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G. B. Woodford to Governor John Martin

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To his Excellency, John A Martin,

Governor of the State of Kansas.


Dear Sir


We, the undersigned officers and citizens of the city of Parsons and Labette County Kans, desire to make the following statement in regard to the conditions of affairs in our city and county.


On March 6 ’86 the Knight of Labor ceased to work on the Mo. Pacific R.R.  It was then hoped that the difficulty would soon be settled.  But this condition of suspense continued till your Excellency sought a conference with both parties interested and recommended a plan of settlement.  We hoped that your conference would result in adjusting all difficulties.  But when R.R. authorities undertook to operate this road and shops they opposed by lawless company of men.  Authority of the City and County was invoked to aid the R.R. to possess and to operate their road and shops and also to preserve order in our city.


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The authority of both county and city were resisted by men who called themselves “strikers”.  No freight trains were allowed to move.


After the Proclamation of your Excellency, Mayor A. O. Brown, of Parsons, by authority invested in him, called out all citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 to assist in preserving order in the city.  These Citizens were formed into a battalion of five companies and marched to the scene of disorder.  They were not able to enforce order nor to protect the R.R. Company in the use of its property.  In their presence the companies engines were disabled.  Besides these Citizens of Parsons, the Sheriff of Labette Co. was present with a posse of men – All of these forces were not able to cope with the lawless element that opposed them.


After our force was exhausted our Honorable Mayor and Sheriff and other citizens telegraphed your Excellency for Military aid.  In response, Gen A. B. Campbell came to our city and endeavored to disperse the strikers and to secure the


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movement of trains.  But when, at the request of the General, the Company undertook to move a train, the engine was disabled in the presence of and in defiance of the authority in him vested.  Again, after consultation, another engine was ordered out, this was also disabled.


This is our condition.  We have not force enough in the City and County, including the presence of the Adj. General, to preserve order or to protect the Company in the operation of its road and shops.

Further, we are in a serious condition.  Commerce is paralyzed.  Citizens are suffering great financial lose which is working ruin to our city and county.  Besides this the attempts of the Mayor and Sheriff to enforce law is creating a bad feeling between citizens and citizens of the same city and frequently of the same block.  All of which tends toward a serious riot and bloodshed.


In consideration of the above, we do most earnestly ask


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Your Excellency, to furnish such military aid, as will ensure a speedy settlement of this difficulty.


It is our deliberate opinion that there should be sent here from six hundred to one thousand soldiers, prepared to do their full duty.  We fear that a small number would only provoke riot and cause the loss of much property and life.  We think that before a large force the strikers would succumb without the loss of life.  Besides, it will be necessary for the bridges on either side of the city to be guarded.


Again, we hope Your Excellency will act with great promptness, or there is great loss many sustained every day, and the danger of the loss of life grows greater with each day.


G. B. Woodford Sheriff

A. O. Brown



F. H. Foster – Depy Co Atty.


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C. H. Kimbell

John Dean

J. Kuapp

W. O. Talbot

V. Kennedy

C. S. Easback

W. H. Loegameut

Geo. W. Ebiet

H. A. Tucker

J. A. Hood

C. W. Kurset M.D.


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No.  541  Book  F   Page 222.

From  Sheriff Woodford & Mayor Brown and others.

Place  Parsons

Date  April 1

Rec’d   “  2



Affairs in Parsons since March 6 – Petition.

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