William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 22] [part 20] [Cutler's History]


For Territorial Delegate to Congress Andrew H. Reeder received 2,849 votes, polled as below stated:

  1         Lawrence              557
            Blanton                77
            Palmyra                16
  2         Bloomington           116
            Benicia                27
  3         Brownville             24
            Topeka                131
            Tecumseh               31
            Big Springs            35
            Camp Creek              7
  4         Willow Springs         54
  5         Hampden                33
            Neosho                 16
            Stanton                44
            Osawatomie             74
            Pottawatomie           56
            Big Sugar Creek        28
            Little Sugar Creek     41
  6         Scott Town             27
            Columbia               20
            Fuqua's                12
  7         Council City           62
  8         Wabaunsee              26
            A. J. Baker's          16
  9         Pawnee                 76
 10         Big Blue               77
            Rock Creek             30
 11         Black Vermillion       14
 12         St. Mary's             19
            Silver Lake            28
 13         Pleasant Hill          43
            Falls Precinct         45
            Hickory Point          11
 14         Burr Oak               33
            Doniphan               43
            Palermo                32
            Wolf River             17
 15         Oceana                 32
            Crosby's Store         39
            Jackson Crane's        30
 16         Leavenworth           503
            Wyandotte              38
            Delaware               22
            Easton                 63
            Ridge Point            48
 17         Wakarusa                7
            Mission                13
 18         Iowa Point             40
            Moorstown              16
                 Total.........  2849

The election held the same day for Delegates to the Constitutional Convention gave a total vote in the various districts as follows: First District, 648; Second District, 143; Third District, 214; Fourth District, 55; Fifth District, 282; Sixth District, 59; Seventh District, 62; Eighth District, 27; Ninth District, 76; Tenth District, 110; Eleventh District, 14; Twelfth District, 40; Thirteenth District, 86; Fourteenth District, 133; Fifteenth District, 59; Sixteenth District, 684; Seventeenth District, 18 - Total 2,710.

These two elections, although held the same day, and having the countenance and support of the Free-state voters, were for purposes widely distinct, and were held under the call of different bodies, and the returns made to different committees. Those for Delegate to Congress were returned to the Free-state Executive Committee of Kansas, appointed by the Big springs Convention; those for Delegates to the Topeka Constitutional Convention to the Territorial Committee appointed by the Topeka Convention of the 19th September.

The Territorial Executive Committee (Big Springs) gave to Andrew H. Reeder his certificate of election as Delegate to Congress.

The Territorial Executive Committee (Topeka) announced the names of Delegates duly elected to the Topeka Constitutional Convention, by proclamation, as follows:

By authority vested in me by the people of Kansas Territory on the 19th ult., and pursuant to the instructions of the Convention held at Topeka September 19, 1855, * * * * * as chairman of the Executive Committee of Kansas Territory, I do hereby make public and proclaim, that from the returns received and on file in this office it doth appear that the following persons have, by the legal voters of Kansas Territory, been elected delegates to a convention to be assembled in Topeka on the 23d day of October, 1855, at 12 M., from the several districts set opposite their names, to form a constitution, adopt a Bill of Rights for the people of Kansas, and take all measures needful for organizing a State government, preparatory to the admission of Kansas into the Union.

First Representative District, Samuel Mewhinney, William Graham.

Second Representative District, G. W. Smith, J. H. Lane, J. K. Goodin, C. Robinson, J. S. Emery, Morris Hunt.

Third Representative District, J. A. Wakefield, A. Curtiss, J. M. Tuton, H. Burson.

Fourth Representative District, C. K. Holliday, W. Y. Roberts.

Fifth Representative District, P. C. Schuyler, J. W. Pillsbury.

Sixth Representative District, James Phenis, Dr. ----Burgess, N. Vandever. In this district W. R. Griffith, John Hamilton, A. W. J. Brown, and W. Sanders have each a tie vote. The returns from Fort Scott have not yet come in.

Seventh Representative District, W. T. Turner, James M. Arthur, W. T. Morris, O. C. Brown, Richard Knight, F. Brown, H. Smith, W. G. Nichols.

Eighth Representative District, Robert Klotz, A. Hunting.

Ninth Representative District, M. F. Conway, J. G. Thompson.

Tenth Representative District, George Hillyer, J. Whitney.

Eleventh Representative District, G. A. Cutler, John Landis.

Twelfth Representative District, composed of Burr Oak Precinct, Fourteenth Election District, the whole of the Eighteenth and a small part of the Fifteenth Election District which voted at Doniphan. (This district is entitled to four Delegates. Returns have been received from Burr Oak Precinct, but the votes were case for Delegates in the Eleventh District above. As no Delegates have been elected from this District, an immediate election will be called for that purpose.)

Thirteenth Representative District, R. H. Crosby, Caleb May, Sanford McDaniel, James L. Sayle.

Fourteenth Representative District, Robert Riddle, M. J. Parrott, Matt. France, S. N. Latta, D. Dodge, M. H. Delahay.

Done at the offices of the Executive Committee of Kansas Territory, this 16th day of October, 1855.

JAMES H. LANE, Chairman.
J. K. GOODIN, Secretary.

(INSERT PICTURE OF "Constitution Hall, Topeka.)

In which were held the sessions of the Free-state Constitutional Convention - October 23 to November 11, 1855. Subsequently the sessions of the Topeka Legislature were held therein. The structure, remodeled into a business block, is still standing on Kansas avenue.


This convention met at Topeka October 23, 1855. The following statistical list of members of the convention was compiled for the Missouri Democrat by James Redpath, Reporter.

NAME.                Age.   Occupa-         Place of Nativity.
Arthur, James M....  38     Farmer          Indiana
Brown, Orville C...  44     Farmer          New York
Burson, H..........  36     Farmer          Virginia
Crosby, R. H.......  21     Merchant        Maine
Curtiss, A.........  32     Lawyer          New York
Cutler, G. A.......  23     Physician       Tenn.
Delahay, M. W......  27     Lawyer          Md.
Dodge, D...........  25     Lawyer          New York
Emery, J. S........  26     Lawyer          Maine
Goodin, J. K.......  31     Lawyer          Ohio
Holliday, C. K.....  28     Lawyer          Penn.
Hillyer, G. S......  35     Farmer          Ohio
Hunt, Morris.......  27     Lawyer          Ohio
Hunting, Amory.....  61     Physician       Mass
Hicks, W. H........  53     Farmer          Penn.
Klotz, Robert......  35     Merchant        Penn.
Knight, Richard....  43     Clergyman       England
Lanes, James H.....  33     Lawyer          Kentucky
Latta, S. N........  30     Lawyer          Ohio
Landis, John.......  28     Farmer          Kentucky
McDaniel, Sanford..  30     Farmer          Indiana
Mewhinney, Sam'l...  45     Farmer          Ohio
Parrott, M. J......  26     Lawyer          S. C.
Roberts, W. Y......  41     Farmer          Penn.
Robinson, C........  37     Physician       Mass.
Sayle, James L.....  37     Farmer          Illinois
Schuyler, P. C.....  50     Farmer          New York
Smith, G. W........  50     Lawyer          Penn.
Thompson, J. G.....  55     Saddler         Penn.
Tuton, J. M........  33     Clergyman       Tenn.
Wakefield, J. A....  59     Lawyer          S. C.
Stewart, C. W......  42     Farmer          Kentucky
Graham, William....  39     Physician       Ireland
May, Caleb.........  40     Farmer          Kentucky

NAME.                Residence.          Politics.    From
                                                      What State.
Arthur, James M....  Sugar Creek         Democrat     Indiana.
Brown, Orville C...  Osawatomie          Free-soil    New York.
Burson, H..........  Bloomington         Whig         Illinois.
Crosby, R. H.......  Oceana              Republican   Minn. Ter.
Curtiss, A.........  Bloomington         None         Kentucky.
Cutler, G. A.......  Doniphan            Free-soil    Missouri.
Delahay, M. W......  Leavenworth         Democrat     Alabama.
Dodge, D...........  Doniphan            Democrat     New York.
Emery, J. S........  Lawrence            Democrat     New York.
Goodin, J. K.......  Clear Lake          Democrat     Ohio.
Holliday, C. K.....  Topeka              Democrat     Penn.
Hillyer, G. S......  Grasshopper Falls   Whig         Ohio.
Hunt, Morris.......  Lawrence            Whig         Ohio.
Hunting, Amory.....  Manhattan           Republican   R. I.
Hicks, W. H........  Dayton              Democrat     Indiana.
Klotz, Robert......  Pawnee              Democrat     Penn.
Knight, Richard....  Lawrence            Free-state   Mass.
Lanes, James H.....  Lawrence            Democrat     Indiana.
Latta, S. N........  Leavenworth         Whig         Iowa.
Landis, John.......  Doniphan            Democrat     Missouri.
McDaniel, Sanford..  Round Prairie       Democrat     Missouri.
Mewhinney, Sam'l...  Prairie City        Democrat     Illinois.
Parrott, M. J......  Leavenworth         Democrat     Ohio.
Roberts, W. Y......  Washington          Democrat     Penn.
Robinson, C........  Lawrence            Indep'dent   Mass.
Sayle, James L.....  Kickapoo            Republican   Iowa.
Schuyler, P. C.....  Council City        Republican   New York.
Smith, G. W........  Franklin            Whig         Penn.
Thompson, J. G.....  Topeka              Democrat     Penn.
Tuton, J. M........  Bloomington         Democrat     Missouri.
Wakefield, J. A....  Bloomington         Whig         Iowa.
Stewart, C. W......  Troy                Democrat      ----
Graham, William....  Prairie City        Democrat     Tenn.
May, Caleb.........  Oceana              Democrat     Missouri

The subordinate officers were:

NAME.              Age.       Occupa-         Place of 
                                tion.         Birth
S. C. Smith....    27         Farmer          Mass.
C. A. Foster...    28         Lawyer          Mass.
S. F. Tappan...    24         Mechanic        Mass.
John Dailey....    24         Farmer          Indiana
Jas. Redpath...    22         Journalist      England

NAME.              Residence.        Politics.          From
                                                        What State.
S. C. Smith....    Lawrence          Republican         Mass.
C. A. Foster...    Osawatomie        Republican         Mass.
S. F. Tappan...    Lawrence          Abolitionist       Mass.
John Dailey....    Topeka            Democrat           Indiana.
Jas. Redpath...    St. Louis         D. & Eman-         Louisiana.  

The members elect, reported absent, were: Messrs Brown, Burgess, Conway, Field, France, Morris, Nichols, Phenis, Riddle, Hamden, Smith, Turner, Vandever.

J. H. Nesbitt appeared as member elect from the Eighth District, November 5, in place of Josiah Pillsbury who resigned on account of ill health. W. R. Griffith was admitted as a delegate from the Sixth District, November 6.


First day - Tuesday, October 23. - Convention called to order by J. A. Wakefield; prayer by Rev. Richard Knight; roll called by Joel K. Goodin, Secretary of Executive Committee. Twenty-one members answered to their names. There being less than a quorum present, the Convention adjourned till Wednesday morning at nine o'clock.

Second day - Wednesday, October 24. - Met according to adjournment. The roll-call showed thirty members - a quorum - present. The Convention organized by the choice of G. C. Smith, of Lawrence, Secretary, and, on motion of Col. Delahay, of Hon. James H. Lane as President, receiving fifteen votes to five for W. Y. Roberts, and four for John A. Wakefield. Lane made a short and characteristic speech on taking the chair. The names of the remaining officers chosen appear in the list heretofore given. Newspaper correspondent present were: Samuel F. Tappan, Herald of Freedom; John Speer, Kansas Tribune; James Redpath, Missouri Democrat; William A. Phillips, New York Tribune; Joseph L. Speer, Chicago Tribune.

The subsequent work of the Convention consisted largely of the business routine of all deliberative bodies, and is not of sufficient interest or importance to be recorded in daily detail.

The session lasted until November 11, at which date it adjourned. The result of the deliberations were:

1. The framing of a State Constitution, to be presented to the people for ratification on December 15.

2. Also a submission at the same time by separate ballot of the questions - favoring a General Banking Law - Yes or No. Exclusion of Negroes and Mulattoes from the State - Yes or No.

3. A memorial to Congress was prepared, praying the admission of Kansas as a State under the Constitution.

4. It was decided, in case the Constitution should be ratified, to organize a State government under its provisions, by the election of State officers and members of the General Assembly of the State; and the Executive Committee were authorized to call such election and perform such other acts as should complete the State organization and convene the State Legislature.

The validity of the proposed work was thoroughly understood, alike by the friends and opposers of the "Topeka" movement, to be contingent on the admission of Kansas as a State under the constitution. So long as Congress failed to admit, so long would these efforts prove futile, and the enactments remain void.


The Constitution thus framed and presented to the people for adoption, was framed essentially after the model of other Free States. The exceptions will be noted hereafter.

The preamble described the boundaries of the proposed State, being the same as the then established boundaries of the Territory, and convenanted "in order to secure to ourselves and posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty and property, and the free pursuit of happiness, to form ourselves into an independent State by the name and style of the State of Kansas," etc.

ARTICLE I. BILL OF RIGHTS. - Contained twenty-two sections enumerating in the familiar phrase of such documents the various rights inalienable and otherwise, which a free and enlightened government is bound to guarantee to its subjects. The sections touching on the slavery question were as follows:

SECTION 6. There shall be no slavery in this State, nor involuntary servitude, except for crime.

SECTION 21. No indenture of any negro or mulatto, made and executed out of the bounds of the State, shall be valid within the State.

ART. II. ELECTIVE FRANCHISE. - Thirteen sections.

SECTION 2. Every white male person, and every civilized male Indian who has adopted the habits of the white man, of the age of twenty-one years and upward, who shall be a citizen of the United States; who shall have resided and had his habitation, domicile, home and place of permanent abode in the State of Kansas for six months next preceding the election at which he offers his vote; who, at such time, and for thirty days immediately preceding such time, shall have had his actual habitation, domicile, home, and place of abode in the county in which he offers to vote; and who shall have resided in the precinct or election district for at least ten days immediately preceding the election, shall be deemed a qualified elector at all elections under this Constitution, except at elections by general ticket prescribed by law, in which case the elector must have the aforesaid qualifications, but a residence in said district of ten days will entitle him to vote: Provided, That no solider, seaman, or marine of the regular army of the United States shall be considered a resident of the State in consequence of being stationed with the same.

The oath required of officers of the State was prescribed as follows:

SECTION 9. All officers, civil and military, in this State, before they enter upon duties of their respective offices, shall take the following oath, or affirmation:

"I _____________, do swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and of the State of Kansas; that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution, to exercise the office to which I have been elected (or appointed), and will, to the best of my abilities, discharge the duties thereof faithfully and impartially, according to law."

ART IV. LEGISLATIVE. - Twenty-seven sections.
ART. V. EXECUTIVE. - Names officers and defines their duties and powers. Twenty-one sections.
ART. VI. JUDICIAL. - Courts designated, officers named, jurisdiction defined. Eighteen sections.
ART. VII. EDUCATION. - Four sections.
ART. VIII. PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS. - Provided for State asylums for idiots, the blind, deaf, insane, etc. Five sections.
ART. X. MILITIA. - Seven sections.
ART. XIII. CORPORATIONS. - Two sections.
ART. XIV. JURISPRUDENCE. - Two sections.
ART. XV. MISCELLANEOUS. - Five sections.
ART. XVII. *BANKS AND CURRENCY. - Eleven sections.
(* The question as to the adoption of this article was submitted to the separate decision of the people at the polls. It was adopted by a large majority.)

The schedule following the Constitution, offered as a part of that document for adoption by the people, contained fourteen sections. Besides describing the boundaries of the election, Senatorial and Representative districts, and defining the duties of the judges of election, it proclaimed the future policy and plans of the convention, as shown in the following articles:

Third - That each qualified elector shall express his assent or dissent to the Constitution by voting a written or printed ticket labeled "Constitution," or "No Constitution," which election shall be held by the same Judges and conducted under the same regulations and restrictions as are hereinafter provided for the election of members of the General Assembly; and the Judges therein names shall, within ten days after said election, seal up and transmit to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Kansas Territory the result of said election, who shall forthwith make proclamation of the same. And, in case the Constitution be ratified by the people, the Chairman of the Executive Committee shall cause publication to be made by proclamation that an election will be held on the third Tuesday of January, 1856, for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Judges of Supreme Court, Clerk of the Supreme Court, State Printer, Attorney General, Report of the Supreme Court, Clerk of the Supreme Court, and Members of the General Assembly, which said election shall be held by the same Judges, under the same restrictions, and conducted in the same manner as is hereinafter provided for the election of Members of the General Assembly; and the Judges herein named are hereby required within ten days after said election, to seal up and transmit duplicate copies of the returns of said election to the Chairman of the Executive Committee, one of which shall be laid before the General Assembly at its first meeting.

Fourth - At the same time and place, the qualified voters shall, under the same regulations and restrictions, elect a Member of Congress, to represent the State of Kansas in the Thirty-fourth Congress of the United States; the returns of said election to be made to the Chairman of the Executive Committee, who shall deposit the same in the office of the Secretary of State as soon as he shall enter upon the discharge of the duties of his office.

Fifth - The General Assembly shall meet on the 4th day of March, A. D., 1856, at the city of Topeka, at 12 M., at which time and place the Governor, Lieutenant, Governor, Secretary of State, Judge of the Supreme Court, Treasurer, Auditor, State Printer, Reporter and Clerk of the Supreme Court, and Attorney General shall appear, take the oath of office, and enter upon the discharge of their respective offices under this Constitution, and shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period that they would have done had they been elected on the first Monday of August, 1856.

SECTION 14. The first Legislature shall provide by law for the enforcement of the provisions of the Sixth Section of the Bill of Rights, on or before the 4th day of July, 1857, as to all persons in the Territory before the adoption of the constitution; and as to all others, the provisions of said section shall operate from and after the ratification of this Constitution by the people.

[Signed] Robert Klotz, M. J. Parrott, M. W. Delahay, W. R. Griffith, G. S. Hillyer, Williams Hicks, S. N. Latta, John Landis, H. Burson, C. W. Stewart, J. M. Arthur, J. L. Sayler, Caleb May, S. Mewhinney, A. Curtiss, A. Hunting, R. Knight, O. C. Brown, W. Graham, Morris Hunt, J. H. Nesbitt, C. K. Holliday, David Dodge, J. A. Wakefield, W. Y. Roberts, G. W. Smith, J. G. Thompson, G. A. Cutler, J. K. Goodin, I. M. Tuton, Thomas Bell, R. H. Crosby, P. C. Schuyler, C. Robinson, M. F. Conway, J. S. Emery; James H. Lane, President; Samuel C. Smith, Secretary; Charles A. Foster, Assistant Secretary.

The vote on the adoption or rejection of the Topeka Constitution and other questions submitted, was held as appointed, December 15. The poll-book at Leavenworth was destroyed by a Pro-slavery mob. Leaving out the probably vote at that place - say 500, and the returns were: "For the Constitution," 1,731, "Against the Constitution," 46; "For a General Banking Law," 1,120, against it, 564; for "exclusion of negroes and mulattoes from the State," 1,287, against their exclusion, 453. Total number of votes case, exclusive of Leavenworth, 1,778.

The Constitution being adopted, the Free-state men met in convention at Lawrence, on Saturday, December 22, and nominated the following Free-state ticket:

For Governor, Charles Robinson; for Lieutenant Governor, W. Y. Roberts; for Secretary of the State, P. C. Schuyler; for Treasurer of the State, J. A. Wakefield; for Judges of Supreme Court, S. N. Latta, M. F. Conway, Morris Hunt; for Attorney General, H. Miles Moore; for Auditor, G. A. Cutler; for State Printer, John Speer; for Clerk of Supreme Court, S. B. Floyd; for Reporter of Supreme Court, E. M. Thurston; for Representative to Congress, Mark W. Delahay.

A few malcontents attempted a bolt on the ground that the personnel of the ticket showed that the "abolition" wing of the Free-state party had captured the convention. They attempted to reconstruct the ticket by deposing Robinson from his position at its head, substituting W. Y. Roberts in his place and by other changes in the nominees. The whole movement was publicly disowned by Mr. Roberts and others whom they placed in nomination, as well as by Col. Lane and other leading men of the party. The bolt was inopportune, and was hastily buried in oblivion by its friends, almost as soon as it was born.

[TOC] [part 22] [part 20] [Cutler's History]