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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 condition of Kansas, in which he thus alludes to those who think Slavery not the best institution to make a prosperous and happy State, and to those who opposed the repeal of the Missouri restriction:
Yeas For Engrossing:
Messrs. Atchison, Mo..
Wright, N. J.,-35.
Messrs. Allen, R. I.,
Bell, Tenn., CHASE, Ohio, Clayton, Del., Fish, N. Y., Foot, Vt.,
GILLETTE, Ct., Hamlin, Me., James, R. I., Seward, N. Y., SUMNER, Mass., Wade, Ohio,
Walker, Wis.-13. Democrats in Roman; Whigs in Italics; Free Demo
crats in SMALL CAPS.
The bill was then passed without further division, and, being approved by the President, became a law. The clause in the 14th section, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, with the Badger proviso, is as follows:
That the Constitution and all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said territory of Nebraska, as elsewhere within the United States, except the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March sixth, eighteen hundred and twenty, which being inconsistent with the principles of non-intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of eighteen hundred and fifty, commonly called the Compromise Measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic in stitutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States; Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to revive or put in force any law or regulation which may have existed prior to the act of sixth of March, eighteen hundred and twenty, either protecting, establishing, prohibiting or abolishing Blavery.
Dec. 3, 1855.-The XXXIVth Congress convened at the Capitol, in Washington.-Jesse D. Bright, of Ind., holding over as President pro tempore of the Senate, in place of Vice-President William R. King, of Alabama, deceased. A quorum of either House was found to be present.
But the House found itself unable to organize by the choice of a Speaker, until after an unprecedented struggle of nine weeks' duration. Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 1856, the plurality-rule was adopted-Yeas, 113; Nays, 104 -and the House proceeded under it to its one hundred and thirty-third ballot for speaker, when Nathaniel P. Banks, jr. (anti-Nebraska) of Massachusetts, was chosen, having 103 votes to 100, for William Aiken, of South Carolina. Eleven votes scattered on other persons did not count against a choice. It was therefore resolved-Yeas, 155; Nays, 40-that Mr. Banks was duly elected Speaker.
But, during the pendency of this election, the President had transmitted to both Houses, first
This interference, in so far as concerns its primary causes and its immediate commencement, was one of the 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 repose of our country, and excited individuals, otherwise patriotic and law-abiding, to toil with misdirected zeal 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 organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas thwarted in the endeavor to impose, through the agency of Congress, their particular views of social organization on the people of the future new States, now perceiving that the policy of leaving the inhabitants of each 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 object, to the extraordinary measure of propagandist colonization of the Territory of Kansas, to prevent the free and natural action of its inhabitants in its internal organization and thus to anticipate or to force the determination of that question in this inchoate State.
The President makes the following reference to the action of the people of Kansas, who, claiming the right "peaceably to assemble and petition for a redress of grievances," did so assemble, and sent a petition to Congress, to permit them to form a State Government, with the Constitution submitted:
Following upon this movement was another and more important one of the same general character. Persons confessedly not constituting the body politic, or all the inhabitants, but merely a party of the inhabitants, and without law, have undertaken to summon a conven tion for the purpose of transforming the Territory into a State, and have framed a constitution, adopted it, and under it elected a governor and other officers, and a representative to Congress.
March 12.-In Senate, Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, from the Committee on Territories, made a report on matters relating to Kansas affairs, in which he says:
The act of Congress for the organization o the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, was designed to conform to the spirit and letter of the Federal Constitution, by preserving and maintaining the fundamental principle of equality among all the States of the Union, notwithstanding the restriction contained in the 8th section of the act of March 6, 1820, (preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union,) which assumed to deny to Slavery for themselves, provided they should make their the people forever the right to settle the question of homes and organize States north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude. Conforming to the cardinal principles of State equality and self-government, in obedience to the Constitution, the KansasNebraska act declared, in the precise language of the Compromise Measures of 1850, that," when admitted as a State, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union, with or without Slavery, as their constitutions may prescribe at the time of their admission."
He then refers to the formation of the "Emiized on the principle of "State equality" by " which had been organ. grant Aid Company," the people of Massachusetts. This proceeding of the Kansas-Nebraska Act-that the only a perversion of the plain provisions
he calls 66
"The Emigrant Aid Company," with five millions dollars, to which Mr. Douglas alludes, and from the existence of which he makes a special plea for the Border Ruffians, was never organized: See Report of Special Committee of Con
gress, (page 100.)
kind of lawful emigration was "such as has
A few days after, Governor Reeder dissolved his official
The report then gives a history of the Legislature elected March 30th, 1855, its removal from Pawnee City to the Shawnee Mission, its subsequent quarrel with Gov. Reeder, and continues: relations with the legislature, on account of the removal the seat of government, and while that body was still in session, a meeting was called by "many voters," to assemble at Lawrence, on the 14th or 15th of August, 1855, ritorial Convention, preliminary to the formation of a State "to take into consideration the propriety of calling a TerGovernment, and other subjects of public interest." At that meeting, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted with but one dissenting voice:
"Whereas, the people of Kansas Territory have been since the settlement, and now are, without any law-making power; therefore
For the successful prosecution of such a scheme, the Missourians who lived in the immediate vicinity possessed peculiar advantages over their rivals from the more remote 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 fluenced by a common necessity, and greatly desirous of promass meeting assembled, irrespective of party distinctions, incabin, and put in a small crop, sufficient to give him as moting the common good, do hereby call upon and request all 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 March, 1855; said delegates to assembly in convention at the the surveys should be made, disputes, quarrels, violence, there to consider and determine upon all subjects of public inand 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 State 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 new-comer of his own party, and at the same time prevent persons belonging to the opposite party from settling in the neighborhood. As a result of this state of things, the great mass of emigrants from the northwest and from other States who went there on their own account, with no other object, and influenced by no other motives than to improve their condition and secure good homes for their families, were compelled to array themselves under the banner of one of these hostile parties, in order to insure protection to themselves and their claims against the
ions and violence of the other.
effort to send at least an equal number, to counteract the apprehended result of the new importation.
This meeting, so far as your Committee have been able to ascertain, was the first step in that series of proceedings which resulted in the adoption of a Constitution and State Government, to be put in operation on the 4th of the present month, in subversion of the Territorial Government established under the authority of Congress. The right to set up the State Government in defiance of the constituted authorities of the Territory, is based on the assumption "that the people of Kansas Territory have been since its in the face of the well-known fact, that the Territorial Lesettlement, and now are, without any law-making power;" aggress-gislature was then in session, in pursuance of the proclamation of Governor Reeder, and the organic law of the Territory.
On the 29th of November, 1854, the first election in the Territory was held for a delegate to Congress. This was a very short time after the arrival of the Free State emigrants in suffi cient bodies to protect themselves. At this election, according to the returns, J. W. Whitfield had received 2,268 votes; other persons, 575. Whitfield, of course, received the Governor's certificate, but great dissatisfaction was expressed by the Free State settlers, charging that many of the votes received by Whitfield were given by men living in Missouri; and it afterward appeared that at the time of the first election there were but 1,114 legal voters in the Territory. Nevertheless, the report continues:
Certain it is, that there could not have been a system of
fraud and violence such as has been charged by the agents and supporters of the emigrant aid societies, unless the Governor and judges of election were parties to it; and your committee are not prepared to assume a fact so disreputable to them, and so improbable upon the state of facts presented, without specific charges and direct proof. In the absence of all proof and probable truth, the charge that the Missourians had invaded the Territory and controlled the congressional election by fraud and violence was circulated throughout the Free States, and made the basis of the most inflammatory appeals to all men opposed to the principles of the Kansas-Nebraska act to emigrate or send emigrants to Kansas, for the purpose of repelling the invaders, and assisting their friends who were then in the Territory in putting down the slave-power, and prohibiting Slavery in Kansas, with the view of making it a Free State. Exaggerated accounts of the large number of emigrants on their way under the auspices of the emigrant aid companies, with the view of controlling the election for members of the Territorial Legislature, which was to take place on the 30th of March, 1855, were published and circulated. These accounts, being republished and believed in Missouri, where the excitement had already been inflamed to a fearful intensity, induced a corresponding
The report then proceeds to narrate the circumstances attending the formation of a State Government in Michigan, Arkansas, Florida and California, and states that "in every instance the proceeding has originated with, and been conducted in subordination to, the authority of the local governments established or recognized by the Government of the United States." It then refers to the case of the effort to change the organic law, made in Rhode Island some years ago, from which it says the "insurgents" (as the Free-State party in Kansas is called) "can derive no aid or comfort."
The following concludes the Report; the words in Italics below perhaps explain in what sense the people of a Territory are "perfectly free to form their own institutions, in their own way."
Without deeming it necessary to express any opinion on this occasion, in reference to the merits of that controversy, [referring to Rhode Island,] it is evident that the principles upon which it was conducted are not involved in the revolutionary struggle now going on in Kansas; for the reason, that the sovereignty of a Territory remains in abeyance, suspended in the United States, in trust for the people, until they shall be admitted into the Union as a State. to enjoy and exercise all the privileges and rights of In the meantime, they are entitled self-government, in subordination to the Constitution of the United States, and in obedience to their organic law passed by Congress in pursuance of that instrument. These rights and privileges are all derived from the Constitution, through the act of Congress, and must be exercised and enjoyed in subjection to all the limitations and restrictions which that Constitution imposes. Hence, it is clear that the people of the Territory have no inherent sovereign right, under the Constitution of the United States, to annul the laws and resist the authority of the Territorial government which Congress has established in obedience to the Constitution.
In tracing, step by step, the origin and history of these Kansas difficulties, your Committee have been profoundly impressed with the significant fact, that each one has resulted from an attempt to violate or circumvent the principles and provisions of the act of Congress for the organization of Kansas and Nebraska. The leading idea and fundamental principle of the Kansas-Nebraska act, as expressed in the law itself, was to leave the actual settlers and bona-fide inhabitants of each Territory "perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States." While this is declared to be the "true intent and meaning of the act," those who were opposed to allowing the people of the Territory, preparatory to their admission into the Union as a State, to decide the Slavery question for themselves, failing to accomplish their purpose in the halls of Congress, and under the authority of the Constitution, immediately resorted, in their respective States, to unusual and extraordinary means to control the political destinies and shape the domestic institutions of Kansas, in defiance of the wishes, and regardless of the rights, of the people of that Territory, as guaranteed by their organic law. Combinations, in one section of the Union, to stimulate an unnatural and false system of emigration, with the view of controlling the elections, and forcing the domestic institutions of the Territory to assimilate to those of the non-slaveholding States, were followed, as might have been foreseen, by the use of similar means in the slaveholding States, to produce directly the opposite result. To these causes, and to these alone, in the opinion of your Committee, may be traced the origin and progress of all the controversies and disturbances with which Kansas is now convulsed.
If these unfortunate troubles have resulted, as natural consequences, from unauthorized and improper schemes of foreign interference with the internal affairs and domestic concerns of the Territory, it is apparent that the remedy must be sought in a strict adherence to the principles and rigid enforcement of the provisions of the organic law. In this connection, your Committee feel sincere satisfaction in commending the messages and proclamation of the President of the United States, in which we have the gratifying assurance that the supremacy of the laws will be maintained; that rebellion will be crushed; that insurrection will be suppressed; that aggressive intrusion for the purpose of deciding elections, or any other purpose, will be repelled; that unauthorized intermeddling in the local concerns of the Territory, both from adjoining and distant States, will be prevented; that the federal and local laws will be vindicated against all attempts at organized resistance; and that the people of the Territory will be protected in the establishment of their own institutions, undisturbed by encroachments from without, and in the full enjoyment of the rights of self-government assured to them by the Constitution and the organic law.
"This, it seems to me, can be best accomplished by providing that, when the inhabitants of Kansas may desire it, and shall be of sufficient numbers to constitute a State, a convention of delegates, duly elected by the qualified voters, shall assemble to frame a Constitution, and thus prepare, through regular and lawful means, for its admission into the Union as a State. I respectfully recommend the enactment of a law to
"I recommend, also, that a special appropriation be made to defray any expense which may become requisite in the execution of the laws, or the maintenance of public order in the Territory of Kansas."
to their admission into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, so soon as it shall appear, by a census to be taken under the direction of the Governor, by the authority of the Legislature, that the Territory contains ninety-three thousand, four hundred and twenty inhabitants-that being the number required by the present ratio of representation for a member of Congress.
In compliance with the first recommendation, your Committee ask leave to report a bill authorizing the Legislature of the Territory to provide by law for the election of delegates by the people, and the assembling of a Convention to form a Constitution and State Government preparatory
In compliance with the other recommendation, your Committee propose to offer to the appropriation bill an amendment appropriating such sum as shall be found necessary, by the estimates to be obtained, for the purpose indicated in the recommendation of the President. All of which is respectfully submitted to the Senate by your Committee.
Mr. Collamer, of Vermont, the Republican member of same Committee, submitted a minority report, in which he says:
passed through the period of apprenticeship or pupilage
In view of these assurances, given under the conviction that the existing laws confer all the authority necessary to the performance of these important duties, and that the whole available force of the United States will be exerted to the extent required for their performance, your Committee repose in entire confidence that peace, and security, and law, will prevail in Kansas. If any further evidence were necessary to prove that all the collisions and difficul- Territories was conducted on a uniform and prudent The action of Congress in relation to all these thirteen 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 relation to the subject of Slavery to be operaport, 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 somepeace 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 fair play, and is quietly working out its legitimate results. power to dispose of and make all needful rules and reguIt 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 exercise of power in Congress, than the regulation of the functions of the territorial government, and actually appointing its principal functionaries. This practice commenced with this National Government, and was continued, with uninterrupted uniformity, for more than sixty years. This practical contemporaneous construction of the constitutional power of this government is too clear to leave room for doubt, or opportunity for skepticism. The peace, prosperity, and success which attended this course, and the results which have ensued, in the formation and admission of the thirteen States therefrom, are most conclusive and satisfactory evidence, also, of the wisdom and prudence with which this power was exercised. Deluded must be that people who, in the pursuit of plausible theories, become deaf to the lessons, and blind to the results of their own experience.
cessary to inquire what is the true cause of existing trou-
It is said that organized opposition to law exists in Kansas. That, if existing, may probably be suppressed by the President, by the use of the army; and so, too, may invasions by armed bodies from Missouri, if the Executive be sincere in its efforts; but when this is done, while the cause of trouble remains, the results will continue with renewed and increased developments of danger.
Let us, then, look fairly and undisguisedly at this subject, in its true character and history. Wherein does this Kansas Territory differ from all our other Territories which have been so peacefully and successfully carried through, States? and been developed into the manhood of independent Can that difference account for existing troumoved? Can that difference, as a cause of trouble, be re
The first and great point of difference between the Territorial government of Kansas and that of the thirteen Territorial governments before mentioned, consists in the subject of Slavery-the undoubted cause of present trouble.
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 triumphs 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 its concomitants on the other. It is the obvious duty of this government, while this law continues, to see this manifesto faithfully, and honorably, and honestly performed, even though its particular supporters may see cause of a result unfavorable to their hopes.
Where Slavery was actually existing in a country to any considerable or general extent, it was (though somewhat modified as to further importation in some instances, as in Mississippi and Orleans Territories) suffered to remain. The fact that it had been taken and existed there, was 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 white tent, the same was, by Congress, expressly prohibited; so 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 confined 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, on oath, be there an everlasting bone of contention, so long as the their intention to become citizens. Thus was the procla Territorial government should continue. It was ever re-mation 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 would, 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 conpupilage 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 them 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 both white and black, while they exist together; while others regard it as no evil, but as the highest state of social condition. These consider that they cannot, with safety to their interests, permit political ascendency to be largely in the hands of those unfriendly to this peculiar institution. From these conflicting views, long and violent has been the controversy, and experience seems to show it interminable.
On the 6th of March, A.D. 1820, was passed by Congress the act preparatory to the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union. Much controversy and discussion arose on the question whether a prohibition of Slavery within said State should be inserted, and it resulted in this: that said State should be admitted without such prohibition, but that Slavery should be forever prohibited in the rest of that country ceded to us by France lying north of 36° 30' north latitude, and it was so done. This contract is known as the Missouri Compromise. Under this arrangement, Missouri was admitted as a slaveholding State, the same having been a slaveholding Territory. Arkansas, south of the line, was formed into a Territory, and Slavery allowed therein, and afterward admitted as a slaveholding State. Iowa was made a Territory north of the line, and, under the operation of the law, was settled up without slaves, and admitted as a free State. The country now making the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska, in 1820, was almost or entirely uninhabited, and lay north of said line, and whatever settlers entered the same before 1854, did so under that law, forever forbidding Slavery therein.
In 1854, Congress passed an act establishing two new Territories-Nebraska and Kansas-in this region of country, where Slavery had been prohibited for more than thirty years; and, instead of leaving said law against Slavery in operation, or prohibiting or expressly allowing or establishing Slavery, Congress left the subject in said Territories, to be discussed, agitated, and legislated on, from time to time, and the elections in said Territories to be conducted with reference to that subject, from year to year, so long as they should remain Territories; for, whatever laws might be passed by the Territorial legislatures on this subject, must be subject to change or repeal by those of the succeeding years. In most former Territorial governments, it was provided by law that their laws were subject to the revision of Congress, so that they would be made with caution. In these Territories, that was omitted.
The provision in relation to Slavery in Nebraska and Kansas is as follows: "The eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union (which being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States and Territories, as required by the legislation of 1850, commonly called the Compromise Measures) is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate Slavery into said Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to
A succinct statement of the exercise and progress of the material events in Kansas is this: After the passage of this law, establishing the Territory of Kansas, a large body of settlers rapidly entered into said Territory with a view to permanent inhabitancy therein. Most of these were from the Free States of the West and North,.who probably intended by their votes and influence to establish there a Free State, agreeably to the law which invited them. Some part of those from the Northern States had been encouraged and aided in this enterprise by the Emigrant Aid Society formed in Massachusetts, which put forth some exertions in this laudable object, by open and public measures, in providing facilities for transportation to all peaceable citizens who desired to become permanent settlers in said Territory, and providing therein hotels, mills, etc., for the public accommodation of that new country.
The Governor of Kansas, having, in pursuance of law, divided the territory into districts, and procured a census thereof, issued his proclamation for the election of a Legislative Assembly therein, to take place on the 30th day of March, 1855, and directed how the same should be conducted, and the returns made to him agreeable to the law establishing said Territory. On the day of election, large bodies of armed men from the State of Missouri, appeared at the polls in most of the districts, and, by most violent and tumultuous carriage and demeanor, overawed the defenseless inhabitants, and by their own votes elected a large majority of the members of both Houses of said Assembly. On the returns of said election being made to the Governor, protests and objections were made to him in relation to a part of said districts; and as to them, he set aside such, and such only, as by the returns appeared to be bad. In relation to others, covering, in all, a majority of the two Houses, equally vicious in fact, but apparently good by formal returns, the inhabitants thereof, borne down by said violence and intimidation, scattered and discouraged, and laboring under apprehensions of personal violence, refrained and desisted from presenting any protest to the Governor in relation thereto; and he, then uninformed in relation thereto, issued certificates to the members who appeared by said formal returns to have been elected.
In relation to those districts which the Governor so set aside, orders are by him issued for new elections. Iu
one of these districts, the same 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 calling, formally, a Convention for that purpose.
This legislative assembly, so elected, assembled at Pawnee, on the second day of July, 1855, that being the time and place for holding said meeting, as fixed by the Governor, by authority of law. On assembling, the said houses proceeded to set aside and reject those members so elected on said second election, except in the district where the men from Missouri had, at said election, chosen the same persons they had elected at the said first election, and they admitted all of the said first-elected members.
A legislative assembly, so created by military force, by a foreign invasion, in violation of the organic law, was but a usurpation. No act of its own, no act or neglect of he Governor, could legalize or sanctify it. Its own decisions as to its own legality are like its laws, but the fruits of its own usurpation, which no Governor could legitimate.
The people of Kansas, thus invaded, subdued, oppressed and insulted, seeing their Territorial Government (such only in form) perverted into an engine to crush them in the dust, and to defeat and destroy the professed object of their organic law, by depriving them of the "perfect freedom" therein provided; and finding no ground to hope for rights in that organization, they proceeded, under the guaranty of the United States Constitution, "peaceably to assemble to petition the Government for the redress of (their) grievances." They saw no earthly source of relief but in the formation of a State Government by the people, and the acceptance and ratification thereof by Congress.
It is true that, in several instances in our political history, the people of a Territory have been authorized by an act of Congress to form a State Constitution, and, after so doing, were admitted by Congress. It is quite obvious that no such authority could be given by the act of the Territorial Government. That clearly has no power to create another Government, paramount to itself. It is equally true that, in numerous instances in our history, the people of a Territory have, without any previous act of Congress, proceeded to call a Convention of the people by their delegates; have formed a State Constitution, which has been adopted by the people, and a State Legislature assembled under it, and chosen Senators to Congress, and then have presented said Constitution to Congress, which has approved the same, and received the Senators and members of Congress who were chosen under it before Congress had approved the same. Such was the case of Tennessee; such was the case of Michigan, where the people not only formed a State Constitution without an act of Congress, but they actually put their State Government into full operation and passed laws, and it was approved by Congress by receiving it as a State. The people of Florida formed their Constitution without any act of Congress therefor, six years before they were admitted into the Union. When the people of Arkansas were about forming a State Constitution without a previous act of Congress, in 1835, the Territorial Governor applied to the President on the subject, who referred the matter to the Attorney-General, and his opinion, as then expressed and published, contained the following:
"It is not in the power of the general assembly of Arkansas to pass any law for the purpose of electing members to a Convention to form a Constitution and State government, nor to do any other act, directly or indirectly, to create such government. Every such law, even though it were approved by the governor of the Territory, would be null and void; if passed by them notwithstanding his veto, by a vote of two-thirds of each branch, it would still be equally void."
He further decided that it was not rebellious, or insurrectionary, or even unlawful, for the people peaceably to proceed, even without an act of Congress, in forming a Constitution, and in so forming a State Constitution and so far organizing under the same as to choose the officers necessary for its representation in Congress, with a view to present the same to Congress for admission, was a power which fell clearly within the right of the people to assemble and petition for redress. The people of Arkansas proceeded without an act of Congress, and were received into the Union accordingly. If any rights were derived to the people of Arkansas from the terms of the French treaty of cession, they equally extended to the people of Kansas, it being a part of the same cession.
In this view of the subject, in the first part of August, 1855, a call was published in the public papers, for a meeting of the citizens of Kansas, irrespective of party, to meet at Lawrence, in said Territory, on the 15th of said August, to take into consideration the propriety of calling a Convention of the people of the whole Territory, to consider that subject. That meeting was held on the 15th day of August last, and it proceeded to call such Conven
Delegates were elected agreeably to the proclamation so issued, and they met at Topeka on the fourth Tuesday in October, 1855, and formed a constitution, which was submitted to the people, and was ratified by them by vote in the districts. An election of State officers and members of the State legislature has been had, and a representative to Congress elected, and it is intended to proceed to the election of senators, with the view to present the same, with the constitution, to Congress for admission into the Union.
Whatever views individuals may at times, or in meetings, have expressed, and whatever ultimate determination may have been entertained in the result of being spurned by Congress, and refused redress, is now entirely immaterial. That cannot condemn or give character to the proceedings thus far pursued.
Many have honestly believed usurpation could make no law, and that if Congress made no further provisions they were well justified in forming a law for themselves; but it is not now necessary to consider that matter, as it is to be hoped that Congress will not leave them to such a necessity.
Thus far, this effort of the people for redress is peaceful, constitutional, and right. Whether it will succeed, rests with Congress to determine; but clear it is that it should not be met and denounced as revolutionary, rebellious, insurrectionary, or unlawful, nor does it call for or justify the exercise of any force by any department of this government to check or control it.
It now becomes proper to inquire what should be done by Congress; for we are informed by the President, in substance, that he has no power to correct a usurpation, and that the laws, even though made by usurped authority, must be by him enforced and executed, even with military force. The measures of redress should be applied to the true cause of the difficulty. This obviously lies in the repeal of the clause for freedom in the act of 1820, and therefore, the true remedy lies in the entire repeal of the act of 1854, which effected it. Let this be done with frankness and mag. nanimity, and Kansas be organized anew as a Free Territory, and all will be put right.
But, if Congress insist on proceeding with the experiment, then declare all the action by this spurious, foreign legislative assembly utterly inoperative and void, and direct a reorganization, providing proper safeguards for legal voting and against foreign force.
There is, however, another way to put an end to all this trouble there, and in the nation, without retracing steps or continuing violence, or by force compelling obedience to tyrannical laws made by foreign force; and that is, by admitting that Territory as a State, with her free constitution. True, indeed, her numbers are not such as give her a right to demand admission, being, as the President informs us, probably only about twenty-five thousand. The Constitution fixes no number as necessary, and the importance of now settling this question may well justify Congress in admitting her as a State, at this time, especially as we have good reason to believe that, if admitted as a State, and controversy ended, it will immediately fill up with a numerous and successful population.
At any rate, it seems impossible to believe that Congress is to leave that people without redress, to have enforced upon them by the army of the nation these measures and laws of violence and oppression. they to be dragooned into submission; Is that an experiment pleasant to execute on our own free people?
The true character of this transaction is matter of extensive notoriety. Its essential features are too obvious to allow of any successful disguise or palliation, however complicated or ingenious may be the statements, or however special the pleadings, for that purpose. The case requires some quieting, kind and prudent treatment by the hand of Congress to do justice and satisfy the nation. The people of this country are peacefully relying on Congress to provide the competent measures of redress which they have the undoubted power to ad
The Attorney-General, in the case of Arkansas, says: "Congress may at pleasure repeal or modify the laws passed by the Territorial Legislature, and may at any time abrogate and remodel the legislature itself, and all the other departments of the Territorial Government." Treating this grievance in Kansas with ingenious excuses, with neglect or contempt, or riding over the oppressed with an army, and dragooning them into sub. mission, will make no satisfactory termination. Party success may at times be temporarily secured by adroit