Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The Contest for Kansas-Debate in the Senate on its Admission into the

Union: in favor of “Squatter Sovereignty," Stephen A. Douglas
[I11.); in Favor of Prohibition of Slavery, William H. Seward (N. Y.)
-Speech of Senator Charles Sumner (Mass.) on “The Crime against
Kansas"-Reply by Senator Douglas-Assault on Sumner by
Representative Preston S. Brooks (S. C.)-Defense of Brooks by
Senator Andrew P. Butler (S. C.}-Arraignment of Brooks by
Representative Anson Burlingame (Mass.}-Presidential Cam-
paign of 1856—Sketch of the Republican Candidate, John C.
Frémont (Cal.1-Sketch of the Democratic Candidate, James
Buchanan (Pa.}-Exultation of President Franklin Pierce over
Democratic Victory-Comment by Senator John P. Hale (N. H.}
Inaugural Address of President Buchanan-The Dred Scott
Decision-Opinions in favor, by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney
[Md.), et al.; in Opposition, by Associate-Justices John McLean
(0.), and Benjamin R. Curtis (Mass.}-Sketches of the Justices-
Senator Douglas Accepts the Decision-Abraham Lincoln (III.)
Replies to Douglas.


” men adopted by general consent the ancient and revered name of “Republican" as their party designation. To this the Democrats, who still formally retained the early name, strenuously objected, and endeavored to fix the term “Black Republican" upon the new party as a fit and distinguishing appellation. But the opprobrium they thought thus to cast upon the anti-slavery men redounded to the great unanimity and increase of the party by attracting to it the Abolitionists,

who were now growing in numbers, owing to the fact that every one was an ardent propagandist.

In the year of its formation the Republican party elected eleven Senators and a plurality of Representatives.

“Bleeding Kansas.” On the passage of the KansasNebraska act, organized bands of Missourians entered Kansas with their slaves, declaring that “no protection would be afforded Abolitionist settlers in the region.” The Abolitionists thereupon organized “Emigrant Aid Societies" to promote the migration of anti-slavery settlers. The first of these was a New England company which established itself at Lawrence, Kansas, named after Amos A. Lawrence, treasurer of the company. They were menaced by the Missourians, but, showing their resolution to defend themselves, were not attacked.

The government of the Territory was organized in the autumn, with Andrew H. Reeder (Pa.), an Administration Democrat with Free-Soil predilections, appointed as Governor by President Pierce. John W. Whitfield, a pro-slavery man, was elected Delegate to Congress, largely by the votes of Missouri citizens, who, by the advice of Senator David R. Atchison (Mo.), crossed the border and participated in the election. About this time a party of pro-slavery settlers founded the town of Atchison. An early issue of the local paper, the Squatter Sovereign, defied the antislavery men to do their worst.

"They may spend their millions and billions; their representatives in Congress spout their heretical opinions until doomsday, and His Excellency appoint Abolitionist after Free-Soiler as our Governor, yet we will continue to lynch and hang, tar and feather and drown, every whitelivered Abolitionist who dares to pollute our soil."

In March, 1855, an election was held for the Territorial legislature. Eight times as many votes were counted as there were legal voters, and only two FreeSoilers were elected. Governor Reeder refused to issue certificates of election in the most glaring cases of fraud, and was threatened with lynching by the pro-slavery press. A new election was held in these cases, and FreeSoilers were chosen. The legislature, however, seated the fraudulent contestants, and, adjourning, in despite of the Governor's veto, from the temporary capital at Pawnee Mission to Shawnee Mission on the Missouri border, it adopted the laws of Missouri, including those relating to slavery, as the laws of the new Territory. This act was passed over the Governor's veto. At the petition of the legislature, Reeder was removed by President Pierce, and Wilson Shannon, who had been Governor of Ohio, was appointed in his place. Shannon at once announced that the acts of the legislature were legal.

In the meantime outrages were committed by proslavery mobs: Free-Soil printing plants were destroyed, and a lawyer in Leavenworth who had protested against election frauds was tarred-and-feathered, ridden on a rail, and sold to a negro, who was compelled to purchase him.

The Free-Soil settlers held a convention which repudiated the legislature and its acts, and called another delegate convention and a constitutional convention. At the former ex-Governor Reeder was elected Congressional Delegate, and at the latter, which was held at Topeka, a free-State constitution was formed, under which it was asked Congress to admit Kansas into the Union.

Assassination of a free-State settler, William Dow, on November 21, 1855, led to an armed conflict between the parties. On appeal from a pro-slavery sheriff, Governor Shannon called out the militia, and, in response, a pro-slavery army came from the border and encamped on the Wakarusa River near Lawrence. The "militia" killed a free-State man, Thomas W. Barbour.' Finally an armistice ended this “Wakarusa War."

On January 15, 1856, election was held under the Topeka constitution, and a free-State Governor, Charles Robinson, and a free-State legislature were chosen, subject to the approval of Congress. The constitution provided that no negro, free or slave, be permitted in the State.

On January 26, 1856, George G. Dunn (Ind.]' moved in the House of Representatives to restore the Missouri Compromise to settle the Kansas agitation. It was carried by one vote, but failed to pass the Senate.

Outrages by the Missourians, who were called “Border Ruffians” by the free-State men, continued. Robinson and General James H. Lane, the free-State leaders, telegraphed to President Pierce on January 21 and 22, that a great invasion was preparing from Missouri, and asking that he employ the troops at the Federal post in Leavenworth to oppose it. With this request the President did not at the time comply. Instead, he sent a special message to Congress on January 24, in which he charged the Abolitionists of the country with responsibility for all the troubles in the Territory

Against this message Representative Galusha A. Grow (Pa.), on March 5, entered a spirited protest.

* See Whittier's poem, The Burial of Barbour.

a Dunn was a Representative from 1847 to 1849, and from 1855 to 1857.

It is the duty of the President to protect the settlers of Kansas against the invasion of their civil rights, and in not fulfilling it he is guilty of gross dereliction.

We insist that the flag of the Union shall float, as heretofore, the emblem of freedom, and that under its folds, everywhere, freedom of speech and of the press and the inalienable rights of men shall be protected.

Finally, on February 11, the President issued a proclamation in which he warned all citizens of States adjacent to Kansas against invasion of the Territory on pain of suppression by Federal troops, and, on th 15th, Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, sent orders to the army officers at Leavenworth to place troops at the disposal of Governor Shannon. In despite of these actions, bands of pro-slavery men, led by Colonel Buford of Alabama, Senator Atchison, General Stringfellow, and others, armed with weapons from the Federal arsenal at Leavenworth, entered Lawrence, and destroyed the printing offices, the Free-State Hotel, and the residence of Mr. Robinson. A small body of freeState men, led by John Brown of Osawatomie, then arose, and, at the battle of Black Jack, captured, with their plunder, a pro-slavery party that had just sacked Palmyra, a free-State settlement. A pro-slavery party under Whitfield made discreet reprisal by burning Osawatomie in the absence of Brown.

The House of Representatives, by a vote of 101 to 93 had sent a committee to Kansas to inquire into the anarchy prevailing there. After an investigation of several weeks, it presented the following report:

1. That every election had been fraudulently carried by organized invasions from Missouri; (2) that the legislature was therefore an illegal body; (3) that its powers had been

« AnteriorContinuar »