, because a large majority of the counties of the Territory
had been actually disfranchised in electing delegates to the Convention
assembled to frame the Constitution
, not one of which counties had given or could give a single ballot in the election of delegates.
This vital defect in the organization of the Convention
, could be secured only by submitting their action to the ratification or rejection of the people of Kansas
in every county of the Territory
And it was the rejection of that principle, the great principle of popular liberty, that has caused our present disasters.
said that all previous elections in Kansas
before his arrival there had been wretched mockeries.
Large armies from an adjacent State had marched into the Territory
, and seized the polls and the ballot boxes, displaced the regular judges, placed their sergeants and corporals in their stead, and elected their satellites to the Legislature.
They intended to accomplish the same result in the election in October, 1857, by military force.
But he, (Mr. Walker
,) as Governor
of the Territory
, had then assembled a large army composed of the forces of the United States
He (Mr. Walker
) had accompanied this army to the frontiers.
He posted it at all important points on the line dividing Kansas
, and announced his determination to defend the ballot boxes of Kansas
from external aggression by the whole force of the army of the United States.
This movement was successful.
The ballot box was thus defended from aggression, and the first peaceable election was held in Kansas
But those who had thus been defeated by the voice of the people, were not satisfied with the result.
Having failed to seize the polls again by force, they resorted to frauds and forgeries unparalleled in the history of the world.
You have seen, fellow-citizens, the substituted Cincinnati Directory for the returns of the vote of the people.
You have seen the pretended returns at Oxford
, where the names of the clerks and judges were forged, substituting 1,900 votes, where nineteen only were given.
You have seen the pretended returns from McGee County
, a vile forgery upon their face, where no election was holden, and not a vote given; and yet where more than 1,200 fictitious ballots were returned to me. These forgeries were all transparent.
They were clear upon their face.
They were not returned; they were not sworn to by the judges and clerks of the election, as required by law. They were as perfect a nullity as if a mere newspaper had been thrown at me for my adoption.
These forgeries were rejected by me; and the result was that the party opposed to Slavery in Kansas
, constituting nine-tenths of the people, succeeded, and elected their Territorial legislature--the first which ever represented the voice of the people of Kansas
For thus insisting that the Lecompton Constitution
, so called, should be submitted to the prior vote of the people, and for thus rejecting those forged and simulated, so called, returns, I was bitterly denounced in the South
by the very men who have organized the present rebellion.
But, fellow-citizens, though the President
and Cabinet fell from their positions, and deserted the pledges which they had given — though the South
was apparently united to a unit against me, and recreant cravens from the North
were united with them, I maintained my position to the last, and never ceased to denounce this unparalleled outrage upon the rights of a free people.
I felt, gentlemen, and so declared, that the promulgation of such doctrines was calculated to destroy the Union
, and opposed them at all times to the utmost extent of my humble abilities.
If the course then adopted by me in Kansas
had been pursued, this disunion project could never have been successfully inaugurated.
(Loud cheers.) Thus ended my second campaign in defence of the Constitution
and the Union
And, now, gentlemen, I have entered upon the third campaign in defence of the same great principles.
This campaign, gentlemen, I feel, will be the last, for the people are united as one man, and are all prepared to pour out their life-blood as freely as water from a goblet in defence of the flag of our country.
This contest, I believe, will be of short duration; but, whether of long continuance or not, it will never terminate until the flag of the Union
waves in triumph over Fort Sumter
, and all our other fortifications and harbors, and over every other acre of our soil and every drop of all our waters from the Atlantic
to the Pacific
, from the lakes of the North
and the St. Lawrence
to the Gulf of Mexico
, throughout every State and Territory of the Union
.--N. Y. Times