Charles A. Hamilton – Pro-Slavery Leader

Charles A. Hamilton was a pro-slavery leader during the Kansas-Missouri Border War.

Hamelton was a native of Cass County, Georgia, where his father, Dr. Thomas A. Hamilton, was a wealthy and influential citizen. When the Territory of Kansas was organized Milton McGee went to Georgia to recruit men to aid in making Kansas a slave state. At Cassville, he made a fiery speech, and Charles Hamilton and his brother were among the first to rally to McGee’s side. His father, Dr. Hamilton contributed $1,000 to the cause.

Massacre of Marais des Cygnes, Kansas.

Massacre of Marais des Cygnes, Kansas.

Hamilton is best known as the perpetrator of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre on May 19, 1858. Afterward, the governor offered a reward of $500 for Hamilton’s apprehension but he wasn’t captured. When Hamilton came to Kansas he was the owner of a plantation in Georgia but was heavily in debt.

At the close of the Kansas-Missouri Border War, he returned to Georgia, was stripped of everything by his creditors, took bankruptcy, and went to Texas, where he engaged in horse raising.

In 1861 he raised a regiment, of which he was commissioned colonel, and served with General Robert E. Lee in the Confederate Army in Virginia. After the war, he went back to Georgia, where he died some years later.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated June 2022.

Also See:

Historic People of Kansas

Kansas Destinations

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