Kansas State Historical Society.

The Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) online

. (page 17 of 59)
Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 17 of 59)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

39. Original agency buildings were in Franklin county but under the terms of the
treaty of 1860, the tribes ceded all Franklin county lands to the government and the agency
was moved to the site of present Quenemo, Osage county. The missionaries at the time
of Chase's visit were the Rev. R. P. Duvall and his wife, sent to the tribes in 1860 by the
Kansas Methodist Conference.


with the Osages for a portion of their land lying south of Kansas. It
is consequently a great day at the Agency. Long files of the wildest
looking Indians are coming in on their ponies. The Osages are the
fiercest looking fellows I have ever seen. The blanket and breech
cloth is their only dress. Their noses and ears are loaded with tink-
ling trinkets, their heads are shaved, leaving a narrow strip of stiff
hair a half -inch long from the forehead to the crown. Their faces
are painted with bright red and yellow. I visited their camp and
was introduced to their Chief Little Bear, who shook hands with
me and said "how" and then the conversation ended. Little Bear
is said to be the most sensible Chief among the Western tribes, but
in my conversation with him I got no new ideas. In camp ah 1 the
men were over six feet high, probably picked men to represent the
tribe at the treaty meeting.

I was introduced here to Father Shoemaker who has for sixteen
years been at the head of a Mission School in the Osage tribe. 40
This school, he says, before the war, numbered constantly one hun-
dred and sixty scholars, and some of them he says, are very bright,
but generally they are hard scholars. C. M. C.

August 22nd, 1863.

EDITOR SENTINEL: The country from Sac and Fox Agency im-
proves as you go north, the prairie grows thicker, weeds and flowers
dwindle away, crops of all kinds are more flourishing, and land be-
comes more inviting to the industry of the farmer. Franklin county
is much better than Coffey, while Douglas adjoining the Kansas
river on the south, is equal in beauty and fertility to any in the
state. The emigrant to this western country should remember that
the river land, consisting of timbered bluffs and meadows, is the
best. On the Missouri this strip of land is from ten to twenty-five
miles wide; on the Kansas, from two to ten miles wide. In the
eastern part of Kansas you emerge from this river land into rich,
rolling prairie; in the western part the prairie is poorer, and in
many places too poor for profitable cultivation.

Yesterday we passed two little villages, Centropolis and Min-
neola, 41 on opposite sides of the same grove and about a mile apart.

40. Father John Schoenmakers came to Osage Mission (now St. Paul) in April, 1847,
and worked among the Indians until his death in 1883.

41. The town of Minneola was projected by Free-State settlers who hoped to make
it the territorial capital. In February, 1858, the legislature sitting at Lawrence passed a bfll
so designating it. The bill was vetoed by Acting Governor Denver but was passed over
the veto. The attorney general of the U. S., to whom an appeal was taken, declared that the
bill was in violation of the organic act and therefore void. Before the decision of the at-
torney general, many buildings including a hotel and town hall were erected, and the town
had a population of several hundred. A constitutional convention met there in March, 1858,
but quickly adjourned to Leavenworth. The town declined and is now an extinct location.


As we reached the place we found people in arms, and excited over
a report that Lawrence had been burned by Quantrill, and that all
the Negroes in the place had been killed. Everyone was disposed
to prepare for defense, while but few inclined to credit the report.
As we entered Minneola we found more excitement. All who
could shoulder a musket had gone towards Lawrence, leaving the
aged, with women and children, in a terrible fright. We had not
believed the report, but now it did begin to look serious. A mes-
senger from the scene of terror had just rushed through the place
alarming the country, and informing the people that "the last
house in Lawrence was burned/' that the bushwhackers numbering
from three to ten hundred were returning on this very road, destroy-
ing everything in their way; that they had just destroyed Brooklyn, 42
and were now burning Baldwin City and murdering the people.
Baldwin City was only five miles ahead, and was the place we were
designing to stop at during the night. We were not positive which
road Quantrill would prefer, and consequently were not positive
which road to take ourselves. The General was in a "phix." He
had important papers in his possession which would make him
a dead man if he was taken. No time was to be lost. After a
moment's reflection, he put the horses into a quick gait, and turned
to the left into a less traveled road, passing Willow Springs 43 on
the Santa Fe road.

Everywhere we found people in the greatest state of alarm; men
were arming themselves and rushing to and fro, some hastening
towards Lawrence, and others in doubt what to do. Women, terri-
fied, were moving children and household goods to the cornfields,
and running about in the wildest confusion. Commotion, confusion,
terror, and vengeance, all blended into one indescribable feeling,
were driving the people into hurried and indiscriminate activity.
As no one knew positively QuantrilFs destination, everyone was
momentarily expecting his habitation to be turned into a scene of
fire and bloodshed. Through these scenes we passed until nine
o'clock in the evening, when we reached a Dutch farm house, seven
miles from Lawrence, and were gladly welcomed as lodgers for the
night. From here we could distinguish the line of Quanta-ill's retreat
for many miles, by the light of burning houses. The nearest light
was that of buildings a mile distant, belonging to a forehanded

42. A settlement in Douglas county, now extinct, about 11 miles south of Lawrence
on the Santa Fe trail.

43. A point about seven miles northwest of Baldwin.


farmer who had just completed a large harvest. He had a fine two-
story brick house, and the finest barn buildings in the county, packed
to overflowing, with large stacks of grain and hay adjoining. All
was now in ashes.

During the evening at the Dutch farm, several interesting law
questions arose. The Dutchman's boy had brought home from the
pursuit a fine black horse, taken from a bushwhacker. Another
man came in and claimed it. He was the nearest man in the pursuit
when the bushwhacker jumped from the horse and ran into the
woods; but being more patriotic than avaricious, he rushed into
the woods after him, while the boy seized the horse and brought
him home. Who owned the horse, was the question at issue. Both
admitted the spoils of war belong to the victor; that, as Uncle Sam's
men were not in the engagement, Uncle Sam had no direct interest
in the spoils, and that capture was the ground of title. All this
admitted, the boy on his side kept putting the question "who caught
the horse," which seemed to muzzle the claimant, and in the end
defeated the claim. Another Dutchman who had been burned out
came in to claim a gun the Dutch boy had brought home. A rebel
in his haste dropped the gun in the public road before the Dutch-
man's burning house, and the Dutchman claimed it on the ground
of its being dropped near his house. Both questions were argued
with great zeal; but the boy "couldn't see it" plain enough to give
up the horse or gun.

In the morning, after an early breakfast, we drove over on to the
road leading to this once beautiful town. Every house save two
or three was a smouldering ruin. All along the road was a con-
tinuous line of beautiful farms, well cultivated and ready for the
harvester. Occasionally a man would be seen sitting among the
ruins of his once happy home, seemingly striving to realize the
awful and sudden change, but few people, however, were anywhere
to be seen. So we rode into the town, the first sight attracting my
attention was a Negro rushing through the streets on horse back,
dragging the naked body of a dead rebel, with a rope around his
neck hitched to his saddle. 44 A crowd was following, pelting the
rebel with stones. The heart sickens at the thought of the terrible
scene Lawrence presents. Three hundred rebels under Quantrill
entered the town yesterday morning at daylight, scattering in dif-

44. The body was that of the guerrilla, Larkin M. Skaggs, one time Baptist minister
of Cass county, Mo. Earlier in the day he had shot John Speer, Jr., son of John Speer,
publisher of the Kansas Weekly Tribune. The boy died later after being shot by another
member of the band. William Speer, brother of John Sprer, Jr., shot Skaggs from his horse
and a Delaware Indian, White Turkey, killed him. Wm. E. Connelley, op. cit., pp. 356,



ferent directions, and murdering and burning as they went. 45 Perfect
security was felt up to the very moment of their entrance. People
alarmed at the outdoor confusion, jumped from their beds, rushed
into the streets and were shot down before they hardly had time
to discover the awful situation of affairs. Houses were fired and their
male inmates shot whenever they attempted to make their escape.
All over the town flames were roaring, pistols cracking, women and
children screaming, and defenseless men piteously begging for their

In two hours a quiet, peaceful town suffered a loss of a hundred
and fifty murdered citizens and $2,000,000 worth of property.
Nothing in our early history exceeds, or even equals it in barbarity.
People were used as guides, promised protection, and afterwards
shot down like dogs. At one Dr. [J. F.] Griswold's, three of the
prominent men of the state were boarding. The rebels took them
out, cautioning their wives not to follow. They marched them away
from the house, told them they were safe, inquired their names, shot
them all down, and left them. 46 Dr. Griswold was not quite killed.
He attempted to crawl towards his house, but a rebel saw him and
returned giving him two more shots in the presence of his screaming
wife. One woman attempted to save her wounded husband by
throwing herself upon his bleeding body, but a rebel forced his
pistol between their bodies and killed her husband. One woman
saved her husband by repeatedly jerking the horse's bridle of the
rebel, who was chasing her husband around the house and shooting
at him. In another case a house was burning and the rebels watch-
ing outside for the owner. The wife got permission to remove a
carpet and succeeded in bringing the husband out under it. 47

The Eldridge Hotel, the largest in the state, surrendered formally
to Quantrill. A boarder 48 waved a white flag from the balcony and
inquired for Quantrill, who soon appeared. (From the balcony)
"What is your object in coming to Lawrence?" (Quantrill) "Plun-
der." ( Balcony ) "We are defenseless and at your mercy, the house
is surrendered, but we demand protection for the inmates/' Quan-
trill promised them protection, marshalled them in the street, led
them himself down to the Whitney House, and remained with them
for protection. Quantrill used to live in Lawrence and boarded at

45. Quantrill's command numbered about 450 men. The guerrillas, numbering 294,
were joined by Col. John D. Holt with 104 men, and about 50 others, designated the Grand
river reinforcement. William E. Connelley, op. eft., p. 315.

46. These men were H. W. Baker, J. C. Trask, and S. M. Thorp. Only Baker survived.

47. Wife of the Rev. H. D. Fisher.

48. Capt. Alexander R. Banks, provost marshal of Kansas.


the Whitney House. Miss Stone, the landlord's daughter, was,,
during those days, a great favorite of his. She told Quantrill that
one of his men had robbed her of a finger ring. The man was sent
for and made to return it. He was mad, and as he left the room
said "she would be sorry for that." Afterwards, when Quantrill had
left, he came back and shot her father. Quantrill took breakfast
at the Whitney House and conversed with many old acquaintances.
He was surprised that his men were murdering people, but said
they had got into the saloons, got drunk and beyond his control.
He came to destroy the town and plunder its wealth, in retaliation
for Lane burning Osceola. 49 When he left he bid his former friends
good-bye, and hoped when they met again it would be under more
happy circumstances.

Massachusetts street, one of the finest business streets in the state>
is entirely destroyed. In the smoking ruins I saw the charred re-
mains of several human bodies. Everyone is at work burying the
dead, which are now, twenty-four hours from the time of the massa-
cre, scattered about the city, in collections from two to twenty.
Many awful incidents of this awful tragedy crowd upon my mind
as I write, but you will have read many accounts of them before
this reaches you. Dr. Kellogg told me he was led around for
an hour, by two rebels who kept cocked revolvers at his head con-
tinually. He had made up his mind to die, but thought he would
do his best to please them. At their direction he led them into the
best liquor stores, found some money for them, set several of his
neighbors' houses on fire, and was finally, against his expectation,
released. The doctor said the first few breaths after his release, were
worth $1,000 apiece. One man saved his house and life for $1,000.
Another paid $1,000 to one man, and was shot by another. One
woman saved her house by marking "Southern" over the door.

Jim Lane's house was burned, while Lane saved himself in a corn
field. One man saved himself and house by genuine grit by mak-
ing a good show of pistols and swearing he would blow the first
man's brains out that came near him. A young man named Calla-
more and his wife, from northern Illinois, were traveling through
the state looking for a place to settle. They were in one of the
hotels which was on fire, and the man knew he could not go down
stairs without being killed. He jumped from the second story win-
dow and was immediately seized by two rebels, who led him out of
sight with revolvers at his head. This is the last the young wife has

49. Gen. James H. Lane, commanding a brigade composed of the Third, Fourth, and
Fifth Kansas regiments, burned Osceola on September 29, 1861.


heard from him. She is here with a little child and no money, and
cannot be consoled. We are stopping at the Whitney House, the
only hotel left. The town is filling with strangers from every part
of the state. Vengeance against the bushwhackers is the overruling
principle everywhere. This is one of the cases where there is no
punishment severe enough. Hanging, disemboweling and quarter-
ing are not half severe enough to satisfy the righteous vengeance
of the people. C. M. C.

LEAVENWORTH, Aug. 29, 1863.

ED. REPUBLICAN: One week ago today (Saturday), I arrived at
this growing city. From Lawrence to Leavenworth is forty miles.
The road leads over the Delaware Reserve, as rich and beautiful
farming land as can be found. The Delawares cultivate a little of
their land, enough to provide for their necessary wants, beyond
which their knowledge extends not.

After leaving the Reserve you enter Leavenworth county and are
among fine farms all the way to the city.

It is impossible to describe the excitement which has prevailed
in this city since the sacking of Lawrence. The feeling was for the
relief of the sufferers. Within two hours after the news reached
the city, a contribution was taken up and supplies forwarded. Gov.
Carney headed the subscription with $1,000, others followed with
sums between $5, and $500, until $15,000 was raised with less talk
than would ordinarily be required to raise $100. This generosity
on the part of Leavenworth is greatly to her credit. Lawrence and
Leavenworth were not on the best of terms. Lawrence was playing
into the hands of Kansas City. Her interests and intimacies were
all with Kansas City and against Leavenworth. It would be natural
for Leavenworth to have expected Kansas City to be most liberal
toward her suffering allies, but she did not wait to see what others
would do, nor to consider former differences, but was the first and
most liberal in her contributions. After the sufferers were provided
for, the feeling of vengeance took possession of every mind. People
were hardly willing to wait for the authorities to act, but were dis-
posed to take the sword of vengeance in their own hands.

From the balcony of one of the hotels Lane made a wild speech,
inciting the people of Kansas to an indiscriminate murder of all
border Missourians, taking the motto of "devastation for safety,
blood for vengeance, and plunder for profit." He told the people
of Kansas if they wanted a man in the U. S. Senate who would vote
for peace before the last slave was free, not to send Jim Lane there,


for he would fight that is, he would vote for others to fight twenty
years before he would have peace on any other terms. Before
closing his speech he presented a resolution to the effect that the
people of Kansas meet at Paola on the 8th of September, each man
supplied with musket, ammunition, a blanket, and fifteen days'
rations. The object being to devastate Jackson, Bates, and Cass
counties, Mo., or "burn them over" as he said and "kill every
living thing." The resolution was unanimously passed. At Law-
rence I heard many republicans charge the destruction of that town
to the destruction of Osceola, Mo., by Lane two years ago. Quan-
trill, while there, said he was ordered to destroy Lawrence in re-
taliation for Osceola.

But notwithstanding Lane's unpopularity with many, all were
listening to his speech with open mouths, and ready to commit any
outrage on the border men he might suggest. Every one was boiling
over with concentrated rage, and had the expedition to Paola started
at once, it would have taken every able-bodied man in Leavenworth.
But before the time arrives better councils will prevail. Whenever
one of those Lawrence murderers is caught let him hang until the
buzzards fat on his carcass. But let us not imitate his barbarous
example by an indiscriminate butchery of innocent persons.

After Lane, Jennison was called on. He came forward and spoke
an hour much after Lane's style. He principally, however, devoted
himself to electioneering for the 15th Kansas Infantry, of which
regiment he is to be Colonel. Jennison was formerly Colonel of one
of the Kansas regiments, but was removed for outrages committed
upon innocent persons and for plundering the people to enrich
himself. 50 Since then people have been satisfied to let him rest in
privacy. But the Lawrence massacre seemed to call for some law-
less leader, to inflict a punishment on those counties from which
these fiends were supposed to have come, and Jennison was ap-
pointed Colonel of the 15th Kansas infantry. People even went
so far as to plan a raid into Platte county, over the river. No one
dreamed that that county was implicated in the Lawrence massacre,
but the almost uncontrollable feeling was to devastate some part of

50. In his "Early History of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry," Simeon M. Fox, adjutant of
the regiment, makes the following statement about Jennison's resignation which has been
described by some writers as forced: "This resignation was not forced . . . but was
a voluntary act induced by the appointment of James G. Blunt to the rank of brigadier
general, a position that he [Jennison] personally coveted and had hoped would be his. He
made an intemperate speech to the men the regiment was at Lawrence at the time |-and
during its course practically advised them to desert; and before his wrath cooled his resigna-
tion was out of his hands and beyond recall." Kansas Historical Collections, v. 11, pp.
240, 241.


Missouri. A lot of men, among whom were a part of the Lawrence
police, planned a raid into that county a few nights since, and went
down to the ferry to cross over but the ferry happened to be on the
Missouri side, and the raiders were obliged to return home.

This has also been an exciting week in the police, or Mayor's
court. Mayor Anthony fined a Lieutenant $20 for saying that there
were as loyal people in Missouri as in Kansas, and that Kansas was
filled with horse and nigger thieves. And another man was fined
$100 for saying that "Lawrence was served just right." There have
been several other $100 fines for similar expressions. The Lieu-
tenant, as the witness testified, was jesting with a radical comrade
in a beer saloon and did not really mean all he said, but the Mayor
said "jest or earnest no such talk would be allowed in Leavenworth."
No one had any sympathy for the others as their remarks indicated
a heart suited for die infernal regions.

During the week every able-bodied man has been compelled to
drill every afternoon at four oclock. Leavenworth turns out at
these drills 2,000 good militia men. They actually fear a raid into
their city, but if bushwhackers once get in here they never will
get out.

The prosperity of Leavenworth exceeds all expectations; every
disaster in this section seems to contribute to her growth. The Law-
rence raid has frightened trade from Kansas City to this point. The
long Santa Fe trains which ordinarily go into Kansas City, have
since the raid come in here, fearing to travel in Jackson county.
The people here are confident of being able to keep that business
after it has once come here. A glance at the map, however, will
show that Kansas City is the natural point for Santa Fe trade, and
without doubt when Jackson county is out of danger, it will return
there. Leavenworth was never more hopeful than now. She ex-
pects that the Pacific railroad will start from Kansas City, and in-
stead of going straight up the Kansas river valley, will turn north
from Kansas City and go to Lawrence around by Leavenworth, in
which case Leavenworth would be reached from the West before
Kansas City. This would throw Kansas City on to a side track, and
Leavenworth on the main line to the East. Should that course be
made Kansas City is blasted and Leavenworth is to be the town
of the West. But should the road go straight up the valley, Leaven-
worth would be on the side track, and Kansas City would be the


I gave you a description of Leavenworth when here three weeks
ago. It has not appeared in your paper yet. Possibly it has mis-
carried, but as it may reach you some time I will not send you an-
other. ... C. M. C.

(The Concluding Installment, Containing the Chase Letters of 1873,
Will Appear in the Autumn, I960, Issue.)

Kansa Village Locations in the Light of McCoy's

1828 Journal


A S AN aid to an archaeological survey of the Kansas river val-
** ley, the Kansas State Historical Society has been making a
study of documentary sources dealing with the Kaw or Kansa
Indians, in an effort to establish the location of their villages.
These Indians, of special interest through having contributed their
name both to the river and the state, occupied this area from the
time they were located by European explorers, until 1846 when the
tribe was moved to the Council Grove area. The problem has al-
ready received some attention, particularly from George P. More-
house and Waldo R. Wedel, who have used documentary sources
and archaeological methods in defining Kansa sites on the Missouri
and Kansas rivers. 1 Morehouse, a member of the Kansas State
Historical Society for more than 40 years, and its president in
1918, was a devoted student of the history of the Kansa. Dr.
Wedel, curator, division of archaeology, Smithsonian Institution,
is a native Kansan who has conducted much of the archaeological
work carried out in the state.

One source on the Kansa apparently has been overlooked, namely,
Isaac McCoy's journal of his 1828 exploring expedition in present
eastern Kansas. McCoy (1784-1846), a Baptist missionary, was
one of the leading proponents of the policy of removing the In-
dians to the West, believing this would save them from the de-
generating influence of contact with the whites. Following the
1828 expedition, McCoy played a leading role in the selection
and survey of Indian lands in Kansas.

Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 17 of 59)