Missourians, as well as settlers from other Southern States, went into the Territory
in large numbers to maintain their own rights as defined in the Constitution
and the laws, and the rights of the South
as a joint owner in the common territory of the country.
To some extent the national authorities attempted to preserve the peace, and kept the combatants apart, but the struggle was really the beginning of the war that followed with all its attendant train of evils.
suffered more from the pilfering propensities of these armed bands of Northern emigrants than from their fighting capacity.
Their efforts were directed chiefly to abducting slaves from their Missouri
owners, but they did not disdain other crimes and other species of property when opportunity offered.
, from the time it became a State—indeed, from before that time—was deeply involved in the struggle between the North
and the South
, and was frequently the scene of the most heated part of the struggle.
The experiences of its people in the settlement of Kansas
had forced upon them a knowledge of what Northern supremacy meant, as far as they and the people of the South
These things ought to have solidified public sentiment and made the State
practically a unit when the time for action came.
To some extent they did, or rather would have done so, if the Southern
leaders in the State
had had a conception of the nature of the crisis that confronted them.
But they were politicians, men shrewd enough in their way, who knew the written and unwritten laws of party management thoroughly, while war and revolution were entirely beyond their mental range, and consequently they delayed, hesitated and frittered away their strength, laboriously doing nothing, until the storm burst upon them and found them totally unprepared.
At the presidential election in 1860, Missouri
cast its electoral vote for Stephen A. Douglas
It was the only