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Authors: Maine. House of Representatives; Maine. Senate
Date: April 23, 1856
The full title of this document was "State of Maine Resolves relating to the extension of slavery, the territory of Kansas, and secret political associations." The state legislature of Maine issued this statement listing their five resolutions about the state of affairs in Kansas Territory. The state legislature was against the expansion of slavery and they wanted the fate of Kansas Territory to be decided by the people living in the territory, without outside interference from hostile political organizations. The document was signed by Josiah S. Little of Maine's House of Representatives, Lot. M. Morrill of the Senate, and Samuel Wells of the Secretary's Office. Caleb Ayer certified that this copy of the original document was fully accurate.
Keywords: Antislavery; Antislavery perspective; Kansas Nebraska Act; Kansas question; Maine; Statehood (see also Admission, Kansas)
Newspaper article, Journal of Commerce
Authors: Journal of Commerce
Date: September 22, 1856
This clipping, enclosed in a letter from A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt dated September 22, 1856, argued that the emigration sponsored by New England emigrant aid societies was "indiscreet," although not illegal. The article placed the blame for the current troubles on the free-state settlers in Kansas, stating that Missouri settlers were only responding to the provocation of anti-slavery supporters.
Keywords: Bills, legislative; Border ruffians; Congress (See United States. Congress); Democratic Party (U.S.); Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Free state activities; Free state cause; Immigrants; Kansas Nebraska Act; Massachusetts; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Missouri; Missouri compromise; Pierce administration; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Sectionalism (United States); Slavery; Topeka Constitution; United States Government; United States. Congress; United States. Constitution
Speech, The Progress of Tyranny
Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: December 10, 1856
This "essay," presumably by John Alexander Martin, was "Read before the 'Franklin Literary Institute,' of Brownsville [Pennsylvania], Dec. 10th 1856," about a year before Martin moved to Kansas Territory. It was an interesting statement of the young journalist's emerging philosophy on many of the troubling questions of the day, including a discussion of their historical context. According to the "essayist," America's early opponents of "tyrany," both Northern and Southern, "looked forward to the day when it [slavery] would be abolished," and he pointed to the Constitutions and the Ordinance of 1787 as proof "that the founders of the Republic, in all their acts, strove to circumscribe the limits of slavery, and extend the area of Freedom." Subsequent generations of Americans placed greater emphasis on the economic value of slave production and the current generation was aggressively advocating its expansion and taking whatever action was necessary to insure the institution's survival and continue "the march of tyrany."
Keywords: Bleeding Kansas; Crime Against Kansas; Election, Presidential, 1856; Fugitive Slave Law; Kansas Nebraska Act; Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Missouri compromise; Ordinance of 1787 (see United States. Ordinance of 1787); Slave power; Slavery; Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874; United States. Ordinance of 1787
Speech of Senator Douglas, of Illinois, on the President's Message
Authors: Douglas, Stephen
Date: December 9, 1857
Senator Stephen Douglas delivered this speech in the United States Senate, responding to President Buchanan's decision to let Congress determine whether or not to admit Kansas into the Union. Douglas approved of the decision, as he believed it was not an Executive matter. Douglas reiterated the point that the members of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention were appointed to frame a sample government, subject to the approval of the Territory's citizens, not to make a government themselves. Although he disapproved of the means used to submit the Lecompton Constitution to Congress, Douglas judged that the free state government in Topeka was an unlawful legislative body.
Keywords: Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861; Election fraud; Free state legislature; Kansas Nebraska Act; Lecompton Constitution; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Missouri compromise; Popular sovereignty; Slavery; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Letter, [S. F.] Burdick to Dear Brother, Oscar [Learnard]
Authors: Burdick, S.F.
Date: January 6, 1858
S. F. Burdick, referring to his friend, Oscar Learnard, as "brother", wrote to him from Learnard's home state of Vermont. Burdick asked Learnard if there was anything he might do "to advance the cause of liberty and justice", and told him that he had heard of troubles at Fort Scott, referring to an incident taking place on December 17, 1857, when free state men, who had been displaced from their claims in 1856, returned to take possession of them again. Firing was done on both sides, though no one was killed or arrested.
Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Border ruffians; Burdick, S.F.; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Kansas Nebraska Act; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Missourians; National politics; Popular sovereignty
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