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Thomas H. Webb to William Barnes

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Boston Sept. 9, '56
Dear Sir.
Your Letter of inquiry respecting the Messrs. Cone has but just been rec'd owing to a short absence from home. Those individuals are known to me. S. W. Cone brought with him a Letter of introduction, addressed to me, from Gov. Reeder, and I presume both he and his brother are sincere in their professions as to the establishing a Press and publishing a Free State paper in Kansas.
As regards Rev. Henry Marchant, I know nothing. I have a Letter from him bearing even date with yours, in which he inquires where the Cones may be found, saying they strongly solicited him to engage as their Ag't., but from the state of his health he had not said yea or nay; but has so far recovered that he will engage, if they will furnish him a Commission.
The intelligence from Kansas, as you have seen by the papers of the day, is of a sad character, and I fear it is but the prelude of sadder intelligence

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that will ere long reach us from that ill-fated and much abused region.- The Official Dispatches issued by the Secretaries of State and War seem clearly to indicate the cruel purpose of the President is to "subdue" the free State settlers, and crush out Liberty; the design is to suppress an imaginary insurrection, not to repel an actual invasion. Dark, however as the prospect of Freedom now appears, I do not despond; it is indeed no time to yield to despair. We must continue to exert our best efforts for the benefit of our suffering friends. We cannot successfully contend against the physical and financial power of government by merely pitting men and money against men and money, but we must stem the tide, and turn back the torrent by intellectual and moral power. As one means of attaining the object, petitions are being circulated this very day throughout the Commonwealth, soliciting the chief Executive to summon without delay a special

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session of the Legislature to see what relief can be extended to those settlers in Kansas who went out from this Commonwealth, and whose lives and property are now in imminent peril.
What can be done in the Empire State? I am aware that your governor and Legislature are antagonistic, yet I trust not so much so, but that on a matter of such vital importance as the one which now demands attention they may act harmoniously.
If Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio would but act promptly, prudently, and yet decidedly, their examples would be widely followed, and the effect would be of incalculable advantage to the bona fide settlers of the Territory, who have been most grossly vilified, and are now brutally tyrannized over.
Let me hear from you on this subject. Very truly yours, Thomas H. Webb
To Wm. Barnes Esq. Albany, N. Y.

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