Violence Erupts in “ Bleeding Kansas ”. Lesson 18: The Union in Peril part 5. Proslavery and anti slavery people rushed into Kansas. Each side wanted to have enough people to decide the vote on slavery its way. Those in Kansas who were in favor of abolition were known as Jayhawkers. .
Violence Erupts in “Bleeding Kansas”
Lesson 18: The Union in Peril part 5
Proslavery and anti slavery people rushed into Kansas. Each side wanted to have enough people to decide the vote on slavery its way.
Those in Kansas who were in favor of abolition were known as Jayhawkers.
Kansans called Missourians border ruffians because they crossed the state line to vote illegally and steal property.
Violence soon erupted in Kansas.
The violence over the issue of slavery spread to the U.S. Senate.
Charles Sumner had become the Senate's leading opponent of slavery.
Sumner had joined the Whig Party, but in 1848 helped to form the Free Soil Party (a political party whose goal was to oppose slavery in all of the new territories that were on the path to statehood.
As senators debated the situation in Kansas, Sumner was beaten unconscious by Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina.
Sumner’s injuries stopped him from attending the Senate for the next three years.
This event, along with attacks by Border Ruffians against free-soilers in Kansas, led John Brown, a fierce opponent of slavery to decide that enough was enough. He was tired of the proslavery factions bullying those who wanted to keep slavery from being a part of Kansas.
He left for Kansas and joined his sons (who had moved there to support the anti-slavery cause) to take part in the fight. They would end up dragging five pro-slavery settlers from their cabins, and kill them in brutal fashion.
"I found my father and one brother, William, lying dead in the road, . . .; I saw my other brother lying dead on the ground, . . .; his fingers were cut off, and his arms were cut off; his head was cut open; there was a hole in his breast. William’s head was cut open, and a hole was in his jaw, as though it was made by a knife, and a hole was also in his side. My father was shot in the forehead and stabbed in the breast.”
– John Doyle affidavit, 1856, Special Congressional Investigative Committee
Brown said that the killings had been committed in accordance to "God’s will," and that he wanted to "strike terror in the hearts of the proslavery people."
This killing triggered dozens of violent actions throughout the Kansas territory. About 200 people were killed. Because of the violence on both sides, the territory was nicknamed Bleeding Kansas.