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Henry Newman to Thomas Carney

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Newman, Henry (Osawatomie, Kans)

 

Ans Sept 3. 1863

 

Office of J.C. Howe & Co

Boston, Mass, Aug 25th 1863.

 

Gov. Thomas Carney

Leavenworth (or Topeka Kansas)

 

Dear Sir:

 

The writer is a citizen of Osawatomie, Merchant, and the owner of the largest stock Mdse between Leavenworth and Ft. Scott in the border counties; have been here two weeks purchasing a portion of my usual Fall Stock, and, during the last few days, have had my feelings sorely tried by reading the shocking details (as they come over the wires) of the Lawrence tragedy, learning with each dispatch, additional names of old friends and acquaintances, victims in the inhuman slaughter.  Was a resident of L. from ’56 to ’59, and well acquainted with all the early residents, Col. Lamore, Lykins, Griswold, Eldridges &e.  I know the promptness of Kansas Officers and Kansas men and that all will be done that can be done to protect what there is left of Kansas.

 

But, in common with all our Citizens, I have always felt that our town was peculiarly liable to Guerrilla attacks; the “Border Ruffians of ‘56” who have done this deed

 

[Page 2]

 

(and are in face answerable for all invasions of Kansas) have, it is well known, a peculiar spite against us and owe us an especial grudge.  At no time this summer have our citizens felt themselves sufficiently protected by the small number of troops at Paola (8 miles distant) because guerrilla parties have repeatedly approached nearer Paola than we are, killed their victims and secured their plunder with impunity.  Our people have organized companies of minute men, but the farmers around the town do not feel able to leave their farms and keep up a constant guard in town at their own expense; and all experience has them, especially in the last instance, that where there is sufficient property to tempt guerrillas its only safety is in a body of men constantly under arms.  We imperatively need one full company of well armed troops to be stationed at our town during this fall and winter; and were I at home, I could get the name of every resident of our neighborhood to this petition.  Such petitions have been sent, time and again, to head quarters of the Department without effect.  Think not this to be written solely on my own account.  There are some four other merchants in town with interest, and risks proportional with my own and we think

 

[Page 3]

 

that the aggregate of property and monied interests of the town (saying nothing of the value of our lives) is sufficient to warrant the posting of a company there; and for their comfortable shelter, there are doubtless plenty of buildings to be had, rent free.

 

The effect of the Lawrence slaughter is to cut off all credits in Kansas, outside of Leavenworth, who has a Fort for protection.  I have many and willing friends here who have always been and are now (with my property in Osawatomie reasonably safe from invasion) ready to advance me all the goods I need; but without some guarantee from competent authority that our town shall be made especially safe from attack at the earliest practicable moment, my business and that of our other merchants is suspended, for I should not think of sending more goods to Kansas and even were I willing, my friends here, reading the harrowing details of this Lawrence affair will not take risks with me.  No one else will send stocks where they are so unsafe and the result will be general in convenience and suffering in a large extent of country, whose inhabitants get their supplies at Osawatomie.

 

[Page 4]

 

I trust you will excuse the liberty I have taken on thus addressing you, but the urgency of the case seems to compel it; and an answer to me here, and at this time will affect, favorably or otherwise according to its tone, a heavy business in our county.  For my standing and responsibility, I would respectfully refer you to M.P. Daniels, M.C. McCracken,  [XXXXX]  & Co. or any other wholesale merchant in your city.

 

Be kind enough to request an assistant to inform me whether or not the stationing of a company at our town is possible and if our citizens may expect one there; if not, what other reliable protection will be guarantied to our town especially and independent of the troops at Paola.

 

In behalf of the Citizens of O. and vicinity

 

Yours Most Respectfully

 

Henry Newman

 

Please address at earliest convenience,

“Care  [XXX]  J.C. Howe & Co”

 

“Boston”

“Mass.”

 

 

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