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When Buchanan, in his annual message, officially placed himself at the head of these political jugglers, the sheet repeated its point in a polite and serious manner indeed, but with the utmost positiveness, while warmly praising his position on the whole question. The Lecompton National Democrat had made the same point, with the same firmness, on the 19th of November. And the person who believed he should reject all these witnesses must have allowed himself to be convinced by John Calhoun's official declaration. In his proclamation of the popular vote, on the 21st of December, we read, a vote should be cast "for or against the future introduction of slavery." This was still another falsification, for instead of "slavery" he should have written: of slaves; but this much appeared beyond a doubt from this official document, that the popular vote did not extend to the slavery that existed.

The popular vote resolved upon by the convention was an adder hidden in a fish-skin. In the convention itself there were decided partisans of slavery who branded the scheme as a base piece of villainy. It had been

not a doubt that the first part of the clause seemingly abolishing slavery was inserted for the benefit of just such people in the north as the editor of the Washington Union. It will give them a small plank on which they may stand in practicing the juggling feats of humbuggery, whilst the prohibition in the latter part of the clause secured to the pro-slavery party substantially Kansas as a slave state.”

1"Whether the clause in the constitution is voted out or voted in, slavery exists, and has a guaranty in the constitution that it shall not be interfered with; whilst, if the slavery party in Kansas can keep or get the majority of the legislature, they may open wide the door for the immigration of slaves."

2 Randolph, of Atchison, said: "Now, what was this scheme? What is said? Why, here we have two constitutions - one for slavery, and one without. Well, that's a good one. (Laughter.) Yes, you may laugh; it's just humbug. The fact is it is a slave-state

hatched by one Martin, a clerk in the department of the interior, and the writer of the letter to the Jackson Mississippian.1

The president must really have had an enviable temperament, if, under such a condition of affairs, things seemed to him to have as bright and promising an aspect as the article in the Union of November 18 would have one believe. What he subsequently said about his frame of mind on this matter during the first terrible shocks of the hur ricane of secession exceeds the bounds of credulity, but he was spite of this, by no means, now, in a very cheerful

constitution, and a slave-state constitution. That's it; you may laugh. I'll tell you, the world will soon be laughing at us. This is a grand humbug. It's not fair. It is supposed by some of the gentlemen here that they are awful smart, or that the abolitionists are awful fools. We expect them to vote for a slave state in this way. They are not such fools as you suppose. But let us suppose that they are such fools. Is it right to swindle them in this way? It isn't fair; I won't do it. If we are to submit it at all, submit it fair; let them have a free-state constitution if they vote to beat us, or do not submit it at all. I tell you this scheme of swindling submission will be the blackest page in your history; and we will never hear the end of it."

And Mobley: "It is a swindle - a monstrous fraud. It wears falsehood on its face in letters of brass. It pretends to submit the constitution, and does not. This is a glaring fraud. It was concocted, not by the pro-slavery party, but the political democracy. It is a lic, a cheat, a swindle." Congr. Globe, 1st Sess. 35th Congr., App., pp. 485, 486.

"It cannot, at least, be documentarily proved that he was an emissary of the administration. He stated that he had brought no instructions with him from Washington, and even that his chief had expressed himself to him in favor of a popular vote on the entire constitution. On further examination he had, however, to admit that Secretaries Thompson and Cobb had shown themselves not dissatisfied with the resolution whispered by him into the ear of the convention." Rep. of Com., 36th Congr., 1st Sess., vol. V, No. 648, pp. 49 and 157-171.



humor. The moral side of the question may not have touched him in the least, and he could even calmly and serenely face the storm of republican indignation, confiding probably in his frequently tested democratic coat of mail; but he was not so obtuse a politician not to (even if he had been mistaken on it for a moment) see very soon and very clearly what evil days were in store for him, as the official head of his party. Douglas showed little inclination to swallow the "Lecompton swindle," all the so-called "free democrats " declared that, if they made the attempt, the bit would infallibly choke them,— in his own state, the Philadelphia Press, the organ of Colonel Forney, the leader of the party in Pennsylvania, was nauseated at the sight of it. This was a kind of signs of the time that a man like Buchanan understood perfectly how to read. While the Union trumpeted thus loudly, the president was endeavoring to dissipate the approaching storm-cloud before the tempest should break loose. Secret negotiations about a compromise were carried on with Walker, who had come to Washington. He agreed with the president that the legality of the convention should not be attacked; but he demanded that the legislature should be empowered to call another convention, whose draft of a constitution should be submitted to the approval of the people. This was asking Buchanan to do the very reverse of what he had just done. Whether he did not now secretly curse the hour when, true to the old custom, he resolved to act on this question too as train-bearer to the slavocracy, cannot be said; but once he had lifted its train, he could no more drop it than could the boy in the fairy tale tear away his finger from the feathers of the golden goose. Even if Martin had not been his emissary, and if he, under the delusion that he was thereby averting a catastrophe, ran

after one, he now had to become its standard-bearer, if, to use a forcible American expression, he did not want to "face the music."1

The president and his governor had allowed themselves to be parted so widely from each other by events that they could not now meet half way. And even if Buchanan had been willing and able up to the last day of November to turn around, he certainly could not do so the day following. Walker's representative closed the only road through which, perhaps, a retreat could. still be attempted. Stanton, urged onward by an irresistible power, and dreading, from the exasperation of the free-soil people, that they would, at any moment, break out in fatal acts of violence, on the 1st of December called an extraordinary session of the legislature for the 7th of the month, to see how they could wipe out all that the Lecompton convention had done.

Buchanan had entered on the duties of his office with the joyful confidence that the Kansas question would be settled forever before congress met, and this is how matters stood when the thirty-fifth congress opened its first session on the 7th of December, 1857.

1 The Washington correspondent of the Commercial Advertiser writes on the 24th of November: 66 Unfortunately for the president he allowed his cabinet to commit him and to commit themselves also upon the matter without due consideration. There is now no retreat for them. They have determined, as a unit, to face the music—that is, to stand by the convention at all hazards—against Douglass (sic), R. J. Walker, Col. Forney, and a host of southern democrats. No northern democratic member of the house can vote for the acceptance of the constitution with slavery, and it is in that form that it is to be presented."





The fall elections had resulted so favorably to the democrats that the tone of the people in Washington became more confident than ever. The correspondent of the New York Tribune there inferred from this, that, with the election of an anti-slavery legislature in Kansas, the struggle for freedom was not victoriously ended, but would rather begin. The prophecy was fulfilled. But the more the democrats allowed themselves to be misled, by their triumphs to lift their heads in defiant confidence of victory, the less reason had the republicans to drop theirs. Even before the meeting of congress, it was more than questionable whether a direct inference from the results of the election, as to public opinion, could be pertinently drawn. The elections had taken place before the perfidious game of the Lecompton convention, in all its vileness, had been exposed to the light of day. Hence, only if the wish were father to the thought, could it be inferred, from them, that the party might dare, unpunished, to make the Lecompton swindle the basis of a new attack, in the interest of the slavocracy. That was the calculation of a gamester whom passion had deprived of the power of reflection; for even, leaving out of consideration the doings in

1 "The general result of the recent elections, with the exceptions of Kansas and Massachusetts, has encouraged the administration and confirmed the democratic party in its diffusion-of-negroes policy. A bolder tone is observable here since the New York election. Notwithstanding our triumph in Kansas, the contest for freedom is not over, but is only beginning." The N. Y. Tribune, Nov. 14, 1857.

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