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My Dear Brother : Your letter to Mr. Ewing and the accompanying letters were carefully read by me and then sent to Mr. Ewing. I do not see how your conduct can be assailed. I had watched with a very great deal of anxiety your movements, and had carefully preserved every extract of a paper which related to it, fearing at the time a collision between the Vigilant Committee and your authority. I must confess that, except as you were personally interested in the contest, my sympathies were all with the committee. The same class of characters who were so infamous in this city and in election frauds have controlled the cause of Law and Order in Kansas, and there committed such calamities with the direct sanction of the authorities that it seemed to me just and right to organize and to enforce a higher law. The early movements of the people meet the cordial approval of all good men here, and this feeling was deepened by the act of your representative, Herbert, in killing the Irish waiter. If the proclamation of the governor had been equally obeyed by the committee, all would have been satisfied ; but their continued action subverts all law and authority, and it seems to me ought not to be tolerated. At first I was surprised that you had taken part in the strife, and especially against the committee; but the newspapers have contained such full information as to your movements that it was manifest that you did right in accepting the authority you did, and under the circumstances you could do nothing but resent what they did. The papers here take the same view of it, and approve the course you pursued, and generally condemn General Johnson that he did not observe more moderation in dealing with the committee. As it seems to exercise its novel authority wisely and promptly, I hope they will expel the worst of their prisoners without further violence, and then gradually dissolve, and allow the constituted authorities to resume their usual course. The lesson taught them may be of service.
Affectionately your brother,
- John Sherman