Samuel Scott was born in 1804 in Clinton County, Kentucky and moved with his family to Wayne County, Kentucky as a youth. There he married Abigail Victoria Smith in 1824. In 1836, the couple and their growing family moved to Missouri, settling in Bates County on the Kansas line. Scott was a 52- year- old successful farmer when he pioneered in Kansas Territory in 1854. His family were the first settlers in Scott Township in north central Linn County. [Cutler, History, Linn County]
Charles Jennison (1834-1884)
Jayhawker Leader in Linn County, Kansas
Scott had several slaves working on his Kansas farm and his outspoken advocacy of slavery in the Bogus Legislature and at home was a source of irritation to his free-state neighbors. He was threatened several times and in 1858, believing the pro-slavery cause lost in Kansas, he took his slaves to Missouri and sold them to a trader. The sale deprived the active Linn County "Underground Railroad" of the opportunity to transport Scott's slaves, which further incensed the free-state forces. [Cory, Slavery in Kansas, 238] Other allegations against Scott were that he had harbored Missouri "Bushwhackers" on their raids into Kansas [Watts, How Bloody Was Bleeding Kansas, 129] and that he had come back twice after being "expelled" by free-state vigilantes. [Sanborn, Some Notes, 262]
Linn County was headquarters for Colonel James Montgomery, Campbellite preacher and militant abolitionist and for Colonel C. R. Jennison, leader of a group of "Jayhawkers" who conducted raids into Missouri. On November 18, 1860, a group of Jennison's men came to Scott's farm, called him out and hanged him in his front yard.
Harry Jasper Harris, a 13-year-old neighbor from an upstate New York family, described the hanging many years later:
"Sam Scott lived 13 miles south east. He was a proslavery man and Voted that ticket and used to own Slaves in Southern State. His wife was Dead and he had two single Girls 18 and 20 years of age that kept house for him. They were Fine looking Girls... One Day some armed Men Rode up to Sam Scotts House and said they wanted him to go with them. He hesitated; But one of the Men says Sam we won't hurt you. And so he went. They took him about 200 yards from the house. Plain in sight and Hung him to a tree. The Girls was watching and when they see what they were doing, they ran--one with an Ax; and the other with a Butcher knife--to cut him down; before they could cut him down he--was Dead. My two sisters and I with our oxen and wagon went over to Sam Scotts after some Peaches a short time after he was Hung. They had told us to come, at about that time. When telling us about the Death of their Father, the Girls would weep so they could scarcely talk." [Harris, My Story,5553ff]