CHAPTER I

THE KANSAS ANDOVER BAND

As effective form of modern missionary work is that of bands of students going together on graduation to some region where they can combine their efforts and cooperate with each other. It was a band of students in Amherst College who gave the first impulse to modern missions. The celebrated haystack, beside which they met to pray and plan, is now the site of an appropriate monument. In 1842 a band of twelve students went out from Andover Theological Seminary to Iowa. They located in different parts of the territory, and by keeping in touch with each other, they exerted a large influence on the moral and religious development of the state.

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In the summer of 1856 a Kansas Band was formed in Andover Seminary. It consisted originally of four members of the Middle Class, Sylvester Dana Storrs, Grovesnor A. Morse, Roswell Davenport Parker and Richard Cordley. These four agreed to go to Kansas after graduation and make that territory their field of labor. The band owed its existence to the heart and brain of Sylvester D. Storrs, who first suggested it and worked persistently for its success. Its first inspiration was due to the Kansas troubles which were then at their height, but the chief thought was to help to develop a Christian State in the center of the continent.

The band met weekly in Mr. Storrs' room and held a Kansas prayer-meeting. After the prayer-meeting an hour was spent in studying the Kansas situation, reading letters from friends in the territory, and interchanging views. As the condition in Kansas became more serious the interest in the band widened. The Kansas prayer-meeting was one of the events of the week. Often the room was full. The band grew to a membership of sixteen, and all the classes in the seminary were represented. Sometimes a friend fresh from Kansas would stop off and spend the

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evening with us, and we would learn by word of mouth the things we wanted to know. Rev. Louis Bodwell, the pastor at Topeka, visited Andover in the spring of 1857, and spent several says with us. He had taken much interest in the band from the first, and his counsel was of geat value to us. He was full of enthusiasm and well informed, and his presence gave a sense of reality to the whole scheme.

At these meetings we talked over our plans and exchanged ideas of work. We did not say much about location. Things were too indefinite even to guess where we each might be. We were simply going to Kansas. That was as far vs we cared to look, in fact as far as we could look. But we discussed our work, and talked of the things which ought to be done. Among other things we talked of the Christian college which Congregationalists had been in the habit of planting wherever they wont. Of course we should plant a college in Kansas. Later on we were delighted to learn that the brethren on the field were discussing the same thing. We should be glad to cooperate with them. one evening we had with us a missionary from the region of the Euphrates-a Dr. Williams. He gave a

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very charming account of the excavations at Nineveh, and of the wonderful slabs of marble which were being taken from the ruins. These slabs were covered with hieroglyphics which were supposed to be of great historic value. Before leaving he promised to send us two of these slabs for the collection in the Kansas eol lege. He returned to his field in about a year, and soon after shipped to us two of the finest slabs ever taken from Nineveh ruins. But when the slabs arrived in Andover, we were on our fields in Kansas, and we did not find it easy to spare the money for a big freight bill on stones from across the sea. We found no interest in the matter among the churches, and were com pelled to leave them to be sold for the freight. Andover Seminary paid the charges, and became possessed of two of the finest Nineveh slabs ever brought to this country.

About May, 1857, Dr. Milton Badger, senior secretary of the American Home Missionary Society, visited us to arrange the terms for our going out. He was greatly interested in our project, and assured us that the society would do everything possible to aid us. It was arranged that we should go out under commission of the

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society and find our special fields of labor after reaching the territory. We xvere therefore not assigned to any field, but simply charged "to proclaim the gospel in Kansas." For this they pledged to each of us a salary of $600. By this time affairs in Kansas had become more quiet, and interest in our band had become more contracted. Only the four original members remained. In July we graduated, and each went his own way. As we parted it was understood that we were to make our way to Eansas in the autumn. In this matter each one sought his own convenience, and we reached our fields one by one as best we could. During the summer there came to be an understanding as to our locations, and we lost no time in finding our work. Storrs went to Quindaro, Morse to Emporia, Cordley to Lawrence, and Parker to Leavenworth. All this came about almost by chance, and yet we could hardly have chosen setter locations either for service or cooperation. Sylvester D. Storrs was the first to go, reaching Kansas in early autumn. Mr. Storrs had commenced his preparations for the ministry after being in business for himself. Having decided upon the ministry, he worked his way

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through the academy and through Dartmouth College and Andover Seminary. He was a man of rare business gifts and tireless energy. On entering Andover Seminary he rented a piece of ground and planted it with choice nursery stock. Before he left Andover, three years later, he had thirty thousand young fruit-trees of the finest varieties to sell. He was an expert in grafting, and the farmers for miles around used to engage him to graft their large orchards with his choice fruit. In laying out grounds he was a genius, and any citizen of Andover thought himself fortunate if he could induce Brother Storrs to take the oversight of his garden and grounds. He knew just where the best potatoes grew in that paradise of the potato, Northern New England. If any of the faculty found the "Commontaters" disagreeing with him, he only had to whisper it to Brother Storrs, and in a few ##It he would fill his cellar with the choicest peachblows. He taught classes in two Sunday schools, and held mission services in out-of-the-way neighborhoods almost every Sunday. In Andover he found a moribund temperance society which he resuscitated and enlarged. He made it a literary and social club for mill hands

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and working people in Andover, and a benevolent society to look after the poor and the sick. He carried on more business out of school hours than one in a thousand could manage with all his time. He had such a remarkable facility for making everything move which he touched, that he was able to do all these divers things without infringing on his hours of recitation or study. All the people for miles around knew him, and years after they would inquire about "Brother Storrs " when the rest of the class had been forgotten.

At this time Quindaro was being advertised in Free State papers as the " Future Great " of the West. It was to be the " port of entry" for Kansas. It was preeminently the "Free State town." We all therefore shipped our books and goods to Quindaro, and in due time followed ourselves. Brother Storrs being the first to arrive in the autumn of 1857, he was captured by the enterprising colony and chosen as its pastor. In a few months he organized a church and completed the house of worship which he found already begun. He also supplied the " neighboring village" of Wyandotte as an "out-station." The following summer he founded a church there

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also, which is now the " First Church of Kansas City, Kansas." He reached out to Olathe, "twenty miles away," and the church there began in his labors. After five years at Quindaro he resigned to accept a call to Atchison. At Atchison he found the church worshiping in the basement of an unfinished building. There were neither sidewalks nor steps. They had but few members and a small congregation, and were known in the city, where the flavor of border ruffianism still lingered, as the " nigger church." They were indeed "a feeble folk." Here he labored five vears. When he resigned he left the church self-supporting, with a fine building finished and accessible, and furnished with organ and bell. For twelve years he served the American Home Missionary Society as Superintendent of Missions. When he aecepted the office, in 1872, there were only seventy-eight Congregational churches in the state. When he left, in 1884, there were one hundred and eighty-nine.

The second man to reach the territory was Grovesnor C. Morse. He was a native of New Halnpshire and had graduated at Dartmouth College and Andover Seminary. He had come

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to find the frontier, so he kept on westward until he came to the Neosho River. Here he found men staking out a new town. The town was only a few weeks old, and consisted of some tents and shanties. He thought this was sufficiently new, and he cast in his lot with Emporia. He secured a fine claim near by. Soon he organized a church and built a house of worship. He had been a teacher in his youth and was profoundly interested in education. A few years after coming to Kansas he was chosen Superintendent of Schools for what is now Lyon County. He used to lecture in various neighborhoods, stirring the people up in regard to the establishment of schools. To this day there are those all over the county who remember with interest his visits and lectures.

He took great interest in the opening and development of the State Normal School, and probably gave that institution more gratuitous labor than any other man. In December, 1864, he was chosen secretary of the Board of Directors, and commissioned by the Board to secure a competent man for president The legislature, in locating the school at Emporia, appropriated the sum of $1,000 for its support. The appro-

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priation was so absurdly small that it is doubtful if anything would have been done but for the faith and enthusiasm of Brother Morse. He started at once to find a president. The nearest railway station was Leavenworth, three days' journey, which was made on horseback. At the close of one dreary winter day we were just drawing around "the fire on the hearth" for the evening in our home at Lawrence. A drizzling rain was falling and freezing as it fell. There came a rap at the door. Wondering what errand could bring any one out on such a pitiless night, I opened the door. There stood Brother Morse, cased in ice from head to foot. We got him out of his casement as soon as possible, and seated him by the fire to thaw him out, while I took care of the pony. After he had eaten supper I asked him to explain his mission. He was on his way to Chicago to find a man to take charge of the State Normal School. He had been already two days in the saddle, and must ride one day more. Then he would leave his pony at Leavenworth, and go by rail to Chicago. He was full of his plans for opening the school, and had no more doubt of his success than if he had ten thousand dollars instead of one. The

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next morning early he went on his journey. At Chicago he failed to secure the man he had in mind, and posted off at once to Bloomington, where he found a young man who was willing to take his chances and go to Emporia and open the Kansas State Normal School with $1,000. That young man was Lyman B. Kellogg, first president of the Kansas State Normal School, and more recently Attorney-General of the State of Kansas. Mr Morse continued as pastor of the Emporia church for more than ten years. He considered the whole surrounding country his parish, however. He preached for a time at Council Grove, twenty-four miles northwest, and founded the church there. He also preached occasionally at Eureka, fifty miles south. In 1869 he lost his life by an accident. the whole city was in mourning. The citizens of Emporia without distinction erected a monument to his memory. But the most enduring monuments are the Congregational Church of Emporia and the State Normal School. He did not live to see the full result of his work, either in the church or in the school; but like God's worthies in other ages, " he obtained a good report," though he received

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not the promises, God having provided some better thing for him. The third member of the band to reach Kansas was Roswell Davenport Parker. He was a native of New York, though brought up in Michigan. He graduated at the Michigan State University in 1854. On graduating at Andover Seminary in 1857, he came at once to Kansas. After consultation, he concluded to go to Leavenworth. This was the largest town in the territory and was growing very rapidly. Buildings were going up in all directions and people were coming from all quarters. Large warehouses were begun and immense stocks of goods were being brought in. Real estate was high and rising, and real estate speculation wild. The place had the air and promise of a great metropolis. Mr. Parker came into this whirl of business to preach the gospel. He had nothing to guide him except the assurance that among so many people there must surely be some who had come from Congregational churches. He secured a room for his services on the business street and advertised them in the daily papers. Whether he would find his room full or empty the next Sabbath morning was one of the

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things that he must wait to know. He did find a considerable congregation of attentive hearers. In a short time he gathered a good number of those who were interested in his movement. They were all strangers to each other, as they were strangers to him, each thinking himself alone. A little later, when brought together in a sociable, they were all surprised that there was so large a number of them, and delighted to find themselves in such good company. Mr. Parker at once set in operation all the services of a church, preaching twice every Sabbath, organizing a Sunday-school, and starting a prayer meeting. He himself acted in the capacity of pastor, deacon, trustee, sexton and clerk. When the church came to be organized in the March following, there were found to be seven different denominations represented in the membership. It was a goodly fellowship. They were mostly young people just entering upon their life career.

After two years' services at Leavenworth, Mr. Parker accepted a call from the church at Wyandotte, now Kansas City, Kansas. Here he remained eight years, building and equipping a house of worship, bringing the church to self-support and a good degree of strength. He was

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there during the most critical period of Kansas history. During the war Wyandotte was in constant peril. Three miles away began the thickets and ravines among which the bushwhackers had their homes. These thickets extended almost without interruption around Kansas City for twenty miles to the hills and ravines of the Sni and the Blue Rivers. It was nature's own hiding-place. The bushwhackers could come within an hour's ride of Wyandotte without being seen or suspected. The whole country was alive with them. Nearly every night the heavens were lighted by some burning house in the region, sometimes ten miles away, sometimes only three or four. The people of Wyandotte had to be continually on guard. Mr. Parker took his place with the rest, shouldering his musket, or standing guard at night, as the order might be. Every few nights some alarm would call him from his bed to the place of rendezvous. His church bell was rung as the signal of danger, and his church was used by the citizens in assemblies for defense. Several times the town was used as a hospital, and wounded soldiers from the battle-fields of Southwest Missouri and Arkansas, and the sick from the

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camps were sent there to be cared for. In these extemporized hospitals Mr. Parker did the work, without the name or pay of a chaplain. The last member of the band to reach Kansas was the writer of these sketches. I was born in Nottingham, England, September 6, 1829. In 1833, when I was four years old, my parents emigrated to America. They sailed from Hull to Quebec, and thence up the St. Lawrence to Montreal, and over Lake Champlain to Troy, then an important center. There they found everybody going west, to Michigan. They took passage therefore on a canal boat on the Erie canal, and in two weeks were landed in Buffalo. A wheezy old steamboat took them across Lake Erie, and landed them in Detroit. Here they bought an ox-team and an outfit for the new life in the woods. They were three days reaching Ann Arbor, thirty-seven miles, over corduroy roads, and wallowing through swamps that seemed bottomless and endless. My father found a piece of land that suited him some fifteen miles southwest from Ann Arbor. He was a great lover of the beautiful, and chose the place on account of a lovely little lake, which was set like a gem in the woods. We began to build our cabin, and had it

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only partially completed when winter overtook us. Our nearest neighbor was three miles away, where they were building a cabin, as we were. We found our way by " blazed " trees. It was a long, hard struggle, clearing away the forest and subduing the soil. For several years it was " nip and tuck," with the wolf at the door. For five years there were no schools, and I was nine years old before I saw the inside of a schoolhouse. I do not think I lost much, however. My mother was a cultivated woman, and taught me herself, and I could read quite well before I knew what a school was. I do not know how she found time to do this. she had been tenderly brought up, and bad never known hardship or hard work. But she did all the work for a family of eight, cooking, washing and ironing, making and mending the clothing, and sometimes spinning the wool from which the cloth was woven. Yet somehow she found time to teach her children, read her Bible, scrupulously observe the Sabbath, and attend religious services whenever there were any in the neighborhood. She was never strong, and it has always been a wonder to me how she endured so and never neglected anything that depended on her for

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care. In 1838, largely through my father's influence, a school district was organized, and a log schoolhouse was built. It was a very primitive affair, and the winter winds found many an opening between the small tamarack logs, and so found us little fellows as we dangled our feet from the rude benches and shivered. Our teacher,-the first I ever knew,-was named Hand, a farmer in summer and a teacher in winter. He was a schoolmaster of the older type. He doubtless had lots of love in his heart somewhere, but he did not rule by it. For this he had a different sort of a ruler-a round one, made of heavy, hard wood. It was very hard wood, we boys thought. Out of school he was the most genial of men, and we counted it a happy day when he went home with us to board out his portion at our house. After a few years my father arranged for me to attend school at Ann Arbor every winter. In this way I prepared for college, and graduated from Michigan University in 1854, and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1857. What occurred after this will sufficiently appear in the sketches which follow.

This synopsis of the Andover Band would

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hardly be complete without a notice of another person who was never a member of the band, but was closely associated with them in all their work and in all their history. This was Rev. Louis Bodwell. He was in Kansas a year before they came, and kept them informed of the condition of affairs. He was their most reliable correspondent. When they arrived in Kansas he rendered inestimable service, and in all the years after, he was associated with them as friend and counselor in every movement and effort.

Louis Bodwell was born in New Haven, Connecticut, September, 1827. He was of genuine Puritan stock, one of his ancestors having been chaplain of the parliamentary committee which treated with Charles I of England, who lost his throne and his head in consequence of Cromwell's victory at Naseby. Those who knew Mr. Bodwell will not hesitate to affirm that he retained all the force and firmness of his Puritan ancestry. At the age of twenty he was converted to Christ, and two years later gave himself to the gospel ministry. He undertook to prepare himself for this work by alternately studying and teaching. His health gave way

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under the double strain, and he was never able to complete the course he had marked out for himself. But he was an incessant student all his life, and in many lines he was a very thorough scholar. In 1855 he became pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Truxton, New York. A year later, however, the Kansas excitement came to its height, and the question at issue took a profound hold on Mr. Bodwell.

The Kansas conflict had come to its climax. The Missouri River had been blockaded by the Missourians, and all Free State men coming up on steamboats were turned back. The highways through Missouri were also guarded at every point. But where there is a will there is a way, and in this case there was a tremendous will, and a way was found through Iowa and Nebraska. Mr. Bodwell and his brother Sherman overtook a company of emigrants at Iowa City, and proceeded with them. When they reached Tabor, Iowa, they stopped for several days and rested. On Sunday Mr. Bodwell preached on the village green, from the text: " In your patience possess ye your souls." On Monday they moved on, crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska. Then they turned south, and on the 10th day of October

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reached the Kansas line. They were met here by the United States marshal and three hundred United States cavalry, and put under arrest. The following day they were marched twenty-seven miles under a strong military guard. The next day, October 12th, was Sunday, and they were marched fifteen miles to Straight Creek, where they encamped. There in the evening by the camp-fire, Mr. Bodwell, a "prisoner of the Lord," like Paul, preached to his fellow prisoners his first sermon in Kansas. His text was " Lo, I am with you alway." The sermon has not been handed down to us, but it would be safe to venture the assertion that it had the Puritanic ring. No painting has been made of that " night scene" on Straight Creek. They were making material for the historian and scenes for the painter; but it has often been noticed that the historian and the painter seldom happen around on such occasions.

On Monday they moved on, still under guard, and on Tuesday they reached the ferry over the Kansas River near Topeka. Here Governor Geary met them, and becoming satisfied in regard to their peaceable intentions, released them from custody, and let them go their several ways.

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Mr. Bodwell pushed on to Topeka, and on October 26 he preached his first sermon in his new " parish." He had an audience of about thirty, sitting on boxes and slab benches in "Constitution Hall." November 1 he gave the "Preparatory Lecture " in the same hall to three hearers, increased to six before the close of the service. The next Sunday he administered the communion, the first time it had been administered in the State capital. Of the nine members of his church, two were absent from the territory; one was lying very ill; two were in prison at Lecompton; and three only were present. But there were others who joined with them, strangers and members of other churches. "They had a very precious season," the record says. Mr. Bodwell was one of those unique characters who leave their mark wherever they go. He was full of vigor and energy, and true as steel to his principles and friends. He was a stalwart of the stalwarts, a radical of the radicals, yet clear in judgment and safe in counsel. He was ready for an emergency, and " brave as any soldier bearded like a pard." yet he was gentle as a woman, full of tender sympathies

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and quick to respond to any call of need or sorrow. He could be in more places in a given time, and push more things along, than almost any man I over saw. He worked with an energy that never flagged, and with an enthusiasm that never cooled. He never flinched from any responsibility. If there was a bold thing that ought to be said, he said it. If there was a daring thing that ought to be done, he did it. When John Brown led his last company of slaves toward the North Star, Mr. Bodwell was one of the few who volunteered to see him safely over the Nebraska line. Whenever men were needed for defense, he was among the first to mount his pony and hasten to the post of danger.

I can give a pen picture of Mr. Bodwell as he appeared about this time. It was my good fortune to be along in December, 1857, when the Free State tribes gathered for the first time at Lecompton. They came to take possession of that stronghold of border ruffianism; they came prepared for emergencies; they came in squads and companies; they came from all quarters. From the west came the Topeka company, and with them Brother Bodwell. He was riding his faithful pony " Major," whom all old Kansas

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ministers will remember almost as well as they do Brother Bodwell himself. I did not see his Bible, but if you had searched him, I have no doubt you would have found, in his right-hand coat-pocket, a well thumbed Greek Testament, which he always carried with him, and used in leisure moments. He was wont to lament that he had not been able to complete his college course, but no man in the Kansas ministry was as familiar with the Greek Testament as he was.

Mr. Bodwell was twice pastor of the Topeka Church, his two pastorates being separated by some several years of service as Superintendent of Missions for Kansas. His first pastorate extended from the forming of the church until about 1861, and involved the various and manifold labors which a new enterprise on the frontier always involves, and to which Mr. Bodwell devoted himself with rare fidelity. Besides preaching, holding prayer-meetings, visiting the sick, and burying the dead, he took a vigorous hold of the work of church erection. He was collector and treasurer, architect, " boss carpenter," head mason and laborer; in the woods cutting and hauling timber, in the quarry getting out stone, at the kiln hauling lime, at the

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building superintending the work, around the parish collecting subscriptions, at the East raising funds, his labors were as various and apparently conflicting as often falls to the lot of man. Twice he saw the walls of the church blown down, and twice he rallied his people to rebuild them. In 1860 he resigned his pastorate and accepted the agency of the American Home Missionary Society. After several years in this service he was recalled to the pastorate of the church at Topeka, in which he continued until the health of his family compelled him to resign.