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[430] earned with Sharpe's rifles which had been sent from the free States, they found it discreet to retire a few days later, yielding, after a parley, to pressure from Governor Shannon. As they came and went, and while encamped on the Wakarusa, they indulged freely in waylaying and marauding. They were still in camp when a new Congress met at the beginning of December.

The President sent, Jan. 24, 1856, a special message to Congress on affairs in Kansas. It made pretences of impartiality, but in its speciousness and cunning it was marked by the characteristics of its author. The put the blame of the troubles on antislavery men ,generally, and the emigrant aid societies and the Free State settlers particularly, as provoking ‘the illegal and reprehensible counter-movements which ensued.’ In his view it was aggression to promote by legal means Free State colonization, and self-defence to resist it by fraud and violence. He sanctioned fully the legality of the legislature, threatened the use of United States troops to enforce its enactments, and treated the Free State men as engaged in revolutionary and treasonable proceedings. He issued, February 11, a proclamation conforming in its spirit to the message; and thereupon the war department put the troops at the service of Governor Shannon. The member of the Cabinet who was believed at the time to inspire more than any other the President's policy was Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War.

The Senate refrained from any full discussion of affairs in Kansas until February 18, when various documents with a message were received from the President in answer to a call of the Senate. Wilson then reviewed recent events in the territory in a very effective speech lasting two days, in which he detailed the incursions from Missouri and commented on the complicity of the Administration with the violence of the proslavery invaders. A few days later, Hale of New Hampshire supported him. Jones1 of Tennessee, Toombs of Georgia, Butler of South Carolina, and Toucey of Connecticut defended the Administration,—the last named as well as Jones dealing, in offensive personalities, which drew spirited retorts from Wilson and Hale. Butler came thus early (February 25 and March 5) into the controversy. He repelled the accusations which Wilson

1 Jones, February 25. called Hale ‘the devil's own.’ Congressional Globe, App. 101. See further remarks of Jones on the same day. Congressional Globe, p 497.

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