« ForrigeFortsett »
for a third reading-Yeas, 35; Nays, 13, as (Dec. 31st) his Annual Message, and next (Jan. follows:
24th) a special message with regard to the conYeas-For Engrossing :
dition of Kansas, in which he thus alludes to ) essrs. Atchison, Mo..
those who think Slavery not the best institution Budger, N. O., Norton, Fla.,
to make a prosperous and happy State, and to Benjamin, La., Norris, N. H., those who opposed the repeal of the Missouri Brodhead, Pa., Pearce, Md.,
This interference, in so far as concerns its primary
causes and its immediate commencement, was one of the Clay, Ala.,
Sebastian, Ark., incidents of that pernicious agitation on the subject of
the condition of the colored persons held to service in
some of the States, which has so long disturbed the re. Fitzpatrick, Ala., Stuart, Mich.,
pose of our country, and excited individuals, otherwise Gwin, Cal.,
Thompson, Ky., , patriotic and law-abiding, to toil with misdirected zeal
Thomson, N. J., in the attempt to propagate their social theories by the
perversion and abuse of the powers of Congress.
The persons and parties whom the tenor of the act
to organise the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas
thwarted in the endeavor to impose, through the agency Wright, N. J.,-85.
of Congress, their particular views of social organizaNays--Against Engrossing :
tion on the people of the future new States, now per
ceiving that the policy of leaving the inhabitants of each Messrs. Allen, R. I.,
State to judge for themselves in this respect was ineradi.
cably rooted in the convictions of the people of the
Union, then had recourse, in the pursuit of their general Clayton, Del., Separd, N. Y.,
object, to the extraordinary measure of propagandist Fish, N. Y., SUMNER, Mass.,
colonization of the Territory of Kansas, to prevent the Foot, Vt., Wade, Ohio.
free and natural action of its inhabitants in its internal Walker, Wis.-13.
organization and thus to anticipate or to force the deterDemocrats in Roman; Whigs in Italics ; Free Demo- mination of that question in this inchoate State. crats in SMALL CAPS.
The President makes the following referThe bill was then passed without further ence to the action of the people Kansas, division, and, being approved by the President, who, claiming the right “ peaceably to assenbecame a law. The clause in the 14th section, ble and petition for a redress of grievances," which repealed the Missouri Compromise, with did so assemble, and sent a petition to Conthe Badger proviso, is as follows:
gress, to permit them to form a State GovernThat the Constitution and all the laws of the United ment, with the Constitution submitted : States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said territory of Ne- Following upon this movement was another and braska, as elsewhere within the United States, except the more important one of the same general, character. eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Persons confessedly not constituting the body politic, or Missouri into the Union, approved March sixth, eighteen all the inhabitants, but merely a party of the inhabitants, hundred and twenty, which being inconsistent with the and without law, have undertaken to summon a conven: principles of non-intervention by Congress with Slavery tion for the purpose of transforming the Territory into a in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legisla. State, and have framed a constitution, adopted it, and tion of eighteen hundred and fifty, commonly called the under it elected a governor and other off cers, and a Compromise Measures, is hereby declared inoperativo representative to Congress. and void; it being the true intent and meaniug of this March 12.-In Senate, Mr. Douglas, of miact not to legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people there nois, from the Committee on Territories, made of perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic in. a report on matters relating to Kansas affairs, stitutions in their own way, subject only to the Constituin which he says: tion of the United States; Provided, That nothing here. in contained shall be construed to revive or put in force The act of Congress for the organization o the Ter. any law or regulation which may have existed prior to ritories of Kansas and Nebraska, was designed to conthe act of sixth of March, eighteen hundred and twenty, form to the spirit and letter of the Federal Constitution, wither protecting, establishing, prohibiting or abolishing by preserving and maintaining the fundamental principle Slavery.
of equality among all the States of the Union, notwithDec. 3, 1855.—The XXXIV th Congress con- the act of March 6, 1820, (preparatory to the admission
standing the restriction contained in the 8th section of vened at the Capitol, in Washington. - Jesse D. of Missouri into the Union, which assumed to deny to Bright, of Ind., holding over as President pro Slavery for themselves, provided they should make their tempore of the Senate, in place of Vice-Presi- homes and organize States north of thirty-six degrees dent William R. King, of Alabama, deceased. and thirty minutes north latitude. Conforming to the A quorum of either House was found to be cardinal principles of State equality and self-govern
ment, in obedience to the Constitution, the Kansag. present.
Nebraska act declared, in the precise language of the But the House found itself unable to organize Compromise Mensures of 1850, that, when admitted as by the choice of a Speaker, until after an un. a State, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, precedented struggle of nine weeks' duration shall be received into the Union, with or without Slavery,
as their constitutions may prescribe at the time of their Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 1856, the plu. admission." rality-rule was adopted-Yeas, 113; Nays, 104
He then refers to the formation of the “Emi-and the House proceeded under it to its one hundred and thirty-third ballot for speaker, grant Aid Company, "* which had been organwhen Nathaniel P. Banks, jr. (anti-Nebraska) the people of Massachusetts. This proceeding
by of Massachusetts, was chosen, having 103 votes to 100, for William Aiken, of South Caro- of the Kansas-Nebraska Act—that the only
he calls" a perversion of the plain provisions lina. Eleven votes scattered on other persons did not count against a choice. It was there. fore resolved-Yeas, 155; Nays, 40—that Mr. to which Mr. Douglas alludes, and from the existence of which
"The Emigrant Aid Company," with five millions dollars, Banks was duly elected Speaker.
he makes & special plea for the Border Ruffians, was But, during the pendency of this election, the
never organized: Seo Report of Special Committee of ConPresident bad transmitted to both Houses, first gress, (page 100.)
ions and violence of the other.
kind of lawful emigration was “such as bas | effort to send at least an equal number, to counteract the filled up our new States and Territories, when apprehended result of the new importation. each individual has gone on his own account,
The report then gives a history of the Legislato improve his condition and that of his ture elected March 30th, 1855, its removal from family.” The report then states that the peo
Pawnee City to the Shawnee Mission, its subseple of Missouri were greatly alarmed at the quent quarrel with Gov. Reeder, and continues : rapid filling up of Kansas by people opposed to relations with the legislature, on account of the removal
A few days after, Governor Reeder dissolved his official Slavery—that this might endanger the exist- of the seat of government, and while that body was still ence of Slavery in Missouri--and that, as the in session, a meeting was called by "many voters,” to as people of Missouri had a right to defend their semble at Lawrence, on the 14th or 15th of August, 1855, own institutions, they might properly resist the ritorial Convention, preliminary to the formation of a State
"to take into consideration the propriety of calling a Terformation of an Anti-Slavery State in their Government, and other subjects of public interest.” At neighborhood. The report continues :
that meeting, the following preamble and resolutions were
adopted with but one dissenting voice: For the successful prosecution of such a scheme, the Mis- “Whereas, the people of Kansas Territory have been stnce sourians who lived in the immediate vicinity possessed pe- the settlement, and now are, without any law-making power ; culiar advantages over their rivals from the more remote therefore portions of the Union. Each family could send one of its
“Be it resolved, That we, the people of Kansas Territory, In members across the line to mark out his claim, erect a Huenced by a common necessity, and greatly desirous of pro,
mass meeting assembled, irrespective of party distinctions, in. cabin, and put in a small crop, sufficient to give him as moting the common good, do hereby call upon and request a!! valid a right to be deemed an actual settler and qualified bona fide citizens of Kansas Territory, of whatever political voter as those who were being imported by the Emigrant views and predilections, to consult together in their respective Aid Societies. In an unoccupied Territory, where the lands election districts, and in mass convention or otherwise, elect have not been surveyed, and where there were no marks three delegates for each representative in the legislative asor lines to indicate the boundaries of sections and quarter- sembly, by proclamation of Governor Reeder of date 10th sections, and where no legal title could be had until after town of Topeka, on the 19th day of September, 1855, then and the surveys should be made, disputes, quarrels, violence, there to consider and determine upon all subjects of public in. and bloodshed might have been expected as the natural terest, and particularly upon that having reference to the and inevitable consequences of such extraordinary systems speedy formation of a štate Constitution, with an intention of of emigration, which divided and arrayed the settlers into an immediate application to be admitted as a State into the two great hostile parties, each having an inducement to Union of the United States of America." claim more than was his right, in order to hold it for some to ascertain, was the first step in that series of proceedings
This meeting, so far as your Committee have been able new-comer of his own party, and at the same time prevent persons belonging to the opposite party from settling in the which resulted in the adoption of a Constitution and State neighborhood. As a result of this state of things, the Government, to be put in operation on the 4th of the pregreat mass of emigrants from the northwest and from sent month, in subversion of the Territorial Government other States who went there on their own account, with no established under
the authority of Congress. The right to other object, and influenced by no other motives than to set up the State Government in defiance of the constituimprove their condition and secure good homes for their ted authorities of the Territory, is based on the assumption families, were compelled to array themselves under the “that the people of Kansas Territory have been since its banner of one of these hostile parties, in order to insure pro- in the face of the well-known fact, that the Territorial Le
settlement, and now are, without any law-making power;" tection to themselves and their claims against the aggress- gislature was then in session, in pursuance of the prima
clamation of Governor Reeủer, and the organic law of the On the 29th of November, 1854, the first elec. Territory. tion in the Territory was held for a delegate to The report then proceeds to narrate the cir Congress. This was a very short time after the cumstances attending the formation of a State arrival of the Free State emigrants in suffi. Government in Michigan, Arkansas, Florida and cient bodies to protect themselves. At this California, and states that “in every instance election, according to the returns, J. W. Whit- the proceeding has originated with, and been field had received 2,268 votes; other persons, conducted in subordination to, the authority of 575. Whitfield, of course, received the Gover the local governments established or recognized nor's certificate, but great dissatisfaction was by the Government of the United States." It expressed by the Free State settlers, charging then refers to the case of the effort to change that many of the votes received by Whitfield the organic law, made in Rhode Island some were given by men living in Missouri; and it years ago, from which it says the “insurgents" afterward appeared that at the time of the first (as the Free-State party in Kansas is called) election there were but 1,114 legal voters in the "can derive no aid or comfort.” Territory. Nevertheless, the report continues : The following concludes the Report; the Certain it is, that there could not have been a system of sense the people of a Territory are “perfectly free
words in Italics below perhaps explain in what and supporters of the emigrant aid societies, unless the to form their own institutions, in their own way:" Governor and judges of election were parties to it; and Without deeming it necessary to express any opinion on your committee are not prepared to assume & fact so dis. this occasion, in reference to the merits of that contra reputable to them, and so improbable upon the state of versy, (referring to Rhode Island,] it is evident that the facts presented, without specific charges and direct proof. principles upon which it was conducted are not involved In the absence of all proof and probable truth, the charge in the revolutionary struggle now going on in Kansas; for that the Missourians had invaded the Territory and con- the reason, that tho sovereignty of a Territory remains trolled the congressional election by fraud and violence in abeyance, suspended in the United States, in trust was circulated throughout the Free States, and made the for the people, until they shall be admitted into the basis of the most inflammatory appeals to all men opposed 'Union as a State. In the meantime, they are entitled to the principles of the Kansas-Nebraska act to emigrate to enjoy and exercise all the privileges and rights of or send emigrants to Kansas, for the purpose of repelling self-government, in xubordination to the Constitution the invaders, and assisting their friends who were then in of the United States, and in obedience to their organic the Territory in putting down the slave-power, and prohi- invo passed by Congress in pursuance of that instru biting Slavery in Kansas, with the view of making it a ment. These rights and privileges are all derived from Free State. Exaggerated accounts of the large number the Constitution, through the act of Congress, and must be of emigrants on their way under the auspices of the emi-exercised and enjoyed in subjection to all the limitations grant aid companies, with the view of controlling the elec- and restrictions which that Constitution imposes. Hence, tion for members of the Territorial Legislature, which was it is clear that the people of the Territory have no inherent to take place on the 30th of March, 1855, were published sovereign right, under the Constitution of the United States, and circulated. These accounts, being republished and be to annul the laws and resist the authority of the Territorial Heved in Missouri, where the excitement had already been government which Congress has established in obedienco Inflamed to a fearful intensity, induced a corresponding to the Constitution.
In tracing, step by step, the origin and history of these to their admission into the Union on an equal footing with Kansas difficulties, your Committee have been profoundly the original States, so soon as it shall appear, by a census impressed with the significant fact, that each one has re- , to be taken under the direction of the Governor, by the sulted from an attempt to violate or circumvent the prin- authority of the Legislature, that the Territory contains ciples and provisions of the act of Congress for the organ- ninety-three thousand, four hundred and twenty inhabiization of Kansas and Nebraska. The leading idea and tants—that being the number required by the present ratio fundamental principle of the Kansas-Nebraska act, as ex- of representation for a member of Congress. pressed in the law itself, was to leave the actual sito In compliance with the other recommendation, your ilers and bona-fide inhabitants of each Territory Committee propose to offer to the appropriation bill an * perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic ; amendment appropriating such sum as shall be found neinstitutions in their own way, subject only to the Con- cessary, by the estimates to be obtained, for the purpose stitution of the United States." While this is declared indicated in the recommendation of the President. to be the “true intent and meaning of the act,” those All of which is respectfully submitted to the Senate by who were opposed to allowing the people of the Territory, your Committee. preparatory to their admission into the Union as a State, to decide the Slavery question for themselves, failing to
Mr. Collamer, .of Vermont, the Republican accomplish their purpose in the halls of Congress, and un-member of sanje Committee, submitted a mider the authority of the Constitution, immediately resorted, nority report, in wbich he says: in their respective States, to unusual and extraordinary means to control the political destinies and shape the do- Thirteen of the present prosperous States of this Union mestic institutions of Kansas, in defiance of the wishes, passed through the period of apprenticeship or pupilage and regardless of the rights, of the people of that Terri- of territorial training, under the guardianship of Congress, tory, as guaranteed by their organic law. Combinations, preparatory to assuming their proud rank of manhood in one section of the Union, to stimulate an unnatural and
as sovereign and independent States. This period of false system of emigration, with the view of controlling their pupilage was, in every case, a period of the good offi, the elections, and forcing the domestic institutions of the
ces of parent and child, in the kind relationship sustained Territory to assimilate to those of the non-slaveholding between the National and the Territorial Government, States, were followed, as might have been foreseen, by the
remembered with feelings of gratitude and use of similar means in the slaveholding States, to pro- pride. We have fallen on different times. A territory of duce directly the opposite result To these causes, and to
our government is now convulsed with violence and disthese alone, in the opinion of your Committee, may be cord, and the whole family of our nation is in a state of traced the origin and progress of all the controversies and excitement and anxiety. The National Executive power disturbances with which Kansas is now convulsed.
is put in motion, the army in requisition, and Congress is If these unfortunate troubles have resulted, as natural invoked for interference. consequences, from unauthorized and improper schemes In this case, as in all others of difficulty, it becomes neof foreign interference with the internal affairs and domes- cessary to inquire what is the true cause of existing trou. tic concerns of the Territory, it is apparent that the remedy ble, in order to apply effectual cure. It is but a temporary must be sought in a strict adherence to the principles and palliative to deal with the external and more obvious manirigid enforcement of the provisions of the organic law. festations and developments, while the real, procuring In this connection, your Committee feel sincere satisfaction
cause lies unattended to, and uncorrected, and unrein commending the messages and proclamation of the Pre- moved. sident of the United States, in which we have the gratify- It is said that organized opposition to law exists in Kaning assurance that the supremacy of the laws will be main- sas. That, if existing, may probably be suppressed by the tained; that rebellion will be crushed; that insurrec- President, by the use of the army, and so, too, may invation will be suppressed; that aggressive intrusion for the sions by armed bodies from Missouri, if the Executive be purpose of deciding elections, or any other purpose, will sincere in its efforts; but when this is done, while the cause be repelled; that unauthorized intermeddling in the local of trouble remains, the results will continue with renewed concerns of the Territory, both from adjoining and distant and increased developments of danger. States, will be preveuted; that the federal and local laws
Let us, then, look fairly and undisguisedly at this subwill be vindicated against all attempts at organized resist- ject, in its true character and history. Wherein does this ance; and that the people of the Territory will be pro- Kansas Territory differ from all our other Territories which tected in the establishment of their own institutions, undis- have been so peacefully and successfully carried through, turbed by encroachments from without, and in the full en- and been developed into the manhood of independent joyment of the rights of self-government assured to them States ? Can that difference account for existing trouby the Constitution and the organic law.
Can that difference, as a cause of trouble, be reIn view of these assurances, given under the conviction moved ? that the existing laws confer all the authority necessary to The first and great point of difference between the Ter. the performance of these important duties, and that the ritorial government of Kansas and that of the thirteen whole available force of the United States will be exerted Territorial governments before mentioned, consists in the to the extent required for their performance, your Com- subject of slavery--the undoubted cause of present mittee repose in entire confidence that peace, and security, and law, will prevail in Kansas. If any further evidence
The action of Congress in relation to all these thirteer were necessary to prove that all the collisions and difficul- Territories was conducted on a uniform and prudent ties in Kansas have been produced by the schemes of for- principle, to wit: To settle, by a clear provision, the eign interference which have been developed in this re- law in relution to the subject of Sluvery to be opera. port, in violation of the principles and in evasion of the tive in the Territory, while it remained such; not provisions of the Kansas-Nebraska act, it may be found in leaving it in any one of those cases to be a subject of conthe fact that in Nebraska, to which the emigrant-aid socie. troversy within the same, while in the plastic gristle of its ties did not extend their operations, and into which the youth. This was done by Congress in the exercise of the stream of emigration was permitted to flow in its usual
same power which molded the form of their organic laws, and natural channels, nothing has occurred to disturb the and appointed their executive and judiciary, and some peace and harmony of the Territory, while the principle of times their legislative officers; it was the power provided self-government, in obedience to the Constitution, has had in the Constitution, in these words : "Congress shall have kir play, and is quietly working out its legitimate results. power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regu
It now only remains for your Committee to respond to lations respecting the territory or other property belongthe two specific recommendations of the President, in his ing to the United States.” Settling the subject of Slavery special message. They are as follows:
while the country remained a Territory, was no higher ex“This, it seems to me, can be best accomplished by provid. ercise of power in Congress, than the regulation of the funcing that, when the inhabitants of Kansas may desire it, and tions of the territorial government, and actually appointing shall be of sufficient numbers to constitute a State, a conven. its principal functionaries. This practice commenced with tion of delegates, duly elected by the qualified voters, shall this National Government, and was continued, with uninassemble to frame a Constitution, and thus prepare, through terrupted uniformity, for more than sixty years. This regular and lawful means, for its admission into the
Union as practical contemporaneous construction of the constitua State. I respectfully recommend the enactment of a law to
tional power of this government is too clear to leave * I recommend, also, that a special appropriation be made room for doubt, or opportunity for skepticism. The peace, to defray any, expense which may become requisite in the prosperity, and success which attended this course, and execution of ihe laws, or the maintenance of public order in the results which have ensued, in the formation and adthe Territory of Kansas."
mission of the thirteen States therefrom, are most concluIn compliance with the first recommendation, your Com- sive and satisfactory evidence, also, of the wisdom and mittee ask leave to report a bill authorizing the Legislature prudence with which this power was exercised. Deluded of the Territory to provide by law for the election of dele- must be that people who, in the pursuit of plausible theogates by the people, and the assembling of a Convention ries, become deaf to the lessons, and blind to the results, to form a Constitution and State Goverment preparatory of their own experience.
Let us next inquire by what rule of uniformity Congress revive or put in force any law or regulation which may was governed, in the exercise of this power of determining have existed prior to the act of 6 March, 1820, either prothe condition of each Territory as to Slavery, while remain- tecting, establishing, prohibiting, or abolishing Slavery." ing a Territory, as manifested in those thirteen instances. Thus it was promulgated to the people of this whole An examination of our history will show that this was not country that here was a clear field for competition-an done from time to time by agitation and local or party | open course for the race of rivalship; the goal of which triuinphs in Congress. The rule pursued was uniform and was, the ultimate establishment of a sovereign State; and clear; and, whoever may have lost by it, peace and pros- the prize, the reward of everlasting liberty and its instituperity have been gained. That rule was this :
tions on the one hand, or the perpetuity of Slavery and Where Slavery was actually existing in a country to any its concomitants on the other. It is the obvious duty of considerable or general extent, it was (though somewhat this government, while this law continues, to see this modified as to further importation in some instances, as in manifesto faithfully, and honorably, and hones perMississippi and Orleans Territories) suffered to remain. formed, even though its particular supporters may sce The fact that it had been taken and existed there, was cause of a result unfavorable to their hopes. taken as an indication of its adaptation and local utility. It is further to be observed that, in the performance of Where Slavery did not in fact exist to any appreciable ex- this novel experiment, it was provided that all while tent, the same was, by Congress, expressly prohibited ; 80 men who became inhabitants in Kansas were entitled to that in either case the country was settled up without diffi- vote without regard to their time of residence, usually culty or doubt as to the character of its institutions. In no provided in other Territories. Nor was this right of instance was this difficult and disturbing subject left to the voting conined to American citizens, but included all people who had and who might settle in the Territory, to such aliens as had declared, or would declare, op oath, be there an everlasting bone of contention, so long as the their intention to become citizens. Thus was the proclaTerritorial government should continue. It was ever remation to the world to become inhabitants of Kansas, and garded, too, as a subject in which the whole country had enlist in this great enterprise, by the force of numbers, an interest, and, therefore, improper for local legislation. by vote, to decide for it the great question. Was it to be
And though, whenever the people of a Territory come to expected that this great proclamation for the political form their own organic law, as an independent State, they tournament would be listened to with indifference and woul.l, either before or after their admission as a State, apathy? Was it prepared and presented in that spirit! form and mold their institutions, as a Sovereign State, in Did it relate to a subject on which the people were cool their own way, yet it must be expected, and has always or indifferent? A large part of the people of this country proved true, that the State has taken the character her look on domestic Slavery as “only evil, and that conpupilige has prepared her for, as well in respect to Slavery tinually," alike to master and to slave, and to the comas in other respects. Hence, six of the thirteen States are munity; to be left alone to the management or enjoyFree States, because Slavery was prohibited in them by ment of the people of the States where it exists, but not Congress, while Territories, to wit: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, to be extended, more especially as it gives, or may give, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Seven of the thirteen political supremacy to a minority of the people of this are slaveholding States, because Slavery was allowed in country in the United States government. On the other thein by Congress while they were Territories, to wit: Ten- hand, many of the people of another part of the United nessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas States regard Slavery, if not in the abstract a blessing, at and Missouri,
least as now existing, a condition of society best for On the 6th of March, A.D. 1820, was passed by Con- both white and black, while they exist together; while gress the act preparatory to the admission of the State of others regard it as no evil, but as the highest state of Missouri into the Union. Much controversy and discus-social condition. These consider that they cannot, with sion arose on the question whether a prohibition of safety to their interests, permit political ascendency 10 Slavery within said State should be inserted, and it re- be largely in the hands of those unfriendly to this pecusulted in this : that said State should be admitted without liar institution. From these conflicting views, long and such prohibition, but that Slavery should be forever pro- violent has been the controversy, and experience seems hibited in the rest of that country ceded to us by France to show it interminable. lying north of 36° 30' north latitude, and it was so done. A succinct statement of the exercise and progress of This contract is known as the Missouri Compromise. the material events in Kansas is this : After the passage Under this arrangement, Missouri was admitted as a of this law, establishing the Territory of Kansas, a large slaveholding State, the same having been a slaveholding body of settlers rapidly entered into said Territory with a Territory. Arkansas, south of the line, was formed into view to permanent inhabitancy therein. Most of these a Territory, and Slavery allowed therein, and afterward were from the Free States of the West and North, who admitted as a slaveholding State.. Iowa was made a probably intended by their votes and influence to estabTerritory north of the line, and, under the operation of lish there a Free State, agreeably to the law which invited the law, was settled up without slaves, and adınitted as a them. Some part of those from the Northern States had free State. The country now making the Territories of been encouraged and aided in this enterprise by the Kansas and Nebraska, in 1820, was almost or entirely Emigrant Aid Society formed in Massachusetts, which uninhabited, and lay north of said line, and whatever put forth some exertions in this laudable object, by open settlers entered the same before 1554, did so under that and public measures, in providing facilities for transporlaw, forever forbidding Slavery therein.
tation to all peaceable citizens who desired to become perIn 1854, Congress passed an act establishing two new manent settlers in said Territory, and providing there. Territories-Nebraska and Kansas in this region of in hotels, mills, etc., for the public accommodation of that country, where Slavery had been prohibited for more new country. than thirty years; and, instead of leaving said law against The Governor of Kansas, having, in pursuance of law, Slavery in operation, or prohibiting or expressly allowing divided the territory into districts, and procured a census or establishing Slavery, Congress left the subject in said thereof, issued his proclamation for the election of a Territories, to be discussed, agitated, and legislated on, Legislative Assembly therein, to take place on the 30th from time to time, and the elections in said Territories to day of March, 1855, and directed how the same should be conducted with reference to that subject, from year to be conducted, and the returns made to him agreeable to year, so long as they should remain Territories; for, the law establishing said Territory. On the day of election, whatever laws might be passed by the Territorial legisla large bodies of armed men from the State of Missouri, tures on this subject, must be subject to change or repeal appeared at the polls in most of the districts, and, by by those of the succeeding years. In most former Terri- most violent and tumultuous carriage and demeanor, torial governments, it was provided by law that their overawed the defenseless inhabitants, and by their own laws were subject to the revision of Congress, so that votes elected a large majority of the members of both they would be made with caution. In these Territories, Houses of said Assernbly. On the returns of said electhat was omitted.
tion being made to the Governor, protests and objections The provision in relation to Slavery in Nebraska and were made to him in relation to a part of said districts; Kansas is as follows: " The eighth section of the act pre- and as to them, he set aside such, and such only, as by paratory to the admission of Missouri into the Union the returns appeared to be bad. In relation to others, (which being inconsistent with the principle of non-intercovering, in all, a majority of the two Houses, equally vention by Congress with Slavery in the States and Ter. vicious in fact, but apparently good by formal returns, ritories, as required by the legislation of 1850, commonly the inhabitants thereof, borne down by said violence and called the Compromise Measures) is hereby declared intimidation, scattered and discouraged, and laboring inoperatios and void ; it being the true intent and under apprehensions of personal violence, refrained and meaning of this act not to legislate Slavery into said Ter- desisted from presenting any protest to the Governor in ritory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave relation thereto; and he, then uninformed in relation the people thereof perfectly froe to form and regulate thereto, issued certificates to the members who sppeared their domestic institutions vu their own way, subject only by said formal returns to have been elected. to the Constitution of the United States : Provided, In relation to those districts which the Governor so se That nothing herein contained shall be construed to l aside, orders k ve by him issued for new elections. Io
one of these districts, the sa ne proceedings were repeated tion of delegates to be elected, and to assemble at Topeka by men from Missouri, and in others not, and certificates in said Territory, on the 19th day of September, 1855, not were issued to the persons elected.
to form a Constitution, but to consider the propriety of This legislative assembly, so elected, assembled at Paw- calling, formally, a Convention for that purpose. nee, on the second day of July, 1855, that being the time Delegates were elected agreeably to the proclamation and place for holding said meeting, as fixed by the Gov- so issued, and they met at Topeka on the fourth Tuesernor, by authority of law. On assembling, the said day in October, 1855, and formed a constitution, which houses proceeded to set aside and reject those members was submitted to the people, and was ratified by them so elected on said second election, except in the district by vote in the districts. An election of Siate officers where the men from Missouri had, at said election, chosen and members of the State legislature has been had, and the same persons they had elected at the said first election, a representative to Congress elected, and it is intended and they admitted all of the said first-elected members. to proceed to the election of senators, with the view to
A legislative assembly, so created by military force, present the same, with the constitution, to Congress for by a foreign invasion, in violation of the organic law, was admission into the Union. but a usurpation. No act of its own, no act or neglect of Whatever views individuals may at times, or in meetche Governor, could legalize or sanctify it. Its own ings, have expressed, and whatever ultimate determinadecisions as to its own legality are like its laws, but the tion may have been entertained in the result of being fruits of its own usurpation, which no Governor could spurned by Congress, and refused redress, is now enlegitimate.
tirely immaterial. That cannot condemn or give charThe people of Kansas, thus invaded, subdued, oppressed acter to the proceedings thus far pursued. and insulted, seeing their Territorial Government (such Many have honestly believed usurpation could make only in form) perverted into an engine to crush them in no law, and that if Congress made no further provisions the dust, and to defeat and destroy the professed object they were well justified in forming a law for themselves ; of their organic law, by depriving them of the “perfect but it is not now necessary to consider that matter, as freedom" therein provided; and finding no ground to it is to be hoped that Congress will not leave them to kope for rights in that organization, they proceeded, such a necessity. under the guaranty of the United States Constitution, Thus far, this effort of the people for redress is peace "peaceably to assemble to petition the Government for ful, constitutional, and right. Whether it will succeed, the redress of (their) grievances.” They saw no earthly rests with Congress to determine; but clear it is that it source of relief but in the formation of a State Govern. should not be met and denounced as revolutionary, ment by the people, and the acceptance and ratification rebellious, insurrectionary, or unlawful, nor does it cali thereof by Congress.
for or justify the exercise of any force by any depart It is true that, in several instances in our political his- ment of this government to check or control it. tory, the people of a Territory have been authorized by It now becomes proper to inquire what should be an act of Congress to form a State Constitution, and done by Congress; for we are informed by the Presiafter so doing, were admitted by Congress. It is quite dent, in substance, that he has no power to correct a obvious that no such authority could be given by the act usurpation, and that the laws, even though made by of the Territorial Government. That clearly has no usurped authority, must be by him enforced and expower to create another Government, paramount to it. ecuted, even with military force. The measures of self. It is equally true that, in numerous instances in redress should be applied to the true cause of the diffiour history, the people of a Territory have, without any culty. This obviously lies in the repeal of the clause previous act of Congress, proceeded to call a Convention for freedom in the act of 1820, and therefore, the true of the people by their delegates; have formed a State Con- remedy lies in the entire repeal of the act of 1854, which stitution, which has been adopted by the people, and a effected it. Let this be done with frankness and mag. State Legislature assembled under it, and chosen Senators nanimity, and Kansas be organized anew as a Free Ter. to Congress, and then have presented said Constitution ritory, and all will be put right. to Congress, which has approved the same, and received But, if Congress insist on proceeding with the experithe Senators and members of Congress who were chosen ment, then declare all the action by this spurious, under it before Congress had approved the same. Such foreign legislative assembly utterly inoperative and void, was the case of Tennessee; such
was the case of Michi- and direct a reorganization, providing proper safeguards gan, where the people not only formed a State Constitu- for legal voting and against foreign force. tion without an act of Congress, but they actually put There is, however, another way to put an end to all their State Government into full operation and passed this trouble there, and in the nation, without retracing laws, and it was approved by Congress by receiving it as steps or continuing violence, or by force compelling a scate. The people of Florida formed their Constitution obedience to tyrannical laws made by foreign force; without any act of Congress therefor, six years before and that is, by admitting that Territory as a State, with they were admitted into the Union. When the people of her free constitution. True, indeed, her numbers are Arkansas were about forming a State Constitution with: not such as give her a right to demand admission, beout a previous act of Congress, in 1835, the Territorial ing, as the President informs us, probably only about Governor applied to the President on the subject, who twenty-five thousand. The Constitution fixes no numreferred the matter to the Attorney-General, and his ber as necessary, and the importance of now settling opinion, as then expressed and published, contained the this question may well justify Congress in admitting her following:
as a State, at this time, especially as we have good rea" It is not in the power of the general assembly of Arkansas son to believe that, if admitted as a State, and controto pass any law for
the purpose of electing members to a Con- versy ended, it will immediately fill up with a numervention to form a Constitution and State government, nor to ous and successful population. do any other act, directly or indirectly, to create such government. Every such law, even though it were approved by the
At any rate, it seems impossible to believe that Con. governor of the Territory, would be null and void ; if passed gress is to leave that people without redress, to have by them notwithstanding his veto, by a vote of two-thirds of enforced upon them by the army of the nation these each branch, it would still be equally void."
measures and laws of violence and oppression. Are He further decided that it was not rebellious, or insur- they to be dragooned into submission; Is that an ex. rectionary, or even unlawful, for the people peaceably to periment pleasant to execute on our own free people ? proceed, even without an act of Congress, in forming a
The true character of this transaction is matter of exConstitution, and in so forming a State Constitution and tensive notoriety. Its essential features are too obvious so far organizing under the same as to choose the to allow of any successful disguise or palliation, however officers necessary for its representation in Congress, complicated or ingenious may be the statements, or with a view to present the same to Congress for ad however special the pleadings, for that purpose. The mission, was & power which fell clearly within the case requires some quieting, kind and prudent treatright of the people to assemble and petition for redress. ment by the hand of Congress to do justice and satisfy The people of Arkansas proceeded without an act of Con the nation. The people of this country are peacefully gress, and were received into the Union accordingly. If relying on Congress to provide the competent measures any rights were derived to the people of Arkansas from of redress which they have the undoubted power to adthe terms of the French treaty of cession, they equally
minister, extended to the people of Kansas, it being a part of the
The Attorney-General, in the case of Arkansas, says: same cession,
“ Congress may at pleasure repeal or modify the laws In this view of the subject, in the first part of August, passed by the Territorial Legislature, and may at any 1855, a call was published in the public papers, for a time abrogate and remodel the legislature itself, and all meeting of the citizens of Kansas, irrespective of party, to the other departments of the Territorial Government." meet at Lawrence, in said Territory, on the 15th of said Treating this grievance in Kansas with ingenious exAugust, to take into consideration the propriety of call.cuses, with neglect or contempt, or riding over the ing a Coavention of the people of the whole Territory, to oppressed with an army, and dragooning them into subconsider that subject. That meeting was held on the 15th mission, will make no satisfactory termination. Party day of August lasi, and it proceeded to call such Conven- success may at times be temporarily secured by adrois