Anthony's Administration.The first biennial session of the Kansas state legislature convened on Jan. 9, 1877, and organized with Lieut. Gov. Melville J. Salter as president of the senate, and Peter P. Elder as speaker of the house. Gov. Anthony requested a joint session of the two branches of the assembly, that he might read his message in person. This was something of an innovation, and Representative Mohler, of Saline county, with thirteen others entered a protest against such a proceeding, giving as their reasons therefor, 1stbecause it was not authorized by the constitution; 2ndsuch a joint session was not really the legislature of Kansas; and 3dit was a departure from established precedent. The protest was made a matter of record, but a majority of the members voted to hold the joint session in accordance with the governor's request, and on the 11th Gov. Anthony read his message to the two houses.
His message showed that the new executive was fully conversant with public matters, and was replete with valuable suggestions. "The reports of the state officers," said he, "show the financial condition and credit of the state to be of the most flattering character. Seven per cent. currency bonds of the state are held at a premium of seven per cent, on their par value by the most prudent investors. In fact, it is difficult to find holders willing to part with them, when sought as an investment by the state, at the highest quoted price."
He then carefully reviewed the condition of the state's public institutions; called attention to the ambiguity of the law inflicting the death penalty; devoted some attention to the Price Raid claims, and recommended a "house of correction" for youthful offenders. On this subject he said: "Humanity and the public good unite in demanding a place of confinement, other than the penitentiary, for youthful offenders. So revolting is it to the judgment and conscience of men to consign erring youth, for its first proven crime, to the society and ineffaceable disgrace of a penitentiary, that judges and jurors cannot be found to convict when they can evade it."
As an economical means of providing a place of confinement of this nature for juvenile transgressors, he recommended a separate building and yard on the grounds of the penitentiary, but under the same management.
About the time that Gov. Anthony came into office, complaint was made in several of the western states that the railroads were not giving the people fair treatment in many respects. His utterances on this question evinced the fact that he had given it close attention. Said he: "There is, whether just or not, a widespread feeling of dissatisfaction with the railroad corporations of the state, on account of alleged unfulfilled obligations on their part. It is claimed that these corporations received valuable franchise privileges, most of them sharing in the division of a half-million acres of state internal improvement lands, and receiving large contributions of local aid upon their lines in county, township and city bonds; that these valuable rights and franchises were bestowed on condition, and in consideration, on the part of the state and people, that companies so chartered and aided should build upon the lines and operate their roads, in good faith, between the terminal points named in their respective charters. . . . Some of these companies, it is asserted, have not built upon the lines, nor caused their roads to connect and be operated between and to the points stipulated . . . . In order to settle all controverted points now in dispute as to the chartered obligations of these companies, I urge the passage of a law which shall clearly and fully embody a demand upon these companies for a recognition of the obligation held by you to be due from them to the state, with adequate provision for its enforcement by the state authorities."
For some reason the legislature did not see fit to act upon this recommendation of the governor, but instead passed several acts authorizing counties, cities and townships to issue bonds to aid in the construction of additional lines of railroad. (See Railroads.)
By an act of Congress, approved July 3, 1876, the secretary of war authorized the issue to certain western states of 1,000 stands of arms each, Kansas being one of such states, but the governors of these states were required to execute bond for the proper care of the arms, etc. In Kansas there was at that time no law empowering the governor to give such bond, but the secretary of war turned over to the state the arms, upon a bond given by Gov. Osborn and his promise to secure the ratification of his action by the legislature. In his message, Gov. Anthony reminded the assembly that the arms were in possession of the state, and that it was due Gov. Osborn that prompt action be taken approving his course, adding: "Without such action I shall feel it my duty to cause the return of the arms and the cancellation of the bond."
By the act of March 7, 1877, Gov. Osborn's action was legalized and his bond thus rendered a valid obligation upon the state. Two days before the passage of this act the legislature authorized the governor to "procure the erection of a state armory," and appropriated $2,000 for that purpose. The armory was built on the state-house grounds, southeast of the capitol, but has long since been removed.
During the session George W. Martin was for a third time elected public printer, and from Jan. 23 to 31 there were daily ballots for the election of a United States senator. Preston B. Plumb was elected on the sixteenth ballot, receiving 83 votes to 63 for David P. Lowe; 8 for John Martin; 1 for Thomas P. Fenlon, and 2 for ex-Gov. Wilson Shannon.
The legislature adjourned on March 7. The principal acts passed during the session were those creating the office of commissioner of fisheries; reorganizing the state normal school; authorizing the holding of normal institutes in various sections of the state; changing the official names of the blind and deaf and dumb asylums; making the fiscal year begin on July 1 instead of Dec. 1; and directing the governor to appoint a state agent to prosecute the claims of Kansas against the United States. Ex-Gov. Crawford was appointed to this position shortly after the adjournment.
Lieut.-Gov. M. J. Salter resigned his office to accept a position in the land office at Independence. This left a vacancy to be filled at the election on Nov. 6, 1877, when a chief justice of the supreme court was also to be elected. Three tickets were offered to the voters of the state for their consideration. The Republican nominees were Albert H. Horton for chief justice and Lyman U. Humphrey for lieutenant-governor; the Democratic candidates were respectively William R. Wagstaff and Thomas W. Waterson; and the Greenbackers presented S. A. Riggs and D. B. Hadley. The Democratic and Republican nominations were made by the state central committees of those parties. This course failed to meet the approval of some of the voters, and on Oct. 6 the Republicans of Bourbon county held a meeting at Fort Scott and denounced the state committee "for assuming authority to make nominations." The protest, however, had but little effect upon the ultimate result, as at the election Horton received 63,850 votes; Wagstaff, 25,378; and Riggs, 9,880, the vote for lieutenant-governor being practically the same. Mr. Humphrey took the oath of office as lieutenant-governor on Dec. 1.
On Dec. 8, 1877, Gov. Anthony made a demand for the surrender of one George I. Hopkins, a fugitive from justice who had sought refuge in the State of Ohio, but Robert F. Hurlbutt, then governor of Ohio, refused to honor the requisition. A correspondence followed and the requisition was again refused by R. M. Bishop, who succeeded Hurlbutt as governor. On Oct. 23, 1878, Gov. Bishop made a requisition for one Peter C. Becker, an embezzler of Butler county, Ohio, who had fled to Kansas, when Gov. Anthony refused, giving the same reasons as those presented by the Ohio authorities in the Hopkins case. This had the desired effect, as on Nov. 21, 1878, Gov. Bishop wrote, explaining the situation, and adding: "I very much regret the circumstance has occurred, as my desire is to remain on the most amicable relations not only with your state, but all the other states. The warrant for Hopkins' arrest will be issued whenever again demanded." Gov. Anthony deserved great credit for the skill and courage with which he handled this matter in upholding the dignity and enforcing the laws of the state.
The winter of 1877-78 was noted for the temperance movement which swept over the state and culminated in the organization of the State Temperance Society at Topeka on March 9, 1878, with Rev. John A. Anderson as president. On April 4 E. B. Reynolds made the announcement that 100,000 Murphy pledges had been signed by Kansans.
A great strike of the employees of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad commenced on April 4, 1878, and the next day C. F. Morse, general superintendent of the railroad, wrote to Gov. Anthony as follows: "There is a large mob about our depot, threatening violence. I have called on the sheriff, and he is trying to raise a posse, but we may need help from the state. Will you protect this company and its property?"
"I have to assure you," wrote Gov. Anthony the same day in reply, "of my full sympathy, and that the power of the state shall be brought to bear to suppress any effort to drive peaceable laborers from their work upon your road or elsewhere." (See Labor Troubles.)
Three state tickets were nominated in the political campaign of 1878. The first party to hold a convention was the Greenback party, delegates of which met at Emporia on July 3 and nominated the following candidates: For governor, D. P. Mitchell; lieutenant-governor, Alfred Taylor; secretary of state, T. P. Leach; auditor, A. B. Cornell; treasurer, A. G. Wolcott; attorney-general, Frank Doster; superintendent of public instruction, I. T. Foot; chief justice, H. V. Vrooman. Frank Doster was later made the candidate for Congress in the third district, the vote of the Greenback party generally going to J. F. Cox, the Democratic candidate for attorney-general. The candidates for Congress in the first and second districts were Elbridge Gale and P. P. Elder, respectively. No nomination was made for Congressman at large, the support of the party being thrown to Samuel J. Crawford, the Democratic candidate.
On Aug. 28 the Republican state convention met at Topeka and nominated John P. St. John for governor; Lyman U. Humphrey, for lieutenant-governor; James Smith, for secretary of state; P. I. Bonebrake, for auditor; John Francis, for treasurer; Willard Davis, for attorney-general; Allen B. Lemon, for superintendent of public instruction; Albert H. Horton, for chief justice; and James R. Hallowell, for Congressman at large. The Republican candidates for Congress in the districts were John A. Anderson in the first, Dudley C. Haskell in the second, and Thomas Ryan in the third.
The Democratic state convention was held at Leavenworth on Sept. 4. John R. Goodin headed the ticket as the candidate for governor; George Ummethum was nominated for lieutenant-governor; L. W. Barton, for secretary of state; Osbun Shannon, for auditor; C. C. Black, for treasurer; J. F. Cox, for attorney-general; O. F. McKim, for superintendent of public instruction; R. M. Ruggles, for chief justice; and Samuel J. Crawford, for Congressman at large. J. R. McClure was the Democratic nominee for Congress in the first district; Charles W. Blair, in the second, and Joseph B. Fugate in the third.
There were no especially exciting features of The campaign, though a fairly heavy vote was polled at the election on Nov. 5, when St. John received 74,020 votes for governor; Goodin, 37,208; and Mitchell, 27,057. The Republican candidate for Congress in each of the three districts was elected by a substantial majority, and Mr. Hallowell carried the state as the candidate for Congressman at large. It developed, however, that the state was not authorized to elect a Congressman at large, and Hallowell was not permitted to take his seat.
In Sept., 1878, the Indians on the western frontier began making hostile demonstrations. When Gov. Anthony received the information that some of the Cheyennes had left their reservation and were moving against the settlements in western Kansas, he placed himself in telegraphic communication with the Federal authorities. Ten days later the Indians were reported to be in the vicinity of Fort Dodge, and, as the general government refused to act, the governor sent Adjt.-Gen. Noble with arms and ammunition to the menaced districts, with instructions to arm and organize the people for their own defense. (See Indian Wars.)
If Gov. Anthony had introduced an innovation at the commencement of his administration, in requesting a joint session to hear his message, he introduced no less an innovation at its close, in submitting a retiring message, partly a review of his official acts and partly suggestions for the future. This message bears the date of Jan. 13, 1879, and in a prefatory note to the incoming governor, Gov. Anthony says: "Sir: impelled by a sense of duty, I have prepared, and herewith hand you, a communication to the legislature. This innovation will, I trust, meet with sufficient approval on your part to justify you in its transmittal to the separate branches of that body, which favor I respectfully ask at your hands."
In the message itself, he thus gives his reasons for its preparation: "Believing it better to establish a good precedent than to follow a bad one, and holding duty to the public paramount to custom and usage, have concluded to depart from the practice of predecessors, by addressing you. I am impelled to this departure by a belief that there are transactions, both complete and incomplete, connected with my administration, which should be brought to your attention in more fullness of detail and particularity of statement than could be expected or required of the governor elect; and I trust you will, by law, make it his duty to perform a work I have assumed to do at the peril of unfriendly criticism."
The governor then gives a detailed account of the appointment of ex-Gov. Samuel J. Crawford as state agent, with a list of the bonds issued at various times for military purposes, amounting to $470,726.15, for which the state had not been reimbursed by the Federal government. He also discussed the Santa Fe strike; school lands and school funds; the correspondence with the governors of Ohio; the Indian raid of 1878, and included a list of pardons granted to convicts during his term of office. Gov. St. John, in his own message, made no reference to Gov. Anthony's farewell communication, though it appears to have been submitted to the legislature, as official copies of it were printed by the state printer. The day following its submission to Gov. St. John, the administration of Gov. Anthony came to a close.Pages 82-87 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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