Sunday, April 2, 2017

Edmund B. Whitman: Order No. 2, October 19, 1857

(Order No. 2.)

Quartermaster's Department, Headquarters Kansas

Volunteers For The Pkotection Of Thk Ballot-box,

Lawrence, Oct. 19, 1857.

Whereas, On the 3d day of August an order was issued from this department requesting the appointment of company, brigade, and division quartermasters, and an immediate return to be made of the number and description of all arms available for the use of the respective companies; and whereas, said returns have been generally made: Now, therefore, in reply, and in explanation of the failure to furnish an entire supply for the deficiency, it is deemed proper to declare, that while no efforts were spared by this department, and by the entire staff, promptly to supply the necessary quota of arms, yet the unexpected obstacles which the great financial pressure threw in their way have prevented the anticipated success for the time being. It is, however, a cause for congratulation, that while the reports show a considerable deficiency, yet the entire armament is by no means insignificant.

The immense immigration of the past year, composed largely of those who deceived by official promises of protection had anticipated no occasion for personal defence, readily accounts for this deficiency. In our disappointment we may rejoice that the effect of the organization, with all its imperfections, has been in the highest degree satisfactory. The knowledge that an outraged people had at length banded themselves together, almost to a man, for the protection of the most sacred rights of freemen, and were ready to die in their defence, has most manifestly deterred an organized invasion. Voting lists ready manufactured and false returns have been made to supply its place; against this the organization could afford no protection.

It remains to be seen whether the people of Kansas will have any further use for this organization. It is always true that the surest way to prevent an evil is to be prepared to meet it, and three years' experience in the past should teach us not to indulge in any premature feelings of security and safety. In view of possible contingencies, this department hereby announces that it will still continue its exertions to furnish the means of protection and defence to all who may be destitute of them, and in all cases first to supply those localities most exposed to invasion and attack.

E. B. Whitman,
Quartermaster-General Kansas Volunteers.
Approved: J. H. Lane, Organizer.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 403-4

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