"THE newspaper is the historian's surest and most nearly eternal source ofinformation. The living event is forever gone, but the newspaper is evidence thatlife was here."
I know not who wrote the above lines, but theytypify the highest ideals ofjournalistic endeavor, the factual recording of things as they are.Recently there passed from the Kansas scene the last of the ruggedindividualists, editorially speaking. The death of William Allen White ended anera in Kansas newspaper history.
It began with the turbulent days preceding theCivil War and continued in unabated fury for fifty years except as theparticipants passed to their rewards. Bill White was a comparatively late comerinto this galaxy of individual journalists, but he left his mark upon the era asdistinctly as did Sol. Miller, M. M. Beck, John Speer, Dan Anthony, MarshMurdock, Jake Stotler and a host of lesser but no less active editors inKansas.
These men brought to Kansas a record in thenumber of newspapers and newspaper readers that has not been approached by anyother state and has had much to do with the high literacy rate of ourcitizens.
They brought to the Sunflower State the Kansaslanguage, a style terse and pointed. None ever asked a Kansas editor to make hiswritings more definite and certain. There was precision in what these editorssaid, they were proud to take sides on any question of moment and none was everadverse to replying "I dood it." The Kansas language is one without equivocation,innuendo, double talk or double meaning. It is generally incisive and sometimesmordacious. It doesn't wiggle, wobble or waver, beat about the bush, put out asmoke screen, play hide and seek or dodge the issue and does not stoop todemagogery. It contains no weasel words.
Nationally the era passed with the deaths ofDana, Horace Greeley, "Marse" Henry Watterson, William Rockhill Nelson and theircontemporaries. At the beginning of the present century began the era ofanonymity in newspaper editing. In recent years there has been a bit of swingingback through the use of columns and commentators upon events of the community,the state, the nation or the world.
Pistol-packing pencil pushers is no figure ofspeech or alliterative titling. It was an actual fact. For, in the days of whichI write, the typewriter had not been invented or was chiefly a toy or aninstrument of business. It may be recalled by some that Col. William R. Nelsonrefused to allow typewriters in his news or editorial rooms because he felt thathis writers tended to string out their stories or editorials and what he wantedwas a clear-cut, sharply defined statement of fact or opinion without quantitiesof expressive but unnecessary verbiage.
The editors wrote with pen or pencil. Duringterritorial days and through much of the Civil War period every Kansas editoralso packed a gun. The old Colt's horse pistol was as much the necessaryequipment of an editor in those days as was his pencil and a piece of scratchpaper, or maybe just an old envelope.
With one or two exceptions I am inclined to thebelief that no Kansas editor was actually bloodthirsty. They seldom shot tobolster their views or their ego but toted their guns purely as a matter ofpersonal protection against viciousness. There is little sign of lust to kill inall the history of Kansas journalism, as rowdy, vituperative, flamboyant,pitiless and partisan as it was in the early days.
You should remember that Kansas was settled bycrusaders, either from the North or the South, men and women who were willing togive their lives and their property in support of or in opposition to humanslavery. There were no pennyweights, no shrinking violets within or without thenewspaper profession in those days. Pillage, torture and murder were concomitantsof the times. It was frequently a question of the survival of the quickest on thedraw. Like their contemporaries in the crusade editors took sides. There was nositting on the fence in those days. You were either for or against slavery andall of its works and you lived and acted accordingly and always tried to actfirst and examine into the probable intentions of the other fellows or theirgroups afterward.
The editors in Kansas for the first ten years ofits history as a politicalentity, either as a territory or a state, fought fire with fire. Fire andbrimstone was a necessary ingredient of their views upon the slavery question,border ruffians, jayhawking, murder, theft and the general cussedness of anyeditor or others who happened to have leanings toward the other side of anyquestion.
Those men, on both sides, were masters ofvigorous English. They knew orconcocted virile expressions. They applied the barbed
epithet where they thought it would do the most good. Personal and editorialabuse was not uncommon. They spoke and they lived not only vigorously butviolently and some died with their boots on.
Those editors were the embodiment of the driveand force of a crusader. Theynever were neutrals and never nonpartisan. Their abusive expressions were theoff-shoot of enthusiasm, and psychologists assert that concentration for anyonealong a certain line induces obsessions and engenders personal animosities.The editors of an early day and their constituents made no distinction betweenpolitics and other questions of moment. If an editor were "agin" something he wasalso "ferninst" the personality that was sponsoring whatever project the editorhappened to be "agin" at the moment. There was no distinction between editorialfreedom and personal freedom in those days. If an editor objected to any programor the views of any person it was taken to be personal as well as politicalopposition to the proposal under discussion.
So it is no wonder that editorial viewpointsbred personal animosities. The timesand conditions were such that no other course was open, they believed, as didtheir constituents and those whom the editors opposed. There is an old dogma, "Ifyou believe you are right, let there be no deviation from the charted course."That was firmly imbedded in the minds and personalities of the men and women whoconstituted the citizenship of Kansas in those early days. And it applied to theeditorial brethren as well as to the ordinary sovereign squat-meaning Mr. AverageCitizen.
Some mention must be made of a group ofnewspaper men, not editors, butcorrespondents for Eastern papers, who packed pistols as well as language and hadan important part of keeping aroused the question of squatter sovereignty and howslavery was to be driven from the new territory by force of numbers and arms whenneeded.
This group of audacious writers wrote feelinglyand generally quite accurately ofa passionate and raucous period in the history of Kansas. All of them wererugged, a few ruthless,.they recorded the progress of human history as they sawit, fearlessly and sometimes intolerantly. They engaged in bitter and acrimoniousdebates in their newspapers over policies of the two factions of Antislaverysettlers and, like the settlers, they were one of them and fought personally andwith their pens to make Kansas a free state.
Horace Greeley visited Kansas early. Dr. EdwardEverett Hale wrote a book aboutthe new territory without ever setting foot on
its soil. Many of these correspondents did come to Kansas to write aboutaffairsand remained to help mould the affairs of the new state and to live within itsborders until their own hour glass ran out. Some of them held public office in alater day.
Marcus J. Parrott, Martin F. Conway, Col.Richard J. Hinton, Samuel F. Tappan,the Hutchinsons, William A. Phillips-later a member of congress from Kansas andfor whom Camp Phillips was named, James Redpath, Richard Realf, James M.Winchell-later to be chairman of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, JohnHenry Kagi, John E. Cook and many others were in this group of correspondents,all militant advocates of Democratic processes, so long as it meant thedestruction of slavery and the slave power.
Those of you who may have taken only a cursoryglance at Kansas history willremember the sacking of Lawrence, the tossing of the type and printing presses ofthe Free-State newspapers into the Kansas river. There were other instances of asimilar nature at Atchison and Leavenworth and print shops were wrecked at otherpoints because the editors were too outspoken, too vehement possibly, in theiradvocacy of either the anti- or the pro-slavery causes. But these losses did notdeter the editors a single minute. They borrowed money or type or printingequipment and their papers came out shortly after these episodes just as bitterlyassailing the other side and as plain-spoken in support of their beliefs as ifnothing had happened.
Dan Anthony I of Leavenworth deserves topbilling among the pistol-packing pencilpushers. He fought a duel, was shot at numerous times, was seriously wounded onceand killed a rival editor in his own home town. All of these incidents occurredduring the territorial or early statehood days, and he carried two big horsepistols for many years and to his dying day these lethal weapons, ready to go,laid on or in the top drawer of his desk. During the later period of forty yearshe never had occasion to use this armament, but it was well known that "Ole Dan"was always ready. He mellowed a good deal as he grew older and while his likesand dislikes were just as sharply drawn and aggressively supported or opposed helearned to temper his violence materially.
The first victim to the pistols of Ole Dan wasR. C. Satterlee, one of theeditors of the Leavenworth Herald. Anthony had heard that a rebel flag hadbeen flown from a store in Iatan, Mo., across the river from Leavenworth. He wentover to see about it, visited the store where it was displayed, and returned torelate his adventures in his paper, The Conservative.  TheHerald copied the Anthony version
and then printed another version, concluding: "Whereupon, it is said, Anthonymade double-quick time out of the store down the railroad track, with coat-tailsextended, and the utmost horror depicted on his countenance." 
The next day Anthony called at the Heraldoffice and inquired for Satterlee. When his rival was not in the office Anthonyand a friend left. They met Satterlee a short distance from the Heraldoffice and after an exchange of a few words the shooting began, which resulted inthe death of Satterlee and the wounding of Anthony's companion. 
About the close of the war Anthony engaged in aviolent controversy in support ofCapt. J. B. Swain, "recently sentenced by a court martial at Fort Leavenworth forkilling rebels." In his paper Anthony said:
The next day there appeared this advertisement in the Leavenworth DailyTimes, then published by P. H. Hubbell & Co., and later purchased byAnthony:
Anthony met Jennison on the street the followingday. Jennison called to Anthonythat he wanted to talk to him. Anthony asserted that he backed away and advisedJennison that he did not want to talk to him and further that Jennison was armedwith at least two eight-inch navy revolvers.
The shooting began and Jennison was wounded inthe leg.  Anthony was acquitted of a charge of assault with intent to kill.
Later another rival editor, W. W. Embry, shotAnthony  and Embry was killed byThomas Thurston, a former employe of Anthony.  The wounds of Anthony were sosevere that medical journals of the time said, "So far as we can ascertain there.are no parallels in the annals of surgery of a man surviving such a wound."Colonel Anthony did survive and lived many years as an aggressive, militanteditor.
Anthony engaged in many fist fights withcitizens. He apparently had no personal fear of anybody at any time. He was mayorat Leavenworth, and Gen. Thomas Ewing, then commander of the district of theborder, had Anthony arrested and taken to Kansas City and martial law wasdeclared in Leavenworth because the mayor had refused to allow some Missouriansto reclaim horses which they believed had been taken from Missouri and were beingheld by Kansas Antislavery men. Anthony was held by the soldiers only one day andmartial law was lifted. On returning, the evening of September 8, 1863, Anthonyfound his fellow citizens assembled to greet him. He addressed them in part:
A. F. Collamore, Leavenworth correspondent forthe old Kansas City (Mo.) Times, wrote of Anthony in 1880:
From the above it may be gleaned by all thatCollamore didn't like Anthony. Itmay be said here that the respect was mutual, for
Anthony wrote of Collamore and two others, that they had "for years beenassociates and participants . . . in whisky drinking, gambling and debauchery.The trio embraces three of the lowest, dirtiest, filthiest scoundrels that everinfested any place on earth." 
Anthony was a participant in many affrays asidefrom his shooting affairs witheditors. Gen. James C. Stone, one-time resident at Leavenworth, is reported tohave beaten Anthony with an umbrella. Collamore's account says that "Anthonybacked for half a block while he received the castigation and then ran yellingfor mercy." 
One of Anthony's employees, who learned thenewspaper business under the fieryeditor of the Leavenworth Times, has written: "He was a hard task-master,yet a good one. His likes and dislikes were very marked. If he didn't like you itwas best to remain in the background, for he never forgot why he disliked you." 
One of the interesting incidents in the careerof Colonel Anthony and anenlightened sidelight on his character, is the campaign he waged against his owncousin, George T. Anthony, for a second term as governor of Kansas. George T.Anthony had had the most active support of the colonel in the first campaign, butthey quarreled over a matter of policy during the first few months of GovernorAnthony's term and became bitter political enemies. So acrimonious were theattacks by Colonel Anthony upon his cousin and so actively did he wage hiscampaign that the governor had only a smattering of votes in the convention whichnominated John P. St. John as the Republican candidate for governor and thusdenied Governor Anthony a second term.
The next in line of the pistol-packin' editorstakes us to Topeka, where anotherimportant shooting affray involving editors occurred. J. Clarke Swayze was theeditor of the Topeka Blade. He had long been engaged in sharp newspapercontroversies with F. P. Baker, editor of the Commonwealth and with JohnW. and V. P. Wilson, former editors of the Topeka Times.
Swayze accused the Wilsons of padding the billsfor county printing andfrequently printed reflections upon the integrity of the Wilsons. The Wilsonsretaliated and the bitter controversy continued for many months. On March 27,1877, John Wilson put on his war paint, donned his lethal implements and wenthunting for
Swayze. He found him within a matter of minutes and when the smoke of battlecleared Swayze was mortally wounded. 
The late John Wesley Roberts, the founder of theOskaloosa Independent andgrandfather of the present editor, engaged in numerous sharp controversies in hispapers and personally with the methods of Colonel Anthony. Yet, when Anthony waslying near death from the bullets of Embry, Roberts, who was then editing theLeavenworth Daily Commercial, frequently sat beside his brother editor anddiscussed philosophy, politics, economics, religion or any other topic which cameto their attention. 
Roberts was one of the pistol-totin' editors,not for any rival editor but forcitizens who felt themselves aggrieved because Roberts had stepped upon theirtoes.
The Oskaloosa Independent said:
Even after 70 years the Independentcannot name names or tell all it knows about this business, but the editorrelates the following to show the temper of those times:
Once a time bomb, crudely made, was placed inthe door of his printshop, but itwas discovered in time to prevent damage or injury. Roberts engaged in a bitterfight against a gang of horse-
thieves who called themselves the Union League, and finally drove them out ofthecounty. An attempt to wreck this printing plant was made because he espoused thecause of prohibition. 
Two decades from territorial days the fightingspirit of the Kansas editors wasstill rampant but they were not so much given to riddling their rival editorswith bullets as with satirical invective and verbal brickbats. Many of themcontinued their vituperative onslaughts down into the early years of the presentcentury. Their methods of devastation changed from lead to words, but the wordswere tossed about with equal vigor and colorful design as those earlier editorstossed leaden missiles at each other and their enemies.
It wasn't until later that the editors generallychanged their ways. Possibly itwas not until William Allen White pointed out that the masters of abusivelanguage in Kansas editorial chairs were either dead or in the poorhouse that thegeneral plan of name calling was replaced by vigorous arguments and carefulmarshaling of facts and figures to win debates and discussions.
The period from the late 1860's down to theclose of the century may be dividedinto two distinct sections, both intermingled as to time but widely different asto locale and purpose.
We herewith present some excerpts from variousnewspapers of our fair state inwhich the editors expressed their more or less general or specific views relativeto their rivals. It should be noted that these were purely newspaper rows betweeneditors of the same neighborhood or in adjacent counties where something occurredwhich aroused an editor to a determination to drive his rival out of thecommunity, not by threats but by the most scathing, ruthless, meaningful,sometimes vulgar but generally colorful epithet, invective and innuendo.
Let us look now upon the proofs thereof: FrankC. Montgomery was the editor ofthe Hays Sentinel and Harry Freese was competitor. There were numerousflare-ups between the two editors and some name calling.
Montgomery didn't mind being called a horse-thief. He had a horse. He didn't mindhis rival calling him a skunk for his rival smelled bad. But when Freese accusedMontgomery of stealing a picket fence, which Montgomery did need, but didn'tsteal, it was too much. He went on the warpath, found Freese and they engaged ina street ruckus that was long the talk of the town. The record does not show howlong the rival editor stayed in the hospital, but
Frank Montgomery carried to his grave a twisted and gnarled finger as theresultof the fracas.
T. W. Eckert, editor of the Arkansas CityTraveler, wrote of the editor of the Arkansas City Enquirer:
That paragraph cost Eckert $700 in a libeljudgment. The Kansas Free State, Lawrence, April 7, 1855:
From the Marysville Enterprise, May 16,1868:
From The Advisor, Voltaire, April 22,1886:
From the Ottawa Republican, October 22,1874:
From the Dodge City Times, October 6,1877:
There was intense rivalry between Atchison andLeavenworth to become the tradingand political centers of the territory soon to become a state.
R. S. Kelley and John H. Stringfellow foundedthe Squatter Sovereign at Atchison, a Proslavery paper. At Leavenworth waspublished the Proslavery Kansas Weekly Herald, edited by H. Rives Pollard.Wrote Pollard May 11, 1855:
To which Kelley replied in no uncertain termsthat Pollard was the scum of theearth, a blackguard, muckraker and various other terms not of endearment. To thisPollard replied (issue of June 1)
In the peroration of the Sovereign's article,Kelley becomes exceedinglybellicose, and gives us to understand he "will fight." This does not frighten us:if Kelley wishes to fight, and will designate some time and place for thatpurpose, we will meet him.
The two rival editors of newspapers in rivaltowns continued their tirades andPollard became so incensed that he challenged Kelley to a duel. But Kelley wastoo busy promoting the slavery cause and suggested that if his rival would devoteas much time and space to editing a newspaper worthy of the name and support thecause for which the papers were founded and boost the community in which heproposed to live, his rival wouldn't have time to fight a duel.
Next possibly we should consider some newspaperrows with a somewhat differentpurpose in view. These grew out of the bitter county-seat contests which markedthe settlements of some of the western Kansas counties. The driving force of therival editors was not so much the general annihilation of their competitors asthe destruction of the claims of the rival town for the county seat. About thefirst thing that the promoters of a town sought was an editor. About the onlyrequirement they laid down was that the editor be the owner of a shirt-tail fullof type, a battered old press and a command of abusive language intended to tearto pieces whatever upstart might undertake the publication of a newspaper,alleged or real, in the rival community.
The things those birds said about each other, toput it mildly, were not nice, inaccepted parlance. There were many fightin' words used by editors of an earlierday and there is reason to believe they meant most of what they wrote, as witnessthese excerpts:
From the Hugoton Herald:
From The Jacksonian, Cimarron, August 2,1889:
E. L. Cline, editor of the Garfield CountyCall, Eminence, November 25, 1887:
The Chieftain, published at Ravanna,referred to the Garfield County Call as Gall.The Call, of October 21, 1887, said:
The Chieftain said:
The Eminence Call said:
The rival editor replied by saying that he couldnot waste space on a man who disproved the Darwinian theory, because it wasimpossible that any monkey could have been the ancestor of such a monstrosity andthat the only reason this editor had not been hung long ago was that it wasimpossible to keep the rope from slipping over his head. In fact he did not havea head, his neck had simply grown up and haired over. "There was a tradition," hesaid, "that at one time he did have what seemed to be a head, but that a wen hadgrown up beside it. He was taken to have the wen removed. The surgeon beingsomewhat nearsighted and in a hurry, cut off the head and left the wen and theeditor's own folks didn't discover the difference for a month afterward."
Neither of these rival towns had more than 400bona fide voters but at the county-seat election one town polled 17,000 votes andthe other 18,000. The town casting the fewer number of votes started a contest,the editor saying that this was the time to show "whether our boasts about a freeballot and a fair count meant anything, or have the liberties of the people beendestroyed by the most unprincipled villains who ever stuffed a ballot box?"
The Ravanna Chieftain said:
The late lamented Tom McNeal got into thenewspaper business by accident and a bucket full of sorghum molasses. Tom waseducated to be a lawyer and was just getting into the practice when a moreadventurous brother, who had come to Kansas and settled in Barber county, sentfor him to come to the short grass country.
Tom came, expecting to be a lawyer and grow upwith the country. But instead, he turned editor, forgot the law, except for aterm or two in the legislature when he first proposed and successfullyaccomplished the granting of the right of the mothers of this state to vote inschool elections.
M. J. Cochran was the editor of The Mailat Medicine Lodge. He was a careless printer, had little command of English andfew of the attributes of a decent, respectable editor. Besides those deficiencieshis morals were not of the very highest type.
But let Tom tell the story himself
Tom's brother, J. W. McNeal, and hisbrother-in-law, E. W. Iliff, bought The Mail  and shortly thereafterTom McNeal became an editor and philosopher.During territorial days and directly following the Civil War, there were manybitter onslaughts upon the integrity of editors by persons offended by editors.Sometimes those persons actively engaged in some activity with which an editordisagreed, did not have a newspaper with which to make reply. So they resorted tohandbills, some of them quite large and sometimes the language was not onlyvigorous but flamboyantly vehement, as witness this handbill, published in whatis generally termed as "circus type," meaning the largest type the printingoffice owned:
To the Public
I think now we should consider the fightingeditors of Kansas in their political activities, or at least their views uponpolitical questions and the promoters thereof. They had views of personalitiesand projects and the Kansas editors viewed with alarm and pointed with pride atthings that were or ought to be and often pointed the finger of scorn and in nouncertain language told their subscribers about those who would seek positions ofhonor and trust within the commonwealth.
It might be well, at this point, to point outthat the constitution of Kansas established the freedom of the press and thesupreme court of this state enunciated the doctrine that a political figure hasno rights that anyone is bound to respect. Even before that view was expressed inlegal verbiage, the earlier editors assumed the dogma was correct and actedaccordingly. Much can be quoted from the fulminations of various editors of anearly day regarding political figures. Suffice it to quote two expressions ofeditorial opinion about Jim Lane, as somewhat typical of the directness ofapproach of these editors toward political personalities. First from theKansas State Journal, Lawrence, April 6, 1865:
From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, April19, 1860:
Daniel W. Wilder, long-time editor and politicalfigure, engaged in many sharpcontroversies with Gov. Charles Robinson, first governor of Kansas, a leader ofthe New England Emigrant Aid Society and directing force of one branch of theAbolition contest. It should be remembered that Robinson believed that Kansascould be won to the Antislavery cause through mere force of numbers. He wasbitterly opposed to John Brown, Jim Lane, Wilder, Sam Wood and others whobelieved in direct action. Brown, Lane and the others held to the doctrine thatfire could best be fought with fire, that murder should be avenged with murder,torture with torture and theft with greater thievery. Robinson and his groupbelieved such nefarious activities were entirely unnecessary and that thecrusading spirit of the North would send such crowds of Abolitionists into Kansasas to make the doctrine of squatter sovereignty a reality and accomplish thedesired result without bloodshed and without plunging the nation into a war overstate rights, which had been abrogated when the constitution was written butstill was and is sometimes to this day claimed to be somewhat of a politicalfetish.
Robinson, and many of those who opposed him,carried their political feuds totheir graves. Years after the conflict, Robinson wrote a book about theterritorial days. A copy came into the hands of Wilder, who wrote a personalletter to Robinson, which said:
The late J. K. Hudson, long-time editor of theTopeka Daily Capital, engaged in numerous editorial forays against thegreat and near great in Kansas political affairs and some of these resulted inpersonal encounters because of the bitterness of the editorial lambastings whichHudson dispensed through thecolumns of his paper.
A violent encounter between Hudson and CassiusGaius Foster of the United States district court came about with the adoption bythe people of Kansas of constitutional prohibition. The Capital supportedprohibition and Judge Foster as vigorously assailed the doctrine. Judge Fosterwas the instigator of some litigation involving political activities of politicalenemies and also directed against
Hudson and the Capital. In the course of the long series of lawsuits,Hudson wrote:
A more modern version of a similar theme can bepresented by a study of the longeditorial controversy between Clyde M. Reed, former governor and now UnitedStates senator, in his Parsons Sun, and Judge John C. Pollock of theUnited States district court of Kansas.
The Farmers Alliance movement, which later grewinto the Populist politicalorganization, brought forth from the editorial pens and pencils the most robustinitiative, the sharpest criticism and the most vigorous individuality of anymodern political period in the history of the state.
It was an agrarian movement, imbued with thefeeling that the money changers werein control of the affairs of the government; that the farmers were being deniedtheir just rights; that the mortgage companies were choking the progress of thegreat farm areas; the railroads were hamstringing the producer of foodstuffs; thepeople were being exploited by the politicians in the interest of the rich; thefarmer was being browbeaten and reduced to peasantry by the machinations ofbusiness and its satellites.
It produced William A. Peffer, he of the longwhiskers; Elizabeth (better knownas Mary Ellen) Lease, who advised the farmers to raise more hell and less corn;Jerry Simpson, better known as "Sockless" Jerry, although he was never caughtwithout those appurtenances for the nether limbs; Annie Diggs; Frank Doster andhis doctrine that the rights of the user are paramount to the rights of theowner; Gov. L. D. Lewelling; Gov. John W. Leedy and a host of others, brilliantof mind, quick of wit and a wholesouled determination that their cause was just.There was nothing anemic about these men and women of vision and determination;and there was no padded bludgeon which they used or which their editorial orpolitical opponents used on them. They struck from the shoulder with all theforceful and colorful language which the dictionary provided. The editorialopposition was not in the least backward, either.
Senator Peffer, long-time editor of theKansas Farmer, now one of SenatorCapper's 57 varieties, the only Populist ever elected United States senator fromKansas; the man who defeated the erudite Ingalls, was the writing-leader of thegroup. It may be here noted that nearly all of the projects suggested by theFarmers Alliance and the Populists are now a part of the law of the land,including postal savings; the direct election of senators; regulation of railroadrates and services; women's suffrage; the regulation of bond issues and sales;the recall of public officials and some others. Projects which they favored andnot now effective were consolidation of the railroads; direct election of thepresident; a postal telegraph system; the initiative and referendum; governmentownership and control over coal beds and a proposal that the president be limitedto a single term.
Peffer's real name was William Alfred. Manycommentators referred to him asWilliam Anarchy Peffer. One editor wrote: "Peffer is old enough to quit buildingcastles in his whiskers."
The most interesting series of political letterswhich Kansas has produced waswritten by "Fightin' Joe" Hudson of the Capital at the very beginning of GovernorLewelling's term, the first Populist administration in Kansas.
In this connection, it may be noted thatcommunism, as a political organizationor entity, was first brought into Kansas by Hudson in that long debate. In anextensive examination of Kansas papers no mention of communism as we understandthe term was found. The French Commune, of course, was well known, but did nothave the connotation of the present day, or, as I believe Hudson construed it.Let me quote from an editorial of January 13, 1893:
In another letter, January- 15, Hudsonwrote:
At another point, also on January 15, Hudsonwrote:
Again, on January 22:
In a campaign after the legislative war, WilliamAllen White wrote what isgenerally termed his second most powerful editorial, "What's the Matter withKansas,"  a document reprinted many times since his death.
It will be impossible to close this narrative ofpolitical editorials withoutreference to a more recent campaign than any of the others. This was the almostsingle-handed effort of William Allen White to drive the Ku Klux Klan out ofKansas.
He derided, kidded, abused, villified andlambasted the organization and itsmembers and also the politicians who coddled the outfit for political expediency.In the Gazette of August 2, 1921, White wrote
When he became a candidate for governor becausehe had reason to believe thecandidates of both the major parties were supported by the Klan, Mr. Whiteannounced in the Gazette of September 20, 1924:
When a governor of Kansas at a public meetingmakes his salutation, "Ladies,gentlemen and polecats of the press"; when a governor of our fair state stands inthe window of his own office in the Kansas statehouse, remarks, as he watches areporter amble along a statehouse walk, "If someone will kill that S-O-B I'llmeet him at the door of the prison with a pardon," it need not surprise anyonethat the editors and reporters replied in harsh words.
To many of the present day the excerptssubmitted present a rather sordid pictureof Kansas newspaperdom of an early day. But these excerpts are only one facet ofthe newspapers and their editors of that time. It would not be fair or decent toeliminate these and present only the Pollyanna, the flowery stuff, the materialpraising politicians and other editors.
Something of the period which brought forth thepistol-packin' editors must beunderstood to fully grasp the significance of the editorial explosions submittedherewith.
Times have changed. No editor of the present daywould offer such fulminations aswere common in an earlier day. They don't run newspapers that way these days.But no record of the early days of Kansas newspapers can leave out the invectiveand denunciation which appeared so frequently. They were a part of the editorialinvestiture of those days when name calling was a fine art but doubtful as to itspotency or efficacy.
What has been written here has been an attemptto provide not an exhaustive but arepresentative replica of the verbal assaults by the
editors of Kansas. You would be exhausted long before the available materialhadbeen culled from the pages of the newspapers of Kansas.
What has been presented is intended to be, and Ibelieve fairly represents, the typical fulminations of the scribes of Kansasduring an earlier day. They may be multiplied many times. Many of them, andothers like them not here set down, represent numerous black eyes, some brokennoses; a cracked skull or two, some cauliflower ears and numerous abrasions ofthe scalp, hands and arms. They preferred a meat ax rather than finesse; directaction rather than deftness, and the record indicates they got the desiredresults. They were great characters in those days, intensely interesting tostudy, gifted with imagination, always partisan, never neutral, and thoroughlyimbued with the vision that the function of an editor was to enlighten, educate,interest and entertain, and gosh, how they did it
1. The Conservative, Leavenworth, June 12, 1861. Anthony was thenassociated with D. W. Wilder in the publication of the Conservative. Helater was publisher of the Bulletin and Commercial. TheTimes, which was established in 1857, was acquired by Anthony in 1871, andthe paper has since remained in the control of the Anthony family.