The Civil War in Missouri

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Cass County Petition to Governor Sterling Price, August 20, 1856

MHM Archives

Citizens of Cass County urged Governor Sterling Price to send out the state militia to protect them and their property from a marauding band of abolitionists who had "sacked, plundered, and burnt" several towns in Kansas and threatened to do the same in Missouri. A statement written two years later by the citizens of Bates County listed similar outrages. "They have chased and shot at men who were tending to their own business, they have driven a large number of men from their homes, stolen their property and in fact have ruined many of them," declared Joseph Clymer to then-governor Robert M. Stewart. "We now our State Government for protection[,] ask it, and we hope it will not be refused us." Both documents clearly communicate the desperation and fear that many felt living in the midst of a relentless border war.