acquired from Mexico
chiefly by the blood and courage of Southern soldiers, asked admission into the Union
, when it was revived in more than its original spirit of sectional violence.
As a result of this agitation the Missouri legislature adopted resolutions affirming the rights of the States as interpreted by Southern statesmen, and instructing its senators in Congress to co-operate with the senators of the other Southern States in any measures they might adopt as a defense against the encroachments and aggressions of the North
Senator Thomas H. Benton
refused to obey these instructions and appealed to the people of the State
in vindication of his course.
He was serving his fifth term in the Senate, and his hold on the people of the State
was very strong.
But notwithstanding his great ability and popularity, he was beaten for re-election to the Senate and was afterward successively defeated for governor and for representative in Congress.
The resolutions of instructions remained unrepealed on the statute-book until after the war. They were a protest against the indignity put upon the State
in the terms imposed upon it in its admission to the Union
The events that followed the passage by Congress of the Kansas
bill still further aggravated public sentiment.
A struggle began in Kansas
between the partisans of the North
and the South
for the political control of the Territory
, which was carried on with great and constantly increasing bitterness on both sides.
At first it was a legitimate contest between actual settlers, but it soon became one of fraud and violence.
Emigrant aid societies were formed in the North
, which sent men by the hundreds and thousands into the Territory
, with the Bible
in one hand and a Sharpe
's rifle in the other, who manifested their fanaticism and lawlessness by denouncing the Union
as ‘a league with hell,’ the Constitution
as ‘a covenant with death,’ and the national flag as ‘a flaunting lie.’
They were organized to plunder