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.
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 South Carolina
, and Toucey
defended the Administration,—the last named as well as Jones
dealing, in offensive personalities, which drew spirited retorts from Wilson
came thus early (February 25 and March 5) into the controversy.
He repelled the accusations which Wilson