Jump to Navigation

Kansas Historical Quarterly - The Emigrant Aid Company in the Kansas Conflict

by Samuel A. Johnson

February 1937 (vol. 6, no. 1, pages 21 to 33
Transcribed by lhn, additional work by Susan Stafford;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

IT IS a familiar story to every casual student of Kansas history that even before the Kansas-Nebraska act had become a law, "men from the border counties of Missouri rushed across the border and staked out claims to all the best land. This is usually represented as a conspiracy on the part of the slavocracy to seize Kansas for slavery. The plain fact seems to be that these Missourians cared next to nothing about the question of slavery extension and still less about national politics. They simply wanted the land. [1] Like all frontiersmen, they regarded the land near them as rightfully theirs, whenever it should be opened to settlement. This land hunger was whetted by a failure of the corn crop in the Platte purchase. [2] Some of these men intended to remove their families to the land as soon as they could conveniently do so; others wished only to establish a preemption right which they could sell to later comers. They were not particularly disturbed by the arrival through the summer of 1854 of squatters from the Ohio valley, even though these were known to be of Free-State sentiments. But when rumors began to reach the border that a great corporation was being formed by Eastern abolitionists to take possession of Kansas, that this corporation had a capital of $5,000,000 (supposed in the West to be cash in hand), and that it was hiring twenty thousand armed men to come to Kansas to drive all pro-slavery men from the territory, the Missourians were thrown into a state of panic. [3]

Many of these farmers of western Missouri were slaveholders in a small way; they all took slavery for granted and hoped to own slaves. Indeed, they had assumed, probably at the prompting of their politicians, that the Kansas-Nebraska act was in the nature of a compromise intended to consign Kansas to slavery, Nebraska

(21)

22 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

to freedom [4] With typical frontier credulity they now accepted the rumors that the Emigrant Aid "Society" (as they always called it) was a corporation of fabulous wealth (the Westerner was highly suspicious of corporations of any kind), and that it was about to use its vast resources to seize the new territory by force and to deprive them of their birthright, the adjacent unoccupied lands. [5] Naturally enough they regarded such an action as an unwarranted and unconstitutional aggression on the part of Eastern fanatics and were willing to go to any length to resist it.

This state of mind was meat and drink to Sen. David R. Atchison of Missouri. He had been striving since 1850 to displace the veteran senator, Thomas Hart Benton, as Democratic boss of Missouri, and in 1851 his followers had combined with the Whigs to defeat Benton for reelection for a sixth consecutive term. The sectional issues of 1850 had split the Missouri Democrats into violently hostile factions, Bentonite and anti-Bentonite, which were virtually distinct political parties. Benton and his following were old style "Jacksonian" or "Union" Democrats, anxious to avert the rising tide of sectionalism, and utterly out of sympathy with Calhoun's "State Rights" philosophy. The St. Louis merchants, who formed the backbone of the Bentonite faction, were willing to encourage the migration of Easterners to Kansas, since this would, in their opinion, further the development of the Pacific railway westward from St. Louis and facilitate the sale of goods. [6] Atchison's term as senator was about to expire. In January, 1855, he would stand before the legislature for reelection, opposed by Benton and a Whig candidate. In such a three-cornered fight anything might happen, so it behooved Atchison to attempt to rally the Whigs to his standard. Under the circumstances, his strategy was marked out for him. He would play upon the fears of the slaveholding counties, where there was considerable Whig strength, and persuade them that their interests, their institutions, and even their homes were imperiled by the aggression of Eastern fanatics. He would then lead a movement to resist this aggression, and so become the hero of the slaveholding section. This was expected to bring the pro-slavery portion of the Whigs to his support and secure his election. [7]

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 23

Accordingly there were held during the summer of 1854 a series of meetings in the border counties of Missouri which denounced the Emigrant Aid "Society" in bitter terms and called upon the people of Missouri to rally to the support of their institutions. One such meeting, held at Weston, July 29, 1854, organized the "Platte County Self-Defensive Association," and resolved "That this association will, whenever called upon by any of the citizens of Kansas territory, hold itself in readiness to go there to assist in removing any and all emigrants who go there under the auspices of Northern Emigrant Aid Societies." [8]

As the Emigrant Aid Company settlers came along in weekly parties during the fall of 1854, the excitement in western Missouri increased. Though the actual number who came was small, the regularity of their coming, their peculiarities of speech and manner, and their loose talk about the Aid Company having the men and the money to make Kansas a free state, [9] all served to confirm the worst fears of the borderers and to create something like a state of frenzy. Of this situation Atchison and his able lieutenants, the Stringfellow brothers, were ready to take full advantage. More meetings were held, which were recognized by the Bentonite newspapers of St. Louis as using zeal for slavery as a cloak for senatorial politics. [10] Secret societies were formed, known variously as "Blue Lodges," "Social Bands," "Friendly Societies," and "Sons of the South," ostensibly to counteract the activities of the Emigrant Aid "Society." [11]

In a speech at Liberty, Mo., November 6, 1854, Atchison showed his hand. He complained that the natural course of migration along parallels of latitude was being interfered with, and that abolitionists of the North were spending vast sums of money to turn the North to the South, to abolitionize all the territories, and ultimately to assail Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. Their success in Kansas, he asserted, would mean the ruin of Missouri. 'Now," he concluded, "if a set of fanatics and demagogues a thousand miles off can afford to advance their money and exert every nerve to abolitionize the territory and exclude the slaveholder, when they have not the least personal interest, what is your duty? When you reside in one day's journey of the territory, and when your peace,

24 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

your quiet and your property depend upon your action, you can, without an exertion, send five hundred of your young men who will vote in favor of your institutions." [12] The only immediate effect of this appeal was that in the election of a delegate to Congress, November 29, the "Blue Lodges" crossed over into Kansas in force and voted, but more important was the indication of what might be expected for the future.

In January, 1855, the Missouri legislature assembled to elect a senator, but after forty-one futile ballots, it adjourned without making a choice. [13] Had Atchison been elected the history of the next two years in Kansas might have been quite different, but as it was his political future was at stake. It was apparent that he had not yet made himself master of the slavery-extensionist element in Missouri, but that, in the words of one newspaper reporter, the politicians of the legislature had only been using him "to play horse with Benton." [14] In consequence, he redoubled his efforts on the Kansas border. Whether his aim for the next year and a half, as generally believed in Bentonite circles, was "to try to reconcile the Doniphan Know Nothings" (the ex-Whigs), and so regain his senatorship, [15] or, as asserted by the St. Louis Evening News, was to force the admission of Kansas as a slave state in order to secure a senatorship here "in lieu of the one he lost in Missouri," [16] can not now be told; he may have been thinking of both possibilities.

While the Missouri legislature was in session, Kansas meetings continued to be held throughout western Missouri as far east as Howard county, in which the Emigrant Aid "Societies" and "abolitionist" emigration were denounced, and pledges made to "use every honorable means" to secure Kansas for slavery. [17] The meetings may have been instigated to further Atchison's candidacy, but their effect was to keep the excitement alive. As the time approached for the election of a territorial legislature in Kansas, rumors were spread along the border that Gov. Andrew H. Reeder had given advance information of the date of the election to the Emigrant Aid Company, and had delayed that date until the thawing of the Missouri river should make it possible for the company's "emi-

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 25

grants" to arrive in overwhelming numbers. It was reported that the Aid Company was shipping paupers to Kansas by thousands to vote slavery out of the territory, and that the river was crowded with boats bringing these "armies of hirelings." [18] More meetings were held in which Reeder was denounced for betraying the people to the "abolitionists," and the Emigrant Aid "Society" for violating the spirit of the Kansas-Nebraska act by sending "Hessian Mercenaries" to abolitionize Kansas. [19] Atchison, B. F. Stringfellow, and others made speeches in which they assured their fellow Missourians that they had as much right to go into Kansas on election day and vote as did the "military colonies" sent out by the Emigrant Aid "Society," and that the only test for voters contemplated in the organic law of the territory was American citizenship and presence at the polls. [20] All through western Missouri young men were recruited and organized into companies; transportation, food and liquor were provided by popular subscription, and, at least in some instances, a cash consideration was offered to go over to the election. [21] The result was the notorious "bogus" election of March 30, 1855.

A year later, in the investigation by the Howard congressional committee, nearly every Missourian questioned asserted that he had gone into Kansas on election day to counteract the influence of the Emigrant Aid Societies. [22] They were led to believe that, having advance notice of the time of the election, the Aid Company was hiring men to come to Kansas merely to vote and that, having performed this obligation, these "emigrants" were free to return. Many testified in proof of this that they had seen Easterners returning immediately after the election. [23] The fact is that the company never hired anyone to go to Kansas for any purpose whatever except its regular agents and a few skilled mechanics who were under con-

26 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

tract to set up mills or do other labor, and it sent no one to Kansas merely to vote. [24] Neither is there any valid evidence that the company had advance information of the time of the election, whereas, Dr. Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the company, categorically denied it in a letter to Sen. Charles Sumner a few days after the election. [25] It is true, however, that Doctor Webb tried to find out the date of the election as early as he could, and that he endeavored to get the first spring parties of settlers to Kansas in time to vote. [26] In fact, two of these parties did reach their destination before March 30, 1855. One, the party that settled Manhattan, reached the site three days before the election and all voted. Together with a party of Pennsylvanians who had recently settled Pawnee, probably with a foreknowledge of Governor Reeder's intention to locate the capital there, the Manhattan colonists were able to outvote the small proslavery delegation sent out to carry the district and so to elect the only Free-State members of the territorial legislature. The other party, conducted by Dr. Charles Robinson, reached Lawrence the evening before the election. According to Doctor Webb, the party contained 126 men (besides about sixty women and children), of whom the poll book showed thirty-seven to have voted. [27] From the point of view of the Free-State men, this voting by recent arrivals was quite different from the Missouri incursion, since these men had come as bona fide settlers. Still, the circumstance gave the Missourians a peg on which to hang their excuses.

Naturally the Free-State people were embittered by this "bogus" election and began to denounce all Missourians as "border ruffians." Prior to the election there had been little coherence among the FreeState element. Most of the actual settlers, especially the great majority from the Ohio river states, were concerned chiefly with their lands, and were interested only passively, if at all, in the question 'of slavery. Political Free-Stateism was limited largely to the Lawrence association, made up almost entirely of Emigrant Aid Company settlers, and dominated largely by Dr. Charles Robinson, one of the Aid Company agents. [28] The conduct of that election, even more than its outcome, had the effect of galvanizing the nascent

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 27

Free-State sentiment into a fervor, and Robinson set about to whip it into activity. As to his motives, one may only guess. They were probably mixed, but undoubtedly a large ingredient in the mixture was personal ambition.

Whatever the explanation, Robinson at once began to instigate a revolution against the pro-slavery territorial government. Within three days after the election he had organized the men of Lawrence into four military companies and had written a letter to Eli Thayer, chief projector of the Emigrant Aid Company, pleading for two hundred Sharps rifles. [29] He soon started to preach repudiation of the new legislature and all its works, and the formation of a Free-State constitution. When the legislature met in July it played directly into his hands by enacting the obnoxious "bogus laws,"an atrocious slave code and an election law which acknowledged as a voter any man who, being present at the polls, would pay a poll tax of one dollar and swear to uphold the fugitive-slave law. Most repugnant of all to the democratic instincts of the pioneers from the Ohio valley was the action of the legislature in itself designating all county officers. This seemed to deny to the settlers any modicum of self-government. Had the territorial legislature been more moderate and circumspect in its actions, the FreeState politicians might have lacked an effective basis for their activity; the blunders of that body furnished the fuel for the fire that Robinson and his associates sought to kindle.

Of course Robinson and the other "insiders" were not so naive as to believe that Kansas could be admitted to Union under their projected state constitution. Their aim was to create a coherent political party in the territory and to manufacture an issue that would keep it alive until such time as they could gain control of the territorial government. The formation of a state constitution and a campaign for admission would provide such an issue. As Robinson himself expressed it years later, "Such a movement would serve to occupy the minds of the people, attract the attention of ambitious politicians, become a rallying point for all opposed to the usurpation, and, in case of necessity . . . be used as a de facto government, even though not recognized by Congress." [30]

The obvious place to begin the agitation was in Lawrence, where the Yankees were more susceptible to the call to a crusade than

28 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

were the squatters on the quarter-sections. But before the movement could be begun even in Lawrence the timid must be given a sense of security; this was probably the real reason for the call for the rifles. As soon as the first weapons arrived there began a series of conventions, seven in all, which culminated in the formation of the Topeka constitution. This long series of conventions was necessary to reconcile divergent interests and to generate the degree of sentiment essential to a party organization.

When, in February, 1856, officers were installed under the Topeka constitution, Kansas settlers were marshalled into two armed camps. There were two rival governments, each commanding the allegiance of a portion of the population, each with an armed militia force. The "Wakarusa War" of December, 1855, had been a straw to show the direction of the wind. Feeling was tense. "Atrocities" were frequent. The only question was when the firing should begin. The Fort Sumter of this Kansas conflict was the sack of Lawrence, May 21, 1856, and for the next three months Kansas was plunged into civil war. [31]

Among pro-slavery people in Kansas and Missouri, the Emigrant Aid Company was blamed for all the trouble. Every pro-slavery meeting on either side of the border, and there were dozens of them, adopted resolutions cursing the supposed activities of the company and similar organizations, [32] and in the congressional investigation practically every pro-slavery man questioned stated that in his opinion there would have been no more excitement in Kansas than was usual in the settlement of new territories but for the activity of the aid societies. [33] The company was represented as having inspired, directed and financed the whole Free-State movement. Whether the Emigrant Aid Company deserved the blame (or credit, as one cares to consider it) of being the power behind the Free-State party is perhaps less important than the fact that it got it, and so became a national issue. But for the present purpose it is of interest to inquire to what extent, if at all, the claim was true.

Several facts are obvious. The company from first to last avowed as its aim, along with the goal of a pecuniary profit, the "defeating of the minions of the slave power" by making Kansas a free state. The fifteen hundred or more people who came to Kansas under its auspices during 1854 and 1855 (of whom perhaps a

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 29

thousand remained as permanent settlers) were actuated to a far greater extent than were the pioneers from the Northwest by a crusading zeal against slavery. The Free-State movement began in Lawrence among these Aid Company settlers, and was led by Doctor Robinson, agent of the company, who was assisted more or less by Samuel C. Pomeroy, the company's other Kansas agent. Small wonder that Westerners in general, and pro-slavery men in particular, assumed that the company was back of the whole movement.

An extensive study of the minutes and correspondence of the Aid Company shows that, although the company made no secret of its friendship for the Free-State party in Kansas, the corporation as such took no hand in the activities of that party until the early months of 1856 when the Free-State de facto government was a going concern. Nevertheless, the officers and principal directors of the company had, "unofficially" or "in their private capacities," held chips in the game from the start. Amos A. Lawrence particularly, treasurer, and chief contributor to the company, had from the fall of 1854, the time of the election of the first territorial delegate, encouraged Robinson by letters and by gifts of money, to rally the Free-State forces [34] In the spring of 1855, Doctor Webb, secretary of the company, made an effort, as already noted, to get the first parties of settlers to Kansas in time to vote and wrote to Pomeroy admonishing him to see that the Free-State people put up a united front in the election [35] Although it was never made a matter of record, the Executive Committee of the company gave tacit permission to the company agents, Robinson and Pomeroy, to devote time, for which the company was paying them, to FreeState political activities. [36] Indeed, Lawrence and John Carter Brown, president of the company, even discussed the feasibility of sending a political agent, to be paid partly out of company funds and partly by individuals, who "should stump the territory of Kansas, taking his plan from our agents there, but not being recognized as under our auspices." [37] The plan was not carried out, but the fact that it was discussed is significant.

When Robinson decided to arm his followers he sent his appeal

30 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

for rifles to Eli Thayer and Edward Everett Hale, both active in the affairs of the Aid Company. [38] Thayer took the matter up with the Executive Committee in an "unofficial" meeting (unofficial in that no minutes of the meeting were entered in the record book). The committee decided that the company as such must not dabble in the business, but they agreed to raise the money by subscription and buy the guns. They designated one of their number, Dr. Samuel Cabot, to take charge of the matter. [39] This effort to put the settlers in a state of defense was continued until peace was finally restored in Kansas in the fall of 1856. Although the facts did not become known outside Aid Company circles until years afterward, it was universally believed among pro-slavery people on the border and by administration supporters generally that the company was arming the FreeState party, and it was this belief, even more than the colonizing activities, that stirred the borders to such a rage against the Emigrant Aid Company.

Through the summer and fall of 1855 the company was exerting itself to the extent of its means to provide for the physical needs of the Free-State settlers and at the same time increase the value of its own holdings. All the money that could be raised by the sale of stock was used to establish sawmills and grist mills in Kansas and to build a large stone hotel in Lawrence. No objection was raised to the mills, except to complain of their inadequacy, but it was believed rather extensively on the border that the Free-State hotel was being built as a fort. [40] There is nothing to indicate that the Executive Committee had such an intention, but it is a fact that the building was used as a barracks by the Free-State militia whenever Lawrence was threatened (which was most of the time during the first five months of 1856), and there is evidence from a Free-State source that the construction of the building was modified, probably by order of Robinson or Pomeroy, to make it more suitable for defense. [41]

After the Wakarusa War the company began to combine with its pleas for stock subscriptions an appeal for funds to relieve destitute

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 31

Free-State settlers. As conditions in Kansas grew more critical during the succeeding months emphasis was shifted until all efforts were concentrated on relief. Thousands of dollars were raised and sent to Kansas to supply food and clothing to men who had abandoned their claims to take up arms in the Free-State cause.

Meanwhile, Lawrence continued to exert himself in the interest of a free state. He corresponded with President Pierce, to whom he was related by marriage, and even made a trip to Washington in an effort to secure the President's promise to sustain Governor Reeder in the project to set aside the "bogus" election. [42] When he became convinced that no relief could be had in this quarter he declared "That a revolution must take place in Kansas is certain, if that can be called a revolution which is only an overthrow of usurpation." [43] During the summer of 1855 letters flew thick and fast between Lawrence and Robinson. Robinson kept Lawrence informed of all his actions, and usually asked advice in advance. Lawrence, in turn, wrote letters of advice and encouragement. He approved the launching of the FreeState movement, but urged what he called a Fabian policy of avoiding open conflict until success was certain. [44] He favored the repudiation of the territorial legislature and its enactments, but warned against the slightest resistance to Federal authority. [45] At first he doubted the wisdom of actually forming a state constitution, lest it be construed as rebellion against the Federal government, suggesting that the mere threat to take such a step might serve the same purpose, [46] but when the Topeka constitution was formed he supported the move and, along with other directors of the company, furnished the money for the election in which the constitution was ratified and Reeder elected territorial delegate. [47]

During the spring of 1856, when events in Kansas were rapidly moving toward a state of open warfare, the Emigrant Aid Company dropped the incognito of "unofficial" action which, down to that time had veiled, all too thinly, its support of the Free-State party. When a Free-State delegation was sent East in February to arouse interest in the movement the members made their headquarters at

32 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

the company's office in Boston. Indeed, the office appears to have acted as a sort of booking agency for them, arranging their speaking dates and mapping their itinerary. [48] Often a representative of the Aid Company spoke from the same platform. Allusions to the Free-State party began to appear for the first time in the minutes of the Executive Committee, and after the raid on Lawrence the company treasury was drawn upon for relief funds. [49] During this spring, too, the company became more open in supplying arms to the Free-State party, although the "rifle fund" was still kept entirely separate from the company treasury. 50 The company had now definitely identified itself with the Free-State party.

But the attack on Lawrence, May 21, 1856, together with the agitation of Republican politicians, aroused the whole North. During June Kansas aid committees sprang up in nearly all the free states and in July a National Kansas Committee was formed. These new organizations now took up much of the burden, so far borne by the Emigrant Aid Company, of arousing moral and political support for the Free-State cause, recruiting settlers, furnishing arms, and relieving the needy. The Aid Company had a share, and an important share, in this larger effort, but it was now only a part of a movement that extended throughout the North. "Bleeding Kansas" had become a national issue.

What then is the place of the Emigrant Aid Company in the Kansas conflict? In the first place, it furnished the excuse, and in some measure the provocation, for the Missouri invasion. In the second place, while the company can hardly be said to have inspired and directed the Free-State movement, it did, through Amos A. Lawrence, who was the real, though not the nominal head of the company, keep in close touch with the movement in its formative stages, and aid with encouragement, advice and money. In the third place, it was the officers of the company, if not the company itself, that armed the Free-State party. And finally, it was the Emigrant Aid Company that, during the first trying months, carried on almost alone the task of furnishing moral and physical support

JOHNSON: EMIGRANT AID IN KANSAS 33

to the Free-State movement. Although much that was said and believed about the Emigrant Aid Company in the days of its activity was either mere froth emitted by its overzealous champions, or the outright invention of opponents who wished to use the company as a bugaboo, and much that has been written about it since is the merest piffle, the fact is obvious that it was a real factor in the struggle, and no account of the Kansas conflict is adequate which fails to accord it a place.

Notes

1. E. L. Craik, "Southern Interest in Territorial Kansas," Kansas Historical Collections, v. XV, pp. 348 et seq. A. T. Andreas, History of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), pp. 419, 421.
2. New York Daily Times, August 18, 1854.
3. The original charter of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company (never used) authorized a capitalization of $5,000,000. Eli Thayer and Edward Everett Hale published a pamphlet, called Organization, Objects and Plan of Operations of the Emigrant Aid Company, which recommended the settling of 20,000 persons in Kansas. Original charter and copies of this pamphlet are among the papers and effects of the New England Emigrant Aid Company in the archives of the Kansas Historical Society, Topeka. For an account of the actual operations of the company, see article "The Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas," Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. I, pp. 429-441.
4. Many so testified before the congressional investigating committee in 1856. "Kansas Affairs," a report of the special committee appointed to investigate the troubles in Kansas, in Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives, No. 200, 84 Cong., 1 sess., pp. 926, 1114. Hereinafter cited as "Howard Report."
5. Mary J. Klem, "Missouri in the Kansas Struggle," Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings for the Year 1917-1918, v. IX, pp. 393-413 (especially 395).
6. Craik, loc. cit.
7. Clipping from St. Louis Democrat, July 6 1855, in "Webb Scrap Books," v. IV, p. 205. New York Daily Times, November 23, 1854.
8. W. M. Paxton, Annals of Platte County, Missouri (Kansas City, 1897), p. 184. Andreas, History of Kansas, p. 90. Contemporary newspaper accounts (one of which gives date as July 20), "Webb Scrap Books," v. I, pp. 104, 112.
9. Testimony in "Howard Report," pp. 1151-1152, 1157, 1183.
10. Clippings from Boston Daily Advertiser, June 21, 1854, in "Webb Scrap Books," v. I, p. 20, and New York Daily Tribune, July 26, 1854, ibid., p. 67. Item copied from St. Louis Intelligencer (date not given) in New York Daily Times, November 23, 1854. Other clippings in "Webb Scrap Books, v. II, pp. 187, 226.
11. Testimony in "Howard Report," pp. 356, 838, 896-897, 902, 903.
12. Boston Atlas, December 4, 1854, copied from Platte (Mo.) Argus, "Webb Scrap Books," v. II, p 28. INational Era (Washington, D. C.), December 12, 1854, copied independently from the Argus, ibid., p. 32.
13. W. F. Switzler in C. R. Barnes (Ed.), Switzler's History of Missouri (St. Louis, 1879), pp. 277-278. New York Daily Times, January 13, 16; February 6, 1855.
14. New York Daily Times, February 6, 1855.
15. Copy of item from St. Louis Democrat (date not given) in New York Daily Times, September 17, 1855.
16. St. Louis Evening News, May 16, 1855, quoted in Craik, loc. cit., p. 341.
17. Newspaper clippings in "Webb Scrap Books," v. II, pp. 187-188.
18. So many persons testified to the prevalence of these rumors that it is impossible to cite them all. For a few samples, see "Howard Report," pp. 356, 361, 384, 385, 410, 412, 85s, 860, 8s7, 899, 1145.
19. Newspaper accounts of some of these meetings are preserved in the "Webb Scrap Books," v. II, pp. (Ray county) 787, (Glasgow) 187, (Fayette) 188, (Lexington) 266. "Kansas meetings" are known to have been held in practically all the border counties.
20. Dr. C. A. Cutler, a Free-State candidate for the legislature (he was a native of Tennessee and had moved to Kansas from Missouri), told the Howard committee that, although the Emigrant Aid Company was made a pretext, the real reason for the fraudulent voting was that Atchison had told the Missourians that they had a right to vote. "Howard Report," p. 358. J. N. Holloway quotes a speech of B. F. Stringfellow asserting the right of Missourians to vote. Holloway, History of Kansas From the First Exploration of the Mississippi Valley to its Admission Into the Union (Lafayette, Ind., 1868), pp. 140-141.
21. On April 10, 1855, the New York Times printed a letter from a correspondent on the border, written before the election, which stated: "Funds have been raised in Missouri and men hired by thousands to come over into the territory and do all the voting."
22. "Howard Report," pp. 133, 144, 149, 156, 160, 242, 246, 316-317, 329, 356, 361, 385, 395, 865, 1145.
23. ibid., pp. 153, 336, 836, 852, 857, 862, 867-870, 899, 1160, 1172.
24. The evidence of these facts is too complex to be cited in a footnote. In general it may be said that these conclusions are based on an exhaustive study of the company's correspondence, minutes, and other records in the archives of the Kansas Historical Society.
25. Letterpress copy of letter, Webb to Sumner, April 12 1855, in Emigrant Aid Company letterpress books (hereinafter cited as Aid Company Letters), "Book A," p. 395.
26. Aid Company Letters, "Book A," pp. 83-84, 98-99.
27. "Howard Report," pp. 887-893.
28. So stated J. N. O. P. Wood, a settler from Illinois, who was a Free-State man until the fall of 1855 when he changed sides.-ibid., pp. 653-60. There is ample corroborative evidence in miscellaneous newspaper allusions and reminiscences of old settlers.
29. Letter of Robinson to Thayer, April 2, 1855, quoted in W. H. Isely, "The Sharps Rifle Episode in Kansas History," American Historical Review, v. XII pp. 546-566. Quoted also in F. W. Blackmar, Life of Charles Robinson (Topeka, 1902), pp. 131-133.
30. Charles Robinson, The Kansas Conflict (Lawrence, 1898), p. 169.
31. Space limitations of this article do not permit a more detailed summary of the events of the Kansas conflict. The story may be read in any history of Kansas.
32. Newspaper reports of these meetings in "Webb Scrap Books," v. IV.
33. The testimony of twenty-six separate witnesses who made this assertion is printed in the "Howard Report."
34. Lawrence to Robinson, October 17, 1854, in Kansas Historical Society's "Letters of Amos A. Lawrence About Kansas Affairs and to Correspondents in Kansas from June 10, 1854, to August 10, 1861," bound typewritten copies, hand indexed, prepared under direction of Mrs. A. A. Lawrence, from letterpress copies. Hereinafter cited as "Lawrence Letters," p. 35. November 21, 1854, ibid., p. 44.
35. Webb to Pomeroy, March 26, 1855, Aid Company Letters, "Book A," pp. 101-102.
36. At least these men were constantly writing letters to the home office describing their activities, and no exception was taken by the committee.
37. Lawrence to Brown, September 1 and 11, 1855, "Lawrence Letters," pp. 90-98. The quotation is from letter of September 11.
38. Letter to Thayer quoted in Blackmar, Robinson, pp. 131-133. Original letter to Hale preserved among Aid Company papers.
39. The late w. H. Isely worked out this story almost thirty years ago.-Isely, loc. cit. The present study has gone over the ground thoroughly, but has brought to light almost nothing that would modify Isely's findings.
40. "Howard Report," p. 907. See, also, J. C. Malin, "Pro-Slavery Background of the Kansas Struggle," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, v. X, pp. 285-305 (esp. 303), and Wm. Phillips, Conquest of Kansas (Boston, 1856), p. 309. Professor Malin found that the Herald of Freedom stated that the hotel was being built as a fort, but it is only fair to note that, although the Herald was commonly regarded as an Aid Company organ, its editor, G. W. Brown, was not an authorized spokesman of the company and often embarrassed the Executive Committee by his rash statements.
41. Boston Daily Advertiser, February 13, 1856, in "Webb Scrap Books," v. IX, p. 113.
42. Lawrence to President Pierce, "Lawrence Letters," p. 73. Lawrence to Professor Packard, July 14, 1854, ibid., pp. 81-2. Lawrence to Robinson, August 18, ibid., p. 94.
43. Lawrence to Dr. Webb, July 20, 1854, ibid., pp. 84-85.
44. Lawrence to Robinson, July 23, 1855, ibid., p. 86; January 31, 1856, ibid., pp. 128-129.
45. Lawrence to Robinson, August 10, 1855, ibid., pp. 88-89.
46. Lawrence to Robinson, August 16, 1855, ibid., pp. 91-92.
47. Original letter, Robinson to Lawrence, September 28, 1855, among the Emigrant Aid Company papers, Kansas Historical Society.
48. Doctor Webb wrote several letters arranging speaking dates for members of the delegation (Aid Company Letters, "Book A"), and each week their activities were reported to the Executive Committee of the Emigrant Aid Company, "Minute Books," v. II, pp. 48, 49, 67, 68, 91.
49. Original letter, A. J. Stone, assistant treasurer, to Pomeroy, among Emigrant Aid Company papers. Down to this time all relief money had been kept in a separate fund administered by Doctor Webb.
50. Down to April, 1856, Doctor Webb had replied to all letters asking about arms, that the Emigrant Aid Company had nothing to do with them. After that time, however, he began to refer inquirers to Doctor Cabot, and even took the initiative in offering to furnish arms to organized parties of emigrants.-Aid Company Letters.