Lawrence. Jan. 30. 1859
Dear Brother Willie-
Mother is writing to your Auntie and I thought I would write to you, as, I think you must be very lonesome in Ashby. There has been a great excitement in Lawrence this last week, about some fugitive slaves. I will tell you all about it. Last Tuesday – Monday evening I meant when I said Tuesday, fourteen slaves, who had escaped from Missouri, started from Lawrence for Canada Dr. Doy and son, and a Mr. Clough went with them and were going as far as Iowa city, they had only got about ten miles from here, when, as they were going over a little rise of ground through the woods, a band of Missourians sprang out suddenly from the trees and took them all prisoners, as the colored people were in a close covered wagon they had no chance to fight. these Border Ruffians took them to Western in Missouri. there they took Clough and made him swear all kinds of oaths that he would not betray them and sent him back to Lawrence with the team’s, they kept Doy and son as prisoners. and night before last a man came from Western and he said “the Border Ruffians have decided to punish Doy and son” the people think they will hang them; if they do it will cause a disturbance here. I pity them and the slaves too, it is outrageous, There were only ten men who knew when these people were to start, and one of those ten must have told the Missourians all about their plans. Mr. Nute knows who is the traitor so does Mr. Bolles. but they will not tell till Doy’s fate is decided for they are afraid if they do it will go harder with them and now they may possible get away. It is queer how the Missourians knew every thing about it: as soon as any change was made they knew it instantly. There are a many spies all around. Wade, the man who owns the claim joining us, is one of the worst kind. but enough of this I have said a great deal about it but every one is talking of it It is a beautiful day, Father has gone to Bloomington to preach and Charlie and Edward have gone to hear Mr. Nute preach.
Last Monday morning Father and Charlie started for the Big Stranger Creek to buy some pigs of Zeigler and Indian they got ten little wolfish looking things, we have fourteen pigs in all one Father intends to have killed day after tomorrow. I got up a club for the Little Pilgrim this year and had sent me three books for it they are Merrie England, Recollections of my Childhood and “Tales from Catland, they are all very pretty.
Sarah thinks of going to St. Louis in the spring but I suppose she will tell you all about that as she is writing to you.
There is trouble in Fort Scott again, folks from here are going down to help “Old Brown” the story is that Brown went into Missouri with a few people and got some slaves away, a large band of Missourians are now hunting for Brown and Montgomery to kill them. they went into Fort Scott got several innocent free State Men. Took them out on the prairie and shot at them they did not kill any of them but severely wounded three. Mr. Bolles is going down tomorrow. Mr. Bolles is one of my particular friends Mother has written a great long letter to Auntie to day. I think if you should come out to Kansas it would do you good Kansas air will strengthen you.
Do you see the Atlantic Monthly [xxx]? we, that is Sarah, takes it we like it very much. You must give all of our loves to the Gates’ mine particularly to Lizzie and Mrs. Gates I guess you would not be lonesome in Lawrence. Your, Sister Mary
I am going to write to Lizzie this week some time. Mary.
Mary Brown to William Brown, January 30, 1859, Kansas Memory, https://www.kansasmemory.org/item/3399