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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, M. [Martin] F. Conway to F. [Franklin] B. Sanborn
Authors: Conway, Martin Franklin
Date: November 16, 1857
Shortly before he was to leave Washington, D.C., for a return trip to the territory, Conway wrote Sanborn in Concord, Mass., about his disappointment at again being separated from his wife and child, but he focused most of his comments on the Lecompton machinations and his continued belief that the Free State Party had be wrong to participate in the territorial election (thus giving that government legitimacy).
Keywords: Calhoun, John; Conway, Martin Franklin; Democratic Party (U.S.); Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861; Election, Lecompton Constitution ratification, December 1857; Free State Party; Lecompton Constitution; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Slavery; United States. Congress
Letter, Geo. S. Boutwell to "My dear Sir" [Governor Salmon P. Chase]
Authors: Boutwell, George S.
Date: November 24, 1857
George Boutwell of Indianapolis, Indiana, wrote the governor of Ohio, Salmon P. Chase, regarding the forthcoming vote on the Lecompton Constitution--for the constitution with or without slavery. Boutwell explained why he believed the best alternative for Kansas free staters was to "abstain from voting." He asked Chase to encourage his Kansas friends to follow this course. (Chase likely forwarded this letter to Robinson.)
Keywords: Boutwell, George S.; Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873; Columbus, Ohio; Democratic Party (U.S.); Election, Lecompton Constitution ratification, December 1857; Free state cause; Lecompton Constitution; Slavery; United States. Congress
Letter, [U. S. Senator] H. Wilson to "Dear [Charles] Robinson"
Authors: Wilson, Henry , 1812-1875
Date: November 26, 1857
U.S. Senator Henry Wilson (1812-1875), a Republican from Massachusetts who was to become vice president of the United States in 1873, wrote Robinson from his home in Natick, Mass., regarding the Lecompton controversy. Robinson apparently had written for "advise" and Wilson simply wrote "you must look well to the position of matters and act as seems to you best." He did not believe it could pass the Congress "but if it is adopted do not fail to elect your state officers under it. Get the power if you can. . . ."
Keywords: Buchanan administration; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Lecompton Constitution; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; United States. Congress; United States. Congress. Senate; Wilson, Henry, 1812-1875
Letter, Joseph Walker to John Dougherty
Authors: Walker, Joseph
Date: November 28, 1857
This typed letter is from Joseph Walker, Platte City, Missouri, to John Dougherty, Liberty, Missouri. The letter urges Dougherty to vote in Kansas on the Lecompton Constitution.
Keywords: Lecompton Constitution; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections)
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