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Historical Document
Letter from Edward Bridgman

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Edward Bridgman was one of the northerners who came to Kansas during the period that became known as "Bleeding Kansas." He grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, and migrated to Kansas in 1856, at the age of 22. Bridgman came simply to homestead, but he was soon caught up in the fight over slavery.

In this letter, Bridgman describes his arrival at Osawatomie, Kansas and the events which led him to join the fight for a free Kansas. He also describes the destruction of the town of Lawrence by proslavery forces, and the retaliation led by John Brown at Pottawatomie Creek, in which five proslavery men were killed.

Several months after Lawrence was sacked, a group of proslavery men attacked Osawatomie. There Bridgman fought beside John Brown to defend their land. Several months later he returned to Massachusetts, where he signed up with the Thirty-seventh Massachusetts infantry. In the early 1870's Bridgman migrated to northern Wisconsin. In 1901 he moved to Madison, where he lived until his death in 1915.

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Related Entries:
Bleeding Kansas

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