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[241] and formed a Free-State Constitution, under which they asked admission into the Union as a State.

The XXXIVth Congress assembled at Washington, December 3d, 1855, no party having a majority in the House. Several weeks were consumed in fruitless ballotings for Speaker, until, finally, a majority voted — Yeas 113, Nays 104--that a plurality should suffice to elect after three more ballots. Under this rule, Nathaniel P. Banks, Jr., of Massachusetts, received 103 votes to 100 for William Aiken, of South Carolina, and 11 scattering. It was thereupon resolved — Yeas 155, Nays 40--that Mr. Banks had been duly elected Speaker. The House, on the 19th of March, resolved — Yeas 101, Nays 93--to send a Special Committee to Kansas, to inquire into the anarchy by this time prevailing there. That Committee was composed of Messrs. William A. Howard, of Michigan, John Sherman, of Ohio, and Mordecai Oliver, of Missouri, who immediately proceeded to Kansas, and there spent several weeks in taking testimony; which the majority, on their return to Washington, summed up in an able and searching Report. Their conclusions were as follows:

First: That each election in the Territory, held under the organic or alleged Territorial law, has been carried by organized invasions from the State of Missouri, by which the people of the Territory have been prevented from exercising the rights secured to them by the organic law.

Second: That the alleged Territorial Legislature was an illegally constituted body, and had no power to pass valid laws; and their enactments are, therefore, null and void.

Third: That these alleged laws have not, as a general thing, been used to protect persons and property and to punish wrong, but for unlawful purposes.

Fourth: That the election under which the sitting delegate, John W. Whitfield, holds his seat, was not held in pursuance of any valid law, and that it should be regarded only as the expression of the choice of those resident citizens who voted for him.

Fifth: That the election under which the contesting delegate, Andrew H. Reeder, claims his seat, was not held in pursuance of law, and that it should be regarded only as the expression of the choice of the resident citizens who voted for him.

Sixth: That Andrew H. Reeder received a greater number of votes of resident citizens than John W. Whitfield, for Delegate.

Seventh: That, in the present condition of the Territory, a fair election cannot be held without a new census, a stringent and well-guarded election law, the selection of impartial judges, and the presence of United States troops at every place of election.

Eighth: That the various elections held by the people of the Territory preliminary to the formation of the State Government, have been as regular as the disturbed condition of the Territory would allow; and that the Constitution framed by the Convention, held in pursuance of said elections, embodies the will of a majority of the people.

Whitfield held his seat, notwithstanding, to the end of the Congress, despite strenuous efforts by the Republican members to oust him; and a bill admitting Kansas as a State under her Free Constitution was first defeated in the House by 106 Yeas to 107 Nays, but afterward reconsidered and passed by 99 Yeas to 97 Nays. In the Senate, which was strongly pro-Slavery, it was promptly defeated.

Meantime, the settled antagonism in Kansas between the Federal authorities and the Territorial functionaries and enactments recognized and upheld by them on the one side, and the great mass of her people on the other, had resulted in great practical disorders. On the 21st of November, 1855, William Dow, a Free-State settler on the Santa Fe road, near Hickory Point, was shot dead in open day by one Coleman, a pro-Slavery neighbor, in plain sight of

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