On the 26th of August, a mass meeting was held in the city of Leavenworth, at which it was resolved that the people should meet at Paola, on the 8th of September, armed and supplied for a campaign of fifteen days, for the purpose of entering Missouri to search for their stolen property and retaliate upon the people of Missouri for the outrages committed in Kansas. This meeting was addressed by some of the leading men of Kansas in the most violent and inflammatory manner, and the temper of these leaders and of their followers was such that there seemed to be great danger of an indiscriminate slaughter of the people in western missouri, or of a collision with the troops, under General Ewing, in their efforts to prevent it. Under these circumstances, I determined to visit Kansas and Western missouri, for the purpose of setting the difficulty, if possible, and also for the purpose of gaining more accurate information of the condition of the border counties of Missouri, and thus making myself able to judge of the wisdom and necessity of the severe measures which had been adopted by General Ewing.
I arrived at Leavenworth City on the 2nd of September, and obtained an interview with the Governor of the State and other prominent citizens. I found the Governor and his supporters opposed to all unauthorized movement on the part of the people of Kansas, and willing to co-operate with men in restoring quiet, and in providing for future security. I then sought and obtained an interview with the Honorable J. H. Lane, United States Senator, who was the recognized leader of those engaged in the Paola movements. Mr. Lane explained to me hi views of the necessity, as he believed, of making a large portion of Western Missouri a desert waste, in order that Kansas might be secure against future invasion. He proposed to tender to the district commander the services of all the armed citizens of Kansas to aid in executing this policy. This, I informed him, was impossible; that whatever measures of this kind it might be necessary to adopt must be executed by United States troops; that irresponsible citizens could not be instructed with the discharge of such duties. He then insisted that the people who might assemble at Paola should be permitted to enter Missouri "in search of their stolen property," and desired to place them under my command, he (General Lane) pledging himself that they should strictly confine themselves to such search, abstaining entirely from all unlawful acts. General Lane professed entire confidence in his ability to control, absolutely, the engaged citizens who might volunteer in such enterprise. I assured Mr. Lane that nothing would afford me greater pleasure than to do all in my power to assist the outraged and despoiled people to recover their property, as well as to punish their despoilers; but that the search proposed would be fruitless, because all the valuable property which had not already been recovered from those of the robbers who had been slain had been carried by the others far beyond the border counties, and that I had not the slightest faith in his ability to control a mass of people who might choose to assemble under a call which promised the finest possible opportunity for plunder. General Lane desire me to consider the matter fully, and inform him, as soon as possible, of my decision, saying if I decided not to allow the people the "right" which they claimed, he would appeal to the President. It was not difficult to discover that so absurd a proposition as that of Mr. Lane could not have been made in good faith, nor had I much difficulty in detecting the true object which was proposed to be accomplished; which was to obtain, if possible, my consent to accept the service of all who might meet at Paola, and take them into Missouri under my