Abolitionism Run Mad.
In the Richmond Palladium of the 7th inst., we perceive a call for a “Kansas Meeting” inviting the citizens of Wayne county to come forward and donate money to buy “Sharpe’s Rifles” with which to drive the advocates of slavery from the soil of Kansas.
We copy the following paragraph from the Palladium, in order that in its own language it may speak its sentiments:
“Sharpe’s Rifles, as Mr. Topper, of Kansas, declared at a large public meeting, held in in Cincinnati, on Tuesday evening last, which could be discharged six times in a minute, and would kill at a half a mile,” were the best peace-makers in the Territory, and they intended with these to prepare themselves to to defend their homes; and before Kansas could be made a slave State, three thousand of her young men would be cut off. They had set their stakes and made their homes there, and were bound to defend them against the institution of slavery. Sharpe’s rifles cost about $45 each, and by them the question must now be settled. Kansas men were now in all the free States asking aid. They wished the appointment of committees here to collect money and retain in their hands till the Executive Committee in Kansas should draw it for their needs. Large amounts had already been collected in New York, Boston, Cleveland and other cities.”
It is astonishing that men who profess to be peaceable and orderly citizens, who pretend to respect the laws of the State which they inhabit, and of the country in which they dwell; men of the Quaker faith, as is the editor of the Palladium, and of a very large proportion of the people of Wayne county, should allow their fanatical feelings to sway and govern, in this incendiary manner, their judgment and their duty. What! has it come to this, that the citizens of one State of the confederacy, shall by force of arms, openly intrude upon the rights of a sister State or Territory, and attempt to coerce, by brute force, such condition of law as may best suit their excited or over zealous opinions?–What would the people of Indiana say if the people of Virginia or of North Carolina should send arms and armed men into our borders with instruction to change our municipal laws in such manner as to suit their peculiar views on any one or more subjects? Would not such an occurrence be the signal for an immediate civil war, and would we not at once invoke the aid of the general government to protect us from such an outrageous aggression? But, say these hot-headed men, these “Sharpe’s Rifles are the best peace-makers,” and they pretend that they are intended to repel and prevent the aggressions of the citizens of Missouri upon the right of suffrage in Kansas.–We contend that neither Missouri nor Indiana has any right to interfere with the Kansas elections, and we argue that the avowed assumption of such right, as declared in the Richmond paper, on the part of Indiana, goes a long way to irritate the citizens of slave States to resist the effort of Indiana to control these elections, and that the people of Missouri have as good a right to use Sharpe’s rifles, as peace-makers, as have those of Indiana. The law of force should never be thought of in such cases, and nothing but the desire of agitation on the part of the Abolitionists, induces them to enter upon such a detestable crusade. There is no evidence that the people of Missouri will disturb the Kansas settlers in their right to establish their constitution or their laws.
The President has plainly told the country that such attempts shall be promptly repressed by all the power at his disposal; and Congress being now in session, will certainly take all legal and necessary steps to prevent any improper exercise of power over the people of the Territory.
All reflecting patriotic citizens, the whole sentiment of the country, and the good sense of a vast majority of the people, will look upon this incendiary movement in Wayne county as being extremely fanatical, wrong, and revolutionary. We deeply regret that such a stain should be placed upon the reputation of our State.
[Weekly Indiana State Sentinel, Indianapolis, Indiana, Thursday Morning, February 14, 1856. Volume XV. Number 39. Pg. 4]