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REPORT ON THE OUTRAGES IN KANSAS.
devices, plausible pretenses, and partisan address ; but These gentlemen proceeded to Kansas, and the permanent preservation of this Union can be main. tained only by frankness and integrity. Justice may be spent several weeks there in taking testimony as denied where it ought to be granted; power may perpe
to the elections, etc., which had taken place in tuate that vassalage which violence and usurpation have that Territory. The testimony thus taken forms produced; the subjugation of white freemen may be a volume of nearly twelve hundred large and a course must not be expected to produce peace and closely-printed pages, the substance of which satisfaction in our country, so long as the people retain was summed up on their return by the majority any proper sentiment of justice, liberty, and law.
(Messrs. Howard and Sherman), in the following
J. COLLAMER, The majority and minority Reports being received, various matters relating to Kansas were A journal of proceedings, including sundry communicadebated until the 19th of March, the House tions made to and by the Committee was kept, a copy of
which is herewith submitted. The testimony also is herewas brought to a vote on the proposition of
with submitted; a copy of it has been made and arranged the committee of elections to empower said not according to the order in which it was taken, but so as committee to send to Kansas for persons and to present, as clearly as possible, a consecutive history of papers, which was modified on motion of Mr. events in the Territory, from its organization to the 19th
day of March, A. D. 1856. Dunn, of Ind., so as to raise a special committee Your Committee deem it their duty to state, as briefly as of three members, to be appointed by the possible, the principal facts proven before them. When Speaker.
the act to organize the Territory of Kansas was passed on The resolutions raising this com
the 24th day of May, 1854, the greater portion of its easteri mittee gave it ample powers
border was included in Indian reservations not open for To inquire into and collect evidence in regard to settlement; and there were but few white settlers in any the troubles in Kansas generally, and particularly in portion of the
Its Indian population was ra regard to any fraud or force attempted or practiced in pidly decreasing, while many emigrants from different parts reference to any of the elections which have taken of our country were anxiously waiting the extinction of place in said Territory, either under the law organizing the Indian title, and the establishment of a Territoria: said Territory, or under any pretended law which may Government, to seek new homes on its fertile prairies. It be alleged to have taken effect there since. That they
cannot be doubted that, if its condition as a free Territory shall fully investigate and take proof of all violent and had been left undisturbed by Congress, its settlement tumultuous proceed.ngs in said Territory, at any time would have been rapid, peaceful, and prosperous. Its since the passage of the Kansas Nebraska act, whether climate, soil, and its easy access to the older settlements, engaged in by the residents of said Territory, or by any
would have made it the favored course for the tide of person or persons from elsewhere going into said Terri. emigration constantly flowing to the West, and by this tory, and doing, or encouraging others to do, any act of time it would have been admitted into the Union as a Free violence or public disturbance against the laws of the State, without the least sectional excitement. If so organUnited States, or the rights, peace, and safety of the ized, none but the kindest feeling could have existed be. residents of said Territory; and for that purpose, said tween it and the adjoining State. Their mutual interests Committee shall have full power to send for, and ex
and intercourse, instead of, as now, endangering the haremine, and take copies of, all such papers, public re
inony of the Union, would have strengthened the ties of cords, and proceedings, as in their judgment will be use
national brotherhood. The testimony clearly shows, that ful in the premises; and also, to send for persons and before the proposition to repeal the Missouri Compromise examine them on oath, or affirmation, as to matters
was introduced into Congress, the people of western Miswithin their knowledge, touching the matters of said in souri appeared indifferent to the prohibition of Slavery vestigation; and said Committee, by their chairman, shall | in the Territory, and neither asked nor desired its repeai. have power to administer all necessary oaths or affirma- When, however, the prohibition was removed by the tions connected with their aforesaid duties. That said action of Congress, the aspect of affairs entirely changed. Committee may hold their investigations at such places The whole country was agitated by the reopening of a and times as to them may seem advisable, and that they controversy which conservative men in different sections have leave of absence from the duties of this House until hoped had been settled, in every State and Territory, by they shall have completed such investigation. That they
some law beyond the danger of repeal. The excitement be authorized to employ one or more clerks, and one or
which has always accompanied the discussion of the more assistant sergeants-at-arms, to aid them in their Slavery question was greatly increased, by the hope on investigation; and may administer to them an oath, or
the one hand of extending Slavery into a region from which affirmation, faithfully to perform the duties assigned to
it had been excluded by law, and on the other by a sense them, respectively, and to keep secret all matters of wrong done by what was regarded as a dishonor of which may come to their knowledge touching ich in- a national compact. This excitement was naturally transvestigation, as said Committee may direct, until the ferred into the border counties of Missouri and the TerriReport of the same shall be submitted to this House ; tory, as settlers favoring free or slave institutions moved
into it. and said Committee may discharge any such clerk or
A new difficulty soon occurred. Different conassistant sergeant-at-arms for neglect of duty or disre- structions were put upon the organic saw. It was congard of instructions in the premises, and employ others tended by the one party that the right to hold slaves in under like regulations.
the Territory existed, and that neither the people nor the The vote of the Slave States was unanimous power was alone possessed by the people when they were
Territorial Legislature could prohibit Slavery-that that against the investigation, 17 from the Free authorized to form a State government. It was conStates voting with them. Yeas 101; Nays 93.
tended that the removal of the restriction virtually estab
lished Slavery in the Territory. This claim was urged by The following are the negatives from the Free many prominent men in western Missouri, who actively States :
engaged in the affairs of the Territory. Every movement, Nays-Against the Investigation:
of whatever character, which tended to establish free insti.
tutions, was regarded as an interference with their rights. MAINE--Thomas J. D. Fuller--1.
Within a few days after the organic law passed, and as New-York-John Kelly, William W. Valk, John soon as its passage could be known on the border, leading Wheeler, Thomas R. Whitney-4.
citizens of Missouri crossed into the Territory, held squatNEW-JERSEY-George Vail-1.
ter meetings, and then returned to their homes. Among PENNSYLVANIA- John Cadwalader, Thomas B. Flo- their resolutions are the following: rence, J. Glancy Jones-3.
“That we will afford protection to no Abolitionist as a settler INDIANA- William H. English, Smith Miller-2.
of this Territory." MICHIGAN-George W. Peck--1.
" That we recognize the institution of Slavery as already exILLINOIS-James C. Allen, Thomas L. Harris, Samuel isting in this Territory, and advise slaveholders to introduce 8 Marshall, William A. Richardson-4.
heir property as early as possible.” CALIFORNIA–Philemon T. Herbert-1.
Similar resolutions were passed in various parts of the So the resolution prevailed, and Messrs. Wil Territory, and by meetings in several counties of Missouri
. liam A. Howard, of Michigan, John Sherman, Slavery was to substitute the resolves of squatter meetings, of Ohio, and Mordecai Oliver, of Missouri, were composed almost exclusively of Missourians, for the delibeappointed the Committee of Investigation there. rate action of Congress, acquiesced in for 35 years.
This unlawful interference has been continued in every by required.
important event in the history of the Territory : evert
slection has been controlled, not by the actual settlers, Chapman's, over 40 miles from the Missouri State line. but by citizens of Missouri; and, as a consequence, every | It was a thinly-settled region, containing but 47 voters officer in the Territory, from constables to legislators, ex- , in February, 1855, when the census was taken. On the cept those appointed by the President, owe their positions day before the election, from 100 to 150 citizens of Cass to non-resident voters. None have been elected by the and Jackson Counties, Mo., came into this district, settlers; and your Committee have been unable to find declaring their purpose to vote, and that they were shat any political power whatever, however unimportant, I bound to make Kansas a Slave State, if they did it at has been exercised by the people of the Territory. the point of the sword. Persons of the party on the way
In October, A. D. 1854, Governor A. H. Reeder and the drove each a stake in the ground and called it a claim other officers appointed by the President arrived in the and in one case several names we. e put on one stake. Territory. Settlers from all parts of the country were the party of strangers camped all night near where the moving in in great numbers, making their claims and election was to be held, and in the morning were at the building their cabins. About the same time, and before election-polls and voted. One of their party got drunk, any election was or could be held in the Territory, a secret and, to get rid of Dr. Chapman, a judge of the election, political society was formed in the State of Missouri. It they sent for him to come and see a sick man, and in his was known by different names, such as “Social Band,” | absence filled his place with another judge, who was not “Friends' Society," “ Blue Lodge," “The Sons of the sworn. They did not deny nor conceal that they were South.” Its members were bound together by secret residents of Missouri, and many of them were recognized oaths, and they had passwords, signs, and grips, by which as such by others. They declared that they were bound they were known to each other. Penalties were imposed to make Kansas a Slave State. They insisted upon their for violating the rules and secrets of the Order. Written right to vote in the Territory if they were in it one hour. minutes were kept of the proceedings of the Lodges, and After the election, they again returned to their homes in the different Lodges were connected together by an effec- Missouri, camping over night on the way. tive organization. It embraced great numbers of the citi- We find upon the poll-books 161 names; of these not zens of Missouri, and was extended into other Slave States over 30 resided in the Territory; 181 were non-residents. and into the Territory. Its avowed purpose was not only But few settlers attended the election in the Vth Disto extend Slavery into Kansas, but also into other terri-trict, the district being large and the settlement scattered. tory of the United States; and to form a union of all the 82 votes were cast; of these between 20 and 30 were setfriends of that institution. Its plan of operating was to tlers, and the residue were citizens of Missouri. They organize and send men to vote at the elections in the Terpassed into the Territory by way of the Santa Fe road and ritory, to collect money to pay their expenses, and, if by the residence of Dr. Westfall
, who then lived on the necessary, to protect them in voting. It also proposed to western line of Missouri. Some little excitement arose at induce Pro-Slavery men to emigrate into the Territory, to the polls as to the legality of their voting, but they did aid and sustain them while there, and to elect none to vote for General Whitfield, and said they intended to office but those friendly to their views. This dangerous make Kansas a Slave State, and that they had claims in society was controlled by men who avowed their purpose the Territory. Judge Teazle, judge of the court in Jackto extend Slavery into the Territory at all hazards, and son County, Missouri, was present, but did not vote. He was altogether the most effective instrument in organizing said he did not intend to vote, but came to see that others the subsequent armed invasions and forays. In its Lodges voted. After the election, the Missourians returned the in Missouri, the affairs of Kansas were discussed, the force way they came. necessary to control the election was divided into bands, The election in the VIth District was held at Fort Scott, and leaders selected; means were collected, and signs and in the southeast part of the Territory, and near the Misbadges were agreed upon. While the great body of the souri line. A party of about one hundred men, from Cass actual settlers of the Territory were relying upon the and the counties in Missouri south of it, went into the rights secured to them by the organic law, and had formed Territory, traveling about 45 miles, most of them with no organization or combination whatever, this conspiracy their wagons and tents, and camping out. They appeared against their rights was gathering strength in Missouri, and at the place of election. Some attempts were made to would have been sufficient at their first election to have swear them, but two of the judges were prevailed upon overpowered them, if they had been united to a man. not to do so, and none were sworn, and as many as chose
Your Committee had great difficulty in eliciting the voted. There were but few resident voters at the polls. proof of the details in regard to this secret society. One The settlement was sparse_about 25 actual settlers voted witness, member of the legislative council, refused to out of 105 votes cast, leaving 80 illegal votes. After the answer questions in reference to it. Another declined to voting was over, the Missourians went to their wagons and answer fully, because to do so would result to his injury. commenced leaving for home. Others could or would only answer as to the general pur- The most shameless fraud practiced upon the rights of poses of the Society, but sufficient is disclosed in the the settlers at this election was in the Vilth District. It testimony to show the influence it had in controlling the is a remote settlement, about 75 miles from the Missouri elections in the Territory.
line, and contained in February, A.D. 1855, three months The first election was for a Delegate to Congress. It was afterward, when the census was taken, but 63 voters, and appointed for the 29th of November, 1854. The Governor ! yet the poll-books show that 604 votes were cast. The divided the Territory into seventeen Election-Districts ; | election was held at the house of Frey McGee, at a place appointed Judges and prescribed proper rules for the called "110." But few of the actual settlers were present election, In the Ist, IIId, Villth, ixth, Xth, XIIth, at the polls. A witness who formerly resided in Jackson XIIIth, and XVIIth Districts there appears to have been County, Missouri, and was well acquainted with the citibut little if any fraudulent voting.
zens of that county, says that he saw a great many wagons The election in the IId District was held at the village and tents at the place of election, and many individuals of Douglas, nearly fifty miles from the Missouri line. On he knew from Jackson County. He was in their tents, and the day before the election, large companies of men conversed with some of them, and they told him they had came into the district in wagons and on horseback, and come with the intention of voting. He went to the polls declared that they were from the State of Missouri, and intending to vote for Flenniken, and his ticket being of a were going to Douglas to vote. On the morning of the different color from the rest, his vote was challenged by election, they gathered around the house where the elec. Frey McGee, who had been appointed one of the judges, tion was to be held. Two of the judges appointed by but did not serve. Lemuel Ralstone, a citizen of Missouri, the Governor did not appear, and other judges were was acting in his place. The witness then challenged the elected by the crowd. All then voted. In order to vote of a young man by the name of Nolan, whom he make a pretense of right to vote, some persons of the knew to reside in Jackson County. Finally, the thing was company kept a pretended register of squatter claims, hushed up, as the witness had a good many friends there on which any one could enter his name and then assert from that county, and it might lead to a fight if he chalhe had a claim in the Territory. A citizen of the district lenged any more votes. Both voted, and he then went who was himself a candidate for Delegate to Congress, down to their camp. He there saw many of his old acwas told by one of the strangers, that he would be quaintances, whom he knew had voted at the election in abused and probably killed if he challenged a vote. He August previous in Missouri, and who still resided in that was seized by the collar, called a d-d Abolitionist, and State. By a careful comparison of the poll-lists with the was compelled to seek protection in the room with the census-rolls, we find but 12 names on the poll-book who judges. About the time the polls were closed, these were voters when the census was taken three months strangers mounted their horses and got into their wagons afterward, and we are satisfied that not more than 20 legal
votes could have been polled at that election. The only “ All aboard for Westport and Kansas City.” A dum residents who are known to have voted are named by the ber were recognized as residents of Missouri, and witness, and are 13 in number-thus leaving 584 illegal among them was Samuel H. Woodson, a leading lawyer votes cast in a remote district, where the settlers within of Independence. Of those whose names are on the pollo many miles were acquainted with each other. books, 85 were resident settlers and 226 were not. Trie total number of white inhabitants in the XIth
The election in the IVth District was held at Dr. District, in the month of February, A.D. 1853, including
and cried out:
men, women and children, was 36, of whom 24 were Missouri. On the day of the election, a large number of voters yet the poll-lists in this District show that 245 citizens of Platte County, but chiefly from Weston and votes were cast at this election. For reasons stated Platte City, came in small parties, in wagons and on hereafter in regard to the election on the 30th of March, horseback, to the polls. Among them were several lead. your Committee were anable to procure the attendance ing citizens of that town, and the names of many of them of witnesses from this District, From the records, it are given by the witnesses. They generally insisted clearly appears that the votes cast could not have been upon their right to yote, on the ground that every man by lawful resident voters. The best test, in the absence having a claim in the Territory could vote, no matter of direct proof, by which to ascertain the number of where he lived. All voted who chose. No man was legal votes cast, is by a comparison of the census-roll challenged or sworn. Some of the residents did not vote. with th poll-book--by which it appears that but ? The purpose of the
in voting was declared to be resident settlers voted, and 238 votes were illegally and to make Kansas a Slave State. We find by the poll-books fraudulently cast.
that 806 votes were cast-of these we find but B7 are on The election in the XIVth District was held at the house the census-rolls as legal voters in February following. of Benjamin Harding, a few miles from the town of St. Your Committee is satisfied from the testimony that not Joseph, Missouri. Before the polls were opened, a large over 100 of those who voted had any right so to do, leay. number of citizens of Buchanan County, Missouri, and ing at least 206 illegal votes cast. among them many of the leading citizens of St. Joseph, The election in the XVIth District was held at Leaven. were at the place of voting, and made a majority of the worth. It was then a small village of three or four company present. At the time appointed by the Gov. houses, located on the Delaware Reservation. There ernor for opening the polls, two of the Judges were not were but comparatively few settlers then in the district, there, and it became the duty of the legal voters present but the number rapidly increased afterward. On the to select other judges. The judge wiio was present* day before and on the day of the election, a great many suggested the name of Mr. Waterson as one of the Judges citizens of Platte, Clay and Ray counties crossed the -but the crowd voted down the proposition. Some dis- river--most of them camping in tents and wagons about cussion then arose as to the right of non-residents to vote the town,“ like a camp-meeting.” They were in compa'or judges, during which Mr. Bryant was nominated and dies or messes of ten to fifteen in each, and numbered in elected by the crowd. Some ove nominated Col. John all several hundred. The ybrought their own provision Scott as the other judge, who was then and is now a and cooked it themselves, and were generally armed. resident of St. Joseph. At that time, he was the City At. Many of them were known by the witnesses, and their torney at that place, and so continued until this spring, names given, and their names are found upon the pollo but he claimed that the night before he had come to the books. Among them were several persons of influence house of Mr. Bryant, and had engaged boarding for a where they resided in Missouri, who held, or had held; month, and considered himself a resident of Kansas on high official positions in that State. They claimed to be that ground. The judges appointed by the Governor re- residents of the Territory, from the fact that they were fused to put the nomination of Col. Scott to vote, because then present, and insisted upon the right to vote, and did he was not a resident. After some discussion, Judge vote. Their avowed purpose in doing so was to make Leonard, a citizen of Missouri, stepped forward and put Kansas a Slave State. These strangere crowded around the vote himself; and Mr. Scott was declared by him as the polls, and it was with great difficulty that the settlers elected by the crowd, and served as a judge of election could get to the polls. One resident attempted to get to that day. After the election was over, he returned to St. the polls in the afternoon, but was crowded and pulled Joseph, and never since has resided in the Territory. It back. He then went outside of the crowd and hurrahed is manifest that this election of a non-resident lawyer as for Gen. Whitfield, and some of those who did not know a judge was imposed upon the settlers by the citizens of him said, " that's a good Pro-Slavery man," and lifted the State. When the board of judges wus thus completed, him over their heads so that he crawled on their heads the voting proceeded; but the effect of the rule adopted by and put in his vote. A person who saw from the color of the judges allowed many, if not a majority of the non- his ticket that it was not for Gen. Whitfield, cried out, residents, to vote. They claimed that their presence on “He is a damned Abolitionist- let him down ;" and they the ground, especially when they had a claim in the dropped him. Others were passed to the polls in the Territory, gave them a right to vote-under that con- same way, and others crowded up in the best way they struction of the law, they readily, when r quired, swore could. After this mockery of an election was over, the they were “residents,” and then voted. By this evasion, , non-residents returned to their homes in Missouri.' of as nearly as your Committee can ascertain from the testi- | the 812 votes cast, not over 150 were by legal voters. mony, as many as 50 illegal votes were cast in this Dis- The following abstract exhibits the whole number of trict out of 153, the whole number polled.
votes at this election, for each candidate; the number of The election in the XVth District was held at Pense legal and illegal votes cast in each district; and the num. pan's, on Stranger Creek, a few miles from Weston, I ber of legal votes in each district in February following:
Thus your Committee find that in this, the first election by Colonel Young and others, calling for volunteers to go In the Territory, a very large majority of the votes were to other districts where there were not Missourians enough cast by citizens of the State of Missouri, in violation of the to control the election, as there were more at Lawrence organic law of the Territory. Of the legal votes cast, than were needed there. Many volunteered to go, and Gen. Whitfield received a plurality. The settlers took the morning of the election several companies, from 180 to but little interest in the election, not one-half of them vot- 200 men each, went off to Tecumseh, Hickory Point, ing. This may be accounted for, from the fact that the Bloomington, and other places. On the morning of the settlements were scattered over a great extent-that the election, the Missourians came over to the place of voting term of the Delegate to be elected was short-and that from their camp, in bodies of one hundred at a time. Mr. the question of Free and Slave institutions was not gene- Blanton not appearing, another judge was appointed in rally regarded by them as distinctly at issue. Under his place-Colonel Young claiming that, as the people of these circumstances, a systematic invasion from an the Territory had two judges, it was nothing more than adjoining State, by which large numbers of illegal votes right that the Missourians should have the other one, to Fere cast in remote and sparse settlements for the look after their interests; and Robert E. Cummins was avowed purpose of extending Slavery into the Territory, elected in Blanton's stead, because he considered that even though it did not change the result of the election, every man had a right to vote if he had been in the Terriwas a crime of great magnitude. Its immediate effect tory but an hour. The Missourians brought their tickets was to further excite the people of the Northern States, with them; but, not having enough, they had three hun. induce acts of retaliation, and exasperate the actual set-dred more printed in Lawrence on the evening before and tlers against their neighbors in Missouri.
the day of election. They had white ribbons in their butIn January and February, A.D. 1855, the Governor ton-holes to distinguish themselves from the settlers. caused an enumeration to be taken of the inhabitants and
When the voting commenced, the question of the legality qualified voters in the Territory, an abstract of which is of the vote of a Mr. Page was raised. Before it was de here given : Total population...
cided, Colonel Samuel Young stepped up to the window 8501
where the votes were received, and said he would settle Total voters
the matter. The vote of Mr. Page was withdrawn, and Natives of the United States.
Colonel Young offered to vote. He refused to take the of foreign birth..
oath prescribed by the Governor, but swore he was a resi. Slaves
dent of the Territory, upon which his vote was received. Free negroes
He told Mr. Abbott, one of the judges, when asked if he On the same day the census was completed, the Governor intended to make Kansas his future home, that it was issued his proclamation for an election to be held on the 30th none of his business; that if he were a resident then he of March, A.D. 1855, for members of the Legislative Assem- should ask no more. After his vote was received, Colonel bly of the Territory. It prescribed the boundaries of dis- Young got up in the window-sill and announced to the tricts, the places for polls, the names of judges, the appoint- crowd that he had been permitted to vote, and they could ment of members, and recited the qualification of voters. If all come up and vote. He told the judges that there was it had been observed, a just and fair election would have re
no use in swearing the others, as they would all swear as fiected the will of the people of the Territory. Before the he had done. After the other judges concluded to receive election, false and inflammatory rumors were busily circula- Colonel Young's vote, Mr. Abbott resigned as judge of led among the people of Western Missouri. The number and election, and Mr. Benjamin was elected in his place. character of the emigration then passing into the Territory The polls were so much crowded until late in the evening, were grossly exaggerated and misrepresented. Through the that, for a time, when the men had voted, they were obliged active exertions of many of its leading citizens, aided by to get out by being hoisted up on the roof of the building the secret societies before referred to, the passions and where the election was being held, and pass out over the prejudices of the people of that State were greatly excited. house. Afterward, a passage-way through the crowd was Several residents there have testified to the character of made, by two lines of men being formed, through which the reports circulated among and credited by the people. the voters could get up to the polls. Colonel Young asked These efforts were successful. By an organized move- that the old men be allowed to go up first and vote, as ment, which extended from Andrew County in the north they were tired with the traveling, and wanted to get back to Jasper County in the south, and as far eastward as
to camp. Boone and Cole counties, companies of men were arranged The Missourians sometimes came up to the polls in proin regular parties and sent into every council district in cession, two by two, and voted. the Territory, and into every representative district but one. The numbers were so distributed as to control some of the citizens, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Bond, and Mr. Willis,
During the day, the Missourians drove off the ground the election in each district. They went to vote, and with They threatened to shoot Mr. Bond, and a crowd rushed the avowed design to make Kansas a Slave State. They after him, threatening him; and, as he ran from them, were generally armed and equipped, carried with them
some shots were fired at him as he jumped off the bank of their own provisions and tents, and so marched into the the river and made his escape. The citizens of the town Territory. The details of this invasion from the mass of went over in a body, late in the afternoon, when the polls the testimony taken by your committee are so voluminous had become comparatively clear, and voted. that we can here state but the leading facts elicited.
The whole number of names appearing upon the poll
lists is 1,034. After full examination, we are satisfied Ist DISTRICT-MARCH 30, 1955.–LAWRENCE.
that not over 232 of these were legal voters, and 802 The company of persons who marched into this district were non-resident and illegal voters. This District is collected in Ray, Howard, Carroll
, Boone, La Fayette, strongly in favor of making Kansas a Free State, and Randolph, Saline, and Cass counties, in the State of Mis- there is no doubt that the Free State candidates for the souri
. Their expenses were paid—those who could not legislature would have been elected by large majorities, come contributing provisions, wagons, etc. Provisions were if none but the actual settlers had voted. At the preced deposited for those who were expected to come to Lawrence, ing election in November, 1854, where none but legal in the house of William Lykins, and were distributed among voters
were polled, General Whitfield, who received the the Missourians after they arrived there. The evening full strength of the Pro-Slavery party, got but 46 votes. before and the morning of the day of election, about 1000 men from the above counties arrived at Lawrence, and
IID DISTRICT-BLOOMINGTON. encamped in a ravine a short distance from town, near On the morning of election, the judges appointed by the place of voting. They came in wagons—of which there the Governor appeared and opened the polls. Their were over one hundred-and on horseback, under the names were Harrison Burson, Nathaniel Ramsay, and command of Colonel Samuel Young, of Boone County, Mis- Mr. Ellison. The Missourians began to come in early in souri, and Claiborne F. Jackson, of Missouri. They were the morning, some 500 or 600 of them, in wagons and car. armed with guns, rifles, pistols, and bowie-knives, and had riages, and on horseback, under the lead of Samuel J. tents, music, and flags with them. They brought with Jones, then Postmaster of 'Westport, Missouri, Claiborne them two pieces of artillery, loaded with musket-balls. F. Jackson, and Mr. Steely, of Independence, Missouri. on their way to Lawrence, some of them met Mr. N. B. They were armed with double-barreled guns, rifles, Blanton, who had been appointed one of the judges of bowie-knives, and pistols, and had flags hoisted. They election by Governor Reeder; and, after learning from held a sort of informal election, off at one side, at first him that he considered it his duty to demand an oath from for Governor of Kansas, and shortly afterward announced them as to their place of residence, first attempted to Thomas Johnson, of Shawnee Mission, elected Governor. bribe, and then threatened him with hanging, in order to the polls had been opened but a short time, when Mr. induce him to dispense with that oath. In consequence Jones marched with the crowd up to the window, and of these threats, he did not appear at the polls the next demanded that they should be allowed to vote without morning to act as judge.
swearing as to their residence. After some noisy and The evening before the election, while in camp, the threatening talk, Claiborne F. Jackson addressed the Missourians were called together at the tent of Captain crowd, saying they had come there to vote, that they had Claiborne F. Jackson, and speeches were made to them a right to vote if they had been there but five minutes,
and he was not willing to go home without voting; th's returns of the election made to the Governor were lost was received with cheers. Jackson then called upon by the Committee of Elections of the Legislature at Paw. them to form into little bands of fifteen or twenty, which nee. The duplicate returns left in the hallot-box were they did, and went to an ox-wagon filled with guns, taken by. F. E. Laley, one of the judges elected by the which were distributed among them, and proceeded to Missourians, and were either lost or destroyed in his load some of them on the ground. In pursuance of house, so that your Committee have been unable to Jackson's request, they tied white tape or ribbons in institute a comparison between the poll-lists and census their buttonholes, so as to distinguish them from the returns of this district. The testimony, however, is uni“Abolitionists. They again demanded that the Judges form, that not even thirty of those who voted there that should resign, and upon their refusing to do so, smashed day were entitled to vote, leaving 311 illegal votes. We in the window, sash and all, and presented their pistols are satisfied from the testimony that, had the actual setand guns to them, threatening to shoot them. Some one tlers alone voted, the Free State candidates would have on the outside cried out to them not to shoot, as there been elected by a handsome majority. were Pro-Slavery men in the room with the judges. They then put a pry under the corner of the house, which
IIID DISTRICT-TECUMSEH. was a log house, and lifted it up a few inches and let it For some days prior to the election, companies of men fall again, but desisted upon being told there were Pi ). were organized in Jackson, Cass, and Clay counties, Mo., Slavery men in the house. During this time, the crowd for the purpose of coming to the Territory and voting in repeatedly demanded to be allowed to vote without being this Vth district. The day previous to the election, some sworn, and Mr. Ellison, one of the judges, expressed him- 400 or 500 Missourians, armed with guns, pistols, and self willing, but the other two judges refused; thereupon knives, came into the Territory and camped, some at a body of men, headed by " Sheriff Jones," rushed into Bull Creek, and others at Potawatamie Creek. Their the judges' room with cocked pistols and drawn bowie- camps were about sixteen miles apart. On the evening knives in their hands, and approached Burson and Ram- before the election, Judge Hamilton of the Cass County say. Jones pulled out his watch, and said he would give Court, Mo., came from the Potawatamie Creek camp to them five minutes to resign in, or die. When the five Bull Creek for sixty more Missourians, as they had minutes had expired and the judges did not resign, Jones not enough there to render the election certain, and said he would give them another minute, and no more. about that number went down there with him. On the Ellison told his associates that if they did not resign, there evening before the election, Dr. B. C. Westfall was electwould be one hundred shots fired in the room in less than ed to act as one of the Judges of Election in the Bull fifteen minutes; and then, snatching up the ballot-box, Creek precinct, in place of one of the judges appointed ran out into the crowd, holding up the ballot-box and by the Governor, who, it was said, would not be there the kurrahing for Missouri. About that time Burson, and next day. Dr. Westfall was at that time a citizen of Ramsay were called out by their friends, and not suffered Jackson County, Mo. On the morning of the election, to return. As Mr. Burson went out, he put the ballot the polls for Bull Creek precinct were opened, and, with: poll-books in his pocket, and took them with him; and as out swearing the judges, they proceeded to receive the he was going out, Jones snatched some papers away from votes of all who offered to vote. For the sake of appearhim, and shortly afterward came out himself holding ance, they would get some one to come to the window them up, crying "Hurrah for vissuuri !" After he discov- and offer to vote, and when asked to be sworn he would ered they were not the poll-books, he took a party of men pretend to grow angry at the judges and would go away, with him and started off to take the poll-books from Bur- and his name would be put down as having offered to
Mr. Burson saw them coming, and he gave the vote, but "rejected, refusing to be sworn." This books to Mr. Umberger, and told him to start off in arrangement was made previously and perfectly underanother direction, so as to mislead Jones and his party. stood by the judges. But few of the residents of the Jones and his party caught Mr. Umberger, took the poll- district were present at the election, and only thirteen books away from him. and Jones took him up behind him voted. The number of votes cast in the precinct was 393. on a horse, and carried him back a prisoner. After Jones One Missourian voted for himself and then voted for and his party had taken Umberger back, they went to the his little son, but 10 or 11 years old. Col. Coffer, Henry house of Mr. Ramsay and took Judge John A. Wakefield Younger and Mr. Lykins, who were voted for and electprisoner, and carried him to the place of election, and ed to the Legislature, were residents of Missouri at the made him get up on a wagon and make them a speech; tine. Col. Coffer subsequently married in the Territory. after which they put a white ribbon in his button-hole After the polls were closed, the returns were made, and and let him go. They then chose two new judges, and a man, claiming to be a magistrate, certified on them proceeded with the election.
that he had sworn the judges of election before opening They also threatened to kill the judges if they did not the polls. In the Potawatamie precinct, the Missourians receive their votes without swearing them, or else resign. attended the election, and after threatening Mr. ChesThey said no man should vote who would submit to be nut, the only judge present appointed by the Governor, sworn-that they would kill any one that would offer to to induce him to resign, they proceeded to elect two do so~"shoot him," " cut his guts out," etc. They said other judges-one a Missourian and the other a resident no man should vote this day unless he voted an open of another precinct of that district. The polls were then ticket, and was “all right on the goose," and that if they opened, and all the Missourians were allowed to vote could not vote by fair means, they would by foul means. without being sworn. They said they had as much right to vote, if they had After the polls were closed, and the returns made out been in the Territory two minutes, as if they had been for the signature of the judges, Mr. Chesnut refused to there for two years, and they would vote. Some of the sign them, as he did not consider them correct returns citizens who were about the window, but had not voted of legal voters. when the crowd of Missourians marched up there, upon Col. Cotfer, a resident of Missouri, but elected to the attempting to vote, were driven back by the mob, or Kansas Legislature from that district at that election, endriven off. One of them, Mr. J. M. Macey, was asked if deavored with others to induce Mr. Chesnut by threats he would take the oath, and upon his replying that he to sign the returns, which he refused to do, and left the would if the judges required it, he was dragged through house. On his way home, he was fired at by some Misthe crowd away from the polls, amid cries of “ Kill the sourians, though not injured. There were three illegal d-d nigger-thief," “ Cut his throat," “ Tear his heart to one legal vote given there that day. At the Big Layer out, etc. After they had got him to the outside of the precinct, the judges appointed by the Governor met crowd, they stood around him with cockel revolvers and at the time appointed, and proceeded to open the polls, drawn bowie-knives, one man putting a knife to his after being duly sworn. After a few votes had been reheart
. so that it touched him, another holding a cocked ceived, a party of Msssourians came into the yard of pistol to his ear, while another struck at him with a club. the house where the election was held, and, unloading a The Missourians said they had a right to vote if they had wagon filled with arms, stacked their guns in the yard, been in the Territory but five minutes. Some said they and came up to the window and demanded to be admithad been hired to come there and vote, and get a dollar ted to vote. Two of the judges decided to receive their a day, and, by G-d, they would vote or die there. votes, whereupon the third judge, Mr. J. M. Arthur, re
They said the 30th day of March was an important day, signed, and another was chosen in his place. Col. as Kansas would be made a Slave State on that day. Young, a citizen of Missouri, but a candidate for, and They began to leave in the direction of Missouri in the elected to, the Territorial Legislative Council, was preafternoon, after they had voted, leaving some thirty or sent and voted in the precinct. He claimed that all forty around the house where the election was held, to Missourians who were present on the day of election guard the polls until after the election was over. The were entitled to vote. But thirty or forty of the citizens citizens of the Territory were not around, except those of the precinct were present, and many of them did not who took part in the mob, and a large portion of them vote. At the Little Sugar precinct, the election seemed did not vote: 841 votes were polled there that day, to have been conducted fairly, and there a Free State of which but some thirty were citizens. A protest majority was polled. From the testimony, the whole against the election was made to the Governor. The district appears to have been largely Free-State, and,