dissenting). the committee found as a conclusion that the territorial legislature was by reason of fraud and violence an illegal body, and all its acts void.
The general debate on Kansas
in the Senate was reserved until the committee on territories made its report, March 12, when, contrary to the custom, Douglas
himself read the majority report, occupying two hours, and Collamer
read that of the minority, occupying an hour,—both being read from the desk.1
The majority report followed in the line of the President
's treatment of the subject.
It was a masterpiece of cunning, abounding in misrepresentations, distortions of evidence, and insinuations, where one with even the author's audacity would not venture a direct assertion.2
He, like the President
, arraigned the Emigrant Aid Company as the aggressor and the cause of all disturbances.3
the bill accompanying the report proposed the organization of a State government, when the Territory
should have a certain population, under proceedings directed by the existing territorial legislature, whose legality was thereby confirmed.
As soon as the reading was finished, Sumner
spoke briefly, saying that ‘in the report of the majority the true issue is smothered; in that of the minority the true issue stands forth as a pillar of fire to guide the country;’ and disavowing the purpose of precipitating the discussion until the documents were printed, he took occasion to repel at once, distinctly and unequivocally, the assault which the majority report had made on the Emigrant Aid Company of Massachusetts
,—declaring that in assisting emigration to Kansas
it had done only what was lawful and right, both in act and motive.
He ended by saying: ‘The outrages in Kansas
are vindicated or extenuated by the alleged misconduct of the Emigrant Aid Company.
Very well, sir; a bad cause is naturally staked on untenable ground.
You cannot show the misconduct.
Any such allegation will fail; and you now begin your game with loaded dice.’
He occupied only a moment; but what he said at once brought up Douglas