of all such soldiers should be free. But the final moment was near at hand when the annihilation of more than one hundred millions of property and the destruction of one of the most important institutions of the state was to take place by one of those fictions so peculiar to this administration of the government of the United States. That was the pretended adoption of a constitutional amendment, prohibiting the existence of slavery in the United States. When a whole people suffers itself to be cajoled in this unaccountable manner by its unscrupulous rulers, it argues as little regard for the fundamental law of the Union as for the rights of the states. The subversion of the state government of Missouri by the government of the United States was more rapid and more desperate than in the case of Kentucky. As previously stated, the governor of the state, at the commencement of the difficulties, proposed the most conciliatory terms to the government of the United States, which were rejected. He then, like a governor sensible of his duty to protect the rights of his people and of the sacred obligations of his official oath, issued his proclamation calling into active service fifty thousand of the state militia, ‘for the purpose of repelling invasion, and for the protection of the lives, liberty, and property of the citizens.’ He said:
A series of unprovoked and unparalleled outrages have been inflicted upon the peace and dignity of this Commonwealth and upon the rights and liberties of its people, by wicked and unprincipled men, professing to act under the authority of the Government of the United States; solemn enactments of your Legislature have been nullified; your volunteer soldiers have been taken prisoners; your commerce with your sister States has been suspended; your trade with your own fellow-citizens has been and is subjected to the harassing control of an armed soldiery; peaceful citizens have been imprisoned without warrant of law; unoffending and defenseless men, women, and children have been ruthlessly shot down and murdered; and other unbearable indignities have been heaped upon your State and yourselves.The plea of the invader was contained in an order issued from Washington to the commanding general in these words:
The President observes with concern that, notwithstanding the pledge of the State authorities to cooperate in preserving the peace of Missouri, loyal citizens in great numbers continue to be driven from their homes. It is immaterial whether the outrages continue from inactivity or indisposition on the part of the State authorities to prevent them. It is enough that they continue, and it will devolve on you the duty of putting a stop to them summarily by the force under your command, to be aided by such troops as you may require from Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois. . . . The authority of the United States is paramount, and, whenever it is apparent that a movement, whether by order of State authority or not, is hostile, you will not hesitate to put it down.