Kansas Affairs

    Source citation
    “Kansas Affairs,” New York Times, 31 October 1857, p. 1.
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    New York Times
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    Kansas Affairs
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    Don Sailer
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    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.

    The Pro-Slavery Protest Against General Walker’s Proclamation.

    We have received a copy of the resolutions adopted by the meeting held at Lecompton on the 29th of October, to protest against the rejection by Gov. WALKER and Secretary STANTON, of the fraudulent votes cast in Oxford, Johnson County. We publish them because they will enable the public to see upon what grounds this action of Gov. WALKER is to be resisted by the Pro-Slavery faction with whose plans and purposes it has interfered. It will be observed that the great point made throughout, is that Gov. WALKER has not acted from a paramount regard for the wishes and welfare of the Democratic Party. It is quite possible that the difference between them upon this point, is due to the fact that the Governor sees further into the future of that party than they do.
    The following are the resolutions:
    Whereas, The Democratic strength in the Legislature has been reduced to a bare majority, in consequence of the many illegal votes cast by the Black Republicans in the various counties of this Territory at the late election, induced, to a great extent, by the erroneous construction of the election law promulgated by Governor WALKER on the eve of said election; and
    Whereas, further, by a late proclamation emanating from Governor WALKER and Secretary STANTON, announcing their intention to refuse certificates of election to the Democratic members of the Legislature, returned from the counties of Johnson and Douglas, and to grant them to their opponents, thus virtually destroying the Democratic vote in the Legislature; therefore,
    Resolved, That we, as members of the Democratic Party, accidentally assembled in Lecompton from various portions of the Territory, deem it due to the county and our party to express our unqualified condemnation of the high-handed and illegal usurpation of power on the part of the Governor and Secretary of this Territory.
    Resolved, That the reasons assigned for the outrage alleged in the Proclamation are ungrounded, illogical, and insulting to the common sense of every citizen, and the resort to them to justify their conduct, can only be accounted for by the fact mentioned in the Proclamation, that “the disposition to be made of the supposed vote (Oxford vote) is all important, from the fact that the political character of the Legislative Assembly will be exhibited thereby,” and which disposition, as made by the Proclamation, will make that Assembly almost unanimously Black Republican, by giving to that party the power of carrying out their avowed designs of throwing out the remaining Democratic delegations in the Legislature.
    Resolved, In answer to the statements of that Proclamation,
    1. That this meeting will not imitate the unworthy example of the Governor and Secretary, by going into an investigation of the fact as to whether the Oxford returns contain illegal votes or not. The decision of this important question is placed by law in the hands of the Legislative Assembly, and in them alone where all parties can be heard to any contest that may arise.
    2. The Governor and Secretary have no right to infer that Johnson County is to any degree uninhabited, from the fact that settlements upon its soil are illegal. We who have lived in Kansas, and know something of its history, are aware of the fact that the most thickly settled portions of Kansas were the Delaware Trust Lands, where settlements were also illegal.
    3. The law does not require the election returns to show that the Judges of election were sworn, or that the poll-book returned is one of the original poll-books kept at the election. The returns and certificate in the Oxford case are in exact accordance with the law, and the rule adopted in the proclamation would throw out every poll-box in the Territory save one.
    4. It is a gross error in the Governor and Secretary to declare in opposition to the certificates of the Judges, that it was physically impossible to write down the votes in the time prescribed by law.
    5. The other reason assigned that the votes given were fraudulent because only one Black Republican vote was polled–is a strange reason to be given by Democrats for destroying a Democratic vote–thus denouncing its unanimity; and that too when a number of poll-books are returned and approved with not one Democratic vote on them.
    6. That the visit of the Governor and Secretary to Oxford to smell out Democratic frauds, is an impudent assumption of power, there being no law requiring or authorizing such a procedure, and indicates to the party throughout the Union no love for the Democratic Party–particularly as they have made no similar attempt at detecting frauds at Black Republican precincts, through the fact of there being many such is notorious.
    7. That the Governor and Secretary have been guilty of a gross violation of law, in going behind the Oxford returns, and of an unprecedented insult to the honesty of the Legislature in refusing them the power of deciding the question as to fraudulent votes–an insult openly expressed in the proclamation.
    8. The peaceful settlement of the Kansas question has now been again endangered by this wanton act of tyranny–a tyranny which has sought to interfere in our elections–which has expounded the law contrary to the intent of the law-maker, and carried the exposition thus made to the judges of the election at the point of the bayonet–which has thwarted the administration of the local officers, and has now consummated its designs by openly trampling under foot the laws of the Territory and placing the power of the Government in the hands of those who boldly proclaim their intention to abolish all law, and plunge the Territory into all the horrors of anarchy.
    9. That the candidates voted for by the Black Republican Party, and to whom the Governor and Secretary purpose to give certificates of election, are returned in poll-books obnoxious to all the objections made against the Oxford poll, while the candidates themselves are disqualified by the laws from holding the offices assigned them.
    10. This meeting reiterates its determination to express no sentiments as to the legality or illegality of the votes polled at Oxford, but leave that question with the Legislative Assembly, as required by law, having full confidence in the integrity of that body to do ample justice, and to set aside illegal votes given on both sides.
    That in view of the fact that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, now in session, have for the last three weeks, (embracing the time of the election,) been with their constituents, and are therefore fully competent to express the views of the Democratic Party throughout the Territory, therefore,
    Resolved, That the persons composing said Convention be requested to meet as a Convention of the Democratic Party, in connection with such other Democrats as may assemble from all parts of the Territory, and express their views regarding the political issues at present affecting the Territory.
    On motion of Gen. L. A. MCLEAN it was
    Resolved, That we have such an abiding confidence and faith in the integrity of the President of the United States and his Cabinet, as to believe firmly that they will not countenance or sustain the late action of Governor WALKER, in his unjustifiable assumption of power, his disregard of law, and his violation of positive instructions received from them.

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