Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler
Pardee Butler

Part 5 out of 6

with a widow who had an empty house. She had built a new house of
hewed logs, with a window in it, and we were allowed to stay in the
old cabin. She could not keep from talking about that window.

"I've lived all my days without ary winder, an' got along mighty
well," said she. "For my part, I don't like winders; they make a house
look so glarin', like. We uns never had ary one where I had my
raisin'. But the childern is gettin' a heap o' stuck up notions these
days, an' they jes' set up that we had to have a winder in our new

The weather was very cold the rest of the way, and father suffered
severely from a felon on his hand. When we reached St. Joseph the
Missouri River was frozen, and our teams were the first to cross on
the ice. Father took the teams to the top of the icy banks, and
hitched them to the ends of the wagon-tongues by means of long chains.
We traveled all day over unsettled prairie, hoping to reach Mr.
Wymer's house, on Independence Creek. We reached the place at nine
o'clock, but no house; it had been burned. It was very dark, and
bitter cold, but we traveled on. At eleven o'clock we found Mr.
Snyder's cabin, where Lancaster is now built. A little later and we
should have seen no light. A party of belated surveyors had found the
house before the family went to bed; and they were just lying down
when we drove up. In those days no one thought of refusing a traveler
lodging. The cabin was about fourteen feet square. The family had
crowded into one bed, part of the surveyors occupied the other, and
the rest were on the floor. We had not eaten a bite since morning. The
cooking stove was in a little, cold, floorless shed, and there mother
baked some corn griddle-cakes for our supper. The surveyors gave their
bed to mother and me, and the men all crowded down on the
floor--nineteen in one room. The next morning we drove on to our own
house before getting breakfast, glad to find it had not been burned.

On Sunday, May 10, 1857, a meeting was held at our house, at which
it was agreed that a Sunday-school should be organized the next
Sunday, in Mr. Cobb's grove, near Pardee. There we met nearly every
Sunday that summer, and father usually preached.

Much of his time that summer was spent in improving forty acres of his
farm, on which he raised some sod corn and vegetables, Our corn for
bread was ground in Mr. Wigglesworth's treadmill, turned by-oxen. We
had no fruit for many years, but a few wild sorts, and the vegetables
were a welcome variation in our diet of meat and molasses.

August, 29, 1857, the Pardee church was organized, at the house of
Bro. A. Elliott, with twenty-seven members. In October a frame
school-house was finished at Pardee, which was thereafter used for
church purposes. During father's absence the meetings were led by our
elders, Dr. Moore, Bro. Elliott, and Bro. Brockman. We often rode to
meeting in the ox-wagon, as did some of our neighbors.



Father again preached in Illinois from October, 1857, until New
Year. He preached in Pardee the rest of the winter; but in the spring
he began traveling and preaching in various parts of the Territory. It
was the wettest summer I ever knew, and he was continually swimming
streams. Mother often told him that a man who could not swim ought not
to swim a horse. But he continued to do so until the streams were
bridged, many years later. The last time he did so was in the spring
of 1871. He was riding a little Indian pony, and carried some bundles.
The Stranger Creek was full, and very cold, and when his heavy
overcoat became water-soaked, he saw that the pony was about to be
swept down the current. Sliding off from its back, he kept his arm
about its neck, thinking the water would hold part of his weight. But
he soon saw that he was pulling it down stream, so that it was likely
to be tangled in some willows, and he reached back and caught hold of
its tail, and it pulled him safely to shore. He reached home very wet,
but with bundles and overcoat all safe.

He then determined to have a bridge on the road along his boundary line.
But every man, up and down the creek, wanted a bridge on his own line,
and so there was much opposition. But he at length succeeded in
obtaining a bridge. This was the only one of father's many contests in
which he contended for a personal benefit: his other contests were all
for the good of the public.

From this deviation I will now return to the year 1858. Father was so
busy preaching in other places, that he only preached occasionally in

He has sometimes been accused of preaching politics. A good brother
who formerly lived in Missouri, said, not long before father's death:
"They used to tell me before I came to Kansas that Pardee Butler
preached politics, and I said that if ever I heard him begin to preach
politics, I was going to get right up in meeting, and ask him to show
his Scripture for preaching politics. Now I've been hearing him
preach, off and on, for twenty years, and I've never got up in
meeting yet, for I've never heard him preach any politics."

The only sermon that I can remember as containing any allusion to
politics, was one that he preached at Pardee that summer of 1858. It
was from the text, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the
weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought
ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." After speaking in
a general manner of Christian duties that are left undone by those who
are precise about certain theological points, he spoke plainly of the
injustice and unmercifulness of slavery, and besought Christians to be
careful how they upheld it in any manner, lest they be condemned by the
words of the text.

Another sermon that he preached at Pardee, August 1, 1858, was from I.
Kings xviii. 21: "If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then
follow him." After delineating very graphically the terrible drouth,
and the long contest of Elijah with Ahab and Jezebel, he told of the
final triumph of religion, and the merited defeat and punishment of
wickedness. He finished with an eloquent appeal from the text, "If the
Lord be God, then serve him." At the close two boys confessed their
Savior. One of them was an orphan boy, then making his home at my
father's house, and since known as Judge J. J. Locker, of Atchison,
who died last September.

But winter came, and the co-operation that had engaged father that
summer felt that they had paid all they could raise. It had not been
enough to pay a hired man, and meet our frugal expenses. Yet that was
the first money he had made for three and a half years, except by his
two trips to Illinois. He had appealed to the General Missionary
Society, and they had declined to support him, unless he would promise
not to say a word about slavery. But the people were calling to him
from every direction to come and organize churches. He decided to
appeal personally to the churches in the older States. From December,
1858, until May, 1859, he preached constantly in Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan and Ohio, collecting what money he could. He reported $365 as
the amount received, expenses $110, leaving a balance of $255. He
received enough more during the summer to make his salary #297.42.

The next summer he preached in Kansas; but was not gone all the time,
as when in other States. When preaching in distant counties he was
sometimes gone four or five weeks, but he was sometimes at home a part
of every week. When at home he worked very hard on the farm, to
accomplish what he saw must be done, that he might go back to his
preaching as soon as possible. Mother looked after the work in his
absence, and was a good manager, but there was much to which she could
not attend. Father was nervously energetic, always working and walking
rapidly. Even after he was sixty years old, although he was a slender
man, only five feet nine inches in height, with his right arm
trembling with palsy, I have known robust young men to complain that
they did not like to work for Pardee Butler, because he would work
with them, and they were ashamed to have such an old man do more than
they did, and he worked so hard that he wore them out. He scarcely
spent an idle moment. Other men could be content to pass their time in
careless conversation, but he never could. Unless he had some subject
that he thought especially worthy of conversation, he said little. He
seldom spoke of what he had done, and scarcely ever related any of the
many experiences of his trips away from home. In his backwoods boyhood
experiences he had learned to make or mend almost every article used
by a farmer. He was full of projects, always improving something on
the place. Every spare moment was used, either in fixing something
about the farm, or in reading or writing. He sometimes complained that
the days were not half long enough to suit him. He once told his
sister that the Border Ruffians never knew what a service they did him
when they rafted him, for he had leisure to think while he was going
down the river. My brother Charley once said that father was so greedy
of time he was afraid he might lose a minute. Often in the evening we
had to make room by the cooking stove for his shaving-horse, or his
leather and harness tools, while he worked until ten or eleven o'clock
making or mending some implement or harness. And often, after laboring
all day, he read or wrote until eleven or twelve o'clock at night. He
read a great variety of books and newspapers, but was particularly
fond of church history and religious books of a doctrinal nature.

He wrote much for various papers, and was a painstaking writer. He
usually wrote his articles two or three times, and the account of his
second mob that was written for the _Herald of Freedom_ he re-wrote
seven times. He could write best in the morning, and frequently read
and wrote half of the forenoon; and then worked and chored until nine
or ten at night, to make up lost time.

Few ever knew the strong desire that he constantly felt for a life
devoted wholly to study and preaching. Living, as we did in those
days, in a log house with only one room, he had no private place for
study, but read or wrote in the midst of the family. Yet neither
crying babies nor the noisy play of older children distracted him.
Often he sat, with a look of abstraction, in the midst of our
conversation; and we frequently had to speak to him several times
before we could attract his attention.

We have several hundred of his newspaper articles saved in
scrap-books. He preached altogether without notes, and never seemed to
make any especial preparation for preaching a sermon. I once asked him
how long it took him to prepare a sermon, and he replied, "Sometimes
longer, sometimes shorter, generally two or three years. Of course I
do not think of it all that time, but I seldom preach on a subject
when it first enters my mind, but let it mature. I always have several
subjects on hand at once, and when I am reading I retain whatever
strikes me as pertaining to anyone of my subjects." "When do you do
most of your thinking?" I asked. "Whenever I can; mostly on

His education was never finished; he was a student to the day of his
death. Even during his last sickness he asked me to return a volume of
Macaulay's "History of England" that I had borrowed, so that some
one could read to him from it.

In July, 1859, he was sick for some time; but in September reports
thus: "Since I recovered from my sickness I have held a series of
meetings,--one near Atchison, which resulted in eight additions; one
at Big Springs, at which four were added by baptism; and one at
Pardee, where there was one baptized."

November 1, 1859, the Northwestern Christian Missionary Society was
organized at Indianapolis. Father attended it, and remained preaching
and collecting money until February. He collected about the same
amount as the previous year.

In March, 1860, father and Bro. Hutchinson held the meeting at Pardee,
of which he speaks in Chapter XXIX., at which there were forty-five
additions. Father preached on Sunday night. The school-house was
closely seated with planks, and crowded almost to suffocation, while a
crowd stood outside at doors and windows. Father preached on the life
of Paul, although he did not mention Paul's name until near the close
of the sermon. He spoke of him as a talented young nobleman, brought
up in ease and luxury in a great city, to whom were open the highest
positions in his nation. There were but few Christians in the land,
and they were poor and despised. But at length he felt the power of
God, and learned to love the Savior. He told how he gave up wealth and
position, and became poor and despised, and went everywhere preaching
Christ and his mighty power to save. He told of his wonderful zeal and
energy, as he traveled from country to country, preaching Christ to
eager thousands. He vividly depicted the courage with which he endured
trials, hardships, and persecutions. Then he told of his last days--a
feeble, gray-haired old man, ending his days in a prison, his few
faithful friends far away, enemies on every hand, and a painful,
violent death in store for him. Did he see the folly of his course?
And then he quoted Paul's triumphant words: "I count all things but
loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord, for
whom I have suffered the loss of all things.... For I am now ready to
be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a
good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
henceforth' there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to
me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." After
speaking of the powerful effect of Paul's life and teachings, in
helping to transform the world, he eloquently appealed to the young
men and women to turn their ambition to life's highest object, to
follow the example of that grand old hero, and live a life of true
heroism in this world, and win honor and immortality in the world to

The house rang with that rousing old hymn, "Come, you sinners, poor
and needy," and eleven young men and women rose to their feet and
confessed their Savior.

No sermon to which I have ever listened has impressed itself so deeply
on my memory as that sermon twenty-nine years ago.



In the spring of 1860 father rented his farm, so that he could devote
his whole time to preaching. He built a house in Pardee, that we might
live near school and meeting until George should be old enough to do
the work on the farm. There was plenty of open prairie to pasture the
cows, and George and I tended them, while mother made cheese to help
support the family.

Father traveled and preached almost constantly that summer, sometimes
alone, sometimes in company with Bro. Hutchinson.

At many of the points at which he organized churches, the old members
are now either dead or scattered. But Bro. John A. Campbell, of Big
Springs, where he built up a strong church, writes as follows of his
work there:

He told me that his first visit to Big Springs was in May,
1858. My first recollection of him was that he preached
there on the 4th day of July, of that year, when he
organized the church with twenty-eight members, my father
(L. R. Campbell) and C. M. Mock being appointed elders.
His subject on that occasion was the "Unity of all
Christians," and he spoke with great power. He again
preached there on the 29th day of August, 1858, and his
subject was "Faith." On that day the first addition to the
church was made by baptism. He continued to preach for the
church about once each month through 1858-9, and a part of
1860. During that time very many were added, but I have no
means of knowing the number. In the fall of 1859 he held a
successful protracted meeting, and another in the winter
with Bro. G. W. Hutchinson. In 1860, he was at the State
meeting at Big Springs, at which the ground plan of our
present co-operative plan of missionary work was laid.
There was also raised at that meeting money to buy a large
tent, with which Bro. Butler was to travel and preach as
State evangelist. Again, in the year 1877 or 1878 he
preached once per month at Big Springs and some adjacent
points--once on the Waukarusa, oft the subject of the
Seventh-day Sabbath, out of which grew a correspondence
for a debate, but it was not; held, owing to a failure to
get a suitable house.

In the forepart of December past our church held a
memorial service for him, and many pleasant things about
his relation to dear brethren and sisters were spoken of.
The relation between him and myself was always very
pleasant, and I delight to bear testimony to his great
ability and grand life and character. I regarded him as my
father in the gospel, and he was a source of great help
and strength to me.

The tent of which Bro. Campbell speaks was made by the ladies in the
Pardee school-house. In size it was forty by sixty feet, the roof
being shaped like the roof of a house. The second State meeting, and
many district meetings, were held in it; and father used it in his
meetings for nearly ten years, when it was finally torn up by a storm.

In the fall of 1860 the Missionary Society wished him to visit Indiana
again, to stir up an interest, and collect his salary. I find no
report of his work that winter, except this item from one of his
letters: "There have been seventeen additions at meetings which I have
recently attended--six at Brownsburg, Hendricks county, and eleven at
Springville, Lawrence county, Ind."

I have found the note-book which he kept from November, 1860, to
November, 1861, in which I find this account: He received #368.50;
traveling expenses, $72.55, leaving for his year's work, $295.95. That
was the year of the "drouth," and he apprised the brethren where he
preached of the destitution in Kansas. Dr. S. G. Moore and my uncle,
Prof. N. Dunshee, of Pardee, had been appointed to receive
contributions for destitute brethren; and they reported the receipt
and distribution of $670.96, besides boxes of clothing.

After father's return, in March, 1861, he traveled almost constantly.
I have found, in the note-book mentioned above, the time and place,
and either the subject or text of each sermon he preached that year,
one hundred and fifty-three in all. Here are some of the subjects
named: "The Gospel;" "Christian Union;" "Kings of Israel;" "Noah and
the Deluge;" "Types of the Law;" "For What Did Jesus Die?" "Baptism,
its Authority and Design;" "From Whence Ami? and Whither Am I Going?"
"The Material Results of Christianity;" and "The Kingdom of Heaven."

Father had spent all of the money that was due him from property sold
in Iowa, except a thousand dollars, with which he intended to pay his
debts, and finish paying for land in Kansas. While he was in Indiana
that spring that amount was forwarded in a draft to mother. The war
was just breaking out, and by the time she could write to father and
receive his instructions as to its disposal, the bank broke, and he
lost a large part of it. He had already been running in debt for
necessary expenses, hoping each year that his support would be
increased, and the loss in the bank threw him so much in debt that he
felt it would be impossible for him to preach much longer.

In September, 1861, he attended the State meeting in Prairie City. On
Thursday the meeting was held in an empty store-room, for the poles
had not yet been cut to raise the tent. After some preliminary
business father made a short speech, telling them that he must soon
quit preaching for them. He told them how necessary it was that
churches should be planted at once in this new State, and how he had
tried in vain to arouse the brethren at the East to their
responsibility in the matter, but that he was at last obliged to give
up and go to work, like an honest man, and pay his debts. He told them
how he had loved the work, and how willingly he had toiled and
suffered hardships, and begged them to hold out faithfully and do what
they could; and when his debts were paid, he would return again to the
work. When he closed his hearers were nearly all in tears.

Many went long distances to that meeting, the brethren and sisters
from Emporia going in a covered wagon, and camping out on the road.

Father continued to preach, however, much of the time that winter.
That part of his farm that was improved was rented for five years, and
he had no money to improve the rest. The renter proved an indifferent
farmer, and the rent scarcely sufficed to pay the taxes and winter the
cattle. So father entered the only paying business, that of
freighting, as he relates in Chap XXXI. Perhaps some may think from
reading that chapter that he only took one trip, but he crossed the
plains five times. He first went in the spring of 1862, in Bro.
Butcher's train, taking George, who was only ten years old, along to
drive one of his teams, because he could not afford to hire a driver.
It was a hard, monotonous life, driving all day and camping at night
through all weather; but the hardest part of it was that men and boys
all had to take their turn standing guard over their cattle at night.
After Bro. Butcher was taken sick on that first trip, father acted as
his boss, and on all his later trips he went as wagon-boss of some
large train owned by Atchison freighters, also taking along two teams
of his own.

The wagon-bosses were frequently rough, overbearing men, who not only
went armed, but who often treated their drivers tyrannically. They not
only cowed the boys with abusive language, but with frequent threats
of whipping, or shooting, which they sometimes fulfilled.

Father never carried arms about his person in any of his trips across
the plains. But there was something in his quiet, determined manner
that enabled him to rule even the most headstrong of the wild young
fellows who usually drove the freighting teams. He was once traveling
along, for a short time, in company with a train much larger than his
own, whose wagon-boss was a big, burly, swaggering fellow, who was
drunk much of the time. Each train was driving along behind it such
oxen as were unfit for work, and some of the other cattle became
accidentally mixed with father's drove. The boss, who was already
partially drunk, had ridden on to a ranch to get more whisky. Father
called on his own boys, and the boys of the other train--on the plains
the drivers were often called boys, even though they were middle aged
men--to help separate them. But those of the other train refused to
help. They tried in vain to separate them, until they were tired out.
As they neared the ranch father walked up to the well to get a drink,
and there sat the drunken boss on his horse. When he saw father, he
exclaimed, with a great oath, "---- ---- ----, what you driving my
cattle off for?"

"I asked your boys to help separate them," replied father, "but they
refused, and I and my boys have worried ourselves out at it. If you
will order your boys to help we will try again."

"---- ---- you, go back and get them cattle out, or I'll send you
to ---- !"

Father looked him steadily in the face, and said quietly, "I would
like to see the irons you would do it with."

"---- ---- go back and get them cattle out, or I'll shoot you as
sure as ---- !" shouted the fellow, jerking out a revolver with
a great flourish.

The frightened boys stood back, expecting to see him shoot, but
father, without moving, coolly replied, "If you want your cattle out,
you will get them out yourself; I will do nothing more about it."

The fellow, cowed by father's cool, determined gaze, put his revolver
back in his belt, rode off, called his men, and they drove the cattle
out themselves.

In October, 1862, father decided to make a winter trip, because he
could earn more money than in the summer. The owners of the train
intended wintering their cattle on the buffalo grass in the Colorado
valleys, which they found cheaper than wintering them on corn in
Kansas. The drivers were mostly Ohio boys, who drove teams because
they wanted to reach the Pike's Peak gold mines. The oxen were a lot
of wild Texas steers, and it took about half a day to get them yoked
up the first time, so that they only traveled about eight miles out
from Atchison the first day. George did not go that trip, but father
took him to town to help them start--because he said that if George
was only ten, he knew more about handling wild oxen than all those
green Ohio boys--and sent him home the second day out. It had been a
very pleasant fall; but I never saw it turn cold so suddenly as it did
that day. I remember that I spent several hours gathering in squashes
and covering up potatoes; and when I returned to the house at 3 p. M.
every leaf on the trees and every flower in the garden was frozen
stiff, pointing straight out to the southeast. It was the only time I
ever saw a frozen flower garden in full bloom. It sleeted nearly all
night, and the Texas cattle, frightened and chilled by wind and sleet,
were so wild that father and all the boys had to herd them all night
to keep them from stampeding. Their clothes were wet and frozen, for
they were not very warmly dressed, and George said he never suffered
so much with the cold in his life as he did that night.

It was a hard and stormy winter, and the Ohio boys, unused to such a
life, suffered badly, many of them freezing their hands and feet. When
they reached Denver the cattle were taken to the valleys, and father
traded his own cattle for mules. Loading his two wagons with hides, so
as to make money both ways, he and the two boys who had driven his
teams started for home. I have heard him say that he never saw weather
so cold, but that he could keep from freezing by walking. So by dint
of much walking he succeeded in reaching home without being frozen.
Their wagons were so full of hides that they had to sleep on the
ground, and he said that on waking in the morning he often found
himself buried in snow. Wood was scarce, and they sometimes had to
haul it quite a distance to build their camp fires at night, and it
was sometimes so stormy that they could scarcely cook.

During the journey one wagon-load after another of returning Pike's
Peak adventurers had fallen in with them, and kept together for the
sake of company and protection against the Indians, until they made
quite a train. By common consent--accordin' to the human nature of the
thing, as they say on the plains--father came to be considered the
boss of the train. There was a ranch near the road, kept by a
Frenchman, who had an Indian wife. He had grown rich selling whisky
and provisions, and wood and hay. When the half-frozen men, with their
hungry teams, came by, he charged them extravagant prices; if they
objected he blustered and threatened until he usually scared them into
paying what he asked. Father and his train camped there one cold
night, and some of the men went up to buy wood and hay; but he asked
such high prices for them that they went back and asked father to go
up. He was busy, and knowing the Frenchman's reputation, told them to
go back and tell him that the boss said he could not pay such
exorbitant prices, but to let them have the wood and hay, and he would
come after awhile and pay a good round price for them. The men
returned, and told what he said, but the Frenchman ordered them to
clear out, and threatened to shoot them if they came back again
without the money he demanded. He would not even allow them to draw
water from the well. Again they begged father to go up, but he said he
was too busy, and told them to go right back and take the wood, hay
and water, and if the Frenchman said anything, to tell him that Pardee
Butler told them to do it, and he would settle the bill. They went
back, the one drawing water, the others getting wood and hay. Out ran
the Frenchman, very wrathy, leveling his gun at them. "The boss told
us to take them, and he'd settle," they said.

"Who's your boss?" he asked in surprise.

"Pardee Butler."

"Pardee Butler! Oh! Oh! Pardee Butler? Take 'em! Take 'em!" he
exclaimed, dropping his gun and throwing up his hands. "Oh! Pardee
Butler! Take 'em! Take 'em!" he continued, fairly dancing around,
white with fright, and gesticulating as only a Frenchman can.

"Why, what's the matter? He wont hurt you," said one of the boys.

"Oh! Pardee Butler! He bad man. Oh! Oh!" he answered, still dancing
and gesticulating.

"Oh, no; he is not a bad man; he never hurt anybody in his life."

"Oh, yees, Pardee Butler one veree bad man! He must be one bad man,
'cause they put heem down the river on one raft, down in Kansas.
Pardee Butler must be one veree bad man!"

Father made no more winter trips, but spent his winters at lumbering.
When he first came to Kansas he had bought eighty acres of timber land
in the river bottoms, in Missouri, two miles below Atchison. Mills had
been erected along the river, and lumber was at last in good demand.
So he found profitable use for his teams, and large freighting wagons,
in working that timber into lumber.

He crossed the plains twice more in the springs of 1863 and 1864.

The Indians often visited their camps, begging for bread, or for sugar
or tobacco. Father said that on his winter trip it made his heart ache
to see the pitiable condition of the women and children, chilling
around in the loose wigwams during the winter storms. He often saw the
women out in the snow gathering up and carrying great loads of wood on
their shoulders. But he said the most pitiable sight he ever saw was
little half-starved, half-naked children, too small to walk, creeping
around under his mule's heels, eagerly eating the grains of corn that
they had dropped.

But the Indians were every year growing more restless, and often
attacked the trains, to obtain provisions, and cattle and mules.
Father often saw them peering around the bluffs, or along the river
banks, watching his movements. But he was very careful, never allowing
the boys or stock to wander off alone, and keeping guards out at
night. Knowing that the Indians were growing dangerous, Bro. Butcher
had insisted on lending him a rifle for his later trips. One day they
were traveling along the Platte River bottoms, the river half a mile
to one side, the bluffs a mile or two back on the other. It seemed
impossible for anything to hide in the low grass around them; but
father knew that here and there in the grass were wet-weather gullies,
deep enough for an Indian to lie in; and his watchful eye detected the
grass moving occasionally, here and there. He halted, telling the men
there were Indians in the grass. At first they made light of it,
saying they knew no Indian could hide in that low grass. But he told
them that he had been watching for some time, and thought the Indians
were creeping up on them from the river. He took Bro. Butcher's rifle
out of the wagon, saying, "I am going down there to see; who will go
with me?" But none of them offered to go, except a boy of sixteen,
who, seeing the rest would not go, shouldered another gun, saying,
"For shame! I wont see the old man go alone!" The two went down
through the grass, and when they reached the river, they saw a number
of Indians running away under shelter of the bank. The Indians seldom
attack determined men, who are on their guard--unless they are on the
war-path with a large force--and they saw that father was such a man,
and gave him no more trouble. It was on his last trip, in 1864, that
the Indian raid occurred, which he mentioned in Chapter XXXI. On their
return they found that armed bands of Indians were still riding about
the country. One afternoon, when they were within a little over a
day's drive of Fort Kearney, they saw a band of Indians prowling
about, first in one direction, then in another. The boys were badly
frightened, and wanted to run their teams all night, in order to reach
the fort. The weather was hot, and the oxen already tired, and father
feared that such a forced drive would kill them. So he ordered the
boys to camp for the night. They kept out a strong guard, and were not
attacked; but reached the fort in safety the next day.

The District Missionary Society of Northeastern Kansas had held two
yearly meetings in the tent at Pardee, in August, 1862, and August,
1863, just after father's return each year from his summer trips across
the plains. In August, 1864, soon after his return from his last trip,
another district meeting was held at Wolf Creek, Doniphan county, which
was the home of Bro. Beeler, and of Brethren Jonathan and Nathan
Springer. Father had held a number of good meetings there, and built up
quite a church. But when the railroads went through there the town of
Severance was built up on one side; and Highland, seven or eight miles
on the other side, which was already a Presbyterian stronghold, received
a new impetus. So the church at Wolf Creek was broken up, and one was
organized at Severance, and one has since been built up at Highland, of
which Bro. Beeler is the leading member.

Bro. Jonathan Springer--who has moved to Goffs, where he still
maintains his old-time zeal--relates an incident which occurred a year
or two before that district meeting. Father was holding a protracted
meeting, when there came into the neighborhood a young preaching
brother from one of the Southern States, running away from the Union
soldiers. Upon learning who he was, father invited him to preach, and
they continued preaching together for a week, holding an excellent
meeting, and father said not a word to him about the questions
dividing North and South. Bro. Springer said, "I always thought that
Bro. Butler was a peculiar, a wonderful, and a powerful preacher."
Speaking of his ability to attract and hold the attention of an
audience, Bro. Springer said, "I once heard him begin a sermon with
the question, 'Are we dogs, or are we men?'" At the district meeting
his sermon was on his favorite theme, "Christian Union;" and it was
two hours in length, yet he held the close attention of the audience
to the end. Although he often preached on that subject, he always had
something fresh to say. He could not crowd all that he had to say
about it into one sermon. He was constantly reading of the change of
sentiment on Christian union among other denominations, and referring
to it in his sermons.

A few years ago he preached a series of discourses on that subject at
Pardee, closing as follows: "The Protestant denominations will all
become one yet, not by other churches coming to any one church, but
their differences will almost imperceptibly disappear, and they will
all melt into one, and no one will be able to tell how it was done."

In the spring of 1865 he moved back to the farm, and spent much of the
summer in preaching. For the next four years his winters were spent in
lumbering, and his summers in preaching, and improving his farm. Even
while lumbering he preached somewhere nearly every Sunday; sometimes
at home, sometimes in the schoolhouse near his timber, and sometimes
he landed a raft at Port William on Saturday, and went across and
preached for the church at Pleasant Ridge, Leavenworth county. And
other Sundays he preached at various points easy to reach on Saturday
evening, and return to his work on Monday morning.

He rafted many of his logs to Port William or Leavenworth, and usually
helped to take them down; and there was much joking about where he
learned the rafting business. It was dangerous, however, for rafts
sometimes struck snags, or became unmanageable in the swift current,
and went to pieces.

When the Central Branch Railroad was built, the company took corn of
settlers in payment for lands, cribbing it by the road. Instead of
shipping off the corn, they shipped Texas cattle to the cribs, to eat
it up. They soon came to father in great perplexity. Their cattle
broke every fence they could build, and they did not know what to do
with them. So he told them how to build a fence the cattle could not
break, and he had a quantity of extra strong lumber sawed for that
purpose. When he called at the railroad office to receive pay for his
lumber, the clerk paid him in rolls of bills sealed up in paper, with
the value marked on the outside. After leaving the office he counted
his money, and found that one of the rolls that was marked $100,
really contained $1,000. Returning, he told the clerk he had made a
mistake. "We correct no mistakes," was the gruff reply. "Young man,
you are not doing business for yourself, but for the railroad company;
come here and help me count the money." The label had been misplaced.

The greater part of father's lumber was sawed at Winthrop, now called
East Atchison, and he did much hauling across the river on the ice.
His teams were usually the first to cross when the river froze up, and
the last to quit crossing in the spring; but as he was a good judge of
the condition of the ice, he never lost a team. I have heard my
brother George say that four or five times, when father or himself
had, by careful driving, crossed in safety with large double teams and
heavy loads, others, trying to cross behind them with light wagons,
had broken through, and either lost their teams or been saved with
difficulty. One spring the ice was thawing rapidly, and had become
quite rotten; but father wanted to take one more heavy load across,
and he drove it himself. It was drawn by several yoke of oxen, and
their weight sunk the ice so that the water spouted through the
air-holes and frightened them. He knew that the beaten track,
where the teams had trodden the ice solid, and the accumulated mud had
shaded it, had not thawed as fast as the surrounding ice, and that to
allow his wagon to swerve a foot, one way or the other, was to risk
breaking in. He ran along by the lead yoke, watching them so closely
that he did not notice where he was walking, and several times he
stepped off, knee-deep in little air-holes; but he took his load
safely over. As he went up the bank some half-drunken Germans in a
sleigh dashed down on the ice and broke through, but were so near the
shore that they easily got out. But one of father's wagons ever broke
through, and it was driven by a careless hired man. Father was ahead
with another team. He called back to the man to unhitch quickly and
hitch on to the end of the tongue, for fear the team would break
through, too, and running back, he put lumber under the wheels, and
they pulled the wagon out.

Father gave away a great deal of wood over there. In those days coal
was scarce and high, and, consequently, wood was high also. Many
families were so glad to receive the wood as a gift, that they were
willing to haul it twelve or fourteen miles. And, winter after winter,
he also kept two or three poor families supplied with wood from his
timber at home, allowing them to come and help themselves.

Father and mother were always very generous, giving freely of money,
wood, fruits, vegetables, milk, or whatever they had to spare, to
those more needy than themselves. I can not remember of ever seeing
them charge any one for a night's lodging, or turn any one away.

When father had anything to sell, he often refused to accept its
market value, because he thought it was not really worth the price. A
friend once noticed him selling seed potatoes much below the market
price, and told him that his generous habit of selling to his
neighbors so cheaply would keep him poor. He replied that the market
price was extortionate, and that his conscience would not allow him to
accept it.

In his later years he gave freely to help build various churches; and
to State and General Missionary Societies, and to the many calls for

He could never stand by and order men around, but always took hold and
did the hardest of the work himself; and the excessively heavy work of
logging injured his health. He had several severe spells of nervous
rheumatism, and from that time his right arm was troubled with the
trembling palsy, which grew worse until his death. He had not been
able to write with a pen for several years, and his "Recollections"
were all written by holding a pencil in his right hand, and steadying
that with the left hand.

Once, while he was lumbering, mother remonstrated with him for wearing
himself out so fast. He replied that he saw so much needing to be
done, and done at once, he felt compelled to push his work off his
hands as fast as possible. If it shortened his life, he said it made
no difference to him, provided he could accomplish more than in a long
life of easy work. I heard him say once that we ought to make our
life-work of so much importance, that neither cold, nor storm, nor any
other hindrance should be allowed to interfere with the performance of
duty. And I seldom knew him to stop for bad weather of any kind.

In December, 1865, I had concluded to go to school a term at
Manhattan, and asked father to take me there, for it was a hundred
miles, and there was not a railroad in the State. He sent an
appointment to hold a meeting there at that time. The morning that we
were to start the thermometer was eighteen degrees below zero, and the
wind blowing keenly from the northwest. But if we postponed our
journey he would miss an appointment, and so we started. There was no
snow, the roads were rough, and we had to travel in a lumber wagon,
and were three days on the way. I was well wrapped in blankets, and
did not suffer severely, but father, on account of driving, could not
wrap up so much, and had to walk nearly half of the time to keep from
freezing. His nose and cheeks were slightly frozen the second day, for
it did not begin to moderate until the third day.

He held a good meeting of eight or ten days. There were about a dozen
baptisms, the ice being cut in the river for that purpose.



In May, 1867, my two-year-old brother, Ernest, was accidentally
scalded. He lingered a week, then death claimed the youngest of the

When the Central Branch Railroad was built the little town of
Farmington was laid out, a mile to the northwest of father's
house--Pardee being two miles to the southeast. Many of the original
members of the Pardee Church had helped to organize the Pleasant Grove
Church, six miles west. Father thought it would be wise to break up at
Pardee., and move church and village to the railroad town, but some
objected. Thinking that the rest would soon follow, he left Pardee,
and organized a church of twenty-three members at Farmington, October
6, 1867. Bro. McCleery held a successful meeting here the next
December, and preached once a month during the following year.

For several years much of father's time was given (gratuitously), in
caring for this church and Sunday-school, and the church soon numbered
a hundred members.

After the war many colored people came to Kansas, and a number of them
settled in the neighborhood. They had heard of father, as a friend to
the colored people, and some of them wanted to work for him. He
frequently employed them, and usually found them faithful and
efficient. They liked to work for him because he treated them as he
treated white men. As there were not enough of them in the country
places to form churches of their own, they attended our Sunday-schools
and meetings. We were much surprised to find that some of our brethren
objected to colored children being in the classes. One good old
colored man, who had been a member of the church in Missouri, was much
respected by the community. A white brother requested our deacon, W.
J. May, a son of Caleb May, to ask this colored brother to take a back
seat, and to pass the bread and wine to him last. Bro. May replied: "I
shall do no such thing; as long as I am deacon in this church there
shall be no respect of persons."

A colored man, who had been a servant in the family of one of the
governors of Virginia, presented himself for membership. He was a
neat, good-looking man, with pleasant manners, and had been a member
of Col. Shaw's colored regiment, when they so valiantly stormed Fort
Wagner. A white sister borrowed a pair of gloves, when she went up to
give him the hand of fellowship, so that she "wouldn't have to touch a
nigger's hand."

Father wanted to teach them, without giving undue offense, their
Christian duty to the colored people. He preached a sermon on the
parable of the Good Samaritan, telling how the Jews and Samaritans
hated each other, and how Jesus taught in that parable that even the
most despised of earth's races are our neighbors. He also told the
story of Peter's vision at the house of Simon, and how God taught him
not to call any man or nation of men common or unclean, but to carry
the gospel to all nations. The nearest that he came to modern times,
in that sermon, was the remark that the Jews despised the Samaritans
as much as the Americans despised the Africans. He left them to make
their own applications of the Bible teachings.

What an excitement it raised! Many said the colored people had to be
turned out of the Sunday-school, or they would leave; and some did
leave. In nearly all our churches father had to meet this prejudice,
but he remained firm in his position, that in church and Sunday-school
there should be neither white nor black, but all should have equal

In the spring of 1869 father sold his timber land in Missouri, and
paid the last of his debts. He had some money left, and the first
thing he did was to go into a book store, and spend forty dollars for
"Barnes' Notes," and "Motley's United Netherlands," and "History of
the Dutch Republic." He remarked as he did so, "I have felt the need
of these books for years, and this is the first money I could spare
for them."

Men who had seen father working with tireless energy on his farm, or
the plains, or "logging" in the timber, sometimes said: "He is craving
to get rich."

He has often been misunderstood, but in no point more than this. I
never knew a man who cared less for wealth than he. The one
all-absorbing object of his life was to preach the gospel. But he had
also resolved to have the means to pay his debts, and to have a home
for his family.

About that time he spoke to me, in substance, as follows: The one
great anxiety of my life has been to preach. I had intended to go to
Bethany, and devote my life entirely to preaching. My sore throat
caused me to give that up, but going to Iowa improved my health, and I
began to preach again. When I took my claim in Kansas it was with the
intention of holding on to the land, while I preached in Illinois,
until Kansas should be thickly enough settled to furnish me preaching
here. But you know how necessity has driven me, and how preaching for
a meager salary, and neglecting my farm, ran me in debt; and what a
hard necessity has been laid on me to pay those debts, and to improve
my farm, so that you and your mother and the boys can make a living
from it. You have no idea what a sore and bitter trial it has been to
me the last six or eight years to see the old churches going to pieces
before my eyes, and so many opportunities for planting new churches
being lost to us. There is only one thing more I must do, and then I
am determined to give myself wholly to preaching. As for myself, I
would live in a log house all my days before I would take from my
preaching the time necessary to earn and build a better house. But
Sybil has been a good and faithful wife, and has borne with
commendable patience all the trials of the hard life through which I
have led her; and it worries her to entertain so much company as we
have in her log house. With the lumber and saleable stock I have on
hand, I can build it without incurring any further debt. And then I
will be ready to preach without being dependent on any man.

The house was built; but before it was finished a series of
misfortunes befell him, that threw him in debt nearly as badly as
before. From snake-bites, disease, and accidents, he lost four or five
horses, and several head of cattle, and the cholera killed nearly a
thousand dollars' worth of his hogs.

He went to work again, but somewhat discouraged, for he saw that his
long-deferred hope of devoting his entire time to study and preaching,
could never be realized. He was nearly sixty, and had broken his
constitution by hard work, and could not much longer have endured the
incessant riding and preaching of a traveling evangelist, even could
he have been supported. The boys were then old enough to do much of
the farm work, and from that time he preached more constantly, but
spent more or less time at hard labor.

For several years he was employed, for a small salary, at monthly
preaching, by churches at Big Springs, Valley Falls, Round Prairie,
and other points.

In the fall of 1875 he concluded to visit once more the churches for
which he had preached before coming to Kansas, and bid farewell to his
old friends. He accordingly spent the following winter in a preaching
tour throughout Iowa and Illinois.

The State Meeting at Emporia, in 1877, in his absence, elected him
President of the Society. Unable to find a State evangelist who would
undertake the difficult task of reviving the old churches that had
perished--which he thought was the work most needed at that time--he
took the field himself. At the State meeting held at Yates Center the
next year, he made the following report: "Time spent, five months;
sermons preached, one hundred and fifty; churches organized, two;
compensation received, $186.36." He also revived many scattered
churches and Sunday-schools, and obtained regular preaching for some
of them. He was greatly worried over the churches of this part of the
State. They had been much weakened, and some of them nearly broken up
by the tide of emigration that set into the southern and western
counties. Attempts at co-operative State and district work were
impeded by conservative papers, which prejudiced the brethren against
missionary societies, and hireling pastors. He spent much time, both
with tongue and pen, in answering these sophistries, and teaching the
churches their duties. Many of the churches were really too poor to
support regular preaching, and many that were able, thought themselves
unable to do so. Yet someone must care for them, or they would perish.
He resolved for the rest of his life to preach, without remuneration,
where such preaching was most needed. And so the last eight or nine
years of his life were spent in preaching on Saturdays and Sundays for
weak churches, and the remainder of the time in working and writing.
If a church was building a meeting house, and felt unable to support a
preacher while doing so, he preached for it until it was built. If a
church had already built, and felt oppressed with debt, he preached
for it until the debt was paid. If, from any cause, a church was weak
or disorderly, he preached for it until it was again in good order.
Then he said to the brethren: "I have helped you on your feet, now
raise the money and hire some one else to preach for you, and let me
go and help some other needy church."

Mr. Hastings and I were married in 1870, and had settled at
Farmington. From that time Mr. Hastings had taken much of the care of
the Farmington church. The church at Pardee had revived, and had been
doing well under the care of Prof. N. Dunshee; and, later on, by the
assistance of Prof. J. M. Reid, and of Mr. Hastings. But, about six
years ago, being left without a leader, they begged father to take
charge of them, although they were unable to offer him much
remuneration. He told them that it would cost them nothing, so far as
he was concerned; but that, if he took charge of them, they must
promise to support the Sunday-school liberally, and to build a church.
He, and his family, therefore, changed their membership from
Farmington back to Pardee, where he was elected elder--for he believed
that every pastor of a church should be one of its elders--and he
preached for them five years. He not only gave largely of his means to
build the church, but spent the whole summer in collecting the money,
and overseeing the building of the house. He looked after the buying
of the materials, and sent his teams to do much of the hauling, and
never stopped until the building was furnished, the insurance paid,
and his own hands had put the stoves in place.

About a year before his death, however, owing to disagreements about
the manner of conducting the Sunday-school, father resigned his
eldership, and preached at other points until his death.

But his work for others was not confined to preaching, or church work.
He had never tried to make a large town of either Farmington or
Pardee. He knew too well the perils of the city. When he helped to lay
out Pardee he made it a part of the charter that if liquor should ever
be sold on any lot of the town the deed to that lot should be
forfeited. His idea was to have a small village, with a good church
and school, as the center of a moral and intelligent farming
community. He took great interest in schools, Sunday-schools, literary
societies, and temperance work; in everything, in fact, which tended
to the moral and intellectual improvement of the young, or to the
well-being of society in general.

He spent much time in writing and lecturing on temperance, both before
and after the passage of the Prohibitory Amendment. His articles in
the papers denouncing the violation of the prohibitory law as
rebellion against the Constitution, and all the sympathizers with the
law-breakers, as rebels, stirred up such an excitement that when he
went to Atchison he could scarcely walk the streets on account of the
people, both friends and opponents, who stopped him on every turn, to
talk of prohibition. The Germans all wanted to discuss the matter with
him; but one of the leading Germans said to him one day, "You must not
expect us old Germans, who have brought our habits from the old
country, to change; but go ahead, Mr. Butler! Go ahead! The young men
are with you."

Father was sometimes accused of "dabbling in politics." If that means
that he was an office-seeker, the charge is false. Though often urged
by his friends to run for office, he invariably refused, telling them
that he considered the office of a Christian preacher the highest
office on earth. But he did think it his duty to attend elections and
primary meetings, and work against the whisky ring. He often spent
much time, in the fall, speaking and writing to secure the election of
temperance men for county officers. The final effort by which he
succeeded in arousing a public sentiment strong enough to compel the
county officers to close the saloons, was a stirring speech he made at
a temperance meeting in Atchison, in the spring of 1885,

Some have thought that father was hard-hearted. Plain-spoken he
certainly was, and sometimes harsh in dealing with those whom he
thought to be doing wrong. He was so thoroughly in earnest that when
he thought a certain way right or wrong, it was hard for him to
understand that some other way might be equally right or wrong.

Naturally high-tempered, with a very excitable, nervous organization,
it was often a matter of wonder to me to see how much self-control he
exercised, under irritating circumstances. He sometimes lost his
self-control, and said things that would better have been left unsaid;
but when he saw that he had done so he was ready to beg pardon for the
offense. But he was kind-hearted and forgiving, and ready to forget
injuries done to him.

No matter how harshly he might speak of an opponent, or wrong-doer, he
would often turn right around and do him a kindness.

One of the men who helped to raft him wrote to him three or four years
ago, saying that he was writing an account of the Kansas troubles, and
asking him for some information on points that he had forgotten.
Father readily complied with his request, telling him that he freely
forgave him, and all the rest of his old-time enemies.

Father was always ready to help the poor, the oppressed, or
unfortunate. It was that spirit of sympathy for the weaker party that
led him to side with Horace Greely in 1872, because he thought the
Republicans were too hard on the conquered Southerners. But when he
heard of the widespread Ku-Klux outrages, he concluded that he had
been mistaken, and returned heartily to the Republican party.

I heard a neighbor say a few years ago: "If any one needs help,
just go to Bro. Butler. I never heard of him refusing to help anybody
that was in trouble, no matter how much time or trouble it cost him."

Another neighbor had his house burned. He was old and feeble, and
unable to rebuild. Other neighbors thought they had done their part
when they raised a subscription to build him a new house. But cold
weather was coming on, necessitating haste. Father, not content with
giving money, looked after buying materials, and putting up the
building; sent his teams to do the hauling; and, because the ground
was freezing up, worked until late at night, digging out sand to
plaster it. And this was but one of the many instances of his
practical kind-heartedness.

He attended the State Meeting at Hutchinson about a year before his
death, where he had been invited to deliver a historical address,
sketching his own life and work, and the history of our churches in
Kansas. He was urgently requested to publish it, and from that
circumstance came the publication, in the _Christian Standard_,
of his "Recollections."

Bro. F. M. Rains said of that address, "That was the grandest speech
ever delivered on Kansas soil."

The Hutchinson _Daily News_ spoke of it as follows:

"The address was a happy blending of church history, and
personal reminiscence, full of fact, humor and pathos,
and, most of all, devotion to freedom, morality,
temperance, and godliness. Few people of today are able to
appreciate the privations, and sacrifices, and dangers,
with which the pioneer was beset, and these dangers came
with special nearness to the man whose mission, courage
and conscience made him the open and avowed foe of all
sorts of wickedness. The house was packed with intense
listeners, and from beginning to end he held the great
audience in close attention, and when he finished, the
hope that grand old Pardee Butler might live a hundred
years was the unexpressed wish of all."

Father was always fluent in prayer, and his petitions earnest and
timely; but in the last year or two of his life his prayers seemed to
grow more fervent and impressive. Mrs. Hendryx, of Wichita, writing to
me since his death, speaks thus of a prayer offered by him at the
Hutchinson Convention: "Never, while consciousness shall last, will I
forget the ring of your father's voice in prayer, at Hutchinson. I
asked, 'Who is that aged veteran? he seems almost inspired.' And they
told me it was Pardee Butler."

The earnestness and appropriateness of his prayers were most
noticeable on several funeral occasions, and numbers spoke of being
affected by them, particularly at Bro. Locker's funeral.

He preached his last sermon at North Cedar, a week and a half before
his accident. The following Saturday, September 15, he attended Bro.
Locker's funeral. The next day he attended Bro. Parker's meeting at
Pleasant Grove, where he presided at the Lord's table.

He had several appointments ahead at the time he was hurt. One of
these was to preach the funeral of his old friend, Caleb May, who had
died in Florida, August 27. His children in Florida had sent a request
to his son, E. E. May, of Farmington, that father should preach a
memorial sermon at Pardee.

Father had not done any heavy work for two years, but he still did
much light work, and choring, although his health was gradually
failing, milking eight or ten cows a day, and driving a young team
from ten to twenty miles to his appointments, almost every Sunday,
seldom stopping for bad weather.

It was reported that he was thrown from a colt at the time he was
hurt. My brothers wish that report corrected. They think he never was
thrown from a horse in his life. They had seen him break many colts,
and had never seen him thrown. He had been using the most spirited
colt on the place for his riding horse all summer; but that day,
September 19, it was in a distant pasture, and finding my brother
Charley's colt in the stable, he thought he would ride it to the
post-office. It would not stand for him to mount, and he put the
halter around a post, holding the end in his hand. As he mounted the
saddle the colt jerked both halter and bridle from his hand and
trotted off. Unable to reach the bridle he hastily dismounted. As he
swung his right foot around to the ground the colt kicked it, crushing
the ankle joint. He quietly called mother; and Brother May, who
happened to be passing, helped him into the house, and sent for a

We feared no worse result at the first than a crippled ankle. He said
to Bro. White, who visited him a _few_ days after he was hurt, "Oh,
I will get up all right; a Butler never was conquered, you know. My
only concern is that I shall not become a permanent cripple."

The first week he was hopeful, though suffering much pain. The second
week he was delirious, with high fever. Then he was prostrated with a
severe nervous chill--his already over-wrought nervous system was
exhausted by pain. From that time he lay in an unconscious stupor the
greater part of the time. He passed quietly away at half-past three A.
M., October 19, 1888, at the age of seventy-two.

His funeral took place the following day in the church at Pardee. The
services were conducted by Elders John Boggs, of Clyde, and J. B.
McCleery, of Fort Leavenworth. The house was full, notwithstanding it
was a stormy day, raining continuously from morning until night. Word
had been sent to all the churches in this and adjacent counties, and
hundreds who were preparing to attend the funeral were disappointed by
the inclement weather.




Although our dear departed brother, Elder Pardee Butler, was never
classed with the Garrisonian Abolitionists, he began his ministerial
life when the demands of the South were being felt in all the North,
both in church and State. If slavery could not be advocated by the
Northern conscience it must at least be ignored by all candidates for
popular favor. It had divided some of the most popular religious
denominations; and was the most exciting subject of discussion known
to the religious world at the middle of the present century. Among the
Disciples of Christ the slavery question was peculiarly perplexing, as
there was a large per cent, of the membership who were actual
slaveholders, and the leaders among us, although publicly committed
against "_slavery in the abstract_," were endeavoring to soften the
hard features of slavery in the Southern States by arguing that the
relation of master and slave was not sinful _per se_, as it was
recognized and regulated both in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.

Bro. Butler was ordained as a minister of the gospel of Christ, among
the. Disciples, at Sullivan, Ohio, some time in the year 1844, by A.
B. Green and J. H. Jones, at that time two of the most efficient
evangelists in Northern Ohio He had a good conscience, which passed
judgment upon his actions in accordance with the great law of love
inculcated by the Lord himself and his apostles, and he did not allow
the application of any "hot iron" so as to sear it. Although he did not
come in direct antagonism with the pro-slavery power while he labored in
the gospel ministry east of the Missouri River, yet it is evident that
the slavery question was a most important factor in making up his
decision to leave his field of labor in the Military Tract in Illinois,
where he gave up present usefulness and ministerial blessedness for a
prospective missionary field and a humble home for his family. He had
spent four years there in active ministerial labor; and in the second
number of his "Personal Recollections" he calls them "the golden days
of my life!"

That the hand of God directed the footsteps of Pardee Butler to Kansas
just at the time he went there, and to the place where he took a
homestead and improved it, and lived on it with his family for a third
of a century, no one who believes in an overruling providence can for
a moment doubt. At the risk of his life, and at the cost of great
privation in his own person, and that of his wife and children, he
unfurled the blood-stained banner of the cross, and never allowed it
to trail beneath his feet through the long years of "border
ruffianism," and the dark days of detraction and misrepresentation. He
was the man for the hour; while on the one hand he was not forgetful
of the obligations resting upon him to his family--he laid the
foundation for a happy home--on the other hand, he was always ready,
both in season and out of season, at home and abroad, to preach the
unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. To him
more than to any other human instrumentality is the brotherhood of
Christ's disciples indebted for the early introduction of Christianity
in the now grand State of Kansas; and his name will be honorably and
lovingly remembered by all the good and the true, who shall learn of
his unselfish life and his untiring devotion to the cause of the

In the summer of 1858, after he had been in the new Territory over
three years, Bro. Butler, in the _Luminary_, writes as follows: "To
teach, discipline, and perfect the churches we have already organized;
to gather into churches the lost sheep of the house of Israel,
scattered over this great wilderness of sin; to watch over those who
are still purposing to tempt its dangers, and to lay broad and deep
the foundations of a future operation and co-operation, that shall
ultimate in spreading the gospel from pole to pole, and across the
great sea to the farthest domicile of man--this is the purpose which
we set before us." This brief quotation shows the broadness and
completeness of the work, as contemplated by him, and which is now
going forward to its accomplishment as never before; and to his almost
alone labors at first the work in Kansas can be legitimately traced.

During this year a Territorial Board was formed, and Bro. Butler was
appointed as their evangelist; and a correspondence was had between
him and the corresponding secretary of the General Missionary Society
in reference to affording aid to the Kansas Board to help sustain him
in his evangelical labors. It was conducted in the most friendly
manner and in a true Christian spirit, until the slavery question came
to the front and prevented the accomplishment of what was hoped for
on the one hand, and contemplated on the other. The following extract
from Bro. Butler's third letter will present the issue in the briefest
manner possible:

DEAR SIR:--You say in letter before me, "It must,
therefore, be distinctly understood that if we embark in a
missionary enterprise in Kansas, this question of slavery
and anti-slavery must be ignored." I respond: This
reformation is pledged before heaven and earth, and under
covenants the most solemn and binding into which men can
enter, to guarantee freedom of thought and speech to our
brotherhood-i--not indeed on subjects purely abstract,
speculative and inoperative, but on Bible
questions--questions which involve the well-being of
humanity. This matter of slavery is a Bible question--a
question of justice between man and man--of mercy and
humanity. It is what Jesus would call one of the weightier
matters of the law, and demands, therefore, a large place
in our investigations.

* * *

The brethren here in Kansas have made no such stipulations
with me They have left me to my own discretion in
preaching the gospel to sinners, and teaching the saints
according to the Bible. They have shown themselves too
magnanimous to impose on my conscience a restriction which
their own manhood would forbid, under similar
circumstances, that they should suffer to be imposed on

For myself, I will be no party, now or hereafter, to such
an arrangement as that contemplated in your letter now
before me. I would not make this "Reformation of the
nineteenth century" a withered and blasted trunk,
scattered by the lightnings of heaven, because it took
part with the rich and powerful against the poor and
oppressed, and because we have been recreant to those
maxims of free discussion which we have so ostentatiously
heralded to the world as our cherished principles.

In explanation of the first letter received by Bro. Butler from the
corresponding secretary, a second one was sent, from which it is
necessary to make the following extracts:

I reply, that nothing has been said against teaching a
master his duties according to the Bible, nor (what is
just as important) against teaching servants their duties
to their masters, according to the Bible--according to the
instructions given to evangelists--I. Tim. vi. 1-4. My
remarks, as the whole letter will show, had reference to
the question of slavery _in Kansas_. The forms it takes on
there are very different from the duties masters owe their
servants according to the Bible. It is whether a
slaveholder is necessarily a sinner, unfit for membership
in the Christian Church--a blood-thirsty oppressor, whose
money is the "price of blood," and would "pollute" the
treasury of the Lord, etc. etc. And, on the other hand,
whether American slavery is a divine institution, the
perfection of society for the African race, and essential
to their happiness--while all Abolitionists are fit only
for the madhouse or the penitentiary. These and such like
are the _forms_ the question of slavery assumes in Kansas,
as well as in many of the free States, where there are no
"masters and servants" in that sense to be taught their
duties, in reference to which it was said the question
must be entirely ignored. And we can not consent that on
one side or the other such pleas shall be made under the
sanction of the American Christian Missionary Society.

I did not then, nor do I now, suppose that if you were
employed by the A. C. M. S. to preach the gospel in
Kansas, it would fall to your lot to furnish instructions
to many masters and servants. If in any churches you may
raise up in Kansas--evidently destined to be free--you
find masters and slaves, of course it will be your duty to
instruct them both "according to the Bible." But to
furnish such instruction, and to go through Kansas
lecturing on anti-slavery, or mixing up any pro-slavery or
any anti-slavery theories and dogmas with the gospel, or
to plant churches with the express understanding that no
"master" shall be allowed to have membership in it, are
very different things. And I had this very matter in view
when I wrote to you, for I had some-how heard that the
church of which you were a member was about to take just
such a stand, and I wanted to have it distinctly
understood that so far as action under the direction of
the A. C. M. S. was concerned, all such ultraisms must be
ignored. . . . You felt anxious to have help to preach the
gospel in Kansas. I felt anxious to assist you. I saw
danger in the way, growing out of the fact that I
represent a society whose membership is in the South as
well as in the North, and that some factious ultraists are
constantly on the watch to sow the seeds of discord. I
knew the state of things in Kansas as bearing on the
slavery question. I knew something, too, of your treatment
there, and of your feelings. I saw that if you were
employed to preach there, an effort would be made to
herald it, as in Bro. Beardslee's Case, as an anti-slavery
triumph. This would be unjust to us. And as the practical
question of master and slave does not exist there to any
extent, I spoke of ignoring the question altogether. If
you still insist on the right to urge that question, and
take part in the controversy raging in Kansas, _under the
patronage of the A. C. M. S_., I have only to say it is
outside the objects contemplated in our constitution. But
if you wish simply to preach the gospel and instruct
converts in a knowledge of Christian duties, "according to
the Scriptures," there was certainly no occasion for your
second letter to be written.

To the foregoing a rejoinder was written by Bro. Butler, which closed
the correspondence with the A. C. M. S., and from which the following
extracts are taken, that the readers may understand his position

I reply, 1. In your former letter I find no reference to
the _forms _ the agitation of this question assumes in
Kansas. I presume you had not a copy of that letter before
you when you wrote this one. But you do allude to "forms"
the agitation of this question had assumed in Cincinnati,
and in reference to Bro. Beardslee and the Jamaica
mission. I was also instructed that "our missionaries"
must not be ensnared into such utterances as the
_Luminary_ can publish to the world, to add fuel to the
flame. The utterances against which I was guarded _seemed_
to be in Cincinnati rather than in Kansas. I had already
published a piece indicative of my views in the
_Northwestern Christian Magazine_, and that appeared to be
the obnoxious "utterance." 2. You are misinformed relative
to the "forms" the agitation of this question assumes in
Kansas. The question, Shall slaveholders be received as
church members? has hardly been debated at all. 3. Neither
myself nor any person associated with me has at time
proposed to organize a church to exclude slaveholders. 4.
Slaveholders have been members of our churches from the
first day until now. How, then, could I understand you as
referring to anything else than to my own published
Cincinnati utterances?

* * *

As respects slavery, the whole power of the master and the
obligation of the servant is found in the proper meaning
of the words of such precepts as these "Masters, render
unto your servants that which is just and equal;"
"servants, obey your masters," etc. All within such limits
is the doctrine which is according to godliness--all
beyond, whether on the part of the master or the slave,
and which is attempted to be foisted into the church as a
part of the apostolic doctrine, is schismatical, and
essentially fills up the picture drawn by Paul: "If any
man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words,
even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the
doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud,
knowing nothing'--from such withdraw thyself." In these
precepts no right is given to the masters to buy and sell,
to traffic in slaves; no right to enslave the children,
and the children's children of his servants; no right to
hold them in a relentless bondage which knows no limit but
the grave, and in which the heritage transmitted by the
slave to his children, is a heritage of bondage to all

On the 26th of August, 1858, the same season that the foregoing
correspondence took place, Bro. Butler wrote to the editor of the
_Christian Luminary_ the following letter, which is given entire, as
showing the exact position which he occupied ministerially at that

OCENA, ATCHISON CO., KAN., Aug. 26, 1858.

DEAR SIR:--Three churches--one meeting at Leavenworth
City, another at Mount Pleasant, Atchison county, and a
third at Pardee, same county--have formed an organization
for the purpose of propagating the gospel in Kansas. For
four months I have been in the employ of these churches.
My first business was to travel over the Territory and
ascertain where we have brethren in sufficient numbers to
make it expedient to organize churches. To that end I have
traveled over that portion of the Territory north of the
Kansas River, and embraced in the counties of Leavenworth,
Atchison, Doniphan, Jefferson, and Calhoun; also, to some
extent south of the Kansas River.

I will not say that this has been the pleasantest labor of
my life. A long and wearisome ride across wide prairies,
under a burning sun, has often been followed by a
fruitless effort to excite interest enough to justify
established preaching. I would not convey the idea that
this region is not full of promise to the missionary,
notwithstanding I am fully persuaded that we are not to
expect such _immediate_ results as have followed my own
labors elsewhere. We must first sow, and then, in due
time, we shall reap, if we faint not.

The M. E. Church reports 120 preachers in Kansas and
Nebraska; the U. B. Church, 9, sustained in part by
contributions from abroad. The Missionary Baptists make
good their right to the name they have chosen, by
sustaining four missionaries. I confess it is a matter of
profound humiliation to me that the demonstration that
ours is primitive apostolic Christianity, is found in the
fact that we can afford but one missionary in Kansas, and
that to his support not one dime has been contributed from
abroad. The brethren in the Territory, under an unexampled
pecuniary pressure, and out of their deep poverty, have
done all that has been done. Two new churches have been
organized--one at Big Springs, Douglas county, numbering
twenty-eight members; the other at Cedar Creek, Jefferson
county, of eleven members. We have also the nucleus of a
congregation at Atchison, and another at Elk City, Calhoun
county. Thus we have in this part of Kansas the foundation
laid for eight churches, all of which are steadily
increasing in numbers; and the brethren composing them, in
all the elements of future growth, and in moral and in
religious excellence, are at par value with the
brotherhood in any of our States or Territories.

If the older churches, blessed with such abundant means,
would aid us in this hour of our need, it is my opinion
they would be no poorer on earth and much richer in
heaven. But whether they aid us or not, I trust we shall
hold our own, and ultimately prove that the weapons of our
warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and
every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge
of God. We have a number of young preachers, who are
giving promise of future usefulness. Very truly, your


P. S.--Five persons in this congregation, and one at Big
Springs have been recently added by baptism; also two from
other denominations.

On the 1st day of July, 1859, Bro. Butler made a very interesting
report of his labors, and especially of his tour in several of the
free States--mostly where he had labored in the gospel before his
removal to Kansas. As the document is too long for publication entire
in this volume, only the more important extracts can be given. The
first two paragraphs being only a fuller statement of what is already
written, the first extract will show the voluntary indorsement of Bro.
Butler by the churches for which he had been laboring, as follows:

WHEREAS, Bro. Butler has faithfully and diligently
performed the labor assigned him as our evangelist;

_Resolved_, I. That we do most heartily approve of his
labors and general course of conduct during his term of
service. 2. That the officers of this Board be directed to
procure the services of Bro. Butler, or some other
suitable person, to solicit aid in the States for this

Bro. Humber, as president of the Board, did not call it
together to complete the arrangement contemplated. On my
own part, I felt unwilling to importune him. I went on my
tour, therefore, simply under the indorsement and approval
of my own congregation. I left home December 16, 1858, and
returned May 12, 1859. I visited the Military Tract of
Illinois, Northeast Iowa, Southwest Michigan, Central and
Eastern Indiana, and Northern Ohio. The amount of money
realized was $365; expenses, $110, leaving a balance on
hand of $255, as the first installment of the fund of our
begun mission.

Of all the churches in which I sought a hearing only one,
the church at Bedford, Ohio, gave me the cold shoulder. In
response to my request for the privilege of delivering a
lecture before them, in development of our wants and
condition in Kansas, they responded that they considered
it "political," and they had resolved that their house
should not be used for political lectures!.... In all the
localities visited by me, I found the masses of the people
with such convictions as will constrain them to treat
slavery in the United States as a moral evil, and to
patronize only such societies as assume toward it a
similar position. It is asked: What have we to do with
slavery? I reply: We, as Christians, should have nothing
to do with it. But we in Kansas are placed under
compulsion to have something to do with it. We have
slaveholders in our churches; and if the time should come
when there will be no slaves in Kansas, still we have
something to do with it, for within one day's ride of us
in Platte county, Mo., is the largest body of slaveholders
in that State. Discipline is special to each congregation,
but that sense of justice which always stands as the basis
of discipline, is common to all the churches of one
communion. This public opinion is created by a mutual
interchange of sentiment--the books we read and the
preachers we hear. For years past slaveholders have ceased
to hear those suspected of abolitionism or to read their
writings. I will bear very long with error where mutual
discussion and free interchange of sentiment promise
ultimately to bring all to be of the same mind. Am I told
that the safety of slave property requires that
Abolitionists should not be heard in the slave States? I
reply: The more shame to those who perpetuate an
institution that demands for its security the tyranny of
such proscription; and that the human soul of the black
man should be so cruelly dwarfed and robbed of his
manhood. . . . Such are the not very flattering
impressions made on my mind during a five months' tour in
Northern Ohio, after an absence of nine years. There must
and will be a reform; it has become a public necessity.
Temporizers are proverbially short-sighted. God gives only
to the pure-hearted the divine privilege of foreseeing the
coming of those beneficent revolutions, which exalt and
dignify humanity. Ambitious and selfish men are left to go
blindly on and fall into their own pit. At present there
will be chaos I The people will not follow those who have
been accustomed to lead, notwithstanding those leaders
will have power greatly to embarrass the action of those
who do not follow them. We have three pressing wants: 1. A
_sustained_ paper that will not bow the knee to the image
of this modern Baal. Such a paper we have, but it should
not be concealed, that it must pass through a fiery
ordeal, and can only be sustained by the timely efforts of
its friends. 2. We need a convention made up of men who
regard slavery as a moral evil, and are disposed to make
their own consciences the rule of their action. 3. We need
a missionary fund, which shall be placed in such hands
that it shall not be prostituted to the vile purpose of
bribing men into silence on the subject of slavery.

I am not commissioned specially to speak for the
_Luminary_, nor to prophesy concerning any convention
which may hereafter assemble. I only speak for myself. Let
it then be candidly admitted that the fund which I have
been able to collect is a rather unpromising beginning,
and that it does not augur that this mission will be well
sustained. I remark, then, I never was adequately
sustained. I have been a frontier and a pioneer preacher,
and have shared the fortunes of such men. To keep myself
in the field I have labored very hard, I have toiled by
day, and have subjected my family to the necessity of such
labor, privation, and close economy as, perhaps, calls for
rebuke instead of praise. The churches at Davenport, Long
Grove, De Witt, Marion, and Highland Grove, in Iowa; and
Camp Point, Mt. Sterling, and Rushville, in Illinois, can
be addressed as to my former manner of life. I would speak
modestly of myself; and have not obtruded these matters
before the brethren until rudely assailed as though I
never made any sacrifices. I do not complain, and what I
have said is offered, as evidence, in some sort, that
money appropriated to this mission will not be squandered.

In this connection it is thought proper to insert a single quotation
from a letter which appeared in the _Review_, a paper which published
editorially, the most unscrupulous slanders in reference to Bro.
Butler's work in Kansas, which letter was written by Bro. S. A.
Marshall, of Leavenworth--both an M. D. and a preacher, and than whom
no more honorable gentleman ever lived in that city. His testimony is
incidental, and therefore so much the stronger:

The brethren of the four churches named have tried to
co-operate together to sustain Bro. Pardee Butler as home
missionary for a little while. He is an able evangelist
and generally beloved: and being on the ground and well
acquainted with the country, and the manners and customs
of the people, could be obtained at much less expense, and
perhaps be as useful and acceptable to the people as any
other available evangelist.

In harmony with the suggestion made by Bro. Butler in his report, for
a convention of our brethren who look upon slavery as a moral evil,
call was made for such a meeting to convene in the city of
Indianapolis on the 1st day of November, 1859. About six hundred
signatures were attached to the call, including many of the most
intelligent and influential members of our churches in the North.
After much misrepresentation and denunciation, the convention was held
in the Christian chapel in Indianapolis; a constitution for a
missionary society adopted and the necessary officers appointed. Many
of the churches gave it a most hearty endorsement. It was deemed
expedient that Bro. Butler, before returning to Kansas, should visit
as many churches as practicable. Accordingly, he wrote to the
_Luminary_ under date of December 26, 1859, from Springville, Ind., as

I have thought best, before returning to Kansas, to make a
short visit to this part of Indiana, where, according to
report, almost all the brethren are opposed to our recent
missionary movement. In twenty-three days I have preached
thirty-two discourses. For the mission we raised, cash,
$55; pledges, $43. Three have been added by baptism, and
one from the Presbyterians who had formerly been immersed.
Some of our preaching brethren in this part of the State
conclude to take the advice of Gamaliel: "And now I say
unto you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for
if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to
naught; but if it be of God, ye can not overthrow it; lest
happily ye be found even to fight against God." In the
cause of a common piety and a common humanity.

Bro. Butler returned to Kansas, and resumed his labors wherever a door
of entrance was opened to him. Angry clouds thickened across the
political and religious horizon, until, shortly, the storm broke forth
in unwonted fury, and swept away from the national statute book every
vestige of American slavery. For a quarter of a century longer he
continued in the service of the Master, laboring successfully in every
department of the ministerial work--evangelical, pastoral, and in the
advocacy of all moral reforms, and especially as a leader in the
warfare waged against the saloon interest in Kansas. He lived to see
his adopted State take an advanced position in the legal prohibition
movement, slavery in the United States abolished, and the cause of
Bible Christianity flourishing as it had never done before. He
commanded the respect of all who knew him, and was regarded as one of
the chief founders of the church. His presence at all the Christian
conventions in and out of the State was always hailed with tokens of
gladness. Still he was aware that there were individual members, and
even some churches that never forgave him for the active part he took
against the extension of slavery, and his indictments against it as a
moral evil--a sin against God and man. Fifty years of his eventful
life were consecrated to the service of the Master and the good of
humanity. He died with the ministerial harness on. At the time of the
sad casualty which proved to be fatal, he had arrangements for
continued work in the churches, both at home and abroad. He finished
his course with joy, for he knew there was laid up for him in heaven a
crown of righteousness. He labored assiduously in life, and now enjoys
the sweet rest which remains for the people of God.





1. An indomitable will.

2. A sublime courage.

3. A never-satisfied hungering and thirst for knowledge.

4. An intense love for truth, and hatred of shams.

5. A tireless worker.

6. An advanced thinker.

In presenting this analysis it is by no means thought to be complete.
There are many phases of his well-known character left untouched,
because this chapter would become a book, if all were presented in
detail. We touch upon these more salient ones, as presenting the
well-known outlines of his later life, and trust the picture will find
faithful recognition among his host of admirers.

Those who have known him ever since the past Territorial days of
Kansas, will concede that, for the accomplishment of a purpose unto
which he had once deliberately put his hand, no man ever breathed the
fresh air of these broad prairies who followed the trail with more
determination and keen, intelligent acquaintance with all bearings,
overcoming difficulties, meeting objections, accepting temporary
defeat (philosophically), but never relinquishing his purpose until
victory crowned his effort, or failure was absolutely inevitable,
than he.

Suited to this was a courage as heroic as Leonidas' and sublime as
Paul's. The stormy days of the fifties and sixties gave evidence of
the physical side of this quality, and his entire life, of the moral.
He "feared no foe in shining armor," and rather courted than avoided a
passage at arms dialectic. Eminently a man of peace, and loving the
pursuits that make for it, he would see no principle of right unjustly
assailed without girding himself for the conflict, and standing where
the blows fell thickest.

Coming to this unknown country at an age when the ordinary mind takes
firmest grasp of all intellectual things, and being thus deprived of
that mental food necessary to satisfy and make strong, there was ever
after a hungering for the things he did not have, that would not be
satisfied. I remember talking with him once, while sitting on his
lumber wagon, resting his team in the cotton-wood bottoms east of
Atchison, and he bewailed as much as a man of his fiber could, the
fate that compelled him to toil day and night while his soul was
starving for that intellectual food which lay all around him, but
which he did not have time to gather and devour. This, however, was
not abnormal; for, even to the day of his death, he was a devoted
disciple, sitting at the feet of every true Gamaliel.

An intense lover of truth, and a like hater of shams, he analyzed
mercilessly; not for the sake of opposing, but in search of kernels
and the source of things. If he found the tree was bearing, or
destined to bear evil fruit, he would do his utmost that there should
be left of it neither root nor branch. Accepting good in every
presented form, if he suspected evil in the garb of good, there was no
waiting for a more opportune time than the then present, for such
stripping and exposure as his vigorous logic, sarcasm, wit, pathos,
and personal presence could produce. Humble, and exceedingly retiring
in ordinary, when the truth was assailed, or wolves in sheeps'
clothing appeared, he became a lion, fierce and towering; and woe
betake the man or system that then became the object of his righteous
wrath. Such torrents of invective as fell from his tongue; such
flashes as gleamed from his gray eagle-eyes; such scorn as glowed in
his thin, pallid lips, made every one tremble--an avalanche that swept
all before it.

To toil, of some character or other, he seemed to be destined. For no
sooner did he find a little rest from the field or herd, than all his
Hurculean energy was thrown into some cherished and waiting mental
project. His life is an example of the statement that "genius is the
result of labor." Neither did he travel in thought alone upon the
surface of things. There were subjects, the philosophy of which no
contemporary understood better; and upon the social and organic
relations of the religious reformation with which he always stood
identified, he was twenty years ahead of his confreres. He was a
veritable Elijah in many things, but he was never known to flee from
the face of his enemies.

His was a mighty nature; the soul of honor and the embodiment of

There are two features of his Kansas life, which marked the man, that
I wish to portray, viz: His _temperance_ work, and his _religious_
work. These were not in any sense divorced, as though they were not
always righteously allied; but, as all know, the prohibition question
holds a prominent place in the history of this proud young queen, with
her "_ad astra per aspera_," and from the time she was admitted to a
place among the sisterhood of States, up to the date that the
comparatively little majority of 8,000 votes placed her squarely in
opposition to the saloon, with all its interests and iniquities, he
labored, watched, and prayed, for such a consummation. In this, as in
his religious conceptions, he was always in the advance, running new
lines and opening broad highways, and inviting fields for the less
sturdy but oncoming multitude. As he had battled to prevent this, his
adopted State, from being desecrated by the blot of human slavery,
so now he voted, preached, lectured, wrote, that it might be delivered
from the body and soul destroying curse of the rum power.

I have before me his temperance scrap-book, beginning with the
proposed amendment to the State Constitution, March 8, 1879, and
coming up to the time of his death, in which I find fifty-five
newspaper articles written by him, of from one to three columns in
length, presenting, in his own terse, humorous, glowing, vigorous,
convincing way, all sides of this chameleon-hued question; now
analyzing the amendment and the laws to enforce it, turning aside here
to answer the cavil of some carping critic, then to demolish and bury
some blatant political defender of the whisky element; arraigning the
Governor, Senate and House of Representatives for their gingerly
treatment of the great question, and sending a trumpet-call to the
honest, brave, and sincere temperance workers, both men and women,
urging them to greater vigilance and closer compact. These, with
numerous short and pithy articles, added to all his sermons and
lectures on the subject, occupying a much larger space and far more
time, will give an idea of the labor of heart and brain bestowed upon
this one question, during this one decade. We have room in this
chapter for only one short article from his pen, as an example of the
many, indicating how he felt, thought, and wrote during those stirring
years. The title of the article is, "The Prohibition of the Liquor
Traffic, The Constitutional Amendment in Kansas." He says:

This is, perhaps, the first case in which any government
in the world has incorporated into its constitution a
clause prohibiting forever the sale of intoxicating drinks
as a beverage. This is a struggle in which the churches,
the preachers, and the Sunday-schools are arrayed in
mortal antagonism to the saloons and saloon-keepers. Both
parties are instinctively conscious that this is a contest
in which the issue is to kill or be killed. No truce or
peace is possible. 'I will put enmity between thy seed and
her seed.' The people are drawn into one or the other of
these parties by a sort of elective affinity. One class
goes with the churches and the Sunday-schools; another
gravitates to the drinking-house. The one class are swayed
and controlled by the law of love--"Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself;" the other by the principle that
governed Cain--"Am I my brother's keeper?" "Who cares?"
"Let every man look out for himself?" "If a man chooses to
make a beast of himself, it is none of my business."

One of the peculiar things connected with this movement is
the fact that by far the most determined and effective
opposition to this law comes from foreign-born and
naturalized citizens. They have, so to speak, monopolized
the liquor traffic; they are bound together by a kind of
free masonry, and with small regard to whom they vote
with, Democrats or Republicans, they give the whole weight
of their political influence in favor of free liquor.

With here and there a notable exception, the Roman
Catholic Church throws its influence on the same side;
hence its church fairs are carnivals of drunkenness.

The two extremes of our American society do also largely
join in this clamor for free liquor. "The upper ten
thousand," those that arrogate to themselves that they are
par excellence, the _elite_ of the nation--albeit that
their assumed gentility is sometimes but a shoddy or
shabby gentility--make the road from the top of society to
the bottom, and from thence to hell, as short as possible,
by assuming that it is aristocratic to tipple.

When from these so-called upper circles, we go down to the
bottom of society, what shall we say of that great
multitude of men and women, crushed into poverty,
helplessness and ignorance, groping as the blind grope in
darkness; and who find in the dram-shop a momentary
oblivion to their miseries?

To these elements of opposition to prohibition we must add
another class of men--the professional politicians. These,
like the chameleon, take the color of every object they
light on. To them the good Lord and the good devil are
equally objects of respect, and possible worship; and,
having all mental endowments accurately developed, except
the endowment of conscience, they hold that all things are
legitimate that bring grist to their mill. These will be
good prohibitionists when prohibition dances in silver
slippers; but now they do duty on the other side.

The above picture contains a very fair analysis of the
elements of the vote in opposition to the prohibitory
amendment, except that, perhaps, we ought to add the vote
in opposition to a well-intended class of men who have no
proclivity for liquor, and who, perhaps, could give no
better reason for their vote but that they abhor
innovations, and are content to do as their fathers and
grandfathers did before them.

Notwithstanding, prohibition carried in the State by eight
thousand majority. It is noteworthy that six counties,
lying along the Missouri River, and having in or near them
the cities of Atchison, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, White
Cloud and Kansas City, and which also contain the largest
foreign-born population in the State, gave heavy
majorities against the amendment.

It is self-evident that if the execution of this law is
left to the municipal authorities of the above-named
cities, or to the officers elected in the above-named
counties, then the saloon keepers and liquor dealers will,
without let or hindrance, trample under foot both the
constitution and laws. The proof of this lies in the fact
that, in time past, the liquor dealers have ridden
rough-shod over all laws enacted in the interest of
temperance. For example, the law provided that they should
not sell to boys under age; the law provided that they
should not sell on the Lord's day. The law forbids bribing
at elections; but the bribery of strong drink at
elections, in the cities, has been just as common as the
elections; and church members, and even preachers, who
were candidates for office, have been blackmailed to get
the money to buy the liquor. It will be asked, What, then,
do we gain who live in these river counties, and in these
cities, by the passage of this prohibitory law? We gain

1. Thus far these law-breaking liquor dealers have acted,
in carrying on their business, under the shadow and
protection of law. This protection is now withdrawn.

2. The government has hitherto been in partnership with
liquor dealers in the infamous business of making
drunkards. This partnership is now dissolved.

3. The appetite for strong drink is not a natural
appetite. It is an appetite artificially created in
children, boys and young men. It is not for the public
welfare that it should be created at all. The scheme and
plan of the popular saloon is to create this appetite, and
to strengthen and foster it after it is created.

The whole business of the saloon looks in this direction.
To this end are its flashing lights, its glittering
decanters, its rainbow tints, its jolly good fellowship
and boon companionship, and the _bonhomie_ of the portly
saloonkeeper. All these, in the purpose and intent for
which they exist, mean the death of the body and the soul
of the man that enters these gates that lead down to hell.
The saloon is a serpent, with the serpent's fascinating
beauty and power to charm, but with the serpent's deadly
bite. "At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth
like an adder." Kansas has wisely ordained that it will
not maintain by the public authority and at the public
expense poisonous serpents to sting the people to death,

4. Men object: "The selling of liquor will go on, but you
will drive the business into dark places and into the
hands of disreputable men." To this temperance men reply:
"That is just what we want. We wish to take away every
vestige of respectability from the man that sells liquor.
We intend that it shall be sold--if it must be sold at
all--in dark cellars and in back alleys, and that the men
that sell liquor shall take rank among the law-breaking
and dangerous classes of society,"

5. The one potent charm and omnipotent argument that has
served as a gift to blind the eyes and an opiate to lull
to sleep the consciences of the municipal authorities of
our cities has been the revenue they have derived from
liquor license laws. For example, the city of Atchison has
derived from this source a revenue of $10,000. This
revenue was paid not alone by her own citizens, but by all
men who were drawn to the city for purposes of business or
pleasure and who could be induced to patronize the
saloons. And this has been a perpetual menace to the
safety of families living in the country who did business
in the city. This revenue is gone. It is hopelessly and
irrecoverably dried up. The Missouri river will turn and
flow backward towards its source before this revenue,
which is the price of blood, like the thirty pieces of
silver for which Judas sold his Master, will ever come
back again. After Jesus had cast a legion of demons out of
the demoniac that dwelt among the tombs, this man was far
more impressible with regard to motives addressed to his
better nature than while he was possessed by these demons;
so we may charitably hope that now, after ten thousand
evil demons have been cast out of the hearts of the mayor
and common council of the city of Atchison, these
dignitaries will be more impressible with regard to
motives of morality, humanity, and of the public welfare.

Meantime, temperance men look on the whole business of
liquor license as an unspeakable madness. Regarded simply
as a question of dollars and cents, they look on it as a
horrible nightmare--a hallucination fallen on men nearly
allied to that form of mental abberration which carries
men to mad-houses and insane asylums, a strange and
mysterious perversion of the human faculties. Regarded in
its economical aspects, they hold that it would be just as
good economy and as much the dictate of common sense, to
obtain a revenue by licensing murder, theft, burglary,
robbery, and harlotry, as it is to license the sale of
intoxicating drinks as a beverage.

It will be seen, then, that prohibition incorporated into
the constitution of Kansas, does not, by any means, give
us the victory; it only places us in a position to fight a
fair and equal battle hereafter. We are, like Israel,
shouting triumphantly, "I will sing unto the Lord, for he
hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he
drowned in the Red Sea."

But beyond us are parched and desert sands, poisonous
serpents, savage wild beasts and mortal enemies. All these
must be conquered before we finally rest in the happy

It is now conceded by the best informed actors in this great drama or
tragedy, that Pardee Butler, as much or more than any one man, made
the prohibition movement in Kansas the marvelous success it is. The
generation is yet to come that will rise up to do him rightful honor.

From '54 to '60 Pardee Butler was the Moses to the church in this
wilderness, and for years following he was in some sense like Paul,
"having the care of all the churches." But from the beginning he was
the foremost man by virtue of natural and acquired ability, although a
reluctant following was often given because of former habitudes and
shibboleths, socially. There were other men in different localities
who battled grandly for the truth and sowed the seed of the kingdom
with firm and loyal hand: Brethren Yohe and Jackson, of Leavenworth,
followed by the Bausermans, Joseph and Henry, Gans of Olathe, Brown of
Emporia, White of Manhattan, and others equally worthy,--all pioneers
in every good sense, and now all gone to their reward, with the
exceptions of Brethren Yohe and the Bausermans. Without being formally
chosen Pardee Butler was the recognized leader of these sanctified
few, and no home where they entered was too humble, or field where
they toiled too barren, for the light of his countenance to cheer, or
the strength of his arm to be felt. In the polity and development of
the church, as in other fields of moral and social struggle, he was
far in advance of the time; and up to the day of his death, this was
one of the great burdens that rested upon his heart.

The membership coming to the Territory, and which, of course, formed
the nuclei of churches, was a heterogenous compound. In many respects
there was no possible assimilation; but so far as the simple tenets of
the primitive faith were concerned, there was little or no difference.
But as to plurality of bishops in the congregation, their tenure and
jurisdiction of office, the relations of comity between sister
churches, the duties and powers of an evangelist, the laying on of
hands in induction into authority, instrumental music in the
congregation, the Sunday-school and its organization, the order of
social worship, the mid-week meeting for prayer, and numerous other
matters of scriptural life, there were as many shades of opinion as
there were of dialects; and the tenacity with which they were
maintained, those not familiar with the time and its environments can
hardly hope to know. Yet upon all these and kindred questions, Bro.
Butler had singularly clear-cut and advanced opinions. He has often
said to me, "How very obtuse the churches seem to be on the plain
teaching of Scripture. And the preachers are equally ignorant, or else
they are willing to go limping and halting, when they could as well
and better be easily marching and leading their sanctified hosts to
marvelous victory."

He did not feel, or even make manifest, that he recognized his
greatness in these directions only as he labored to bring the
congregations and their officers up to his ideals.

In the first struggles to bring the scattered congregations into
co-operative unity, he was the head and heart of the movement; and
through all the varied successes and failures of those non-cohesive
times and men, he never lost courage or intimated aught else than the
success which now crowns the work.

I regarded him as the finest ecclesiastical historian among us, and
because of his knowledge here, coupled with the philosophy that grew
out of it, linked to the genius of Christianity itself, he was, by
educational intuition, a missionary zealot.

Carey and the Judsons, and Barclay and Livingstone, with all others of
like character, were what he termed "ripe fruit" from the Good Tree.
He was to the churches in Kansas what these men and women were to the
people among whom they labored. Visiting every outpost, gathering the
straggling sheep into folds and striving to secure shepherds for them,
stripping the fleecy garments from the wolves, uncovering the


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