Kansas: Its Interior and Exterior Life by Sara Robinson



WE cannot now tell what an hour may bring forth. This whole affair is probably gotten up to test the power of Gov. Shannon, and his accomplices, in carrying out the laws of the Shawnee Mission School Legislature, which he says "shall be enforced;" in the accomplishment of which he said he would call upon Missouri for aid, even before coming into the territory whose people he was sent to govern. No writs of arrest have been attempted to be served upon our people for breaking any of their infamous laws. Now the time, in the estimation of the worthy law-makers, seems to have arrived, when the laws shall be enforced, or at least an excuse be found for destroying Lawrence, whose prosperity has long been a terrible eyesore to the stockholders in the town of Lecompton.

Will the free-state men yield their rights? Will they obey these laws? As we look each man in the face this morning, we read there manliness and determination, -- no crouching to tyrants. And each man remembers that "resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."

We have nothing good to expect from the territorial officers, and Gov. Shannon is sold, body and soul, to the oppressing party. The events of last summer, especially of the last few months, have shown, too clearly to be mistaken, the infamous designs of those in power here. On Saturday, April 30th, McCrea, a lawyer of Leavenworth, shot Malcolm Clark, a pro-slavery politician, in self defence. He had a long and rigorous imprisonment at the fort, and in the jail. At the court in September they failed to find a bill of indictment against him, as the Grand Jury could not agree. At that time Col. Lane, of Lawrence, went to Leavenworth to offer McCrea his services as counsel, which Judge Lecompte refused, as Col. Lane would not take the oath to support the laws of the Legislature of the Shawnee Mission. A majority of the jury were for acquittal, and the remainder were divided, one thinking the prisoner guilty of murder, and a few of manslaughter. At the adjourned term of the court in November, Judge Lecompte had added seven new members to the Grand Jury, and a bill of indictment for murder in the first degree was found against him. Four of the counsel within the bar, and officers acting at this tribunal, including the clerk of the court, were connected with the lynching of Phillips, also a lawyer at Leavenworth, on the 17th of May. At this adjourned session of the court, a motion was made, by one of the attorneys, to dismiss the clerk, and one of the attorneys who had been thus engaged, affidavits having been filed to prove the facts; but the court did not grant the motion. Thus, while one man is imprisoned for months, a jury packed that a bill may be found against him, and he is tried by those who are guilty of the most abominable crimes, they go unpunished, no effort being made to bring them to justice.

Several of these grand jurors were standing outside of the court-house, one day, while several free-state men were within, and, speaking of them, asked "if it wouldn't be best to take out a few of those fellows, and string them up. Couldn't the laws be so construed as to render it legal?" What justice can any one expect from such executors of the laws? At this time, also, the following call for a convention of the "law and order" party was published in all their papers:

NOV. 14TH, '55.
"The law-abiding citizens of Kansas Territory, without distinction of party, will hold a grand mass convention, at Leavenworth, on November 14th. Let there be a grand rally of the law and order citizens of the territory. Friends of the constitution and laws, turn out, appoint delegates from every neighborhood, and come yourselves and show that there is a grand and glorious party in the territory, who are determined to stand by the constituted authorities of the land. Let come what will, show that you are determined to rally around the bulwarks of the constitution, and maintain the laws. Let every county in the territory be fully represented. By order of:
            "ANDREW J. ISAACS,
            JOHN A. HALDERMAN,
            D. J. JOHNSON,
            WM. G. MATHIAS,
            R. R. REES,
            L. F. HOLLINGSWORTH,
            D. A. N. GROVER, Com."

Some of these men are President Pierce's appointees in the territory. A part of these were connected in the mobbing of Phillips, while others were of the invading horde who trampled upon the constitution, and all the rights it ensures to freemen, at the election of the 30th of March. This talk of rallying around the constitution, and maintaining the laws, sounds well coming from such men! At this meeting Gov. Shannon presided, committing himself wholly to the partisan movement. He declared that the iniquitous laws passed by men from, and chosen by, Missouri, "shall be enforced." He entered into a league with these men that he would do all in his power to oppress the other party. He called the free-state party a "faction," although he knew that the convention at Topeka was elected by votes of at least three fourths of the residents of the territory, and was comprised of men of all political opinions. He yet rushed on recklessly, led by blind leaders, and desiring nothing but that free Kansas shall bear the galling yoke of slavery.

Gen. Calhoun addressed the meeting. Among other choice tidbits, he said: "Shall abolitionists rule you? No, never! Give them all they demand, and abolitionism becomes the law of the land. You yield, and you have the most infernal government that ever cursed a land. I would rather be a painted slave over in Missouri, or a serf to the czar of Russia, than have the abolitionists in power. (Tremendous cheers.) Look at the outrages mentioned in their journals, of babies shot through the sides of houses, etc. There is nothing so low or mean but abolition papers are found to tell it. We, the Union-loving and State-rights party, of Kansas, have kept too still, and allowed the nullifiers to proclaim millions of lies. This is a great question for abolitionists to make capital out of. We must not allow it to go on here. We must stop its growth. It tramples upon the laws of the land. Say to your governor, "Enforce the laws; we will stand by you, and, if necessary, we will spill our life's blood to enforce them!' The governor will be with you. The governor calls for all to help him, except abolitionists. He calls to men of all states; but he don't want abolitionists."

After Gen. Calhoun had pursued this strain of remark a while longer, he took his seat, and Mr. Parrott arose to speak. He, however, gave way to an amendment offered by Gen. Clark to the motion of Dr. Stringfellow, "law and order" men being substituted for "pro-slavery" men, in constituting a delegate to the meeting. Mr. Parrott had an interview with the governor, before the evening session, and stated his desire to speak; to which the governor, with very pro-slaveryish leanings, replied, "He did not think anything he would say would be at all congenial to the feelings of the rest." Twice, after the first attempt to speak, Mr. Parrott addressed the chair; but his honor by no sign acknowledged he heard a sound. The feelings of the "law and order" gentry were expressed in hisses, and groans, and cries of "Put him out!" Mr. Parrott's patience still lasted, and as he again appealed to the chair, the gray head turned, as though on a pivot, upon the shoulders which bore the weight of some sixty years, and the coarse features were hidden from his sight. He continued: "By the order of this convention, I am a delegate (groans and hisses), and I claim the right to be heard (hisses and groans). As the friend and advocate of 'law and order,' I shall congratulate myself and the country if your labors shall result in strengthening that sentiment in the territory. ('Put him out,' and groans.) I was, as you know, a member of the Topeka Convention, and am unalterably attached to that cause (hisses and groans). Governor, your presence reminds me of other days, when, as the standard-bearer of an undivided democracy, you stemmed the tide of political opposition which threatened to subvert our cherished principles, in the state from which we hail. May I not venture to invoke the recollection of that time, to ask of you, and the friends by whom you are now surrounded, a patient hearing of the cause I advocate." At this juncture, Dr. Stringfellow informed Mr. Parrott that the convention did not wish to hear a free-state man. A good deal of confusion ensuing, Mr. Parrott gave way to the bully crowd.

A person after Gov. Shannon's own heart now took the floor, and, among other peaceful and patriotic sentiments, which brought down the house in cheers long and loud, were the following. Speaking of Kansas laws, he said, "For the safety of our property we must enforce them, for the preservation of our lives against higher law marauding. I endorse the sentiments of Gen. Calhoun's speech, and, had I the tongue to be heard to every limit of this Union, I would proclaim it, so that old men, now standing on the brink of the grave, might hear it; and I would sooner my tongue should cleave to the roof of my mouth, or my right arm be severed from my body, than silently give over our beautiful country to ruthless abolitionism. We must enforce the laws, though we resort to the force of arms; trust to our rifles, and make the blood flow as freely as do the turbid waters of the Missouri, that flows along our banks." Judge Lecompte said he would support "law and order." Dr. Stringfellow, and Johnson, one of the foremost in the gang who lynched Phillips, added their words of counsel. Such were the prime movers in this meeting -- the governor, the judge, the surveyor-general, appointed by the national head, yet, first and foremost in a meeting made up of border desperadoes. Stringfellow, the pro-slavery apostle, was acting with them, a prominent officer of the meeting, and, only a few days previous, published an extra, which has the following significant sentence: "Thus it is that the fight so long talked of has begun, and it is to be hoped that it will not be discontinued until Kansas Territory is rid of this 'higher law' and blood-thirsty set of negro thieves and outlaws." This was said in reference to the murder of Collins by Pat Laughlin. Gov. Shannon, in conversation, said, "The laws are not so very bad," -- notwithstanding, for even having in one's house the Declaration of Independence, or saying aught against slavery, one is exposed to incarceration within prison walls. After the meeting, Gov. Shannon and Surveyor-General Calhoun were the invited guests of Lyle and Johnson, notorious ruffians, and ringleaders in the mobbing of Phillips. Such being the facts of Gov. Shannon's course here, what can we expect? Jones threatens that he will return to destroy Lawrence; "not one stone shall be left standing." He asserts that "Shannon has promised him ten thousand men, to enforce the laws." It seems a little singular that such a promise should have been made, when not even one arrest has been attempted, to test the temper of our people. Where will the poor governor find ten thousand men to do his bidding?

With all these truths before them, our people cannot but see that preparations for defence are necessary; and in the afternoon the adjourned meeting came together again. The pledge reported by Mr. Lowrey, as chairman of the committee, was carried through the hall, by the secretary of the meeting, and was signed, by those of the audience not belonging to volunteer companies, upon the stock of a Sharpe's rifle, that being used as the most convenient article at hand. The following was the pledge of union and mutual support: "We the citizens of Kansas Territory, finding ourselves in a condition of confusion and defencelessness so great that open outrage and mid-day murder are becoming the rule, and quiet and security the exception; and whereas the law, the only authoritative engine to correct and regulate the excesses and wrongs of society, has never yet been extended to our territory, thus leaving us with no fixed or definite rule of action, or course of redress, we are reduced to the necessity of organizing ourselves together on the basis of first principles, and providing for the common defence and general security; and here we pledge ourselves to the resistance of lawlessness and outrage, at all times, when required by the officers who may from time to time be chosen to superintend the movements of this organization."

It is rumored that the Missourians will make the attack to-morrow night. To complete the farce, Gov. Shannon, in person, it is said, will lead on his red-shirted, butternut-colored-trousered allies from Missouri, to subdue and rush his own people. Has he no sense, or has his brain become so muddled in the bad whiskey in which it floats, as to dull all his perceptions of justice or right?

28th. -- Wednesday morning. A beautiful morning dawned upon us -- so lovely one could scarcely realize, that under the quiet soothing influence of such sunny skies, the brutal passions of men could so rage as to seek the destruction of their fellows. Difficult, indeed, is it to feel that destruction is sworn against our homes, and a price set upon the heads of some dear to us. Yet, our people, having decided upon their course of action, are again at their usual places of business. The warlike aspect of yesterday has given place to the busy, enterprising spirit of the past daily routine which has characterized our people, and made the little city of a year give good promise of its future. Though at a moment's warning they could spring into line, armed for defence, externally everything looks peaceful. Occasionally, a horseman rides rapidly into town, and, after stopping a few moments, goes as rapidly out.

It is rumored that a large force is gathering at Franklin; also another at Lecompton, fourteen miles above here. We do not credit such reports. Whom will they fight, if they come? Will they dare, in this nineteenth century, in this boasted land of freedom, to make a raid upon us, crying, "Extermination, and no quarter!" A wholesome fear of consequences to themselves will prevent this. There will, probably, be a good deal of useless bravado, and they will strive to place us, if possible, in a wrong position before the world. There is a rumor, at evening, that an attack is threatened from Lecompton. The night is dark. E. and I are alone. About nine o'clock some gentlemen call, for a few minutes, who have been looking around on the hill beyond us, but saw no enemy. The hours were rapidly passing; it was nearly eleven o'clock, and no one came from town. E. fell asleep in her chair; I went out upon the hill alone, in the darkness, and listened; I heard nothing. I nearly dropped asleep upon the lounge, and was aroused by a loud knocking at the door, and three young men with Sharpe's rifles, and a cheerful "Good-evening," entered. They came as a guard, to see that no force comes into town from the Lecompton road. We talked a while of the prospect of the war, and were fully agreed as to the general character of the enemy, their failure of courage when they meet a foe equal in number, as Jones and party proved on the night of the 26th. We brought in extra candles and blankets, and went up stairs for a little sleep.

29th. -- It is Thanksgiving day in Massachusetts, as in several other states. How anxious for us our friends would be, did they know just what dangers threaten us! But as they now draw around the cheerful fire, which November's chilly breath in New England makes social and pleasant, they will think of us as enjoying milder skies, and dream not of the dire visitation of the ruffianly horde gathering in our borders, and thirsting for our blood. The little home circle, now sadly broken in upon by life's changes, the revered head having passed onward beyond the dark portal, will think of her who in young girlhood made one of the number around the bright hearth-stone, and, having entered upon the responsibilities of life's drama, finds her post of duty in this faraway land. Thanksgiving will be kept by some families here, and the old custom of inviting one's friends to dine will not be forgotten; though the "wars and rumors of wars," with the necessary preparations in ease of an attack, prevent its assuming its usual festive character.

The town has grown much in the few last weeks. The large hotel is complete externally, and, with its large, airy-looking windows opening upon a prospect of indescribable loveliness, its black-walnut doors with a mirror-like surface adding beauty, promises comfort in the future to the weary traveller. There are other buildings, nearly as large, almost complete, while others are in process of erection. One has to look all around them to avoid running into piles of sand and lime, against the hod-carriers and busy workmen. The Missourians have not forsaken us yet, or left us to starve, as plenty of their market-wagons are standing at every store. The Yankee's money is as good as anybody's money; and too much of it, while the borderers treat us so ill, has gone into their hands. It is estimated that over a million dollars have been paid them for horses, wagons, provisions, and freights, within the last year.

A friend came in from the border at evening, and brought reliable information of quite a camp at Franklin, four miles from us, and people continually on the way. He says there never has been before such excitement in the border towns. All kinds of teams are pressed into service, and are generally, together with the riders, of most uncouth, nondescript appearance. A box of provisions, some shot-guns, and a jug, usually complete the outfit; and, coming with ox-teams, as quite a number of them do, there must also be embarked for the journey a supply of patience. The possibility of a retreat has probably never entered the heads of these valiant warriors of the ox-team battalion. The following extraordinary document, sent by Secretary Woodson to Gen. Easton, of Leavenworth, has just appeared:

"(Private.) DEAR GENERAL: The governor has called out the militia, and you will hereby organize your division, and proceed forthwith to Lecompton. As the governor has no power, you may call out the Platte Rifle Company. They are always ready to help us. Whatever you do, do not implicate the governor.
            "DANIEL WOODSON."

General Easton was appointed, by the Shawnee Legislature, general of the territorial militia. The following, also, was sent from Westport:

"WESTPORT, Nov. 27.
"HON. E. C. MCCLAREN, Jefferson City: Gov. Shannon has ordered out the militia against Lawrence. They are now in open rebellion against the laws. Jones is in danger."

Dec. 1st. -- Saturday night has come again, bringing the close of another week -- a week of anxiety to the leaders here, upon whom the responsibility of our safety rests. Messengers have been sent to the other settlements, at different times, notifying them of the threatened attack, with the desire that they hold themselves in readiness to come to our aid at a moment's notice.

Last night, at midnight, a friendly band of armed men came in from Ottawa Creek, having heard of the invasion. With flag flying, a company of mounted riflemen have come in from Palmyra, also. The Indians, both Shawnees and Delawares, have offered their warriors for our defence. While we would not accept aid from the Indians, knowing that it would furnish a pretext to the government for their extermination, their friendly feelings will go far towards sustaining the courage of any who might falter.

Several gentlemen from Lawrence have been down to the enemy's camp to-day, as they have, in fact, every previous day. They found some of the men in the camp quite communicative. They say that "a good many are on the way; " that they are coming "to help the governor." It is estimated that not more than one hundred and fifty are now in camp at Franklin, and on the Wakarusa, two or three miles below. At the former place, to-day, about fifty of these barbarians were shooting at a mark. Two covered wagons, with flags flying, were standing in the centre of the town. Some horses were fastened near.

As one of these gentlemen from Lawrence went below the Wakarusa, where some half a dozen of humanity's roughest specimens guard the ford, on his return, their anxiety was expressed in the question, "Have you seen many coming?" At one point he overtook a covered wagon, with two men and boxes of provisions and ammunition, with an escort of a dozen horsemen. A large flag, of singular appearance, waved over the wagon. It was a "lone star," of deep crimson, upon a white ground. As one of the emblems of their secret oaths, as members of the Blue Lodge, it was hailed with loud shouts by those already in camp.

Business is nearly given up here. Men gather in groups to talk of the probabilities of flying rumors. Never were there more in circulation. A committee of safety, also the leaders in this emergency, have been appointed. They are taking all possible steps for the defence, learning as much as they can of the movements of the enemy. It is rumored, also, that Gov. Shannon has telegraphed to President Pierce for the military force at Fort Leavenworth. The poor people of the territory would wonder what it's for, were it not explained by the following despatch from Missouri:

"WESTON, MO., Nov. 30.
"The greatest excitement continues to exist in Kansas. The officers have been resisted by the mobocrats, and the interposition of the militia has been called for. A secret letter from Secretary Woodson to Gen. Easton has been written, in which the writer requests Gen. Easton to call for the rifle company, at Platte city, Mo., so as not to compromise Gov. Shannon. Four hundred men from Jackson Co. are now en route for Douglas Co., K. T. St. Joseph and Weston are requested to furnish each the same number. The people of Kansas are to be subjugated at all hazards."

Yes! Kansas is to be subjugated at all hazards! and at the bidding of a governor who has never yet visited the people of the territory, but has entered into league and copartnership with the people in the border counties of another state, he being their "tool," while they find blood and treasure for the accomplishment of the designed subjugation. How the memory of such a lofty purpose must gladden his days as he treads softly the down-hill side of life!

2d. -- Sunday. Last evening a meeting was held, according to previous arrangement, to discuss the merits of the new constitution. Judge Smith, Col. Lane, and others, addressed the meeting. Quite naturally the times in which we live, and the present circumstances surrounding us, occupied quite largely the attention of the meeting.

Several utterly false and distorted accounts of the officers in and about Lawrence were read from a Leavenworth Herald of the evening before, which so aroused the indignation of the meeting that they appointed a committee to collect carefully all the facts and have them published. The paper which was read also contained the information that Shannon had called out Richardson, of Mo., general of the militia. Some incendiary appeals from that as well as Independence papers were read.

A gentleman has just remarked that "it is the one act in Shannon's course which is perfectly consistent; a Missouri leader should have command of Missouri banditti."

Dr. Robinson, having been called upon several times to speak, also having been called from the hall two or three times, at last said, in a plain way, and in brief, that "It was a time, in his opinion, for acting rather than speaking; that Shannon had placed himself in a bad situation. At his bidding all these Missourians had come over to help him enforce the laws; but when they come to Lawrence they will find that nobody has broken any laws; for the people of Lawrence are a law-abiding people. Their real object was to destroy Lawrence; but it was a question whether they would attempt it without some pretext; and before the American people Shannon would be responsible for their conduct. Fearful of some atrocious act upon the part of his drunken rabble, he has been compelled to remove the most of them to the camps on the Wakarusa. They really were in a predicament. They were afraid to attack Lawrence without a pretext, and with reason. He had learned, but would not vouch for its truth, that Shannon had telegraphed to President Pierce for the troops at the forts. It was also reported that Pierce had telegraphed back again that he might have them, and, of course, he would get them. Of course he would disarm the people when an invading force of drunken Missourians was almost at our doors, and we have no protection in the government of the country. (Laughters and cries of "Of course.") Men of Lawrence, and free-state men, we must have courage, but with it we must have prudence! These men have come from Missouri to subjugate the free-state men, to crush the free-state movement, -- their pretence, that outrages have been committed. They are sustained by all the United States authorities here; and while they do not think it essential that a good cause for fighting be given them, the authorities will wait at least for a plausible excuse before commencing to shed blood. This excuse must not be given them. Each man must be a committee of one to guard the reputation as well as lives of the free-state men. If the Missourians, partly from fear and partly from want of a sufficient pretext, have to go back without striking a blow, it will make them a laughing-stock, and redound fearfully against Shannon. This is the last struggle between freedom and slavery, and we must not flatter ourselves that it will be trivial or short. The free-state men must stand shoulder to shoulder, with an unbroken front, and stand or fall together in defence of their liberties and homes. These may be dark days, but the American people and the world will justify us, and the cause of right will eventually triumph." The enthusiasm with which these remarks were received evinced the deep feeling and determined spirit of the meeting.

A gentleman in from Lecompton, yesterday afternoon, reported a most cowardly affair, in which Gen. Clarke was the actor. He is the Indian agent, a most infamous man; so notorious for his evil deeds before coming here, that it is said his life would not be a moment safe where he previously lived. His infamy renders him, however, a better tool for this corrupt administration, and a proper ally for the other officials here. He has become alarmed for his safety, and a few evenings since sent to some of his pro-slavery friends to come to his house to act as guard. They, answering his request by their presence, were saluted by being fired upon as they reached his house. It happened on this wise. His fears were so great, causing him to hear an enemy in every footstep, or the rustling of a leaf, that, supposing the knock at the door was that of some free-state man, he ran out of the back door, around the corner of the house, shot the man who proved to be the friend he had sent for, and ran back again.

E. and I were sitting alone last evening, when loud shouts in the distance told of some new arrival. We opened the door, and looked out into the darkness. We could see nothing but the friendly lights, in the humble dwellings over the prairie, to the eastward, while they burned more brightly yet in the hall, and in the hotel, whose upper rooms are used for the committee and council rooms. Though a half mile from town, and nearly a quarter of a mile from neighbors, and those strangers, while the lights show that no one will be "caught napping," even at this late hour, we have no fears of danger. We feel sure the shouts were not those of invaders, as their yells are most unearthly. Again, in the distance, we heard the cheerful sounds go up to heaven, and re-echoed among the hills. We know, instinctively, that it is the spontaneous burst of welcome to some new relief company.

The guard comes up ere long. They say to our queries of "What news?" "The 'Bloomington Boys ' are in." "We've had a grand meeting." "We are going to protect ourselves." One laughingly says, "Protect ourselves from whom?" And after suggestions from the trio of young men, who have now been on guard four nights in this part of the town, making our house head-quarters, "that Shannon will not fight; " that "the Missourians will run at the first fire," and that "they, having been taught to believe the Yankees are cowards, will find their mistake;" that they are expecting to get land-warrants to pay them for their trouble in coming here, but may get an actual pre-emption claim six feet by two instead; we are all of our old opinion that there is really very little actual danger. They may take the trouble to come here, some coming hundreds of miles, with their threats, their whiskey and their old shot-guns, -- giving them a right to the name with which our guard has christened them, "The Shot-gun Battalion," -- they may come with their music, in the shape of an old violin, and a rough, fierce-looking biped, to whom soap and a razor are unknown, clad in buckskin breeches, and red shirt; but the inspiration of the "Arkansas Traveller," among these half-drunken creatures, will never equal the "moral suasion," or the wholesome fear of a few Sharpe's rifles.

Our house was full last night, and of the capacity of our Kansas homes our eastern friends have no idea. Doctor brought several strangers home with him at a very late hour.

A startling incident occurred last night. One of our picket guards was fired upon. Two of the guard were sitting together, when a party of Missourians approached and fired six shots at them. Our men had strict orders not to fire, unless the emergency was desperate, and so bore the insult with remarkable prudence, and obeyed orders.

Our people are acting strictly upon the defensive, and these provocations are continually offered us to provoke a collision. They are endeavoring to draw them from the position which all the world will justify, that they may have a pretext for the destruction of Lawrence, which is really the whole cause of the invasion.

A clergyman was with us last night. He had come in from a neighboring settlement, and has been a resident of Missouri twenty-seven years. He knows them well therefore; their cruel and desperate characters. With the few who came with him to Lawrence, he was attending a meeting some miles from home, but hearing that Lawrence was in imminent peril, without going to his home, or being sure that the word he sent his family would reach them, he put spurs to his horse and came to our relief.

Another clergyman from Vermont, with others, came in to breakfast this morning. So the time has come again when men, whose vocation it is to preach the word of truth, and to battle heroically in fierce struggles with error, have girded on another sword than that of the spirit; and if the victory is to be won by sharp fighting, while they "pray and watch" they work, too -- the working evincing the spirit of the prayer.

The times seem strange! Ministers of the gospel of peace buckling on the armor which is to insure them physical safety! Two thousand years have passed away since the angel-choirs rejoiced together, ushering in the glad news of a new gospel, and the tidings of good-will and peace reverberating over Judea's hills. When will men learn the lesson? With our defence strong and secure, made fully known to our foes, there will be no bloodshed. So we all feel, and things which seem warlike are in reality peace bearing measures.

Another event happened last night, which occasioned uneasiness, viz., the appearance of McCrea, an escaped prisoner, in our midst. His presence, were it known to the enemy, would be a new source of difficulty, and at once cause an outbreak. Few of the citizens knew he was here, and he is already on his way to a land of safety.

How the blood boils in our veins, when we think of all the indignities imposed upon us by the slave power, by the infamous, the execrable corruption of the administration! No words can express the depth of infamy to which it has gone, in endeavoring to crush out on this soil, made sacred to freedom by a pledge inviolate, free speech, free action and free men.

McCrea had been for months imprisoned in a close, ill-ventilated place. A bill was found against him for murder, but a change of venue was at last effected. These men, who saw themselves about to be foiled of their prey for which with unabated eagerness for six months they had hunted, had made preparations to take him from the jail and lynch him; when, foreseeing this, McCrea escaped. He came to this place, which has been regarded by all our friends as the Sevastopol of Kansas, expecting to find safety and repose. But we can offer none. The same power which sought his life so desperately, seeks ours with the same malignity. We abide the hour with patience, and feel sure that all the tears, the anxieties, the sleepless nights, and weary days, of the heart-stricken wife, now left in uncertainty as to her husband's fate, are all counted by Him, "who seeth the end from the beginning," and that they who have mingled this cup of bitterness will find their reward.

Everything has been so quiet to-day, having no extra company, save some gentlemen to tea, that we forget we may be on the verge of a civil convulsion; that, ere another Sabbath sun arises, we may be homeless, ay, and friendless, if our enemies perform a tithe of that they threaten.

A friend has sat here all day, quietly writing for the eastern press. He takes great interest in the success of the cause, and has several times been in the camp of the enemy, spying out the land. He has brought back interesting "notes of travel," and passed through some hair-breadth escapes. He has a genial, happy nature, peculiar to the Scotch, and, as he tells his adventures with a slight brogue, and a quick, rapid utterance, enlivened by his sense of the ridiculous, one cannot help feeling that he is surrounded by Gov. Shannon's half-tipsy military, or hears the sounds of music drawn out of a violin by some fierce disciple of Paganini, and sees the gaping crowds of men, armed with bowie knives and pistols, nodding their admiration.

To-day was set for the attack, and the day has passed. The weather has become much colder, and I fancy there are some in the camps who would be glad if they were home again, by a cheerful fire. The men in the camps are getting impatient, but slowly are they reinforced in small numbers. They come with an appearance of reluctance, but the offer of a dollar and a half a day and a land warrant is said to be the successful inducement to aid in this infamous invasion, and its author no less infamous.

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