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Governor Payne Ratner at the Marais des Cygnes Massacre site, Linn County, Kansas - Page

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A photograph of Governor Payne Ratner of Kansas, speaking at the Marais des Cynges massacre site in Linn County, Kansas. On May 19, 1858, Missouri border ruffian Charles Hamelton and some 30 other men rode through the village of Trading Post, Kansas, captured 11 free-state men and marched them into a ravine where they opened fire upon them. Five of the men were killed, five were seriously injured, and one escaped unharmed.
John Brown, arriving at the scene towards the end of June, built a "fort" some 220 yards south of the ravine. The land on which the fort was built belonged to Eli Snider, a blacksmith. Later he sold it to Brown's friend Charles C. Hadsall who agreed to let Brown occupy it for military purposes. Brown and his men withdrew at the end of the summer, leaving the fort to Hadsall.
In later years Hadsall built a stone house adjoining the site of Brown's fort, enclosing the spring within the walls of the first floor. In 1941 the Kansas legislature authorized acceptance of the massacre site, including Hadsall's house, as a gift to the state from the Pleasanton Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1961 it provided funds for the restoration of the building, and in 1963 the entire property was turned over to the Kansas Historical Society for administration. A museum was established in the upper floor of the building in 1964. Today the park is operated as Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site.

Date: December 16, 1939

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Item Number: 228897
Call Number: FK2.L5 .79 *22
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 228897

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