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ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 01064 7870
D.B. Wats oat.
B no us on
TO THE CLOSE OF 1865,
By T. F. ROBLEY.
FORT SCOTT, KANSAS.
By T. F. RoblEY, Fort Scott, Kansas.
The Monitor Book & Printing Co.
Fort Scott, Kansas.
N preparing this book I have departed in many par-
ticulars from the ordinary course and established
custom of compilers of county histories. I have
endeavored to give the causes which led up to our
*. « early troubles, and to delineate, to some extent,
' the public sentiment and feeling of given periods.
I have kept in touch with the various Territorial Gov-
ernments, Administrations, Legislatures and prominent
public men, in order that the reader may have an intel-
ligent understanding of the situation. I have intended
this book to be of refreshing interest to the old settler,
and to be especially interesting and instructive to the
young men and women of Bourbon County.
T. F. Robley.
Fort Scott, Kansas, December, 1894.
CHAPTER I.— Louisiana Purchase— Missouri Territory— Mis-
souri Compromise — Platte Purchase — Santa Fe Trail-
Cherokee Neutral Lands— New York Indian Lands 8
CHAPTER II.— Fort Scott Located— Colonel H. T. Wilson-
Sergeant John Hamilton— Military Road Completed— Bar-
racks Erected— Relics of a Past Era I7
CHAPTER III.— Annexation of Texas- Mexican War— Wilmot
Proviso— Compromise of 1850 21
CHAPTER IV.-1853-Postof Fort Scott Abandoned-Some of
the Early Settlers of Bourbon County-Time from 1854 to
1855 — Description of Frontier Life — Climate — Indian
CHAPTER V.— 1854— Mill of the Gods-Kansas-Nebraska Bill
— Kansas Territory Organized ^
CHAPTER VI.-1854-First Governor-FirstVElections-First
Fraud— First Legislature— Bogus Statutes— Samples of
Legislation— Government Buildings Sold 42
CHAPTER VII. — 1855 — Bourbon County Organized First
County Officers— Neutral Lands in Bourbon County— Fort
Scott Incorporated as a Town— More Elections— Second
Governor— Political Atmosphere of Bourbon County 53
CHAPTER VIII-,8 5 6-Tone of Pro-slavery Papers-Topeka
Constitution-Trouble Comniences-Texas Rangers-Expe-
dition to Middle Creek-Topeka Legislature-Governor
Shannon Resigns— Governor Geary Appointed— Territorial
Legislators for Bourbon County- Close of 1856 60
CHAPTER IX.— 1857.— Bourbon County Officials— New Towns
— Sprattsville— Mapleton— Rayville-Means of Communi-
vi SYNOPTICAL INDEX.
CHAPTER X.— 1857— Some More Politics— Dred Scott Decision
— Slaves in Bourbon County — Governor Geary Resigns —
Governor Walker Appointed— More Immigrants — Fort Scott
Town Company— U. S. Officers— Tenderfeet— Free State
CHAPTER XI.— 1857— Public Sentiment— Lecompton Consti-
tution— Flection of October 5, 1857 — More Trouble —
Squatter's Court — Protective Society 86
CHAPTER XII.— 1857— The Conservatives— U. S. Troops at
Fort Scott — First Election on Lecompton Constitution —
Close of 1S57 90
CHAPTER XIII.— 1858— The Second Election on Lecompton
Coustitution — First Newspaper Established - First Grand
Ball— Trouble Begins Again— Object Lesson in Surgery —
Origin of Jayhawker 96
CHAPTER XIV.— 1858— First Manufactory in Fort Scott-
Marmaton Town Company — Uniontown — Leavenworth
Constitution — English Bill — Jayhawking Reduced to Plain
Stealing — Fight with U. S. Troops 104
CHAPTER XV.— 1858— Some Old Settlers of 1858— Improve-
ments Begin — Border Ruffians have an Inning — Marais des
Cygnes Murder — Efforts at Capture — Effects on the Border
—Feeling Against Fort Scott 114
CHAPTER XVI.— 1858— Public Meeting— Election by "Tail-
ment"— Meeting at Rayville — Protocol of Peace — Mont-
gomery Sized Up 119
CHAPTER XVII.— 1858— Some More Arrivals— After the Am-
nesty — Improvements Continue — Exit Lecompton Consti-
tution — Kansas is Free 1 25
CHAPTER XVIII.— 1858— Territorial Election- Governor Den-
ver Resigns — Samuel Medary Appointed— Amnesty Broken
—Ben Rice Arrested — Meeting at Rayville — Release of Rice
—Death of John H. Little 133
CHAPTER XIX.— 1859— Militia Organized— Jayhawkers Cap-
tured—Lawrence and Fort Scott get Acquainted— Amnesty
Law — County Seat Moved— Preparing for Another Consti-
tution—An All Around Good Year 141
SYNOPTICAL INDEX. vii
CHAPTER XX — 1859— Delegates to Wyandotte Convention
—Big 4th of July— Grand Ball— Fort Scott Democrat
Revived — Vote on the Wyandotte Constitution — Other
Election Items 146
CHAPTER XXI.— 1860— Legislature Meets— Dayton Incor-
porated— Fort Scott Town Company Incorporated — Fort
Scott Incorporated as a City — First City Election — County
Election — Last Border Difficulties — Law Inaugurated. .... 151
CHAPTER XXII.— 1860— Arts of Peace— Population— First
Fair Association — N. Y. Indian Lands — Neutral Lands —
Troops Arrive— Land Sales — The Great Drouth 160
CHAPTER XXIII.— 1861— Kansas Admitted— State Govern-
ment — City Affairs — Impending Crisis — Public Meetings
—War — War Feeling in Bourbon County — First Troops Or-
ganized ... . 168
CHAPTER XXIV.— 1862— Fort Lincoln Fortified— Troops Con-
centrated — -Battle of Drywood — 6th Kansas — Fort Scott a
Military Post — More Politics 174
CHAPTER XXV.— 1862— Movement of Troops— Various Items
—Fall Elections 1 78
CHAPTER XXVI.— 1863-County Seat Returned to Fort Scott
—City Hall— Elections— County Officers 182
CHAPTER XXVII.— 1864— Political Feeling— Fortifications
— Raids on Drywood — Railroads — Politics — Price Raid —
Raids by Guerillas — Marmaton Massacre — Fort Scott in
Suspense — Public Meeting — General Election 198
CHAPTER XXVIII.— 1865— Lincoln— City Election— Muster
Out — The Schools— Business and Improvements— Fall Elec-
tion — Statistics — Population — The Close 210
Bourbon County, Kansas.
By T. F. ROBLEY.
THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE.
,NE of the most important events in the history of
< the United States was the purchase of Louisiana
Territory from the Republic of France. The
treaty of cession was concluded at Paris on the
30th day of April, 1803, by and between the min-
isters of President Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon
Bonaparte, then First Consul of France. The far-
reaching effects of this cession on the future of the
whole civilized world, and its immense advantages to
the United States as a Nation, can scarcely be realized.
By this acquisition the United States added to its terri-
tory 1,160,577 square miles to the 820,680 square miles
of the original thirteen colonies, for which it paid a
sum amounting to less than twenty million dollars.
By this acquisition it added a grand inter-oceanic zone,
2 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.
reaching down from the rugged coast of the North
Pacific to the crescent shore of the Gulf; down from
the regions of eternal snows to the clime of eternal
The Republic moved at once into its place on the
map of the world as a Power of the first class — a
Nation with a big N. This was one of the few grand
victories won by the pen instead of the sword.
Conceive, if you can, the consequences if President
Jefferson, without the authority of Congress or of con-
stitutional law, had failed at the supreme moment to
say, in effect, to Bonaparte, "DEtat c'est moV "I
will take it."
England would undoubtedly have taken it from
France as she had successively taken Canada, Cape
Breton, New Foundland, Nova Scotia and portions of
Asia, and as she finally from Napoleon "wrenched the
the sceptre with an unlineal hand." The fear that this
territory would ultimately fall into the hands of Eng-
land, coupled with his great need of money at that
time, induced Bonaparte to make the proposition to
Jefferson to sell the entire province, just as he had
acquired it only a short time previously by retrocession
from Spain. And Jefferson, realizing its vital import-
ance to his country, and also the danger of delays, at
once closed the bargain on his own responsibility, as
has been seen, without the authority of the constitution,
which made no provision for incorporating foreign
territory, without the authority of Congress, which was
not then in session, but by an act as arbitrary and auto-
MISSOURI TERRITORY. 3
cratic as could have been done by the Czar of Russia.
On that subject Jefferson himself wrote :
"The less that is said about any constitutional diffi-
culty the better. Congress should do what is necessary
in silence. I find but one opinion about the necessity
of shutting up the Constitution for some time."
Nevertheless, for that act alone, if for no others,
future generations of his countrymen will place his
statue the very next to Washington's in the line of
The territory was bounded on the east by the Missis-
sippi river south to the 31st parallel — about one degree
north of the city of New Orleans — thence east to the
Pardido river, which is now the west boundary of
Florida. The west country was the east and north
boundaries of Texas to the 100th meridian ; thence
north to the Arkansas river ; thence along the Arkan-
sas river to the "divide" of the Rocky Mountains to
and along the 106th meridian, to and along the 42nd
parallel to the Pacific ocean. The north line being the
present boundary between the British Possessions and
the United States.
In 1 81 2 the territory then known as the Territory of
Orleans was admitted into the Union as the State of
Louisiana, and by act of Congress in June, 181 2, the
balance of the Louisiana purchase became the Terri-
tory of Missouri. In March, 1819, the Territory of
Arkansas was created.
4 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY
By act of Congress known as the Missouri Compro-
mise, approved March 6th, 1820, the Territory of
Missouri was erected with a view of admission as a
Section 8 of that act provided that in all territory
north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes north latitude,
not included within the limits of the contemplated
State of Missouri, slavery should be forever prohibited.
The west boundary line of the State of Missouri, as
designated by that law, was as it now exists, except
that from the mouth of the Kaw river the line ran due
north to the Iowa line, instead of the Missouri river
forming the boundary as now. This territory between
the due north line and the Missouri river was known as
the "Platte Purchase." In June, 1836, Congress
passed a law adding the Platte Purchase to Missouri,
and this tract of land became slave territory, in direct
violation of the compromise of 1820.
SANTA FE TRAIL.
By an act of Congress of June, 1825, Major Sibley,
of the United States Army, was appointed to survey
and establish a wagon road from Independence, Mis-
souri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, known as the Santa
Fe Trail. This was the first highway of civilization
to penetrate this then unexplored and silent desert.
CHEROKEE NEUTRAL LANDS. 5
And this within the memory of our old men ! But we
will go into no retrospect here. Get on a Santa Fe
train, which passes over subtantially the survey made
by Major Sibley, and the retrospect will come to you
much more forcibly than it can be written. Consider
that, then the valleys of the Kaw, Marias des Cygnes,
Neosho, Marmaton and Paint Creek were the favorite
hunting grounds of the Osages, Cheyennes and Arapa-
hoes. The wolves, deer, antelope and the migratory
buffalo roamed the wild prairie unfettered by wire fence
and unbalked by railroad crossing. And that only
seventy-five years ago. Even thirty years ago they
had not yet departed from the now confines of Wichita's
CHEROKEE NEUTRAL LANDS.
About 1825 the government began locating the
various tribes of the more nearly civilized Indians from
the East and South on reservations, by cessions, trades,
treaties, removals and retrocessions, up to about the
year 1852. In 1828 a treaty was made with the Cher-
okees, of Georgia, by which they were given the terri-
tory known as the Cherokee Nation, with a promise
also of the payment of $450,000. But this money was
never paid them, and in 1835 a supplementary treaty
was made by which they were granted, in lieu of said
sum of money, a tract of land bounded and described
as follows :
" Beginning at the northeast corner of the Cherokee
Nation; thence north along the Missouri state line
fifty miles; thence west twenty-five miles; thence south
fifty miles; thence east to the place of beginning."
(i HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.
This tract, twenty-five by fifty miles was intended to
contain 800,000 acres.
This grant has always been known as the "Cherokee
Neutral Lands." It is said that the reason it was so
called was that the Cherokee Nation was slave territory
and the Cherokees being slave holders, they preferred
to have neutral ground between their nation and the
free territory north of 36 30', as provided for by the
Missouri Compromise. Consequently, instead of the
money due by the provisions of the treaty, they chose
in lieu thereof this "Neutral Land" as a bulwark
As these lands were partly contained in Bourbon
County, occasion will be taken to refer to them further
along in regular chronological order.
NEW YORK INDIAN LANDS.
On January 15th, 1838, the government set apart to
the various tribes of New York Indians a tract of
country described as follows :
"Beginning at the west line of the State of Mis-
souri, at the northeast corner of the Cherokee tract and
running thence north along the west line of the State
of Missouri twenty-seven miles to the southerly line
of the Miami lands; thence west so far as shall be nec-
essary by running a line at right angles and parallel to
the west line aforesaid to the Osage lands, and thence
easterly along the Osage and Cherokee lands to the
place of beginning; to include 1,824,000 acres."
This land was intended as a future home for the In-
dians of New York. These various tribes of New
NE W YORK INDIAN LANDS. 7
York Indians, consisting of the remnants of the Sene-
cas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Tuscaroras, Oneidas, St.
Regis, Stockbridges, Munsees and Brothertowns, were
called the "Six Nations."
As will be seen the balance of what is now Bourbon
County was contained within this tract of New York
But it was never occupied by the tribes mentioned,
there having been but thirty-two allotments made to
them of 320 acres each, which were all on the Osage
As this tract was not a grant in fee simple, like that
to the Cherokees, but designed to be allotted in
severalty to individual members of the tribes, and as
only thirty-two of them came west to receive their
share, the remainder of the tract finally reverted to the
Lieutenant John C. Fremont in June, 1842, left
Chouteau's trading post on the Marias des Cygnes
river, in what is now Linn County, on his first expe-
dition to the Rocky Mountains. He was accompanied
by Kit Carson as guide.
We now have a clear idea of the condition of things
in this country — physically and politically — as they
existed in that early day. The United States had
acquired a clear and unquestioned title to the domain;
many of the tribes of Indians in the Eastern and
Southern States, who were in the way of the rapidly
increasing population, had been given, and located on,
large tracts of land in this worthless, sterile desert,
totally unfit for the habitation of the white man, as it
8 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.
was believed, where they could quietly work out their
The Nation was on a solid and enduring foundation;
peace reigned supreme, and, better than all, the
troublesome, vexatious and dangerous question of Af-
rican slavery had, in the minds of all men, been settled
peacefully, finally and forever.
FORT SCOTT LOCA TED.
FORT SCOTT LOCATED.
N the year 1837, D >' an or der of Colonel Zachary
Taylor, a military Board of Commissioners, con-
sisting of Colonel S. W. Kearney and Captain
Nathan Boone, of the 1st U. S. Dragoons, was
ii appointed to lay out a military road from Fort
Coffey in the Cherokee Nation to Fort Leavenworth
on the Missouri river, and to select a site for a new
Post to be located somewhere nearly midway between
those two points, for the accommodation of the garri-
son at Fort Wayne, a post then existing near the
Arkansas line, about fifty miles south of the northeast
corner of the Cherokee Nation, which it had been de-
cided to abandon.
In reference to the location of the new post, the
commission reported much difficulty in fixing upon a
site. Several points were examined along Spring river.
Their first choice seems to have been at the place of
Joseph Rogers, a Cherokee Indian, living near the
present site of Baxter Springs. But Rogers thought
he was in the midst of a u boom,' 1 and he asked them
$1,000 an acre for what laud they would need of his
claim. They were not authorized to pay any such
1 HISTOR Y OF BOURBON CO UN TV.
sum, and considering also that it was more desirable to
locate the site on land not granted to Indians, they
moved on further north.
Bearing on the question of the selection of a site, a
copy is given of a letter from the War Department, as
' ' Mrs. H. T. Wilson,
Fort Scott, Kansas.
Replying to your inquiry of the 6th inst. as to who
selected the site of the military post at Fort Scott,
Kansas, I have the honor to inform you that the site
was selected in 1837 by a Board of Commissioners,
charged with the duty of laying out a military road
from Fort Coffey to Fort Leavenworth, consisting of
Col. S. W. Kearney and Captain Nathan Boone, 1st
Dragoons. Their report will be found in H. R. Doc.
No. 278, 25th Congress, 2d Session, which report is too
lengthy to be copied.
There was some considerable difficulty in fixing
the site for the Fort Wayne garrison. The first point
selected was at Rogers' place on Spring river, but was
abandoned on account of the exorbitant price demand-
ed by its owner. Several other points in the immedi-
ate neighborhood, and up the Pomme de Terre or
Spring River, to the State line were examined, but
decided to be unhealthy. All the several points were
examined by Captain Moore, and other sites in that
vicinity had been previously examined by General
Taylor; and it was only after these different sites had
been determined as impracticable, that the position on
the Marmaton, which had been previously recom-
FOR T SCO TT L OCA TED. 1 1
mended by the Board in 1837, was finally decided upon
as a site for the new post.
I am, Madam, Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,
J. C. Kfxton,
Act'g Ass't Adj't General."
Considerable time was now consumed, presumably
in the process of red tape and in construction of the
military road from Fort Leavenworth south, so that it
was not until the 26th day of May, 1842, when the
garrison of Fort Wayne abandoned that post and took
up their march for the North. They arrived at the
new site which had been selected on the Marmaton
river on the evening of May 30th, 1842, where they
pitched their tents and called it Fort Scott.
These troops consisted of Captain B. D. Moore, in
command, Lieutenant William Eustis, Assistant Sur-
geon Dr. J. Simpson, and 120 enlisted men of compa-
nies A and C 1st U. S. Dragoons.
This command was soon after ordered on to Fort
Leavenworth, and were replaced here by a part of the
1 st Infantry. The officers with the infantry command
were Major Graham, Captain Swords and Assistant
Surgeon Dr. Mott.
Concluding the subject of the location of Fort Scott,
Adjutant General L. C. Drum of the War Department,
writes as follows:
" In reply to your letter of the 27th ultimo, address-
ed to the Secretary of War, asking certain information
regarding the early settlement of Fort Scott, I have
the honor to inform you that Fort Wayne, in the
12 HIS TOR Y OF BOURBON CO UN TV.
Cherokee Nation, was abandoned on the 26th day of
May, 1S42, and companies A and C, 1st Dragoons,
(which had formed its garrison) under the command
of Captain B. D. Moore, 1st Dragoons, three officers
and 120 enlisted men, marched to and occupied the
new site which had been selected on the Marmaton
river, twenty miles west of Ljttle Osage Posfoffice,
on the 30th of May, 1842, to which they gave the
name of Camp Scott, changed later to Fort Scott. The
only other officers present with the command on that
day were Dr. J. Simpson, Assistant Surgeon, and First
Lieutenant William Eustis.
I have the honor to be Very Respectfully,
Your Ob't Serv't,
L. C. Drum,
An army sutler came with the 1st Infantry named
John A. Bugg, who, by virtue of his position, acted
COI.. H. T. WILSON.
On the 13th of September, 1843, Hiero T. Wilson
came up From Fort Gibson, where he had been located,
and went into partnership with Mr. Bugg in the sutler
business. They did business together until 1849, wneu
Mr. Wilson bought out Mr. Bugg and he went to Cali-
fornia. Mr. Wilson then became the sutler and U. S.
Col. Wilson, as he was always called, was born in
Kentucky on the 6th day of September, 1806. He
went to Fort Gibson as sutler of that post soon after it
was established, and remained there about nine years,
COL. H. T. WILSON. 13
when he came to Fort Scott, as stated, in 1843. He
lived here continuously from that time to the time of
his death, August 6th, 1892. He was married to
Elizabeth C. Hogan, on the 28th of September, 1847.
They had three children, Virginia T., Elizabeth C. and
Fannie W. Virginia, the eldest daughter, now Mrs. W. R.
Robinson, was the first white child born in Fort Scott.
In Col. Wilson's residence in Fort Scott of nearly
fifty years, he filled a prominent place in the political,
social and commercial history of this part of the
country. He saw the insignificant military station,
and the wild and almost unknown surrounding coun-
try, with few bona fide white inhabitants nearer than a
hundred miles, pass through all the panoramic changes
from extreme frontier life to that of high civilization.
For many years his only associates were the few army
officers of the garrison; their days were passed with
few incidents or recreations, and at night they went to
sleep to the monotone howls of the prairie wolf.
After the Territory was organized Col. Wilson occu-
pied many political positions, and although he was not
what may be called active in politics, he was always
consulted, and had great influence in the councils of
his party. He was originally a Whig, and had great
admiration for Clay and Webster, but after their day
he associated himself with the Democratic party, and
during the war was a strong Union Democrat. During
the 6o's he was very active in promoting the organiza-
tion of the various railway companies forming to build
roads into Southern Kansas, and active in his efforts to
secure their construction to Fort Scott, which town
14 HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.
was always his pet and especial hobby. He was also
actively engaged in large mercantile affairs until 1868,
when he quit business. His life work was done. He
passed the remaining days of his ripe old age in the
peaceful calm of the home he had established so many
SERGEANT JOHN HAMILTON.
Sergeant John Hamilton of the Ordnance Depart-
ment of the army, came with the first troops, served
his term of enlistment and remained a resident of the
town and country until after the war. He superin-
tended the construction of a good portion of the military
barracks, stables, etc., erected at Fort Scott in 1843
The military road from Fort L,eavenworth was com-
pleted about 1843. The pike, or grade, like a railroad
grade, was constructed across all river and creek bot-
toms, and can still be seen across the Marias des Cygnes
bottoms south of the Trading Post, and also across the
Marmaton bottom at the Osbun farm northeast of Fort
In the year 1843 preparations were made for the con-