Item #5872 [1860 “Bleeding Kansas” Letter.]. Lorenzo Dow Round.
[1860 “Bleeding Kansas” Letter.]

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[1860 “Bleeding Kansas” Letter.]

Mound City, Kansas Territory, 3 June 1860. 8vo letter. 4 pp. of manuscript.

A letter written from Kansas Territory on the state of politics at the time of the quest for statehood, the bloodless “Battle of Paris,” the Wyandotte Constitution, and John Brown.

Originally from Herkimer County, New York, Lorenzo Dow Round (1813–1877) apparently settled in Kansas some time in the 1850s. Responding to a letter from his nephew, he writes:

You are not aware of the state of things here. There is some excitement here almost all of the time. Politicks rages all the time…We have had eight elections since last March chosing on the 6th of Dec. for State officers under the Wyandotte Constitution. The Republican ticket was mostly elected. All of the state officers are all Republican. But whether we will be admitted into the Union this constitution or not is somewhat doubtful. This is the fourth time Kansas has presented herself to Congress for admission and will probably be the last. We have had a very exciting time here in locating the county seat. There was two places voted for Mound City and Paris. Mound City received a majority of the votes of the County. But Paris refused to give up the County records … An officer was sent from here to get the records and they met him with an armed force and would not let him have them. A few nights after, we got up a posse of forty or fifty men and went over and took the records … The County Clerk said the books were stole two or three nights before but it was all of no use. We told him to get the books in fifteen minits or we would destroy their town. He hurried over to his house and got down under his floor and hauled them out. We brought the books over to Mound City and the County Seat is here. Paris is an old pro-slavery town located by the Border Ruffians.

Round then mentions John Brown’s recent raid on Harper’s Ferry: “I presume the Harpers Ferry affair has caused more excitement in the East than it has here. Many of the citizens here were well acquainted with Old Brown and his men. I have seen the old hero many a time and was very sorry that he succeeded so badly.” Making reference to his brother Bartram who recently passed away, he then notes that he has not lived on his own “claim since my house burned last spring.” He continues: “Times are rather hard here but on the whole we get along very well. There is plenty of corn in the county and also beef and pork. I think of going East in the Spring if I can sell or preempt my claim. Society is rather rude here at present but is improving.”

Sometime after 1863 but before 1870, Round returned to Herkimer County, New York. Round’s identity is confirmed by the mention of his younger brother Bertram Round (1829–1859) who died 25 Sept, 1859 in Alabama.

CONDITION: Good, old folds, chipping at margins, no losses to the text.

Item #5872


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