KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


ERA OF PEACE, PART 44

[TOC] [part 45] [part 43] [Cutler's History]

HON. MARTIN F. CONWAY.

Martin Franklin Conway, the son of Dr. W. D. Conway and Frances (Maulsby) Conway, was born in Harford County, Md., November 19, 1827. His father was an Exploring Surveyor in the United States Navy, and a slave-owner. In his fourteenth year, Martin removed to Baltimore and learned the printer's trade. He took part in originating the National Typographical Union. He studied law, and was in its practice several years. Mr. Conway married Emily F. Dykes, June 19, 1851, and they came to Kansas in 1854. Their two children were born in Lawrence, Kan.; one was buried at Leavenworth, the other in Greenwood Cemetery.

Mr. Conway's Public Life - July 2, 1854, Mr. Conway met with the First Territorial Legislature at Pawnee, near Fort Riley, and, on the following day, he resigned his seat in the Council. At the Big Springs Free-State Convention in Douglas County, held September 5, 1855, Mr. Conway was chosen one of the Executive Committee. Gov. A. H. Reeder was nominated for Delegate to Congress by acclamation, on motion of Mr. Conway. On October 9, Mr. Conway was elected one of the delegates to the Topeka Constitutional Convention. The convention met October 23, but Mr. Conway was prevented by sickness from meeting with it until November 6. State officers were elected under this constitution January 15, 1856, and Mr. Conway was chosen one of the Supreme Judges.

Mr. Conway was one of the speakers at the printers' festival, held at Lawrence January 17, 1856. At a Free-State Convention, held at Topeka July 16, 1857, Mr. Conway was again nominated for one of the Judges of the Supreme Court. At a mass convention, held at Centropolis August 14, 1857, at which resolutions were adopted urging Free-State men to take part in the October election, Mr. Conway was one of the speakers. At a Free-State Convention, held at Lawrence, December 24, Mr. Conway was one of the speakers. The policy was advocated of voting for State officers and members of the Legislature January 4, 1856.

On March 9, 1858, Mr. Conway was elected one of the delegates to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, which met at Minneola March 23, and adjourned to Leavenworth March 25. Mr. Conway was chosen President of the convention. It adjourned April 3.

At a Free-State Convention, held at Topeka April 29, Mr. Conway was nominated for Representative to Congress.

Wyandotte Constitution - Consequent upon the adoption of the Wyandotte Constitution, the Republicans held a State convention at Lawrence October 12, and put in nomination Mr. Conway for Congressman, and he was elected December 5, 1859. Kansas having been admitted as a State January 29, 1861, Mr. Conway's term of office expired March 4. He was nominated at a Republican State Convention, held at Topeka May 22, 1861, and on June 11 was elected a member of the Thirty-seventh Congress.

Mr. Conway's Public Utterances. - December 5, 1861, Mr. Conway introduced a joint resolution touching the subject of the treatment of slaves in the seceded States, which attracted very considerable attention, and from which the following extracts are made, for the purpose of showing the earnestness of the speaker as he made his utterances, December 12:

"The original object of the country was to put down a rebellion, not to inaugurate a regular war. The authority to make war being not with the President, but with Congress, it was in recognition of his right to suppress insurrection, merely, that the volunteer soldiery of the country responded to his call when the Government was menaced with destruction. The intention of Congress in voting such extraordinary supplies of men and money was the same. The spirit the lamented Gen. Lyon manifested in the vigorous and summary manner with which he subdued the secession movements in Missouri, was that in which the whole nation impatiently sympathized. It wanted the authority of the Government exerted with decision and effect, so that rebellion should be crushed in the shell, and not permitted to hatch into revolution. But the course of the Government has not corresponded with the ardor of the people. The conflict has now been progressing nine months, and has changed its character from an attempt to destroy an insurrection into a deliberate and settled war.

"The work of the Government at its present stage is not suppression of insurrection, in any just sense; but the overthrow of a rebellious, belligerent power. Its success implies their subjugation to the sovereignty of the United States, to be held as Territories, or military dependencies, or States, or anything else we please.

"The evil of our system is the institution of slavery. Conflicting with the rights of human nature, it is required to grasp, monopolize, and exercise power despotically, in order to perpetuate its own existence. It has been to us a prolific source of national disaster. It is the sustaining cause, the object and chief resource of this rebellion, at the same time that it is the point at which the most fatal blow may be inflicted upon it.

"The abolition of slavery is no longer a "contraband' proposition. It has been elevated by events into a measure of widespread public importance, demanding the favorable consideration of statesmen.

"It is no longer the shibboleth of a sect or party; but the overruling necessity of a nation. To retain slavery, under existing circumstances, in our body politic, would, in my judgment, evince the very worst of folly or wickedness. To eliminate it forever should be the unwavering determination of the Government.

"Nevertheless, the Administration refuses to heed such counsel, and persists in regarding the institution as shielded by such constitutional sanction as it is not at liberty to infract. The President, in his recent message to Congress, refers only incidentally to the subject, and indicates no policy whatever for dealing with the momentous question.

"The object of government is the protection of the rights of persons and property, which slavery contravenes. Slavery is a systematic violation of those rights. Government is instituted for mutual protection - the protection of each through the union of all - and presupposes no superiority of right in its subjects, one over another, but implies perfect equality between them in respect to the end aimed at - the one object of justice between man and man. It is an instrument of nature; and whatever transient influences may for a time intervene to warp it from the appointed way, it will forever, like the magnetic needle, revert back to the eternal current which God has set to bind it to its course. To dominate government, and keep it from obeying the principle of its being, is therefore the chief task of slavery. It must subvert government, with respect to itself, to have an existence. Thus possessing the power of the State, it can confer upon itself a legal sanction which nature denies it, and its existence necessarily involves its mastery of the Government in some form or other. Hence, slaveholders are forever at work fortifying themselves in the Government, by augmenting in every possible way their political control."

In referring to the aggressions of the slavery propaganda, and their expectations and demands from 1852-57, he went on to say:

"But it so happened that Kansas was the key to the whole issue, and the North fixed its eye upon Kansas and determined, cost what it might, to secure it. The acquisition of Kansas by an intensely anti-slavery population dashed the fine scheme of the slaveholders, and left them no other resort, if they would have independence, than an attempt to win it by war against the Government. And this attempt we have in the present rebellion.

"Brave, devoted, magnanimous, heroic people of Kansas! Proudly do I bear your honored name in these halls! Theirs is the glory of those eventful days; to them belongs the credit of having first interposed a barrier to check the progress of despotic rule on this continent. Kansas lost, we should now be hopelessly, irretrievably subjugated. No such Republican party as we have seen would have been organized; or, if organized, it would have been speedily extinguished. Abraham Lincoln would not now be President; but rather, some such slaveholder as Jefferson Davis. We should not now see a mighty host marshaled beyond the Potomac, with the cheering ensign of the Republic full high advanced - the power of a legitimate Government - but on the contrary, we should see our government transformed into a slave-holding despotism, as tyrannical as that of Nero, by means so direct and insidious as hardly to be seen until the fatal work was finished. The people of Kansas took it upon themselves to act as a breakwater, which had the effect to stay the advancing tide of slavery and shield the continent from its sway

"When I recur to my own intercourse with this gallant people during the period of their terrible struggle in their attempts to subdue the wilderness - to make homes for themselves where no home, save that of the Indian, the elk or the buffalo had ever existed before; when I remember their determined purpose in behalf of the cause at stake; how men and women alike surrendered with alacrity every personal interest and comfort and aspiration, and, with a sublime self-sacrifice, consecrated themselves to the great service; the perils they encountered, the suffering they individually endured, and yet the patience, the constancy, the fortitude they displayed throughout; when I recall these things and my relations with these people in those trying scenes; our mutual hopes, and fears, and efforts; the days we were together in the council and in the camp, at night on the broad, unsheltered prairie, or around rude and poor, but hospitable, firesides, consulting, deliberating, arranging, resolving and executing; when I recall the glorious memory of those who passed through the portals of death in this august work, some by sickness, others by privation, others again on the field of battle, bravely fighting for liberty, I am moved with a feeling for which no expression would be appropriate but the silent eloquence of tears. History has no brighter page in all her long annals than this.

"Principles control events; to liberate the Government utterly and forever from slavery should be its first and paramount object. To accomplish this, it is only necessary for it to discard an attenuated (sic abstraction and avail itself of events which God has brought to our very doors. The simple act of changing the relations of the Government and pursuing the war according to the law and facts of the case, would, in a short time, make the United States as completely free from slavery as Canada, and place the institution at our feet and under our feet. To shape our policy to accord with events and enable us to fulfill a high purpose is what we are imperatively called upon to do. The war must strike for freedom, or its professions about Union are delusive, and its end will be naught. There cannot be any permanent separation of the States of the South from those of the North, for they are wedded by ties of nature, destined to triumph over all disintegrating and explosive forces. Let us trust the cause of Union to God's providence, rather than to man's imbecility and treachery. War is obnoxious on general principles; it is only sanctified as a means to an end. In this case, there is no little danger that it will turn into a thunderbolt to smite us to the earth, burying beneath the ruins of our constitutional liberty the hopes of mankind.

"In an age of free thought and free expression, the brain and heart and conscience of mankind are the loads who rule the rulers of the world, and no mean attribute of statesmanship is quickness to discern and promptness to interpret and improve the admonitions of this august trinity.

"Let us not attempt to rebuild our Government on foundations of sand; let us rear it on a basis of eternal granite. Let the order of justice, the harmony of God's benignant laws pervade it. And no internal commotions or outward assaults will afterward beset it, against which it may not rise triumphant and enduring. The report of the Secretary of the Treasury tells us that nearly $2,000,000 per day will hardly more than suffice to cover existing expenditures; if the war continues, our National debt in one year and a half will amount to $900,000,000. In making this immense sacrifice for freedom and Union, is it all to be squandered on a subterfuge and a cheat? For one, I shall not vote another dollar or man for the war until it assumes a different standing and tends directly to an anti-slavery result. Millions for freedom, but not one cent for slavery."

In the Republican State Convention, held at Topeka, September 17, 1862, the first ballot for Congressman was as follows: A. Carter Wilder, 29; M. F. Conway, 25; T. Dwight Thacher, 10; W. H. Lawrence, 10; William A. Phillips, 1. Mr. Conway gained two on the second ballot, and on the seventh he came down to 20, Thacher having 14, Wilder 41, his majority being 7.

Acting President Johnson, June 10, 1866, appointed Mr. Conway Consul to Marseilles. October 11, 1873, Mr. Conway fired three shots at ex-Senator Pomeroy in Washington, D. C., one of which slightly wounded him. When Mr. Conway was arrested, he said of the ex-Senator: "He ruined myself and family." His body and mind became to him great sources of suffering, and he had a home at St. Elizabeth's Insane Asylum at Washington, D. C., where he died on February 15, 1882.

REV. JOHN TECUMSEH JONES. - (OTTAWA JONES.)

[Image of Rev. Jones] The subject of this sketch was born in Canada in January, 1808. His father was an Englishman, his mother an Indian women of the Chippewa nation. He was taken when quite young by a sister living with her husband, a blacksmith, on the island of Mackinac. While yet a little boy, he was accustomed to board vessels stopping at the island. A certain Capt. Conner, taking a fancy to him, asked him to take a trip to Detroit on his vessel. Young Jones failing to obtain the consent of his sister to this proposed voyage, apparently gave up the project, but next day went down to the vessel and sailed away for Detroit.

While in the family of his new-found friend, Jones learned the English and French languages and forgot his own. After a few years, Mrs. Conner died, and the Captain being a great drunkard, young Jones was thrown out of a home. About this time the Baptists were collecting together isolated Indians to go to Carey Station, Mich., to receive the benefits of the mission there. In his destitute condition, Jones was found by them and taken to this school, of which Rev. Isaac McCoy was at the time Superintendent. Here he reacquired his native language, and, being diligent in his studies, became thoroughly familiar with the rudiments of an English education, and also became a convert to the Christian religion. He remained here four or five years. At that time the Pottawatomies had a great deal of money, and were educating a great many of their young men at Hamilton, Columbia and other Eastern colleges. Rev. McCoy started East with ten or twelve of the boys farthest advance in their studies, and took them to Hamilton College, where Jones staid four years, when, owing to failing health, he was advised by the Faculty to give up study in order to rest.

He then went to Choctaw Academy, Kentucky, as a teacher, remaining about one year. After paying a visit to his sister, from whom he had run away, he went to the station at Sault Ste. Marie, where he was chosen interpreter. For some time, he served in the capacity of interpreter for different tribes, and when the Pottawatomies were moved to Kansas Territory he came with them, and was a member of their tribe until the two Pottawatomie bands were consolidated on the tract of thirty miles square on the Kansas River. He was then invited to join, and joined the Ottawas, of which tribe he remained a member until his death. The farm known as the John T. Jones place was purchased by him of the trader to the Ottawas for $1,000. In 1850, he built a dwelling and a store. His home, some four miles northeast of the present city of Ottawa, was a distinguished landmark, and in the early settlement of the Territory was the main stopping place between Lawrence and Fort Scott. He had the main country hotel in Eastern Kansas, and many of the pioneers of Kansas found temporary shelter under his hospitable roof. The assistance rendered to the cause of freedom by both John T. Jones and his estimable wife, during those early "time that tried men's souls," was of inestimable value.

In 1856, his dwelling and store were burned down by border ruffians. On February 18, 1857, Capt. John Brown spoke before the Massachusetts Legislature in reference to this act of vandalism, as follows:

"I saw, while it was standing, and afterward saw the ruins of a most valuable house, the property of a highly civilized, intelligent and exemplary Christian Indian, which was burned to the ground by the Ruffians, because its owner was suspected of favoring the Free-State men. He is known as "Ottawa" Jones, or John T. Jones."

On February 23, 1867, the United States Congress made an appropriation of $6,700, to be paid to him as an indemnity for this loss. He afterward erected a large two story stone residence, at a cost of $20,000, which still stands upon the farm. Mr. Jones was a man to lend a helping hand to every good work. He was a prominent member of the Baptist Church of Ottawa, and rendered valuable assistance in founding the institution of learning knows (sic) as the "Ottawa University," a history of which is elsewhere introduced.

Mr. Jones died in 1873, and in the Ottawa Journal of January 22, 1874, appeared the following advertisement:

"The farm of the late John T. Jones, four and one-half miles northeast of Ottawa, is for rent. This is without exception the best farm and improvements in the State, well adapted for grain and stock. Terms easy. Arrangements can be made to retain all stock, etc., on the place. Those wishing further information, can call on
"E. J. NUGENT, or "R. ATKINSON,"

Mr. Jones was married June 2, 1845, to Miss Jane Kelley, of North Yarmouth, Maine, who, in 1843, had come to Kansas as a teacher and missionary to the Indians. After her husband's death, she remained on the farm until 1876, when it was sold to its present owner, Mr. W. H. Woodlief, who has greatly improved it, and it is now generally recognized as the finest farm in Franklin County. It is located on Ottawa Creek, four miles northeast of Ottawa. The original farm consist of 960 acres, but it has been increased by the purchase of eighty acres by Mr. Woodlief. It consists mainly of high bottom land, and is well adapted to the production of grain as well as grass. There are upon it upward to one hundred acres of timber, walnut, oak, elm, hackberry, ash and mulberry; it is almost entirely fenced by osage hedge, has 450 acres under cultivation, and has an abundance of berries and fruit. Altogether it shows or rather indicates what the noble State of Kansas is capable of.

By the terms of Mr. Jones' will, the whole of his estate, estimated at $25,000, was left in trust to Ottawa University, so long as it remained under the control of the then board of trustees or their successors. But if it pass out of the control of the Baptists, then the proceeds of the trust are to be given to any other Baptist college or university in Kansas; but in case there is no Baptist college in Kansas, then they are to go to Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y. Mrs. Jones still resides at Ottawa, and is highly respected by all who know here.

JUDGE JAMES HANWAY.

The subject of this brief sketch was born September 4, 1809, within fifteen miles of the far-famed "Bow Bells," London, England. His father was Jonas Hanway, the noted English philanthropist, and his mother a Quaker lady. James Hanway was educated at home by a governess, then at school, and upon finishing his collegiate education and attaining his majority, becoming dissatisfied with the English form of government, he emigrated to America, settling in Darke County, Ohio. He was married, November 1, 1832, to Miss Rebecca Stitt, of Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio. While in Ohio, Judge Hanway wrote largely for the papers, taking advance ground on the subject of American Slavery. He also took an active part in politics, acting consistently with the Republican party after it s organization at Columbus, Ohio, and was a delegate to the Convention at Columbus, which organized it. He was also a delegate to the Convention, which at Pittsburgh nominated Hale and Julian, respectively, for President and Vice President of the United States.

In 1856, he moved to Kansas, settling in Pottawatomie Township, Franklin County. Here he took an active part in the struggle to make Kansas a Free State; and was one of the managers of the Underground Railroad. He was chosen to fill numerous positions of honor and trust; being the first Superintendent of Public Instruction in Franklin county; a member of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention in 1859; a member of the Senate in 1860, and of the House of Representatives in 1864, and again in 1869.

He wrote largely also during his residence in Kansas, on a great variety of subjects, and always with force and elegance of diction. Among those subjects were Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Temperance, Finance, Politics, Natural Science, Metaphysics and Religion, bringing to bear upon all great learning as well as sturdy common sense; a rare combination, especially with writers upon the latter subject. He believed in liberty, not only of the body, but also of the mind, in freedom of thought, and was as much opposed to the shackles of creeds as of chains. In character he was a pure, honest, upright man, loved by his relatives and friends, honored by all.

His death occurred on Tuesday, May 9, 1882, and his burial on Wednesday, May 10, in Grove Hill Cemetery, four miles east of Lane, Rev. S. L. Adair conducting the services.

Judge Hanway was the father of six children - William Henry Brougham Hanway, born August 5, 1833; John S., born November 1, 1834; Martha B., born November 3, 1836; Samuel, born February 11, 1840; Sarah H., born May 11, 1842, and William Henry Brougham born September 27, 1844.

HON. D. P. LOWE.

Hon. D. P. Lowe was born August 22, 1823, in Oneida County, N. Y. His parents were from Worcester County, Mass. While the subject of this sketch was young, they removed to Ohio, where, for several years, he taught school. He entered the law office of N. C. Read, at Cincinnati, then late Supreme Judge of the State, and graduated from the law department of Cincinnati College in 1851. He was soon afterward to practice at the bar of the Supreme Court, and for some years he was law partner of Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, under President Lincoln. Mr. Lowe was an actice (sic) Republican politician in Ohio for several years. In 1861, came to Mound City, Linn Co., Kan., where he soon became a leading lawyer of the county. In 1863, he was elected to the State Senate, serving one term as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In March, 1867, he was appointed Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, then recently created, and in November following he was elected to the same position for four years. In this position he attained to the rank, and gained the reputation of an able jurist.

In 1870, he moved to Fort Scott, and in 1871 resigned his Judgeship to take his seat in the United States Congress, to which he had been elected in the fall of 1870. In 1872, he was re-elected to Congress, and served until March 4, 1875. In 1875, he was appointed by President Grant Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah, which office he resigned September 1 of the same year, and returned to Fort Scott. In the fall of 1879, he was again elected Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, serving in that capacity until his death in the early part of 1882. Mrs. Lowe died about the year 1871, and the Judge did not re-marry. He has two sons and two daughters, one son living at La Cygne, the other son and the two daughters living at Fort Scott.

[TOC] [part 45] [part 43] [Cutler's History]