Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
This is the story of the settlement of Kansas Territory and one of its outstanding leaders, James Montgomery. With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, the territory called Kansas was created and hurled, by the doctrine of popular sovereignty, into the turbulent issue of slavery. The pro-slavery forces dominated Congress and the Kansas Missouri border, and the people of the South felt that Kansas was already theirs. The pro-slavery settlers, not sure of their own strength, felt that they must use fraud at the polls and intimidation of the free-state settlers in their homes. This practice was carried out with success in Linn and Bourbon counties in the Legislative election of March I, 1855, with illegal voters being brought over from Missouri. This coup d'etat drew a distinct line between the free-state and pro-slavery people in Kansas Territory. The cause of freedom rarely lacks a leader, and to the aid of these free-state men came their friend and neighbor James Montgomery with a heritage of bravery and a good education. Montgomery organized his friends among the freestate people for defense and, at times, retaliation and restitution. These, and other more unsavory bands of men, were called "jayhawkers," for they had to arm and feed themselves by foraging upon the enemy when in action and replenish their arms, ammunition, and horses from the enemy's stores.
Holman, Tommy L., "James Montgomery in Kansas, 1854-1863" (1959). Electronic Thesis Collection. 125.