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ton convention. The Free State men re- to participate in the election, and the result fused to recognize the call, made little, if as returned was 6,143 votes in favor of any, preparation for the election, yet on slavery, and 589 against it. The constituthe last day a number of them voted for tion was annonnced as adopted, an election State officials and a member of Congress was ordered on the first Monday of Januunder the Lecompton constitution. This ary, 1858, for State officers, members of the had the effect of suspending hostilities be- Legislature, and a member of Congress. tween the parties, yet peace was actually The opponents of the Lecompton constitumaintained only by the intervention of tion did not now refrain from voting, partly U. S. troops, under the command of Col. because of their desire to secure the repreSumner, who afterwards won distinction sentative in Congress, but mainly to secure in the war of the rebellion. The Free an opportunity, as advised by their State State people stood firmly by their Topeka officers, to vote down the Lecompton conconstitution, and refused to vote on ques-stitution. Both parties warmly contested tions affecting delegates to the Lecompton the result, but the Free State men won, and convention. They had no confidence in with their general victory secured a large Governor Walker, the appointee of Presi- majority in the Legislature. dent Buchanan, and his proclamations The ballots of the Free State men were passed unheeded. hey recognized their now headed with the words “ Against the own Governor Robinson, who in a message Lecompton Constitution,” and they redated December 7th, 1857, explained and turned 10,226 votes against it, to 134 for defended their position in these words: it with slavery, and 24 for it against slavery.
“The convention which framed the con- This return was certified by J. W. Denver, stitution at Topeka originated with the “Secretary and Acting Governor," and its people of Kansas territory. They have validity was endorsed by Douglas in his adopted and ratified the same twice by a report from the Senate Territorial Comdirect vote, and also indirectly through two mittee. It was in better accord with his elections of State officers and members of idea of popular sovereignty, as it showed the State Legislature. Yet it has pleased almost twice as large a vote as that cast the administration to regard the whole under the Lecompton plan, the fairness of Doceeding as revolutionary.
the return not being disputed, while that The Lecompton convention, proclaimed of the month previous was disputed. by Governor Walker to be lawfully con But their previous refusal to vote on the stituted, met for the second time, Sept. 4th, Lecompton constitution gave their oppo1857, and proceeded to frame a constitu- nents an advantage in position strangely at tion, and adjourned finally Nov. 7th. A variance with the wishes of a majority of large majority of the delegates, as in the the people. The President of that convenfirst, were of course pro-slavery, because tion, J. Calhoun, forwarded the document of the refusal of the anti-slavery men to to the President with an official request participate in the election. It refused to that it be submitted to Congress. This submit the whole constitution to the people, was done in a message dated 2d February, it is said, in opposition to the desire of 1858, and the President recommended the President Buchanan, and part of his admission of Kansas under it. Cabinet. It submitted only the question This message occasioned a violent debate of whether or not slavery should exist in in Congress, which continued for three the new State, and this they were required months. It was replete with sectional to do under the Kansas-Nebraska act, if abuse and bitterness, and nearly all the indeed they were not required to submit it members of both Houses participated. It all. Yet such was the hostility of the finally closed with the passage of the pro-slavery men to submission, that it was “Act for the admission of the State of only by three majority the proposition to Kansas into the Union,” passed May 4th, submit the main question was adopted—a 1858. This Act had been reported by a confession in advance that the result was committee of conference of both Houses, not likely to favor their side of the con- and was passed in the Senate by 31 to 22, troversy. But six weeks' time was also and in the House by 112 to 103. There allowed for preparation, the election being was a strict party vote in the Senate with ordered for Dec. 21st, 1857. Still another the exception of Mr. Douglas, C. E. Stuart advantage was taken in the printing of the of Michigan, and D. C. Broderick of Calballots, as ordered by the convention. The ifornia, who voted with the Republican method prescribed was to endorse the bal- minority. In the House several antilots, Constitution with Slavery," and Lecompton democrats voted with the Re“Constitution with no Slavery, thus com- publican minority. These were Messrs. pelling the voter, however adverse his Adrian of New Jersey; Chapman of Pennviews, as to other parts of the Constitution, sylvania; Clark of New York; Cockerill to vote for it as a whole. As a consequence, of Ohio; Davis of Indiana; Harris of Il(at least this was given as one of the rea- linois; Haskin of New York; Hickman gons ) the Free State men as a rule refused of Pennsylvania; McKibben of California;
Marshall of Illinois; Morgan of New SEC. 3. In the prosecution of slaves for
, Lawrence, Pendleton and Cox of insurrection of such slave.
United States, above the age of twenty-
one years, having resided in this state one The following are the political features year, and in the county, city, or town in of the Lecompton constitution :
which he may offer to vote, three months
next preceding any election, shall have ARTICLE VII.--Slarery.
the qualifications of an elector, and be enSEC: 1. The right of property is before titled to vote at all elections. And every and higher than any constitutional sanc
male citizen of the United States, above tion
, and the right of the owner of a slave the age aforesaid, who may be a resident to such slave and its increase is the same, shall be adopted, shall have the right of
of the state at the time this constitution and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever.
voting as aforesaid ; but no such citizen or SEC. 2. "The legislature shall have no
inhabitant shall be entitled to vote expower to pass laws for the emancipation cept in the county in which he shall of slaves without the consent of the actually reside at the time of the elecOwners, or without paying the owners
tion. previous to their emancipation a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power
The Topeka Constitution. to prevent emigrants to the state from The following are the political features bringing with them such persons as are of the Topeka constitution : deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States or territories, so long as
Slavery. any person of the same age or description Bill of Rights, Sec. 6. There shall be shall be continued in slavery by the laws no slavery in this state, nor involuntary of this state: Prorided, That such person servitude, unless for the punishment of or slave be the bona fide property of such crime. emigrants : And provided, also, That laws may be passed to prohibit the introduc
Amendments to the Constitution, tion into this state of slaves who have Sec. 1. All propositions for amendcommitted high crimes in other states or ments to the constitution shall be made territories. They shall have power to pass by the General Assembly. laws to permit the owners of slaves to SEC. 2. A concurrence of two-thirds of emancipate them, saving the rights of the members elected to each house shall be creditors
, and preventing them from be- necessary, after which such proposed coming a public charge. They shall have amendments shall be again referred the power to oblige the owners of slaves to legislature elected next succeeding said treat them wită humanity, to provide for publication. If passed by the second them necessary food and clothing, to ab- legislature by a majority of two-thirds of stain from all injuries to them extending the members elected to each house, such to life or limb, and, in case of their neglect amendments shall be republished as afore of refusal to comply with the direction of said, for at least six months prior to the such laws, to have such slave or slaves next general election, at which election sold for the benefit of the owner or such proposed amendments shall be sub
mitted to the people for their approval or
rejection; and if a majority of the electors | rejected it by a majority of 9,513, and Kan.. voting at such election shall adopt such sas was not admitted under the Lecompton amendments, the same shall become a part constitution. of the constitution.
Finally, and after continued agitation, SEC. 3. When more than one amend-more peaceful, however, than that which ment is submitted at the same time, they characterized the earlier stages of the strugshall be so submitted as to enable the gle, the territorial legislature of Kansas electors to vote upon each amendment called an election for delegates to meet and separately. No convention for the forma- form a constitution. They assembled in tion of a new constitution shall be called, convention at Wyandot, in July, 1859, and and no amendment to the constitution reported a constitution prohibiting slavery. shall be, by the general assembly, made This was adopted by a majority exceeding before the year 1865, nor more than once 4000, and under it Kansas was admitted to in five years thereafter.
the Union on the 29th of January, 1861.
The comparative quiet between the reSubmission of Constitution to the People. jection of the English proposition and the
Schedule, Sec. 2. That this constitution adoption of the Wyandot constitution, was shall be submitted to the people of Kansas at one time violently disturbed by a raid for ratification on the 15th day of Decem-made by John Brown at Harper's Ferry, ber next. That each qualified elector with a view to excite the slaves to insurshall express his assent or dissent to the rection. This failed, but not before Gov. constitution by voting a written or printed Wise, of Virginia, had mustered his militia, ticket, labelled “Constitution,” or “No and called for the aid of United States Constitution;" which election shall be troops. The more radical anti-slavery men held by the same judges, and conducted of the North were at first shocked by the under the same regulations and restric- audacity of an offense which many looked tions as is hereinafter provided for the upon as an act of treason, but the anxiety election of members of the general of Virginia to hang Brown and all his assembly.
followers who had been captured alive, changed a feeling of conservatism in the
North to one of sympathy for Brown and The Douglas Amendment.
deeper hatred of slavery. It is but fair to The following, is the Douglas amend- say that it engendered hostility to the ment, which really formed the basis of the Union in the South. The right and wrong bill for admission :
of slavery was thereafter more generally “It being the true intent and meaning discussed than ever. The talent of the of this act not to legislate slavery into any South favored it; while, with at least a state or territory, nor to exclude it there- large measure of truth it can be said that from, but to leave the people thereof per- the talent of the North opposed it. So fectly free to form and regulate their bitter grew the feeling that soon the domestic institutions in their own way, churches of the sections began to divide, subject only to the Constitution of the no other political question having ever beUnited States."
fore disturbed the Union. The bill which passed on the 4th of May We have not pretended to give a comwas known as the English bill, and it met plete history of the Kansas trouble either the approval of Buchanan. To the measure in that State or in Congress, nor yet a full was attached “a fundamental condition history of the many issues raised on quesprecedent,” which arose from the fact that tions which were but subsidiary to the the ordinance of the convention accom- main one of slavery. Our object is to show panying the constitution claimed for the the relation of the political parties throughnew State a cession of the public lands six out that struggle, for we are dealing with times greater than had been granted to the history of parties from a national view, other States, amounting in all to 23,500,- and not with battles and the minor ques000 acres.
In lieu of this Congress pro- tions or details of parliamentary struggles. · posed to submit to a vote of the people a The contest had cemented the Democrats proposition specifying the number of acres of the South as it had the Republicans of and the purposes for which the money the North ; it divided both the Democrats arising from their sale were to be used, and of the North and the Americans in all the acceptance of this was to be followed sections. John Bell, of Tennessee, and by a proclamation that “thereafter, and Sam Houston of Texas, recognized leaders without further proceedings from Congress of the Americans, had shown their symthe admission of the State of Kansas, into pathy with the new stand taken by Dougthe Union, upon an equal footing with the las, as early as 1854. Bell, however, was original States in all respects whatever, less decided than Houston, and took his shall be complete and absolute.” The con- position with many qualifications. Housdition was never fulfilled, for the people at ton opposed even the repeal of the Misthe election on the 2d of August, 1858, I souri Compromise, and made the last speech
against it in the Senate. He closed with and minority of the committee, again made these words:
opposite and conflicting reports on the "In the discharge of my duty I have question of slavery in the Territories. On acted fearlessly. The events of the future this question the committee had divided are left in the hands of a wise Providence, from the beginning, the one portion emand, in my opinion, on the decision which bracing the fitteen members from the we make upon this question must depend slaveholding States, with those from Caliunion or disunion."
fornia and Oregon, and the other consistThese sentiments were shared by many ing of the members from all the free States Americans, and the great majority of them east of the Rocky Mountains. On all other drifted into the Republican party, The questions both reports substantially agreed. Abolitionists from the beginning of the The following is the report of the majorstruggle
, allied themselves with the Repub- ity made on this subject by Mr. Avery, of licans
, a few of their leaders proclaiming, North Carolina, the chairman of the comhowever, that this party was not sufficiently mittee: “Resolred, That the platform advanced in its views.
adopted by the Democratic party at Cincinnati be affirmed with the following explanatory resolutions: Ist. That the Government of a Territory, organized by an
act of Congress, is provisional and tempoThe Charleston Convention.
rary, and during its existence all citizens Such was the condition of the parties of the United States have an equal right when the Democratic national convention to settle with their property in the Terrimet at Charleston, S. C., on the 23d of tory, without their rights, either of person April
, 1860, it being then the custom of or property, being destroyed or impaired the Democratic party, as it is of all major- by Congressional or Territorial legislation. ity parties, to call its convention first. It 21. That it is the duty of the Federal Govwas composed of delegates from all the ernment, in all its departments, to protect, thirty-three States of the Union, the whole when necessary, the rights of persons and number of votes being 303. After the ex- property in the Territories, and wherever amply of former Democratic conventions else its constitutional authority extends. it adopted the two-third rule, and 202 votes 3d. That when the settlers in a Territory were required to make nominations for having an adequate population form a President and Vice-President. Caleb Cush- State Constitution, the right of sovereignty ing
, of Mass., presided. From the first a commences, and being consummated by
was named, and then a United States, over the institution of
After a long discussion on the respective Samuels moved the adoption of the minormerits of the two reports, they were both, ity report as a substitute for that of the on motion of Mr. Bigler, of Pennsylvania, majority. This gave rise to an earnest Pe-committed to the Committee on Reso- and excited debate. The difference beutions, with a view, if possible, to promote tween the
parties was radical and irreconbarmony; but this proved to be impracti- cilable
. The South insisted that the Cincable. On the sixth day of the Conven- cinnati platform, whose true construction tion (Saturday
, April 28th,) at an evening in regard to slavery in the Territories had Mt. Samuels, of Iowa, from the majority Democratic party, should be explained and
settled by an express recognition of the favor to two hundred and thirty-eight. principles decided by the Supreme Court. Had the seven Southern States just menThe North, on the other hand, refused to tioned voted, the negatives would have recognize this decision, and still main- amounted to two hundred and eighty-two, tained the power to be inherent in the or more than thirteen to one. Thus both people of a Territory to deal with the the majority and the minority resolutions question of slavery according to their own on the Territorial question were rejected, discretion. The vote was then taken, and and nothing remained before the Conventhe minority report was substituted for tion except the Cincinnati platform. that of the majority by a vote of one hun At this stage of the proceedings (April dred and sixty-five to one hundred and 30th), the States of Louisiana, Alabama, thirty-eight. The delegates from the six South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, TexNew England States, as well as from New as, and Arkansas, having assigned their York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, reasons for the act, withdrew in succession Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, fourteen from the Convention. After these seven free States, cast their entire vote in favor States had retired, the delegation from of the minority report. New Jersey and Virginia made an effort to restore harPennsylvania alone among the free States mony. Mr. Russell, their chairman, adeast of the Rocky Mountains, refused to dressed the Convention and portrayed the vote as States, but their delegates voted as alarming nature of the crisis. He exindividuals.
pressed his fears that we were on the eve The means employed to attain this end of a revolution, and if this Convention were skillfully devised by the minority of should prove a failure it would be the last the Pennsylvania delegation in favor of National Convention of any party which nominating Mr. Douglas. The entire del- would ever assemble in the United States. egation had, strangely enough, placed this “Virginia," said he, “stands in the midst power in their hands, by selecting two of of her sister States, in garments red with their number, Messrs. Cessna and Wright, the blood of her children slain in the first to represent the whole on the two most im- outbreak of the irrepressible conflict.' portant committees of the Convention, But, sir, not when her children fell at midthat of organization and that of resolu- night beneath the weapon of the assassin, tions. These gentlemen, by adroitness and was her heart penetrated with so profound parliamentary tact, succeeded in abrogat- a grief as that which will wring it when ing the former practice of casting the vote she is obliged to choose between a sepaof the State as a unit. In this manner, rate destiny with the South, and her comwhilst New York indorsed with her entire mon destiny with the entire Republic." thirty-five votes the peculiar views of Mr. Mr. Russell was not then prepared to Douglas, notwithstanding there was in her answer, in behalf of his delegation, whether delegation a majority of only five votes in the events of the day (the defeat of the their favor on the question of Territorial majority report, and the withdrawal of the sovereignty, the effective strength of Penn- seven States) were sufficient to justify her sylvania recognizing the judgment of the in taking the irrevocable step in question. Supreme Court, was reduced to three votes, In order, therefore, that they might have this being the majority of fifteen on the time to deliberate, and if they thought one side over twelve on the other.
proper make an effort to restore harmony The question next in order before the in the Convention, he expressed a desire Convention was upon the adoption of the that it might adjourn and afford them an second resolution of the minority of the opportunity for consultation. The Concommittee, which had been substituted for vention accordingly adjourned until the the report of the majority. On this ques- next day, Tuesday, May 1st; and immetion Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkan- diately after its reassembling the delegasas, Texas, Florida, and Mississippi re- tion from Georgia, making the eighth fused to vote. Indeed, it soon appeared State, also withdrew. that on the question of the final adoption In the mean time the Virginia delegaof this second resolution, which in fact tion had consulted among themselves, and amounted to nothing, it had scarcely any had conferred with the delegation of the friends of either party in the Convention. Other Southern States which still remained The Douglas party, without explanation in the Convention, as to the best mode of or addition, voted against it. On the other restoring harmony. In consequence Mr. hand, the old Democracy could not vote Howard, of Tennessee, stated to the Confor it without admitting that the Supreme vention that“ he had a proposition to preCourt had not already placed the right sent in behalf of the delegation from Tenover slave property in the Territories on nessee, whenever, under parliamentary the same footing with all other property, rules, it would be proper to present it. and therefore they also voted against it. In this Tennessee was joined by Kentucky In consequence the resolution was nega- and Virginia. He should propose the foltived by a vote of only twenty-one in its lowing resolution whenever it would be in