KANSAS The Southern Onset upon Gov. Walker- Atchison Despondent

Source citation
“Kansas,” New York Daily Times, 7 July 1857, p. 2.
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New York Time
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Meghan Fralinger
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Unable to fit in tag field "RUSSELL, W.H.", "Milledgeville, Georgia", South Carolina
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

The Southern Onset upon Gov. Walker- Atchison Despondent.

Hon. LAWRENCE M. KEITT, late colleague of PRESTON S. BROOKS, writes a letter to the Richmond Examiner, to defend himself against the charge of hostility to the Administration. He denounces the course of Gov. WALKER in Kansas in unmeasured terms:
“The object of GOV. WALKER in referring the Constitution back to the vote of all who may be in Kansas at the time of the reference, is obvious enough. The Convention frames a Constitution for Kansas, as Kansas is at the time. Those who subsequently go to Kansas go there as they would go into any other State of the Union. They must obey the laws, and if they do not like them, they must change them in the mode prescribed. The Convention embodies the sovereignty of Kansas, and that covers all who are in the Territory; and it is immaterial whether they were there when the delegates to the Convention were elected, or whether they came afterward. They are just as much represented in the Constitution of Kansas as they would be in that of any State of the Union into which they came after the adoption of its Constitution. The reference of the Constitution back to the popular vote is, I hold, uncalled for. But its reference to any other but the qualified voters is debauchery. They were the only agency competent to organize the State, and they are the only political element known in the act of organizing it. Until the organization is complete and settled, they are the only source of power. To make it otherwise is to make a Constitution as fickle and mutable as mere statute. It is, in fact to have no organic act or law. If those who come upon the soil, in the interval between the election of delegates to a Convention and the framing of the Constitution, , have a right to ratify or reject that instrument, why shall not those who come in the next year, or the year after, have the same right? They will be equally subject to its provisions, and this great right should no more be denied to them than to the others. This theory unsettles society and degrades all fundamental law. It is the offspring of French and Northern society; not of English or Southern society. It belongs to a turbulent society, where the wholesome restraints of law are impaired, without the development of individuality. And in France it culminated in a revolution to divide property, and struggled on until it was pressed back into the gutter by the bayonet.

GOVERNOR WALKER can only urge the right of the immediate settlers in Kansas in order to make Kansas as a Free-Soil State. I will not believe Mr. Buchanan as accomplice in this policy without sufficient proof. If there be any complicity, however, my denunciations will be none less earnest. The resolutions of the Democratic Party of Georgia, in Convention at Milledgeville, a few days ago, on the Kansas policy of GOVERNOR WALKER expresses my own views clearly enough. The Administration should absolve itself from WALKER’S treachery. It will do so, I am sure, unless it means to be responsible for it.”

A public meeting has been held in Montgomery, Ala., to denounce Governor WALKER, Judge MARTIN presided, and a series of violent resolutions was adopted- the following responses being assigned:

1. That instead of leaving “the people of that Territory free from all foreign interference to decide their own destiny for themselves,” he, as the Executive, has brought his official influence to bear upon their deliberations, first as voters and then as delegates in Convention, to induce them to frame a Free-Soil Constitution, and to submit whatever constitution is framed “for ratification or rejection by a majority of the then actual bona fide resident settlers of Kansas.”

2. That, as Governor of the Territory, he has improperly attempted to influence, first the voters, then the delegates to submit such Constitution as they may form to the settlers for ratification or rejection, by announcing to them what he alleges to be the opinion of the Federal Executive in favor of that policy.

3. That, as Governor of the Territory, he has endeavored to intimidate the voters and delegates in Convention into an adoption of his proposed measure, by announcing, in prophetic style, that “in no contingency will Congress admit Kansas as a Slave or Free State unless the majority of the people of Kansas shall first have fairly and freely decided this question for themselves by a direct vote on the adoption of the Constitution, excluding all fraud and violence,” and by asserting that, unless his views are complied with “the Constitution will be, and ought be, rejected by Congress.”

4. That he has brought all his official influence to bear to restrict the right guaranteed to the people of Kansas “to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way,” by demanding that, after they have framed their Constitution, they shall submit it for ratification to the settlers, and in default thereof, they shall be denied admission into the Union.

The South Carolina Times publishes a letter from D.R. ATCHISON, in which he virtually gives up the contest for Kansas:

PLATTSBURG, Friday, June 12, 1857

HON. J.D. TRADEWELL- Sir: -Your letter of May 20, together with the enclosed draft for $291, has been received and will be forwarded to Mr. W.H. RUSSELL, our treasurer at Leavenworth City, K.T., and will be appropriated to our cause. I cannot tell what will be the resulting Kansas; our friends in the Southern States are very apathetic, and some of our friends who have heretofore strained every nerve, spear their money and their time, are beginning to despair, and others are turning their attention to speculation and money making. I therefore would suggest that no more money be raised in South Carolina, the people of that State have been liberal above all other of the Southern States. Yet I fear that the North has, and will raise and expend in Kansas, to effect their unholy purposes, ten dollars where we can raise one.

Yet I do not despair. Your obed servant,

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