Was part of the Louisiana
purchase in 1803.
were established in 1854 by act of Congress, which really repealed the Missouri Compromise
act. This produced great agitation throughout the country, and great commotion among the settlers in Kansas
29, 1861, Kansas
was admitted into the Union
as a State.
During the war Kansas
furnished to the National
army more than 20,000 soldiers.
It is very rapidly increasing in population and wealth.
Its population in 1890 was 1,427,096; in 1900, 1,470,495.
Much of the State
is a fine grazing country, well supplied with rivers and watered by numerous creeks.
On its eastern border the navigable Missouri River
presents a waterfront of almost 150 miles. It has a coal-bearing region which occupies the whole of the eastern part of the State
, and embraces about 17,000 square miles.
The climate of Kansas
is beautiful and healthy, and probably no other Western State of the Union
has so many bright, sunny days.
The raising of cattle is a prominent industry.
is a very attractive State for enterprising settlers, and promises to be one of the finest portions of the Union
In 1900 the aggregate assessed valuation of taxable property was $328,936,054; the State
tax rate was $5.50 per $1,000; and the bonded debt (Sept. 1) was $583,000, all held in State funds.
See United States, Kansas
It was thought that the compromise measures of 1850 (see omnibus bill
) had quieted the agitation of the slavery question forever.
A member from Georgia
introduced the following resolution in Congress in 1852: “That the series of acts passed during the first session of the Thirty-first Congress, known as compromises, are regarded as a final adjustment and a permanent settlement of the questions' therein embraced, and should be maintained and executed as such.”
Suddenly the agitation of the slavery question was vehemently aroused.
In January, 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas
, of Illinois
, presented a bill in the Senate for the erection of two vast Territories in mid-continent, to be called, respectively, Kansas
The following are some of the principal provisions of this act:
The first election of members of the
legislature was to be held at such time and place, and was to be conducted in such manner, as the governor should prescribe.
He was also to appoint the inspectors of election, and to direct the manner of making the returns.
All free white male inhabitants, twenty-one years of age and upward, actual residents of the Territory
and citizens of the United States
, or having declared on oath their intention to become citizens, were entitled to vote at the first election; the qualifications of voters at subsequent elections to be prescribed by the legislative Assembly.
Bills passed by the legislature were to be submitted to the governor, but might be passed against the veto by two-thirds majorities.
The judicial power was to be vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and in justices of the peace.
The supreme court to consist of three judges, one in each judicial district, and one of them to be chief-justice.
They were to be appointed by the President
The first election of delegates to Congress, and the time and places of election, were subject to the appointment and direction of the governor.
The act also provided that the acts of Congress for the reclamation of fugitive slaves should extend to the Territories
Not the least important was the following:
That the Constitution and all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere within the United States, except the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March 6, 1820, which, being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of 1850, commonly called the compromise measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this act, not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States; Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to revive or put in force any law or regulation which may have existed prior to the act of the 6th of March, 1820, either protecting, establishing, prohibiting, or abolishing slavery.
After long and bitter discussions in both Houses of Congress, the bill was passed, and became a law by receiving the signature of the President
, May 31, 1854.
From that day the question of slavery was a subject of discussion and sectional irritation, until it was abolished in 1863.
Civil War in Kansas.
act left all the Territories
of the United States
open to the
Kansas Avenue, Topeka, showing post-office.|
establishment in them of the social institutions of every State in the Union
, that of slavery among others.
It was a virtual repeal of the Missouri compromise
(q. v.). The question immediately arose, Shall the domain of the republic be the theatre of all free
or all slave
labor, with the corresponding civilization of each condition as a consequence?
This question was succeeded by positive action by the friends of each labor system.
Those in favor of the slave system, viewing the willingness of those in the free-labor States to accede to the wishes of the Southern
politicians so as to secure Southern trade, felt confident that their supremacy was secure.
That party sounded the trumpet for battle, and the Territory of Kansas
was the chosen battle-field.
The fugitive slave law had created an intense and wide-spread
feeling of hostility to slavery in the free-labor States, and when the advocates of slavery began to assert their exclusive right to the government of Kansas
, and thus cast down the gauntlet before their opponents, the latter gladly took it up. They resolved to carry on the contest with the peaceful weapons of the ballot-box.
Suddenly, emigration began to flow in a steady, copious, and ever-increasing stream from the free-labor States, especially from New England
, into the new Territory.
It soon became evident that the settlers from those States in Kansas
would soon outnumber and outvote those from the slave-labor States.
The dominant power in politics was pro-slavery in its proclivities.
Alarmed by this emigration, it proceeded to organize physical force in Missouri
to counteract the moral force of its opponents if necessary.
Combinations were formed under various names—Social Band, Friends' Society, Blue Lodge, The Sons of the South, etc. A powerful organization under the title of the Emigrant Aid Society had been formed in Boston
under the sanction of the legislature of Massachusetts immediately after the passage of the Kansas
bill (May, 1854) ; and the Southern
societies just mentioned were organized to oppose this Emigrant Aid Society. At a meeting at Westport, Mo.
, early in July, 1854, it was resolved that Missourians who formed the associations represented there should be ready at all times to assist, when called upon by pro-slavery citizens of Kansas
, in removing from the Territory
by force every person who should attempt to settle under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society.
Both parties planted the seeds of their respective systems in Kansas
They founded towns: those from the free-labor States founded Lawrence
, Grasshopper Falls, Pawnee
, and one or two others.
Those from the slave-labor States founded Kickapoo
, and others on or near the Missouri River
Immediately after the passage of the Kansas
bill, hundreds of Missourians went to Kansas
and selected a tract of land, and put a mark upon it for the purpose of establishing a sort of pre-emption title to it, and at a public meeting resolved, “That we will afford protection to no abolitionist as a settler of this Territory; that we recognize the institution of slavery as already existing in this Territory, and ad-
Street scene, Wichita.|
vise slave-holders to introduce their property as soon as possible.”
The national government appointed A. H. Reeder
governor of the new Territory.
He arrived in October, 1854, and took measures for the election of a territorial legislature.
With the close of this election (March, 1855), the struggle for supremacy in Kansas
between the friends and opponents of the slave system began in dead earnest.
The pro-slavery men had an overwhelming majority in the legislature, for Missourians had gone over the border by hundreds and voted.
When, in November, 1854, a delegate to Congress for Kansas
was elected, of nearly 2,900 votes cast, over 1,700 were put in by Missourians who had no right there.
At the election of the legislature, there were only 1,410 legal votes in the Territory of Kansas
; but there were 6,218 votes polled, mostly illegal ones by Missourians.
Fully 1,000 men came from Missouri
, armed with deadly weapons, two cannon, tents, and other paraphernalia of war, led by Claiborne F. Jackson
, and encamped around the little town of Lawrence
, and in like manner such intruders controlled every poll in the Territory
Then a reign of terror was begun in Kansas
All classes of men carried deadly weapons.
The illegally chosen legislature met at a point on the border of Missouri
, and proceeded to enact barbarous laws for upholding slavery in the Territory
These Governor Reeder
vetoed, and they were instantly passed over his veto.
He was so obnoxious to the pro-slavery party that, at the request of the latter, President Pierce
removed him, and sent Wilson Shannon
, of Ohio
, to fill his place.
The actual settlers in Kansas
, who were chiefly anti-slavery men, held a convention, Sept. 5, 1855, when they resolved not to recognize the laws of the illegal legislature as binding upon them.
They refused to vote for a delegate to Congress at an election appointed by the legislature, and they called a delegate convention at Topeka
on Oct. 19.
At that convention Governor Reeder
was elected delegate to Congress by the legal votes of the Territory
On the 23d another convention of legal voters assembled at Topeka
and framed a State constitution.
It was approved by the legal vote of the Territory
. It made Kansas
a free-labor State, and under this constitution they asked for admission into the Union
, as such.
The strife between freedom and slavery was then transferred to the national capital.
made a contest for a seat in Congress with the delegate chosen by the illegal votes.
Meanwhile, elections had been held (Jan. 17, 1856) in Kansas
under the legally adopted new State constitution, and matters seemed very dark for the pro-slavery party in Kansas
, when President Pierce
, in a message to Congress (Jan. 24, 1856), represented the action of the legal voters in the Territory
in framing a State constitution as rebellion.
All through the ensuing spring violence and bloodshed prevailed in the unhappy Territory.
Seeing the determination of the actual settlers to maintain their rights, armed men flocked into the Territory
from the slave-labor States and attempted to coerce the inhabitants into submission to the laws of the illegally chosen legislature.
Finally Congress sent thither a committee of investigation.
The majority reported, July 1, 1856, that every election had been controlled by citizens from Missouri
; that the action of the legal voters of Kansas
was valid, and that the State
constitution was the choice of the majority of the people.
The canvass for a new President
was now in operation, and so absorbed public attention that Kansas
had rest for a while.
was elected by the Democratic party.
At the beginning of his administration the Dred Scott
case greatly intensified the strife between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery men, especially in Kansas
. Mr. Buchanan
favored the views of the pro-slavery men, and his strong support gave them, in Kansas
, renewed courage.
Then the opposing parties were working with energy for the admission of Kansas
as a State, with opposing ends in view.
The pro-slavery party, in convention at Lecompton
early in September, 1857, framed a constitution in which was a clause providing that the “rights of property in slaves now in the Territory
shall in no manner be interfered with,” and forbade any amendments of the instrument until 1864.
It was submitted to the votes of the people on Dec. 21, but by the terms of the election law
passed by the illegal legislature no one might vote against that constitution.
The vote was taken, “For the constitution with
slavery,” or “For the constitution without
slavery” ; so in either case a constitution that protected and perpetuated slavery would be voted for. Meanwhile, at an election for a territorial legislature, the friends of free labor succeeded in electing a delegate to Congress.
The legally elected legislature ordered the Lecompton constitution to be submitted to the people for adoption or rejection.
It was rejected by over 10,000 majority.
Notwithstanding this strong popular condemnation of the Lecompton constitution, President Buchanan
sent it in to Congress (Feb. 2, 1858), wherein was a large Democratic majority, with a message in which he recommended its acceptance and ratification.
In that message, referring to the opinion of Chief-Justice Taney
, the President
said: “It has been solemnly adjudged, by the highest judicial tribunal known to our laws, that slavery exists in Kansas
by virtue of the Constitution of the United States
is, therefore, at this moment, as much a slave State as Georgia
or South Carolina
The constitution was accepted by the Senate by a vote of 32 against 25, but in the House
a substitute offered by Senator John J. Crittenden
, of Kentucky
, was adopted, which provided for the resubmission of the Lecompton constitution to the citizens of Kansas
It was done, and that instrument was again rejected by 10,000 majority.
The political power in Kansas
was now in the hands of the opponents of slavery; and, finally, at the close of January, 1861, that Territory was admitted into the Union
as a freelabor State.
During the political excitement in Kansas
there was actual civil war, and some blood was shed.
Early in April, 1856, armed men from Southern States, under Colonel Buford
, arrived in Kansas
The United States marshal there took Buford
's men into the pay of the government, and armed them with government muskets.
was again besieged (May 5), and on the 21st the inhabitants, under a promise of safety to persons and property, were induced to give up their arms to the sheriff.
The invaders immediately entered the town, blew up and burned the hotel, destroyed two printing-offices, and plundered stores and houses.
The free-labor party were furnished with arms from the free-labor States.
Collisions occurred, and on May 26 a fight took place at Ossawatomie, in which the anti-slavery men were led by John Brown
(q. v.), where five men were killed.
There was another skirmish at Black Jack
(June 2), which resulted in the capture of Captain Pots
and thirty of his men. Emigrants from the freelabor States, on their way through Missouri
, were turned back by armed parties.
On Aug. 14, anti-slavery men captured a fort near Lecompton
, occupied by Colonel Titus
with a party of pro-slavery men, and made prisoners the commander and twenty of his men. On Aug. 25 the acting-governor
) declared the Territory
in a state of rebellion.
He and David R. Atchison
, late United States
Senator from Missouri
, gathered a considerable force, and, on Aug. 29, a detachment sent by the latter attacked Ossawatomie, which was defended by a small band under John Brown
The latter was defeated, with the loss of two killed, five wounded, and seven made prisoners.
The assailants lost five killed, and thirty buildings were burned.
At the annual election at Leavenworth
, a party from Missouri
killed and wounded several of the anti-slavery men, burned their houses, and forced about 150 to embark for St. Louis
John W. Geary
, who had been appointed governor, arrived in Kansas
early in September, and ordered all armed men to lay down their weapons; but Missouri
men, in number about 2,000, and forming three regiments of artillery, marched to attack Lawrence
, with United States troops, prevailed upon them to desist, and near the close of the year (1856) he was enabled to report that peace and order prevailed in Kansas
The author on his bill.
The following is the substance of the speech of Senator Stephen A. Douglas
on the Kansas
bill, delivered in the Senate on March 3, 1854:
The crime against Kansas.
On May 19-20, 1856, Charles Sumner
delivered the following speech in the United States Senate on what he declared to be a crime against Kansas