stewart, the same man mentioned as having had a hand in the Van Zumwalt affair. Stewart had about twenty men, who mostly lived north of the Osage river, when they had any home at all. For awhile everything went off all right. But very soon brother Stewart "backslid," and he and his gang began stealing horses right and left, and running them off up north. They gave themselves up to plundering, robbing and stealing from everybody and anybody. They pretended to be Free-State men-called themselves so-but any man who had a little property was a Pro-slavery man in their eyes, and "all horses were Pro-slavery."
They committed so many villainous outrages that the settlers, of all parties, began to leave the country. Many came in to Fort Scott for protection. It seemed like the country would be depopulated. The Governor was appealed to for troops by Judge Williams and others and on the 26th of February Captain George T. Anderson came down with two companies of the 1st U. S. Cavalry. But he could not do much good; he could not guard each individual, and he could not catch the thieves. He told the settlers who applied to him for protection that they must come in to Fort Scott. That was a difficult matter, too, for those who had property, especially stock. They could not well bring that in to town. This plundering and stealing was aided and participated in to some extent by a few of these very U. S. soldiers, who were sent here to protect the people. Edward Wiggin, who now lives on his farm about four miles north of Fort Scott, came here with Capt. Geo. T. Anderson, as a private in Company "I," Anderson's company. He says there was a small squad of his company, giving their names as Bill DeBost, Jim Simmons, Henry Sad wick and some others, who soon fell in with the idea of playing "Jayhawker,'' and influenced by some of the old Border Ruffians, repeatedly made stealing raids out into the county, in which they represented themselves as "Stewart's men," and Free-State men. A. Hyde, who after the war located in Fort Scott, and was at one time City Marshal, and who our citizens familiarly called Cap. Hyde, was also a member of Anderson's company. Through the influence principally of Ed. Wiggin and Cap. Hyde the thieves mentioned were driven out of the company for this stealing business.
In the meantime, all this thieving and indiscriminate plundering was casting an odium on the Free State party and giving it a bad name among those who were not in the saddle.
Things came to such a pass that Montgomery again took the field to straighten them out. As soon as he appeared Stewart and most of his gang left this part of the Territory for a while and that sort of business ceased for some time.
FIGHT WITH U. S. TROOPS
Montgomery remained in the field. The Southeast-ern border was infested by Border Ruffians of the worst class, many of whom had been driven down by the Free State men further north and had lodged along the Missouri State line. They were making their last stand here. Hamilton was their General-in-chief. It was an idea of theirs to use the United States troops to accomplish the capture of old Jim Montgomery. They had out their spies, and on the 21st of April it was ascertained and reported to them that Montgomery was in the Marmaton valley. Captain Anderson was at once urged by the Border Ruffian crowd to go out and bring him in. Anderson, like many of the regular army officers, was himself an ultra Pro-slavery man and would have liked nothing better than to have gotten hold of Montgomery. He did not require much urging, and soon started out with a detail of men to capture him. About six or eight miles out, in the Isaac Mills neighborhood, they sighted old Jim sure enough, riding leisurely along, with about twenty men, and they took after him full tilt. It had not yet become customary to fight United States troops by either faction, and Montgomery having no desire to commence the practice "skeedaddled.'' But being close pressed he turned up Yellow Paint Creek to a good narrow defile for defensive purposes which he knew of, quickly dismounted his forces to fight as infantry, and coolly awaited the onslaught of Anderson's troops. Anderson paid no attention to the order, three times given, to halt, but opened fire without dismounting, badly wounding one man, John Denton. Montgomery replied with a volley, killing one soldier named Alvin Satterwait, wounding one or two others and killing a soldier's horse, which fell on him pinning him to the ground, and also killing Anderson's horse. The regulars then retreated to town, and the irregulars went on about their business.
This was the first and only time United States troops were fired on during the border troubles. The Free State party had always been careful to avoid placing themselves in the light of rebels, or as resisting the . bogus Territorial laws. This affair was not similar to that of Thermopolyae or the Alamo, for "Thermopolyae had one messenger of destruction; the Alamo had none," but it might easily have been, had Anderson's force been of similar disproportion.
Captain Anderson resigned soon after this, and when the war broke out he went into the rebel army and became a Brigadier General. He had a brigade at Pittsburg Landing. Captain Hyde was also in that battle as a private in the regular army. On the first day of the battle Hyde was wounded and left in the hands of the Confederates, where he was accidentally thrown into the presence of General Anderson. They knew each other at once, and Anderson caused him to be taken care of until the second day, when the tide of battle, surging past where he was, left him in the hands of his friends.
The second in command under Montgomery in the Paint Creek fight was Aaron D. Stevens, then going under the name of Captain Whipple. More will be said of him hereinafter.
Among the men who settled in this county in the Spring of 1858, was James F. Holt, who went out to where William Holt was located on Turkey Creek. Mr. Holt was born in Tennessee, April 15, 1819. He was postmaster at Turkey Creek, and held other important positions and was a well known figure in our county affairs. William Jackman came from Pennsylvania and settled at Rockford. Guy Hinton, A. Wilson and his brother M. Wilson came out from Ohio, and located at Mapleton. Frank M. Smith, from Tennessee, settled near Mapleton. Charles Elliott, from Ohio, was quite a prominent man; he served as County Treasurer one term. D. B. Jackman, Attorney-at-Law, first went to Anderson county, but located all along the Osage" in 1858. He was prominent in "Squatter Court" affairs. E. G. Jewell and D. Jewell settled on the Osage. E. G. Jewell, a very prominent man, was one of the vice-presidents at the organization of the Republican party at Osawatomie, May 18, 1859. H. Hickson, from Ohio, settled on Mill Creek. W. R. Clyburn, from Indiana, settled on Drywood. The Custard family, from Pennsylvania, and J. B. Caldwell from the same State, settled on Drywood.
C. H. Haynes and family as noted by the Fort Scott Democrat, arrived in March, 1858. He soon afterwards purchased an interest in the saw-mill, and some time afterwards he and Mr. Jenkins moved the mill to the Marmaton river, northeast of the Plaza. Captain Haynes entered the service at the beginning of the war, as a lieutenant in the 6th Kansas, and in 1862 raised and commanded Co. B, 14th Kansas. He was married to Miss Jennie Hoyle, December 20, 1855.
John J. Stewart, who has already been mentioned as having come here in January, 1856, had now grown to manhood, and taken a claim on Mill Creek near Centerville. He married Miss Elizabeth Harbin in February, 1856. During the war he served first in the 6th Kansas, and afterwards raised and commanded Co. C, of Colonel Eaves* battalion, and was all through the Price raid of October, 1864. He has repeatedly represented the Mill Creek District in the Legislature, and has served two terms as County Treasurer. He finally moved to Fort Scott, and was one of the principal founders of the well known State Bank.
Charles W. Goodlander arrived in Fort Scott on
the 29th of April, 1858. He came in on the first trip of the stage on the line between Kansas City and Fort Scott,
just opened by Squires of Squireville, and which was to try to run tri-weekly thereafter. Goodlander had learned
the carpenter trade, and desired to work at that business here; but not finding work just then, he took the job
of carrying the mail to Cofachique, which then existed near where Humboldt is now. On his trip he found the postmaster
at Turkey Creek away from home, and the lady of the house, Mrs. Holt, was washing. She gave him the key and told
him to change the mail himself. He did so, and found the mail consisted of one lone copy of the N. Y. Tribune,
He got an occasional job at his trade, and would often carry the necessary lumber from the sawmill on his back.
After a while he built a shop of his own. He felt then like he was an independent citizen, and dreamed of the time
in the far distant future when he would be worth a fortune of ten thousand dollars. That was the objective point
which he hoped some day to attain. Like a good number of the men who came to Bourbon County in an early day who
are recognized as among the leading citizens in the town and county, he was a poor boy, with only industry, integrity,
native will power and good hard sense as the capital with which he commenced life. And like these men also, with
whom he has often joined hands in local enterprises after the hardships of those disjointed times, he soon became
a powerful factor in the advancement of the interests of the city and county.
For a good while there was not much business going on in Fort Scott, and the young men found it difficult to get steady work. They did what they could find to do in the way of odd jobs, and when business got too slack and collections slow, they would uaccept a position" on the jury of the United States Court. That was richness. The pay was $2.50 a day in gold.
All the boys resorted to the jury when it became necessary to make a payment on board and washing, especially board. The washing didn't worry them. The jury was about the only means of raising ready cash.
The saw mill had been running since the opening night,n sawing up oak logs into flooring and dimension stuff, and large walnut logs that would now be worth $100 each, into siding and fencing. The cottonwood lumber was all corralled or lariated out.
Building operations now commenced on Market street. W. I. Linn was the first to begin. He built and opened a saloon in the structure afterwards occupied by Linn & Stadden as a grocery store. J. S. Calkins put up a small building further east, and the town company another, opposite the head of Scott avenue, and alongside the alley running toward the corral. George J. Clarke and Will Gallaher also erected a small log building on the rear of the lot afterwards occupied by Riggins. Further out, Roach had erected the celebrated "Fort Roach." Ben. McDonald and Albert Campbell built a small house on Williams, street. Market street, then Bigler street, was not opened for some time, owing to Ben Hill's lot fence. His house was on the street, back of the Western Hotel. J. C. Linn commenced, but never completed, a three-story frame on the corner now occupied by the stone block on Wall and Main streets. Kelly's blacksmith shop stood on the point of the triangle between Wall and Market streets.
RUFFIANS HAVE AN INNING
During the winter and early spring of 1858 there was much friction between Free-State men in Fort Scott and the ultra Pro-slavery party. The latter formed themselves into a secret society called the "Bloody Reds," which extended into the border counties of Missouri. Dr. George P. Hamilton was the head. The Western Hotel, then known better as the "Pro-slavery Hotel," was their "official" headquarters, although their favorite meeting place was at the house of Thomas Jackson, in Vernon County, Missouri. The Pro-slavery Hotel-now torn down-was on the opposite corner of the Plaza, directly facing the Free-State Hotel.
The "Reds" had a special spite against George A. Crawford, Will Gallaher and Charles Dimon, and they decided to commence operations by driving them out of town. On the 27th of April they received the following note addressed to them :
'GENTLEMEN : You are respectfully invited to leave town in twenty-four hours.
"GEO. P. HAMILTON"
Crawford sent this verbal answer: "I don't exchange messages with horse-thieves," and the crisis was on. There was no longer room for both factions. One or the other must go. The Free State party, numbering about twenty-five well armed men, decided they would stay, fight all comers and take the chances. Both parties assembled at the Free State and Pro-slavery hotels, respectively, and neither ventured out. B. F. Brantley and J. H. Little called on the Free State party and informed them that if the worst came they could count on them. But they felt doubtful about the soldiers, as, it will be remembered, Montgomery had killed one of them only a few days before, but E. A. Smith went into their camp and ascertained that they would at least remain neutral. Nevertheless, Brockett had secured three of them and secreted them in the Western Hotel. But the next day they were arrested and taken to camp under guard.
This state of affairs continued until the next night, when the "Reds" raised the siege, and the most of them left, never to return, and were not heard of again until the Marais des Cygnes massacre, in which they were the leading actors.
THE MARAIS DES CYGNES MURDER
The Marais des Cygnes massacre occurred on the
19th of May, near the Trading Post. A body of twenty-five Border Ruffians, under the leadership of Captain Hamilton
swooped down on the valley of Mine Creek, in Linn County, and gathering up eleven Free State men took them across
the Marais des Cygnes river to a lonely ravine, formed them in line, and repeatedly fired into them, killing five
outright and leaving all for dead.
Thomas Jackson, Harlan, Yealock, Beach, Griffith
and, Matlock. The others were probably here more or less but their names are not certainly known.
The nearest a parallel was the Pottawatomie murders committed by old John Brown and his sons, on the 24th of May, 1856. Brown went to the houses of his victims in the dead of night, and killed them one at a time. The men killed, five in number, were also unwarned and unarmed. It is true they were Pro-slavery men, but-a third of a century has passed away.
The actors of that time have taken their rightful places in public estimation. As for old John Brown, the prediction of his intimates did not take place that "the gallows would become as glorious as the Cross.''
About the time of the massacre Montgomery was in Johnson County, but arrived that night at the Trading Post, where he found about 200 men assembled. The next morning a pursuit was organized with Sheriff McDaniels, R. B. Mitchell and Montgomery at the head. They left for West Point, a town about twelve miles north, where it was believed Hamilton had taken refuge. But they failed to find any of the gang, but it is believed some of them were there hidden away by the citizens. Search has kept up and the border guarded for sometime.
That fall Matlock was captured and taken to Paris, Linn County, for trial, but he escaped. In 1863 Wm. Griffith was arrested in Platte County, Missouri, and taken to Mound City for trial. He plead "not guilty" and set up the Amnesty Act as defense, but the jury found him guilty, and Judge S. O. Thatcher of this district sentenced him to death, and he was hanged October 30, 1863. Hairgrove, one of the survivors of the massacre, acted as hangman.
THE EFFECT ON THE BORDER
After the Marais des Cygnes murder the people all along the border were naturally much excited. They felt that this massacre was, in some sense, different and more alarming than any outrage that had yet occurred. They were used to hearing of murders, collisions between two factions, the sacking of towns, and of assassinations, but in these cases they were often the outcome of personal difficulties, or the animus was directed against persons or communities particularly objectionable. In this instance, however, they saw this armed band, sweeping in a semi-circle through the country, picking up one at a time these men who were absolutely inoffensive and driving them to slaughter. It looked to them like their enemy was organizing for a forlorn hope, a last final struggle, the delivery of the last venomous stroke of expiring energy. They did not know the day they, themselves, might not receive the stroke. Their fears were not altogether groundless. It is now known that this was only the first act of a pre-arranged plan for general murder and destruction.
The people felt much incensed against Fort Scott. The citizens of the town had, however unwillingly, permitted these Border Ruffians to make it their regular stopping place and silently acquiesced in the establishment of their headquarters. The stigma naturally attached itself.
The Governor, it is thought, realizing that there might be retaliatory measures taken by the Free State people, which must result in innocent bloodshed, had for that reason ordered a Deputy United States Marshal down to arrest Montgomery, or any other probable leader in such movement, and thus nip it in the bud. At any rate, Deputy Marshal Sam Walker was sent down here and arrived at Rayville on the 29th of May, with writs for Montgomery and some others. When he got to Rayville he found a large body of men who were being addressed by Montgomery in favor of proceeding to Fort Scott and executing vengeance on some few still there who were then believed to have been implicated with, and known to be in sympathy with the Hamilton crowd. On looking the ground over and feeling the sense of the people, Walker saw that was not the time or place to arrest Montgomery. But he made himself known, and, addressing the meeting, he informed them that if they would get out warrants for the arrest of G. W. Clark and others and furnish him with a posse, he would go to Fort Scott and make the arrests. The reply was that Judge Williams would not issue the writs. He told them to get warrants from a justice of the peace then, and, although it might not be strictly legal, he would arrest the parties nevertheless, This proposition was acted upon. He was furnished with the warrants and a posse of forty-four men. Montgomery went along. On Sunday morning, May 30th, they entered Fort Scott, found G. W. Clark, and after considerable bluster on his part, arrested him. By this time Clark's friends had assembled in considerable force, and Montgomery, knowing there were writs out for his arrest, concluded it would be discretion for him to "leak out. A demand was now made by Clark's friends that Montgomery be pursued and arrested. Walker, after consulting with Captain Nathaniel Lyon, who was then stationed here, and then present, decided to do so. He turned his prisoner over to the military, overtook Montgomery and brought him back. After Clark's friends had taken a good look at "Old Jim Montgomery," Walker left with him for Lecompton for trial. But at Rayville he was overtaken by a courier from Lyon informing him that Clark had been released by Judge Williams. This action disgusted and angered Walker, and he immediately turned Montgomery loose.
At the time Clark was arrested feeling was running very high. It was critical. Had Clark seriously resisted arrest, Walker would have killed him, when Walker would in turn have been riddled, and there is no telling where it would have stopped.
Governer J. W. Denver on the 9th day of June, 1858, left Lecompton for a trip down the border, with a view of making a personal effort for the conciliation of the people. He was accompanied by Charles Robinson, Judge John C. Wright, A. D. Richardson and others. On their road down they visited James Montgomery at his home in Linn county, and he joined their party there.
They arrived at Fort Scott on the 13th. On the next day, the 14th, a public meeting was held on the Plaza, in front of the Free State Hotel. The people had gen-erally been notified that the Governor would be here for the purpose of trying to arrive at a basis for a treaty, and if possible to conclude terms of peace between the factions, and to agree on an amnesty for all past political offenses against the law by men of both parties. It seemed like every man in the county was there. The Governor had asked to meet them, and they came, but they, as well as the people of the town, were distrustful and excited.
Governor Denver made the first speech in a quieting and conciliating tone and manner, which had a good effect. He was followed by Judge Wright, of Law-rence, and B. I. Brantley, of Fort Scott, in the same strain. After they got through Gov. E. Ransom took the stand. Ransom was quite an old man. He had been Governor of Michigan, and was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, although narrow-minded and bigoted in his views, and had always been thoroughly Pro-slavery in feeling. He began his speech by a terrific denunciation of the Free State people for having brought on the condition of affairs that then existed. He had only fairly started on this tirade when he was interrupted by Judge Wright who stepped in his front, facing him, and denied the statements he was making in a very sharp and emphatic manner. Governor Den-ver, whose attention had been called away for a moment, then sprang in between them, and sharply told them that sort of thing must stop, and speaking to Ransom, he said: "Governor Ransom, you area much older man than I. I did not expect this kind of conduct on your part; I bad a right to expect something different from you. You must stop that kind of talk. You must take your seat and be quiet." And he did take his seat, and kept quiet.
This account is in Governor Denver's own words. In an address published by the State Historical Society, Governor Denver continues the account of this day's proceedings as follows:
"To make a long story short, I prevailed upon all the county officers of Bourbon County to resign their offices, and then I told the people, that while I had the right to appoint any man I pleased to fill the vacancies, that I desired an expression of their wishes in the matter, and that I wanted them to hold an election right then and there, and that I would receive it as instructions as to whom to appoint to those offices. They asked me how they should do it. I told them to set up their candidates, place them out at one side of the public square, one here and another there, and let their friends form a line on the right and on the left. They placed their candidates out, and I gave the word to march. The people then formed. I then appointed two men to count them. They then counted them and reported to me the number they had found for each candidate. The first was for Sheriff, I think. Then for the next office we went through the same ceremony, and the election was held in that way. I gave them a certificate of appointment, and as soon as I got back to Lecompton I sent them their commissions."
This was a critical day in Fort Scott. The men
of all parties and shades of politics, Border Ruffian, Jay-hawker, Pro-slavery, ultra radical Abolitionists, Free
State Republicans and Free State Democrats were all here together and facing each other. Before the speaking they
had already began to divide and separate into parties, and at that moment the exchange of hot words or any offensive
act would have precipitated a bloody battle.
At the first meeting of the Board, held soon after, Horatio Knowles was appointed Clerk of the Board, and some townships were organized.
PROTOCOL OF PEACE
After the election the meeting was adjourned to meet at Rayville on the next day. At Rayville Governor Denver addressed the crowd, and after the speech he proposed the following as a basis for a treaty of peace:
i. Withdrawal of troops from Fort Scott.
After Governor Denver had concluded, Montgomery was called for. Montgomery was recognized as the party of the second part by the treaty making powers; the leading and representative spirit of the aggressive and self-protecting element of the Free State men of Bourbon County. The men at this meeting were not a band of marauders. They were men who lived and intended to continue to live in this county, and they had determined to have peace if they had to fight for it.
There was a hush of intense interest when Mont-gomery took the stand.
He immediately accepted the terms of the Governor's proposition. He continued, thanking the Governor for the interest he had taken in their affairs, the evident spirit of justice by which he seemed to be actuated; that peace, so long a stranger to this part of the country, was above all things, what he and the people most desired, and that if the Governor redeemed the pledges that day made, he would retire to his cabin and use his best efforts to prevent any further trouble.
The moderate Pro-slavery men, and the more conservative men of all parties were satisfied with the amnesty, as they called it, and for several months all seemed to strive to preserve the peace and tranquility which was thus restored.
MONTGOMERY SIZED UP
James Montgomery in the general estimation of the
people, is often rated and Classed with J. H. Lane, John Brown and C. R. Jennison. He ought not to be so held.
He was a different kind of a man. Their lives were in no ways parallel. He was no coward, assassin, crank, fanatic
His sincere desire was to see Kansas a free State. He was in sympathy and cooperation with the men who made Kansas a free State. He was an instrument of the men who were holding at bay that party and that principle which were attempting to force slavery upon Kansas by the most outrageous violation of all personal and political rights. He was of the Free State party who were "holding the fort until the Republican party could arrive.
^N the first part of June, 1858, William Smith and wife arrived at Fort Scott with their son William H. and daughter Mary. The elder son, Edward A., was already here. Mr. Smith was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1810. He was a printer by trade and worked for some years for Harper Bros, in New York, after his arrival in this country in 1830. "Uncle Billy Smith" was a man of strong, sturdy qualities, somewhat "set in his way," but with a large heart and warm sympathies. His wife, "Aunt Jane," was a noble, Christian woman. Mrs. Smith, with Mrs. Alec McDonald, organized the first Presbyterian church in Fort Scott, in the next November after their arrival.
John F. White came early in June, from Pennsylvania. He was absent from Fort Scott most of the time for two years or more, conducting the general store of George A. Crawford & Co., at the Trading Post. Then he returned and opened a store of his own. He was afterward, County Treasurer for four years. Jack was a noble man.
Charles F. Drake arrived June 17, 1858, from Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He came just after the Denver meeting and compromise, having walked into town from the Osage, and arrived here dusty, ragged and hungry. Finding a rather peaceful condition of things just then he decided to remain, and soon after started a small hardware store and tin-shop, the first one in Southern Kansas. Thus he commenced pounding and soldering together the elements of his successful future. He, however, always found time to "be into'* and help engineer nearly all the enterprises which have since been inaugurated in Fort Scott.
Our railroad enterprises have all felt the necessity of having the assistance of C. F. Drake, and most of them his signature also. He placed the Foundry on its feet and held it up for some years. He built the first Cement works, aided in the details by A. H. Bourne, Dr. B. F. Hepler and B. F. Gardner. He helped establish the First National Bank, and later, the Bank of Fort Scott; he shouldered largely the responsibility in the erection of the Water Works and Sugar works, and has built his share of the fine business houses in the city.
Mr. Drake is a man of much more than average financial ability, and his life might well be taken as a model by any young business man.
AFTER THE AMNESTY
In the latter part of June, 1858, Capt. Nathaniel
Lyon, then in command of the United States troops at Fort Scott, wrote to Governor Denver that:
A considerable number of horses and other stock stolen by organized bands of theives, were recovered during the summer and returned to their owners by Sheriff Roberts. The Fort Scott Democrat of date of July 8th, has this to say: "Sheriff Roberts has recovered nearly all the horses stolen by Rev. J. E. Stewart."
One day Sheriff Roberts and his posse were out to arrest some men who had been with Stewart the spring before, and who had now slipped back again. Rube Forbes was one of them, and he was one of the men Roberts wanted. Dave Forbes, a brother of Rube, was along with the posse. When they got up near Mapleton, they met Rube, or saw him at some little distance in the road. They all knew him at once. Rube knew them also, and fixed himself for a run by throwing away everything loose and tucking his Sharp's rifle down under his leg. Dave, as soon as he saw him, rushed his horse in front of the posse and shouted to Rube to run. Then facing the posse and raising his revolver, he said: "Gentlemen, that man is my brother; the first man that attempts to shoot him is a dead man." And he held that posse until Rube had time to get away.
Soon after peace was restored, Geo. A. Crawford made a trip to Washington to effect the removal of Geo. W. Clark, who had been so long in the Land Office. This he succeeded in doing, although Clark was the pet of somebody near the Administration, who immediately secured for him a fat appointment in the U. S. Navy. But this section of country was rid of him for all time.
G. W. Clark was at heart a bad man. His methods were sneaking and underhanded. He held his office under false pretenses and under a false name, the records of the Land office bearing his name as Doak. He planned and instigated more devilment among his class of rabid Pro-slavery men than any other man on the border. He was not in the Marais des Cygnes murder, but he was in the secret council that planned it in the "dark recesses" of the Western Hotel. Had he and his friends then in Fort Scott ever obtained what they thought to be a sufficient advantage, their first stroke would have fallen on Crawford, Gallaher, Dimon, McDonald, Campbell, Tallman and others, instead of the wholly unprotected and unwary men who formed that fated line on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes.
During the summer the work of improvement went on satisfactorily. Hill & Riggins and Wilson, Gordon & Ray erected their new stores on Market street and occupied them. The Democrat had moved to the sec-ond floor of the Town Company's building; the Company occupied the front room, and the post-office the back room of the lower floor. Two Swedes erected the great barn-like building at the Southeast corner of the Plaza, one of them-the big one-packing most of the lumber from the mill on his shoulders, and C. F. Drake occupied the east room for his stove and tin store. William Smith erected a dwelling at the corner of Scott avenue and Locust street. Charley Goodlander put up his shop on the east side of Scott avenue.
EXIT LECOMPTON CONSTITUTION
Governor Denver had designated the 2nd of August, 1858, as the day for the election on the Lecompton Constitution, as submitted by the provisions of the English Bill.
The election took place on that day, with the follow-ing result in Bourbon County:
The total vote in the Territory was:
Against the Constitution, 4,300
And that was the last of the Lecompton Constitution.
It was born in iniquity and shame; left in all its squalor on the steps of the White House; there reclothed, a
bribe for its adoption hanged around its neck and then returned to the place of its nativity, only to be spurned
into a timely grave.
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