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William B. Hutchinson to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

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Lawrence, Kansas June 6, 1856
Friend Holliday:
I have been considering, the last few days, the propriety of holding a People’s Mass Convention at Topeka, on the 4th of July, for the purpose of bringing together the Free State men of Kansas, and of consulting together upon the imperative necessity of having the Legislation assemble according to adjournment. This will strengthen the numbers, to see the people at their side when peril comes, and will inspire a new confidence with many who might not otherwise appear at their post. Then if it should appear all quiet with no hostile array of forces against them it would be an exceedingly favorable time to hold a spirited Convention – profitable to all. But if a Marshall’s posse assembles near them to arrest the numbers, or otherwise prevent their coming together, then have the tools all with them, to do such work as duty may dictate. Great results are depending upon that Legislature and the people must stand with them.
I have consulted several on the subject and all are in favor of something of the kind, but we do not

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not [sic] wish to come to any definite conclusion until we hear from you – or the citizens of your town as they are first in interest. Pls to confer together sufficiently and reply if possible by return mail.
Your “inflexibles” are now with us awaiting news from the camp of Whitfield or Summer. It is believed there must be a fight today or tomorrow unless Col Summer’s interference should prevent it. He was at our camp yesterday and ordered them to give up their prisoners – return them their horses and arms, and to disperse saying that he was going directly to Whitfields Camp, and demand the same. Our men gave up the prisoners, but on hearing that Whitfields men at Bull Creek defied Summer and everything else, they concluded to not disband, until knowing the course of Whitfield. Thus matters stood when our last messenger left. Summer is calling to his aid the remainder of his force about Lawrence as if he expected warm work. The soldiers are with us in feelings, and long for an opportunity to shoot.
We have a messenger just in from Chicago saying the States are all on fire. It is ten times as hot there as it ever was here he says We think he is reliable. Says Reeder spoke in Chicago to over 5000. Immense Excitement A move is started to raise $500,000. in that State and send 5000. men here immediately with provisions and money for one year He believes they will do it and that some will be here in less than two weeks. Lane is moving the waters in Indiana.
Yours with much regard
Wm Hutchinson

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