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forty-three of the fifty delegates present affixed their show that the President did not mean to signatures to the constitution.
recommend” the Lecompton Constitution, but A large majority of the Convention were in favor of establishing Slavery in Kansas. They accordingly in that he only serted an article in the constitution for this purpose referred that document to the Congress of the Unisimilar in form to those which had been adopted by ted States as the Constitution of the United States other Territorial conventions. In the schedule, how-refers it-for us to decide upon it under our own respon. ever, providing for the transition from a Territorial to a sibility. “It is proper," said Mr. D., " that he shouid State government, the question has been fairly and ex. have ihus referred it to us as a matter for congressional plicitly referred to the people, whether they will have a action, and not as an administrative or executive measuro, constitution" with or without Slavery.” It declares that, for the reason that the Constitution of the United States before the constitution adopted by the Convention says, ' Congress may admit new States into the Union.' “shall be sent to Congress for admission into the Union Heuce we find the Kansas question before us now, not as a State," an election shall be held to decide this ques
as an Administrative measure, not as an Execu ive mere tion, at which all the white male inhabitants of the Ter- sure, but as a measure coming before us for our free ritory above the age of 21 are entitled to vote. They action, without any recommendation or interference, are to vote by ballot; and “the ballots cast at said directly or indirectly, by the Administration now in poselection shall be indorsed 'constitution with Slavery,' session of the Federal Government." and constitution with no Slavery.'" If there be a
Mr. President, I am not going to stop and inquire how majority in favor of the the “constitution with Sla
far the Nebraska bill, which said the people should be very,” then it is to be transmitted to Congress by the left perfectly free to form their constitution for them. president of the Convention in its original form. If, on selves, authorized the President. or the Cabinet, or Gov. the contrary, there shall be a majority in favor of the
ernor Walker, or any other Territorial officer, to inter. “ constitution with no Slavery,”. “ then the article pro- fere and tell the Convention of Kansas whether they viding for Slavery shall be stricken from the constitu- should or should not submit the question to the people. tion by the president of this Convention;" and it is I am not going to stop to inquire how far they were expressly declared that “no Slavery shall exist in the
authorized to do that, it being my opinion that the spirit State of Kansas, except that the right of property in
of the Nebraska bill required it to be done. It is sufficient slaves now in the Territory shall in po manner be inter- for my purpose that the Administration of the Federal fered with ;" and in that event it is made his duty to
Government unanimously-that the administration of the have the constitution thus ratified, transmitted to the Territorial government, in all its parts, unanimouslyCongress of the United States, for the admission of the
understood the Territorial law under which the ConvenState into the Union.
tion was assembled to mean that the constitution to be At this election, every citizen will have an opportu- formed by that Convention should be submitted to the nity of expressing his opinion by his vote "whether people for ratification or rejection, and, if not confirmed Kanşas shall be received into the Union with or without by a majority of the people, should be null and void, Slavery," and thus this exciting question may be peace- without coming to Congress for approval. fully settled in the very mode required by the organic
Not only did the National Government and the Territolaw. The election will be held under legitimate author- rial government so understand the law at the time, but, ity, and if any portion of the inhabitants shall refuse to
as I have already stated, the people of the Territory so vote, a fair opportunity to do so having been presented, understood it. As a further evidence on that point, a this will be their own voluntary act, and they alone large number, if not a majority, of the delegates were will be responsible for the consequences.
instructed in the nominating conventions to submit the Whether Kansas shall be a free or a slave State, must constitution to the people for ratification. I know that eventually, under some authority, be decided by an
the delegates from Douglas County, eight in number, Mr. election; and the question can never be more clearly Calhoun, President of the Convention, being among them, or distinctly presented to the people than it is at the
were not only instructed thus to submit the question, but present moment. Should this opportunity be rejected, they signed and published, while candidates, a written she may be involved for years in domestic discord, and pledge that they would submit it to the people for ratifipossibly in civil war, before she can again make up the cation. I know that men high in authority, and in the issue now so fortunately tendered, and again reach the confidence of the Territorial and National Government, point she has already attained.
canvassed every part of Kansas during the election of Kansas has for some years occupied too much of the delegates, and each one of them pledged himself to the public attention. It is high time this should be directed people that no snap judgment was to be taken; that the to far more important objects. When once admitted constitution was to be submitted to the people for acceptinto the Union, whether with or without Slavery, the
ance or rejection: that it would be void unless that was excitement beyond her own limits will speedily pass done; that the Administration would spurn and scorn it as away, and she will then, for the first time, be left, as she a violation of the principles on which it came into power, ought to have been long since, to manage her own
and that a Democratic Congress would hurl it from their affairs in her own way. if her constitution on the sub- presence as an insult to the Democrats who stood pledged ject of Slavery, or on any other subject, be displeasing to see the people left free to form their domestic instituto a majority of the people, no human power can prevent tions for themselves. them from changing it within a brief period. Under
Not only that, sir, but up to the time when the Conven. these circumstances, it may well be questioned whether tion assembled, on the 1st of September, so far as I can the peace and quiet of the whole country are not of learn, it was understood everywhere that the constitution greater importance than the mere temporary triumph was to be submitted for ratification or rejection. They of either of the political parties in Kansas. Should the constitution without Slavery be adopted by until after the October election. I think'that it was wiso
met, however, on the 1st of September, and adjourned the votes of the majority, the rights of property in slaves and prudent that they should thus have adjourned. They now in the Territory are reserved. The number of these did not wish to bring any question into that election is very small; but if it were greater the provision would which would divide the Democratic party, and weaken be equally just and reasonable. The slaves were
our chances of success in the election. I was rejoiced brought into the Territory under the Constitution of the when I saw that they did adjourn, so as not to show their United States, and are now the property of their masters. This point has at length been finally decided by party until after the election. During that recess, while the
hand on any question that would divide and distract the the highest judicial tribunal of the country-and this
Convention was adjourned, Governor Ransom, the Demoupon the plain principle that when a confederacy of
cratic candidate for Congress, running against the present sovereign States acquire a new territory at their joint Delegate from that Territory, was canvassing every part of expense, both equality and justice demand that the citi- Kansas, in favor of the doctrine of submitting the constizens of 'one and all of them thall have the right to take tution to the people, declaring that the Democratic party into it whatsoever is recognized as property by the com
were in favor of such submission, and that it was a slanmon Constitution. To have suminarily confiscated the
der of the Black Republicans to intimate the charge that property in slaves already in the Territory would have the Democratic party did not intend to carry out that been an act of gross injustice, and contrary to the prac pledge in good faith. Thus, up to the time of the Contice of the older States of the Union which have abol- vention, in October last, the pretense was kept up, the Ished Slavery.
profession was openly made, and believed by me, and I MR. DOUGLAS ON LECOMPTON.
thought believed by them, that the Convention intended
to submit a constitution to the people, and not to attempt Mr. Douglas, who very early joined in the de- to put a government in operation without such submisbate on the President's Message, at first said sion. The election being over, the Democratic party he dissented from the views of the President in being defeated by an overwhelming vote, the Opposition
having triumphed, and got possession of both branches regard to Kansas, but afterward endeavored to of the legislature, and having elected their Territorial
Delegate, the Conventioh assembled, and then proceeded not violate the Constitution of the United States and the to complete their work.
fundamental principles of liberty upon which our instituNow let us stop to inquire how they redeemed the tions rest. I am not going to argue the question whether pledge to submit the constitution to the people. They the banking system established in that constitution is wise first go on to make a constitution. Then they make a or unwise. It says there shall be no monopolies, but there schedule, in which they provide that the constitution, on shall be one bank of issue in the State, with two branches. the 21st of December-the present month--shall be sub- All I have to say on that point is, if they want a banking mitted to all the bona fide inhabitants of the Territory on system, let them have it; if they do not want it, let them that day, for their free acceptance or rejection, in the fol- prohibit it. If they want a bank with two branches, be it lowing manner, to wit: Thus acknowledging that they 80; if they want twenty, it is none of my business; and it were bound to submit it to the will of the people; conced- matters not to me whether one of them shall be on the north ing that they had no right to put it into operation without side and the other on the south side of the Kaw River, or submitting it to the people; providing in the instrument where they shall be. that it should take effect from and after the date of its While I have no right to expect to be consulted on that ratification, and not before; showing that the Constitution point, I do hold that the people of Kansas have the derives its vitality, in their estimation, not from the au- right to be consulted and to decide it, and you have no thority of the Convention, but from that vote of the peo- rightful authority to deprive them of that privilege. It is ple, to which it was to be submitted for their free accept- wo justification, in my mind, to say that the provision for ance or rejection. How is it to be submitted ? It shall be the eligibility for the thicers of Governor and Lieut.-Gosubmitted in this form: “ Constitution with Slavery, or vernor requires tweniy years' citizenship in the United constitution with no Slavery ?" All men must vote for the States. If men think that no person should vote or hold constitution, whether they like it or not, in order to be office until he has been here twenty years, they have a permitted to vote for or against Slavery. Thus a constitu right to think so; and if a majority of the people of Kantion made by a convention that had authority to assemble sas think that no man of foreign birth should vote or and petition for a redress of grievances, but not to estab hold office unless he has lived there twenty years, it is lish a government--a constitution made under a pledge their right to say so, and I have no right to interfere of honor that it should be submitted to the people before with them; it is their business, not mine; but if I lived if took effect-a const which provides on its face, that there I should not be willing to have that provision in the it shall have no validity except what it derives from such constitution without being heard upon the subject, and submission is submitted to the people at an election allowed to record my protest against it. where all men are at liberty to come forward freely, with- I have nothing to say about their system of taxation, out hindrance, and vote for it, but no man is permitted to in which they have gone back and resorted to the old ex record a vote against it!
ploded system which we tried in Illinois, but abandoned That would be as fair an election as some of the ene because we did not like it. If they wish to try it and get mies of Napoleon attributed to him when he was elected tired of it and abandon it, be it so; but if I were a First Consul. He is said to have called out his troops and citizen of Kansas I would profit by the experience of had them reviewed by his officers, with a speech, patriotic Illinois on that subject, and defeat it if I could. Yet I and fair in its professions, in which he said to them: have no objection to their having it if they want it ; it is “Now, my soldiers, you are to go to the election and vote their business, not mine. freely, just as you please. If you vote for Napoleon, all is So it is in regard to the free negroes. They provide well ; vote against him, and you are to be instantly that no free negro shall be permitted to live in Kansas, I shot!” That was a fair election. (Laughter.) This elec- suppose they have a right to say so if they choose; but if tion is to be equally fair. All men in favor of the consti- ! lived there I should want to vote on the question. We, tution may vote for it, all men against it shall not vote at in Illinois, provide that no more shall come there. We all. Why not let them vote against it? I presume you say to the other States, “ Take care of your own free have asked many a man this question. I have asked a negroes and we will take care of ours.” But we do not very large number of the gentlemen who framed the con- say that the negroes now there shall not be permitted to stitution, quite a number of delegates, and a still larger live in Illinois ; and I think the people of Kansas ought to number of persons who are their friends, and I have re. have the right to say whether they will allow thein to ceived the same answer from every one of them. I never live there, and if they are not going to do so, how they received any other answer, and I presume we never shall are to dispose of them. get any other answer. What is that? They say, if they So you may gu on with all the different clauses of the had allowed a negative vote, the constitution would have Constitution. They may be all right; they may be all been voted down by an overwhelming majority; and hence wrong. That is a question on which my opinion is worth the fellows shall not be allowed to vote at all. (Laughter.) nothing. The opinion of the wise and patriotic Chief
Mr. President, that may be true. It is no part of my Magistrate of the United States is not worth anything as purpose to deny the proposition that that constitution against that of the people of Kansas, for they have would have been voted down if submitted to the people. a right to judge for themselves; and neither Pres). I believe it would have been voted down by a majority dent, nor Senates, nor Houses of Representatives, nor of four to one. I am informed by men well posted there any other power outside of Kansas, has a right to judge -Democrats—that it would be voted down ten to one; for them, Hence it is no justification, in my mind, for some say by twenty to one.
the violation of the great principle of self-goverument, lu But is it a good reason why you should declare it in say that the Constitucion you are forcing on them is not force, without being submitted to the people, merely be- particularly obnoxious, or is excellent in its provisions. cause it would have been voted down by five to one if Perhaps, sir, the same thing might be said of the you had submitted it? What does that fact prove? Topeka Constitution. I do not recollect its peculiar proDoes it not show undeniably that an overwhelming majority visions. I know one thing: we Democrats, we Nebraska of the people of Kansas are unalterably opposed to that men, would not even look into it to see what its provi. constitution ? Will you force it on them against their sions were. Why? Because we said it was made by a will, simply because they would have voted it down if you political party, and not by the people; that it was made had' consulted them ? if you will, are you going to force in defiance of the authority of Congress; that if it was as it upon them under the plea of leaving them perfectly free pure as the Bible, as hoy as the Ten Commandments, yet to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their we would not touch it until it was submitted to and own way? Is that the mode in which I am called upon to ratified by the people of Kansas, in pursuance of carry out the principle of self-government and popular the forms of law. Perhaps the Topeka Constitution, but sovereignty in the Territories-to force a constitution on for the mode of making it, would have been unexceptiorithe people against their will, in opposition to their protest, able. I do not know; I do not care.
You have no right with a knowlege of the fact, and then to assign as a reason to force an unexceptionable constitution on a people. It for my tyranny, that they would be so obstinate and so does not mitigate the evil, it does not diminish the insult, perverse as to vote down the constitution if I had given it does not ameliorate the wrong, that you are forcing a them an opportunity to be consulted about it?
good thing upon them, I am not willing to be forced to Sir, I deny your right, or mine, to inquire of these peo- do that which I would do if I were left free to judge and ple what their objections to that constitution are. They act for myself. Hence 1 assert that there is no justificahave a right to judge for themselves whether they like or tion to be made for this flagrant violation of popular dislike it. It is no answer to tell me that the constitution rights in Kansas, on the plea that the constitution which is a good one, and unobjectionable. It is not satisfactory they have made is not particularly obnoxious. to me to have the President say, in his message, that that But, sir, the President of the United States is.really and constitution is an admirable one, like all the constitutions sincerely of the opinion that the Slavery clause has been of the new States that have been recently framed. Whether fairly and impartially submitted to the free acceptance or good or bad, whether obnoxious or not, is none of my busi- rejection of the people of Kansas, and that, inasmuch as ness, and none of yours.
that was the exciting and paramount question, if they It is their business, and not ours. I care not what they get the right to vote as they please on that subject, have in their constitution, so that it suits them and does they ought to be satisfied ; and possibly it might be
better if wo would accept it, and put an end to the ques- ! If Kansas wants a Slave-State Constitution, she has a tion. Let me ask, sir, is the Slavery clause fairly sub- right to it; if she wants a Free-State Constitution, she has mitted, so that the people can vote for or against it? Sup- a right to it. It is none of my business which way the pose I were a citizen of Kansas, and should go up to the Slavery clause is decided. I care not whether it is polls and say, “ I desire to vote to make Kansas a Slave voted down or voted up. Do you suppose, after pledges State; here is my ballot." They reply to me, “Jr. of iny honor, that I would go for that princip'e, and Douglas, just vote for that constitution first, if you leave the people to vote as they choose, that I would now please. Oh, no!" I answer, “I cannot vote for that degrade myself by voting one way if the Slavery clause constitution conscientiously-I am opposed to the clause be voted down, and another way if it be voted up? I by which you locate certain railroads in such a way as to care not how that vote may stand. I take it for granted sacrifice my county and my part of the State. I am that it will be voted out. I think I have seen enough in opposed to that banking systein. I am opposed to this the last three days to make it certain that it will be reKnow-Nothing or American clause in the constitution turned out, no matter how the vote may stand. (Laughabout the qual fications for office. I cannot vote for it." ter ) Then they answer, "You shall not vote on making it a Sir, I am opposed to that concern, because it looks to Slave State " I then say, “I want to make it a Free me like a system of trickery and jugglery to defeat the State.” They reply, “ Vote for that constitution first, fair expression of the will of the people. There is no neand then you can vote to make it a Free State ; otherwise cessity for crowding this measure, so unfair, 80 unjust, as you cannot."
Thus they disqualify every Free-State it is in all its aspects, upon us. inan who will not first vote for the constitution; they disqualify every Slave-State man who will not first vote for On the 2nd of Feb., 1858, the President transthe constitution. No matter whether or not the voters mitted to Congress the Lecompton Constitution, state that they cannot conscientiously vote for those pro: accompanied by a special Message strongly Slavery here. Take the constitution as we have made it, urging the admission of Kansas as a State under take the Elective Franchise as we have established it, this constitution. (The following is a brief take the Banking System as we have dictated it, take the statement in regard to the origin of the LeSystem as we have formed it, take it all as we have fixed compton Constitution :) it to suit ourselves, and ask no questions, but vote for it, The first Territorial Legislature passed an act or you shall not vote either for a Slave or Free State.” In in 1855 to take the sense of the people on the those who are in favor of this constitution may vote foror call of a Convention to form a State Constituagainst Slavery, as they please; but all those who are tion, at the election in Oct., 1856. Accordingly, against this constitution are disfranchised, and shall not an election was held at which about 2,500 votes vote at all. That is the mode in which the Slavery proposition is submitted. Every man opposed to the consti- were polled, the Free State men not voting. At tution is disfranchised on the Slavery clause. How many this election, a new legislature was elected, all are they? They tell you there is a majority, for they say Pro-Slavery, which met in Jan., 1857, and in whelming majority, if you allow a negativ: vote. This couformity with the vote of 2,500 at the precedshows that a majority are against it. They disqualify ing October election, passed an act providing for and disfranchise every man who is against it, thus the election of delegates on the 15th of June, referring the Slavery clause to a minority of the people of to meet in convention in September following. Kansas, and leaving that minority free to vote for or Soon after this, Gov. Walker went to Kansas,
Let me ask you if that is a fair mode of submitting the and published an address to the people in which Slavery clause ? Does that mode of submitting that par- he assured them of his determination to use ticular clause leave the people perfectly free to vote for or against Slavery as they choose? Am I free to vote as every means in his power to prevent all disorder I choose on the Slavery question, if you tell me I shall and violence. He persuaded the Free-State men not vote on it until I vote for the Maine Liquor Law? to go to the polls and vote. An objection I shall not vote either way until I vote for a Bank? Is which they urged was, that in 19 out of the 38 it freedom of election to make your right to vote upon counties no registry had been made, and that in one question depend upon the mode in which you are 15 out of the 19 no census had been taken, so nection with it? Is that freedom of election ? Is that that it was impossible for the people to vote in the great fundamental principle of Self-Government, for those counties. These facts are confirmed by which we combined and struggled, in this body, and Gov. Walker and Secretary Stanton. throughout the country, to establish as a rule of action in all time to come ?
The election for delegates to the Convention Let me ask you, why force this Constitution down the was held on the 15th of June. The Free-State throats of the people of Kansas, in opposition to their men did not vote, for the reason just mentioned, ject is to be attained ? Cui bono ? What are you to gain and also (as they stated,) that they had no confi.
Will you sustain the party by violating its prin- dence in the officers who were to hold the elecciples? Do you propose to keep the party united by tion, and becanise the Constitution which might forcing a division? Stand by the doctrine that leaves be formed, must, in the opinion of Gov. Walker, the people perfectly free to form and regulate their iustitutions for themselves in their own way, and your party be subunitted to a vote of all the people for ratiwill be united and irresistible in power. Abandon that fication or rejection, whether they voted at this great principle, and the party is not worth saving, and election or not. The entire vote for delegates cannot be saved, after it shall be violated. I trust we are not to be rushed upon this question. Why shall it be was only about 2,200. done ? Who is to be benefited ? Is the South to be the The delegates elected assembled in Convengainer? Neither the North nor the South has the right to tion at Lecompton, Sept. 5th, but soon adjourned gain a sectional advantage by trickery or fraud.
But I am beseeched to wait till I hear froin the election over to October, to await the result of the Ter. on the 21st of December. I am told that perhaps that ritorial Election on the first Monday of that will put it all right, and will solve the whole difficulty. month. At this Territorial Election, both par. How can it? Perhaps there may be a large vote. There may be a large vote returned. (Laughter.) But I deny
ties nominated candidates. At the request of that it is possible to have a fair vote on the Slavery Gov. Walker, 2,000 U. S. troops were in the TerClause; and I say that it is not possible to have any vote ritory, and they were stationed so as to protect on the Constitution. Why wait for the mockery of an the polls as much as possible. Over eleven eiection, when it is provided, unalterably, that the people cannot vote-when the majority are disfranchised? thousand votes were po'led, after rejecting
But I am told on all sides, "Oh, just wait; the Pro- 2,800 as fraudulent and irregular, 1,600 of which Slavery clause will be voted down." That does not obvi. ate any of my objections; it does not diminish any of
were returned from the Oxford precinct, where, them. You have no more right to force a Free-state according to the census, there were but 43 voters, Constitution ou Kansas than a slave-State Constitution. and twelve hundred from McGee County, where
to poll was opened. The result of this election to which they owe allegiance, and have been all the time was, the Free State party carried the legislature all the time been endeavoring to subvert it and tu estah.
in a state of resistance against its authority. They have and the delegate to Congress.
lish a revolutionary Government, under the so-called The Convention reassembled in October, ac- Topeka Constitution, in its stead. Even at this very
Whocording to adjournment, and formed the Consti- moment, the Topeka Legislature are in session.
ever has read the correspondence of Gov. Walker with tution now so famous as the Lecompton Consti- the State Department, recently communicated to the tution. When it became known that the Con- Senate, will be convinced that this picture is not overvention had refused to submit the entire con- drawn. He always protested against the withdrawal of stitution to a vote of the people for ratification from the Territory, deeming its presence absolutely
any portion of the inilitary force of the United States or rejection, and had submitted only a proposi- necessary for the preservation of the regular Goveru. tion in regard to Slavery, and that in a form and ment and the execution of the laws. In his very first under a test oath which would prevent the Free-dispatch to the Secretary of State, dated June 2, 1857, he
says: State people from voting, there was great excite- “The most alarming movement, however, proceeds from ment in the Territory, threatening bloodshed. the assembling, on the 9th of June, of the so-called Topeka
Legislature, with a view to the enactment of an entire code of Under these circumstances, Acting Gov. Stanton laws. Of course, it will be my endeavor to prevent such a called (Gov. Walker had resigned) an extra ses result
, as it would lead to inevitable and disastrous collision,
and in fact renew the civil war in Kansas." sion of the Territorial Legislature. The legisla
This was with difficulty prevented by the efforts of ture assembled Dec. 17th, and passed an act to Governor Waliker; but soon thereafter, on the 14th of submit the Lecompton Constitution fairly to a July, we find him requesting General Harney to furnish vote of the people on the 4th of January next, Lawrence, and this for the reason that he had received
him a regiment of dragoons to proceed to the city of following, the time fixed by the Lecompton con- authentic intelligence, verified by his own actual observention for the election of State officers under vation, thai a dangerous rebellion had occurred, involv: that constitution..
ing an open defiance of the laws, and the establishment
of an insurgent government in that city. In the GoverOn the 21st of Dec., the vote was taken in the nor's dispatch of July 15, he informs the Secretary of manner prescribed by the Convention, and re- State that sulted as follows:
“This movement at Lawrence was the beginning of a plan,
originating in that city, to organize insurrection throughout “For the constitution with Slavery'
6,266 the Territory, and especially in all towns, cities and counties “ For the constitution without Slavery"
567 where the Republican pariy have a majority Lawrence is
the hotbed of all the Abolition movements in this Territory. Total vote
It is the town established by the Abolition Societies of the 6,793
East, and, while there are respectable people there, it is filled Jan. 4th, 1853, in accordance with the act of by a considerable number of mercenaries, who are paid by the Territorial Legislature, the people voted as out Kansas, and prevent a peaceful seulement of this quesfollows:
tion. Ilaving failed in inducing their own so-called Topeka
State Legislature to organize this insurrection, Lawrence has For the Lecompton Constitution with Slavery 188 commenced it herselt, and, if not arrested, the rebellion will
. 24 extend throughout the Territory." Against the Lecompton Constitution
And again : Being over ten thousand majority against the I must close, assuring you that the spirit of rebellion pervades
“In order to send this communication immediately by mail, Lecompton Constitution.
the great mass of the Republican party of this Territory,
instigated, as I entertain no doubt they are, by Eastern SoPRESIDENT BUCHANAN'S LECOMPTON MESSAGE.
cieties, having in view results most disastrous to the Govern.
ment and the Union ; and that the continued presence of Gen. The following is the President's special Mes- Sarney is indispensable, as was originally stipulated by me, sage, of Feb. 2nd, 1858.
wiih a large body of dragoons and several batteries."
On the 20th of July, 1857, Gen. Lane, under the I have received from J. Calhoun, Esq., President of the authority of the Topeka Convention, undertook, as Gen. late Constitutional Convention of Kansas, a copy duly Walker informs us, certified by himself, of the Constitution framed by that
“ To organize the whole Free-State party into volunteers, body, with the expression of the hope that I would sub- and to take the names of all who refuse enrolment. The pro mit the same to the considera ion of Congress “ with the fessed object was to protect the polls at the elections, in view of the amission of Kansas into the Union as an August, of a new insurgent 'Topeka State Legislature. The independent State." In compliance with this request, I object in taking the names of all who refuse enrollment is to herewith transmit to Congress for their action the con terrify the Free State Conservatives into submission. This is stitution of Kansas, with the ordinance respectiug the Topekaites. The speedy location of large bodies of regular
proved by the recent atrocities committed on such men by the public lands, as well as the letter of Mr. Calhoun, dated troops here with two batteries is necessary. The Lawrence at Lecompton, on the 14 h ult., by which they were ac- insurgents await the developments of this new military organ companied. Having received but a single copy of the ization." Constitution and ordinance, I send this to the Sente. In the Governor's dispatch of July 27, he says that
A great delusion seems to pervade the public mind in “Gen. Lane and his staff everywhere deny the authority of relation to the condition of parties in Kansas. This arises the Territorial laws, and counsel a total disregard of these from the difficulty of inducing the American people to enactments.” realize the fact that any portion of them should be in a Without making further quotations of a similar characstate of rebellion against the Government under which ter from other dispatches of Governor Walker, it appears, they live. When we sp-ak of the affairs of Kansas, we by reference to Secretary Stanton's communication to are apt to refer merely to the existence of two violent Gen. Cass on the 9th of December last, that political parties in that Territory, divided on the question
“The important step of calling the legislature together was of Slavery, just as we speak of such parties in the States. taken afier I (he) liad become salisfied that the election ordered This presents no adequate idea of the true state of the by the Convention on the 21st of December could not be concase. The dividing line there is not between two politi- ducted without collision and bloodshed.” cal parties, both acknowledging the lawfui existence of So intense was the disloyal feeling among the enemies the Government, but between those who are loyal to this of the Government established by Congress, that an Government and those who have endeavored to destroy election which afforded them opportunities, if in the maits existence by force and by usurpation-between those jority, of making Kansas a Free State according to their who sustain, and those who have done all in their power own expressed desire, could not be conducted without to overthrow, the Territorial Government established by collision and bloodshed. The truth is that, up to the Congress. This Government they would long since have present moment, the enemies of the existing government subverted had it n t been protected from their a-saults by still adhere to their Topeka revolutionary constitution the troops of the United States. Such has been the con- and government. The very first paragraph of the mesdition of aff irs since my inaug'iration. Ever since that sage of Gov. Robinson, dated the 7th of December, to the period, a large portion of the people of Kansas have been Topeka Legislature, now assembled at Lawrence, con. in a state of rebellion against the Government, with a tains an open defiance of the laws and Constitution of military leader at their lieull, of most turbulent and dan the United States. The Governor says: gerous character, , Tir y have never acknowledged, but "The Convention which framed the Topeka Constitu ign have constantly renounced and defied, the Government originated with th: people of Kansas Territory. They have adopted and ratified the same twice by a direct voio, also themselves. That Convention is now about to be elected by indirectly through two elections for State officers and mem- you, under the call of the Territorial Legislature created, and bers of the State Legislature; yet it has pleased the Adminis- still recognized, by the authority of Congress and clothed by tration to regard the whole proceeding as revolutionary." it, in the comprehensive language of the organic law, with fuil This Topeka Government, adhered to with such trea- power to make such an enactment. The Territorial Legisla
ture, then, in assembling this Convention, were fully sustaincd sonable pertinacity, is a government in direct opposition by the act of Congress, and the authority of the Convention is io the existing government prescribed and recognized by distinctly recognized in my instructions from the Presideni of Congress.
the United States." It is usurpation of the same character as it would be
The Governor also clearly and distinctly warns them for a portion of the people of any State to undertake to establish a separate government within its limits for what would be the consequences if they did not partici
The people of Kansas, then, he the purpose of redressing any grievance, real or imag- pate in the election.
says, inary, of which they might complain against the legitimare State Government. Such a principle, if carried into “Are invited by the highest authority known to the Constiexecution, would destroy all lawful authority and pro- tution to participate freely and fairly in the election of dele. duce universal anarchy. From this statement of facts, gates to frame a Constitution and Staie Government. The law
has performed its entire appropriate function, when it extends the reason becomes palpable why the enemies of the gov- to the people the right of suffrage; but it cannot compel the ernment authorized by Congress have refused to vote for performance of that duty. Throughout the whole Union, the delegates to the Kansas Constitutional Convention, however, and wherever free government prevails, those who and also, afterward, on the question of Slavery submitted abstain from the exercise of the right of suffrage authorize by it to the people. It is because they have ever refused those who do vote to act for them in that contingency, and
absentees are as much bound, under the law and Constiiution, to sanction or recognize any other Constitution than that where there is no fraud or violence, by the act of the majority framed at Topeka. Had the whole Lecompton Constitu- of those who do vote, as if all had participated in the election tion been submitted to the people, the adherents of this Otherwise, as voting must be voluntary, self-government organization would doubtless have voted against it, be would be impracticable, and monarchy or despotism would cause, if successful, they would thus have removed the remain as the only alternative.” obstacles out of the way of their own revolutionary Con
It may also be observed that at this period any hope, stitution; they would have done this, not upon the con- if such had existed, that the Topeka Constitution would sideration of the merits of the whole or part of the
ever be recognized by Congress must have been aban. Lecompton Constitution, but simply because they have doned. Congress had adjourned on the thi.d of March ever resisted the authority of the government authorized previous, having recognized the legal existence of the by Congress from which it emanated. Such being the Territorial Legislature in a variety of forms, which I need unfortunate condition of affairs in the Territory, what was
not enumerate. Indeed, the Delegate elected to the the right as well as the duty of the law-abiding people? House of Representatives under a Territorial law had Were they silently and patiently to submit to the Topeka been admitted to a seat and had just completed his te m usurpation, or to adopt the necessary measure to estab- of service the day previous to my inauguration. This lish a Constitution under the authority of the organic law was the propitious moment for settling all the difficul ies of Congress ? That this law recognized the right of the of Kansas. This was the time for abandoning the revopeople of the Territory, without an enabling act of Con-lutionary Topeka organization, and for the enemies of gress, to form a State Constitution, is too clear for argu. the existing government to conform to the laws and unite ment. For Congress "to leave the people of the Terri- with its friends in framing a State Constitution. But this tory perfectly free” in framing their Constitution“ to they refused to do, and the consequences of their refusal form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own to submit to the lawful authority, and vote at the election way, subject only to the Constitution of the United of delegates, may yet prove to be of the most deplorable States," and then to say that they shall not be permitted character. Would that the respect for the laws of the to proceed and frame the Constitution in their own way, land, which so eminently distinguished the men of the without express authority from Congress, appears to be past generation, could be revived ! It is a disregard and almost a contradiction in terms. It would be much violation of law which has for years kept the Territory more plausible to contend that Congress had no power to of Kansas in a state of almost open rebellion against its pass such an enabling act, than to argue that the people Government-it is the same spirit which has produced of a Territory might be kept out of the Union for an indefi- actual rebellion in Utah. Our only safety consists in nite period, and until it might please Congress to permit obedience and conformity to the law. Should a general them to exercise the right of self-government. This
spirit against its enforcement prevail, this will prove fatal would be to adopt, not their own way, but the way which to us as a nation. Congress might prescribe. It is impossible that any peo
We acknowledge no master but law, and should we cut ple could have proceeded with more regularity in the loose from its restraints and every one do what seemeth formation of a Constitution than the people of Kansas good in his own eyes, our case would indeed be hopeless, have done. It was necessary, first, to ascertain whether I'he enemies of the Territorial Government determined it was the desire of the people to be relieved from their still to resist the authority of Congress. They refused to Territorial dependence and establish a State Government. vote for delegates to the Convention, not because, For this purpose, the Territorial Legislature, in 1855, from circumstances which I need not detail, there was an passed a law for taking the sense of the people of the omission to register the comparatively few voters who Territory upon the expediency of calling a Convention to
were inhabitants of certain counties in Kansas in the form a State Constitution at the general election to be early spring of 1857, but because they had determined, held in October, 1856. The "sense of the people" was at all hazards, to adhere to their revolutionary organizaaccordingly taken, and they decided in favor of a Con- tion, and defeat the establishment of any other constivention,
tution than that which they had framed at Topeka. The It is true that at this election the enemies of the Terri-election was therefore suffered to pass by default, but of torial Government did not vote, because they were then this result the qualified electors who refused to vote can engaged at Topeka, without the slightest pretext of law- never justly complain. ful authority, in framing a Constitution of their own for
From this review, it is manifest that the Lecompton subyerting the Territorial Government. In pursuance Convention, according to every principle of constitu: of this decision of the people in favor of a Convention, tional law,'was legally constituted and invested with the Territorial Legislature, on the 27th of February, 1857, power to frame a Constitution. The sacred principle of passed an act for the election of delegates on the third Popular Sovereignty has been invoked in favor of the Monday of June, 1857, to frame a State Constitution. enemies of Law and Order in Kansas; but in what manThis law is as fair in its provisions as any that ever ner is Popular Sovereignty to be exercised in this coun. passed a legislative body for
a similar purpose. The right try if not through the instrumentality of established law? of suffrage at this election is clearly and justly defined. In certain small republics of ancient times, the people Every bona fide citizen of the United States, above the did assemble in primary meeting, passed laws and diage of twenty-one, and who had resided therein for three rected public affairs. In our country, this is manifestly months previous to that date, was entitled to a vote. In impossible. Popular Sovereignty can be exercised here order to avoid all interference from neighboring States only through the ballotbox; and if the people will refuse and Territories with the freedom and fairness of the elec- to exercise it in this manner, as they have done in Kan. tion, a provision was made for the registry of qualified sas at the election of Delegates, it is not for them to voters, and in pursuance thereof, nine thousand two hun. complain that their rights have been violated. dred and fifty-one voters were registered. Gov. Walker
The Kansas Convention, thus lawfully constituted, pro. did his whole duty in urging all qualified citizens of Kan- ceeded to frame a Constitution, and, having completed sas to vote at this election. In his Inaugural Address on their work, finally adjourned on the 7th of November the 27th of May, he informed them that
last. They did not think proper to submit the whole of “Under our practice, the preliminary act of framing a State this Constitution to a popular vote, but they did submit Constitution is uniformly performed through the instru- the question whether Kansas should be a Free or Slave mentality of a Convention of delegates chosen by the people state to the people. This was the question which had con