Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dr. Albert Morrall

Dr. Albert Morrall was born at Grahamville, South Carolina, November 17, 1829. He was of old Southern family and kept his sympathies with the South during the period of hostilities over slavery and the questions of state rights. He was educated in private schools at Grahamville, and first came to Kansas in the spring of 1856. He tells his story in his own words:

"I came to Kansas in the spring of 1856 in company with thirty other young men from the South. My object in coming to this state was to hunt buffaloes, but I was disappointed in not finding any very near to our camp at Atchison, where we first landed. We had to go into the country at least two hundred miles at that season of the year. Frank Palmer was one of the men with whom I came to Kansas and he was in charge of a company, the object of which in coming to Kansas was to make this a slave state. I was not a member of this company, but free to do as I pleased, although I always worked with them."

After describing several of the skirmishes between his side and the free state men, including the march of the pro-slavery men upon Lawrence and their encounter with Jim Lane and his men, Dr. Morrall continued: "In November, Vander Horst, Stringfellow of Virginia, and also William Grearson of Charleston, South Carolina, and I started for Marysville, fixing up one of the wagons for a hunt."

The following clipping taken from the St. Louis Republican, describes their experiences on this hunt: "Terrible suffering on the plains.--We have information of the return of a hunting party from the Little Blue in a most deplorable condition. They were Mr. James Stringfellow, Mr. Van Dorser and Mr. Morrall, the first from Atchison, K. T., and the two latter from South Carolina. George Matthews saw them after their hairbreadth escapes and gives me the following thrilling narrative: When they reached the Big Blue they fixed their encampment, but finding only a few buffalo they left their camp in charge of a negro man belonging to Mr. Van Dorser and proceeded over to the Little Blue. On the first evening out they were overtaken by a storm of wind and snow, and lost their way.

They wandered for eight days without fire and food. They blew the tubes out of their guns in their efforts to kindle a fire and then threw the guns away. The feet of Van Dorser and Morrall became so frosted and they were so exhausted from fatigue and starvation that Mr. Stringfellow, who had had some mountain experience was scarcely able to get them to move along. He encouraged them by every means until they finally reached a habitation and were saved. Mr. Morrall and Mr. Van Dorser, however, will lose their feet and Mr. Stringfellow some of his toes. Their sufferings were beyond description and they will be ill for some weeks to come. The negro who remained in the camp is uninjured, although he suffered a good deal from the severity of the cold and anxiety for his master and friends. They are all now safely lodged at Atchison."

The above narrative gives some idea of their sufferings, but is not correct, as it was Mr. Morrall who finally led them to a habitation. To quote Doctor Morrall further: "When mortification set in, I got a sharp rifle bullet mold and with a file sharpened it, cutting my toes off myself by squeezing the mold down and pulling the bones out like a tooth one by one. I had to go on crutches all that winter."

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