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Authors: Brown, Jr., John ; Deitzler, George W.; Jenkins, Gaius ; Robinson, Charles ; Smith, George W.; Williams, Henry H.
Date: July 1, 1856
From a "camp near Lecompton," George W. Smith and the other Free State captives, including Charles Robinson and John Brown, Jr., wrote to state their views on issues facing the Topeka legislature as it convened. First, Smith and company argued that the freestaters had a "right to meet as a Legislature, complete the State organization and pass all laws necessary to the successful administration of Justice," but the assembly should not resist "Federal officer in the service of the legal process" unless they threaten the state organization. Smith, et al, believe success of the cause depended on "a right position and, second upon calm, and unflinching firmness."
Keywords: Blood, James; Brown, John, Jr.; Deitzler, George W.; Federal troops; Free state cause; Free state government; Jenkins, Gaius; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Smith, George W.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory; United States Government; Williams, Henry H.
Letter, Samuel Whitcomb to Respected & Dear Sir [Honorable G. Smith]
Authors: Whitcomb, Samuel
Date: August 30, 1856
This letter, written in Springfield by Samuel Whitcomb, is addressed to the Honorable G. Smith of Peterborg, New York. It is a passionate piece of correspondence that discusses slavery and liberty, demonstrating the conviction of this free-soil advocate. Whitcomb also expressed his frustration that the federal government was not more supportive of the free state cause in Kansas Territory, as well as his fear that the war was destined to spread out from Kansas.
Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Border ruffians; Congress (See United States. Congress); Free state cause; National politics; Pierce administration; Sectionalism (United States); United States Government; United States. Army; United States. Congress; Whitcomb, Samuel
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
Letter, H. B. Hurd to Rev. T. W. Higginson
Authors: Hurd, H. B.
Date: November 14, 1856
H. B. Hurd was secretary of the National Kansas Committee, and he wrote this letter to Thomas Higginson from the committee's office in Chicago. The main focus of the letter revolves around Higginson's plan of operation to garner support from free state governors. Hurd offered advice about which governors to approach first, also stating his opinion on various related matters. Included in the letter was another sheet, outlining Higginson's "Points to be suggested to the Executives of the States." The back of this sheet has some other notes and doodling.
Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Hurd, H. B.; National Kansas Committee; National politics; United States Government
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
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