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Lxxi.

This infliction was a significant prelude to the grand invasion of the 30th of March, 1855, at the election of the first Territorial Legislature under the organic law, when an armed multitude from Missouri entered the Territory in larger numbers than General Taylor commanded at Buena Vista, or than General Jackson had within his lines at New Orleans,—much larger than our fathers rallied on Bunker Hill. On they came as ‘an army with banners,’ organized in companies, with officers, munitions, tents, and provisions, as though marching upon a foreign foe, and breathing loud-mouthed threats that they would carry their purpose, if need were, by the bowie-knife and revolver. Among them, according to his own confession, was David R. Atchison, belted [276] with the vulgar arms of his vulgar comrades. Arrived at their several destinations on the night before the election, the invaders pitched their tents, placed their sentries, and waited for the coming day. The same trustworthy eye-witness whom I have already quoted says of one locality:—

‘Baggage-wagons were there, with arms and ammunition enough for a protracted fight, and among them two brass field-pieces, ready charged. They came with drums beating and flags flying, and their leaders were of the most prominent and conspicuous men of their State.’

Of another locality he says:—

‘The invaders came together in one armed and organized body, with trains of fifty wagons, besides horsemen, and the night before election pitched their camp in the vicinity of the polls; and having appointed their own judges in place of those who, from intimidation or otherwise, failed to attend, they voted without any proof of residence.’

With this force they were able, on the succeeding day, in some places, to intimidate the judges of elections, in others to substitute judges of their own appointment, in others to wrest the ballot-boxes from their rightful possessors, and everywhere to exercise a complete control of the election, and thus, by preternatural audacity of usurpation, impose a Legislature upon the free people of Kansas. Thus was conquered the Sebastopol of that Territory!

It was not enough to secure the Legislature. The election of a member of Congress recurred on the 1st of October, 1855, and the same foreigners, who had learned their strength, again manifested it. Another invasion, in controlling numbers, came from Missouri, and once more forcibly exercised the electoral franchise in Kansas.

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