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


[TOC] [part 9] [part 7] [Cutler's History]


The Railroad Strike. - In April, 1878, there was a disturbance at Topeka and along the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, as may be seen from the following correspondence:

GOV. ANTHONY: there is a large mob about our depot, threatening violence. I have called on the Sheriff, and he is trying to raise a posse, but we may need help from the State. Will you protect this company and its property?

C. F. MORSE, General Superintendent.
TOPEKA, April 5.

To which a response was made as follows:


SIR: Referring to your note of this date, in relation to disturbances upon your road, I would respectfully refer you to Article 8, Chapter 31, Revised Statutes 1868, which provides the mode of procedure for the suppression of such irregular and riotous conduct. In this connection I have to assure you of my full sympathy, and that the power of the State shall be brought to bear to suppress any effort to drive peaceable laborers from their work upon your road or elsewhere.

Proceedings should be strictly in conformity to law, with great care, and, above all, conducted in such a manner as not to precipitate a conflict without abundant means to master all opposition. After your appeal to local authorities, or before, I shall be pleased to confer with you in relation to the means required. I urge caution and forbearance.

Very respectfully,

To C. F. MORSE, Supt. A. T. & S. F. R. R.

General Manager W. B. Strong telegraphed Gov. Anthony from Pueblo, Colo., the same day:

"Most of our engineers refused to work yesterday. You will favor us by suggesting to the authorities at Topeka, Atchison, Emporia, Newton and Dodge City, by wire, to be ready to meet any emergency."

Gov. Anthony replied as follows:



The following telegram has been sent to the authorities of the principal cities on the line of your road:

"TOPEKA, April 5, 1878.
I am informed that a class of employes on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad have organized to offend against the public peace by conspiring to prevent the operation of trains on said road, without their consent. It is expected that the civil authorities will protect peaceable laborers, and arrest offenders, under authority of Article 8, Chapter 31, General Statutes of Kansas, 1868. Ample preparations should be made to check disturbances and arrest offenders the moment such organized resistance to the laws is developed. To this end the full power of the State will be brought into requisition for the preservation of law and order.


On April 8, Gov. Anthony ordered Capt. J. C. Walkinshaw to proceed with his company, the Third Independent Company Volunteer Guards, K. S. M., Leavenworth, and a detachment of ten men and non-commissioned officers from Capt. Ziegler's Company, of Independence, to proceed to Emporia by special train, and report to H. Conner, Sheriff of Lyon County. The feeling of the Emporians may be imagined by the following:

EMPORIA, KAN., April 8, 1878.

GOV. GEORGE T. ANTHONY: We have now in our midst a band of fifty armed men, who profess to come here under your orders, for the protection of the property of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. We simply consider this an insult to our civil officers and citizens. We have been and are still able and willing to protect all the property of the road and all the employes who are willing to work. We can't make men work; but there has not been a time since this strike commenced that it required more than six men to do all the police duty that was necessary. We hope that you will at once recall these troops, and we will take care of our own affairs; and if you do not, we will not answer for the consequences.

T. N. SEDGWICK, County Attorney.
H. CONNER, Sheriff.
J. S. WATSON, Mayor,
D. S. GILMORE, Ch'm Board Co. Comm'rs.
A. WARD, County Commissioner.

Thereupon a correspondence between the Governor and Sheriff Conner ensued.

On the evening of the 8th, the following message came from and went to Emporia:

EMPORIA, April 8, 1878.

TO GOV. ANTHONY: We insist again to state that in sending those armed men to our city you have acted without warrant of law, and that our citizens and peace officers feel justly indignant. Our sheriff is amply able to quell and disturbance that is likely to arise. We therefore beg of you, in the name of peace and good order, to recall your armed men.

T. M. SEDGWICK, County Attorney.
J. S. WATSON, Mayor.

To which the following answer was sent:

TOPEKA, April 8, 1878.

T. N. SEDGWICK, EMPORIA, KAN.: Your second demand for withdrawal of troops received. I am responsible to the law for my action. Troops will in no manner interfere with your local authorities, nor attempt the enforcement of law, unless you continue to fail in so doing. They will not be withdrawn until the possibility of their need at any point is past.


EMPORIA, April 8, 1878.

C. F. MORSE: We understand the Governor, by your request, has sent fifty armed men here to protect your property and men. We consider this an insult to our civil officers and citizens, and entirely unwarranted and without precedent or warrant. Our civil officers are amply able and willing to protect your property and employes. There have been no riots or disturbances of any kind, and if any such disturbance should occur, we are abundantly able to take care of it. These troops must be recalled from here at once. If they are not, we will not answer for the consequences.

H. CONNER, Sheriff.
T. N. SEDGWICK, County Attorney.
D. S. GILMORE, Ch'm Co. Board Commissioners.

Capt. Charles E. Wheeler, in charge of the depot and shops at Topeka received the following:

STATE HOUSE, April 8, 1878.

CAPT. WHEELER, TOPEKA: Keep all your men, and make arrangement to have every man for duty at a moment's notice, through the night. Have good picket line out, and exact absolute vigilance. More danger to-night than ever again.


On the 9th, a fatal accident occurred, which the following explains:

EMPORIA, April 9, 1878.

GOV. ANTHONY: One of your militia just accidentally killed Rev. O. J. Shannon, Pastor of Congregational Church. Tremendous excitement. No possible use of troops here, and I advise you to immediately withdraw them.


Gov. Anthony express deep regrets at the occurrence, and ordered Capt. Walkinshaw to move the troops out of the county, and Superintendent Morse furnished transportation for them to Reading, in Osage County. Soon after, order was restored.

Three members of the State Senate resigned their positions to accept Federal positions: John C. Carpenter, of Neosho, Collector of Internal Revenue, with office at Leavenworth; Harlan P. Dow, of Riley, Deputy Collector, office at Manhattan; Benjamin F. Simpson, United States Marshal, with office at Topeka. Senator O. H. Sheldon, of Osage, died; John Kelley, of Sedgwick, resigned, which left five vacancies to be filled at the election in November.

Management of the State Institutions - Gov. Anthony of July 15, addressed a letter to the Attorney General, Willard Davis, having reference, to the Board of Trustees for the management of the State Institutions, saying:

Under the act of 1876, Chapter 130, providing for a board of trustees for the management of these institutions, in number five, J. T. Lanter, of Garnett; J. H. Smith, of Columbus; T. T. Taylor, of Hutchinson; W. B. Slosson, of Sabetha and J. P. Bauserman, of Leavenworth, were appointed trustees, and entered upon their duties April 1, 1876. It now appears from the records of the State Auditor, that they drew compensation as provided by the Statute for the year ending March 31, 1877, $2,226.30; that in addition to this they drew by warrant from their own Treasurer, J. T. Lanter, from funds appropriated by the Legislature for the current expenses of the Insane Asylum at Osawatomie, the sum of $1,649.46, and from the fund appropriated for buildings - same asylum - the sum of $1,260.30, making a total of $5,170.07.

During the same time, they drew from the funds appropriated for the maintenance of the blind, the sum of $227.30, making a total of $6,027.50 compensation for the year, $3,767.21 of which was without warrant of law, as I believe, and misappropriated to their own use.

Believing this use of their money to be a violation of law, and a dangerous precedent, I have to request that you give it a careful and exhaustive examination. Should you require any further details, you can have access to the books and vouchers, or I shall be pleased to answer any questions you may ask in relation thereto.

Attorney General Davis made a response to this the following day, but a thorough examination of the charges above instituted, caused an abandonment of the contemplated suit in a civil action.

Conventions. - The Kansas State Temperance Convention met at Olathe May 14, and made choice of John P. St. John, President; Albert Griffin, Vice President; B. F. Flenniken, Secretary. The largest element in the convention was the "Murphy movement." which, as originated by Francis Murphy, is mainly based on the following pledge:

With malice toward none, with charity for all; I, the undersigned, do pledge my word and honor (God helping me) to abstain from all intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and that I will by all honorable means encourage others to abstain.

The State Central Committee of the National Greenback party issued a call April 29 for a State convention, to be held July 3, at Emporia. Upon meeting, the convention put in nomination the following State ticket: Governor, D. P. Mitchell, of Lyon; Lieutenant Governor, Alfred Taylor, of Johnson; Secretary of State, T. P. Leach, of Neosho; State Auditor, A. B. Cornell, of Russell; State Treasurer, A. G. Wolcott, of Wyandotte; Attorney General, Frank Doster, of Marion; Chief Justice, H. P. Vrooman, of Greenwood; State Superintendent, I. T. Foot, of Linn. Frank Doster was transferred from the place of Attorney General to that of candidate for Member of Congress for the Third Congressional District, and the National vote was mostly given to the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. From the platform the following is extracted:

Money is a creation of law, a convenience of trade and commerce, and it is the duty of the government to provide all the money needed by the people - a full legal tender paper money, based on the power, perpetuity and credit of the Government, needing no other redemption than that it be received by the government for all debts and taxes, including duties on imports.

The claims of humanity should be considered first, and the claims of mere property second; that labor is the active and productive capital of the country, and should be protected and fostered rather than idle money. That each sex shall receive equal pay for equal work. That an income tax be established on all incomes exceed $1,000 per year. That the present movement in favor of temperance in this State has been productive of great good, and meets with our unqualified approval.

The Republican State Convention met August 28, and after a protracted struggle, nominated on the 17th ballot, John P. St. John for Governor. The first ballot stood 119 votes for John A. Martin of the Atchison Champion; 116 for Gov. Anthony; 56 for St. John. On the seventeenth ballot, Martin had 128; St. John, 156 votes. Lyman U. Humphrey, of Montgomery, was nominated for Lieutenant Governor; Albert H. Horton, of Atchison, for chief Justice of the Supreme Court; James smith, of Marshall, for Secretary of State. Attorney General Davis, Auditor Bonebrake, Treasurer Francis, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Lemmon, were re-nominated.

The platform declared: To the end that there may be but one class of paper currency, we favor the withdrawal of the National bank notes, substituting therefor greenback currency issued directly by the Government as the sole paper currency of the country. We are in favor of placing the coinage of gold and silver on an equality, giving to neither an advantage or preference.

That railways are the creatures of the people, and exist by the breath of legislative enactment; that, as servant of the people, they should be compelled to do their bidding, and obey the whole regulations and restrictions of law, and we demand of the Legislature the establishment of such passenger and freight tariffs as shall advance the interests and protect the industries of the people. We condemn the policy of granting subsidies at the public expense to either individuals or corporation for their private use.

The Democratic State Convention met at Leavenworth September 4, and put in nomination the following ticket: Ex-Congressman Goodin, of Allen, for Governor; George Ummethum, of Leavenworth, for Lieutenant Governor; L. W. Borton, of Cloud, for Secretary of State; Osbun Shannon, of Douglas, for State Auditor; Charles C. Black, of Cowley, for State Treasurer; J. T. Cox, of Coffey, for Attorney General; Robert M. Ruggles, of Lyon, for Chief Justice; O. F. McKim, of Sedgwick, for Superintendent of Public Instruction. In their platform, they declare themselves in favor of the full remonetization of silver and the removal of all restrictions on its coinage; a retirement of national bank notes, and a substitution of treasury notes, commonly called greenbacks, in their place, and for a tariff for revenue only.

Election - At the annual election, Bishop W. Perkins was again elected Judge of the Eleventh Judicial District; Leonard Bradbury was elected Senator from Miami County, to fill vacancy; L. E. Finch, of Burlingame, from the Twenty-first District; T. C. Henry, of Abilene, from the Thirtieth; Henry C. Sluss, of Wichita, from the Thirty-eighth; George W. Spurgeon (National) was elected from Neosho County.

John A. Anderson succeeded William A. Phillips in the First District. His vote was 30,457; J. R. McClure's, Democrat, 14,919; Elbridge Gale's, National, 5,716. There were 18 scattering votes. Dudley C. Haskell was re-elected in the Second District. His vote was 19,029; Charles W. Blair's, Democrat, 13,327; Peter P. Elder's National, 9,962. There were 2 scattering votes. Thomas Ryan was re-elected in the Third District. His vote was 25,228; Joseph B. Fugate's, Democrat, 8,109; Frank Doster's, National, 11,055; scattering, one.

Ex-Gov. Samuel J. Crawford was nominated by the Democrats and Nationals for "Congressman-at-large," an office which had no existence in fact or in reasonable expectation; the Republicans furnished James R. Hallowell as his opponent. The vote for Hallowell was 73,978; for Crawford, 60,158; scattering, 8.

The vote for Governor was as follows: John P. St. John's vote was 74,020; John R. Goodin's, 37,208; D. P. Mitchell's, 27,057; there were 11 scattering. Gov. St. John's majority was 9,744. He had majorities in all the counties except Anderson, Bourbon, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Davis, Elk, Ford, Franklin, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Sumner and Wyandotte.

Of the 129 members of the House of Representative, 90 were Republicans; 21 Democrats; 18 Nationals. Atchison, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Allen, Pottawatomie, Sedgwick, Barton and Barber counties each sent a Democrat; Jefferson, Wyandotte, Bourbon and Brown, each two; Leavenworth, four; Douglas, Linn, Labette and Chautauqua, each sent two Nationals; Crawford, Cherokee, Montgomery, Marshall, Lyon, Cowley, Elk, McPherson, Jewell and Smith each one.

Indian Raid. - A rumor came to Gov. Anthony, September 8, that a band of Northern Cheyenne Indians had left their reservation near Fort Reno, and were moving toward Knasas. He communicated his report to Gen. John Pope, commanding the Department, who assured the Governor there was no danger. He spoke in positive terms of his disposition and ability to protect the settlers from harm, should the Indians come to the State. Soon after Gov. Anthony received at Leavenworth the following message:

DODGE CITY, September 18, 1878.

GEORGE T. ANTHONY, GOVERNOR: Three hundred Indians are driving off stock and killing herders. They are now within six miles of our city. We are without arms, having equipped numbers who have gone south. Can you send us arms and ammunition? Situation alarming. We are powerless without arms and ammunition.


Gov. Anthony dispatched this and the following telegram to Gen. Pope:

SEPTEMBER 18, 1878.

MAJ. GEN. JOHN POPE, FORT LEAVENWORTH: Following just received form Dodge City: "Three hundred Indians are driving off stock and killing herders. They are now within six miles of our city. Situation alarming. We are powerless and unprotected. Can you send us arms and ammunition?" Are these reports true, and is State intervention necessary to protect life and property? Answer here.


The following telegrams were dispatched:

[Dispatch to Mayor Kelley, Dodge City.]

LEAVENWORTH,. KAN., September 18, 1878.

TO JAMES KELLY AND OTHERS, DODGE CITY, KAN.: I have your demand for arms. Have you called on commanding officers at Fort Dodge for protection? He does not report trouble to Gen. Pope. Will send on special train arms in charge of Adjt. Gen. Noble.


[Dispatch to Gen. Pope.]

SEPTEMBER 18, 1878.

GEN. JOHN POPE, FORT LEAVENWORTH: Have referred parties calling for aid to commanding officer, Fort Dodge, and promising arms if United States forces could not protect them. Special to Kansas City press reports murders by Indians near Dodge City.


More urgent demands came from Mayor Kelly, of Dodge City, who dispatched the Governor that there was no United States troops at Dodge City, and no arms at the post. The country was filled with Indians and he wanted arms immediately, breech loaders.

The following dispatches give their history:

[Dispatch from Dodge City.]

DODGE CITY, KAN., September 18, 1878.

GOV. GEORGE T. ANTHONY: Indians are murdering and burning houses within three miles of town. All the arms we have been sent out; can you send us arms and ammunition immediately?


[Dispatch to Gen. Pope.]

LEAVENWORTH, KAN., September 18, 1878.

GEN. JOHN POPE, FORT LEAVENWORTH, KAN.: Mayor and citizens say Indians are murdering and burning houses within three miles of Dodge City. I must send arms and ammunition if you have not an adequate force there to protect citizens. Answer.


[Dispatch to General Manager Strong.]

SEPTEMBER 18, 1878.

W. B. STRONG, GENERAL, MANAGER, A. T. & S. F. R. R., TOPEKA: Can you send special with arms and ammunition in charge to Adjt. Gen. Noble, to-night?


[Mr. Strong's reply.]

TOPEKA, KAN., September 18, 1878.

GEORGE T. ANTHONY: Yes, sir. Name the hour you wish to have the train start, and the place you wish to reach.


Adjt. Gen. Noble went down on the passenger train to Dodge City, on September 19, with arms, and reported to the Governor on the 20th that he had issued to the Mayor of Dodge 100 stand of arms and 7,000 rounds of ammunition; 40 stand and ammunition, to citizens of Cimarron; sixty stand and ammunition to Capt. Friedley, of Medicine Lodge. Gov. Anthony was at Iuka, Pratt County, September 24, and found much excitement. It was ascertained that three persons had been killed and three wounded, and that the views of Gen. Pope were sustained, that the Indians were only in quest of food, ponies and arms, and were not inclined to attack any one until resisted in taking such property. The Indians departed from this section and went into Northern Kansas in October and Gov. Anthony was dispatched as follows:

ELLIS, October 2, 1878.

GOV. ANTHONY: Reliable information has just been received that eighteen white men were killed this morning by Indians near Buffalo. Please send immediately one hundred guns and ammunition to Ellis, together with such other assistance as you can afford. We can furnish a number of volunteers.


ELLIS, October 2, 1878.

GEORGE T. ANTHONY; Cheyennes depredating Western Kansas; troops have scattered them and made matters worse. Our men need arms badly; help us.

J. C. HENRY, Secretary Western Kansas Stock Association.

These parties were notified that the Adjutant General would be sent up the Kansas Pacific with arms and ammunition.

Other telegrams were received as follows:

[Telegram from Mr. Keeny.]

WAKEENY, KAN., October 3, 1878.

GEORGE T. ANTHONY: Three Indians seen this morning eleven miles north from here by Clark, whose word is as good as Gen. Pope's.


[Telegram from Mr. Henry.]

BUFFALO, KAN., October 2, 1878.

GEORGE T. ANTHONY, GOVERNOR: Seventeen men known to be killed, on Sappa; one wounded on Solomon, night before last; settlers in Southern Nebraska in great danger. Surgeons from here with Citizens' guard to go north will meet Adjutant.


The Adjutant General submitted the following report:

TOPEKA, KAN., October 15, 1878.

According to orders received from you, I proceeded to distribute arms long the line of the Kansas Pacific Railway, taking such security therefor as I could get, in consideration of the exigencies of the case and demand of the parties. The following are the places and names of parties to whom arms were issued under the above orders:

J. F. Keeny, Wakeeny, Kan., 50 Sharp's carbines and 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

O. B. Richards, at Carlyle, Kan., 10 carbines and 300 rounds of ammunition.

G. W. Kimball and others, Ellis, Kan., 50 carbines and 1,000 round of ammunition.

J. R. Hamilton, 20 carbines and 700 rounds of ammunition.

Kansas Pacific Railway Company, at Buffalo, 30 Sharp's carbines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

J. M. Gravelly, 2 Sharp's carbines.

J. C. Henry, Ellis, Kan., 50 Sharp's carbines, with 4,000 rounds of ammunition.

J. H. Edwards, 20 Sharp's carbines and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

J. H. Marr and others, and J. L. Worley and others, of Norton and Decatur Counties, 100 carbines, with 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

I arrived at Ellis, made the proper distribution, and then telegraphed for special train to take me along the line at the different points. Left Ellis, accompanied with Hon. J. H. Edwards, at 12 midnight, and returned as far as Wakeeny, where I found great excitement in regard to a rumor that Indians had stampeded the ranch of Mr. Henry. The rumor proved false, and quiet reigned to a certain degree. In fact, the whole country is alarmed, and the demand for arms is tenfold that which can be supplied by the State.

I wish to say right here, that in the matter of bonds, I was compelled to violate the provisions of the statues as to the issue of such arms, and too the responsibility of letting citizens have them where in my opinion there was danger of attack.

I trust my action in the matter will be justified; and I know it would have been condemned had I lived up to the strict letter of instructions and the law, and refused such aid. I shall take the opportunity, in making my report, to call the attention of the Legislature to this matter, suggesting that discretionary power be given the Adjutant General in such cases, thereby relieving him of the responsibility imposed by the present law.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. S. NOBEL, Adjutant General.

Gov. Anthony had quite a correspondence with Gen. Pope and the Secretary of the War Department, which terminated with a letter from Gen. Pope at the end of the year; that relating to the Cheyenne Indians, is as follows:

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KAN., December 31, 1878. )


GOVERNOR - I have the honor to inform you that I have received orders from the War Department to turn over to the civil authorities of Kansas, such of the Cheyenne prisoners en route to this place, from the north, as can be identified as the criminals who committed murder or to her crimes during the raid of the Indians through Kansas in September last. As it is desirable not to keep these Indians here longer than necessary, I have to request that such persons as may be needed for the identification of the criminals be sent to meet the Indians on their arrival here. I cannot yet tell exactly when they will reach here, but I will notify you by telegraph as long as possible in advance - perhaps a weeks.

A considerable force of infantry will be sent within a few days to Camp Supply, and to a point on the Canadian, half way between that post and Fort Reno, to cover the southern line of Kansas as far as is practicable for the present.

Of course you know as I do, that infantry is not a very effective force to head off or pursue parties of mounted Indians. You know also that until parties of Indians from the Indian Territory break away we have no right to act against them except on application of the Indian agent, or until they have passed out of the limits of their reservation; and that we have no power to inquire into their condition or wants, or to remedy either, nor can we use any precautionary measures of repression, whatever may be the indications of their purpose to break away, unless first asked to do so by the agent. Thus tied up, there is nothing left to the military except to wait until the Indians are gone or until the agent asks the military to act, which for obvious reasons he is very reluctant to do until it is too late for effective measures to prevent trouble.

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