“Important from Kansas,” New York Times, 21 December 1857, p. 1.
New York Times
News from Kansas
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Important from Kansas.
More Illegal Voting.
Proceedings of the Legislature – Free-State Mass Meeting at Lecompton – Opposition to the Lecompton Constitution – Mr. Denver.
From the Missouri Democrat, 17th.
We are in possession of news from Kansas to the 12th instant. In the counties along the Missouri river attempts were being made to get up companies of voters to go to Kansas on the 21st. A meeting was held at Lexington on Saturday, for that purpose, but the proceedings were kept secret as far as practicable. The proposal did not meet with a very enthusiastic reception. At Fayette, in Howard county, a meeting for the same purpose was had on Thursday, and a number of volunteers obtained. Along the border the blue lodges were endeavoring to reorganize, and vote claim-holders, in Johnson county – that is, men residing in Piatte and Jackson, who driven stakes in Kansas Government lands. Large preparations are being made for fraudulent returns upon the bogus constitution.
The nullifiers had held a Convention to nominate candidates under the State organization. It was to have been held at Lecompton, on the 7th, but some fifteen hundred Free-State men, from Lawrence, came over, giving three cheers for free Kansas; when the nullifiers, some three hundred in all, adjourned across the river and made their nominations, en route home, Calhoun was, by acclamation, tendered the nomination for Governor, but he declined. Mr. Marshall was then selected as the candidate for the post, and Mr. Mathis, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, was nominated for Lieutenant-Governor. In the Territory the people are en masse opposed to the bogus Convention and all its doings. They will not submit to it under any terms. Only one newspaper supports the Constitution with any heartiness. The news of Stanton’s removal had not reached the Territory. The Legislature was in session and had fully organized. The nullifiers returned as members from Leavenworth had been thrown out, and their seats given to the Free-State men, which secured the latter full control by more than a two-third vote of both branches. The course of policy had not been fully determined upon, but it was believed that they would repeal the act authorizing the Calhoun Convention. Mr. Henderson (who recently figured at Washington) had passed up on Monday, hearing, as was reported, Secretary Denver’s commission, and instructions to Calhoun. The proceedings of the Legislature are reported very fully in the Leavenworth Times of the 12th, which has been kindly forwarded to us. We subjoin the most important men, which had adjourned over Lawrence, and which met at Lecompton on the 7th, is said to have been a very enthusiastic assembly. It marched in procession, fully armed, each man with a Sharp’s rifle and revolvers, presenting a very formidable appearance.
Mass Convention at Lecompton.
The Delegate Convention held at Lawrence on the 2d inst., also adjourned to meet in Lecompton on the same day in Mass Convention. Since the publication of Stanton’s proclamation, the defunct Legislature, of Shawnee notoriety, avowed their intention to answer the call, and take their seats in the legislative halls, thereby causing the country to be filled with the exuberant threats of the Pro-Slavery Party, that Atchison, Kickapoo, and the border counties of Missouri would send up their Blue Lodge recruits to aid and assist these scoundrels in their infamous proceedings.
The morning dawned with a cloudy sky, and soon commenced raining, and the roads and weather wore an unpropitious appearance for so important a day in the history of Kansas. But, notwithstanding the adverse appearance of uncontrollable elements, the people resolved to put their Legislature in possession of the halls and there defend them, if necessary. Between twelve and fifteen hundred assembled at an early hour, headed by the Lawrence Brass Band, marched into this citadel of Border Ruffianism, to the clarion notes of “Hall Columbia.” General Lane rode in the van and gave the word halt, in front of the legislative halls, and then proposed three cheers for the Topeka Constitution, and three groans for the Lecompton swindle. Simultaneously three multitudinous cheers went up for the “Old Banner – Free Constitution,” which was inscribed on a banner borne by the Topeka company, and three groans none the less significant of the Lecompton swindle. Governor Robinson was called to the Chair, and stated the object of the meeting, after which a Committee was appointed on resolutions. General Lane being Chairman, said the Committee would repair immediately to the “grocery.” Groceries or grogshops are about the only buildings accessible in Lecompton.
The meeting was addressed by Lane, Robinson, Conway, Phillips, and other distinguishable speakers, after which the following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved, That we, the people of Kansas, in mass convention assembled at Lecompton, this 7th day of December, 1857, do fully and earnestly indorse the proceedings of the Delegate Convention assembled at Lawrence on the 2d inst., which proceedings we hereby submit as a part of these resolutions.
Resolved, That we do hereby enroll our names in the league and covenant formed by that Convention, and pledge ourselves, individually and collectively, to oppose, to the utmost, the Constitution adopted at Lecompton, and to resist every attempt which may be made to put into operation a government under the same.
Resolved, That we reiterate our adherence and devotion to the Topeka Constitution and Government, and express out unalterable determination, when the proper time shall have arrived, to give it force and effect in pursuance of the principles upon which it originated.