Your telegram to me of the 11th is at hand. I am glad to be assured by you that you are able to preserve the peace of Dodge City, and of your county. The accounts of the way things have been going on there are simply monstrous, and it requires that the disgrace that is being brought upon Dodge City, and the State of Kansas, by the conduct that is represented to have occurred there, should be wiped out. Your dispatch to me presents an extraordinary state of affairs, one that is outrageous upon its face. You tell me that the mayor has compelled several parties to leave the town for refusing to comply with the ordinances. Such a statement as that if true, simply shows that the mayor is unfit for his place, that he does not do his duty, and instead of occupying the position of peace maker, the man whose duty it is to see that the ordinances are enforced by legal process in the courts, starts out to head a mob to drive people away from their homes and their business.
It was the mayor's duty, if he did anything, to have appointed and sworn in special policemen to protect citizens, and if he could not do it, to have called upon you, or have called upon me, for assistance to aid him in executing his duties as mayor, and in preserving the peace of his town. It is represented to me by affidavits, and by statements, that the best men in Dodge City have been threatened with assassination, and with being driven away from their homes, if they raised their voices against the conduct of this mob. Now if this is true, it is your duty to call to your assistance a respectable number of people, sufficient to enforce the law, and protect every man in Dodge City, without any reference to who he is, or what his business is, and if he is charged with crime, or the violation of law, to see that he has a fair trial before a proper tribunal, and that the sentence of the law is executed by you or by the authorities, according to the command of the court.
It is also represented to me that this mob is in the habit of going to the trains armed, searching for people that may be coming to their homes, and for the alleged purpose of driving any persons away, or threatening their lives, who may seek to return to their homes, and to their business. The further statement is also made to me that instead of its being disreputable characters that were driven away for the purpose of peace, it is simply a difficulty between saloon men and dance houses, and that the mayor of the town with his marshal has taken sides with one party against the other, to drive them out of business, and instead of the mayor enforcing the ordinances against lewd women visiting saloons, it is reported to me that he has called to his assistance those who were running dance houses with women in them, and entered saloons to drive out men who were keeping other saloons, and that he has set himself up as the judge as to who may violate the ordinances and who shall not, and that he proposes to permit certain parties to violate the ordinances of the city, while others are driven from their homes for violating ordinances, and not prosecuting others according to law for the violation of the ordinances.
I hope this is all untrue, and that the mayor has not been guilty of any such offenses. I cannot believe these statements of the mayor of Dodge City, as I believe him to be a clear-headed, honorable gentleman, and would not become a party to such transactions, or permit any such things to be done. I hope to learn from you that he has been wrongfully represented to me. His own good name, and the good name of the state, that is placed in his hands for protection, certainly would be sufficient inducement to him to see that such charges could not be truthfully made.
It is represented to me also that at this very time, and ever since this pretence of the mayor that he was trying to enforce two ordinances against women visiting saloons, that he has prohibited it only as to one saloon, made arrests in one case, and permitted that ordinance to be violated every day and every night, to his own personal knowledge, and that of the marshal and police officers of the city, by other men who were running saloons where women are permitted to visit, and sing and dance.
Now Mr. Sheriff, I desire to remind you that your duty as a public conservator of the peace, and also having authority over and above the mayor of Dodge City, if he fails to discharge his duties, that it is your duty to see that these things are not permitted and are not tolerated, and that no citizens shall be interfered with, that no citizen shall be driven away from his home, that the mayor of Dodge City shall not pick out men and say that the ordinances shall be enforced against them, and shall not be enforced against others.