at my command, I could arrest the last man of Montgomery's band, or com-
pel them to leave the country, and that within one month. One thing is un-
deniable, and that is prompt and energetic measures must be adopted to rid
the territory of these fearful men, or it will be speedily abandoned by every
well-disposed citizen who now commands the means to get away with his
I am a western man. I have long been in the employ of the United States
as a ministerial officer. I understand, I think, the peculiar characteristics of
mere thieves and their "sign": and although this banditti now operating are
composed principally of that stripe, I honestly believe, however, that under
all this talk of "usual disorganized condition of new territories" and the "usual
resort of outlaws and banished felons" â€” under all this there lies a deep plan of
outright rebellion against our general government in Kansas, inaugurated
perhaps in a feeling of party spirit by the opponents of the democratic party,
but entered into at the risk of life and property by a large portion of the people
in this territory, most of whom have probably been sent here; and therefore
it is, that this company of outlaws under Montgomery are sustained by
a public sentiment that in other territories would have crushed it out.
Governor Mcflari/'s Administration. 565
and this spirit of rebellion is a strong and continuously fed undercurrent.
Prompt and energetic action, such as I have suggested, by the general gov-
ernment, would remove the contempt in which it is held here at present,
and, in my humble opinion, end it. An early answer to this is respectfully
and earnestly requested. Respectfully submitted.
ANDREW J. RUSSELL.
Executive Office, Lecompton, K. T., December 25, 1858.
Sir : Not being able to absent myself from this office, and receiving confirma-
tory information from Bourbon and Linn counties in reference to difficulties
there, which it seems will demand our united action, of the most decisive char-
acter, I would suggest that, if it be possible for you to call upon me without
delay, you will confer a favor, and assist me materially in the confirmation and
execution of such plans as must be adopted. If it is impossible for you to leave
your post, I would request the presence of Lieutenant Jones, with such powers
to speak for you as you may be able to confer. I suggest Lieutenant Jones for
the reason that he is acquainted with the country in question and the individuals
with whom I may have to deal. With great respect, S. MEDARY.
To Capt. Arnold Elzey, Commanding Fort Leavenworth.
P. S. â€” If it will be possible for you to visit me, I would request that you
bring with you one or two horsemen, that you may be able to express without
delay to Fort Riley, should you need additional assistance from there.
Fort Scott, K. T., December 26, 1858.
Gov. S. Medary : Dear Sir â€” I arrived in this place this day in company with
Mr. Colby, having met that gentleman at Osawatomie. He has had a conversa-
tion with Governor Ransom, Colonel Wilson, Judge Williams, Doctor Hill, and
other prominent citizens of this i^lace, this evening, whom I had to collect to-
gether at the residence of Colonel Wilson, a very respectable and prominent citi-
zen of this place.
The result of the conference will be made known to you by Mr. Colby, super-
seding the necessity of detailing on my part. The citizens will not be satisfied
with anything less than martial law being declared. Great excitement exists, and
the citizens are leaving in great numbers. I saw Montgomery to-day, and he
told me that "he and his men would die on their arms." Act as seemeth the
best, but with great wisdom and caution.
I will write you every day during my stay here.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, T. R. ROBERTS.
I certify the above to be a true copy.
HUGH S. WALSH, Secretary, Kansas Territory.
Executive Office, Lecompton, K. T., December 28, 1858.
To his exellency, James Buchanan, President of the United States, Washington:
I respectfully request that the secretary of war will order the issuing of 600
rifled muskets, with necessary accouterments, from the St. Louis arsenal ; also
that the officer commanding at the arsenal be instructed to issue ammunition
(ball and cartridge) upon the requisition of Capt. A. J. Weaver, of Linn county,
Kansas Territory â€” quantity not to exceed 10,000 rounds. It is respectfully re-
quested that the above-named arms, etc., be sent to Tipton, Mo., without delay.
566 Kansas ^Vroff Historical Society.
for Capt. A. J. Weaver, who will receiijt for them, and comply with other requi-
sitions of law necessary to obtain them.
The above request is earnestly urged, for the reason that the citizens of Linn,
Lykins and Bourbon counties are entirely defenseless against the depredations
of the organized banditti now murdering, robbing and driving off the peaceable
citizens who cannot possibly defend themselves, their families and property un-
less they are supplied with arms.
The exigencies of the case demand an immediate reply.
With great respect, your obedient servant, S. MEDARY.
Executive Office, K. T., Lecompton, December 28, 1858.
To the Commanding Officer at Fort Riley, Kansas Territory:
The sheriffs of Linn, Lykins and Bourbon counties being unable to execute
writs held by them against various individuals in said counties, with a civil
posse, it is absolutely necessary to use a military force to make arrests. You are
therefore respectfully requested to furnish me with four companies of cavalry to
aid in the proper execution of the laws. The four companies aforesaid will re-
pair forthwith to the Sac and Fox agency, in Franklin county, and halt. The
officer in command, with such escort as he may deem necessary, is requested to
proceed direct from Fort Riley to Lecompton, and report to me, without delay,
for consultation and further instruction.
With great respect, your obedient servant, S. MEDARY.
Executive Office, Lecompton, K. T., December 29, 1858.
To his excellency, James Buchanan :
Dear Sir â€” I send Lieut. J. P. Jones, Second regiment. United States artil-
lery, as a special bearer of dispatches to yovi, and have given him verbal messages
to communicate to you, being so pressed with urgent official duties as to make it
impossible to put them in writing. Lieutenant Jones served on Governor Den-
ver's staff, and is acquainted with the country, the people, and the state of things
existing here, and will give you a true and full report of the same.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I certify that the above is a true copy of a dispatch issued by Governor
Medary this morning.
HUGH S. WALSH, Secretary of Kansas Territory.
Lecompton, December 29, 1858.
Executive Office, Lecompton, K. T., December 29, 1858.
To Capt. A. Elzey, Commanding, Fort Leavenworth :
Dear Sir â€” It being necessary to send a special messenger to Washington, and
Lieutenant Jones, of the Second artillery, being fully acquainted with the state
of affairs now existing in the southern portion of the territory, I have the honor
to request that he be allowed to proceed without delay to carry dispatches to the
President of the United States.
With great respect, your obedient servant, S. MEDARY.
[Received December 29.]
Paola, Lykins County, K. T., December 24, 1858.
To his excellency, Hon. Samuel Medary, Governor of Kansas Territory :
We, the undersigned, being this day appointed by a mass convention of the
Governor Mcdarifs Administration. 567
citizens of Paola and vicinity a committee for the purpose of laying before your
excellency the state of affairs in this vicinity, and asking yovir immediate action,
beg leave to submit the following :
From the reports which are almost hourly coming to us, a band of men,
numbering from 100 to 200, under the lead of one James Montgomery, John
Brown, and others, are plundering, thieving and murdering in the counties south
of us ; have sacked Fort Scott â€” murdered one, if not more, of its citizens : have
forcibly torn from his family one of the citizens of this county (Jackson), and
carried him away, and committed various other outrages too numei-ous and too
appalling to mention. And, whereas, the same band is now within one day's
ride of our town (Paola), the destruction of which they have already threatened.
These are therefore to request your honor to send us immediate and efficient aid.
In the name of high heaven we ask, are there no means in the power of the
government to effectually check the outrages of this banditti ! ! !
Yours in haste, H. M. HUGHES,
J. M. BREEDING,
G. W. MILLER,
Fort Scott, December 30, 1858.
Hon. Samuel Medary, Governor of Kansas Territory :
Sir â€” I am just arising from my bed of sickness, where I have been confined
for the last six weeks. I think I am so far convalescent that I may be able to
be in attendance at Lecompton on the 24:th of next month, to which time the
supreme court has been adjourned.
Before this time, doubtless Mr. Crawford and Samuel A. Williams have
communicated to you the deplorable condition of this portion of Kansas. I
first sent Deputy Marshal Campbell, Sheriff Bull, and Mr. Jones to inform you,
by the two first named as public officers, of the facts of the outrages and mur-
der and robbery committed by Montgomery and Brown and the armed forces
under their command. This course I took because the post-offices, some of
them, are known to be kept and the mails handled by men who are now ac-
cused by legal information, under oath, of being engaged in robberies perpe-
trated by them as members of Montgomery's company. Besides these, robbers
are upon all the roads in this part of the territory, and stop, search and rob all
who may pass on them.
We are here with all the public records of the courts, the land office, as well
as the private property of our citizens, at the mercy of these outlaws and desper-
adoes. We have mustered some 70 men, partly armed ; with these we keep watch
day and night. Our women and children, many of them, both from town and
neighborhood, have gone for safety into Missouri. Night before last our guard
was fired upon by some of these bandits. We have been expecting another at-
tack since the murder of Little, robberies, etc., on the 16th instant, as these mis-
creants have been seen in small bodies hovering around us. They do not pretend
to secrecy of their designs. They openly avow them. They are about completing
the last of three forts. We received information on yesterday that Montgomery
and Brown had 40 men engaged in finishing the fort on Osage, so as to defy the
U. S. troops, should they put into requisition to capture them. On the night
before last these same men attacked Barnesville, quite a clever town, on the
military road, 12 miles from this place, and literally cleaned it out, both of in-
habitants and property, leaving but one man in it unharmed, and robbing of the
last article the store of Mr. Chance.
568 Kansas State Historical Socktij.
Now I wish one thing to be noted as a fact indisputable; it is this: That dur-
ing all last fall, winter, and spring, and now this winter, there has been no in-
stance of these outlaws, troubUng any of the many towns and cities laid out and
owned by the members and agents of the "Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Soci-
ety," and they drive out of the territory and rob none but pro-slavery men and
national democrats. These facts clearly show a systematic program, made up by
and emanating from headquarters. Before this fall, Montgomery and Brown
were the only head bandits; now we have "Osawatomie" Brown and a man
styled the Rev. M. Brockman â€” instead of two, making four companies of mur-
derers, robbers, numbering about 200, oath bound, to bloody purpose.
This fall, in accordance with Mr. Seward's Rochester speech, the institution
of slavery has been boldly attacked in the states where it exists, by invading
Missouri, murdering one of its citizens, carrying off some 12 slaves, and robbing
some five or six families and driving them from their homes, with notice not to
return on pain of death. This is the " small domestic army " so famiUarly talked
of by Judge Conway, Mr. Whitman, and their Massachusetts friends, in their
correspondence of last fall, when they sent for more money, etc. The men com-
posing these companies are nearly all young men, and evidently sent to Kansas
to do the work in which they are engaged. They are all armed with Sharp's
rifles and two revolvers each. They do not pretend to make or have homes. In a
word, they are in a position of a standing or ready army, so that they boldly
contend the civil law. We have tried to execute writs, but so many are the
sympathizers of these men, while others are held in fear, that although about
100 writs have been issued on information and indictments, not one can be exe-
cuted. This is our condition. What then remains for the people of this region?
It is for you to say, sir.
I am clearly of the opinion that nothing but martial law, carried out by the
strong force of the United States, can save this part of Kansas from utter pros-
tration and ruin. It is now 14 days since we sent the marshal and sheriff to
your excellency for troops to protect this place and region from murder and
rapine, and we have no reply. We, however, have understood that some of the
Lawrence wise men, and some from Osage and Montgomery, have taken the mat-
ter in hand with much assiduity; and particularly that the Rev. Mr. Johnson,
from Osage, represented to you that he had letters from me to you indorsing him
as a messenger on the subject. If he did so, he told what is utterly untrue.
This is the first letter I have written on the subject. I have not seen him since
the affair on the 16th, nor indeed for some time before. It has been from Law-
rence that many of these marauders have come for the last year. It has been
from Lawrence, Osawatomie, Prairie City, Greeley, Moneka and Sugar Mound
that Montgomery has received "aid and comfort" for the last 18 months. On
this subject I refer you to Secretary Walsh and my letters heretofore addressed
to Governor Denver, on file.
I fear that if we take counsel of many who, as heretofore, will be anxious to
interpose their kind offices, we will find results much as we have found the com-
We are emphatically at the mercy of these cutthroats day and night. If as-
sured that we are not to be protected by United States troops in a reasonable
time, as we have no arms to arm a sufficient posse, if we had one, we will, of
course, do as hundreds of others are doing, we will gather up the public records,
property, and effects, and take them to Missouri. I hope you will not suppose
that I am alarmed or excited. I am too old for that, I think. I will be the last
to go from my post ; personally I shall not move one step ; I shall remain. But
Governor Medary's Admmistration. 569
of course I shall advise for the best, to save the lives and property of my fellow
citizens, and also the public property.
I have been looking for the troops every day for the last week. They have
not come, and may not come in time. Therefore I write as I do. I will not be
able to hold the few that are here many days longer. They are running to me
day and night for information. Three families have left this morning.
Yours truly, etc., J. WILLIAMS.
Executive Department, Jefferson City, Mo., December 31, 1858.
His excellency Samuel Medary, Governor of Kansas Territory:
Dear Sir â€” I have information of the recent invasion of Missouri by Mont-
gomery and his band of marauders, residing in the territory of Kansas, and have
a dispatch from a gentleman at Kansas City, suggesting that an officer be sent
by the executive of this state to the neighborhood, in Missouri, of Fort Scott, to
take charge of any men under arms in Missouri, to aid in preventing the escape
of Montgomery, and generally to cooperate with the executive of Kansas terri-
The attention of the general assembly of this state, now in session, will at
once be called to the matter, with a view to the utmost efficiency in the suppres-
sion of further outrages of a similar character, and for the purpose of bringing
to justice those already guilty of a breach of the peace.
Meantime, I desire to be informed specifically of your plan of operations,
and for this purpose dispatch the bearer of this, Mr. James E. Belch, for whom
I bespeak your courtesies, and through whom I solicit from you the informa-
Believe me, sir, very respectfully yours, R. M. STEWART.
Executive office, K. T., Lecompton, December 31, 1858.
Capt, Arnold Elzey, Fort Leavenworth :
Sir â€” Upon examination, I find that there are 100 good muskets in this place
( U. S. arms ) which have never been used, but no accouterments or ammunition
with them, neither is there any powder, ball or shot in the place of any account.
Only one keg of powder and 20 pounds of lead, and not a mold to run bullets
Under the circumstances, I mvxst ask of you a supply of ammunition equal to
50 shots to each musket, and if you have any ounce-ball cartridges amongst them ;
also cartridge-boxes, bayonet scabbards, belts, and caps.
It may be necessary to use these arms very soon in the counties below for a
sheriff's posse, and I hope you will be able to comply with my request immedi-
ately. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant^
Headquarters, Fort Leavenworth, K. T., December 31, 1858.
Sir : I have the honor to inform you that, upon your application, I have or-
dered Lieut. J. P. Jones, Second artillery, to proceed to Washington as bearer of
dispatches from you to the President of the United States.
Lieutenant Jones left for the seat of government this morning.
I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
ARNOLD ELZEY, Capt. 2d Artillery, Commanding.
570 Kansas State Historical Society.
January 1, 1859. â€” The following telegram was received this p. m. from Gov-
ernor Stewart, through B. J. Newsom, without comment :
From Jefferson City, December 31, 1858.
To Mr. Benjamin Newsom :
Sir â€” Immediate steps will be taken to aid the governor of Kansas, as you
suggest. R. M. STEWART.
January 2. â€” The following was received at the hands of special messenger,
at 8 o'clock a. m.:
Headquarters, Fort Riley, K. T., December 31, 1858.
To his excellency S. Medary, Governor of Kansas :
Governor â€” I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, last night, of your
communication of the 28th inst., accompanied by a requisition upon me, as com-
mander of this post, for four companies of cavalry to proceed to the Sac and Fox
agency, there to act as a civil posse.
In responding to your requisition, I have to state, that I have but four com-
panies of cavalry under my command, two of which have, since last winter,
marched to Utah territory and back, and their horses are not in condition to do
service in the field.
I would also add, that a general court-martial is now in session at this post,
sitting by virtue of authority superior to my own ; by complying with your
requisition I would break up the court, which I do not consider I have the right
Captain Walker, First cavalry, will proceed, without delay, with his squadron
(companies G and H, First cavalry) to the point designated, and Captain Walker
will report in person to you for instructions.
I need not suggest, governor, that the weather is now very inclement for both
men and horses, that our troops have been upon the plains all summer, and that
we have not tents to make them comfortable. I would therefore respectfully
ask that they be sent back as soon as their services can possibly be spared. They
have been supplied with 25 days' rations, on account of the limited means of
transportation at this post.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN SEDGWICK, Major Commanding.
Executive Office, Lecompton, K. T., January 3, 1859.
Gentlemen of the Council and House of Representatives:
We have convened under the organic act and laws of the territory to con-
sult for the public good, and to fulfil faithfully and honorably the important
trusts COTifided to our care.
Nature has provided, and we have chosen, a country not only beautiful to
look upon, but overflowing in all that is required to make a happy and pros-
perous people; she has left nothing wanting to bring forth, and into the union,
another state, rich and progressive as any of the sisterhood, varied as they
are in soil, climate, and character of their people; but peace must be courted,
industry rewarded, a due observance of law enforced by public opinion, as
well as by the chosen authorities; else the blessings which nature has be-
stowed will be lost to ourselves and our posterity.
Where the freedom of the press, of speech and of conscience is unques-
tioned, differences of opinion must necessarily exist. When that freedom.
Governor Medarifs Administration. 571
unchecked by honest judgment and just desires, is permitted to run riot,
violate laws and constitutions, it becomes a curse rather than a blessing to the
Written constitutions and written laws are based upon the virtue and
intelligence of those from whom they emanate, and are a daguerreotype of the
mind which constitutes the government. The future will know us by our
laws, for upon them our character, as a people, must be indelibly stamped.
To the patriotic lover of the union, it is a just cause of alarm and deep
regret to witness, in various parts of the country, a growing disposition to
overawe the voter, corrupt the ballot-box, and to secure power by fraud and
disobedience to the plainest letter of the law and the dictates of honesty.
Against all such practices the sound, conservative men of the nation should
set their faces, before the increasing evil attains a magnitude beyond their
control, and the governing power falls into the hands of those, unprincipled
and vicious, cast up as fit representatives of such morality. Power, by such
means, is dearly bought. The successful party would have been better served
by defeat. Success might be ruin, when defeat would be preservation.
To the victors may properly belong the spoils; but they are the spoils and
patronage given to power for the public weal and public necessity. But when
the majority mistakes the spoils of official station, regulated by law, for the
spoliation of the right and property of the minority, our vaunted freedom
and justness of government become the objects of ridicule, and furnish the
strongest argument against our governmental policy. No one has reason,
nor right to complain of the successful party distributing the posts of favor
among its political friends; but there the power of the law ends; all beyond
that is criminal, and the individual amenable to the laws.
As the subject of forming a state constitution and asking admission into
the union has been extensively agitated, it might be expected that I should
allude to it in this place. In doing so, I shall speak of it only in a practical
sense; it has no necessary political connection. The territorial condition is
certainly not desirable for a large and wealthy community; it is a transition
state from youth to manhood, from weakness to strength. It is a question,
with the people of Kansas, whether they are prepared to assume the weighty
responsibilities of a state government. Personal ambition should not be
permitted to step in between them and their true interest. The question
should be discussed in all its bearings, and brought to a decision favorable
to the interests of the Vv^hole people. Population has much to do with the
question, it is true; but to the people of Kansas, who have the expense of gov-
ernment to pay out of their own pockets, their ability to do so is of deep inter-
est to them, and should not be overlooked.
Congress has been liberal to many of the territories; but thei-e is much
yet to be done for Kansas, in the way of appropriations, to place her upon an
equal footing with many that have preceded. From her disturbed condition
for the past few years, the appropriations which she has received have not
been as advantageously disposed of as they would have been. But the peo-
ple of Kansas are not alone to blame. There were those outside her limits,
and even in the halls of Congress, who deserved a goodly share. Agitation
from without, inflaming the emigrant on his way hither, was calculated to