I tried to boil down a series of newspaper articles that appeared in the Arkansas City Traveler and the Winfield Courier relative to the first and only time that I am aware of that C. M. Scott, editor of the Traveler, brought out charges against Col. E. C. Manning, at that time editor of the Courier. Manning was attempting at this time to become a Senator in the state of Kansas once more via hook or crook. MAW
C. M. Scott returned from the 1876 Centennial to face a terrible dilemma brought about by E. C. Manning. Scott had to decide whether to keep silent or speak out against Manning.
Manning wrote a personal letter to C. M. Scott on September 11, 1876, requesting that a "Notice" be printed in the Traveler.
Manning followed this up with an announcement in the September 14, 1876, issue of the Winfield Courier. "Owing to the circumstance of my nomination as the Republican candidate for State Senator in this District, I am placed in an unpleasant position as the editor of the Republican paper of the county. This situation is brought about by the personal attacks that are being made upon me by malignant enemies. I desire to meet those men in public discussion, and hence cannot give the COURIER the attention it requires during the canvass. That I may be free to assist personally in canvassing the county, for the whole ticket, Mr. Wirt W. Walton will assume entire editorial control of the COURIER until after the election, at which time I shall resume, in part, the editorial duties."
[Notice the comment "Editor of the Republican paper."] Walton had assisted Manning in the past in conducting "dirty campaigns" against opposition candidates.
Wirt W. Walton responded in the same issue.
"In assuming editorial control of the COURIER we have to say, that it will still continue to be the fearless outspoken Republican journal that it has been in the past. We shall support the Republican ticket from President down to road overseer. Our criticisms of the opposite party shall be fair. Personalities during the campaign will be precluded from our columns as far as possible. This county is largely Republican and we believe in keeping the party intact. Knowing that in unity there is strength, we shall do all we can to help harmonize the difference in the party, and bridge the breach that is daily being made wider among the leaders.
"The success of our party this fall is worth more to us than the gratification of personal jealousies. If we work together, our success is assured. Will the Republicans of Cowley County stand by us? We think they will."
In the September 13, 1876, issue of the Arkansas City Traveler, Scott printed a letter from "Brutus," who attacked E. C. Manning.
Excerpts from the letter sent to Scott by "Brutus" follow.
"Having been a Republican since the organization of that party, believing in the fundamental principles of that party, and anxious for its prosperity and perpetuation, I cannot but look with alarm at the widespread and general dissatisfaction within our ranks at the recent unexpected, disastrous, and disgraceful culmination that (through the apathy and neglect of the people themselves) has rendered it possible for the commercial politiciansthe trading rings, shysters, and tricksters, who have taken advantage of such apathy to debase the primary meetings for the election of delegates, and prostituted by fraud and chicanery the last county conventionto nominate a man of notoriously bad character for the high and honorable office of State Senator.
"How is it possible for any man in Cowley County to consider patiently for one moment the elevation of such a man as E. C. Manning to the State Senate? A man whose bad political record is not circumscribed within the limits of Kansas, but who himself has testified to his own infamy before a committee of the Senate of the United States. A man, who, by fraud and trickery, in 1870 had the Commissioners of Cowley County to disfranchise a portion of our people by rejecting the votes cast in six voting precincts that voted against him, and thus defeating his opponent, who on a count of all the votes cast had a clear majority of nine; but Manning, knowing a majority of the people had voted against him, went up and misrepresented us, as he swears to himself, before the committee of Congress. This nomination is unrepublican; we will not be bound by it. The man is a fraud, as was the convention that nominated him, and rather than be represented by him, we will vote for a Democrat: anybody rather than such a man."
[The letter pointed out that Manning bolted the Republican party in 1870, organizing a bolter's and Democratic Reform party. It mentioned prior efforts to get a railroad into Cowley County and Manning's effort to get the county bonded to the Kansas & Nebraska railroad fraud. It charged that in 1875 Manning pocketed the charter to be filed with the Secretary of State, by the Grangers of Cowley County, who had pledged $60,000 to start a Grange Savings Bank.]
In a separate article in the September 13, 1876, issue of the Traveler, Scott responded to Manning's letter of September 11th.
"We have received from E. C. Manning, and by his request, publish the following notice.
"PUBLIC MEETING. I will address the voters of Silverdale Township at Lippmann's mill, Saturday evening, September 23, 1876. At that time I respectfully challenge all persons who have aught to say against me to be present, and make their charges publicly, that I may answer them. E. C. MANNING."
Scott began his attack on Manning at this point in the article.
[I am citing the charges made by Scott against E. C. Manning, in the September 13, 1876, issue, and Manning's answers given to these charges September 21, 1876, in the Winfield Courier.]
Charges made by Scott September 13th in the Traveler.
"We have not the time, nor do we think it necessary, to follow Mr. Manning over the county and make charges that have been through the courts and before the people sufficiently often and long enough to condemn him to every honest voter; but, since he asks for charges, and openly challenges any and all to make them, we have a few to make.
Manning responded in the September 21, 1876, issue of the Winfield Courier, addressing a personal letter to the "voters."
"Having been named by the Republicans of this, the 27th senatorial district, as the candidate for State Senator, I feel it to be a duty I owe the party to which I belong and to the men who have placed me in nomination to contradict the lies that have been in circulation about me for five years. So long as I was a private citizen, it was not worthwhile to confront the liars or chase down the lies that have cursed the earth and poisoned the air of Cowley."
[Note: The best way to handle the ten charges brought by Scott against Manning September 13th are as follows: First, I will give each charge brought forth by Scott. Then I will give the answer given by Manning in the September 21, 1876, issue of the Winfield Courier to each charge.]
1. As he pretends to be a true Republican, and is for reading out any of the party who are in opposition to him, we charge him with bolting the party in 1870, resulting in the defeat of his election; and afterwards fraudulently manipulating the throwing out of the votes of six precincts, in order to gain his aim and thereby defeating the person really elected, against the will of the people.
[Response to charge No. 1 from Manning.]
The first charge is not true. I refer to W. Q. Mansfield, who was deputy county clerk at the time, for proof of my denial. Also to any of the early settlers of this county who are familiar with the facts.
2. We charge him with being interested in and connected with the bridge swindle at Winfield, as published in the Telegram of Oct. 2nd, 1873.
[Response to charge No. 2 from Manning.]
The second charge is not true. I refer to D. A. Millington, J. P. Short, and O. P. Boyle, who were the township officers of Winfield Township at the time for proof of my denial.
3. We charge him with opposing the proposition to vote aid to the Kansas and Nebraska railroad company, until after he had extorted a bond of $1,000 from the president and secretary thereof.
[Response to charge No. 3 from Manning.]
The third charge is not true. I challenge any evidence to prove the truth of the charge.
4. With his attempt to have the $150,000 bonds of Cowley County issued to the Kansas and Nebraska railroad company after he knew the company had become bankrupt, and there was no possibility of the road being built.
[Response to charge No. 4 from Manning.]
The fourth charge is not true. I refer to Frank Cox, J. D. Maurer, and O. C. Smith, who constituted the board of county commissioners at the time the subscription book of the Kansas & Nebraska railway company was presented to the board, for evidence to prove the truth of my denial.
5. With mutilating the records of the Probate Judge, in the case of his pretended marriage license.
[Response to charge No. 5 from Manning.]
The fifth charge is not true. For information on this subject, I refer to Judge H. D. Gans.
6. With his unscrupulous manipulation of the primary meetings in Winfield and other townships, resulting in his present nomination.
[Response to charge No. 6 from Manning.]
The sixth charge is not true. For the proof of its falsity I refer to the voters of Winfield and those "other townships."
7. With the refusal to pay his promissory notes in the hands of poor farmers, while he has abundant means so to do.
[Response to charge No. 7 from Manning.]
The seventh charge is not true. I never refused to pay a promissory note in my life that I had given.
8. We charge him with joining the Grange for political purposes, and pretending to organize a "Farmers' Saving Bank" for the same end, which he pocketed after his withdrawal from his nomination, stating that it was "simply to catch votes."
[Response to charge No. 8 from Manning.]
The eighth charge is not true, neither in word or spirit. I challenge the author to prove it to be true.
9. We repeat the charge of his having demanded $1,000 of Sid Clarke for his vote for him as United States Senator.
[Response to charge No. 9 from Manning.]
The ninth charge is not true. It is an old lie, told with a batch of others, for the purpose of throwing Alexander Caldwell out of the U. S. Senate. No man of the three hundred or more who were present at the courthouse last Saturday afternoon and heard the whole history of my action in the senatorial election of 1871 stated, with the circumstantial evidence cited, followed by Sidney Clarke's letter dated September 10, 1876, pronouncing the charge false, does believe, or can be made to believe, that charge number 9 is true.
10. We charge him with selling his vote to Caldwell as sworn to by Manning himself, before the Caldwell investigating committee at Washington.
[Response to charge No. 10 from Manning.]
The tenth charge is not true. On the contrary, it is a bold impudent lie, and Mr. Scott knows it to be a lie. In fact, he either knows that the charges made are lies, or knows of no evidence to justify them. Mr. Scott is a weak, foolish, unprincipled creature. He has made trouble in Cowley County ever since he fled from Emporia. His power to do harm is fast waning. His unreliable character is so well known that the public is ever upon its guard in its intercourse with him.
Having been fairly nominated by the Republicans of the county, and being ready at all times to meet in public discussion any criticism upon my political record or personal honor, and hoping to be of service to our county in the future, which sadly needs an active servant for the next few years, my enemies may consider me "in for three years or during the war!"
NOTE: WITH REFERENCE TO CHARGE NO. 5...
A check was made by R. K. Wortman of "Marriage License" of Edwin C. Manning and Maggie J. Foster in Cowley County Courthouse. He got a photostatic copy of the Marriage License of Edwin C. Manning and Maggie J. Foster. It shows that T. H. Johnson was Probate Judge and W. M. Boyer was Justice of the Peace. Boyer acted as witness.
Marriage License shows: Cowley County, State of Kansas, Jan. 1st, A. D. 1874, To any Persons Authorized by Law to Perform the Marriage Ceremony, Greeting. You are hereby authorized to join in Marriage Edwin C. Manning of Cowley County, aged 31 years, and Maggie J. Foster of Cowley County, aged 21, and of this License you will make due return to my office within thirty days. (Signed) T. H. Johnson, Probate Judge.
And which said Marriage License was afterwards, to-wit: on the 30th day of January, A. D. 1874, returned to said Probate Judge, with the following Certificate endorsed thereon, to- wit:
STATE OF KANSAS, Cowley County. ss.
I, William M. Boyer, do hereby certify, that in accordance with the authorization of the within License, I did on the 3rd day of January, A. D. 1874 at Winfield in said County, join and unite in Marriage the within named Edwin C. Manning and Margaret J. Foster. . . . .
Witness My hand and seal the day and year above written. (Signed) W. M. Boyer, Justice of the Peace.
ATTEST: T. H. Johnson, Probate Judge.
Note: The name Edwin appears to have been "messed with."
Across the face of this "Marriage License" is the following penned statement.
"The record of which this professes to be a copy was issued in the month of November, 1873, to Charlie A. Craine and Maggie J. Foster, and the dates together with the name of Charlie A. Craine were erased by some person unknown to me and without my knowledge and consent and the name of Edwin C. Manning was inserted. I never at anytime issued a license to Edwin C. Manning and Maggie J. Foster.
[Note: Johnson was at one time a law partner of Manning. He left Cowley County in 1875. He was no longer friendly toward Manning.]
In the September 27, 1876, edition of the Traveler, Scott printed a letter from W. P. Hackney.
C. M. Scott, Esq.: DEAR SIR: In reply to your question as to Manning bolting the Republican ticket in 1870, I have this to say. The party was organized by the appointment of a Republican Central Convention of one from each voting precinct in the County. This was done in Convention at Dexter. At the same time a delegate was elected to represent this County in the State Convention and he was admitted. Col. Manning, although there and claiming to represent the county, was rejected. That Central Committee called a Republican County Convention to be held at Winfield, I don't remember the date. At the appointed time the Convention met in the building, then unfinished, in which Green's Drug Store is situated, and organized by the election of John Irwin as Chairman and myself as Secretary. All the precincts were represented but Winfield, and we nominated a straight Republican ticket. Afterwards a People's Convention was called at Winfield and E. C. Manning nominated for Representative; Judge T. B. Ross, of Winfield, for Probate Judge; A. A. Jackson, of Winfield, for County Clerk; John M. Pattison, of Rock, for Sheriff; William Cook, of Winfield, for Register of Deeds. The other members on the ticket escape my memory. My recollection is the ticket was composed of three Republicans and three Democrats. This ticket was the only ticket nominated that fall against the Republicans.
Manning was defeated at the polls, but the easy conscience of the County Board resulted in the throwing out of the votes returned from six precincts, resulting in Mr. Manning being declared elected.
I commenced a contest against him, and the notice was served on T. H. Johnson at Manning's residence, he (Manning) having absented himself to avoid such service.
When the Legislature met, the contestor, H. B. Norton (who was the choice of a majority of the voters of the county as aforesaid at that election), was very sick, and confined to his bed until towards the close of the session: hence the contest was abandoned. Respectfully,
Scott had more to say in the October 4, 1876, issue of the Traveler.
"We know personally that the statement of Mr. Hackney is true, and we know further that Mr. Hackney at that time  was a citizen of this county, taking a prominent part in the politics of that day, and knows fully whereof he speaksand at that date the name of E. C. Manning was synonymous with political trickery and personal rascality. He was defeated in a fair election by the people, and by fraud and trickery he went to Topeka as the representative of Cowley County against the expressed wishes of our people as shown by their ballots.
"At that time money was plenty in Cowley Countyfar more so than at any time sinceand at that date money could be had at 12 percent, with good security to an unlimited amount. In fact, Kansas was at that date far more prosperous than at any time before or since. The war was over; emigration was pouring into the State from every quarter of the globe; railroads were being constructed in every direction; peace and prosperity reigned everywhere. These are facts that all the old settlers will bear us out in, and of the fact that money could be had at 12 percent, all over Kansas, the reader can satisfy himself by going to the District Clerk's office in Winfield and reading the deposition of ex-Gov. Thomas Carney in his testimony in the case of E. C. Manning against Will. M. Allison.
"As we say above, Manning, by fraud, went to Topeka to represent the people of Cowley County. Previous to his election he, on the stump and elsewhere, pledged himself to support Sidney Clarke for the United States Senate that winter, and he went to Topeka with that understanding. How did he do it? With what fidelity did he perform his duty? Was he true to the people who had voted for him? And did he give the lie by his acts to the charges made against him in that campaign (that he was a tricky, trading politician, without honor or character) by the people who defeated him? No; but on the contrary, as soon as he reached Topeka, we find him forthwith trying to sell the vote he had for paltry dollarstrying to sell his influence to the highest bidder for cashand for proof we refer the reader to the testimony of Sidney Clarke and D. M. Adams, on pages 34 and 35 and 144 and 145 of the report of the joint committee of investigation appointed by the Legislature of Kansas in 1872."
Excerpts from the testimony in this lengthy article...
[Mr. Sidney Clarke's testimony to Senator Stever.]
Question from Senator Stever: What do you know of the transaction of Mr. E. C. Manning, of Cowley County?
A. I know him. He was a member of the House of Representatives, and had rooms in the Tefft House during the Senatorial election. As I understood it, previous to my arrival at Topeka, from some of the citizens of Cowley County and others whom I deemed well informed on the subject, Mr. Manning had been elected [in 1870] with the distinct understanding on the part of those voting for him as well as those voting against him, that he would vote for me for U. S. Senator. One evening during the progress of the canvas, Mr. F. W. Potter, of Coffey County, came into my room and said I had better see Manning; that something was the matter with him. I called upon him in a room occupied by himself and Mr. Potter, if I remember rightly, and had a conversation with him in reference to his vote for Senator. Mr. Manning demanded of me peremptorily that I should pay him the sum of $1,000 before he would take any part in the canvas in my favor for Senator. He said: "It is reported that you fellows have got the money here, and I am in financial distress and have spent a great deal of money in politics; was a member of the first State Convention, and was a friend of yours when you were first nominated for Congress, and I think you ought to reciprocate now and give me $1.000." I told Mr. Manning that I could not and would not do it; that I had not got the money, and that if I failed in my election for want of money, I must simply take the consequences. My impression is that I had two conversations with Mr. Manning of a general character.
In our last conversation I said to him: "Mr. Manning, you were elected to the House of Representatives from Cowley upon the distinct pledge, and with the expectation on the part of your constituents that you would vote for me as United States Senator. Every foot of land upon which your constituents tread were saved to them by the fight I have made, running through a period of three years, against the Osage Treaty; and if you vote against me, I will never go back to Washington until I go down to Winfield in Cowley County, where you reside, and call a meeting of your constituents and state to them the demand you have made upon me. If I must lose your vote for want of money, so be it." In one of the previous conversations referred to, feeling very doubtful whether he would vote for me or not, I got him to talk with Major D. M. Adams.
Sidney Clarke testified that Manning was the only one who sought money from Clarke.
Senator Stever questioned Adams relative to Manning.
Adams stated: "Well, gentlemen, that is a matter of history. It enters very largely into the campaign of last fall. Mr. Manning came to my room at the Tefft House. He said he was poor; it cost him a good deal to get elected, and he wanted a thousand dollars before he would vote for Clarke."
Manning told me: "You have got the money, I know it, I need it, and I am going to have it, or I will not vote for Clarke." I told him Mr. Clarke was a poor man, unable to pay any such sum; that he (Manning) had been sent here to vote for him, and that I would not pay him a dollar. He spoke harshly of Mr. Clarke for his meanness, and for his aversion for the same quality; left my room, and I have never spoken to him since.
Adams told Senator Stever that no one else was present when he had his conversation with Manning and that Manning admitted to him that he had previously approached Clarke.
Manning was called before an investigating committee at Washington, D.C., January 21, 1873, relative to charges against Senator Alexander Caldwell.
The committee was able to elicit from Mr. Manning that he had an overdue bank note in the amount of $2,000, and that Governor Carney of Kansas approached him with an offer to make a loan on one or two years' time at 10 or 12 percent interest to handle the note if Manning would vote for Mr. Caldwell. Manning admitted he had voted for Caldwell.
Scott and others had done their homework, bringing up action taken by E. C. Manning, during the time he lived at Marysville, Kansas, and was a member of the State Senate in 1866.
Manning was charged with the gross offense of lying most shamefully, and by his vote in connection with other members of the Kansas Legislature, robbing present and future unborn generations of the children of Kansas of five hundred thousand acres of land, worth fifteen hundred thousand dollars. To do this they brought up the third section of article six of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, adopted at Wyandotte July 29, 1859, which was still in force.
"SECTION 3. The proceeds of all lands that have been or may be granted by the United States to the State for the support of schools, and the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the new State under an act of Congress distributing the proceeds of public lands among the several States of the Union approved September 4th, 1841, * * * * shall be the common property of the State, and shall be a perpetual school fund, which shall not be diminished, but the interest of which, together with all the rents of the land and such other means as the Legislature may provide by tax or otherwise, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of the common schools."
The above section of the Constitution was in full force and effect when Col. Manning was elected, and before he took his seat in the Senate, he solemnly swore he would obey that Constitution, and faithfully support and maintain the same.
How did he do it? Just as he did later in 1871, by forthwith trying to use his position as the servant of the people to make money out of an office they elected him to. And how did he do it? At that time the State school fund owned the five hundred thousand acres of land referred to in the above section of the Constitution, and that Constitution says that it "shall be a perpetual school fund which shall not be diminished, and shall be inviolably appropriat ed to the support of the common schools."
Yet that Legislature of 1866 passed an act appropriating the five hundred thousand acres of land referred to in the above section of the Constitution (and in violation of the spirit and letter of that section) to four Railroad Corporations, i. e., one hundred and twenty-five thousand acres to each of those corporations, and E. C. Manning voted for that bill.
At the time he voted for that bill, he was a member of one of said corporations; and his Company, under that bill, received by its provisions one hundred and twenty-five thousand acres of land, which the Constitution he swore he would support and protect, said should never be divested from the Common school fund of the State.
By that act he helped rob the children of Kansas and divided their property among the licensed plunderers of the public Treasury, with whom he at that time was, and ever since, has been found.
Below we give the votes and protest of members of the Legislature when the bill was passed. The people of Cowley County will do well to read these copies of official documents taken from the House Journal of 1866.
On the 17th of February, 1866, morning session, after reception of reports from committees and transaction of other business, House bill No. 24, "an act providing for the sale of public lands to aid in the construction of certain railroads," was read a third time. The question now being: "Shall the bill pass?" The yeas and nays were had with the following result: yeas, 44; nays 57.
Mr. W. A. Phillips then offered the following protest, which was ordered to be spread at large upon the Journal of the House.
We, the undersigned, hereby enter our solemn protest against the passage of an act entitled "An act providing for the sale of public lands to aid in the construction of certain railroads," for the following reasons: 1st. This law would take from the school fund of this State, lands that have been set apart for their support, and appropriates them to other purposes; these lands being first, transferred by Congress to the State, by the State to the school fund, by a law found on page 572 of the Compiled Laws of Kansas; and, further, that this law, if passed, is in violation of section three of article sixth of our Constitution, which we have solemnly sworn to support; and, further, it appears by the files in the Secretary of State's office, that certain members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and State officers, namely Chas. E. Fox, Chas. E. Parker, George Graham, and Henry Hollenberg of the House of Representatives; F. H. Drenning, E. C. Manning, Samuel Speer, and Sol. Miller of the Senate; J. D. Braumbaugh, Attorney General, and D. E. Ballard, staff officer, are members of the corporations in question, and by their votes have passed this bill; and as it further appears that the bill passed into a law is passed by the votes of these corporators, who are the recipients of the lands appropriated to the extent of 10,500 acres to each, this being in violation of all parliamentary law, for no member has a right to vote on questions in which he has a direct personal and pecuniary interest, the Constitution fixing the amount and manner of their compensation.
Scott continued his articles against Manning.
"Manning has his followers in every Township and his retainers and strikers in every locality, all in connection with each other lustily yelling at every man who refuses to support Manning that they are bolters and Democrats. He is followed by as foul and corrupt a mob of vagabonds as ever disgraced Kansas, clamorous for his appropriation, ever ready to share in the spoil that his past foul and dishonest record leads them to believe will follow in his wake.
("Big fleas have little fleas upon their legs to bite `em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas and so ad infinitum.)
Can it be possible that this man will be elected to the State Senate?
Let the people themselves answer at the ballot box.
On October 18, 1876, the Traveler printed an article from a correspondent for the Lawrence Standard, labeling himself as "Granger," who spent some time in Arkansas City.
"ED. STANDARD: As you are doubtless aware, there is a war among the roses in this CountyManning and anti-Manning. E. C. Manning has lain still since the Caldwell bribery bile was punctured, and raised such a stink all over the State. But the double deal in this Senatorial term, was too great a temptation for his venal nature; he saw a fair opportunity in the future to borrow some more money at a low rate, of some Senatorial candidate. So he concocted a scheme that was seconded by a few select friends, had himself nominated by the Republican party before the regular county convention was called or the great mass of the party was aware of it.
They raised a perfect hurricane, but the great borrower was too many for the honest masses, he finally succeeded, and is now on the track in defiance of Scott, of the TRAVELER, who preferred ten charges against him.
This aroused the ire of the gentleman, so he determined to brass it through, and posted handbills all around town that he would answer Mr. Scott on last evening.
Well, he came, he fought, but he did not conquer. He consumed nearly two hours with a general denial, but no proof except a letter from Hon. Sid. Clarke, dated in last month, stating in substance that he, the Hon. Sid, and the Hon. Dan., the man who pays "my checks," had sworn to a wilful, malicious lie before the Senatorial investigating committee in Washington in the Caldwell case, that Manning never offered to sell his vote to him. This called for a reply from Scott, who literally used up Manning, so that he could scarcely utter a word in reply.
Several of our citizens were called on to prove the truth of Scott's charges. Mayor S. P. Channell and Judge Christian, formerly of your city, both testified to the point. Judge Christian objected to being called on in a family quarrel. He did not come there to speak, but to see the fun, as he knew the old adage, "When rogues fall out, honest people generally find their dues." He stated what he knew of Manning's conduct at a certain railroad convention. Christian said that he had known both Clarke and Manning for many years as public characters; and while he did not remember ever hearing that either of them had committed a felony, they were both considered tricky.
"Judge Christian knew that Manning up around Lawrence and at Topeka was considered an unmitigated shyster. He knew nothing of how he had acquired the title, but it was a maxim, that where there was much smoke, there was some fire. Nothing occurs without a cause. No man or woman ever acquired a bad character without some cause to justify it.
"Poor Manning went home this morning without saying good bye to anyone, and the worst whipped man I ever saw, completely gone to grass."
The interim editor of the Courier went too far: he began to attack Scott personally. Scott lashed out at both Manning and Walton in the November 1, 1876, issue of the Traveler. He first spoke up in an editorial about Manning. He then printed two letters: one from James C. Topliff and one from J. W. Hamilton, former Sumner County Commissioner, who had recently moved to Cowley County. Both of these men were highly respected.
"MR. MANNING has said to his friends and some of his opponents at Winfield, that he is ruined if he fails to be elected. Now it will cost him just as much if he is elected; then from his own words, he will be a ruined man either way unless he expects to `borrow $1,000 of some candidate for United States Senate.'
"We believe it to be the duty of the press to frequently comment on the acts of officers, and carefully guard against and point out public misdemeanors and corruption in office of official aspirants; but as a rule, not to assail any man without sufficient reason. In the performance of that duty it is expected the publisher must meet with and bear the hate and malice of those arraigned.
"The situation is thus: A man comes before the people in our own party, and gains the nomination by the votes of innocent delegates who at the time thought him to be a suitable person: the votes of which party he now claims because he is the nominee.
"Knowing the character and general reputation of the man, we made every effort to have him displaced and a better person placed in his stead, which we believed then, and now, to be the wish of the majority of the Republicans. By two votes in the Convention, we were defeated.
"We then made known his character, that all might know quite fully who they cast their votes for, which has resulted in a personal and libelous attack on ourself through the journal of the nominee and the person that does his bidding.
"Had it not been that the malignant charges would go abroad to those who are strangers to us, we should pay no attention to them; but as our character is there at stake, it behooves us to prove that they are wholly untrue, and point out the aim and character of the accuser.
"The charges we made against Mr. Manning have never been answered, nor can they be so as to redeem the man who is guilty of their committal. Knowing this, he has attempted to drag down our character and thereby lessen the force of our statements. But however great he may vilify us, he never can build himself up on our downfall.
"Gratuitous violence in an argument betrays a conscious weakness of the cause, and is usually a signal of despair.
"The attack we refer to is in the issue of the Courier of October 26, accusing us of `stealing goods from the clothing store of Topliff & French,' of Emporia, in 1870, for proof of which they publish a letter from one Will Nixon, of Wellington. The writer does not state what the goods were, but the figurehead of the Courier explains it as being a suit of clothes and an overcoat.
"To begin with, this William Nixon is a low, drunken gambler, who would scarcely be believed under oath, and who, by his own statements, is guilty of and accountable for the death of his own brother. In the second place, Topliff & French never had a clothing store in Emporia, and the following statement, from the very authority to whom they refer, proves the charge wholly false, and an unmitigated and scandalous lie."
"Friend Scott: On my arrival in town this morning, my attention was called to a letter, signed by one Will Nixon, of Wellington, Kansas, accusing you of stealing goods from the store of Topliff & French in Emporia, in 1870, and that I had you settle to avoid arrest. Also, several insinuations in different parts of the Winfield Courier, `about your stealing clothes and an overcoat.'
"Was it not by the urgent request of friends, I would take no notice of the affair, coming from the source it does. I have known you for about seven years. Part of the time in Emporia, and the balance from the first settlement of this place, and I can truly say that I have never seen the time when I doubted your honesty in the least, and have always held you in the highest esteem, and think more of you today than ever, especially when those that call themselves men, stoop to such mean, low, dirty tricks, to make party capital by assailing you.
"Rest assured, that you have not lost any friends by any of these charges, have gained many, and the accusers will find that they have barked up the wrong tree. In the first place, I never kept clothing of any kind, while in Emporia, so you could not have had the chance to steal any, were you so disposed. Then again, I never had any grounds or intention of making an arrest.
"The old saying is, `those that live in glass houses must not throw stones.' This will apply to Mr. Nixon. He must cast the beam out of his own eye first. Those that know both him and yourself can judge whose character will stand best before the public.
"I knew him and some of those he was associated with in Emporia, and believe he would do most anything to damage your character. I would take no further notice of his accusations. Your friend, JAMES C. TOPLIFF, Late of Topliff & French, Emporia, Kansas."
"Mr. C. M. Scott: At your request for me to make a statement of the character and standing of Mr. Wm. Nixon, I have to say that while I do not wish the personal enmity of the man, I believe him to be dishonest, a pirate, and common gambler, in no manner responsible and not entitled to the respect of good, respectable people. Yours etc.,
Scott commented that the letter of Mr. Nixon was sufficient to answer the purposes of Mr. Manning, always in accord with just such rascals, and that Manning had many of them for his tools and backers.
"The above evidence, we think, will be deemed sufficient, and we only refrain from publishing statements from a host of others because it is unnecessary.
"The intimations made about our giving a $150 gold watch and chain to a servant for cleaning our room one month, we consider beneath our notice. We never had a $150 gold watch and chain; never had a room cleaned or attended to by a woman in Arkansas City, and no servant in this vicinity has, or ever had, a $150 watch and chain, that anybody knows of. And if the Courier will cite its authority, we will bring him or her before the courts to prove it, if the party is worth anything.
"Yet the statements have gone abroad, and with many people (strangers to us) we cannot have the chance of denial. We furnished Col. Manning a list of the subscribers from our mail book, in order that his denials could reach all our readers, and loaned him the paper on which his issue was printed. Now, as a matter of fairness, we publicly ask him to furnish us a list of all who take the Courier, that we may have a chance to send our denial and proof thereof, so that we may correct the statements with those whom we can never reach in any other way. Will you?
"And now, we have to say to the people of Cowley County, that the man who has attempted our ruin would scarcely stop short of anything to secure his election, and before the time of voting you may expect to see flaming handbills proclaiming some new discovery, statements not heretofore revealed, and all kinds of petty dodges to deceive the public. Such is the reputation and character of the man who has been to you endeavoring to extort a pledge that you will vote for him.
"His whole record is steeped in chicanery. Before the people, in his own town, in his own home, and in the private circles of his social gatherings, it is the same.
"Before a jury of twelve men, he was awarded one cent for his character after being accused of twice and thrice what we have heretofore spoken of in our charges.
"He never can be elected. The good sense of the people and desire for right surely cannot be overcome by his frantic efforts. Already indignation meetings are being called, and at last Republicans see and feel it is no use to try to countenance his election.
"Over different parts of the State, it is already heralded with disgust that E. C. Manning is likely to be returned to the House of Representatives of Kansas as Senator from Cowley County, and even Republican papers abroad are denouncing it."
"At his own home the opposition is most bitter. The party is at stake, and the reputation of the county in danger. Better vote for an honest Democrat than be disgraced by a Republican. By his own words he is ruined if not elected. Then how does he expect to gain anything if elected, when the office is not a paying one?"
"FOUR years is too long a time to try the experiment of sending a man to represent us, just to see if he will be true to his promise. If he should not, it would seem like a fearful long time to wait to put in a better one."
Scott also gave a report from a correspondent in this issue.
The correspondent named himself "Omnia," and wrote to Scott from Baltimore, Cowley County, Kansas, on October 26, 1876.
The canvass goes bravely on, and your friend Manning catches it on all sides. I noticed an article in the Republican Daily Journal, published at Lawrence by T. D. Thatcher (one of the most radical Republican editors in the State, and a conscientious, honest, reliable man), headed "Some Curious Revelations," in which he gives our Republican candidate for the Senate some hard licks, but not a lick amiss. Unless we purge the party of all such characters, ruin and defeat stare us in the face. The article is too long to copy in full, and as much of it has been in print, before, I will omit such and select a few sentences of Thatcher's comments, to show how our Senatorial candidate is viewed abroad, where he is best known.
"It seems that E. C. Manning, who figured somewhat notoriously in the Caldwell Senatorial election, is again a candidate for the Legislature from Cowley County, and is having a rather rough time of it."
Omnia continued: "After giving the substance of a letter written from your city, and the sworn testimony of Sid. Clarke and Dan Adams, with the examination of Manning himself, he winds up with these truthful words: `It is a little singular that Manning is running for the Senate in Cowley County, Dan Adams for the Lower House as an independent candidate in one of the Shawnee County districts, while Clarke is running John Speer for the Senate in Douglass County. We think that the people have had enough of this crowd. They doubtless swore to the truth about each other before the Investigating Committee. If they did not, they committed perjury. In either case, they are a bad lot for this `reform' year."
Omnia concluded his report by saying the following: "The Republicans in this section of the county will not support Manning or any man that upholds him. Our people are determined to support an honest Democrat in preference to a dishonest Republican."
Scott then turned his attention to Wirt Walton in the November 1, 1876, issue of the Traveler. It was apparent by this time that Walton had not kept his promise to keep personalities out of the Manning political campaign.
"PERHAPS the figure-head of the Courier can enlighten the public in reference to making away with established Government cornerstones, in different parts of this County?
"Charges sufficient to disqualify our present County Surveyor have been brought to our notice within the past ten days. While surveying a road from Wintin's, up Silver Creek, he dined at the house of J. G. Titus, and was asked in reference to moving established Government corners, when he said:
`In my official capacity, it would not be advisable for me to advise anyone to move the Government corner stones, but I frequently tell them that if their lines do not suit them, if they would hide the Government stones, I would set one to suit.'
"J. G. Titus and John Brannon are witnesses to the fact. Then Mr. Charles Seward testified that for five dollars, Mr. Walton moved a corner stone himself, on Squaw Creek, three miles below Winfield, so as to make a farm `take in water.' There are a number of other complaints afloat in reference to the gentleman's actions that should be looked into and the perpetrator held accountable for `in his official capacity.'"
Another witness, Wm. B. Skinner, also attacked Walton.
Manning was defeated in the November 1876 general election, and a Democrat, Pyburn, was elected as the Cowley County Senator.
As soon as the election was over, E. C. Manning once more took over as Editor. He continued attacking Scott and those opposed to his election. He began to hatch schemes with others interested in getting rich through railroad ventures.