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in operation here by universal assent. As the governor of the territory of Kansas, I must support the laws and the constitution; and I have no other alternative under my oath but to see that all constitutional laws are fully and fairly executed.
I see in this act, calling the convention, no improper or un. constitutional restrictions upon the right of suffrage. I sea in it no test-oath or other similar provisions objected to in relation to previous laws, but clearly repealed as repugnant to the provisions of this act, so far as regards the election of delegates to this convention. It is said that a fair and full vote will not be taken. Who can safely predict such a result ? Nor is it just for a majority, as they allege, to throw the power into the hands of a minority, from a mere apprehension-I trust entirely unfounded—that they will not be pernuitted to exercise the right of suffrage. If, by fraud or violence, a majority should not be permitted to vote, there is a remedy, it is hoped, in the wisdom and justice of the convention itself, acting under the obligations of an oath, and a proper responsibility to the tribunal of public opinion. There is a remedy, also, if such facts can be demonstrated, in the refusal of Congress to admit a state into the Union under a constitution imposed by a minority upon a majority by fraud or violence. Indeed, I cannot doubt that the convention, after having framed a state constitution, will submit it for ratification or rejection, by a majority of the then actual bona fide resident settlers of Kansas.
With these views, well known to the president and cabinet, and approved by them, I accepted the appointment of governor of Kansas. My instructions from the president, through the secretary of state, under date of the 30th of March last, sustain the regular legislature of the territory” in “ Bling a convention to form a constitution;" and they express the opinion of the president that “when such a constitution shall be submitted to the people of the territory, they must be protected in the exercise of their right of voting for or against that instrument; and the fair expression of the popular will must not be interrupted by fraud or violence.':
I repeat, then, as my clear conviction, that unless the convention submit the constitution to the vote of all the actual resident settlers of Kansas, and the election be fairly and justly conducted, the constitution will be, and ought to be, rejected by Congress.
There are other important reasons why you should partici
GOVERNOR WALKER'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
perman in the election of delegates to this convention. Karsas is in become a new state, created out of the public domain, and will designate her boundaries in the fundamental law. To most of the land within her limits the Indian title, unfortu, nately, is not yet extinguished, and this land is exempt from setclement, to the grievous injury of the people of the state. Having passed many years of my life in a new state, and represented it for a long period in the Senate of the United States, I know the serious encumbrance arising from large bodies of lands within a state to which the Indian title is not extinguished. Upon this subject the convention may act by such just and constitutional provisions as will accelerate the extinguishment of Indian title.
There is, furthermore, the question of railroad grants made by Congress to all the new states but one (where the routes could not be agreed upon), and, within a few months past, to the flourishing territory of Minnesota. This munificent grant of four millions and a half of acres was made to Minnesota, even in advance of her becoming a state, under the auspices of her present distinguished executive, and will enable our sister state of the northwest speedily to unite her railroad system with ours.
Kansas is undoubtedly entitled to grants similar to those ju it made to Minnesota, and upon this question the convention may take important action.
These, recollect, are grants by Congress, not to companies, but to states. Now, if Kansas, like the state of Illinois, in granting hereafter these lands to companies to build these roads, should reserve, at least, the seven per cent. of their gross annual receipts, it is quite certain that so soon as these roads are constructed, such will be the large payments into the treasury of our state that there will be no necessity to impose in Kansas any state tax whatever, especially if the constitution should contain wise provisions against the creation of state · debts.
The grant to the state of Illinois for the Illinois Central Railroad, passed under the wise and patriotic auspices of her distinguished senator, was made before the pernicious system lately exposed in Washington had invaded the halls of Congress; and, therefore, that state, unlike most others which obtained recent grants, was enabled to make this great reservation for the benefit of the state. This constitutes of itself a conclusive reason why these railroad grants should be re
served in the ordinance accompanying our state ccustitution, so that our state might have the whole benefit of the grant, instead of large portions being given to agents appointed to obtain these grants by companies substantially in many cases for their own benefit, although in the name of the state.
There is another reason why these railroad grants should thus be reserved in our ordinance.
It is to secure these lands to the state before large bodies of them are engrossed by speculators, especially along the contemplated lines of railroads. In no case should these reservations interfere with the pre-emption rights reserved to settlers, or with school-sections.
These grants to states, as is proved by the official documents, have greatly augmented the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, increasing their value, accelerating their sale and settlement, and bringing enhanced prices to the government, whilst greatly benefiting the lands of the settler by furnishing him new markets and diminished cost of transportation. On this subject, Mr. Buchanan, always the friend of the new states, in his recent inaugural, uses the following language:
"No nation in the tide of time has ever been blessed with so rich and noble an inheritance as we enjoy in the public lands. In administering this important trust, whilst it may be wise to grant portions of them for the improvement of the remainder, yet we should never forget that it is our cardinal policy to reserve the lands as much as may be for actual settlers; and this at moderate prices. We shall thus not only best promote the prosperity of the new states, by furnishing them a hardy and independent race of honest and industrious citizens, but shall secure homes for our children and our children's children, as well as those exiled from foreign shores, who may seek in this country to improve their condition and enjoy the blessings of civil and religious liberty."
Our American railroads, now exceeding twenty-four thousand miles completed, have greatly advanced the power, prossperity, and progress of the country, whilst linking it together in bonds of ever-increasing commerce and intercourse, and tending, by these results, to soften or extinguish sectional passions and prejudice, and thus perpetuate the union of the states. This system it is clearly the interest of the whole country shall progress until the states west of the Mississippi shall bo intersected, like those east of that river, by a network of rail
GOVERNOR WALKER'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
roads, until the whole, at various points, shall reach the shores of the Pacific. The policy of such grants by Congress is now clearly established; and whatever doubts may have prevailed in the minds of a few persons as to the constitutionality of such grants, when based only upon the transfer of a portion of the public domain, in the language of the inaugural of the president," for the improvement of the remainder," yet when they are made, as now proposed in the ordinance accompanying our constitution, in consideration of our relinquishing the right to tax the public lands, such grants become, in fact, sales for ample equivalents, and their constitutionality is placed beyond all doubt or controversy. For this reason, also, and in order that these grants may be made for ample equivalents, and upon grounds of clear, constitutional authority, it is most wise that they should be included in our ordinance, and take effect by compact when the state is admitted into the Union. If my will could have prevailed as regards the public lands, as indicuted in my public career, and especially in the bill presented by me, as chairman of the committee on public lands, to the Senate of the United States, which passed that body, but failed in the House, I would authorize no sales of these lands except for settlement and cultivation, reserving not merely a pre-emption, but a homestead of a quarter-section of land in favor of every actual settler, whether coming from other states or enigrating from Europe. Great and populous states would thus rapidly be added to the confederacy, until we should soon have one unbroken line of states from the Atlantic to the Pacific, giving immense additional power and security to the Union, and facilitating intercourse between all its parts. This would be alike beneficial to the old and to the new states. To the working men of the old states, as well as of the new, it would be of incalculable advantage, not merely by affording them a home in the west, but by maintaining the wages of labor, by enabling the working classes to emigrate and become cultivators of the soil, when the rewards of daily toil should sink below a fair remuneration. Every new state, besides, adds to the customers of the old states, consuming their manufactures, employing their merchants, giving business to their vessels and canals, their railroads and cities, and a powerful impulse to their industry and prosperity. Indeed, it is the growth of the mighty west which has added, more than all other causes combined, to the power and prosperity of the whole country, whilst at the same time, through the channels of business and commerce, it has been building up immense cities in the eastern, Atlantic, and middle states, and replenishing the federal treasury with large payments from the settlers upon the public lands, rendered of real value only by their labor; and thus, from increased exports, bringing back augmented imports, and soon largely increasing the revenue of the government from that source also.
Without asking anything new from Congress, if Kansas can receive, on coming into the Union, all the usual grants, and use them judiciously, she can not only speedily cover herself with a network of railroads, but, by devoting all the rest to purposes of education, she would soon have a complete system of common schools, with normal schools, free academies, and a great university, in all of which tuition should be free to all our people. In that university the mechanic arts, with model workshops, and all the sciences should be taught, and especially agriculture in connexion with a model farm.
Although you ask nothing more in your ordinance than bas been already granted to the other new states, yet in view of the sacrifice of life and property incurred by the people of Kansas, in establishing here the great principles of state and popular sovereignty, and thus perpetuating the Union, Congress. doubtless, will regard with indulgent favor the new state of Kansas, and will welcome her into the Union with joyful congratulations and a most liberal policy as to the public domain.
The full benefit of that great measure, the graduation and reduction of the price of the public lands in favor only of settlers and cultivators, so often urged by me in the Senate and in the Treasury Department, and finally adopted by Congress, should also be secured in our ordinance. Having witnessed in new states the deep injury inflicted upon them by large bodies of their most fertile land being mouopolized by speculators, I suggest, in accordance with the public policy ever advocated by me, that our entire land tax, under the constitution, for the next twenty years should be confined exclusively to unoccipied land—whether owned by residents or non-residentsas (lic of the best means of guarding against a monopoly of our choice lands by speculators. I desire, in fact, to see our convention exercise the whole constitutional power of a state, to guard our rights and interests, and especially to protect the settiers and cultivators against the nionopoly of our public domain by speculators.
As regards the school lands of the new states, the following