John M. Blum, et al., eds., The National Experience: A History of the United States (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1963), 309.
The first governor of the territory, Andrew H. Reeder, a Pennsylvania Democrat, found that several thousand settlers had preceded him to Kansas. In the fall of 1854 he called an election to choose a territorial delegate to Congress, and early in 1855 he called another election to name a territorial legislature. But Kansas elections developed unusual features. The Missouri counties which bordered Kansas on the east were strong proslavery areas, and the people in these counties, urged on by leaders like Senator Atchison, did not want a free-soil territory next door. Missourians by the hundreds swarmed across the border to Kansas to vote in the territorial elections. The antislavery settlers, though apparently in the majority, were heavily out-voted. On the face of the returns, the new territory had chosen a proslavery delegate to Congress and had elected a solidly proslavery legislature. The legislature, in turn, at once adopted a stringent slave code, providing the death sentence for anyone who helped a fugitive slave to escape and a prison term for anyone who held that slavery was not legal in Kansas.