Kansas 1855-60: Free or Slave?

   This period of American history provides the largest amount of evidence concerning our individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms apart from the militia. As well as that the right was most definitely intended to be placed outside of the interference’s of the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of the Federal, State and Local governments. This period also provides an abundance of evidence which proves the Civil War was very much about the detestable institution of slavery.

   Up until 1850, the number of free States and slave States was exactly even; 15 each. When California joined the Union in 1850 it made the number of free states a majority*. The balance of power was now going towards freedom. Which would of course make the entrance of Kansas into the Union as a slave State of absolute vital importance to the south. And the slave States did everything in their power, as will be seen below, to make sure that Kansas would enter the Union as a slave State.

   As history painfully shows however, the efforts of the slave States would prove to be useless. For in 1858 Minnesota also entered into the Union as a free State, followed by Oregon in 1859. Thus placing the South at an even further disadvantage. Which of course was a source of much dread, if not even panic, to the South. The horrid issue of slavery wasn’t just one of morals. To many it was also a matter of free labor vs. slave labor. For it is impossible for free labor to compete with slave labor.

   The evidence will also conclusively prove that the ‘democratic party’ is indeed the party of slavery.

*Free States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin. Total: 16

   The results of the 1856 Presidential election show that the party affiliation of the Slave States were as indicated below:

Democratic Party controlled Slave States: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia. Total: 15 (Counting Maryland, which although it was controlled by the American Party it opposed the abolition of slavery.)

Following are some historical evidence of what had transpired in the Territory of Kansas and the reactions to it.

The Historical Facts:

Kansas [Bogus] Legislature, “Sect. 2. Every free person, who shall aid or assist in any rebellion or insurrection of slaves, free negroes or mulattoes, or shall furnish arms, or do any other act in furtherance of such rebellion or insurrection, shall suffer DEATH.”, Sept. 15, 1855

Topeka, (Kansas), Constitution, “The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security”, Oct. 23, 1855

Green Mountain Freeman, “Since it has become apparent that Kansas was destined to be the next battle ground between Freedom and Slavery . . .The citizens are now well supplied with fire-arms and there seems to prevail a strong determination to use them, before they will again set down under wrongs and indignities…”, Nov. 1, 1855

Plymouth Weekly Banner, “They refused, however, to deliver up their arms”, Dec. 27, 1855

Green-Mountain Freeman, “This the committee positively refused to do, replying that their arms were their own private property, as sacred as their lives“, January 3, 1856

The Kansas Herald Of Freedom, “Every pioneer to Kansas from the East should provide himself with a weapon of defence, with a good stock of powder and ball.”, Jan. 12, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “and that they and their children are to be starved out by competition in their own trades and fields with men bought at auction, they will stand to their rights, and if need be to Sharp’s rifles.” – [One of the main causes of the American Civil War – a MUST READ article.], Jan. 18, 1856

Maj. Buford’s address, “it must protect its beneficiaries by giving them the right to bear arms”, Feb. 2, 1856

Weekly Indiana State Sentinel, “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.”, Feb. 14, 1856

The Kansas Herald Of Freedom, “The Cincinnati Columbian: . . . they have the undoubted right to prepare for their own defense. They have a right to buy Sharp’s rifles or any other rifles”, March 22, 1856

The Athens Post, “Rev. Theodore Parker and the very Rev. Henry Ward Beecher . . . their labors in the collection of rifles for the defense of “freedom in Kansas””, April 18, 1856

U.S. Senator Clement C. Clay, Jr., “Have not their hirelings entered that Territory with arms–not fitted for sport, but war; not designed to kill game, but men? . . . Does not the constitution guaranty to them, in common with the people of Massachusetts, the right to bear arms, and freedom of transit into or out of the States or Territories? . . . The entrance of armed men from Missouri or Massachusetts into Kansas is no invasive aggression if they go as law-abiding citizens; and the character in which they go is not to be prejudged, but determined by their acts after they enter…”, April 21, 1856

The Kansas Herald of Freedom, “the dearest rights of American citizens have been sacrificed . . . the right to hold and bear arms denied”, May 3, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, The Rev. Ephraim Nute; “they would then know why the settlers of Kansas took up arms to defend themselves and their families”, May 15, 1856

U.S. Senator Charles Sumner, “The rifle has ever been the companion of the pioneer, and, under God, his tutelary protector against the red man and the beast of the forest. Never was this efficient weapon more needed in just self-defence, than now in Kansas, and at least one article in our National Constitution must be blotted out, before the complete rights to it can in any way be impeached”, May 19-20, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “the right to bear which the Federal Constitution expressly guarantee to every citizen”, May 27, 1856

The Wyandot Pioneer, “Deny the right of the citizen ‘to bear armes.’ Trample on the constitutional guarantees of ‘freedom of speech and of the press.’ Learn if you are bent on provoking the lesson, that when you make freedom ‘treason’ and defence of domestic rights a ‘felony,’ you must expect to find ‘traitors’ enough and ‘felons’ enough to hurl you down from the public trust you have so long and so infamously abused.”, June 5, 1856

U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull, “No law exists or can exist in these United States which will authorize a Sheriff–admitting now that he is the valid Sheriff–or a Marshal, to go to a town and demand from its citizens their arms.”, June 9, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “except by standing on their rights of armed self defense”, June 10, 1856

Raftsman’s Journal, “The Constitution declares that “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”, June 11, 1856

Republican Platform, “the rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed”, June 17, 1856

The Burlington Free Press, “The Constitution of the United States secures to the people the right to bear arms: and it does this to enable them to protect themselves from violence at home as well as abroad. Self-defence is the first law of nature; and the government or the system, we care not what it is, which takes it away, is the most absolute of all possible despotisms.”, June 20, 1856

Black Republican Platform, “tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced–the rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed”, June 26, 1856

U.S. House of Representatives, “And the people of said Territory shall be entitled to the right to keep and bear arms…”, June 28, 1856

U.S. Rep. Hon. G.A. Grow, “With the shout of law and order you disarm the citizen, while the Constitution of his country declares that the right “to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.””, June 30, 1856

U.S. Senator [Stephen A.] Douglas’ bill, “The bill provides further that no law shall be enforced in the Territory infringing the liberty of speech or of the press, or the right of the people to bear arm[s]“, June 30, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “The bill provides further that no law shall be enforced in the Territory infringing . . . the right of the people to bear arm[s]…”, July 1, 1856

U.S. House & Senate, “The bill provides that no law shall be of force, or enforced, in the Territory, infringing the liberty of speech, or the liberty of the press, or the right of the people to bear arms . . . ammunitions and arms distributed, and the forces were divided into companies in Missouri; and on the day of election at least 5,000 citizens of Missouri, it is testified, took up their line of march for Kansas.”, July 1, 1856

Democrat and Sentinel, “Well, sir, in regard to the rifles, I propose to compromise–we will keep the weapons ourselves but give you the contents!”, July 2, 1856

Gov. Salmon Portland Chase, “The Constitution of our country guarantees to every citizen the right to bear arms”, July 5, 1856

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, “nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed”, July 8, 1856

The Kansas Question In Congress, “The bill provides further that no law shall be enforced in the Territory infringing the . . . the right of the people to bear arms”, July 9, 1856

State Convention, “by infrengements upon the right to keep and bear arms”, July 11, 1856

The Indiana American, “while the Free State men are driven away, and armed bands of Missourians and Carolinians, as will be seen in the news from Kansas, this week, are guarding every avenue to the territory, and driving back Northern men, if they choose to go in companies and with arms, as all emigrants to new territories have usaully gone in all past time, and, as the experience of this settlement shows, is the only safe way to go now…”, July 11, 1856

The Bradford Reporter, “The Border Ruffians continue their aggressions on the emigrants to Kansas. A company from Worcestor, (Mass.) were taken prisoners near Lexington, Missouri, a few days since and robbed of their arms…”, July 12, 1856

The Daily Union, [Washington, D.C.], “2. Resolved, That at this time the constitution of the United States is, by the combined efforts of a President, destined to an immortality of infamy, and of the advocates of the aggressions of slavery, rendered null, void, and of none effect, in those most sacred provisions which guaranty–1. The right of the people to bear and keep arms.”, [“Slave” labor Vs. “Free” labor] July 12, 1856

There are little lies, big lies, and big fat lies, “we shall sink to the level of the freed African and take him to the embrace of social and political equality and fraternity: for such is the natural end of Abolition progress. Fanaticism must defend its beneficiaries–first, by sending the Federal army to protect them, and ultimately by giving them the right to bear arms . . . that at this present time they have at different points in the Territory, banded together in actual encampment, large numbers of armed men, subsisted and kept together by their Aid Societies. . . . How can civil war be avoided, if honorable men collude in such devilish machinations?”, July 15, 1856

Address Adopted By The Democratic Republicans Assembled At Syracuse, “to disarm the squatters in violation of “the right of the people to bear arms”, July, 24, 1856

Taken before the Congressional Committee: Col. John A. Perry: “I said that he had no right to take a man’s rifle, that he had no right to enter a man’s house, except he had a search warrant, or to take a rifle there unless it was stolen . . . my reply was that if any man entered my house to take my rifle I had a perfect right to shoot him and he had no redress”, July 25, 1856

Thirty-Fourth Congress, First Session, “was violative of the constitution, which instrument guarantied the right of the people to bear arms”, July 28, 1856

Carroll Free Press, “The Second Declaration of Independence . . . The rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed”, July 31, 1856

U.S. Rep. Alexander H. Stephens, “the right of the people to bear arms as secured by the Constitution”, July 31, 1856

Congressional, “trample on the rights of the people guarantied by the Constitution . . . carrying arms for self-defence”, Aug. 1, 1856

The Anti-slavery Bugle, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been infringed”, Aug. 2, 1856

U.S. Rep. Edward Wade, “The right to “keep and bear arms,” is thus guarantied, in order that if the liberties of the people should be assailed, the means for their defence should be in their own hands. But this right of the people of the United States, of which the free-state settlers of Kansas are a part, has been torn from them by the treasonable violence of this ill-starred administration, which is used as the mere pack-mule of the slave democracy.”, Aug. 2, 1856

Senate of the United States, “The great object is to with draw the stormy question from the halls of Congress and remand its decision to the people of the several States and Territories, subject to no other conditions or restrictions than those imposed by the constitution of the U.S. . . . nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed.”, Aug. 11, 1856

U.S. Rep. Joshua R. Giddings, “he has taken from the people of that Territory their arms and when the citizens were thus left without the means of defence”, Aug. 17, 1856

Gov. Grimes To President Pierce, “Their right to defend themselves and to keep and bear arms has been infringed by the act of the Territorial officers, who have wrested from them the means of defense”, Aug. 20, 1856

U.S. Senator John B. Weller, “Bill abrogating certain laws enacted by the legislative assembly of the Territory of Kansas . . .That inasmuch as the constitution of the United States and the organic act of said Territory has secured to the inhabitants thereof certain inalienable rights, of which they cannot be deprived by any legislative enactment . . . nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed“, Aug. 25, 1856

Washington, D.C.: “We learn that the necessity for the passage of this act was urgent; that at times the gun-firing upon the bridge was so continuous as to cloud the bridge and causeway with the smoke of powder…”, Aug. 25, 1856

Evening Star, Washington, D.C., “That inasmuch as the Constitution of the United States and the organic act of said Territory has secured to the inhabitants thereof certain inalienable rights, of which they cannot be deprived by any legislative enactment . . . nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed”, Aug. 26, 1856

U.S. Senators Cass & Benjamin/U.S. Rep. Phelps, “the House struck out that part which authorizes the taking away of the arms of individuals. It was found, on reflection, to be clearly unconstitutional.”/”in the exercise of our rights as American freemen, we mean to bear arms, the musket on the shoulder, or the rifle slung across our back, a revolver, if you please, by the side”/”those arms are not now the property of the United States–are now subject to no other control by this Government than the arms which I may have bought and own.”, July 28/Aug. 27, 1856

The Tiffin Tribune, “The Black Dmocratic party . . . The Constitution proclaims: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The free settlers of the West are disarmed by Marhalls appointed by the “faithful Administration.” . . . Judas betrayed the Savior with a kiss…”, Aug. 29, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “Kansas . . . But come what may, we can only “trust in God and keep our powder dry.” . . . American citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms and to take arms with them when they emigrate to Kansas, should they see proper. . . . Be they from the North or South, no one here questions the right of men to take the necessary steps for their own defense. . . . I suppose no sensible man would ask that a person whose dearest rights, whose property and life are menaced, should be disarmed “in order to keep the peace.”“, Sept. 1, 1856

Plymouth Weekly Banner, “The news from Kansas . . . seem determined to settle the question of their personal rights by the only resort left them–powder and ball.”, Sept. 4, 1856

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every man throughout the country was armed with knife and revolver, and it was known that instant justice would be administered to each offence, and perfect peace reigned.”, Sept. 10, 1856

Western Reserve Chronicle, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed . . . set at naught by the Democratic party…”, Sept. 24, 1856

The Ottawa Free Trader, “and there is no law against their bearing appropriate arms for self defence.”, Sept. 27, 1856

Deputy U.S. Marshal Wm. J. Preston, “The party retained their side arms, some rifles, (common and Sharpe’s patent,) and guns. . . . P.S.–No private arms were taken; or, if so, by the personal application of the owners they were returned–I mean rifles, shot-guns . . . U.S. Army Captain and Brevet Major H.H. Sibley, “Agreeably to your excellency’s instructions, I have restored such of the arms as have been claimed as individual property. . . . Gov. Jno. W. Geary, “the immigrants were provided with shot-guns, rifles, pistols, knives, & c., sufficient for the ordinary uses of persons travelling in Kansas, or any other of the western Territories.”, Oct. 28, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “the inviolability of the ballot-box, the right to bear arms”, Sept. 30, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “To deprive the people of their arms has ever been a favorite measure with despots”, Oct. 2, 1856

New-York Daily Tribune, “Such is the welcome to Kansas accorded to a portion of those whose right to bear arms the Federal Constitution expressly and solemnly guarantees”, Oct. 22, 1856

Western Reserve Chronicle, “to escape their vengeful persecutors, or to take up arms in self defence, and fight them. They chose the latter…”, October 22, 1856

Holmes County Republican, “The Slave power, by its fast and subservient friend the Democratic party . . . has tarred and feathered ministers of the gospel who have proclaimed the sins of Slavery, and has deprived American citizens of their right of suffrage; their right to bear and keep arms; it has deprived them of their National rights, and this in the name of Democracy and “Law and Order.”, Oct. 23, 1856

True American, “and the “right to keep and bear arms,” without which they have been, and are now, unable to vindicate for themselves that other right, known to the law of this land, the law of Nature, and the law of God–the right of Self-defence.”, Oct. 29, 1856

Burlington Free Press, “If you desire Freedom, say so–if you prefer Slavery, say so.”, Oct. 31, 1856

Multiple Newspapers, “they claimed the right of American citizens to bear arms and be exempt from unlawful search or seizure“, Oct./Nov. 1856

U.S. Rep. I. Washburn, Jr. Speech, “The rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed”, Dec. 10, 1856

The New Englander, “By these limitations the Federal Government is forbidden . . . to infringe the people’s right of keeping and bearing arms”, Feb. 1857

Judge [and U.S. Rep.] William D. Kelley, “tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced; the right of the people to keep and bear arms has been infringed”, March 25, 1857

The Kansas Herald Of Freedom, “the people have finally been compelled, in self-defence and for self-preservation, to combine and take up arms”, April 11, 1857

U.S. Senator Trumbull, “in direct violation of those clauses of the Constitution which declare that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, June 29, 1857

Quartermaster’s Department, “to furnish the means of protection and defence to all who may be destitute of them”, Oct. 19, 1857

Kansas Constitutional Convention, “The constitution is Topeka revamped. The principal points are as follows: The right to bear arms is guarantied to individuals…”, April 13, 1858

U.S. Rep. Joshua Reed Giddings, “the legitimate powers of government are limited to the protection, and do not expend to the destruction, of man’s inalienable rights”, Jan. 12, 1859

U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, “Nor can Congress deny to the people the right to keep and bear arms” . . . forbidden powers, which were denied alike to Congress, to the State Legislatures, and to the Territorial Legislatures…”, Sept. 1859

New “Democratic” Doctrine, “Slavery not to be confined…but to be made the universal…”, 185[?]

Knights of the Golden Circle, “Those having arms, or other material, to contribute”, May 7–11th, 1860

U.S. Rep. Thomas Greene Davidson, “whenever the Constitution of the United States secures to a citizen any right either in a State or Territory it is the duty alike of the Federal Executive, judicial, and legislative authority to protect him in its enjoyment.”, Aug. 25, 1860

Anti-Slavery Bugle, “He should at all times, by day and by night, in public and private, at home or abroad, keep those arms on or about his person; and where he can instantly lay his hand on them in the dark as well as in the light.”, Jan. 5, 1861

And here is what the Republican party had based their 1856 platform on in order to counteract the democratic party treason:

Republican Convention.

The Republican Convention, held at Philadelphia, June 17th, [1856] nominated John C. Freemont, for President, and Wm.L Dayton, for Vice President, and adopted the following


This Convention of Delegates, assembled in pursuance of a call addressed to the people of the United States, without regard to past political differences or divisions, who are opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise; to the policy of the present Administration; to the extension Slavery into Free Territoryin favor of the admission of Kansas as a Free State; of restoring the action of the Federal Government to the principles of Washington and Jefferson; and for the purpose of presenting candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President, do

Resolved: That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence, and embodied in the Federal Constitution are essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions, and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and the union of the States, must and shall be preserved.

Resolved: That, with our Republican fathers, we hold it to be a self-evident truth, that all men are endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that the primary object and ulterior design of our Federal Government were to secure these rights to all persons under its exclusive jurisdiction; that, as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished Slavery in all our National Territory, ordained that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, it becomes our duty to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it for the purpose of establishing Slavery in the Territories of the United States by positive legislation, prohibiting its existence or extension therein. That we deny the authority of Congress, of a Territorial Legislation, of any individual, or association of individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States, while the present Constitution shall be maintained.

Resolved: That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign powers over the Territories of the United States for their government; and that in the exercise of this power, it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.

Resolved: That while the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established by the people, in order to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty,” and contain ample provision for the protection of the life, liberty, and property of every citizen, the dearest Constitutional rights of the people of Kansas have been fraudulently and violently taken from them.

Their Territory has been invaded by an armed force;

Spurious and pretended legislative, judicial, and executive officers have been set over them, by whose usurped authority, sustained by the military power of the government, tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced;

The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been infringed.

Test oaths of an extraordinary and entangling nature have been imposed as a condition of exercising the right of suffrage and holding office.

The right of an accused person to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury has been denied;

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, has been violated;

They have been deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law;

That the freedom of speech and of the press has been abridged;

The right to choose their representatives has been made of no effect;

Murders, robberies, and arsons have been instigated and encouraged, and the offenders have been allowed to go unpunished;

That all these things have been done with the knowledge, sanction, and procurement of the present National Administration; and that for this high crime against the Constitution, the Union, and humanity, we arraign that Administration, the President, his advisers, agents, supporters, apologists, and accessories, either before or after the fact, before the country and before the world; and that it is our fixed purpose to bring the actual perpetrators of these atrocious outrages and their accomplices to a sure and condign punishment thereafter.

Resolved, That Kansas should be immediately admitted as a state of this Union, with her present Free Constitution, as at once the most effectual way of securing to her citizens the enjoyment of the rights and privileges to which they are entitled, and of ending the civil strife now raging in her territory.

Resolved, That the highwayman’s plea, that might makes right,” embodied in the Ostend Circular, was in every respect unworthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and dishonor upon any Government or people that gave it their sanction.

Resolved, That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean by the most central and practicable route is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country, and that the Federal Government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction, and as an auxiliary thereto, to the immediate construction of an emigrant road on the line of the railroad.

Resolved, That appropriations by Congress for the improvement of rivers and harbors, of a national character, required for the accommodation and security of our existing commerce, are authorized by the Constitution, and justified by the obligation of the Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

Resolved, That we invite the affiliation and cooperation of the men of all parties, however differing from us in other respects, in support of the principles herein declared; and believing that the spirit of our institutions as well as the Constitution of our country, guarantees liberty of conscience and equality of rights among citizens, we oppose all legislation impairing their security.

[Marshall County Democrat. Plymouth, Ind. June 26, 1856. Vol. 1, No. 33. Pg. 2]

And fortunately the U.S. Congress responded very quickly:

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America,

TUESDAY, July 8, 1856.

“…On the question to agree to the amendment reported by the Committee on Territories, viz: Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

“…Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, That inasmuch as the Constitution of the United States and the organic act of said Territory has secured to the inhabitants thereof certain inalienable rightsof which they cannot be deprived by any legislative enactment, therefore no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust; no law shall be in force or enforced in said Territory respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition for the redress of grievances; the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized; nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.…”

“…It was determined in the affirmative,

“Yeas … 32

“Nays … 13