Politics in Kansas

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    “POLITICS IN KANSAS,” New York Daily Times, 28 August 1857, p. 3.
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    New York Times
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    Politics in Kansas
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    Meghan Fralinger
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    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. 


    Rumors and Reports-Prospects if Gov. Walker-The Ultraists of Both Sides, &c.

    From our Special Correspondent.

    LECOMPTON, K.T., Tuesday, Aug.18

    Kansas is now suffering from an attack of rumors and threats-a dreadful complication of disorders. The crisis occurs in October, and fears are expressed that the patient will be seized with another fit of convulsions before we can look for a perfect recovery. As my business, however, is not to prescribe but to describe, you will permit me to state the symptoms and leave modes of cure to those Sangfades who have distinguished themselves by their unremitting attention to the health of that good old lady, the Union, whom may the Fates long favor.

    In the first place then, (dropping the figure) the main topics of conversation, speculation, and misrepresentation throughout the good of the Territory, are the action of the Constitutional Convention which meets here September next, and the probably result of the October elections under the acts of the Territorial Legislature. On these subjects the talk generally assumes the form of threats-thus:

    General LANE, it is said, threatens to drive to drive the Convention into Missouri. But he won’t. The ultra Free-state agitators threaten that whatever may be the character of the Constitution framed by the Convention, (if it be allowed to sit,) the Free State Party, to a man, will vote for its rejection. But they won’t. The ultra Pro-Slavery agitators threaten to withhold that Constitution from the vote of all the bona fide resident settlers. But they won’t. The same party threaten to have every man disqualified from voting wh has not paid taxes. But they won’t.

    Rely upon it. The Convention will meet and sit undisturbed; they will frame a Constitution; they will decide on submitting it to the people with the question of Slavery or No-Slavery, as an independent clause to be separately voted on; if the Constitution be a good one, a majority of the people will vote for its adoption; the Free-State Party will go to the polls en masse in October; they will vote, whether they have, or have not, paid their taxes, and nobody will venture to hinder them in the exercise of their right pf franchise; and if Governor WALKER finds it necessary, he will order out every soldier in Kansas to protect every citizen of the Territory, of whatever politics, whose rights are jeopardized.

    Now, for a batch of rumors-flying rumors. These are so numerous that a whole regiment of riflemen and half-a-dozen batteries would be inadequate to shoot down one half of them. I shall simply let daylight through three or four.

    First- It is rumored that Gov. WALKER’s object in keeping the troops at Lawrence is to intimidate the Free State voters from approaching the polls in October. That is utterly untrue. It is well known by all who have ever conversed with Gov. WALKER on the subject of the October elections, that is his wish to see every man who has resided in Kansas since the 1st of April last, go to the polls and record his vote, and that nobody would deprecate any interference with the rights of suffrage more than he. I know personally many Free-State men who have made it a point to interrogate Gov. WALKER on this subject, and the result of their interviews has invariably been a firm determination on their part to assert and exercise their rights as citizens of the Territory.

    Second- It is asserted that STRINGFELLOW, ABELL, and others recently, at a meeting held in Missouri, exhorted the residents of that State to make another razzia on the ballot-boxes of Kansas in October, and insure the election of a Pro-Slavery Legislature and other Territorial officers. This charge was made by a Republican, at a Democratic meeting recently held at Osawkee, just before the termination of the land sales there, and was indignantly repudiated by the Democratic speakers. I am informed, in the most authoritative manner, that no such speeches were ever made. On the contrary, Mr. ABELL, it is said, simply stated that if Missouri had furnished 20,000 permanent settlers, as she should have done, to Kansas, the result so far as the Slavery question is concerned, would now be different; and as for Dr. STRINGFELLOW, it is a matter of public notoriety that in Atchison, where he resides, he sustains with the utmost energy and most disinterested zeal, the whole policy of Gov. WALKER.

    Now for a few facts.

    The Grand Jury has been in session in Lecompton for the last fortnight. A number of silly bills against the people charged with offenses arising out of the troubles of last year and the year proceeding, have been found, and writs issued on them and handed over to the Sheriff for execution. At the same time, a series of old writs of a similar character were exhumed from the dust of the last nine or ten months and similarly disposed of. The Sheriff accordingly proceeded to serve them. In some cases, he succeeded; in others, he was nearly being served himself with a millimus to the kingdom come, and had to get a posse of troops to aid him. The egregious folly, nay, the positive error, of this revival of old feuds and reopening of old sores argues badly for the judgment of there who prompted it, and cannot be too seriously condemned. If the extremists in this Territory would only let things alone, and permit the tide of affairs to take its natural course, you would never hear another word about our difficulties, for there would be no longer any difficulties to hear about. My “middle party,” however, is going to settle the business at any rate, but they could effect that so much more easily if the two ends that meet in violence would only remain quiet.

    Another proceeding of this Grand Jury deserves passing notice. On Saturday last, after their adjournment, a series of resolutions were introduced among them, asking them to give an expression of opinion of the leading political questions of the day, to wit: the policy of Gov. WALKER, Slavery in Kansas, the submission of the Constitution to the people, the payment of taxes, the qualification of voters, &c. A meeting was immediately organized to consider the propriety of the step proposed, and the resolutions were rejected by a large majority. Subsequently a series of resolutions were adopted by them, expressing simply of their confidence in the integrity and ability of the Judiciary of Kansas, and of their concurrence in the extra judicial opinion of Judge CATO, which asserts that the payment of taxes is an essential prerequisite of the right to vote in October The Free State Party, however, have no need to dread anything the Grand Jury may say. Gov. WALKER says the contrary on the tax question, and that, to every man who knows his capacity and determination, is guarantee enough.

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