JANET DUNCAN contributed this section.


                Fort Scott, Kansas Feb. 28th 1859

Samuel McKitrick Esq.

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 4th inst. came to hand on the 17th I shall enclose a $20 Bill on the Bank of the State of Missouri you will please pay my Taxes which you say is $17.90 and your own fee $1.00 you can return in Postage Stamps the balance & oblige yours very respectfully

                    Wm. Smith.

P.S. I expect you get all the news concerning the trouble in Southern Kansas, but to get to the real truth is no easy matter, the Eastern papers are teaming with misstatements.

I shall send you the Fort Scott paper of last week, the statement taken from the Lawrence Herald of Freedom is correct, every word of it. I saw in a New York paper that Marshal Russel at Paris Linn Co. had got 12 of his men killed in arresting 4 of the thieves. Now the truth is the Marshal had to fight and got two of his men badly wounded but none killed. The Marshal thinks he killed two of the thieves and wounded one very bad in the face, I am not sure that two of the robbers were killed I am afraid it is too good to be true.

My son left Wisconsin in Nov 1857 for this place because he thought that this would be a better field for his business surveying than Wisconsin. I came here in June 1858 and had been here only 6 days when Montgomery and his gang came into town about 10 o'clock in the morning he set fire to the Western Hotel and fired some 50 shots into town; by the time the Marshal got the Military who were in Camp close by the Town Montgomery cleared and there was little or no damage done.

On the 15th June Gov. Denver arrived here in company with Judge Wright Gov Robinson and others, after inquiring into the course of the difficulties & Gov. Denver proposed that all past offenses should be let alone and he refered to the Grand Jury which the people agree to. The Gov. also stated that he would allow them to chose a sheriff, Marshal & other officers to suit the majority of the people and would send them their commissions, not one Pro Slavery man was left in Office they were all Free State men, had the Laws in their own hands & everything went on in perfect peace from then until Nov. when Montgomerys gang commenced stealing again, they robbed the house of a Mr Lemons and the house of a Mr Poyner they also stole a valuable Horse from Mr. Poyner.

Mr. Bull our Sheriff with a company of some 20 men set off in search of the thieves. Capt. John Hamilton (a Free State Deputy Sheriff) arrest Ben Rice but on examination it was found that Rice was not amongst the gang that commited those thefts, but the Sheriff had a warrant in his pocket for Rice an indictment having been found against him for murder by a Free State Grand Jury, so the Sheriff had to hold Rice.

Ben Rice being Montgomery's right hand man he determind that Rice should not be tried On the morning of the 16th Dec. just about day break Montgomery at the head of about one hundred ruffians arme with Sherps Rifles and Revolvers came into town set Rice at liberty, murdered a very fine young man named John H Little and robbed his store of about 4 or 5 thousand dollars worth of goods they then left but told Col, Wilson that his turn would be next

The Marshal got up a Militia company to protect the town until we could get Goverment aid, Troups were ordered to this place and were on their way when they were ordered back to Fort Riley and the Marshal ordered to raise his force to any size to put down the thieves accordingly some 300 men were enlisted and went to work to arrest the gang, the companies were with but 2 or 3 exceptions Free State men, they had arrested 20 of the murderers when that bill passed the Kansas Legislature making by gones, by gones as the murderers have got clean Books and can begin anew again To rob and murder in Kansas is no crime.

For the rest I refer you to the paper I have sent you.

Formerly it was Pro Slavery and Free-State now it is Free Sate men against a gang of theives and murderers headed by Jim Lane and Montgomery.

                    Wm. Smith

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