Obrazy na stronie

two conflicting parties, one of which (the laws thereof escaping into another, shall, in pro-slavery party) had a majority in the consequence of any law or regulation thereSenate, and the other in the House of Rep- in, be discharged from such service or laresentatives. Of course, it had no binding bour, but shall be delivered up on the claim force even on those who framed it, much of the party to whom such service or labour less on any succeeding legislators. It was is due." A law of 1793 provides means quite sure to be evaded or nullified by the for the enforcement of this provision, but side which subsequently got the upperhand, these were found insufficient, insomuch as and charges of bad faith are powerless when they required reasonable evidence of the levelled against corporate or collective bodies claimant's title, and left the decision in the lying under no individual pledge or respon- hands of the local authorities, who, in the sibility. In fact, no practical politician can free states, were commonly disinclined to view such a transaction in any other light act. By the bill of 1850, the enforcement than as an expedient for getting rid of a tem- is entrusted to commisioners appointed by porary dead lock. We shall presently see the circuit courts of the Union, who are to how little account was made of it.

be paid ten dollars when a certificate is The annexation of Texas led to the war granted, and five when it is refused. They with Mexico, which gave the United States are to decide summarily; and the testimony an enormous acquisition of territory. The of the alleged fugitive is declared inadmissiquestion necessarily arose in which category ble. The whole executive power, backed the newly acquired territory was to be placed by the posse comitatus, may be set in motion California being the first battle-ground. to assist and escort the slave-taker if requirOn the 24th December 1849, the subject ed. There is no statute of limitations or pewas introduced in the annual message of the riod of prescription to operate as a bar; so President, which led to a prolonged

and ani- that any one with a drop of negro blood in mated discussion. Mr. Clay, the framer of his veins, or a tinge of the African complexthe Missouri compromise, again came for- ion on his cheek, may be suddenly caught ward in the character of an impartial media- up and hurried off by due form of law into tor, and proposed a series of resolutions a slaveholding state, where it would be as which pleased neither party. The purport much as his friends or his family's lives of the most essential was, that California were worth to look for him. (and when the time arrived, the rest of the There is therefore no cause for wonder at Mexican territory) should be admitted with the indignant protests which this law has out any condition or regulation touching called forth, nor at the determination with slavery, which was to be strictly regarded which it has been perseveringly denounced as a matter of local or provincial arrange- and occasionally resisted. Al honour to ment; and that more effectual provision the people of Boston, where public feeling ought to be made by law for the restitution, produced so memorable a demonstration - or delivery of persons bound to service or against this law, that cannon were obliged labour in any State, who may escape into to be planted in the streets through which any other State or territory in the Union, the reclaimed fugitive was to pass with his He also moved, that it was expedient to pro-captors. But what were the enlightened hibit the trade in imported slaves within the North dreaming about, when they sanctiondistrict of Columbia, accompanied with a ed such a measure, thereby permitting themresolution that Congress has no power to selves to be deluded a second time by one prohibit or obstruct the trade in slaves be- of Mr. Clay's most mistaken, if well-intendtween the slaveholding States. A bill em-ed, compromises ? One good effect certainbodying these resolutions, called the Omni- ly followed. They became fully aware of bus Bill, was rejected after a prolonged dis- the real character of the institution which cussion, but the enactments comprised in it they had helped to domesticate in the vain passed eventually, and the most momentous hope of modifying or neutralizing its most consequences have resulted from one of them, revolting tendencies; and they hardly needthe one for adding to the severity and effected the additional lesson which has been af iveness of the fugitive slave-law. Fortun- forded by the “Crime against Kansas," with ately it simultaneously called attention to its characteristic concomitants. the detestable character of that law, and to Five years ago, the territory which, under its incurable incompatibility with civil liber the name of Kansas, has acquired European ty, or with the personal security of any celebrity, was an unsettled and uncultivated class.

tract. “Very little, if any, of it,” says Mr. The original constitution of the United Greeley, “was legally open to settlement States had provided that “No person held by whites; and, with the exception of the to labour or service in one State under the few and small military and trading posts

thinly scattered over its surface, it is pro- {ple of the territory, preparatory to their admisbable that scarcely 200 white families were sion into the Union as a state, to decide the slavelocated in the spacious wilderness bounded ry question for themselves, failing to accomplish by Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota on the their purpose in the halls of Congress, and under east, the British Possessions on the north, sorted, in their respective states, to unusual and

the authority of the Constitution,

immediately re. the crest of the Rocky Mountains on the extraordinary means to control the political deswest, and the settled portion of New Mexi- tinies and shape the domestic institutions of Kanco and the line of 36° 30' on the south, at sas, in defiance of the wishes and regardless of the the time when Mr. Douglas first (at the rights of the people of that territory, as gụaransession 1852–53) submitted a bill organiz- teed by their organic law. Combinations, in one ing the territories of Nebraska, by which section of the Union, to stimulate an unnatural

and false system of emigration, with the view of title the region above bounded, (comprising controlling the elections, and forcing the domestic both Kansas and what is now called Nebras- institutions of the territory to assimilate to those ka,) had come to be vaguely indicated." of the non-slaveholding states, were followed, as This region was undeniably within the scope might have been foreseen, by the use of similar of the Missouri compromise, which excluded means in the slaveholding states, to produce dislavery north of 36° 30'; nor was it ever rectly the opposite result. To these causes, and intimated in the course of the discussion of to these alone, in the opinion of your Committee, the compromise measures of 1850, that they may be traced the origin and progress of all the

controversies and disturbances with which Kansas involved or implied a repeal of the antece- is now convulsed." dent compact. As soon, however, as the territory was opened to emigrants, those President Pierce took the same view of from the slaveħolding states insisted on the origin of the contest, but added the savbringing their slaves with them, and demand. ing clause, that the designs and acts of the ed the protection of the law for their human anti-slavery emigrants were far from justifychattels, as for any other description of pro- ing the illegal and reprehensible counterperty. They contended that, whether the movements which ensued. On the other Missiouri compromise had been superseded hand, the majority (two to one) of the Comor not, Congress had no right to interfere mittee of the House of Representatives report, with the internal government of the terri- that although emigration might have been tory, which, so soon as it became a state, encouraged by anti-slavery societies or comwould be at full liberty to legalize or prohi- panies, the emigrants despatched or assisted bit slavery as it thought fit. This exciting in this manner were bona fide settlers, in question being once fairly raised, each party the peaceful exercise of an acknowledged naturally exerted itself to outnumber and right. The absence of what lawyers call outvote the other at the meetings and elec- the animus revertendi was what essentially tions which were to decide the future cha- distinguished them from the Missiouri inracter of the district. In the bill for its or- vaders, by whom the elections were carried. ganization, it was provided that none should The Committee, therefore, resolve :vote but actual bona fide settlers; but amidst such a crowd of newcomers, it was obvious

First,—That each election in the territory, ly no easy matter to distinguish between has been carried by organized invasions from the

held under the organic or alleged territorial law, bona fide settlers and the intruders who came State of Missouri, by which the people of the terto usurp or trample upon their privileges. ritory have been prevented from exercising the The President, in his message, and the Com-rights secured to them by the organic law. mittee of the Senate, in their report, threw * Second,—That the alleged Territorial Legislathe blame of the first irregularity on the ture was an illegally constituted body, and had no anti-slavery party, and assumed that their power to pass valid laws, and their enactments adversaries only took

to swamping for fear are therefore null and void. of being swamped. The Committee of the

Third,That these alleged laws have not, as

a general thing, been used to protect persons and House of Representatives, after taking evi- property and to punish wrong, but for unlawful dence on the spot, came to an opposite con- purposes.” clusion. The fact is, that the President (Pierce) was the avowed partisan of the Although thus far the weight of authority Southern faction; and as for the Committees, would seem to be in favour of the Missouri their reports, like those of our own election men, who have the President and the Comcommittees in the olden time, depend on the mittee of the Senate on their side, the propolitical leaning of the majority.* The Com- babilities, as well as the direct evidence, are mittee of the Senate (with one dissenting decidedly against them. The Committee of voice) report, that

the Senate destroy their own case when they

describe the Emigrant Aid Company of "Those who were opposed to allowing the peo- Massachusetts as "a vast moneyed corpora

tion, created for the purpose of controlling did not appear at the polls the next morning to the domestic institutions of a distinct politi- act as judge. cal community, 1500 miles distant;" and

“ Before the voting had commenced, the Misthe Missouri movement as “the spontane

sourians said, if the judges appointed by the Gov

ernor did not receive their votes, they would ous action of the people living in the imme- choose other judges. Some of them voted sevediate vicinity of the theatre of operations, ral times, changing their hats or coats, and comexcited by a sense of common danger to the ing up to the window again. They said they innecessity of protecting their own firesides tended to vote first, and after they had got from the apprehended horrors of servile in- through, then the others could yote. Some of surrection and civil war.” Which of the them claimed a right to vote under the Organic parties thus contrasted was most likely

to Act, from the fact that their mere presence in the be composed of bona fide settlers or to offer were from Wisconsin, and had homes in Missouri.

territory constituted them residents, though they the first provocation ?-Those who had tra- Others said they had a right to vote, because velled 1500 miles, and had no hope of im- Kansas belonged to Missouri

, and people from the mediate support, or those who had only to east had no right to settle in the territory and cross the border, and who could rely on any vote there. They said they came to the territory amount of reinforcement at the shortest to elect a legislature to suit themselves, as the warning? Nor, unless we suppose the Com- people of the territory and persons from the east mittee of the House of Representatives to not suit them. They said they had a right to

and north wanted to elect a legislature that would be under a still more extraordinary hallu- make Kansas a Slave State, because the people cination than that of Mr. Arrowsmith when of the North had sent persons out to make it a he indited his well-known narrative of rail- Free State. Some claimed that they had heard way duelling in Georgia, can we refuse cre- that the Emigrant Aid Society had'sent men out dit to what they state they themselves saw to be at the election, and they came to offset their as well as heard during the progress of their votes; but the most of them made no such claim. inquiry. The evidence collected by them in order, to give the election some show of fair

Colonel Young said he wanted the citizens to vote fills nearly 1200 large and closely printed ness. The Missourians said there would be no pages; and the following are a few of the difficulty if the citizens did not interfere with curious incidents to which attention is espe- their voting ; but they were determined to yote, cially directed in their Report. They take -peaceably if they could, but vote anyhow. district after district, and show how each They said each one of them was prepared for eight election was carried. The judges” are rounds without loading, and would go the ninth the returning officers, nominated for the oc

round with the butcher knife.” casion :

In the second district the proceedings of

the Missourians were equally summary: “The Company of persons who marched into this the first) district, collected in Ray, Howard, "They threatened to kill the judges if they did Carroll

, Boone, La Fayette, Randolph, Saline, and not receive their votes without swearing them, or Cass Counties, in the state of Missouri. Their else resign. They said no man should vote who expenses were paid, those who could not come would submit to be sworn; that they would kill contributing provisions, waggons, &c. Provisions any one who would offer to do so; shoot him,' were deposited for those who were expected to cut his guts out,' &c. They said no man should come to Lawrence, in the house of William Ly- vote this day unless he voted an open ticket, and kins, and were distributed among the Missourians was all right on the goose;" and that if they after they arrived there. The evening before and could not vote by fair means, they would by foul the morning of the day of election, about 1000 means. They said they had as much right to men from the above counties arrived at Lawrence, vote, if they had been in the territory two minutės, and encamped in a ravine a short distance from as if they had been there for two years, and they town, near the place of voting. They came in would vote. Some of the citizens who were about waggons, of which there were over one hundred, the window, but had not voted when the crowd of and on horseback,

under the command of Colonel the Missourians marthed up there, upon attemptSamuel Young, of Boone County, Missouri, and ing to vote were driven back by the mob, or Clayborne F. Jackson, of Missouri. They were driven off. One of them, Mr. J. M. Macey, was armed with guns, rifles, pistols, and bowie-knives, asked if he would take the oath, and upon his reand had tents, music, and flags with them. They plying that he would if the judges required it, he brought with them two pieces of artillery, loaded was dragged through the crowd away from the with musket-balls. On their way to Lawrence polls, amid cries of Kill the d-d nigger thief, some of them met Mr. N. B. Blanton, who had "Cut his throat,'• Tear his heart out,' &c. After been appointed one of the judges of election by they got him to the outside of the crowd, they Governor Reeder; and after learning from him stood around him with cocked revolvers and that he considered it his duty to demand an oath drawn bowie-knives, one man putting a knife to from them as to their place of residence, first at- his heart, so that it touched him, another holding tempted to bribe, and then threatened him with a cocked pistol to his ear, while another struck at hanging, in order to induce him to dispense with him with a club. The Missourians said they had that oath. In consequence of these threats, he a right to vote if they had been in the territory

hat five minutes. Some said they had been (lar offence, was tarred and cottoned, a hired to come there and vote, and get a dol- pleasing variety of this truly American inlar a day, and, by G-d, they would vote or die fiction, by which the victim is invested with there."

a garment as adhesive and almost as disaIn a third district, the qualified voters greeable as the shirt of Nissus. Startling

scenes have not unfrequently occurred at were completely driven from the field :

English, Scotch, and Irish elections. Qual

ified voters have been kept away by intimi"Previous to the day of election, several hundreds of Missourians from Platte, Clay, Boone, Clin-dation or force; disqualified voters have ton, and Howard Counties, came into the district turned the scale; returning officers have been in waggons and on horseback, and camped there. threatened; candidates have been struck They were armed with guns, revolvers, and bowie- senseless with stones or bludgeons; and the knives, and had badges of hemp in their button- military have been called out. But the efferholes, and elsewhere about their persons. They vescence has been temporary; the regular claimed to have a right to vote, from the fact tribunals, raised far above the hubbub,

held that they were there on the ground, and had, of the scales equal; and even the juries of the intended to make claims in the territory, although excited districts continued to uphold the satheir families were in Missouri.

"The judges appointed by the Governor open-cred principles of justice and order. The ed the polls, and some persons offered to vote; distinguishing mark of the condition of soand when their votes were rejected on the ground ciety which prevails in the out-lying Amethat they were not residents of the district, the rican communities, is, that the very forms of crowd threatened to tear the house down if the law are converted into instruments of opjudges did not leave. The judges then withdrew, pression. The minority are first robbed of taking the poll-books with them. The crowd then proceeded to select other persons to act as

their rights, and subjected to personal outjudges, and the election went on. Those persons rage, and then persecuted for making any voting who were sworn, were asked if they consi- show of defence, or so much as uttering a dered themselves residents of the district, and if protest against the violence put upon them. they said they did, they were allowed to vote. The popular grand juries find bills; the But few of the residents were present and voted; popular petty juries supply verdicts; and and the Free State men, as a general thing did the popular judges deliver judgments, which not vote. After the Missourians got through vot: the popular sheriffs or marshals forthwith made by the judges of election, setting out the proceed to execute. There is no tyranny facts, but it was not verified. The number of le- imaginable equal to that exercised by the gal voters in this district was 96, of whom a ma- majority over the minority in a democracy jority were Free State men. Of these - voted. like that of the United States at one of those The total number of votes cast was 296." epochs when men's minds are inflamed by

The badges of hemp were a well-under- anger or excited by fear. The fate of the stood intimation that they intended to hang defects of a form of government where there

town of Lawrence strikingly illustrates the any judge or adversary who should prove is no legal or practical check on the sovetroublesome. The offence of the profes- reign will of the people. This place, alsional gentleman mentioned in the next though the head-quarters of the anti-slavery extract was neither more nor less than a interest of Kansas, appears to have kept protest against the legality of the election strictly within the letter of the law; yet the proceedings in question :

entire force of the executive has been "On the 17th day of May, William Phillips, a have been treated as banded conspirators

used for its spoliation, and the inhabitants lawyer of Leavenworth, was first notified to leave, and upon his refusal, was forcibly seized, taken against the public peace, for simply standacross the river, and carried several miles into ing on the defensive, and adopting measures Missouri

, and then tarred and feathered, and one for self-protection. The Committee thus side of his head shaved, and other gross, indigni- describe what occurred in their own immeties put upon his person.

diate vicinity, or fell under their own obser, , . a public meeting was held, at which Ř. R. Rees

, vation, during their official inquiry on the a member-elect of the council, presided. The fol- spot : lowing resolution, offered by Judge Payne, a member-elect of the House, was unanimously “ While we remained in the territory, repeated adopted.

acts of outrage were committed upon the quiet, "Resolved, That we heartily endorse the action unoffending citizens, of which we received auof the committee of citizens that shaved, tarred, thentic intelligence. Men were attacked on the and feathered, rode on a rail, and had sold by a highway, robbed and subsequently, imprisoned. negro, William Phillips, the moral perjurer.” Men were seized and searched, and their weapons

of defence taken from them without compensaAnother gentleman, who had given simi- tion. Horses were frequently taken and appro

priated. Oxen were taken from the yoke while Such are a few of the enactments of what ploughing, and butchered in the presence of their has been printed under

the befitting descripowners. One young man was seized in the streets tion of “The Border Ruffian Code in Kanof gross barbarity was tarred and cottoned, and sas,” passed by the “bogus” legislature. in that condition was sent to his family. All the These are the laws which President Pierce provisions of the constitution of the United eagerly enforced at the head of the Federal States, securing persons and property, are utterly Executive, after publicly recognising their disregarded. The officers of the law, instead of binding force, and treating as enemies to protecting the people, were in some instances en order all who ventured to impugn the mogaged in these outrages, and in no instance did we tives of the framers. learn that any man was arrested, indicted, or pun

We can make ample allowance for almost ished for any of these crimes. While such offences were committed with impunity, the laws were any strength of language within conventional used as a means of indicting men for holding elec- bounds that might have been employed in tions, preliminary to framing a constitution and denouncing so startling a series of outrages. applying for admission into the Union as the But a really strong case is weakened by exState of Kansas. Charges of high treason were aggeration, and we can neither allow nor acmade against prominent citizens upon grounds count for the style of oratory with which which seem to your Committee absurd and ridicu: Mr. Sumner introduced the subject, in the lous, and under these charges they are now in custody and are refused the privilege of bail. memorable speech that provoked

the no less In several cases men were arrested in the State of memorable brutality of Mr. Brooks. When Missouri while passing on their lawful business Mr. Sumner visited England, some twenty through that State, and detained until indictments years since, his society was courted in the could be found in the territory."

most cultivated circles, as that of a man of We request particular attention to the quiet manners, unassuming deportment, solid next paragraph :

acquirements, liberal opinions, and sound

plain understanding. We are not aware “ These proceedings were followed by an offence that his mind and character, as manifested of still greater magnitude. Under color of le- amongst his friends, have undergone any gal process, a company of about 700 armed men, material transformation in these respects. the great body of whom your Committee are sat. Yet this is the man who, in the maturity of isfied are not citizens of the territory, marched into the town of Lawrence, under Marshal Don-his judgment, instead of detailing the circumaldson and S. J. Jones, officers claiming to act stances of “ the crime against Kansas,” in under the law, and bombarded and then burned to unadorned language, and leaving them to tell the ground a valuable hotel and one private their own convincing story, racks his imagi. house ; destroyed two printing-presses and mate nation, or his memory, for tropes and figures rial; and then, being released by the officers, which the youngest pupil of what used to be whose posse they claim to be, proceeded to sack, called the Irish school of eloquence would pillage, and rob houses, stores, tranks, &c., even hardly have hazarded in a debating club. to the clothing of women and children.”

We will give a few samples > “Legal process” may now be brought to bear against almost any member of the anti “Take down your map, sir, and you will find slavery party, and it is difficult to under that the territory of Kansas, more than any other stand how any one of them can venture to region, occupies the middle spot of North Ameriremain in the territory; for, according to ca, equally

distant from the Atlantic on the east, the formally declared law of the land, not waters of Hudson's Bay on the north, and the

and the Pacific on the west ; from the frozen only is death to be inflicted on every person tepid gulf stream on the south, constituting the who shall advise, persuade, or induce any precise territorial centre of the whole vast contislave to rebel, or who shall knowingly aid nent. To such advantage of situation, on the or assist in bringing in or circulating any very highway between two oceans, are added a book or paper for the purpose of exciting soil of unsurpassed richness, and a fascinating, uninsurrection, but it is declared a felony, pun- climate calculated to nurture a powerful and gen.

dulating beauty of surface, with a health-giving ishable by imprisonment with hard labour erous people, worthy to be a central pivot of for two years, to assert or maintain, or to American institutions. introduce or circulate any writing or book “A few short months only have passed since asserting or maintaining, that persons have this spacious mediterranean country was open no right to hold slaves within the territory. only to the savage, who ran wild in its woods and It is further provided, that “no person who prairies; and now it has already drawn to its bois conscientiously opposed to holding slaves, som a population of freemen larger than Athens or who does not admit the right to hold crowded within her historic gates, when her sons. slaves in this territory, shall sit as a juror field of Marathon ; more than Sparta contained

under Miltiades, won liberty for mankind on the on the trial of any prosecution for any vio- when she ruled Greece, and sent forth her devoted lation of any of the sections of this Act.” children, quickened by a mother's benediction, to

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