Kansas Affairs

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“Kansas Affairs,” New York Times, 27 October 1857, p. 4.
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New York Times
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Kansas Affairs
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Don Sailer
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Kansas Affairs.

There seems little reason to doubt that the Free-State Party have carried the Territorial Legislature in Kansas, as well as the Congressional Delegate. It is conceded on all sides that unless the fraudulent vote in Johnson County is allowed to give that District to the Democrats, they have no chance of controlling either branch of the Legislature, –nor is it quite certain that they could do so even with all the advantage of that fraud. The latest returns, contained in our Kansas exchanges, give the Free-State men 27 out of the 39 Representatives, and 9 out of the 13 Councilmen. We publish a protest, which has been sent to Governor WALKER and Secretary STANTON, against the return of over 1,600 votes in the Oxford District. The names of voters to this number are entered upon the voting list, –but it is stated that the signatures of the three Judges of Election are all in the same handwriting; –and it is notorious that there are not a hundred bona fide citizens resident in that town. By our telegraphic dispatch from St. Louis it will be seen that Governor WALKER and Secretary STANTON, in response to this protest, have issued a proclamation, in which they declare their intention to reject the entire vote of Oxford and give certificates to the Free-State candidates. Secretary STANTON’S course in connection with the exercise of the right of suffrage in the Territory, has been marked by fairness and candor; and he has acted consistently in defeating the glaring fraud which was attempted upon the rights of the people.
We copy also from the Herald of Freedom, a decided but not partisan advocate of Free-State principles, what appears to be an authoritative statement of the action of Gov. WALKER upon several points connected with the election, in regard to which his conduct has been severely censured. It has been alleged that the Governor advised a Mr. HERNDON to vote, knowing that he was from Missouri. The statement, in itself highly improbable, is directly and explicitly contradicted on the authority of Lieut. CARR, who heard the conversation, and who states that Gov. WALKER told Mr. HERNDON that he could not vote. We have no doubt that, of the two versions of the story, this is the true one.
What has seemed at this distance the most serious charge against the Governor is the allegation that he permitted and advised the soldiers to vote at Kickapoo, –in direct violation of the Nebraska bill, as well as the Territorial law. The Herald of Freedom gives what is probably a true statement of the case. It will be remembered that in his Proclamation concerning the election, Governor WALKER took the ground that the Territorial Election law of 1857 virtually repealed the Election law of 1855, which prohibited soldiers from voting, and restricted suffrage to those who should have paid a tax. In this position he was sustained by the President and his Cabinet, –and it was in consequence of it that the Free-State men, who had refused to pay the tax, secured the right to vote. But the Governor was also asked whether the same decision did not of necessity imply that the prohibition of soldiers from voting, contained in the law of 1855, was also repealed by the subsequent law of 1857, which declared that “all citizens of the United States, who had resided six months within the Territory,” should have the right to vote. And he felt compelled to say that it did, and that all soldiers, who had their families with them and had been for six months bona fide residents of the Territory, were entitled to vote. The importance of this decision, it is stated, has been greatly exaggerated, inasmuch as only forty or fifty soldiers voted under it, and the result was in no way affected by it. We are constrained to acknowledge that the explanation thus given relieves Gov. WALKER from the censure to which we supposed he had rendered himself obnoxious.

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