Crawford's Administration.The legislature met in regular session on Jan. 10, 1865, and organized with Lieut.-Gov. James McGrew as the presiding officer of the senate, and Jacob Stotler, of Lyon county, as the speaker of the house. On the 11th Samuel J. Crawford succeeded Thomas Carney as governor. The inaugural message of the new executive was such a document as a lawyer might be expected to writeconcise, analytic, almost entirely free from flights of eloquence or rhetorical display, but treating in clear, forcible language questions of vital interest or great importance to the people of Kansas. In discussing the national situation he said: "The reëlection of Abraham Lincoln is the people's declaration that the war is not a failure, but that it shall be vigorously prosecuted until the last vestige of American slavery is extirpateduntil every traitor lays down his arms and bows in allegiance to our flag and in submission to the laws of our government."
He then carefully reviewed the educational progress and financial condition of the state; recommended an appropriation for the completion of the geological survey; suggested an investigation of the work of erecting a penitentiary before any further appropriations be made for that purpose; and suggested the importance of promoting immigration as a means of adding to the wealth and population. (See Penitentiary.)
On Jan. 12, the day following the reading of the message, the two branches of the assembly met in joint convention for the election of a United States senator. The result of the ballot was: James H. Lane, 82; William Phillips, 7; William C. McDowell, 4; C. B. Brace, 2; B. M. Hughes, 1. Lane was therefore declared reëlected for the term beginning on the 4th of the following March.
The legislature adjourned on the 20th of February. The principal of the session were those authorizing counties to issue bonds in behalf of railroad companies; to encourage the planting of forest trees; making an appropriation for the geological survey; relating to the payment of claims growing out of the Price raid and the expedition of Gen. Curtis against the Indians.
President Lincoln died early on the morning of April 15, and as soon as the sad news reached Kansas Gov. Crawford issued a proclamation, the principal part of which was as follows: "President Lincoln has been wickedly assassinated; a loyal people are shedding bitter tears of sorrow; grief the most poignant fills the heart of every true patriot in the land; a calamity that seems almost unbearable has visited a nation! Let us submit with Christian resignation to the great afflictionkiss the hand that smites usremembering that it is our Father's will.
"I do recommend that, in respect to the memory of the slain hero and patriot, the public and private buildings in the state be draped in mourning, so far as practicable, for the space of ten days; and that Sunday, the 23rd inst., especial prayers be offered to Almighty God, that he will sanctify this great calamity to the good of our bereaved country."
The governor's recommendations were generally accepted. In all the leading towns and cities of the state buildings were decorated with somber blackemblem of a nation's griefwhile from many pulpits, on the appointed day, prayers were offered for the national welfare and sermons calculated to inculcate patriotism and a love of law and order were delivered to interested congregations.
During the summer of 1865 there arose a controversy between the governor and the interior department, regarding the title to certain lands in Kansas, and some spirited correspondence resulted. On Aug. 3 Gov. Crawford wrote to James Harlan, secretary of the interior, that the Cherokee and Osage tribes were holding lands to which they had no title. The letter was referred to J. M. Edmunds, commissioner of the general land office, who wrote to the governor, under date of Aug. 31, that he was in error in his views concerning the boundaries of the Osage and Cherokee lands. The governor then asked G. J. Endicott to ascertain the exact boundaries, which was done, and Mr. Endicott's survey sustained the position of Gov. Crawford. The correspondence is given in full in the governor's message to the legislature of 1866.
The legislative session of 1866 began on Jan. 9 and lasted until Feb. 26. Lieut.-Gov. McGrew again presided over the senate and John T. Burns was speaker of the house. During the session acts were passed providing for a new apportionment of the state for senators and representatives; to encourage forestry; for the erection of a temporary deaf and dumb asylum at Olathe; for the erection of a state-house; to give to railroad companies 500,000 acres of land granted to the state under the act of Sept. 4, 1841; and to provide for the sale of certain public lands for the benefit of the state university, the state normal school and the agricultural college.
In April, 1866, Gov. Crawford sold in New York $60,000 of the penitentiary bonds and $70,000 of the public improvement bonds at 91 cents on the dollar. The latter were authorized by the act of Feb. 27, 1866, to run for thirty years at seven per cent. interest, payable semi-annually, the proceeds to be used for the benefit of the state university, the state normal school, the deaf and dumb asylum, and for the erection of a capitol building. (See Finances, State.)
A great reunion of Kansas soldiers was held on July 4, 1866, at which time the battle flags of the several regiments were presented to the state. Senator Lane's death on July 11 left a vacancy in the United States senate, which Gov. Crawford filled on the 20th by the appointment of Edmund G. Ross.
At a Republican convention in Topeka on Sept. 5, Gov. Crawford was renominated, receiving 64 votes to 18 for Andrew Akin of Morris county. Nehemiah Green was nominated for lieutenant-governor; H. A. Barker and John R. Swallow were nominated for secretary of state and auditor and the ticket was completed by the nomination of Martin Anderson for treasurer; Peter McVicar for superintendent of public instruction; George H. Hoyt for attorney-general; Samuel A. Kingman for chief justice of the supreme court, and Sidney Clarke for representative in Congress. At that time the controversy between President Andrew Jackson and Congress over the reconstruction policy was at its height, and the platform declared:
"That in the great and awful wickedness which our president has perpetrated in making treason a virtue and loyalty a crime; in giving to rebels protection, and to their anarchy the sanction of law; in casting upon the noble and sacrificing Unionists of the South the scorn and insolence of tyrannic power; in fostering and encouraging the spirit of disaffection among the rebels, and in crushing the dawning hopes of the freedmen; in usurping and overriding the authority of Congress, and in trampling upon the sovereignty of the states; and in his audacious and crowning wickedness in calling our representatives 'An assumed Congress,' meaning the tyrant's threat at anarchy and absolute powerhas lost our confidence and respect, and to his insolence and threats we hurl back our defiance and scorn."
This was strong language, but from it the student of a younger generation may learn how high the sectional and partisan feelings ran during the years immediately following the Civil war. The platform indorsed the Congress of the United States, especially the senators and representatives from Kansas, and recommended the next legislature to submit to a vote of the people the question of impartial suffrage.
On Sept. 20 the National Union state convention met at Topeka and named an opposition ticket, as follows: J. L. McDowell, governor; J. R. McClure, lieutenant-governor; M. Quigg, secretary of state; N. S. Goss, auditor; I. S. Walker, treasurer; Ross Burns, attorney-general; Joseph Bond, superintendent of public instruction; Nelson Cobb, chief justice; Charles W. Blair, representative in Congress. The convention gave an unequivocal indorsement to President Johnson's policy with regard to the Southern states, in a resolution declaring: "That in the great crisis of our country, growing out of the disagreement between Congress and the administration, we heartily indorse the policy of President Johnson in his manly defense of the constitution and the Union against the assaults of a partisan Congress and a fanatical party to destroy the government bequeathed to us by our fathers."
On questions relating to Kansas affairs, the platform declared that "The prodigality, corruption and imbecility of the present officials of this state merit and ought to receive the severest reprobation of the honest, tax-ridden people of the state," and condemned "the criminal conduct of the present executive in neglecting or refusing to extend the protection of the state to the hardy pioneers of our western borders against Indian hostilities and savage barbarities daily and notoriously committed against them."
Notwithstanding this severe arraignment of Gov. Crawford by the opposition party, he was reëlected by an increased vote on Nov. 6, 1866. In 1864 his majority over Solon O. Thacher was 4,939, while in 1866 he received 19,370 votes, and his opponent, J. L. McDowell, received only 8,152. All the candidates on the Republican state ticket were elected by similar pluralities, and the party had a substantial majority in each branch of the legislature which met on Jan. 8, 1867.
At the session Nehemiah Green, the newly elected lieutenant-governor, presided over the deliberations of the senate, and Preston B. Plumb was elected speaker of the house. Gov. Crawford submitted his annual message on the 9th. He reviewed at length the financial condition of the state, showing the total indebtedness to be $660,896.28, with the resources only slightly less. With regard to the educational progress of the state during the preceding year, he called attention to the fact that there had been an increase of 150 in the number of school districts; the number of teachers had increased 187, and there had been an increase of nearly $200,000 in the value of school propertynot a bad exhibit for Kansas in the sixth year of her statehood. The message also gave a great deal of detailed information concerning the penal and benevolent institutions of the state; the progress in the erection of the new capitol; urged legislation in behalf of the agricultural interests and to promote railroad building, and recommended that steps be taken to encourage immigration. On the subject of Indian hostilities, in connection with which the governor had been severely criticised by one of the political conventions the preceding year, the message says:
"The Indians on our western border, during the past year, have been guilty of frequent depredations and murders. The expenses would have been so enormous that I did not feel justified, under existing circumstances, in attempting the defense of the frontier by the militia of the state. It would have been useless to attempt it unless by keeping troops at all times scouting in that portion of the state; and it was impossible after the depredations or murders were committed to collect a force and overtake the perpetrators, as ample time must necessarily intervene to make good their escape before troops could even reach the scene of their disturbances."
The governor then goes on to explain the efforts he made to protect the settlers on the frontier by trying to induce the general government to send troops to that section of the state, or at least to provide the settlers with arms and ammunition, and maintains that the reason for his failure to afford such protection as the settlers required was not due to negligence on his part, but to absolute helplessness.
He submitted to the legislature the proposed Article XIV of the Federal constitution (better known perhaps as the Fourteenth Amendment), and in connection therewith said: "The abolition of slavery, the investment by the laws of Congress of all persons born within the United States, or in case of foreigners when naturalized with citizenship, has precipitated upon us, as a practical question, sooner than many desired, the question of impartial suffrage. If we desired, we could not longer avoid the issue . . . . I recommend that you provide for submitting to a vote of the people, at the next general election, a proposition to strike the word "white" from our state constitution; and that all who gave aid or comfort, during the rebellion, to the enemies of the government, be forever disqualified and debarred from exercising the rights, privileges and immunities of loyal citizens of Kansas."
In referring to the appointment of Mr. Ross to the United States senate, he also reminded the legislature that the term of Senator Pomeroy expired on the 4th of the following March, and, the appointment of Ross having been made ad interim, two senators must be elected during the session. Accordingly the two houses met in joint convention on Jan. 23, and elected Edmund G. Ross for the short termthe unexpired term of Gen. Laneand reëlected Samuel C. Pomeroy for the long term. Only one ballot was taken in each instance. For the short term Ross received 68 votes; Thomas Carney, 40, and Samuel A. Riggs, 1. For the long term Pomeroy received 84 votes and Albert L. Lee 25.
On the subject of Indian titles the governor said in his message of 1867: "In my last message I presented to the legislature the fact (as I then and still believe), that the boundary lines claimed by the Cherokees to the Cherokee Neutral Lands, and by the Osages to the lands occupied by them, were not in accordance with the treaties made by the government with these tribes, that those lands were unjustly claimed and held, and that they in right and justice were subject to settlement. During the year just passed, thousands of immigrants have settled on these lands and the Indians finally ceded their alleged claims to the government. The rights of the settlers on these lands should be sacredly and securely guarded. A commission is now in the state to ascertain upon what terms or conditions the different tribes now owning reservations will relinquish their rights thereto, and remove to what is known as the Indian Country. The best interests of the state and the future prosperity of the Indians unite in demanding their speedy removal." (See Indian Treaties.)
The legislature adjourned on March 6. During the session the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified; an issue of $100,000 in bonds was authorized for the construction of the new capitol; a similar amount was authorized for the benefit of the penitentiary; an issue of $15,500 for the deaf and dumb asylum; a number of county boundaries were changed; steps were taken for the establishment of a blind asylum at Wyandotte; and the payment of the Price raid claims were assumed by the state. Three constitutional amendments were proposedone to strike the word "white" from the organic law of the state; one to strike out the word "male," and the third disfranchising certain classes of persons.
Early in the summer of 1867 the Indians on the western border again became troublesome, especially toward those engaged in railroad building, and on June 29 Gov. Crawford received authority to organize and call out a battalion to protect the frontier. The result was the organization of the Eighteenth Kansasfour companieswhich was mustered in for four months. The battalion was commanded by Maj. H. L. Moore, formerly lieutenant-colonel of the Fourth Arkansas cavalry, in October Gen. W. T. Sherman notified the governor that the United States would pay the men when they were mustered out, which was done at Fort Harker on Nov. 15.
A number of prominent Republicans met in convention at Lawrence on Sept. 5 and organized a campaign in favor of negro suffrage, but in opposition to female suffrage. On the 18th of the same month a Democratic convention at Leavenworth declared in opposition to all three of the proposed constitutional amendments. The election was held on Nov. 5. The proposition to strike the word "white" from the state constitution was defeated by a vote of 10,483 for to 19,421 against; that to strike out the word "male" was defeated by a vote of 9,070 for to 19,857 against, and the amendments restricting the elective franchise was carried by a vote of 16,860 to 12,165.
In the legislative session, which began on Jan. 14, 1868, Lieut.-Gov. Green again presided in the senate and George W. Smith was speaker of the house. The governor presented his message on the opening day of the session. The principal topics discussed were the financial condition of the state; educational and railroad development; the Paris exposition; the condition of the public institutions of the state; Indian lands and depredations; immigration, and the work of the codify-commission. The laws enacted during the session were published in two volumesthe general statutes as revised by the commission, and special laws.
Early in the session charges were made against Gov. Crawford, in that he had accepted 640 acres of land from the Union Pacific railroad company, which had influenced him to report in favor of accepting the road, and a special committee, consisting of C. R. Jennison, J. L. Philbrick and R. D. Mobley, was appointed to investigate. On Feb. 27 Mr. Jennison made a minority report, tending to show that the land in question was worth several thousand dollars, and that its transfer from the railroad company to the governor was in the nature of a bribe. The other two members of the committee rendered a majority report exonerating the governor from blame. This report closed as follows "And we further believe that his persistent efforts in behalf of the road, in defeating the opposition of those interested in the Omaha line, resulted in great and lasting benefit to the company, and ten fold more interest to the State of Kansas. Your committee recommend that the evidence be printed."
The first political activity in 1868 was manifested by the Democratic party, which met in convention at Topeka on Feb. 26 and selected Wilson Shannon, Jr., Thomas P. Fenlon, Charles W. Blair, George W. Glick, A. J. Mead and Isaac Sharp as delegates to the national convention. The resolutions adopted favored guaranteeing to each state a republican form of government under control of the white race; regretted the difference between the "Radical party in Congress and the president," and condemned "the attempt on the part of Congress to strip the presidential office of its constitutional authority, and the supreme court of its proper functions, in order that they may carry out their unprecedented schemes of negro supremacy in certain states, in violation of the constitution of the United States, and contrary to the sentiments and feelings of the great bulk of the population of the Union."
A Republican state convention met at Topeka on March 25. C. W. Babcock, S. S. Prouty, John A. Martin, B. F. Simpson, Louis Weil and N. A. Adams were elected delegates to the national convention and instructed to support Gen. U. S. Grant for the presidency. The action of the national house of representatives, in its arraignment of President Andrew Johnson, was indorsed. These two conventions opened the national or presidential campaign, but nominations for the state offices were not made until well along in the summer.
In this matter the Democrats again took the initiative by holding their state convention on July 29, at Topeka. George W. Glick was nominated for governor; Maxwell McCaslin for lieutenant-governor; Wilson Shannon, Jr., for secretary of state; Gottlieb Schauble for auditor; Allen McCartney for treasurer; Ross Burns for attorney-general; Archibald Beatty for superintendent of public instruction; W. R. Wagstaff for associate justice of the supreme court; Charles W. Blair for representative in Congress; Leonard T. Smith, P. Z. Taylor and Orlin Thurston for presidential electors.
The Republican nominating convention assembled in Topeka on Sept. 9. James M. Harvey was nominated for governor after a spirited contest, and the ticket was completed by the selection of the following candidates: Charles V. Eskridge, lieutenant-governor; Thomas Moonlight, secretary of state; Alois Thoman, auditor; George Graham, treasurer; Addison Danford, attorney-general; Peter McVicar, superintendent of public instruction; D. M. Valentine, associate justice; Sidney Clarke, representative in Congress; I. S. Kalloch, A. H. Horton and D. R. Anthony, presidential electors. The entire Republican ticket, both state and national, was successful at the election on Nov. 3.
All through the summer and fall of 1868 the Indians continued to commit depredations at intervals, which kept the settlers on the western border in constant fear of attack. On Oct. 10 Gov. Crawford issued a proclamation calling for a volunteer cavalry regiment for six months' service. The first company (Company A) was mustered in at Topeka ten days later, and on Nov. 4. the day after the election, Gov. Crawford resigned the governorship to take command of the regiment, which was designated the Ninteenth Kansas. The same day Lieut.-Gov. Nehemiah Green took the oath of office as governor.Pages 477-483 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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