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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bowie-Knife Butchery in Bleeding Kansas

When pro-slavery and anti-slavery contended for dominance in the Kansas Territory during the 1850s, both sides established newspapers that promoted their viewpoint. One of the anti-slavery newspapers was the Kansas Tribune, published by the brothers John and Joseph Speer. The following article from December 14, 1855 describes an attack on Joseph by Shannon's militia,  pro-slavery group:
The Chicago Tribune has a private letter from Kansas, giving information that Joseph Speer of the Kansas Tribune, published in Leavenworth, had been assaulted by a gang of Shannon's militia, a gash cut from his mouth to his ear with a bowie knife and his life only saved by the resolute interference of his friends. His injuries were so serious that his paper is for the present suspended. Mr. Speer formerly resided in Cleveland, Ohio. He was most horribly cut and mangled.

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