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KANSAS AFFAIRS IN THE SENATE.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON TERRITORIES.
MADE MARCH 12, 1856,
BY JUDGE COLLAMER, OF VERMONT.
Views of the minority of the Committee on Territo- | It is said that organized opposition to law exists in Kansas. That, if existing, may probably be suppressed by the President, by the use of the army; and so, too, may invasions by armed bodies from Missouri, the Executive be sincere in its efforts; but when this is done, while the cause of trouble remains, the results will continue with renewed and increased de
rics, to whom was referred so much of the annual message of the President as relates to Territorial affairs, the message of the President of 24th Januuary in relation to Kansas Territory, and the message of the President of the 18th February, in answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 4th February, relative to the affairs in Kansas.
velopments of danger.
Thirteen of the present prosperous States of this Union passed through the period of apprenticeship or pupilage of Territorial training, under the guardianship of Congress, preparatory to assuming their proud rank of manhood as sovereign and independent States. This period of their pupilage was, in every case, a period of the good offices of parent and child, in the kind relationship sustained
Let us, then, look fairly and undisguisedly at this subject, in its true character and history. Wherein does this Kansas Territory differ from all our other Territories, which have been so peacefully and successfully carried through, and been developed into the manhood of independent States? Can that difference account between the National and the Territorial for existing troubles? Can that differGovernment, and may be remembered ence, as a cause of trouble, be removed? with feelings of gratitude and pride. We have fallen on different times. A Territory of our Government is now convulsed with violence and discord, and the whole family of our nation is in a state of excitement and anxiety. The national executive power is put in motion, the army in requisition, and Congress is invoked for interference.
In this case, as in all others of difficulty, it becomes necessary to inquire what As the true cause of existing trouble, in order to apply effectual cure. It is but temporary palliatives to deal with the external and more obvious manifestations and developments, while the real, procuring cause lies unattended to, and uncorrected, and unremoved.
The first and great point of difference between the Territorial Government of Kansas and that of the thirteen Territorial Governments before mentioned, consists in the subject of Slavery, the undoubted cause of present trouble.
The action of Congress in relation to all those thirteen Territories was conduct-ed on a uniform and prudent principle, to wit: To settle, by a clear provision, the law in relation to the subject of Slavery to be operative in the Territory, while it remained such; not leaving it in any one of those cases to be a subject of controversy within the same, while in the plastic gristle of its youth. This was done by Con- gress in the exercise of the same power which moulded the form of their organic.
laws, and appointed their Executive and [ up without difficulty or doubt as to the Judiciary, and sometimes their legislative character of its institutions. In no inofficers. It was the power provided in stance was this difficult and disturbing the Constitution, in these words: "Con- subject left to the people who had and gress shall have power to dispose of, and who might settle in the Territory, to be make all needful rules and regulations re- there an everlasting bone of contention, specting, the Territory or other property so long as the Territorial Government belonging to the United States." Settling should continue. It was ever regarded, the subject of Slavery while the country too, as a subject in which the whole counremained a Territory, was no higher exer- try had an interest, and, therefore, impropcise of power in Congress than the regu- er for local legislation. lation of the functions of the Territorial Government, and actually appointing its principal functionaries. This practice commenced with this National Government, and was continued, with uninter- State, form and mould their institutions, rupted uniformity, for more than sixty as a sovereign State, in their own way, yet years. This practical contemporaneous it must be expected, and has always prov construction of the constitutional power ed true, that the State has taken the charof this Government is too clear to leave acter her pupilage has prepared her for, as room for doubt, or opportunity for skep- well in respect to Slavery as in other reticism. The peace, prosperity, and suc- spects. Hence, six of the thirteen States cess, which attended this course, and the are free States, because Slavery was proresults which have ensued, in the forma- hibited in them by Congress while Territion and admission of the thirteen States tories, to wit: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, therefrom, are most conclusive and satis- Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Seven factory evidence, also, of the wisdom and of the thirteen are slaveholding States, beprudence with which this power was exer- cause Slavery was allowed in them by cised. Deluded must be that people who, Congress while they were Territories, to in the pursuit of plausible theories, be- wit: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, come deaf to the lessons and blind to the Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Misresults of their own experience. souri.
Let us next inquire by what rule of uniformity Congress was governed, in the exercise of this power of determining the condition of each Territory as to Slavery, while remaining a Territory, as manifested in those thirteenstances. An examination of our history will show that this was not done from time to time by agitation and local or party triumphs in Congress. The rule pursued was uniform and clear; and whoever may have lost by it, peace and prosperity have been gained. That rule was this:
Where Slavery was actually existing in a country to any considerable or general extent, it was (though somewhat modified as to further importation in some instances, as in Mississippi and Orleans Territories) suffered to remain. The fact that it had been taken and existed there was taken as an indication of its adaptation and local utility. Where Slavery did not in fact exist to any appreciable extent, the same was, by Congress, expressly prohibited; so that in either case the country settled
And though, whenever the people of a Territory come to form their own organic law, as an independent State, they would, either before or after their admission as a
On the 6th of March, A. D. 1820, was passed by Congress the act preparatory to the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union. Much controversy and discussion arose on the question whether a prohibition of Slavery within said State should be inserted, and it resulted in this: that said State should be admitted without such prohibition, but that Slavery should be forever prohibited in the rest of that country ceded to us by France lying north 36° 30' north latitude, and it was so
done. This contract is known as the Missouri Compromise. Under this arrangement, Missouri was admitted as a slaveholding State, the same having been a slaveholding Territory. Arkansas, south of the line, was formed into a Territory, and Slavery allowed therein, and afterwards admitted as a slaveholding State. Iowa was made a Territory, north of the line, and, under the operation of the law, was settled up without slaves, and admitted as a free State. The country now making the Territories of Kansas and