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the Topeka Commonwealth reported the probability of the migrants
being quartered for the time being at the Topeka fair grounds.
On May 1 some of the Negroes had taken possession of the fa-
cilities there, and these were joined the following day by 20
more. 64

No sooner had the executive committee begun lodging its charges
at the fair grounds, however, than dissatisfaction developed, 65
and the county commissioners, who were responsible for the
grounds, requested the relief committee vacate the premises in
order to permit repair of the buildings. 66 As early as May 3 the
committee had discussed the possibility of erecting some temporary
barracks, and as time went on and the exodus showed little indi-
cations of cessation, this plan began to take shape.

It was not until late in June, however, that the relief committe
was able to begin work on the shelter. After a building site had
been promised but later denied by one Charles Curtis, the com-
mittee found land in the western part of the city, and hauled ma-
terials to the spot to begin construction. The following morning,
June 18, the lumber was found in the river. Efforts were re-
newed, but discontinued when some of the "best citizens*' inter-
vened. The structure was finally erected near the junction of the
Kansas Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads, north
of the Kansas river. 67

The erection of the barrack was immediately followed by the
committee's appeal for more relief money both sufficient indi-
cation that the end of the exodus was not in sight. In an address
to "The Friends of the Colored People," dated June 25, 1879, the
directors of the relief association reminded the country that the

63. Topeka Commonwealth, April 29, 1879, a report of the attending physician, Dr.
F. M. Stringfield. See, also, the Topeka Daily Capital, May 24, 1879, for a report on the
physical condition of the migrants.

64. Topeka Commonwealth, May 1, 2, 1879. John Jennings and George Wesley
Jones, "members of the Board of Directors of the late Kansas Freedmen's Bureau," were
reported "managing for them [the migrants]."

65. Topeka Daily Capital, May 3, 1879.

66. See the testimony of M. Bosworth, first treasurer of the relief committee, in
Senate Report 693, pt. 3, p. 290, who reported that the "county commissioners got a
little tired of it, and wanted to use the fair-ground, and claimed they wanted to put it
in repair."

67. North Topeka Times, June 20, 1879. This journal advised the relief committee
to "use the Capital grounds, or go a respectable distance out of town," if they wanted to
erect a shelter for their wards.


migration contained the answer to a national problem the future
of the Southern freedmen. The movement was, therefore, not the
concern of Kansas alone, but of the nation as a whole.

To show what the relief committee had already done for the
Negroes, the appeal recounted the following accomplishments:
between three and four thousand migrants had received aid in
Topeka. 68 A total of $5,819.70 had been received, and the whole
either spent or designated for "incurred obligations." A large
amount of clothing and blankets had been donated, and a con-
siderable quantity remained. The committee's most pressing need,
therefore, was for money with which to provide shelter and
treatment for the sick, as well as to transport the Negroes to areas
where employment and homes awaited them. Without the con-
tributions of money, concluded the appeal, "all further efforts at
organized assistance to these refugees" would have to be discon-
tinued. 69

It is doubtful, however, that the members of the association
felt that relief would no longer command their attention. Cer-
tainly Governor St. John was hardly thinking along these lines
when he predicted the migration from the South would continue
"for many years." In an interview by a reporter of the New York
Daily Tribune, he voiced his opinion that the state of Kansas would
feel little effect from the exodus, since being an agricultural region,
great tracts of land were yet to be placed in cultivation. The
governor believed that the colored people could settle much of
the land by establishing small colonies of not more than 30 families,
with from 40 to 80 acres allotted to each family. 70

St. John foresaw a bright future for the Negro in Kansas under
the colonization plan he wished to see inaugurated, but he thought
the colored people would profit by remaining in the South, with,
of course, some very important reservations. The Negroes must
have "full protection of life and property," political rights equal
to that enjoyed by the whites of that region, and equal educational
opportunities for colored children. Unless the South developed a
"sense of justice" and assured the freedmen these three consti-

68. It has been estimated that between the arrival of the first group in Wyandotte and
the middle of June, 1879, a total of about 5,100 migrants had arrived in Kansas. See
Glen Schwendemann, "Negro Exodus to Kansas" ( M. A. thesis, University of Oklahoma,
1957), p. 161.

69. See an address "To the Friends of the Colored People," issued by the directors
of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association, dated June 26, 1879, in A. T. Andreas and
W. G. Cutler, History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), pp. 291, 292.

70. New York Daily Tribune, June 7, 1879.


tutional guarantees, he predicted an exodus from the South that
would involve two million Negroes. 71

The governor was wrong in one respect. The migrants arriving
in Kansas in the future would be numbered in the thousands in-
stead of the millions. But they would continue to come and
those who smiled at the idea of comparing this exodus to that of
the Israelites of old, were soon forced to admit that the impend-
ing deluge of Negroes from the South was sufficient evidence that
these modern Israelites had apparently received the command to
"go in to possess the land/'

71. Ibid.


Monument Station, Gove County


ON THE rolling bottom land of the Smoky Hill river, 22 miles
south and four miles east of Oakley, are the "Smoky Hill
Pyramids." Of the many travelers who come to view them, few
realize that less than a mile to the south are the deep ruts that
mark the old Smoky Hill trail which carried so many pioneers
from Leavenworth to Denver, Salt Lake City and the West coast.
Nor do they suspect that about a mile west of where the trail
strikes the present road is the site of Monument station. To go a
step further, they could stand on the very ground of this old
military post and not have the slightest idea that it was once
graced with the title "fort." l

All that is left are a few scattered rocks that cnce were part of
the foundations of the buildings and a long L-shaped trench that
reaches out to the bluff of the river and might easily be mistaken
for a washout were not both ends closed. Several holes, some al-
most covered, are still to be seen, and denote the position of the
"dug-out" of the early post. An occasional tin can and perhaps a
few square nails may be found near the depression that one time
served as the trash pit. Other than these scanty marks of identifi-
cation it might easily be mistaken for just another part of this
Gove county ranch.

Monument station received its name from the previously men-
tioned pyramids directly to the northeast, which in the early days
were referred to as the "monuments/*

The first mention of Monument station is in a letter dated Sep-
tember 12, 1865, from Isaac E. Eaton of the Butterfield Overland
Despatch to Thomas Carney, then mayor of Leavenworth. At
that time the Smoky Hill route was to be used by Eaton's com-
pany in transporting freight and passengers from Leavenworth to
Denver and the purpose of the letter was to promote trade. Sta-
tions were located between nine and 21 miles apart along the
trail with approximately every third station being a "home" station.
At these home stations passengers would be fed and kept by a
family. 2

CHARLES R. WETZEL, native of Hugoton, is a graduate assistant in the philosophy de-
partment, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

1. There is some argument as to whether or not this post was ever referred to as a
"fort," although this is the common reference used today.

2. Mrs. Frank C. Montgomery "Fort Wallace and Its Relation to the Frontier," Kansas
Historical Collections, Topeka, v. 17 (1926-1928), pp. 194, 195.



It was claimed for the Smoky Hill route that it was better than
either the Santa Fe or the Oregon trails because it had a sufficient
supply of water along its entire course. What its sponsors did not
point out was that it bisected the vast Indian hunting grounds be-
tween the other trails. From the outset Indian depredations were
a common occurrence.

The first attack on a Butterfield Overland Despatch coach near
Monument station was on October 2, 1865. About 30 Indians
made the attack. The passengers fought for some time but finally
had to abandon the coach, taking the horses and starting east. The
Indians plundered and burned the coach, burned the station house,
and drove off some mules. 3 Before the year was ended Gen. G. M.
Dodge placed troops on the road west from Fort Ellsworth at Big
Creek, Monument station, and Pond's Creek. 4

Troops were at Monument station on November 20, 1865, for
in the post returns of Fort Fletcher it was mentioned that a por-
tion of this command was called east to help patrol the road be-
cause of the especially difficult situation with the Indians that
winter. 5

In December of that same year the station was mentioned once
again, as Lt. George Handy accompanied by a sergeant, eight
corporals, and 21 privates went to Monument station to escort
the paymaster back to Fort Fletcher. 6 At this time a Captain
Stroud was serving as commanding officer of the post. 7

Evidently there was no commissioned officer at this garrison
shortly after, for on January 12, 1866, one was sent there. 8 Two
days later Lieutenant Bell of the 13th Missouri cavalry was sent
from Monument and Pond Creek stations with two wagons and
20 men to Fort Fletcher for supplies. The commander of the post
reported that they had rations for only 15 days, and he felt that
he might have to abandon the station. These troops were still
there six days later (January 20, 1866), for the post surgeon of
Fort Fletcher was there on that date attending to the sick. 9

3. The Daily Rocky Mountain News, October 16, 1865, as reported in "The Smoky
Hill Trail in Western Kansas, 1859-1869," a thesis by John W. Neyer.

4. Montgomery, loc. cit., p. 198. There seems to have been some kind of evolution
of names in the development of these stations. The station that is specifically called "Pond's
Creek" here is later called simply "Pond Creek" while Monument station is sometimes called
"Monuments Station."

5. "Fort Fletcher Post Returns of November 20, 1865," as found in the Records of the
United States Command, selected pages from v. 456, Department of the Missouri, National
Archives, Washington, 1948 (microfilm).

6. Ibid. (Pages not numbered.)

7. Neyer, op. cit., p. 50.

8. "Fort Fletcher Post Returns," loc. cit.

9. Ibid.


Perhaps the necessary supplies never reached Monument, for
the post was evidently abandoned. On March 1, 1866, Companies
A, E, and I of the First United States volunteer infantry were
ordered to march to Monument station and "re-establish" it. 10 On
March 28 we find the commanding officer at Fort Fletcher sending
one company of cavalry and one of infantry there. 11

Except for a single mention of supplies being sent to this post
in November, 1866, 12 the voice of history is silent until June, 1867,
when J. H. Betts, having recently experienced an Indian attack
at Big Creek station, moved to Monument and established a sutler's
store. 13

July 14, 1867, saw the coming of 1st Lt. David E. Ezekiel, com-
manding I company of the 38th infantry. 14 In the same records
which give this information it was reported that Ezekiel had re-
lieved a Lieutenant Nolan of the Seventh cavalry, who had pre-
viously occupied the post with his troops. This may have been
the company of cavalry dispatched to Monument from Fort
Fletcher on March 28, 1866, but this is not conclusive since there
was apparently a great deal of rotation at this post.

Root and Conrielley, in their Overland Stage to California, tell
of an incident supposed to have taken place at Monument sta-
tion. It seems that Enoch Cummings was a driver of one of 40
wagons belonging to Powers & Newman of Leavenworth, and
on August 22, 1867, he found himself camped on the Smoky Hill
river at Monument. "Several hundred" Indians surprised the
caravan at about 5:00 o'clock in the morning. The defenders
immediately secured their stock and prepared for battle. The
Indians made a grand charge from the west as the sun was rising.
All were mounted and their bodies were painted with a variety
of color. Cummings described the early morning rays of the sun
striking their painted bodies and polished shields and guns as one
of the most magnificent spectacles he had ever seen. The battle
lasted 32 hours; when the Indians finally withdrew and the travelers
counted up the casualties and losses for both sides, they found
that one Indian pony had been shot and one mule belonging to
the travelers had been run off.

A check of this account suggests that either Cummings was

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Montgomery, loc. cit., p. 197. A sutler's store sold food and drink to troops.

14. "Monument Station Post Returns," August, 1867, as found on photostatic copies ob-
tained from Edward Beougher of Grinnell.


farther away from Monument station than he thought, or that this
is something which was evolved in his thinking at a later date, for
the post returns of this month show that Company I of the 38th
infantry consisting of about 100 men, was stationed there at the
time, yet no mention is made of the troops or of the travelers seek-
ing help from them during the battle. 15

Capt. John B. Conyngham was sent to Monument station in
August of 1867, to assume duties as commanding officer of the
post. He relieved 1st Lt. D. E. Ezekiel who remained there as
second in command. At the time he assumed command, he wrote:

This Post is situated upon the Smoky Hill stage route in the state of
Kansas, ninety (90) miles west of Fort Hays and forty-seven (47) miles east
of Fort Wallace.

No post office has been established at the post. Communications addressed
"Monument Station, Kansas" are received with some regularity by the "way
pocket" which is carried upon the coaches of the United States Express Co. 16

The winter of 1867 was not too eventful for the inhabitants of
this station. Although there was still some difficulty with the
Indians along the trail, nature proved to be the greater enemy,
for heavy rains made the trail impassable. The railroad was
gradually pushing its way westward and was receiving the same
opposition from the Indians as did the coaches and wagons over
the trail.

By the spring of 1868 the railroad had reached as far west as
present Oakley. Due west some ten miles was Antelope station.
Antelope station was renamed "Monument" and has retained that
name to the present day. It is a community of 200 people. Ac-
tually it is 35 miles northwest of the original Monument station.

With the decrease in travel on the Smoky Hill trail, and an in-
crease in Indian attacks on the railroad workers, Co. I of the
38th infantry was ordered to abandon the place on June 24, 1868,
and march to "Monument [formerly Antelope station] to guard
government stores and protect the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern
District." 17

The troops were there but a short time, for on August 23, 1868,
they were ordered to march to Fort Wallace. 18 And thus closed
the short history of this temporary military post.

15. Frank A. Root and William Elsey Connelley, The Overland Stage to California
(Topeka, published by the authors, 1901, and reprinted by Long's College Book Co., Co-
lumbus, Ohio, 1950), pp. 367-370.

16. "Monument Station Post Returns," loc. cit. The Butterfield Overland Despatch sold
out to the Holladay Overland Mail & Express Co., April 15, 1866, who in turn sold out
to the United States Express Co., February 1, 1867.

17. Ibid., June, 1868.

18. Ibid., August, 1868.


In recent years, Dean Carver and Zack Phelps, making an in-
vestigation of all the stations in Logan and Wallace counties, did
some research at the ruins. They estimated that there had been
a stone building about 75 by 100 feet and a walled parade ground
of perhaps an acre. The stables, corrals, blacksmith shop, com-
missary, and houses were south of the main fort building and along
the bank of the river. They also believed they had found an under-
ground tunnel to the river which could have been used to get
water in case of siege by the Indians. 19

All of which could very well be true, but very little could be
proved from the ruins now. Rain, wind, and amateur archaeol-
ogists have stripped the ground of the identification needed. Early
settlers in this area used some of the rocks to build their own
homes, and nature and curio hunters have done the rest.

19. Oakley Graphic, March 13, 1936, as found in the Kansas State Historical Society's
"Trail Clippings," v. 3, pp. 220, 221; and in Neyer, op. cit., p. 41.

Eugene Ware and Dr. Sanger:
The Code of Political Ethics, 1872-1892


DURING the two decades, 1872-1892, the American political
scene, as reflected in the Fort Scott area, possessed charac-
teristics that may be differentiated from what came after. The
symbols and the associated political code require explanation to
later generations, and in terms that avoid value judgments. Some-
thing of the culture content of the political modes of the day is
preserved and may be introduced by the story of the friend-
ship between Eugene Ware, Republican, and Increase Sumner
Sanger, M. D., Democrat, together with the account of the rites by
which political victories were celebrated a single local instance
to be sure, but an illustration of significance far wider than the
one community.

On the occasion of the death of Dr. Sanger (1828-1888), Ware
furnished, for publication over his own name, the eulogy of a
friend, and the only instance of the kind that has been found. 1 The
burial of Dr. Sanger had taken place on Sunday, November 25,
1888, when "the November air was filled with the delicious haze
of a perfect Kansas day. . . ." Ware referred to Sanger as "an
educated doctor," and the full force of his meaning would be ap-
parent only to those who were familiar with Ware's poem, "The
Medicine Man," in which the fraudulent pretentions of an "educated
fool" were mangled, both by Ware's pen and the heels of an army
mule. Without specifying the nature of the affliction that was
responsible for Dr. Sanger's death, Ware referred to it as a "grim
mockery of science, and medicine and for years his hair has been
whiter than snow." But, in spite of pain, his disposition was "one
of sympathy and smiles. The head of no philosopher or statesman
that Grecian marble has bequeathed us had a finer outline than did
his." Furthermore his honor and integrity were above reproach.
This Ware was saying of his friend who was a lifelong Democrat
of an extreme sort, who in his own vigorous language kicked his
party, but always from within.

DH. JAMES C. MALIN, associate editor of The Kansas Historical Quarterly and author
of several books relating to Kansas and the West, is professor of history at the University
of Kansas, Lawrence.

The article published here is from material compiled for a book on Eugene Ware.

1. Fort Scott Daily Tribune, November 27, 1888.



As a physician, Sanger had spent most of his early career in the
United States navy, and had sailed the seven seas in a man-of-war.
In consequence of this life "abroad" the United States flag acquired
for Sanger a special symbolism. Ware put the matter this way:
"If he had any special religious belief he did not allude to it, but if
questioned he would have probably said that he would be saved
through the efficacy of the American flag, in which he firmly be-
lieved." Only the flag, Ware pointed out, took precedence over his
democracy. By way of illustration, Ware recounted the incident
of the Republican victory parade and celebration of the election of
James A. Garfield to the Presidency in 1880. This incorrigible
Democrat, Sanger, was a participant

The doctor occupied, by invitation, a place at the head of the column, and
for two hours he carried the American flag by concession it was the flag of
the occasion. ... It was honor enough for me to walk beside him and
hold his hat. Yet the doctor was not there to celebrate a Republican victory.
He was there to carry the flag of his country, so that all would remember that
there was one thing in the United States even greater than a victorious party.
It was pure patriotism, and he was accorded the post of honor because every-
body knew how he felt.

And then Ware closed his eulogy one agnostic to another
with this affirmation of faith:

Rest quietly in peace, O! doctor. The fallen leaves upon your new-made
grave bode you no evil. The flag you loved so well has yet nine hundred years
to wave, and in such stretch of time it may even gather on its field the stars
of heaven. Rest in your quiet grave, O! friend. There are none who bear
you malice. You need no marble. We all hope to see you later.

The incident of the Garfield parade serves also to introduce the
larger topic of the manner and meaning of celebrations of this kind,
which, except in 1876, occurred in Fort Scott every four years,
1872-1892 inclusive. The first of these has its setting in the partic-
ularly bitter campaign of 1872 when the Republican party was
split, and the revolting liberals were joined in part by the Demo-
cratic party. Two incidents became the focus of this particular
ritualistic performance. Capt. George J. Clarke, a Democrat, had
made an election bet with Dr. J. S. Redfield, a Republican, accord-
ing to which the loser would deliver a sack of flour to the other in a
wheelbarrow. 2 The second stunt was only slightly more original,
but possessed symbolic significance to Democrats of the 19th
century, who still insisted that the United States had a fundamental
law which limited the power of the central government. A "Ship of

2. "A Wheelbarrow Bet" was announced in the Fort Scott Daily Monitor, June 23,
1872, and was referred to again just prior to election day. Ibid., November 2, 1872.


State," called the "Constitution" was constructed which, in 1872,
was to be "saved" by their hoped for victory at the polls. Instead
of celebrating a Democratic return to power, however, the good ship
"Constitution" had to be put to a different ritualistic use it carried
the defeated parties, liberals and Democrats, up the mythical "Salt
river." 3

The "Grand Jollification" for Republicans came Saturday eve-
ning, November 9, and the Sunday Monitors headlines read: "The
Wheeling of the Flour" and "The Ship Constitution and Her Noble
Crew. The Departure for Salt River" "The whole town, women
and children, as well as voters, seemed to have turned out to witness
the event. . . ." The procession started shortly after 7 P. M.,
from the Joss mill, led by the German band. Escorted by Dr. Red-
field, Clarke pushed the wheelbarrow of flour,

flanked by faithful members of the Liberal party as hearse bearers . . .,
and next came the good ship "Constitution," manned by its "Liberal" crew, on
their four years' voyage up the uninviting scenes of Salt river. Dr. Couch
occupied a position at the helm and mournfully tolled the "watches" of the
death of the Liberal party. Dr. Sanger, Charlie Goodlander, and other
prominent members of the Liberal party were on board, with Ware, of the
Monitor, on the "starboard watch." The bootblacks, good Grant fellows,
rode proudly in the rear, in an illuminated express wagon.

Accomplishing the delivery of the flour, Redfield addressed Clarke
an "amusing speech," and Couch, "on the part of the Liberal 'crew*
accepted the defeat. . . ." After the conclusion of the speech
making, "Hail Columbia" was sung and the crowd dispersed. The

Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 29 of 59)