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Was part of the Louisiana purchase in 1803. The Territories of Kansas and Nebraska were established in 1854 by act of Congress, which really repealed the Missouri Compromise act. This produced great agitation throughout the country, and great commotion among the settlers in Kansas. On Jan. [203] 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted into the Union as a State. During the war Kansas furnished to the National army more than 20,000 soldiers. It is very rapidly increasing in population and wealth. Its population in 1890 was 1,427,096; in 1900, 1,470,495. Much of the State is a fine grazing country, well supplied with rivers and watered by numerous creeks.

State seal of Kansas.

On its eastern border the navigable Missouri River presents a waterfront of almost 150 miles. It has a coal-bearing region which occupies the whole of the eastern part of the State, and embraces about 17,000 square miles. The climate of Kansas is beautiful and healthy, and probably no other Western State of the Union has so many bright, sunny days. The raising of cattle is a prominent industry. Kansas is a very attractive State for enterprising settlers, and promises to be one of the finest portions of the Union. In 1900 the aggregate assessed valuation of taxable property was $328,936,054; the State tax rate was $5.50 per $1,000; and the bonded debt (Sept. 1) was $583,000, all held in State funds. See United States, Kansas, vol. IX.

Territorial governors.

Andrew H. Reeder. Pa1854 to 1855
Wilson Shannon, O.1855 to 1856
John W. Geary, Pa1856 to 1857
Robert J. Walker, Miss1857 to 1858
J. W. Denver1858
Samuel Medary1858 to 1861
George M. Bebee1861

State governors.

Charles Robinson1861 to 1862
Thomas Carney1862 to 1864
S. J. Crawford1864 to 1868
James M. Harvey1868 to 1872
Thomas A. Osborn1873 to 1875
George T. Anthony1876 to 1878
John P. St. John1879 to 1883
George W. Glick1883 to 1885
John A. Martin1885 to 1887
Lyman U. Humphreys1887 to 1893
L. D. Lewelling1893 to 1895
E. N. Morrill1895 to 1897
John W. Leedy1897 to 1899
William E. Stanley1899 to —

United States Senators.

Name.No. of Congress.Term.
James H. Lane37th to 39th1861 to 1866
Samuel C. Pomeroy37th to 43d1861 to 1873
Edmund G. Ross39th to 41st1866 to 1871
Alexander Caldwell42d1871 to 1873
Robert Crozier43d1873 to 1874
James M. Harvey43d to 44th1874 to 1877
John J. Ingalls43d to 51st1873 to 1891
Preston B. Plumb45th to 52d1877 to 1891
William A. Peffer52d to 55th1891 to 1897
Bishop W. Perkins52d1892 to 1893
John Martin53d1893
Lucien Baker54th to —1895 to —
William A. Harris55th to —1897 to —

The Kansas-Nebraska act.

It was thought that the compromise measures of 1850 (see omnibus bill) had quieted the agitation of the slavery question forever. A member from Georgia introduced the following resolution in Congress in 1852: “That the series of acts passed during the first session of the Thirty-first Congress, known as compromises, are regarded as a final adjustment and a permanent settlement of the questions' therein embraced, and should be maintained and executed as such.” Suddenly the agitation of the slavery question was vehemently aroused. In January, 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, presented a bill in the Senate for the erection of two vast Territories in mid-continent, to be called, respectively, Kansas and Nebraska.

The following are some of the principal provisions of this act:

The executive power is vested in a governor appointed by the President and Senate.

A secretary of the Territory, appointed for five years.

The legislative power to be vested in the governor and a legislative Assembly, consisting of a council and a House of [204] Representatives; the council to consist of thirteen members, and the House of twenty-six. The latter may be increased, but may not exceed thirty-nine.

The first election of members of the

The Capitol, Topeka.

legislature was to be held at such time and place, and was to be conducted in such manner, as the governor should prescribe. He was also to appoint the inspectors of election, and to direct the manner of making the returns.

All free white male inhabitants, twenty-one years of age and upward, actual residents of the Territory and citizens of the United States, or having declared on oath their intention to become citizens, were entitled to vote at the first election; the qualifications of voters at subsequent elections to be prescribed by the legislative Assembly.

Bills passed by the legislature were to be submitted to the governor, but might be passed against the veto by two-thirds majorities. [205]

The judicial power was to be vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts, and in justices of the peace. The supreme court to consist of three judges, one in each judicial district, and one of them to be chief-justice. They were to be appointed by the President and Senate.

The first election of delegates to Congress, and the time and places of election, were subject to the appointment and direction of the governor.

The act also provided that the acts of Congress for the reclamation of fugitive slaves should extend to the Territories. Not the least important was the following:

That the Constitution and all the laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable, shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory as elsewhere within the United States, except the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March 6, 1820, which, being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of 1850, commonly called the compromise measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void; it being the true intent and meaning of this act, not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States; Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to revive or put in force any law or regulation which may have existed prior to the act of the 6th of March, 1820, either protecting, establishing, prohibiting, or abolishing slavery.

After long and bitter discussions in both Houses of Congress, the bill was passed, and became a law by receiving the signature of the President, May 31, 1854. From that day the question of slavery was a subject of discussion and sectional irritation, until it was abolished in 1863.

Civil War in Kansas.

The Kansas-Nebraska act left all the Territories of the United States open to the

Kansas Avenue, Topeka, showing post-office.

establishment in them of the social institutions of every State in the Union, that of slavery among others. It was a virtual repeal of the Missouri compromise (q. v.). The question immediately arose, Shall the domain of the republic be the theatre of all free or all slave labor, with the corresponding civilization of each condition as a consequence? This question was succeeded by positive action by the friends of each labor system. Those in favor of the slave system, viewing the willingness of those in the free-labor States to accede to the wishes of the Southern politicians so as to secure Southern trade, felt confident that their supremacy was secure. That party sounded the trumpet for battle, and the Territory of Kansas was the chosen battle-field. The fugitive slave law had created an intense and wide-spread [206] feeling of hostility to slavery in the free-labor States, and when the advocates of slavery began to assert their exclusive right to the government of Kansas, and thus cast down the gauntlet before their opponents, the latter gladly took it up. They resolved to carry on the contest with the peaceful weapons of the ballot-box. Suddenly, emigration began to flow in a steady, copious, and ever-increasing stream from the free-labor States, especially from New England, into the new Territory. It soon became evident that the settlers from those States in Kansas would soon outnumber and outvote those from the slave-labor States.

The dominant power in politics was pro-slavery in its proclivities. Alarmed by this emigration, it proceeded to organize physical force in Missouri to counteract the moral force of its opponents if necessary. Combinations were formed under various names—Social Band, Friends' Society, Blue Lodge, The Sons of the South, etc. A powerful organization under the title of the Emigrant Aid Society had been formed in Boston under the sanction of the legislature of Massachusetts immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill (May, 1854) ; and the Southern societies just mentioned were organized to oppose this Emigrant Aid Society. At a meeting at Westport, Mo., early in July, 1854, it was resolved that Missourians who formed the associations represented there should be ready at all times to assist, when called upon by pro-slavery citizens of Kansas, in removing from the Territory by force every person who should attempt to settle under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society. Both parties planted the seeds of their respective systems in Kansas. They founded towns: those from the free-labor States founded Lawrence, Topeka, Boston, Grasshopper Falls, Pawnee, and one or two others. Those from the slave-labor States founded Kickapoo, Doniphan, Atchison, and others on or near the Missouri River. Immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, hundreds of Missourians went to Kansas and selected a tract of land, and put a mark upon it for the purpose of establishing a sort of pre-emption title to it, and at a public meeting resolved, “That we will afford protection to no abolitionist as a settler of this Territory; that we recognize the institution of slavery as already existing in this Territory, and ad-

Street scene, Wichita.

[207] vise slave-holders to introduce their property as soon as possible.”

The national government appointed A. H. Reeder governor of the new Territory. He arrived in October, 1854, and took measures for the election of a territorial legislature. With the close of this election (March, 1855), the struggle for supremacy in Kansas between the friends and opponents of the slave system began in dead earnest. The pro-slavery men had an overwhelming majority in the legislature, for Missourians had gone over the border by hundreds and voted. When, in November, 1854, a delegate to Congress for Kansas was elected, of nearly 2,900 votes cast, over 1,700 were put in by Missourians who had no right there. At the election of the legislature, there were only 1,410 legal votes in the Territory of Kansas; but there were 6,218 votes polled, mostly illegal ones by Missourians. Fully 1,000 men came from Missouri, armed with deadly weapons, two cannon, tents, and other paraphernalia of war, led by Claiborne F. Jackson, and encamped around the little town of Lawrence, and in like manner such intruders controlled every poll in the Territory. Then a reign of terror was begun in Kansas. All classes of men carried deadly weapons. The illegally chosen legislature met at a point on the border of Missouri, and proceeded to enact barbarous laws for upholding slavery in the Territory. These Governor Reeder vetoed, and they were instantly passed over his veto. He was so obnoxious to the pro-slavery party that, at the request of the latter, President Pierce removed him, and sent Wilson Shannon, of Ohio, to fill his place.

The actual settlers in Kansas, who were chiefly anti-slavery men, held a convention, Sept. 5, 1855, when they resolved not to recognize the laws of the illegal legislature as binding upon them. They refused to vote for a delegate to Congress at an election appointed by the legislature, and they called a delegate convention at Topeka on Oct. 19. At that convention Governor Reeder was elected delegate to Congress by the legal votes of the Territory. On the 23d another convention of legal voters assembled at Topeka and framed a State constitution. It was approved by the legal vote of the Territory. It made Kansas a free-labor State, and under this constitution they asked for admission into the Union, as such. The strife between freedom and slavery was then transferred to the national capital. Reeder made a contest for a seat in Congress with the delegate chosen by the illegal votes. Meanwhile, elections had been held (Jan. 17, 1856) in Kansas under the legally adopted new State constitution, and matters seemed very dark for the pro-slavery party in Kansas, when President Pierce, in a message to Congress (Jan. 24, 1856), represented the action of the legal voters in the Territory in framing a State constitution as rebellion. All through the ensuing spring violence and bloodshed prevailed in the unhappy Territory.

Seeing the determination of the actual settlers to maintain their rights, armed men flocked into the Territory from the slave-labor States and attempted to coerce the inhabitants into submission to the laws of the illegally chosen legislature. Finally Congress sent thither a committee of investigation. The majority reported, July 1, 1856, that every election had been controlled by citizens from Missouri; that the action of the legal voters of Kansas was valid, and that the State constitution was the choice of the majority of the people. The canvass for a new President was now in operation, and so absorbed public attention that Kansas had rest for a while. James Buchanan was elected by the Democratic party. At the beginning of his administration the Dred Scott case greatly intensified the strife between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery men, especially in Kansas. Mr. Buchanan favored the views of the pro-slavery men, and his strong support gave them, in Kansas, renewed courage. Then the opposing parties were working with energy for the admission of Kansas as a State, with opposing ends in view. The pro-slavery party, in convention at Lecompton early in September, 1857, framed a constitution in which was a clause providing that the “rights of property in slaves now in the Territory shall in no manner be interfered with,” and forbade any amendments of the instrument until 1864. It was submitted to the votes of the people on Dec. 21, but by the terms of the election law [208] passed by the illegal legislature no one might vote against that constitution. The vote was taken, “For the constitution with slavery,” or “For the constitution without slavery” ; so in either case a constitution that protected and perpetuated slavery would be voted for. Meanwhile, at an election for a territorial legislature, the friends of free labor succeeded in electing a delegate to Congress.

The legally elected legislature ordered the Lecompton constitution to be submitted to the people for adoption or rejection. It was rejected by over 10,000 majority. Notwithstanding this strong popular condemnation of the Lecompton constitution, President Buchanan sent it in to Congress (Feb. 2, 1858), wherein was a large Democratic majority, with a message in which he recommended its acceptance and ratification. In that message, referring to the opinion of Chief-Justice Taney, the President said: “It has been solemnly adjudged, by the highest judicial tribunal known to our laws, that slavery exists in Kansas by virtue of the Constitution of the United States; Kansas is, therefore, at this moment, as much a slave State as Georgia or South Carolina.” The constitution was accepted by the Senate by a vote of 32 against 25, but in the House a substitute offered by Senator John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, was adopted, which provided for the resubmission of the Lecompton constitution to the citizens of Kansas. It was done, and that instrument was again rejected by 10,000 majority. The political power in Kansas was now in the hands of the opponents of slavery; and, finally, at the close of January, 1861, that Territory was admitted into the Union as a freelabor State.

During the political excitement in Kansas there was actual civil war, and some blood was shed. Early in April, 1856, armed men from Southern States, under Colonel Buford, arrived in Kansas. The United States marshal there took Buford's men into the pay of the government, and armed them with government muskets. Lawrence was again besieged (May 5), and on the 21st the inhabitants, under a promise of safety to persons and property, were induced to give up their arms to the sheriff. The invaders immediately entered the town, blew up and burned the hotel, destroyed two printing-offices, and plundered stores and houses. The free-labor party were furnished with arms from the free-labor States. Collisions occurred, and on May 26 a fight took place at Ossawatomie, in which the anti-slavery men were led by John Brown (q. v.), where five men were killed. There was another skirmish at Black Jack (June 2), which resulted in the capture of Captain Pots and thirty of his men. Emigrants from the freelabor States, on their way through Missouri, were turned back by armed parties. On Aug. 14, anti-slavery men captured a fort near Lecompton, occupied by Colonel Titus with a party of pro-slavery men, and made prisoners the commander and twenty of his men. On Aug. 25 the acting-governor (Woodin) declared the Territory in a state of rebellion. He and David R. Atchison, late United States Senator from Missouri, gathered a considerable force, and, on Aug. 29, a detachment sent by the latter attacked Ossawatomie, which was defended by a small band under John Brown. The latter was defeated, with the loss of two killed, five wounded, and seven made prisoners. The assailants lost five killed, and thirty buildings were burned. At the annual election at Leavenworth, a party from Missouri killed and wounded several of the anti-slavery men, burned their houses, and forced about 150 to embark for St. Louis. John W. Geary, who had been appointed governor, arrived in Kansas early in September, and ordered all armed men to lay down their weapons; but Missouri men, in number about 2,000, and forming three regiments of artillery, marched to attack Lawrence. Geary, with United States troops, prevailed upon them to desist, and near the close of the year (1856) he was enabled to report that peace and order prevailed in Kansas.

The author on his bill.

The following is the substance of the speech of Senator Stephen A. Douglas on the Kansas-Nebraska bill, delivered in the Senate on March 3, 1854:

The principle which we propose to [209] carry into effect by the bill is this: That Congress shall neither legislate slavery into any Territories or State. nor out of the same; but the people shall be left free to regulate their domestic concerns in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.

In order to carry this principle into practical operation, it becomes necessary to remove whatever legal obstructions might be found in the way of its free exercise. It is only for the purpose of carrying out this great fundamental principle of self-government that the bill renders the eighth section of the Missouri act inoperative and void.

Now, let me ask, will these Senators who have arraigned me, or any one of them, have the assurance to rise in his place and declare that this great principle was never thought of or advocated as applicable to territorial bills, in 1850; that from that session until the present, nobody ever thought of incorporating this principle in all new territorial organizations; that the committee on Territories did not recommend it in their report; and that it required the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky to bring us up to that point? Will any one of my accusers dare to make the issue, and let it be tried by the record? I will begin with the compromises of 1850. Any Senator who will take the trouble to examine our journals, will find that on March 25 of that year I reported from the committee on Territories two bills including the following measures: the admission of California, a territorial government for New Mexico, and the adjustment of the Texas boundary. These bills proposed to leave the people of Utah and New Mexico free to decide the slavery question for themselves, in the precise language of the Nebraska bill now under discussion. A few weeks afterwards the committee of thirteen took these two bills and put a wafer between them, and reported them back to the Senate as one bill with some slight amendments. One of these amendments was that the territorial legislatures should not legislate upon the subject of African slavery. I objected to that provision on the ground that it subverted the great principle of self-government upon which the bill had been originally framed by the territorial committee. On the first trial, the Senate refused to strike it out, but subsequently did so, after full debate, in order to establish that principle as the rule of action in territorial organizations. . . . But my accusers attempt to raise up a false issue, and thereby divert public attention from the real one, by the cry that the Missouri Compromise is to be repealed or violated by the passage of this bill. Well, if the eighth section of the Missouri act, which attempted to fix the destinies of future generations in those Territories for all time to come, in utter disregard of the rights and wishes of the people when they shall be received into the Union as States, be inconsistent with the great principles of self-government and the Constitution of the United States, it ought to be abrogated. The legislation of 1850 abrogated the Missouri compromise, so far as the country embraced within the limits of Utah and New Mexico was covered by the slavery restriction. It is true that those acts did not in terms and by name repeal the act of 1820, as originally adopted, or as extended by the resolutions annexing Texas in 1845, any more than the report of the committee on Territories proposed to repeal the same acts this session. But the acts of 1850 did authorize the people of those Territories to exercise “all rightful powers of legislation consistent with the Constitution,” not excepting the question of slavery; and did provide that, when those Territories should be admitted into the Union, they should be received with or without slavery as the people thereof might determine at the date of their admission. These provisions were in direct conflict with a clause in the former enactment, declaring that slavery should be forever prohibited in any portion of said Territories, and hence rendered such clause inoperative and void to the extent of such conflict. This was an inevitable consequence, resulting from the provisions in those acts, which gave the people the right to decide the slavery question for themselves, in conformity with the Constitution. It was not necessary to go further and declare that certain previous enactments, which were incompatible with the exercise of the powers conferred in the bills, are hereby repealed. The [210] very act of granting those powers and rights has the legal effect of removing all obstructions to the exercise of them by the people, as prescribed in those territorial bills. Following that example, the committee on Territories did not consider it necessary to declare the eighth section of the Missouri act repealed. We were content to organize Nebraska in the precise language of the Utah and New Mexico bills. Our object was to leave the people entirely free to form and regulate their domestic institutions and internal concerns in their own way, under the Constitution; and we deemed it wise to accomplish that object in the exact terms in which the same thing had been done in Utah and New Mexico by the acts of 1850. This was the principle upon which the committee voted; and our bill was supposed, and is now believed, to have been in accordance with it. When doubts were raised whether the bill did fully carry out the principle laid down in the report, amendments were made from time to time, in order to avoid all misconstruction, and make the true intent of the act more explicit. The last of these amendments was adopted yesterday, on the motion of the distinguished Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Badger), in regard to the revival of any laws or regulations which may have existed prior to 1820. This amendment was not intended to change the legal effect of the bill. Its object was to repel the slander which had been propagated by the enemies of the measure in the North—that the Southern supporters of the bill desired to legislate slavery into these Territories. The South denies the right of Congress either to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, or out of any Territory or State. Non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the States or Territories is the doctrine of the bill, and all the amendments which have been agreed to have been made with the view of removing all doubt and cavil as to the true meaning and object of the measure. . . .

Well, sir, what is this Missouri Compromise, of which we have heard so much of late? It has been read so often that it is not necessary to occupy the time of the Senate in reading it again. It was an act of Congress, passed on the 6th of March, 1820, to authorize the people of Missouri to form a constitution and a State government, preparatory to the admission of such State into the Union. The first section provided that slavery should be “forever prohibited” in all the territory which had been acquired from France north of 36° 30′, and not included within the limits of the State of Missouri. There is nothing in the terms of the law that purports to be a compact, or indicates that it was anything more than an ordinary act of legislation. To prove that it was more than it purports to be on its face, gentlemen must produce other evidence, and prove that there was such an understanding as to create a moral obligation in the nature of a compact. Have they shown it?

Now, if this was a compact, let us see how it was entered into. The bill originated in the House of Representatives, and passed that body without a Southern vote in its favor. It is proper to remark, however, that it did not at that time contain the eighth section, prohibiting slavery in the Territories; but, in lieu of it, contained a provision prohibiting slavery in the proposed State of Missouri. In the Senate, the clause prohibiting slavery in the State was stricken out, and the eighth section added to the end of the bill, by the terms of which slavery was to be forever prohibited in the territory not embraced in the State of Missouri north of 36° 30′. The vote on adding this section stood, in the Senate, 34 in the affirmative, and 10 in the negative. Of the Northern Senators, 20 voted for it, and 2 against it. On the question of ordering the bill to a third reading, as amended, which was the test vote on its passage, the vote stood 24 yeas and 20 nays. Of the Northern Senators, 4 only voted in the affirmative, and 18 in the negative. Thus it will be seen that if it was intended to be a compact, the North never agreed to it. The Northern Senators voted to insert the prohibition of slavery in the Territories; and then, in the proportion of more than four to one, voted against the passage of the bill. The North, therefore, never signed the compact, never consented to it, never agreed to be bound by it. This fact becomes very important in vindicating the [211] character of the North for repudiating this alleged compromise a few months afterwards. The act was approved and became a law on the 6th of March, 1820. In the summer of that year, the people of Missouri formed a constitution and State government preparatory to admission into the Union, in conformity with the act. At the next session of Congress, the Senate passed a joint resolution declaring Missouri to be one of the States of the Union, on an equal footing with the original States. This resolution was sent to the House of Representatives, where it was rejected by Northern votes, and thus Missouri was voted out of the Union, instead of being received into the Union under the act of the 6th of March, 1820, now known as the Missouri Compromise. Now, sir, what becomes of our plighted faith, if the act of the 6th of March, 1820, was a solemn compact, as we are now told? They have all rung the changes upon it, that it was a sacred and irrevocable compact, binding in honor, in conscience, and morals, which could not be violated or repudiated without perfidy and dishonor! . . . Sir, if this was a compact, what must be thought of those who violated it almost immediately after it was formed? I say it is a calumny upon the North to say that it was a compact. I should feel a flush of shame upon my cheek, as a Northern man, if I were to say that it was a compact, and that the section of the country to which I belong received the consideration and then repudiated the obligation in eleven months after it was entered into. I deny that it was a compact, in any sense of the term. But if it was, the record proves that faith was not observed; that the contract was never carried into effect; that after the North had procured the passage of the act prohibiting slavery in the Territories, with a majority in the House large enough to prevent its repeal, Missouri was refused admission into the Union as a slave-holding State, in conformity with the act of March 6, 1820. If the proposition be correct, as contended for by the opponents of this bill—that there was a solemn compact between the North and the South that, in the consideration of the prohibition of slavery in the Territories, Missouri was to be admitted into the Union, in conformity with the act of 1820, that compact was repudiated by the North, and rescinded by the joint action of the two parties within twelve months from its date. Missouri was never admitted under the act of the 6th of March, 1820. She was refused admission under that act. She was voted out of the Union by Northern votes, notwithstanding the stipulation that she should be received; and, in consequence of these facts, a new compromise was rendered necessary, by the terms of which Missouri was to be admitted into the Union conditionally—admitted on a condition not embraced in the act of 1820, and in addition to a full compliance with all the provisions of said act. If, then, the act of 1820, by the eighth section of which slavery was prohibited in Missouri, was a compact, it is clear to the comprehension of every fair-minded man that the refusal of the North to admit Missouri, in compliance with its stipulations, and without further conditions, imposes upon us a high moral obligation to remove the prohibition of slavery in the Territories, since it has been shown to have been procured upon a condition never performed. . . .

The Declaration of Independence had its origin in the violation of that great fundamental principle which secured to the colonies the right to regulate their own domestic affairs in their own way; and the Revolution resulted in the triumph of that principle and the recognition of the right asserted by it. Abolitionism proposes to destroy the right and extinguish the principle for which our forefathers waged a seven years bloody war, and upon which our whole system of free government is founded. They not only deny the application of this principle to the Territories, but insist upon fastening the prohibition upon the abolitionists; the doctrine of the opponents of the Nebraska and Kansas bill, and the advocates of the Missouri restriction demands congressional interference with slavery not only in the Territories, but in all the new States to be formed therefrom. It is the same doctrine, when applied to the Territories and new States of this Union, which the British [212] government attempted to enforce by the sword upon the American colonies. It is this fundamental principle of self-government which constitutes the distinguishing feature of the Nebraska bill. The opponents of the principle are consistent in opposing the bill. I do not blame them for their opposition. I only ask them to meet the issue fairly and openly by acknowledging that they are opposed to the principle which it is the object of the bill to carry into operation. It seems that there is no power on earth, no intellectual power, no mechanical power, that can bring them to a fair discussion of the true issue. If they hope to delude the people and escape detection for any considerable length of time under the catchwords, “Missouri compromise” and “faith of compacts,” they will find that the people of this country have more penetration and intelligence than they have given them credit for.

Mr. President, there is an important fact connected with this slavery regulation which should never be lost sight of. It has always arisen from one and the same cause. Whenever that cause has been removed, the agitation has ceased; and whenever the cause has been renewed, the agitation has sprung into existence. That cause is, and ever has been, the attempt on the part of Congress to interfere with the question of slavery in the Territories and new States formed therefrom. Is it not wise, then, to confine our action within the sphere of our legitimate duties and leave this vexed question to take care of itself in each State and Territory, according to the wishes of the people thereof, in conformity to the forms and in subjection to the provisions of the Constitution?

The opponents of the bill tell us that agitation is no part of their policy; that their great desire is peace and harmony; and they complain bitterly that I should have disturbed the repose of the country by the introduction of this measure. Let me ask these professed friends of peace, and avowed enemies of agitation, how the issue could have been avoided? They tell me that I should have let the question alone; that is, that I should have left Nebraska unorganized, the people unprotected, and the Indian barrier in existence until the swelling tide of emigration should burst through and accomplish by violence what it is the part of wisdom and statesmanship to direct and regulate by law. How long could you have postponed action with safety? How long could you maintain that Indian barrier and restrain the onward march of civilization, Christianity, and free government by a barbarian wall? Do you suppose that you could keep that vast country a howling wilderness in all times to come, roamed over by hostile savages, cutting off all safe communication between our Atlantic and Pacific possessions? I tell you that the time for action has come and cannot be postponed. It is a case in which the “let-alone” policy would precipitate a crisis which must inevitably result in violence, anarchy, and strife.

You cannot fix bounds to the onward march of this great and growing country. You cannot fetter the limbs of the young giant. He will burst all your chains. He will expand, and grow, and increase, and extend civilization, Christianity, and liberal principles. Then, sir, if you cannot check the growth of the country in that direction, is it not the part of wisdom to look the danger in the face, and provide for an event which you cannot avoid? I tell you, sir, you must provide for lines of continuous settlement from the Mississippi Valley to the Pacific Ocean. And in making this provision, you must decide upon what principles the Territories shall be organized; in other words, whether the people shall be allowed to regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, according to the provisions of this bill, or whether the opposite doctrine of congressional interference is to prevail. Postpone it, if you will; but whenever you do act, this question must be met and decided. . . .

There is another reason why I desire to see this principle recognized as a rule of action in all time to come. It will have the effect to destroy all sectional parties and sectional agitations. If, in the language of the report of the committee, you withdraw the slavery question from the halls of Congress and the political arena, and commit it to the arbitrament of those who are immediately interested in and alone responsible for its consequences, [213] there is nothing left out of which sectional parties can be organized. It never was done, and never can be done, on the bank, tariff, distribution, or any party issue which has existed or may exist, after this slavery question is drawn from politics. On every other political question these have always supporters and opponents in every portion of the Union—in each State, county, village, and neighborhood—residing together in harmony and good-fellowship, and combating each other's opinions and correcting each other's errors in a spirit of kindness and friendship. These differences of opinion between neighbors and friends, and the discussions that grow out of them, and the sympathy which each feels with the advocates of his own opinions in every portion of this widespread republic, add an overwhelming and irresistible moral weight to the strength of the confederacy. Affection for the Union can never be alienated or diminished by any other party issues than those which are joined upon sectional or geographical lines. When the people of the North shall be rallied under one banner, and the whole South marshalled under another banner, and each section excited to frenzy and madness by hostility to the institutions of the other, then the patriot may well tremble for the perpetuity of the Union. Withdraw the slavery question from the political arena, and remove it to the States and Territories, each to decide for itself, and such a catastrophe can never happen. Then you will never be able to tell, by any Senator's vote for or against any measure, from what State or section of the Union he comes.

Why, then, can we not withdraw this vexed question from politics? Why can we not adopt the principle of this bill as a rule of action in all new territorial organizations? Why can we not deprive these agitators of their vocation and render it impossible for Senators to come here upon bargains on the slavery question? I believe that the peace, the harmony, and perpetuity of the Union require us to go back to the doctrines of the Revolution, to the principles of the Compromise of 1850, and leave the people, under the Constitution, to do as they may see proper in respect to their own internal affairs.

The crime against Kansas.

On May 19-20, 1856, Charles Sumner delivered the following speech in the United States Senate on what he declared to be a crime against Kansas:

Mr. President, you are now called to redress a great transgression. Seldom in the history of nations has such a question been presented. Tariffs, army bills, navy bills, land bills, are important, and justly occupy your care; but these all belong to the course of ordinary legislation. As means and instruments only, they are necessarily subordinate to the conservation of government itself. Grant them or deny them, in greater or less degree, and you will inflict no shock. The machinery of government will continue to move. The state will not cease to exist. Far otherwise is it with the eminent question now before you, involving, as it does, liberty in a broad territory, and also involving the peace of the whole country, with our good name in history forevermore.

Take down your map, sir, and you will find that the Territory of Kansas, more than any other region, occupies the middle spot of North America, equally distant from the Atlantic on the east, and the Pacific on the west; from the frozen waters of Hudson Bay on the north, and the tepid Gulf Stream on the south, constituting the precise territorial centre of the whole vast continent. To such advantages of situation, on the very highway between two oceans, are added a soil of unsurpassed richness, and a fascinating, undulating beauty of surface, with a health-giving climate, calculated to nurture a powerful and generous people, worthy to be a central pivot of American institutions. A few short months only have passed since this spacious and mediterranean country was open only to the savage who ran wild in its woods and prairies, and now it has already drawn to its bosom a population of freemen larger than Athens crowded within her historic gates, when her sons, under Miltiades, won liberty for mankind on the field of Marathon; more than Sparta contained when she ruled Greece, and sent forth her devoted children, quickened by a mother's benediction, to return with their shields, or on them; more than Rome [214] gathered on her seven hills, when, under her kings, she commenced that sovereign sway, which afterwards embraced the whole earth; more than London held when, on the fields of Crecy and Agincourt, the English banner was carried victoriously over the chivalrous hosts of France.

Against this Territory, thus fortunate in position and population, a crime has been committed, which is without example in the records of the past. Not in plundered provinces or in the cruelties of selfish governors will you find its parallel; and yet there is an ancient instance, which may show at least the path of justice. In the terrible impeachment by which the great Roman orator has blasted through all time the name of Verres, amid charges of robbery and sacrilege, the enormity which most aroused the indignant voice of his accuser, and which still stands forth with strongest distinctness, arresting the sympathetic indignation of all who read the story, is that away in Sicily he had scourged a citizen of Rome—that the cry, “I am a Roman citizen,” had been interposed in vain against the lash of the tyrant governor. Other charges were that he had carried away productions of art, and that he had violated the sacred shrines. It was in the presence of the Roman senate that this arraignment proceeded; in a temple of the Forum; amidst crowds— such as no orator had ever before drawn together—thronging the porticoes and colonnades, even clinging to the housetops and neighboring slopes—and under the anxious gaze of witnesses summoned from the scene of crime. But an audience grander far—of higher dignity—of more various people, and of wider intelligence—the countless multitude of succeeding generations, in every land, where eloquence has been studied, or where the Roman name has been recognized, has listened to the accusation, and throbbed with condemnation of the criminal. Sir, speaking in an age of light, and a land of constitutional liberty, where the safeguards of elections are justly placed among the highest triumphs of civilization, I fearlessly assert that the wrongs of much-abused Sicily, thus memorable in history, were small by the side of the wrongs of Kansas, where the very shrines of popular institutions, more sacred than any heathen altar, have been desecrated; where the ballot-box, more precious than any work, in ivory or marble, from the cunning hand of art, has been plundered; and where the cry, “I am an American citizen,” has been interposed in vain against outrage of every kind, even upon life itself. Are you against sacrilege? I present it for your execration. Are you against robbery? I hold it up to your scorn. Are you for the protection of American citizens? I show you how their dearest rights have been cloven down, while a tyrannical usurpation has sought to install itself on their very necks!

But the wickedness which I now begin to expose is immeasurably aggravated by the motive which prompted it. Not in any common lust for power did this uncommon tragedy have its origin. It is the rape of a virgin Territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of slavery; and it may be clearly traced to a depraved longing for a new slave State, the hideous offspring of such a crime, in the hope of adding to the power of slavery in the national government. Yes, sir; when the whole world alike, Christian and Turk, is rising up to condemn this wrong, and to make it a hissing to the nations, here in our republic, force—ay, sir, force— has been openly employed in compelling Kansas to this pollution, and all for the sake of political power. There is the simple fact, which you will in vain attempt to deny, but which in itself presents an essential wickedness that makes other public crimes seem like public virtues.

But this enormity, vast beyond comparison, swells to dimensions of wickedness which the imagination toils in vain to grasp, when it is understood that for this purpose are hazarded the horrors of intestine feud not only in this distant Territory, but everywhere throughout the country. Already the muster has begun. The strife is no longer local, but national. Even now, while I speak, portents hang on all the arches of the horizon threatening to darken the broad land, which already yawns with the mutterings of civil war. The fury of the propagandists of slavery, and the calm determination of their opponents, are now diffused [215] from the distant territory over widespread communities, and the whole country, in all its extent—marshalling hostile divisions, and foreshadowing a strife which, unless happily averted by the triumph of freedom, will become war—fratricidal, parricidal war—with an accumulated wickedness beyond the wickedness of any war in human annals; justly provoking the avenging judgment of Providence and the avenging pen of history, and constituting a strife, in the language of the ancient writer, more than Foreign, more than Social, more than Civil; but something compounded of all these strifes, and in itself more than war; sed potius commune quoddam ex omnibus, et plus quam bellum.

Such is the crime which you are to judge. But the criminal also must be dragged into day, that you may see and measure the power by which all this wrong is sustained. From no common source could it proceed. In its perpetration was needed a spirit of vaulting ambition which would hesitate at nothing; a hardihood of purpose which was insensible to the judgment of mankind; a madness for slavery which would disregard the Constitution, the laws, and all the great examples of our history; also a consciousness of power such as comes from the habit of power; a combination of energies found only in a hundred arms directed by a hundred eyes; a control of public opinion through venal pens and a prostituted press; an ability to subsidize crowds in every vocation of life—the politician with his local importance, the lawyer with his subtle tongue, and even the authority of the judge on the bench; and a familiar use of men in places high and low, so that none, from the President to the lowest border postmaster, should decline to be its tool; all these things and more were needed, and they were found in the slave-power of our republic. There, sir, stands the criminal, all unmasked before you—heartless, grasping, and tyrannical—with an audacity beyond that of Verres, a subtlety beyond that of Machiavelli, a meanness beyond that of Bacon, and an ability beyond that of Hastings. Justice to Kansas can be secured only by the prostration of this influence; for this is the power hehind— greater than any President—which succors and sustains the crime. Nay, the proceedings I now arraign derive their fearful consequences only from this connection.

In now opening this great matter, I am not insensible to the austere demands of the occasion; but the dependence of the crime against Kansas upon the slavepower is so peculiar and important that I trust to be pardoned while I impress it with an illustration, which to some may seem trivial. It is related in Northern mythology that the god of Force, visiting an enchanted region, was challenged by his royal entertainer to what seemed an humble feat of strength—merely, sir, to lift a cat from the ground. The god smiled at the challenge, and calmly placing his hand under the belly of the animal, with superhuman strength strove while the back of the feline monster arched far upward, even beyond reach, and one paw actually forsook the earth, until at last the discomfited divinity desisted; but he was little surprised at his defeat when he learned that this creature, which seemed to be a cat, and nothing more, was not merely a cat, but that it belonged to and was a part of the great terrestrial serpent, which, in its innumerable folds, encircled the whole globe. Even so the creature, whose paws are now fastened upon Kansas, whatever it may seem to be, constitutes in reality a part of the slavepower, which, in its loathsome folds, is now coiled about the whole land. Thus do I expose the extent of the present contest, where we encounter not merely local resistance, but also the unconquered sustaining arm behind. But out of the vastness of the crime attempted, with all its woe and shame, I derive a well-founded assurance of a commensurate vastness of effort against it by the aroused masses of the country, determined not only to vindicate right against wrong, but to redeem the republic from the thraldom of that oligarchy which prompts, directs, and concentrates the distant wrong. . . .

But, before entering upon the argument, I must say something of a general character, particularly in response to what has fallen from Senators who have raised themselves to eminence on this floor in championship of human wrongs. I mean the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Butler) and the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Douglas), who, though [216] unlike as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, yet, like this couple, sally forth together in the same adventure. I regret much to miss the elder Senator from his seat; but the cause, against which he has run atilt with such activity of animosity, demands that the opportunity of exposing him should not be lost; and it is for the cause that I speak. The Senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course, he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight—I mean the harlot, Slavery. For her, his tongue is always profuse in words. Let her be impeached in character, or any proposition made to shut her out from the extension of her wantonness, and no extravagance of manner or hardihood of assertion is then too great for this Senator. The frenzy of Don Quixote, in behalf of his wench, Dulcinea del Toboso, is all surpassed. The asserted rights of slavery, which shock equality of all kinds, are cloaked by a fantastic claim of equality. If the slave States cannot enjoy what, in mockery of the great fathers of the republic, he misnames equality under the Constitution—in other words, the full power in the national Territories to compel fellow-men to unpaid toil, to separate husband and wife, and to sell little children at the auction block—then, sir, the chivalric Senator will conduct the State of South Carolina out of the Union! Heroic knight! Exalted Senator! A second Moses come for a second exodus!

But not content with this poor menace, which we have been twice told was “measured,” the Senator, in the unrestrained chivalry of his nature, has undertaken to apply opprobrious words to those who differ from him on this floor. He calls them “sectional and fanatical” ; and opposition to the usurpation in Kansas he denounces as “an uncalculating fanaticism.” To be sure, these charges lack all grace of originality, and all sentiment of truth; but the adventurous Senator does not hesitate. He is the uncompromising, unblushing representative on this floor of a flagrant sectionalism, which now domineers over the republic, and yet, with a ludicrous ignorance of his own position—unable to see himself as others see him—or with an effrontery which even his white head ought not to protect from rebuke, he applies to those here who resist his sectionalism the very epithet which designates himself. The men who strive to bring, back the government to its original policy, when freedom and not slavery was sectional, he arraigns as sectional. This will not do. It involves too great a perversion of terms. I tell that Senator that it is to himself, and to the “organization” of which he is the “committed advocate,” that this epithet belongs. I now fasten it upon them. For myself, I care little for names; but since the question has been raised here, I affirm that the Republican party of the Union is in no just sense sectional, but, more than any other party, national; and that it now goes forth to dislodge from the high places of the government the tyrannical sectionalism of which the Senator from South Carolina is one of the maddest zealots. . . .

As the Senator from South Carolina is the Don Quixote, the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Douglas) is the squire of slavery, its very Sancho Panza, ready to do all its humiliating offices. This Senator, in his labored address, vindicating his labored report—piling one mass of elaborate error upon another mass—constrained himself, as you will remember, to unfamiliar decencies of speech. Of that address I have nothing to say at this moment, though before I sit down I shall show something of its fallacies. But I go back now to an earlier occasion, when, true to his native impulses, he threw into this discussion, “for a charm of powerful trouble,” personalities most discreditable to this body. I will not stop to repel the imputations which he cast upon myself; but I mention them to remind you of the “sweltered venom sleeping not,” which, with other poisoned ingredients, he cast into the caldron of this debate. Of other things I speak. Standing on this floor, the Senator issued his rescript, requiring submission to the usurped power of Kansas; and this was accompanied by a manner— all his own—such as befits the tyrannical threat. Very well. Let the Senator try. I tell him now that he cannot force any [217] such submission. The Senator, with the slave-power at his back, is strong; but he is not strong enough for this purpose. He is bold. He shrinks from nothing. Like Danton, he may cry, “L'audace! L'audace! Toujours L'audace!” but even his audacity cannot compass this work. The Senator copies the British officer who, with boastful swagger, said that with the hilt of his sword he would cram the “stamps” down the throats of the American people, and he will meet with a similar failure. He may convulse this country with a civil feud. Like the ancient madman, he may set fire to this temple of constitutional liberty, grander than the Ephesian dome; but he cannot enforce obedience to that tyrannical usurpation.

The Senator dreams that he can subdue the North. He disclaims the open threat, but his conduct still implies it. How little that Senator knows himself or the strength of the cause which he persecutes! He is but a mortal man; against him is an immortal principle. With finite power he wrestles with the infinite, and he must fall. Against him are stronger battalions than any marshalled by mortal arm—the inborn, ineradicable, invincible sentiments of the human heart; against him is nature in all her subtle forces; against him is God. Let him try to subdue these.

With regret, I come again upon the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Butler), who, omnipresent in this debate, overflowed with rage at the simple suggestion that Kansas had applied for admission as a State; and, with incoherent phrases, discharged the loose expectoration of his speech, now upon her representative, and then upon her people. There was no extravagance of the ancient parliamentary debate which he did not repeat; nor was there any possible deviation from truth which he did not make, with so much of passion, I am glad to add, as to save him from the suspicion of intentional aberration. But the Senator touches nothing which he does not disguise with error, sometimes of principle, sometimes of fact. He shows an incapacity of accuracy, whether in stating the Constitution, or in stating the law, whether in the details of statistics or the diversions of scholarship. He cannot open his mouth, but out there flies a blunder. Surely he ought to be familiar with the life of Franklin; and yet he referred to this household character,, while acting agent of our fathers in England, as above suspicion; and this was done that he might give a point to a false contrast with the agent of Kansas—not knowing that, however they may differ in genius and fame, in this experience they are alike: that Franklin, when intrusted with the petitions of Massachusetts Bay, was assaulted by a foul-mouthed speaker, where he could not be heard in defence, and denounced as a “thief,” even as the agent of Kansas has been assaulted on this floor, and denounced as a “forger.” And let not the vanity of the Senator be inspired by the parallel with the British statesman of that day; for it is only in hostility to freedom that any parallel can be recognized.

But it is against the people of Kansas that the sensibilities of the Senator are particularly aroused. Coming, as he announces, “from a State” —ay, sir, from South Carolina—he turns with lordly disgust from this newly formed community, which he will not recognize even as a “body politic.” Pray, sir, by what title does he indulge in this egotism? Has he read the history of “the State” which he represents? He cannot surely have forgotten its shameful imbecility from slavery, confessed throughout the Revolution, followed by its more shameful assumptions for slavery since. He cannot have forgotten its wretched persistence in the slave-trade as the very apple of its eye, and the condition of its participation in the Union. He cannot have forgotten its constitution, which is republican only in name, confirming power only in the hands of the few, and founding the qualifications of its legislators on a “settled freehold estate and ten negroes.” And yet the Senator, to whom that “State” has in part committed the guardianship of its good name, instead of moving, with backward treading steps, to cover its nakedness, rushes forward in the very ecstasy of madness, to expose it by provoking a comparison with Kansas. South Carolina is old; Kansas is young. South Carolina counts by centuries where Kansas counts by years. But a beneficent example may be born in a day; and I venture to say that, against the two centuries of the older [218] “State,” may be already set the two years of trial, evolving corresponding virtue, in the younger community. In the one is the long wail of slavery; in the other, the hymns of freedom. And if we glance at special achievements, it will be difficult to find anything in the history of South Carolina which presents so much of heroic spirit in an heroic cause as appears in that repulse of the Missouri invaders by the beleaguered town of Lawrence, where even the women gave their effective efforts to freedom. . . .

Already in Lawrence alone there are newspapers and schools, including a high school, and throughout this infant Territory there is more mature scholarship far, in proportion to its inhabitants, than in all South Carolina. Ah, sir, I tell the Senator that Kansas, welcomed as a free State, will be a “ministering angel” to the republic when South Carolina, in the cloak of darkness which she hugs, “lies howling.” . . .

To overthrow this usurpation is now the special, importunate duty of Congress, admitting of no hesitation or postponement. To this end it must lift itself from the cabals of candidates, the machinations of party, and the low level of vulgar strife. It must turn from that slave oligarchy and refuse to be its tool. Let the power be stretched forth towards this distant Territory, not to bind, but to unbind; not for the oppression of the weak, but for the subversion of the tyrannical; not for the prop and maintenance of a revolting usurpation, but for the confirmation of liberty. . . .

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