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KANSAS LEGISLATURE AND THE ELECTION.
exclude it. On the 22d of May, the in any case connected with slavery; election for the first legislature took and still another prescribed the penalty place, and the slavery ticket was car of death for inciting rebellion among ried. The legislature met, on the 2d | the slaves, by speaking, writing, or of July, at Pawnee, under the summons printing; or for enticing or assisting of the governor, the Council consisting any slave to escape from his master of sixteen, and the House of Represent. Following upon legislation of this kind, atives of twenty-six members. A good there were several cases of "lynching": deal of work was done, which we need persons on suspicion of holding antinot particularize here, except that from slavery opinions. the first the legislature showed its hos On the 14th of August, a large contility to Governor Reeder and his views. vention of settlers was held at LawThe governor was written to by the rence, attended by over six hundred secretary of state respecting certain persons, at which the present alarming charges against his official integrity, to condition of the territory was taken which he replied, but not satisfactorily into serious consideration. Resolutions to President Pierce. At the close of were adopted, declaring that they July he was removed from his post, and would utterly repudiate the action of Daniel Woodson, secretary of the ter- the legislature, which had been imposed ritory, succeeded to the discharge of the upon them by the people of Missouri, governor's duties.
and calling a convention of representa. The legislature seemed disposed to tives of the people of the territory for make thorough work of the matter in the 5th of September. The convenhand, and effectually to put down all tion met, on the day appointed, at Big anti-slavery sentiment and power in Springs. Vigorous resolutions were the territory. A number of stringent adopted, declaring that the true inmeasures to this effect were carried. terests of Kansas consisted in her beOne act gave the right of voting to ing a free state, repudiating the action any man, without regard to residence, of the legislature, and calling upon the
on payment of one dollar and people to prepare for resistance to
taking certain oaths, viz., to usurpation, even by force of arms, if support the Kansas bill, and enforce necessary. Ex-governor Reeder was the fugitive slave law. Acts were nominated for delegate to Congress, passed which forbade the teaching of and the election was to take place negroes to read, and the holding of early in October. Reeder was voted religious meetings of negroes, unless for by the free-soilers on the 9th of a sheriff, constable, or county justice October, and it was claimed that he should be present. Another act for received a larger vote than had been bade any person who was conscienti- given for Whitfield, who obtained two ously opposed to holding slaves, or who thousand seven hundred and sixty sufdid not admit the right to hold slaves frages from the pro-slavery men, on the in the territory, from acting as a juror ) 1st of October, the day fixed by the
legislature for the election. This state ed his opponents. Granada, the capital, of things, of course, put the matter in was attacked in October; taken by such shape that the House of Repre- surprise, but little resistance was made; sentatives, at the next session, would be General Corral surrendered; and a compelled to decide on the claims of treaty of peace was signed. Walker the respective contestants, Reeder and was elected president of the republic, Whitfield. The free-soil party called a but declined in favor of General Rivas; convention, which met at Topeka, on Corral, tried by court martial, was conthe 27th of October, and closed its demned and shot; and Colonel Wheeler, session on the 11th of November, after the American minister, formally recog. having formed a state constitution, nized the government as now constiwhich was to be submitted to the tuted. people on the 15th of December fol Reinforcements flowed in, principallowing, and the principal feature in ly from California, and the Rivas and which was, that slavery was not to Walker government seemed to be gainexist in the territory after the 4th of ing strength, early in 1856. Colonel July, 1857. The opponents of the free- | P. H. French was dispatched as minsoilers beld what was termed a “law ister to the United States; but our and order" convention at Leavenworth, government refused to receive him in on the 14th of November. Governor that capacity. The other states of Shannon was appointed president, and Central America determined to put the main business which occupied the Walker down, and joined tögether for
convention was, the expressing that purpose. In March, Costa Rica
decided disapprobation of the formally declared war against Nicaracourse pursued by the anti-slavery men, gua, to which Walker replied, by anand declaring that, if it were persisted nouncing his purpose to carry the war in and sanctioned by Congress, it would into the enemy's country. Several batlead to civil war.
tles ensued. Colonel Schlessinger, with The movements of Colonel or General | three hundred men, was totally defeatWalker in Central America require ed at Santa Rosa. The Costa Ricans some notice in this place, although the marched into the territory of Nicaragua, results of his “filibustering" efforts have some three or four thousand in number; not been as favorable as he and his ad- the city of Rivas fell into their hands; visers and supporters hoped and ex- and on the 11th of April a bloody battle pected. At the crose of the month of took place, in which Walker claimed a August, Walker landed with his party decisive victory. Much exasperat San Juan del Sur. On the 3d of ation of feeling followed upon September, his force, numbering one Walker's mode of endeavoring to re
hundred and fifty, was attack- cruit his languishing finances; the Costa
ed at Virgin Bay by some four Ricans retreated; and the action of the hundred government troops. After a other states was hesitating and uncerbrief but fierce contest, Walker defeat- tain. Troubles soon after sprang up
FURTHER TROUBLES IN KANSAS.
between Rivas and Walker, owing ap- ate, in respect to the existing state of parently to jealousy on the part of the affairs in Kansas; he censured the late former against the Americans. Walker | Governor Reeder for having neglected was elected president in June, and in his duty; he recognized the augurated on the 12th of July, and as territorial legislature as, for all the autumn approached, he had to make practical purposes, a lawful body; he provision to meet, as best he could, the disapproved entirely of the movement army by which the confederated states which led to the convention and formpurposed to crush him or drive him out ing a free-state constitution; and he recof the country. The further progress ommended various measures in view of Walker and his party we need not of the present and the future of Kandwell upon here; his affairs grew sas. On the 11th of February, the
pres. and worse as the year advanced to its ident issued a proclamation, stating that close; and finally, in April, 1857, he combinations had been formed in the capitulated, in a state of great destitu- territory to resist the execution of the tion, to Captain Davis of the sloop-of-laws; that persons outside the territory war St. Marys, and was conveyed, to were contemplating armed interference; gether with a part of his company, to and declaring that he had taken the the United States.
proper steps to repress all outbreaks Towards the close of 1855, the troubles and maintain the peace of the country. in Kansas were on the increase. A quar The Kansas question, as a matter of rel took place between two men on course, occupied a considerable share opposite sides of the slavery question, of the attention of Congress. Mr. Whitwhich resulted in the death of one of field and Mr. Reeder were the delegates them. Great excitement was produced, elected to Congress by the two parties, and the neighboring Missourians pre- and the committee on elections pared to sustain the cause of the pro- reported on the seat, which was slavery men. They entered Kansas in claimed by each gentleman. The maconsiderable numbers, and encamped jority of the committee took ground near Lawrence, as if about to attack it. against Mr. Whitfield and the authority Governor Shannon exerted himself to of the territorial legislature, and asked prevent armed collision; and after a to be empowered to send for persons time the Missourians returned home and papers; the minority brought in a again. A free-state convention was report of a different complexion, and held at Lawrence, on the 22d of De- thought it best to dispatch a commiscember, to nominate candidates for sion to Kansas to take testimony, rather state affairs under the constitution. than send for persons and papers. After Some eighty delegates were present a long and tedious debate, the proposiand took part in the business of the tion of the majority was adopted by the convention.
House. In the Senate, Mr. Douglas, in The president, on the 24th of Jan- behalf of the majority of the commituary, 1856, sent a message to the Sen- | tee on territories, brought in a report,
claiming that the course pursued by gave rise to serious apprehension as to the territorial legislature was legal and what might be the final issue. One to be sustained, and recommended, that disgraceful occurrence in Congress, we when the population of Kansas shall cannot fail to put on record here. amount to ninety-three thousand three The debates in the Senate Laci inhundred and forty, the number re creased in acerbity, as was not unna. quisite to entitle her to a Representa- tural. Mr. Douglas, Mr. Butler, Mr. tive in Congress, they be authorized to Mason, and other Senators, had said hold a convention and form a state gov- much respecting Kansas and kindred ernment. The report also denounced matters. Mr. Sumner, of Massachuthe free-state convention at Topeka, setts, on the 19th of May, delivered an and sharply censured the measures of elaborate speech on “the Crime against the Emigrant Aid Societies. Mr. Colla- Kansas,” in which he did not spare Mr. mer presented a minority report, taking Butler and others, but, with a keenness the opposite ground, and recommend of invective rarely excelled, poured ing, as the easiest way to settle the upon them the well-filled vials of his indifficulties, that Kansas be at once re- dignation and contempt for the course ceived into the Union with the present they had pursued. Tart retorts folconstitution.*
lowed, and an equally tart rejoinder The state legislature (free-soil) met came from Mr. Sumner. On the mornat Topeka, on the 14th of March, and ing of the 22d, the Senate having adsubsequently adjourned to Lawrence. journed, and while Mr. Sumner was A memorial from this body was pre- seated at his desk, Mr. P. S. Brooks, a sented by Mr. Cass in the Senate, which nephew of Mr. Butler, and a member gave rise to a protracted debate. It of the House from South Carolina,
was finally referred to the com came up to the Senator from Massachu 1856.
mittee on territories. An un- setts, and pronouncing him a libeller usually caustic correspondence between of South Carolina, and a slanderer ef Mr. Douglas and Mr. Lane (Senator his aged relative, said that he was elect from Kansas) grew out of this going to chastise him. Immediately paper, and certain statements which on this, he struck Mr. Sumner over were made respecting it. In the ter- the head with a gutta percha cane, and ritory itself, during April and May, repeated the blows till he had nearly difficulties increased, and a state of al- killed him. Considerable noise was most civil war existed. The excesses made in Congress by this unmanly atto which the controversy between the tack, and it was attempted to punish advocates and the opponents of slavery Mr. Brooks by expulsion; but those led, filled the journals of the day, and who felt the disgrace of a course of
conduct such as his had been, and de* On the 9th of April, Senator Seward, of New York, sired to purge our national legislature delivered an able speech in favor of the immediate ad
of all those
persons who are willing to careful examiration of the reader.
resort to these means of venting their
mission of Kansas as a state. We commend it to the
anger or overcoming their opponents, expression of the will of the people of were not strong enough to acco
ccomplish Kansas, and allowing the formation of this good end; and so Mr. Brooks and a state constitution, preparatory to adhis coadjutors, Messrs. Keitt and Ed- mission into the Union. monson, remained at their posts. Mr. Governor Shannon was removed by Keitt was censured by the House, and the president, and Mr. J. W. Geary Mr. Brooks was fined three hundred appointed in his place. Mr. Geary dollars, by the criminal court at Wash- reached the field of his labors early in ington, for his assault on Mr. Sumner. September, and found his hands full
The Kansas investigation committee of work at once; for the territory was presented an elaborate report to the in a state of virtual civil war, House, in which they entered into full one could see what the end was to be. details respecting the various matters His energetic measures, however, seemsubmitted to them for examination. ed, in the course of a month or so, to The committee believed, from the evi- promise somewhat of a respite from dence before them, that the Missou- further outbreaks, and a restoration of rians had illegally interfered in Kansas peace and order. affairs, and they thought that Kansas On the 2d of June, the national would be a free state, if the will of the democratic convention assembled at legal voters could be carried out. The Cincinnati, and after adopting various committee also reported against ad resolutions setting forth the views and mitting either Whitfield or Reeder to principles of the party, proa seat as delegate, in the House; and ceeded to nominate candidates that steps be taken to secure a free for the presidency and vice-presidency. and fair election in the territory. Messrs. Douglas, Pierce and Buchanan Messrs. Howard and Sherman, a ma were prominent before the conven. jority of the committee, signed the tion; on the seventeenth ballot James report; Mr. Oliver declined giving his Buchanan received all the votes, and signature, and soon after brought in a thus became the candidate of the demominority report. The committee on crats for the highest office in our counterritories in the House, reported a try. J. C. Breckenridge, on the second
bill for the immediate admis- ballot, received the nomination for the
sion of Kansas as a state, with vice-presidency. Two weeks later, the the Topeka constitution. It was re- republican convention, at Pittsburg, jected, June 30th, by a vote of one nominated John C. Fremont for preshundred and six to one hundred and ident, and W. L. Dayton for vicefive. The next day, the vote was re- president. Mr. Fillmore was also nomconsidered, and on the 3d of July, the inated by the American party, and bill was passed by a vote of ninety-nine accepted the nomination. The whig to ninety seven. In the Senate, a bill national convention, in September, corwas passed, after discussion and amend dially approved his nomination. The ment, for the purpose of securing a fair I other gentlemen just named wrote let