Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

had none but actual settlers voted, the Free-State candidates would have been elected by a large majority. From a careful examination of the testimony and the records, we find that from 200 to 225 legal votes were polled out of 885, the total number given in the precincts of the Vth District. Of the legal votes cast, the FreeState candidates received 152.

VITH DISTRICT-FORT SCOTT.

A company of citizens from Missouri, mostly from Bates County, came into this District the day before the election, some camping and others putting up at the public-house. They numbered from 100 to 200, and came in wagons and on horseback, carrying their provisions and tents with them, and were generally armed with pistels. They declared their purpose to vote, and claimed the right to do so. They went to the polls generally in small bodies, with tickets in their hands, and many, if not all, voted. In some cases, they declared that they had voted, and gave their reasons for so doing. Mr. Anderson, a Pro-Slavery candidate for the Legislature, endeavored to dissuade the non-residents from voting, because he did not wish the election contested. This person, however, insisted upon voting, and upon his right to vote, and did so. No one was challenged or sworn, and all voted who desired to. Out of 350 votes cast, not over 100 were legal, and but 64 of these named in the census taken one month before by Mr. Barber, the candidate for Council, voted. Many of the Free-State men did not vote, but your Committee is satisfied that, of the legal votes cast, the Pro-Slavery candidates received a majority. Mr. Anderson, one of these candidates, was an unmarried man, who came into the District from Missouri a few days before the election, and boarded at the public-house until the day after the election. He then took with him the poll-lists, and did not return to Fort Scott until the occasion of a barbacue the week before the election of October 1, 1855. He voted at that election, and after it left, and has not since been in the District. S. A. Williams, the other ProSlavery candidate, at the time of the election had a claim in the Territory, but his legal residence was not there until after the election.

VIITH DISTRICT.

the Council and a Representative, and its vote was con-
trolled by the illegal vote cast there. The census shows
39 votes in it-87 votes were cast, of whom a majority
voted the Free-State ticket.
IXTH DISTRICT.

From two to three hundred men, from the State of Missouri, came in wagons or on horseback, to the election ground at Switzer's Creek, in the VIIth District, and encamped near the polls, on the day preceding the election. They were armed with pistols and other weapons, and declared their purpose to vote, in order to secure the election of Pro-Slavery members. They said they were disappointed in not finding more Yankees there, and that they had brought more men than were necessary to counterbalance their vote. A number of them wore badges of blue ribbon, with a motto, and the company were under the direction of leaders. They declared their intention to conduct themselves peacefully, unless the residents of the Territory attempted to stop them from voting. Two of the judges of election appointed by Governor Reeder refused to serve, whereupon two others were appointed in their stead by the crowd of Missourians who surrounded the polls. The newly-appointed judges refused to take the oath prescribed by Governor Reeder, but made one to suit themselves. Andrew Johnson requested each voter to swear if he had a claim in the Territory, and if he had voted in another district. The judges did not take the oath scribed, but were sworn to receive all legal votes. Missourians voted without being sworn. ported H. J. Stickler for Council, and M. W. McGee for Representative. They left the evening of the election. Some of them started on horseback for Lawrence, as they said they could be there before night, and all went the way they came. The census-list shows 53 legal voters in the District. 253 votes were cast; of these 25 were residents, 17 of whom were in the District when the cenpolls did not vote, declaring it useless. Candidates deSome of the residents present at the clined to run on the Free-State ticket because they were unwilling to run the risk of so unequal a contest-it be ing known that a great many were coming up from Missouri to vote. Nearly all the settlers were Free-State men, and 23 of the 25 legal votes given were cast for the only Free-State candidate running. Mobiller McGee, who was declared elected Representative, had a claim-a saw-mill and a house in the Territory-and he was there part of the time. But his legal residence is now, and was then, near Westport, in Missouri, where he owns and conducts a valuable farm, and where his family resides.

sus was taken.

VIIITH DISTRICT.
This was attached to the VIIth District for member of

Fort Riley and Pawnee are in this District. The latter place was selected by the Governor as the temporary capital, and he designed there to expend the sums appropriated by Congress in the construction of suitable houses for the Legislature. A good deal of building was then being done at the fort near by. For these reasons, a number of mechanics, mostly from Pennsylvania, came into this district in March, 1855, to seek employment. Some of these voted at the election. The construction of the capital was first postponed, then abandoned, and finally the site of the town was declared by the Secretary of War to be within the military reservation of Fort Riley. Some of the inhabitants returned to the States, and some went to other parts of the Territory. Your Committee find that they came as settlers, intending to remain as such, and were entitled to vote.

XTH DISTRICT.

In this district, ten persons belonging to the Wyandot tribe of Indians voted. They were of that class who under the law were entitled to vote; but their residence was in Wyandot Village, at the mouth of Kansas River, and they had no right to vote in this district. They voted the Pro-Slavery ticket. Eleven men recently from Pennsylvania voted the Free-State Ticket. From the testimony, they had not, at the time of the election, so established their residence as to have entitled them to vote. In both these classes of cases, the judges examined the voters under oath and allowed them to vote. and in all respects the election seems to have been conducted fairly. The rejection of both would not have changed the result. This and the VIIIth Election District formed one representative district, and was the only one to which the invasion from Missouri did not extend. XITH DISTRICT.

The IXth Xth, XIth and XIIth Election Districts, being all sparsely settled, were attached together as a Council District, and the XIth and XIIth as a Representative District. This Election District is 60 miles north from Pawnee, and 150 miles from Kansas City. It is the when the census was taken, but 36 inhabitants, of whom northwest settlement in the Territory, and contained. 24 were voters. There was on the day of election no white settlement about Marysville, the place of voting, for 40 miles, except that Marshall and Bishop kept a store and ferry at the crossing of the Big Blue and the Californía rcad. Your Committee were unable to procure witnesses from this district. Persons who were present at the election were duly summoned by an officer, and among them was F. J. Marshall, the member of the arrested and detained, and persons bearing the names House from that district. On his return, the officer was of some of the witnesses summoned were stopped near Lecompton, and did not appear before the Committee. The returns show that, in defiance of the Governor's proclamation, the voting was viva voce, instead of by and by comparing these names with those on the census ballot. 328 names appear upon the poll-books as voting, rolls, we find that but seven of the latter voted. The person voted for as Representative, F. J. Marshall, was pre-sometimes, but his family lived in Weston. John Donchief owner of the store at Marysville, and was there aldson, the candidate voted for the Council, then lived They sup-in Jackson County, Missouri.

The

30 men from Weston, Mo., was on the way from MarysOn the day after the election, Mr. Marshall, with 25 or ville to the State. Some of the party told a witness who had formerly resided at Weston, that they were up at Marysville and carried the day for Missouri, and that they had voted about 150 votes. Mr. Marshall paid the bill at that point for the party.

into that district in March, 1855, after the census was There does not appear to have been any emigration taken, and, judging from the best test in the power of your Committee, there were but seven legal votes cast in. the district, and 821 illegal.

XIITH DISTRICT. The election in this district was conducted fairly. No complaint was made that illegal votes were cast.

XIIITH DISTRICT.

Previous to the day of election, several hundreds of Missourians from Platte, Clay, Boone, Clinton, and Howard counties, came into the district in wagons and on horseback, and camped there. They were armed with guns, revolvers, and bowie-knives and had badges of

hemp in their button-holes and elsewhere about their persons. They claimed to have a right to vote, from the fact that they were there on the ground, and had, or intended to make, claims in the Territory, although their families were in Missouri.

The judges appointed by the Governor opened the polls, and some persons offered to vote, and when their votes were rejected on the ground that they were not residents of the district, the crowd threatened to tear the house down if the judges did not leave. The judges then withdrew, taking the poll-books with them. The crowd then proceeded to select other persons to act as judges, and the election went on. Those persons voting who were sworn were asked if they considered themselves residents of the district, and if they said they did, they were allowed to vote. But few of the residents were present and voted, and the Free-State men, as a general thing, did not vote. After the Missourians got through voting, they returned home. A formal return was made by the judges of election setting out the facts, but it was not verified. The number of legal voters in this district Of was 96, of whom a majority were Free-State men. these - voted. The total number of votes cast was 296. XIVTH DISTRICT.

It was generally rumored in this district, for some days before the election, that the Missourians were coming over to vote. Previous to the election, men from Missouri came into the district, and electioneered for the Pro-Slavery candidates. Gen. David R. Atchison and a party controlled the nominations in one of the primary elections.

to vote without being sworn-some of them voting as many as eight or nine times; changing their hats and coats, and giving in different names each time. After they had voted, they returned to Missouri. The FreeState men generally did not vote, though constituting a majority in the precinct. Upon counting the ballots in the box and the names on the poll-lists, it was found that there were too many ballots, and one of the judges of election took out ballots enough to make the two numbers correspond.

BURR OAK PRECINCT.

Several hundred Missourians from Buchanan, Platte, and Andrew counties, Mo., including a great many of the prominent citizens of St. Joseph, came into this precinct the day before, and on the day of election, in wagons and on horses, and encamped there. Arrangements were made for them to cross the ferry at St. Joseph free of expense to themselves. They were armed with bowieOn the morning of knives and pistols, guns and rifles. the election, the Free-State candidates resigned in a body, on account of the presence of the large number of armed Missourians, at which the crowd cheered and hurrahed. Gen. B. F. Stringfellow was present, and was prominent in promoting the election of the Pro-Slavery ticket, as was also the Hon. Willard P. Hall, and others of the most prominent citizens of St. Joseph, Mo. But one of the judges of election, appointed by the Governor, served on that day, and the crowd chose two others to supply the vacancies.

The Missourians said they came there to vote for, and secure the election of, Major Wm. P. Richardson. Major Richardson, elected to the Council, had a farm in Missouri, where his wife and daughter lived with his sonin-law, Willard P. Hall, he himself generally going home to Missouri every Saturday night. The farm was geneHe had a claim in rally known as the Richardson farm. the Territory, upon which was a saw-mill, and where he generally remained during the week.

Some of the Missourians gave as their reason for voting that they had heard that eastern emigrants were to be at that election, though no eastern emigrants were there. Others said they were going to vote for the purpose of making Kansas a Slave State.

Some claimed that they had a right to vote, under the provisions of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, from the fact that they were present on the ground on the day of election. The Free-State men generally did not vote, and those who did vote, voted generally for John H. Whitehead, Pro-Slavery, for Council, against Major Wm. P. Richardson, and did not vote at all for members of the Lower House.

The parties were pretty nearly equally divided in the district, some being of opinion that the Free-State party had a small majority, and others that the ProSlavery party had a small majority. After the election was over and the polls were closed, the Missourians turned home. During the day, they had provisions and liquor served out, free of expense, to all.

DONIPHAN PRECINCT.

The evening before the election, some 200 or more Missourians from Platte, Buchanan, Saline, and Clay counties, Missouri, came into this precinct, with tents, music, wagons, and provisions, and armed with guns, rifles, pistols, and bowie-knives, and encamped about two miles from the place of voting. They said they came to vote, to make Kansas a Slave State, and intended to return to Missouri after they had voted.

On the morning of the election, the Judges appointed by the Governor would not serve, and others were appointed by the crowd. The Missourians were allowed

WOLF RIVER PRECINCT.

The number of voters in the district by the census was 334--of these 124 voted. The testimony shows that quite a number of persons whose legal residence was in the populous county of Buchanan, Mo., on the opposite side of the river, had claims in the Territory. Some ranged cattle, and others marked out their claim and built a cabin, and sold this incipient title where they could. They were not residents of the Territory in any just or legal sense. A number of settlers moved into the district in the month of March. Your Committee are satisfied, after a careful analysis of the records and testimony, that the number of legal votes cast did not exceed 200out of 727.

XVTH DISTRICT.

The election in this district was held in the house of a Mr. Hayes. On the day of election, a crowd of from 400 to 500 men collected around the polls, of which the great body were citizens of Missouri. One of the judges of election, in his testimony, states that the strangers commenced crowding around the polls, and that then the residents left. Threats were made before and during the election day that there should be no Free-State candidates, although there were nearly or quite as many Free-State as Pro-Slavery men resident in the district. Most of the crowd were drinking and carousing, cursing the Abolitionists and threatening the only Free-State A majority of those who voted wore judge of election. hemp in their button-holes, and their password was, "all right on the hemp." Many of the Missourians were Several known and are named by the witnesses. speeches were made by them at the polls, and among those who spoke were Major Oliver, one of your Committee, Col. Burns, and Lalan Williams, of Platte County. Major Oliver urged upon all present to use no harslı words, and expressed the hope that nothing would be said or done to harm the feelings of the most sensitive on the other side. He gave some grounds, based on the Missouri Compromise, in regard to the right of voting, and was understood to excuse the Missourians for voting. Col. Your Committee are satisfied that he did not vote. Burns recommended all to vote, and he hoped none would go home without voting. Some of the ProSlavery residents were much dissatisfied at the interference with their rights by the Missourians, and for that reason-because reflection convinced them that it would be better to have Kansas a Free-State-they "fell over the fence." The judges requested the voters to take an oath that they were actual residents. They objected at first, some saying they had a claim, or "I am here." But the Free-State judge insisted upon the oath, and his associates, who at first were disposed to waive it, coincided with him, and the voters all took it after some grumbling. One said he cut him some poles and laid them in the shape of a square, and that made him a claim; and another said that he had cut him a few sticks of wood, and that made him a claim. The Free-State men did not vote, although they believed their numbers to be equal to the Pro-Slavery settlers, and some claimed that they had the majority. They were deterred by threats throughout by the Missourians, before and on the day of election, from putting up candidates, and no candidates were run, for this reason-that there was a credited rumor previously that the Missourians would control the election. The Free-State judge was threatened with exre-pulsion from the polls, and a young man thrust a pistol into the window through which the votes were received. The whole number of votes cast was 417; of the names on the poll-book, but 62 are in the census-rolls, and the testimony shows that a small portion, estimated by one witness at one-quarter of the legal voters, voted. Your Committee estimate the number of legal voters at 80. One of the judges referred to, certified to the Governor that the election was fairly conducted. It was not contested, because no one would take the responsibility of doing it, as it was not considered safe, and that if another election was held, the residents would fare no better.

XVITH DISTRICT.

For some time previous to the election, meetings were held and arrangeinents made in Missourl to get up com

[ocr errors]

panies to come over to the Territory and vote, and the | conducted, and not contested at all. In this district, the day before, and on the day of election, large bodies of Pro-Slavery party had the majority. Missourians from Platte, Clay, Ray, Charlton, Carrol, Clinton, and Saline counties, Missouri, came into this district and camped there. They were armed with pistols and bowie-knives, and some with guns and rifles, and had badges of hemp in their button-holes and elsewhere about their persons.

XVIIITH DISTRICT.

ance.

Previous to the election, Gen. David R. Atchison of Platte City, Missouri, got up a company of Missourians, and passing through Weston, Missouri, went over into the Territory. He remained all night at the house ofand then exhibited his arms, of which he had an abundHe proceeded to the Nemaha (XVIIIth) district. vention in the XIVth District, and proposed and caused On his way, he and his party attended a Nominating Conto be nominated a set of candidates in opposition to the wishes of the Pro-Slavery residents of the district. that Convention, he said that there were 1,100 men coming over from Platte County, and if that wasn't enough, they could send 5,000 more-that they came to vote, and would vote or kill every G-d d-d Abolitionist in the Territory.

At

On the day of election, the Missourians, under AtchiThe Free-State men generally did not vote at that elec-son, who were encamped there, came up to the polls in the tion; and no newly-arrived Eastern emigrants were there. XVIIIth District, taking the oath that they were residents The Free-State judge of election refused to sign the returns until the words "by lawful resident voters" were stricken out, which was done, and the returns made in that way. The election was contested, and a new election ordered by Gov. Reeder, for the 22d of May.

of the district. The Missourians were all armed with pistols or bowie-knives, and said there were 60 in their company. But 17 votes given on that day were given by residents of the district. The whole number of votes

was 62.

On the morning of the election, there were from 1,000 to 1,400 persons present on the ground. Previous to the e ection, the Missourians endeavored to persuade the two Free-State judges to resign, by making threats of personal violence to them, one of whom resigned on the morning of election, and the crowd chose another to fill his place. But one of the judges, the Free-State judge, would take the oath prescribed by the Governor, the other two deciding that they had no right to swear any one who offered to vote, but that all on the ground were entitled to vote. The only votes refused were some Delaware Indians, some 80 Wyandot Indians being allowed to

vote.

The testimony is divided as to the relative strength of parties in this district. The whole number of voters in the district, according to the census returns, was 885; and, according to a very carefully prepared list of voters, prepared for the Pro-Slavery candidates and other ProSlavery men, a few days previous to the election, there were 805 voters in the district, including those who had

claims but did not live on them. The whole number of votes cast was 964. Of those named in the census 106 voted. Your Committee, upon careful examination, are satisfied that there were not over 150 legal votes cast, leaving 814 illegal votes.

XVIITH DISTRICT.

The election in this district seems to have been fairly concerning the election :

Number of District.

1284

ABSTRACT OF CENSUS, AND RETURNS OF ELECTION OF MARCH 30, 1855, BY

[merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

ELECTION DISTRICTS.

781

318

366
78
877

199

315

211

74 17

34 70

328

4

Free-State Votes.

Scattering.

[ocr errors]

233

313

12

256

4

17 17

412

65

23 52

899

35

R. L. Kirk, one of the candidates, came into the diatrict from Missouri about a week before the election, and the time a legal resident of the district in which he was boarded there. He left after the election, and was not at elected. No protest was sent to the Governor on account of threats made against any who should dare to contest the election.

[ocr errors]

80

15

The following tables embody the result of the examination of your Committee in regard to this election. In some of the districts, it was impossible to ascertain the precise number of the legal votes cast, and especially in the XIVth, XVth, and XVIth Districts. In such cases, the number of legal and illegal votes cast is stated, after a careful reexamination of all the testimony and records

239

846 78

806

417
964

60

16
14

59
62

5427 791 92 6320

By the election, as conducted, the Pro-Slavery candidates in every district but the VIIIth representative district, received a majority of the votes; and several of

1034 232
341

80

372

32

80

886
264
98

104

350

234

87

75

69 23

328

11

38

[ocr errors]

1310

•sa3oA lu8aIIL Jo Iཋmou |33ཎྱེ「རླུ||ཁ|g||3|3lgg།ཕ

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

them, in both the Council and the House, did not "reside in" and were not "inhabitants of " the district for which they were elected, as required by the organic law.

By that act it was declared to be the true intent and meaning of this act to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject to the Constitution of the United States.

So careful was Congress of the right of popular sovereignty, that to secure it to the people, without a single petition from any portion of the country, they removed the restriction against Slavery imposed by the Missouri Compromise. And yet this right, so carefully secured, was thus by force and fraud overthrown by a portion of the people of an adjoining State.

The striking difference between this Republic and other Republics on this Continent, is not in the provisions of constitutions and laws, but that here changes in the administration of those laws have been made peacefully and quietly through the ballot-box. This invasion is the first and only one in the history of our Government, by which an organized force from one State has elected a Legislature for another State or Territory, and as such it should have been resisted by the whole executive power of the National Government.

Your Committee are of the opinion that the Constitution and laws of the United States have invested the President and Governor of the Territory with ample power for this purpose. They could only act after receiving authentic information of the facts; but when received, whether before or after the certificates of election were granted, this power should have been exercised to its fullest extent. It is not to be tolerated that a legislative body thus selected should assume or exercise any legislative functions; and their enactments should be regarded as null and void; nor should the question of its legal existence as a legislative body be determined by itself, as that would be allowing the criminal to judge of his own crime. In section twenty-two of the organic act it is provided, that" the persons having the highest number of legal votes in each of said Council-districts for members of the Council, shall be declared by the Governor to be duly elected to the Council, and the persons having the highest number of legal votes for the House of Representatives, shall be declared by the Governor duly elected members of said House." The proclamation of the Governor required a verified notice of a contest when one was made, to be filed with him within four days after the election. Within that time, he did not obtain information as to force or fraud in any except the following districts, and in these there were material defects in the returns of election. Without deciding upon his power to set aside elections for force and fraud, they were set aside for the following reasons:

In the Ist District, because the words "by lawful dent voters," were stricken from the return.

In the IId District, because the oath was administered by G. W. Taylor, who was not authorized to administer an oath.

In the IIId District, because material erasures from the printed form of the oath were purposely made.

In the IVth District, for the same reason. In the VIIth District, because the Judges were not sworn at all.

No. of District.

In the XIth District, because the returns show the election to have been held viva voce instead of by ballot. In the XVIth District, because the words "by lawful residence" were stricken from the returns.

PLACES OF VOTING.

Lawrence...

Douglas

Stinson's.

MAY 22, 1855.

On the 24th day of July, 1854, certain persons in Boston, Massachusetts, concluded articles of agreement and association for an Emigrant Aid Society. The purpose of this association was declared to be "assisting emigrants to settle in the West." Under these articles of association, each stockholder was individually liable. To avoid ABSTRACT OF THE RETURNS OF ELECTION OF this difficulty, an application was made to the General Assembly of Massachusetts for an act of incorporation, which was granted. On the 21st day of February, 1855, an act was passed to incorporate the New England Emigrant Aid Company. The purposes of this act were declared to be "directing emigration westward, and aiding and providing accommodation for emigrants after arriving at their place of destination." The capital stock of the corporation was not to exceed one million of dollars. Under this charter, a company was organized. Your Committee have examined some of its officers, and a portion of its circulars and records, to ascertain what has been done by it. The public attention at that time was directed to the Territory of Kansas, and emigration naturally tended in that direction. To ascertain its character and resources, this Company sent its agent into it, and the information thus obtained was published. The Company made arrangements with various lines of transportation to reduce the expense of emigration into the Territory, and procured tickets at the reduced rates. Applications were made to the Company by persons desiring to emigrate; and when they were numerous enough to form a party of convenient size, tickets were sold to them at the reduced rates. An agent acquainted with the route was selected to accompany them. Their baggage was checked, and ali trouble and danger of loss to the emigrant in this way avoided.

1

2

3

7 "110"....

8

16

Pro-Slavery Votes.
Free-State Votes.

Scattering.

Total.

111119

But these charges are not sustained by the proof. In April, 1854, the General Assembly of Massachusetts passed an act entitled "An act to incorporate the Massaresi-chusetts Emigrant Aid Society." The object of the Society, as declared in the first section of this act, was "for the purpose of assisting emigrants to settle in the West." The moneyed capital of the corporation was not to exceed five millions of dollars; but no more than four per cent. could be assessed during the year 1854, and no more than ten per cent. in any one year thereafter. No organization was perfected, or proceedings had, under this law.

288 18
127

148
66 13

560 140 15

Your Committee here felt it to be their duty not only to inquire into and collect evidence in regard to force and fraud attempted and practiced at the elections in the Territory, but also into the facts and pretexts by which this force and fraud has been excused and justified; and for this purpose your Committee have allowed the declarations of non-resident voters to be given as evidence in their own behalf, also the declarations of all who came up the Missouri River as emigrants in March, 1855, whether they voted or not, and whether they came into the Territory at all or not; and also the rumors which were circulated among the people of Missouri previous to the election. The great body of the testimony taken at the instance of the sitting Delegate is of this character. When the declarations of parties passing up the river were offered in evidence, your Committee received them upon the distinct statement that they would be excluded unless the persons making the declarations were by other proof shown to have been connected with the elections. This proof was not made, and therefore much of this class of testimony is incompetent by the rules of law, but is allowed to remain as tending to show the cause of the action of the citizens of Missouri.

The alleged causes of the invasion of March, 1855, are included in the following charges:

306
127
149
79
33

715

Council Grove..
Leavenworth....

Total......
560 802 1409
Although the fraud and force in other districts were
equally great as in these, yet, as the Governor had no
information in regard to them, he issued certificates ac-
cording to the returns.

I. That the New-England Aid Society of Boston was then importing into the Territory large numbers of men, merely for the purpose of controlling the elections. That they came without women, children, or baggage, went into the Territory, voted, and returned again.

II. That men were hired in the Eastern or Northern States, or induced to go into the Territory, solely to vote, and not to settle, and by so doing to make it a Free State. III. That the Governor of the Territory purposely postponed the day of election to allow this emigration to arrive, and notified the Emigrant Aid Society, and persons in the Eastern States, of the day of election, before he gave notice to the people of Missouri and the Territory. That these charges were industriously circulated; that grossly exaggerated statements were made in regard to them; that the newspaper press and leading men in public meetings in Western Missouri, aided in one case by a Chaplain of the United States Army, gave currency and credit to them, and thus excited the people, and induced many well-meaning citizens of Missouri to march into the Territory to meet and repel the alleged Eastern paupers and Abolitionists, is fully proven by many wit

nesses.

Under these arrangements, companies went into the the Territory, as a means to control the election and esTerritory in the Fall of 1854, under the articles of associa-tablish Slavery there. tion referred to. The company did not pay any portion of the fare, nor furnish any personal or real property to the emigrant. The company, during 1855, sent into the Territory from eight to ten saw-mills, purchased one hotel in Kansas City, which they subsequently sold, built one hotel at Lawrence, and owned one other building in that place. In some cases, to induce them to make improvements, town lots were given to them by town associations in this Territory. They held no property of any other kind or description. They imposed no condition upon their emigrants, and did not inquire into their political, religious, or social opinions. The total amount expended by them, including the salaries of their agents and officers, and the expenses incident to all organizations, was less than $100,000.

Their purposes, so far as your Committee can ascertain, were lawful, and contributed to supply those wants most experienced in the settlement of a new country.

The only persons or company who emigrated into the Territory under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society in 1855, prior to the election in March, was a party of 159 persons, who came under the charge of Charles Robin

The real purpose is avowed and illustrated by the testimony and conduct of Colonel John Scott, of St. Joseph's, Missouri, who acted as the attorney for the sitting delegate before your Committee. The following are extracts from his deposition :

Your Committee are satisfied that these charges were made the mere pretext to induce an armed invasion into

trict, on the 29th of November, 1854, I had been a resident of
"Prior to the election in Burr-Oak precinct, in the XIVth Dis-
Missouri, and I then determined, if I found it necessary, to be.
come a resident of Kansas Territory. On the day previous to
that election, I settled up my board at my boarding-house, in
St. Joseph's, Missouri, and went over to the Territory, and
took boarding with Mr. Bryant, near whose house the polls
were held the next day, for one month, so that I might have it in
dent of the Territory on the day of election.
my power, by merely determining to do so, to become a resi-

"When my name was proposed as a Judge of Election, ob-
jections were made by two persons only.
I then
publicly informed those present, that I had a claim in the Ter-
ritory; that I had taken board in the Territory for a month;
and legal voter in the Territory, and that I would do so, if I
and that I could, at any moment, become an actual resident
concluded at any time during the day that my vote would be
necessary to carry that precinct in favor of the Pro-Slavery
candidate for delegate to Congress.
I did not dur-
ing the day consider it necessary to become a resident of the
Territory for the purpose mentioned, and did not vote nor offer

vote at that

son.

.

In this party, there were 67 women and children. They came as actual settlers, intending to make their homes in "I held the office of City-Attorney for St. Joseph's at that the Territory, and for no other purpose. They had about time, and had held it for two or three years previously, and their persons but little baggage; usually sufficient cloth- continued to hold it until this spring. I voted at ing in a carpet-sack for a short time. Their personal ef- an election in St. Joseph's, in the spring of 1855, and was refects, such as clothing, furniture, etc., were put into trunks appointed City-Attorney. The question of Slavery was put in and boxes; and for convenience in selecting, and cheap-in every election in this Territory. Gen. Whitfield was reissue at the election of November, 1854, to the same extent as ness in transporting, was marked "Kansas party bag-garded as the Pro-Slavery candidate for the Pro-Slavery party. gage, care B. Slater, St. Louis." Generally, this was con- I regarded the question of Slavery as the primarily prominent signed as freight, in the usual way, to the care of a com- issue at that election, and, so far as I know, all parties agreed mission merchant. This party had, in addition to the usual in making that question the issue of that election. allowance of one hundred pounds to each passenger, a large quantity of baggage on which the respective owners paid the usual extra freight. Each passenger or party paid his or their own expenses; and the only benefit they derived from the Society, not shared by all the people of the Territory, was the reduction of about $7 in the price of the fare, the convenience of traveling in a company instead of alone, and the cheapness and facility of transporting their freight through regular agents. Subsequently, many emigrants, being either disappointed with the country or its political condition, or deceived by the statements made by the newspapers and by the agents of the Society, became dissatisfied, and returned, both before and after the election, to their old homes. Most of them are now settlers in the Territory. Some few voted at the election in Lawrence, but the number was small. The names of these emigrants have been ascertained, and of them were found upon the poll-books. This company of peaceful emigrants, moving with their household goods, was distorted into an invading horde of pauper Abolitionists, who were, with others of a similar character, to control the domestic institutions of the Territory, and then overturn those of a neighboring powerful State.

Missourians now resident in Missouri, whenever the Slavery issue
"It is my intention, and the intention of a great many other
is to be determined upon by the people of this Territory in the
adoption of the State Constitution, to remove to this Territory in
time to arquire the right to become legal voters upon that question.
The leading purpose of our intended removal to the Territory is to
determine the domestic institutions of this Territory, when it comes
to be a State, and we would not come only for that purpose, and
there are a great many in Missouri who are so situated."
would never think of coming here but for that purpose. I believe

In regard to the second charge: There is no proof that any man was either hired or induced to come into the Territory from any Free State, merely to vote. The entire emigration in March, 1855, is estimated at 500 persons, including men, women, and children. They came on steamboats up the Missouri River, in the ordinary course of emigration. Many returned for causes similar to those before stated; but the body of them are now residents. The only persons of those who were connected by proof with the election, were some who voted at the Big Blue Precinct in the Xth District, and at Pawnee, in the IXth District. Their purpose and character are stated in a former part of this report.

The third charge is entirely groundless. The organic law requires the Governor to cause an enumeration of the inhabitants and legal voters to be made; and that he apportion the members of the Council and House, according to this enumeration. For reasons stated by persons engaged in taking the census, it was not completed until the early part of March, 1855. At that time, the day of holding the election had not been, and could not have been, named by the Governor. So soon as practicable after the returns were brought in, he issued his proclamation for an election, and named the earliest day, consistent with due notice, as the day of election. The day on which the election was to be held was a matter of conjecture all over the country; but it was generally known that it would be in the latter part of March. The precise day was not known by any one until the proclamation issued. It was not known to the agents of the Emigrant Aid Society in Boston on the 13th of March, 1855, when the party of emigrants before referred to, left.

The invasion of March 30th left both parties in a state of excitement, tending directly to produce violence. The successful party was lawless and reckless while assuming the name of the "Law and Order" party. The other party, at first surprised and confounded, was greatly irritated, and some resolved to prevent the success of the invasion. In some districts, as before stated, protests were sent to the Governor; in others, this was prevented by threats; in others, by the want of time, only four days being allowed by the proclamation for this purpose; and in others, by the belief that a new election would bring a new invasion. About the same time, all classes of men commenced bearing deadly weapons about the person, a practice which has continued to this time. Under these circumstances, a slight or accidental quarrel produced unusual violence, and lawless acts became frequent. This evil condition of the public mind was further increased by acts of violence in Western Missouri, where, in April, a newspaper press, called The Parksville Luminary, was destroyed by a mob.

About the same time, Malcolm Clark assaulted Cole McCrea at a squatter meeting in Leavenworth, and was shot by McCrea in alleged self-defense.

On the 17th day of May, William Phillips, a lawyer of Leavenworth, was first notified to leave; and upon his refusal, was forcibly seized, taken across the river, and carried several miles into Missouri, and then tarred and feathered, and one side of his head shaved, and other gross indignities put upon his person.

Previous to this outrage, a public meeting was held, at which resolutions were unanimously passed, looking to unlawful violence, and grossly intolerant in their character. The right of free speech upon the subject of Slavery was characterized as a disturbance of the peace and quiet of the community, and as "circulating incendiary sentiments." They say "to the peculiar friends of northern fanatics," "Go home and do your treason where you may find sympathy." Among other resolves is the following: "Resolved, That the institution of Slavery is known and recognized in this Territory; and we repel the doctrine that it is a moral and political evil, and we hurl back with scorn upon its slanderous authors the charge of inhumanity; and we warn all persons not to come to our peaceful firesides to slander us, and sow the seeds of discord between the master and the servant; for, as much as we deprecate the necessity to which we may be driven, we cannot be responsible for the consequences."

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »