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'fying the illegal and reprehensible counter- the election for members of the Legislature took place on the 30th of March, 1855.

movements which ensued."

Now, sir, what are the facts? Will those two movements bear comparison at all? Are they of the same character? The report sets forth, in its most objectionable features, no doubt, the action of the Emigrant Aid Society, and it amounts simply to this: that it was taking measures to aid persons on their way to Kansas for the settlement of the country, to remain there as settlers. There is not a particle of evidence in the report-it is not even asserted-that the emigrants who went forth under the patronage of the Emigrant Aid Society did not go to Kansas to reside. There may be an argument in the report against persons who went there under the patronage of that society without the intention of residing; but there is no allegation that any such did go.

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In the Squatter Sovereign of April 1. following, is published this article:

"INDEPENDENCE, March 31, 1855.

"Several hundred emigrants from Kansas have just entered our city. They were preceded by They came in at the west side of the public the Wesport and Independence brass bands. square, and proceeded entirely around it, the 'bands cheering us with fine music, and the emigrants with good news. Immediately following the bands were about two hundred horsehundred and fifty wagons, carriages, &c. They men, in regular order; following these were one They report that not an Anti-Slavery man will gave repeated cheers for Kansas and Missouri. 'be in the Legislature of Kansas. We have made 6 a clean sweep."

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done? Two hundred horsemen were following in
the army which, in the language of Governor
the rear of the army as it returned from Kansas-
Reeder, while Governor, had "conquered and
this we are told was an organization similar to
"the people of the Territory.
the Emigrant Aid Society.


Well, sir, what are the facts in reference to the organizations in the western counties of Missouri? I shall not detain the Senate by going over a mi-half the outrages which are here published to the Had the Emigrant Aid Society been guilty of nute history of the transactions on that border: world with impunity by the Missourians, do you The Senator from Massachusetts, [Mr. WILSON,] believe the facts would have been smothered up a few days ago, did that; and he showed that men went into Kansas from Missouri in organ-in the transactions of that Society are set forth in by this report? The most objectionable features ized companies, with music beating and banners the report; and is there anything in them to comflying; that they went to the polls, took posses-pare with what the Missourians boast of having sion of them, and voted; that in that Territory, where there were but 2,877 voters when the census was taken in February, more than 6,000 votes were cast in the month of March following. He read from papers to show that the Missourians returned in companies to their homes, after the election was over. The matter was of public notoriety. Everybody knew it. Is there any instance where the Emigrant Aid Society, or persons sent out under its patronage, ever drove a man from the polls? It is not pretended. Is there any comparison between the peaceable emigrant who goes into a Territory to settle and reside, and an army of invaders who go there to impose laws on its defenceless inhabitants? To show the spirit of the men upon the Missouri border, and those affiliated with them in Kansas, I will read an article from the Squatter Sovereign of May 29, 1855, which was before the Legislature met; this is it:

nected with the election. Bear in mind that it

the proceedings of Governor Reeder preparatory Next, Mr. President, the report gives în detail to the election, the orders which he issued for protecting the polls, and various matters condoes not deny this invasion from Missouri. No, sir, that fact is too well authenticated; but it argues that the persons elected as members of the election from Governor Reeder, were recognised Territorial Legislature received certificates of by him as a Legislature, and therefore its acts are binding! That is the substance of the argu"From reports now received of Reeder, he never tions were carried by fraud; that the people of It does not pretend to deny that the elec"intends returning to our borders. Should he do Kansas were conquered and driven from the polls, so, we, without hesitation, say that our people as was published and alleged all over the counought to hang him by the neck like a traitor- try, and is a fact as well known to every intelli'ous dog as he is, so soon as he puts his unhal-gent man in the land as it is that the English and 'lowed feet upon our shores. the Russians have lately been at war.

"Vindicate your characters and the Territory; ' and should the ungrateful dog dare to come among us again, hang him to the first rotten


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spurious Legislature are binding, and are to be But, sir, it is said that the laws passed by this enforced at the point of the bayonet; and those surrectionists and traitors. The action of Governwho deny their validity are to be treated as inor Reeder is referred to as giving validity to the Legislature of the oppressors. Can that give any force to these acts, if the facts alleged be true? Does the report meet the real question at issue? If it be true that the elections in any Territory of this Union were carried by people from a neighboring State, or from a foreign country, and a Legislature were thereby imposed upon the people of the insulted Territory, I ask, is there

actual inhabitant of this Territory and of the county or district in which he offers to vote, and shall have paid a Territorial tax. There is no law requiring him to pay a dollar tax as a qual

We happen to have the laws here, and I wish to call attention to some of their provisions. In chapter 138 of the Kansas Statutes is this provision:

a man in America who would have the hardihood
to say that the acts of the Legislature must be
obeyed, because the Governor of the Territory
had recognised it, or because those elected by
the invaders decided their election to be valid?ification to vote."
Of course the Legislature so decided. Did you
ever know a tyrant or a despot trampling on the
necks of his subjects deny his own right to do
so? Such an act would be the most remarkable
exhibition the world ever saw. And yet it is
gravely argued in this report, that, because the
oppressors decided that they had the right to
oppress, we cannot, therefore, inquire into the
fact whether they were oppressors or not. It
has been contended, in debate here, that we are
estopped from looking into the transaction, in
consequence of the acts of Governor Reeder.

"In addition to the provisions of the act entitled 'An act for the collection of the revenue,' the sheriff of each and every county shall, on or before the first Monday of October, 1855, collect the sum of one dollar, as a poll tax, from each person in the said Territory of Kansas who may be entitled to vote in said Territory, as is provided in the said act to which this is supple

In chapter 66 of the same book, the qualification of voters is prescribed as follows: "Every free white male citizen of the United

Sir, who was Governor Reeder? An instru-mentary." ment in the hands of the Executive, appointed by the President of the United States, and removable at his will. It has been contended that the Kansas-Nebraska act established the principle of self-States, and every free male Indian who is made government and popular sovereignty in the people of the Territory; but when you look into the act, you find that the Governor is not elected by the people, that they have no voice in his election, or in his removal, but that he is the mere instrument of the President, and liable to be removed at any moment.

a citizen by treaty or otherwise, and over the age of twenty-one years, who shall be an inhabitant of this Territory, and of the county or district in which he offers to vote, and shaH have paid a Territorial tax, shall be a qualified voter."

Section 13 declares:

"It shall be the duty of the sheriff to have his tax-book at the place of holding elections, and to receive, receipt for, and enter upon his taxbook, all taxes which may be tendered him on the day of any election."

Do not these statutes prove the truth of the

I deny that a Territorial Governor can make valid the acts of an assembly of usurpers, by recognising them as a Legislature. The great fact remains, and it is not met by the report, that the people of Kansas have been conquered, as the Governor himself once said, and a Legislature has been imposed upon them by violence. With-allegation which the office-holders' Convention out denying this, the report, to use a legal phrase, demurs to the declaration, thereby admitting the charge, but denying that it affords any reason why the acts of such a Legislature should not be enforced!

has undertaken to deny? Is it not true that any inhabitant may vote who will pay his dollar tax? Is not every voter required to pay the tax? Is not the sheriff required to be present at the polls to receive it? Is any residence necessary? Not a day. It is enough if he who claims the right of suffrage is at the time an "inhabitant" of the Territory and district where he offers to vote. We all understand how this word "inhabitant" may be construed so as to require nothing more than inhabitancy at the moment of voting.

Mr. COLLAMER. I will remark to the gen

But, sir, an attempt is made to get rid of the odium justly attaching to many of the acts of this spurious Legislature, not by directly denying the existence of the obnoxious acts, but by introducing into the report the proceedings of a Convention of the people of Kansas, composed chiefly of office-holders, as it would seem-the Governor, judges, marshal, and district attorney,tleman, if he will allow me, that the law requibeing present-which undertook to say that the ring a poll tax, and providing for its collection, laws of the Legislature had been most grossly was to take effect immediately; and the other law misrepresented. I wish to look a little at the which he has read was to take effect in October, justification thus set up, and see whether it is 1856. One was the dollar tax, and the other a warranted by the facts. That Convention de-fifty cent tax; and provision was made for payclares: ing at any time a man pleased.

"It has been charged, and widely circulated, Mr. TRUMBULL. I think, then, that the allethat the Legislature, in order to perpetuate their gations which have gone abroad are fully sus'rule, had passed a law prescribing the qualifica-tained by an examination of the statutes themtion of voters, by which it is declared 'that any one may vote who will swear allegiance to the 'Fugitive Slave Law, the Kansas and Nebraska 'Bill, and pay one dollar; such is declared to 'be the evidence of citizenship, such the qualifi'cation of voters. In reply to this, we say that 'no such law was ever passed by the Legislature. The law prescribing the qualification of voters 'expressly provides that to entitle a person to vote, he must be twenty-one years of-age, an

selves, and that the Convention of Kansas officeholders were themselves mistaken. Another section of the election law declares that any person offering to vote shall be presumed entitled to vote; but if his right is challenged, he is required to swear to support the Kansas-Nebraska act and the Fugitive Slave Law. There are many persons who would object to swearing to sustain the Fugitive Slave Law; and are they to be deprived of the right of suffrage on that account?

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J will not undertake to justify people who set at defiance the Fugitive Slave Act. My opinion is, that under the Constitution of the country the owners of slaves have a right to a reasonable law for their reclamation when they escape.

"The said judge of probate shall have power to appoint such officers of the county as are specified in this act, and not appointed, and justify the same. All such appointments made by the judge of probate 'shali be entered of record."

Section 8 declares:

"The said judge of probate shall have fuli power to appoint a justice or justices of the peace within and for said county. Section 9. There shall be appointed by said judge one sheriff, one treasurer, (who shall be ex officio assessor,) and one surveyor."

These are my views. I avow them here and everywhere. But, while such is my opinion, I do not think it proper to prevent an individual who thinks differently, and who believes the Fugitive Slave Law to be unconstitutional, from voting. There are persons, South as well as North, who believe it to be unconstitutional; and to require of such persons, or any person, an oath to support it as a qualification to vote, is oppressive. There are features in the Fugitive Slave Act re-ized to appoint the sheriff, the treasurer, justices pulsive to many persons. No man wants to take an oath to assist in apprehending runaway negroes.

Again, it is said, in reference to this election law:

"It is difficult to see how a more guarded law 'could be framed for the purpose of protecting the purity of elections and the sanctity of the ballot-box."

It is difficult to see how a more guarded law could be framed than that which permits any male citizen of twenty-one years of age to vote, who is an inhabitant of the Territory, and pays a dollar! That is a guarded law, in the opinion of the officials of Kansas. Again, they say:

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The Legislature create a judge, who is author

of the peace for five years-all the officers; and this is what is denominated the "self-government," and "popular sovereignty," guarantied by the Kansas-Nebraska act to the people of those Territories, and these are the laws which are to be enforced at the point of the bayonet.

I come now to a portion of this report with which I am very much gratified, a part of it which I can endorse, as enunciating the true doctrine in reference to the rights of a people in a Territory; but it is very much at war with that other doctrine which has been proclaimed throughout the land on nearly every stump in the West, that the people of a Territory possess the power of self-government and the right of sovereignty. "It has also been charged against the Legisla- The question has been asked over and over again, ture, that they elected all the officers of the by every village politician advocating the KansasTerritory for six years. This is without any Nebraska act, "Why does not a man possess just 'foundation. They elected no officer for six as much power to govern himself when he moves " years; and the only civil officers they retain the out of a State into a Territory, as he did when he 'election of, that occur to us at present, are the lived in a State?" The question has been asked 'Auditor and Treasurer of State, and the district of assembled thousands, "Do you lose your senses attorneys, who hold their offices for four, and when you go into a Territory, that you cannot 'not six years. By the organic act, the commis-govern yourselves?" The "great principle" of 'sions issued by the Governor to the civil officers the Kansas-Nebraska bill was said to be, that it ' of the Territory all expired on the adjournment guarantied "sovereignty" and "self-government" ' of the Legislature. To prevent a failure in the to the people of the Territory. The idea that 'local administration, and from necessity, the self-government could be derived, and sovereignLegislature made a number of temporary ap-ty conferred, was, of course, an absurdity; but 'pointments, such as probate judge, and two 'county commissioners, and a sheriff for each county. The probate judge and county com'missioners constitute the tribunal for the transaction of county business, and are invested with 'the power to appoint justices of the peace, constables, county surveyors, recorder, and clerk, ' &c. Probate judges, county commissioners, sheriffs, &c., are all temporary appointments, ' and are made elective by the people at the first ' annual election in 1857."

Now for the facts: chapter 93, section 4, of the Kansas Laws, is as follows:

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self-government and popular sovereignty" were captivating terms, and well calculated to mislead. They have answered their purpose, and are now cast aside. The report says:

"The sovereignty of a Territory remains in' abeyance, suspended in the United States, in trust for the people, until they shall be admit ted into the Union as a State."

Never was a truer sentiment advanced; and I hope never again to hear of "squatter sovereignty," " ," "popular sovereignty," and "self-government," as applied to the people of a Territory under a Territorial Government; but the very "Every justice of the peace shall hold his office next sentence of the report has the word "self'for the term of five years, and until his succes-government" crowded into it, as if it would not 'sor is duly chosen and qualified."

do to omit it altogether. Hence it is asserted, that the people of the Territory "are entitled to enjoy and exercise all the privileges and rights of self-government, in subordination to the Con

That is very plain. Justices of the peace are to hold their offices for five years, and that is, I suppose, considered but temporarily in Kansas. Another act, chapter 37, provides for the organi-'stitution of the United States, and in obedience zation of Arrapahoe county, and section 2 is as follows: "Allen P. Tibetts is hereby appointed judge of the probate court of Arrapahoe county." Section 4 declares:

'to their organic law, passed by Congress in 6 pursuance of that instrument."

Nobody ever doubted that they had a right to exercise all the privileges, not of self-government

but of government, conferred upon them by the organic act. If the word "self" had been left out, the sentence would have been complete, and consistent with the one which precedes it. The report says:....

"These rights and privileges are all derived 'from the Constitution, through the act of Congress, and must be exercised and enjoyed in 'subjection to all the limitations and restrictions I which that Constitution imposes. Hence it is I clear that the people of the Territory have no inherent sovereign right under the Constitution of the United States to annul the laws and resist the authority of the Territorial Government which Congress has established in obedience to the Constitution."

There is the whole doctrine clearly stated. The people of a Territory have no inherent rights to pass laws except in accordance with the charter granted them by Congress. This was the doctrine of the fathers of the Republic; and I rejoice exceedingly that the committee have come to this conclusion in their report. I hope we shall hear no more about this idea of sovereignty in a Territory-an idea utterly inconsistent with its existence as a part of the Union. Two sovereignties cannot exist within the same dominion. One must be subject to the other.

The committee attribute the origin of the difficulties in Kansas to an attempt to violate the principle of the organic act. What this principle is, the report does not explain, except in the confused language of the Kansas-Nebraska act, which, as has already been shown, is understood differently in different parts of the Union.


Sir, I do not trace these difficulties to violations of the mongrel principle of the Kansas-Nebraska That act contains no definite, fixed, and certain principle. It is admitted in the report that all the powers of the people of the Territory are in subordination to Congress, and are held in abeyance by Congress so long as the Territory lasts. There is no principle established by the Territorial act, which has been violated. That act professed to throw the whole Territory open to competition, or rather the authors of the bill professed to believe, and informed the country, that Slavery was not intended to go into Kansas or Nebraska; that nobody expected it. It was but natural, then, that those persons who were opposed to Slavery, and who preferred to live in a community where Slavery did not exist, should have flocked to that Territory which they were told was to be free. This violated no principle of the law.

What, then, sir, is the occasion of the excitement now existing throughout the length and breadth of this land? I will tell you. It has its origin solely in that one fatal mistake made two years ago, when the Missouri Compromise was repealed. If the policy adopted in 1850, which was to leave the question of Slavery in a country, when organized into a Territory, in the condition Congress found it at the time, had been adhered to, there would have been no difficulty; we should have had no Slavery agitation; and at this time there would have been no occasion for proclamations from the President, nor orders from the

Secretary of War, to enforce the laws in any part of the country at the point of the bayonet. The policy of 1850 was a let-alone policy. Congress at that time found the territory which we had acquired during the Mexican war with an existing law prohibiting Slavery; and what did Congress do? Did it repeal that law? Certainly not; but it organized the Territories of Utah and New Mexico, leaving the law as it found it. It was then contended on this floor by Senators North and South, and I could read by the hour from the opinions of the most distinguished men of this body at that time, to show, that the Mexican laws by which Slavery was abolished were left in full force. That was the opinion of the distinguished Senator from Michigan.

The Committee on Territories, who reported the first Nebraska bill, stated that it would be a departure from the policy adopted in 1850, which was to leave the Territories of Utah and New Mexico as Congress found them, with the Mexican law untouched, if they were now to introduce a provision to repeal the eighth section of the act for admitting Missouri into the Union; and, therefore, they recommended not to repeal that provision. Afterwards different counsels prevailed, and it is to those different counsels that we owe all the excitement, and all the agitation, and all the danger, which have grown out of this question. Such was the opinion of the distinguished Senator from Michigan at the time the Nebraska bill was, under consideration; and, in the commencement of his remarks on that occasion, he expresses his regret that a provision should have been introduced to repeal the Missouri Compromise, and open again the agitation of this dangerous question.

Now, sir, what is the remedy? It is obvious. If we could approach this question calmly and dispassionately, without excitement; if Senators could be actuated by that feeling which seemed to animate them some years ago, when they said they had no expectation of Slavery going into Kansas, and which animated our fathers when the Missouri Compromise was adopted, it seems to me they would consent to restore it, and in so doing they would, in my opinion, in thirty days give peace to the country. If we could forget the excitement growing out of misapprehension, in different parts of the country, as to the views entertained in other parts, and look upon this question as friends of the Union, as lovers of the Constitution, as men willing to do all that lies in our power to perpetuate the glorious heritage which has been handed down to us, I think we should be willing to do this. I shall not, however, make the proposition, for the reason that I cannot see any probability of its passage at this time. It should have my vote, and I should be exceedingly glad to see it proposed with a prospect of success, and coming from Senators residing in the South.

But, sir, if that cannot be done, what is it our duty to do? Shall we sit still and leave these obnoxious laws which have been alluded to, and many others to which I have not alluded, but to which the attention of the Senate has been heretofore called in this discussion, in full force? Is that

statute to remain in force in the Territory which makes it a penal offence, punishable by imprisonment for two years, for a person to say that Slavery does not rightfully exist in Kansas? Why, sir, before God, I believe it does not rightfully exist there. Every man who believes that the Territorial Legislature which sat in Kansas was imposed upon the people by fraud and violence that it was a usurpation-and that Slavery cannot exist without a municipal law to protect it, must believe that Slavery does not rightfully exist in Kansas; and yet he is liable to punishment for avowing that opinion; and not only for avowing it, but for circulating a document that avows it!

to the General Government, I beg attention particularly to the documents which have been laid before us; and I will undertake to show, to the satisfaction of any intelligent mind, that there was no just occasion for the invasion of Kansas in December last; that it was gotten up, as appears from the documents themselves, upon false rumors, and without sufficient cause. The first we know of this difficulty is in a telegraphic dispatch from the Governor, Wilson Shannon, as follows:

"WESTPORT, MISSOURI, December 1, 1855.

"I desire authority to call on the United States forces at Leavenworth to preserve the peace of 'this Territory; to protect the sheriff of Douglas county, and enable him to execute the legal process in his hands. If the laws are not executed, civil war is inevitable. An armed force of one thousand men, with all the implements of war, 'it is said, are at Lawrence. They have rescued a prisoner from the sheriff, burnt houses, and threatened the lives of citizens. Immediate assistance is desired. This is the only means to save bloodshed.

"Particulars by mail. WILSON SHANNON.
"His Excellency Franklin Pierce."

Now, sir, on what was Governor Shannon's dispatch founded? On Sheriff Jones's letter, telling him that Branson, a person arrested on a peace-warrant, had been rescued by an armed body of between forty and fifty men, as the Governor writes; but of between thirty and forty, as Buckley, who was present at the time of the

Instead of meeting this question in a fraternal spirit, with kindness upon all sides, we hear it said that these laws are to be enforced at the point of the bayonet; and the President is commended by Senators for the course he has taken in reference to this matter. Now, I wish to review the President's action upon this subject. I know it has been said that the laws are to be enforced, and that we must put down traitors and insurrectionists. True, sir; but we must find traitors before we hang them; there must be an insurrection before we undertake to quell it. As yet, that state of things has not arisen, in my judgment, which makes it proper to denounce as traitors the settlers of Kansas, who have resorted to the only means left in their power to escape the despotism which is being imposed upon them. I do not understand them to have organized any resistance in the General Government. I recog-rescue, swears. nise the authority of Congress to govern the Territories of this country while they remain Territories, and deny the right of that or any other Territory to set at defiance the action of Congress. Were the people of Kansas to do that, and levy war against the United States, they would be guilty of treason, and the whole power of the Government should be exerted to reduce them to subjection and enforce the laws. But that case has never arisen, and I trust it never may. It is a very different thing from treason for the people of Kansas to resist the acts of usurpers and tyrants. Sir, we are told, by an authority little less than Divine, that "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." If the Legislature which sat in Kansas was composed of men who were elected, in defiance of the act of Congress, by an army of invaders from abroad, I say there is no obligation on anybody to obey their laws; and so far from condemning as insurrectionists those who resist them, we should strengthen the hands of the men who are seeking to set them aside.

The message and documents the President has sent us are said to contain "all the information on the subject" of Kansas affairs in the Department of State. This was on the 18th of February, 1856. We have, then, before us all the information in the possession of the Executive on the 18th of February last.

This was the immediate and the main cause of that modest request of Sheriff Jones for "three thousand men to aid him in the execution of the warrants in his hands, and to protect him and his prisoner from violence." The prisoner alluded to was Coleman, who had killed Dow, but who does not appear from the papers communicated to have been at the time in the sheriff's custody.

The affidavits of Jones the sheriff, of Buckley, who sued out the peace-warrant against Branson, of Hargis, and the letter of Clarke to the Governor, all bear date subsequent to the Governor's dispatch to the President, and could not, therefore, have furnished the grounds on which it was sent. To go still further back, we find there was a very slight excuse, either for the suing out of the peace-warrant, or the conduct of Jones in arresting Branson. At the risk of making myself somewhat tedious, I will read a portion of Buckley's affidavit, made on the 6th of December, 1855, as he gives the origin of the siege of Lawrence. He swears:

"That he was informed on good authority, and which he believed to be true, that Jacob Branson had threatened his life, both before and after the difficulty between Coleman and Dow, which led to the death of the latter. I under'stood that Branson swore that deponent should 'not breathe the pure air three minutes after I returned, this deponent at this time having gone

To show how the people of Kansss have not only been imposed upon by a spurious Legisla-down to Westport, in Missouri; that it was

ture, but also the means which have been resorted to to embarrass and place them in a false position before the country, and in an attitude of hostility

these threats, made in various shapes, that made this deponent really fear his life, and which induced Fir to make affidavit against the said

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