« AnteriorContinuar »
co poll was opened. The result of this election to which they owe allegiance, and have been all the time was, the Free State party carried the legislatore nl the time been endeavoring to subvert it and to estab,
in a state of resistance against its authority. They have and the delegate to Congress.
lish a revolutionary Government, under the so-called The Convention reassembled in October, ac- Topeka Constitution, ¡u its stead. Even at this very cording to adjournment, and formed the Consti- ever has read the correspondence of Gov. Walker with tution now so famous as the Lecompton Consti- the State Department, recently communicated to the tution. When it became known that the Con- Senate, will be convinced that this picture is not overrention had refused to submit the entire con. drawn. He always protested against the withdrawal of stitution to a vote of the people for ratification from the Territory, deening its presence absolutely
aby portion of the military force of the United States or rejection, and had submitted only a proposi- necessary for the preservation of the regular Goverution in regard to Slavery, and that in a form and ment and the execution of the laws. under a test oath which would prevent the Free-dispatch to the Secretary of State, dated June 2, 1857, he State people from voting, there was great excite- “The most alarming movement, however, proceeds from ment in the Territory, threatening bloodshed. the assembling on the sub of June, of the so-called Topeka Under these circumstances, Acting Gov. Stanton laws. Of course, it will be my endeavor to prevent such a called (Gov. Walker had resigned) an extra ses result
, as it would lead to inevitable and disastrous collision,
." sion of the Territorial Legislature. The legisla
This was with difficulty prevented by the efforts of ture assembled Dec. 17th, and passed an act to Governor Walker ; but soon thereafter, on the 14th of submit the Lecompton Constitution fairly to a July, we find him requesting General Harney to furnish vote of the people on the 4th of January next, Lawrence, and this for the reason that he had received following, the time fixed by the Lecompton con authentic intelligence, verified by his own actual obser: vention for the election of State officers under vation, that a dangerous rebellion had occurred, involvthat constitution.
ing an open defiance of the laws, and the establishment On the 21st of Dec., the vote was taken in the nor's dispatch of July 15, he informs the Secretary of
of an insurgent government in that city. In the Govermanner prescribed by the Convention, and re-State that sulted as follows:
“This movement at Lawrence was the beginning of a plan,
originating in that city, to organize insurrection throughout “For the constitution with Slavery"
6,266 the Territory, and especially in all towns, cities and counties “ For the constitution without Slavery"
567 where the Republican party have a majority
the hotbed of all the Abolition movements in this Territory. Total vote
It is the town established by the Abolition Societies of the
6,798 East, and, while there are respectable people there, it is filled Jan. 4th, 1858, in accordance with the act of by a considerable number of mercenaries, who are paid by the Territorial Legislature, the people voted as out Kansas, and prevent a peaceful settlement of this ques. follows:
tion. Having faised in inducing their own so-called Topeka
State Legislature to organize this insurrection, Lawrence has For the Lecompton Constitution with Slavery 188 commenced it herself, and, if not arresied, the rebellion will
24 extend throughout the Territory.” Against the Lecompton Constitution
And again : Being over ten thousand majority against the I must close, assuring you that the spirit of rebellion pervades
“In order to send this communica'ion iminediately by mail, Lecompton Constitution.
the great mass of the Republican party of this Territory,
instigated, as I entertain no doubt thi'y are, by Eastern So. PRESIDENT BUCHANAN'S LECOYPTON MESSAGE.
cieties, having in view results most disastrous to the Govern
ment and the Union; and that the continued presence of Gen. The following is the President's special Mes- Harney is indispensable, as was originally
stipulated by me, sage, of Feb. 2nd, 1858.
with a large body of dragoons and several batieries."
Ou the 24th of July, 1857, Gen. Lane, under the I have received from J. Calhoun, Esq., President of the authority of the Topeka Coavention, undertook, as Gen. late Constitutional Convention of Kansas, a copy duly Walker informs us, certified by himself, of the Constitution framed by that
“To organize the whole Free-State party into volunteers, body, with the expression of the hope that I would sub- and to take the names of all who refuse enrolment. The promit the same to the consideration of Congress “ with the lessed object was to protect the polls at the elections, in view of the admission of Kansas into the Union as an August, of a new insurgent Topeka State Legislature. The independent
State." In compliance with this request, I object in taking the names of all who refuse enrollment is to herewith transmit to Congress for their action the Cuna terrify the Free State Conservatives into submission. This is stitution of Kansas, with the ordinance respecting the Topekaites. The speedy location of large boilies of regular
proved by the recent atrocities committed on such men by the public lands, as well as the letter of Mr. Calhoun, dated troops here with two batteries is necessary. The Lawrence at Lecompton, on the 14th ult., by which they were ac. insurgents await the developments of this new military organ companied. Having received but a single copy of the ization.” Constitution and ordinance, I send this to the Senate. In the Governor's dispatch of July 27, he says that
A great delusion seems to pervade the public miud in " Gen. Lane and his staff everywhere deny the authority of relation to the condition of parties in Kansas. This arises the Territorial laws, and counsel a total disregard of these from the difficulty of inducing the American people to enactments.” realize the fact that any portion of them should be in a Without making further quotations of a similar characstate of rebellion against the Government under which ter from other dispatches of Governor Walker, it appears, they live. When we speak of the affairs of Kansas, we by reference to Secretary Stanton's communication to are apt to refer merely to the existence of two violent Gen. Cass on the 9th of December last, that political parties in that Territory, divided on the question
“ The important step of calling the legislature together was of Slavery, just as we speak of such parties in the States. taken after I (he) had become satisfied that the election ordered This presents no adequate idea of the true state of the by the Convention on the 21st of December could noi be concase. The dividi line there is not between twu politi- ducted without collision and bloo-ished.” cal parties, both acknowledging the lawful existence of So Intense was the disloyal feeling among the enemies the Government, but between those who are loyal to this of the Government established by Congress, that an Government and those who have endeavored to destroy election which afforded the opportunities, if in the maIts existence by force and by usurpation-between those jority, of making Kansas a Free State according to their who sustain, and those who have done all in their power own expressed desire, could not be conducted without to overthrow, the Territorial Government established by collision and bloodshed. The truth is that, up to the Congress. This Government they would long since have present moment, the enemies of the existing government rubverted had it not been protected from their a:saults by still adhere to their Topeka revolutionary constitution the troops of the United States. Such has been the con- and government. The very first paragraph of the mesdition of affairs since my inauguration. Ever since that sage of Gov. Robinson, dated the 7th of December, to the period, a large portion of the people of Kansas have been Topeka Legislature, now assembled at Lawrence, con. in a state of rebellion against the Government, with a tains an open defiance of the laws and Constitution of military leader at their head, of most turbulent and dan. the United States. The Governor says: gerous character. They have never acknowledged, but “The Convention which framed the Topeka Cousti'u'ion have constantly renounced and defied, the Government originated with the people of Kansas Territory. They
have adopted and ratified the same twice by a direct vos, also themselves. That Convention is now about be elected by indirectly through two elections for Sale officers and mein- you, under the call of the Territorial Legislature created, and bers of the State Legislature ; yet it has pleased the Adminis- still recognized, by the authority of Congress and clothed by tration to regard the whole proceeding as revolutionary." it, in the comprehensive language of the organic law, with full
This Topeka Government, adhered to with such trea. power to make such an enactment. The Territorial Legisla. sonable pertinacity, is a government in direct opposition by the act of Congress, and the authority of the Convention is to the existing government prescribed and recognised by distinctly recognized in my instructions from the President of Congress.
the United States." It is usurpation of the same character as it would be
The Governor also clearly and distinctly warns them for a portion of the people of any State to undertake to establish a separate government within its limits for what would be the consequences if they did not partici
The people of Kansas, then, he the purpose of redressing any grievance, real or imag- pate in the election.
says, inary, of which they might complain against the legitimate State Government. Such a principle, if carried into “Are invited by the highest authority known to the Constiexecution, would destroy all lawful authority and pro. tution to participate freely and
fairly in the election of deleduce universal anarchy. From this statement of facts, gates to frame a Constitution and State Government. The law the reason becomes palpable why the enemies of the govo to the people the right of suffrage ; but it cannot compel the ernment authorized by Congress have refused to vote for performance of that duty. Throughout the whole Union, the delegates to the Kansas Constitutional Convention, however, and wherever free government prevails, those who and also, afterward, on the question of Slavery submitted abstain from the exercise of the right of suffrage authorize by it to the people.' It is because they have ever refused those who do vote to act for them in that contingency, and to sanction or recognize any other Constitution than that where there is no fraud or violence, by the act of the majority framed at Topeka. Had the whole Lecompton Constitu- of those who do vote, as if all had pariicipated in the election. tion been submitted to the people, the adherents of this Otherwise, as voting must be voluntary. self-government organization would doubtless have voted against it, be- would be impracticable, and monarchy or despotism would cause, if successful, they would thus have removed the remain as the only alternative." obstacles out of the way of their own revolutionary Con
It may also be observed that at this period any hope, stitution; they would have done this, pot upon the con if such had existed, that the Topeka Constitution would sideration of the merits of the whole or part of the ever be recognized' by Congress must have been aban. Lecompton Constitution, but simply because they have doned. Congress had adjourned on the third of March ever resisted the authority of the government authorized previous, having recognized the legal existence of the by Congress from which it emanated. Such being the Territorial Legislature in a variety of forms, which I need unfortunate condition of affairs in the Territory, what was not enumerate. Indeed, the Delegate elected to the the right as well as the duty of the law-abiding people! House of Representatives under a Territorial law had Were they silently and patiently to submit to the Topeka been admitted to a seat and had just completed his te m usurpation, or to adopt the necessary measure to estab- of service the day previous to my inauguration. This lish a Constitution under the authority of the organic law was the propitious moment for settling all the difficul ies of Congress ? That this law recognized the right of the of Kansas. This was the time for abandoning the revopeople of the Territory, without an enabling act of Con lutionary Topeka organization, and for the enemies of gress, to form a State Constitution, is too clear for argu. the existing government to conform to the laws and unite ment. For Congress “to leave the people of the Terri- with its friends in framing a State Constitution. But this tory perfectly free" in framing their Constitutions to they refused to do, and the consequences of their refusal form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own to submit to the lawful authority, and vote at the election way, subject only to the Constitution of the United of delegates, may yet prove to be of the most deplorable States," and then to say that they shall not be permitted character. Would that the respect for the laws of the to proceed and frame the Constitution in their own way, land, which so eminently distinguished the men of the without express authority from Congress, appears to be past generation, could be revived ! It is a disregard and almost a contradiction in terms. It would be much violation of law which has for years kept the Territory more plausible to contend that Congress had no power to of Kansas in a state of almost open rebellion against its pass such an enabling act, than to argue that the people Government-it is the same spirit which has produced of a Territory might be kept out of the Union for an indefi- actual rebellion in Utah. Our only safety consists in nite period, and until it might please Congress to permit obedience and conformity to the law. 'Should a general them to exercise the right of self-government. would be to adopt, not their own way, but the way which to us as a nation.
spirit against its enforcement prevail, this will prove fatal Congress might prescribe. It is impossible that any peo
We acknowledge no master but law, and should we cut ple could have proceeded with more regularity in the loose from its restraints and every one do what seemeth formation of a Constitution than the people of Kansas good in his own eyes, our case would indeed be hopeless, have done. It was necessary, first, to ascertain whether l'he enemies of the Territorial Government détermined It was the desire of the people to be relieved from their still to resist the authority of Congress. They refused to Territorial dependence and establish a State Government. vote for delegates to the Convention, not because, For this purpose, the Territorial Legislature, in 1855, from circumstances which I need not detail, there was an passed a law for taking the sense of the people of the omission to register the comparatively few voters who Territory upon the expediency of calling a Convention to were inhabitants of certain counties in Kansas in the form a state Constitution at the general election to be early spring of 1857, but because they had determined, held in October, 1856. The “ sense of the people" was at all hazards, to adhere to their revolutionary organizaaccordingly taken, and they decided in favor of a Con- tion, and defeat the establishment of any other constivention. It is true that at this election the enemies of the Terri-election was therefore suffered to pass by default, but of
tution than that which they had framed at Topeka. The torial Government did not vote, because they were then this result the qualified electors who refused to vote can engaged at Topeka, without the slightest pretext of law. never justly complain. ful authority, in framing a Constitution of their own for
From this review, it is manifest that the Lecompton subverting the Territorial Government. In pursuance Convention, according to every principle of constitu: of this decision of the people in favor of a Convention, tional law, 'was legally constituted and invested with the Territorial Legislature, on the 27th of February, 1857, passed an act for the election of delegates on the third | Popular Sovereignty has been invoked in favor of the
power to frame a Constitution. The sacred principle of Monday of June, 1857, to frame a State Constitution. enemies of Law and Order in Kansas ; but in what manThis law is as fair in its provisions as any that ever ner is Popular Sovereignty to be exercised in this coun. passed a legislative body for a similar purpose. The right try if not through the instruinentality of established law ? of suffrage at this election is clearly and justly defined. In certain small republics of ancient times, the people Every bona fide citizen of the United States, above the did assemble in primary meeting, passed laws and diage of twenty-one, and who had resided therein for three rected public affairs. In our country, this is manifestly months previous to that date, was entitled to a vote. order to avoid all interference from neighboring States only through the ballotbox; and if the people will refuse
inpossible. Popular Sovereignty can be exercised here and Territories with the freedom and fairness of the electo exercise it in this manner, as they have done in Kan. tion, a provision was made for the registry of qualified sas at the election of Delegates, it is not for them to voters, and in pursuance thereof, pine thousand two hun. complain that their rights have been violated. dred and fifty-one voters were registered. Gov. Walker
The Kansas Convention, thus lawfully constituted, prodid his whole duty in urging all qualified citizens of Kan-ceeded to frame a Constitution, and, having completed was to vote at this election. In his Inaugural Address on their work, finally adjourned on the 7th of November be 27th of May, he informed them that
They did not think proper to subunit the whole of “Under our practice, the preliminary act of framing a State this Constitution to a popular vote, but they did submit Constitution is uniformly performed through the instru- the question whether Kansas should be a Free or Slave mentality of a Convention of delegates chosen by the people' State to the people. This was the question which had con
vulsed the Union and shaken it to the very center. This be banished from the halls of Congress, where it has was the question which had lighted the flames of civil always exerted a bapeful influence throughout the whole war in Kansas and had produced dangerous sectional country. parties throughout the confederacy. It was of a charac- It is proper that I should briefly refer to the election ter so paramount in respect to the condition of Kansas, held under the act of the Territorial Legislature on the ds to rivet the anxious attention of the people of the first Monday of January last on the Lecompton Constiwhole country upon it and it alone—no person thought tution. This election was held after the Territory had of any other question. For my own part, when I in been prepared for admission into the Union as a Sovestructed Governor Walker in general terms in favor of reign State, and when no authority existed in the Terrisubmitting the constitution to the people, I had no torial Legislature which could possibly destroy its existobject in view except the all-absorbing question of ence or change its character. The election, which was Slavery. In what manner the people of Kansas might peaceably conducted under my instructions, involved regulate their other concerns, was not the subject which strange inconsistencies. A large majority of the persons attracted my attention. In fact, the general provisions who vo'ed against the Lecompton Constitution were at of our recent State constitutions, after an experience of the same time and place recognizing its valid existence eighty years, are so similar and excellent that it would in the most solid and authentic manner by voting under be difficult to go far wrong at the present day in framing its provisions. I have yet received no official informaa new constitution. I then believed, and still believe, tion of the result of this election. that, under the organic act, the Kansas Convention As a question of expediency, after right has been were bound to submit this all-important question of maintained, it may be wise to reflect upon the benefits Slavery to the people. It was never, however, my to Kansas and the whole country that will result from opinion that, independently of this act, they would have its immediate admission into the Union, as well as the been bound to submit any portion of the constitution to disasters that may follow its rejection. Domestic peace a popular vote in order to give it validity. Had I enter- will be the happy consequence of the admission, and that tained such an opinion, this would have been in opposi- fine Territory, which has hitherto been torn by dissention to many precedents in our history, commencing in sions, will rapidly increase in population and wealth, and the very best age of our Republic. It would have been speedily realize the blessings and comforts which follow in opposition to the principle which pervades our insti. in the train of agricultural and mechanical industry. tutions, and which is every day carried into practice, The people, then, will be sovereign, and can regulate that the people have a right to delegate to the repre- their affairs in their own way. If the majority of them sentatives chosen by themselves their sovereign power desire to abolish domestic Slavery within the State, there to frame constitutions, enact laws, and perform many is no other possible mode by which it can be effected so other important acts, without requiring that these should speedily as by prompt admission. The will of the De subjected to their subsequent approbation. It would majority is supreme and irresistible, when expressed in be a most inconvenient.limitation of their own power, an orderly and lawful manner. It can make and unimposed by the people upon themselves, to exclude make constitutions at pleasure. It would be absurd to ihem from exercising their sovereignty in any lawful say that they can impose fetters upon their own power manner which they think proper.
which they cannot afterward remove. If they could do It is true that the people of Kansas might, if they had this, they might tie their own hands just as well for a hun. pleased, have required the Convention to submit the con- dred as for ten years. These are the fundamental princistitution to a popular vote, but this they have not done. ples of American freedom, and are recognized, I believe,
The only remedy, therefore, in this case is that which in some form or other by every State constitution; and exists in all other similar cases. If the delegates who if Congress, in the act of admission, should think proper framed the Kansas Constitution have in any manner to recognize them, I can perceive no objection. violated the will of their constituents, the people always This has been done emphatically in the constitution of possess the power to change their constitution or laws Kausas. It declares in its bill of rights that " All politiaccording to their own pleasure. The question of Slavery cal power is inherent in the people, and all free governwas submitted to an election of the people on the 21st of ments are founded on their
authority and instituted for December last, in obedience to the mandate of the Con-their benefit, and therefore have at all times an inalien. vention. Here, again, a fair opportunity was presented able and indefeasible right to alter, reform and abolish to the adherents of the Topeka Constitution, if they were their form of government, in such manner as they may the majority, to decide this exciting question “in their think proper. The great State of New-York is at this own way," and thus restore peace to the distracted Ter moment governed under a constitution framed and estabritory; but they again refused to exercise the right of lished in direct opposition to a mode prescribed by the Popular Sovereignty, and again suffered the election to previous constitution. If, therefore, a provision change pass by default. I heartily rejoice that a wiser and bet- ing the constitution of Kansas after the year 1864, could ter spirit prevailed among a large majority of these by possibility be construed into a prohibition to make people on the first Monday in January, and that they such change previous to that period, this prohibition did on that day vote under the Lecompton Constitution would be wholly unavailing. The legislature already for a Governor and other State officers, a member of elected may, at its very first session, submit the question Congress, and for members of the Legislature. This to a vote of the people, whether they will or not have a election was warmly contested by the parties, and a larger convention, to amend their constitution, and adopt all vote polled than at any previous election in the Territory. necessary means for giving effect to the popular will. It We may now reasonably hope that the revolutionary has been solemnly adjudged, by the highest judicial triTopeka organization will be speedily and finally aban- bunal known to our laws, that Slavery exists in Kansas doned, and this will go far toward a final settlement of the by virtue of the Constitution of the United States. unhappy differences in Kansas. If frauds have been com- Kansas is therefore at this moment as much a Slave State mitted at this election by one or both parties, the legisla- as Georgia or South Carolina. Without this, the equality ture and people of Kansas, under their constitution, will of the Sovereign States composing the Union would be know how to redress themselves and punish these detesta- violated, and the use and enjoyment of a Territory ac. ble but too common crimes without outside interference. quired by the common treasure of all the States, would
The people of Kansas have, then,“ in their own way, be closed against the people and property of nearly half and in strict accordance with the organic act, framed a the members of the Confederacy. Slavery can, therefore, Constitution and State Government, have submitted the never be prohibited in Kansas, except through the means all-important question of Slavery to the people, and have of a constitutional provision; and in no other manner can elected a Governor, a member to represent them in this be obtained so promptly, if the majority of the people Congress, members of the State Legislature and other desire it, as by admitting her into the Union under hier State oficers; and they now ask admission into the present constitution. On the other hand, should ConUnion under this constitution, which is republican in its gress reject the constitution, under the idea of affording form, It is for Congress to decide whether they will the disaffected in Kansas a third opportunity to prohibit admit or reject the State which has thus been created. Slavery in the State, which they might have done twice
For my own part, I am decidedly in favor of its admis- before if in the majority, no man can foretell the consesion, and thus terminating the Kansas question. This quences. If Congress, for the sake of those men who rewill carry out the great principle of Non-Intervention fused to vote for delegates to the convention, when they recognized and sanctioned by the organic act, which might have excluded Slavery from the constitution, and declares in express language in favor of the non-inter. who afterward refused to vote on the 21st of December, vention of Congress with Slavery in the States and when they might, as they claim, have stricken Slavery Territories, leaving the people “perfectly free to form from the constitution, should now reject the State beand regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, cause Slavery remains in the constitution, it is manifest subject only to the Constitution of the United States." In that the agitation upon this dangerous subject will be re. this
manner, by localizing the question of Slavery and newed in a more alarming form than it has ever yet confining it to the people who it immediately concerned, assumed. Every patriot in the country had indulged the every patriot anxiously expected that this question would I hope that the Kansas-Nebraska Act would have put a
foal end to the Slavery agitation, at least in Congress, 1 They shall have power to permit the owners of slaves to which had for more than twenty years convulsed the emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and country and endangered the Union. This act involved preventing them from becoming a public charge. They great and fundamental principles, and, if fairly carried | shall have power to oblige the owners of slaves to treat into effect, will settle the question. Should agitation be them with humanity-to provide for their necessary fooc again revived should the people of sister States be again and clothing--to abstain from all injuries to them, estranged from each other with more than their former extending to life or limb-and, in case of neglect es bitterness—this will arise from a cause, so far as the in. i refusal to comply with the direction of such laws,' terests of Kansas are concerned, more trifling and in- have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of int significant than has ever stirred the elements of a great owner or owners. people into commotion. To the people of Kansas, the $ 8. In the prosecution of slaves for crimes of higher only practical difference between admission or rejection, grade than petit larceny, the Legislature shall have no depends simply upon the fact whether they can them: power to deprive them of an impartial trial by a petit selves more speedily change their present Constitution if jury. it does not accord with the will of the majority, or frame $ 4. Any person who shall dismember or deprive a a second Constitution to be submitted to Congress here. slave of life shall suffer such punishment as would be after.
inflicted in case the like offense had been committed on Even if this were a question of mere expediency and a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case not of right, a small difference of time one way or the of insurrection of such slave. other, is not of the least importance, when contrasted with the evils which must necessarily result to the whole This provision, and this provision alone, is country from the revival of the Slavery agitation. was finally determined by a close vote to sub
In considering this question, it should never be forgotten that in proportion, to its insignificance, let the mit to the registered electors
. For this purpose, decision be what it may, so far as it may affect a few by the terms of a schedule annexed to the thousand inhabitants of Kansas, who have from the be. Constitution, an election was to be held on the ginning resisted the Constitution and the laws, for this 21st of December. The ballots cast were to be very reason the rejection of the Constitution will be so much the more keenly felt by the people of fourteen indorsed either “ Constitution with Slavery," or States of the Union where Slavery is recognized under i Constitution with No Slavery." Thus to have the Constitution of the United States.
Again the speedy admission of Kansas into the Union the privilege of voting No Slavery, it was still will restore peace and quiet to the whole country. made necessary to vote for the Constitution, Already the affairs of this Territory have engrossed an beside which, all persons offering to vote must
, undue proportion of public attention. They have sadly if challenged,“ take an oath to support the with each other and alarmed the fears of patriots for the Constitution if adopted." safety of the Union. Kansas once admitted into the If the number of votes “for the Constitution Union, the excitement becomes localized and would soon without Slavery" should be a majority, then die away for want of outside aliment, and then every the schedule provides, that “The rights of and no trifling consideration, I shall then be enabled to property in slaves now in the Territory, shall withdraw the troops from Kansas, and employ them on a in no manner be interfered with.” Making it service where they are much needed. They have been kept there on the earnest importunity of Governor
impossible to abolish Slavery. Walker, to maintain the existence of the Territorial This schedule, as if with a direct view of Government, and secure the execution of the laws. He superseding the Territorial Legislature and considered at least two thousand regular troops, under Congressional delegate elect, further provided purpose. Acting upon his reliable information, I have that the Constitution shall be in force “after been obliged in some degree, to interfere with the ex- its ratification by the people" (without waiting pedition to Utah in order to keep down the rebellion in for the approval of Congress) a State election Government. Kansas once admitted, it is believed there to be held on the first Monday in January, will no longer be occasion there for the troops.
1858, for the choice of a Governor, LieutenantI have thus performed my duty on this important Ì Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, State question under a deep sense of my responsibility to God Treasurer, and members of the Legislature, and brief period, and I have no other object of earthly ambi- also a member of Congress. It also provided tion than to leave my country in a peaceful and pros. (as if to deprive the Territorial Legislature of perous condition, and to live in the affections, and all power of acting) that all laws in force not clouds now impending over the Union I conscientiously repugnant to the Constitution shall continue believe will be dissipated with honor to every portion of until altered, amended or repealed by a Legisit by the admission of Kansas during the present session lature assembled under the provisions of this fear these clouds will become darker and more ominous Constitution; and that all officers, civil or than any which have ever yet threatened the Constitu- military, under the authority of the Territory (Signed)
of Kansas, shall continue to hold and exercise The Lecompton Constitution contains a pro- their respective offices until superseded by the vision on the subject of Slavery, as follows: authority of the State: the first meeting of the
State Legislature to take place upon the issue $1. The right of property is before and higher than of a proclamation by the President of the any constitutional sanction, and the right of the owner Convention, upon the receipt of official infor of a slave to such a slave an its increase is the same, mation that Congress has admitted Kansas into and is inviolable, as the right of the owner of any pro- the Union. A provision is also inserted in. perty whatever.
$ 2. The Legislature shall have no power to pass laws tended to prevent any amendment previous to for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of the year 1864, and then only upon the concur their owners, or without paying their owners, previous rence of two-thirds of the members of both to emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to houses, and “a majority of all the citizens of prevent emigrants to the State from bringing with them the State." such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States or Territories so long as any persons of the same age or description shall be continued slaves by the laws of this State; provided, that such The following record of the action of Congress person or slave be the bona fide property of such emis on the admission of Kansas under the Lecomp grant; and provided, also, that laws may be passed to prohibit the introduction of slaves into this state who ton Constitution, will be interesting for future have committed high crimes in other States or Territories. I reference.
tion and the Union,
LECCXPTON AND ENGLISH BILLS,
THE LECOMPTON BILL.
The original bill, as it passed the Senate ( ISLAND.-Simmons. TENNESSER.- BELL. VERMONTinder the lead of Senator Green (March 23,
Collamer, Foot. WISCONSIN.--Durkee, Doolittle. To.
tal, 25. 858), was as follows:
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.-Messrs. Bites (Del.), Reid (N. C.), Davis (Mi.), Cameron (Pa.) Mr. Cameron paired
off with Mr. Davis. 1 Bill for the Admission of the State of Kansas into the Union, presented in the Senato by Mr. Green,
Previous to taking this vote, Mr. Crittenden of Missouri, from the Committee on Territories, moved a substitute for the bill, in substance, February 17, 1858.
that the Constitution be submitted to the people Whereas, The people of the Territory of Kansas did: at once, and, if approved, the President to secompton, September 4, 1857, form for themselves a admit Kansas by proclamation. If rejected, Sonstitution and State Government, which said Conven the people to call a Convention and frame a ion having asked the admission of the Territory into Constitution. The substitute made special prohe Union as a State on an equal fuoting with the original vision against frauds at the election. tates,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen- This substitute was lost : Yeas, 24 ; Nays, 34. atives of the United States of America in Congress On the first of April, the bill was taken up in tssembled, That the State of Kansas, shall be, and is the House and read once, when, its second sereby declared to be, one of the United States of imerica, and admitted into the Union on an equal foot- reading having been objected to by Mr. Gid. nd the said State shall consist of all the territory in Shall the bill be rejected? A vote was taken 2g with the original States, in all respects whatever; dings, the question recurred under the rule, luded within the following boundaries, to wit: Begining at a point on the western boundary of the State of and resulted, Yeas, 95 ; Nays, 137. lissouri where the thirty-seventh parallel of latitude Mr. Montgomery, of Pa., offered as a substi. rosses the same; thence west on, said parallel to the tute, with slight alterations, the bill which Mr. oundary to latitude thirty-eight; thence following said Crittenden had offered in the Senate. Mr. oundary westward to the eastern boundary of the Terri- Quitman, of Mississippi, also offered a substitute, ory of Utah, on the summit of the Rocky Mountains; which was the same as the Senate bill, with the bence north ward on said summit to the fortieth parallel omission of the declaratory clause," that the f latitude ; thence east on said parallel to the western pundary of the State of Missouri; thence south with the people shall have the right at all times to alter restward boundary of said State, to the place of begin- or amend the Constitution in such manner as ing: $2. And be it furthor enacted, that the State of they think proper,” etc. lansas is admitted into the Union upon the express con
Mr. Quitman's substitute was lost-Yeas, 72; ition that said State shall never interfere with the Nays, 160, the yeas being all from the Slave rimary disposal of the public lands, or with any regula: States, and Mr. Montgomery's was adopted, 120 ons which Congress may find necessary for securing the tle in said lands to the bona fide purchasers and
to 112. rantees thereof, or impose or levy any tax, assessment, The Crittenden-Montgomery substitute, as it r imposition of any description whatsoever upon them, r other property of the United states, within the limits of passed the House, was in the following words: aid State; and that nothing in this act shall be construed
$ 1. Be it enacted, etc., that the State of Kansas be, o abridge or infringe any right of the people asserted in
and is hereby, admitted into the Union on an equal foothe Constitution of Kansas, at all times, to alter, reforming with the original states in all respects whatever ; but r abolish their form of government in such manner as inasmuch as it is greatly disputed whether the Constitu. dey may think proper, Congress hereby disclaiming any tion framed at Lecompton on the 7th day of November uthority to intervene or declare the construction of the last, and now pending before Congress, was fairly made, konstitution of any State, except to see that it is republic or expressed the wil of the people of Kansas, this admise an in form and not in conflict with the Constitution of
sion of her into the Union as a State is here declared to se United States; and nothing in this act shall be con- be upon this fundamental condition precedent, namely: trued as an assent by Congress to all or to any of the That the said constitutional instrument shall be first subropositions or clains contained in the ordinance an.
mitted to a vote of the people of Kansas, and assented to exed to the Constitution of the people o' Kansas, nor to by them, or a majority of the voters, at an election to be eprive the said State of Kansas of nie
Bame grants held for the purpose ; and as soon as such assent shall be hich were contained in said act of Cougress, entitled, given, and duly made known, by a majority of the Com. An act to authorize the people of the Territory of missioners herein appointed, to the President of the linnesota to form a Constitution and State Government, United States, he shall announce the same by proclamareparatory to adinission into the Union on an equal tion, and thereafter, without any further proceedings on roting with the original States," approved February 26, the part of Congress, the admission of the said State of 353.
Kansas into the Union upon an equal footing with the 83. And be it further enacted, That until the next original States, in all respects whatever, shall be complete eneral census shall be taken, and an apportionment of and absolute. At the said election the voting shall be by epresentation made, the State of Kansas shall be entitled ballot, and by indorsing on his ballot as each voter may one Representative in the House of Representatives of please, - for the Constitution," or " against the Constitule United States.
tion." Should the said Constitution be rejected at the The bill passed, 33 to 25, as follows:
said election by a majority of votes being cast against it, then, and in that event, the inhabitants of said Territory are hereby authorized and empowered to form for them
selves a Constitution and State Government by the namo ALABAMA.-- Fitzpatrick, Clay. ARKANSAS. -Sebastian, of the State of Kansas, according to the Federal Con.
CALIFORXIA.-Gwin. DELAWARE.- Bayard. stitution, and to that end may elect delegates to a conLORIDA.-Mallory, Yulee. GEORGIA.-Iverson, Toombs. vention as hereinafter provided. DIANA.-Fitch, Bright. TOWA.-Jones. KENTUCKY.- § 2. And be it further enacted, that the said State of COMPgos. LOUISIANA -Benjamin, Slidell. MARYLAND. Kansas shall have concurrent jurisdiction on the Missouri Pearce, KENNEDY. MISSISSIPPI —Brown, MISSOURI. and all other rivers and waters bordering on the said State reen, Pulk. NEW-JERSKY.-Wright, Thoinson. NORTH of Kansas, so far as the same shall form a common bound* ROLINA -Biggs. PENNSYLVANIA ---Bigler. Ruoda ary to said State and any other State or States now or
SOUTH CAROLINA.-Evans, Hammond, hereafter to be formed or bounded by the same; and 3.3 XKSSEE.-Johnson, Texas. -Henderson, Houston. - said rivers and waters, and all the navigable waters of IRGINIA.-Mason, Hunter. Total, 33,
said State, shall be common highways and forever frec, as well to the inhabitants of said State as to all other citi
zens of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, CALIFORNIA.—Broderick. CONNECTICUT. - Foster, Dicon. or toll therefor. LINOIS. -Douglas, Trumbull. Iowa.-Harlan KKN. $ 3. And be it further enacted, That for the purpose ICKY.-CRITTENDEN. MAINE.-Fessenden, Hamlin. of insuring, as far as possible, that the elections authorASSACHOSETTS. - Wilson, Sumner. MICHIGAN.-Stuart, ized by this act may be fair and free, the Governor and
New-HAMPSHIRE. -Hale, Clark. New. the Secretary of the Territory of Kansas, and the presid. DRE.-Seroard, King. 0u10.-Pugh, Wads. RHODk ing officers of the two branches of its Legislature, Damely
NAYS AGAINST LLCOMPTON.