party would abandon their hostility to the Territorial Government
and obey the laws.
In this he was encouraged by the fact, that the Supreme Court had just decided that slavery existed in Kansas
under the Constitution of the United States
, and consequently the people of that Territory could only relieve themselves from it by electing anti-slavery delegates to the approaching Lecompton Convention, in sufficient number to frame a free State Constitution preparatory to admission into the Union
They could no longer expect ever to be admitted as a State under the Topeka Constitution
The thirty-fourth Congress had just expired, having recognized the legal existence of the Territorial Legislature in a variety of forms which need not be enumerated.1
The Delegate elected under a Territorial law to the House of Representatives had been admitted to his seat, and had completed his term of service on the day previous to Mr. Buchanan
In this reasonable hope the President
was destined to disappointment.
The anti-slavery party, during a period of ten months, from the 4th of March, 1857, until the first Monday of January, 1858, continued to defy the Territorial Government
and to cling to their Topeka
The first symptom of yielding was not until the latter day, when a large portion of them voted for State officials and a member of Congress under the Lecompton Constitution
Meanwhile, although actual war was suspended between the parties, yet the peace was only maintained by the agency of United States troops. ‘The opposing parties still stood in hostile array against each other, and any accident might have relighted the flames of civil war. Besides, at this critical moment, Kansas
was left without a Governor, by the resignation of Governor Geary
Soon after the inauguration an occasion offered to Mr. Buchanan
to define the policy he intended to pursue in relation to Kansas
This was in answer to a memorial presented to him by forty-three distinguished citizens of Connecticut
, a number of them being eminent divines.
The following we extract from his letter dated at Washington
, August 15, 1857: 2