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James Montgomery to Franklin B. Sanborn

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Mound City, Linn Co., Kans., Jan. 14th/61 F. B. Sanborn Esq:
Dear Sir:Your favor dated Jan 2nd is just received. Your views coincide, exactly, with mine. I am not in favor of invading the Slave States so long as they keep themselves at home. But if they cross the line to interfere with us, as Missouri is now threatening to do, then I would consider the war begun. My position in reference to mobs, such as you have lately had in Boston, would be to go on regardless of threats, paying no attention to personal abuse, short of actual violence; But I would be ready for “overt acts.” And shoot down the first man guilty of any violence. When you learn to meet mobs that way, you will soon have done with them.
Our late experience, in the “war of extreme ferocity,” has been decidedly rich. Harney was powerless, here, and, of that, no one was more sensible than himself. Had he proclaimed Martial Law, as we supposed he would do, He would have got himself ingloriously whipped. We did not wish to fight, but we would not have held still to be murdered. We had only to mount a small active force and play off. The scarcity of food would have compelled the troops to keep close by their wagons. In short, large forces would have moved too slow, and small forces could not have taken us.
With our knowledge of the country, and the favorable disposition of the inhabitants, One Hundred Thousand men could not have done what Harney was ordered to do. As it was, they did not [xxx] compel us to send away our fugitives, of whom we had ten of different ages and sexes.There is much preparation on the Missouri

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side of the line, but for what object, I am unable to say. The rank and file threaten to come over; but that will be as the leaders say.
A vote is soon to be taken to determine whether Missouri will secede or not. If she goes out, she will soon be a free state. She will certainly attack us, here, and we will, as certainly, fight her. This will make warm work for a time, but a short war is preferable to a continuance of the present state of affairs.
Our Kansas Democracy, as you may well suppose, fells very flat, since the “The War”, while we on our part cannot help feeling a little exultant.
The feelings of the Democracy can be read in the temper of Harney’s dispatches.Truly Yours,James Montgomery
P. S. The foregoing is not intended for for publication It would look rather immodest in print J. M. P. S. Please hand the Enclosed letter to our friend S. at your earliest convenience.You are at liberty to read it.J. M.

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