According to Kansas City newspapers, in August 1863, there was "a perfect stampede" of enslaved families in Platte County. The accounts estimated that "the negroes are leaving at the rate of thirty or forty a day, and only a few hundred remain." "The same process is going on all along the border," claimed a report that was soon reprinted in the St. Louis Missouri Democrat, "and Missouri will soon be rid of her slaves, in fact, if not in name." The journalist blamed all of this on the "Emancipation Ordinance" because Blacks in Missouri (who were exempt from the proclamation) "cannot draw nice distinctions." The conclusion was especially telling: "The barriers which fence in the slave systems in this State are crumbling daily, and while our politicians are talking the negro is quietly acting without any reference to statue books or ordinance." Another newspaper account from St. Joseph, Missouri, specifically identified Platte County sheriff W.T. "Wash" Woods as the source for the information on the high rate of escaping slaves.