“Kansas and the South,” New York Daily Times, 27 July 1857, p. 4.
Charleston (SC) Mercury
New York Times
Kansas and the South
again, South is journal from Virginia.
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.
Kansas and the South.
Some of the Southern papers, which profess to be organs of the National Administration, have been doing their utmost of late to destroy the confidence which all honorable Northern men desire to cherish and keep alive in the impartiality and the right mindedness of the actual Executive of Kansas.
It is a great mistake to suppose that any considerable proportion of the conservative party of the North are indifferent to the issue of the struggle in Kansas.
Conservative men at the North have been willing to abstain from partisan denunciations of the existing Administration because they were willing to suppose that Mr. BUCHANAN was disposed to use the authority conferred upon him by the people of the United States in the interest of the country at large and of national American principles, rather than for the benefit of any party or of any sectional organization whatever.
But Northern men of principles are not disposed to see the citizens of Kansas treated as if they were utterly lawless disturbers of the public peace, and flagrant traitors to the beneficent laws of the Union.
While upholding the legitimate authority of the National functionaries of Kansas, and while deprecating the display by the people of that Territory of any vague and inconsequential opposition to the peaceful exercise of such authority, we desire it to be distinctly understood that the Northern people of the most pacific and reasonable classes vividly remember the aggravated and intolerable wrongs to which the people of Kansas have been subjected in times past, and will insist upon some adequate recognition of the facts of the past history of Kansas on the part of the National authorities.
When journals like the South and the Charleston Mercury denounce the inhabitants of Lawrence and the supporters of the Topeka Legislature as “insane Abolitionists,” bent on destroying the just supremacy of the slaveholding interest of the councils of the nation, this idiotic insolence passes for just what it is worth with all intelligent men in all sections of the country, and neither excites us to surprise nor moves us to indignation.
But when the Washington Union and papers of that stamp which recognized as the organs of the Cabinet, permit themselves to echo this foolish language of the Southern extremists, and to talk of the “dragooning” the “Abolitionists” of Kansas, it is necessary to remind them that they are touching upon dangerous ground and risking the peace of the Nation in a very serious manner.
The affairs of Kansas cannot be adjusted by violence. The people of Kansas have suffered what no free citizens of the United States have ever suffered before in our history –the violent invasion of their territory and the violent suspension of their dearest rights, personal and political. It is not to be expected that they should be found very ready to put full faith in the intentions towards them of an Administration elected by the same party from whose representatives they had, in times past, received such atrocious treatment. They need to be conciliated by the wisest statesmanship, and to be satisfied beyond a peradventure of the absolute rectitude, and the unquestionable patriotism of the functionaries in whom they are invited to repose their confidence. To talk of “suppressing” and “subduing” these men-to assume towards them the attitude of the House of Stuart towards the Covenanters or the Parliamentarians, is to invite those calamities of civil war which we all of us profess to deprecate-to invite them, not perhaps in this year, nor in the next, but eventually and inevitably.
We have already expressed ourselves in the strongest terms of reprobation in regard to what we considered to be the ill-advised and extravagant conduct of the Free State men in Kansas. But if the Washington Union is to be taken as any fair exponent of the purposes and intentions of the National Government, it will be very soon be necessary for all moderate and reasonable men at the North to reiterate in a still more emphatic and decisive way the protests which were entered so largely in November last against the proceedings of the authorities at Washington in respect to this much-tormented Territory.
When a journal, claiming to represent the Federal Executive, begins to talk of “Governor WALKER’S fidelity to the South,” it is time for us to ask again what question there is of “fidelity” or “infidelity” to the “South” in this matter of Kansas? It is fidelity to the “Union” and to the great principles, which will bring down upon him, or upon any other man who shall be guilty through the sternest judgment and the swiftest vengeance of the people of these United States. We do not choose to accept the Washington Union as an authoritative organ of the policy of Mr. BUCHANAN. We do not choose to believe that he in Washington and Governor WALKER as his delegate in Kansas, distinctly understand, and are frankly disposed to discharge their several responsibilities in a spirit of loyalty to the country, and not in the paltry spirit of a partizan purpose or a personal ambition.
And therefore we make no doubt that the arrogance and stupidity of the Union and its confederates in the Southern conspiracy against the honor of the Government and the peace of the country, will be promptly and decisively rebuked.