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Authors: Whitman, E. B.
Date: February 20, 1858
This rather lengthy report from Lawrence addressed many issues, especially those surrounding the Lecompton constitutional controversy. With "the Topeka Movement . . . abandoned," the question was what would take its place to resist the Lecompton Constitution if it were accepted by the Congress. The territorial legislature had formally "protested against the admission of Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton Constitution," and "the Mass of the people are determined" to resist its imposition. Whitman went on to make many other interesting observations about the political situation, regarding Democrats and Republicans and even abolitionists: "men who seek here and now, on this issue, to break the back bone of slavery forever." In addition to the political, Whitman described his "labor of distributing the clothing . . . for the relief of Kansas," and discussed in some detail the financial situation regarding the Committee, his personal debt, and Kansas relief and support to John Brown.
Keywords: Abolitionists; Buchanan administration; Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Lecompton Constitution; Minneola, Kansas Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Whitman, E. B.
Letter, Galusha A. Grow to Gov. C. Robinson
Authors: Grow, Galusha Aaron
Date: May 5, 1858
Congressman Galusha Aaron Grow, a Pennsylvania Republican, wrote Robinson regarding the Lecompton debate and the need to get a large free state vote against that proposed constitution. If it were "the dough faces will be exterminated next fall."
Keywords: Buchanan administration; Democratic Party (U.S.); Election fraud; Election, Lecompton Constitution ratification, August 1858; English Bill; Grow, Galusha Aaron; Lecompton Constitution; Proslavery supporters; United States. Congress
Letter, J. Thompson to J. W. Denver
Authors: Thompson, J.
Date: October 10, 1858
Thompson, writing from the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C. to Governor James W. Denver, urged Denver to remain in the position of territorial governor as a service to the Buchanan Administration and the Democratic party. Thompson indicated that President Buchanan believed Denver could prevent Kansas from seeking admission to the union until it had "the requisite population." Denver, in spite of Thompson's appeal, left office on October 10, 1858.
Keywords: Buchanan administration; Democratic Party (U.S.); Denver, James William, 1817-1892; Kansas Territory. Governor; Thompson, J.
Speech, Fellow Citizens--Opposing the Lecompton Constitution
Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: c. 1858
This hand-written speech appeared to be another by John Alexander Martin, seemingly composed for delivery in the spring and/or early summer of 1858, not long after he took over Atchison's Squatter Sovereign and renamed it Freedom's Champion. Here the speaker aimed his attack at the Buchanan administration and the English Bill, and the renewed attempt to pass the Lecompton Constitution at a referendum scheduled for August 2, 1858, and thus overturn the free-state victory that had already been won. The speaker seemed confident it would be defeated, as the constitution itself had been in January but hoped for an overwhelming vote against (perhaps as many as 15,000).
Keywords: Buchanan administration; Constitutions; English Bill; Free labor; Lecompton Constitution; Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Missouri compromise; Popular sovereignty; Slave power; Slavery; Squatter sovereignty
Letter, John Brown to Gents [Old Brown's Parallels]
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: January 3, 1859
Designated "Old Brown's Parallels" and dated January 3, 1859, from Trading Post, Kansas, this is one of the better-known John Brown documents from Kansas. Written for publication in the newspapers just before his final departure from the territory, Brown began by stating "two parallels"--one being the failure of government to do anything about the murder of free-state men (Marias des Cygnes Massacre) May 1858; the other being his recent raid into Missouri to free eleven slaves and take "some property." In the latter incident, only one white man, a slave owner, was killed, but "all 'Hell is stirred from beneath,'" as the governor of Missouri was demanding the capture of those "concerned in the last named 'dreadful outrage.'"
Keywords: African Americans; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Border disputes and warfare - Proslavery perspective; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Buchanan administration; Civil rights; Free State Party; Fugitive slaves; Hamilton, Charles A.; Jayhawking; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Marais des Cygnes Massacre; Missouri; Press and propaganda; Slaveholders; Slaves; Trading Post, Kansas Territory
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