Near Trading Post in Linn County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Murder on the Marais des Cygnes
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.
Erected by Kansas Historical Society.
Location. 38° 16.838′ N, 94° 37.136′ W. Marker is near Trading Post, Kansas, in Linn County. Touch 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. 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trading Post.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
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 RR • African Americans • Civil Rights • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 923 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 4. submitted on February 13, 2011, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. 5, 6. submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 7. submitted on February 13, 2011, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.