Washington (DC) National Era, “Independence of Voting,” December 10, 1857

Source citation
“Independence of Voting,” Washington (DC) National Era, December 10, 1857, p. 198: 3.
Original source
New York Times
Newspaper: Publication
Washington National Era
Newspaper: Headline
The Independence of Voting
Newspaper: Page(s)
Newspaper: Column
Date Certainty
Wes McCoy, Dickinson College
Transcription date
The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


“It seems to us clearly the interest and the necessity of the majority of the People of Kansas to secure their independence of the Federal Government. Hitherto and now it is the power and the fear of the national authority which prevents them from taking the management of their own affairs into their own hands. Their first necessity is to get rid of this control; and this would be completely and effectually accomplished by their admission as a State into the Union. They would then have precisely the same control over their own affairs as the people of Massachusetts or Virginia have. They could summon a Convention, frame a Constitution, submit it to the popular vote, and carry it into effect within a month from the date of their admission, if they should see fit. This might be a revolution, but it would be a domestic, a peaceful, and a successful revolution. They would fight it out amongst themselves. The Federal Government could not interfere. So far as practical results go, the people of Kansas might obtain the sovereignty which has thus far been denied them, in this way more speedily and effectually than in any other. They could protest against the Constitution, proclaim their purpose to subvert and supersede it at the earliest moment possible, vote for the exclusion of Slavery, accede to the plan of admission, and then take the reins into their own hands, peaceably if they could, but forcibly if they must.” – N.Y. Times

The Times begs the question. Can the people of Kansas have a fair election under the Calhoun regency? With men who recently have been guilty of all manner of injustice and fraud, set to watch the ballot-boxes, and to declare the vote, what chance is there for the Free State men to make themselves heard? And what need of voting? If the Times is correct, and the people of Kansas can abolish their bogus Constitution one month after it has been adopted, they can do it as well with the Slavery clause in it, and without having voted for the balance of the document, on compulsion, as it were. We like much better than the above extract the following, which closes the article in the Times, from which we quote:

“We think it not at all unlikely that Senator Douglas, or some other prominent member of the Democratic party, will immediately upon the meeting of Congress submit an enabling act, authorizing the Territorial Legislature to summon a Constitutional Convention, and provide for the speedy admission of Kansas as a State. This would evade the whole difficulty, satisfy the rational and moderate portion of the whole country and bring this long and vexatious contest to a satisfactory conclusion. Unless some such course is taken, we see no way of avoiding the renewal of disturbances and collisions which have already done so much mischief, not only in Kansas, but in the country at large.”

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