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Untitled Document Lawrence Kansas
June 9th 1860
G. L Stearns

My Dear Friend,
Your very kind letter of the 26th ult. came duly to hand. It is but a few days since that I wrote to you expressing my fears that there would be an attack up our house. My fears were well founded, last night between 12 & 1, 3 or more men came to my door demanding admission, and to the question as to their names and business I got only curses with a renewal of the demand to open the door. I then discharged my revolver at the person whether with effect or not I am as yet unable to say. This was the signal for hostilities. My shot was answered with promptness and vigor on both sides.

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My family were soon aroused and the boys did good service in repelling the attack. They gave us seven shots but one of which took effect. After the sharpest of the contest was over one of my colored men, who had fought most nobly opened the door to reconoiter when he received a tremendous charge of buck shot and fell down and expired in a few minutes. While he was weltering in his blood I went to him and asked if I could do anything for him, expressing a regret that I still had to watch. His only reply was fight! Fight hard!! Talk about the death of great generals on the field of battle. Never did a man die more nobly or in a better cause.

I had two shots from a revolver at the door directed at my head, another at the window from which I

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just shot, came so near my face as to burn my nose, but the most dangerous one was a load of buck shot at the same window as I passed from the stair way. I had passed less than any measurable time when the discharge was made. One shot was directed at my son who was busy at the west window up stairs with his Sharp’s rifle. He fired 3 or 4 times at men and horses.

One random shot at the south window set fire to some cotton fabric under the same which my wife saw in time to prevent any damage from the source.

The effect upon our community is tremendous, a large company of men is out searching for evidence, what may be developed no one as yet can even conjecture.

My wife and children bore up better than I could have believed.

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In relation to our business matters I would say that the long and severe drought has at length been broken by two or three showers so that the corn which you saw me planting is coming up nicely. I am inclined to the opinion that it would be safe to make the investment we talked of when you were here, and if you entertain the idea favorably you can act accordingly.

Give my respect to Mrs. Stearns and others, of my friends and allow me the pleasure of saying that I am

Very Respectfuly
Yours etc
Joseph Gardner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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