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The new danger came up in the shape of a proposition to establish a Territorial government in Nebraska (then embracing Kansas), a Territory which, with Missouri, originally constituted the upper part of the province of Louisiana, and was acquired from the French in 1803 by the payment of 60,000,000 francs.

As early as Dec. 11, 1844, Mr. Douglas gave notice to the House of his intention to introduce a bill for this purpose, which he did on the 17th instant following. After being favorably reported upon, it was referred to the Committee of the Whole, where, owing to the importance of other measures pending, it was not again acted upon during the session. On the 15th of March, 1848, he introduced a similar bill, and again it met a similar fate. In the Senate, in 1852, Mr. Dodge, of Iowa, early introduced a resolution, which was passed, instructing the Committee on Territories to inquire into the expediency of organizing the Territory; but no further action was taken upon it until the House of Representatives had passed its bill for that purpose. On December 17, the petition of Mr. Guthrie for a seat as a delegate from Nebraska, was received and referred, and on the 2d day of February, 1853, the Committee on Territories, through Mr. Richardson, of Illinois, their chairman, reported their bill for organizing Nebraska, which, after three days consideration, was passed on the 10th, by a vote of 98 to 43. It was silent on the subject of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The Senate received it the next day, and on the 17th instant, the Committee on Territories reported it without amendment. On the 3d of March, 1853, it was laid upon the table. In the debate which immediately preceded this disposition, Senator Atchison, of Missouri, openly avowed the ground of his opposition to be that the law excluding slavery from the Territory of Louisiana, north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, would be enforced in the new Territory, "unless specially rescinded." He did not appear, however, to entertain any hope that this desirable object could be effected. He said he should, therefore, oppose the organization, unless the whole South could go into the Territory with rights and privileges, respecting property, equal to other people of the Union. The idea of the possibility of a repeal of the Missouri Compromise was thus, for the first time, thrown out and left to take root in the minds of the nation, with the chance of growing up to perfection. Even the most ultra among the Southerners then regarded this as a thing rather to be hoped for than realized.

On the 4th of January, 1854, Mr. Douglas, from the Committee on Territories, (which consisted of Messrs. Douglas, of Illinois; Houston, of Texas; Johnson, of Arkansas; Bell, of Tennessee; Jones, of Iowa, and Everett, of Massachusetts,) to whom had been referred the bill of Mr. Dodge, reported back the same with amendments and a report which contained the first open, and as it were official, declaration of the impending _coup d'etat_. This report assumed as its basis that the Compromise acts of 1850, which, it will be recollected, leave to the people of the Territories to decide for themselves whether or not there shall be slavery in their midst, were the supreme, authentic law of the land, and the Missouri Compromise was cited and put aside as immaterial, because it came in collision with this latest legislation and adjustment of the question. This perpetual prohibition Mr. Douglas proposed incidentally to repeal by the following provision in the bill:--

"And when admitted as a State or States, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received in the Union with or without slavery, as their constitutions may prescribe at the time of their admission."

Later in this month the same committee submitted an amended bill by which two Territories--Kansas and Nebraska--were to be created out of the domain in question.

On the 22d of January, Messrs. Chase and Sumner, of the Senate, and Messrs. Giddings, Wade, Dewitt and Gerrit Smith, of the House, issued a stirring appeal to the people of the United States, urging and imploring instant action to avert the pending calamity. This was circulated over the whole country, and aided not a little in adding fuel to the already furious flame of excitement.

The discussion of the bill in the Senate was continued from time to time through January. It swallowed up all other interests, and was the absorbing topic throughout the country. The vote was finally reached at five o'clock in the morning of March 4, 1854, when the bill passed the Senate by a vote of thirty-seven to fourteen. Fourteen of the votes in its favor were given by Senators from the free States, and two of those against it by Senators from the slave States--Messrs. Houston, of Texas, and Bell, of Tennessee.

On the 14th of March Mr. Everett presented the famous mammoth memorial, signed by 3,050 clergymen of New England, protesting against the passage of the bill.

In the House of Representatives the bill was brought up on the 31st of January, 1853. The debate upon it was closed on the 19th of May, 1854, and on the 22d of May, 1854, it passed the House by the following vote:--Yeas, 113; nays, 100. The vote of the Senate on the final passage of the bill was, yeas, 35; nays, 13.

On the 20th of December, 1854, the Hon. John H. Whitfield, delegate elect from the Territory of Kansas, was sworn in and admitted to a seat in the House. It was alleged that his election had been carried by an importation of Missourians into the Territory, but no contest was made on his right, and he held his position during the remainder of the Thirty-third Congress.

During the recess between the 4th of March and the 1st of December, 1855, the history of Kansas was marked by the most exciting events. The removal of the seat of government by the Territorial Legislature from the place which had been fixed by Governor Reeder, was deemed by the latter to have made void, ab initio, all acts enacted by them subsequent to such removal, on the ground that the power to locate the same was vested in him alone.

The free State party backed up Governor Reeder, while the pro-slavery party endorsed the action of the Legislature. Governor Reeder was in the meantime removed from office.

The free State party met at Big Springs and resolved to repudiate the acts of the Territorial Legislature and organize a State government. A Convention was accordingly called and held at Topeka, on the 4th Tuesday of October, framed what was called the Topeka Convention, and set on foot a State Government which soon came in conflict with the regularly constituted authorities, and resulted in the indictments against the former for treason, which followed.

Meanwhile, finding opposition to the principles of the Kansas-Nebraska act unavailing in Congress and under the forms of the Constitution, combinations were entered into at the North to control the political destinies and form and regulate the domestic institutions of these Territories through the machinery of emigrant aid societies, by which means large numbers of persons were forwarded to the debatable ground. In order to give consistency to the movement and surround it with the color of legal authority, an act of incorporation was procured from the Legislature of Massachusetts for an association by the name of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society, the ostensible purpose of which was to enable emigrants to settle in the West. It was a powerful corporation, with a capital of five millions of dollars, invested in houses and lands, in merchandise and mills, in cannons and rifles, in powder and lead--in all the implements of art, agriculture and war, and employing a corresponding number of men under the management of directors who remained at home and pulled the wires of this immense political automaton. In a measure they succeeded. Thousands of these emigrants poured into the Territory, armed with Sharpe's rifles and the Word of God, and located themselves wherever their votes were most necessary. The result might have been anticipated. Under the influence of inflammatory appeals and stung by the irritating threats of the free-state men, the most intense indignation was aroused in the States near the Territory of Kansas, and especially in Missouri, whose domestic peace was thus the most directly endangered. Counter movements consequently ensued. Bands of men came over the State border and appeared at the polls, and on both sides angry accusations followed that the elections were carried by fraud and violence. In the meantime, statements entirely unfounded or grossly exaggerated concerning events within the Territory, were sedulously diffused through remote States to feed the flame of sectional animosity there, and the agitators in the States in turn exerted themselves to encourage and stimulate strife within the Territory.

During the Presidential campaign of 1856 Kansas may be said to have been in a state of civil war. Life was nowhere safe. Armed men espousing both sides of the question roamed throughout the country, committing depredations and atrocities which find their equal only in the records of savage barbarity. Men, women and children were murdered in their beds, and few could aver themselves either as free-state men or pro-slavery men without danger of being shot down in their tracks. It was during this period that the notorious John Brown, with his band, made his appearance and commenced those villainies for which he has since met a just reward upon the gallows.

To return to Congress, however: on the 7th of April, 1856, a memorial of the Senators and Representatives of the so-called State of Kansas, accompanied by the Constitution adopted at Topeka, praying the admission of the same into the Union, was presented in the House of Representatives and referred. The Committee on Territories reported a bill to that effect, which was rejected on the 30th of June by a vote of yeas 106, nays 107.

On motion of Mr. Barclay, of Pennsylvania, the question was reconsidered, and the vote being taken on the passage of the bill, it was carried by yeas 107, nays 106, the above named gentleman changing his ballot, and one other voting aye who was not present before.

The bill being brought before the Senate, that body substituted for it a bill of its own, which was returned to the House, where no action was taken upon it. Several other attempts were subsequently made in both the Senate and House, during 1856, to pass bills to authorise the people of Kansas to form a Constitution and State government, but without success--neither body endorsing the act of the other.

On the 29th of July, 1856, a bill reported by Mr. Grow, from the Committee on Territories, "To annul certain acts of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas," being before the House, Mr. Dunn, of Indiana, moved an amendment to the same, which substantially re-established the compromise of 1820. This was carried by a vote of 89 yeas and 77 nays. The bill reached the Senate, and a report upon it was made by the Committee on Territories on the 11th of August, 1856, recommending that it be laid upon the table, which was done, by a test vote of 35 to 12.

On the 11th of July, 1856, the committee appointed by the House to proceed to Kansas and investigate all matters connected with the contested election case between A. H. Reeder and John W. Whitfield, each of whom claimed to have been elected a delegate to Congress, made a majority and minority report, Messrs. W. A. Howard, of Michigan, and Lewis Campbell, of Ohio, affirming that everything connected with the Territorial Legislature and the election of Whitfield was wrong; and Mr. Mordecai Oliver, of Missouri, affirming that everything was right, and that Mr. Reeder was not duly elected according to law.

These reports were acted upon on the 29th of July, when Mr. Whitfield was declared not to be entitled to a seat in the House by a vote of 110 yeas to 92 nays, and Mr. Reeder was likewise declared not to be entitled to a seat by a vote of 88 yeas and 113 nays. On the 1st Of December, 1856, however, Mr. Whitfield, having again been elected a delegate, was sworn in by a vote of 112 yeas to 108 nays.

The effect of this agitation in Congress upon the people was immense, and every power that could be brought to bear to influence the result one way or another was unsparingly employed. It was almost the sole hinge upon which, for a time, swung the welfare of the country. The immediate admission of Kansas, with her free constitution, formed at Topeka, was engrafted upon the republican platform of 1856, and men were arraigned at the bar of public opinion and proved guilty or innocent by their standing with reference to this great question. Happily, however, the election of Mr. Buchanan threw oil upon the troubled waters, and with his inauguration the country relapsed once more into a state of comparative quiet. The predatory bands engaged in Kansas in acts of rapine, under cover of existing political disturbances, were arrested or dispersed, the troops were withdrawn, and tranquillity was once more restored to the hitherto agitated territory.

On the first Monday of September, 1857, a Convention was called together by virtue of an act of the Territorial Legislature, whose lawful existence had been recognized by various enactments of Congress, to frame a constitution for Kansas. A large proportion of the citizens did not think proper to register their names and vote at the election for delegates; but an opportunity to do this having been afforded, in the language of Mr. Buchanan, "their refusal to avail themselves of their right, could in no manner affect the legality of the Convention." But little difficulty occurred except on the question of slavery, and after an excited and angry debate on this subject, by a majority of only two, it was decided to submit the question of slavery to the people.

This was the famous Lecompton Convention. They adopted a constitution, and the form of submission was "constitution with slavery," or "constitution without slavery." A great many people were indignant because the constitution was made thus imperative, and more than one-half stayed away from the polls. The constitution was consequently adopted by the party voting for it with slavery. In that form it was submitted to the President, and the President submitted it to Congress. After a protracted discussion in both houses, the admission of Kansas under that instrument was defeated, and a compromise was adopted to submit the Lecompton constitution back to the people, with the condition that if accepted they should immediately come into the Union by a proclamation of the President, and that, if rejected, they should wait until they had ninety-three thousand inhabitants, to be ascertained by a census. They rejected the constitution by some ten thousand majority. In the meantime, under the operation of the Territorial Legislature and the Lecompton Convention acting in conjunction with each other, the anti-slavery elements rallied and elected an anti-slavery Legislature. There were, however, bogus returns from two or three counties, which, if admitted, would have changed the complexion of the Legislature into a pro-slavery body; but these were cast out by Governor Walker, and the Legislature was thus left in the possession of the free-soil party.

After the rejection of the Lecompton constitution, the people called another Convention, which assembled at Wyandot, and adopted an anti-slavery constitution. This they laid before Congress, and at the same time elected a Legislature and a member of Congress, the Legislature in turn electing two Senators, in anticipation of the admission of the State under the Wyandotte constitution. The bill for the admission of the State was taken up in Congress during the present session and passed, and on Wednesday, the 30th of January, was returned to Congress with the signature of the President, thus forever setting at rest a question which has so long disturbed the country.

The following are the State officers of Kansas elected under the Wyandotte constitution, and who will assume to administer the new State government:

Governor--Charles Robinson, formerly of Massachusetts.

Lieutenant Governor--J. P. Root, formerly of Connecticut.

Secretary of State--J. W. Robinson, formerly of Maine.

Treasurer--William Tholen, formerly of New York.

Auditor--George W. Hillyer, formerly of Ohio.

Superintendent of Public Instruction--W. R. Griffith, formerly of Illinois.

Chief Justice--Thomas Ewing, Jr., formerly of Ohio.

Associate Justices--Samuel D. Kingham, formerly of Kentucky, and Lawrence Bailey, formerly of New Hampshire.

In the Supreme Court, under the Dred Scott decision, the right has been established of every citizen to take his property of every kind, including slaves, into the common Territories, belonging equally to all the States of the confederacy, and to have it protected there under the Constitution.

It is hardly necessary to advert further to the progress of the anti-slavery element in Congress than to merely recal the tumults excited at the beginning of every session by the election of a Speaker, and the constant ebb and flow of agitation upon the one absorbing theme which has at last, through the efforts of the abolitionists and their allies, come to be the single sentiment, upon which hang suspended the destiny and hopes of a nation.