Berlin, Illinois: September 1856. Unbound. Four-page partially cross-written letter. No mailing envelope. The letter is datelined, “Berlin, Ill. Sept 28 /56”. In nice shape. Transcript will be included.
Emma begins this letter to her aunt by describing the help she provided to a nearby family where the Mother, Father, and son had all suffered long, agonizing deaths from Typhoid Fever and Erysipelas. She then answers her aunt’s question about her experience in Bleeding Kansas.
"I can not write half as well as I could tell you . . . I have seen companes of Misourians by the hundreds come in ther to vote heavy large wagons filled with provetions & Whisky come in 4 or 5 days before the elections rob & burn houses & kill Free State men or men . . . if they had said they were in favor of free Kansas . . . There was one of our neighbors shot at at the first Election because he would not resign his place as judge of the Election to the Misourians when he was permitted by the Gov Two men killed within 20 mils of our house & ther house burnt-to-the ground & ther familys left-to-do what they best could others drove off ther claims & there houses burned . . . ther was a man from Lawrence that we were acquainted . . . living 5 miles from there came to the store to do some erands was riding home bareback between sundown & dark . . . was shot off his horse & killed instantly At that time they were gathering for a fight at Lawrence & were camped about 5 miles South of Lawrence they then stopped every team & took what every they had & . . . they thought in that way they should starve . . . Lawrence They did not dare to atact Lawrence . . . they quareled among themselves killed 2 of their own men broke up and went home the ashamed of themselves & a great many other things I could tell you if was the while but I will tell you what I think is the great cause of it . . . they never go into the Ter without as much Whisky as they can drink & drunken men will do almost . . . There has been a grate battle at Osawatomie . . . severel men killed & others drove from there . . . 2 of the men went though Springfield & Gilbert new them . . . they was drove from their farms 1 mile from Osawatomie left every thing to be destroyed . . . I think the NY Trbn give the most correct news of any other paper ther is I do not see how the North can sit still & se such outrags go on & not say or do any thing about it & especially now – since the President syes he will not do any thing to prevent this outrages . . . I only wish that some of those Estern Editors that do not beleive th is eny outrags or blodshen in Kansas were obliged to go to some of the towns near Misouri Osawatomie or Lawrence & stay one month let them know that they were Northern men & then see what they think I do not think story about the outrags have ben exaggerated but very little. . .." Very good. Item #009487
Although Emma did not state it in her letter, its tone suggests that she and her husband, both free staters, left Kansas out of fear.
As of 2020, there no original first-hand contemporary descriptions of Bloody Kansas confrontations for sale in the trade; neither are there records for similar items at OCLC or the Rare Book Hub.