26th. -- The men were early at their work this morning upon the little cabins in the forts. Stoves are to be put in them as soon as finished, and then soldiers will board in them as in times of war. The largest fort, which is at the foot of Massachusetts- street, commanding the way to the river, is of circular form, about five feet high, with a broad walk upon the top, perhaps four feet wide. It is about one hundred feet in diameter, and is built of earth and timbers. A sentinel is continually pacing the rounds upon the top.
The general and other officers are at all times busy in the council-room. Scarcely six weeks have passed since Gov. Shannon's famous treaty; he has now gone home, and the plan seems to be to do what is to be done in his absence, while Woodson is acting governor. -- He, having been instrumental in getting the Platte County Rifle Boys to come to the invasion of Lawrence, will not hesitate to do anything now which a Missouri mob asks of him.
In the evening T. was asleep on the lounge, E. and I were sitting in the bright moonlight, when the loud booming of cannon, the shouts of men, and the barking of dogs, startled us. With the door open we could see no strange thing, but the noise continued. It could not be Missourians, for they would not attack the town so early in the evening, or on such a bright night.
T. awakened, and as we gave him no satisfactory answer to his question of "What's that?" he rose hastily, saying, "I believe those hounds have come." His pistol-belt was soon fastened on, and, as he left the door, he said, "Good-by, if I don't see you again." He was hastening away, when I said to him, "You must let me know somehow what is doing."
"Yes, I will send you word, if I cannot come myself."
As through the still night-air these words were borne to me, the young, city-bred youth, whose heart beats warmly for freedom -- freedom for all, was far down the hill-side. Home friends were continually writing him, "Why don't you leave that God-forsaken country, and come home?" With the earliest settlers he embarked in the holy cause of saving Kansas to freedom, and with those principles deeply implanted in his nature, in the full vigor and strength of early manhood, with hope mounting high, he has buckled on the armor of a righteous self-defence, and with the watchword of victory he is ever ready for active service. I smile often at his enthusiasm of manner as he says; "I used often to go to the theatre at home, life was so dull; but here we have a new scene in the drama every day." I sympathize in the feeling, and have half a mind that all of us, living where we actually realize the truth, "Ye know not what a day may bring forth," would find New England paths dull and tame. Like him, there are many other young men, who, with unchecked aspirations and unblasted hopes, have in the trials of the hour put on the soberness, the prudence of life at its noon. Side by side with furrowed brows, and dark locks silvered o'er by time's fingers, they have prepared for the onset. Our people have grown strong in themselves under difficulties. Young men of education and talent, who sought their home here, have put forth new powers. Stripped of all the artificial accompaniment of old towns, driven by the circumstances of the times to exertions almost superhuman, the happy brightening up of unused faculties, and the quickening of relaxed energies, have followed; whereas, amid the hum-drum paths of the old homes, surrounded by their gloss, gilding, and effeminacy, they would have passed along life's even ways, attaining only middling ranks in their professions.
The women, too, of Kansas have shared in this quickening of the perceptive and reflective faculties -- the effect of their surroundings. Some, who would have floated gayly down life's smoother tides, amid the glitter, the false show of society, bound down by an iron rule to King Custom's absurd ways, and would have asked not the great questions of life, of its import, of its destiny, have learned that "life is real, life is earnest." In the simplicity of nature, in a new country, there is a mutual dependence between all, which is not realized at home, and the very needs of humanity demand that one should live, not for self, but out of self, and in realizing the beauty of the poem,
With a constant use of faculties and sympathies, the useless ornament of a city drawing-room becomes the strong, the active, earnest woman.
The hours were passing, the noise down street had ceased, and T. returned. He laughed as he said "No Missourians yet. The company have returned from Easton, and the boys were giving them a salute." He said, moreover, that they had speeches, and went through certain military manoeuvres, and finished off with a supper prepared for them. They encountered no difficulties by the way; the enemy having heard of their proposed visit, fled to Missouri, leaving a clear field. One of the men, who has been threatened very grievously by them, they found so strongly barricaded in his house, that the enemy could never have taken him. His wife and six sons compose the family. The old lady has all the fire, the spirit of a Spartan mother.
Jan. 27th. -- Still another snow. No security from the murderous midnight assassin can be more sure than the heavily drifting snows which cover the whole country. Plans of a guerilla warfare had been laid through the whole border. The murder of Brown and the invasion at Easton were the forerunners of intended attacks upon the whole territory. The leaders of the free-state party being destroyed, they calculated upon an easy victory over the remainder. A letter of Atchison, written just before the murder of Brown, reveals the plan. The following are a few extracts from it.
* * * * "We are in a constant state of excitement here (Platte city). The 'border ruffians' have access to my room day and night. The very air is full of rumors. We wish to keep ourselves right before the world, and we are provoked and aggravated beyond sufferance. Our persons and property are not for a moment safe; and yet we are forbid, by the respect we owe our friends elsewhere, by respect for the cause in which we are engaged, to forbear. This state of things cannot last. You are authorized to publish the whole or a part of what I have written; but if Georgia intends to do anything, or can do anything for us, let it be done speedily!
"Let your young men come forth to Missouri and Kansas. Let them come well armed, with money enough to support them for twelve months, and determined to see this thing out! One hundred true men will be an acquisition. The more the better. I do not see how we are to avoid civil war; come it will. Twelve months will not elapse before war -- civil war of the fiercest kind -- will be upon us. We are arming and preparing for it. Indeed, we of the border counties are prepared. We must have the support of the South. We are fighting the battles of the South. Our institutions are at stake. You far southern men are now out of the nave of the war, but, if we fail, it will reach your own doors, perhaps your hearths. We want men, armed men. We want money -- not for ourselves, but to support our friends who may come from a distance. I have now in this house two gallant young men from Charleston, S. C. They are citizens of Kansas, and will remain so until her destiny is fixed.
"Let your young men come on in squads as fast as they can be raised, well armed. We want none but true men. Yours truly,
"P. S. -- I would not be astonished if this day laid the groundwork for a guerilla war in Kansas. I have heard of rumors of strife and battle at Leavenworth, seven miles from this place, but the ice is running in the Missouri river, and I have nothing definite. I was a peace-maker in the difficulty lately settled by Gov. Shannon. I counselled the 'ruffians' to forbearance, but I will never again counsel peace. D. R. A."
It is Sunday to-day. We hear no pleasant sound of church-going bell, but, instead, the pounding on the little cabins in the forts. The hotel is again turned into barracks, and through the driving snow we see the sentinel at his post. Rough times our men see. Strong hearts and brave hands have come in to strengthen the town, leaving, in the rude cabins at home, wife and little ones without protector. The officers in the council-room sleep on the floor, or rude settees, when their tired energies must have some respite. Our people have great faith, great hope; nothing but these could keep them so brave, so full of courage, when dangers lurk around.
A gentleman just returned from a town south, some miles, said, "I have been in many cabins where there was no floor, and the snow came in at every crevice, and the cold was intense, yet I have seen a wonderful cheerfulness everywhere." They endure present suffering, and forego present comforts, in hope of an hour when the battlements of freedom shall be high and strong, and out of the rich and fertile earth shall arise pleasant homes, at the bidding of free labor. Their faith is more potent than that of the children of the wilderness, who looked to the brazen serpent for healing.
Some gentlemen were in yesterday from a neighboring settlement which has been threatened by Missourians. Signals are agreed upon, so that, should an attack be made there or here, mutual and speedy assistance might be rendered.
Pistols lie around the room loaded, and rifles are standing in safe places. How strange to our eastern friends would seem this familiarity with fire-arms, and stranger yet the necessity of carrying them to our sleeping apartments, and carefully watching them lest any dampness cause them to corrode!
The last thought of our waking hours is now the possibility that ere the morning's gray light the fiendish yells of the brutal assassins may be heard at our own doors, crying for blood. But we sleep with the same quietude as in dear old New England homes, where safety was the rule, and crime was met by swift-footed justice. Even this sense of insecurity is not without its use, for, with the early waking, comes a deep sense of thankfulness for another night safely passed, our home and friends still spared.
Feb. 10th. -- Still cold. How the weather prophets have all spoken falsely! The Indians and traders, who have lived many years in the country, have never seen a winter like this. Many people have frozen their feet, so that for weeks they have been unable to walk. The general hilarity of the young people has not, however, been prevented by it. Sicoxie's dwelling has been open to visitors from Lawrence, and an occasional party, of a winter's evening, has shared the hospitalities of his house.
The Delawares are daily in our streets, and, with their gay dress, half-civilized, retaining always the Indian blanket, add a pleasant variety. Other tribes, less civilized, driven by the cold to winter near a settlement, have pitched their tents on the farther bank of the Kansas. They also buy their provisions here, and pack them on ponies in bags. The poor little human, too, is encased in a red flannel bag, and carried on the back of the mothers.
People are now getting out ice for the next summer's heat. Several hundred tons are already cut. Those who work at it look oddly with their dress, half Indian, adopting blankets, leggins, and moccasins, as very conducive to comfort, while gloves, mittens and neck comforters, are the relics of a former civilization. As the party starts off, they might be mistaken for voyagers to the polar regions.
There was a wedding, yesterday, of rather novel character. Early in the autumn a man of some forty-five years of age came to Lawrence. A few more weeks passed, and sickness came to him, then death. He left a widow, over whose head scarcely eighteen summers had flown, to whom he was married just before coming here. Yesterday a second marriage was contracted. How full of change is life, and how in such a case as this the affairs of life jostle each other!
T. came up from town this afternoon saying, "Lawrence is to be attacked on the morrow!" The foundation of this present rumor rests upon the conversation of a pro-slavery resident near Lawrence, and a stranger, which was overheard by one of our citizens. T. brought up quite a quantity of lead; and busied himself a while running bullets.
We are much amused by the eastern newspaper accounts of the Kansas war, especially the part taken in it by the ladies. One would suppose, from reading these, that all the women had given up all the duties of life usually assigned them, and armed with rifles and revolvers, with bravado and threats, were ready at all times to resent injuries by an appeal to the former. Whereas, with the exception of a dozen ladies, more or less, who have busied themselves in making cartridges, most of us have had sufficient employment in the accumulated duties of our own households, in preparing for an unwonted number of guests. Some, far removed in the country, have manifested their sympathies by busily engaging in the baking of bread for the soldiers.
Lawrence and vicinity, numbering some fifteen hundred inhabitants, boasts many fair ladies; more who combine the advantages of personal beauty with intellectual merit, than in any place I ever lived. Our friends east need have no fears that in this "roughing it," not only with the necessary inconveniences, and inelegancies, of a new country, but with the tyrannous acts of a vile administration's tools, that they have lost any of the instinctive gentleness or modesty of woman. Firmness and a purer love of justice have been the gain of many. The acts of one woman here have probably given rise to the false impression which has gone over the country. Sheriff Jones made the arrest of a resident of Lawrence, after a previous unsuccessful attempt, Mrs. B. threatening to shoot the sheriff if he attempted to arrest her husband, and with pistols cocked gave sufficient proof of her sincerity in this determination; enough certainly to satisfy the sheriff, who was effectually cowed, and, amid the laugh of the by-standers, turned away muttering, he "had rather face an army of men than one furious woman." During the war, too, she had evinced her boldness on several occasions.
Statements of this kind have, probably, in the minds of many, given a wrong coloring to the actual character of the womanly element here; when, on coming, they might expect to meet a real Amazon, or Joan of Arc, they would be disappointed to see still uppermost the native refinement, sensibility, and modest dignity of a true woman.
22d. -- No attack yet made upon us. In spite of all the talk, and all the marshalling of armed men in the border towns, we awake each morning, with wonder, to say we "still live." We might, however, have lived in greater security, had the mighty genius, who made these words memorable in his last hour, been ever true to the instincts of his great nature; had he in his declining days spoken honest words for freedom, as in his life's morning, or in its noon of splendor. "Lawrence is" not "in ashes," and her citizens still go unhung, notwithstanding the efforts of government officials to the contrary. The following are the exact copies of letters from Gov. Shannon to the murderer of Barber, Gen. George W. Clarke, Indian Agent, and will show the direction of his efforts:
"MY DEAR SIR: Your two last favors are received; and I regret exceedingly to hear of your unpleasant situation. I hope things will grow better. The evidence you speak of must satisfy every one that you did not kill Barber. This difficulty out of the way, I hope you will have nothing to fear. I think that all organizations to take the law into the hands of self-constituted judges or conservatives of the peace will only lead to bad consequences. The other party will do the same by the way of retaliation, and no one will know when he is safe. I am glad to learn that you discourage all such movements.
"I will leave in the morning for Washington city, stopping some days at home on my way. I shall urge on the President the policy of stationing a company of United States troops in Lecompton, or such other place in that region as you may all think best. I shall also urge on him the policy of quietly stationing a company at Topeka about the middle of February next. The free-state government, you know, is to be inaugurated on the 4th of March, and the Legislature at that time will commence its session. The President has the power to station the troops at any place he sees proper, and there will be no necessity of his saying for what purpose he stations a company at Topeka. It will be looked upon by the free-state men as a significant sign, and may induce them to pause in their mad career of folly and treason.
"I would be glad if you would write to your friends in Congress, and get them to back me up in what I may seek to accomplish for the territory. Moreover, I desire to see and talk with the leading men of the South in relation to matters in this territory. I wish to post them upon the real state of things out here, and what the South must do the coming year, or lose all dominion in a few years in the affairs of the republic.
"Write to me frequently at Washington city, to the care of Gen. Whitfield. Post me at least once or twice a week as to all that is going on out here. I shall feel great solicitude as to the state of things in Kansas while I am gone.
"GEORGE W. CLARK, Esq."
The other brief epistle was filed "Gov. Shannon, Dec. 3, 1855. Advice to join the army with public funds." It is as follows:
"MY DEAR SIR: I think you had better join the command of Col. Childs or Gen. Richardson with your money. It is unsafe to remain at your house with so large an amount of money.
The President, with the most abject servility to the slave power, has issued his anathemas against us. So base a document as his special message never before emanated from the White House. Has he read all history aright to suppose such bondage as this will not break its own chain? He talks of "treason." Treason against what? Not the United States surely, as, with earnestness stating our manifold and outrageous wrongs, we ask to be admitted into the sisterhood of states. Himself imbecile as the head of the government, he has bowed himself to the trappings of office. Stupid with the lust of power, and paving his way with the blood, the tears, the woes of Kansas, he has answered the question, "For what will a man sell his own soul?" Southern votes. Traitor to the mother who bore him, to his native state, to his country, and his God, when this great and mighty people shall arise from the blindness of their unparalleled prosperity, and break the bands of evil as tender withes, then shall he, calling upon the mountains even of his own state, find no place deep enough, no covert broad enough, to hide his shame; but in the annals of our country's history will this dark page be written, and he, the chosen guardian of the people's rights, shall wear the crowning infamy. It shall remain as a beacon light, as a warning to all seeking office, like the flaming sword guarding the entrance to Eden, that they sell not their honor, their principles, their very souls even. "So fallen, so lost!" the pitying heart cries.
This evening of the 22d of February witnesses a gathering here in honor of our first President, "whom the nation delights to honor." In strange contrast will his integrity, his uprightness, and his abiding hold upon the people's love, go down to posterity with the hollow-hearted truckling, the treachery, the imbecility, of the present incumbent of the presidential chair. The truth is again clearly maintained that justice sways the world.
Co. A. gave the party to-night, and many were there to partake of their hospitality, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather. Co. A. are our strong defenders. At a moment's warning they are ready for any perils which endanger us. Much praise is due them for their unwavering courage and steadfast zeal when the rays of hope in other quarters have been few and flickering. They have taken to themselves the name of "Stubs," not particularly euphonious, but suggestive of their stature. A song, has also been prepared by some of them, which they sang to-night, giving zest to the other amusements of the evening. It is in ballad style, sung as a solo by one fine voice, while all join in the chorus.
24th. -- How genial the air is to-day! The icy bands upon the river have fairly given way, and the fast dissolving snows say loudly that spring is here. The golden haze of last evening, through which the setting sunbeams lingered and floated, spreading a halo of singular loveliness over this unrivalled landscape, gave a promise of warmer days. "The days of the singing-birds have come." With the life-giving days of spring, how could we hope for peace and tranquillity! Yet there is no just ground for such hope. Companies of mounted riflemen have been forming along the border; and a late "Independence Despatch" states that the militia of the border counties in Missouri are to rendezvous at Fort Scott, in this territory, on the 29th of February. Atchison also, a few days since, in his speech at Platte city, called upon his friends to "hold themselves in readiness against the 4th of March," as then there would be a new invasion of the territory." The "six weeks," which Jones pledged upon his honor should be free from invasion, are nearly over. A gentleman of Easton has received a threatening letter from his pro-slavery neighbors, warning him to leave. Everything looks threatening.
March 4th. -- The doctor, with many more from Lawrence, left for Topeka yesterday, as the Legislature meets to-day. Lawrence is really deserted. Judge Elmore has, in conversation with the leaders of the free-state party, expressed strong desires that the members should not take the oath of office, as such an act would be considered treasonable, and they would be immediately arrested. Letters written from Washington also say that it is the design of the President to carry this matter thus far. By failing to take the oath of office, the present free-state constitution would be of no account. A gentleman has just been in, who reports a member of the Legislature arrived an hour since from Washington. He says the United States Marshal is on his way to Topeka, to arrest all who take the oath of office. He wishes to be arrested with the others, and will leave for Topeka this evening.
A strange farce this, of arresting freemen for no sin but a desire to maintain their rights as freemen, and for doing what California and Michigan have done before us. No iron rule bound them down like the hateful tyranny crushing Kansas.
Were it not for these continual attempts on the part of government to oppress us, Kansas would be peopled with a rapidity unprecedented in the settlement of any state. Her genial climate and rich soil offers attractions, while the class of people emigrating here afford the inducements of society, as intelligent and refined as any in the states.
Four religious societies have already been formed in Lawrence, and churches will this summer be erected. With the reviving of business this spring, a circulating library has been opened, where its members can find standard works, new books and publications, as soon as issued. There is also a bookstore, where the busy reader can suit his taste. The parish library connected with the Unitarian Church is large and valuable, and, when the room is ready for its reception, will form a valuable acquisition. With other settlements there have been similar organizations, and means for improvement.
Beside Lawrence there are six other settlements, mostly eastern. Osawattomie, at the junction of the Potawattomie and Meradizine, which at that point takes the name of the Osage, is most pleasantly located. It derives its name from a fanciful clipping and mingling together of the words, Potawattomie and Osage. A pleasing variety of prairie and woodland marks the spot. Though the first settlement was made only a year since, with its large mill and enterprising people it bids fair to be a prominent point in the territory.
Hampden is still further south, and, notwithstanding the sickness which came so severely among them last year, its surpassing richness of soil and heavy tember, as well as its central position in the southern part of the territory, will induce many to locate in the region.
Topeka, the third town in size, is situated twenty-five miles above Lawrence, on the Kansas. The principal part of the town is about a fourth of a mile from the river, on the high prairie, which slopes gently to the shore. Webster Peak rises some four miles in the distance south, while the lands of the Potawattomie are but five miles away. The first settlement was made in December of 1854, by some members of the fifth party. When the spring opened emigration poured in there. Constitution Hall, a large hotel, several stores, and dwelling-houses of wood, brick, and stone show clearly their Yankee origin, and that in coming to the West they had not forgotten thrift and enterprise.
Wabousa is forty miles above Topeka, also on the Kansas river, while Mill Creek flows into it at this point. This location, which has many admirers, both for its surroundings of hill and plain, and richness of soil, was selected as a town site in the fall of 1854, by the fourth party, which came from New England. (The New Haven Company have since located there.)
Manhattan, at the junction of the Big Blue and Kansas, is seventy-five miles west of Lawrence, and eighteen from Fort Riley. It was also decided upon as a good location for a town by a portion of the fourth New England party.
Their numbers were strengthened in the spring of 1855 by the company from Providence, and afterwards by a company from Cincinnati, called the Manhattan Company. It has a very fine location upon the high prairie, with a bold prominence of singular beauty near by, upon whose sides dwarf cedars grow. Finely rolling prairies extend back of the town about four miles, where high bluffs surround all like a strong fortress. Being near the fort, and in the midst of a rich farming country, the productiveness of the soil for years must repay in large measure all labor bestowed upon it. A friend, who located not many miles from Manhattan in the spring, and cultivated a few acres, in the fall found himself the possessor of one thousand dollars more than when he came. He sold at the fort whatever he raised, at large prices. As all supplies for the fort at present are brought from Missouri, near one hundred and fifty miles, it must furnish a market for the fruits of the earth, could they be raised near by.
Council city , about forty miles south-west of Lawrence, and a few miles from the Santa Fe road, under the auspices of the New York Settlement Co., is situated upon the head waters of the Osage. A pleasant population are gathered there upon the half-mile claims. A lady of intelligence, residing there a few months, told me she had become very much attached to the people, and on Mills being erected, and when they are in operation, as at other settlements, nothing but quiet is needed for it and them to increase in population, in intelligence and wealth. Let Peace spread her broad wings over us, and no one can estimate the human tide sweeping westward which will be turned into these channels.
16th. -- The following are the names of state officers and members of Senate and House, elected under the State Constitution:
W. Y. Roberts, Lt. Gov.
S. N. Latta, N. F. Conway, M. Hunt, Supreme Judges.
J. A. Wakefield, Treasurer.
P. C. Schuyler, Secretary.
G. A. Cutter, Auditor.
E. M. Thurston, Rep. of Sp. Ct.
S. B. Floyd, Clerk
J. Speer, State Printer.
Members of Senate.
J. M. Cole,
J. C. Green,
G. S. Hillyer,
H. M. Hook,
J. M. Irvin,
D. E. Jones,
S. B. McKenzie,
B. W. Miller,
J. H. Pillsbury,
G. R. Rhaum,
T. G. Thornton,
W. W. Updegraff.
S. N. Hartwell,
J. B. Abbott,
H. F. Saunders,
E. B. Purdam,
M. C. Dickey,
W. R. Frost,
W. A. Simmerwell,
S. T. Shores,
S. R. Baldwin,
A. D. Jones,
E. R. Zimmerman,
J. W. Stevens,
D. W. Cannon,
J. M. Arthur,
H. B. Standiford,
H. H. Williams,
J. Brown, Jr.,
Isaac B. Higgins,
H. W. Tabor,
T. J. Addis,
A. B. Marshal,
W. T. Burnett,
J. K. Edsaul,
L. P. Patty,
S. J. Campbell,
J. D. Adams,
T. W. Platt,
J. B. Wetson,
Wm. B. Wade,
B. H. Brock,
B. R. Martin,
John Landis, R. P. Brown,
F. A. Minard,
The election for these offices was holden on the 15th January; on the same day M. W. Delahay was chosen representative to Congress.
The Legislature was organized on the 4th, and the state officers took the oath of office. Everything was quiet at Topeka. No attempts were made to arrest any one, although Sheriff Jones and a deputy marshal were there to witness the inaugural ceremonies of the new state government. With the exception of the fears of one of the members, harshly wrought upon by some lovers of mischief, there was nothing exciting. Yesterday, a friend arrived from the East. He came up from Kansas city in company with some of the office-holders under government. They were particularly anxious that the free-state government should not be organized. He also came up just in the wake of Gov. Shannon. He is, according to his report, highly spoken of by all the bar-tenders and others on the way, and had a grand reception at Lexington -- which signifies, without any adornings of word or sentiment, "one big drunk."
Rumors came in to-night that a box of Sharpe's rifles, consigned to the territory, have been taken off the boat at Lexington and placed in the warehouse to await Governor Shannon's orders. Rumors fly as fast as autumn leaves, and we scarcely know what to believe. If, however, they have taken them, they will be useless to them as the slides are understood to be in another place, and it will puzzle them quite as much to use a rifle open at both ends as it did the one they threw away in December as useless, because there was no ramrod.
31st. -- The last of March, and still all quiet. The grass is growing everywhere and the tiny flower-bells sway gently in every breeze. In many places, they spring up without leaves, and in the dusty roads.
Doctor left on the 24th for Washington, at noon, not thinking of going only an hour or two before. The 26th witnessed the laying of the corner-stone of the Unitarian church with impressive exercises. Ministers of different denominations took part in the service. Many people, of various beliefs, were there, as the first church was planted in the wilderness, and a common interest was pervading all classes. Beneath the corner-stone were laid copies of several papers in the territory, a sketch of Lawrence, and other articles of interest.
Gov. Shannon has returned to Lecompton, and Mr. Hoyt, in whose charge were the rifles, has waited on him in reference to their being restored. The poor governor is in a dilemma, neither horn of which he thinks quite safe. Shall he please border ruffians, or restore property to its rightful owners? Fear weighs down the scale on the border ruffian side, and the sage decision is, the guns must remain in Lexington.
The little boy, who had so much water to carry, errands to do, and so many times has come into the house nearly frozen, is dead. He was delirious a few hours and died. Startling as the intelligence was to us, in the dreary shadows of twilight, not having heard of his illness, and only three evenings since he had made us a longer call than usual, there was mingled a sense of relief. There was a broken-spiritedness about the boy which was difficult to account for and is not natural to childhood.
Many houses are going up, and, every time we drive down, some new building or fence closes up the old travelled road. Men are digging at the quarries above us, and teams continually going up and down both sides of the house for buildings in town, and for the church half down the hill. We had recently had a house moved quarter of a mile to join our premises. It will be most conducive to our comfort, and that of our frequent lodgers.
Our house is at last complete, amid all the confusion of lathers, plasterers, paperers, and varnishers, with company all of the time, spending the day, the week, or longer. When the noise has been too unendurable, the horses and carriage have been put in requisition, and a ride over the beautiful prairies been enjoyed by our guests.
The house is entirely of black walnut; the finish, doors, window-casings, and mantels, of the same, all nicely polished. The paper of white satin, with a neat flower, in one room, while pretty wood-colors, in rosebuds and leaves, cover other walls, and give the whole a pleasing contrast. The furniture is mostly of the same wood, in pretty styles, while library, seraphine, pictures, which I prize both for their beauty and my long vested rights in them, with many other treasures of my girlhood, make this new home seem indeed like the old one, though so far transplanted. I would exchange its simplicity for no place where art and splendor have sway, while possessor of such living beauty as spreads itself around us.
In my drives of the last few weeks circumstances have brought me in contact with people of various mould, and I have been a learner of life by contrasts. The illness of a lady called me to the low door of her dwelling. It was built against a rock in a side hill, that forming one side. Logs and thatch completed the remaining sides and roof. The inside had the same rough aspect. Rude tables, of home-made manufacture, and three-legged stools, with one rocking-chair, completed the furniture. Several little children, neatly though poorly dressed, clung around the sad-looking mother, upon whose brow care had furrowed deep lines; but whose manner and appearance betokened better days than these in the past. Although ill, she was performing some domestic drudgery. She had friends east who would feel sadly did they know the circumstances which surrounded her here. The trials of the Kansas home had been many, yet she was still hopeful. Assuring her that anything we could do for her comfort should be gladly done, and thinking what a sad, thorny way the life-path is to many, we bade her "good-by."
Another day our fleet horses took our guests and us to see a person whose acquaintance was formed on the river, who was now boarding about six miles from Lawrence. The carriage halted in front of a large cabin, or two cabins rather, the space which is usually left open between them being made into a broad hall. G. said, "This is Judge W.'s." The lady whom we came to see opened the door before we reached it, being glad to see a familiar face. She was very pretty and intelligent, and the mother's heart could be seen in the soul-full eye as she caressed the little boy of a twelvemonth. Their home had been Wisconsin, while her husband was from the aristocratic old state of Virginia, and of a gentlemanly, dignified bearing.
This house is a home for travellers, and its capacious rooms were now full. Young mothers with their little children sat by the fire, and looked weary with their travels. Supper, too, was being prepared for the old judge, who came in from Lawrence, and with cheerful words, always so full of humor, greeted us as he distributed the letters he had brought from there. The beds were partitioned from this common sitting-room by long curtains. Baskets were hanging on poles over our heads, and bags of most capacious size were suspended from the walls, while meat and other articles for cooking found a place in the room. Judge W. is from Iowa, and has been, since his first coming here, one of the standard-bearers in freedom's army.
As we were returning, we met a very youthful lady and her husband, who have had some of the romance of life, and who are testing the sweets of not exactly love in a cottage, but love in a log-cabin, on the wide prairies. The lady was from a wealthy family in Cincinnati. Her friends opposed her in the choice of a husband, and while from home, at boarding-school, the marriage ceremony was performed, the young husband leaving the same day for Kansas. Some months after, when she had made known to her friends that she was already married, she also came.
A gentleman from Wisconsin was here in the early part of the month. He came to examine the country, its inducements to settlers, with reference to the sending out of a large company from Wisconsin. As he wished to meet the people of Lawrence, a reception had been proposed. The last afternoon of his visit had arrived, and the gentlemen in whose hands the arrangements had been left, declared themselves unable to accomplish anything on so short notice. Two of our ladies then took the matter in charge, and the evening found some one hundred persons assembled in a large hall, with refreshments of cake, nuts, fruit, and lemonade, provided.
A few days after, the New Haven company arrived. They must have a welcome and the right hand of fellowship extended to them by our people. The hall was filled to its utmost capacity, and as our people briefly recounted the history of their stay here, their dangers and perils, they offered to the newly-arrived people the blessings of the civilization which a year and a half has wrought; while they offer, with the shield of an unwasted hope, and the buckler of unwearied energies, to stand by us in hours when evil shall threaten our liberties. Pleasantly thus the hours passed away, and the "Stubs" were loudly called for to close the assembly with their song.