After the destruction of the printing presses and the newspaper offices, Jones and his men turned their attention to the Free State Hotel. After ransacking it of all its furniture, Jones aimed four cannons at the building and attempted to blast it to the ground. Thomas H. Gladstone, and traveling Englishman, bore witness to the demolition of the hotel. He states that the initial attempt to destroy the building via cannon-fire was unsuccessful due to some shots not hitting their mark and others that did little damage to the exterior. "They then placed kegs of gunpowder in the lower parts of the building and attempted to blow it up." This too was unsuccessful, resulting in just some broken windows. Flustered by their lack of success, Jones ordered his men to set fire to the building instead.
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By the time the smoke settled, the Free-State Hotel was nothing more than a smoking ruins. By the end of the day, Jones and his men had not only destroyed the hotel and the newspapers, but had burned and looted private homes of some of the towns residents.
The Sack of Lawrence is considered to be the first violent conflict of the Civil War that wouldn't officially be declared until 5 years later. And the violence wasn't limited to Kansas. One day after the Sack of Lawrence, Charles Sumner was beaten by Preston Brooks with a cane in the halls of Congress. Sumner had given a speech just two days before the Sack and had thrown his support behind the free-state government of the territory, claiming that pro-slavers were attempting to expand the "harlot" of slavery into Kansas territory.