previous next
[434] Missouri 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, who

1 Sumner described the scene in his eulogy on Collamer in 1865. Works. vol x. p. 41.

2 Von Holst (vol. v. p. 276) says: ‘The history of the United States has not a second such masterpiece of mendacious, lawyer-like cunning to show.’

3 Douglas some years after repeated his slander against the society or company, saying that ‘all the troubles of the Territory grew out of this armed and forced emigration.’ (‘Douglas on Constitutional and Party Questions.’ by J. M. Cutts, p. 97.) It should be said that the Southern people formed societies to promote emigration to Kansas, and Preston S. Brooks was active in one of them; but for want of capital and enterprise, they could not cope with the North in such efforts.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Douglas (3)
E. V. Sumner (2)
Collamer (2)
Von Holst (1)
J. M. Cutts (1)
Preston S. Brooks (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1865 AD (1)
March 12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: