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Bypaths of Kansas History - August 1945

(Vol. 13 No. 7), pages 473 to 475.
Transcribed by lhn; digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, August 1945


From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, August 20,1857.

It is well known that Gov. Walker has declared that the Constitution shortly to be formed for Kansas, shall be submitted to a vote of the people; and it is also known that the President has promised that Walker shall be sustained in this policy. This has called out THOMAS J. KEY, editor of the Doniphan Constitutionalist, who is one of the Delegates elect from this County. (It is said, but we hardly believe it, that he every morning sticks his head into an empty flour barrel, and yells, at the top of his voice, "Honorable THOMAS J. KEY!" just to hear how it sounds; and that he has all the little boys hired, with candy, to exclaim, when he walks the streets, "There goes Honorable THOMAS J. KEY! ")

To which, the editor of the Kansas Constitutionalist, of Doniphan, replied:

There is a small sheet published at White Cloud, called the Chief, said to be edited by one Sol Miller, which we seldom see. In the last number the editor devotes nearly a column to the "Honorable THOMAS J. KEY," as he calls us, and he succeeds admirably in misrepresenting us, telling lies upon us. His article has about as much sense as Black Republican articles generally, such, for instance, as "three groans for McNulty."

The editor of the Chiefwishes us to bring him into notice, but we do not wish to polute our columns with such trash, unless forced to do so. We would gently hint to the cross-eyed, crank-sided, peaked and long razor-nosed, bluemouthed, nigger-lipped, white-eyed, soft-headed, long-eared, crane-necked, blobber-lipped, squeaky-voiced, empty-headed, snaggle-toothed, filthy-mouthed, box-ancled, pigeon-toed, reel-footed, goggle-eyed, hammer-hearted, cat-hammed, hump-shouldered, blander-shanked, splaw-footed, ignoble, Black Republican, abolition editor, to attend to his own affairs or we will pitch into him in earnest.


Evoking the following answer in the Chief,September 10, 1857:

"HONORABLE" THOMAS J. KEY GETS "SNAVAGE l"-In a late number of the Doniphan Constitutionalist, (which the gentlemanly publisher neglected to send us,) the editor takes satisfaction upon us, by calling us all the hard names he ever heard of-hard names being the only argument he understands. Among other things, he calls us a Black Republican, and a liar Days we want him to bring us into notice-threatens to kick us-and seeming to exhaust his vocabulary of hard words, concludes with a tirade of slop-shop expressions, purporting to come from some hireling lick-spittle in his employ, who is taught and commanded to proclaim, "What a mighty man is Thomas J. Key, my master!" This latter was unnecessary, as his editorials are always a mess of botchwork, which could not be made worse if he were to try. Now, that



dig hurt our feelings awfully! We must acknowledge, we did not exactly tell the truth about him. We said his name was Thomas Jefferson Key. We beg Thomas Jefferson's pardon-it should have been Thomas Jack-ass Key! (No insult intended to jack-asses generally.) But the idea that we want him to bring us into notice-goody gracious l Do we want a skunk to fling his filth upon us, that people may notice us? It would be far preferable to being brought into notice by such a burlesque upon humanity as Thomas J. Key! But to think that such wretches are sent to form a Constitution for the government of decent people-the thought is humiliating!


From The Daily Times, Leavenworth, November 23, 1861.

A correspondent of the St. Louis Democrat, writing from Tipton [Mo.], Nov. 18th, says that in sauntering through the camp of the Kansas First he found the following rich and racy chapter of chronicles:
1. Man that is born of woman, and enlisteth as a soldier in the Kansas First, is of few days, and short of "rations."
2. He cometh forth at "reveille," is present also at "retreat," yea even at "tattoo," and retireth, apparently, at "taps!"
3. He draweth his rations from the commissary, and devoureth the same. He striketh his teeth against much "hard bread," and is satisfied. He filleth his canteen with aqua pura, and clappeth the mouth thereof upon the bung of a whisky barrel, and after a little while goeth away rejoicing in his strategy!
4. Much soldiering hath made him sharp; yea, even the seat of his breeches are in danger of being cut through.
5. He covenanteth with the credulous farmer for many chickens, and much honey and milk, to be paid promptly at the end of each ten days; and lo! his regiment moveth on the ninth day to another post!
6. His tent is filled with potatoes, cabbage, turnips, kraut, and other delicate morsels of a dulcet delicious taste, which abound not in the Commissary Department.
7. And many other things not in the "return," and which never will return; yet, of a truth, it must be said of the soldier of the Kansas First, that of a surety he taketh nothing which he cannot reach!
8. He fireth his minie rifle at midnight and the whole camp is aroused and formed in line, when lo! his mess come bearing in a nice porker, which he solemnly declareth so resembled a secesh that he was compelled to pull trigger!
9. He giveth the Provost Marshal much trouble, often capturing his guard, and possesses himself of the city.
10. At such times lager and pretzels flow like milk and honey from his generous hand. He giveth without stint to his own comrade, yeal and withholdeth not from the lank expectant Hoosier of the "Indiany Twenty-fourth."
11. The grunt of a pig, or the crowing of a cock, awakeneth him from the soundest sleep, and he sauntereth forth, until halted by the guard, when he instantly clappeth his hands upon his bread basket, and the guard in commiseration alloweth him to pass to the rear, to ease his gripe!


12. No sooner hath he passed the sentry's beat than he striketh a "bee line" for the nearest hen roost, and, seizing a pair plump pullets, returneth, soliloquizing to himself: "The noise of a goose saved Rome, how much more the flesh of chicken preserveth the soldier."
13. He playeth euchre with the parson whether there shall be preaching in camp on the Sabbath, and by dexterously "turning a Jack" from the bottom, postponeth the service.
14. And many other marvelous things doeth he; and lo! are they not already recorded in the morning reports of Company G?


From the Leavenworth Daily Conservative, June 20, 1863.

      AN AFRICAN MARRIAGE.-The following notice, which we copy from the Lawrence Journal, is strongly indicative of Kansas and the war:
In this city Saturday, June 12, at the residence of Capt. James Christian, by Rev. J. M. Wilkinson, Philip Gains, Esq., to Miss Patsey Jane Hawkins, formerly of Missouri, and now "Free American citizens of African descent."


From the Dodge City Times, June 16, 1877.

On last Tuesday morning the champion prize fight of Dodge City was indulged in by Messrs. Nelson Whitman and the noted Red Hanley, familiarly known as `the red bird from the South.' An indefinite rumor had been circulated in sporting circles that a fight was to take place, but the time and place was known only to a select few. The sport took place in front of the Saratoga, at the silent hour of 4:30 a. m., when the city police were retiring after the dance hall revelry had subsided, and the belles who reign there were off duty. Promptly at the appointed time the two candidates for championship were at the joint. Col. Norton acted as rounder up and whipper-in for both fighters, while Bobby Gill ably performed the arduous task of healing and handling and sponging off. Norton called `time,' and the ball opened with some fine hits from the shoulder. Whitman was the favorite in the pools, but Red made a brilliant effort to win the champion belt. During the forty-second round Red Hanley implored Norton to take Nelson off for a little while till he could have time to put his right eye back where it belonged, set his jaw bone and have the ragged edge trimmed off his ears where they had been chewed the worst. This was against the rules of the ring, so Norton declined, encouraging him to bear it as well as he could and squeal when he got enough. About the sixty-first round Red squealed unmistakably, and Whitman was declared winner. The only injuries sustained by the loser in this fight were two ears chewed off, one eye bursted and the other disabled, right cheek bone caved in, bridge of the nose broken, seven teeth knocked out, one jaw bone mashed, one side of the tongue chewed off, and several other unimportant fractures and bruises. Red retires from the ring in disgust.