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Authors: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: February 16, 1856
From "Washington City" on February 16, 1856, former K.T. governor Andrew Reeder wrote Charles Robinson regarding his (Reeder's) efforts to influence Kansas policy in the nation's capital. Reeder was working through friends, since he no longer had personal influence with President Pierce, and he was not pleased with the president's February 11 proclamation, which he called "the low contemptible trickstering affair which might expected from Pierce, and is like the Special Message [of January 24] a slander on the Free State Party." Nevertheless, Reeder thought it could have been worse and insisted that Robinson and the other free-state leaders "should not organize the State Govt." Pierce would just use that action to justify aggressive moves to suppress the movement.
Keywords: Free State Party; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Pierce administration; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Washington, D.C.
Letter, J. R. Giddings to My Dear Sir [John Brown]
Authors: Giddings, Joshua R. (Joshua Reed) , 1795-1864
Date: March 17, 1856
Congressman Joshua R. Giddings an abolitionist Republican from Ohio and good friend of the Brown family there, wrote from the U.S. "Hall of Reps" regarding his desire to provide support for Brown and his cause in Kansas and of his belief that the federal troops there would not be used "to shoot the Citizens of Kansas." Although he indicated a need for more "men and arms" in the territory to insure victory, Giddings was "confident there will be no war in Kansas."
Keywords: Abolitionists; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state settlers; Free state support; Giddings, Joshua R. (Joshua Reed), 1795-1864; Kansas Nebraska Act; Pierce administration; United States. Army; United States. Congress. House
Letter, J.C. Fremont to Gov. Charles Robinson
Authors: Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890
Date: March 17, 1856
From New York, on March 17, 1856, three months before accepting the Republican Party nomination for president, John C. Fremont wrote this letter of support and encouragement to Charles Robinson in Lawrence, Kansas. The two men had participated together in the political affairs of California a few years earlier, and Fremont compared the current controversy over the "Kansas question" with the previous incident. Fremont only briefly addressed Robinson's questions about a possible presidential bid.
Keywords: Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-1894; Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890; New York; Pierce administration; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; United States. Army
Speech, David R. Atchison to Pro-Slavery "Soldiers"
Authors: Atchison, David R.; Root, Joseph Pomeroy
Date: May 21, 1856
According to a note on the top of page one made later by R. J. Hinton, "this report was made for me [Hinton] by or under the direction of Lt. Gov. (Dr.) Root [Joseph Pomeroy Root, subsequently elected the state's first lieutenant governor under the Wyandotte Constitution], who was a prisoner, heard & reported the speech" made by David Atchison to the assembled proslave "Soldiers" camped two miles west of Lawrence before they marched on and sacked the town on May 21, 1856. The transcript is labeled "Hon. David R. Atchison's Speech . . ." and begins, "This is the most glorious day of my life! This day I am a border-ruffian!" Amidst "Yells" and "Cheers," Atchison rallied the "true sons of the noble South," encouraging them to "tear down their Free State Hotel" and "thow into the Kanzas their printing presses," and to bravely follow their "worthy . . . Leader, Col. [John H.] Stringfellow!"
Keywords: Abolitionists; Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Beecher Bibles; Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Free State Hotel; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Hinton, Richard Josiah; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Newspapers - Free State; Pierce administration; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Southerners; Stringfellow, John H.
Letter, O. E. L[earnard] to Dear Father [S. T. Learnard]
Authors: Learnard, Oscar E.
Date: August 10, 1856
Oscar Learnard wrote from Lawrence of his continued commitment to the "Sacked City," insisting that he would not be "bullied or frightened" by those committing outrages in Kansas Territory. He commented on the political composition of the territory and Lawrence, where he found many Douglas Democrats. Although there were some "fanatics" and "abolitionists," most residents of Lawrence were "western men" who had been driven to oppose the administration by the outrages. He insisted that the significance of the New England Emigrant Company had been exaggerated and that although more violent confrontations were likely, Kansas would eventually be free.
Keywords: Abolitionists; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Douglas Democrats; Dragoons; Free State Party; Kansas question; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Pierce administration; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Smith, Persifer F.
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