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The majority and minority Reports being received, various matters relating to Kansas were debated until the 19th of March, the House was brought to a vote on the proposition of the committee of elections to empower said committee to send to Kansas for persons and papers, which was modified on motion of Mr. Dunn, of Ind., so as to raise a special committee of three members, to be appointed by the Speaker. The resolutions raising this committee gave it ample powers
To inquire into and collect evidence in regard to the troubles in Kansas generally, and particularly in regard to any fraud or force attempted or practiced in reference to any of the elections which have taken place in said Territory, either under the law organizing said Territory, or under any pretended law which may be alleged to have taken effect there since. That they shall fully investigate and take proof of all violent and tumultuous proceedings in said Territory, at any time since the passage of the Kansas Nebraska act, whether engaged in by the residents of said Territory, or by any person or persons from elsewhere going into said Territory, and doing, or encouraging others to do, any act of violence or public disturbance against the laws of the United States, or the rights, peace, and safety of the residents of said Territory; and for that purpose, said Committee shall have full power to send for, and examine, and take copies of, all such papers, public records, and proceedings, as in their judgment will be useful in the premises; and also, to send for persons and examine them on oath, or affirmation, as to matters within their knowledge, touching the matters of said investigation; and said Committee, by their chairman, shall have power to administer all necessary oaths or affirmations connected with their aforesaid duties. That said Committee may hold their investigations at such places and times as to them may seem advisable, and that they have leave of absence from the duties of this House until they shall have completed such investigation. That they be authorized to employ one or more clerks, and one or more assistant sergeants-at-arms, to aid them in their investigation; and may administer to them an oath, or affirmation, faithfully to perform the duties assigned to them, respectively, and to keep secret all matters which may come to their knowledge touching such investigation, as said Committee may direct, until the Report of the same shall be submitted to this House; and said Committee may discharge any such clerk or assistant sergeant-at-arms for neglect of duty or disregard of instructions in the premises, and employ others under like regulations.
The vote of the Slave States was unanimous against the investigation, 17 from the Free States voting with them. Yeas 101; Nays 93. The following are the negatives from the Free States:
Nays Against the Investigation:
MAINE--Thomas J. D. Fuller-1.
These gentlemen proceeded to Kansas, and spent several weeks there in taking testimony as to the elections, etc., which had taken place in that Territory. The testimony thus taken forms a volume of nearly twelve hundred large and closely-printed pages, the substance of which was summed up on their return by the majority (Messrs. Howard and Sherman), in the following
REPORT ON THE OUTRAGES IN KANSAS. A journal of proceedings, including sundry communications made to and by the Committee was kept, a copy of which is herewith submitted. The testimony also is herewith submitted; a copy of it has been made and arranged not according to the order in which it was taken, but so as to present, as clearly as possible, a consecutive history of events in the Territory, from its organization to the 19th day of March, A. D. 1856.
Your Committee deem it their duty to state, as briefly as When possible, the principal facts proven before them. the act to organize the Territory of Kansas was passed on the 24th day of May, 1854, the greater portion of its eastern border was included in Indian reservations not open for settlement; and there were but few white settlers in any portion of the Territory. Its Indian population was rapidly decreasing, while many emigrants from different parts of our country were anxiously waiting the extinction of the Indian title, and the establishment of a Territorial Government, to seek new homes on its fertile prairies. It cannot be doubted that, if its condition as a free Territory had been left undisturbed by Congress, its settlement would have been rapid, peaceful, and prosperous. Its climate, soil, and its easy access to the older settlements, emigration constantly flowing to the West, and by this time it would have been admitted into the Union as a Free State, without the least sectional excitement. If so organized, none but the kindest feeling could have existed between it and the adjoining State. Their mutual interests and intercourse, instead of, as now, endangering the harmony of the Union, would have strengthened the ties of national brotherhood. The testimony clearly shows, that before the proposition to repeal the Missouri Compromise was introduced into Congress, the people of western Missouri appeared indifferent to the prohibition of Slavery in the Territory, and neither asked nor desired its repeal.
would have made it the favored course for the tide of
When, however, the prohibition was removed by the action of Congress, the aspect of affairs entirely changed. The whole country was agitated by the reopening of a controversy which conservative men in different sections hoped had been settled, in every State and Territory, by some law beyond the danger of repeal. The excitement which has always accompanied the discussion of the Slavery question was greatly increased, by the hope on the one hand of extending Slavery into a region from which it had been excluded by law, and on the other by a sense of wrong done by what was regarded as a dishonor of a national compact. This excitement was naturally transferred into the border counties of Missouri and the Territory, as settlers favoring free or slave institutions moved into it. A new difficulty soon occurred. Different constructions were put upon the organic law. It was contended by the one party that the right to hold slaves in the Territory existed, and that neither the people nor the Territorial Legislature could prohibit Slavery-that that power was alone possessed by the people when they were authorized to form a State government. It was contended that the removal of the restriction virtually established Slavery in the Territory. This claim was urged by many prominent men in western Missouri, who actively engaged in the affairs of the Territory. Every movement, of whatever character, which tended to establish free institutions, was regarded as an interference with their rights.
Within a few days after the organic law passed, and as soon as its passage could be known on the border, leading citizens of Missouri crossed into the Territory, held squatter meetings, and then returned to their homes. Among
PENNSYLVANIA-John Cadwalader, Thomas B. Flo- their resolutions are the following: rence, J. Glancy Jones-3.
INDIANA-William H. English, Smith Miller-2.
ILLINOIS-James C. Allen, Thomas L. Harris, Samuel
"That we will afford protection to no Abolitionist as a settler of this Territory."
"That we recognize the institution of Slavery as already existing in this Territory, and advise slaveholders to introduce their property as early as possible."
Similar resolutions were passed in various parts of the So the resolution prevailed, and Messrs. Wil- Territory, and by meetings in several counties of Missouri. Thus the first effect of the repeal of the restriction against liam A. Howard, of Michigan, John Sherman, Slavery was to substitute the resolves of squatter meetings, of Ohio, and Mordecai Oliver, of Missouri, were composed almost exclusively of Missourians, for the delibeappointed the Committee of Investigation there-rate action of Congress, acquiesced in for 35 years. by required.
This unlawful interference has been continued in every important event in the history of the Territory: ever?
election has been controlled, not by the actual settlers, | Chapman's, over 40 miles from the Missouri State line. but by citizens of Missouri; and, as a consequence, every officer in the Territory, from constables to legislators, except those appointed by the President, owe their positions to non-resident voters. None have been elected by the settlers; and your Committee have been unable to find that any political power whatever, however unimportant, has been exercised by the people of the Territory.
We find upon the pall-books 161 names; of these not over 30 resided in the Territory; 31 were non-residents. But few settlers attended the election in the Vth Dis
It was a thinly-settled region, containing but 47 voters in February, 1855, when the census was taken. On the day before the election, from 100 to 150 citizens of Cass and Jackson Counties, Mo., came into this district, declaring their purpose to vote, and that they were bound to make Kansas a Slave State, if they did it at the point of the sword. Persons of the party on the way In October, A. D. 1854, Governor A. H. Reeder and the drove each a stake in the ground and called it a claimother officers appointed by the President arrived in the and in one case several names were put on one stake. Territory. Settlers from all parts of the country were The party of strangers camped all night near where the moving in in great numbers, making their claims and election was to be held, and in the morning were at the building their cabins. About the same time, and before election-polls and voted. One of their party got drunk, any election was or could be held in the Territory, a secret and, to get rid of Dr. Chapman, a judge of the election, political society was formed in the State of Missouri. It they sent for him to come and see a sick man, and in his was known by different names, such as "Social Band," absence filled his place with another judge, who was not "Friends' Society," "Blue Lodge," "The Sons of the sworn. They did not deny nor conceal that they were South." Its members were bound together by secret residents of Missouri, and many of them were recognized oaths, and they had passwords, signs, and grips, by which as such by others. They declared that they were bound they were known to each other. Penalties were imposed to make Kansas a Slave State. They insisted upon their for violating the rules and secrets of the Order. Written right to vote in the Territory if they were in it one hour. minutes were kept of the proceedings of the Lodges, and After the election, they again returned to their homes in the different Lodges were connected together by an effec- Missouri, camping over night on the way. tive organization. It embraced great numbers of the citizens of Missouri, and was extended into other Slave States and into the Territory. Its avowed purpose was not only to extend Slavery into Kansas, but also into other terri-trict, the district being large and the settlement scattered. tory of the United States; and to form a union of all the friends of that institution. Its plan of operating was to organize and send men to vote at the elections in the Ter- | ritory, to collect money to pay their expenses, and, if necessary, to protect them in voting. It also proposed to induce Pro-Slavery men to emigrate into the Territory, to aid and sustain them while there, and to elect none to office but those friendly to their views. This dangerous society was controlled by men who avowed their purpose to extend Slavery into the Territory at all hazards, and was altogether the most effective instrument in organizing the subsequent armed invasions and forays. In its Lodges in Missouri, the affairs of Kansas were discussed, the force necessary to control the election was divided into bands, and leaders selected; means were collected, and signs and badges were agreed upon. While the great body of the actual settlers of the Territory were relying upon the rights secured to them by the organic law, and had formed no organization or combination whatever, this conspiracy against their rights was gathering strength in Missouri, and would have been sufficient at their first election to have overpowered them, if they had been united to a man.
Your Committee had great difficulty in eliciting the proof of the details in regard to this secret society. One witness, member of the legislative council, refused to answer questions in reference to it. Another declined to answer fully, because to do so would result to his injury. Others could or would only answer as to the general purposes of the Society, but sufficient is disclosed in the testimony to show the influence it had in controlling the elections in the Territory.
The first election was for a Delegate to Congress. It was appointed for the 29th of November, 1854. The Governor divided the Territory into seventeen Election-Districts; appointed Judges and prescribed proper rules for the election. In the Ist, IIId, VIIIth, IXth, Xth, XIIth, XIIIth, and XVIIth Districts there appears to have been but little if any fraudulent voting.
The election in the IId District was held at the village of Douglas, nearly fifty miles from the Missouri line. On the day before the election, large companies of men came into the district in wagons and on horseback, and declared that they were from the State of Missouri, and were going to Douglas to vote. On the morning of the election, they gathered around the house where the election was to be held. Two of the judges appointed by the Governor did not appear, and other judges were elected by the crowd. All then voted. In order to make a pretense of right to vote, some persons of the company kept a pretended register of squatter claims, on which any one could enter his name and then assert he had a claim in the Territory. A citizen of the district who was himself a candidate for Delegate to Congress, was told by one of the strangers, that he would be abused and probably killed if he challenged a vote. He was seized by the collar, called a d-d Abolitionist, and was compelled to seek protection in the room with the judges. About the time the polls were closed, these strangers mounted their horses and got into their wagons and cried out :
"All aboard for Westport and Kansas City." A number were recognized as residents of Missouri, and among them was Samuel H. Woodson, a leading lawyer of Independence. Of those whose names are on the pollbooks, 85 were resident settlers and 226 were not. The election in the IVth District was held at Dr.
82 votes were cast; of these between 20 and 30 were settlers, and the residue were citizens of Missouri. They passed into the Territory by way of the Santa Fe road and by the residence of Dr. Westfall, who then lived on the western line of Missouri. Some little excitement arose at the polls as to the legality of their voting, but they did vote for General Whitfield, and said they intended to make Kansas a Slave State, and that they had claims in the Territory. Judge Teazle, judge of the court in Jackson County, Missouri, was present, but did not vote. He said he did not intend to vote, but came to see that others voted. After the election, the Missourians returned the way they came.
The election in the VIth District was held at Fort Scott, in the southeast part of the Territory, and near the Missouri line. A party of about one hundred men, from Cass and the counties in Missouri south of it, went into the Territory, traveling about 45 miles, most of them with their wagons and tents, and camping out. They appeared at the place of election. Some attempts were made to swear them, but two of the judges were prevailed upon not to do so, and none were sworn, and as many as chose voted. There were but few resident voters at the polls. The settlement was sparse-about 25 actual settlers voted out of 105 votes cast, leaving 80 illegal votes. After the voting was over, the Missourians went to their wagons and commenced leaving for home.
The most shameless fraud practiced upon the rights of the settlers at this election was in the VIIth District. It is a remote settlement, about 75 miles from the Missouri line, and contained in February, A.D. 1855, three months afterward, when the census was taken, but 53 voters, and yet the poll-books show that 604 votes were cast. The election was held at the house of Frey McGee, at a place called "110." But few of the actual settlers were present at the polls. A witness who formerly resided in Jackson County, Missouri, and was well acquainted with the citizens of that county, says that he saw a great many wagons and tents at the place of election, and many individuals he knew from Jackson County. He was in their tents, and conversed with some of them, and they told him they had come with the intention of voting. He went to the polls intending to vote for Flenniken, and his ticket being of a different color from the rest, his vote was challenged by Frey McGee, who had been appointed one of the judges, but did not serve. Lemuel Ralstone, a citizen of Missouri, was acting in his place. The witness then challenged the vote of a young man by the name of Nolan, whom he knew to reside in Jackson County. Finally, the thing was hushed up, as the witness had a good many friends there from that county, and it might lead to a fight if he challenged any more votes. Both voted, and he then went down to their camp. He there saw many of his old acquaintances, whom he knew had voted at the election in August previous in Missouri, and who still resided in that State. By a careful comparison of the poll-lists with the census-rolls, we find but 12 names on the poll-book who were voters when the census was taken three months afterward, and we are satisfied that not more than 20 legal votes could have been polled at that election. The only residents who are known to have voted are named by the witness, and are 13 in number-thus leaving 584 illegal votes cast in a remote district, where the settlers within many miles were acquainted with each other.
The total number of white inhabitants in the XIth District, in the month of February, A.D. 1855, including
men, women and children, was 36, of whom 24 were voters yet the poll-lists in this District show that 245 votes were cast at this election. For reasons stated hereafter in regard to the election on the 30th of March, your Committee were unable to procure the attendance of witnesses from this District. From the records, it clearly appears that the votes cast could not have been by lawful resident voters. The best test, in the absence of direct proof, by which to ascertain the number of legal votes cast, is by a comparison of the census-roll with the poll-book-by which it appears that but 7 resident settlers voted, and 238 votes were illegally and fraudulently cast.
The election in the XIVth District was held at the house of Benjamin Harding, a few miles from the town of St. Joseph, Missouri. Before the polls were opened, a large number of citizens of Buchanan County, Missouri, and among them many of the leading citizens of St. Joseph, were at the place of voting, and made a majority of the company present. At the time appointed by the Governor for opening the polls, two of the Judges were not there, and it became the duty of the legal voters present to select other judges. The judge who was present suggested the name of Mr. Waterson as one of the Judges -but the crowd voted down the proposition. Some discussion then arose as to the right of non-residents to vote for judges, during which Mr. Bryant was nominated and elected by the crowd. Some one nominated Col. John Scott as the other judge, who was then and is now a resident of St. Joseph. At that time, he was the City Attorney at that place, and so continued until this spring, but he claimed that the night before he had come to the house of Mr. Bryant, and had engaged boarding for a month, and considered himself a resident of Kansas on that ground. The judges appointed by the Governor refused to put the nomination of Col. Scott to vote, because he was not a resident. After some discussion, Judge Leonard, a citizen of Missouri, stepped forward and put the vote himself; and Mr. Scott was declared by him as elected by the crowd, and served as a judge of election that day. After the election was over, he returned to St. Joseph, and never since has resided in the Territory. It is manifest that this election of a non-resident lawyer as a judge was imposed upon the settlers by the citizens of the State. When the board of judges was thus completed, the voting proceeded; but the effect of the rule adopted by the judges allowed many, if not a majority of the nonresidents, to vote. They claimed that their presence on the ground, especially when they had a claim in the Territory, gave them a right to vote-under that construction of the law, they readily, when required, swore they were "residents," and then voted. By this evasion, as nearly as your Committee can ascertain from the testimony, as many as 50 illegal votes were cast in this District out of 153, the whole number polled.
The election in the XVth District was held at Penseman's, on Stranger Creek, a few miles from Weston,
Missouri. On the day of the election, a large number of citizens of Platte County, but chiefly from Weston and Platte City, came in small parties, in wagons and on horseback, to the polls. Among them were several leading citizens of that town, and the names of many of them are given by the witnesses. They generally insisted upon their right to vote, on the ground that every man having a claim in the Territory could vote, no matter where he lived. All voted who chose. No man was challenged or sworn. Some of the residents did not vote. The purpose of the strangers in voting was declared to be to make Kansas a Slave State. We find by the poll-books that 306 votes were cast-of these we find but 57 are on the census-rolls as legal voters in February following. Your Committee is satisfied from the testimony that not over 100 of those who voted had any right so to do, leaving at least 206 illegal votes cast.
The election in the XVIth District was held at Leavenworth. It was then a small village of three or four houses, located on the Delaware Reservation. There were but comparatively few settlers then in the district, but the number rapidly increased afterward. On the day before and on the day of the election, a great many citizens of Platte, Clay and Ray counties crossed the river-most of them camping in tents and wagons about the town, "like camp-meeting." They were in companies or messes of ten to fifteen in each, and numbered in all several hundred. The ybrought their own provision and cooked it themselves, and were generally armed. Many of them were known by the witnesses, and their names given, and their names are found upon the pollbooks. Among them were several persons of influence where they resided in Missouri, who held, or had held, high official positions in that State. They claimed to be residents of the Territory, from the fact that they were then present, and insisted upon the right to vote, and did vote. Their avowed purpose in doing so was to make Kansas a Slave State. These strangers crowded around the polls, and it was with great difficulty that the settlers could get to the polls. One resident attempted to get to the polls in the afternoon, but was crowded and pulled back. He then went outside of the crowd and hurrahed for Gen. Whitfield, and some of those who did not know him said, "that's a good Pro-Slavery man," and lifted him over their head's so that he crawled on their heads and put in his vote. A person who saw from the color of his ticket that it was not for Gen. Whitfield, cried out, "He is a damned Abolitionist-let him down ;" and they dropped him. Others were passed to the polls in the same way, and others crowded up in the best way they could. After this mockery of an election was over, the non-residents returned to their homes in Missouri. Of the 312 votes cast, not over 150 were by legal voters.
The following abstract exhibits the whole number of votes at this election, for each candidate; the number of legal and illegal votes cast in each district; and the num ber of legal votes in each district in February following:
Thus your Committee find that in this, the first election in the Territory, a very large majority of the votes were cast by citizens of the State of Missouri, in violation of the organic law of the Territory. Of the legal votes cast, Gen. Whitfield received a plurality. The settlers took but little interest in the election, not one-half of them voting. This may be accounted for, from the fact that the settlements were scattered over a great extent-that the term of the Delegate to be elected was short-and that the question of Free and Slave institutions was not generally regarded by them as distinctly at issue. Under these circumstances, a systematic invasion from an adjoining State, by which large numbers of illegal votes were cast in remote and sparse settlements for the avowed purpose of extending Slavery into the Territory, even though it did not change the result of the election, was a crime of great magnitude. Its immediate effect was to further excite the people of the Northern States induce acts of retaliation, and exasperate the actual settlers against their neighbors in Missouri.
In January and February, A.D. 1855, the Governor caused an enumeration to be taken of the inhabitants and qualified voters in the Territory, an abstract of which is here given:
Natives of the United States.
8501 2905 7161 409
On the same day the census was completed, the Governor issued his proclamation for an election to be held on the 30th of March, A.D. 1855, for members of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory. It prescribed the boundaries of districts, the places for polls, the names of judges, the appointment of members, and recited the qualification of voters. If it had been observed, a just and fair election would have reflected the will of the people of the Territory. Before the election, false and inflammatory rumors were busily circulated among the people of Western Missouri. The number and character of the emigration then passing into the Territory were grossly exaggerated and misrepresented. Through the active exertions of many of its leading citizens, aided by the secret societies before referred to, the passions and prejudices of the people of that State were greatly excited. Several residents there have testified to the character of the reports circulated among and credited by the people. These efforts were successful. By an organized movement, which extended from Andrew County in the north to Jasper County in the south, and as far eastward as Boone and Cole counties, companies of men were arranged in regular parties and sent into every council district in the Territory, and into every representative district but one. The numbers were so distributed as to control the election in each district. They went to vote, and with the avowed design to make Kansas a Slave State. They were generally armed and equipped, carried with them their own provisions and tents, and so marched into the Territory. The details of this invasion from the mass of the testimony taken by your committee are so voluminous that we can here state but the leading facts elicited.
IST DISTRICT-MARCH 30, 1855.-LAWRENCE. The company of persons who marched into this district collected in Ray, Howard, Carroll, Boone, La Fayette, Randolph, Saline, and Cass counties, in the State of Missouri. Their expenses were paid-those who could not come contributing provisions, wagons, etc. Provisions were deposited for those who were expected to come to Lawrence, in the house of William Lykins, and were distributed among the Missourians after they arrived there. The evening before and the morning of the day of election, about 1000 men from the above counties arrived at Lawrence, and encamped in a ravine a short distance from town, near the place of voting. They came in wagons-of which there were over one hundred-and on horseback, under the command of Colonel Samuel Young, of Boone County, Missouri, and Claiborne F. Jackson, of Missouri. They were armed with guns, rifles, pistols, and bowie-knives, and had tents, music, and flags with them. They brought with them two pieces of artillery, loaded with musket-balls. On their way to Lawrence, some of them met Mr. N. B. Blanton, who had been appointed one of the judges of election by Governor Reeder; and, after learning from him that he considered it his duty to demand an oath from them as to their place of residence, first attempted to bribe, and then threatened him with hanging, in order to induce him to dispense with that oath. In consequence of these threats, he did not appear at the polls the next morning to act as judge.
The evening before the election, while in camp, the Missourians were called together at the tent of Captain Claiborne F. Jackson, and speeches were made to them
by Colonel Young and others, calling for volunteers to go to other districts where there were not Missourians enough to control the election, as there were more at Lawrence than were needed there. Many volunteered to go, and the morning of the election several companies, from 150 to 200 men each, went off to Tecumseh, Hickory Point, Bloomington, and other places. On the morning of the election, the Missourians came over to the place of voting from their camp, in bodies of one hundred at a time. Mr. Blanton not appearing, another judge was appointed in his place-Colonel Young claiming that, as the people of the Territory had two judges, it was nothing more than right that the Missourians should have the other one, to look after their interests; and Robert E. Cummins was elected in Blanton's stead, because he considered that every man had a right to vote if he had been in the Territory but an hour. The Missourians brought their tickets with them; but, not having enough, they had three hundred more printed in Lawrence on the evening before and the day of election. They had white ribbons in their button-holes to distinguish themselves from the settlers.
When the voting commenced, the question of the legality of the vote of a Mr. Page was raised. Before it was decided, Colonel Samuel Young stepped up to the window where the votes were received, and said he would settle the matter. The vote of Mr. Page was withdrawn, and Colonel Young offered to vote. He refused to take the oath prescribed by the Governor, but swore he was a resident of the Territory, upon which his vote was received. He told Mr. Abbott, one of the judges, when asked if he intended to make Kansas his future home, that it was none of his business; that if he were a resident then he should ask no more. After his vote was received, Colonel Young got up in the window-sill and announced to the crowd that he had been permitted to vote, and they could all come up and vote. He told the judges that there was no use in swearing the others, as they would all swear as he had done. After the other judges concluded to receive Colonel Young's vote, Mr. Abbott resigned as judge of election, and Mr. Benjamin was elected in his place.
The polls were so much crowded until late in the evening, that, for a time, when the men had voted, they were obliged to get out by being hoisted up on the roof of the building where the election was being held, and pass out over the house. Afterward, a passage-way through the crowd was made, by two lines of men being formed, through which the voters could get up to the polls. Colonel Young asked that the old men be allowed to go up first and vote, as they were tired with the traveling, and wanted to get bac to camp.
The Missourians sometimes came up to the polls in cession, two by two, and voted.
During the day, the Missourians drove off the ground some of the citizens, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Bond, and Mr. Willis. They threatened to shoot Mr. Bond, and a crowd rushed after him, threatening him; and, as he ran from them, some shots were fired at him as he jumped off the bank of the river and made his escape. The citizens of the town went over in a body, late in the afternoon, when the polls had become comparatively clear, and voted.
The whole number of names appearing upon the polllists is 1,034. After full examination, we are satisfied that not over 232 of these were legal voters, and 802 were non-resident and illegal voters. This District is strongly in favor of making Kansas a Free State, and there is no doubt that the Free-State candidates for the legislature would have been elected by large majorities, if none but the actual settlers had voted. At the preceding election in November, 1854, where none but legal voters were polled, General Whitfield, who received the full strength of the Pro-Slavery party, got but 46 votes. IID DISTRICT-BLOOMINGTON.
On the morning of election, the judges appointed by the Governor appeared and opened the polls. Their names were Harrison Burson, Nathaniel Ramsay, and Mr. Ellison. The Missourians began to come in early in the morning, some 500 or 600 of them, in wagons and carriages, and on horseback, under the lead of Samuel J. Jones, then Postmaster of Westport, Missouri, Claiborne F. Jackson, and Mr. Steely, of Independence, Missouri. They were armed with double-barreled guns, rifles, bowie-knives, and pistols, and had flags hoisted. They held a sort of informal election, off at one side, at first for Governor of Kansas, and shortly afterward announced Thomas Johnson, of Shawnee Mission, elected Governor. The polls had been opened but a short time, when Mr. Jones marched with the crowd up to the window, and demanded that they should be allowed to vote without swearing as to their residence. After some noisy and threatening talk, Claiborne F. Jackson addressed the crowd, saying they had come there to vote, that they had a right to vote if they had been there but five minutes,
and he was not willing to go home without voting; this was received with cheers. Jackson then called upon them to form into little bands of fifteen or twenty, which they did, and went to an ox-wagon filled with guns, which were distributed among them, and proceeded to load some of them on the ground. In pursuance of Jackson's request, they tied white tape or ribbons in their buttonholes, so as to distinguish them from the "Abolitionists." They again demanded that the Judges should resign, and upon their refusing to do so, smashed in the window, sash and all, and presented their pistols and guns to them, threatening to shoot them. Some one on the outside cried out to them not to shoot, as there were Pro-Slavery men in the room with the judges. They then put a pry under the corner of the house, which was a log house, and lifted it up a few inches and let it fall again, but desisted upon being told there were ProSlavery men in the house. During this time, the crowd repeatedly demanded to be allowed to vote without being sworn, and Mr. Ellison, one of the judges, expressed himself willing, but the other two judges refused; thereupon a body of men, headed by "Sheriff Jones," rushed into the judges' room with cocked pistols and drawn bowieknives in their hands, and approached Burson and Ramsay. Jones pulled out his watch, and said he would give them five minutes to resign in, or die. When the five minutes had expired and the judges did not resign, Jones said he would give them another minute, and no more. Ellison told his associates that if they did not resign, there would be one hundred shots fired in the room in less than fifteen minutes; and then, snatching up the ballot-box, ran out into the crowd, holding up the ballot-box and hurrahing for Missouri. About that time Burson, and Ramsay were called out by their friends, and not suffered to return. As Mr. Burson went out, he put the ballot poll-books in his pocket, and took them with him; and as he was going out, Jones snatched some papers away from him, and shortly afterward came out himself holding them up, crying" Hurrah for Missouri!" After he discovered they were not the poll-books, he took a party of men with him and started off to take the poll-books from Burson. Mr. Burson saw them coming, and he gave the books to Mr. Umberger, and told him to start off in another direction, so as to mislead Jones and his party. Jones and his party caught Mr. Umberger, took the pollbooks away from him, and Jones took him up behind him on a horse, and carried him back a prisoner. After Jones and his party had taken Umberger back, they went to the house of Mr. Ramsay and took Judge John A. Wakefield prisoner, and carried him to the place of election, and made him get up on a wagon and make them a speech; after which they put a white ribbon in his button-hole and let him go. They then chose two new judges, and proceeded with the election.
They also threatened to kill the judges if they did not receive their votes without swearing them, or else resign. They said no man should vote who would submit to be sworn-that they would kill any one that would offer to do so-"shoot him," 29 66 cut his guts out," etc. They said no man should vote this day unless he voted an open ticket, and was "all right on the goose," and that if they could not vote by fair means, they would by foul means. They said they had as much right to vote, if they had been in the Territory two minutes, as if they had been there for two years, and they would vote. Some of the citizens who were about the window, but had not voted when the crowd of Missourians marched up there, upon attempting to vote, were driven back by the mob, or driven off. One of them, Mr. J. M. Macey, was asked if he would take the oath, and upon his replying that he would if the judges required it, he was dragged through the crowd away from the polls, amid cries of "Kill the d-d nigger-thief," "Cut his throat," "Tear his heart out," etc. After they had got him to the outside of the crowd, they stood around him with cocked revolvers and drawn bowie-knives, one man putting a knife to his heart so that it touched him, another holding a cocked pistol to his ear, while another struck at him with a club. The Missourians said they had a right to vote if they had been in the Territory but five minutes. Some said they had been hired to come there and vote, and get a dollar a day, and, by G-d, they would vote or die there.
They said the 30th day of March was an important day, as Kansas would be made a Slave State on that day. They began to leave in the direction of Missouri in the afternoon, after they had voted, leaving some thirty or forty around the house where the election was held, to guard the polls until after the election was over. The citizens of the Territory were not around, except those who took part in the mob, and a large portion of them did not vote: 341 votes were polled there that day, of which but some thirty were citizens. A protest against the election was made to the Governor. The
returns of the election made to the Governor were lost by the Committee of Elections of the Legislature at Pawnee. The duplicate returns left in the ballot-box were taken by F. E. Laley, one of the judges elected by the Missourians, and were either lost or destroyed in his house, so that your Committee have been unable to institute a comparison between the poll-lists and census returns of this district. The testimony, however, is uniform, that not even thirty of those who voted there that day were entitled to vote, leaving 311 illegal votes. We are satisfied from the testimony that, had the actual settlers alone voted, the Free-State candidates would have been elected by a handsome majority.
For some days prior to the election, companies of men were organized in Jackson, Cass, and Clay counties, Mo., for the purpose of coming to the Territory and voting in this Vth district. The day previous to the election, some 400 or 500 Missourians, armed with guns, pistols, and knives, came into the Territory and camped, some at Bull Creek, and others at Potawatamie Creek. Their camps were about sixteen miles apart. On the evening before the election, Judge Hamilton of the Cass County Court, Mo., came from the Potawatamie Creek camp to Bull Creek for sixty more Missourians, as they had not enough there to render the election certain, and about that number went down there with him. On the evening before the election, Dr. B. C. Westfall was elected to act as one of the Judges of Election in the Bull Creek precinct, in place of one of the judges appointed by the Governor, who, it was said, would not be there the next day. Dr. Westfall was at that time a citizen of Jackson County, Mo. On the morning of the election, the polls for Bull Creek precinct were opened, and, without swearing the judges, they proceeded to receive the votes of all who offered to vote. For the sake of appearance, they would get some one to come to the window and offer to vote, and when asked to be sworn he would pretend to grow angry at the judges and would go away, and his name would be put down as having offered to vote, but "rejected, refusing to be sworn." This arrangement was made previously and perfectly understood by the judges. But few of the residents of the district were present at the election, and only thirteen voted. The number of votes cast in the precinct was 393. One Missourian voted for himself and then voted for his little son, but 10 or 11 years old. Col. Coffer, Henry Younger and Mr. Lykins, who were voted for and elected to the Legislature, were residents of Missouri at the time. Col. Coffer subsequently married in the Territory. After the polls were closed, the returns were made, and a man, claiming to be a magistra, certified on them that he had sworn the judges of election before opening the polls. In the Potawatamie precinct, the Missourians attended the election, and after threatening Mr. Chesnut, the only judge present appointed by the Governor, to induce him to resign, they proceeded to elect two other judges-one a Missourian and the other a resident of another precinct of that district. The polls were then opened, and all the Missourians were allowed to vote without being sworn.
After the polls were closed, and the returns made out for the signature of the judges, Mr. Chesnut refused to sign them, as he did not consider them correct returns of legal voters.
Col. Coffer, a resident of Missouri, but elected to the Kansas Legislature from that district at that election, endeavored with others to induce Mr. Chesnut by threats to sign the returns, which he refused to do, and left the house. On his way home, he was fired at by some Missourians, though not injured. There were three illegal to one legal vote given there that day. At the Big Layer precinct, the judges appointed by the Governor met at the time appointed, and proceeded to open the polls, after being duly sworn. After a few votes had been received, a party of Msssourians came into the yard of the house where the election was held, and, unloading a wagon filled with arms, stacked their guns in the yard, and came up to the window and demanded to be admitted to vote. Two of the judges decided to receive their votes, whereupon the third judge, Mr. J. M. Arthur, resigned, and another was chosen in his place. Col. Young, a citizen of Missouri, but a candidate for, and elected to, the Territorial Legislative Council, was present and voted in the precinct. He claimed that all Missourians who were present on the day of election were entitled to vote. But thirty or forty of the citizens of the precinct were present, and many of them did not vote. At the Little Sugar precinct, the election seemed to have been conducted fairly, and there a Free-State majority was polled. From the testimony, the whole district appears to have been largely Free-State, and,