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The Affray in which Gen. Lane Killed Col. Jenkins

The Cincinnati Times of yesterday contained a Kansas letter, giving particulars of the affray in which Gen. Lane killed Colonel Jenkins:

Lane and Jenkins occupied houses about twenty-five rods apart, both situated on the contested claim, just west, and bordering on the town of Lawrence. Within the enclosure surrounding the house of Lane is a well, to which the family of Col. Jenkins were in the habit of resorting for water. Owing to the bitterness of feeling engendered by the contest for the claim, Lane forbade Jenkins the use of the well. The latter, however, still persisted in coming whenever occasion demanded for water. Lane finally locked the well. Col. Jenkins demurred, but for a time resorted to another for water. Stating that the water of the latter well was of an inferior quality, he sent word to Lane that he was about to return to the former, and if necessary, procure water by force. Lane replied by the same messenger, that if he undertook it he must do it at the risk of his life.

This was the position of affairs yesterday afternoon, when Jenkins, bearing an axe and a Sharp’s rifle, and accompanied by two men and a boy, was seen to approach Lane’s gate, in the rear of the house. The gate had been previously nailed fast, to prevent entrance from the direction of Jenkins’ residence. Jenkins, arriving at the spot, laid aside his rifle, and with his axe commenced battering at the gate with an energy, which resulted in its speedy demolition. Leaving his rifle behind, and still bearing his axe, and accompanied by the two men, Jenkins approached the well, which is located within a few yards of Lane’s house. Gen. Lane himself here appeared upon the scene, armed with a gun. He shouted out to Jenkins and his companions not to approach. They persisted. Lane again warned them. Jenkins’ companions drew revolvers – Jenkins raised his axe. The three neared Lane, who fired as they approached, shooting Jenkins in the breast and killing him instantly. The companions of Jenkins then shot at Lane, one ball grazing his hair, and the other entering the left limb just above the knee. The Delphi Weekly Journal, Delphi, Indiana. June 22, 1858. Page 2. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.

Good Hits

In the trial of “Jim” Lane, at Lawrence, Kansas, for the murder of Jenkins, the attorneys indulged in a good deal of pungent wit and sarcasm. One little pass between the counsel was so pointed and opportune that it is worthy of note:

  • Colonel Young insisted that, in law, the man slain is supposed to be wrongfully slain.
  • Mr. Coe – That is the law of England, not of America.
  • Col. Young – If there is any book on God’s earth that contains any other doctrine, I’ll agree to eat it without greasing! [Laughter.]
  • Mr. Coe – Then you’ll have more law in your stomach than you ever had in your head. [Roars of laughter.] The Daily Tribune, New Albany, Indiana. Sunday, July 10, 1858. Page 2. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.

General Lane Acquitted

Gen. Lane Acquitted of the Murder of Jenkins. The trial of Gen. Lane, of Kansas, for the murder of Gains-Jenkins terminated on the 30th ult., in the discharge and virtual acquittal of the prisoner. Much excitement prevails at Lawrence in consequence of this result. The Daily State Journal, Madison, Wisconsin. Friday, July 9, 1858. Page 2. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.