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Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are called
leashed together by secret signs and lodges, have renewed the incredible atrocities of the Assassins and of the Thugs; showing the blind submission of the Assassins to the Old Man of the Mountain, in robbing Christians on the road to Jerusalem, and showing the heartlessness of the Thugs, who, avowing that murder was their religion, waylaid travellers on the great road from Agra to Delhi; with the more deadly bowie-knife for the dagger of the Assassin, and the more deadly revolver for the noose of the Thug.
In these invasions, attended by the entire subversion of all security in this Territory, with the plunder of the ballot-box, and the pollution of the electoral franchise, I show simply the process in unprecedented Crime. If that be the best government where an injury to a single citizen is resented as an injury to the whole State, then must our Government forfeit all claim to any such eminence, while it leaves its citizens thus exposed. In the outrage upon the ballot-box, even without the illicit fruits which I shall soon exhibit, there is a peculiar crime of the deepest dye, though subordinate to the final Crime, which should be promptly avenged. In countries where royalty is upheld, it is a special offence to rob the crown jewels, which are the emblems of that sovereignty before which the loyal subject bows, and it is treason to be found in adultery with the Queen, for in this way may a false heir be imposed upon the State; but in our Republic the ballot-box is the single priceless jewel of that sovereignty which we respect, and the electoral franchise, out of which are born the rulers of a free people, is the Queen whom we are to guard against pollution. In this plain presentment, whether as regards security, or as regards elections, there is enough. surely, without proceeding further, to justify the intervention of Congress, most promptly and completely, to throw over this.
oppressed people the impenetrable shield of the constitution and laws. But the half is not yet told.
As every point in a wide-spread horizon radiates from a common centre, so everything said or done in this vast circle of Crime radiates from the One Idea, that Kansas, at all hazards, must be made a slave State. In all the manifol wickednesses that have occurred, and in every successive invasion, this One Idea has been ever present, as the Satanic tempter the motive power the causing cause.
To accomplish this result, three things were attempted. first, by outrages of all kinds to drive the friends of Freedom already there out of the Territory; secondly, to deter others from coming; and, thirdly, to obtain the complete control of the Government. The process of driving out, and also of deterring, has failed. On the contrary, the friends of Freedom there became more fixed in their resolves to stay and fight the battle, which they had never sought, but from which they disdained to retreat; while the friends of Freedom elsewhere were more aroused to the duty of timely succors, by men and munitions of just self-defence.
But, while defeated in the first two processes proposed, the conspirators succeeded in the last. By the violence already portrayed at the election of the 30th March, when the polls. were occupied by the armed hordes from Missouri, they imposed a Legislature upon the Territory, and thus, under the iron mask of law, established a usurpation not less complete than any in history. That this was done, I proceed to prove. Here is the evidence :
1. Only in this way can this extraordinary expedition be adequately explained. In the words of Molière, once employed by John Quincy Adams, in the other House, Que diable allaient-ils faire dans cette galere? What did they go into the Territory for? If their purposes were peaceful, as has been suggested, why cannons, arms, flags, numbers, and all this violence? As simple citizens, proceeding to the honest exer
cise of the electoral franchise, they might have gone with nothing more than a pilgrim's staff. Philosophy always seeks a sufficient cause, and only in the One Idea, already presented, can a cause be found in any degree commensurate with this Crime; and this becomes so only when we consider the mad fanaticism of Slavery.
2. Public notoriety steps forward to confirm the suggestion of reason. In every place where truth can freely travel it has been asserted and understood that the Legislature was imposed upon Kansas by foreigners from Missouri; and this universal voice is now received as undeniable verity.
3. It is also attested by the harangues of the conspirators. Here is what Stringfellow said before the invasion :
"To those who have qualms of conscience as to violating laws, State or National, the time has come when such impositions must be disregarded, as your rights and property are in danger; and I advise you, one and all, to enter every election district in Kansas, in defiance of Reeder and his vile myrmidons, and vote at the point of the bowie-knife and revolver. Neither give nor take quarter, as our case demands it. It is enough that the slaveholding interest wills it, from which there is no appeal. What right has Governor Reeder to rule Missourians in Kanzas? His proclamation and prescribed oath must be repudiated. It is your interest to do so. Mind that Slavery is established where it is not prohibited."
Here is what Atchison said after the invasion:
"Well, what next? Why, an election for members of the Legislature to organize the Territory must be held. What did I advise you to do then? Why, meet them on their own ground, and beat them at their own game, again; and, cold and inclement as the weather was, I went over with a company of men. My object in going was not to vote. I had no right to vote, unless I had disfranchised myself in Missouri. I was not within two miles of a voting place. My object in going was not to vote, but to settle a difficulty between two of our candidates; and the Abolitionists of the North said, and published it abroad, that Atchison was there with bowie-knife and revolver; and, by God! 'twas true. I never did go into that Territory I never intend to go into that Territory
– without being prepared for all such kind of cattle. Well, we beat them, and Governor Reeder gave certificates to a majority of all the members of both Houses; and then, after they were organized, as everybody will admit, they were the only competent persons to say who were, and who were not, members of the same."
4. It is confirmed by the contemporaneous admission of the Squatter Sovereign, a paper published at Atchison, and at once the organ of the President and of these borderers, which, under date of 1st of April, thus recounts the victory :
"Independence [Missouri], March 31, 1855.
“Several hundred emigrants from Kansas have just entered our city. They were preceded by the Westport and Independence Brass Bands. They came in at the west side of the public 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 horsemen in regular order; following these were one hundred and fifty wagons, carriages, &c. They gave repeated cheers for Kansas and Missouri. They report that not an Anti-Slavery man will be in the Legislature of Kansas. We have made a clean sweep."
5. It is also confirmed by the contemporaneous testimony of another paper, always faithful to slavery, the New York Herald, in the letter of a correspondent from Brunswick, in Missouri, under date of 20th April, 1855:
"From five to seven thousand men started from Missouri to attend the election, some to remove, but the most to return to their families, with an intention, if they liked the Territory, to make it their permanent abode at the earliest moment practicable. But they intended to vote. The Missourians were, many of them, Douglas men. There were one hundred and fifty voters from this county, one hundred and seventyfive from Howard, one hundred from Cooper. Indeed, every county furnished its quota; and when they set out, it looked like an army." * * * 66 They were armed." * * * * "And, as there were no houses in the Territory, they carried tents. Their mission was a peaceable one,
to vote, and to drive down stakes for their future homes. After the election, some one thousand five hundred of the voters sent a committee to Mr. Reeder, to ascertain if it was his purpose to ratify the election.
He answered that it was, and said the majority at an election must carry the day. But it is not to be denied that the one thousand five hundred, apprehending that the Governor might attempt to play the tyrant, since his conduct had already been insidious and unjust, wore on their hats bunches of hemp. They were resolved, if a tyrant attempted to trample upon the rights of the sovereign people, to hang him.”
6. It is again confirmed by the testimony of a lady who for five years has lived in Western Missouri, and thus writes in a letter published in the New Haven Register:
"Miami, Saline Co., Nov. 26, 1855.
"You ask me to tell you something about the Kansas and Missouri troubles. Of course you know in what they have originated. There is no denying that the Missourians have determined to control the elections, if possible; and I don't know that their measures would be justifiable, except upon the principle of self-preservation; and that, you know, is the first law of nature."
7. And it is confirmed still further by the circular of the Emigration Society of Lafayette, in Missouri, dated as late as 25th March, 1856, in which the efforts of Missourians are openly confessed:
"The western counties of Missouri have, for the last two years, been heavily taxed, both in money and time, in fighting the battles of the South. Lafayette County alone has expended more than one hundred thousand dollars in money, and as much or more in time. Up to this time, the border counties of Missouri have upheld and maintained the rights and interests of the South in this struggle, unassisted, and not unsuccessfully. But the Abolitionists, staking their all upon the Kansas issue, and hesitating at no means, fair or foul, are moving heaven and earth to render that beautiful Territory a Free State."
8. Here, also, is complete admission of the usurpation, by the Intelligencer, a leading paper of St. Louis, Missouri, made in the ensuing summer :
"Atchison and Stringfellow, with their Missouri followers, overwhelmed the settlers in Kansas, browbeat and bullied them, and took