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Old Brown's Parallels

New York Semi-Weekly Tribune
January 28, 1859

Correspondence of the New York Tribune.

TRADING POST, Kansas, Jan., 1859.

The editor of The N. Y. Tribune will greatly oblige a humble friend by allowing me the use of his columns while I briefly state two parallels, in my poor way.

Not one year ago eleven quiet citizens of this neighborhood, viz: Wm. Calfsetzer, Wm. Robertson, Amos Hall, Austin Hall, John Campbell, Asa Snyder, Thomas Stilwell, William Hairgrove, Asa Hairgrove, Patrick Ross, and B. L. Reed, were gathered up from their work and their homes, by an armed force under one Hamilton, and, without trial or opportunity to speak in their own defense, were formed into line, and all but one shot--five killed and five wounded. One fell unharmed, pretending to be dead. All were left for dead. The only crime charged against them was that of being Free-State men. Now, I inquire, what action has ever, since the occurrence in May last, been taken by either the President of the United States, the Governor of Missouri, the Governor of Kansas, or any of their tools, or, by any Pro-slavery or Administration man, to ferret out and punish the perpetrators of this crime?

Now for the other parallel. On Sunday, the 19th of December, a negro man named Jim, came over to the Osage settlement, from Missouri, and stated that he, together with his wife, two children and one other negro man, were to be sold within a day or two, and begged for help to get away. On Monday, the following night, two small companies were made up to go to Missouri, and forcibly liberate the five slaves, together with other slaves. One of these companies I assumed to direct. We proceeded to the place, surrounded the buildings, liberated the slaves, - and also took certain property supposed to belong to the estate. We, however, learned before leaving, that a portion of the articles we had taken belonged to a man living on the plantation as a tenant, and who was supposed to have no interest in the estate. We promptly returned to him all we had taken. We then went to another plantation, where we freed five more slaves, took some property, and two white men. We moved all slowly away into the Territory, for some distance, and then sent the white men back, telling them to follow us as soon as they chose to do so. The other company freed one female slave, took some property, and, as I am, informed, killed one white man (the master), who fought against the liberation.

Now for a comparison. Eleven persons are forcibly restored to their "natural and inalienable rights," with but one man killed, and all "Hell is stirred from beneath." It is currently reported that the Governor of Missouri has made a requisition upon the Governor of Kansas for the delivery of all such as were concerned in the last-named "dreadful outrage." The Marshal of Kansas is said to be collecting a posse of Missouri (not Kansas) men at West Point, in Missouri, a little town about ten miles distant, to "enforce the laws." All Pro-Slavery, conservative Free-State, and doughface men, and Administration tools are filled with holy horror.

Consider the two cases, and the action of the Administration party.

Respectfully yours,

Chapter Seven: Preparing to "take the war into Africa"

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West Virginia Archives and History