Pierce in the South lay particular stress upon his appointment of Gov. Reeder as proof of his willingness to favor Free-Soilers, and asks us whether, at the time of his appointment, Gov. Reeder was regarded as a sound national Democrat.
It is in our power to answer this question with entire confidence, and to say that, down to the time that Gov. Reeder went to Kansas to assume the duties of Governor of the Territory, there had not been, so far as we have ever heard, or so far as the President ever heard, a breath of suspicion as to his entertaining Free-Soil sentiments.
He was appointed under the strongest assurances that he was strictly and honestly a national man. We are able to state, further, on very reliable authority, that, whilst Gov. Reeder was in Washington, at the time of his appointment, he conversed with Southern gentlemen on the subject of Slavery, and assured them that he had no more scruples in buying a slave than a horse, and he regretted that he had not money to purchase a number to carry with him to Kansas. We have understood that he repeated the same sentiments on his way to Kansas.
We will repeat what we have had occasion to say more than once before — that no man has ever been appointed by President Pierce to office who was not at the time understood by him to be a faithful adherent to the Baltimore platform of 1852, on the subject of Slavery.
If any appointment was made contrary to this rule, it was done under a misapprehension as to the appointment.
We may add that the evidences of Gov. Reeder's soundness were so strong that President Pierce was slower than many others to believe him a Free-Soiler after he had gone to Kansas.
It is, therefore, the grossest injustice to refer to Gov. Reeder's appointment as proof of the President's willingness to favor Free-Soilers.
An election for Delegate from Kansas
was held near the close of November.
There were probably less than two thousand adult white males then resident in the Territory
; yet 2,871 votes were cast, whereof 1,114 were afterward ascertained to have been legal, while 1,729 were cast by residents of Missouri
At one poll, known as “110,” 604 votes were cast, of which 20 were legal and 584 were illegal.
John W. Whitfield
an Indian agent, the Missouri
candidate, had 597 of them.
He received 2,268 in all, to 570 for all others.
David R. Atchison
, then a U. S. Senator
, in a speech in Platte County, Mo.
, a few weeks before the election, said:
When you reside within one day's journey of the Territory, and when your peace, your quiet, and your property, depend upon your action, you can, without any exertion, send five hundred of your young men who will vote in favor of your institutions.
Should each county in the State of Missouri only do its duty, the question will be decided quietly and peaceably at the ballot-box.
If we are defeated, then Missouri and the other Southern States will have shown themselves recreant to their interests, and will deserve their fate.
The city of Atchison
, named after this distinguished Senator
, was founded2
about this time by gentlemen of his faith, who established The Squatter Sovereign
as their organ.
One of its early issues contained the following significant paragraph:
We can tell the impertinent scoundrels of The Tribune that they may exhaust an ocean of ink, their Emigrant Aid Societies spend their millions and billions, their representatives in Congress spout their heretical theories till doomsday, and his Excellency appoint abolitionist after free-soiler as our Governor, yet we will continue to lynch and hang, tar and feather and drown, every white-livered abolitionist who dares to pollute our soil.
, in the early months of 1855, had a census of the Territory
taken, which showed a total population of 8,501, whereof 2,905 were voters and 242 slaves.
He thereupon ordered an election for a first Territorial Legislature and for certain county officers, to be held on the 30th of March, which took place accordingly.
All of border Missouri
was on hand; and the invaders had