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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


George W. Clarke to Samuel J. Jones

George W. Clarke to Samuel J. Jones
Creator: Clarke, George W.
Date: June 2, 1858
Writing from Fort Scott, Kansas Territory, to Douglas County Sheriff Samuel J. Jones, George W. Clarke describes a May 30, 1858, incident in which Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel D. Walker attempted to arrest him as a suspect in the Marais des Cygnes Massacre. Clarke declares that he was innocent of the charges, and views Walker's arrest warrant as a "bogus writ." Clarke initially resisted arrest but claimed that he agreed to surrender to Lieutenant Shinn of the U.S. Army to prevent violence between Fort Scott residents and Walker's men. Clarke also describes the unsuccessful efforts of angry Fort Scott residents to convince Walker to arrest James Montgomery.


Henry J. Adams house, formerly home of Sheriff Jones, Lecompton, Kansas

Henry J. Adams house, formerly home of Sheriff Jones, Lecompton, Kansas
Date: Between 1880 and 1920
A photograph of the Henry J. Adams house, formerly the home of Sheriff Samuel Jones. On May 21, 1856, Sheriff Jones, accompanied by a group of proslavery men acting as his posse, entered Lawrence intent on destroying the offices of the Herald of Freedom and the Kansas Free State . In the raid that followed, they destroyed the newspaper offices (dumping their newspaper type in the Kansas River), looted several other businesses and burned the Free State Hotel (later the Eldridge House). This action became widely known as the "sack of Lawrence."


Lecompton Town Company certificate

Lecompton Town Company certificate
Creator: Lecompton Town Company
Date: July 10, 1856
William L. Blair was issued this certificate for one share of stock in the Lecompton Town Company on July 10, 1856. The certificate is signed by the company's secretary, Samuel J. Jones, who was a notorious sheriff of Douglas County, Kansas Territory. The certificate was transferred, at some point, to John A. Halderman.


Samuel J. Jones

Samuel J. Jones
Date: 1856-1860
A formal, cased ambrotype portrait of Samuel J. Jones who led a large pro-slavery force in the May 21, 1856 sacking of the city of Lawrence, which was an anti-slavery stronghold in Douglas County, Kansas Territory. Jones was the sheriff of Douglas County at the time of the attack.


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