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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Trading Post in Linn County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Murder on the Marais des Cygnes

 
 
Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 30, 2010
1. Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker
Inscription.
The bloodiest single incident in the Kansas-Missouri border struggles, 1854-1861, occurred May 19, 1858, when about 30 Proslavery Missourians seized 11 Kansas Free-State men near Trading Post and marched them to a ravine 225 yards northwest of this marker. Lining up their prisoners, they callously shot them down, killing five and wounding five others. One escaped injury by feigning death. Northerners were horrified, and John Greenleaf Whittier immortalized the fallen in a poem, "Le Marais du Cygne."

A few weeks after the massacre John Brown arrived here and built a two-story log "fort," about 14 x 18 feet, which he occupied with a few men through the summer. In December he made a raid into Missouri in which 11 slaves were liberated and one man was killed. Brown's famous "Parallels," dated January 3, 1859, at Trading Post, pointed out that "hell is stirred from beneath" because of his raid while no comparable action had been taken to find and punish the Marais des Cygnes murderers.

A Brown follower, Charles C. Hadsall, bought this property in 1858. Later, adjacent to the site of the fort, he built the stone house which stands here today. The building and grounds were presented to the State of Kansas in 1941 by Pleasanton Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
 
Erected by Kansas
Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 30, 2010
2. Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker
Rear (north facade) of Hadsall House in background
Historical Society.
 
Location. 38° 16.838′ N, 94° 37.136′ W. Marker is near Trading Post, Kansas, in Linn County. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site, with entrance off East 1700th Road, about 500 feet west of the Kansas-Missouri State Line and about three miles northeast of Trading Post. Marker is in this post office area: Pleasanton KS 66075, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site Trail (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sounds of the byway...moccasins and tears. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds from the past...hoof beats and heartbeats. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds along the byway...anxiety and anticipation in the creak of wagon wheels. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds along the roadway...soldiers on the move. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds along the byway...saws, picks and axes. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds along the byway...fur traders bringing their goods. (approx. 3.2 miles away); Sounds along the byway...auto, trucks and buses. (approx. 3.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Trading Post.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
Hadsall House Front (South Facade) image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 30, 2010
3. Hadsall House Front (South Facade)

1. Marais des Cygnes State Historic Site. (Submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre. (Submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsSettlements & Settlers
 
Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 5, 2010
4. Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker
This is the dedication stone on the reconstructed Hadsall House - at one time several years ago - this building contained a small museum.
Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 30, 2010
5. Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site
Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 30, 2010
6. Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site
Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Thomas Onions, September 5, 2010
7. Murder on the Marais des Cygnes Marker
Headstone of Austin Hall - one of the surviving victims of the Massacre. He is buried next to the Victim's Monument in the Trading Post Cemetery.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 856 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on , by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.   5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   7. submitted on , by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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