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James Montgomery to George L. Stearns

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Mound City, Linn County, Kansas, Dec 12 /60 George L. Stearns Esq:
Much Esteemed Friend: The mountain is in labor, and, I think will soon bring forth a mouse.
You are aware that Uncle Sam is making some big splurges out this way, he has let “Old Harney loose”, but for all that he is likely to effect, he might as well have been kept at home.
It isn’t worth while for Uncle Sam, or anybody else, to think of enforcing the Fugitive Slave law on us here; it can’t be done.
Major Whitsitt, of the Army, says “it is not the hanging of a few scoundrels that has brought the Troops to this country; there is a “nigger in the woodpile”
The “nigger” is here, but Uncle Sam can’t get him. Nothing short of stationing a Regiment in every county will prevent us from keeping him here; and, when that is done, we will pass him on somewhere else. The Government has taken great pains to make the country believe that “Montgomery and his band” do not belong to the people.
A Mass Meeting was held at Mound City last week, pursuant to previous notice. The meeting was large, and the Resolutions passed unanimously. The action of Montgomery and his band, was not only endorsed, but declared to be “the act of the people.” The men composing the “Executive Committee” are obliged to keep out of the way, at present, but can have a home among the people; and our darkies too are welcome wherever we go. By shifting frequently we elude the troops, and this is thought better, under the circumstances, than fighting them. Whether the troops will spend the winter with us, or not, is not yet ascertained.
Truly yours,
J. Montgomery

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P. S. I received a letter of Credit from Dr. Webb for the benefit of the Arkans Refugees. I wrote back to him to know whether I would be allowed to include Fugitives under the term Refugees.
I have recd. no answer. Our fugitives will need assistance until the troops leave. They will not be able to work to any advantage before spring.
This is an interesting experiment, and must not be allowed to fail. If we are able to maintain our position, and of this I have no doubt, the Fugitive Slave Law is dead; and slavery will quickly disappear from Missouri, Arkansas, and the Cherokee Country.
I have built, since my return from the East, quite an addition to my house. It is so contrived as to be bullet proof, and easily defended: A man and two boys can defend it against a thousand, armed with anything less than cannon.
If you have time I wish you would see Dr. Webb and tell him to direct under cover to J. F. Broadhead Esq. Mound City, Linn Co., Kansas. J. M.

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