« ZurückWeiter »
the expression of abolition sentiments, produce disturb- of the new council were to be elected. The new legisla. ance to the quiet of the citizens, or danger to their domes- ture is required to meet on the first Monday in January, tic relations; and all such persons so offending shall be 1858. Thus, by the terms of these “laws, the people notified, and made to leave the Territory.”
have no control whatever over either the legislature, the The meeting was "ably and eloquently addressed by executive, or the judicial departments of the Territorial Judge Lecompte, Colonel J. N. Burns of Western Missouri, government until a time before which, by the natural proand others." Thus the head of the judiciary in the Terri- gress of population, the Territorial government will be sutory not only assisted at a public and bitterly partisan perseded by a State government. meeting, whose direct tendency was to produce violence and No session of the legislature is to be held during 1856, disorder, but, before any law is passed in the Territory, he but the members of the House are to be elected in October prejudges the character of the domestic institutions which of that year. A candidate, to be eligible at this election, the people of the Territory were, by their organic law,"left must swear to support the fugitive slave law; and each perfectly free to form and regulate in their own way." judge of election, and each voter, if challenged, must take
On this committee were several of those who held certi- the same oath. The same oath is required of every officer ficates of election as members of the legislature; some of elected or appointed in the Territory, and of every attorthe others were then and still are residents of Missouri; ney admitted to practice in the courts. and many of the committee have since been appointed to A portion of the militia is required to muster on the day the leading offices in the Territory, one of which is the of election. “Every free white male citizen of the United sheriffalty of the county. Their first act was that of mob- States, and every free male Indian who is made a citizen bing Phillips.
by treaty or otherwise, and over the age of twenty-one Subsequently, on the 25th of May, A.D. 1855, a public years, and who shall be an inhabitant of the Territory meeting was held, at which R. R. Rees, a member elect of and of the county and district in which he offers to vote, the council, presided. The following resolutions, offered and shall have paid a Territorial tax, shall be a qualified by Judge Payne, a member elect of the house, were unani- elector for all elective offices.” Two classes of persons mously adopted :
were thus excluded, who, by the organic act, were allowed “Resolved, That we heartily indorse the action of the commit- to vote, viz.: those who would not swear to the oath retee of citizens that shaved, tarred and feathered, rode on a quired, and those of foreign birth who had declared on
ail, and had sold by a negro, William Phillips, moral oath their intention to become citizens. Any man of perjurer.
Resolved, That we return our thanks to the committee for proper age who was in the Territory on the day of elecfaithfully performing the trust enjoined upon them by the Pro- tion, and who had paid one dollar as a tax to the sheriff
, Slavery party
who was required to be at the polls to receive it, could “Resolved, That the committee be now discharged.
vote as an "inhabitant," although he had breakfasted in “Resolved, That we severely condemn those Pro-Slavery Missouri, and intended to return there for supper. There men who, from mercenary motives, are calling upon the Pro- can be no doubt that this unusual and unconstitutional Slavery party to submit without further action. * Resolved, That in order to secure peace and harmony to provision was inserted to prevent
a full and fair expresthe community, we now solemnly declare that the prosion of the popular will in the election of members of the Slavery party will stand firmly by and carry out the resolu- house, or to control it by non-residents. tions reported by the committee appointed for that purpose on All jurors are required to be selected by the sheriff, the memorable 30 h.'
and " no person who is conscientiously opposed to the The act of moral perjury here referred to is the swear- | holding of slaves, or who does not admit the right to ing by Phillips to a truthful protest in regard to the elec- hold slaves in the Territory, shall be a juror in any tion of March 30, in the XVIth District.
cause" affecting the right to hold slaves, or relating to The members receiving their certificates of the Governor slave property. as members of the General Assembly of the Territory, met
The Slave Code, and every provision relating to at Pawnee, the place appointed by the Governor, on the slaves, are of a character intolerant and unusual even 2d of July, A.D. 1855. Their proceedings are stated in for that class of legislation. The character and conthree printed books, herewith submitted, entitled respec- duct of the men appointed to hold office in the Territively, “ The Statutes of the Territory of Kansas," " The tory contributed very much to produce the events Journal of the Council of the Territory of Kansas," and which followed. Thus Samuel J. Jones was appointed “The Journal of the House of Representatives of the Ter- sheriff of the county of Douglas, which included within ritory of Kansas."
it the Ist and IId Election Districts. He had made himYour Committee do not regard their enactments as valid self peculiarly obnoxious to the settlers by his conduct laws. A legislature thus imposed upon a people cannot on the 30th of March in the IId District, and by his affect their political rights. Such an attempt to do so, if burning the cabins of Joseph Oakley and Samuel Smith. successful, is virtually an overthrow of the organic law, An election for delegate to Congress, to be held on and reduces the people of the Territory to the condition the 1st day of October, 1855, was provided for, with the of vassals to a neighboring State. To avoid the evils of same rules and regulations as were applied to other anarchy, no armed or organized resistance to them should elections. The Free-State men took no part in this be made, but the citizens should appeal to the ballot-box election, having made arrangements for holding an at public elections, to the federal judiciary, and to Con- election on the 9th of the same month. The citizens of gress, for relief. Such, from the proof, woul ha been Missouri attended at the election of the 1st of October, the course of the people, but for the nature of these enact- some paying the dollar tax, and others not being rements and the manner in which they are enforced. Their quired to pay it. They were present and voted at the character and their execution have been so intimately voting places of Atchison and Doniphan, in Atchison connected with one branch of this investigation—that re- County ; at Greene Springs, Johnson County ; at Willow lating to “violent and tumultuous proceedings in the Ter- Springs, Franklin, and Lecompton, in Douglas County; ritory”-that we were compelled to examine them.
at Fort Scott, Bourbon County; at Baptiste Paola, The “laws" in the statute-books are general and spe- Lykins County, where some Indians voted, some whites cial; the latter are strictly of a local character, relating to paying the $1
tax for them; at Leavenworth City, and bridges, roads, and the like. The great body of the gene at Kickapoo City, Leavenworth County; at the latter ral laws are exact transcripts from the Missouri code. To place, under the lead of Gen. B. F. Stringfellow and Col. make them in some cases conform to the organic act, Lewis Barnes of Missouri. From two of the election separate acts were passed, defining the meaning of words. precints at which it was alleged there was illegal voting Thus the word “State" is to be understood as meaning - viz., Delaware and Wyandotte--your Committee “ Territory;" the words“ County Court" shall be construed failed to obtain the attendance of witnesses. Your to mean the board of commissioners transacting county Committee did not deem it necessary, in regard to this business, or the Probate Court, according to the intent election, to enter into details, as it was manifest that, thereof.' The words “Circuit Court" to mean “District from there being but one candidate-Gen. Whitfield" Court."
he must have received a majority of the votes cast. The material differences in the Missouri and Kansas sta- This election, therefore, depends not on the number or tutes are upon the following subjects: The qualifications character of the votes received, but upon the validity of voters and of members of the legislative assembly; the of the laws under which it was held. "Sufficient testiofficial oath of all officers, attorneys, and voters; the mode mony was taken to show that the voting of citizens of of selecting officers and their qualifications; 'the slave Missouri was practiced at this election, as at all former code, and the qualifications of jurors.
elections in the Territory. The following table will exUpon these subjects, the provisions of the Missouri code hibit the result of the testimony as regards the number are such as are usual in many of the States. But by the
of legal and illegal votes at this election. The county of “Kansas Statutes" every office in the Territory, execu
Marshall embraces the same territory as was included in tive and judicial, was to be appointed by the legislature, the XIth District; and the reasons before stated indi or by some officer appointed by it. These appointments cate that the great majority of the votes then cast were were not merely to meet a temporary exigency, but were
either illegal or fictitious. In the counties to which our to hold over two regular elections, and until after the examination extended, there were — illegal votes cast, general election in October, 1857, at which the members as near as the proof will enable us to determine.
While these enactments of the alleged legislative as. and delegates were selected in compliance with its recomsembly were being made, a movement was instituted to mendations. form a State government, and apply for admission into They met at Topeka, on the 19th day of September, the Union as a State. The first step taken by the people 1855. By their resolutions, they provided for the appointof the Territory, in consequence of the invasion of Marchment of an Executive Committee, to consist of seven per30, 1855, was the circulation for signature of a graphic sons, who were required to keep a record of their proanil truthful memorial to Congress. Your Committee ceedings, and shall have a general superintendence of find that every allegation in this memorial has been sus- the affairs of the Territory so far as regards the organizatained by the testimony. No further step was taken, as tion of the State Government." They were required to it was hoped that some action by the General Government take steps for an election to be held on the second Tues. would protect them in their rights. When the alleged day of the October following, under regulations imposed legislative assembly proceeded to construct the series of by that Committee, "for members of a Convention to enactments referred to, the settlers were of opinion that form a Constitution, adopt a Bill of Rights for the people submission to them would result in depriving them of the of Kansas, and take all needful measures for organizing rights 'secured to them by the organic law. Their politi- a State Government, preparatory to the admission of cal condition was freely discussed in the Territory during Kansas into the Union as a State." The rules prescribed the summer of 1855. Several meetings were held in were such as usually govern elections in most of the reference to holding a convention to form a State gov- States of the Union, and in most respects were similar to ernment, and to apply for admission into the Union as a those contained in the proclamation of Gov. Reeder for State. Public opinion gradually settled in favor of such the election of March 30, 1855. an application to the Congress to meet in December, The Executive Committee appointed by that Conven1855. The first general meeting was held in Lawrence on tion accepted their appointment, and entered upon the the 15th of August, 1855.
discharge of their duties by issuing a proclamation ad. The following preamble and resolutions were then dressed to the legal voters of Kansas, requesting them to passed :
meet at their several precincts, at the time and places “Whereas, The people of Kansas have been, since its named in the proclamation, then and there to cast their settlement, and now are, without any law-making power, ballots for members of a Constitutional Convention, to therefore be it
meet at Topeka on the 4th Tuesday of October then “Resolved, That we, the people of Kansas Territory, in mass next. meeting assembled, irrespective of party distinctions, infu
The proclamation designated the places of elections, enced by common necessity, and greatly desirous of promoting the common good, do hereby call upon and request all bona fide appointed judges, recited the qualifications of voters and citizens of Kansas Territory, of whatever political views or pre- the apportionment of members of the Convention. dilections, to consult together in their respective Election Dis- After this proclamation was issued, public meetings tricts and in mass convention or otherwise, elect three delegates were held in every district in the Territory, and in nearly for each representative to which said Election District is en every precinct. The State movement was a general titled in the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assemtopic of discussion throughoat the Territory, and there bly, by proclamation of Governor Reeder, of date 19th of March, 1855; said delegates to assemble in convention, at the
was but little opposition exhibited to it. Elections were town of Topeka, on the 19th day of September, 1855, then and held at the time and places designated, and the returns there to consider and determine upon all subjects of public in were sent to the Executive Committee. terest, and particularly upon that having reference to the The result of the election was proclaimed by the Execuspeedy formation of a State Constitution, with an intention of tive Committee, and the members elect were required to an immediate application to be admitted as a State into the meet on the 23d day of October, 1855, at Topeka. In Union of the United States of America."
pursuance of this proclamation and direction, the Con. Other meetings were held in various parts of the Terri- stitutional Convention met at the time and place ap. tory, which indorsed the action of the Lawrence meeting, pointed, and formed a State Constitution. A memorial to Congress was also prepared, praying for the admission Accordingly, an election was held for that purpose on of Kansas into the Union under that Constitution. The the 15th day of December, 1855, in compliance with the Convention also provided that the question of the adop- proclamation issued by the Executive Committee. The tion of the Constitution and other questions be submitted returns of this election were made by the Executive Comto the people, and required the Executive Committee to mittee, and an abstract of them is contained in the foltake the necessary steps for that purpose.
ABSTRACT OF THE ELECTION ON THE ADOPTION OF THE
STATE CONSTITUTION, DEC. 16, 1855.
13 125 41 22 23 39 16 5 6 21 83
4 83 82 23 16
11 4 9 1 2 11 88 12 16
6 19 13
Grasshopper Falls. 10 Doniphan..
St. Joseph's Bottom..
12 89 42 32 56 39 30 21 20 14 19 45
6 18 14 30 71 1
17 15 19 5 7 1
1 29 34 14 16 11 20
59 44 81 21 20 14 19 45 54 22 23 12 28 20 47 19
22 23 12 28 20 47 19
7 24 15 32 71 7
N. B.-Poll-Book at Leavenworth was destroyed. The Executive Committee then issued a proclamation of Congress, or they are regarded as the mere expressions reciting the results of the election of the 15th of Decem- of popular will, and Congress should refuse to grant the ber, and at the same time provided for an election to prayer of the memorial, that cannot affect their legality. be held on the 15th day of January, 1856, for State offi. The right of the people to assemble and express their cers and members of the General Assembly of the State political opinion in any form, whether by means of an of Kansas. An election was accordingly held in the seve- election or a convention, is secured to them by the Conral election-precincts, the returns of which were sent to stitution of the United States. Even if the elections are the Executive Committee.
to be regarded as the act of a party, whether political or The result of this election was announced by a procla- otherwise, they were proper, in accordance with exammation by the Executive Committee.
ples, both in States and Territories. In accordance with the Constitution thus adopted, The elections, however, were preceded and followed the members of the State Legislature and most of the by acts of violence on the part of those who opposed State officers met on the day and at the place designated them, and those persons who approved and sustained by the State Constitution, and took the oath therein the invasion from Missouri were peculiarly hostile to prescribed.
these peaceful movements preliminary to the organizaAfter electing United States Senators, passing sometion of a State government. Instances of this violence preliminary laws, and appointing a Codifying Committee will be referred to hereafter. and preparing á Memorial to Congress, the General To provide for the election of delegates to Congress, Assembly adjourned to meet on the 4th day of July, and at the same time do it in such a manner as to obtain 1856.
the judgment of the House of Representatives upon the The laws passed were all conditional upon the admis- validity of the alleged legislative assembly sitting at sion of Kansas as a State into the Union. These pro- Shawnee Mission, a convention was held at Big Springs ceedings were regular, and, in the opinion of your on the 5th and 6th days of September, 1855. This was a Committee, the Constitution thus adopted fairly ex- party convention, and a party calling itself the Freepresses the will of the majority of the settlers. They state party was then organized. It was in no way con now await the action of Congress upon their memorial. nected with the State movement, except that the election
These elections, whether they were conducted in pur- of a delegate to Congress was fixed by it on the same suance of law or not, were not illegal.
day as the election of members of a constitutional conWhether the result of them is sarctioned by the action / vention, instead of the day prescribed by the alleged legislative assembly. Andrew H. Reeder was put in had attended the meeting. Your Committee have nomination as Territorial delegate to Congress, and an deemed it proper to detail the particulars of this rescue, election was provided for under the regulations pre- as it was made the groundwork of what is known as the scribed for the election of March 30, 1855, excepting as
Wakerusa War. On the same night of the rescue, the to the appointment of officers, and the persons to whom cabins of Coleman and Buckley were burned, but by the returns of the elections should be made. The elec- whom, is left in doubt by the testimony. tion was held in accordance with these regulations, and On the morning of the rescue of Branson, Jones was A. H. Reeder received 2,827 votes.
at the village of Franklin, near Lawrence. The rescue The resolutions passed by this convention indicate the was spoken of in the presence of Jones, and more constate of feeling which existed in the Territory in conse- versation passed between two others in his presence, as quence of the invasion from Missouri, and the enact- to whether it was most proper to send for assistance to ments of the alleged legislative assembly. The language Col. Boone, in Missouri, or to Gov. Shannon. Jones of some of the resolutions is violent, and can only be wrote a dispatch and handed it to a messenger. As soon justified either in consequence of the attempt to enforce as he started, Jones said: “That man is taking my ihe grossest acts of tyranny, or for the purpose of guard- dispatch to Missouri, and by G-d I'll have revenge ing against a similar invasion in future.
before I see Missouri." A person present, who was In the fall of 1855, there sprang out of the existing examined as a witness, complained publicly that the discords and excitement in the Territory, two secret dispatch was not sent to the Governor; and within half Free-State societies. They were defensive in their cha- an hour one was sent to the Governor by Jones, through racter, and were designed to form a protection to their Hargous. Within a few days, large numbers of men members against unlawful acts of violence and assault. from the State of Missouri gathered nd encamped
on One of the societies was purely of a local character, and the Wakerusa. They brought with them all the equipwas confined to the town of Lawrence. Very shortly ments of war. - To obtain them, a party of men under after its organization, it produced its desired effect, and the direction of Judge T. V. Thompson broke into the then went out of use and ceased to exist. Both societies United States arsenal and armory at Liberty, Missouri, were cumbersome, and of no utility except to give con- and after a forcible detention of Captain Leonard (then fidence to the Free-State men, and enable them to know in charge), they took the cannon, muskets, rifles, powder, and aid each other in contemplated danger. So far as harness, and indeed all the materials and munitions of the evidence shows, they led to no act of violence in war they desired, some of which have never been resistance to either real or alleged laws.
returned or accounted for. On the 21st day of November, 1855, F. M. Coleman, a The chief hostility of this military foray was against Pro-Slavery man, and Charles W. Dow, a Free-state the town of Lawrence, and this was especially the case man, had a dispute about the division line between their with the officers of the law. respective claims. Several hours afterward, as Dow was
Your Committee can see in the testimony no reason, passing from a blacksmith shop toward his claim, and excuse, or palliation for this feeling: Up to this time, no by the cabin of Coleman, the latter shot Dow with a warrant or proclamation of any kind had been in the double-barreled gun loaded with slugs. Dow was un- hands of any officer against any citizen of Lawrence. armed. He fell across the road and died immediately. No arrest had been attempted, and no writ resisted in This was about 1 o'clock, P.M. His dead body was al. that town. The rescue of Branson sprang out of a lowed to lie where it fell until after sundown, when it was murder committed thirteen miles from Lawrence, in a conveyed by Jacob Branson to his house, at which Dow detached settlement, and neither the town nor its boarded. The testimony in regard to this homicide is citizens extended any protection to Branson's rescuers. voluminous, and shows clearly that it was a deliberate On the contrary, two or three days after the rescue, S. murder by Coleman, and that Harrison Bulkley and a N. Wood, who claimed publicly to be one of the rescuing Mr. Hargous were accessories to it. The excitement party, wished to be arrested for the purpose of testing caused by it was very great among all classes of the the Territorial laws, and walked up to Sheriff Jones and settlers. On the 26th, a large meeting of citizens was shook hands with him, and exchanged other courtesies. held at the place where the murder was committed, and He could have been arrested without difficulty, and it resolutions passed that Coleman should be brought to was his design, when he went to Mr. Jones, to be arjustice. In the meantime, Coleman had gone to Missouri, rested; but no attempt was made to do so. and then to Gov. Shabnon, at Shawnee Mission, in It is obvious that the only cause of this hostility is the Johnson County. He was there taken into custody by known desire of the citizens of Lawrence to make Kansas S. J. Jones, then acting as Sheriff. No warrant was issued a Free State, and their repugnance to laws imposed upon or examination had. On the day of the meeting at Hickory them by non-residents. Point, Harrison Bradley procured a peace warrant Your Committee do not propose to detail the incidents against Jacob Branson, which was placed in the hands connected with this foray. Fortunately for the peace of of Jones. That same evening, after Branson had gone the country, a direct conflict between the opposing to bed, Jones came to his cabin with a party of about forces was avoided by an amicable arrangement. The 25 persons, among whom were Hargous and Buckley— losses sustained by the settlers in property taken and burst open the door, and saw Branson in bed. He then time and money expended in their own defense, added drew his pistol, cocked it, and presented it to Branson's much to the trials incident to a new settlement. Many breast, and said, “ You are my prisoner, and if you persons were unlawfully taken and detained-in some move I will blow you through." The others cocked their cases, under circumstances of gross cruelty. This was guns and gathered round him, and took him prisoner. especially so in the arrest and treatment of Dr. G. A. They all mounted and went to Buckley's house. After Cutter and G. F. Warren. They were taken, without a time, they went on a circuitous route toward Blanton s cause or warrant, sixty miles from Lawrence, and when Bridge, stopping to “drink"
on the way.
As they ap- Dr. Cutter was quite sick. They were compelled to go proached the bridge, there were thirteen in the party, to the camp at Lawrence, were put into the custody of several having stopped. Jones rode up to the prisoner “Sheriff Jones," who had no process to arrest themand, among other things, told him that he had heard they were taken into a small room kept as a liquor shop, there were one hundred men at your house to-day," and which was open and very cold. That night, Jones came " that he regretted they were not there, and that they in with others, and went to “playing poker at twentywere cheated out of their sport. In the meantime, the five cents ante." The prisoners were obliged to sit up alarm had been given in the neighborhood of Branson's all night, as there was no room to lie down, when the arrest, and several of the settlers, among whom were men were playing. Jones insulted them frequently, and some who had attended the meeting at Hickory Point told one of them he must either “tell or swing." that day, gathered together. They were greatly excited; guard then objected to this treatment of prisoners, and the alleged injustice of such an arrest of a quiet settler, Jones desisted. under a peace warrant by “Sheriff Jones," aided by two While we remained in the Territory, repeated acts of men believed to be accessory to a murder, and who were outrage were committed upon the quiet, unoffending citiallowed to be at large, exasperated them, and they pro- zens, of which we received authentic intelligence. Men ceeded as rapidly as possible by a nearer route than were attacked on the highway, robbed, and subsequently that taken by Jones, and stopped near the house of J. s. imprisoned. Men were seized and searched, and their Abbott, one of them. They were on foot as Jones's weapons of defense taken from them without compensaparty approached on a canter. The rescuers suddenly tion, Horses were frequently taken and appropriated. formed across the road in front of Jones and his party. Oxen were taken from the yoke while plowing, and butchJones halted, and asked, “What's up?" The reply was, ered in the presence of their owners. One young man “ That's what we want to know. What's up?" Branson was seized in the streets of the town of Atchison, and, unsaid, “They have got me a prisoner." Some one in the der circumstances of gross barbarity, was tarred and cotrescuing party told him to come over to their side. He toned, and in that condition was sent to his family. All did so, and dismounted, and the mule he rode was driven the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, seover to Jones's party ; Jones then left. Of the persons curing persons and property, are utterly disregarded. The engaged in this rescue, three were from Lawrenoe, and officers of the law, insdad of protecting the people, were
in some instances engaged in these outrages, and in no in- mine on his peril, we declined to give him any protectie stance did we learn that any man was arrested, indicted, or take any action in the matter. He refused to obey t). or punished for any of these crimes. While such offenses / writ, believing it to be a mere pretense to get the custod. were committed with impunity, the laws were used as a of his person, and fearing, as he alleged, that he would be means of indicting men for holding elections, preliminary Assassinated by lawless bands of men then gathering in to framing a Constitution and applying for admission into and near Lecompton. He then left the Territory. the Union as the State of Kansas. Charges of high trea- Subsequently, H. Miles Moore, an attorney in Leaven. son were made against prominent citizens upon grounds worth City, but for several years a citizen of Weston, Mo., which seem to your Committee absurd and ridiculous, and kindly furnished the Committee information as to the resiunder these charges they are now held in custody and are dence of persons voting at the elections, and in some cases refused the privilege of bail. In several cases, men were examined witnesses before us. He was arrested on the arrested in the State of Missouri, while passing on their streets of that town by an armed band of about thirty lawful business through that State, and detained until in- men, headed by W. D. Wilkes, without any color of au. dictments could be found in the Territory,
thority, confined, with other citizens, under a military These proceedings were followed by an offense of still guard for twenty-four hours, and then notified to leave the greater magnitude. Under color of legal process, a com- | Territory. His testimony was regarded as important, and pany of about 700 armed men, the great body of whom, upon his sworn statement that it would endanger his peryour Committee are satisfied, were not citizens of the Ter- son to give it openly, the majority of your Committee ritory, marched into the town of Lawrence, under Mar- deemed it proper to examine him ex-parte, and did so. shal Donaldson and S. J. Jones, officers claiming to act By reason of these occurrences, the contestant and the under the law, and bombarded and then burned to the party with and for whom he acted, were unrepresented beground a valuable hotel and one private house; destroyed fore us during a greater portion of the time, and your two printing presses and material; and then, being re- Committee were required to ascertain the truth in the best leased by the officers, whose posse they claimed to be, pro- manner they could. ceeded to sack, pillage, and rob houses, stores, trunks, etc., Your Committee report the following facts and conclueven to the clothing of women and children. Some of the sions as established by the testimony: letters thus unlawfully taken were private ones, written by First. That each election in the Territory, held under the contesting Delegate, and they were offered in evidence. the organic or alleged Territorial law, has been carried by Your Committee did not deem that the persons holding organized invasions from the State of Missouri, by which them had any right thus to use them, and refused to be the people of the Territory have been prevented from made the instruments to report private letters thus ob- exercising the rights secured to them by the organic tained.
law. This force was not resisted, because it was collected and Second. That the alleged Territorial Legislature was marshaled under the forms of law. But this act of bar- an illegally-constituted body, and had no power to pass barity, unexampled in the history of our Government, was valid laws, and their enactments are, therefore, pull and followed by its natural consequences.
All the restraints void. which American citizens are accustomed to pay even to Third. That these alleged laws have not, as a general the appearance of law, were thrown off; one act of vio- thing, been used to protect persons and property and to lence led to another; homicides became frequent. A punish wrong, but for unlawful purposes. party under H. C. Pate, composed chiefly of citizens of Fourth. That the election under which the sitting DeleMissouri, were taken prisoners by a party of settlers; and gate, John W. Whitfield, holds his seat, was not held in while your Committee were at Westport, a company chiefly pursuance of any valid law, and that it should be regarded of Missourians, accompanied by the acting Delegate, went only as the expression of the choice of those resident citi. to relieve Pate and his party, and a collision was preventedzens who voted for him. by the United States troops. Civil war ha seem im
Fifth. That the election under which the contesting pending in the Territory. Nothing can prevent so great a Delegate, Andrew H. Reeder, claims his seat, was not held calamity but the presence of a large force of United States in pursuance of law, and that it should be regarded only troops, under a commander who will with prudence and as the expression of the choice of the resident citizens who discretion quiet the excited passions of both parties, and voted for him. expel with force the armed bands of lawless men coming Sixth. That Andrew H. Reeder received a greater numfrom Missouri and elsewhere, who with criminal pertina- ber of votes of resident citizens than John W. Whitfield, city infest that Territory.
for Delegate. In some cases, and as to one entire election district, the Seventh. That in the present condition of the Territory, condition of the country prevented the attendance of a fair election cannot be held without a new census, a witnesses, who were either arrested or detained while obey- stringent and well-guarded election law, the selection of ing our process, or deterred from so doing. The Sergeant- impartial Judges, and the presence of United States troops at-Arms, who served the process upon them, was himself at every place of election. arrested or detained for a short time by an armed force, Eighth. That the various elections held by the people claiming to be a part of the posse of the Marshal, but of the Territory preliminary to the formation of the State was allowed to proceed upon an examination of his pa- Government have been as regular as the disturbed condipers, and was furnished with a pass, signed by “Warren tion of the Territory would allow; and that the ConstituD. Wilkes, of South Carolina." John Upton, another offi- tion passed by the Convention, held in pursuance of said cer of the Committee, was subsequently stopped by a law- elections, embodies the will of a majority of the people. less force on the borders of the Territory, and after being As it is not the province of your Committee to sugges! detained and treated with great indignity, was released. remedies for the existing troubles in the Territory of KanHe also was furnished with a pass signed by two citizens sas, they content themselves with the foregoing statement of Missouri, and addressed to “Pro-Slavery men." By of facts. reason of these disturbances, we were delayed in Westport, All of which is respectfully submitted. 80 that while in session there, our time was but partially
Wm. A. HOWARD, occupied.
JOHN SHERMAN, But the obstruction which created the most serious embarrassment to your Committee, was the attempted arrest of Gov. Reeder, the contesting Delegate, upon a writ of The Free-State Constitution framed at Toattachment issued against him by Judge Lecompte, to compel his attendance as a witness before the Grand Jury of peka for Kansas, by the Convention called by Douglas County. William Fane, recently from the state the Free State party, (as set forth in the foreof Georgia, and claiming to be the Deputy Marshal, came going documents,) was in due season submitted into the room of the Committee, while Gov. Reeder was examining a witness before us, and producing the writ re
to Congress-Messrs. Andrew H. Reeder (the quired Gov. Reeder to attend him. Subsequent events Free-State Territorial delegate) and James H. have only strengthened the conviction of your Committee, Lane having been chosen by the first
Free-State Judge who issued the writ, tending greatly to obstruct
a fuli Legislature, Senators of the United States, and and fair investigation. Gov. Reeder and Gen. Whitfield Mr. M. W. Delahay elected Representative in the alone were fully possessed of that local information which House, by the Free-State men of Kansas. would enable us to elicit the whole truth, and it was obvi. Of course, these were not entitled to their seats either of them from the Committee, would necessarily hin- until the aforesaid instrument (known as the der, delay, and embarrass it. Gov. Reeder claimed that, “ Topeka Constitution ") should be accepted by under the circumstances in which he was placed, he was Congress, and the State thereupon admitted privileged from arrest except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace. As this was a question of privilege, proper
into the Union. This Constitution, being form. for the Courts, or for the privileged person alone to deter-ally presented in either House, was received and