« PreviousContinue »
the expression of abolition sentiments, produce disturbance to the quiet of the citizens, or danger to their domestic relations; and all such persons so offending shall be notified, and made to leave the Territory."
of the new council were to be elected. The new legislature is required to meet on the first Monday in January, 1858. Thus, by the terms of these "laws," the people have no control whatever over either the legislature, the executive, or the judicial departments of the Territorial government until a time before which, by the natural pro
The meeting was "ably and eloquently addressed by Judge Lecompte, Colonel J. N. Burns of Western Missouri, and others." Thus the head of the judiciary in the Terri-gress of population, the Territorial government will be sutory not only assisted at a public and bitterly partisan perseded by a State government. meeting, whose direct tendency was to produce violence and disorder, but, before any law is passed in the Territory, he prejudges the character of the domestic institutions which the people of the Territory were, by their organic law, "left perfectly free to form and regulate in their own way."
No session of the legislature is to be held during 1856, but the members of the House are to be elected in October of that year. A candidate, to be eligible at this election, must swear to support the fugitive slave law; and each judge of election, and each voter, if challenged, must take the same oath. The same oath is required of every officer elected or appointed in the Territory, and of every attorney admitted to practice in the courts.
On this committee were several of those who held certificates of election as members of the legislature; some of the others were then and still are residents of Missouri; and many of the committee have since been appointed to the leading offices in the Territory, one of which is the sheriffalty of the county. Their first act was that of mobbing Phillips.
Subsequently, on the 25th of May, A.D. 1855, a public meeting was held, at which R. R. Rees, a member elect of the council, presided. The following resolutions, offered by Judge Payne, a member elect of the house, were unanimously adopted:
A portion of the militia is required to muster on the day of election. "Every free white male citizen of the United States, and every free male Indian who is made a citizen by treaty or otherwise, and over the age of twenty-one years, and who shall be an inhabitant of the Territory and of the county and district in which he offers to vote, and shall have paid a Territorial tax, shall be a qualified elector for all elective offices." Two classes of persons were thus excluded, who, by the organic act, were allowed to vote, viz.: those who would not swear to the oath required, and those of foreign birth who had declared on oath their intention to become citizens. Any man of tion, and who had paid one dollar as a tax to the sheriff, proper age who was in the Territory on the day of elecwho was required to be at the polls to receive it, could vote as an "inhabitant," although he had breakfasted in Missouri, and intended to return there for supper. There can be no doubt that this unusual and unconstitutional sion of the popular will in the election of members of the provision was inserted to prevent a full and fair expreshouse, or to control it by non-residents.
"Resolved, That we heartily indorse the action of the committee of citizens that shaved, tarred and feathered, rode on a rail, and had sold by a negro, William Phillips, the moral perjurer. Resolved, That we return our thanks to the committee for faithfully performing the trust enjoined upon them by the ProSlavery party,
"Resolved, That the committee be now discharged.
66 Resolved, That we severely condemn those Pro-Slavery men who, from mercenary motives, are calling upon the ProSlavery party to submit without further action.
"Resolved, That in order to secure peace and harmony to the community, we now solemnly declare that the ProSlavery party will stand firmly by and carry out the resolutions reported by the committee appointed for that purpose on the memorable 30th."
The act of moral perjury here referred to is the ing by Phillips to a truthful protest in regard to the election of March 30, in the XVIth District.
All jurors are required to be selected by the sheriff, and "no person who is conscientiously opposed to the swear-holding of slaves, or who does not admit the right to hold slaves in the Territory, shall be a juror in any cause" affecting the right to hold slaves, or relating to slave property.
The members receiving their certificates of the Governor as members of the General Assembly of the Territory, met at Pawnee, the place appointed by the Governor, on the 2d of July, A.D. 1855. Their proceedings are stated in three printed books, herewith submitted, entitled respectively, "The Statutes of the Territory of Kansas," "The Journal of the Council of the Territory of Kansas," and "The Journal of the House of Representatives of the Territory of Kansas."
The Slave Code, and every provision relating to slaves, are of a character intolerant and unusual even for that class of legislation. The character and conduct of the men appointed to hold office in the Territory contributed very much to produce the events which followed. Thus Samuel J. Jones was appointed sheriff of the county of Douglas, which included within it the Ist and IId Election Districts. He had made himYour Committee do not regard their enactments as valid self peculiarly obnoxious to the settlers by his conduct laws. A legislature thus imposed upon a people cannot on the 80th of March in the IId District, and by his affect their political rights. Such an attempt to do so, if burning the cabins of Joseph Oakley and Samuel Smith. successful, is virtually an overthrow of the organic law, An election for delegate to Congress, to be held on and reduces the people of the Territory to the condition the 1st day of October, 1855, was provided for, with the of vassals to a neighboring State. To avoid the evils of same rules and regulations as were applied to other anarchy, no armed or organized resistance to them should elections. The Free-State men took no part in this be made, but the citizens should appeal to the ballot-box election, having made arrangements for holding an at public elections, to the federal judiciary, and to Con- election on the 9th of the same month. The citizens of gress, for relief. Such, from the proof, would have been Missouri attended at the election of the 1st of October, the course of the people, but for the nature of these enact- some paying the dollar tax, and others not being rements and the manner in which they are enforced. Their quired to pay it. They were present and voted at the character and their execution have been so intimately voting places of Atchison and Doniphan, in Atchison connected with one branch of this investigation-that re- County; at Greene Springs, Johnson County; at Willow lating to "violent and tumultuous proceedings in the Ter-Springs, Franklin, and Lecompton, in Douglas County; ritory "-that we were compelled to examine them. at Fort Scott, Bourbon County; at Baptiste Paola, Lykins County, where some Indians voted, some whites paying the $1 tax for them; at Leavenworth City, and at Kickapoo City, Leavenworth County; at the latter place, under the lead of Gen. B. F. Stringfellow and Col. Lewis Barnes of Missouri. From two of the election precints at which it was alleged there was illegal voting -viz., Delaware and Wyandotte-your Committee failed to obtain the attendance of witnesses. Your Committee did not deem it necessary, in regard to this election, to enter into details, as it was manifest that, from there being but one candidate-Gen. Whitfieldhe must have received a majority of the votes cast. This election, therefore, depends not on the number or character of the votes received, but upon the validity of the laws under which it was held. Sufficient testimony was taken to show that the voting of citizens of Missouri was practiced at this election, as at all former elections in the Territory. The following table will exhibit the result of the testimony as regards the number of legal and illegal votes at this election. The county of Marshall embraces the same territory as was included in the XIth District; and the reasons before stated indicate that the great majority of the votes then cast were either illegal or fictitious. In the counties to which our examination extended, there were illegal votes cast as near as the proof will enable us to determine.
The "laws" in the statute-books are general and special; the latter are strictly of a local character, relating to bridges, roads, and the like. The great body of the ral laws are exact transcripts from the Missouri code. To make them in some cases conform to the organic act, separate acts were passed, defining the meaning of words. Thus the word "State" is to be understood as meaning "Territory;" the words "County Court" shall be construed to mean the board of commissioners transacting county business, or the Probate Court, according to the intent thereof. The words "Circuit Court" to mean "District Court."
The material differences in the Missouri and Kansas statutes are upon the following subjects: The qualifications of voters and of members of the legislative assembly; the official oath of all officers, attorneys, and voters; the mode of selecting officers and their qualifications; the slave code, and the qualifications of jurors.
Upon these subjects, the provisions of the Missouri code are such as are usual in many of the States. But by the "Kansas Statutes " every office in the Territory, executive and judicial, was to be appointed by the legislature, or by some officer appointed by it. These appointments were not merely to meet a temporary exigency, but were to hold over two regular elections, and until after the general election in October, 1857, at which the members
"Resolved, That we, the people of Kansas Territory, in mass meeting assembled, irrespective of party distinctions, influenced by common necessity, and greatly desirous of promoting the common good, do hereby call upon and request all bona fide citizens of Kansas Territory, of whatever political views or predilections, to consult together in their respective Election Districts and in mass convention or otherwise, elect three delegates for each representative to which said Election District is entitled in the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly, by proclamation of Governor Reeder, of date 19th of March, 1855; said delegates to assemble in convention, at the town of Topeka, on the 19th day of September, 1855, then and there to consider and determine upon all subjects of public interest, and particularly upon that having reference to the speedy formation of a State Constitution, with an intention of an immediate application to be admitted as a State into the Union of the United States of America."
No. of Votes cast for
J. W. Whitfield.
Other meetings were held in various parts of the Territory, which indorsed the action of the Lawrence meeting,
42 101 108
212 246 220
Total Votes cast.
No. of Legal Votes.
and delegates were selected in compliance with its recommendations.
While these enactments of the alleged legislative assembly were being made, a movement was instituted to form a State government, and apply for admission into They met at Topeka, on the 19th day of September, the Union as a State. The first step taken by the people 1855. By their resolutions, they provided for the appointof the Territory, in consequence of the invasion of Marchment of an Executive Committee, to consist of seven per 80, 1855, was the circulation for signature of a graphic sons, who were required to "keep a record of their proand truthful memorial to Congress. Your Committee ceedings, and shall have a general superintendence of find that every allegation in this memorial has been sus- the affairs of the Territory so far as regards the organizatained by the testimony. No further step was taken, as tion of the State Government." They were required to it was hoped that some action by the General Government take steps for an election to be held on the second Tueswould protect them in their rights. When the alleged day of the October following, under regulations imposed legislative assembly proceeded to construct the series of by that Committee, "for members of a Convention to enactments referred to, the settlers were of opinion that form a Constitution, adopt a Bill of Rights for the people submission to them would result in depriving them of the of Kansas, and take all needful measures for organizing rights secured to them by the organic law. Their politi- a State Government, preparatory to the admission of cal condition was freely discussed in the Territory during Kansas into the Union as a State." The rules prescribed the summer of 1855. Several meetings were held in were such as usually govern elections in most of the reference to holding a convention to form a State gov-States of the Union, and in most respects were similar to ernment, and to apply for admission into the Union as a those contained in the proclamation of Gov. Reeder for State. Public opinion gradually settled in favor of such the election of March 30, 1855. an application to the Congress to meet in December, 1855. The first general meeting was held in Lawrence on the 15th of August, 1855.
The following preamble and resolutions were then passed: "Whereas, The people of Kansas have been, since its settlement, and now are, without any law-making power, therefore be it
The Executive Committee appointed by that Convention accepted their appointment, and entered upon the discharge of their duties by issuing a proclamation addressed to the legal voters of Kansas, requesting them to meet at their several precincts, at the time and places named in the proclamation, then and there to cast their ballots for members of a Constitutional Convention, to meet at Topeka on the 4th Tuesday of October then next.
to Congress was also prepared, praying for the admission of Kansas into the Union under that Constitution. The Convention also provided that the question of the adoption of the Constitution and other questions be submitted to the people, and required the Executive Committee to take the necessary steps for that purpose.
ABSTRACT OF THE ELECTION ON THE ADOPTION OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION, DEC. 15, 1855.
Accordingly, an election was held for that purpose on the 15th day of December, 1855, in compliance with the proclamation issued by the Executive Committee. The returns of this election were made by the Executive Com mittee, and an abstract of them is contained in the following table:
The Executive Committee then issued a proclamation reciting the results of the election of the 15th of December, and at the same time provided for an election to be held on the 15th day of January, 1856, for State officers and members of the General Assembly of the State of Kansas. An election was accordingly held in the several lection-precincts, the returns of which were sent to the Executive Committee.
The result of this election was announced by a proclamation by the Executive Committee.
In accordance with the Constitution thus adopted, the members of the State Legislature and most of the State officers met on the day and at the place designated by the State Constitution, and took the oath therein prescribed.
After electing United States Senators, pussing some preliminary laws, and appointing a Cod fying Committee and preparing a Memorial to Congress, the General Assembly adjourned to meet on the 4th day of July, 1856.
The laws passed were all conditional upon the admission of Kansas as a State into the Union. These proceedings were regular, and, in the opinion of your Committee, the Constitution thus adopted fairly expresses the will of the majority of the settlers. They now await the action of Congress upon their memorial. These elections, whether they were conducted in pursuance of law or not, were not illegal. Whether the result of them is sanctioned by the action
N. B.-Poll-Book at Leavenworth was destroyed.
of Congress, or they are regarded as the mere expression of popular will, and Congress should refuse to grant the prayer of the memorial, that cannot affect their legality. The right of the people to assemble and express their political opinion in any form, whether by means of an election or a convention, is secured to them by the Con stitution of the United States. Even if the elections are to be regarded as the act of a party, whether political or otherwise, they were proper, in accordance with examples, both in States and Territories.
The elections, however, were preceded and followed by acts of violence on the part of those who opposed them, and those persons who approved, and sustained the invasion from Missouri were peculiarly hostile to these peaceful movements preliminary to the organization of a State government. Instances of this violence will be referred to hereafter.
To provide for the election of delegates to Congress, and at the same time do it in such a manner as to obtain the judgment of the House of Representatives upon the validity of the alleged legislative assembly sitting at Shawnee Mission, a convention was held at Big Springs on the 5th and 6th days of September, 1855. This was a party convention, and a party calling itself the FreeState party was then organized. It was in no way con nected with the State movement, except that the election of a delegate to Congress was fixed by it on the same day as the election of members of a constitutional convention, instead of the day prescribed by the alleged
legislative assembly. Andrew H. Reeder was put in nomination as Territorial delegate to Congress, and an election was provided for under the regulations prescribed for the election of March 30, 1855, excepting as to the appointment of officers, and the persons to whom the returns of the elections should be made. The election was held in accordance with these regulations, and A. H. Reeder received 2,827 votes.
had attended the meeting. Your Committee have deemed it proper to detail the particulars of this rescue, as it was made the groundwork of what is known as the Wakerusa War. On the same night of the rescue, the cabins of Coleman and Buckley were burned, but by whom, is left in cubt by the testimony.
On the morning of the rescue of Branson, Jones was at the village of Franklin, near Lawrence. The rescue The resolutions passed by this convention indicate the was spoken of in the presence of Jones, and more constate of feeling which existed in the Territory in conse-versation passed between two others in his presence, as quense of the invasion from Missouri, and the enact- to whether it was most proper to send for assistance to ments of the alleged legislative assembly. The language Col. Boone, in Missouri, or to Gov. Shannon. Jones of some of the resolutions is violent, and can only be wrote a dispatch and handed it to a messenger. As soon justified either in consequence of the attempt to enforce as he started, Jones said: "That man is taking my the grossest acts of tyranny, or for the purpose of guard- dispatch to Missouri, and by G-d I'll have revenge ing against a similar invasion in future. before I see Missouri." A person present, who was examined as a witness, complained publicly that the dispatch was not sent to the Governor; and within half an hour one was sent to the Governor by Jones, through Hargous. Within a few days, large numbers of men from the State of Missouri gathered and encamped on the Wakerusa. They brought with them all the equipments of war. To obtain them, a party of men under the direction of Judge T. V. Thompson broke into the United States arsenal and armory at Liberty, Missouri, and after a forcible detention of Captain Leonard (then in charge). they took the cannon, muskets, rifles, powder, harness, and indeed all the materials and munitions of war they desired, some of which have never been returned or accounted for.
In the fall of 1855, there sprang out of the existing discords and excitement in the Territory, two secret Free-State societies. They were defensive in their character, and were designed to form a protection to their members against unlawful acts of violence and assault. One of the societies was purely of a local character, and was confined to the town of Lawrence. Very shortly after its organization, it produced its desired effect, and then went out of use and ceased to exist. Both societies were cumbersome, and of no utility except to give confidence to the Free-State men, and enable them to know and aid each other in contemplated danger. So far as the evidence shows, they led to no act of violence in resistance to either real or alleged laws.
On the 21st day of November, 1855, F. M. Coleman, a Pro-Slavery man, and Charles W. Dow, a Free-State man, had a dispute about the division line between their respective claims. Several hours afterward, as Dow was passing from a blacksmith shop toward his claim, and by the cabin of Coleman, the latter shot Dow with a double-barreled gun loaded with slugs. Dow was unarmed. He fell across the road and died immediately. This was about 1 o'clock, P.M. His dead body was allowed to lie where it fell until after sundown, when it was conveyed by Jacob Branson to his house, at which Dow boarded. The testimony in regard to this homicide is voluminous, and shows clearly that it was a deliberate murder by Coleman, and that Harrison Bulkley and a Mr. Hargous were accessories to it. The excitement caused by it was very great among all classes of the settlers. On the 26th, a large meeting of citizens was held at the place where the murder was committed, and resolutions passed that Coleman should be brought to justice. In the meantime, Coleman had gone to Missouri, and then to Gov. Shannon, at Shawnee Mission, in Johnson County. He was there taken into custody by S. J. Jones, then acting as Sheriff. No warrant was issued or exam nation had. On the day of the meeting at Hickory Point, Harrison Bradley procured a peace warrant against Jacob Branson, which was placed in the hands of Jones. That same evening, after Branson had gone to bed, Jones came to his cabin with a party of about 25 persons, among whom were Hargons and Buckleyburst open the door, and saw Branson in bed. He then drew his pistol, cocked it, and presented it to Branson's breast, and said, "You are my prisoner, and if you move I will blow you through." The others cocked their guns and gathered round him, and took him prisoner. They all mounted and went to Buckley's house. After a time, they went on a circuitous route toward Blanton s Bridge, stopping to "drink" on the way. As they approached the bridge, there were thirteen in the party, several having stopped. Jones rode up to the prisoner and, among other things, told him that he had "heard there were one hundred men at your house to-day," and "that he regretted they were not there, and that they were cheated out of their sport." In the meantime, the alarm had been given in the neighborhood of Branson's arrest, and several of the settlers, among whom were Some who had attended the meeting at Hickory Point that day, gathered together. They were greatly excited; the alleged injustice of such an arrest of a quiet settler, under a peace warrant by "Sheriff Jones," aided by two men believed to be accessory to a murder, and who were allowed to be at large, exasperated them, and they proceeded as rapidly as possible by a nearer route than that taken by Jones, and stopped near the house of J. S. Abbott, one of them. They were on foot as Jones's party approached on a canter. The rescuers suddenly formed across the road in front of Jones and his party. Jones halted, and asked, "What's up?" The reply was, "That's what we want to know. What's up?" Branson said, "They have got me a prisoner." Some one in the rescuing party told him to come over to their side. He did so, and dismounted, and the mule he rode was driven over to Jones's party; Jones then left. Of the persons engaged in this rescue, three were from Lawrence, and
The chief hostility of this military foray was against the town of Lawrence, and this was especially the case with the officers of the law.
Your Committee can see in the testimony no reason, excuse, or palliation for this feeling Up to this time, no warrant or proclamation of any kind had been in the hands of any officer against any citizen of Lawrence. No arrest had been attempted, and no writ resisted in that town. The rescue of Branson sprang out of a murder committed thirteen miles from Lawrence, in a detached settlement, and neither the town nor its citizens extended any protection to Branson's rescuers. On the contrary, two or three days after the rescue, S. N. Wood, who claimed publicly to be one of the rescuing party, wished to be arrested for the purpose of testing the Territorial laws, and walked up to Sheriff Jones and shook hands with him, and exchanged other courtesies. He could have been arrested without difficulty, and it was his design, when he went to Mr. Jones, to be arrested; but no attempt was made to do so.
It is obvious that the only cause of this hostility is the known desire of the citizens of Lawrence to make Kansas a Free State, and their repugnance to laws imposed upon them by non-residents.
Your Committee do not propose to detail the incidents connected with this foray. Fortunately for the peace of the country, a direct conflict between the opposing forces was avoided by an amicable arrangement. The losses sustained by the settlers in property taken and time and money expended in their own defense, added much to the trials incident to a new settlement. Many persons were unlawfully taken and detained-in some cases, under circumstances of gross cruelty. This was especially so in the arrest and treatment of Dr. G. A. Cutter and G. F. Warren. They were taken, without cause or warrant, sixty miles from Lawrence, and when Dr. Cutter was quite sick. They were compelled to go to the camp at Lawrence, were put into the custody of "Sheriff Jones," who had no process to arrest themthey were taken into a small room kept as a liquor shop, which was open and very cold. That night, Jones came in with others, and went to "playing poker at twentyfive cents ante." The prisoners were obliged to sit up all night, as there was no room to lie down, when the men were playing. Jones insulted them frequently, and told one of them he must either "tell or swing." guard then objected to this treatment of prisoners, and Jones desisted.
While we remained in the Territory, repeated acts of outrage were committed upon the quiet, unoffending citi zens, of which we received authentic intelligence. Men were attacked on the highway, robbed, and subsequently imprisoned. Men were seized and searched, and their weapons of defense taken from them without compensation. Horses were frequently taken and appropriated. Oxen were taken from the yoke while plowing, and butchered in the presence of their owners. One young man was seized in the streets of the town of Atchison, and, under circumstances of gross barbarity, was tarred and cottoned, and in that condition was sent to his family. All the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, securing persons and property, are utterly disregarded. The officers of the law, instead of protecting the people, were
in some instances engaged in these outrages, and in no in- mine on his peril, we declined to give him any protecti stance did we learn that any man was arrested, indicted, or take any action in the matter. He refused to obey t or punished for any of these crimes. While such offenses | writ, believing it to be a mere pretense to get the custo were committed with impunity, the laws were used as a of his person, and fearing, as he alleged, that he would means of indicting men for holding elections, preliminary assassinated by lawless bands of men then gathering to framing a Constitution and applying for admission into and near Lecompton. He then left the Territory. the Union as the State of Kansas. Charges of high treason were made against prominent citizens upon grounds which seem to your Committee absurd and ridiculous, and under these charges they are now held in custody and are refused the privilege of bail. In several cases, men were arrested in the State of Missouri, while passing on their lawful business through that State, and detained until indictments could be found in the Territory,
These proceedings were followed by an offense of still greater magnitude. Under color of legal process, a company of about 700 armed men, the great body of whom, your Committee are satisfied, were not citizens of the Territory, marched into the town of Lawrence, under Marshal Donaldson and S. J. Jones, officers claiming to act under the law, and bombarded and then burned to the ground a valuable hotel and one private house; destroyed two printing presses and material; and then, being released by the officers, whose posse they claimed to be, proceeded to sack, pillage, and rob houses, stores, trunks, etc., even to the clothing of women and children. Some of the letters thus unlawfully taken were private ones, written by the contesting Delegate, and they were offered in evidence. Your Committee did not deem that the persons holding them had any right thus to use them, and refused to be made the instruments to report private letters thus obtained.
This force was not resisted, because it was collected and marshaled under the forms of law. But this act of barbarity, unexampled in the history of our Government, was followed by its natural consequences. All the restraints which American citizens are accustomed to pay even to the appearance of law, were thrown off; one act of violence led to another; homicides became frequent. A party under H. C. Pate, composed chiefly of citizens of Missouri, were taken prisoners by a party of settlers; and while your Committee were at Westport, a company chiefly of Missourians, accompanied by the acting Delegate, went to relieve Pate and his party, and a collision was prevented by the United States troops. Civil war has seemed impending in the Territory. Nothing can prevent so great a calamity but the presence of a large force of United States troops, under a commander who will with prudence and discretion quiet the excited passions of both parties, and expel with force the armed bands of lawless men coming from Missouri and elsewhere, who with criminal pertinacity infest that Territory.
Subsequently, H. Miles Moore, an attorney in Leave worth City, but for several years a citizen of Weston, M kindly furnished the Committee information as to the re dence of persons voting at the elections, and in some cas examined witnesses before us. He was arrested on t streets of that town by an armed band of about thir men, headed by W. D. Wilkes, without any color of a thority, confined, with other citizens, under a militar guard for twenty-four hours, and then notified to leave th Territory. His testimony was regarded as important, a upon his sworn statement that it would endanger his pe son to give it openly, the majority of your Committ deemed it proper to examine him ex-parte, and did so.
By reason of these occurrences, the contestant and th party with and for whom he acted, were unrepresented b fore us during a greater portion of the time, and you Committee were required to ascertain the truth in the be manner they could.
Sixth. That Andrew H. Reeder received a greater num ber of votes of resident citizens than John W. Whitfield for Delegate.
In some cases, and as to one entire election district, the condition of the country prevented the attendance of witnesses, who were either arrested or detained while obeying our process, or deterred from so doing. The Sergeantat-Arms, who served the process upon them, was himself arrested or detained for a short time by an armed force, claiming to be a part of the posse of the Marshal, but was allowed to proceed upon an examination of his papers, and was furnished with a pass, signed by "Warren D. Wilkes, of South Carolina." John Upton, another officer of the Committee, was subsequently stopped by a lawless force on the borders of the Territory, and after being detained and treated with great indignity, was released. He also was furnished with a pass signed by two citizens of Missouri, and addressed to "Pro-Slavery men." By reason of these disturbances, we were delayed in Westport, so that while in session there, our time was but partially occupied.
But the obstruction which created the most serious embarrassment to your Committee, was the attempted arrest of Gov. Reeder, the contesting Delegate, upon a writ of attachment issued against him by Judge Lecompte, to compel his attendance as a witness before the Grand Jury of Douglas County. William Fane, recently from the State of Georgia, and claiming to be the Deputy Marshal, came into the room of the Committee, while Gov. Reeder was examining a witness before us, and producing the writ required Gov. Reeder to attend him. Subsequent events have only strengthened the conviction of your Committee, that this was a wanton and unlawful interference by the Judge who issued the writ, tending greatly to obstruct a full and fair investigation. Gov. Reeder and Gen. Whitfield alone were fully possessed of that local information which would enable us to elicit the whole truth, and it was obvicus to every one that any event which would separate either of them from the Committee, would necessarily hinder, delay, and embarrass it. Gov. Reeder claimed that,
The Free-State Constitution framed at To peka for Kansas, by the Convention called by the Free-State party, (as set forth in the fore going documents,) was in due season submitted to Congress-Messrs. Andrew H. Reeder (the Free-State Territorial delegate) and James H Lane having been chosen by the first Free-State Legislature, Senators of the United States, and Mr. M. W. Delahay elected Representative in the House, by the Free-State men of Kansas Of course, these were not entitled to their seats until the aforesaid instrument (known as the Topeka Constitution ") should be accepted by Congress, and the State thereupon admitted
under the circumstances in which he was placed, he was
privileged from arrest except for treason, felony, or breach
of the peace. As this was a question of privilege, proper into the Union. This Constitution, being form for the Courts, or for the privileged person alone to deter-ally presented in either House, was received and
Seventh. That in the present condition of the Territory a fair election cannot be held without a new census, stringent and well-guarded election law, the selection of impartial Judges, and the presence of United States troop at every place of election.
Eighth. That the various elections held by the peopl of the Territory preliminary to the formation of the Stat Government have been as regular as the disturbed condi tion of the Territory would allow; and that the Constitu tion passed by the Convention, held in pursuance of sai elections, embodies the will of a majority of the people. As it is not the province of your Committee to sugges remedies for the existing troubles in the Territory of Kan sas, they content themselves with the foregoing statemen of facts.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
WM. A. HOWARD,