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Julia Louisa Lovejoy
Selected Letters from Kansas

Table of Contents:
Aug. 1, 1855 Nov. 30, 1857 Jan. 7, 1859
Sept. 5, 1856 Dec. 2, 1857 June 20, 1862
Sept, 19, 1856 May 29, 1858 Sept. 8, 1862
Sept. 22, 1856 Nov. 23, 1858 Aug. 22, 1863
Sept. 21, 1857 

Aug. 1, 1855
[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

Monday is a "busy day" in this far-off land, as well as in New Hampshire: but "suds" and "scrubbing" are all postponed as a matter of course, for this eventful day. For lo! the mail has arrived, bringing "lots" of papers and letters from the East (which have been delayed on the way long enough to have crossed the Atlantic twice) and among them we find three numbers of your paper, that we loved so much to read in our Eastern home, now doubly dear separated by a stretch so vast, as now intervenes between us, and our dear New England friends-from our "heart of hearts," we thank thee, Mr. Editor for this delicious morsel, though we expect they will be so eagerly sought, and be read, and re-read by so many, that before one week they will be completely "thumbled" to pieces, and used up. Since the date of our last letter, a great and important change has occurred in business matters here,-a steamboat, the "Financier" was then on her way up the Kanzas River-she arrived at the Mouth of the Blue, the 29th of May-a short distance in the rear followed the "Hartford," a splendid boat, owned by a company of wealthy capitalists from Cincinnati, Ohio, who had sent on their agent ahead, selected a location for a town, about two miles from Fort Riley-had it surveyed and regularly laid into "lots," and named it "Manhattan"-this boat was bringing out the "settlers" with their families, heavily freighted with ready-made houses, all prepared for immediate erection. When they came in sight of our beautiful locality almost encircled as it is by these two rivers, they were so charmed with the spot, and concluding, wisely too, that the Mouth of the Blue, must be eventually at the head of navigation, they made proposals to our "Boston Association," on certain stipulated conditions, to abandon the project of founding a city, as first intended, and expend their capital here. This offer was cordially accepted and in return our "Association" made them a present of one-half our "City-site," or one side of "Main Street," that runs through the centre, and the privilege of changing the name from "Boston," first given it, to "Manhattan." Things now look quite city-like, and the sound of the hammer is heard on every hand. Nine of their houses, are already erected, 25 or more "habitations" of one kind or another, are now dotting this "broad area," known as "City limits," and for miles around, the "claims" are mostly taken up. We have purchased, and moved into one of these Cincinnati houses, furnished (in these "ends of the earth" as our friends at home, are pleased to term it) with better furniture, than it has been our fortune heretofore to possess. You could hardly credit what a rush there is for "claims" here now, and one that has been considered of but little consequence, has been purchased within a week, for $200, and we are told today the owner has been offered thrice that sum. Vegetation is of a luxuriant growth. Mr. L. went into a heavily eared cornfield, a few days since, and with a long hoe, endeavored to reach the top, but found it impossible; neither could he reach a part of the ears, with his hands, without the aid of stilts! One of our neighbors, who came here last summer, has forty acres that bid fair to yield 50 bushels of shelled corn to the acre, and also a fine field of wheat. We had green corn to eat the first of July, not as early as some others. Grapes of a fine flavor, have been ripe a number of weeks-they are very abundant, and our good housekeepers are busy in making their jellies, which are very nice preserves and a variety of little "et cetera," that answers the purpose of other plumbs, and berries, they have been accustomed to use in New England. Paw-paws, that now resemble (as they hang on the tree) a large rich pear, grow here, but the fruit, this year, is not plenty-also large blue plumbs, like New England garden plumbs, mulberries also, very fine, that grow on tall, slender trees and look almost precisely like an unripe blackberry-gooseberries, black raspberries, &c., but not a strawberry-in this part of the territory. We have understood they are farther south, but here the annual fires sweeping over the prairies, prevent their growing-we design this fall to get a supply, and not to suffer the "devouring element" to harm them, or anything else that grows within the limits of "our claim" if we can possibly prevent it. With regard to climate, I doubt whether any other can be found equal to it. Our hottest days in July, would not compare with New England; for when the thermometer stood at 90 the heat was counteracted by a constant cooling breeze, so refreshing, and delightful, when not too strong, as is sometimes the case. And it would occasion surprise, to hear any one exclaim, "Ah me, I have taken cold!"-men (and even ladies too) I'll whisper this parenthesis, can ford (wade) creeks, rivers, sleep in the open air, on the prairies, in the ox-wagons, or wherever night overtakes them, and suffer no inconvenience. I mean delicate ladies, who have been bred to effeminacy and accustomed to the luxuries of a home, where wealth abounded. Provisions are falling rapidly, so that the greatest trouble in this part of the Territory, now is about our Missourian neighbors, whose "hearts are set on mischief." We were apprehending trouble if not "hard fighting" in our quiet community at the opening of the Legislature, in Pawnee, a few miles above here, as some of the "viler sort," had threatened to "exterminate every abolitionist here, and demolish their houses"; and I can assure you, every man, not excepting our good peace-loving minister, WAS PREPARED FOR THEM! The people in this Territory have suffered until "forbearance is no longer a virtue" and now if help is afforded from no other source, they are resolved individually to defend their "rights" and their homes. Mr. L. was present at Pawnee, at the opening of our Guasi legislature, and notwithstanding the blustering and threats of the half-drunk pro-slavery party, not one solitary revolver was fired at any free-soil man or one bowie-knife aimed at one defenceless head. Though a more reckless set, stirred up to deeds of daring by the fumes of the brandy bottle, never probably met for like purposes; and Stringfellow, when elected speaker of the House of Representatives, invited his "cronies" to a certain Hotel, "to discuss together the merits of a bottle of champaigne." They made a mere cypher of Gov. Reeder, taking every thing out of his hands, and finally adjourned to the "Shawnee Mission," more than a hundred miles south [east]-a miserable pro-slavery "sink," leaving the Governor "alone in his glory" to follow, or remain behind, as he should choose. He and Judge Johnson came leisurely along a few days afterward, stopping for the night, with our next door neighbor-the Governor looking unscathed, notwithstanding the fiery ordeal he had just passed thro'. True, he retained a few slight scratches on his face, the effects of being unceremoniously knocked down by the notorious Stringfellow, editor of the "Squatter Sovereign," one of the vilest pro-slavery sheets that ever disgraced the American press! Ah! Mr. Editor: scenes have been enacted in the Territory, within a few months past, and lawless ruffianism, perpetrated on peaceable, unoffending citizens, sufficient to rouse the spirit of '76, in the breast of every freeman; and it is aroused. Military companies are forming, and though we may be accounted feeble in regard to numerical strength, compared with the hordes that may flock here from Missouri, the "battle is not always to the strong," and truth and justice, will eventually triumph. "Kanzas must be free" though blood is shed, and hundreds fall victims to the bloody moloch of slavery. Jehovah is on the side of the oppressed, and He will yet arise in His strength, and His enemies will be scattered.

There is work enough for every minister, or free-soil man that can be spared from the old Granite State, or any part of New England. Mr. L. has preached every Sabbath since he left the East, and in June entered on his duties as a missionary, on "Fort Riley Mission," officially appointed. His field of labor extends from Pottawatomie Mission, 30 miles on the South [east], to 70 or 80 miles West from here beyond the Fort, and finds 12 places where they need constant Sabbath preaching. Drones that cannot work hard or live on coarse fare, or sleep in cabins, with or without a bed, or on the open prairie need not come here-they are not wanted, for they will be going back the second week, telling a doleful story of "Kanzas fare." But those who can endure and be willing to "rough" it for the sake of doing good in the cause of liberty and religion, let them come, and God speed them in their glorious work! A great work is to be done, and Kanzas is the great battlefield where a mighty conflict is to be waged with the monster slavery, and he will be routed and slain.

Amen and Amen.


September 5th, 1856
[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

I am not able to sit up but a few moments, having had a severe attach of bilious intermittent fever, and my husband sick with bilious fever at the same time, and our nurse, who kindly proffered his aid, being an old gentleman upwards of 70, crippled with rheumatism. Altogether, in these "dark days" of crime, we have had a sorry time of it, as every hour almost, of our sickness, some startling intelligence of new murders and depredations saluted our acutely nervous senses. Thanks to an ever watchful Providence, we are both now convalescent.

Our hearts sicken at the atrocities perpetrated daily upon the innocent and unoffending.-Ossawattamie has been laid in ashes, every house burned, and four of our men killed.-The gallant Brown, while searching after his saddle, was shot dead in the street. Fifty Ossawattamie families shelterless, are now living in their wagons in the woods, endeavoring to escape these fiends in human form-Heaven and Elijah's ravens to feed them! This was a beautiful town, about the size, I think, of Lawrence. Jude Wakefield's house and four of his neighbor's were burnt night before last. The ruffians have burnt every Free State man's house in Leavenworth, pressed the men into their service, at the peril of their lives, driven the women and children, with just the clothes on their backs, into the boats and sent them down the River. Children with no parents to take care of them, were pushed into the boat and sent off too! Our men have driven their army twice this week, at the North, between here and Lecompton, and near Black Jack, between this place and Westport. At Black Jack the two armies were drawn up in line of battle, a ravine separating them, but after viewing our brave fellows, they concluded that running was the better part of valor, and took to their heels, and put spurs to their horses, as though Lucifer was hard after them, and entered Westport, (as we learned by a lady who came in the stage yesterday from thence) and told the people that "Lane had 10,000 men, and was coming down to destroy the place," and they went to fortifying the town. Lane had about four hundred men with him, all told, and they, 'tis said, numbered five to his one! What brave fellows these ruffians are when they are not sucking whiskey!

Our men took a lot of teams, etc., yesterday, they had arrived within a few miles of Lawrence, and were coming to burn the place. A company met them, and fired once, when every man fled to Lecompton. Not one house have our people burnt here, only the forts that were taken honorably in war-but they are burning houses, stealing, murdering and abusing the prisoners they take, by chaining some, threatening to scalp others and in every way make them miserable, whilst our prisoners are treated as guests. Two seated on their carpeted floors in their nicely furnished room, told a friend of mine who visited them yesterday, "that when they left Platte City to come here to fight, the ladies told them not to come back without bringing some Yankee scalps!" They said "for the future they should pursue a different course."

The people of Westport have great cause for alarm, for the ghosts of murdered victims, we have no doubt, are haunting the place, and ere long their blood will be avenged! Our men have gone over the river, to help the Delaware Indians, today. The Ruffians are stealing their horses, and committing other depredations amongst them, burning one of their houses and an Indian boy with it-this will arouse their ire, and they are a powerful tribe. Now these fellows will find they have got somebody besides Yankees to fight! The Sacs that passed through here, we hardly think will dare to fight us, because they will lose their lands by so doing. A scout is now watching on Oread Mount, a few rods from my window, in the direction of Lecompton.

All our men and teams were taken that went to Leavenworth to get us something to eat; when not one sack of flour could be got in town, three men sent down the River, two killed and the teams kept. A lady drove up to Lecompton, and told them "she wanted eleven sacks of flour for the troops." They mistrusted nothing, as she, I think, had been cooking for the troops with Mrs. Robinson. She got her flour, carried it to Governor Robinson's tent, and in due time it came safely here, but the troops will hardly grow fat upon it! What is this to feed so great a multitude? I cannot write half the enormities practised here-I must cease or bring on a reaction of my disease.

If any of our friends feel a disposition to contribute their mite to aid those who are periling their lives and their all for the sake of freedom, it will be very thankfully received. Our losses by border ruffianism fall more heavily now in these times of scarcity for food.-Money cannot be sent safely-but a check on any good Bank, St. Louis, Chicago or any other, would answer just as well, let the sum be ever so small.




September 19, 1856

There have been times in life's history, when under circumstances like those that surround us this moment it would have been impossible for us to have written or even composed our nerves sufficiently to follow one continuous train of thought, but we have of late been so accustomed to murder and bloodshed under the most appalling forms, we can write at the cannon's mouth with men weltering in their gore, hard by, as we do this morning.

The "signs of the times" betoken peace and quiet for our little city, at least for a time, after such perils, by day and by night, as we had been through, as had well-nigh worn us out, with incessant excitement, and watching-our men became lax in keeping their scouts on the lookout. Lane and his men had gone to Grasshopper Creek-others had returned to Topeka, as our new government had been here and promised to stand by us, etc.

Yesterday morning, while the people were attending worship, messengers came in telling us that the ruffian army, 3,000 strong, was at Franklin, and soon the smoke of burning houses at Franklin told us their whereabouts. Our men set to work at once to prepare for defense, as best they could, immediately despatching a messenger to the Government and U. S. troops at Lecompton, twelve miles distant, and soon every favorable position was occupied, and though 100 of our Sharpe's rifles were out of town, and our men were short of ammunition, they were told to divide their cartridges with their neighbor till ALL WAS GONE, then take to their bayonets, and those who had none, to use their pitchforks, as they were liberally distributed from the stores where they were kept for sale. I tell you, Mr. Editor, our men fight like tigers, as the sequel proves, and has proved in all their battles, for their blood for weeks has been at the BOILING POINT. Soon Mt. Oread, was bristling with bayonets, and cannon peering through every port hole or along the summit of the industry of our army during their leisure last week.

At this stage a dense volume of black smoke told us our steam, saw and grist mill, where we have been getting our unbolted flour to feed the hungry multitude, was on fire at Franklin, and about 4 o'clock in the afternoon the advanced guard of the enemy, 100 strong, headed by Sheriff Jones, galloped boldly toward the town, followed by the main body with their bloody flag floating in the breeze. "Twas a sight sublime to see our boys, only eighty strong, headed by the gallant Capt. Walker, gallop out to meet them, and then wheel and turn toward town, as though running from such overwhelming numbers, to decoy them as near as possible, and they in full chase, when our boys turned, spread out to cover as much space as possible, and then poured a volley of balls into them-the Missourians returned the fire and then retreated into a ravine behind a cornfield to screen themselves as much as possible-our men then returned to town, and about twenty-five horsemen and fifty foot-men marched out on to a high rolling prairie, and drew themselves up in line of battle-a few shots were exchanged, when our men marched upon them, and they wheeled and fled like frightened sheep, when our men followed hard at their heels, firing as they went, killing three or four, and thus on and on they flew as in a race for life, some two miles toward Franklin till they reached their camp, when our men turned back toward town. Had they knows our weakness, as the troops had not arrived, we should now probably have been murdered, and our city laid in ashes! Dietzer, just escaped from prison, shot six times, and he says "he knows they must have taken effect." Not a man of our company had his hair singed! Two of our boys about the same time shot two of their scouts in a hand-to-hand contest, as they had cocked their guns twice to shoot our boys-when the firing commenced, as our house stands a little out of town, in a direct line from Mt. Oread fort and the enemy, expecting our dwelling to be demolished by cannon balls, though built of stone, I caught my darling babe (now a year old) from the bed, burning with fever, from which he has been suffering two weeks, moaning as he went, and though just recovering from the same fever myself and with hardly strength to walk, I rushed to a place of safety out of town as fast as my feeble limbs could carry me until I had walked about two miles; and as I passed from one house to another, in my flight 'twas almost amusing, notwithstanding the awful crisis before us to see the ruling passion strong in such an hour. Here was one arraying herself in a nice dress to secure it from destruction, another seizing a watch or some other valuable to carry with them, and sir, I did clutch hold of a bowie-knife I espied in one house, a lady friend wished me take, but as I was rapidly making my weary way, now through bushes and ravines, and up difficult steeps, I was afraid I would give my own person an unlucky thrust and was right glad to get rid of it. The scene that met our gaze beggars description-women and children fleeing on every hand to a place of safety-men running to secure the best place to fight-cattle as though aware danger was near, huddling together-smoke rolling up in clouds from Franklin, four miles distant-the "smoke and flash" of our well directed rifles, all produced a daguerreotype that will never fade memory's vision.

Tuesday, September 15.-Our government and troops arrived yesterday and hastened down to meet the enemy and turn them back as they hove in sight with their blood-red flag waving, bent on our destruction. They have contended themselves during the night in getting all the herds (from our free-state settlers), and horses they could find in that vast bottom, stretching between here and Franklin, and our cow we suppose among the rest, and what we shall all do in these deplorable times heaven only knows. Will not some of the friends of freedom help replace our lost homes, and cow, and these other losses by ruffian hands that have brought devastation and ruin to our homes? Last night two or three young ladies came running into town crying bitterly, daughters of our good brother Anderson, having run four miles from Franklin along a bypath through the timber, bareheaded, dragging along little children by the hand. Their houses had been burned and their good, gray-haired mother in Israel shot at, and they feared their brother's wife, the mother of a little family, had been murdered. Think of this, my sisters in New Hampshire, pure-minded, intelligent ladies fleeing from fiends in human form whose brutal lust is infinitely more to be dreaded than death itself.

Last night, about sunset, about two hundred approached the town of Lawrence with three white flags waving (Atchison was in this gang), they were permitted to come to the foot of Mt. Oread, when the U. S. troops met them and planted their cannon so as to blow them to atoms if they made any attempt to attack us, as they threatened to do, and this morning they left for Lecompton followed by the other portion of the army that stopped at Franklin for the night watched there by a detachment of troops. The government thinks it is policy to let them pass on to Lecompton unmolested. They had just left Lawrence this morning before the troops followed them and shot a Mr. Buffum, one of our men, for trying to rescue his horses they were stealing. Oh, how our men ached to fight them this morning and last night as they just came from Franklin, where they had ruined so many of our people and turned homeless on to the prairies, but the government, for good reasons, no doubt, would not permit it. He gives the free state men universal satisfaction, but we are told the ruffians tried to assassinate him at Franklin! It looks ominous to us, after coming upon us to destroy us, so large a force should be permitted to concentrate at Lecompton-for our own part, for the first time in all this commotion unless help speedily comes and our governor gets a stronger force, we have no doubt our doom is sealed! To-day is a trying time for our faith. My husband, by excitement and exposure, has brought on a relapse of bilious fever, from which he has just recovered-my babe is growing worse, his fever is raging dreadfully to-day, and we have but a few dollars left for any emergency. A few months ago prosperity smiled upon us, but war has fallen heavily upon us and now shall we be left single-handed and alone from all our friends to peril our all for freedom and our New England friends stand aloof? We have not received the first dollar from any source to help sustain our losses, and do not expect to, as all are in trouble here, unless our friends in the East help us a little, and hundreds are worse off than we having no house to shelter them. We have good "claims," but who will buy a "claim" in this territory when war is determined to sweep us all out?



Monday, Sept. 22, 1856
[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

If we recollect rightly, our last thread for the Democrat was broken off abruptly, at the shooting of Mr. Buffum, who lingered a short time in excruciating agony, and expired, having received the whole contents of the ruffian's rifle into his bowels, for no crime, but endeavoring to secure his hard-earned property from being taken before his eyes by murderous thieves. The two brothers lived together and were trying to make them a home-the other a deaf and dumb mute. We know not what will become of him in these perilous times. Captain Thorn, of Maine, living near by, testifies he "had the last article of personal property he owned, taken by them, before the troops arrived," and nothing has been restored to him, or the surviving Buffum. The troops endeavoring to arrest some of the murderous gang, a wretch, named Donaldson, who was with Titus, at the taking of his fort, with horrid oaths, declared HE should not be arrested, and fired at the troops, hitting one of them in the shoulder, when the other soldiers rode up, and with their carbines laid him dead on the spot. Then some of the rest threw his mangled remains into their feed-box, at the back of one of their baggage wagons, carrying him along as though he had been a vile beast of prey! O the demoralizing effects of war!

Titus is not dead as we were informed, but has recovered from his wounds, and with murdered Jones, and drunken Davy Atchinson, was along with this army, breathing out destruction and death to those who treated him so kindly when a prisoner. These marauders are still committing their depredations in different parts of the Territory. Report says, "five houses were burnt last Friday, on 'Stranger Creek,' and also that five murders were committed; and among them two women, (we know not the truth of this) at Prairie City.-We saw a body of the U. S. troops, go in the direction of the latter place, yesterday, At the time of the murdering and driving out of Leavenworth, three men were together, between here and Leavenworth, when they were fired upon by a ruffian, killing one instantly, shooting the other through the mouth, who made his escape, and in great pain, made his way to this place, which he reached in two or three days, with his face blackened and burnt by powder, and his teeth knocked out; the ball passing out at the other side of his face! The third man they supposed dead, as he threw himself on the ground, but he was only wounded in the shoulder, when they came up to him and one said, "he would make sure of HIM," and with the breech of his gun pounded him on the head, until he was senseless, and left him for dead. How long he lay in an unconscious state he does not know; but when he came to himself they were gone, and he crawled into the bushes, and managed to keep himself secreted, day after day, crawling a little way at a time, living on nuts and melons, not daring to speak to any one, lest he should be a foe, until in twelve days he reached Lawrence, fifteen miles! This case is enough to move a stout heart. His hair is all coming off his head, where it was mauled.

Another incident has moved my indignation as it will every son and daughter of freedom, in the narration. When our men subdued the little pro-slavery town of Dosocca, we are told they found two of our men, (one belonging to the New Haven colony, who had been taken prisoner,) chained like galley-slaves, and had actually been made slaves of-compelled to do the menial drudgery of these taskmasters! I confess, sir, I hold a near relationship to a race somewhat inclined to excitability; but if this did not set the blood to galloping through my veins with unwonted velocity, then I never inhaled the air of the Granite Hills, consecrated to freedom forever.

. . . We never turned politician, until the wrongs of Kansas, heaped mountain-high, compelled us to it, and as much as we hate these gadders abroad-these women-lecturers who are continually at the old theme, "woman's rights," while the poor man at home is in a sad plight, and perchance the crown of his hat goes, "flip flap flip," and his pants are all out at the knee, yet did not the state of my sick and suffering family require my constant attention, I would love to go "home" and try to help bleeding Kansas, whose eyes are turned imploringly to the North, by telling my sisters in the East, from the White Mountains to Casco Bay, from the Canada-line on the North, to the remotest nook of the Granite State, on the South, to exert their individual and associate influence, over their husbands and brothers in favor of freedom and Fremont. We hardly think it advisable to use coercion in the matter, as did the good lady in the days when trap-doors were far more plenty than now-a-days, who planned an important errand into the cellar for her noble lord to execute, previous to his going to the ballot-box, then deliberately shutting it and seating herself thereon, utterly refused to permit him to make his egress, though he called lustily for permission to do so, until he had pledged his word to vote for some favorite candidate she had chosen!

There are ways without number, in which ladies in their own proper sphere, can assist in the coming election. Let little Misses and young ladies in their ornamental work for the parlor, have the names of "Fremont and Jessie" wrought in choicest colors; let the matrons in the dairy-room, make a mammoth "Fremont cheese," to be eaten with a zest, at their annual State or County Fair. Let the name be labelled on every free man's door-posts-any way, only keep it before the people till our object is gained, that the present ungodly Administration may never again curse the Nation, and let all the people say Amen. Let the name of Franklin Pierce be held up to a Nation's scornful gaze, whom the basilisk eyes of the South have already lured to irretrievable ruin, on whom the keen penetrating eyes of Northern freemen have been fixed, during his unprecedented outrages on a scattered, peeled people; and let him understand a day of revenge is just at hand.

When we saw women and children fleeing from their own hearthstones, to escape the murderer's knife, from our "heart of hearts" we wished that heaven would raise up some God-fearing Judith, of apocryphal biography, if none else could be found, who would confront this Holofernes at the head of our enemies, and in burning, scathing words, tell him the "Avenger of blood" is on his track, and soon justice, human and divine, will be meted out to him. A time will come, we doubt not, when the manly school-boy, conning his "task" to repeat the list of "Presidents of the United States," will wish the name of Franklin Pierce expunged from among those illustrious worthies, unworthy to be found in such company.

And when he vacates the "White House" for a Nation's choice, "Fremont and Jessie," with all due deference to our "Chief Magistrate," we respectfully suggest that he purchase an estate in the "Dismal Swamp" where all life long, by a "firefly lamp," he may read the "wrongs of Kansas," traced in blood,-let his covert be those impenetrable fastnesses, where the glimmerings of the "North Star" never come-let his nightly concert be the baying of bloodhounds close on the track of some panting fugitive, and his funeral dirge be hissed by deadly reptiles, from their slimy bed, to quicken the speed of the passer-by, when they hear the hated name in those lone wilds.


P.S.-The above written from a sick bed; and let none of the friends of Julia Louisa Lovejoy attribute this to "malice aforethought," but the "shaking of the fever and ague," which perhaps will "shake" out a few more items, before it passes off.




Sept. 21, 1857
[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

We will here give our experience in getting acclimated to Kansas, as we have spent three summers here. The first summer, we suffered but little sickness, as a family, and began to congratulate ourselves, that whatever else we might suffer here, we should enjoy as good health as in New Hampshire. The following summer our entire family had the "fever and ague," and some of us for months. Last spring, Mr. L. had the ague again for weeks, severely, and the present dry summer the most of our family have been sick, and I have not seen a day when I felt well and able to work as formerly. Others we meet with, who have not suffered with sickness at all.

As our letter is not full, and we write but little at a time, in detached sentences, we would like to tell your lady readers what has been, and is still, the bane of our life, in this beautiful country-we refer to snakes! We can face a wild cat, and endeavor to "look him out of countenance," when he became too tame to be endured as we have stood in our cabin door, at the "Mouth of the Big Blue," and done more than once, and with uplifted axe, drove the intruder to the woods, after he had throttled and devoured the last of the race of Miss Bidd's, in our possession, save one, and that, through our powers of locomotion and self-possession, was rescued from a fearful ride, of perhaps twenty rods, on his back, with her head in his teeth, tho' the poor creature was so dreadfully lacerated in the encounter, she suffered decapitation immediately after the rescue!

We will tell some of the little boys, in New Hampshire, if ever we go there, how, day after day, when he would come into the dooryard, and up under our little window, we would get Charlie's big double-barrelled gun, and rest it on the window-sill, so near that ten feet would have reached him, yet we never had courage to go through the experiment, notwithstanding Charlie's systematic lessons and training, we never could come to the practical part of it, and he was sure to come when we were alone, or in the night.

Let a copper-head or a rattlesnake make their appearance, and our courage is all gone. We have never enjoyed a walk in the garden, or gathering plums, or, indeed, sleeping in our unfinished cabin in warm weather, on account of these intruders. I will tell three stories, if not more, about our neighbors' being bitten by snakes. Mrs. Sanders, wife of Capt. Sanders, formerly of Massachusetts, one extremely warm night, spread her bed on the ground inside of their cabin, as they had no floor, took her babe and one or two other children, and lay herself down to sleep. In the night she turned herself over to nurse her babe, and felt something sting her under lip severely; the pain increasing, she called on her husband, who slept elsewhere, who got a light and went to a trunk to get some "pain-killer," and there coiled behind the trunk was a rattlesnake; her lip continuing to swell shockingly, he ran for some neighbors, and when he returned found two more rattlesnakes in his cabin, and his poor wife in awful agony-her lip turned black, and one who saw it informed me that it looked as large as her arm-her head and neck swelled to her shoulders-her eyes assumed the peculiar look of a snake's eyes, and as long as she could speak, in piteous tones, she begged "them to keep the snakes from biting her children." It was with great difficulty the physician could keep her from choking to death; he scar[r]ed her neck all around in places that had turned black, and by a miracle almost, though great suffering, she was saved!

Now taking all the attendant circumstances into the account, is not this an unparalleled kiss? Another:-A young lady living about a mile from us, felt something crawling up her side, as she lay reclining on the other in bed, and supposing it to be her little "pet kitten," and not wishing to be disturbed in her slumbers, rudely pushed it away with her hand, when lo! the ominous sound! she shrieked to her mother, "a rattlesnake!" and sprung for a light, and there lay his snakeship, who was soon captured by mother and daughter, and expiated his detestable propensities, by being mauled to death with "sundry billets of wood."

Mrs. Anderson, a lady 50 or more years of age, who lived on the opposite side of the Big Blue from us, threw her arms over her head in the night, as was her wont, when she felt a peculiar stinging sensation on her hand; she called for a light, and to her horror, saw a large copper-head over the head of her bed; she set up a terrific scream, supposing, probably, she had received her "death wound"-a messenger was dispatched for Dr. W., our son-in-law, who has had a number of such cases, and though her arm swelled dreadfully, to her shoulder, she was soon entirely cured.

Our only daughter was bitten on the side of her foot, through a kid bootee, as she was walking in the grove near our dwelling; and her husband being from home, it devolved on us, ignorant as we were in such cases, to try and save her life; and for the benefit of those in a similar dilemma, we will tell the process, which was afterwards pronounced "right." We first tied a strong ligature tightly above the ankle, applied our lips to extract the poison as far as possible, and gave her as much whiskey as we could get her to take, to keep it from her stomach-(by the way, the first "ardent spirits," under any circumstances, placed to the lips of a child by the writer.) The Doctor soon returned, and, though somewhat alarmed, the patient recovered, after suffering the pain of a swollen foot and some lameness. A timber rattlesnake, and prairie, are very different, the former being far worse than the latter.




Nov. 30, 1857

[To Zion's Herald, Boston, Massachusetts]

Sometime since we sent a communication to the Independent Democrat, at Concord, N. H., giving a brief "sketch" of our first tour in this Territory, but as the letter was of more than ordinary size and weight, the man who was trusted to carry it to Lawrence to be mailed, no doubt thinking it contained money, opened it, and finding nothing but trash left it by the wayside.

We will now fish up some of the incidents connected with this tour from memory's storehouse, that will give your New England readers some idea of Kansas life. And as it has become quite fashionable now-a-days, for equestrians and pedestrians, and for travelers of every description, in all sorts of conveyances, describable and indescribable, to give occasional "jottings," we, too, in plain, matter-of-fact style, would tell some of the many things that came under observation. Our health not being good the present season, we availed ourselves of an invitation from the missionary on the Oskaloosa Mission, to travel awhile in his "extended rounds," to share his "fare," and we have come to the very important conclusion, after a week's trial in going from one cabin to another, "that if we believed in the final salvation of the whole human family, unconditionally, for all the gold of Ophir we would not be a missionary in Kansas, and be compelled to suffer such hardships as the present pioneer-preachers of the gospel now submit to." But to our story: Behold us then, dear reader, as with wondrous merriment you peer out from among the hills of Yankeedom, and vainly guess with what kind of a name we have christened our strangely constructed vehicle, which consists of an elastic board, laid horizontally, from one axle to the other, with a low seat mid-way, and we advise travelers, hereafter, to discard "steel springs," entire; especially if they ride over saplings, fallen trees, stumps, and logs, as we have done in this journey, when benighted, having lost our way; and crossed unbridged and well-nigh impassable ravines, in a strange place, at the lone hour of night. On we jog, from our little cabin, ten miles to Lawrence. We forded the Kaw River, and the water ran over the top of our carriage, over our shoes, swept over our carpet-bag, so that every article of clothing it contained was thoroughly saturated; but we enjoyed it deliciously, as it was extremely hot, dry weather, ad we had a nice, cool bath for our feet. We then struck into a road that crosses the "Delaware Reservation," where for twenty miles there is nothing to interrupt the solitariness of the weary traveler, as there is not a single cabin in that distance, unless one turns aside miles from his course, where settlers have illegally "squatted" on the "Kaw Reservation," which extends for miles on either side of the Kaw River, and is heavily timbered and immensely fertile. When we passed along that way, the chiefs of the tribes were at Washington, imploring aid from Congress to drive off these intruders. This rich land is expected soon to be treated for, and then what a scramble for it!

Night was fast coming on, and we turned aside to put up with one of these settlers, who was very happy to extend his hospitality to a minister of the gospel in this out-of-the-way place; but our lady readers will not wonder that for the livelong night our eyes were "held waking," when we tell them that in the room we occupied there were five beds and twelve or fourteen occupants, and within two feet of our bed lay a man recovering from a severe case of small pox, and our babe had never been vaccinated, neither had we for many years; but there was no alternative; to retrace out steps was out of the question; to go forward in the darkness of the hour was impracticable; still we should have preferred sitting in the open carriage all night. The next morning we were up and off for Oskaloosa, which in Western parlance we found to be a "right smart heap of a place."

After rest, and refreshment at the house of a good brother late from Iowa, we proceeded on our journey, and lost our way! A thousand sympathies, hereafter, for the poor benighted traveler who loses his way on these almost interminable prairies. On we urge with lash and voice our jaded beast, who literally staggered through sheer fatigue, and soon found ourselves in a dense forest; and to add to our "sad fix," for a long, long way no cabin to make inquiries concerning our whereabouts; and vivid lightening's lurid glare, and loud thunder bellowing through the thicket proclaimed by "signs unmistakable," that a Kansas thunder storm was just upon us, we hugged still more closely our precious boy to our bosom, while husband dragged his weary limbs over fallen trees and under-brush, and let the horse by the bit, as we were out of the way of any vestige of a road. At a late hour, we "brought up" at a shanty in the woods, where we were cordially received, and provided with a comfortable bed, and soon the rain came down, and streamed through the roof and on to our bed; and after it had poured into our upturned face long enough to satisfy us, we changed position, and took the foot of the bed and had a chance for a nice, cool bath for out feet! On the whole we should have found this a night of rich enjoyment with a Christian family in this lone spot, with sundry reflections as to the honored position we were permitted-so unworthy as we felt ourselves to be-to occupy, as veritable missionaries. The highest aspiration of our heart from a girl of sixteen, has been to be a faithful missionary, and labor and suffer for Christ. Here then we were, at "the high noon of life," occupying the very position in Kansas we have so long coveted; but our reflections were ever and anon disturbed by some living thing gliding along and rattling the newspapers with which the walls were papered; and we were in constant fear lest a huge rattlesnake, after surfeiting himself on mice, of which they are extremely fond, would drop into the bed, from above, as they often do in unfinished cabins, or into our face. Heaven bless the dear family.

Next day found us on our way to an appointment for preaching; and, sir, it would have done your soul good to have been there! The crowded house, the fixed attention, tearful eyes and hearty responses, told that the Spirit was present. Now all our toils in getting there, in that sweet hour, were counted as nothing-and then the sequel, when there is such a "rush" to take the preacher's hand, and secure his company for the night, at their home, before any other can get the chance, so that the preacher has to tear himself away from them. There is such an affectionate, whole-souled heartiness about these "Westerners," that one cannot help feeling at home among them. From thence we went to Leavenworth, and were hardly prepared to see a city of such dimensions spring up by magic, in so short a time. Ornamental trees, and a beautiful style of architecture in many dwellings, reminded us of New England. From thence at a late hour in the afternoon we started for "Crooked Creek," where our quarterly meeting was to be held the next Saturday and Sabbath, supposing we should have sufficient time to reach the residence of a family to whom we were directed, to spend the night with them; but lo! on our arrival no such family could be found, and we were in another dilemma! We supposed we had got on the track of the aforesaid family, a mile or two from the road, and off we pushed in the twilight, as evening had begun to spread her sable pall on all surrounding objects, over the worst road we ever traveled, and finally no road at all, as stumps, logs and bushes had to be met at almost every step; on reaching the spot a hang-dog looking Dutchman accosted us in a surly manner, and a singularly appearing Dutch-woman seemed struck with astonishment that we should venture within their precincts at this unseemly hour. We wheeled our horse about without slighting from our carriage, and as fast as it was possible to do so retraced our steps to the main road, glad to escape, as was Pilgrim from the castle of Giant Despair; once in the Military Road again we resolved to drive to Easton, if our horse did not give out, as he was sick, though we had to ride all night.

At a late hour we arrived at Easton, a strong pro-slavery community, where the tragic murder of R. P. Brown by fiends incarnate, was accomplished-and the public have never yet learned half the revolting particulars of this brutal murder. Brown was a martyr to freedom, in the full sense of the term. A worthy member of our church told us he was at the store when the gang drove up, with him in the wagon, his body hacked over with their hatchets, and while they left him in the street, a bitter cold night, to go in for their dram, the blood ran from his wounds through the carriage bottom, into the road, and stood in puddles on the snow; and one of them spat tobacco juice in Mr. Brown's face and eyes, as he lay dying, the whole route; and he not daring to plead one word for poor Brown, lest he, too, might be the next victim.

This region is the strongest pro-slavery of any now in the Territory; and a volume could not contain the sufferings of the Free State men, who unflinchingly stood erect, when their houses were rifled, their cattle and horses taken, and they repeatedly shot at, as beasts of prey, and finally imprisoned.

Our next drive was for a beautiful grove, where a glorious quarterly meeting was held, in true Western style. The preaching, praying, singing and shouting, was as if the citadel must surrender or be taken by storm, which was done effectually, and we alternately laughed and wept; and so would you, Mr. Editor; and the grand old woods rung, as they had not to celestial notes, since that august morn when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." A number of children were consecrated to God in baptism, including our little Kansas-born Irving. But what earthly Eden was ever found, without the serpent there? As we rode on to the ground, where we were to stop, in alighting, lay coiled up a rattlesnake, who was soon dispatched, and found to have six rattles.

It would do your city preachers good, cooped up as they are, from Sabbath to Sabbath, between dingy walls of brick, to snuff the exhilarating prairie breeze, and attend one of those soul-enlivening meetings that are considered such a "great occasion" by our good Western brethren. Only think, Yankee sister, there were full forty fed at the same tables in the family where we were served, and the "heaps" of chickens held out to the last.

Mr. Lovejoy's mission embraces Oskaloosa, Osaukie, Easton and Fairfield, with an indefinite number of appointments on various creeks that intersect this country in all directions, so that he is with him family buy little. Shall we, sir, for the benefit of our dear New England preachers' wives, (pardon our weakness, we cannot keep back the tear that wells up at the thought of some we so much love,) shall we attempt a description of the reception they may expect to meet, when they come to Kansas, and call upon some of their Western well-to-do-in-the-world brethren, though many they will find with coarse fare? You rein your steed in front of a log cabin, with one, and sometimes two rooms, and out runs the father, followed by some half dozen white-haired youngsters, and, sans ceremony, seizes your hand with no very light grip:-"I am mighty glad to see you; I reckon as how there will be heaps of people to hear the sarmint tomorrow. We have had heaps of dry weather, so we have had to pack all our water from yon ravine, and crops, I allow, will be powerful light." You begin to scare away the pigs and chickens, and prepare to scale the fence, that almost invariably surrounds these domiciles, and by actual count, we usually found them five or six rails high, and if, unfortunately, like ourselves, addicted to corpulency, it may be some matter of calculation how you will succeed in your perilous attempt to land on the other side, though we have always performed the feat with, to us, surprising agility. Then commences an onslaught on the chickens, for the preacher has come, and he must feed on the best we can furnish. And such a "hue and cry," from the throats of hundreds of these disturbed pipers, as though all hen-dom was in commotion, creating a perfect Babel.

Some of the habits of Western life, originating doubtless in necessity, are truly shocking to our Yankee notions of propriety; especially, when so many of different sexes lodge in one room, in uncurtained beds. If you wish to change your linen, why haste away to the grove, to perform your toilet, as other preachers now have to do; or, if the wet grass is up to your arm-pits, do as Mr. Lovejoy did recently, who, Sabbath morn, threw his soiled nether garment across his carriage-seat to dry, as it was well saturated with perspiration. When he turned to look for it, lo! it had all disappeared, save the wristband and "wee bit" of one sleeve, and where think you it was? Why, mulched into the maw of a live ox, who was forced to disgorge its contents, instanter; but ah me! the rents and tears were unmendable. If we can enjoy health, as formerly, we shall, after all, enjoy much of missionary life in Kansas.

Respectfully your,


P.S. Politics here are assuming a fearful crisis; and will not prayer unceasing go up to the God of heaven, by our dear sympathizing brethren, that the horrors of war may not be again forced upon us, by thrusting this miserably fraudulent State Constitution, a slave code, conceived in iniquity, and brought forth in abominable falsehood, on to this abused and shamefully insulted people?




Dec. 2d, 1857
[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

This ill-fated territory has been the theatre of so many cold-blooded murders, or "deaths by violence," that the record of them has ceased to produce but very little excitement, save in a limited circle, where they occur; but when the "oldest settler," (aside from the Kaw Indians) has been assassinated, by sundry blows, "well laid on"- when he, who for more than a score of years, has held undisputed possession, of the region around the junction of the Big Blue and Kaw Rivers, has been ruthlessly beaten to death; deserves it not, more than a passing notice?

Dr. S. Whitehorn, of Manhattan, with no "malice aforethought," save what he bears to the particular genus, (not genus homo,) has had the audacity, not only to slay, but thrust his lifeless victim, into a glass jar, filled with alcohol, to preserve the trophy of his victory, to grace his cabinet! The culprit met his doom, sans ceremony, as he was in the very act of stealthily crawling under a neighbor's house, whether for purposes of burglary, or intent on getting a good supper, (as they with all other fastidious epicures, have some favorite dish) our deponent saith not. The species are extremely fond of certain four-legged animals, that infest the cabins of the "settlers," where a plentiful supply of the feline species, is an indispensable desideratum; and the feats of agility, they have performed after a night's meal, in dropping from "above" on to beds, to the horror of the occupants, we have not time to tell. John Smith now occupies the first cabin, built in the "Great bend" of the Blue, of which the writer was the sole mistress for many a lonely day.

You are aware, sirs, there is a certain ubiquity attached to this name-this same veritable being awoke one morning from his bachelor slumbers, and found one of the same "kith and kin" of him whose fate we are now recording, stretched at full length across his "light stand," with a mouse in his distended jaws! But we digress from our tale of truth. Dr. W. who by the way, has quite a taste for antiquarian "relics," carefully scanning his victim, found a certain appendage which was unmistakable proof that, for twenty three years, in a Summer's sun, he had basked near the sunny slope of "old Bluemont." Dear reader among the Granite hills, did you ever see a mammoth rattlesnake?. . .

But we want to say a few things with regard to matters politically, in this our adopted home. As much as we once hated the idea of women politicians, no true woman who has been cradled among the liberty loving people of New Hampshire, who has from infancy to womanhood, inhaled the zephyrs that fanned the noble brow of a Stark, could be in Kansas, and see what we have seen and feel what we have felt, and not wax enthusiastically zealous for universal freedom. Of all the shameful "crises" that has been basely forced upon us as a people, the crisis that matters have now assumed, seems to us the most hateful; and after all we have passed through from the tender mercies of slave democracy, if this bantling of a Constitution fraudulently conceived in whisky-fuddled brains, and ushered into being amid the bristling bayonets of U. S. soldiery to guard it from an outraged people-we repeat: if a government, under that miserable slave code is forced upon this struggling people, war is inevitable, and ere its death shriek shall die away along the Kaw valley, the people will be in arms from the nethermost settlement on the Republican fork, to Eldorado, two hundred miles away, in the far S. W. And Sirs: believe me, when this awful crisis comes, there will be found more than one "Joan of Arc" in point of moral courage, that will fearlessly stand for the right.

Tell us not, the heroines of the revolution have never found successful imitators, in "daring deeds" of courage in the present generation of fragile women! We can lead you to the homes of our sex in Kansas, where two lone women mounted their ponies, and in dead of night expecting to meet a detachment of the enemy at every leap of their horses, galloped eight miles to Hickory point, where they had heard the booming of cannon all day, to learn the fate of loved ones, in the battle. The cone had a husband, and the other a son. Now let a yankee woman imagine she sees them with their horses at the top of their speed, their cape bonnets streaming in the wind as "ever and anon" they turn their anxious eyes homeward, to see if their dwelling was in flames, as the threat had often been made, and only saved by the intrepid courage of their daughter, who is a Hoosier, and looked to us, with her brawny arms and big bare feet, with a profusion of jewelry pendant from the ears, as though she might strike terror, even into the heart of a "border ruffian." The husband and father was from home most of the time, in skirmishes with the enemy, and several times, did a party of armed ruffians order the family to leave the house that they might fire the premises, and as there was a group of children, they did not want to roast them alive. This girl would confront them in the door way, and always succeeded in keeping them at bay. There are thrilling incidents connected with "Kansas affairs" that ought to be treasured up for the benefit of the future historian.

What think our democratic friends in New Hampshire now about Walker's promises? The Oxford fraud is but a tithe of the fraud practiced here; and how much longer, suppose ye, will christian men and women-unflinch[ing] advocates for temperance and moral purity-descendants of the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock, submit to be governed and trodden upon by blear-eyed, whisky-bloated debauchees, who forsooth, before the final "pack up" for head-quarters, might find it convenient to wind up with a grand finale. The fact as reported to us, will be recorded doubtless by an abler pen than we can wield. What the next act in this drama will be, time can alone determine.

Let prayer to the God of heaven go up unceasingly from pious hearts, in behalf of this people, and if war is forced upon us, by Buchanan and Co., who are leagued with the South, let brave hearts, from the Granite hills, respond to the call of their insulted brethren in Kansas, and whole regiments of "Invincibles," throng the thorough-fares that lead in this direction. Ere this reaches you, there will be rejoicing or wailing among the sons and daughters of New England sires in this fair land. Heaven defend the rights.




May 29, 1858

[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

Lo! these many weeks, have ye, (faithful Chronicler of events) been talking to me as of yore, bringing me good news, and bad news, from "the loved ones at home." Thus I have weekly listened to all thou hast had to tell me, not excepting the parenthesis, including the purely benevolent act of "the man whose sands of life had almost run out." It may prove a great misfortune that those wicked wags have thought it necessary to replenish his waning glass, with a barrel of fresh sand, forwarded at his expense by them. But contrary to my usual habit I have listened in respectful silence; not but what I have had enough to tell thee of weekly, but other cases have called for attention. It is painful that the first time I break this long silence, I should have to tell thee of the most horrid tragedy, all things considered, that has yet been enacted in the "Kansas drama." Twelve men without any provocation, dragged from their homes at noonday, driven into a ravine and shot-ten men killed and wounded-five men instantly killed! one a Baptist Missionary only just arrived in the Territory from Wisconsin.-These men perfectly unsuspecting of any danger-entirely unarmed! I stated in the notice to Zion's Herald, just forwarded to Boston, (I think) but six were at first taken, but one account received here was six, another twelve; and I prefer, when giving facts for the public, it should fall short, rather than exceed in these exciting times. We did hope that the "horrors of war" were past in Kansas, but time can only determine who will be the next victim. Only a few weeks since, a gang in the same region rode along the road, calling whom they pleased out of their houses, as they rode along, and shooting at them. One man was killed, leaning over the bed of his sick wife administering medicine to her-he fell across the bed with the exclamation, "O God! I am shot," and instantly expired! What a scene for that poor survivor.

There is great excitement here-rumor has just reached us that hundreds are collecting at Westport to destroy Ossawattomie again, but I entirely discredit it. A couple of gentlemen called here yesterday from Kansas City-I have no doubt pro-slavery-but were loud in their denunciations of these murderers, and I think the good sense of the better part of the community, along the border in Missouri, will prompt the people to assist in arresting the murderers. There are hundreds after them.

Our friends can imagine, but not describe the feelings of a mother's heart, when I tell them Charles was in Kansas City after a load of provisions, when the sad intelligence reached this place, and one of the murdered men was seized on the road, on the same errand as himself. I and my little boy, of two summers, were entirely alone in our cabin, half of a mile from any human habitation. It was a sleepless night, though I believe people here generally think it safe to travel where they list. Such shocking murders committed when we thought "peace declared;" by the wholesale, too, make me sigh for the quiet of my own native hills, (i.e. after Mr. L. votes; of corse we would have no man debarred from that last privilege of showing their detestation for the measures forged to enslave us, after contesting every inch of ground with the enemy for more than a "three year's siege."

I want to stay in Kansas just as long as we can accomplish an iota of good for the cause of Freedom, though the hot weather of every summer I have spent here, greatly debilitates the system, and renders me almost an invalid, for weeks and months. Already, this spring, I feel my strength diminishing, and long once more to inhale the breeze that comes direct from Mt. Washington-sacredly believing, (tho' the tho't may be considered by the reader tinctured with puerilty) that there are no streams quite so pure, no air quite so bracing, no people quite so dear to the writer, as those who live among rocks, and toil hard on sterile soil, for the bread of honesty.

Nothing can exceed Kansas in beauty, fertility, &c., but if it be the will heaven, and if the precious dust I still love, that lies entombed in Kansas, can be removed to New England, I find still a choice lingering around the heart, to have my grave made at last among my "kindred dear," though I have oft so feelingly sung

"No matter where we fall, if only at our post."

I don't wonder now that the Ancient covenant ones carried Joseph's bones along with them, though once it seemed so strange-neither do I that the poor Indian tears himself so reluctantly from the "graves of his fathers."

Kansas summers are far better adapted tot he "lean and lank," like some famous editor I wot of, than those unfortunately inclined to corpulency. We may live and die here-the will of God be done.

The people en masse reject with scorn the proffered bribe! Does Congress think we are all fools or cowards here, and not one wise head that can delve through the meshes, and read what is beneath, or that we would barter Freedom for gold? No doubt there are Benedict Arnolds among us, but none, of the true metal, will heed the bait one moment.





Nov. 23, 1858

[To Zion's Herald, Boston, Massachusetts]

There has not been such a dearth in the "news department" of Kansas, politically, for four years, as at present; and the universal cry of "hard times" in money matters has ceased long since to be talked of as news; and if a man meets his neighbor in the street, and passes him without a "dun," or if a man unlocks his door in the morning, and locks it again at night, with the exclamation, "I have not been dunned to-day," why that may be talked over as news! I ardently wish I could tell you such blessed news for your revival department, from this far-off land, as I read in the Herald last evening, from Sister Palmer's pen, giving a glowing account of the wonderful work of God in the British Provinces. Ah! that letter caused my poor heart to exult, and with tearful eye praise God; and for awhile I longed to be with her, but I checked the desire, and cried to God to come down in like manner among the people of Kansas. O, that this awful, death-like stupor might be shaken off the minds of the multitude whose all-absorbing idea, just now, is "hard times," and the untold treasures that are awaiting their search, at the "gold mines."

I see by the Easter papers that you are already apprised of the "Pike's Peak" excitement here, and the accounts you get in New England are greatly exaggerated. Now if I can benefit any who design coming here in the Spring, I will give them information as reliable as I can. Mr. Lovejoy recently conversed with a friend, direct from Pike's Peak, and his testimony was, "a fine country, and found gold, but had not facilities for mining purposes." Dr. S. Whitehorn, our son-in-law, who has lived in the vicinity of Manhattan for more than four years, came from there last week, and more than half a dozen men, direct from the mines, (and two, who had spent the last summer there, were loaded with gold dust,) came in there recently, the Doctor told us to-day, bringing thousands with them. He says he thinks two-thirds of the settlers around Manhattan will go there in the Spring. Already large companies from Leavenworth, Lawrence, Topeka, Oskaloosa, and other places, have started for the El Dorado, but we are inclined to think before they arrived half way to the goal, they were obliged to ensconce themselves in snug winter quarters, for the cold must be intense among the mountains. The distance from here to the "Peak" is six hundred miles, and I have no doubt the wing of Kansas Conference, at its next session, will be extended beyond the "mines," and one or more missionaries appointed to "Pike's Peak" and Utah; and, sir, we have serious thoughts of volunteering for either place! Me-thinks I see one of your readers, fresh from the Biblical Institute, smile at the idea of one who has, for a quarter of a century, been in the itinerant ranks, offering himself as a missionary, with such an appalling array of hardships as must necessarily loom up before him, in either field of labor. Let such an one consider that we have, for almost four years, been learning a lesson in pioneer life, that nothing but severe experience can ever teach, and are willing and ready to plant the standard of the Messiah among the Rocky Mountains.

Sickness has abated some since the cool weather came on. There has been much rain this fall, and consequently the streams have been much swollen, so that the roads have at times been almost impassable, and many very afflicting cases of drowning, by persons endeavoring to ford or swim the creeks. The stage-driver that goes with the daily line from Leavenworth to Lawrence was drowned, and two span of horses, endeavoring to ford "Stranger Creek;" and down the same creek, not far from here, floated a dead horse, with saddle and bridle on; his owner had been unhorsed and drowned; and how many have lost their lives in that creek, within one year, I cannot tell. Your New England readers can form some idea how rapidly that stream rises, when I tell them I have repeatedly forded the stream at the very spot where, just before, it was twenty feet deep, and seething and foaming like a boiling cauldron! Mr. L. started for Lawrence, but could not cross the stream, and returned, and waited a week for the waters to subside, and pushed ahead, as he always does when difficulties are to be surmounted. Crossing the Wakarusa, he found the toll-bridge gone on his return, and the waters rolling like a sweeping flood; but his Quarterly Meeting was to commence the next day, at Sumner, fifty miles off, and the roads in a dreadful condition, and he must get home. The danger was appalling, and perhaps the attempt rash, but he horse he held by the bit was a spirited animal, and in he plunged, and swam across the stream, with the buggy, and all landed safe on the other shore, save the fender-board was broken, and a bag of potatoes (that Methodist preachers in Kansas are very glad to carry to their families) went down the stream! His clothes were well soaked with water, but a call at a Methodist inn soon set all right again, and he went on his way rejoicing. Not so with a man, not far from the same spot, and near that time. He started to carry home his hired girl, crossed the stream as it was rising, turned about to go home; in that time the stream had risen twelve feet; plunged in with his span of horses, but all were drowned, driver and horses. We felt sad as we stood on the banks of the Missouri, at the time of high water, and saw a noble animal, with a lariat attached to him, come floating by where we stood. We spoke of the melancholy history that might be connected with his fate, were it known; perhaps he and his rider were suddenly engulphed in a watery grave; or, peradventure, he had come all the way from Nebraska, or from near the Rocky Mountains.

There is one matter connected with temporalities, (as my letter cannot be filled with anything of special interest, as I wish it might be, in matters pertaining to the prosperity of the church,) that I have long designed to mention in the Herald, to induce our New England friends to cease being duped as they have been, in buying "shares" or "lots," in paper towns in Kansas, where perhaps there are not three log cabins, to bear the name of town, or city, as the case may be, and probably never will be, or for some time to come, any more. There are towns on the Kaw and Missouri rivers, where a man may make a good investment; but ungodly speculators have filched thousands from the honest and good in this way. A dear brother in the ministry, in the Maine Conference, who has no money to spare, recently wrote to Mr. L., inquiring about an investment he made in "Council City," Kansas. Now that good brother was sadly duped, and would have done better with his money, for his needy family, to have purchased as many feet of land in the Aroostook region, in Maine. Many have made independent fortunes in buying "shares" in real towns, such as Manhattan, Topeka, Tecumseh, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Oskaloosa, Sumner, Atchison, Palmyra, Wyandott, &c. I hope what I have written may do those good for whom it is designed, as the information is for none else.

The boats are still running on the Missouri River. A little snow has fallen, but the weather is mild. A large emigration has come in from Iowa, as their crops were destroyed by heavy rains.




Jan. 7, 1859

[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

Though just one week too late for New Year's holiday, yet we'll venture to wish all our old friends in the Granite State "a happy New Year" as was our custom in the days "of auld lang syne." You have doubtless ere this began to think us tardy in redeeming our "pledge," to "write occasionally for the Democrat." Numerous other duties pressing, and no small amount of matter as hindrance, in writing for four other periodicals must be our only apology.

Now, then, to the weather, as that, we believe, is considered the all-important topic of discussion when friends meet after a long absence fro each other. Old Boreas did his worst awhile in November to rouse every sluggish soul to action. He stalked forth in conscious majesty, in his ice-clad armor of mail, and called to his aid his allies, from every part of his wide-spread domain, and lo! they came, a mighty "troupe" rushing with a vengeance through that door left ajar by those fearless navigators at the North Pole, and many wry faces may be met in Kansas, at the remembrance of their freaks both serious and ludicrous on that memorable occasion. They built a bridge in one night across the Missouri River so that steamboats could neither pass nor repass-they so effectually cemented potato "patches" that many fields will be found already planted in early spring, and time would fail to narrate their marvellous exploits in cupboard, and larder. But, for six weeks, old Sol has had it all his own way-he tore up the bridges on the streams so that boats could run again wherever they list, and what has seemed to us a phenomenon, numerous flocks of wild geese have been seen almost invariably bound in a Northern direction. The ground was as free from frost as in April or September. It seemed so singular to see the boats again on their regular trips, after laying up in snug winter quarters.

We see that the yellow fever mania has reached New Hampshire and we shall expect a strong delegation from that direction should we live until Spring opens. Let them come, the young men and the middle-aged, and come, too, prepared to manfully grapple with hardships incident to a camp-life, and not whine, and run home, at the first sight of a prairie-wolf, or corn-dodger smoking in the ashes! That there is much gold in Western Kansas, not far from "Pike's Peak" along the Cherry Valley and the tributaries of the Platte and Arkansas, the united testimony of a multitude of witnesses goes to prove, and it is confidently expected by shrewd and sagacious men, that Western Kansas, in a year to come, will be as densely peopled as Eastern Kansas now is. Those who start for this Eldorado must either have means of their own, or unite with those who have, to buy a team and "outfit" which they can do at Kansas City, Lawrence, or any place, probably, where they happen to land. Thousands probably from Eastern Kansas will go as soon as grass is up sufficiently for cattle, which will be about the middle of April usually. The spirit of enterprise has already laid out several towns in that region, and some already, (if the reports of correspondents on the ground can be relied on) have more "cabins," houses and "what not's" than some towns (on paper) in Easter Kansas, where many an honest soul in New England has been gulled in buying "shares," and "corner lots." Those who wish for definite information in the matter, can send on two dollars, "to Messrs. Thatchers, Lawrence, Kansas," and they can have the "Lawrence Republican" sent to their address, for one year, than which, no other paper in Kansas that we wot of, can furnish more reliable information about the "gold region," for they have a correspondent on the ground. Let all who come, look for hardships of no ordinary character, for though we tried hard in New Hampshire to magnify what we might pass through in pioneer life. Yet our microscopic vision failed to make them quite as big as we have really and actually found realities. Nevertheless, there are many things connected with this "pioneering business" we love-'tis so novel and gypsy-like, this nomadic life, cooking out of doors, eating and sleeping in like manner; but the latter we never fell in love with, for an instinctive dread of serpents.

Your New Hampshire readers are well acquainted with the go-ahead-ative spirit of C. H. Lovejoy, and will not be surprised that he seriously thinks of volunteering as a missionary from Kansas Conference to that region, in the Spring, or to Utah, for the M. E. Church will have missionaries (and perhaps three or four at the next session of our Con. which is the 13th of April) at Pike's Peak and also at the "City of Saints," which is the modern Babylon! Won't it be a fine business to date letters from "Salt Lake" and write them in sight of Brigham Young's establishment and then superscribe them to- New Hampshire! Ah! little know we what is in the future, concerning us, but if we act wisely the first step will be [to] devote all to God, then He will guide our footsteps right. . . .

Most respectfully,


JUNE 20, 1862

[To the Independent Democrat, Concord, New Hampshire]

Mr. Editor:
A terrible state of affairs, politically, is now being enacted in the the bloody drama that has brought death and desolation to so many families in Missouri. Whilst we write, a refugee from that ill-fated State, is at our son's table at dinner, who with his family escaped as by the "skin of his teeth," leaving a fine farm, farming tools,, &c., behind him; not knowing how soon all would be destroyed by those infuriated demons, who watched to shoot him for no crime only loving the government under which he had always lived. It would make your ears and the ears of every true Vermonter burn with indignant horror, to listen to those tales of woe and suffering that those patriots pass through, -- you can find them by scores, if not by hundreds in every part of Kansas, eking out a bare subsistence for their families who have escaped from the bloody fangs of Secession. Hear from this pious man's lips -- well attested facts: -- A neighboring physician, a quiet, unobtrusive man, and withal a slave-holder, said he would have his right arm ton off before he would fight for the Southern Confederacy against his country. -- Those fiends shot him and left him weltering in his blood, then fired his house and burnt his body up with it, and whether he was quite dead ere the fire reached him is more than his neighbors can tell. Another neighbor, a woman, they shot in the presence of her husband, who died the next day. Others started to flee, and were shot on the road, and left unburied. Union men are shot down like dogs, and their property destroyed in almost every part of Missouri. Four or five men whose families live at Black Jack, about 5 miles from here, were shot a few days since, near Independence, Mo.

Please say to our friends that Mr. Lovejoy is stationed the present Conference year, at Wyandotte City, a beautiful city about two miles from Kansas City, Mo., where so many bloody tragedies have been enacted during the present war. Our family remain at Baldwin City for a time.

This is quite a dry season in Kansas, but farmers have got an immense amount of crops, of different kinds. Provisions low -- flour, $5 per bbl; corn, 20 cts. per bushel; butter 8 cts per lb.; eggs, 6 cts per doz; potatoes 5 cts per bush; extra 20 cts; ham, 6 cts; pork, 3 or 4 cts.

Julia L. Lovejoy




[To Zion's Herald, Boston, Massachusetts]

Bro. Haven:
I write hastily this morning, whilst consternation and excitement are imprinted on every brow. That which we so greatly feared has come upon us. Yesterday morning before light, Quantrell's band of desperadoes numbering, report says, about 700, stole into Olathe, Spring Hill, and Squiresville, whilst the peaceable inhabitants were asleep, and sacked each of the above mentioned places, carrying off all the plunder they desired. At Olathe, a company of our boys had collected, to start for Fort Lincoln (near Fort Scott), to go into camp there; they took them all prisoners, and took two hundred stand of arms, all the commissary stores collected for the regiment; and a number of our soldier-boys broke and run, when they shot some half a dozen of them dead, and three or four citizens also. A young man who was stopping there for the night, from Spring Hill, was mounting his horse to flee to his home, when they seized his horse and shot him dead. Capt. Charles J. Lovejoy, (our Charles), is quartermaster of this regiment, and was to have started with the Olathe soldiers this morning for Fort Lincoln; he has just gone, whilst his unfortunate comrades are weltering in their blood. "How long, O Lord, how long" must this state of things continue? This Quantrell, who is a second Nero, or fiend rather, in point of cruelty, was Charles Hart, formerly of Lawrence, Kansas, with whom Mr. Lovejoy was acquainted during our troubles in 1856 and '57. At the recent capture of Independence, Mo., four of our neighbors fought to the last, and refused to surrender until overpowered by numbers, and all were wounded -- two severely. Capt. Thomas, of Independence, Quantrell shot dead and then kicked his body repeatedly. Capt. Thomas was a Methodist preacher, and had been a member of the Mo. Conference. About that time, Quantrell and his band murdered a man, in presence of his own son, and said, "Go back to Kansas city, and tell the people you saw Quantrell kill your father." We could not sum up the horrid murders committed by this notorious guerrilla leader and his band, who have eluded the vigilance of thousands who have been on their track, from every point of the compass, for months past. A woman, who bears the sobriquet of Nancy Slaughter, seated on one of the fleetest horses, accompanies this wretch on his bloody perigrinations. She is a "grass widow," and strange as it may seem, is the daughter of a respectable man now living in Kansas. A few weeks since, says the Lawrence Republican, he murdered Judge Paine, of Burlingame, and a man living with him. Quantrell sent one of his party on ahead, who pretended to be a weary traveler, and called for some whisky; the Judge went to his store to get some, when the party rushed upon him and shot him, and tumbled his body into the cellar -- shot the other man and threw him also into the cellar, and then set fire to the building; the hired man crawled our of the cellar-window, but afterwards died; the remains of the Judge were partially consumed with the building. Your are aware that Olathe is the county seat of Johnson Co., and is a place of considerable importance. I was our field of labor two years since, and Mr. L. has passed through the place going to and returning from Wyandotte, his present charge, during the summer.

Amid the clangor of war, we have glorious news of the triumphant march of the Prince of Peace. A camp meeting commenced at Centropolis, some three weeks since, and after formally closing the meeting at the expiration of the first week, such was the wonderful display of the power of God that it commenced again, and last night Mr. L. preached on the ground, and there were many cases of individuals in the altar for prayers, and the work was progressing with unabated interest. We were there two weeks since, and the altar was well filled with seekers, and those who were endeaavoring to point them to the Lamb of God. From fifty to seventy found peace in believing. Many leave for their homes, so that it is difficult to number Israel. A number of young men came there to get religion who had enlisted in the army, and we heard their testimonies that Christ had sealed a pardon on their hearts. This is what our young men want, to shield them from the corruptions of camp life and prepare them to fall in defense of their country.

Julia L. Lovejoy



AUG. 22, 1863
[To Zion's Herald, Boston, Massachusetts]

Mr. Editor:
Little thought we when we sent off those letters to Zion's Herald, three days since, with this note appended, "all quiet here," that even then a gang of murderous banditti were but a few miles distant, and that in a ffew hurs such horrid scenes would be enacted in our midst as would make the cheek of darkness turn pale. Such a day as yesterday and the previous night, Kansas, with all her former scenes of blood, never witnessed. I and my little boy live alone during Mr. L.'s absence in the Army of the Mississippi, on a claim between Baldwin City and Lawrence, two miles from the former place, and ten from the latter. A Methodist preacher on his way to Lawrence had stopped with us for the night, and our son, Capt. C. J. Lovejoy, Adjutant of the 12th, was at home on a visit.

At an early hour Friday morning, looking in the direction of Lawrence, said he, "Mother, Lawrence is all on fire," and in a trice he was in the saddle and galloping down street. I rushed out and saw the smoke of the burning city, and met the preacher who had spent the night with us, and had started for Lawrence, panting for breath, and urging on his horses to hide them in our woods; having left his wagon by the wayside, he cried out, "Sister Lovejoy, Quantrell has burnt Lawrence, and is within two miles of us with 3,000 men" -- some have since thought not so many -- and I could then see every house this side of Lawrence, with a volume of dense soke arising from them as they advanced, firing every house in their march of death. My neighbors began to clear their houses of all their valuables and secrete them in the woods and cornfields. I caught a little tin trunk with our valuable papers and husband's watch in it, that he had left as a kind of memento if he never returned from the war, and concealed it in tall weeds, and dragged out a trunk of clothing, and looked to Heaven for help in this time of need. Nearer and nearer they came; again I hied to my watchtower. Thank God they have take another road -- the Santa Fe Road, running parallel with this from Lawrence to Baldwin City. At this instant rode up a squad of United States troops -- three hundred in the whole, who had been in saddle during the night, and nearly famished. I emptied the contents of my bread box, which sufficed fo a few; they ate as they rode along. The robbers were at that moment firing Brookline, two miles off, and there our men, hundreds of whom were galloping over the prairies in every direction, headed them off from Baldwin City and Prairie City, both of which they had designed to burn, and murder the inhabitants. These soldiers had learned their intentions, and had followed them from Kansas City, Mo., thirty miles and traced them by the smoke of the burning buildings after they left Lawrence, and headed them just the moment they were to burn our city; and had it not been for the promptness of these troops, who had ridden until a number of their horses fell dead in the road, our beautiful University Building would today be a heap of ruins. At Prairie City our company of troops and citizens had augmented to 800 or 1,000 men. Our men chased them, loading and firing, to Paola, twenty-five miles, killing seven of them on the road, and not one of our boys killed. Then Quantrell's band broke and run into the woods and cornfields, and up to midnight last night they had killed twenty of them, and were still chasing them in Missouri.

Our son and a near neighbor are amongst the missing ones, though they may be in the large army that are now in pursuit. But hark! the report of a pistol; I drop the pen; a company of horsemen just returning. "Where's my boy?" "All safe, we hope, but has gone in command of the troops that are still chasing Quantrell in Missouri. Heaven protect him and bring him safe to his mother."

Up to last night, one hundred and twenty had been found and buried in Lawrence, and it was thought that from 150 to 200 had been killed, and mny burnt up in the great Free State Hotel, and their remains are buried beneath the rubbish. There were a great many guests and boarders in the house, and as they rushed out they shot them down, and threw their bodies back into the fire. One neighbor saw a pile of charred bodies yesterday, some with their whiskers and hair burned off, and their boots partly burned; and he heard one man speak for 75 coffins, and his opinion was that 250 at least were murdered in Lawrence. Quantrell intended to butcher every man there, but some escaped in woman's apparel, and others concealed themselves.

Gen. Lane ran out of the back door as they entered the front door, and escaped, although they burnt his house; he is after them now, and says "he will follow them to ________, but what he'll have the last of them." His house was a beautiful and superb brick house, just built. Major Collamore, well known in Boston, secreted himself in a well and was smothered to death by the smoke of burning buildings. One lady threw her arms around her husband, and begged of them to spare his life. They rested the pistol on her arm as it was around his body, and shot him dead, and the fir from the pistol burnt the sleeve of her dress. Mrs. Reed put out the fire six times to save her house, and they would fire it anew, but she by almost superhuman exertions saved it. Mrs. Fisher, wife of the Rev. H. D. Fisher, of the Kansas Conference, formerly of the Pittsburg, now chaplain of the Sixth Kansas Regiment, a spunky little Dutch-Irish woman from Pennsylvania, by her own exertion save the L part of her house, whilst the front, a splendid new brick establishment, was burnt, worth $2,000 probably. All the business houses, banks, stores, &c., in the city were robbed and burned save one, and the ost of the business mem killed. It is estimated that half a million in money has been carried off.

Rev. Mr. Snyder, Presiding Elder on the Lawrence District, (United Brethern) who had been in Kansas since 1855, and one of the best men in the State, living about half a mile from the city on his farm, was killed, and his hourse burnt. Five men were killed in front of Bro. Paddock's house, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although seven of our preachers were in Lawrence, not one of them was killed, but five lay members were murdered. Such a day of mourning as was yesterday never dawned upon Kansas. The air was dense with the smoke of burning buildings, and the prince of darkness and his allies never devised greater schemes of cruelty, to throw back half-murdered victims into the flames and roast them! Their death in a number of instances were signally avenged.

A number of children were killed, but the excitement is so intense it is difficult to find out the particulars. Between Lawrence and Brookline they compelled a woman, with her neighbor's houses burning all around her, to swear "secesh," and then get the whole gang breakfast; then passing along they soon burnt a church, and shot the Dunkard preacher, putting seven balls in his neck.

I used to wonder, Mr. Editor, how Charlotte Corday, a delicate lady of fine sensibility, could nerve her arm to plunge her dagger up to the hilt in the heart of the detestable Murat, but I did not wonder a bit when I stood in the door and saw those houses lighting up with their lurid glare the surrounding country, and looked every moment to see the cutthroat villains ascending the bluff whose crest is crowned by Forest Lodge.

Julia L. Lovejoy

[TEXT: Kansas Historical Quarterly, Vol 11 (1942), Vol 15 (1947) and Vol 16 (1948)]

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