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must be done. The men killed had had a fair trial ; the day was spent in going about the neighborhood and taking evidence. Witnesses were examined who had received notice to leave before the next week; ..
... Mr Shore said ...“I have often talked the whole matter over with Townsley, before his confession, and I know what I say
here is true. It bas often been told me by Townsley and by others who participated in the work, and by settlers who had been consulted by Brown.” 1
This evidence was as accessible to Robinson as to Connolley. It does not appear that he ever inquired even of Townsley, who testified in his confession of 1879 that the executions had a good effect. He said:
I did not then approve of the killing of those men. In after years my opinion changed . . . I became, and am, satisfied that it resulted in good to the Free State cause, and was especially beneficial to the FreeState settlers on the Pottawatomie creek. The Pro-Slavery men were dreadfully terrified, and large numbers of them soon left the Territory.
This was the often expressed opinion of Judge Hanway, to whom Robinson's of 1878 was written. Writing to F. G. Adams, February 1, 1878, he said :
So far as public opinion in the neighborhood . . . is concerned, I believe I may state that the first news of the event produced such a shock that public opinion was considerable divided ; but after the whole circumstances became better known, there was a reaction of public opinion; and the Free-State settlers who had claims on the creek considered that Capt. Brown and his party of eight had performed a justifiable act, which saved their homes and dwellings from threatened raids of the Pro-Slavery party.
The statement made in Mr. Lawrence's collection, that Brown always denied his connection with the executions, is untrue. Robinson says Brown told him of it, and I have talked with two or three men to whom Brown said the same thing in the course of the summer of 1856. One of them was Jason, his son, a few days after it; another was Colonel Walker, whom I have quoted. I have also talked with one of the eight who killed the men, and have had a written statement from another; both contradicting Townsley in an impor
1 Alexander's Magazine (Boston, August 15, 1905), i. 32, 33.
tant point. Although little was said of Brown's connection at the time, it was well known in Kansas; and the act for twenty years received practically a final approval by the men best situated to know its motive and effect. I did not myself kuow it until Townsley's confession was made ; but my view, had I known it, would have been what Robinson expressed in 1859.
The testimony, other than Mr. Shore's, to the bad character and frequent threats and abuse practised by the men killed at Dutch Henry's Crossing (I visited the place in the summer of 1882) is ample and has been public for many years. Among the witnesses were John Brow]), Jr., who told me that “the Doyles, Wilkinson and the Shermans were furnishing places of rendezvous and active aid to the armed men who had sworn to kill us and others ” ;George Grant and his father, John T. Grant, who settled in 1854 near the Shermans ; Charles A. Foster of Quincy; August Bondi and James Hanway, both afterward magistrates in Kansas ; Mrs. Rising, a New Hampshire woman living near the Wilkinsons ; James F. Legate, who settled in Douglas County before Lawrence was founded ; and John B. Manes, who went to the Potta watomie region in 1854, and worked as a boy for the Shermans. Their testimony being less known in New England than that of some others, I may cite portions of it. Mr. Legate said in 1879:
Wilkinson was especially a bad man, and the leader of the Doyles and others in raids against the Free State men. The Georgia company [of Buford's men) had built a fort just below or south of there, and murder and robbery and arson was their daily avocation. Wilkinson, Sherman and the Doyles were parties to all their crimes. These men were scouts and spies of the Georgians. The Georgians were planning to murder the whole Free State settlement in the neighborhood of Osawatomie, and would have executed their plans but for this (Brown's] interposition.”
Manes testified as follows:
I came to Kansas (with my father) in 1854. I worked for the Shermans in the summer of 1855. Have often heard them say that the - -d Yankees on the Pottawatomie ought to have and would bave their dd throats cut.
While Weiner was absent at the defense of Lawrence, Mr. Benjamin, who was Weiner's partner in a store on Mosquito Branch, was warned 1 W. E. Connelley, John Brown, 223, 224; ? 230.
to leave in five days, or have his store, himself and his family burned. The old mau Doyle and William Shermau were the men who warned him to leave. The Grant family was warned to leare in the same limit of time, on pain of murder and destruction of property if they refused to heed the warping. At the time of the warning William Sherman flourished a bowie-knife and threatened to cut the dd Yankee heart out of Mary Grant, the daughter of the Grant referred to in Townsley's testimony,
I was but a boy of 13 or 14 at this time, but know what there occurred as well as anyone could know who did n't see all that was done and hear all that was said, as indeed no one person could. Being a boy, I was often sent on errands when it was thought older people could not go without being murdered by “border ruffians"; ...
I know that my father was knocked down for having a New York Tribune in his pocket. I know that my father's house and brotherin-law's store were burned to ashes. I know there was a reign of terror, of which those [five] men who were killed were the authors ; and I am surprised that anyone should believe that the killing of those men was without excuse. Were the Free-State men to abandon Kansas ? Were they to fold their arms in martyrdom at the end of five days ? Or were they to slay their would-be murderers before the fifth day arrived ?"
To show the opinion of well-informed congressmen in regard to the employment of the regular army in subduing the freestate men, I may quote here a letter received by John Brown between the first and the second sieges of Lawrence, from his friend and former Representative in Congress, Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio. Writing from the House March 17, 1856 Giddings said:
you need have no fear of the troops. The President never will dare employ the troops of the United States to shoot the citizens of Kansas. The death of the first man by the troops will involve every free State in your own fate. It will light up the fires of civil war throughout the North, and we shall stand or fall with you. Such an act will also bring the President so deep in infamy that the hand of political resurrection will never reach him. Your safety depends on the supply of men and arms and money which will move forward to your relief as soon as the spring opens.?
But this supply of men in turn depended on the maintenance of the resistance to in vasion from Missouri, and the
1 W. E. Connelley, John Brown, 224-226.
retention of the free-state men already in Kansas, whom the Missourians and the federal officers were bent on driving out. They had already attempted that in the case of Samuel Walker, as shown in my second paper; and they planned the same course for the settlers along the Pottawatomie, near which were the homes of the Browns and their kindred at
Brown's Station," which I visited, as I did other parts of that region in 1882. It was the knowledge of this purpose of the Missourians and of the armed men from Georgia, Carolina, and Alabama, under Buford and Titus, which was the direct occasion of the Pottawatomie expedition by Brown and his men in May, 1856, soon after the sack of Lawrence. The testimony just given to the character of the Shermans, Doyles, and Wilkinson, is conclusive, however it may be disputed by persons at a distance from their region; and the further evidence that they meant to have their free-state neighbors forcibly driven out or killed, was given by five or six persons who heard their purpose from their own mouths. A very worthy German, August Bondi, who was for years a magistrate at Salina, Kansas, gave me long ago, with much detail, what in substance he afterward published, both in German and in English. He had gone to settle, in May, 1855, on the Mosquito branch of the Pottawatomie, four miles from Dutch Henry's Crossing, where the Shermans lived. I give what he wrote me, condensing it for convenience.1
Being a German, and having two compatriots, Theodore Weiper and Jacob Benjamin, owning property near him, Bondi went to call on Henry Sherman, whom he had heard of as also a German. After a short conversation, Henry Sherman said he had heard that Bondi and Benjamin were Freesoilers ; he “ therefore would advise them to clear out, or they might meet the fate of Baker." This was a Vermont man, whom the border ruffians had taken from his cabin on the Marais des Cygnes, whipped and hanged upon a tree, but had cut him down before death, and released on his prom. ise to leave Kansas. Allen Wilkinson talked to Bondi much in the same way.
The two Germans, Bondi and Benjamin (Weiner had not yet arrived), took counsel together, and Benjamin said he had heard of some Ohio men, settled five miles to the northeast, and said he would go and see them.
1 F. B. Sanborn, Life and Letters of Jolin Brown, 254-260.
These were the four Browns who first reached Kansas; and Frederick came back with Benjamin, bringing word that he and his three brothers would always be ready to aid the three Germans. Weiner was then living at St. Louis, but bad agreed to go to Kansas and open a store on Bondi’s claim. He did so, and reached the Pottawatomie region in November, 1855, soon after the arrival of the younger Browns with their father. His store was afterwards pillaged by the ruffians, and he himself, with Bondi, joined the armed company of John Brown, -- Weiner being one of the eight men who executed the malefactors at Dutch Henry's in May, 1856.
Another witness, George Grant, told his story in 1879. His father, John T. Grant, from Oneida County, New York, settled on the Pottawatomie in 1854, a near neighbor of the Shermans, Doyles, and Wilkinson. In 1856 there was a company of Georgians encamped on the Marais des Cygnes, four miles from them, who committed outrages, and were in constant communication with the Shermans. When he heard that Lawrence was threatened in May, Frederick Brown went to the store of Mr. Morse, from Michigan, a quiet, inoffensive old free-state man, and bought some lead of him. He brought the lead to J. T. Grant's house on Sunday morning, and George Grant's brother and sister spent the whole day running rifle bullets for the Pottawatomie Guards. As F. Brown was bringing his lead to the house, he passed by Henry Sherman's, and was questioned by the Doyles, William Sherman, and others, what he would do with it. "Run it into bullets for Free-State guns” was his reply. After the Guards had started for Lawrence, the pro-slavery neighbors, Wilkinson, the Doyles, and others, took a rope and went to Morse's house, and said they would hang him for selling the lead to Brown. This frightened him, but finally they said he must leave the country before eleven o'clock, or they would hang him. Returning to Sherman's, and drinking liquor, some of them went to Morse again at eleven, and were going to kill him with an ax; but his little boy crying and pleading for his father's life, they finally gave him till sundown to quit. Nearly frightened to death, he went to Mr. Grant's house, leaving everything but his boy and a blanket. He was soon taken ill, and died in a short time. Dr. Gilpatrick, who attended him, said his death was caused by the fright and excitement of the day he