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Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt

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Tabor Iowa, Thursday Aug. 21st 1856
Mr. Hyatt,
Dear Sir I arrived here from Chicago on Monday; on Tuesday we received a letter from Kansas, a copy of which I send enclosed. The messenger who brought it was Mr Buchanan of the Wisconsin party; he said there had been a skirmish between the Emigrants and Missourians on the Kansas River, between Lawrence & Topeka, that Lane was in it, and that they took some 80 guns one cannon and a quantity of ammunition and whipped the Missourians badly; Lane had been at Lawrence & Topeka, and came to Buchanans house and started him off for this place with the letter, B------ lives in the first settlement across the

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Kansas line, which is some 10 miles in the Territory. The Emigrants made another settlement between the first & Topeka. I could not get the particulars of the battle from the messenger he did not see Lane more than half an hour before he started; Lane was to wait at his house till he returns and then he was going back to the Kansas valley. I raised Teams to take on what stuff there was here, which consisted of 100 guns one Bbl. Powder & 100 Knives; I went with them to Nebraska City and there got other teams to take them on and a safe number of men to accompany them; I put them in charge of Mr. Moore and he will see them through; I returned to this place this morning. The camp below Nebraska City did not break up until

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about a week after we started for the East; a day or two after they broke up a party from Lawrence & Topeka arrived and persuaded Lane to go with them to Kansas promising they would see him through independent of the emigrant train. Lane had decided to go east but finely consented to accompany them Dr Blanchard (from whom I got this statement) disguised him in such a way that his most intimate acquaintances could not recognize him, he goes by the name of “Spanish Joe” in the Territory. Blanchard accompanied him one day. Buchanan said but few of the emigrants knew Lane was in the Territory.
The messenger which Lane sent to Smith returned a few days after we started

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East. I tried to get a copy of Smiths reply but could not. Blanchard sayes it was a cold and insulting letter
Buchanan sayes the emigrants are well and in good spirits, but they are out of money and nearly out of provisions It seems to me that something must be done and that too soon, to secure provision for them for the winter if we intend to have them remain there; large quantities can now be bought up here cheap, our emigrants will suffer unless something of this kind is done—you are aware of the state of our friends here and at Chicago.
After you left me at Chicago I proceeded to look up the knives and had engaged about 100 when I went to the Com. Rooms to get my money, there they informed me

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they had held a meeting that morning and decided not to purchast any knives but if I had engaged any they would pay for them; the reason they gave for changing their decision was that they had seen in the morning paper a statement that our men had arrived safely in Kansas and they thought – there was no need of buying them Knives. – so instead of getting 184 knives I had to come off with about 100. They gave me $75. for expenses which I have used up besides nearly all my own funds in expenses and sending forward the stuff that was here. Mr Jones advanced $56.25 for the man who brought those guns from Iowa City. I have a letter authorizing Eldridge to draw for $1000. which is the extent of our funds here, and no more at Chicago

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I learn from various reliable sources that large quantities of provision are being bought up along the Missouri line and that a large number of waggons with tents and camping fixtures are being fitted out at Doniphan Stichan and other points along the Missouri, and that quite a force is collecting on the Big Blue, what the objects of these movements are I cannot learn.
While I was gone to Chicago word came here that there was five suspicious boxes at Plattsmouth, left there by a man who got frightened and was afraid to take them further; The Law & Order men had threatened to open them; Mr Jones thinking they might be guns sent a man to look after them and gave him an order to get them if they proved to be what they were reported

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The man returned the day I arrived here and reported that he found the boxes but that one day a short time since when the man in whose care they were left was gone, a party of “Law & Order” men came and opened them and found they contained plows chains and other property of an honest old bachelor who had started for Kansas to settle but got frightened and left his things with a free state man at that place, and is now at work over the river waiting for matters to get quiet so he can go into Kansas so you see the property of an honest emigrant going to Kansas is not safe from the hands of the Ruffins even up as far as Plattmouth. and the Law and Order party are allowed to commit their depridations in Nebraska as well as in Kansas: the resolutions of

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a meeting in Cass Co. (a report of which you will see in the N Y Tribune or National Era. – I think Plattsmouth is in Cass Co.) to the contrary notwithstanding
I am waiting anxiously Eldridges return he will probably be here in a few days. The company of Emigrants we met at Iowa City will be along soon.
I would like to hear from you – I feel anxious to know what is going on at the East and what the prospects of our cause are. it seems to me that unless funds are forthcoming to purchase provision and establishing a depot here there is no need of any one staying here for nothing can be done unless there is something to do with. Whatever I can do to be of any service to the com. either here, in the Terriitory or elsewhere I am at their service Hoping to hear from you soon I remain Your Truly A D Searl

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