Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Orville Chester Brown to unknown

Item Description Bookbag Share

Lawrence Sep 2 1856
My dear Friends
Our worst fears of Border Ruffianism are now being realized – Kansas is the scene of bloody strife. Murder house burning and pillage are now the order of the day. Missouri has poured into our border 2000 armed men whose purpose is to murder – drive, starve & burn free state settlers, and destroy their homes and utterly route us from the Soil. Our people are in arms fighting as best they can – and fully determined to conquer order. Indeed no other alternative is left us. It is fight or Starve, for adhesion to the bogus Laws never will be given. Many of our people are prisoners and somehow already have we reason to believe been cruelly murdered by the [xxx] cohorts [xxx] the black power. Several of the fortified posts of the Georgians, who were stealing & murdering were broken up by our people. This exasperated the minions of Slavery, their plans were frustrated, routed from their strong fortified holds, where they were staying under pretense of making loans, but really to rise when the time comes & cut our throats and drive us from the Teritory, they woke for Missouri, the Mother of the [Nations?] foulest disgrace, and thus with Atchison Stringfellow and co make the 7th invasion of this fair land in less than 2 years – [xxx] towns north of Kansas [xxx] [xxx], Leavenworth is thus out now as the U. S. mails stopped. Several of our people murdered, several now held as prisoners if not murdered, [500?] go on to Lecompton and are now burning houses & crops of free state men about that places several were burned last night others night before. Now Westport 1200 March out upon Santa Fe road. [xxx] go down to Osawatomie & burn & pillage that Town, after a heroic resistance of a few noble noble fellows who killed 40, & [xxx] of their men. Another bunch of 75 go on to Attawa Jones [xxx] Indian with a white wife and burn his house over his head, he barely escaping in his night close, & escaping this bullets ran 4 miles to a neighbors for protection His wife left the house with [xxx] [xxx] $500 in gold. Of this they robbed her when she sat down and saw her house burn while she they took a sick man from the house beat him to death as they supp[xxx] & [xxx] Cowards galloped off. Jones is a peacable man; but has taken of [xxx] into the Creek – But he was found [xxx]
being her state, and entertaining people, as there is nobody else to do it, this party next fetched up at Prairie City, her some 10 or 15 men routed them, when they joined the main force at Bull Creek, leaving all this to free state forces 250 strong.

Page 2

Left Lawrence about 9 to 10 AM Saturday morning by forward march of 35 miles, the cavalry reached them just at dark – finding them in so large numbers and so late they fell back for our infantry to come up, the next day they gave them a chance to fight, but they had taken a hasty team getting some provisions the forces returned and are now preparing for the other branch of the [xxx] – If they stand fight there will be a good chance for them to be flogged – Lecompton must fall in less than 30 hours if nothing comes up to change the program
Fri. Our forces surround Lecompton having chased the invaders here near dark into the [town?].
plan already to whip them, the U. S. troops [step in?] and another treaty is made & [xxx] gives up 14 prisoners held without any process even with the bogus Laws.
Again [on the] 17th this month and all [Mo?] propose to make one grand rally and destroy this obstinate Town of Lawrence --
At Osawatomie the Ruffians took a lad Spencer Brown, & it is Said have sent him down the river, Shall not write his mother about it by this mail. Language cannot describe the fearful strife of the antagonist’s elements now stiring in Kansas. It is a great mob State urged on by the black fiend of hell & his ally the Administration to crush out a poor feeble people. Small in numbers, but heroic, and determined to have liberty or death. Could you have seen the doings in this Teritory for the last 20 days, this language would seem tame to you. I am to day utterly stript of everything but cloth on my back and not the first dollar – But I do not despair – God & Free Kansas – My all is land stolen out my claim.
Chester --

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2021 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.