General D. R. Atchison
Colonel A. Baker
Clinton County, Missouri
July 12, 1857
Colonel A. Baker
Dear Sir, A week or two since I received a letter from you; also I have read letters from you to Colonels Buford and Boone. You have Nobly discharged the trust we have reposed in you. You have laboriously, eloquently and energetically done your duty to the South; all this you have done, and every true and honest Southern man must, sooner or later, acknowledge it and thank you in his heart for it. Your mission was a difficult one, and you have been misconstrued by some and wantonly slandered by others. Yet, if it is any consolation to you, you must know that in this you stand not alone. In deed, every man who has taken an open and manly part in defense of Southern rights, has encountered abuse of the North, and , what is still worse the sneers and detraction of Southern men. The most ready weapon which comes to the hands of a mean man in the South, is, that the end we have in view is not the rights and interest of the Slave States, but our own. They insinuate that the money raised in the South is not to be expended in her cause, but to be appropriated to the use of Atchison, Buford, Russell, Boone, Stringfellow, and etc. Now, every intelligent man who uses such weapons is a liar, and is conscious of being so when he circulates or publishes such a charge; and try him in any emergence, when the South shall be in need of all her sons, and he will prove himself a coward or a traitor or both.
I see that not even thunder and lightning will arouse the South. I doubt whether an earthquake - a moral and political earthquake, shaking the institution of slavery to the earth, and bringing ruin upon the whole South, would arouse her to action. In a word, my only hopes now for Kansas are in the border countries of Missouri; and, by the by, any one of ten counties I could mention have expiated more money than one state of the whole South in this cause. The Executive Committee for Kansas Territory will have a meeting on the 8th of this month, for consultation, when you shall hear from us.
If the South would but do half her duty, Kansas would be a Slave State; and I hope we will be able to effect that object, notwithstanding the apathy of the Slave States and the energy of the Free States, and all the open or secret efforts of the officers of the Federal Government.
Yours truly, D. R.
The Buford mentioned in the letter is of course Jefferson Buford the son of John Ragsdale and Esther Eaves Buford. His obituary is here: http://www.bufordfamilies.com/Jefferson%20Buford.htm
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