Transcribed from History of Bourbon County, Kansas : to the close of 1865 by T. F. Robley. Fort Scott, Kan.: Press of the Monitor Book & Print. Co., 1894.

1894 Robley's History of Bourbon County, Kansas




THE year 1858 opened politically with the now almost periodical election on the Lecompton Constitution. This one occurred on the 4th of January, as was provided for, as will be remembered, by the Territorial Legislature in the special session of December, 1857,

In Bourbon County the vote was as follows:

   For the Constitution with slavery . . . . . .     55
   For the Constitution without slavery. . . .     none
   Against the Constitution. . . . . . . . . . .    268

The total vote in the Territory, as published, was:

   For the Constitution with slavery . . . . . .    138
   For the Constitution without slavery. . . . .     23
   Against the Constitution  . . . . . . . . . . 10,226

There was little or no deliberate or prearranged fraud in this election in Bourbon County. The Pro-slavery men in their turn abstained to a great extent from voting, but the Free State men went at it in great shape this time.

No analysis of the vote can be made. It will be noted that Bourbon County cast nearly one-half of the total


votes in the Territory for the Constitution with slavery, as they were finally counted. But the vote proved nothing as to the relative strength of parties in this county. If an accurate poll of the legal voters in the county that day could have been taken for the Constitution with slavery, or against the entire Constitution, it would have resulted in about 250 votes for each side of the question.


The Fort Scott Town Company fell heir to the press and material of the "Southern Kansan," which was started and two numbers issued by Kline, who went to war, and got killed in 1856, as you have read.

This material was afterwards stored in the blacksmith shop of Arnett's corral, where it remained until January, 1858, when it was resurrected under the auspices of J. E. Jones. It was removed to the south room of the second floor of the Land Office building, where Joe Williams, jr., and Charlie Bull—scrub typos, proceed to sort the pi, and make ready for the publication of the Fort Scott Democrat. The first number of the Democrat made its appearance on the 27th of January, 1858, J. E. Jones, editor.

The publication of the Democrat was continued by Mr. Jones until sometime in 1859, when he left town.


About the 1st of January, 1858, W. T. Campbell, who with his family, had been living at Barnesviile, whither


he had moved from Kalamazoo, Michigan, came to town and took charge of the Fort Scott or Free State Hotel. Soon after, he gave what might be termed the opening ball. All the elite of the city were present. One fiddle furnished the music. Joe Ray "called," and "alamand left" was heard at regular intervals until the "wee sma' hour" of seven o'clock next morning. We don't remember very well all the ladies who were there, but we do remember Miss Jemima Roach. Jemima was the belle of the evening. For the benefit of the rising generation we will give something of a description of her ball costume, which will answer for a description of all, for they were all about alike—cut off the same piece in Colonel Wilson's store. Well, Jemima had on a good warm linsey woolsey dress, with small check, say, half-inch square, cut high neck and low sleeves, trimmed with a feathery ruche of cut calico, and a dove colored belt, a la cinch Mexicano. We believe the dress was not cut bias anywhere, unless it was under the arms. Just a good plain every day dress that would do to milk in. Then good warm woolen stockings, Government red tape garters, and good stout calf-skin shoes, laced with buckskin strings. That's all. Sally Duncan was the only one known to complain about a thing at the ball. She said she "didn't like the durned abolition callin'; too much cheatin' yer pardners."


The troops remained here until the 10th of January, 1858, when they were ordered away, and then trouble


commenced again. Some of the Border Ruffians took a squad out to where Mr. Johnson lived and abused him, took some of his stock, and threatened to make him leave. Johnson got word to Montgomery about it, and asked him to come down and see about some fellows whose names he gave as the leaders, who were then stopping in Fort Scott. About the 10th of February Montgomery was sighted by some of their scouts, coming in sure enough, with a party of twenty men. Out about the California ford on the Marmaton they were met by a delegation to ascertain what he wanted. When he told them who he was after, they informed him that this particular man had leaked out into Missouri. But Monty thought he would come in and see for himself. So he did. But they were gone. Then Crawford and Judge Williams and some others, invited him and his forces to take breakfast at the Free State Hotel; presented him the freedom of the city, so to speak—on a tin platter. So the boys, who were in their "working clothes," and not overly well dressed, took on a good breakfast, and then went quietly home.

On the 15th, the men Montgomery had been looking for returned, Brockett among them. Soon after that a difficulty occurred between Brockett and Charley Dimon, which might have resulted seriously, had it not been for the firmness and courage of Colonel Campbell.


On the 28th of February a party under command of Dr. Jennison and "Rev." Stewart, alias "Plum," went


to the house of a Pro-slavery man named Van Zumwalt, on the Osage, and routed him out. When the door was being opened—which was hung on wooden hinges and opened outward—the muzzle of a gun was noticed being poked out through the crack near the upper hinge. Some one shot at it and Van received the ball in his arm. He then surrendered. It was found to be a bad wound, and Jennison, who was a very good surgeon, then went to work and washed and dressed the wound, giving the boys a clinical lecture as he went along, explaining everything, and giving them instructions how to proceed in similar cases which were likely to to occur in the future.

If Van had been killed it is presumed Rev. Stewart would have made a "few remarks" about the uncertainty of this life, and said a few words for the repose of his soul.

The Jayhawkers always went well fixed in the matter of the learned professions. They generally had a doctor and a preacher along, and quite often a lawyer.


On this trip the word, Jayhawker, originated. Jennison had with him a regular all-around thief named Pat Devlin. After the boys went into camp north of the Osage, the next morning after visiting Van Zumwalt, they noticed Pat coming in riding a yellow mule loaded down with all sorts of plunder. In front of him were hanging from the horn of the saddle, a big turkey, three or four chickens and a string of red peppers, behind him a 50-pound shoat, a sheep-skin, a pair of boots and a bag of potatoes.


"Hello, Pat, where have you been," asked Doc.

"O'ive been over till Eph. Kepley's a-jayhawking."

"Jayhawking? What in thunder do you mean? What kind of hawking is that?" said Doc.

"Well, sor, in ould Oireland we have a birud we call the jayhawk, that whin it catches another birud it takes deloight in bullyragin the loife out ov it, like a cat does a mouse, and, be jasus, Oi bethot me Oi was in about thot same business mesilf. You call it 'foraging off the inemy,' but, begobs, O'ill call it jayhawking."

"All right," laughed Jennison. "We'll call it 'Jayhawking' from this on." And so it was.

This same Pat Devlin took a claim on the Osage some time before the incident related, laid a foundation for a cabin on it and prepared for pre-emption. But his inclination to jayhawk overcame any desire he may have had to become a farmer, and, in consequence, he was away so much "on thot business" that he forfeited all right to his claim. John Hinton, of the Osage, then jumped the claim, built a cabin and moved his father and mother and family into it. Among the family was the old grand father, a man about 85 years of age, who was bed-ridden and helpless from rheumatism. One day Pat was riding by the cabin, and on examination, he found that the family were all away from home except the old man. What did he do then but turn in and first tearing the roof off the house he rolled the logs off one at a time clear down to a level with the old grand pap's bed, leaving him there in the weather, alone and utterly helpless.