from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of the free-soil guerrillas in Kansas and Missouri during the border disputes of 1854 to 1859.
- n. A Unionist guerrilla.
- n. Informal A native or resident of Kansas.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An abolitionist raider in the Kansas-Missouri border skirmishes during the American Civil War
- n. a robber or bandit
The way he talks of it, the term might have been a colloquial term applied to a jayhawker or a patroller.
He was a merciless and most unscrupulous jayhawker ....
"Skedaddle, you damn jayhawker," was his cavalier farewell.
We may further restrict the field by saying that nowhere on any border was animosity so fierce as in western Missouri and eastern Kansas, where jayhawker and border ruffian waged a guerrilla war for years before the nation was arrayed against itself in ordered ranks.
The black flags of Quantrell and of Lane, of border ruffian and jayhawker, were guidons under which quarter was unknown, and mercy a forgotten thing.
Jennison, the Kansas jayhawker leader, in one of his raids into Missouri, burned the houses of Younger and confiscated the horses in his livery stables.
Ferry-Durand has got a great public career before him, 's's he,' and no true friend will let him think of taking a wife who is all history and no antecedents, a blockade-runner, a spy, and the brand-new widow of a blackguard and a jayhawker she had run away from practically on her wedding-night. '
Left were only the "citizen" with his family and slaves, the post quartermaster and commissary, the conscript-officer, the trading Jew, the tax-in-kind collector, the hiding deserter, the jayhawker, a few wounded boys on furlough, and Harper's cavalry.
"Three times I came near capturing the gallant jayhawker chief, and once he actually captured _me_, but didn't know me and let me go, because he said he was hot on Redpath's trail and couldn't afford to waste time and rope on inconsequential small fry."
Our friend and guide seemed to have been a jayhawker and mountain marauder -- on the right side.