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Of the public charitable institutions named in the constitution, a General State Hospital calls most urgently for consideration. In a new country, many must necessarily suffer from sickness and poverty, and, in the present unsettled condition of the people, it is eminently proper that the state should provide for their relief.
The subject of finances and taxation is one of primary importance in every state, and particularly in a new one. Onerous taxes and large indebtedness should be guarded against as far as possible, and economy without niggardly parsimony should be the rule of action. For the present state of the finances you are referred to the report of the executive committee.
Exposed as our citizens are to the scalping-knife of the savage on the west, and to the revolver and hatchet of the assassin on the east, a thorough and early organization of the militia is urgently called for. By the constitution, this duty devolves upon the General Assembly. Measures should at once be taken to encourage the organization of volunteer companies, and to procure the arms to which the state is entitled.
The disposition of the public lands is a matter for serious consideration. Under existing laws, they belong to the general government, and are used as a source of revenue. The policy of such a use is at least questionable. The amount received into the treasury from the sale of public lands is inconsiderable, amounting in the aggregate to about two millions of dollars annually.
This sum, distributed among the states where the lands are situated, would aid essentially the cause of education, or the establishment of charitable institutions, but it is entirely unnecessary in the already overflowing treasury of the general government. Even as a matter of revenue, the treasury gains nothing by selling the public domain to the people, for the principal revenue is derived from the products of the soil, and these will be increased as the number of land-holders increases, and in proportion to the capital invested in its cultivation. The one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, laid out on the land, will produce far more revenue to the government in a few years, than if deposited in the treasury. The true policy for any government is to give, to every citizen who will cultivate it, a farm without price, and secure it to him for a permanent homestead. Especially should the citizen who deprives himself of the blessings of home and civilization for a time, to reclaim the wilderness that it may be added to the commonwealth, be allowed his land gratis.
But if the land must be sold, and the proceeds applied to defray expenses of government, the state should be the recipient, and not the general government. Every new state must incur extraordinary expenses in setting its government in motion. It has its public edifices, State-house, Asylums, Penitentiary, Universities, School-houses, Railroads, etc., to construct, and limited means at command. Should Congress, in its wisdom, donate, as we have reason to believe it will, all the public lands of Kansas to the state, it
will then be the duty of the assembly to dispose of them. In such an event, by donating one hundred and sixty acres as a homestead to each resident of five years, and allowing no one person to purchase of the state more than one hundred and sixty acres additional, the state would become rapidly settled, and at the same time secure a fund for educational and other purposes equal to its necessities.
The indiscriminate sale of intoxicating drinks in a state like Kansas, where are numerous Indian tribes, is productive of much mischief. Some tribes within our borders are still uncivilized, and indulge their appetites without restraint, while many of the other tribes are equally unfortunate. It is a duty we owe to the Indian, that we not only cultivate the most friendly intercourse, but that we protect him from injury; and this subject should not be overlooked by the General Assembly.
The use of intoxicating drinks, as a beverage, impairs the health, morals, good order and prosperity, of any community, and the traffic in them is an unmitigated evil, and it is for the Legislature in its wisdom to adopt such measures as shall best secure the public welfare.
It will be remembered that a skeleton of a government still exists in our midst, under the territorial form, and although this was but the foreshadowing of a new and better covenant, collision with it should be carefully guarded against. A territorial government is transient in its nature, only waiting the action of the people to form a government of their own. action has been taken by the people of Kansas, and it only remains for the General Government to suspend its territorial appropriations, recall its officers, and admit Kansas into the Union as a sovereign state.
The reasons why the territorial government should be suspended and Kansas admitted into the Union as a state, are various. In the first place, it is not a government of the people. The executive and judicial officers are imposed upon the people by a distant power, and the officers thus imposed are foreign to our soil, and are accountable, not to the people, but to an executive two thousand miles distant. American citizens have for a long time been accustomed to govern themselves, and to have a voice in the choice of their officers; but, in the territorial government, they not only have no voice in choosing some of their officers, but are deprived of a vote for the officer who appoints them.
Again governments are instituted for the good and protection of the governed; but the territorial government of Kansas has been, and still is, an instrument of oppression and tyranny unequalled in the history of our republic. The only officers that attempted to administer the laws impartially have been removed, and persons substituted who have aided in our subjugation. Such has been the conduct of the officers and the people of a neighboring state, either intentionally or otherwise, that Kansas, to-day, is without a single law enacted by the people of the territory. Not a man in the country will attempt to deny that every election had under the territo
rial government was carried by armed invaders from an adjoining state, and for the purpose of enacting laws in opposition to the known wishes of the people.
The territorial government should be withdrawn, because it is inoperative. The officers of the law permit all manner of outrages and crime to be perpetrated by the invaders and their friends with impunity, while the citizens proper are naturally law-abiding and order loving, disposed rather to suffer than do wrong. Several of the most aggravated murders on record have been committed, but as long as the murders are on the side of the oppressors, no notice is taken of them. Not one of the whole number has been brought to justice, and not one will be, by the territorial officers. While the marauders are thus in open violation of all law, nine tenths of the people scorn to recognize as law the enactments of a foreign body of men, and would sooner lose their right arms than bring an action in one of their misnamed courts. Americans can suffer death, but not dishonor; and sooner than the people will consent to recognize the edicts of lawless invaders as laws, their blood will mingle with the waters of the Kansas, and this Union be rolled together in civil strife.
Not only is this territorial government the instrument of oppression and subjugation of the people, but under it there is no hope of relief. The organic act permits the Legislature to prescribe the qualification of voters, and the so-called Legislature has provided that no man shall vote in any election who will not bow the knee to the dark image of slavery, and appointed officers for the term of four years to see that this provision is carried out. Thus nine tenths of the citizens are disfranchised and debarred from acting under the territorial government if they would.
Even if allowed to vote, the chief executive of the country says he has no power to protect the ballot-box from invaders, and if the people organize to protect themselves, his appointees intimate that they must be disarmed and put down; hence, whether allowed to vote or not, there is no opportunity for the people of the territory to rule under the present territorial government. Indeed, the laws are so made and construed that the citizens of a neighboring state are legal voters in Kansas, and of course no United States force can be brought against them. They are by law entitled to invade us and control our elections.
According to the organic act the people have a right to elect a Legislature, and that Legislature has a right to make laws, establish courts, and do everything but choose their executive and supreme judicial officers. If they have the right to do the one, they undoubtedly should have the right to do the other. The principle of squatter sovereignty, upon which this act is said to be based, knows no distinction between the power to legislate and the power to adjudicate or execute. If the right of one department of government is inherent in the people, so is the other. On this subject there is high authority. Gen Cass, in the Senate, said: "The government of the United
States is one of limited authority, vested with no powers not expressly granted or not necessary to the proper execution of such as are.
"There is no provision in the constitution granting any powers of legislation over the territory or other property of the United States,' except such as relates to its regulation and disposition. Political jurisdiction is entirely withheld, nor is there any just implication which can supply this defect of original authority."
Again he says, "I shall vote for the entire interdiction of all federal action over this general question, under any circumstances that may occur.' But the executive and judiciary of Kansas are the creatures of the federal government, and under its control, and the governor has a negative legislative power equal to two thirds of both branches of the Legislature, leaving to the people of the territory only one third of one of the three departments of government, and to the general government all of two departments, and two thirds of the other.
Also, he says, "Leave the people who will be affected by this question (slavery), to adjust it upon their own responsibility and in their own manner, and we shall render another tribute to the original principles of our government, and furnish another guaranty for its permanency and prosperity." But how can this or any other question be adjusted by the people, while ruled by a foreign executive and judiciary?
Mr. Douglas says, "I have always held that the people have a right to settle these questions as they choose, not only when they come into the Union as a state, but that they should be permitted to do so while a territory." If the people have this right, then the federal government has no right to interfere with it, and the people of Kansas have a right to demand that the present territorial government of Kansas be withdrawn, and that they be allowed to choose all their officers.
Mr. Henn, of Iowa, in Congress, said, "I would that Congress would recognize the doctrine of squatter sovereignty' in its length and breadth; that the citizen, wherever he may settle, if on American soil, shall have all the rights and privileges of citizenship, and be consulted by executives as well as by representatives. This would be right. This would be simple justice. It is a doctrine that was broadly asserted, and with firmness maintained, by the fathers of our republic."
In the organic act of the territory, section 14, is the following: "It being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate slavery into any territory or state, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the constitution of the United States."
But how can this "intent" be carried out with an executive and judiciary, and two thirds of the legislative power, in opposition to the will of the people, and with an overwhelming invasion at every election by permission of these of cers?
In the President's annual message to Congress, for the current year, he "In the counsels of Congress there was manifested extreme antagonism of opinion and action between some representatives who sought, by the abusive and unconstitutional employment of the legislative powers of the government, to interfere in the condition of inchoate states, and to impose their own social theories upon the latter; and other representatives, who repelled the interposition of the general government in this respect, and maintained the self-constituted rights of the states. In truth, the thing attempted was in form alone the action of the general government, while in reality it was the endeavor, by abuse of legislative power, to force the ideas of internal policy, entertained by particular states, upon allied independent states. Once more the constitution and the Union triumphed signally. The new territories were organized without restrictions on the disputed point, and were thus left to judge in that particular for themselves.” If it would have been an "abuse of legislative power for Congress to "force the ideas of internal policy entertained by particular states upon Kansas, by what reasoning does he justify the executive in the exercise of that power? That the officials of his appointment are to-day endeavoring to do this very thing, against the sentiment of a large majority of the people, cannot admit of a doubt.
Again he says, "The measure of its repeal (Missouri Compromise) was the final consummation and complete recognition of the principle, that no portion of the United States shall undertake, through assumption of the powers of the general government, to dictate the social institutions of any other portion."
The people of Kansas have reason to feel that the " 'complete recognition" of the principle, unless carried into practice, is of no avail to them, and that the recognition of this principle by Congress, while the opposite is acted upon by the executive, would be simple mockery.
Once more; "If the friends of the constitution are to have another struggle, its enemies could not present a more acceptable issue than that of a state, whose constitution clearly embraces a republican form of government, being excluded from the Union because its domestic institutions may not in all respects comport with the ideas of what is wise and expedient entertained in some other state." "If a new state, formed from the territory of the United States, be absolutely excluded from admission therein, that fact, of itself, constitutes the disruption of union between it and the other But the process of dissolution could not stop there. Would not a sectional decision, producing such a result by a majority of votes, either northern or southern, of necessity drive out the oppressed and aggrieved minority, and place in presence of each other two irreconcilably hostile confederations?"
Thus it will be seen, by the highest democratic authority in the country, that the people of Kansas have a right to demand the removal of the