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44 results for Constitutions:
Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 24, 1855
According to a copy of the 1902 cover letter written by Samuel C. Smith of Lawrence, secretary/chief clerk for the convention, this incomplete "copy of the Journal of the Topeka Constitutional Convention" was made at Lawrence in November 1855. It began with the opening of the second day's session, October 24, 1855, and continued daily, except for Sunday, October 28 and November 4, through Saturday, November 10 (the convention officially adjourned, according to Wilder, "Annals," November 11 during the very early hours of that Sunday morning). The first few pages of the journal detailed organizational matters, including the election of James H. Lane as president of the convention and the creation of standing committees.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 26, 1855
During the afternoon session on Friday, October 26, 1855, the convention returned to the issue raised by Delahay that morning, among other more mundane matters.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Kansas Freeman; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 26, 1855
On Friday, October 26, 1855, the convention conducted some routine business but also entertained a motion by Mark W. Delahay of Leavenworth: "Resolved--That this Convention, approve the principles of non intervention in the local affairs of Kansas, as enunciated by the 'Nebraska, Kansas Act,' and that this Convention recommend to the people of Kansas a strict observance of the principles laid down in said act." In other words, he opposed the creation of a provisional government to rival the federally recognized territorial government--see Delahay's speech on this subject, as reported in "Kansas Freeman," November 14, 1855. The resolution was tabled.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Kansas Nebraska Act; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 30, 1855
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 30, 1855
During this session of the constitutional convention, delegates dealt briefly with the question of "an immediate organization of a State Government," a highly controversial issue, and considered a report on the militia. Lively debate on the latter issue seems to have followed, although not much detail is given here, with Charles Robinson offering an amendment "striking out the word white--" This presumably would have had the effect of making African Americans and Indians eligible for service, but the amendment failed seven to twenty-four.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Militia; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Suffrage; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory; Voting


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 31, 1855
During the afternoon session of Wednesday, October 31, 1855, Jim Lane presented a "Resolution which was ordered to be entered upon the Journal of the convention--said Resolution being the instructions given by the people of the 2nd Representative District" at a Lawrence meeting of October 7. The "instructions" and Lane's resolution provided that "the question of excluding Free Negroes from the Territory" be submitted to a vote of the people on the day they voted on the constitution itself.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Exclusion, African Americans; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, Afternoon Session
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: November 9, 1855
During the course of the proceedings recorded for the afternoon of November 9, 1855, discussion turned to the effort by Jim Lane to first include a provision for the "removal" of all blacks and then all "slaves" from Kansas by July 4, 1860. Charles Robinson supported an amendment which changed the effective date to July 4, 1857. All other provisions were to take effect immediately upon the adoption of the constitution.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Exclusion, African Americans; Free State Party; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Topeka Constitution (as printed in D.W. Wilder's Annals of Kansas (1868)).
Authors: Topeka Constitutional Convention
Date: November 11, 1855
The Topeka Constitution, the first one written for Kansas Territory, was drafted by free state supporters in reaction to contested elections that gave the proslavery party initial control of Kansas' territorial government. Free-staters gathered in convention at Lawrence on August 14 and Big Spring on September 5, 1855 and delegates assembled at Topeka on October 23, 1855, to draft a constitution. The document was approved on December 15 by a vote of 1,731 to 46. The Topeka Constitution prohibited slavery and limited suffrage to white males and "every civilized male Indian who has adopted the habits of the white man." Congress rejected this constitution and the accompanying request for Kansas to be admitted to the Union. This version of the document was published December 26, 1855 in the Kickapoo Pioneer newspaper.

Keywords: Constitutions; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Slavery; Smith, Samuel C.; Suffrage; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Letter, [Josiah Miller] to Dear Father and Mother
Authors: Miller, Josiah
Date: Nov 11 1855
Josiah Miller, having recently bought out his business partner, Robert G. Elliott, from their jointly owned newspaper, the Kansas Free State, wrote to his parents in South Carolina about his recent business ventures. He stated that "papers don't pay" and expressed his interest in land claims and real estate, which would earn him more money. Miller also told his parents that he was continuing to search for a farm in Wyandotte County for them to settle on when they arrive in Kansas Territory. He hoped that Congress would approve the constitution that the Free State men had recently submitted.

Keywords: Banks and banking; Constitutions; Free state legislature; Kansas Free State (newspaper); Land acquisition; Land claim disputes; Miller, Josiah; Sawmills; Squatters; Topeka Constitution; Town development


The Vote on the Constitution
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: c. December 15, 1855
This article, printed in the Kansas Freeman newspaper, gave a preliminary count of the votes cast in the election to ratify the Topeka Constitution. The other two issues on the ballot were whether or not slaves should be excluded from the territory, and whether or not the territory should have a general banking law. The returns from Lawrence, Topeka, and Tecumseh are all listed, but not all the returns had been tallied.

Keywords: African Americans; Banks and banking; Constitutions; Elections; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Slaves; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka, Kansas


Photograph, Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1856
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
An illustration showing Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1856. Constitution Hall is visible on the left side of the illustration.

Keywords: Cities and towns; Constitutions; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory


Letter, Marcus J. Parrott to H. Miles Moore
Authors: Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879
Date: January 12, 1857
Parrott, the representative of Kansas Territory to the U.S. Congress, wrote to Moore from Washington offering his assessment of the upcoming session of Congress. Parrott predicted that the Congress would reject the Lecompton Constitution. He also offered Moore, a Free State advocate recently elected to the Kansas Territorial House of Representatives, advice on activities to pursue in the Territorial Legislature.

Keywords: Constitutions; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; United States. Congress


Constitution of the Sumner Company
Authors: Ingalls, John James
Date: April 3, 1857
The constitution of the Sumner Company may have been written by John J. Ingalls. It was adopted April 3, 1857. There are 17 articles and the object of the company was to build upon and improve a town site, situated upon the Missouri River on section 20, township 6 south, range 21 east of the 6th PM. The town site was named in honor of the Hon. Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts.

Keywords: Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Constitutions; Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900; Sumner Town Company; Sumner, Kansas Territory


Inaugural Address of R. J. Walker, Governor of Kansas Territory. Delivered in Lecompton, K. T., May 27, 1857
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


Poll List, Leavenworth, Topeka Constitution
Authors: Anthony, Scott A.
Date: August 3, 1857
On August 3, 1857, the free-state legislature gave K. T. voters another chance to vote the Topeka Constitution (first approved, December 1855) when they went to the polls to elect new legislators. Few, if any, proslave voters participated and the territory-wide tally was 7,257 for the constitution, 34 against. The polling list for Leavenworth contains the names of 721 voters, "seven hundred and six (706) being in favor of said Constitution and two (2) against."

Keywords: Constitutions; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Elections; Free state; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution


Lecompton Constitution (as printed in D.W. Wilder's Annals of Kansas (1868)).
Authors: Lecompton Constitutional Convention
Date: November 7, 1857
The Lecompton Constitution, the second constitution drafted for Kansas Territory, was written by proslavery supporters. The document permitted slavery (Article VII), excluded free blacks from living in Kansas, and allowed only male citizens of the United States to vote. There were three separate votes on the Lecompton Constitution: December 21, 1857, January 4, 1858, and August 2, 1858. In the final vote, residents of Kansas Territory rejected the Lecompton Constitution.

Keywords: Constitutions; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Proslavery; Slavery


Lecompton Constitution (manuscript version)
Authors: Lecompton Constitutional Convention
Date: November 7, 1857
The Lecompton Constitution, the second constitution drafted for Kansas Territory, was written by proslavery supporters. The document permitted slavery (Article VII), excluded free blacks from living in Kansas, and allowed only male citizens of the United States to vote. There were three separate votes on the Lecompton Constitution: December 21, 1857, January 4, 1858, and August 2, 1858. In the final vote, residents of Kansas Territory rejected the Lecompton Constitution.

Keywords: Constitutional conventions; Constitutions; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Proslavery; Slavery


Letter, James Peckham to H. Miles Moore
Authors: Peckham, James
Date: December 13, 1857
Peckham, writing from New York City, described Northern opposition to the Lecompton Constitution. He also offered advice to Moore, a Free State advocate from Leavenworth, K. T. that Free State supporters refrain from seeking the admission of Kansas as a state under the Topeka Constitution.

Keywords: Antislavery; Constitutions; Free state; Lecompton Constitution; Moore, H. Miles (Henry Miles), b. 1826; New York, New York; Peckham, James; Topeka Constitution


Letter, Sam. F. Tappan to Dr Gen [Thomas W. Higginson]
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: December 14, 1857
This letter, written from Lawrence, Kansas Territory by Samuel Tappan, began with small talk about his personal life. Tappan quickly moved on, however, to the political affairs of the area. Apparently, Charles Robinson and James Lane were encouraging the free state population to vote in the next election regarding the Lecompton Constitution. They were planning on holding a free state convention in a couple of weeks to decide if this was the best course of action. Tappan believed that if free state men voted in the upcoming election, it would be a tacit acceptance of slavery. He was also disappointed that the Topeka government had failed, blaming its collapse on the fact that it had been too concerned with weighing "the chances of success in Washington." The free state territorial legislature had just opened its session in Lecompton.

Keywords: Calhoun, John; Constitutions; Election, Lecompton Constitution ratification, December 1857; Free state legislature; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Kansas Territory. Legislature - Lecompton; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement)


Letter, John A. Martin to Sir
Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: c. 1858
In his capacity as chairman of the Atchison County Republican Central Committee, John Alexander Martin apparently wrote this draft of a letter to a member of the Democratic opposition, responding to an invitation to make a speech in support or participate in a discussion of the proposed Wyandotte Constitution. The campaign for its ratification took place in August and September 1858. Martin expressed a willingness to speak out for the constitution, but he objected to the proposed format ("the programme of discussion you have laid down"). Martin insisted that the Republicans were "proud" of the constitution and "are willing to go before the people with the members of the Democratic party" and discuss its provisions "on any fair terms."

Keywords: Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Black Republicans; Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Wyandotte Constitution


Concurrent Resolutions, New York State Senate, Relative to Territorial Legislation
Authors: New York State Senate
Date: January 5, 1858
This resolution proposes guidelines for the creation of a constitution in Kansas Territory, stating that any adopted constitution must not conflict with laws of the "general government" [United States federal government], but also that it must be fairly approved by the voters of the territory and not imposed upon them by any governing body.

Keywords: Constitutions; Kansas Territory. Legislature; National politics; New York; New York State Senate; Popular sovereignty; United States Government


Concurrent Resolutions, New York State Senate, Relative to a Constitution for Kansas
Authors: New York State Senate
Date: January 6, 1858
This resolution proposed to support the creation, by peaceful and just electoral means, of a state constitution in the Kansas Territory. The resolution also suggested that if a constitution could be approved by the voters of the Kansas Territory, that the U. S. Congress accept the territory as a state.

Keywords: Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Constitutions; Elections; National politics; New York; New York State Senate; Popular sovereignty; Statehood (see also Admission, Kansas); Violence


Letter, E. B. Whitman to George L. Stearns
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.


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, Afternoon Session
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: March 26, 1858
Kansas's third constitutional convention, convened at Minneola, Franklin County, on March 23, 1858, elected officers (including Samuel F. Tappan, secretary), and then adjourned to reconvene at Leavenworth on March 25. During the afternoon session, March 26, 1858, some interesting debate occurred regarding the viability of the Topeka Constitution, and a minority of the Leavenworth delegates reaffirmed their support for the 1855 instrument. (The Leavenworth Convention nevertheless drafted and adopted a new constitution, and adjourned on April 3, 1858.)

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Constitutions; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free State Party; Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Constitution; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: March 31, 1858
During the course of the convention's business on Wednesday, March 31, 1858, the delegates took up the article on "elective Franchise reported back from Committee on Phraseology." Samuel N. Wood's motion "to strike out the word 'male'" failed, 21 to 35, but interestingly, the yeas and nays were recorded. The votes for the unsuccessful effort to insert the word "white" were also recorded.

Keywords: Constitutions; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 1, 1858
The delegates considered the "Homestead Exemption" during the morning session, April 1, 1858. The provision was amended so as to make the basic exemption 160 acres or not over $2,000. The vote on this was recorded, and the yeas and nays are followed by numerous explanations--delegates who voted nay but not because they opposed the concept.

Keywords: Constitutions; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Homestead exemptions; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Winans, A. L.; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, April 1, 1858
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 1, 1858
On Thursday afternoon, April 1, the delegates began considering the proposed constitution in its entirety. When they reached Article II, the elective franchise, Hampton P. Johnson of Leavenworth, "moved to insert the word 'white' before the word 'male'." Jim Lane's motion to refer the matter to a special committee failed, as did B.B. Newton's motion to table "the whole subject"--yeas 35, nays 41. The yeas and nays were recorded. Among those voting to table, and thus to stifle the effort to add the word "white," were Lane, Ritchie, Preston B. Plumb, Thacher, and Amasa Soule.

Keywords: Constitutions; Johnson, Hampton P.; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Newton, B. B.; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Soule, Amasa; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 2, 1858
When the convention considered Article 7, Education, near the end of the afternoon session on Friday, April 2, James Davis of Leavenworth moved to insert "white" before "child," but Sam Wood's motion to table passed 44 to 36. The yeas and nays were recorded.

Keywords: Adams, F. G. (Franklin George), 1824-1899; African Americans; American Indians (see also Native Americans); Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Constitutions; Davis, James; Education; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Harvey, Henry; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, April 2, 1858
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 2, 1858
After considering a few other issues, such as the selection of Topeka as "the temporary seat of Government," the convention took up the motion from the previous day on the elective franchise, with T. D. Thacher explaining that his select committee had considered the insertion of the word "white" and "unanimously report against its insertion." After some debate over procedure, Thacher offered an amendment that instructed the first legislature to put "the question of universal suffrage to the people at the general elections." The amendment passed, 50 to 29.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Capitals (cities); Constitutions; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Roberts, William Young; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 2, 1858
At the beginning of the afternoon session, Friday, April 2, 1858, suffrage was briefly discussed, with Samuel N. Wood moving to strike "male" wherever it occurred in the instrument and "to insert after the word 'he' the words 'or she' . . ." The motion failed, but 20 delegates supported what arguably amounted to an equal rights amendment for women. The yeas and nays were recorded.

Keywords: Adams, F. G. (Franklin George), 1824-1899; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Constitutions; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Thacher, Timothy D., 1831-1894; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Women; Womens rights; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)


Leavenworth Constitution as published in D.W. Wilder's, The Annals of Kansas (1886)
Authors: Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Date: April 3, 1858
The Leavenworth Constitution was the most radical of the four constitutions drafted for Kansas Territory. The Bill of Rights refers to "all men" and prohibited slavery from the state. The word "white" did not appear in the proposed document and therefore would not have excluded free blacks from the state. Article XVI, Section 3 (p. 227) directed the general assembly to provide some protection for the rights of women. The Leavenworth Constitution was ratified on May 18, 1858 but the U.S. Senate did not act to approve the document.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutional conventions; Constitutions; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free state activities; Leavenworth Constitution; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Womens rights


Leavenworth Constitution (manuscript version)
Authors: Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Date: April 3, 1858
The Leavenworth Constitution was the most radical of the four constitutions drafted for Kansas Territory. The Bill of Rights refers to "all men" and prohibited slavery from the state. The word "white" did not appear in the proposed document and therefore would not have excluded free blacks from the state. Article XVI, Section 3 directed the general assembly to provide some protection for the rights of women. The Leavenworth Constitution was ratified on May 18, 1858 but the U.S. Senate did not act to approve the document.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutional conventions; Constitutions; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free state activities; Leavenworth Constitution; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Womens rights


Journal, Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: April 3, 1858
At the final session, Saturday afternoon, April 3, 1858, all the delegates signed the convention's proposed constitution, but several took the opportunity to make one last protest of the inclusion of "negro suffrage" because they believed their constituents opposed it and/or insisted that the instrument did "not extend the right of suffrage to negroes." This protest included Caleb May of Atchison County, the entire Linn County delegation (Addison Danford, Robert B. Mitchell, Thomas H. Butler, and Robert Ewing), and A. W. McCauslin of Jefferson County. The latter also expressed concern about the Education clause, "which appears to permit colored children to go to Common Schools with white children" and "the subject of negro immigration."

Keywords: African Americans; Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Butler, Thomas H.; Constitutions; Danford, Addison; Education; Ewing, Robert; Jefferson County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Linn County, Kansas Territory; May, Caleb; McCauslin, A. W.; Mitchell, Robert Byington; Suffrage; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913


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


Expense Account, Pay Roll of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention
Authors: Unknown
Date: July 5, 1859 - October 3, 1859
This document listed the expenses for the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, including per diem for delegates (individuals listed by name), payments for printing, and some post-convention canvassing costs.

Keywords: Constitutions; Financial statements; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory


Correspondence, Champion Vaughan to S.O. Thacher, et al
Authors: Vaughan, Champion
Date: July 7, 1859
Vaughan, editor of the Leavenworth Times, wrote this letter soon after the convention convened to introduce and lend his support to three "Delegates elect from Southern Nebraska to the Kansas Convention." They had convinced Vaughan that efforts toward annexation were not just more Democratic politics.

Keywords: Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Times; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Nebraska Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Thacher, Solon O. (Solon Otis), 1830-1895; Vaughan, Champion; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859


Correspondence, Reinzi to Sir [J. M. Winchell]
Authors: Rienzi
Date: July 22, 1859
In the midst of the convention, a "Rienzi" of Wyandotte wrote to convention president James M. Winchell concerning a potential threat to Winchell's life. The ill-will toward Winchell had been sparked by the convention's "silly and ill advised move . . . To deprive Indians, (who by treaty stipulation have acquired the rights of citizenship) of the right of suffrage with negroes."

Keywords: African Americans; American Indians (see also Native Americans); Constitutions; Native Americans; Suffrage; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory


Speech, Fellow Citizens--In Support of the Wyandotte Constitution
Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: c. July 1859
This eleven-page document was a speech or essay, most likely in John Alexander Martin's handwriting, in support of the proposed Wyandotte Constitution, which was ratified by the voters of the territory on October 4, 1859. Martin, a twenty-year-old Atchison editor, served as secretary for the convention which finished its work at the end of July. Thus, this speech, attacking the Democrats for conspiring to defeat this latest free-state constitution and for "the Lecomptonizing of Kansas," was undoubtedly delivered several times during the months of August and September 1859. It covered the various issues opponents were likely to use to defeat it at the polls and stressed that in light of actions of "a servile judiciary" slavery could not be removed from Kansas until it was admitted as a "sovereign state."

Keywords: Buchanan administration; Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); English Bill; Free state constitutions; Kansas Territory. Supreme Court; Lecompton Constitution; Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Missouri compromise; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Scott, Dred; Slave power; Slavery; Squatter sovereignty; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859


Correspondence, John A. Martin to J. M. Winchell
Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: September 7, 1859
In the weeks following the close of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, John A. Martin, the convention's secretary, and James M. Winchell, president of the convention, were occupied with the campaign for its ratification. This letter from Martin, dated Atchison, September 7, 1859, addressed some of the steps that had been and should be taken in the document's behalf during the bitter, partisan campaign leading up to the October 4, 1859, referendum.

Keywords: Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864; Nebraska Territory; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; United States. Congress. Senate; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory


Letter, S. [Salmon] P. Chase to S. N. Wood
Authors: Chase, Salmon Portland
Date: October 18, 1859
From Columbus, Ohio, Governor Salmon P. Chase wrote Wood, a former Ohioan, regarding Kansas politics and his (Chase's) political prospects, speculating about the senatorial contest and the presidential contest of 1860. Chase also was pleased that the Wyandotte Constitution passed by a good margin and believed it would be political "suicide" for the Democratic majority in the Senate to oppose it. "To reject Kansas would be to throw away all." On the back is a "confidential" note from Chase's clerk, M. W. Delahay.

Keywords: Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Democratic Party (U.S.); Ohio; United States. Congress. Senate; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt); Wyandotte Constitution


Letter, Tho. Ewing Jr to Dear Sir [Hon. Edward Everett]
Authors: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: December 21, 1859
In the wake of John Brown's execution, Ewing wrote to congratulate the renowned Whig congressman, governor, and U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Edward Everett, for the sentiments expressed by Everett and others at "the great meeting at Fanueil Hall to give expression to the opinion of the conservative people of Boston respecting the foray of old John Brown." Nevertheless, Ewing had to point out "an erroneous statement" in Everett's speech "to the effect that the migration of free negroes into the Territory of Kansas is prohibited by law." This of course was not the case and Ewing believed to say so did disservice to the people of Kansas, "who, after achieving their own liberties . . . Have not disgraced themselves by denying the freedom of the Territory to any human being."

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Constitutions; Everett, Edward, 1794-1865; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Exclusion, African Americans; Slavery


Photograph, Preston Bierce Plumb
Authors: Prince, George
Date: 
Preston Bierce Plumb was involved in various antislavery events in Kansas Territory. He was involved with the Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box and was a member of the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He was one of the founders of Emporia, Breckenridge County, Kansas Territory. He started the Emporia newspaper called "The Kanzas News."

Keywords: Antislavery; Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory (see also Lyon County, Kansas); Cartes de visite; Constitutions; Emporia, Kansas Territory; Free state activities; Kansas Volunteers; Leavenworth Constitution; Lyon County, Kansas (see also Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory); Militia; Photographs and Illustrations; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Prince, George


Photograph, Samuel Newitt Wood
Authors: Leonard & Martin, artists
Date: 
Samuel Newitt Wood was an active participant on behalf of the free state cause. He served in the territorial legislature and was a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He was also involved in some of the armed conflicts. He settled in Chase County, Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Cartes de visite; Chase County, Kansas Territory; Constitutions; Free state supporters; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Leavenworth Constitution; Leonard & Martin, artists; Photographs and Illustrations; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)


Photograph, Samuel F. Tappan
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 
Samuel F. Tappan was born in Massachusetts and came to Kansas when he was in his twenties. He listed his occupation as a journalist but was best known as secretary at the Leavenworth and Wyandotte Constitutional conventions. He was a free state supporter and settled in Lawrence. This image was taken a number of years after the territorial era.

Keywords: Constitutions; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Constitution; Photographs and Illustrations; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Wyandotte Constitution


Photograph, Franklin G. Adams
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 
F. G. Adams was a member of the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He also served as an election judge for the second vote on the Lecompton Constitution, living in Atchison at the time. In 1875, he became the first secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society.

Keywords: Adams, F. G. (Franklin George), 1824-1899; Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Atchison, Kansas Territory; Cabinet photographs; Constitutions; Photographs and Illustrations


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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