ceeded toward Lecompton, via Blanton. Near J. B. Abbott's house, at
Blanton, Jones's party was confronted by 15 free-state men, among them
Samuel N. Wood, J. B. Abbott, and Samuel F. Tappan. They requested
Branson to leave the sheriff's party; he did so. Jones sent to Shawnee Mis-
sion for aid. A meeting was held in Lawrence, and was addressed by Bran-
son. A mob from Missouri was feared, and the citizens were placed under
arms. On the 2d of December, free-state companies from Bloomington, Wa-
karusa and Palmyra had ai-rived in Lawrence. Jones, with a bodyguard,
rode through Lawrence. General Richardson and staff dined with J. H.
Lane. A company of 100 armed free-state men arrived from Topeka at 9 in
the evening. On Monday, the 3d, a proclamation was received from Gov-
ernor Shannon calling upon all good citizens to aid the sheriff in the recapture
of Branson. It was dated November 29. A public meeting, through Chas.
Robinson, chairman, reported that there was no association of lawless men in
Lawrence. The roar of the cannon at Franklin, where the invaders are
massed, is occasionally heard in the free-state town. On Tuesday, the 4th,
it is reported that Judge Cato's court had found bills of indictment against
the leading free-state men. Loaded wagons destined for Lawrence are
stopped and robbed of provisions and ammunition. Messengers are sent to
Governor Shannon, asking him to remove the mob which is menacing Law-
rence. Dr. C. Robinson is elected commander-in-chief, and the citizen
soldiery is fully organized. [James H. Lane, brigadier-general.] On Fri-
day, the 7th, news is received of the murder of Thomas W. Barber, the pre-
vious afternoon, while returning to his home near Bloomington, from Law-
rence. He was accompanied by his brother, Robert Barber, and his'brother-
in-la-w, Thos. Pierson. Four miles southwest of Lawrence they met 12
horsemen, who were going to Franklin. The free-state men, refusing to
surrender, were fired upon. One ball passed through the body of Thomas
W. Barber; he rode a short distance, fell, and expired. His body was
brought to Lawrence, which he had so lately been engaged in defending.
Governor Shannon arrives, and consults with Robinson and Lane. Shannon,
at night, goes to Franklin. John Brown and four sons, all armed, are in
LaM^rence. On Saturday, the 8th, Governor Shannon again appears, with
Colonel Boone, of Westport, Mo., and one or two others. News is received
that S. C. Pomeroy, who had left Lawrence to go to the eastern states, is a
prisoner at Franklin. The body of Barber is temporarily buried. Robinson
and Lane go back to the pro-slavery camp with Shannon. Sunday morning,
December 9, was extremely cold. Negotiations with Governor Shannon were
finally completed, and were made known by Lane and Robinson. A supper for
Governor Sha))non\s Ad mi iiisf ration. 243
Governor Shannon was arranged for Monday night; he was not present.
It was a joyful occasion for the citizens. On Tuesday, the 11th, the volunteer
companies from other towns took their departure. Of Governor Shannon,
the "Herald of Freedom" says: "He came, learned the facts, and like an
honorable man, has done what he could to retrace his steps."
WOODSON TO EASTON.
November â€” . 1855.
Gen. Lucien J. Easton, Leavenworth, K. T. â€” Dear General:
The governor having called out the militia, this is to inform you to order
out your division and to proceed forthwith to Lecompton. The governor
not having the povN^er, you can call on the Platte county rifle company, as our
neighbors are always ready to help us. Do not implicate the governor, what-
ever you do. DANIEL WOODSON.
[H. of F., December 1, 1855.]
SHANNON TO PIERCE.
Westport, Mo., December 1, 1855.
I desire authority to call on the United States forces at Leavenworth to
preserve the peace of this territory; to protect the sheriff of Douglas county,
and enable him to execute the legal process in his hands. If the laws are
not executed, civil war is inevitable. An armed force of one thousand men,
with all the implements of war, it is said, are at Lawrence. They have
rescued a prisoner from the sheriff; burnt houses, and threatened the lives of
citizens. Immediate assistance is desired. This is the only means to save
bloodshed. Particulars by mail. WILSON SHANNON.
His Excellency, Franklin Pierce.
Received, Washington, December 3, 1855, 10 o'clock, 5 min., a. m.
December 3, 1855.
Your dispatch is received. All the power vested in the executive will be
exerted to preserve order and enforce the laws. On the receipt of your
letter, the preliminary measures necessary to be taken before calling out
troops will be promptly executed, and you will then be fully advised.
Wilson Shannon, Governor of the Territory of Kansas.
[S. Ex. Doc. No. 23. 34 Cong., 1st Sess.]
INFORMATION AGAINST BRANSON.
United States of America, Territory of Kansas, ss.
Be it remembered, that on this 6th day of December, in the year A. D.
1855, personally appeared before me, J. M. Burrell, one of the associate
justices of the supreme court of the said territory of Kansas, Harrison
Buckley, of lawful age, who being by me duly sworn, saith that he is a
citizen of the county of Douglas, and has resided therein since the 30th
day of March last, and has resided during all that time at Hickory Grove;
that he was informed on good authority, and which he believed to be true,
244 Kfnisas State HiMorlcal Societ//.
tnat Jacob Branson had threatened his life, both before and after the diffi-
culty between Coleman and Dow, which led to the death of the latter. I
understood that Branson swore that deponent should not breathe the pure
air three minutes after I returned, this deponent at this time having gone
down to Westport, in Missouri; that it was these threats, made in various
shapes, that made this deponent really fear his life, and which induced him
to make affidavit against the said Branson, and procure a peace warrant to
issue, and be placed in the hands of the sheriff of Douglas county; that
this deponent was with the said sheriff (S. J. Jones) at the time the said
Branson was arrested, which took place about 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning;
that Branson was in bed when he was arrested by said sheriff; that no
pistol or other weapon was presented at the said Branson by anyone; that
after the arrest, and after the company with the sheriff had proceeded about
five miles in the direction of Lecompton, the county seat of Douglas county,
the said sheriff and his posse were set upon by about between 30 and 40 men,
who came out from behind a house, all armed with Sharp's rifles, and pre-
sented their guns cocked, and called out who they were; and said Branson
replied that they had got him a prisoner; and these armed men called on
him to come away. Branson then went over to their side, and Sheriff
Jones said they were doing something they would regret hereafter in re-
sisting the laws: that he was sheriff of Douglas county, and, as such, had
arrested Branson. These armed men replied that they had no laws, no
sheriff, and no governor, and that they knew no laws but their guns. The
sheriff, being overpowered, said to these men that if they took him by force
of arms he Iiad no more to say, or something to that import, and then we
rode off. This deponent further states, that there has been three houses
burned in the Hickory Point settlement; one was this deponent's house,
another belonged to Josiah Hargis, and the third to said Coleman. All I
had in the world was burned up, -leaving my wife and children without
clothing. This deponent's wife and four children fled to Missouri, where they
still remain with their relatives. The house of deponent was burned down,
as it is said, shortly before daylight in the morning. The wives and children
of both Coleman and Hargis also fled to Missouri, where they still remain.
There were about 15 or 16 law-abiding families in the settlement called
Hickory Grove settlement about the time these difficulties sprung up; they
have all been forced by terror and threats of these armed men to flee with
their wives and children to the state of Missouri for protection, and still re-
main there. These armed men have repeatedly in my presence said they
would resist the law by force, and there was no law in this territory. These
threats have been repeatedly made by these men for the last three months.
And further this deponent saith not. H. H. BUCKLEY.
Sworn and subscribed the day and year above stated before me, J. M.
Burrell, Associate Justice Supreme Court, Kansas Territory.
[34th Cong., 1st Sess., S. Ex. Doc. No. 23.]
INFORMATION AGAINST THE RESCUERS.
United States of America, Territory of Kansas, ss.
Be it remembered, that on this 7th day of December, A. D. 1855, per-
sonally came before me, S. G. Cato, one of the associate justices of the su-
preme court of the territory of Kansas, Josiah Hargis, of lawful age, who
Goccntor iShaunon's Adininistratioii. 245
being by me duly sworn, ueposeth and saith, that on or about the 26th day
of November, 1855, in Douslas county. Sheriff Jones called upon me, with
nine others, to act as a posse to arrest one Jacob Branson, under a peace
warrant issued by Hugh Cameron, a justice of the peace; that he proceeded
with said sheriff to Hickory Point, in said county, and there arrested said
Branson, with whom they proceeded in the direction of Lawrence. When
near a house on the Wakarusa an armed mob of persons, amounting to be-
tween 30 and 40, rushed from behind said house, and by force did rescue
said Branson out of the hands of said sheriff and posse, and, in defiance of
said sheriff's command, take said Branson and refuse to deliver him to said
sheriff. That the said sheriff told the said mob that he held said Branson
under a peace warrant properly issued by a legally authorized officer; and
that he was sheriff of said county of Douglas, and charged with the execution
of said writ. The leader of said mob replied to said officer that they knew
him as Mr. Jones, but not as sheriff of Douglas county. He then told them
that he would call out the militia to enforce the law. Their reply was that
he could not p-et men to enforce said law. He told them then that he would
call on the governor for assistance; to which the said mob replied that
they had no laws and no officers, and to pitch in. Said mob stood with
their guns cocked and presented at the time of said rescue.
This deponent further saith, one H. W. Buckley, of said county of Douglas,
was with said sheriff at the time of said rescue, as one of said sheriff's
posse; that during the same night on which said rescue was made said
affiant saw a light in the direction of said Buckley's house, and that he
fully believes said house was at that time burned. That he believes, from
circumstances within his knowledge, that said house, together with his own,
was burned by persons concerned with said mob; and that he has reasons to
believe that some of said houses were fired by said Branson aforesaid, assisted
by a German, commonly called Dutch Charley; and they were counseled and
advised thereto by one Farley. This affiant further says, that at the time of
the rescue of said prisoner he was at a house near Hickory Point, and that
he there saw three women, who told him that there had been an armed force
that day who notified them to leave, and all other pro-slavery families in the
neighborhood; and since said families have left said neighborhood and fled
to the state of Missouri. Said affiant says that he believes there were at
that time in said neighborhood about 15 pro-slavery families, nearly all of
whom have fled, as aforesaid, to the state of Missouri for protection. Said
armed force was represented to consist of from 100 to 150 armed men.
S. N. HARGIS.
Sworn and subscribed before me, S. G. Cato, associate justice of Kansas
[34th Cong., 1st Sess., S. Ex. Doc, No. 23.]
APPEALS TO THE PRESIDENT.
Lawrence, Kansas Territory, January 21, 1856.
Sir: We have authentic information that an overwhelming force of the
citizens of Missouri are organizing upon our border, amply supplied with
artillery, for the avowed purpose of invading this territory, demolishing our
towns, and butchering our unoffending free-state citizens. We respectfully
demand, on behalf of the citizens of Kansas, that the commandants of the
246 Kansas State Historical Society.
United States troops in this vicinity be immediately instructed to interfere
to prevent such an inhuman outrage. Respectfully,
J. H. LANE, Chairman Executive Committee, K. T.
C. ROBINSON, Chairman Committee of Safety.
Attest: J. K. GOODIN, Seciy Ex Com., K. T.
GEO.W. DEITZLER, Sec'ry Com. of Safety.
-Franklin Pierce, President United States.
[34th Cong., 1st Sess., S. Ex. Doc, No. 23.]
Treaty of peace signed by Gov. W. Shannon, C. Robinson and J. H. Lane,
and commissions of Generals Robinson and Lane, copied from the original
"in Governor Shannon's own handwriting."
"Whereas, There is a misunderstanding between the people of Kansas, or
a portion of them, and the governor thereof, arising out of the rescue, near
Hickory Point, of a citizen under arrest, and some other matters;
"And whereas, a strong apprehension exists that said misunderstanding
may lead to civil strife and bloodshed;
"And whereas, it is desired by both Governor Shannon and the citizens
of Lawrence and vicinity, to avert a calamity so disastrous to the interests
of the territory and the union, and to place all parties in a correct position
before the world: Now, therefore, it is agreed by the said Governor Shannon
and the undersigned citizens of said territory in Lawrence now assembled,
that the matter now in dispute be settled as follows, to wit:
"We, the said citizens of said territory, protest that the said rescue was
made without our knowledge or consent: but that if any of the citizens of
the town of Lawrence have engaged in said rescue, we pledge ourselves to
aid in the execution of any legal process against them; that we have no
knowledge of the previous, present or prospective existence of any organiza-
tion in said territory for the resistance of the laws; and that we have not
designed and do not design to resist the legal service of any criminal process
therein; but pledge ourselves to aid in the execution of the laws, when called
upon by the proper authority in the town or vicinity of Lawrence, and that we
will use our influence in preserving order therein; and we declare that we are
now, as we always have been, ready at any time to aid the governor in secur-
ing a posse for the execution of such process: Provided, That any person
thus arrested in Lawrence or vicinity, while a foreign force shall remain in
the territory, shall be duly examined before a United States district judge of
said territory, in said town, and admitted to bail: And provided further, That
all citizens arrested without legal process by said sheriff's posse shall be set
at liberty: And provided further, That Governor Shannon agrees to use his
influence to secure to the citizens of Kansas territory remuneration for any
damages suffered, or unlawful depredations, if any have been committed by
the sheriff's posse in Douglas county: And further, Governor Shannon states
that he has not called upon persons resident in any state to aid in the execu-
tion of the laws, and that such as are here in the territory are here of their
own choice, and that he does not consider that he has any authority or legal
power so to do, nor will he exercise any such power; and that he will not call
on any citizens of any other state who may be here. That we wish it under-
Govcinor ^hunnon's Administration. 247
stood that we do not express any opinion as to the enactments of the terri-
torial legislature. WILSON SHANNON.
J. H. LANE.
December 8, 1855.
We also subjoin the commissions of Generals Robinson and Lane:
To C. Robinson and J. H. Lane, commanders of the enrolled citizens at
Lawrence: You are hereby authorized and directed to take such measures
and use the enrolled force under your command in such manner, for the
preservation of the peace and the protection of the persons and property of
the people in Lawrence and vicinity, as in your judgment shall best secure
that end. WILSON SHANNON.
Lawrence, Dec. 9, 1855.
[H. of F., Jan. 12, 1S56.]
LANE AND ROBINSON TO THE PRESIDENT.
Lawrence City, January 23, 1856.
Sir: We notified you that an overwhelming force, supplied with artillery,
was organizing upon our border for the avowed purpose of invading Kansas,
demolishing the towns, and butchering the unoffending free-state citizens â€”
they constituting nineteen-twentieths of the entire population. In addition
to the relief respectfully demanded in that notice, we earnestly request you
to issue your proclamation immediately, forbidding the invasion. We trust
there may be no delay in taking so important a step to prevent an outrage
which, if carried out as planned, will stand forth without a parallel in the
world's history. Yours respectfully,
J. H. LANE, Chairman Executive Committee, K. T.
C. ROBINSON, Chairman Committee of Safety.
President of the United States.
[34 Cong., 1st Sess., S. Ex. Doc. No. 23.]
GOVERNOR SHANNON'S EXPLANATION.
Executive Office, Shawnee Mission, December 25, 1855.
Dear Sir: Your favor of this day's date is before me. In reply, I have to state
that the arrangements of the difficulty with the citizens assembled in the town
of Lawrence during the recent disturbances was reduced to writing by myself,
and intended to be on liberal terms, honorable alike to all parties. In my ar-
rangement with them, my great object was to secure the supremacy of the lavv^,
and bring about, if possible, a more friendly feeling between the two conflicting
parties, and thus secure a lasting peace and amicable relations. I knew that this
object would be defeated by insisting on any terms that wovild be humiliating to
the parties concerned, and I was determined to extend to the citizens assembled
in Lawrence every opportunity for placing themselves in what I deemed a correct
position in reference to the execution of the laws. The paper which was shown
you was probably a correct copy of the arrangement entered into on the 8th inst.
As to the paper dated on the 9th inst., and purporting to be addressed to C.
Robinson and J. H. Lane, I desire to make an explanation, so as to present the
truth in relation to the manner in which it was obtained, as well as my object in
signing it. In order to understand this matter, it is necessary that I should
make some preliminary statements.
248 Kansas State Historical Society.
On the morning of the 9th, about sunrise, I issued my orders for disbanding
the forces assembled around Lawrence. I remained at the Wakarusa camp until
the forces at that place had retired. This they did, in good order. About 10
o'clock A. M. of that day (it being Sunday), I went, in company with Brigadier-
General Strickler, to Lawrence, where, with Sheritf Jones and others of the pro-
slavery party, I spent a considerable portion of the day. In the evening I was
invited to attend a social gathering of ladies and gentlemen of the town of Law-
rence, at the Emigration Aid Society Hotel, which I accepted. There were but
two rooms finished in the hotel; they were small and in the third story, and
were, therefore, very much crowded by the company assembled. The time was
spent in the most friendly and social manner, and it seemed to be a matter of
congratulation on every side that the difficulties so lately threatened had at
length been brought to a happy termination. In the midst of this convivial
party, and about 10 o'clock at night. Dr. C. Robinson came to me, and, in a state
of apparent excitement, declared their picket guard had just come in and re-
ported that there was a large, irregular force near the town of Lawrence, who
were threatening an attack; adding that the citizens of Lawrence claimed the
protection of the executive, and to this end desired me to give himself and Col-
onel Lane written permission to repel the threatened assault. I replied to Doc-
tor Robinson that they did not require any authority from me, as they would be
entirely justified in repelling by force any attack upon their town; that the law
of self-preservation was sutficient, and that any authority which I might give
would add nothing to its strength. The doctor replied that they had been repre-
sented as having arrayed themselves against the laws and public officers of the
territory, and that he, therefore, wished me to give him written authority to
repel the threatened assault, so that it might appear hereafter, if a rencontre
did take place, that they were not acting against but with the approbation of
the territorial executive. With this view, amid an excited throng, in a small
and crowded apartment, and without any critical examination of the paper
which Doctor Robinson had just written, I signed it; but it was distinctly
understood that it had no application to anything but the threatened attack on
Lawrence that night.
I had, during my negotiations with Doctor Robinson, as one of the committee
on behalf of the citizens assembled in Lawrence, repeatedly assured him that if
the people of that place would acknowledge the validity of the territorial laws
until otherwise determined by legitimate authority, and would place themselves
under their protection, I would exert all the power vested in me to protect the
citizens of that town, both in their persons and property, and in securing them
from an attack. And I will here state that an arrangement had been made with
those assembled in Lawrence, and after my assurances of protection, so far as in
my power lay, I should have looked upon an assavilt upon the town of Lawrence,
on the night of December the 9th, as an outrage and wholly unjustifiable, and I
should have found myself bound in duty and honor to have exerted myself to the
utmost to have prevented so unwarrantable an act of violence.
It was under these circumstances, and with a view of carrying out in good
faith my assurances to the citizens of that place â€” pending negotiations â€” and to
avoid all cause of complaint on the part of the people of Lawrence, on any pre-
text, for breaking from the stipulation concluded but the day before, that I signed
a paper authorizing C. Robinson and J. H. Lane to repel the threatened attack
on the town of Lawrence. It was done, on my part, with the kindest and best of
motives, from an earnest desire to restore harmony and confidence. It did not,
for a moment, occur to me that this pretended attack upon the town was but a
Governor lSliaiino)i's Adininistration. 249
device to obtain from me a paper which might be used to my prejudice. I sup-
posed by the time I was surrounded by gentlemen and by grateful hearts, and
not by tricksters, who, with fraudulent representations, were seeking to obtain
advantage over me. I was the last man on the globe who deserved such treat-
ment from the citizens of Lawrence. For four days and nights, at the cost of
many valuable friends, whose good will I have forfeited by favoring too pacific
a course, I had labored most incessantly to save their town from destruction and
their citizens from a bloody fight.
On the next morning after this transaction took place, upon the most diligent
inquiry, I could not learn that any force whatever had ever made its appear-
ance before Lawrence upon the night before ; and on a full inquiry into the
matter since, I am now satisfied that there was no hostile party at any place
near Lawrence on the night of the 9th.
This paper, obtained as I have stated, has, I presume, been shown by Doctor
Robinson, and copies permitted to have been taken and used, as a purpose of
giving an air of legality to the acts of the citizens assembled in Lawrence pre-
vious to its date. No such purpose was contemplated by me, and I repeat, that
the paper I signed was only intended to apply to the alleged threatening of the
town of Lawrence by an armed force, on the night of December 9, and if it was
obtained or has been used for any other purpose, it is an exhibition of base in-
gratitude and low trickery, which should render infamous the name of every one
connected with it.
Yours, with great respect, WILSON SHANNON.
["Herald of Freedom," Feb. 8, 1856, p. 3, col. 2. â€”First published in the
New York "Herald."]
GOVERNOR ROBINSON'S STATEMENT IN REPLY.
Lawrence, February 14, 1856.
G. W. Brown, Esq. : Dear Sir â€” In your paper of last week I observe a letter