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Bleeding Kansas (Martin, 1997)

James Kirby Martin, et al., eds., America and Its Peoples:  A Mosaic in the Making, 3rd ed., vol. 1 (New York:  Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1997), 472.
The caning of Sumner had repercussions in stife-torn Kansas.  John Brown, a devoted Bible-quoting Calvinist who believed he had a personal responsibility to overthrown slavery, announced that the time had come "to fight fire with fire" and "strike terror in the hearts of proslavery men." The next day, in reprisal for the 'sack of Lawrence' and the assault on Sumner, Brown and six companions dragged five proslavery men and boys from their beds at Pottawatomie Creek, spilt open their skulls with a sword, cut off their hands, and laid out their entrails.  A war of revenge erupted in Kansas.  A proslavery newspaper declared: "If murder and assassination is the program of the day, we are in favor of filling the bill." Columns of proslavery Southerners ransacked free farms, taking "horses and cattle and everything else they can lay hold of" while searching for Brown and the other "Potawattomie killers."  Armed bands looted enemy stores and farms.  At Osawatomie, proslavery forces attacked John Brown's headquarters, leaving a dozen men dead.  John Brown's men killed four Missourians, and proslavery forces retaliated by blockading the free towns of Topeka and Lawrence.  Before it was over, guerilla warfare in eastern Kansas left 200 dead.


How to Cite This Page: "Bleeding Kansas (Martin, 1997)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,