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Extracts from the New York Semi-Weekly Tribune

February 11, 1859


From Our Special Correspondent.

LAWRENCE, K. T., Feb. 1, 1859.

There has been quite a sensation in this peaceable community, almost a revival of 1856, by the intelligence that a large band of Pro-Slavery cut-throats, nearly all of them from different parts of Missouri, had attacked old Capt. Brown, and were besieging him in a few log-cabins, where he had taken shelter. He had but a handful of men with him.

It appears that the old man is between this and Nebraska, and has yet the negroes, some eleven, in number with him, the capture o9f whom in Bates County caused so much fuss. He is now between this and Nebraska, about fifty-five miles distant. His convoy, which he still zealously guards, has been the means of getting him into trouble. It consists, in part of women, and very young children. One of these latter was born since it left Missouri. It is the child of the man who came from Missouri to beg John Brown's aid, and which negro is a very intelligent fellow. The little sable bud has been christened "Capt. John Brown."

It certainly was risking a good deal for the old man to keep with a party whose locomotion must necessarily be slow, and who must keep the regular road. It appears that the Missourians, or the slavehunting portion thereof, have rejected the idea of taking him by authority and a requisition from the Governor. For a week or two back gangs of horrid looking "nigger hunters" from Missouri have been haunting the groceries of Lecompton and spying about Lawrence and all suspected places. One or two men from the Territory have aided them, and the infamous Dr. J. N. O. P. Wood is a ringleader. They got on Brown's trail. The force from Weston was sent for, and with all the ruffians who had come on the hunt they pounced upon him, designing to carry him and the whole of his party violently to Missouri.

But they are afraid of the old soldier. He had just time enough to get into the timber of a creek bottom and took shelter in several log cabins that stood near to each other. The assailants, though numbering five to one, do not dare to come within gunshot. They set to Weston for more help. A messenger also got to Lecompton yesterday, and all the Pro-Slavery idlers of that place started to help. They also had the impudence to send to Medary for troops, but I think it is surely unlikely that the troops will aid in such a lawless extradition.

A company of men from Topeka, which is 25 miles nearer the spot than this, getting an inkling of what was up, started for the scene. They and the Lecomptonites would get there about the same time. A rumor has already reached us that the Topeka men raised the siege, but the Missourians have still the largest force. Men have gone and are going from this place.

An indignation meeting was held in Lawrence last night. Resolutions were unanimously passed demanding that Medary send for Dr. Doy of the Missouri authorities. It was also resolved that no more Missouri parties should be permitted to make prisoners in Kansas, and that citizens who aided or connived at it should be brought to summary justice. I saw a letter from the prisoners in Platte City Jail. Dr. Doy says they treat him well, and his trial is to come off on the 21st of February. He evidently knew his letter would be examined.

A fire broke out in the building of Mr. Henry Shanklin, shoe and boot merchant, on Massachusetts street, last night. That gentleman's whole establishment and stock were consumed. By great exertions the progress of the fire was arrested.

February 15, 1859



From Our Special Correspondent.

LAWRENCE., K. T., Feb. 4, 1859.

There is an old recipe for cooking fish that begins "First catch the fish," &c. The immense advantages of this, as a preliminary, step cannot be over-estimated, and they apply to others beside piscatorial matters. The associated enterprise of a band of Missourians, of "United States Marshals" and "deputies" and governors and troops, and the fag end of Lecompton, have been engaged for the past week in "catching Old Brown." So certain were all these individuals that "Old Brown" would be caught, that the only matter for them to consider was, what should be done with him? I suppose the Missourians, who designed to carry him at once over the border, were merely divided as to whether it would be better to parboil, or roast him. I have no doubt but what a considerable portion of the $3,000 offered by Gov. Stewart, and the $250 held out by the President, has been anticipated in the consumption of "whisky punches" and tobacco. The Governor, too, has been in a patriotic sweat as to what he should do with him, fancying himself, by the aid of the troops and the great Colby, to be seized and possessed of Brown aforesaid.

Brown has not been caught. The blockade has been raised. Alphabetical Wood fled precipitately on the approach of Kagi and his reinforcements, and the old captain and the "niggers" have gone to parts unknown. There was no fight. The Missouri force under Wood never stopped to see how strong the reinforcements were. They had trailed the old man and pounced on him while he had but four fighting men with him, but even then, with all their force, they were afraid of him. When he took shelter in the log cabins above Holton, and proceeded with the few he had to fortify, they did not dare to attack him, but, like other dogs, snuffed round him out of gun-shot and barked for assistance. On the approach of a relieving party, they precipitately fled. Brown and all the negroes under his wing were safely moved away. Meanwhile, marshal Colby ahs just arrived at the Grasshopper with his army of troops, and learns that he is only two days too late. It does not appear that the troops and Colby are catching, or trying to catch, the armed party of Missourians who have again come into the Territory. That, I suppose, would be as much as their commissions are worth. The troops will return to Fort Leavenworth, the Marshal to report progress and his exploits, and the Missourians to Weston to drink bad whisky, lay further plots, and curse old brown. When they were in his vicinity, he with his hands full of women and children whom he appeared bent on protecting, and they with just about ten to his one, it seems that they felt as gingerly about "catching" him as they would a cocatrice.

The zeal for man and woman-hunting is on the increase among the chivalry. Formerly, such dirty work was left to the miserable "poor whites;" but now, it is the gentlemen who engage in it.

The Mayor of Weston and the Marshal of that city were the two leaders of the party that seized the negroes in the Territory and carried them to Missouri. They came to Lawrence before the capture, and, while hunting for their victim, they sent for Dr. Garvin, the Postmaster of the place, to meet them at their hotel, and give them information. The Postmaster went and covenanted with them, and was of the lawless party that took the negroes and Doy to Missouri. He had to go, of course. Wasn't he Buchanan's Postmaster? Didn't he belong to them as much as much [sic] as Buchanan? He has not been absent since. The general impression is that the atmosphere of Lawrence will not be wholesome for him.

I learn that Platte City is under martial law, and apprehensive of an attack. A large number of the people of the Territory would like to go there and batter down the jail, and release their fellow-citizens; but more peaceful means will first be tried. Capt. Montgomery is here as a witness before the Grand Jury.

March 18, 1859


Correspondence of The N. Y. Tribune.

DETROIT, March 19, 1859.

The eleven slaves rescued from bondage in Bates and Vernon Counties, Missouri, on the 21st of December last, with one natural addition, have at last reached the long-sought-for goal. They arrived in this city in the 10 a. m. train from Chicago, and immediately passed over to the dominions of Queen Victoria, and are now comfortably provided for in Winsor, Canada. Two whites only accompanied them from Chicago. They have been brought openly, and guarded, ever since the attempt of Marshal Wood to arrest Brown and recapture the fugitives, at Holton, in Northern Kansas.

The fugitives stopped for nearly two weeks at Springdale, a Quaker village, ten miles east of Iowa City. During the time they remained there an attempt was made at Iowa City to get up a force to capture both Brown and the blacks. Some thirty men prepared to attempt the thing; but learning that Brown would not run but fight, it was given up as a too bloody business. Such attempts were also threatened at Davenport, when they should pass through there, but an expressed willingness on the part of Brown's men to make all such efforts very expensive, they were allowed to pass unmolested.

The length of the journey which this company has performed is not less than 1,100 miles, 600 miles of which was made in wagons, the remainder by railroad.

The fugitives were of four families. One of these consists of man and wife and three children; another of a widowed mother, her two daughters, one son and one boy; another of one young man, and the last of a woman, whose husband (a son of the widowed woman) was from home at the time the others were rescued:making in all, three men, five women, and four children, three of which are boys. The younger child was born near Osawatomie, where Brown had sent them while he should remain on the line to receive the Missourians, if they concluded to go over into Kansas after the lesson he had given them. The parents name is Daniels. (It is usual for slaves to take the surname of their first masters.) The child has been christened John Brown. One of the women has had six masters, and four have had sixteen masters in all. As Sam Patch said, "Some things can be done as well as others."

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

His Soul Goes Marching On

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