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Ephriam Nute, Jr. to Reverend Edward Everett Hale

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Lawrence K. T. Oct 3 55
My dear Hale,
You have been much in my mind of late, very often indeed since our last meeting in Boston on that occasion of deep interest to me. Your word of encouragement to me personaly [xxx] for the cause of Freedom & the prosperity of our colony in the wilderness has been appreciated & hes given strength to my hands for the work on which I have entered under a painful sense of weakness (a feeling I know you would earnestly condemn) But I have felt my head grow strong as the difficulties & trials of this warfare have stared me in the face, or rather as I have gone out to meet them,
I was glad to see your letter in the Register which reached me by the last mail some 3 weeks old. Only one statement I wished to correct, you don’t do justice to our lumber, bending

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the fine poles of our trees out of their symetrical uprightness while you exaggerate their diameter.
On the North side of the Kaw river there are, within 10 miles of Lawrence thousands of acres covered with oak black walnut, sycamore etc from which all the mills in the neighborhood might be supplied with logs from 2 to 4 feet in diameter & from 12 to 30 feet in length for many years to come without any appreciable diminution
Our great want, in a material way is good sawmills, It is almost impossible to get lumber enough for the floor of stone houses while hundreds of the best logs lay at the yards of each of the mills! They are too small, of insufficient powers, defective machinery constantly getting out of order, no one of them run day & night by two sets of hands as is the custom “down East” Hundreds of houses would have been build in & around Lawrence

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more than have been built could the lumber be had. I began to build a small house 16x20 in the village 4 mo. since, the walls of composite, It is now up one story and has waited 6 weeks for the sticks on wh to lay the 1st floor & it is now necsy as long since the masons stopped for want of those for the second, 7 weeks of this time I have tented & the rest of the time lived in a small cabin on a “claim”, the work of my own hands almost altogether. In the mean time I have been to each of the mills about 4 times a week walking generally, a distance of 2 miles & back to get nothing but promises. Do you wonder that I have a keen interest in the subject of logs & sawmills. But we hope to see this & other works of our settlement soon supplied by the noble efforts that are being made in your region. Just now

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I am at work about a church ie. meeting house, nearly $900 [xxx] here, will probably be made up to $1000, good I think for a pioneer community for our heresy. It will be built in the name of The A. U. A. who as you prob. know appropriate $3500 therefor. All that & what is raised here will be swallowed up in the [xxx] building plain, unadorned & unfinished, then we shall want a bell & some other appurtenances for which I must make or instigate another effort.
The encouragement which has met me here in the general & friendly hearing that has been given has been far beyond my anticipations 7/8 of the young, & the most active men here are in favor of the liberal doctrine. This struggle for civil liberty is favorable to the cause of Ecclesiastical freedom just as it was in the struggle of our

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fathers with Great Britain. It was favorable to the freest Relg. Institutions & modes of thought that prevailed then & so it is now, The ground is well broken up in this community for the seed of Free-thinking Christianity
The chains of our Missouri servitude are gulling the people more & more The men of Lawrence are wrought up to the fighting pitch, God grant it may not come; but there may be something infinitely worse than that, “First Pure then Peacable” Monday was the day appointed by the Sham Legislature for election of delegates to Congress. Bands of invaders began to appear early Sund. morn. About 400 were encamped near Franklin, a pro slavery whiskey-drinking settlement some 7 miles below Lawrence. Small parties came up to this place during the day & it was rumored that an attack was meditated on our printing presses

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Hundreds were gathered in Lawrence armed for the defence, shall I confess that the missionary put his repeating rifle into the hands of a neighbor took his revolver & went to town & stayed till after dark 6 mo since & I could hardly have believed that my trust would ever be put in carnal weapons, But when men behave like wild beasts what can we do but treat them as such & make men of them as quick as possible. But the day passed without any bloodshed. It is reported that but 70 votes(just 81) were cast at Franklin & but 40 (just 42) here, all of course for the pro slavery candidate Whitfield. Next Tues & the voice of the people, the actual settlers of Kanzas will be heard, for Reeder & Liberty. It is reported that Shannon has declared all engaged in the movement for a new government under a State Constitution to be Rebels outlaws & to be treated as such.

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Just what will be done with us is not known. Some interference with the election next Tuesday is expected. But before this reaches you the telegraph will have notified you of the result.
Just here I learned that the mail would be detained 4 days by the sickness of the carrier & now so many days later will finish this epistle. Great excitement prevails in anticipation of the election next Tues. Threats of interference men arming themselves for resistance, some little skirmishing preparatory to a general fight I fear, one man stabbed by a fellow of the [xxx] sent from Missouri who has been keeping a groggery in the village, but not it is now thought mortally wounded, [xxx] others assaulted, lives threatened, horses oxen & cows killed in revenge. But some things will be settled on Tues & we must wait for this vile administration or a Congress, but little better to settle the nest, It is now Sunday morn & I am called off to

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attend a funeral or would say more, give me a friendly word soon,
as ever yours fraternally E. Nute
Rev E. E. Hale.

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