“Thank you and goodbye.”

John Brown

Fresh off killing Allen Wilkinson, John Brown and his band of antislavery men headed down to a cabin owned by Dutch Henry Sherman. The German owned a few and lodged employees in them. About two in the morning on May 25, 1856, Brown came into one and found Dutch Henry’s brother, Dutch Bill, James Harris, and a few other people who had just done business with the Shermans and hadn’t gone home that night. Brown and his men burst in with swords and revolvers drawn. They collected the knives and gun in the room and “ransacked” the place for ammunition, according to James Harris.

Brown took out one of the three men who bought a cow and stayed the night, then returned him.

They then took me out, and asked me if there were any more men about the place. I told them there were not. They searched the place but found none others but we four.

Ok then. Did Harris know where Dutch Henry hid himself? He lost some cattle and had gone out to find them. Since Harris proved helpful enough, Brown and company kept questioning him:

They asked if I had ever taken any hand in aiding pro-slavery men in coming to the Territory of Kansas, or had ever taken any hand in the last troubles at Lawrence, and asked me whether I had ever done the free State party any harm or ever intended to do that party any harm; they asked me what made me live at such a place.

It paid well. Further questioning had Harris yield up that Henry Sherman had a horse present, complete with saddle. The Browns wanted it and had Harris saddle it up for them. Specifically, Salmon Brown may have done so. His own version has him split off from the rest of the group and go to the cabin on his own. We should not believe that but he may have reported the substance of his encounter with Harris over the horse:

The night of the slaying I went alone to the house of Mr. Harris, who worked for Dutch Henry, and had the care of a fine gray stallion. I made Harris saddle the animal and hold the stirrup for me to mount. I said, “Thank you and goodbye.” I never saw him again.


Each with a saber and two revolvers

John Brown

One of the Brown boys, either Salmon or Oliver, killed Allen Wilkinson with an artillery sword. We don’t know for sure, but the silence in Salmon’s account matches where he obscured his role in the murder of the Doyles. He starts off with an even chance and that pushes the odds further in his favor. Louisa Wilkinson, sick with measels, thought she heard him speaking outside and got to the door. She found only stillness in the night.

Next morning Mr. Wilkinson was found about one hundred and fifty yards from the house, in some dead brush. A lady who saw my husband’s body, said that there was a gash in his head and in his side; others said that he was cut in the throat twice.

Louisa didn’t see the body herself. She doesn’t say who found it, save that someone else did. They laid Allen out in a different house and forbade her from seeing him on account of her illness. She left Kansas in short order:

On the Wednesday following I left for fear of my life. I believe that they would have taken my life to prevent me from testifying against them for killing my husband. I believe that one of Captain Brown’s sons was in the party, who murdered my husband; I heard a voice like his. I do not know Captain Brown himself. I have two small children, one about eight and the other about five years old. The body of my husband was laid in a new house; I did not see it. My friends would not let me see him for fear of making me worse. I was very ill. The old man, who seemed to be commander, wore soiled clothes and a straw hat; pulled down over his face. He spoke quick, is a tall, narrow-faced, elderly man. I would recognize him if I could see him.

Brown might not have even thought of killing a woman or sufficiently small children, but one can’t vouch for his good character on such things to someone who just had her husband murdered. Furthermore, Wilkinson didn’t know if she’d have other visits to finish the job. Few people would rush to take chances in that situation.

Back on that bloody night, May 24-25, 1856, the Brown party moved on. Salmon has himself split off from the group by this point, but as before Townsley doesn’t mention any significant separation:

We then crossed the Potawatomie and came to the house of Henry Sherman, generally known as Dutch Henry. Here John Brown and the party, excepting Frederick Brown, Winer, and myself, who were left outside a short distance from the door, went into the house

By the third go, Brown had the procedure down. A few men waited outside while he and others plunged into Dutch Henry’s house. There they found no Dutch Henry. Sherman owned several houses in the area and let his employees live in them. One of those boarder employees, James Harris, tells what happened inside:

On last Sunday morning, about two o’clock, (the 25th of May last,) whilst my wife and child and myself were in bed in the house where we lived, we were aroused by a company of men who said they belonged to the northern army, and who were each armed with a sabre and two revolvers, two of whom I recognized, namely; a Mr. Brown, whose given name I do not remember, commonly known by the appellation of “old man Brown,” and his son, Owen Brown. They came in the house and approached the bed side where we were lying, and ordered us, together with three other men who were in the same house with me; to surrender; that the northern army was upon us, and it would be no use for us to resist.

It seems they quit with the pretense of knocking on doors and asking directions, likely because Brown expected to find the Shermans inside. He got Henry’s brother Dutch Bill, at least. A few people that Harris didn’t know slept over that night too, having just bought a cow from Dutch Henry.


“Slain with a short sword by one of the younger Browns”

John Brown

Louisa Wilkinson would get no consideration from John Brown. Sick with measels, she pleaded with him to let her husband Allen stay with her through the night. He agreed to go quietly with Brown and his band of murderous free state men, coming when called and not trying to flee or cause trouble. He just wanted to make sure that someone could take care of Louisa. Brown pointed out that the Wilkinsons had neighbors. Allen pointed out that those neighbors all lived some distance away and at the present hour likely resided in the Land of Nod. Brown shrugged it off, saying it didn’t matter. He had a proslavery man to kill, after all.

At this point, Louisa’s testimony has a confusing passage:

I told him to get ready. My husband wanted to put on his boots and get ready, so as to be protected from the damp and night air, but they wouldn’t let him. They then took my husband away.

Brown’s biographer Villard thinks that Louisa meant Brown told Allen Wilkinson to get ready, but then she goes on to say that Brown would not let him get ready. She may have misspoken or in the moment she might have urged her husband to bundle up against the night air. If he had to go, no sense in him getting sick. In stressful times people have odd reactions and Louisa might have done just that, focusing on mundane dangers instead of what these strange armed men might do to her husband. Or maybe Brown let Wilkinson put on a coat or something but drew the line at boots because it started to feel like stalling.

However it happened, Brown and his men took Allen Wilkinson outside. One of the men returned and collected two saddles from the cabin, at which point Louisa asked what they meant to do with Allen. The antislavery man answered that they meant to keep Wilkinson as a prisoner, the same as Brown told her. She pleaded then for someone to stay with her thought the night, which the antislavery man said he would do but the others would not allow it.

After they were gone, I thought I heard my husband’s voice, in complaint, but do not know; went do the door and all was still.

According to Townsley, who stayed outside just as he had at the Doyle’s,

Wilkinson was taken and marched some distance south of his house and slain in the road with a short sword by one of the younger Browns. After he was killed his body was dragged out to one side and left.

Salmon Brown blamed Wilkinson’s death on his brother-in-law, Henry Thompson. He also tells that the party split up and he didn’t see or participate in any way with the Wilkinson murder. Townsley’s younger Browns present would have included Salmon (born 1836) and Oliver (1839). He specifically excludes Frederick (1827) from that distinction and Owen (1824) has three years on him. That narrows Wilkinson’s murderer down to Salmon or Oliver. Given that Salmon obscured his own role in putting the Doyles to the sword, we must take the notion that he did the same again as a reasonable supposition. He had no trouble naming Owen as a co-perpetrator, so if Oliver did it then he probably would have named names again.

“It matters not”

John Brown

Allen Wilkinson, a member of the bogus legislature and proslavery man, woke to a barking dog and men at his door in the wee hours of Sunday, May 25, 1856. They wanted directions to Dutch Henry’s place. Wilkinson started to oblige them, but they decided they needed a guide. At that point, Wilkinson’s wife Louisa advised him not to go. He pleaded that he couldn’t find his clothes in the dark. They would have to settle for the spoken word. The men outside, John Brown and his band, drew back and conferred in whispers. They returned shortly and asked Wilkinson’s politics: was he in favor of slavery?

When my husband said “I am,” one of them said, “You are our prisoner. Do you surrender?” He said, “Gentlemen, I do.”

This whole affair woke the Wilkinsons from sleep and into a fresh nightmare, which clearly dawned on them as the conversation progressed. Allen, in no position to fight and with his ailing wife endangered with him, opted not to try. Brown then ordered him to open up the cabin. He asked them to hold on while he got a light. Brown would have none of that:

they replied, if you don’t open it, we will open it for you.

Louisa wanted Allen to stall further, but he opened up and the party burst in. I don’t have a clear list in the sources available to me, but Townsley places Brown himself in the building with his three sons and a son-in-law, but not Frederick Brown who stayed back with him. Louisa puts the number of men intruders at four. Given the composition of Brown’s party, that means he himself, Salmon, Owen, and Henry Thompson must have went. Townsley might have the names confused among the Brown boys, since he puts Watson Brown there when he remained in New York at the time, but he identifies Thompson correctly and Salmon doesn’t dispute that he and his brothers Owen, Frederick, and Oliver went with their father on his murderous expedition. He also puts Theodore Weiner outside the building, so he can’t have mistaken Weiner for a Brown. Most probably, Brown, Salmon, Owen, Oliver, and Henry Thompson intruded on the Wilkinsons.

The four searched the cabin for weapons, collecting a gun and some powder. Louisa, sick with measels and alone, begged the Browns to let Allen stay with her.

My husband also asked them to let him stay with me until he could get some one to wait on me; told them that he would not run off, but would be there the next day, or whenever called for. The old man, who seemed to be in command, looked at me and then around at the children, and replied, “you have neighbors.”

Brown gave Louisa cold comfort, but given his own intensely neighborly disposition toward people throughout his life he probably took it as a matter of course that others would see to her. Allen pointed out that while he did have neighbors, none of them stood in the room just then and Brown didn’t seem likely to let him go get someone. That would, after all, immediately spread the news of a band of free state militants taking proslavery men from their homes to do who knows what.

The old man replied, “it matters not”


A naked man and a northern armist

John Brown

Owen and Salmon Brown murdered James, William, and Drury Doyle in the dead of the Kansas night. They hauled all three from their home and laid into them with artillery swords, leaving the bodies behind when the moved on. Mahala Doyle and John Doyle found their mutilated corpses the next day. John Brown himself had charge of the group, chose the victims, and took them prisoner. His sons did the cutting while he stood to one side, rapt. He never left any explanation of what went through his mind that. Decades later, Salmon had no idea and seemed especially puzzled by his father’s inaction ending with a bullet through the skull of the already dead James Doyle.

Maybe things got out of hand and Brown only meant a scare after all. Maybe the sight of his sons murdering a man and two of his own sons shocked the old man. Maybe he didn’t know they could do it, or that he could, until the blades fell. Maybe he was proud that his boys did what needed doing without prompting or cajoling. We can’t know, so anything we put in his mind at that moment speaks only of ourselves.

Salmon says that the party had split up and Brown’s next killings happened simultaneously. James Townsley, also there that night, mentions no such division. Salmon’s version obscures his own role, if not well, and he puts himself away from the next mayhem. Most likely, he hoped an incautious reader would miss the point and think him a pure bystander. Anyone with fingers to count by and a list of the men in the Brown party, which Salmon proffered, can see through it but he did try. The group, probably all of them, moved on to Allen Wilkinson’s place.

Townsley describes the procedure as essentially the one used at the door of the Doyle cabin:

Here the old man Brown, three of his sons and son-in-law, as at the Doyle residence, went to the door and ordered Wilkinson to come out, leaving Frederick Brown, Winer, and myself, standing in the road east of the house.

Again a loud dog greeted them, but this one seems not to have attacked. The dog roused Lousia Wilkinson, who lay sick in bed with measels. Allen Wilkinson told her it was just someone passing by and she went back to sleep. Soon enough the dog had her awake once more.

pretty soon I heard footsteps as of men approaching; saw one pass by the window, and some one knocked at the door. I asked, who is that? No one answered. I awoke my husband, who asked, “who is that? Some one replied, I want you to tell me the way to Dutch Henry’s. He commenced to tell them, and they said to him, “Come out and show us.”

Allen meant to oblige, which would have gotten an honest stranger on their way and left the Wilkinsons to sleep. Louisia argued against it, so Allen called out that he could give directions verbally and that would have to suffice. He couldn’t find his clothes in the dark, you understand.

The men out of doors, after that, stepped back, and I thought I could hear them whispering; but they immediately returned; and, as they approached, one of them asked of my husband, “Are you a northern armist?” He said, “I am.” I understood the answer to mean that my husband was opposed to the northern or freesoil party. I cannot say that I understood the question. My husband was a pro-slavery man, and was a member of the territorial legislature held at Shawnee Mission.

I don’t understand the choice of words any better than Louisa. Brown might have meant northern Kansas, where the proslavery men had the greatest strength. The northern part of the territory more directly abutted Missouri’s plantation belt. Northern arms could mean proslavery militia in that context, but I’ve never elsewhere seen it put that way. Still, if everyone understood what Brown meant then it can’t have come entirely without context.

Two dead on the road and one dead on the ground

John Brown

While James Townsley, Oliver, and Frederick Brown stood nearby, and Theodore Wiener and Henry Thompson at more of a distance, John Brown and his sons Owen and Salmon hauled James Doyle and his two eldest sons, William and Drury out of their cabin and into the Kansas night. The old man spared a third son, aged sixteen, at his mother’s pleading. The antislavery men hauled the Doyles distance from the cabin and then Owen and Salmon took to them with artillery swords. The Doyles tried to defend themselves, but James and William fell quickly. The Brown boys hacked into them and got a slash or two in on Drury before he managed to run. As Townsley puts it:

One of the young Doyle’s [sic] was stricken down in an instant, but the other attempted to escape, and was pursued a short distance by his assailant and cut down.

Then John Brown put a bullet through James Doyle’s head, to make sure. None of the witnesses give enough information for us to know which of the Brown boys chased after Drury Doyle, but it would almost surely have been Salmon or Owen. In the morning, Mahala and John went to see what had become of their loved ones. She

found my husband and William, my son, lying dead in the road near together, about two hundred yards from the house. My other son I did not see any more until the day he was buried. I was so much overcome that I went to the house. They were buried the next day. On the day of the burying I saw the dead body of Drury. Fear of myself and. the remaining children induced me to leave the home where we had been living. We had improved our claim a little. I left all and went to the State of Missouri

The Doyles preferred slavery to freedom, but they remained human beings as capable of pain and loss as anyone. Overcome, Mahala went back inside. That left John to find Drury:

The next morning was Sunday, the 25th of May, 1856. I went in search of my father and two brothers. I found my father and one brother, William, lying dead in the road, about two hundred yards from the house; I saw my other brother lying dead on the ground, about one hundred and fifty yards from the house, in the grass, near a ravine; his fingers were cut off; and his arms were cut off; his head was cut open; there was a hole in his breast. William’s head was cut open, and a hole was in his jaw, as though it was made by a knife, and a hole was also in his side. My father was shot in the forehead and stabbed in the breast.

That kind of sight would stick with you.

Townsley, who has every reason to make the Browns look bad, insists that no intentional mutilation of the bodies took place; they hardly needed it. Cutting people apart makes a terrible mess, even if the injuries suggest they did die quickly. Drury probably lost his arms by raising them in defense, though that wouldn’t offer any comfort at all to the bereaved.

The Murder of James, William, and Drury Doyle

John Brown

After fleeing a cabin where a gun stuck through the wall to answer their knocks, John Brown and his men set out for the Doyle claim. They found the Doyles and their five children, ages eight to twenty-two, asleep. James Doyle got up to answer the door. Brown asked for directions. James opened up to oblige and then the men were inside, guns and swords at the ready. They took Doyle prisoner and came back for his three eldest sons. Mahala Doyle pleaded for the youngest of those three, John, and the antislavery men left the sixteen year-old. Mahala and John told us that, but they didn’t see what happened after the others left the cabin. For that, we must rely on Salmon Brown and James Townsley, with brief input from Henry Thompson.

Salmon tells the story in two terse sentences and a longer postscript:

The three Doyles were taken out of the house to a point a half mile or so away and were slain with broadswords. Owen Brown cut down one of them and another of the Browns cut down the old man and the other. […] Father never raised a hand in slaying the men. He shot a bullet intot he head of old man Doyle about a half hour after he was dead, but what for I do not know. Perhaps it was to call Thompson and Winer so that they could locate us and we could all get together and return to our camp.

Brown had every reason, including a desire to preserve some of his father’s and brothers’ memory, to keep it brief. One gets the sense reading him that he did not care to revisit these memories, so getting it over with quickly may have factored in as well. Townsley, writing much closer to the event and keen to excuse himself, expounds at more length:

The old man Doyle and two sons were called out and marched some distance from the house toward Dutch Henry’s in the road, where a halt was made. Old John Brown drew his revolver and shot the old man in the forehead, and Brown’s two youngest sons immediately fell upon the younger Doyles with their short two-edged swords.

One of the young Doyles was stricken down in an instant, but the other attempted to escape, and was pursued a short distance by his assailant and cut down.

Townsley doesn’t name names of Brown’s sons and Owen names only one, so which other Brown son cut into the Doyles with an artillery sword that night? Brown had four sons with him. Frederick and Oliver didn’t lay hands on the Doyles. We know Owen did. That leaves us only one Brown present and unaccounted for: our source, Salmon. He wouldn’t put it in writing, but he had to know his readers would do the math.

All the witnesses, even Mahala Doyle who couldn’t see the shot, agree that someone fired a gun. Both who saw it agree that John Brown did so, but Townsley and Salmon Brown differ on his exact role. Henry Thompson weighs in through a statement in Villard’s biography that he didn’t see the shot himself, but asked about it when he rejoined the group and everyone agreed that John Brown shot a dead man. He seems to have stood aside and did nothing while his sons cut three men up before him and chased after the one who tried to flee, only moving himself after the deed was done.

A dead dog, tears, the report of pistols, and a wild whoop

John Brown

We left John Brown’s small band fleeing a dark cabin somewhere near Mosquito Creek. They stole up to it and someone -maybe Brown himself- knocked at the door. A gun stuck out through the wall and everyone embarked on a spirited chase for the better part of valor. Retreat failed to produce rout, though. Brown and his men continued on through the night, coming in short order to the Doyle claim. It was around eleven o’clock, May 24, 1856.

Townsley, who remained with the group despite a possible attempt to flee when they all scattered, has John Brown, three of his sons, and his son-in-law Henry Thompson all to go the door. Frederick Brown and Theodore Weiner stayed back with him. As they approached,

a large dog attacked us. Frederick Brown struck the dog a blow with his short two-edged sword, after which I dealt him a blow on the head with my sabre and heard no more from him.

Townsley maintains that he took part in all of this under protest once he learned of Brown’s true intentions. Apparently Brown found his protests so convincing and troubling that he armed the Marylander. Salmon Brown didn’t miss the point when he gave his own version:

Old man Tousley [Townsley] went after the dogs with a broadsword and he and my brother Fred soon had them all laid out. Tousley then went in without being asked and worked with all his might, but not as a prisoner as he afterwards claimed.

One can’t begrudge a person for defending himself against a hostile animal; that Townsley killed a dog doesn’t implicate him in murdering people. The fact that he did it with a sword supplied by John Brown, which Brown let him keep despite his protests, suggests strongly that he participated under rather less duress than he might have wanted posterity to know.

As the dogs died, Brown and his companions knocked at the door of the Doyle cabin. Within it lived James P. Doyle, his wife Mahala, and their children: William (22), Drury (20), John (16), Polly Ann (13), James (10), and Charles (8). Mahala and John later made statements under oath as to what happened. All had retired to bed by this time, but the people at the door asked for James and he got up to answer them. They wanted to know where to find Allen Wilkerson. James opened the door to give them directions, at which point Brown and company burst in. They declared they had come “from the army” and that they took the Doyles prisoner. They said also that if the older male Doyles surrendered, they would suffer no harm. Brown made no threats against Mahala, her daughter, or James Junior and Charles. He wanted James the elder, William, Drury, and John.

According to Salmon Brown, this prompted a fiery response from Mrs. Doyle, who

gave them a terrible scoring as they were being taken from the house. She said, “I told you you would get into trouble for all your devilment; and now you see it has come.”

Mahala and her son remember things differently. She might well have said something like that out of sincere feeling, panic, or to make herself more sympathetic to the Browns as she pleaded for her loved ones. Either way, they took out James first, then came back for William, Drury, and John. She pleaded through tears for John to stay with her, which Brown agreed to.

In a short time afterwards I heard the report of pistols. I heard two reports, after which I heard moaning, as if a person was dying; then I heard a wild whoop.

“Wild and frenzied”

John Brown

James Townsley told posterity that John Brown had a plan. He meant to go down by the Pottawatomie and purge the entire area of proslavery whites. Townsley balked at that, but Brown wouldn’t let him leave the group. Wiping out the proslavery party in the vicinity does sound like a John Brown kind of plan, but his biographers tend to doubt Townsley here. John Brown could and would kill men, but only Townsley gives the general purge version of the story. The others agree that Brown intended a more precise strike than that, aimed at leading men who held office under the territorial government or who had otherwise threatened free state families.

Brown spent Saturday, the 24th of May, in the woods with his men. The news of Lawrence and Sumner had already driven them to a fever pitch; Salmon describes the group as “crazy”. Near to sundown, so not long before they made their camp, James Blood saw Townsley’s timber wagon. When he drew near, Brown called for him to stop. As Villard tells it:

Blood remembered afterwards that the men in the wagon were armed with rifles, revolvers, knives and General Bierce’s short heavy broadswords, for which John Brown had given him one of these cutlasses when in Lawrence during the Wakarusa excitement. Brown, Blood found to be very indignant that Lawrence had been sacked without a shot being fired in its behalf. He denounced the leading Free State men as cowards or worse. “His manner,” wrote Colonel Blood twenty-three years later, “was wild and frenzied, and the whole party watched with an excited eagerness every word or motion of the old man.”

Brown let Blood go, with the request that he keep his mouth shut about the unspecified secret mission that the group undertook just then. Blood went on and so did Brown’s company. Hindsight tempts one to imagine that Blood exaggerated the hold Brown had over his men at that point, but Brown had an intensity about him that many admired. He spent that Saturday, and the prior evening too, reminding everyone of the situation and what needed doing. Somewhere in this, Townsley claims he learned of the full plan for the first time and tried to back out. He might have spent some time trying to talk Brown out of everything and credits himself with keeping Brown for a solid day. The Marylander argued that Brown needed him as a guide, which Salmon disputes on the grounds that Weiner lived in the area and could have done that job.

Villard judges that the group needed a rest and that explained the delay. They spent the previous night on the march, then had a full day’s work before heading out on bumpy roads to their eventual camp. Anyone would need some sleep after all that and since Brown planned to attack at night, opportunity knocked. Townsley has himself argue with Brown about the plan for at least some of that time, but in the end he went along and later claimed he did so unwillingly. They got going around ten Saturday night, crossing Mosquito Creek near the Doyle’s and approaching a dark cabin. Someone -likely Brown- knocked on the door and received an answer in the form of a gun barrel shoved through a gap in the wall. According to Salmon,

at that we all scattered. We did not disturb that man. With some candle wicking soaked in coal oil to light and throw inside, so that we could see within and he could not see outside, we would have managed it. But we had none.


“He proposed to sweep the creek”

John Brown

John Brown had heard enough of this talk about caution. The men at Lawrence refused to fight and the proslavery men wrecked the town. He had friends and family back around Osawatomie, in close company with increasingly belligerent proslavery neighbors and lately at least some of Jefferson Buford’s expedition of militants. The come had come to do something, whether his eldest son liked it or not. About two in the afternoon on May 23, 1856, Brown and his handpicked party left the camp they had shared with the Pottawatomie Rifles. They piled up in James Townsley’s wagon, and Theodore Weiner followed along on his pony. According to Townsley, they made it to about two or three miles short of the Pottawatomie and abandoned the road in favor of some timber land between a pair of ravines. That left them about a mile from Dutch Henry’s Crossing.

After my team was fed and the party had taken supper, John Brown told me for the first time what he proposed to do. He said he wanted me to pilot the company up to the forks of the creek some five or six miles above, into the neighborhood in which I lived, and show them were all the pro-slavery men resided; that he proposed to sweep the creek as he came down of all the pro-slavery men living on it. I positively refused to do it.

Or so Townsley says. If you have a copy of Louis Ruchames’ A John Brown Reader, from which I have taken both accounts, you can flip back a few pages and find Salmon Brown’s version. He maintains consistently that everybody knew what his father meant to do. They left to cheers from the men who didn’t come along. Townsley started out “in high glee,” actually volunteering to drive the group. Then Townsley “got weak in the knees and wanted to quit from sheer fear.” That would compromise the whole mission, so they could not let him bolt. Whether Townsley knew of Brown’s murderous intentions from the start or not, Stephen Oates suggests that finding out the old man meant to drag men out of their homes at night and kill them with swords might have changed his mind. One can imagine a gunshot as clean. The victim could die instantly and at a distance. Cutting apart a living person involved a whole new level of brutality from the perpetrator, even if the victim ended just as dead.

Townsley doesn’t mention any threats against him which might have kept him in the camp. Given that they would tend to mitigate his involvement, he would hardly have omitted such a thing. It seems Brown talked him into sticking around somehow, maybe with an unspoken threat that Townsley didn’t think amounted to enough to matter for posterity. However it happened, the attack got pushed back a night. Townsley tried to leave again and again Brown “refused to let me do so.” They kept in the trees all day and into the next night, at which point Brown ordered them out. In Salmon’s version, the delay came down entirely to the need for darkness to cover the group’s movements. Likewise, they must use their swords because the report of firearms “would have aroused the whole neighborhood.”