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[467] that dissolution would be commenced by the article in the Missouri Constitution. “ That article,” declared Mr. Adams, “is itself a dissolution of the Union.”

Time had added tenfold strength to this argument, for Congress, at the behest of the Slave Power, had gone on violating the Constitution. It would now shortly seek to impose on Kansas a constitution open to Mr. Adams's special objection, but also far more infamous in that it not merely recognized an existing state of society, but was an instrument in the erection of slavery on virgin soil. Senator Douglas had warned the Administration in December, 1857, that if it persisted in foisting the1 Lecompton Constitution on the people of Kansas, it would have to maintain it by force of arms. You will then, he said, have nationalized this difficulty; you will have legalized civil war instead of localizing the Kansas quarrel. Nevertheless, on February 2, President Buchanan sent a2 message to Congress, denouncing the free-State inhabitants of Kansas as rebels, and counselling a settlement of the existing distraction by making the Lecompton Constitution the basis of admission to the Union. He reminded them that the Supreme Court had adjudged that “slavery exists in Kansas by virtue of the Constitution of the United States,” Lib. 28.28. and that ‘Kansas is therefore at this moment as much a slave State as Georgia or South Carolina.’

The popular demonstrations against this policy, the3 resistance promised by the Legislature of Kansas,4 Douglas's adverse report in the Senate, Crittenden's attempt to5 secure submission of the Lecompton Constitution to the popular vote—were all in vain. The two houses disagreeing, a conference committee adopted the bill contrived by William H. English of Indiana, and on April6 30 the enabling act was passed. The first section of Article 7 of the Constitution embedded in the act read as follows:

The right of property is before and higher than any7 constitutional sanction; and the right of the owner of a slave to such

1 Dec. 22; Lib. 28.5.

2 Lib. 28.23, 28; Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Slave Power, 2.544.

3 Lib. 28.27, 28, 48.

4 Lib. 28.34.

5 Lib. 28.59; Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Slave Power, 2.558.

6 Lib. 28.75; Wilson, 2.564, 565.

7 Lib. 28.107.

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