Defenseless town massacred

A band of 400 proslavery ruffians–many teenagers–led by a madman named Quantrill conducted the Lawrence Massacre in 1863 in Kansas on this day.  Most of the the town’s men were off fighting for the Union. As a result, 180 died and the town became ashes.

Personal Experience

Daniel Read Anthony knew the town of Lawrence like his own child because he helped to establish it. Therefore, he suffered its loss. In this excerpt from The Truth About Daniel, he visits just a few days after the attack:

Early on their fourth day in Lawrence, D.R. and Chas rode by the homestead of Martin Townsend, a farmer from Vermont who had settled in ’fifty-four. They found him pouring water from a bucket into a stone trough for a pair of oxen.

 

“Marty!” D.R. hailed him before swinging down from the saddle.

 

As the man turned, D.R. took in his friend’s face covered with grime and a four-day stubble. He asked Townsend how he had escaped.

 

“The day before the raid, I took my team a few miles outside of town to help my cousin. On my way home, I saw the town on fire and heard that Quantrill was singling out men old enough to bear arms. So I hid in the ravine where raiders wouldn’t go.

 

“I felt like a coward leaving my wife and children inside, but how would they have farmed if I turned up dead?” His house was ablaze, he said, but he was relieved to see his family out front. He gestured to a crude tent partially supported by a scorched tree. “We all survived, thank God, but this is all I have left of my home.”

 

D.R. wanted something to do, but there were no tools, not even an extra bucket.      “Apparently Quantrill’s raiders didn’t come to fight, but to murder and steal.”

“They never would’ve gotten away with it if so many of our men weren’t off to war.”

 

“So what happened when the army finally did come?” asked Chas.

 

Townsend leaned on his shovel and gestured toward the road. “The ruffians turned tail and ran south. Cavalry followed them right through town and out again.”

 

D.R. pictured how he would’ve handled the operation. The Jayhawkers and the Seventh Kansas were trained to grip their horses with their knees and shoot with both hands at once. Having faced Quantrill’s raiders in Missouri, he knew many of them to be teenagers with no training at all. At least the army will have extracted its toll on them, he consoled himself. Hopeful of a good report, he asked, “How many did Quantrill lose?”

 

Townsend sighed deeply. The anger blazing from his eyes contrasted with his dusty face. “One,” he replied.

 

“One!” roared D.R. “They caused all this damage and got away with only one casualty? What the hell was the army doing?”

Next time: Read how the Lawrence Massacre of 1863 fueled a Union retaliation.

Read more about this fateful day in Lawrence at History.com.

 

 

Susan LaFlesche Picotte built upon Susan B.’s foundation

Susan LaFlesche Picotte, a Nebraska  doctor and and reformer, had credentials that wowed me and reminded of Susan B. Anthony. Google saluted her yesterday; Continue reading

Will YOU be the lucky winner?

Time is running out to enter your name for a chance to win a free copy of The Truth About Daniel. Goodreads is offering two free copies until this Thursday, April 6. (Click here to see my previous post explaining how Goodreads works.) On my own Goodreads site I have rated more than two hundred books that I’ve read, including many in the historical fiction genre. If you’ve read some of them too, share your comments with me there!

Don’t want to take your chances at winning a copy of my book? You can order it now directly from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s a recent review from a staff member at the Leavenworth (KS) Public Library:

As far as the historical parts of the novel are concerned, they are well researched and its depiction of Civil War era Leavenworth is spot on.

 

The story is split between two viewpoint characters, D.R. Anthony and his wife Annie. There does not seem to be an existing novel written about Mr. Anthony, and the fact that this one also shows events from Annie’s perspective is quite interesting, especially considering that she is often pushed into her husband’s shadow. Seeing Annie fleshed out as a real human being with thoughts and emotions of her own was quite refreshing.

 

 

 

 

Posse Hunts John Brown

Why was D.R. Anthony so fiercely abolitionist? Events such as the following would have fueled his anger. Today’s post gives us a typical example of how proslavery forces treated John Brown, an antislavery man whom  Anthony revered and probably knew. (D.R.’s brother Merritt had fought with Brown several years earlier in southern Kansas.)

Living only 25 miles away from the following tense encounter between a proslavery posse and  Brown, Anthony might  have stood with the guards who protected the famous hero. Even if Anthony didn’t, he certainly would have followed the news with as much anxiety as did New Hampshire  emigrant Julia Louisa Lovejoy, whose letter back east gives us this riveting account.

For the death of John Brown, the Missouri governor and others offered $5,500. Lured by this “bait,” Lovejoy reported, a pro-slavery posse headed by Marshal J.P. Wood  tracked “our champion” (Brown) to a cabin where the abolitionist holed up with a dozen African-Americans.

This cabin he had strongly barricaded, and told his pursuers “he would never yield, neither would he be taken alive.” The Marshal and his force surrounded the cabin and ordered Brown to “surrender!” Brown replied, “Come and take me.” The officer dared not undertake the job, and one hundred more like him could not capture those indomitable spirits that well knew what would follow if they were taken prisoners.1

A stand-off occurred. Brown’s group, armed with Sharpes rifles, was guarded by a company of twenty-five antislavery supporters. Giving voice to the bodyguard, Lovejoy wrote, “Take care, sir, if one gray hair on that venerable head is singed, your whole party will be riddled with balls!”

The Marshal’s posse sent for reinforcements to Atchison (about four miles away) and rumored that two cannons would soon arrive to explode the cabin. In an oddly turned phrase, Lovejoy wrote that United States Army troops who engaged in “pretended pursuit” seem to have sufficiently distracted the posse, during which time:

Brown sallied forth and took three of the Atchison men prisoners (one of them, it is affirmed, he recognized as the miscreant who shot his own son, F. Brown, at the “Ossawottamie battle.”) He also took four of their horses that they had secreted in the timber, and then with his freed slaves and party pulled for Iowa, taking prisoners and horses along with him!

Thus Brown escaped from Kansas in February 1859, just eight months before his fateful raid on the arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, WV. In a summary of this western event, Lovejoy correctly predicted the manner of Brown’s death, saying, “We fear now that Brown and his party will be intercepted by an overwhelming force, but he cannot be captured alive.” “

Photo courtesy of Kansas Historical Society

  1. Bell, Sarah. “Lovejoy, Julia Louisa” Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865. The Kansas City Public Library. Accessed Mar, 31, 2017 at http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/lovejoy-julia-louisa

 

 

A Woman Alone

Like D.R. Anthony, Clarina Nichols emigrated to Kansas in 1854 with one of the earliest parties Emigrant Aid Company. By the time Nichols set foot in Kansas, D.R. had already returned to his home in Rochester, NY to save money for permanent relocation in Kansas. D.R. gave up (temporarily); Clarina stayed.

Both made the journey in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which decreed that citizens of the new territory should determine whether the state entered the Union as a slave state or free state. The state was then a rough frontier, and in one letter Nichols described ten thousand rowdy pro-slavery Missourians storming the Kansas polling place and preventing antislavery voters from casting their ballots.

Nichols wrote many letters to eastern newspapers, cheerfully describing the austere conditions in Kansas and noting that most of the male emigrants who abandoned Kansas did so because they could not keep house and farm at the same time. She, however, was forced to do just that when shortly after moving to a remote, pro-slavery area outside of Lawrence, her husband and adult sons died leaving her among political enemies and needing to homestead by herself.

Not only did she want to fight slavery in the territory, but she hoped that the new state would have a more open mind on women’s rights. She addressed numerous legislatures in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kansas, declaring that women should either be allowed to vote or excused from taxation. She was responsible for gaining women the right to vote in the school elections of Kansas in 1860 and many other gradual victories. Always, her ultimate goal was for woman suffrage.

Much of her devotion to righting the wrongs of married women comes from her three marriages, especially the first to fellow Vermonter Justin Carpenter. Moving around New York State, Carpenter depleted his wife’s dowry, had an irascible and erratic temper, and tried to kidnap the children. Nichols’ family prevailed upon state legislators to modify divorce laws and, in the late 1830s, she was allowed to leave Carpenter behind. Nevertheless, she was psychologically wounded and financially depleted. It was during those early years that she began a long career of newspaper correspondence and publishing, at first creating a humorous pseudonym Deborah Van Winkle, an outspoken Yankee who spoke of “wimins wrongs.”

For information about this foremother I am indebted to Kansas Historical Quarterly and American National Biography.

Photo courtesy of  Kansapedia.

Big Money from Horses

This is a copy of a portion of a large lithograph made by D.R. Anthony in 1888 of his prosperous stock farm in Huron, KS. In the upper left, note the train, which enabled him to get his horses and cattle to market. Subsequent generations of Daniel Read Anthonys continued to enjoy this farm and also recreational property in the vicinity of Martha’s Vineyard, MA where Anna Osborn Anthony was born and raised.

Image courtesy of the Leavenworth County Historical Society.

Today we continue with our guest post about Anthony’s farm, as follows:

In 1893, an apple orchard of 5000 trees grew on 80 acres of the ranch and a herd of thoroughbred Holstein cattle provided product for the Anthony’s “Huron Creamery”.   Both a school and the Presbyterian Church were constructed on Anthony’s land.  In 1883, Col. Anthony donated a new organ for the church as well.  DR Anthony Jr. had a cabin here where he could come to relax and hunt quail and pheasant.  Ball games and corn plowing contests, fires and a tornado are part of the history of the farm.   The tornado of 1891 caused $3000 in damage.

By 1910 there were 300 residents in the town of Huron, which included a bank, schools,  several general stores, a blacksmith shop, lumber yard, grocery store, hotel, drug store, hardware and implement house.

The Anthonys hired managers for the ranch over the years with the Starnes family providing the longest service, totaling 75 years over 3 generations.  D.R. Anthony III rented out the farm in 1962 and the Anthony family management  of 105 years came to an end.  In 1963, the main barn, long known as a local landmark, burned to the ground while D.R. III was spending the summer in Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard.  A 1959 aerial view showed the barn as the centerpiece of the farm.

In 1973, the Anthony property was sold.  The Huron post office closed in May, 1992 and the once thriving town seems but a mere dot on the vast Kansas prairie today. The current population of about 50 can be found among long-ago closed  or abandoned businesses and schools, many of which harken back to better days.  Little is recognizable on the expansive ranch west of town and many do not now know the Anthony name, so prominent many years ago.

Guest post by Mary Ann Sachse Brown of the Leavenworth County Historical Society

 

Rustling Horses in Huron, KS

D.R. Anthony had many financial irons in the fire–early investment in Kansas land, political appointments, the insurance business, and a newspaper business that became a family dynasty. But more than once he was accused of horse stealing, and he openly told family that he had “liberated” steeds during his jayhawker raids on Missouri.

This guest post discusses his large stock farm that adjoined lands owned by his sisters Mary and Susan.

The Anthony Stock Farm in Huron, Kansas

For many years The D.R. Anthony family owned the property known as the Anthony Stock Farm or Ranch west of Huron, Kansas, north of Leavenworth County, in neighboring Atchison County. Originally, the property was part of a land grant from U.S. President James Buchanan to Col. Daniel R. Anthony, who purchased it at a sale of the Delaware Indian lands in Osawki, Kansas, in May 1856.  He paid $1.75 per acre and agreed, as did other buyers, to improve the land, build a house and live there a certain number of days each month.  Col. Anthony bought four quarters for himself and one quarter each for his sisters, Susan B. Anthony and Mary S. Anthony.  Years later, the Anthony family noted that all three built cabins and resided on their farms the required amount of time.

Col. Anthony donated part of his land for the town of Huron (named after the Huron tribe of Indians), platted in April 1882 and later deeded 20 acres to the railroad, which made Huron an important shipping and supply community.

Initially operated as a livestock farm, horses and cattle were kept on the ranch.  The Anthonys came often to ride the horses, first by horse and buggy and later on the train from Leavenworth.  The property was also utilized by the Cavalry from Fort Leavenworth, on their way to Fort Crook, Nebraska.

In 1888, Col. Anthony had a lithograph of his magnificent farm distributed to Kansas newspapers.   One commented that the bird’s eye view of the ranch showed “that the colonel knows how to lay out and improve a farm –and make it pay, too—as well as conduct a first class newspaper.  If ‘Farmer’ Anthony gets the nomination for the governorship, he will be enthusiastically supported by his fellow farmers.”  DR’s desire to become Governor of Kansas was never realized.

(The lithograph will appear in the next post along with part two of this article.)

This post courtesy of Mary Ann Sachse Brown

 

D.R.’s Pugnacious Temperament

I love the term “pugnacious,” which describes someone just itching for a fight. That seems a fair representation of Daniel Read Anthony of Leavenworth, who was descended from the same stock as Susan B. Anthony. While this brother and sister were both devoted to the abolition of slavery, she fought with words, attempting to change legislation, while he wrote fiery articles and backed them up with bullets. (Besides being a Union colonel and Kansas Jayhawker, he founded a newspaper dynasty whose owners were all named Daniel Read Anthony.)

Here’s an excerpt from a colorful account of several Kansas editors whose combative natures emphasized their verbal onslaughts:

Dan Anthony I of Leavenworth deserves top billing among the pistol-packing pencil pushers. He fought a duel, was shot at numerous times, was seriously wounded once and killed a rival editor in his own home town. All of these incidents occurred during the territorial or early statehood days, and he carried two big horse pistols for many years and to his dying day these lethal weapons, ready to go, laid on or in the top drawer of his desk. During the later period of forty years he never had occasion to use this armament, but it was well known that “Ole Dan” was always ready. He mellowed a good deal as he grew older and while his likes and dislikes were just as sharply drawn and aggressively supported or opposed he learned to temper his violence materially.

Another significant difference between them is that D.R. married and settled in Leavenworth, KS while Susan remained single and became a citizen of the world. Many years she logged 100 speeches–think of that, two a day–many of them in different towns.

The photo of D.R. above depicts one of his quieter moments. Despite his warlike nature, he died of natural causes at the age of 80. Read about his most deadly encounter in The Truth About Daniel, coming in January.

Staking a Claim in Kansas

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Kickapoo land office661x315In my last post I referred to men from the Emigrant Aid Company staking claims on land via the Law of Preemption. John Doy, one of D.R.’s early emigrant friends, explained that law to his family back east: Continue reading