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The Life and Public Services of Henry Wilson
Chapter X.


THE collisions between the free people and the slave-holders in Kansas, consequent on the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in May, 1854, were becoming more and more violent and sanguinary. On that broad and distant field the defenders of slavery were committing the most barbarous atrocities upon the settlers from the North, and substantiating practically the truth, that free and slave labor cannot harmoniously co-exist in the same State. Antagonist in their nature, the success of one is the destruction of the other. The outrages of the border ruffians, who were murdering unoffending men and carrying the polls by force for slavery, roused the Northern people to great excitement; and they demanded speedy and decisive action on the part of the national executive. Instead of extending protection to the injured, party, the administration fanned the fire of the aggressors. Mr. Wilson now came grandly up to the occasion.

A message from the president to the Senate, enclosing an iniquitous report of the secretary of state on the existing state of affairs in Kansas, drew forth from him in the Senate, Feb. 18 and 19, 1856, one of the boldest defences of the outraged people, one of the sternest rebukes of border violence, which had yet been made. "Mr. President," said he, "the senator from Connecticut (Mr. Toucey) closes his speech with the assumption that there may be those in the country who do not wish the president to preserve order; and he is pleased to say, that, if the executive does so, their ' vocation' will be gone. Let me say to the senator from Connecticut, that the 'vocation' of those to whom lie alludes is not fawning, abject servility to power. No, sir: they do not

'Bend to power, and lap its milk.'

"If the senator from Connecticut alludes to those who have opposed the uncalled-for and wanton repeal of the Missouri prohibition; if he alludes to those who condemn the policy of the administration in Kansas; if he intends to charge the intelligent, patriotic men who sympathize with the wronged and outraged people of Kansas, bravely struggling to preserve their firesides and altars, their property and lives, against the armed aggressions of lawless invasions from Missouri, with a disposition to violate or resist the laws of the country, or to cherish sectional animosity and strife, - he makes a charge unsupported by even the shadow of truth; and here and now, to his face, and before the Senate and the country, I pronounce the charge utterly unfounded. If he intends to insinuate a charge of that character against me, I promptly meet it; and before the Senate I brand it as it deserves.

"The senator from Connecticut, with an air of confident assurance, calls for facts. Evidently possessed with the vast knowledge embodied in these documents sent here by the executive, the senator assumes the air and tone of one entitled to speak by authority; and he invites us to deal in facts. Sir, he shall have facts; for it so happens that the friends of those who are struggling in Kansas to protect their lives; their property, their all, against unauthorized power and lawless violence, know something of the facts which have transpired there. All knowledge, sir, of affairs in Kansas, is not in the keeping of the executive and hi senator from Connecticut. The tree of knowledge, sir, was not planted in the executive garden; and I sometimes think, if it had been, its forbidden fruit would have been more secure than were the fruits of that tree plucked by our first parents.

The senator from Connecticut commends us to the. consideration of this correspondence; and the senator from California (Mr. Weller) asks us to print ten thousand extra copies of it to be scattered broadcast over the land. I now say - and I can establish what I say before any committee of investigation, so that no man can question the declaration - that this correspondence utterly and totally misstates and misrepresents the state of affairs in Kansas. These documents, sir, are made up of telegraphic despatches, of letters, of statements, of orders, written by Gov. Shannon and others, on the rumors of the hour, in a large territory, at a time when the people were deeply agitated by all sorts of reports that flew over the land in rapid succession. We are called upon now to publish these rumors, - rumors that turned out to be exaggerated or false, - rumors recognized arid admitted to be false by the governor of the Territory in his conversation and in his treaty with the citizens of Lawrence. Yes, sir, the Senate is now called upon to print and send over the country, as official documents, these stupendous misrepresentations of facts. They will carry a gigantic falsehood to the American people. He who reads only these documents has no accurate knowledge, no true conception, of the actual condition of affairs in Kansas at the time covered by them.

"The year 1854 opened upon a vast territory lying in the heart of the continent, extending from thirty-six degrees thirty minutes on south to the possessions of the British queen on the north; from the borders of Missiouri, Iowa, and Minnesota, on the east, to the summits of the Rocky Mountains on west. Over that territory, larger than the empire of Napoleon, when, at the head of the grand army, he gazed upon that 'ocean of flame' that wrapped the minarets, turrets, and towers of the ancient capital of the czars, the republic, on the 6th of March, 1820, engraved in letters of living light the sacred words, 'Slavery shall be and is forever prohibited.' Slavery, with hungry gaze, glared upon the forest and prairie, hill and mountain, lake and river, of that magnificent region it was forever forbidden to enter. Fixing its glittering eye upon that paradise, consecrated by the nation to freedom and free institutions for all, hallowed forever to free men and free labor, the slave-power, in the person of the late president of the Senate, the soul of these border aggressions; demanded that this heritage of free labor should be opened to the withering footsteps of the bondman. Sir, with hot haste you grasped this domain of freedom, and flung it to the slave propaganda. Your administration, in answer to the stern protest of the free laboring-men of the country, whose heritage it was, mocked them with the delusive promise that the actual settlers were to shape, mould, and fashion the institutions of Kansas and Nebraska. Two years have passed, and your 'squatter sovereignty' is proved a delusion and a cheat. Laws more inhuman than the code of Draco, forced upon the actual settlers of Kansas by armed invading hosts from Missouri, are now to be enforced by United-States dragoons. The Constitution, framed by a convention of the people, is spurned from the halls of Congress; the convention that formed it is pronounced 'spurious' by the senator from Connecticut; and the people who ratified it are branded as traitors by the administration and its subalterns.

"By the theory of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Mr. President, the actual settlers were to decide the transcendent question, whether freedom should bless, or slavery curse, the virgin soil of those vast Territories lying in the central regions of the continent. The sons of the free States, of Puritan New England, of the great central States, and of the North-west, - men who call no man master, and who wish to make no man slave, - were invited to plant upon the soil of Kansas those institutions that have blessed, beautified, and adorned the homes of their childhood. The sons of the South - from regions once teeming with the rich fruits of fields now blasted, blighted, and withered by the sweat of untutored and unrewarded toil - were invited to plant, if they could, the institutions that had dishonored labor in their own native States upon the unbroken soil of Kansas. Sir, the people of the North and the people of the South had a legal and moral right to go there when they pleased, how they pleased, and with whom they pleased; in companies, or in single families; under their own direction, or under the auspices of emigrant-aid societies in the North or the South.

"Sir the honorable senator from Missouri (Mr. Geyer), in his remarks the other day upon the resolution of inquiry submitted by me, made the extraordinary declaration, that the 'disorders' which he admits have existed on the borders are to be attributed to an extraordinary organization, called an 'Emigrant-aid Society,'- the first attempt in the history of this country to take possession of an organized Territory, and exclude from it the inhabitants of other portions of the Union.' I am amazed that the senator from Missouri should make such a declaration on the floor of the Senate. When and how did the Emigrant-aid Society 'attempt to take possession of an organized Territory, and to exclude from it the inhabitants of other portions of the Union'? Will the senator tell us when that 'attempt' was made? Will he tell us where it was made? Will he tell its how it was made? I challenge the senator to give us one single fact to sustain the declaration he has so unjustly made against men of stainless purity. The senator avows that men from his State 'have passed over the borders;' but they have done so, he tells us, 'to protect the ballot-box from the attempt of armed colonists to control the elections there.' When and how were the ballot-boxes assailed by 'armed colonists' from the North? I call upon the senator from Missouri, I challenge any senator, to furnish one fact, one single authenticated fact, to sustain this assumption.

"Sir, the Emigrant-aid Society of New England has violated no law, human or divine. Standing here before the Senate and the country, I challenge the senator from Missouri, or any other senator, to furnish to the Senate one fact, one authenticated fact, to show that the Emigrant-aid Society has performed any illegal act, any act inconsistent with the obligations of patriotism, morality, or religion. The President of the United States has arraigned before the country these emigrant aid societies; the organs of the administration have assailed them; and now the senator from Missouri here, on the floor of the Senate, renews the assault, Sir, I defy any supporter of the administration, any apologist of Atchison, Stringfellow, and their followers, to give us one act of the directors of the New-England Emigrant-aid Society hostile to law, order, and peace. I know most of these gentlemen thus wantonly assailed; and I know them to be law-abiding, order-loving, conservative men. I defy the senator from Missouri, the senator from Connecticut, or the chief magistrate at the other end of the avenue, to show, here or elsewhere, that the Emigrant-aid Society ever violated a law of this country, or performed an act which could not receive the sanction of the laws of God and man. They have sent no paupers or criminals to Kansas: they have simply organized a system by which persons wishing to go to Kansas may go in small companies; and by going together, and starting at a particular time and place, may have the cost of their fare reduced about thirty-three per cent. This company has built a hotel in Kansas; has sent some saw-mills there; has aided in establishing schools and churches. That is the extent of offence, - no more, no less.

"Mr. President, on the 29th of July, 1854, within sixty days after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a meeting was called at Weston, Mo., by the 'Platte-county Self-defensive Association.' Resolutions were adopted, declaring that the association, whenever called upon by any of the citizens of Kansas Territory, will hold itself in readiness to assist in removing any and all emigrants who go there under the auspices of the Northern emigration-aid societies.

"Before the feet of the first emigrants who went there under the auspices of the Emigrant-aid Society pressed the soil of Kansas, this 'Platte-county Self-defensive Association,' under the guidance of B. F. Stringfellow, proclaimed to the world its readiness to cross into Kansas and remove actual settlers from their new homes. Under the lead of this lawless association other meetings were held in Western Missouri, and resolutions adopted in favor of carrying slavery into Kansas, and in denunciation of emigrants from the free States who should go there under the auspices of the emigrant-aid societies.

On the 9th of August, more than two months after the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, a few persons went into that Territory from the East. They went there under the auspices of that society referred to the other day so unjustly by the senator from Missouri. Early in the autumn of 1854 the Missouri guardians of Kansas crossed over into the Territory, and, by force of arms, endeavored to drive from their homes the few persons who had begun the little settlement at Lawrence. But these Platte-county-Association heroes found a little band of about thirty New England men, under the lead of Charles Robinson, - the Miles Standish of Kansas, - ready to meet the issue with powder and ball; and they retreated to their homes, preferring to live to fight another day.

The senator from Connecticut referred with an air of triumph to the election which took place on the twenty-ninth day of November, 1854. On that day Mr. Whitfield was elected - and triumphantly elected - a delegate from that Territory. No one ever questioned the fact that he had a majority of the legal voters of the Territory on that day; but, in addition to that fact, men familiar with the Territory declare that he received the votes of more than a thousand inhabitants of Missouri who crossed the line and voted on that occasion.

"I hold in my hand, sir, a paper drawn up and signed by Gen. Pomeroy, - a gentleman of intelligence, of personal honor, whose veracity no man who knows him can ever question. From this memorial, addressed to Congress, I quote the following words concerning the election of the 29th of November, 1854: -

"'The first ballot-box that was opened upon our virgin soil was closed to us by overpowering numbers and impending force. So bold and reckless were our invaders, that they cared not to conceal their attack. They came upon us, not in the guise of voters to steal away our franchise, but boldly and openly, to snatch it with a strong hand. They came directly from their own homes, and in compact and organized bands, with arms in hand, and provisions for the expedition, marched to our polls; and, when their work was done, returned whence they came. It is unnecessary to enter into the details: it is enough to say, that in three districts, in which by the most irrefragable evidence there were not a hundred and fifty voters, - most of whom refused to participate in the mockery of the elective franchise, - these invaders polled over a thousand votes.'

"An examination of details will reveal the extent of this fraud. In the seventh election district of Kansas, six hundred and four votes were cast on the 29th of November, 1854: of these Whitfield received five hundred and ninety-seven, - all but seven. Three months afterwards the census was taken, and there were only fifty-three voters in the seventh district. Who went there to vote? Organized, armed, disciplined men from the State of Missouri; and all the votes but seven in that district were given for Mr. Whitfield. Does the senator from Missouri call that 'protecting the ballot-box against armed colonists'? In the eleventh district, on the same day, two hundred and thirty-seven votes were given. In February following, when the census was taken, there were but twenty-four voters in that district, which, three months before, had given Whitfield two hundred and thirty-seven votes, - all but three of the whole number cast; and, within thirty days after the census was taken, three hundred and twenty-eight votes were given in this district having only twenty-four voters. Yet the senator from Missouri gravely informs the Senate that Missourians only crossed over the borders 'to protect the ballot-boxes against armed colonists' sent there under the auspices of emigrant-aid societies. That these Missourians crossed the line and voted on that day for Whitfield, no one doubted; but he had a majority of the voters of the Territory, and for that reason his election was not contested. That is the answer to the senator from Connecticut, who has built his argument on that fact.

"The character of this invasion will appear in an extract from a speech made by one of these modern heroes (Gen. Stringfellow), who, according to the senator from Missouri, crosses over into Kansas to protect the ballot-boxes from the armed colonists from the free States. This speech was made just before the declaration of Nov. 29, 1854, to which the senator from Connecticut has referred with so much confidence, at St. Joseph, Mo. In that speech, Gen. Stringfellow said, - 'I tell you to mark every scoundrel among you that is the least tainted with free-soilism or abolitionism, and exterminate him. Neither give nor take quarter from the damned rascal. I propose to mark them in this house, and oil present occasion, so that you may crush them out.'

'Crush them out' is the language. You will remember, sir, that the Attorney-General of the United States -a man who spent the dew of his youth and the vigor of his early manhood in assailing democratic statesmen, and who is now giving the mature years of his life to undermining and perverting democratic principles - sent an edict to Massachusetts, pending the election in 1853, that the president 'was up to the occasion,' and intended to crush out the element of abolitionism.' Gen. Stririgfellow, like the president, is 'up to the occasion.' He has caught up the word of the attorney-general. He is going to mark the free-soilers, he says, that you may 'crush them out.' I think his success, sir, will be about equal to the success which followed the efforts of the president and Gen. Cushing in 'crushing out the element of abolitionism.' The elections of the last two years have shown who is the crusher and who is the crushed. Gen. Stringfellow continues: -

"'To those who have qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national, the time has come when such impositions must be disregarded, as your rights and property are in danger; and l advise you, one and all, to enter every election district in Kansas, in defiance of Reeder and his vile myrmidons, and vote at the point of the bowie-knife and revolver. Neither give nor take quarter, as our cause demands it. It is enough that the slaveholding interest wills it, from which there is no appeal. What right has Gov. Reeder to rule Missourians in Kansas? His proclamation and prescribed oath must be repudiated. It is your interest to do so. Mind that slavery is established where it is not prohibited.'

"Qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national.' No, sir, that will never do! 'Such impositions must be disregarded.' 'Every election district in Kansas must be entered by one and all,' and they must 'vote at the point of the bowie-knife and revolver.' Is that the way these border gentlemen pass over the line, according to the senator from Missouri, to protect the ballot-boxes against the armed colonists'?

"Qualms of conscience about violating laws, state or national,' were given up; and they 'entered into every election district in Kansas, in spite of the proclamation of Reeder,' and made the election of Whitfield doubly sure. The Senate will remember that the senator from Missouri assures us that Missourians only crossed the borders to 'protect the ballot-boxes against the armed colonists' from the East. Sir, I commend to the especial consideration of the senator from Missouri the advice of Gen. Stringfellow, to give up all 'qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national,' and to enter every election district in Kansas.' Is that the way Missourians 'protect the ballot-boxes over the borders' ?

"I proceed now with the facts. The census of Kansas was taken, by the direction of Gov. Reeder, in February, 1855; and then there were eight thousand five hundred inhabitants, and two thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven legal voters, in the Territory. At the ensuing election, - on the 30th of March, 1855, - four thousand voters from the State of Missouri passed into that Territory and gave their votes. Lawrence, according to the census, was entitled to less than five hundred votes. But, sir, nine hundred and fifty were cast although nearly one-half the legal voters of Lawrence, if we are to believe the testimony of some of their most respectable citizens, refused to vote on that day. More than eight hundred Missourians, armed to the teeth, led by Col. Young, a lawyer of Western Missouri, went to Lawrence, the home of the New-England men so often assailed and so much misrepresented in the documents before us. Col. Young made a speech declaring that he would vote, or would shed his blood. He took the precaution, however, to swear in his vote. He had more regard for his life than he had for his conscience.

"'In the Lawrence district, speeches were made to them by leading residents of Missouri, in which it was said that they would carry their purpose, if need be, at the point of the bayonet and bowie-knife; and one voter was fired at as he was driven from the election ground. Finding they had a greater force than was necessary for that poll, some two hundred men were drafted from the number, and sent off, under their proper officers, to another district; after which they still polled from this camp over seven hundred votes.'

"Gen. Pomeroy says that in the fourth and seventh districts, along the Sante Fe road, -

The invaders came together in one armed and organized body, with trains of fifty wagons, besides horsemen, and, the night before election, pitched their camp in the vicinity of the polls; and having appointed their own judges in place of those who, from intimidation or otherwise, failed to attend, they voted without any proof of residence. In these two election-districts, where the census shows one hundred voters, there were polled three hundred and fourteen votes.'

"In the Leavenworth district, hundreds of men breakfasted in Missouri, voted in Kansas, and returned on the same day to Missouri. While, the voting was going on, one of their leaders made a speech, in which he told the Platte county boys that they must stand aside, and let the Clay county boys vote first, because they had the farthest to go in returning to their homes; and the Platte-county boys of Missouri stood aside, and allowed the Clay-county boys of Missouri to vote first and go home.

This memorial declares that:

Hundreds of men came together in the sixteenth district, crossing the river from Missouri the day before election, and encamping together, armed and provisioned, made the fiercest threats against the lives of the judges, and during the night called several times at the house of one of them for the purpose of intimidating him, declaring in the presence of his wife that a rope had been prepared to hang him: and although we are not prepared to say that these threats would have been carried out, yet they served to produce his resignation, and give these invaders, in the substitution, control of the polls; and, on the morning of the election, a steamboat brought from the town of Weston, Mo., to Leavenworth, an accession to their number of several hundred more, who returned in the same boat after depositing their votes. There were over nine hundred and fifty votes polled, besides from a hundred to a hundred and fifty actual residents who were deterred or discouraged from voting; while the census returns show but three hundred and eighty-five votes in the district a month before. Not less than six hundred votes were here given by these non residents of the Territory, who voted without being sworn as to their qualifications, and, immediately after the election, returned to Missouri; some of them being the incumbents of important public offices there.'

"I will now, sir, quote what Gen. Pomeroy says of the election in the eighteenth district; and I ask the attention of the senator from Missouri to this statement : -

"'In the eighteenth election district, where the population was sparse, and no great amount of foreign votes was needed to overpower it, a detachment from Missouri, from sixty to a hundred, passed in with a train of wagons, arms, and ammunition, making their camp the night before the election near Moorestown, the place of the polls, without even a pretext of residence, and returning immediately to Missouri after their work was done; their leader and captain being a distinguished citizen of Missouri, but late the presiding-officer of the Senate of the United States, and who had bowie-knife and revolver belted around him, apparently ready to shed the blood of any man who refused to be enslaved. All these facts we are prepared to establish, if necessary, by proof that would be considered competent in a court of justice.'

"Gen. Pomeroy expresses the opinion:

'That not less than three thousand votes were given by these armed invaders, who came organized in bands, with officers and arms, and tents and provisions, and munitions of war, as though they were marching upon a foreign foe instead of their own unoffending fellow-citizens. Upon the principal road leading into our Territory, and passing several important polls, they numbered not less than twelve hundred men; and one camp alone contained not less than six hundred. They arrived at their several destinations the night before the election, and having pitched their camps, and placed their sentries, waited for the coming day. Bazaze-wazons were there, with arms and ammunition enough for a protracted fight, and among them two brass field-pieces ready charged. They came with drums beating, and flags flying; and the leaders were of the most prominent and conspcious men of their Sate.

How very considerate it was, Mr. President, in these 'prominent and pious men,' with their baggage-wagons and cannons and rules and drums and flying flags, to lead the men of Western Missouri over into the forrests and prairies of Kansas to protect the ballot-boxes from those dangerous men, the armed colonists of New England.

Sir, the gentleman from Connecticut wishes to know why the seats of the legislators of Missourian were not contested I will tell him. Mr. Phillips, a young lawyer of Leavenworth, not himself a candidate, took measures to have the seat of the member from the sixteenth district contested: and what was the result? He was taken over into Missouri and lynched because he dared, simply on patriotic grounds, to dispute the right of the member to his seat, upon which he had been voted by these armed men from Missouri.

'Sir. the whole power and patronage of this government, from the time when the Kansas and Nebraska Act went into operation to this hour has been given to crush out the freemen of Kansas, and to plant the  institution of slavery on that virgin soil.

"The officers of the United States in the territory of Kansas - the judges, the district attorney, the secretary, and the Marshall - are all slave-State men; and their influence has been in favour of making Kansas a Slave State. Gov. Reeder, who undertook to protect the people in their legal rights, was stricken down under the pretence that he had been speculating in the public lands. Of officers of the Federal Government in the Territory, nineteen are slave-State men, and one is a free-State man; but already he is marked by Atchison, and another designated for his place. Within the last ten days, men from Kansas have called upon the executive to remonstrate against this striking-down of a public officer simply for the crime of being in favor of free institutions.

When I yielded the floor yesterday for an adjournment I was speaking of the election of the 30th of March, 1855. The result of that election was, that the nineteen districts in Kansas were carried by the proslavery party, and that more than six thousand votes were given in that Territory, where, thirty days before, there were less than three thousand voters.

"The question was put yesterday by the honorable senator from Connecticut why the governor gave certificates of election on that occasion. I will simply say, that Gov. Reeder, in the cases brought before him, did refuse to deliver the certificates; that he made the refusal in the presence of the men who claimed them with bowie-knives and revolvers in their belts, and amidst threats of his life; and, while he read the statement, he held a cocked revolver in his hand for necessary self-defence. There were a few devoted friends around him, expecting to see him murdered on that occasion. In the cases not at the time contested in the cases where at the time no one dared to raise a question, in the cases where at the time a contest was neglected, the certificates were given. A new election was ordered in those cases where the certificates were set aside; and, in pursuance thereof, the people elected representatives and councillors, and commissions were issued to them. They met on the second day of July at Pawnee; and both branches of the legislature, without examining the facts, and positively refusing to do so, voted out the men chosen by the people of Kansas, and voted in the men originally chosen by the Missouri invaders. This legislature thus chosen moved the place of meeting from Pawnee to Shaw. nee Mission against the consent of the governor, who refused afterwards to recognize it as a legislature. They went on, and passed the laws which are now brought here. Some of those laws are as inhuman as any code ever presented for the government of a conquered people.

"When the legislature assembled, when it turned out the men who had been legally chosen, when it brought in the men imposed on the Territory by armed invaders from a neighboring State, when it removed to the Shawnee Mission, when it was repudiated by your governor sent there by this administration, then it was that the freemen of Kansas assembled in their family meetings, and declared against the legality of this legislature and its acts. A convention of the people was called. That convention assembled, and framed a constitution; the people ratified it; and that constitution is now submitted for the action of the Congress of the United States. The senator from Connecticut denounces it as a 'spurious convention.' Sir, this convention was the act of the people of Kansas in their sovereign primary capacity. They accepted the doctrine of squatter sovereignty. They accepted the doctrines laid down by Madison, by Marshall, by Story, by Judge Wilson, by Buchanan and Wright, and the chiefs of the Democratic party, in the days when the Democratic party paid some little regard to the principles of popular government.

"Sir, the senator from Connecticut denounced this act of the people as a 'spurious convention.' in 1836, the freemen of Michigan, disregarding the action of their legislature, came together in their primary capacity, framed a constitution, sent that constitution to Congress, and that constitution was carried through the Senate by the votes of Benton, Buchanan, Wright, and the chiefs of the Democratic party; but that was in the days of Andrew Jackson, when it was supposed the people of this country had retained the rights guaranteed to them by the fundamental laws of the country. Sir, Andrew Jackson did not denounce the movement as an insurrectionary one, although they refused to receive the officer whom he sent to them. The Congress of that day did not denounce those men as traitors to the country, as the men of Kansas are denounced in the documents before us, ten thousand extra copies of which we are asked to publish. No, sir; no! This is the first time in the history of this country when the people have assembled in their primary capacity, and exercised their right -  their inborn, natural right - to change their government at their pleasure, and have, for such an act, been held up as traitors by the government of the country.

"Sir, the Democracy in both branches of Congress sustained the doctrines maintained by the suffrage party in Rhode Island; and it so happens, that, when Gov. Dorr took refuge in the old Granite State, among the first who recognized the doctrines which he maintained was the man who is chief magistrate of the United States, and who now denounces the freemen of Kansas, and holds up to the country, as violators of the law, men who are, on the 4th of March next, to be arrested if they dare assemble in their legislative capacity and choose two United-States senators to come and implore us to receive Kansas into this sisterhood of States, and thus save this fair Territory from bloodshed and ruin. Yes, sir, this man, who now characterizes as 'revolutionary' what has already been done by the people of Kansas, and warns them that further action 'will become treasonable insurrection,' welcomed Gov. Dorr to the capital of New Hampshire oil 14th of December, 1842, in a series of resolutions, declaring, that 'when the people act in their original sovereign capacity, they are not bound to conform to forms not instituted by themselves;' that 'the day of free government would never dawn upon the eyes of oppressed millions if the friends of liberty should wait for leave from tyrants to abolish tyranny.'

Sir, in pursuing this history, I have followed the order of time; and I am now brought to speak of another invasion from Missouri, - all which took place on the 1st of October last, when Gen. Whitfield was elected. I state here - on authority of gentlemen, some half-dozen of whom are within the sound of my voice, and who will prove it under oath before your committee if you will permit them to do so - that hundreds of men went over from Missouri, and voted in that election.

"The invasion - the fourth invasion, of which we have heard so much in these papers from the executive department—grew out of the cold-blooded murder of a man by the name of Dow, at Hickory Point, by one Coleman. Mr. Branson and his neighbors took the mortal remains of the murdered Dow froth the highway, where he had lain for hours, and consigned them to his last resting-place. The murderer has never been tried nor arrested. Branson, with whom Dow had lived, was arrested on peace-warrant by Sheriff Jones, and rescued by some fifteen of his neighbors and friends. Then it was that the stories were manufactured, that a thousand men were organized at Lawrence, armed with Sharpe's rifles and cannon, ready to resist the authorities. There were not then more than three hundred Sharpe's rifles in Lawrence, and not one cannon. There was no armed soldiery in Lawrence when these charges were made: there were armed men there; but they were not embodied. Of the men who aided in the rescue of Branson, - all which might take place in any State, at any time, without any governor thinking of calling out the armed militia, much less the forces of the United States, - only two ever lived in Lawrence; and they were not in at that time. The reports mentioned in these despatches about burning buildings have turned out to be exaggerated and misrepresented.

On the strength of these reports, however, Gov Shannon sent his letter of the 28th of November to the president; and on the next day he issued that fatal proclamation, which fomented, at the time, the invasion from Missouri; and this was followed by his telegraphic despatch of the 1st of December. Here let me say, that in this letter, proclamation, and despatch, Gov. Shannon shows that he is not a man who comprehends his position or his duties. He was excited and frightened by the reports and rumors he relied upon. During this period, when he ordered out the militia and telegraphed the president, despatches, founded on were sent into Missouri: and the result was, that from one thousand to two thousand armed men came from Missouri into Kansas; and they were incorporated into that 'little force of less than four hundred men,' spoken of in these despatches from Kansas, which rallied to the call of the officers of the militia. Sir, if the people of Kansas had been with the governor, if they had sympathized with him in his ill-starred movements, if they had believed that law and order were in danger, would they not have rallied to his support? On occasion, the arsenal of the United States in Western Missouri was broken open; arms were stolen, and carried into Kansas. Nothing is said about this robbery in these reports. Missourians broke open this arsenal, and. stoIe cannon, ammunition, and muskets, for the purpose of going on a marauding invasion; and the late president of the Senate was compelled - so great was the danger - to hasten after them to keep them from hurting somebody Yet not a word is said about it in these despatches. Sir, if the freemen of Kansas had broken open that arsenal, and had stolen even a gun-flint, you would have had a proclamation from your governor and your president, and the army of the United States would have been called out to put them down. But it was the organized men of the blue lodges in Western Missouri who did it. They have been, and now are, permitted to violate all law with impunity. Woodson, the secretary of Kansas, urged on these lawless men from Missouri by assuring them that 'there is no doubt in regard to having a fight; and, if we are defeated this time, the Territory is lost to the South.'

The invading hosts from Missouri encamped on the Wakarusa, within about six miles of beleaguered Lawrence. In marked contrast to the inconsiderate folly of Shannon was the prudent, firm, and heroic bearing of Gen. Robinson. Throughout the whole contest his prudence was signally manifested; and, in the opinion of many, the country was saved from bloodshed and civil war by his action. On 7th of December your governor tells you he went to Lawrence; but he does not tell you the whole story. He did go to Lawrence, and he met the Lawrence men, and the Lawrence women too; and he saw the inflexible determination of the one, and the calm devotion of the other. He told gentlemen who directed the affairs of Lawrence, that they had been misrepresented; that they misunderstood each other; and then, after two days of conference and negotiation, he made a treaty. The first sentence of the treaty acknowledges that the governor and the people of Lawrence had not understood each other. Here is a man who asked the president for the army of the United States; who ordered out the militia, and incorporates into the militia of Kansas, by the showing of these papers, from a thousand to fifteen hundred Missourians; and then, after doing this, he went to Lawrence. And what did he find? People who flew to arms simply to protect their homes and their firesides against an armed invasion of two thousand men who were threatening with oaths to burn their city and to blot them out from existence. I say, Gov. Shannon made a treaty with Gen. Lane (known to some senators here) and with Gen. Robinson (a man who, I hope, is hereafter to be known to senators) and this treaty closes with the agreement, on the part of Gov. Shannon, that he will use his influence to secure to the citizens of Kansas remuneration for any damages sustained by the sheriff's posse in Douglas County; that he has not called upon persons residents of any other States to aid in the execution of the laws; and that he has not any authority or legal power to do so, nor will he exercise any such power; and that he will not call on any citizen of another State who may be here. In these negotiations he agreed to waive the question of the validity of the laws of the Territorial legislature. Then he issued an order to Lane and Robinson to incorporate into the service of Kansas the militia of Lawrence, and directed them 'to use the enrolled force for the preservation of the peace, and the protection of Lawrence and vicinity' against the armed men on the banks of the Wakarusa.

"Mr. President, this treaty, which Shannon signed with Lane and Robinson on Sunday, the 9th of December, 1855, will stand a perpetual confession of his incapacity and folly; this order, giving Lane and Robinson authority 'to use the enrolled force' —with those famed Sharpe's rifles—'for the preservation of peace, and the protection of Lawrence and vicinity' against the armed bands his fatal proclamation had summoned, will stand a living testimony that the men of Lawrence were the guardians of law. Yes, sir, that treaty and that order will stand, an eternal expression at once of error and repentance.

"After signing these evidences of his own humiliation, he returned to the camp on the Wakarusa, and then, to the leaders of the crew he had drawn together, proclaimed his truce with the men of Lawrence. Back to their homes in Missouri sauntered these baffled bands of lawless desperadoes, cold, sullen, dispirited. They came to the banks of the Wakarusa big with threats of vengeance upon the free-State men of Lawrence: they returned with bitter curses upon the imbecile governor whose proclamation had drawn them from their homes. Gen. Stringfellow whose pure taste the senator from South Carolina can vouch for, denounced the treachery of Shannon. Capt. Leonard, the leader of one of these gangs of border banditti, through the columns of 'The St. Joseph Gazette' declares that your governor 'raises a storm', and then, to quell it, Judas-like professes his special friendship, first for one party, and then, I conjecture, for the other. But, however this may be, he descends to the despicable position of a common liar both to the one party and the other.

"You may search the records of the country from the settlement at Jamestown to this day, and you call no instance of such incapacity, folly, and superadded criminality, as Wilson Shannon displayed on that occasion, or such an utter disregard of the rights of the people as was manifested by the border settlers of Missouri.

This administration has now clothed Wilson Shannon - whose incompetency has been made manifest to the world - with the civil and military authority, and with all the power of the government to execute the laws and to maintain order in the Territory. The duties assigned this officer in the present critical condition of affairs on your frontiers are of the gravest and most weighty char- actor. Sir, your administration -by the wanton repeal of the Missouri prohibition, by the failure to protect tile actual residents of Kansas in their rights, and by the blundering acts and criminal remissness of the official authorities - has brought the nation to the perilous edge of civil strife. Sir, this administration owes it to the country, whose peace is in danger this day, to intrust the responsible and delicate duties of governor of Kansas to a prudent, judicious, sagacious statesman, - a man of individual honor and personal character, in whom the people call the fullest confidence. Wilson Shannon is not that man. The man could descend to degrading companionship around the gaming- tables of those saloons of Sail Francisco (described by that experienced traveller, Madame Ida Pfeiffer, as the most disolute she had ever seen in her our of the globe) with Mexican greasers, the escaped convicts of the British penal colonies, and the desperadoes of the Old World and the New; the man who could - while Kansas was overrun by armed bands summoned around Lawrence by his own reckless letters, despatches, and proclamations; while civil war lowered over the people intrusted to his care; while an honored citizen, stricken down by the assassin, lay cold in death, and a devoted wife was weeping over his mortal remains— make himself the humiliating object of the derision of his enemies, and of the pity of his friends, by an exhibition of gross intoxication, - is not the man to whom the American people would intrust the affairs of Kansas.

"I call the attention of the Senate, Mr. President, to another forray over the borders, - to the fifth Missouri invasion I mean the irruption into Kansas on the 15th of December, when the people were called upon to vote upon the constitution framed by that convention the senator from Connecticut is pleased to pronounce 'spurious.' Along the Missouri border the people in several of the voting precincts were overawed by threats of impending violence, and meetings were not holden. At Leavenworth the election was, broken up by the lawless brutality of men, many of whom had been ordered to Leavenworth on that day to be formally discharged from service in the Kansas militia, into which they had been incorporated. At the dinner-hour, while most of the people were absent from the polls, these 'border ruffians' rushed upon the officers, broke up the meeting, beat to the earth Witherell the clerk, whose life was saved by the heroic daring of Brown, since foully murdered, who rushed to his rescue at a moment when the uplifted axe of the assassin was about to descend upon his prostrate form.

"On the 22d of December another forray was made upon freedom at Leavenworth; and the press of Mr. Delahay, which barely escaped on the 15th, was destroyed. Mr. Delahay is a native of Maryland, and has been a slaveholder in his native State, in Alabama, and in Missouri,—a man who has little sympathy with antislavery men. He is simply one of those moderate, conservative men who believe that 'free labor is honorable, and slave labor is dishonorable,' and that the permanent interests of Kansas would be promoted by making it a free commonwealth.

"Oii the 15th of January the people of Kansas were called upon to elect officers under the constitution adopted on the 15th of December. Another assault upon the freedom of the ballot-box was made at Easton by armed men. The people attempted to resist the destruction of the ballot-boxes by these marauding squads that were prowling over the country, insulting the people, and robbing them of their means of defence. Peaceable, law-abiding citizens were hunted down, fired upon, and their lives put in imminent peril. Some of them had to flee to Lawrence, as to a city of refuge, to save themselves from the vengeance of the prowling assassins. A party of these lawless desperadoes captured Mr. Brown - who so bravely rescued Witherell at Leavenworth - and several others; robbed them of their arms; and then, with hatchets and knives, they fiendishly hacked and cut Brown to pieces, flung him in a dying condition into a carriage, and bore him to his home to breathe out his life in the arms of his distracted wife, another sacrifice to the dark spirit of slave propagandism.

To-day, sir, unless they are on their march, there are arming and organizing in Western Missouri, in the blue lodges, in the secret camps, hosts of men for another invasion. Sleepless eyes are upon these movements organized by Atchison and his subalterns. Gen. Lane and Gen. Robinson sent to the president, on the 21st of January, a telegraphic despatch. Gen. Lane - a man who trod the battle-field of Buena Vista; a man who knows something of what war is; who knows something of the threats that have been made, and the preparations that are now making, on the borders of Western Missouri, for another lawless invasion of Kansas - has appealed to the president for protection. He is no fanatic. Sir, you cannot call him an abolitionist; at least, not yet.

"The senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Hale) says he will be one soon. The scenes through which he is passing are calculated to abolitionize men made of the hardest natures. John Quincy Adams once said that a man 'has the right to be an abolitionist; and, being an abolitionist, he violates no law, human or divine.' Gen. Lane may be an abolitionist; but, sir, he is not one now. On the 21st of January he asked the president to send the military force stationed at Fort Leavenworth to protect the people of Kansas against an invasion which is 'organizing on our border, amply supplied with artillery, for the avowed purpose of invading our Territory, demolishing our towns, and butchering our unoffending free-State citizens.'

"Two days after, - on Jan. 23, - Gen. Lane and Gen. Robinson asked the president to issue his proclamation forbidding this lawless invasion of their Territory. The senator from Connecticut flatters himself that those of us who do not approve the course of the administration will be greatly disappointed to find that the leaders of the free-State movement in Kansas have implored the executive to issue his proclamation. Let not the senator from Connecticut lay the flattering unction to his soul that we are chagrined by the disclosure of this correspondence. Robinson and Lane, in behalf of the imperilled people of Kansas, asked the president to issue his proclamation immediately, forbidding the invasion, which, if carried out as planned, will stand forth without a parallel in world's history.' They did not ask the president for his proclamation against the wronged and oppressed people of Kansas. They asked for bread; the president gave them a stone: they asked for a fish the president gave them a serpent.

"The president, sir, has issued his proclamation; but that proclamation is chiefly and mainly directed against Lane and Robinson, and the liberty-loving, law-abiding free-State men of Kansas. Like his annual message, in which he softly spoke of the long series of outrages you will scarcely find paralleled in the history of Christian States as 'irregularities;' like that special message, in which the aggressive acts of the Missouri invaders were covered over with mild and honeyed phrases, and the defensive measures of the actual settlers treated as insurrectionary acts, demanding executive censure, - this proclamation will be received on the Western borders, by the men who by their votes and by their resolves have dictated law to Kansas, with shouts of approval. Sir, this proclamation will carry no terror into the blue lodge and secret clubs of Western Missouri.

"But, sir, we were congratulated yesterday by the senator from Connecticut that the laws were to be executed, and order preserved. I call the attention of the Senate and of the country to the order of the secretary of war. What does this order say to Col. Sumner? Does it clearly and expressly command him to arrest, at all hazard, any aggressive movement upon Kansas from Missouri? The secretary of war informs Col. Sumner that "'The president has, by proclamation, warned all persons combined for insurrection, or invasive aggression, against the organized government of the Territory of Kansas, or associated to resist the due execution of the laws therein, to abstain from such revolutionary and lawless proceedings."

"Does the secretary, then, direct Col. Sumner to defend Kansas against 'invasive aggression'? No, sir; no. the secretary then issues the orders of the government to Col. Sumner in these terms:-

"'If, therefore, the governor of the Territory, finding the ordinary course of judicial proceeding and the powers vested in the United-States marshals inadequate for the suppression of insurrectionary combinations, or armed resistance to the execution of the law, should make requisition upon you to furnish a military force to aid him in the performance of that official duty, you are hereby directed to employ for that purpose the forces under your Command.'

"Sir, this is not a direction to Col. Sumner to use his forces against the armed Missouri invaders. The secretary tells the colonel that the president has sent out his proclamation against those movements; but, when he comes to direct the commander of the force of the United States what to do, he does not order him to use that force if there shall be an invasion from the State of Missouri. The secretary shrinks from putting himself against the lawless men who represent a power in this country that sustains them in their aggressive acts. Sir, the secretary bends to that power; he bows to these men, who have no 'qualms of conscience as to violating laws, state or national;' and we have had nothing but bows to these men for the last eighteen months from the other end of the avenue.

"The reason why the government has not used its proper legitimate influences in Kansas for peace, for order, and for liberty, is the same reason which originally snatched that four hundred and fifty thousand square miles of free soil, - consecrated forever to the laboring millions of this country, - and flung it open to the slave-extending interests.

"Sir, I know that men in the confidence of the administration have expressed the idea that the administration intends, if the people's legislature meets on the 4th of March, to arrest the members the moment they take the oath of office. It is a well-known fact, sir, - known by those who know anything about affairs in Kansas,— that they do not intend to pass laws, or interfere in any way with the legislation of the country; that they intend merely to assemble, state their grievances to the country, and choose senators to come here to implore us in God's name to carry out the wishes of the people, and allow Kansas to take her place in this Union of free commonwealths. I understand these to be the intentions of the tried and trusted leaders of the free State men in Kansas. You may arrest Gov. Robinson and the leaders of the free-State party; you may imprison them if you will; you may shed the blood of the actual settlers of Kansas: but you cannot break their spirits, or crush out their hopes. The people of Kansas are for a free State; and, if it is made a slave State, it will be by the criminal remissness or direct interposition of this administration. Leave the people of Kansas free, uninfluenced by your slave-State officials you have thrust upon them, uninfluenced by foreign interposition, and they will bring her here clothed in the white robes of Freedom.

"The senator from Missouri said to us the other day that the colonists from the East wished to keep others out; that they wished to get possession of the Territory. Armed men, he said, had crossed from Missouri to protect the ballot-boxes against the armed colonists sent there by the Emigrant-aid Society. Did they protect the ballot. boxes on the 29th of November, 1854, when they went over and gave fifteen hundred votes? Did they protect the ballot-boxes when they marched into Kansas on the 30th of March, with cannon, with revolver, and with rifle, displaced the election of officers, and delivered their hundreds of votes, and, in a place where there were but fifty-three voters, cast over six hundred? Did they protect the ballot-boxes when they went there on the 15th of December, and broke up the meeting at Leavenworth? Did they protect the ballot-boxes on the 15th of January, when Brown was murdered in revenge for standing by the ballot-boxes and protecting them against them?

"Sir, men aided to go there by the Emigrant-aid Society have never - no, sir, never - at any time, or on any occasion, interfered with the freedom of voting.

'Whatever record leaps to light,
They never can be shamed.'

"Sir, I see that in the South there are movements from all quarters to get up emigrant-aid societies. The senator from Mississippi (Mr. Brown), always frank and manly oil questions, proposes that Mississippi shall scud three hundred of her young men and three hundred of her bondmen into that Territory to plan and shape its future. I say to the honorable senator from Mississippi, Send your Mississippi young men and your Mississippi bondmen you will never find, on part of the men who went there from the North under the auspices of emigrant-aid societies, one single unlawful act to keep you out or rob you of one of your lawful rights. The men who charge the emigrants from the North with aggressions upon the men of other sections of the country utter that which has not the shadow of an element of truth in it; and they know it, or they are grossly ignorant of Kansas affairs. This proposition of the senator from Mississippi was followed by a letter from a representative from South Carolina (Mr. Brooks), offering to give a hundred dollars, - one dollar for every man they will send from his section. I say to the senators from South Carolina, that if the offer of their colleague in the other House is accepted, and if the hundred men go from South Carolina to Kansas, they will never be interfered with in the exercise of their legal rights by the men who have gone there from New England or from the North.

"Atchison, the organizer and chief of those border movements, thus appeals to the citizens of Georgia to come to the rescue; for 'KANSAS MUST HAVE SLAVE INSTITUTIONS, OR MISSOURI MUST HAVE FREE INSTITUTIONS.'

"Sir, to appease the unhallowed desires of the slave propaganda, you complied with Atchison's demands, and repealed the Missouri prohibition. You then told the laboring-men of the republic, whose heritage you thus put in peril, that they could shape, mould, and fashion the institutions of those future commonwealths. Animated by motives as pure and aims as lofty as ever actuated the founders of any portion of the globe, the sons of the North wended their way to this region beyond the Mississippi. These emigrants did not all go there under the auspices of emigrant-aid societies: for it is estimated that not more than one-fourth of the settlers of Kansas are from New England and New York; that nearly one-half of the dwellers in that Territory are from Pennsylvania and the North-west.

"Only about one-fourth of the actual residents of Kansas are from the slave holding States; and many of these settlers from the South, perhaps a majority of them, are in favor of making Kansas a free State. That many of these emigrants from the South are in favor of rearing free institutions will surprise no one who understands their condition. Most of these emigrants are poor men, and have felt in their native homes the malign influences which bear with oppressive force upon free labor. Thirty-five per cent of the emigration of the slave States has sought homes in the free States; while less than ten per cent of the emigration from the free States and from the Old World find homes in the slave States, although those States embrace the largest as well as the fairest regions of the country east of the Rocky Mountains.

"Coming from fields blasted by the sweat of artless, untutored, unpaid labor; from regions once teeming with the products of a prolific soil, now 'exhibiting,' to quote the language applied 'with sorrow' to his native country by the senator from Alabama (Mr. Clay), 'the painful signs of senility and decay apparent in Virginia and the Carolinas;' witnessing the prosperity of free, educated labor, - many of these sons of the South meet the men of the North, and stand with them, shoulder to shoulder, in upholding the institutions of freedom.

Within the Territory, the men of the North and the men of the South meet together in council. Northern and Southern men stood side by side in those assemblages of the people that put the brand of condemnation upon the acts of the legislature imposed upon them; Northern and Southern men sat in council in that Constitutional. Convention the senator from Connecticut now pronounces 'spurious;' and Northern and Southern men stood side by side in the trenches of beleaguered Lawrence.

"Leave these men now in Kansas free from Missouri forrays and administration corruption, and, in spite of the inhuman, unchristian, and devilish acts to be found in the past legislation of the Territory, they will bring Kansas here, as they have done already, robed in the garments of Freedom. Men of the South; you who would blast the virgin soil of Kansas with the blighting, withering, consuming curse of slavery; you who would banish the educated, self-dependent, free laboring-men of the North, to make room for the untutored, thriftless, dependent bondmen of the South, - vote down the free-State men of Kansas, if you can; but do not send 'border ruffians' to rob or burn their humble dwellings, and murder brave men, for the crime of fidelity to their cherished convictions."

Replying, April 14, to Mr. Douglas, who had stigmatized Mr. Wilson and his party as "black Republicans," he uses these heroic, telling words:-

"The senator from Illinois may denounce us as black Republicans, as abolition agitators, if he thinks such language worthy of the Senate or of himself; but the issue is being made up in the country between the people and the slave propaganda. He told us the other day that he intended to subdue us. I say to that senator, We accept your issue. Nominate some one of your scarred veterans; some one who is committed, fully committed, to your policy. You want a candidate that is scarred with your battles. Well, sir, if he goes into the battle of 1856, he will not come out of it without scars. You have made the issue: put your chieftains at the head. No man fitter to lead than the honorable senator himself in this contest; for his position has the merit at least of being bold; and I like a bold, brave man who stands by his declarations. Now, I say to senators on the other side of the chamber, We will accept your issues. You may sneer at us as abolition agitators. That may have some little effect in some sections of the North, but very little indeed. We have passed beyond that. The people of this country are being educated up to a standard above all these little sneering phrases. We will accept your issue; but you will not, can not, subdue us. I tell the honorable senator he may vote us down, but subdue us never. We belong to a race of men that never were subdued; and, if anybody undertakes that work, he will find he has taken a rather costly contract. Subdue us! subdue us! Sir, you may vote us down; but we stand with the fathers. Our cause is the cause of human nature. The star of duty shines upon our pathway; and we will pursue that pathway, looking back for instructions to the great men who founded the institutions of the republic, looking up to Him whose 'hand moves the stars and heaves the pulses of the deep.' I tell the senator that this talk about subduing us and conquering us will not do. Gentlemen, you cannot do it. You may vote us down; but we shall live to fight another day. (Laughter.)


"He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day."

Mr. WILSON. - "We shall not run away to live: we shall live to run. (Laughter.) We shall go into the conflict in the coming contest like the Zouaves at Inkermann, 'with the light of battle on our faces.' If we fall, we shall fall to rise again; for the arm of God is beneath us, and the current of advancing civilization is bearing us onward to assured triumph.

"Now, I will tell you what we intend to do. We shall stand here and vote to defeat the bill reported by the senator from Illinois, because we believe, by the provisions of that bill, Kansas can be and will be invaded and conquered. We shall vote for the admission of this petition, for the admission of all petitions, from the people of Kansas; we shall vote for the admission of Kansas into this Union as a free State. If we fail, if you vote us down, we shall go to the country with that issue. We shall appeal to the people, to the toiling millions whose heritage is in peril, to come to the rescue of the people of Kansas, struggling to preserve their sacred rights. Madness may rule the hour; the black power, now enthroned in the National Government, may prolong for another Olympiad its waning influence: but we shall ultimately rescue the republic from the unnatural rule of a slaveholding aristocracy. Before the rising spirit of liberty this domination will go down.

"A quarter of a century ago the conquest and subjugation of the republic was complete. Institutions of learning, benevolence, and religion, political organizations, and public men, ay, and the people themselves, all bowed in unresisting submission to the iron dominion of the slave-power. Murmurs of discontent sometimes broke upon the ear of the country: here and there a solitary voice uttered its feeble protest against the domination of a power which had inthralled the heart, conscience, and intellect of the conquered North; but the overshadowing despotism of that power was complete. Twenty-five years have not yet closed since a few heroic men raised the banner of impartial liberty. Then we had not a single member of the Senate or House of Representatives. Not a single State legislature was with us. The political press of the country covered the humble movement with ridicule and contempt; always excepting 'The New-York Evening Post,' then conducted by that inflexible Democrat, William Leggett, who went to a premature grave cheered by the assurance that he 'had written his name in ineffaceable letters on the abolition record.'

"Twenty years ago the public sneered at and defied the few proscribed and hunted followers who rallied around the humble leaders that inaugurated the movement, which, within two years, has secured a popular majority in the free States of more than three hundred thousand. We have an overwhelming majority there today against your policy; and, if that majority is united, we can control the policy of the country. We shall triumph; we shall enlarge this side of the chamber; we shall thin out the other. (Laughter.) We have done some of that work recently in New England. We shall have a majority in this chamber yet; we shall have a majority in the other House; and we shall have a man at the other end of the avenue. We shall take the government of this country, and we shall govern the country as the true Democratic party.

"Now, sir, I have told the senator from Illinois what we intend to do; and we have no doubt of doing it. If the honorable senator wishes, through the coming weeks of this debate, to throw on this side of the chamber the taunting epithets of 'black Republicans' and 'abolition agitators', he may find that it is a game that two can play at. I think he and I and others had better discuss these grave questions without the application of taunts and epithets."

On the twenty-second day of May, 1836, Preston S. Brooks, member of the House from South Carolina, came into the Senate-chamber and made a dastardly assault on Mr. Sumner, who fell prostrate, under the repeated blows, upon the floor. This act of violence was occasioned by the senator's able speech, entitled "The Crime against Kansas," on Mr. Seward's bill for the admission of the State of Kansas into the Union. Mr. Wilson, at that moment in the room of Mr. Banks, immediately came into the Senate-chamber, where he found his colleague stricken down, and weltering unconscious in his blood. He aided in carrying him to his chamber, placing him upon his couch, and alleviating his pain. The next day he appropriately called the attention of the Senate to the assault upon his colleague.

On motion of Mr. Seward, a committee was appointed: and on the morning of the 27th instant, the floor and galleries being filled with anxious listeners, Mr. Wilson rose, and in a few fearless words characterized the assault upon his colleague as "brutal, murderous, and cowardly;" when Mr. Butler of South Carolina, with whose family Brooks the assailant was connected, rudely interrupted him; and cries of "Order, order!" rang through the tumultuous assembly. Threats of personal violence arose in the confusion; but they had no terror for him who knew no fear. In the evening he went to Trenton to speak before the State Convention; and on the morning of the 29th inst. he received, by the hand of Gen. Joseph Lane of Oregon, a challenge from Mr. Brooks. Taking up his pen, he at once replied in words which are memorable as embodying the views of Northern men upon duelling.

WASHINGTON, May 29, half-past ten o'clock.

Hon. P. S. Brooks.

Sir, —Your note of the 27th inst. was placed in my hands by your friend Gen. Lane at twenty minutes past ten o'clock to-day.

I characterized on the floor of the Senate the assault upon my colleague as brutal, murderous, and cowardly. I thought so then, I think so now. I have no qualifications whatever to make in regard to those words.

I have never entertained or expressed, in the Senate or elsewhere, the idea of personal responsibility in the sense of the duellist.

I have always regarded duelling as the lingering relic of a barbarous civilization, which the law of the country has branded as a crime. While, therefore, I religiously believe in the right of self-defence in its broadest sense, the law of my country and the mature civilization of my whole life alike forbid me to meet you for the purpose indicated in your letter.

Your obedient servant,


This reply to Brooks, so firmly, so tersely, and so serenely expressed, touched the very key-note of public sentiment, and was most enthusiastically received through the whole Northern country. While the right of self-defence was not yielded, the unlawful practice of duelling was condemned as the remains of barbarism, and the three strong, pointed words of rebuke, "brutal, murderous, and cowardly," sent back fearlessly to the challenger. The press, the pulpit, and men of every political complexion, at the North, indorsed the action; and those few words, written in a moment from the impulse of an honest heart, have done something to drive the idea of duelling from the mind of the nation.

The "cowardly conclave" still beset the steps of Mr. Wilson, as the following letter indicates; but they had not the courage to strike:

WASHINGTON, June 2, 1856.


Sir, -A gentleman in constant association with the South-Carolina members sent to my house last night to inform me that it was intended to attack you this morning.

Brooks did not leave town on Friday evening, but was parading among the groups at the president's house on Saturday afternoon. He probably does not intend to leave until after the action of the House upon the outrage. I mention these facts for your information, and to ay that you had better be on your guard.

Very truly, E. HARTE.

On the 13th of June Mr. Wilson made a brave and manly reply to Mr. Butler's speech of the two preceding days assailing Mr. Sumner and the State of Massachusetts. The passages we present will show its spirit and its forensic power: -

"Mr. PRESIDENT,— I feel constrained by .a sense of duty to my State, by personal relations to my colleague and friend, to trespass for a few moments upon the time and attention of the Senate.

"You have listened, Mr. President, the Senate has listened, these thronged seats and these crowded galleries have listened, to the extraordinary speech of the honorable senator from South Carolina, which has now run through two days. I must say, sir, that I have listened to that speech with painful and sad emotions. A senator of a sovereign State, more than twenty days ago, was stricken senseless to the floor for words spoken in debate. For more than three weeks he has been confined to his room upon a bed of weakness and of pain. The moral sentiment of the country has been outraged, grossly outraged, by this wanton assault, in the person of a senator, on the freedom of debate. The intelligence of this transaction has flown over the land, and is now flying abroad over the civilized world; and where-ever Christianity has a foothold, or civilization a resting place, that act will meet the stern condemnation of mankind.

"Intelligence comes to us, Mr. President, that a civil war is raging beyond the Mississippi; intelligence also comes to us, that, upon the shores of the Pacific, lynch law is again organized; and the telegraph brings us news of assaults and murders around the ballot-boxes of New Orleans, growing out of differences of opinion and of interests. Can we be surprised, sir, that these scenes, which are disgracing the character of our country and our age, are rife, when a venerable senator - one of the oldest members of the Senate, and chairman of its Judiciary Committee - occupies four hours of the important time of the Senate in vindication of and apology for an assault unparalleled in the history of the country? If lawless violence here in this chamber, upon the person of a senator, can find vindication, if this outrage upon the freedom of debate finds apology, from a veteran senator, why may not violent counsels elsewhere go un. rebuked?

"The senator from South Carolina, through this debate, has taken occasion to apply to Mr. Sumner, to his speech, to all that concerns him, all the epithets " -

Mr. BUTLER.-"I used criticism, but not epithets."

Mr. WILSON. - "Well, sir, I accept the senator's word, and I say 'criticism.' But, I say, in his criticism he used every word that I can conceive a fertile imagination could invent, or a malignant passion suggest. He has taken his full revenge here on the floor of the Senate - here in debate - for the remarks made by my colleague. I do not take any exception to this mode. This is the way in which the speech of my colleague should have been met, - not by blows, not by an assault.

"The senator tells us that this is not, in his opinion, an assault upon the constitutional rights of a member of the Senate. He tells us that a member cannot be permitted to print, and send abroad over the world, with impunity, his opinions; but that he is liable to have them questioned in a judicial tribunal. Well, sir, if this be so, - he is a lawyer; I am not, - I accept his view; and I ask, Why not have tested Mr. Sumner's speech in a judicial tribunal, and let that tribunal have settled the question whether Mr. Sumner uttered a libel or not? Why was it necessary, why did the 'chivalry' of South Carolina require, that for words uttered on this floor, under the solemn guaranties of constitutional law, a senator should be met here by violence? Why appeal from the floor of the Senate, from a judicial tribunal, to the bludgeon? I put the question to the senator, to the 'chivalry' of South Carolina, ay, to 'the gallant set,' to use the senator's own words, of 'Ninety-six,' why was it necessary to substitute the bludgeon for the judicial tribunal?

"The senator complained of Mr. Sumner for quoting the Constitution of South Carolina; and he asserted over and over again, and he winds up his speech by the declaration, that the quotation made is not in the Constitution. After making that declaration, he read the Constitution, and read the identical quotation. Mr. Sumner asserted what is in the Constitution; but there is an addition to it which he did not quote. The senator might have complained because he did not quote it; but the portion not quoted carries out only the letter and the spirit of the portion quoted. To be a member of the House of Representatives of South Carolina, it is necessary to own a certain number of acres of land and ten slaves, or seven hundred and fifty dollars of real estate free of debt. The senator declared with great emphasis - and I saw nods, Democratic nods, all around the Senate - that 'a man who was not worth that amount of money was not fit to be a representative.' That may be good Democratic doctrine,—it comes from a Democratic senator of the Democratic State of South Carolina, and received Democratic nods and Democratic smiles, - but it is not in harmony with the democratic ideas of the American people.

"The charge made by Mr. Sumner was, that South Carolina was nominally republican, but in reality had aristocratic features in her constitution. Well, sir, is not this charge true? To be a member of the House of Representatives of South Carolina, the candidate must own ten men, - yes, sir, ten men, - five hundred acres of land, or have seven hundred and fifty dollars of real estate free of debt; and, to be a member of the Senate, double I required. This legislature, having these personal qualifications, placing them in the rank of a privileged few, is elected upon a representative basis as unequal as the rotten borough system of England in its most rotten days. That is not all. This legislature elects the governor of South Carolina and the presidential electors. The people have the privilege of voting for men with these qualifications upon this basis; and they select their governor for them, and choose the presidential electors for them. The privileged few govern: the many have the privilege of being governed by them.

"Sir, I have no disposition to assail South Carolina. God knows that I would peril my life in defence of any State of this Union if assailed by a foreign foe. I have voted, and I will continue to vote while I have a seat on this floor, as cheerfully for appropriations, or for any thing that can benefit South Carolina or any other State of this Union, as for my own Commonwealth of Massachusetts. South Carolina is a part of my country. Slaveholders are not the tenth part of her population: there is somebody else there besides slaveholders. I am opposed to its system of slavery, to its aristocratic inequalities, and I shall continue to be opposed to them; but it is a sovereign State of this Union, - a part of my country, - and I have no disposition to do injustice to it.

"Sir, the senator from South Carolina has undertaken to assure the Senate and the country to-day that: he is not the aggressor. I tell him that Mr. Sumner was not the aggressor; that the senator from South Carolina was the aggressor. I will prove this declaration to be true beyond all question. Mr. Sumner is not a man who desires to be aggressive towards any one. He came into the Senate 'a representative man.' His opinions were known to the country. He came here knowing that there were but few in this body who could sympathize with him. He was reserved and cautious. For eight months here he made no speeches upon any question that could excite the animadversion even of the sensitive senator from South Carolina. He made a brief speech in favor of the system of granting lands for constructing railways in the new States, which the people of those States justly applauded; and I will undertake to say that he stated the whole question briefly, fully, and powerfully. He also made a brief speech welcoming Kossuth to the United States. But, beyond the presentation of a petition, he took no steps to press his earnest convictions upon the Senate; nor did he say any thing which could by possibility disturb the most excitable senator.

On the twenty-eighth day of July, 1852, after being in this body eight months, Mr. Sumner introduced a proposition to repeal the Fugitive-slave Act. Mr. Sumner and his constituents believed that act to be not only a violation of the Constitution of the United States and a violation of all the safeguards of the common law which have been garnered up for centuries to protect the rights of the people, but at war with Christianity, humanity, and human nature, — an enactment that is bringing upon this republic the indignant scorn of the Christian and civilized world. With these convictions he proposed to repeal that act, as he had a right to propose. He had made no speech. He rose and asked the Senate to give him the privilege of making a speech. 'Strike, but hear', said he, using a quotation. I do not know that he gave the authority for it. Perhaps the senator from South Carolina will criticise it as a plagiarism, as he has criticised another application of a classical passage. Mr. Sumner asked the privilege of addressing the Senate. The senator from South Carolina, who now tells us that he had been his friend, an old and veteran senator here, instead of feeling that Mr. Sumner was a member standing almost alone, with only the senator from New York (Mr. Seward), the senator from New Hampshire (Mr. Hale), and Gov. Chase of Ohio, in sympathy with him, objected to his being heard. He asked Mr. Sumner tauntingly if he wished to make an 'oratorical display,' and talked about 'playing the orator' and 'the part of a parliamentary rhetorician.' These words, in their scope and in their character, were calculated to wound the sensibilities of a new member, and perhaps bring upon him what is often brought on a member who maintains here the great doctrines of Liberty and Christianity, - the sneer and the laugh under which men sometimes shrink.

"Thus was Mr. Summer, before he had ever 'uttered' a word on the subject of slavery here, arraigned by the senator from South Carolina, not for what he ever had said, but for what he intended to say; and the senator. announced that he must oppose his speaking, because he would attack South Carolina. Mr. Sumner quietly said that he had no such purpose; but the senator did not wish to allow him to 'make the Senate the vehicle of communication for his speech throughout the United States to wash deeper and deeper the channel through which flow time angry waters of agitation.'

"Now, I charge here on the floor of the Senate, and before the country, that the senator from South Carolina was the aggressor; that he arraigned, in language which no man can defend, my colleague before he ever uttered a word on this subject on the floor of the Senate, and in the face of his express disclaimer that he had no purpose of alluding to South Carolina. This was the beginning."

After citing other instances of personal insult and abuse with which Mr. Butler sought to blacken Mr. Sumner, Mr. Wilson says, -

"He again talks about 'sickly sentimentality;' and he charges that this 'sickly sentimentality now governs the councils of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.' Yes, sir, the senator from South Carolina makes five distinct assaults upon Massachusetts. Massachusetts councils governed by sickly sentimentality! Sir, Massachusetts stands to-day where she stood when the little squad assembled on the 19th of April, 1775, to fire the first gun of the Revolution. The sentiments that brought those humble men to the little green at Lexington, and to the bridge at Concord; which carried them up the slope of Bunker Hill; and which drove forth the British troops from Boston, never again to press the soil of Massachusetts, - that sentiment still governs the councils of Massachusetts, and rules in the hearts of her people. The feeling which governed the men of that glorious epoch of our history is the feeling of the men of Massachusetts of to-day.

"Those sentiments of liberty and patriotism have penetrated the hearts of the whole population of that Commonwealth. Sir, in that State, every man, no matter what blood runs in his veins, or what may be the color of his skin, stands up before the law the peer of the proudest that treads her soil. This is the sentiment of the people of Massachusetts. In equality before the law they find their strength. They know this to be right if Christianity is true, and they will maintain it in the suture as they have in the past; and the civilized world, the coming generations, those who are hereafter to give law to the universe, will pronounce that in this contest Massachusetts is right, inflexibly right, and South Carolina and the senator from South Carolina wrong. The latter are maintaining the odious relics of a barbarous age and civilization,—not the civilization of the New Testament, not the civilization that is now blessing and adorning the best portions of the world.

'We cannot be hurt by attempted assassination!' exclaims the senator from South Carolina.

"Attempted assassination?

"It ill becomes the senator from South Carolina to use these words in connection with Massachusetts or the North. The arms of Massachusetts are Freedom, Justice, Truth. Strong in these, she is not driven to the necessity of resorting to 'attempted assassination ' either in or out of the Senate.

"But the whole story is not yet told. I wish to refer to another assault made by the senator, which I witnessed myself a few days after I took a seat in this body. On the 23d of February, 1855, on of the last days of the last session, to the bill introduced by the senator from Connecticut (Mr. Toucey) Mr. Summer moved an amendment providing for the repeal of the Fugitive-slave Act. He made some remarks in support of that proposition. The senator from South Carolina rose and interrupted him, saying, 'I would ask him one question, which he perhaps will not answer honestly.' Mr. Sumner said, 'I will answer any question.' The senator went on to ask questions, and received his answers; and then he said, speaking of Mr. Sumner, 'I know he is not a tactician, and I shall not take advantage of the infirmity of a man who does not know half his time exactly what he is about.' This is indeed extraordinary language for the senator from South Carolina to apply to the senator from. Massachusetts. I witnessed that scene. I then deemed the language insulting, the manner was more so. I hold in my hands the remarks of 'The Luuisyule Journal,' a Southern press, upon this scene. I shall not read it into to the Senate; for I do not wish to present any timing which the senator may ever deem offensive. I will say, however, that his language and his deportment to my colleague oil occasion were aggressive and overbearing in the extreme. And this is the senator who never makes assaults! But, not content with assaulting Mr. Sumner, he winds up his speech by a taunt at 'Boston philanthropy.' Surely no person ever scattered assault more freely.

"Thus has Mr. Sumner been, by the senator from South Carolina, systematically assailed in this body from the 28th of July, 1852, up to the present time, - a period of nearly four years. He has applied to my colleague every expression calculated to wound the sensibilities of all man, and to draw down upon him sneer's, obloquy, and hatred, in and out of the Senate. In my place here, I now pronounce these continued assaults upon my colleague unparalleled in the history of the Senate.

"I come now to speak for one moment of the late speech of my colleague, which is the alleged cause of the recent assault upon him, and which the senator from South Carolina has condemned so abundantly. That speech, - a thorough and fearless exposition of what Mr. Sumner entitled the 'Crime against Kansas,' - from beginning to end, is marked by entire plainness. Things are called by their right names. The usurpation in Kansas is exposed, and also the apologies for it, successively. No words were spared which seemed necessary to the exhibition. In arraigning the crime, it was natural to speak of those who sustained it. Accordingly, the administration is constantly held up to condemnation. Various senators who have vindicated this crime are at once answered and condemned. Among these are the senator from South Carolina, the senator from Illinois (Mr. Douglas), the senator from Virginia (Mr. Mason), and the senator from Missouri (Mr. Geyer). The senator from South Carolina now complains of Mr. Sumner's speech. Surely it is difficult to see on what ground that senator can make any such complaint. The speech was indeed severe, - severe as truth, - but in all respects parliamentary. It is true that it handles the senator from South Carolina freely; but that senator had spoken repeatedly in the course of the Kansas debate, once at length and elaborately, and at other times more briefly, foisting himself into the speeches of other senators, and identifying himself completely with the crime which my colleague felt it his duty to arraign. It was natural, therefore, that his course in the debate, and his position, should be particularly considered. And in this work Mr. Sumner had no reason to hold back, when he thought of the constant and systematic and ruthless attacks, which, utterly without cause, he had received from that senator. The only objection which the senator from South Carolina can reasonably make to Mr. Sumner is that he struck a strong blow.

"The senator complains that the speech was printed before it was delivered. Here, again, is his accustomed inaccuracy. It is true that it was in the printers' hands, and was mainly in type; but it received additions and revisions after its delivery, and was not put to press till then. Away with this petty objection! The senator says that twenty thousand copies have gone to England. Here, again, is his accustomed inaccuracy. If they have gone, it is without Mr. Sumner's agency. But the senator foresees the truth. Sir, that speech will go to England; it will go to the continent of Europe; it has gone over the country, and has been read by the American people as no speech ever delivered in this body was read before. That speech will go down to coming ages. Whatever men may say of its sentiments, - and coining ages will indorse them,—it will be placed among the ablest parliamentary efforts of our own age, or of any age.

"The senator from South Carolina tells us that the speech is to be condemned; and he quotes the venerable and distinguished senator from Michigan (Mr. Cass). I do not know what Mr. Sumner could stand. The senator says he could not stand the censure of the senator from Michigan. I could; and I believe there are a great many in this country whose powers of endurance are as great as my own. I have great respect for that venerable senator; but the opinions of no senator here are potential in the country. This is a Senate of equals. The judgment of the country is to be made up on the records formed here. The opinions of the senator from Michigan, and of other senators here, are to go into the record, and will receive the verdict of the people. By that I am willing to stand.

"The senator from South Carolina tells us that the speech is to be condemned. It has gone out to the country. It has been printed by the million. It has been scattered broadcast amongst seventeen millions of Northern freemen who can read and write. The senator condemns it; South Carolina condemns it. But South Carolina is only a part of this Confederacy, and but a part of the Christian and civilized world. South Carolina makes rice and cotton; but South Carolina contributes little to make up the judgment of the Christian and civilized world. I value her rice and cotton more than I do her opinions on questions of scholarship and eloquence, of patriotism or of liberty.

"Mr. President I have no desire to assail the senator from South Carolina, or any other senator in this body; but I wish to say now, that we have had quite enough of this asserted superiority, social and political. We were told some time ago by the senator from Alabama (Mr. Clay), that those of us who entertained certain sentiments fawned upon him and other Southern men if they permitted us to associate with them. This is strange language to be used in this body. I never fawned upon that senator. I never sought his acquaintance; and I do not know that I should feel myself honored if I had it. I treat him as an equal here; I wish always to treat him respectfully: but, when he tells me or my friends that we fawn upon him or his associates, I say to him that I have never sought, and never shall seek, any other acquaintance than what official intercourse requires with a man who declared on the floor of the Senate that he would do what Henry Clay once said 'no gentleman would do,'- hunt a fugitive slave.

"The senator from Virginia, not now in his seat (Mr. Mason), when Mr. Sumner closed his speech, saw fit to tell the Senate that his hands would be soiled by contact with ours. The senator is not here: I wish he were. I have simply to say that I know nothing in that senator, moral, intellectual, or physical, which entitles him to use such language towards members of the Senate, or any portion of God's creation. I know nothing in the State from which he comes, rich as it is in the history of the past, that entitles him to speak in such a manner. I am not here to assail Virginia: God knows I have not a feeling in my heart against her or against her public men. But I do say, it is time that these arrogant assumptions ceased here. This is no place for assumed social superiority, as though certain senators held the keys of cultivated and refined society. Sir, they do not hold the keys, and they shall not hold over me the plantation whip.

"I wish always to speak kindly towards every man in this body. Since I came here, I have never asked an introduction to a Southern member of the Senate; not because I have any feelings against them (for God knows I have not); but I knew that they believed I held opinions hostile to their interests, and I supposed they would not desire my society. I have never wished to obtrude myself on their society, so that certain senators could do with me as they have boasted they did with others, - refuse to receive their advances, or refuse to recognize them on the floor of the Senate. Sir, there is not a cooly in the guano islands of Peru who does not think the Celestial Empire the whole universe. There are a great many men, who have swung the whip over the plantation, who think they not only rule the plantation, but make up the judgment of the world, and hold the keys not only to political power, as they have done in this country, but to social life.

"The senator from South Carolina assails the resolutions of my State with his accustomed looseness, as springing from ignorance, passion, prejudice, excitement. Sir, the testimony before the House committee sustains all that is contained in those resolutions. I know Massachusetts; and I can tell him, that, of the twelve hundred thousand people of Massachusetts, you cannot find in the State one thousand, administration office-holders included, who do not look with loathing and execration upon the outrage on the person of their senator and the honor of their State. The sentiment of Massachusetts, of New England, of the North, approaches unanimity. Massachusetts has spoken her opinions. The senator is welcome to assail them, if he chooses; but they are on the record. They are made up by the verdict of her people; and they understand the question; and from their verdict there is no appeal."

After this speech of Mr. Wilson, Mr. Butler indulged in some discursive remarks, and ended by saying, -
'As I suppose the senator (Mr. Wilson) is to be considered, in some sense, the historian of his State, I desire to ask him how many battles were fought in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary war."

Mr. WILSON. -"I will answer the senator. The battles fought in Massachusetts during the Revolution were few, because they were not necessary. Our Massachusetts men met the enemy at Lexington, at Concord Bridge, at Bunker Hill, and on the heights of Dorchester. They would have met them on every spot in Massachusetts; but the enemy took good care right early to get and keep out of that State.

"The senator said yesterday, as I understood him, that South Carolina had shed hogsheads of blood where Massachusetts had shed gallons' during the Revolution."

Mr. BUTLER. -"On the battle-fields of the two States."

Mr. WILSON. —"I heard no such limitation. I understood the senator to mean that South Carolina had contributed hogsheads of the blood of her sons, where Massachusetts had only contributed gallons, to the Revolution. Sir, South Carolina furnished five thousand five hundred soldiers; Massachusetts, sixty-nine thousand; and they drove the enemy, and followed the enemy, and met the enemy on the battle-fields of the Revolution, from the northern to the southern boundaries of the republic, from the St. Lawrence to the St. Mary's. There were but few battles fought on the soil of Massachusetts, for the reason that the enemy thought it was safer to leave Massachusetts, and go to South Carolina. The British army thought it was not safe to be very near the battle-fields of Concord, of Lexington, and of Bunker Hill; and it left Massachusetts, and took good care to keep out of a Commonwealth where friends always find a welcome, and foes are apt to find a grave.

"During the Revolution, a portion of the people of South Carolina—the Gadstens, the Rutledges, the Laurenses, the Sumters, the Marions— made as great sacrifices for the cause of independence as any patriots in any portion of the land; but the fact cannot be denied, - and all these patriots, including even Marion, convict South Carolina of the fact, - that she had a large lot of Tories. There was a civil war in that State; and, more than that, thousands and tens of thousands of her sons sought protection under the British flag. When the army of Greene was starving, the British army in Charleston was receiving all that the fertile valleys of South Carolina could produce, carry into Charleston, and exchange for British gold. When Greene and his patriot army wanted oxen and horses to carry supplies, they were hustled off into the forest by people who had, to quote the words of Gen. Greene to Gen. Barnwell, 'far greater attachment to their interests than zeal for the service of their country.'

Mr. BUTLER. - "Let me ask the gentleman who fed Greene's army at that time."

Mr. WILSON. -"'Who fed Greene's army? That army was hardly fed at all: at any rate, it was but poorly fed, and scantily clothed. I apprehend, sir, that Greene's army—like the schoolboy's whistle, that whistled itself— fed itself.

"I have no disposition to assail the senator's State. I should blush if I could say aught against the patriots of South Carolina, or even cease to feel gratitude for their efforts, their prompt response to the patriots of my own State, in the early days of the Revolution. But, sir, Gadsden, Burke, Marion, Ramsay, Barnwell, and the patriots of that period, have borne this evidence, —.that South Carolina was weakened in that contest by the existence of slavery. That was what Mr. Sumner charged, and, on a former occasion, demonstrated; and that, I take it, no man here or elsewhere can deny.

"The senator tells us that he has complimented the battle-fields of Massachusetts, - the fields of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. That senator, and the constituents of that senator, can stand upon those sacred spots, and breathe something of the spirit of liberty that makes them immortal; he can utter his sentiments, - sentiments so little in harmony with the gallant dead that sleep beneath those hallowed sods, or the living who now guard them under the protection of law and a pub- lie sentiment nurtured and sustained by free speech. I should be proud to tread the battle-fields of South Carolina, hallowed by patriot blood. Yes, sir, it would afford me intense gratification to stand upon those stricken fields, so dear to every true American heart; but I do not know that I could do so without suppressing those cherished sentiments of liberty, for the vindication of which patriot blood was poured out at Camden, Guilford, Eutaw, and Hobkirk Hill.

"But all these allusions and reflections upon the history of the past afford me no gratification. I say to the senator from South Carolina, that he and I and all of us had far better turn from the past, cease to reflect upon the services of our States in the Revolutionary era, and deal with the living questions which we must meet in this age, - questions that have great issues, involving the interests of our common country and the rights of human nature. He and I and all .of us here ought to strive to settle these great issues for the good of our common country, and the whole people of the country, bond and free."

Many letters of congratulation were received after the delivery of this speech, and among them one from the patriotic poet J. G. Whittier, in which he says:-

"Thy reply to Butler after the outrage upon our noble friend Sumner was eminently 'the right word in the right place.'

The departure of Mr. Sumner from the Senate (from which he was absent several years) left a heavier burden upon Mr. Wilson; yet with dauntless vigor he pressed on, meeting the Southern members with a clear head and lion heart on the great questions then at issue, and repelling by unanswerable arguments the assaults upon the North.

He would not interfere with slavery in the Southern States; but with invincible determination he stood opposed to its extension over the Territories of the West, and to the doctrine of the "squatter sovereignty" advanced by Mr. Douglas, and maintained by the pro-slavery propagandists.

In a noble speech, July 9, on a report for printing twenty thousand extra copies of the bill to enable Kansas to form a constitution, he said, -

"Sir, for framing this constitution, this free constitution, for organizing under it a State government, and choosing senators to urge its adoption here, the people of Kansas have been denounced as 'traitors' by the senator from Illinois and those who follow his lead in and out of the Senate. This chamber has rung with your words of rebuke, denunciation, and reproof of the people of Kansas, whose only crime is devotion to freedom, resistance to the monstrous tyranny of usurped power. I charge upon the administration the crime of abandoning the people of Kansas to the merciless rule of their conquerors. Ay, sir, I go farther, and I charge upon the administration and upon its supporters here the crime of aiding and abetting their conquerors in their unhallowed deeds.

"Mr. President, the administration and its supporters— the senators from Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Georgia - snatched Kansas from the exclusive possession of the free laboring-men of the republic, North and South, and flung it open to the footprints of the slave and his master. You deluded the people with the idea of popular sovereignty: you have seen that sovereignty cloven down by invading hordes of armed men; you. have seen the people robbed of their rights, and oppressed; you have seen them struggle to recover their lost rights; and in all their wrongs and struggles you have basely abandoned them; ay, you have joined their oppressors, and aided them in the enforcement of their usurped powers and unhallowed decrees. Sir, I hold the administration, I hold the majority here, I hold the Democratic party, up to the stern verdict of the civilized world for this abandonment of the people of Kansas, this collusion with their oppressors.

"The people of Kansas, Mr. President, have not only been defrauded of their legal and political rights, oppressed by laws imposed upon them by foreign force, and denied all redress, hut they have been invaded, hunted down, by armed bands of thieving marauders, their dwellings burned, their property stolen, and many of their number treated with personal violence, and some of them brutally murdered. Dwellings have been battered with cannon, houses have been fired, presses destroyed, oxen, horses, and other property, stolen, and men foully murdered; and time administration and its officials in the Territory have no time to spare from the infamous work of subduing the friends of free Kansas for the arrest and punishment of the men who have illumined the midnight skies with the lurid light of sacked and burning dwellings of the people, - men who have inaugurated the era of robbery, violence, and murder."

In enumerating the outrages committed upon the peaceable citizens of Kansas, he held up a musket-ball to the Senate, and touchingly said, -

The ball I hold in my hand was shot through a boy eighteen years old, the son of a widow. On his way home from Westport, Mo., he was stopped by these gentry who keep guard over the passes into the Territory, and required to give up what he had. He gave up his arms. They then required him to give up his horse; but he told them he would not do it. For that he was shot down; and this ball was taken out of his lifeless body by a friend of mine."

In an effective speech in the Senate, Aug. 27, against sending military supplies to subjugate freemen in Kansas, he said, -

"Let the army be disbanded forever rather than enforce those infamous enactments or uphold the usurpation in Kansas. Almost every township of the North has furnished actual settlers to Kansas. Are senators on the other side infatuated enough to believe that the people will sustain them in their career of madness in forcing down the throats of their kindred and friends, with the sabre and bayonet, these enactments? When the brutal boast of the British officer, that he would cram the stamps down the throats of our fathers with the hilt of his sword, is applauded by their descendants, then, and not till then, will the people of the free States applaud your efforts to cram these unchristian, inhuman, and fiendish laws down the throats of their brethren in distant Kansas with the sabre of the dragoon, - enactments which the senator from Delaware (Mr. Clayton) declares would send even John C. Calhoun to the penitentiary."

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