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have deemed the occasion sufficiently solemn and important to express their full, unanimous, and entire concurrence in the views as to the qualifications of electors at the October election on those points set forth by me in this address, and previously communicated by me to the Secretary of State.
It is obvious that the territorial government of Kansas must be maintained either by a superior physical force, or, as in all other States and Territories, by the majority of qualified voters at the election.
I never contemplated the use of the military force but in aid of the execution of the laws, to protect the citizens in the exercise of their legal rights, as a posse comitatus to arrest offenders, where the civil authority might prove incompetent without such aid, and where the law authorized military power to suppress insurrection or rebellion. Physical force and the bayonet constitute the real power in nearly all monarchies and despotic governments, but here it is the will of the majority of the people, qualified to vote under the Constitution or under the laws, which is to govern; and the sooner all such questions are decided by a full and fair vote of the qualified electors at the polls, the better; and then, and not till then, shall we have peace and repose in Kansas. Unless force is to be substituted for the elective franchise, unless despotic and monarchical principles are making here insensible progress, sooner or later the question must thus be decided; and the sooner the better, not only for the true interests of this Territory, but for the security of the Union and the cause of self-government here and throughout the world.
The eyes of our country and the world are now directed with intense interest to the coming
election in Kansas in October next. Whether the people of this Territory are, indeed, capable of selfgovernment; whether the scenes which have disgraced Kansas and our country for the last three years are to be renewed indefinitely ; whether violence, injustice, or insurrection, on one or both sides for the moment, and for the moment only, are to decide the question, or whether our political differences are to be settled here, as in all other States and Territories, (under the provisions of our organic law,) by the full, free, and fair exercise of the elective franchise, are the momentous questions to which you must all now soon answer. The test oath is expressly repealed as a qualification for voters by an act of the territorial legislature of the 17th of February, 1857.
The people of Kansas have now, therefore, an opportunity, in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, the organic act of Congress, and the laws of this Territory, to decide, by the elective franchise, the choice of their delegate to Congress, their territorial legislature, and all their county officers.
The troops at my disposal, which are fully competent to the task, will, at the request of citizens of both parties, be stationed at the points where violence has been threatened or anticipated; not for the purpose of overawing the people, or of interfering in any way with the elections, or of influencing them in any respect whatever, but, by their mere presence, guarding the polls against any attempt at insurrection or violence, from the mere knowledge of the fact that it can and will be suppressed ; but, if necessary, also to protect and secure, by lawful means, all the just rights of the citizen in exercising the elective franchise under the decision of the proper authorities, and to act as a posse comitatus for the arrest of offenders. I should have greatly preferred, as expressed in my letter of acceptance of the office of governor of this Territory, never to have been required to call out the troops, even as a precautionary measure. As it is, not a drop of blood has been shed, and insurrection has been suppressed, until it recently reappeared, in a compulsory tax law, by the insurgent government at Lawrence, and in conflagration of dwellings and expulsion of peaceable citizens in its vicinage, after it was known the troops were ordered to Utah, and when it was falsely supposed that they would not be replaced by others. Indeed, if the revolutionary government of Lawrence had not been encountered by the immediate movement of troops there, it is now clear that similar insurrectionary local governments, based on my presumed acquiescence, would have been organized throughout Kansas, in open defiance of the laws of Congress and of this Territory, and rendered a peaceful settlement impossible. It will be remembered that, in open defiance of the laws of Congress and of this Territory, and after the refusal of the socalled Topeka State legislature to grant them a charter, they, nevertheless, organized a city government, clothed with all the usual powers-legislative, executive, and judicial. It will be recollected, also, that after my proclamation of the 15th of July last, and the simultaneous movement of the troops there, as a precautionary measure, to maintain the authority of the government and arrest the spread of this insurrection throughout the Territory, they then protessed, through their organs, that what they had called a government, and to which they had given all the powers of a government, was a mere voluntary association for the removal of nuisances from the streets, &c. But now, when it was erroneously believed by them that the troops would all be removed to Utah and not replaced by others, they have thrown off the mask, and carried out their original insurrectionary purpose, by passing a compulsory tax law, both a poll and property tax, requiring its assessment and collection by the seizure and sale of property, and exacting, by their charter, from executive officers, who are to carry out these acts, an oath to perform all these duties, the violation of which oath, if these duties are not performed, would be perjury. At the same time, they seemed to have believed that this precautionary movement of mine, and proclamation, were disapproved by the President of the United States; whereas, they were both most cordially sustained by him, in the despatch to me from the Secretary of State, of the 25th of July last, as also in the published letter of President Buchanan to Professor Silliman and others, of the 15th of August last. An overwhelming majority of the press and people of the United States have condemned this insurgent movement; the example has not been adopted by any other locality in Kansas, contrary to the expectation of its authors; it failed to receive any sanction from the general territorial convention of their own party, of the 26th ult., and now stands without a precedent in our country, a solitary monument of revolutionary violence and incipient treason.
So soon as the overt act now threatened is consummated, this rebellion will be suppressed by the lawful use, if necessary, of all the troops under my control, acting in aid of the civil authorities designated by Congress. It is hoped, however, especially as, I trust, we shall have a fair and peaceful election, when, whichever party shall prevail, all semblance of excuse for this insurgent movement will have ceased, that the majority of the people of Lawrence will abandon their reckless leaders, suppress this insurrection themselves, and relieve our Territory and country from the disgrace of an insurrectionary government, based now only on undisguised revolution, and an open overthrow not merely of the territorial laws, but of the laws, also, of the United States. The honor and character of the country, and my sworn duty as chief magistrate of Kansas, require that this first actual example of organized rebellion, as a government, against the authority of Congress, should be suppressed, as it must be, and the sooner it is done by the people of Lawrence themselves the better, for the sake of their own true interests and reputation. Dangerous and unjustifiable as was the Topeka State movement, it differed widely from the Lawrence insurrection in this, that the latter not only passed laws, but required, by seizure and sale of property, their compulsory execution, under the requisition of an oath; whereas, the so-called Topeka State government proposed, on the face of their late proceedings, to wait until they received, as they profess to hope, the recognition of Congress. As the troops of the United States now subject to my orders are sufficient to protect the polls and preserve the peace of Kansas, it is hoped that the forces raised professedly for that purpose, without authority of law, will be at once disbanded.
From authentic information communicated to me from many quarters of this Territory, and from many citizens of both parties, that the presence of the troops is essential to preserve the peace of the Territory, to prevent the forcible seizure of the polls, and to suppress insurrection, I feel constrained, although most reluctantly, by a solemn sense of duty, and by a most serious apprehension of the consequences which otherwise would follow, to place the troops at proper points, not for war, but for peace, in accordance with the views and purposes before stated.
In conclusion, permit me to say, with all the seriousness and sincerity demanded by the solemnity of the occasion, that it now is, and always has been, my most ardent desire, as the chief magistrate of this Territory, by all lawful and constitutional means, to secure and protect the just rights of every citizen, and especially in performing my sworn duty of supporting the Constitution of the United States, and taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, to see that the great fundamental principle which lies at the basis of our American institutions, secured by the federal compact, and guarantied by our organic act of Congress, should be maintained, viz: that the people of Kansas, in the true meaning of that act, free from all violence, injustice, or foreign interference, should make their own laws, and control their own government. This has been the great principle, the just and faithful execution of our organic law, which has controlled all my acts in Kansas, and to which I shall adhere, regardless of menace, calumny, or assailment, either from within or beyond our limits. I am made by law the chief executive officer in Kansas, for the protection, to the extent of my legal authority, of the whole people of Kansas, and not of a part-of every county and district, and not of a portion of them only. And, however solicitous I may be about the result of the present most important election-however most anxious that those views of public policy which I have entertained and expressed at all times from my youth upwards to the present period, and especially as regards the equilibrium of our government and the constitutional rights and equality of the States, should now triumph here in October-yet I cannot and will not do any act, or countenance or sustain any act, the effect of which would be to deprive the people of Kansas of any rights secured to them by the federal compact, by our organic act, or by the laws of this Territory. A victory thus secured by violence or injustice would be worse than a defeat, and could only in the end destroy all hope of the ultimate success of conservative principles and constitutional liberty in Kansas.
Inasmuch as our ensuing election on the first Monday in October next is of momentous consequence to this Territory and to our whole country; as the two parties of Kansas, it is hoped, will first measure their strength now, not as in former elections at different times and places, or upon the field of battle, but at the same times and places, in giving in their votes, as in other States and Territories; and as it is of the utmost importance that this election should be free from everything which would lead to excitement or commotion, I most earnestly request the chief officers of our different towns, cities, and municipalities to resort to those means which have so often, in similar cases, proved efficacious, by removing for that day all causes which would interfere with a calm and dispassionate election.
And now, may that overruling Providence who has crowned our beloved country with so many blessings and benefits, including the inestimable privilege of self-government, and without whose aid we cannot look for success in any enterprise, enable us so to conduct this contest as to insure his sanction and the approval of our own conscience, is the fervent hope of your fellow-citizen,
R. J. WALKER, Governor of Kansas Territory.
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING IN KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, October 5, 1857. SIR: I have the honor to enclose for your information copies of certain requisitions from his excellency the governor of this Territory for troops to aid the civil authorities in the preservation of the public peace at the different election precincts where violence was to be apprehended. Also, copies of my replies, with the instructions to the officers in command of the various detachments. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. HARNEY, Col. 2d Dragoons, Brevet Brig. General Commanding. [on. John B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War, Washington city.
LEAVENWORTH, K. T., September 26, 1857. Sir: Authentic intelligence has been communicated to me that the insurgent government of Lawrence, under the erroneous opinion that the regular troops had all been ordered to Utah, and would not be replaced by others, have passed a compulsory tax law, authorizing the seizure and sale of property, and exacting from their executive officers the enforcement of this ordinance under the solemnity of an oath.
It was sincerely hoped that my proclamation on this subject of the 15th of July last, which has received the cordial approbation of the President of the United States, together with the movement at that date of the troops to Lawrence as a precautionary measure, would have induced the people of that city to abandon their revolutionary proceedings. They have, however, chosen otherwise, under the erroneous conviction before stated, and it becomes necessary, therefore, to station troops again at Lawrence, to meet any emergency which may occur.
Under these circumstances, it becomes my duty, under my instructions from the President of the United States, to request you to direct Major Sherman's battery, supported by one company of artillery, to proceed at once to the immediate vicinity of Lawrence, to act as a posse comitatus in aid of the civil authorities in the due execution of the laws and for the preservation of the public peace.
The service of the troops for this purpose will be discontinued so soon as the public exigency will permit. Respectfully, yours,
R. J. WALKER,
Governor of Kansas Territory. Brevet Brigadier General WILLIAM S. HARNEY,
Commanding Troops serving in Kansas.
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING IN KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, October 5, 1857. Official:
A. PLEASONTON, Captain 2d Dragoons, Acting Assistant Adjutant General.