FREDERICK P. STANTON
Weep not, that Time Is passing on-it will ere long
reveal A brighter era to the nations. Hark ! Along the vales and mountains of the earth There is a deep, portentous
murmuring, Like the swift rush of subterranean streams, Or like the mingled sounds of earth and air, When the fierce
Tempest, with sonorous wing, Heaves his deep folds upon the rushing winds, And hurries onward with his night of
clouds Against the eternal mountains. Tis the voice Of infant Freedom-and her stirring call Is heard and answered
in a thousand tones From every hilltop of her Western home.
Frederick P. Stanton was born in Alexandria, in the' District of Columbia, 22d December, 1814. He died in Ocala, Florida, June 4, 1894, in the eightieth year of his age.
His father was a poor man-a bricklayer; he taught his son his own trade, and together they followed it. At this occupation young Stanton earned sufficient money to take him through the private school of Benjamin Hallowell, in his native town. He was a boy of more than ordinary ability, and at the age of eighteen was made assistant tutor in Mr. Hallowell's school. He afterwards graduated from Columbia College. His first work after leaving college was teaching the village school in Ocoquan, Virginia: afterwards be was a teacher in Portsmouth Academy, in the same State. He remained but a short time in any of these occupations, and was constantly seeking better positions. At the age of nineteen he was elected principal of the Elizabeth City Academy, in North Carolina, where he remained two years. All this time he read law as he could find time to do so, and at the age of twenty-one was admitted to practice in his native town. Immediately after his admission to the bar he removed it, to Memphis, Tennessee, where he engaged in the practice of his profession. He took a prominent part in politics, especially in those of his adopted State, and for two years wrote the political editorials of the Gazette, one of the leading Memphis newspapers. In 1845 he was elected to Congress from the Memphis district; and he was four times reflected, his final term expiring March 3, 1855. His retirement from Congress was voluntary. In his services there he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, and also of the Committee on the Judiciary. He took a deep interest and a prominent part in all the business transacted by Congress, and his attitude towards measures was determined by his conception of justice rather than by political or party expediency, though he was an ardent Democrat. In 1855 he removed to Washington, and there engaged in the practice of his profession in the courts and the Departments of the Government. The results did not met his expectations, and being intimately acquainted with the leaders of his party and on good terms with them, he sought a political appointment in some location where political and material development would offer opportunities for political preferment. Kansas was then, as it has always remained, peculiarly fasci-nating. The wrecks of political fortunes were rapidly covering her shores, but this seemed to make men the more eager to launch their barks on her stormy and agitated political seas. In April, 1857, Mr. Stanton was appointed Secretary of Kansas Territory; he succeeded Secretary Woodson, who was made Receiver of Money in the Delaware Land Office.
Mr. Stanton arrived at Lecompton April 15th, and immediately assumed the duties of his office, by which, as Governor Walker had not yet arrived in the Territory, he became Acting Governor. He entered upon the duties of his office with the usual Democratic prejudice against the Free-State people, and a disposition to hold them responsible for all the troubles which had convulsed the Territory. On the 24th of April he delivered an address at Lawrence, in which he announced the policy which the Administration, at the instance of Governor Walker, had agreed to follow in Kansas affairs. One feature of this policy was the determination that the people of Lawrence should obey the laws of the bogus Legislature. Mr. Stanton was bold and defiant in his address, and announced in an arrogant manner that the laws should be obeyed, and that further disobedience would result in "war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt." The impression created by the Acting Governor in the minds of the Free-State men of the Territory was not at first generally favorable to him; they believed that he was basing his future course upon information derived exclusively from Pro-Slavery sources, and from extreme men who had controlled the preceding administrations in their early stages. The Free-State men expected little from any man appointed to office, by the President, and they expected the incoming administration would prove no more friendly to them than had the preceding ones.
The first duty of political consequence to the people falling to the Acting Governor was the apportionment of delegates to the Constitutional Convention to be held at Lecompton. Some account of this matter has been given in the consideration of the administration of Governor Walker, and it will be only mentioned here. The bill for taking the census to form the basis for this apportionment was passed by the Lecompton Legislature on February 19th, 1857. Governor Geary interposed his veto, but the Legislature was hostile to him, and passed it over his veto. If the census provision had been carried out to the letter and in good faith, little objection could have been made to it. But the sheriffs were to take the census, and as they were appointed by the county commissioners, who were in turn appointed by the Legislature, no hope of an honest enumeration was entertained by the Free-State people. There were thirty-four counties in the Territory, and the census was taken in but fifteen of these; and in these it was only partially taken, palpable frauds being committed in some communities. Johnson county was given four hundred and ninety-six votes, when in fact it was largely an Indian reservation with very few legal votes. No attempt was made to take the census in any of those counties where the Free-State men were in the majority, or where they lived in any considerable number. On May 20th the Acting Governor issued a proclamation making the apportionment of delegates upon this fraudulent and partial census; by this act he disfranchised more than one-half the voters of the Territory. His authority to make an apportionment at all was doubtful, and if he had such right he was in duty bound to have the census completed and corrected before he acted. His act was one of insolence and defiance, and after he had been cast out and disowned by his party in the Territory and the President, when they had no further use for him, he made an apology to the Free-State men for his hasty and illegal action.
Governor Walker arrived in the Territory and assumed the duties of his office on the 27th of May. Until the resignation of Governor Walker Mr. Stanton discharged his duties as Territorial Secretary. During this time the usual change had occurred in tjje feeling entertained by the Democratic party for the Governor of Kansas Territory. It forced Governor Walker's resignation and forced Secretary Stanton into the Kansas Free-State party. When Governor Walker left the Territory to appeal to the President, Mr. Stanton became again the Acting Governor of the Territory. He saw the unalterable opposition of the great majority of the people to the Lecompton Constitution, and was then fully acquainted with all the outrages attending the various stages of its concoction. He was, too, at this time fully informed of the exact proportion of influence assumed and that actually possessed in the Territory by the National Democracy. He knew by this time the merits of the controversy and conflict raging in Kansas. He could no longer remain ignorant of the fact that the Free-State people stood for every principle vital to the existence of the Republic; and also that the National Democrats while crying out, "Law! we invoke the law! "were in fact violating the spirit of all law, daily trampling the Con-stitution and Organic Act in the mire and holding both in contempt. The only position for an honest man with such information and knowledge was in the ranks of the majority struggling for their rights against the unlawful and reprehensible usurpations of the minority, aided and abetted by the President.
The Legislature elected on the 5th of October was com-posed in the majority of Free-State men. The prevention of the consummation of Democratic frauds in that election was one of the principal indictments brought by the Democratic party against Governor Walker and Secretary Stanton. The persistent efforts of Calhoun and the Washington Administration to force the obnoxious Lecompton Constitution upon the Territory produced a profound agitation of the public mind, and aroused the people to a state of apprehension and wrought them to a high pitch of excitement. The Acting Governor was urged to call the Legislature in special session; and he, knowing that he had nothing to expect from the Government at Washington, and realizing that right, reason and justice were on the side of the Free-State men, issued his proclamation the 1st of December, convening the Legislature in extra session on the 7th of the same month. It was stipulated by the leaders of the Free-State party that no general legislation should be attempted, and that the session should be devoted to devising some measure of relief for the people from their threatened danger. This act of Acting-Governor Stanton was the severest blow to the Administration party and the most profound service to the patriots of Kansas that had occurred. From this event dates the beginning of the ascendency of the Free-State people in the affairs of government in the Territory. For this act Mr. Stanton was taken to the hearts of the Free-State people, who forgave and forgot his early acts of oppression.
The chicanery of the National Administration and its corrupt tools in Kansas had so bound and rendered helpless the Territory, that there was little the Legislature could do to bring immediate relief. The Constitutional Convention had empowered its president, the disreputable Calhoun, to take all steps necessary to foist the result of its labors upon the Territory. As the work was finished, little could come of questioning the authority and legality of the convention.
The Legislature assembled at Lecompton on the day set apart. C. W. Babcock was elected President of the Council, and G. W. Deitzler Speaker of the House. The members were inexperienced in the mode of procedure for the enactment of legislation, and to this cause must be attributed in some measure their failure to afford the full sum of relief expected. The act authorizing the formation of the Lecompton Constitution was repealed. An act was passed providing for the submission of the constitution to the full and fair vote of the whole people. A joint resolution addressed to Congress was adopted, protesting in the strongest terms against the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution; and another memorialized that body to admit her to Statehood under the Topeka Constitution. A law for the punishment of election frauds was enacted; as was one, also, to provide for the organization of an efficient militia. The act of the bogus Legislature to punish rebellion was repealed. The Legislature adjourned December 17th.
Mr. Stanton expected to be removed by the President for his action in calling the Legislature in extra session. As the end of the session approached he was notified of his removal; and on the 21st of December he was succeeded as Secretary by James W. Denver, who was appointed Secretary and became Acting Governor.
Mr. Stanton continued his residence in Kansas. Tie espoused the cause of freedom and identified himself with the Republican party. In 1861 he was a prominent candidate for the office of United States Senator. Later in that year, when Senator Lane was understood to have been appointed a brigadier-general, and it was supposed that a vacancy in his office was caused thereby, Mr. Stanton was appointed by Governor Robinson to fill the unexpired period; but it was determined that no vacancy had been made.
Governor Stanton purchased a large tract of land in Douglas county, near Lecompton, and erected thereon a large and handsome residence,-for many years the most expensive in the State. In 1862 he removed to Farm-well, Virginia, and resumed the practice of his profession in Washington. In 1886 he removed to Florida, where he resided until his death.
Governor Stanton was a man of much ability, and while there was something of the politician visible in many of his acts, he was conscientious in his administration of public affairs in Kansas. He came to the Territory with the pro-slavery hatred and prejudice for the Free-State men and their efforts to obtain the right to govern themselves. But he found, as had Reeder, Shannon, Geary and Walker, that pro-slavery theories in the East and slavery in the process of being forced upon an unwilling people, were two very different things. The enormities practiced in the latter instance revealed the hideous outlines of the former, and made him an enemy of the institution of barbarism. His conversion to the principles of freedom was thorough and genuine, and from that time he did as much as in him was to destroy slavery and establish liberty.
Source: Kansas Territorial Governors by William Elsey Connelley, 1900, Pages 111-119
This is the land where first began The holy work
in Virtue's cause,- Where men demanded righteous laws And justice unto all,-here was
General James William Denver was born in Winchester, Frederick county, Virginia, October 23, 1817. He died in Washington, D. C, August 9th, 1892, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
In the year 1831 his parents removed to Ohio; they settled in Clinton county in that State in the spring of 1832. The children of the family consisted of four sons and six daughters, all of whom lived to become honored members of their adopted State. His father was a farmer, and the first years of his life were spent in the hard labor incident to farm life in a new country. In the winters he attended the common schools of the neighborhood. The severe labor which he was called upon to perform and the exposure incident thereto brought on a severe illness in the form of rheumatism, when he was in his twenty-first year. This became for a time permanent, and it caused him to look about for some labor of a lighter character than that on the farm. He studied civil engineering, and was for a time in the service of the county surveyor. In the Spring of 1841 he went to Missouri, to seek employment in the surveys of the public lands of that State. But he failed to obtain a contract in this work, and as it was necessary for him to find something to do, he taught a school in the northwestern part of Clay county, at what was known "as the Hartsell school-house; while teaching here he boarded in the family of John Eaton, Esq. He always regarded the year spent here as one of the happiest of his life. At the close of his term of school he returned to Ohio to engage in the study of law, and in 1842 began this study in the office of Griffith Foos, Esq., of Wilmington. He continued his studies here for some time, and then attended the Cincinnati Law School, from which institution he graduated in the spring of 1844. His first law office was opened in Xenia, Ohio, and he had for a partner Mr. R. H. Stone. In the spring of 1845 he returned to Missouri and opened a law office in Plattsburg, but afterwards removed to Platte City. In March, 1847, he was made captain of a company in the Twelfth Infantry Regiment, and served until the close of the Mexican War, in July, 1848; he was under the command of General Scott. At the close of the war he returned to Platte City, where he remained until 1850, when he crossed the Plains and settled in Trinity county, California. In 1852 he was elected State Senator, and during the session of the Legislature he antagonized Edward Gilbert, an ex-member of Congress; the controversy which ensued resulted in a duel. Denver designated rifles as the weapons, and Gilbert was killed at the second shot. During this session Mr. Denver was appointed by the Governor of the State to convey supplies across the Sierra Nevada Mountains for the relief of emigrants who were in deep distress. Upon his return from this mission he was appointed Secretary of State for California, and served in this capacity until November, 1855. He had been elected to the House of Representatives in 1854, and took his seat at the beginning of the Thirty-fourth Congress, in December, 1855. He was made Chairman of the Special Committee on the Pacific Railroad, and originated the laws which were subsequently adopted for the construction of that great highway. At the close of his Congressional term he was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and assumed the duties of that office in April, 1856. He made a treaty with the Pawnees during that year. In December, 1857, he was in Kansas attending to some matters connected with the administration of his office; and when Governor Stanton was removed from the office of Secretary of the Territory, Mr. Denver was appointed to that position. He assumed the duties of his office on the 21st of December, and as no Governor had been appointed he became the Acting Governor of the Territory from that date. On the 12th of May, 1858, he was appointed Governor of Kansas Territory, and Hugh S. Walsh was made Secretary.
The election called by Calhoun on the slavery proposition of the Lecompton Constitution was held on the 21st day of December, the day upon which Secretary Denver assumed the duties of his office. It was a farce. Calhoun announced that the vote in favor of "the Constitution with Slavery" was 6,226; and the opposing vote was given by him as 569. Border-ruffians in large numbers came into the Territory and voted. At a subsequent investigation it was shown that 2,720 fraudulent votes were cast, and it was known that many others voted who had no right to do so.
At the election provided by the Territorial Legislature, held January 4th, 1858, a fair and honest expression of the people towards the Lecompton Constitution was had. The votes cast against it were 10,226; for it in all forms there were but 162. So overwhelming was the sentiment against it and against the outrageous manner in which the President had attempted to force it upon the people, that some of the Pro-Slavery papers had turned against it. On the 24th of December (1857) a Democratic convention in Leavenworth passed resolutions denouncing the framers of the instrument, indorsing the course of Governor Walker and Secretary Stanton, and asking Congress to not admit Kansas under the fraudulent constitution. The President was fully informed of the result of the election of January 4th, the position and attitude of a majority of his party in Kansas, and of Acting-Governor Denver. The latter had written an exhaustive review of the conditions prevailing in the Territory, which he sent to the President by a special messenger; he urged the President to not present the constitution to Congress. The President replied that the letter came too late, as his message of transmittal had been already prepared and shown to the Southern Senators, and he "could not withdraw it." On the 2d of February he transmitted it to the Senate, together with the constitution. It was a bitter document, and denounced the Free-State men of Kansas and charged them with the troubles which had occurred there. This paper evidenced the subserviency of the President to the slave-power. It supported the action of the convention in not submitting the constitution to a vote of the people. The Lecompton manner of adopting constitutions has ever been in favor with the enemies of liberty.
The action of Congress resulted in the rejection of the constitution for the time being, and in the passage of the " English bill," which provided for the submission of the constitution to a fair and full vote of the people of the Territory. To induce them to vote in its favor, large land grants were set apart to the future State, amounting in all to more than five million acres. This bill was forced through Congress by bribery and other corrupt practices. But the people of Kansas refused to be bribed by the magnificent land grants promised by the slaveholders. The one thing about the bill which pleased the people was that feature which gave them an opportunity to express a final judgment against the constitution. The election under the provisions of the " English bill" was held August 2d, 1858. The total vote was 13,088, of which more than 11,000 were against the Lecompton instrument and the English inducements for its adoption.
It was during the administration of Governor Denver that the troubles in southeastern Kansas assumed an alarming character. The people of that part of Missouri adjoining went into the Territory and took possession of the best claims, and almost all of them returned*home. When the Free-State men began to come in, trouble arose. Missourians invaded Kansas and Kansans invaded Missouri ; men were murdered by both-five at one time by the Missourians. The Free-State men were compelled to fight Pro-Slavery Kansans as well as the marauders from Missouri. In these troubles Captain James Montgomery and John Brown were the leaders of the Free-State men. In the summer of 1858 Governor Denver effected a treaty of peace between the opposing parties, but it was soon broken. The details of this warfare are of sufficient importance to form the subject of a separate paper of this series, and will not be reviewed here. These troubles continued until Kansas was admitted as a State, and, in fact, until the close of the Civil War.
The Free-State men, or many of them, believed that the Legislature, having a large Free-State majority, would willingly sacrifice itself to aid the Topeka Constitution movement for Statehood. On January 8th, 1858, the Territorial and State Legislatures met in Lawrence for an interchange of opinion. The Territorial Legislature was requested to invest the State Legislature with its powers and vote itself out of existence; but this it wisely refused to do. It was master of the situation in the Territory, and was recognized by the Governor and the Federal Government. The result of the conference revealed to the people the changed condition of affairs. The Topeka movement had served an admirable purpose, but it proved a temporary expedient and its usefulness was at an end. Its Legislature adjourned to meet March 4th; at that time no quorum appeared. No session was held, but an address was issued; it never reassembled.
The attempt to locate the capital of the Territory at a town to be built in Franklin county, and named Minneola, caused some controversy between the Governor and the Legislature. The Free-State men held Lecompton in contempt, and it was evident that they would not suffer the capital to remain there permanently. But the Governor vetoed the bill moving it to Minneola; as thirty-five of the fifty-two members of the Legislature were financially interested in. the site of the proposed new capital, the bill establishing it was passed over his veto. The Governor, however, refused to go there, or to suffer the Territorial archives to be taken. The bill was afterwards pronounced unconstitutional, and the capital remained at Lecompton.
It was realized that the Territorial affairs had outgrown the Topeka Constitution and this Legislature was of the opinion that another should be framed, and so passed a bill providing for the election of delegates for that purpose. But as the Lecompton instrument was not yet finally disposed of, Governor Denver retained the bill, neither approving nor returning it. As it was passed in the last hours of the Legislature, he had the right of absolute Veto. But the Legislature declared that the bill had passed, and delegates were accordingly elected. The convention met in Minneola March 23d, and James H. Lane was elected president. As the movement to make that town the capital had collapsed, the convention adjourned to Leavenworth and there completed its labors. A good constitution was framed. But the people doubted the legality of the bill calling the convention into life; they regarded its work lightly, and few of them voted in the election for its ratification. It was sent to Congress; no action was ever had upon it.
Governor Denver resigned his office October 10th, 1858. He was the first Governor not removed or compelled to resign. And his administration was much more satisfactory to the President than to the people of Kansas. In after years he said that in his residence in Missouri he had "chummed" with Senator Atchison and other Pro-Slavery leaders there, and could not bring himself to incur their displeasure in the administration of Kansas affairs.
Governor Denver returned to Washington, and was reappointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Becoming dissatisfied with this position, in the spring of 1859 he resigned, and returned to California. In the canvass of 1860 he favored Senator Douglas and opposed secession. The Legislature, in 1861, appointed him one of the commissioners to adjust Indian-raid claims. He left California in June, 1861, and on August 14th President Lincoln appointed him brigadier-general of volunteers; he was assigned to duty in Kansas in the following 'November. He was sent to West Virginia in January, 1862, but returned to Kansas in March. In May he was ordered to report to General Halleck, at Pittsburg Landing, and assigned to duty under General Sherman, having command of the brigade composed of the Forty-eighth, Fifty-third, Seventieth and Seventy-second Ohio regiments, in the advance on Corinth, Mississippi. From Corinth he was sent to Memphis; and from that point marched to Holly Springs, which town he captured. He returned to Memphis, and was put in command of Fort Pickering, where he remained until November, 1862. He was ordered to take part in the movement against Vicksburg, but only arrived at Oxford, Miss., beyond which it was impossible to transport his supplies because of the destruction of the railroads. The winter of 1862-3 he spent in LaGrange, Tennessee. In the spring of 1863 he resigned his position in the army to attend to private business, and did not again take part in the war. At the close of the war he resumed the practice of law in Washington, in partnership with Hon. James Hughes of Indiana and A. J. Isaacks of Kansas.
Source: Kansas Territorial Governors by William Elsey Connelley, 1900, Pages 120-128
Want you a man
Samuel Medary was born in Montgomery Square, Montgomery
county, Pennsylvania, February 25th, 1801. He died in Columbus, Ohio, 7th November, 1864, in the sixty-fourth year
of his age. The name was originally written Madeira, and is yet pronounced as if so written.
He was something of an agitator, and early manifested an interest in politics. He favored Andrew Jackson for President, and in 1828 established the Ohio Sun to aid in his election. In 1834 he was elected as a Jackson Democrat to a seat in the Ohio Legislature. In 1836 he was elected to the State Senate, and at the expiration of his term, in 1838, he removed to Columbus, Ohio, and purchased the Western Hemisphere, the name of which he afterwards changed to the Ohio Statesman. This paper he edited until 1857. He was a forceful and logical writer, and made his paper a power in the Ohio Valley. He was a staunch supporter of all the measures proposed by "Old Hickory" who honored him with his personal esteem and confidence. In the controversy over the Oregon boundary he originated the cry, " fifty-four forty or fight/7 and it became the cry of his party. Stephen A. Douglas stood for this boundary, and his position gained him the friendship of Mr. Medary. Medary became prominent in State politics, and in 1844 was chairman of the Ohio delegation to the national Democratic convention at Baltimore. He carried a letter from General Jackson instructing him to present the name of James K. Polk for the nomination for President in case of disagreement of any serious nature among the delegates as to a suitable candidate. When the convention was in an uproar and in danger of going to pieces, Mr. Medary produced this letter and James K. Polk was at once nominated by acclamation for the Presidency. In 1853 Mr. Medary was tendered the position of United States Minister to Chili, which he declined. He was the temporary President of the Democratic convention held in Cincin-nati that nominated James Buchanan for President, and labored ineffectually for the nomination of his friend and favorite, Stephen A. Douglas. He was the last Territorial Governor of Minnesota, holding that position during the years 1857 and 1858. He was appointed Governor of Kansas Territory upon the resignation of Governor' Denver; his oath of office is dated December 1, 1858. He arrived at Lecompton and assumed the duties of his office December 18th.
The great battle for liberty had been fought and won in Kansas before Governor Medary's appointment. The action of Walker and Stanton which resulted in giving the Free-State men the Territorial Legislature may be considered the event which firmly established the supremacy of all the principles opposed in Kansas by the slave-power. It is true that battles were yet to be fought and much injustice borne, but these grew more insignificant in proportion to the rapid increase of the power of the Free-State party. The troubles in southeastern Kansas were serious, but they never at any time threatened the extermination of the Free-St ate men as did those about Lawrence. The disorders in Linn and Bourbon counties continued throughout the term of Governor Medary's administration, and in fact the feuds did not cease until after the close of the Civil War; there were long periods of inactivity and comparative peace between the outbreaks.
But while the administration of Governor Medary
was devoid of those exciting events which marked the terms of his predecessors, it witnessed much that had a lasting
effect upon the future greatness of the Commonwealth. The formation of the present constitution of the State was
perhaps the most important work accomplished by the people in that time. It was clear that neither the Lecompton
nor Leavenworth constitutions would ever become the fundamental law of the land. The Topeka Constitution had passed
away with the conditions which produced it. People poured in from all the free States, and the presence of these
new citizens gave breadth to the discussions of measures proposed for the coming State. And the people were gaining
experience in the practical administration of government. It was the prevailing opinion that a new constitutional
convention should be called. The Legislature which convened January 3d, 1859, enacted a law providing for "
the formation of a Constitution and State Government." The Governor issued a proclamation March 7th, calling
an election to determine the will of the people upon the matter. The election was' held on the 28th of March. In
a proclamation issued on the 16th of April the Governor announced the result of the election as being 5,306 for
the proposition, and 1,425 against it. On the 19th of April Governor Medary issued his proclamation calling for
the election of delegates to the convention, the election to be held on Tuesday, June 7th (the first Tuesday in
June). The convention began its sessions July 5th. Many new men were in the body; and the absence of the men conspicuous
in the struggles . of the early days was noticeable. The convention selected the constitution of Ohio as a model.
It completed its work on July 29th, giving the people a good constitution, which was by them ratified November.
8th. On December 6th, 1859, was held the election of officers under the Wyandotte Constitution. Governor Medary
was the Democratic candidate for Governor of the new State; he was defeated by Charles Robinson, by some two thousand
The Pro-Slavery party had been known under various specific name has not always been assigned it in this names, but as it always stood for the same principles, a work. It was known at this time as the National Democratic party. On May 12th the old Free-State party held a convention at Big Springs; it adopted resolutions favoring the continuance of that organization until after the admission of Kansas as a State. Frederick P. Stanton was one of the leaders in this movement to continue the old Free-State party. The effort was a failure; the people did not sustain the action of its members. The grand old party had done a noble work for Kansas and humanity, but found that later years brought conditions and problems for which it made no provision. Its work was done, and well done. It died upon the ground which gave it birth. From its ruins sprang the Republican party of Kansas, which was organized at Osawatomie, May 18th, 1859.
The Legislature which assembled January 2, 1860, enacted a law abolishing slavery in Kansas. Governor Medary vetoed it, but it was passed over his veto. It was finally declared unconstitutional.
In 1860 Congress considered the matter of the admission of Kansas under the Wyandotte Constitution. The action of the House was favorable, but the slave majority in the Senate defeated the proposition.
The year 1860 is notable for the most persistent drouth the State has witnessed. General distress followed, and aid was sent from many States. This year the first railroad track was laid in Kansas, on the line from Elwood to Marysville. The desire for railroads, was general, and a convention assembled in Topeka in October and memorialized Congress to aid in the construction of lines of railway which it designated. This was the first general movement for railroads, of which the State now has so many, and such great ones.
In the result of the Presidential election of 1860 Governor Medary saw the early admission of the State into the Union. realizing that his term of office would soon be terminated by that event, he resigned in December, 1860, and returned to Ohio. He established a newspaper in Columbus, which he named The Crisis, and which he edited until his death.
Governor Medary was a conscientious official and a worthy citizen. So persistent was he in his devotion to the principles of Democracy that he was called "the old wheel-horse of Democracy." But the interpretation of these principles, promulgated by President Buchanan and his advisers, contained many surprises for the Governor, and he lived long enough to see them made the basis for a movement to destroy the Union, and almost long enough to see the complete failure of that movement. He was one of the old school of Democracy. These men were patriots before they were partisans, and numbered Jefferson, Jackson and Benton as conspicuous examples of de-votion to the principles of justice, which they always made paramount to the interests of party. The decadence of the party began with the retirement of Jackson and the advent of Cass, Buchanan, Pierce and others as leaders of it.
Governor Medary was enthusiastic in his labors for the advancement of agriculture and horticulture. The agricultural fairs of Ohio were the result of his labors. He was a tireless worker, and could write an editorial while engaged in conversation upon an entirely different subject. His death was sincerely mourned, and his party erected a monument to his memory at Columbus in 1869.
Source: Kansas Territorial Governors by William
Elsey Connelley, 1900, Pages 128-135
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