Freeman Barrows moved to Missouri from Massachusetts in 1841. He was one of the early prominent figures of Bates County, serving as County Clerk, Recorder, and later Probate Judge. Freeman died on April 26, 1861, but wrote prolifically about the rising political tension along the Kansas Missouri border and throughout the country. During the war, Jayhawkers stole the family’s livestock, equipment, and anything else that was portable. Though the family survived the war, they incurred a large sum of debt. The Barrows collection consists of correspondence between family members from 1837-1883, and depicts the hardships families in southwest Missouri faced during the war and the years that followed.
Collections in the Bates Category
Major General Henry W. Halleck commanded the Department of Missouri and Department of the Mississippi from November 1861 through July 1862. He was then appointed General-in-Chief, and served as a military advisor to Abraham Lincoln. Contained within the Halleck papers is a single order placed on March 12, 1862 just months prior to being ordered to Washington. Halleck requested Major William Prince at Fort Leavenworth to advance regiments from there to Kansas City and Independence, Missouri. His orders were to clear the border counties of “marauding bands of rebels.”
Michael Jose lived in Cass County, Missouri in 1850, but by the start of the Civil War he and his family moved west to California. F. Brown, an old friend of Michael Jose’s, still lived in Missouri after the War and wrote to Jose about their mutual friends in Henry, Bates, and Vernon County. Brown discusses the death of neighbors, the local agriculture, economy, and politics, and how former Confederates and Unionist were getting along living post-war. Brown’s letter highlights the changes within communities and the country tired to rebuild itself.