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In order to a full and distinct understanding of the struggle of 1856,in Congress, and during the Presidential campaign, concerning Freedom or Slavery in Kansas; it will be necessary to bear in mind the previous controversy concerning the extension or non-extension of Slavery, the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and the attempted settlement of Kansas by the antagonistic elements of FreeState -men from the North, and Slavery extensionists from the South. Presuming the reader to be already in possession of the leading facts, up to the early part of the year 1856, we proceed to a Review of that struggle. Our object will be to exhibit clearly the position of the two contending parties, the "Democratic" and the "Republican"—with the causes which occasioned the defeat of the latter, and the triumph of the friends of Slavery extension.
Condition" Op Kansas, Etc.
The scenes witnessed in Kansas and at the seat of Government have been most appalling. Bloody violence has been stalking forth under the abused names of "law and order." The Slave Power, with the connivance and by the official aid of the Federal Executive, has been carrying the "peculiar institution" by fire and sword, and massacre, into the free Territory of Kansas. The particulars are too voluminous for convenient record in our Review, but the country and the world are already in possession of them. For the most part, they are embraced in the Official Report of a Committee appointed by the House of Representatives of the United States, presented to that body, and published under its authority. Since the date of that Report, there has been no essential improvement in the action of the Federal Executive, nor in the aspect of affairs in Kansas. For a time it was hoped, by some, that the appointment of Gov. Geary in the place of Gov. Shannon might prove to be the introduction of a wiser policy, and result in a bet
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4 Proceedings in Congress.
ter condition of the Territory. But these hopes have been disappointed. Not only has there been a renewal of violent outrages on the part of the Missouri invaders, without any adequate protection of the citizens by the Federal Governor, but he has himself, driven back peaceful emigrants from the Free States, and has proceeded to arrest as criminals, more than an hundred peaceful citizens for no crime but that of preparing to defend their property, their families, and their fire-sides from banditti of barbarous invaders from the Slave States. Under his auspices another bogus election has been held, in which the voters were chiefly non-residents, citizens of Missouri, who only came in to vote and to return, while no resident citizen was allowed to vote except on condition of taking an oath to sustain the Slave Code imposed upon the Territory, against the known wishes of a large majority of the residents, by armed hordes of Missourians, who by force and with slaughter had prevented the Free-State settlers from voting. In this way the Territory is in process of being transformed into a Slave State, against the wishes of a majority of bona-fide settlers,
Proceedings In Congress.
In Congress, there has been no successful stand taken against the usurpations of the Executive. A decided majority of the Senate is in full sympathy with the Executive, and acts as the tool of the Slave Power. In the House of Representatives the opposition, after a long and severe strugle, elected their Speaker, Mr. KT. P. Banks. They likewise appointed an Investigating Committee to visit Kansas, as before mentioned. The House also passed a bill for admitting Kansas under its Free-State Constitution, adopted at Topeka, but it failed of passing the Senate. Beyond this, little or nothing of a positive character has been effected. For a time, it was hoped that the House would steadfastly adhere to their declared determination not to pass the Army Appropriation bill, except on condition that the Federal troops should not be employed in enforcing the enactments of the Missouri Ruffian Legislature, including the Slave Code. The regular adjournment of both Houses took place without the passage of the bill. But an extra session was called by the President, for the express purpose; when, after a few days, a number of the opposition members gave way, by voluntary absence, and suffered the bill to pass. Various statements are made in respect to the motives which led to this course. The Washington correspondent of the New- York Herald, a leading Fremont journal, (Aug. 31,) lays the blame to the Republicans themselves. He says: