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Winter 1977, Volume 43, Number 4


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James Hanway's account of the Pottawatomie Massacre

James Hanway's account of the Pottawatomie Massacre
Creator: Hanway, James
Date: 1856
This is a five-page account of the May 24, 1856, killings on Pottawatomie Creek, apparently written by James Hanway shortly after the incident. Hanway identified the five pro-slavery victims by name and wrote: "The settlement is plunged into a perfect commotion. A meeting of the settlers was held on the 26th and they mutually agreed to protect each other from foreign or internal foes. All men of real good sense, condemned these midnight assassinations and also the killing of men who are attending to their concerns." This was a somewhat different perspective of the situation than expressed by Hanway in his 1860 letter to James Redpath. Nevertheless, Hanway wrote, the responsibility for "all such blood tragedies" lay with the pro-slavery men.

James Hanway to James Redpath

James Hanway to James Redpath
Date: March 12, 1860
James Hanway, a friend and follower of John Brown during the Kansas troubles, writes James Redpath from Shermansville in Franklin County, Kansas Territory, about a book Redpath had written entitled "The Public Life of John Brown," which was published by "Thayer & Eldridge" in 1860. Hanway reports that he'd enjoyed the book, thought it was, "on the whole... a correct life of the old man," but wished to state "the facts" Redpath had missed especially as regards the Pottawatomie Massacre of May, 1856. In this lengthy, detailed letter, Hanway, who was with John Brown, Jr. and some others who were not at the Pottawatomie Creek when the killings took place, argues that the action was fully justified under the circumstances and that Brown gave the orders, even though he personally killed none of the victims.

Mt. Gilead Congregational Church records, Anderson County, Kansas Territory, 1859-1860

Mt. Gilead Congregational Church records, Anderson County, Kansas Territory, 1859-1860
Creator: Congregational Church of Mount Gilead
Date: April 1859 - September 1860
This small volume contained some "Records of the Congregational Church of Mt. Gilead Anderson Co Kansas Territory," which may have been recorded by John S. Hanway, the son of James Hanway (although John S. Hanway's name is not cited among the church's members, etc.). The volume covered about a year and a half, from the church's inception in April, 1859, to the last dated entry in September, 1860, and was composed mainly of the congregation's articles of faith and by laws. Samuel L. Adair led devotions at the first meeting. The church's first members and/or officers were identified as Wakeman and Mary E. Partridge, J. F. and Ruth I. Wadsworth, Lydia Gilpatrick, Margaret Potter, and William Loomis.

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