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Authors: Walker, Robert J. (John), 1801-1869
Date: May 27, 1857
In this long and formal printed document directed to the citizens of Kansas, Robert Walker reviewed various issues facing Kansas Territory. He argued that all of the voters of Kansas Territory needed to vote on the Constitution and that he was pledged to seeing that the elections were fair. He explained that this was the procedure that had been set up by Congress. The address also discussed issues related to public lands in Kansas, particularly grants of lands for railroads and schools and to taxation. Walker addressed the issue of slavery in detail and explained that the "law of the thermometer, of latitude or altitude, regulating climate, labor and productions" would determine the extent of the spread of slavery based on profit and loss. Walker explained that this law rendered slavery unprofitable in cooler climates which were "unsuited to the tropical constitution of the negro race." He also argued that it was more important that the people of Kansas determined their government rather than not having one because of the issue of slavery.
Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Kansas Territory. Governor; Railroad land grants; Schools; Slavery; Voting; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Article, "History, as Espounded by the Supreme Court"
Authors: Plumb, Preston B.
Date: June 6, 1857
This article was printed in the very first edition of the Kanzas News, edited by Preston Plumb and printed in Emporia, Kansas Territory. It included excerpts taken from the May edition of Putnam's Monthly. The article documented the reaction of free soilers to the Dred Scott decision, which was passed by the Supreme Court in March 1857. Since he had lived on free soil for several years, Dred Scott had sued his master in an attempt to gain his freedom. However, the court determined that Dred Scott, and other slaves, were not legal citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue the government. As a result, Scott would remain a slave until his master voluntarily freed him shortly thereafter. This decision also annulled the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
Keywords: African Americans; Antislavery perspective; Dred Scott decision; Emporia, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Scott, Dred; Slavery; Slaves; Taney, Roger B.; United States Government; United States. Constitution; United States. Supreme Court
Letter, Thos. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Authors: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: July 24, 1857
Agent Thomas Marsh, Mass. State Kansas Committee, wrote another of his frequent and detailed letters to George Stearns on July 24, 1857, describing the census and other preparations that were being made for the upcoming election (most importantly, the legislative election in October of that year). Of special interest were the activities of Jim Lane by the Free State Convention to organize militarily for "the protection of the Ballot Boxes."
Keywords: African Americans; Census; Conway, Martin Franklin; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Free state cause; Free state militia; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Speculation; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866
Residents on Big Sugar Creek
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: c. 1857
This account contains the names and origins of both free state and pro slavery settlers that lived on Big Sugar Creek. The document begins with a brief description of the area and mentions particular cases of settlers who had noteworthy experiences. Of the 25 pro slavery residents, two owned slaves. It was presumably collected by Thaddeus Hyatt or some other member of the National Kansas Committee.
Keywords: African Americans; Big Sugar Creek, Kansas Territory; Emigration and immigration; Free state settlers; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Proslavery settlers; Slaves
Letter, John Brown to My Dear Wife [Mary Brown]
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: March 3, 1858
In this short, mostly personal letter from New York, John Brown wrote his wife that he was "having a constant series of both great encouragements & discouragements," even though he had found "a much more earnest feeling among the colored people than ever before; but that is by no means universal."
Keywords: African Americans; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Mary Ann Day, 1816-1884; New York; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Smith, Gerritt
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