In July 1859 Kansan James B. Abbott collected a force of 10 men to sweep into Missouri and spring Underground Railroad operator John Doy from jail. An early Lawrence, Kansas Territory, settler and dedicated abolitionist, Doy had been convicted of going into Missouri and luring a slave from bondage to seek freedom in the north, action that was illegal both in Missouri and the nation.
Doy, his son, Charles Doy, and a wagon driver, Wilbur Clough, had been trying to move 13 freedom-seekers north on the Underground Railroad in January 1859 when they were ambushed south of Oskaloosa in Jefferson County, Kansas Territory. They were seized and hurried across the Missouri River to the slave state of Missouri. There, John Doy was charged with one of the crimes that slavery laws offered to ensure that the owners of human beings were protected against property (slaves) loss.
A Missouri jury convicted the Kansan on the charge late in June 1859 and Doy was about to be sent off to prison in Jefferson City. Doy’s Kansas Territory supporters organized to resist what they saw as an illegal outrage. The 10 men who pulled off a stunning jail rescue became known as “The Immortal Ten.” The story is at https://jeffersonjayhawkers.com/the-immortal-ten-and-the-rescue-of-john-doy/
The photo is from the Kansas State Historical Society’s Kansas Memory site, Item 220363, and was taken in the summer of 1859. The standing men, The Immortal Ten, from left to right, are identified by the KSHS as Major James B. Abbott, Captain Joshua Pike, Jacob Sinex, Joseph Gardner, Thomas Simmons, S.J. Willis, Charles Doy (plaid shirt), Captain John E. Stewart, Silas Soule and George R. Hay. John Doy is seated in front.