Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"The settlers who had been in arms by thousands"

   "The grant of power to Congress, on the subject of rules and regulations for the Territories, is explicit. Nor are there any limitations of that power, save what are distinctly expressed in the ninth Section of the first Article, and in the first eight Articles of the Amendments. By these limitations the Federal Government is forbidden to suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus, except in exigencies of invasion or rebellion:--to pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law:--to confer any title of nobility:--to make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government;--to infringe the people's right of keeping and bearing arms:--to quarter soldiers in any house without the consent of the owner:--to violate the people's right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures:--to hold any person to answer for a capital or infamous crime, the intervention of a grand jury, or to answer a second time for the same offense:--to extort confessions of crime by or terror:--to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law:--to take private property for public use without just compensation:--to invade the old Saxon right of trial by jury in criminal cases, or in suits at common law, where the value in controversy exceeds twenty dollars:--or finally, to require excessive bail, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments. These are the only
constitutional limitations in the power of Congress over the Territories; and the same provisions and prohibitions limit the power of any temporary or provisional government its authority from an act of Congress." [Pg. 35 - Art. I. The President's Message.]

"Therefore, "the pacification of Kansas," temporarily, at least, must be obtained at any price short of yielding to the settlers the rights of which their territorial charter was the guarantee, and which had been wrested from them by invasion. Accordingly, in July, 1856, a new governor was appointed, namely Col. John W. Geary, a citizen of Pennsylvania. The history of his administration is given in detail and with great accuracy by his private secretary, Dr. Gihon, in the volume referred to at the beginning of this Article. It should be read and carefully pondered by every citizen of the United States who would understand the actual character of our Federal Government as now administered, and the depth of political wickedness to which it has descended. Governor Geary was of course, like both his predecessors, a member of the President's party. His allegiance to that party, and to the President as its official head, was above suspicion. An honest man, though somewhat open to tho imputation of vanity, he seems to have been imposed upon with the idea that he was chosen to do the work of an honest man. Having full confidence in the great men of his party, he evidently had no doubt that the "true intent and meaning" of the organic act was also the true intent and meaning of those by whom or
under whose advice he had been appointed. It was natural for him, with his party relations and sympathies, to assume that the enactments of the obtruded legislature were laws, and were to be executed accordingly. He was sent, charged with the duty of pacificating Kansas, and of constructing order out of anarchy and war; but he was limited by the condition that the enactments which invaders from Missouri had attempted to impose upon the territory, and which the great and growing majority of the inhabitants were pertinaciously rejecting, should be carried into effect. To a certain extent his work of pacification was not difficult. He had only to disband and send home the army which his immediate predecessor, Secretary Woodson, acting as governor pro tem., had called over from Missouri. The settlers who had been in arms by thousands to repel the invasion, and who would have died to defend their homes against that so called "territorial militia," would not resist the military power of the United States. A judge or sheriff pretending to derive authority from the territorial legislature, was to them an object of contempt; but the judges and the marshal, appointed by the President and Senate, in conformity with the organic act, were recognized (notwithstanding their
outrageous malfeasance in office) as representing the Federal government. As soon, therefore, as the invaders who, at the moment of Gov. Geary's arrival in the territory, were marching upon Lawrence with the avowed purpose of sweeping it away and slaughtering its population, had been sent back to Missouri, little remained to be done for the pacification of Kansas; and that little would have been speedily finished but for the villainy of coordinate officials on whom the governor was necessarily dependent for the administration of justice...." [Pg. 679-80]


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