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Untitled Document Leavenworth, K.T. April 1st, 1858

Friend Sherman,

The Constitutional Convention is now in Session in this City & are rapidly bringing their labors to a close. They will present to the People a Constitution that will be a Constitution of the People! One that will be no discredit to their heads nor their hearts.

The Black Law of the Topeka Constitution, made as an offering to the Slave power, has no place in this. Full power will be given to the Legislature to prohibit the Manufacture & Sale of intoxicating drinks. The election franchise will be given to all male Citizens of the United States, & foreigners of one years residence who have been given notice of becoming citizens of the United States. &c. One very important feature is single election Rep & Ter districts Homestead rights. Whether the Lecompton Constitution pass Congress or not, it will in Kansas be virtually dead; if not entirely discarded it will be used simply as an instrument for its own destruction. Our Convention first assembled at Minneola, the Capital, selected by the late Territorial Legislature. They in this selection entirely misrepresented the wishes of the people, and subjected

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themselves to the charge of speculating in town Shares, (or locating the Capital for the benefits of their own pockets.) (One thing is certain they did not at all represent the will of their Constituents.) The consequence is the great mass of these representatives are politically buried! The Constitutional Convention is composed of a noble body of tried men. In Kansas thrown together from all parts of the Union, the people not being acquainted, in too many instances have allowed men to put themselves forward as leaders - or law makers who were unfitted for their positions while men of worth with retiring dispositions have been allowed to stand aside. But probably no State has a sterner constituency than the Legistors of Kansas, hence the almost total repudiation of the late Territorial Legislature for their connection with what is called the “Minneola Swindle.” The Constitutional Convention met according to law at Minneola, but such was the Universal feeling of indignation that they refused to remain & adjourned to this place after sitting in convention from 12 at noon on one day till the break of day the next morning. There was a death struggle by a factious Minority of Minneolians to prevent the adjournment. The Majority Manifested a fairness & integrity of purpose worthy

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of the old Puritans. A large Hotel had been erected by the Minneola Co. especially for the accommodation of the Convention, but many of the members would neither eat, drink, nor sleep in it! A large number on adjournment rode 9 miles to Prairie City & took their breakfasts. They felt that they had done their duty & done something to redeem Kansas from the Stigma brought upon its fair form by the acts of the last Territorial Legislature.

April 3rd Today the labors of the Convention have ceased; the result, I will venture to say, is the best Constitution in existence. M.F. Conway, the presiding officer, with many others might be named or deserving special commendation for their talents & industry, but Gen. James H. Lane was the ruling spirit which directed & inspired the energies of the mass to the speedy formation of The Peoples Constitution, of Kansas. It has been with the greatest interest that I have carefully watched the labors, & the influence of this Wonderful Man!

Sometimes, conflicting measures would throw into confusion the Convention & threaten dissolution. Then was the time for Lane to throw himself into the arena! A general appeal to the whole, with direct appeals to factious leaders rebuking one, & coaxing and this, the effect is astonishing! Explanations acknowledge-

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ments, &c, till the repulsive elements are fused & assimilated into a homogenous Mass, and all things soon found again with order & rapidity. He is the man for the boots, & fills a place in our history that no other man can. He can command any office is the gift of the People & will no doubt be sent to the U. S. Senate. Our people are brave & hopeful & The future of Kansas is bright.

Yours Truly for God & Humanity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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This file was last modified September 12 2013 04:09:26 PM.