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James Montgomery to George L. Stearns

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Mound City, Linn Co, Kans, Nov. 27 1860 Geo. L. Stearns Esq
Much Esteemed Friend My last letter to you gave the news up to the death of Scott, and the flight of Judge Williams and the Marshal from Fort Scott. So great was the Stampede from the Fort that the place was almost instantly deserted. Mr. Moran: Receiver in the Land Office was, I believe, the only Federal Official who stood his ground. This speaks well for Mr. Moran, and is considered, by the settlers, a proof that he possesses a good conscience; and they now listen with confidence to what he tells them.
Mr. Moran has arranged matters with the settlers to their entire satisfaction; and the sales will be allowed to pass off without interruption. The Acting Governor Mr. Beebe came down to see us a few days since. He had heard strange rumors of our doings, and like a sensible man as he appears to be, came in person to ascertain the truth in regard to affairs.
He soon found where the wrong lay: and finding that we were acting calmly and dispassionately, on well established precedents, he left us with the assurance that he would do all in his power to protect us in our rights; recommending, of course, that we should refer our differences to the Federal Court; and promising to do what he could to reform abuses in that department.
Times are quiet now, and our lives as safe as they would be in any country.
Fugitives too, are as safe here as they would be in Canada. Two more have come to us since my last writing.

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If Mr. Bird were here, I think he would be disposed to take back what he said to me on our first meeting, and agree that fugitives may be protected in Kansas.
Mr. Yeasley, who had been lying chained in Fort Scott, awaiting his trial for the killing of Mr. Beck, was liberated on a Habeus Corpus served by the people.
Beck owned a steam mill on the Neosha, and Yeasley loaned him $1,000.
Yeasley also worked for Beck as engineer in the mill, until his wages and interest of his money amounted to $1,100 more; when finding it impossible to get a settlement with Beck, he left the mill and set up a Blacksmith’s shop. Some person, believed by us to be Beck himself, took the plunger out of then pump. A mob of Democrats collected at the mill, and with a rope in their hands, went to Yeasley’s house to hang him. He defended himself so resolutely that the mob dispersed without effecting their object. The plunger was found in its place, and the mill went to work again. Sometime after this, Yeasley was accused of stealing the plunger again. Another mob collected, and the affair ended for the time, in the killing of Beck by Yeasley. I have this moment received a precious document, sent by a friend in Lawrence, which I send you as a sample of Democratic lying.
The Herald gets its information from the Fugitive & Marshalls, Campbell and Dimon, who have gone to Leavenworth for troops. They may get them.
What they say about our friends in the East is all guess work, we have told no such thing.

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I received a letter from E. B. Whitman informing me the last remnants of aid goods I sent to his care had been cleared out some time ago.
I can hear of but one lot and that is the same on which you gave me an order last spring. I hope an order will be sent to Mr. Pratt immediately, so that I may get what then is left of that lot whenever I call for them.
Our people are very destitute, and if they let the troops loose upon us, we may be chased all over Kansas; and possibly into Arkansas, and we will need all the help we can get, for in that case we will have no time to work for anything.
The document referred to was printed about the time the Gov. started down this way. All that is needed here, to make the times interesting is the presence of United States Troops. I told the Gov. previously, that their presence here, would be considered insulting to our dignity as free-born American citizens.
My previous letters to you will enable you to understand the case.
Only think of my speech at Mapleton! Now I was not at Mapleton at all, nor did I make any speech at any place. Armed each with a Sharp’s Rifle and two heavy Colt Revolvers, a saber and Bowie- Knife! Dr. Jennison had a saber, and there might have been half a dozen Revolvers; but not a knife in the company and not more than dozen Sharp’s Rifles. In regard to slaves our position is this: If any state wishes to keep slaves, let her keep them at home. If they allow them to come here, they must be free.
Yours Truly James Montgomery

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