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Personalities > James Montgomery
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Letter, James Montgomery to George L. Stearns
Author: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: October 6, 1860

Having returned from a trip to the East (where he visited Stearns, Horace Greeley, and others in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia), Montgomery wrote from Mound City, Linn County, that he "found the people greatly excited." News of violence directed against free state men in Texas and Arkansas had awakened Kansans' sense of urgency, as Montgomery continued his efforts to free slaves and undercut the slave economy of western Missouri.

Keywords: Arkansas; Border ruffians; Free state supporters; Fugitive slaves; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Missouri; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Proslavery activities; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Texas

Letter, James Montgomery to George L. Stearns
Author: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: November 27, 1860

From Mound City, James Montgomery wrote Stearns about recent trouble at Fort Scott and acting governor George M. Beebe's visit. He came, according to Montgomery, to ascertain for himself if the rumors about Montgomery's activities were correct. He left satisfied that the free staters were acting properly and "promising to do what he could to reform abuses" in the federal courts and protect their rights. Although things were quiet at present and Montgomery mentioned the arrival of more fugitive slaves, who could now stay safely in Kansas, he warned that the introduction of federal troops into southern Kansas would create an explosive situation.

Keywords: Beebe, George Monroe; Bowie knife; Democratic Party (U.S.); Firearms; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Jennison, Charles Ransford, 1834-1884; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Sharps rifles; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, J.M. [James Montgomery] to George L. Stearns
Author: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: December 12, 1860

Montgomery wrote again from Mound City to update Stearns on the activities of "old Harney" (General William S. Harney) and the futile federal government efforts at "enforcing the Fugitive Slave law on us here; it can't be done." Montgomery insisted that despite the government's effort to portray "'Montgomery and his band'" as not of the people, popular support for his activities had just been unanimously endorsed at a mass meeting in Mound City.

Keywords: Free state perspective; Fugitive Slave Law; Fugitive slaves; Harney, William S.; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; United States. Army; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866

Letter, J.M. [James Montgomery] to George L. Stearns
Author: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: December 14, 1860

In response to a letter dated November 29, Montgomery informed Stearns that "Uncle Sam has stolen all my late corrispondence [sic]. I suppose he thinks he will find some Treason in it:--He is welcome to all he can find." Much of the news about his activities and intention, insisted Montgomery, was simply newspaper talk. "'Montgomery's Band' is a myth. Montgomery's men are the people, and Montgomery himslef is one them. [sic]." He was very interested in getting the press back East to inform the public of "the real state of affairs here."

Keywords: Free labor; Free state activities; Fugitive slaves; Jones, John Tecumseh (Tauy); Linn County, Kansas Territory; Missouri; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; United States. Army

Letter, Tho. Ewing Jr to My dear Sir [W. R. Griffith]
Author: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: December 18, 1860

With regard to the "difficulties in Linn and Bourbon Counties," Ewing wrote William Riley Griffith of Marmaton, Bourbon County, regarding their shared belief that the Republican Party should not condone the violence perpetrated by James Montgomery and company. Ewing was hopeful that if Kansas was admitted soon, order would be restored.

Keywords: Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Free state activities; Griffith, William Riley; Lincoln administration; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Marmaton, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Violence

Letter, James Montgomery to F. B. Sanborn
Author: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: January 14, 1861

Just two weeks before Kansas would be admitted to the Union and in the midst of the early secession crisis, Montgomery (Mound City) told Franklin B. Sanborn (Boston) that he (Montgomery) did not favor an invasion of "the slave states so long as they keep themselves at home," but Missouri was crossing the line and interfering in Kansas affairs. He also commented on recent mob violence in Boston and General Harney's futile efforts to enforce the Fugitive Slave law in southern Kansas.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Democratic Party (U.S.); Fugitive Slave Law; Fugitive slaves; Harney, William S.; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Martial law; Missouri; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Secession; Slavery

Photograph, James Montgomery
Author: Leonard & Martin, artists
Date:

James Montogomery came to Linn County, Kansas Territory, early in the territorial period after living in Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri. He was active in the free state cause and was involved in most of the conflict between pro-slavery and free state forces in that area. He was ordered off his property but refused to leave the area. He raised a militia troop that was active in 1857.

Keywords: Free state militia; Free state supporters; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Militia; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Photographs and Illustrations

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Commission, James Montgomery, captain
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  September 16, 1857
This printed commission, issued from the "Head-Quarters Kansas Volunteers, For the Protection of the Ballot-Box," was given to James Montgomery and signed by J.H. Lane and M. F. Conway, adjutant general, on September 16, 1857. Montgomery was commissioned captain of the "Little Sugar Creek Company." This would have been specifically for the territorial election, October 5, 1857.

Keywords: Conway, Martin Franklin; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Elections; Free state militia; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state supporters; Kansas Volunteers; Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Voting; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections)


Letter, S.C.S. [most likely Samuel C. Smith] to "Doctor" [Robinson]
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date:  January 11, 1858
This letter, dated Lawrence, January 11, 1858, most likely from Samuel C. Smith, mentions many of the Free State Party's main actors and issues at this critical time in Kansas politics. He described the activities of the Legislature, which assembled in Lawrence in January, and devotes considerable attention to the machinations of the "villain" Jim Lane.

Keywords: Allen, Lyman; Babcock, Carmi William; Conway, Martin Franklin; Deitzler, George W.; Free State Party; Jones, John Tecumseh (Tauy); Kansas Territory. Legislature; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Larzalere, Alfred; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Constitution; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864; Militia; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Railroad companies; Railroad legislation; Railroad promotion; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Smith, Samuel C.; Temperance movement; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Vaughan, Champion


Letter, Your devoted Husband [Joseph H. Trego] to My Dear wife [Alice Trego]
Authors: Trego, Joseph Harrington
Date:  January 24, 1858
Joseph Trego wrote from Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Alice, at their family's home in Illinois. Trego described how, since the shelter being built around the mill equipment was not yet complete, the wind and rain interfered with their ability to work. Though the work was hard, he favored the milling business over other means toward income. Trego responded to a newspaper article from the Rock Island Advertiser that his wife had sent him, deeming their coverage of the Kansas troubles "sensational." He expected that Fort Scott would soon be destroyed by free state militiamen, as "Bourbon County Bandits" (proslavery supporters) had been harassing extensively free state supporters in the area. Despite all this disorder, the development prospects of Mound City, in Linn County, appeared favorable.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Business enterprises; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Mills and mill-work; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Neosho, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Postal service; Proslavery activities; Railroads; Rock Island Advertiser; Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory; Telegraph; Town development; Trego, Alice; Trego, Joseph Harrington; Weather


Letter, J. G. Anderson to "Dear Brother"
Authors: Anderson, J. G.
Date:  February 17, 1858
From "Camp near Luella K.T." on February 17, 1858, J. G. Anderson wrote to his brother regarding the "considerable excitement" that had recently resulted after a free state man was robbed in Fort Scott. Two companies of "Kansas Militia" were called out to arrest the thieves, "our company under Capt. [O.P.] Bayne and the Sugar Creek company under Capt. [James] Montgomery. When they arrived at "the Fort" on the 11th "the bloody villains" had already fled to Missouri. The letter is a "typical" mix of news about the Kansas troubles, work on the claim, and pleasantries about the folks back home. [Before the end of the year, Anderson would sign on with John Brown and follow him to Harpers Ferry.]

Keywords: Anderson, Jeremiah G.; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Border ruffians; Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Land claims; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Sharps rifles; Weapons (see also Guns)


Augustus Wattles, Fort Scott, Kansas Territory to William Hutchinson
Authors: Wattles, Augustus
Date:  April 28, 1858
Wattles described violence in the southern portion of Kansas Territory shortly before the Marais des Cygnes massacre.

Keywords: Free state activities; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Marais des Cygnes Massacre; Marmaton, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Proslavery activities; Wattles, Augustus


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