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J. Henry Muzzy to Eli Thayer

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Lawrence. K. T. Mar 3 1857
Dear Sir,
I have often thought of writing to you; but constant occupation, and the knowledge that your time was so closely taken up, has hitherto deterred me.
I found, upon my arrival here last fall the general aspect of affairs more favorable for the free state cause, than I had dared to hope, before leaving the east. The fear that you expressed to me then, that many of the free state setlers would be discouraged by the news of the election of Buchannan, has not been verified; and I have not yet heard of a single person leaving the Territory on that account. Everything has been quiet here, and we have got through the winter much better than we expected to.
There has been considerable suffering, as all expected there would be; but in all the more thickly setled portions of the Territory it has been partly or wholly relieved, by the aid sent so generously from the northern states.
Although the winter has not been so severe as the last, yet we have had five or six weeks of quite severe weather; but for the past few

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weeks it has seemed very much like spring.
The river is open, and navigation has commenced, and thus far I should think there had arrived some five or six hundred emigrants, much the larger proportion of whom are from the free states. The news from all quarters, speaks of a great emigration from the east this spring. I hope we shall not be disappointed. Business never was so good in the Territory before, and wages both of mechanics and laborours, are very high.
Farm claims and city property are rising rapidly in value, and the spirit of speculation is spreading everywhere.
But I do not expect this quiet to last long for the ruffians will move “heaven and earth,” in order to get up another difficulty, in order to check eastern emigration. Although I do not think there will be any organized attempt to stop emigration by the way of the Missouri river, yet I think that free state men may be subjected to a good deal of anoyance in coming that way. The stiller they keep the better it will be. Yankees are apt to talk to much everywhere, and there is no necessity for a man declaring his sentiments, on the Missouri, unless he is called upon to do so. But the thing which will bring on difficulty I fear,

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is the attempt, soon to be made by the officers appointed by the bogus legislature, to collect taxes. They are now being assesed, and there is an evident determination among the ruffians to collect them. Now what shall we do. To pay taxes which have been laid upon us by a foreign power, is the last step in our degredation; and no step would give the slaveholders more confidence than a knowledge that that had been done.
If we refuse to pay, our property will be levied upon and sold at public sale the expenses of which we must pay unless we combine together and resist by force; and then if the U. S. troops are called out to enforce the collection we shall be obliged to submit at last.
And shall we ever be reimbursed for our losses, if we refuse to pay, either by the general government, or any one else. Most of us have lost and suffered enough for the glory of it, and I fear that many will be induced to submit and pay, for the sake of peace and quiet unless something appears for our relief. We have called a convention which meets at Topbekah this week, and the majority of the setlers will be guided, I think, by the action which they may take.
Many are anxiously waiting to ascertain whether Gov Geary is going to sanction the

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forcible collection of taxes. The Governors general course thus far has met the approval of a majority of the free state men, and many hope that he will interfere in this case.
We have now one thing to thank God for; and that is, that this is the last day of the reign of Frank Pierce. We feel that any change at Washington can hardly be for the worse. Mr Buchannan may try, but it will be impossible for him to eclipse his predecessor in baseness.
Resp Yours J Henry Muzzy.
Hon Eli. Thayer Worcestr
 

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