Charleston (SC) Mercury, "Affairs in Kansas," December 15, 1855

    Source citation
    "Affairs in Kansas," Charleston (SC) Mercury, December 15, 1855, p. 2.
    Original source
    St. Louis (MO) Republican
    Newspaper: Publication
    Charleston Mercury
    Newspaper: Headline
    Affairs in Kansas
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Date Certainty
    Stephen Acker, Dickinson College
    Transcription date

    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    Affairs in Kansas.

    The following letter from the surveyor general of Kansas is published in the latest number of the St. Louis Republican;

    WYANDOTT, CITY, K.T., Nov. 28 1855.

    I write to present to the public a true statement of the facts connected with the present difficulties near Lawrence, and to counteract such erroneous impressions as the hired agents of the Massachusetts Aid Society will seek, through a thousand channels, to make upon the country. If the thousands of falsehoods which they have already circulated, of violence and disorder in Kansas, furnish any evidence of the objects for which they are here, it is fair to conclude that they will, on this occasion, exert to the utmost their capacities for false statements, to keep up the reputation they have previously acquired.

    What will be the extent and the end of the present difficulties, no one can conjecture; but the law will be maintained and executed by the Governor and citizens of Kansas, at whatever cost or hazard.

    I went yesterday to the Shawnee Mission and Westport; conversed with Gov. Shannon; saw letters from Sheriff Jones of Douglas county; conversed with many persons from the neighborhood of the lawless scenes, and find all I have previously stated to be well established, and collected some additional facts.

    It was a man by the name of Coleman that was attempted to be driven off by the Lawrence gang. In defences of his claim, Coleman killed a man by the name of Dow, one of the abolition party. Buckly and Hargus happened to come up and saw the encounter between Coleman and Dow. A party of these armed men went afterwards to Buckly and Hargus, and told them that they must so swear as to hang Coleman, and threatened, if they did not, to kill them both. For this it was that Buckly swore out a warrant for the apprehension of the men; and Sheriff Jones, with a small posse, went to Lawrence in the night, and quietly apprehended one of the offenders. On his way to Lecompton, the county seat, with his prisoner, he was attacked by about fifty armed men, and the prisoner rescued. Buckly and Hargus have been at the Mission, and before the Governor confirmed this statement. Both of their houses have been burnt, and their families driven out into the open prairies in the night. Coleman’s house has also been burnt. It is estimated that some sixteen dwelling houses have been burnt, all of them in the night time, with their entire contents; and their occupants, men, women, and children, driven to the prairies, without shelter or protection. The leading spirit of these lawless movements is C. Robinson, the leading spirit also of the Topeka Convention., and the present head of the Executive Committee of the State of Kansas, and the caller of the election which proposes to elect a Governor, Secretary of State, Judges, &e., in January next.  It is said that he has at least five hundred men, armed with Sharp’s rifles and revolvers, determined to offer a forcible resistance to the execution of the laws. He has threatened to hang Sheriff Jones, Coleman, and others as soon as he can get hold of them. Men are coming to the aid of the Governor from all parts of the Territory. He is determined that the laws shall be executed, and that all these offenders shall be punished as the law directs. Yesterday he sent a despatch to President Pierce, asking for authority to use the military force at Fort Leavenworth. To-day or to-morrow he will get a reply. If he should get permission to bring Col. Turner’s regiment to his aid, the difficulty will be ended without bloodshed. If not, the most serious consequences may be apprehended.

    There is one view of Kansas difficulties which, at this time, deserves serious notice. While Robinson, the leading agent of the Massachusetts Aid Society, the head of the Reeder faction at Lawrence, is calling upon Abolitionists and Free Soilers to elect a Governor and other officers in violation of all law, and is leading on five hundred fanatics to openly resist the execution of the law, and burning down dwellings, and driving women and children from their homes; the Leavenworth wing of the Reeder faction, under the lead of Delahey and Shankland, and Parrot, the author of the Reeder proclamation, which says all sensible men “scorn and repudiate” the territorial laws,  are advertising a “law and order” convention, which takes place on next Friday at Leavenworth. The violators of the law, the scorners and repudiators of the law, the associates of Robison and his band of midnight desperados, are to have a law and order convention! This needs no comment. The object is too transparent not to be seen at a glance, and the ridiculous farce will fall as dead as their previous Topeka convention.

    Respectfully, your obedient servant,


    This is probably the most authentic account of the present posture of affairs that has been published. GOV. SHANNON seems determined to do justice, and as there is on the side of the Free-Soilers an avowed determination to carry their point at whatever cost, it is difficult to see how civil war can be avoided.

    Recent developments have shown that the Northern settlers were long since embodied under military organization, furnished with arms by the New England Aid Society, and prepared by violent means to take possession of the Territory, and trust to a Northern majority in Congress to sanction their proceedings. In pursuit of this plan of mob law, they have already elected a delegate to Congress by a self-appointed popular vote, and propose by the same means to form a State Government, and claim admission to the union. All law is confessedly abrogated, and the question of the condition and disposition of Kansas is given over to the prevalence of popular movement.

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