Lawrence, Kansas, April 30, 1857.
My Dear Friend Brown, — I have been anxiously expecting to hear from you direct, but have only heard through Mr. Wattles. I want to see you as soon as possible after you arrive in the Territory. I have settled at Emporia, six miles above the junction of the Neosho and the Cottonwood. My address is either Emporia or Lawrence, as you may choose. My letters all come and go safe. War, ere six months shall have passed away, is inevitable. Secretary Stanton has made a public speech in Lawrence, and says that those laws (the bogus) shall be enforced, and that the taxes shall be paid. The people shout, “Never!” “Then,” he says, “there is war between you and me, — war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt.” There will be no voting; no paying of taxes; and I think the Free-State men will remove the Territorial Government and set up their own. Then we want you. Please write. All your friends, as far as I know, are well.
Very truly yours,
James H. Holmes.1
1 Holmes was at this time nineteen years old, the son of a New York broker, and had gone to Kansas to aid the cause of freedom. He has since been a journalist, and under President Lincoln was secretary of New Mexico. Brown used to call him “my little hornet.”
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 391-2