This is a transcription of an article in the
Since the first
So numerous were the horse thieves that no man dared to institute a prosecution against any other man for horse stealing, however strong his suspicions might be.
THE SUSPECTED MEN,
felt confident were horse thieves, swaggered about the streets of Douglas,
Such were the leaders of the gang who stole horses, stole cattle, hanging around the new towns of the country, armed to the teeth, threatening the lives f quiet citizens, and distributing written notices to persons who had had horses stolen saying that they would be "sent to hell" unless they kept their mouths shut.
This state of
things lasted until about the 1st of November last. At about that time arrived
some men named Crawford, a father and two sons, came from the east, with some
live stock, horses and mules, and settled on the Arkansas, a few miles below
Wichita. Shortly after, one of the boys rode one of the mules to
KNOCKED THE OLD MAN OFF HIS HORSE
with their revolvers and threatened to kill him if he did not deliver the animals himself and sons were riding. The boys spurred their horses and attempted to escape, being unarmed. The gang beat the old man, who is quite advanced in live, with their revolvers, but he hung to his bridle. The robbers soon left him and gave chase to the boys, but the young men reached their camp first, armed themselves, and returned driving off the robbers and releasing their father.
MORE HORSES STOLEN.
this affair, five horses, belong to the Crawfords, were stolen. The old man
Crawford and his younger son appeared in
THE FIRST EXECUTION.
That night Jack
Corbin and George Booth stayed at Lewis Booth's house, four miles from
MORE THREATS BY THE GANG.
The next day after these transactions Wm. G. Quimby, Michael Drea, Dr. Morris and his son Aleck Morris, said in the streets of Douglass that they would hang every man that had anything to do with the work of the night before. They mentioned the names of several citizens whom they said
THEY HAD "SPOTTED",
and whom they would "send to hell."
Immediately after, these men became very active in riding the country day and night, and endeavoring to recruit a party to retaliate for the death of the Booths, Corbin and Smith, and boasting that they could at a moment's notice, raise any number of men to "bounce" the executioners of their friends. Wm. Gallagher and Dr. Morris, went into a store in Douglass, and finding the merchant, a new-comer in the place, alone, attempted to force him to make a statement as to what he knew about the affair, and said that they had the money and the power to ferret the thing out, and they were going to do it, if it
COST THEM THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
Other men of the
same gang threatened citizens elsewhere in the county. The Crawfords were
arrested for murder in the first degree, on a warrant sworn out by
About the time
the Crawfords were arrested, a party of five or six men, dressed military
clothing, but were not soldiers, came to the house of D. W. Boutwell, two miles
from Douglass, early one morning. One of the party professed to be a United
States Detective, and said the party was sent by Gen. Custer to ascertain all
the facts concerning the hanging and shooting of the Booths and others, and to
bring the guilty parties to justice. They told Boutwell if he would tell them
all about the matter they would let him off, otherwise they should arrest him,
and that when this was done his accomplices would leave and he would be obliged
to bear the punishment of all of them. He told them he could tell them nothing,
and asked them if they wished him to co with them. They replied no, that they
would be compelled to return to Council Grove and procure an order from Gen.
Custer for his arrest. The said the General was at Council Grove with a company
of troops. Quimby and Dr. Morris also stated that "Road Agents" were
coming to send the people of Douglass "to hell," that the "Road
Agents" had cleaned out the "vigilantes" at
BOUTWELL WAS ARRESTED,
at dark, by the
Deputy Sheriff of
On Saturday Wm.
Galligher swore out a warrant for John Long, John Stanley, and S. E. D. Parker,
on a charge of murder, but they were absent from home. Warrants were
subsequently sworn out by Benton Cramer against Messrs, Uhl, Kellam, Plumby,
and others, Cramer, and Peter Harpool, a deputy constable, and a man named
Lard, went to the houses of these citizens and found Uhl, who refused to be
arrested in the night by a set of horse thieves, but he said he would be
arrested by any respectable citizen. Cramer and Lard went to
ABIDE BY THE LAW
but would not be
arrested by any known or suspected horse thief, with a chance of being murdered
afterward. We may remark that the threat had been made that the Crawfords and
Boutwell should be lynched if acquitted. During the day affidavits were made
against Quimby, the Morrises, and Michel Drea, for horse stealing, and they had
an examination before a justice and their cases were continued for fifteen
days. These parties stated from the first that they would kill every man on the
During the day the Quimby party had been placed under guard. The next day, Tuesday, Boutwell, and all the parties who had been arrested for murder, expected the Crawfords, had an examination, but none of the prosecuting witnesses appeared against them, and the cases were dismissed. Quimby and the three others were held for trial, and were allowed to remain with their families most of the time until Thursday night.
During this period several citizens of the anti-thief party received written notices, signed with a picture of a rope, to leave the country, on pain of death. On Thursday night, December 2d, about one hundred men seized Capt. Tanner a deputy constable with the guard over Quimby, and his companions, and took Quimby, the two Morrisses and Mike Drea, two miles from Douglass, to the timber, by the side of the public road, and made a scaffold by placing a plank in the forks of two trees, and hung the four men side by side. None of the party attempted to escape, and no female member of their families was present at the time of their execution. None of the party ventured to make any resistance, but did make some disclosures. The next day the crowd which had been collected in Douglass dispersed. The bodies of the men who had been hung were taken down and an inquest held. Seven hundred dollars in cash and drafts was found on the bodies.
Quimby at his
execution confessed to have planned and aided in the stealing of horses and
hiding covering up stolen property. I know likewise. Morris and his son
A special term of court with a Grand Jury has been called by them to be composed of horse thieves, herded together by Sheriff Thomas (who is one of the gang). These men boast that they will ferrit out the parties who killed their friends and bring them to trial. Thus the matter rests; ant is has become a question whether honest men of the country shall leave or this gang. We propose to stay, and in our effort to stay if it becomes necessary to shed more blood it will be done. Self preservation is the first law of nature; and however much we deplore the further use of violence in order to secure life and property, yet we shall not hesitate to do justice to the guilty if it is necessary. We are law abiding citizens with the good of our country at heart, yet we have been driven through grievous wrongs that were upon us to take life; and in so doing are proud to say that the country will be better thereby. It is should become necessary in the future to take the lives of horse thieves in order to protect our own, whether attacked by them in arms or through prosecuting witnesses, we shall do it. We here give warning to all concerned that the prosecution now commenced must cease, and unless it is done we will be compelled by the law of self-preservation to take the lives of witnesses as well as others
---AND WE WILL DO IT.
If the prosecution no instituted by men is Eldorado is continued we will open the pall and blood will run like water, while burns a light by which hones men can and may see the bright future that lays just beyond these troubles. This is not written to intimidate any person, but it is a warning, and the actions of the last sixty days will justify us, when we say that this is no idle boast, but the honest expression of great deliberation. We have the money, arms and ammunition to carry out the good work that has begun. Believing that we are right and that the desperate character of the gang justifies the desperate remedy that has been applied we appeal to all honest men to support us; for the people are the law, and when the laws of a state or Territory prove insufficient for the protection of its citizens in any particular locality, it is their right to take such measure as will protect them, believing that the laws of God and man will justify it.
With these views we submit the case to the people, in the full determination that the work we have been forced to commence will be continued until property and life are safe. Criminal prosecutions neither intimidate us nor make us afraid; and we repeat that persecutions only unite us and will force us to take a desperate step if it shall and does become necessary.
By order of Seven Hundred and Ninety eight organized men, comprising the Vigilantes of Butler, Cowley, and Sedgwick counties.
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