Osawatomie’s Founders, Rebels With A Cause

Osawatomie’s founders were abolitionists and free soil advocates who were willing to risk their lives for their beliefs. On April 16, 1856, had a meeting where they formally stated their opposition to the proslavery government of Kansas Territory that had been elected fraudulently in 1856.

The meeting was full of tension and conflict, with peaceful abolitionists, militant abolitionists, and militant proslavery advocates trading barbs and counter arguments.

Reverend Samuel Adair stated after  the meeting, that when he was asked about recognizing the authority of the proslavery government “I replied that I should not regard the authority of those laws, yet was not ready to take up arms against them but was ready if necessary to suffer penalties.”

Reverend Martin White, who later led proslavery scouts during the Battle of Osawatomie and killed John Brown’s son Frederick, stood up in the meeting and according to Reverend Samuel Adair, “Martin White stood up for the laws [proslavery laws] and charged rebellion and treason on all who declined to obey them.” Not surprisingly, John Brown did not take this laying down, and according to Reverend Martin White, “said that he was and ‘abolitionist of the old stock- was dyed in the wool and that negroes were his brothers and equals- that he would rather see the Union dissolved and the country drenched with blood than to pay taxes [to the proslavery government] to amount of one – hundredth part of a mill.”  John Brown didn’t mince words when he stated his abolitionist beliefs.

The result of the meeting was a resolution to refuse to recognize the legality of the proslavery government of the Kansas Territory.  The resolution read in part, “Resolved, That we utterly repudiate the authority of that Legislature as a body, emanating not from the people of Kansas, but elected and forced upon us by a foreign vote, and that the officers appointed by the same, have therefore no legal power to act.”

Osawatomie’s founders also declared that they would fight proslavery forces if necessary. The resolution stated “Resolved, That we pledge to one another mutual support and aid in a forcible resistance to any attempt to compel us with obedience to those enactments, let that attempt come from whatever source it may, and that if appointed by that legislature to the office of Assessor or Sheriff, shall hereafter attempt to assess or collect taxes of us, they will do so at the peril of such consequences as shall be necessary to prevent same.”

Osawatomie’s founders backed up their resolution on August 30, 1856 when they defended the town at the Battle of Osawatomie on August 30, 1856. The town’s founders rebuilt Osawatomie after proslavery forces burned the town following the battle. Osawatomie’s founders had the courage of their convictions, and stood up for their abolitionist and free soil beliefs to the point that they were willing to give their lives for their beliefs.



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Posted by admin on Jun 15 2011. Filed under News and Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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