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Border Disputes and Warfare

Border Disputes and Warfare > Significant Incidents > Dr. John Doy trial (March 4, 1859)
8 Topic Specific Items
Letter, E. Nute to Unidentified recipient [F. B. Sanborn?]
Author: Nute, Ephraim
Date: ca. February 1859

Ephraim Nute wrote of just receiving work that "Doct. [Samuel Gridley?] Howe" was "about to sail from New York" on account of his health; but whether or not it was restored, "he has lived already to a glorious result." Nute also mentions continued preparations for the trial of Dr. Doy, still "in that wretched Platte City jail."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Concord, Massachusetts; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, John; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Nute, Ephraim; Platte City, Missouri; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Tabor, Iowa

Letter, Sam F. Tappan to Rev. T. W. Higginson
Author: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: June 27, 1859

The main focus of this letter, written from Lawrence by Samuel F. Tappan, is the case of Dr. John Doy, who had just been convicted of abducting slaves from Missouri. Doy had been sentenced to five years imprisonment, but his lawyers got a two month suspension so they could file an appeal with the state Supreme Court. Tappan outlined the evidence against Doy, which he said rested on the testimony of one proslavery man. He also reiterated the story behind the Doy kidnapping in case the recipient, Thomas Higginson, was not aware of all the details. The letter ended by mentioning the strength of the Democratic Party in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: African Americans; Courts; Democratic Party (U.S.); Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Lawyers; Missouri; Slaves; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913

Expenses of Trip for rescuing Dr. Doy
Author: No authors specified.
Date: July 23, 1859

Expense list, including supplies and cash advances, for the rescue of John Doy, who was arrested January 25, 1859 by Missouri authorities for abducting slaves. He was sprung from his cell in a St. Joseph, Missouri, jail by a rescue party that included James Abbott.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, John; Financial statements; Free state cause; Horses; Weapons (see also Guns)

Photograph, John Doy rescue party
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1859

On January 25, 1859, Dr. John Doy and his son Charles left Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for Nebraska with 13 slaves. They were captured when only twelve miles out of Lawrence and were taken to Weston, Missouri. The two Doys had an examination at Weston and were committed to jail at Platte City, Missouri for the crime of abducting slaves. They remained in jail until March 20, 1859. They were then taken to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Dr. Doy was tried. After this trial, his son Charles was set free. However, the first jury could not agree on a verdict for Dr. Doy, and he was tried a second time. At the second trial, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. While being held in the St. Joseph jail he was freed by friends from Kansas on September 23, 1859. Two different ambrotypes showing the John Doy rescue party were digitized for the project. When you compared the images, you will find the men are standing in different positions.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Abolitionists; Ambrotypes; Antislavery movements; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Firearms; Free state activities; Free state cause; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Hay, George R.; Photographs and Illustrations; Pike, Joshua A.; Senix, Jacob; Simmons, Thomas; Soule, Silas Stillman

Photograph, John Doy rescue party
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1859

On January 25, 1859, Dr. John Doy and his son Charles left Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for Nebraska with 13 slaves. They were captured when only twelve miles out of Lawrence and were taken to Weston, Missouri. The two Doys had an examination at Weston and were committed to jail at Platte City, Missouri for the crime of abducting slaves. They remained in jail until March 20, 1859. They were then moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Dr. Doy was tried. After this trial Charles Doy was set free. However, the first jury could not agree on a verdict for Dr. Doy, and he was tried a second time. At the second trial, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. While being held in the St. Joseph jail he was freed by friends from Kansas on September 23, 1859. Two different ambrotypes showing the John Doy rescue party were digitized for the project. When you compared the images, you will find the men are standing in different positions.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Abolitionists; Ambrotypes; Antislavery movements; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Firearms; Free state activities; Free state cause; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Hay, George R.; Photographs and Illustrations; Pike, Joshua A.; Senix, Jacob; Simmons, Thomas; Soule, Silas Stillman

Doy Rifle
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1859

Dr. John Doy used this Sharps rifle fighting border disputes in Franklin County and at Ft. Titus. In Jan. 1859, Doy was captured near Lawrence by pro-slavery Missouri forces and charged with aiding in the abduction of fugitive slaves. For six months Doy was held in a St. Joseph, MO, jail. Doy was rescued by ten of his free-state friends, lead by Major James Abbott. Engraved in the rifle's stock is the phase, "Successful Agent of the Irrepressible Conflict."

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Antislavery; Border disputes and warfare; Doy, John; Firearms; Fort Titus, Battle of; Franklin County, Kansas Territory; Fugitive Slave Law; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Objects; Sharps rifles; St. Joseph, Missouri; Violence; Weapons (see also Guns)

Photograph, Joseph Gardner
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

Joseph Gardner was a free state supporter and a member of the group that rescued Dr. John Doy in September, 1859. Dr. Doy had been convicted in Missouri of abducting slaves but he was freed from his cell in a St. Joseph, Missouri, jail by Gardner and others.

Keywords: Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Free state supporters; Gardner, Joseph; Photographs and Illustrations

Photograph, Joshua A. Pike
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

Joshua A. Pike was a member of the Doy rescue party and was part of a plot to rescue John Brown after the raid on Harper's Ferry.

Keywords: Antislavery; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Free state supporters; Photographs and Illustrations; Pike, Joshua A.

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Letter, [E. Nute] to [Unidentified recipient]
Authors: Nute, Ephraim
Date:  February 14, 1859
Ephraim Nute wrote from Lawrence on February 14, 1859, regarding "the disaster that befel the last expedition from this place with fugitives." The party, led by Dr. John Doy, was in route to Oskaloosa when captured and taken to Missouri, where "the colored people, both free and slaves, have been shipped for the New Orleans market." Doy and his son had been jailed at Platte City, Missouri, and were to be tried for "stealing a slave from Weston." Nute was quite sure this operation had been betrayed from within, as "Great rewards were offered, spies sent out & men hired in this place to watch & aid in recovering the run away property."

Keywords: African Americans; Border disputes and warfare; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Fugitive Slave Law; Fugitive slaves; Holton, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missouri; Nute, Ephraim; Oskaloosa, Kansas Territory; Spurs, Battle of the; Underground railroad; United States marshals; United States. Army


Letter, E. N. [Ephraim Nute] to Unidentified recipient
Authors: Nute, Ephraim
Date:  February 24, 1859
Ephaim Nute of Lawrence provides an interesting description of the plight of one of the Doy party's fugitive slaves, captured and jailed at Platte City until his escape and dangerous flight back to Lawrence. "We have him now hid & are to day making arrangements to have him set forward tomorrow 30 miles to another depot. I think they (there are 2 others to go) will not be taken again without bloodshed." Nute also mentioned his involvement in the "Charley Fisher affair in Leavenworth." Fisher, a black fugitive, had actually come to Nute's house "disguised in female attire."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Canada; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, John; Fisher, Charley; Free state cause; Fugitive slaves; Jefferson County, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Missouri River; Nute, Ephraim; Platte City, Missouri; Proslavery settlers; Underground railroad


Letter, E. Nute to Unidentified recipient [F. B. Sanborn?]
Authors: Nute, Ephraim
Date:  ca. February 1859
Ephraim Nute wrote of just receiving work that "Doct. [Samuel Gridley?] Howe" was "about to sail from New York" on account of his health; but whether or not it was restored, "he has lived already to a glorious result." Nute also mentions continued preparations for the trial of Dr. Doy, still "in that wretched Platte City jail."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Concord, Massachusetts; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, John; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Nute, Ephraim; Platte City, Missouri; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Tabor, Iowa


Letter, E. Nute to F. B. Sanborn Esq.
Authors: Nute, Ephraim
Date:  March 22, 1859
Ephraim Nute's efforts on behalf of "4 more fugitives," including Charley Fisher of Leavenworth, and the activities of "manhunters" in and around Lawrence are the main focus of this letter to F. B. Sanborn, but Nute also mentions the continuing need for money to pay for Doy's defense. The trial was to begin at St. Joseph the next day.

Keywords: Conway, Martin Franklin; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, John; Fisher, Charley; Fugitive slaves; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Nute, Ephraim; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Underground railroad


Letter, Sam F. Tappan to Rev. T. W. Higginson
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date:  June 27, 1859
The main focus of this letter, written from Lawrence by Samuel F. Tappan, is the case of Dr. John Doy, who had just been convicted of abducting slaves from Missouri. Doy had been sentenced to five years imprisonment, but his lawyers got a two month suspension so they could file an appeal with the state Supreme Court. Tappan outlined the evidence against Doy, which he said rested on the testimony of one proslavery man. He also reiterated the story behind the Doy kidnapping in case the recipient, Thomas Higginson, was not aware of all the details. The letter ended by mentioning the strength of the Democratic Party in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: African Americans; Courts; Democratic Party (U.S.); Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Lawyers; Missouri; Slaves; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913


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