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Below information submitted by William A. Greene from his Research; transcribed by Ron Taylor

A Biography of

SIMEON MONTGOMERY THORP

"Allegany County Native Son"
 Kansas State Senator
 Kansas State Supt. of Public Instruction
 Prominent Free State & Union Man
"Shot dead in his own door yard during the Quantrill Raid on Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas - August 21, 1863."

 

 simeonthorp

 

 

Above is a photo of Simeon M. Thorp, that was in the album I bought.  It has been positively identified by this site on the web.  Portrait Gallery of Eminent Early-Day Kansans: S. M. Thorpe .  If anyone is interested, I have 4 more civil war photo's of Alexander K. Thorp. Only scans not original photo's.

 

                                                                                  David Stewart

                                                                                  Bedford, TX.

 

 

Town of Granger Native

     Simeon M. Thorp, son of Montgomery Thorp, an early settler was born in the Town of Granger, Allegany County, NY.  He was appointed by Governor Charles Robinson of Lawrence, Kansas, as Superintendent of Public Instruction to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Superintendent William Riley Griffith of Marmaton.  The tern ended January 1863.  Mr. Thorp's published report for 1862 contains the reports received from twenty county superintendents, showing that 304 school districts had been organized, that there were 14,976 school children, and that the school taxes amounted to $19,289.  The text books recommended were McGuffey's readers, Cornell's geographies, Ray's arithmetic and Pinneo's grammar.

     Mr. Thorp was killed at the Lawrence massacre----Quantrill's Raid----August 21, 1863.  At the time of his death he was State Senator for Douglas County.

SOURCE: Columbian History of Education in Kansas

Compiled by Kansas Educators, Topeka, 1893

Kansas State Historical Society

"Quantrill: Lawrence Massacre"

     Kansas should be laid waste at once.  That is what Quantrill told the Confederate secretary of war at Richmond when he went there seeking authority to raise a regiment of Partisan Rangers.

     This was the one idea of Quantrill.  It was ever present in his mind.  The one object of his life was to enter Kansas with an adequate force, and then burn and murder.  And for what?  Not that Kansas or any of her citizens had harmed him or injured Missouri.  Quantrill cared nothing for Missouri.  He cared only for Quantrill.  He raged against Kansas day and night.  He thought of nothing but the humiliation and destruction of her people.  The total force of Quantrill was made up as follows:

Original Force--------------------294

Holt's command------------------104

The Grand river reinforcement---- 50

Total by official count-----------448

     The guerrillas crossed the State line at the southeast corner of Johnson County, Kansas, where the Fort Scott Military Road leaves Kansas and enters Missouri, and crosses one of the head branches of Grand River.  The guerrillas were mounted on the best horses the country could produce.  They were the best horsemen in America at that time, and as a mounted military organization perhaps the world has not surpassed that band of horsemen led by Quantrill to Lawrence.

     The dress of the guerrillas was peculiar to themselves.  It was entirely original.  It's distinguishing piece was an over shirt called the guerilla-shirt.  The tails might be or might not be tucked into the trousers.  Of pockets there were usually four of generous capacity.  The arms of the guerrillas consisted principally of Colt's navy revolvers of forty-four caliber.  Some of them carried cavalry carbines, a few had Sharp's rifles.

     Whatever can be said to the credit of any guerrilla in Lawrence should be set down.  Not all of them were inhuman monsters.  Even the worst were touched with pity sometimes and showed kindness.  In many instances they offered to help remove furniture from buildings they fired.  Every guerrilla ever talked to said that there were men in the command which went to Lawrence who were opposed to going there at all and did not favor the purpose of the raid.  The Lawrence Massacre was atrocious savagery, bloodthirsty brutality, was fiendish, diabolical, but any credit due the guerrillas individually must be freely given.  Some showed no mercy.  Bill Gaw, Allen Parmer and Dick Maddox are supposed to have killed more than any other guerrillas, Peyton Long is said to have killed more citizens in Lawrence, than any other guerrilla.  Jesse James was not at Lawrence;  he did not joi8n the guerrillas until late the following fall.  Frank James was as ferocious and merciless as a hyena.  The Youngers did bloody work.

     Dr. J. F. Griswold lived on the Southwest corner of Indiana and Winthrop streets, and H. W. Baker and wife, J. C. Trask and wife, and S. M. Thorp and family were boarding with him.  Five guerrillas rode to the gate and with oaths and fierce denunciation demanded that the house be surrendered, at the same time bringing their pistols to bear on Mr. Trask, who was standing on the porch roof trying to discover the cause of the tumult in the city.  Mr. Trask told them that if they would not shoot into the rooms where the women and children were he and the other men would surrender if they could be protected as prisoners.  Protection was promised, and Mr. Trask went into the house and informed the others of his stipulation.  Trask, Griswold and Thorp went out at once, and Baker followed as soon as he was dressed.  The captain demanded their business, which was frankly given.  They were then robbed and ordered out of the enclosed yard to be taken to the Eldridge House and placed under guard.  Coming into the street they were formed in Indian file, Baker at the head, Griswold next, Trask next and Thorp in the rear.  A guerrilla rode by each, cursing them for being so slow.  They quickened their pace and were immediately fired on.  Baker was hit in the neck and stunned; as he fell he received another shot in the wrist.  Trask's murderer missed him the first fire, and he ran some twenty yards before the second ball pierced his heart.  Griswold was not disabled by the first fire, and ran toward the house and tried to climb over the fence, where he was killed, having been hit several times.  Thorp was shot through the body and left for dead.  The guerrillas left, supposing the four men dead, but others were constantly riding by on errands of death.  When they were far enough away to allow  the wounded men to do so they talked of their injuries.  Two rode by, one of whom observed that Baker was not dead, and said to his companion: "Fred, one of them d----- nigger thieving abolitionists ain't dead yet; go and kill him."  "Fred" rode up to Baker and shot him through the right lung.  Later, another guerrilla came wondering by.  He rolled Baker over, believing him dead, and thought it well to search him for money.  Taking out his knife he inserted it in Baker's pocket and ripped the trousers some eighteen inches, but found nothing.  Turning Baker over, he ripped a like gash on the other side.  Finding nothing, he took the victim's hat and rode away.  These men lay bleeding for three hours in the hot sun of a sultry August morning in the very presence of death.   When the guerrillas who shot these four men went into the Griswold residence and plundered it, with fierce and vulgar threats forcing the women to deliver the rings worn on their fingers - - wedding rings given by the husbands lying murdered in the street.  They were beginning to fire the house, when the appeals of the women touched the heart of one guerrilla, who drove the others out and saved the building.

SOURCE: Quantrill Collection Kansas State Historical Society        

 

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