Kansas-Border Ruffians

Source citation
“Kansas,” New York Daily Times, 14 August 1857, p. 1.
Original source
Boston (MA) Journal, Chicago (IL) Journal
Newspaper: Publication
New York Times
Newspaper: Headline
Newspaper: Page(s)
Date Certainty
Meghan Fralinger
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. 


The Border Ruffians at it Again-New Military Organization.

Correspondence of the Boston Journal.

QUINDARO, KANSAS, Tuesday, Aug.4, 1857.

A good deal of local excitement and inflammatory feeling toward Quindaro has recently been excited and now exists in the adjacent portions of Missouri. Reports are circulated and have obtained belief that the slaves across the river are enticed to come here by the citizens of this town, and when pursued and identified, are still kept from their owners in defiance of law. These runaways naturally produce great excitement in Missouri: some of the newspapers are beginning to make inflammatory appeals and in two instances projects have been set on foot for an organized band to come over here with hostile purposes. I am assured by a perfectly reliable gentleman, who resides in Missouri, that the Blue Lodge is again in operation in Plate County, and that a few violent men are endeavoring to inflame the people against this town.

I hope that the affair will not produce serious trouble. Quindaro is distinctively and radically a Free State town, and its citizens almost without exception are opposed to the extension of Slavery a single foot beyond its present limits. The head and front of our offending hath this extent-no more.

The reports that slaves are enticed to come here or detained when found and identified are utterly false. They are set on foot by parties interested in two rival towns on the river, and whose jealousy is so excited by the rapid growth of Quindaro, that they are seeking to inure it in this slanderous and unmanly way.

The two prisoners at Leavenworth are held over to wait trial for murder. They are in the Delaware jail.

Correspondence Chicago Tribune.

The most extensive and formidable military organization, that ever existed in the Territory of the United States, has been formed within the last three weeks, in Kansas. Its purpose is to protect the ballot box at the October election, and forever afterwards, until the admission into the Union as a Free State. If, by fraud and bribery, Kansas is admitted as a Slave States, this organization will not be dissolved. The Free State men have an overwhelming majority in Kansas, and if their rights are not respected, a civil war will be instantly inaugurated. I speak from knowledge, not from belief. Over five thousand men have already been enrolled, and five thousand more at the lowest calculation will be under military orders before October next. If Missouri attempts to interfere with Kansas affairs, the slaves in the Plate region will be liberated at the point of the bayonet. BUCHANAN, DOUGLAS, ARCHISON & CIO will find that they will rouse up a tiger instead of a worm, if they attempt to force their favorite organized crime on the people here. The Free State men are too strong now to care for the troops or Missouri either.

I will give a brief history of the organization.

Governor WALKER promoted, in his speech at Topeka, that the people-the whole people-should have the right of voting at the October election, not under the Territorial enactment, but by virtue of a law of Congress.

In consequence of this assertion the Free State Party resolved at their Convention of the 15th of July, to vote at the October election, provided that the Governor fulfilled his promise.

Knowing that the present Congress is Democratic, the people expected a law which would enable the Missourians vote as they have done at other Territorial elections. They thought it expedient, therefore, to provide some security against another invasion.

Judge CONWAY offered this resolution:

Resolved, That General JAMES H. LANE be appointed by this Convention, and authorized to organize the people in the several districts to protect the ballot boxes at the approaching elections in Kansas.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

Gen LANE immediately began his operations. He issued an order requesting the people to form Companies in their various neighborhoods, towns, and settlements, and every man to enroll himself in some one of the same; that when each Company should contain not less than 30 nor more than 80 men, it elect a Captain, one first and one second Lieutenant, two sergeants and two corporals; and that it make a perfect and complete roll of its officers and men, in accordance with the printed forms which would be transmitted from the head-quarters. He requested also that the captain of each company should direct a registry to be made of all persons in his neighborhood, town, or settlement, if any such there be, who should refuse to enroll himself in said company, and transmit the same, with his Company’s roll, to headquarters.

When the aforesaid rolls should be received, certificates for the officers would be promptly forwarded, after which requisitions for arms, signed by the company’s officers, might be sent to the office of the Quarter-Master General.
The General Staff, as organized, consisted of M.F. CONWAY, Adjutant General; E B. WHITMAN, Quarter-Master General, and WILLIAM A. PHILLIP, Commissary General, each with an office in this city.

How to Cite This Page: "Kansas-Border Ruffians," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/149.