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Kansas Historical Quarterly - When Kansas Became a State

Spring 1961 (Vol. 27, No. 1), pages 1 to 21
Transcribed by Jim Scheetz; digitized with permission of
the Kansas Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, Spring 1961CLOUDS were looming ominously over the not so United States in January, 1861. After 85 years the Union seemed on the verge of dissolution over the vexing question of slavery. Saber rattling Southern senators did nothing to alleviate the situation and men with nerves frayed raw continued to jump at one another in the halls of congress over this ideological problem which had existed longer than the nation itself.

In Kansas the immediate future seemed likely to be as gloomy as the past. Not only had the territory been the scene of a six-year struggle identical to the one which would soon inflame the whole country, but hunger, poverty, and disaster still confronted her pioneers. The territory was in the midst of a severe drought which brought carload after carload of supplies from sympathetic and more fortunate friends and relatives in the East. The drought caused tight money and low employment. Despair was the lot of many a hardy soul.

Then, in the darkness of a cold January morning, came news that gladdened the heart of nearly every Kansan; the future seemed less dreary, spirits soared, and hopes were revived. Kansas had been admitted as the 34th state of the Union.

Joyful as the news was, it was not unexpected. For four years Kansans had been attempting to write a constitution under which the territory might be admitted as a state. Instruments drawn at Topeka, Lecompton, and Leavenworth had failed for various reasons -- but the basic one, of course, was slavery versus freedom. A fourth constitution had been written at Wyandotte in 1859 and an admission bill introduced in congress the next year. Though the bill had passed the house of representatives, the senate's Southern bloc was able to keep it buried. In December the Kansas bill was brought up in the second session and in January, 1861, after the senators of seceding states had begun to withdraw, it finally was passed by both houses. President James Buchanan signed the bill into law on January 29.

Overanxious Topeka editors began to announce admission after the bill passed the senate on January 21. The Topeka Tribune, January 26, 1861, stated:

KANSAS A STATE.

From the following dispatch to the Leavenworth Times, it will [be] seen that our hopes have at last been realized, and Kansas admitted, a bright, new picture of a three dimensional star, to adorn the glorious constellation:

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 21, 11 P.M.  

J. K. BARTLETT: -- The Kansas Bill passed the Senate with Fitch's amendment, relating to Judiciary, by a vote of 36 to 16.

MCKEE & FISHBACK.  

There is no doubt at all as to the success of the Bill in the House.
Gov. Robinson can now call together our State law-makers, lubricate the wheels of government and "we'll all take a ride."
"In Dixie Land we'll take our stand -- "
Further rejoicing deferred until next week.

The Topeka State Record carried the news on the same date in a column headlined "Kansas Admitted."

A second and more general round of rejoicing was had within the territory after the Kansas bill passed the house on January 28. The first to announce the news this time was the Leavenworth Conservative, established only two days before. A telegram announcing house passage was sent by Kansas Congressional Delegate Marcus J. Parrott to Abel Carter Wilder, chairman of the Republican central committee for Kansas whose brother, Daniel Webster Wilder, was editor of the Conservative. So it was that within an hour, by four o'clock in the morning of January 29, 1861, this newcomer to the Kansas journalistic scene had scooped all its established contemporaries. Unfortunately no copies of that famous Conservative extra are known to exist. The next regular edition of the paper, however, perpetuated its feat:

KANSAS IN THE UNION!!

Drawing of

WE WILL FIGHT FOR THE UNION.

The news of the admission of Kansas, announced by THE CONSERVATIVE yesterday -- and only by THE CONSERVATIVE, no other paper in Kansas having the news -- was the most important that ever reached our borders . . .

KANSAS ADMITTED!

RECEPTION OF THE NEWS!

Yesterday morning, THE CONSERVATIVE, in an extra, announced to the people of Leavenworth the long-wished for and glorious tidings of the passage of the Kansas Bill. The news flew like wild-fire. Men seemed to forget all other considerations, and to unite heart and hand in giving expression to the universal joy. At every corner might be seen throngs of enthusiastic people giving vent in cheers to the general gladness. At an early hour a large number of the members of the bar waited on Chief Justice [Thomas] Ewing and Judge [William C.] McDowell, with their congratulations, and spent with them an hour of unwonted hilarity. About noon, old Kickapoo [historic cannon now in the museum of the Kansas Historical Society], in the presence of a joyous crowd, sent forth, in thunder tones, a greeting to the now sister State of Missouri. The day was given up to general rejoicing. Those who entertain the singular notion that the people of Kansas didn't want to be admitted, would have been startled by the demonstrations of yesterday. Then hurra for the STATE OF KANSAS! Our days of probation have been long and tedious, but we believe the future, upon which we are about entering, will amply compensate for the dangers and toils of the past. . . .

Col. Slough, Lieut. Gov. Slough, (if he had been elected), was seen yesterday in company with one of the Democratic candidates for the Supreme Court, consulting in regard to the possible chance of getting a new count of the votes for State officers under the Wyandot Constitution. It is needless to remark that the quasi Judge was one Stinson.

THE STATE TREASURER.

The State Treasurer elect was seen shortly after the admission news was received, seated on the ammunition chest of the Kickapoo cannon. An impression having gained credit that the State treasure (and some Territorial bonds) was contained in the chest, a demonstration was made by certain State officers elect to capture the cannon, chest and treasure, with a view of distributing the contents as advance salaries. The timely rescue of the Treasurer and cannon by the Shields' Guards, headed by their valiant Captain, prevented the improper use of the public funds. This illustrates the necessity of an efficient military organization.

SINGULAR EFFECTS OF THE ADMISSION NEWS.

An eminent member of the Judiciary of this State, and a General (?) under the Territorial military organization, were seen on the Upper Esplanade within fifteen minutes after the news was received, in the act of standing on their heads. What does this mean? Is there a secret organization among us?

EFFECTS OF ADMISSION.

We have great respect for the proverb, "There is a time for all things," &c. We were pained to notice yesterday, several gentlemen in high social standing, gentlemen who do or will hold, by the suffrages of their countrymen, high official positions under the new State, walking (or attempting to) the streets of our city in a state of inebriety. -- This is sad indeed.

LET US REJOICE!

Now that Kansas is admitted, let us all take heart -- hope on and hope ever. Let us forget border wars, drouth, and hard times. A new era is to be inaugurated, and those who have undergone the privations of the pioneer, may date from this a cessation of terrors, uncertainties and privations, and look confidently for the time when they shall reap their reward.

With the fairest land and sky in (what we hope may yet prove) our united and glorious Union, who can predict the future wealth, prosperity and grandeur of this, our free State of Kansas?

LET US ALL REJOICE!

In the troubles of Kansas was created that great party which, at the last national election, gave to the nation a President. Our position, as the battle ground upon which the new slavery issue was fought, gave us a prominence for which subsequent events developed our fitness. Upon us -- a new people -- emigrants, and soldiers of fortune all, was precipitated the most momentous question which has ever yet agitated the American people. We met the issue. The history of Kansas, even now, stands prominent in the annals of the nation. To rehearse the story of the struggle between slavery and freedom in this Territory, would be but to recount a story familiar to the whole civilized world. Now is not the time or place for such a history.

The election of Lincoln, glorious as was the triumph, was, in our estimation, far less important and decisive than the admission of Kansas. Against our devoted people have been arrayed the whole force of the slavery power. The ingenuity of the pro slavery partisans has been exerted to its utmost to prevent the recognized expression of the will of the Free State people of Kansas. Every resource having been exhausted, the persistent, manly efforts, and the godlike courage of our people have at last prevailed, and the glorious reward, so gallantly earned, has been doled out to us with an unwilling hand. Yet we accept the boon -- accept it gratefully, and hasten to take our place as a free State in the glorious Confederacy. Knowing, as we do, the resources of our State, and the courage and endurance of our people, we feel that this accession will go far to fill the gap made by the seceding States.

Our people have an abiding love for, and a loving faith and confidence in, the Union. -- This love and faith has been bred in the bone -- it has stood the test of desertion, and even oppression; but is as strong and confident as ever. For them, we send greeting to the sister States, and if ever the time should come when the Union and the Constitution should call for defenders, we pledge the faith and the strong arm of that gallant people, who, for the institutions they loved, have heretofore trod the wine-press of oppression, and come out unscathed in honor from the trial.

Then, to our Republican brethren of Kansas we send one joyous greeting -- to Republicans everywhere we extend the same joyous greeting. The grand culminating triumph [of] Republicanism has been achieved. Kansas has been admitted. [1]

A sister Leavenworth paper, the Herald, took a momentarily realistic view of admission in its issue of January 30, 1861:

The rejoicing over the momentous event was quite boisterous, but by no means general. The principal participants were State officers elect and individuals who are not burthened with taxes. Could the citizens of Kansas be divested of political bias on the subject, they would soon realize that our admission places us in a situation similar to the man who bought the elephant, and impoverished himself in satisfying the capacious maw of the monster beast. A State government adds about four hundred thousand dollars, the first year, to our expenses, and of course must be raised in the form of additional taxes. But, the thing is done, and "it is useless to worry over spilled milk."

The editor of the Leavenworth Daily Times, January 30, 1861, began majestically:

The long agony is over. The dream of years is realized. Justice, tardy but ever-certain, has been meted out to this people, and this soil which [they] have chosen as their heritage is embraced within the charmed circle of a State Sovereignty, distinct and yet reciprocal. The field of blue upon our national flag is to be embellished with another star, the luster of whose orb, we predict, will vie with the fairest of the constellation. The last act of the drama which opened in blood and was continued in violence, has been enacted, and the curtain has fallen upon a happy consummation, long desired and long postponed.

We trust that our history as a State may be as brilliant as the struggles and trials of our Territorial condition have been severe and aggravated. If such shall be the case, Kansas will stand in the records of the future without a peer.

We suppose that, when official information of the admission of the State reaches the proper authorities, the functions of our Territorial officers and the present Legislature, will cease. Wishing all a safe and speedy return to their homes and hearths, we join them in toasting the youngest of the thirty-four.

The reference to the territorial legislature, then in session at Lawrence, was a two-pronged jibe. Kansans not only wished to see the end of that territorial body so that it could be replaced by a state legislature but also because it was charged with being peculiarly engrossed with the passage of unimportant private bills to the detriment of more substantial public needs. A Lawrence correspondent of the Atchison Freedom's Champion, February 2, 1861, summed things up:

The Legislature has done but very little business thus far, chiefly because there is nothing to do. Everybody has been incorporated and divorced. Every stream has its chartered bridge, every creek its ferry, every town its College and University, granted by some previous assembly; the real interests of the country have been so confounded by absurd and impertinent legislation that all hope of extrication under the present system of things is vain.

On January 30 the Lawrence correspondent of the Topeka Tribune wrote that the "Territorial Legislature, in point of ability, are an able body. . . . [There is] a good deal of fun in these same Honorables. Dixie is heard at all hours." [2]

But the most revealing description of that last territorial legislature came from the pen of the Leavenworth Conservative's correspondent:

LAWRENCE CORRESPONDENCE.

LAWRENCE, KANSAS, Jan. 29th, 1861.  

The appearance of the messenger, bearing the "CONSERVATIVE" extra, containing the intelligence of the admission of Kansas, created a fury of excitement which can hardly be imagined, much less described. The powder mongers of Lawrence immediately started a subscription to procure the necessary materials wherewith to fulminate the long suppressed joy of the people, and as I write, the deep reverberations of the dogs of war resound from the regions beyond the turbid Kaw.

Gentlemen with no axes to grind, greeted members and officers with the broad grin of delight, making jocular pantomime with the hand to the throat, to indicate that the head was about to fall in obedience to the inevitable law of mutability. They of the third house, whose little matters were yet in suspense, shook their heads dubiously, and hoped the best was yet to come; they thought of oyster suppers and champagne, and the non superfluous expenditures to grease the ways of legislation, and grieved at empty exchequers, pockets depleted, and desire unattained. Unhappy husbands, hoping for release from hymen's hateful bonds, suffered immense facial elongation: incorporators of towns and ferries, future professors in literary and scientific institutions, grew despondent and morose. The whole social scene ranged from grave to gay, from lively to severe.

The Governor [Territorial Gov. George M. Beebe], long depressed with cares of State, seemed to greet with pleasure his prospective release from the gaudy but lonely pleasures of his high position, and to contemplate his descent to the ranks of common men, with unfeigned satisfaction.

The Exchange of the Eldridge House was vocal with a strange combination of sounds; grave and revered Seignors adjourned to the bar and took a drink; the rooms above and below resounded with bursts of laughter and congratulation, and the throng seemed festive and jubilant, save where some forlorn Democratic officials wandered through the crowd like condemned ghosts upon the banks of the Stygian stream gazing at the fields from which they are forever excluded.

The Council unfortunately adjourned at noon until 10 o'clock to-morrow, but the House had provided for an afternoon session. With a punctuality unparalleled this session, the members were in their places at the hour, and went to work with an ardor which attested the sincerity of their convictions that their time was short. No provision had been made for the pay of the Clerks of Assistants, and the airy rhetoric of the past week had congested the calendar with the unfinished business of weeks. Behind the "Bond Swindle" as behind a dam the bills had accumulated till the pressure threatened to bear everything before it, if the obstruction once gave way.

The lobby was crowded to its utmost capacity. On the stove, on the benches, on the ledges of the windows, looking over shoulders and under arms and between heads, peered a dense mass of eager and painfully expectant faces, each hoping that by some lucky accident his pet scheme might even now be reached. The room was as tight as a bottle; not a breath of fresh air or an ounce of oxygen enlivened the horrible atmosphere; the heat was stifling, the stench overpowering; the windows reeked with a dark typhoidal moisture, and when the Speaker had called the House to order, and announced that a quorum was present, at least one half the members sprang to their feet with one hideous yell of "MR. SPEAKER," with an unanimity as astonishing as it was deafening. Twenty hands, outstretched with sheets of rustling paper, menaced that innocent but undisturbed functionary. With smiling composure and commendable firmness, he held the reigns of control, amid what seemed to be the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds, on a small scale. . . .

LATER. -- The House adjourned for an evening session, after a protracted debate.

The indications are that the night will not be very favorable for meditation or reflection. The symptoms are unusually violent. There is to be a "hop" at the Eldridge, and a gay time is anticipated.

"D -- n it," said a Democratic office-holder to me to-night, with a melancholy countenance and a series of exclamations more forcible than polite, "Kansas ought not to have been admitted for ten years." [3]

The citizens of Lawrence, Kansas' Free-State headquarters, were jubilant over the victory. The Lawrence Republican, January 31, 1861, almost shouted:

GLORIOUS INTELLIGENCE!

KANSAS IN THE UNION!!

We have received the glorious news that Kansas is admitted into the Union! The Kansas bill passed the House with Fitch's amendment in regard to the Judiciary, yesterday. The following dispatch was sent to the Leavenworth Conservative:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 1861.  

A. C. WILDER: -- The State bill, with Fitch's Judicial Amendment, has passed the House.

MARCUS J. PARROTT.  

Somebody gave us a copy of the Conservative, and, without waiting to inquire to whom we were indebted, we hurried to the office and placed it in the hands of our printers. It was sent here by the proprietors of that paper, by express, some five hours in advance of the mail.

We hear the jubilant news vocally heralded in the streets, and the sounds of the "spirit-stirring drum" admonish us that the "immortal Stubbs" are glorifying the event. All hail! We are citizens of the United States once more -- partners in "Hail Columbia," "Yankee Doodle," the stars and stripes, the Declaration of Independence, and the Fourth of July!

TUESDAY NIGHT'S JUBILEE -- THE OLD SACRAMENTO.

Yesterday, when the news arrived of the admission of Kansas, our whole town was elated. Men ran from place to place proclaiming the glad tidings. Cheering and music and all manner of exultation was heard everywhere through our streets. A deputation was immediately sent to Capt. [Thomas] Bickerton's for that celebrated old piece, the Sacramento [historic cannon now preserved at the University of Kansas], and it was brought to town after dark and thirty-four guns fired at about twelve o'clock, and renewed at sunrise this morning. -- The long hoped for event, the final triumph of Freedom, was achieved, and never in the history of Kansas was such exultation known amongst our people. . . .

KANSAS A STATE.

Two days ago Lawrence was electrified by the announcement of the admission of Kansas to the Union. She had been a virgin Territory so long, we feared the fate of all over-ripe maidens; but as some women, like fruit, are sweetest just before they begin to decay, Kansas, in her maturity, was more attractive than in her youth. After a long candidacy, she has formed a union -- a union, too, for weal or woe with discordant and belligerent States. She will take her stand by the side of those sisters who are loyal to the Constitution, and join in their appeal to those who are disaffected, first in the gentle tones of love, and then, if need be, in the stern voice of war.

But it is not meet for us to conjure visions of terror to the bridal feast -- to mingle strains of sorrow with your joyous epithalamium. Let men shout till the welkin rings; let women smile till the prairies blossom and the birds sing as though it were not winter.

A little while, and Charles Robinson assumes his official robes, with more prestige than Governor ever had since the days when Isaiah sang his paean over young Hezekiah's accession. He goes into office elevated by the suffrages of "the wisest and the bravest and the purest people under the sun." He stands at the head of, we trust, the never ending column of Kansas Governors. After long years of suffering, under the despotism of a Democratic administration; after a long series of insults and abuses from delegated Governors, Kansas is free, and has a Chief Magistrate of her own choosing. May he be unto us all as a pillar of fire by night, and as a pillar of cloud by day.

Although Kansas is the youngest, she is by no means the weakest of the States. She has grown strong from defending herself, and from long wrestling with the Lord in prayer. She has taught Slavery to more dread her hug than the Spanish Protestant did the Maid's of the Inquisition; and when she speaks her sovereign voice, at home and in the National Senate, treason will be sicklied o'er with the pale cast of fear.

The men of Kansas are conservative, but if any people under our broad aegis have cause of irritation, they are the members of the new State. They are those whose rights have been violated, whose interests neglected, whose humanity outraged, yet they are those who most love the Union and the Constitution. If, then, we are devoted to the federal government -- if, after all our abuses, we love it still, can we submit to its overthrow by men who have never felt a wrong or knew an injury? No! a hundred thousand times, no! for such is the answer of every human being in Kansas.

One year of peace and plenty will relieve our personal wants, and supply the exchequer of the State. When this is done, we go out into life under more favorable auspices than any of our sister States have ever emerged into existence -- with a more beautiful country, a more prolific soil, a clearer empyrean, and a more intelligent, patriotic and courageous people.

Our State: Length of days be in her right hand, and in her left riches and honor; may her ways be ways of pleasantness, and all her paths be peace.

At Lecompton, the territorial capital and unofficial headquarters of the Proslavery faction, the news was received with resignation. On January 31, 1861, the Lecompton Kansas National Democrat commented:

KANSAS ADMITTED AS A STATE.

It is reported, with apparent good authority, that the Senate amendment to the Kansas bill, was agreed to in the House on Monday last. When the President signs the bill, which he undoubtedly will do, we become one of the States of the Union. Kansas comes into the Union at a critical time, but it is all well if an end should thereby come to the political capitol manufactory called Suffering Kansas, versus the present Administration. We hope for other good, also. . . .

In another center of Free-State activity, John A. Martin, editor of the Atchison Freedom's Champion, wrote the territory's obituary on February 2, 1861:

DIED.

Of Chronic Worthlessness, on the 28th ult., at his father's house in Washington, the child "K. T.," aged six years. His father was the notorious Squatter Sovereignty, and his mother the infamous Slavery Extension. The child had been an orphan for some time past, his father having been killed at the election of 1857, and his mother murdered in November last by the people headed by one A. Lincoln. Peace to his manes.

The above announcement will be read with satisfaction by the people of this particular section, but with no particular surprise, because as "K. T." had been a hopeless invalid for some time past, his sudden demise was expected. "K. T." lived a nuisance and died a pauper. He was noted for Missouri Raids and Divorce Bills; thrived on Montgomery Scares and the Drought; his jewels were the frights and furor of Williams and the frowns and foolishness of Bebee; he lived on Governors, whom he masticated without salt or pepper, and Federal Judges, whom he swallowed without a gulph; he sent Pierce into obscure retirement and Buchanan into notorious infamy; his cause murdered his god father Douglas, and quartered his god-mother, Democracy; he was the pet of Missouri and the hatred of Massachusetts; like Ishmael his hand was against every one and every one's hand was against him; he sprang into being despised and went out of life disgraced.

His place is filled by the youth, Kansas. It is general opinion that his successor is a good egg; keeps his nose clean; isn't ashamed to work for a living; spells colored individual with one "g;" is clothed in the Stars and Stripes and crowned with the American Bird; wears his heart on his sleeve for a friend and carries his Colt cocked for an enemy; can read the Declaration without stopping to spell the hard words and believes the Constitution doesn't mean Slavery when it says Justice; goes his pile on Major Anderson and Capt. Montgomery, and thinks Seward and Old Abe are the brains and the hub of the universe; imagines that the Pacific Railroad is a good idea and that Barnum is proprietor of the "What Is It;" would like to apply the toe of his boot to the coattails of Secession, but wouldn't disgrace himself by kicking Bigler and Pugl; thinks the Dis-unionists are fools, but knows the dough-faces are; believes New York might have continued the Empire State if Kansas hadn't been admitted; likes manliness and dispises skulking and shirking; supposes Mt. Oread to be just as sound on the goose as Bunker Hill, and Old Constitution Hall as much pumpkins as Fanieul; wears his trowsers in his boots without ostentation and sustains the rights of Humanity without fear; smokes a pipe and believes in Tom Jefferson; likes Garabaldi and hates men who believe that government has to pay God's bill for national sins; snuffeth the battle afar off when Old Ben Wade rings out his fun words, and curls his lip with scorn when Joe Lane blows his penny whistle; never gives an insult nor takes one; has John Hickman's pluck and Potter's bowie-knife; and don't know anything that will keep him from being as big as any of 'em. That's KANSAS.

The first news of the decease of "K. T." was received on Tuesday morning from Hon. ROBERT GRAHAM, of this city, who is now in Washington. But a short time afterwards we received the following dispatch from Col. A. C. WILDER:

LEAVENWORTH, Jan. 29  

JOHN A. MARTIN, Esq.: -- Kansas was admitted yesterday with Fitch's amendment. We fire 50 guns here to day.

A. C. WILDER.  

The news spread quickly, and every face brightened with joy. Except here and there an old pro slavery Lecompton English Bill Secessionist, we did not see a man who was not rejoiced at this welcome intelligence.

One enthusiastic youth wanted us to lend him an X to get on a big drunk and treat all his friends. We had no distinct or vivid recollection of having been blessed with that amount of U. S. Currency since the Drouth set in, and so were compelled to entreat him not to treat. Another gentle but somewhat impetuous boy wanted to know whether he hadn't better cut a hole in the ice and duck a Missourian in the Missouri, and it took all our powers of persuasion to convince him that it wouldn't be right to hole a friend, but better to leave him whole. A third youth who stated that he felt as if he had been appointed Minister to Breat Grittain or the Isewich Sandlands, he didn't know which, wanted us to buy a barrel of Bager leer, so that he could get tightually slight, and hollow loud for the Conandot Wystitution, Kree Fansas, Sill Beward and Labe Linkum. We gently hinted to our enthusiastic friend that he was a barrel of Lager Beer himself, when he immediately wanted us to take a drink of him. We were forced to decline acceeding to his polite request, whereupon he was suddenly seized with an exceeding decline, and informed us that he cidn't dare schether whool nept or kot, and talked in various other dead and Hottentot languages. A fourth individual wanted us to tell him whether Kansas couldn't whip Russia and throw in two or three or a dozen second rate powers to boot. We looked incredulous, whereupon he informed us that he'd take the contract at five days notice, when we came down. And so they went round. Everybody was seized with a bad attack of shake hands, and the pump handle motion was decidedly handled for two or three hours.

Truly the people of Kansas have cause for rejoicing. With them it is the realization of a six year's anxious hope; the termination of a struggle for the Freedom of Kansas commencing with the passage of the Nebraska Bill in 1854, and ending by the triumph of Free Labor in our admission as a Sovereign State on the 28th day of January, 1861. Who, of the friends of Free Kansas; who, of the men who have helped to make her Free; who, of the people who have stood by her cause through gloom and darkness until it emerged into light and victory, could help rejoicing? Who could help huzzahing for the FREE STATE OF KANSAS?

In Emporia, then a small frontier town which had played little part in the Free-State-Proslavery struggle, the news was received in this manner:

THE ADMISSION OF KANSAS.

The latest intelligence from Washington leaves no room for doubt that nothing but the signature of the President is wanting, to give Kansas her long-deferred rights as an independent member of the Confederacy of States, even if she has not already taken her place in the constellation, like

"Another morn,
Risen on mid-noon."

Amid the distractions of treason and rebellion, the doubts of the good, the omens of the fearful, and the mistaken concessions of the timid and wavering, this last act in our great political drama is full of consolation and hope, and has a peculiar and inspiring significance. By it the founders of the Republic have received a new vindication; their principles have been reasserted in a degenerate age, and the great constitutional fabric which they constructed has been consecrated anew to universal freedom and the progress of the race. Particularly at this period, when traitors' hands are raised against the sacred altars of the fathers; when dangerous doctrines are born in a day, and even the endeavors of the faithful are overborne in the demoralizing rush of unusual and unexpected dangers, is the spectacle presented by the people of Kansas worthy of the highest commendation. Exposed to all the seductions of tyranny -- to the blandishments of power -- to the threats and the arms of the despotism of Slavery, through a period the most depressing to the hopes of Freedom, the people of Kansas exhibit the heroic qualities of an adherence to the common rights of man, and the support of those rights by a resort to the peaceful defenses secured by the Constitution. If the imaginary wrongs of the South justify a resort to robbery and treason, and all the horrors of civil and fratricidal war, how much more the repeated and protracted outrages perpetrated upon the long-suffering people of this unhappy land. For this endurance of wrong, and this resistance of wrong, the world is our debtor, and history will vindicate our claims to a successful inculcation of the lesson that no force that Tyranny can employ can ever subjugate the faithful lovers of Liberty, protected by law.

Speculations for the future are premature, but not in vain. With an extent of territory larger than that of some of the most powerful governments of the ancient world; a soil whose fertility and kindness has no superior from sea to sea; a climate that gives vigor to the healthy, strength to the diseased, and affords scope for all the products of the temperate zone; a surface that gives ready access for railroads, and a frontier upon one of the great natural highways of the earth, it is not unreasonable to expect that Kansas will soon assume a prominence which every augury of the hearts of her sons fortells. She hands the torch of Freedom to the Pacific slope, and hails the day

"When not an altar can be found
Whereon her glories shall not burn!" [4]

In White Cloud, Sol. Miller, whose acid pen almost continually cauterized the Democratic party (and anything else that invoked his ire), saw admission as an opportunity to stomp the Democrats with the Republican heel of justice. In his Kansas Chief, January 31, 1861, he said:

OVERREACHING. -- It would be a good joke, if the Democrats in the United States Senate, in displaying their spite toward Kansas, had overreached themselves. They kept postponing the bill week after week, from the commencement of the session; and when they did pass it, they stuck on an amendment, the object of which was to impose Judge Pettit on her citizens for life. But a number of Southern States seceded, reducing the Democratic majority in the Senate; and about the time the House accepted the Senate amendment, Louisiana went out. Her Senators have probably withdrawn ere this, leaving the Senate Republican. Now, if Buchanan signs the Kansas bill, the next move will probably be to send in the appointment of Pettit. But the Republicans will have it in their power -- (and should exercise the power, just by way of retaliation for the meanness of Democracy toward Kansas) -- to reject the appointment. When Lincoln goes into the White House, he can appoint a Judge who is acceptable to the people of Kansas, and the Senate, in special session, can confirm the appointment. What a good joke it would be, besides being a justifiable procedure!

Editor Miller explained the Fitch amendment:

THE KANSAS AMENDMENT. -- Senator Fitch's amendment to the Kansas bill, about which we have heard so much, simply makes Kansas a Judicial District. It is supposed by many that this will insure its rejection by the House. If Republicans delay the admission of Kansas on that account, it will be in violation of the wishes of a large majority of her citizens. The amendment is by no means sufficient cause for Republicans to oppose our admission, although it would be far more agreeable without the amendment. The objection arises from the probability that John Pettit will be appointed Judge, which office he will hold for life, or during good behavior. As a politician, the people of Kansas despise Pettit; but as a jurist, members of the bar say he has but few superiors. Kansas has been kept waiting so long, that she will rejoice to get into the Union, even if the pleasure must be seasoned with Judge Pettit.

Downstream on the Missouri river from White Cloud but still in Doniphan county the editor of the Elwood Free Press shared the anti-Democrat sentiments of Sol. Miller. On February 2, 1861, he wrote:

THE STATE OF KANSAS.

We are pleased at being able to announce to our readers that the FREE PRESS is published in the State of Kansas -- we have moved to America.

The House of Representatives concurred in the amendment of the Senate, and Kansas has ceased to be a Territory. We pity, from the bottom of our heart, the poor devils living in Territories! We lived in one once for four years -- don't do it again.

The history of Kansas Territory, and the complications arising therefrom, will fill a large space in the history of the United States, for the years from 1854 to 1861.

Citizens of Kansas! the Democratic party opposed your admission to the last -- Douglas being the only one voting for it. The South just now prating of the fulfillment of constitutional guarantees and new guarantees, voted solid, save Crittenden, against our admission. Suppose Kansas was slave instead of free, and the Republicans had so voted, or one-fourth of them, wouldn't there have been a howl from the traitors and their sympathisers North and South -- how holy would have been the horror of every "patriot" south of Mason and Dixon's line, and all Democrats and conservatives north of said line.

But we are in, and we can afford to forget and forgive. . . .

In Jefferson county the news barely made the January 30, 1861, edition of the Oskaloosa Independent:

HAIL! YE SOVEREIGNS!

KANSAS PROBABLY ADMITTED!

ALMOST IN THE UNION. -- The Kansas admission Bill passed the Senate on the 21st inst. The vote was such as to secure our early admission, even in the event of a Presidential veto. . . .

LATEST -- We learn from a private source, that a telegram was received in Leavenworth at three o'clock yesterday, (Tuesday) announcing that Kansas is admitted into the Union as a sovereign State. We have no particulars, and neither time nor space for a more extended notice this week.

The Fort Scott Democrat, February 2, 1861, felt that the new all-Republican state government would at least erase the excuse for more violence in Kansas:

KANSAS ADMITTED.

The Senate amendment to the Kansas admission bill passed the House on the 28th ult., and Kansas is now a State. As soon as the President's proclamation announcing the same officially, is received by Gov. Robinson, the State Government will be inaugurated; but we understand that the Legislature will not be called together before the 1st of May.

Now that we have a State Government entirely in the hands of the Republican party; our county organization under their control; and our Federal office-holders about to be appointed from their ranks, there can be no possible excuse for future outbreaks, on the ground that their enemies control the courts of justice. We have faith in the firmness and intelligence of Gov. Robinson to believe that acts of lawlessness will receive a sterner rebuke at his hands than has ever been administered by the Federal authorities.

The expenses of the State Government during the first two or three years, will be very burdensome on our people; but in the present disordered condition of our national affairs, we believe it will be for the best.

In the East the New York Tribune had this to say about Kansas:

The House yesterday passed the Senate bill for the admission of Kansas, which thus becomes the thirty fourth State of the Union, and the nineteenth Free State. This act not only opportunely adds to the Confederation a sound and loyal member, untainted by the pestiferous blight of Slavery, but does rightful though tardy justice to a State which has suffered for five years greater wrongs and outrages from Federal authority than all the slave States together have endured since the beginning of the Government, even if their own clamor about imaginary oppression be admitted as well founded. The present generation is too near to these events to see them in their true proportions, but in the future, in impartial history, the attempt to force slavery upon Kansas, and the violations of law, of order, and of personal and political rights, that were perpetrated in that attempt, will rank among the most outrageous and flagrant acts of tyranny in the annals of mankind. [5]

A third series of celebrations and editorials followed President Buchanan's signing of the bill. The Leavenworth Conservative, however, apparently had spent its force on the second celebration for now, January 31, it merely stated:

KANSAS BILL SIGNED!

The following special dispatch came to THE CONSERVATIVE at a late hour last night:

The Kansas Bill has received the President's signature. Mr. Conway appeared on the floor of the House and was sworn in.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30.  

The Leavenworth Herald was somewhat more elated than it had been during the previous round. On February 1, 1861, it said:

KANSAS ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

The President signed his name to the Admission Bill, and we are now the State of Kansas. We are proud, not to say jubilant! The only question now remaining to be considered is -- when shall we secede? Looking out upon the landscape this morning, we found the view very much the same as when Kansas was a Territory. The same old ice-blocked river -- the same rolling prairies -- the Fort in the distance -- Pilot Knob, and South Leavenworth, all were there just as though we had not been admitted. But it was upon the people that the change was most susceptible. Some had been suddenly converted from pigmy citizens into the ponderous proportions of State Dignitaries. Judges were thick as fleas, Secretaries were visible to the naked eye. Probate Judges prevailed to some extent, and Legislators were a drug in the market. Every body is "clothed in the panoply" of freshly formed resolve -- no more tobacco is to be used -- no more whisky will be consumed -- vice and immorality are at a heavy discount. Hurrah for the State of Kansas!

In Lawrence the territorial legislature was in a quandary. Was it still a legally constituted body? Would the laws it was passing be binding upon the state of Kansas? And perhaps more important, would the legislators be paid? A correspondent of the Emporia News, February 2, 1861, wrote this dispatch:

KANSAS ADMITTED!

LAWRENCE, Jan. 31, 1861.  

The Leavenworth Daily Conservative of to-day has a special dispatch from Washington, informing us that the President has signed the bill admitting Kansas. This news creates great excitement here. Everybody's in high glee, and hurrahing for the State of Kansas.

Since the receipt of the news two day ago that the Kansas Bill, with the Senate amendment, had passed the House of Representatives, the two branches of the Territorial Legislature have been holding three sessions per day, and have rushed through a great many bills. Nearly every one of these bills, however, is of a private nature. . . .

The great question now, is whether any of the acts passed by the Territorial Legislature after the President signed the Kansas bill are of any force. Beebe has said that they would receive no pay from the time we were admitted. The members generally maintain that their body is a legal one until the Governor receives official information of the fact of our admission. Both branches of the Legislature will probably adjourn to-morrow or next day.

Beebe, as an institution, is no more. May the day soon arrive when as much can be said of all Democratic appointees.

Hurrah for the State of Kansas! Long may she wave! She has come up through much tribulation, and may kind Providence grant her and her noble and freedom-loving people a prosperous future. . . .

A correspondent of the Leavenworth Conservative, February 2, wrote:

LAWRENCE, Jan. 31, 1861.  

The Legislature dies hard. Its action to-day has been spasmodic and convulsive; it writhes under the last telegraphic announcement in THE CONSERVATIVE, that the President had signed the Kansas Bill. An agony of uncertain desperation has pervaded both departments, and bills have been put through under suspension of rules with very remarkable celerity. The legislation has been mostly of a private character, and by some mysterious process, the lower House has become demoralized to such an extent that about a dozen divorce bills were granted without debate. . . .

The Lawrence Republican, February 7, 1861, in reporting the proceedings of the legislature said: "A message was received from the Governor, with various bills which he returned without his signature, on the ground that he was unwilling to recognize them longer as a legal body." This occurred on February 1.

Kansas' last territorial legislature gasped its final breath on February 2, leaving behind a physical record of 35 pages of general laws and 68 pages of private laws. Included in the latter were 20 divorces granted. Sol. Miller wrote that the representatives of his district had reached home "looking remarkably respectable considering the crowd they associated with, and the business they were engaged in," [6] while the Fort Scott Democrat declared that the "principal object of the session seems to have [been] that of securing their per diem and milage. . . ." [7]

Regarding admission, the Lecompton Kansas National Democrat, February 7, changed from its previous air of resignation to one of condescension:

KANSAS A STATE. -- No one can fail to notice that the admission of Kansas as a State is producing much interest among the people of the country. Our brethren of the Republican school -- including editors of Kansas journals -- are all at the height of glorification. "We did it!" "we conquered!" "glory to us! to us!" is sent through the host in an excellent manner. We like to see our friends happy, if the snow is deep. Our Free State Democratic friends, too, claim a share in the universal rejoicing, and are glad with a right good will. We say cheer up! right good cheer! Kansas is a state!! But we, of the leading Pro-slavery party journals -- as the enthusiastic little Atchison Champion calls us in a late issue, -- are left in the background entirely. Lecompton has failed! The Territorial Government has failed -- and we, too, join in the chorus! We are glad Kansas is a State, and we want to see this young progeny of the Union wash her face, comb her hair and put on clean clothes, so that we won't be ashamed of our little State when she goes to meeting with her large, intelligent and well-dressed sisters.

And what did John Martin of the "little" Atchison Freedom's Champion have to say?

THE STATE OF KANSAS!

How does that look? Doesn't every one like it? Won't every one feel better when he writes it, instead of that small, petty, mean, dispicable sneaking, crawling "K. T.?" Hurrah for us, we, ourselves! Hurrah for the new Star! And three times three again for the NEW STATE OF KANSAS!! [8]

In Oskaloosa the Independent, which had previously mentioned admission only in a fleeting manner, developed its thought to such length that it required two issues to say all it believed necessary. The first of the articles appeared on February 6, 1861:

KANSAS A STATE

The admission bell has received the signature of the President, and Kansas is a sovereign State, and stands on an equal footing with her sisters in the Confederacy. . . .

Kansas, though the youngest, is by no means the least important of the sisterhood of States. Her central geographical position will give her at once an influence in the councils of the nation that no other new State has ever had; and the rapid development of her natural resources, a steady and increasing growth in population, the inauguration of an efficient system of free schools, the establishment of manufactories, and the proper and judicious encouragement of internal improvements, will in a few years give her a place among the first States in the Union.

Very soon the guardians of the vital interests of the young State will be called upon to enter upon the duties assigned to their several positions. Not many weeks hence the legislature will convene to whom is entrusted weighty responsibilities. Among the first and most important business that will come before them, will be the election of two Senators to represent the people of this commonwealth in the United States Senate. It is needless to say that the wisest, most sagacious, and yet the most prudent of the prominent men of Kansas should be selected to fill these high stations of honor and trust; the good of the nation and the State alike demand that our Senators should be the best statesmen we have. We will not now suggest our preference for any individuals for the position of Senators, for we believe the combined wisdom of the State Senate and House of Representatives will elect those men who are the best qualified to fill those stations.

After the election of the Senators, it devolves upon the Legislature to enact and inaugurate a thorough, liberal, yet economical system of statutory laws. While high taxation and a heavy State debt should be studiously avoided, free schools, agricultural, mechanical and manufacturing interests, and a judicious system of railroads and other internal improvements, should receive liberal encouragement from the State government. A proper disposition of the public lands should be made, for the benefit of the State, and not be disposed of in a way that will line the coffers of individuals with the gold that ought to fill the public treasury.

Possessing the advantage of the history and experience of other States that have preceded Kansas, our legislators ought to devise a system of State government, and enact a code of laws, far in advance of any of her predecessors; thus giving her an impetus to future greatness and influence unparalleled in the history of the nation.

The second Independent article appeared on February 13, 1861:

KANSAS A STATE

Long before this reaches our readers they will have heard the glad intelligence that Kansas is a State in the Union. Long and unjustly kept out by the machinations of political demagogues, she has at last triumphed, and today makes the thirty-fourth State in the Confederacy, and will add the thirty-fourth star to our national banner, on and after the Fourth of July next.

Hereafter our people will have no federal governors, judges or other officers to interfere with their local affairs or throw impediments in the way of the prosperity of our State.

It is not our intention to rehearse the past grievances of Kansas; they are now matters of history, and we hope will prove a salutary lesson to generations coming after us and that their parallel will never be known in the future development of our progress as a nation. Let the past be past, and remembered only as a warning and a guide for the time to come.

We hope our Legislature will elect two good men to represent us in the United States Senate -- not mere partisans, but men of understanding and statesman like capacities and views. They must be Men if they can stand up with the giant intellects of that body; and we would not have our young State lowered in character by the men who stand for her good name and rights in the highest deliberative body known under the constitution. Give us two good men. Doubtless we have them -- yes, a score of them.

Kansas now has her own future to make. Her destiny is in her own hands. If she is governed by wise counsels, she will soon rank among the first in the sisterhood of States, for her natural advantages are manifold, her resources unbounded, her climate one that will attract settlers and her soil inexhaustible.

Let her people be wise in the selection of rulers and discreet in the management of internal policy.

Emporia fired a salute to Kansas and the Union when the news came around the third time. The News, February 2, 1861, stated:

We have received the welcome intelligence, that Kansas is admitted. The House concurred in the Senate amendment on the 28th. The President has signed the bill, and we are now citizens of the United States. The joyful news was received here on Thursday afternoon, and soon was communicated to all within hearing, by the booming of the "big gun." A national salute of thirty-four guns was fired -- one for each State, and a "tiger" for Kansas. We have not room for extended remarks at this time, and will leave our readers to glorify over the result "in their own way."

At Manhattan the Western Kansas Express, February 2, 1861, said:

KANSAS A SOVEREIGN STATE!!!

OUR ADMISSION BILL SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT.

HON M. F. CONWAY SWORN IN AS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF KANSAS IN CONGRESS!!!

The following dispatch was sent to THE DAILY CONSERVATIVE of Leavenworth, dated Washington Jan. 30.

"The Kansas Bill has received the President's signature. Mr. Conway appeared on the floor of the House and was sworn in."

At last the great victory, for which the people of Kansas have fought so many hard battles against the slave power, suffered so many acts of injustice, at the hands of a corrupt and vindictive Administration, and submitted to so many sacrifices and privations, is won! We are a FREE and Sovereign State!! A member of the great American Union!!! A new Star in the glorious Banner of the noblest, most free and best Government in the world, the treason of Southern fire eaters, and their State Secession Ordinances to the contrary not withstanding!

Citizens of Kansas! Let us rejoice at the auspicious event! If the Union and the Constitution of our Country are now menaced with distruction by a powerful conspiracy, let us be thankful unto God, that we have been admitted into the Union in time to co-operate in the vindication of the sanctity of its laws, by enforcing them, of the honor of its flag, by punishing those traitors, who trampled upon it, and of the inviolability of its Federal Constitution, by proclaiming it over again, if necessary, in all parts of the United States, and defending it at all hazards as the Supreme Law of the Land!! To deserve prosperity and success as a State, let us solemnly vow in the altar of our virgin Commonwealth, that we shall always be faithful to the CONSTITUTION and the UNION of our beloved Country!

The citizens of Manhattan celebrated the admission of Kansas in a quiet and orderly manner. The Express, February 2, 1861, described their meeting:

PUBLIC REJOICEING.

At an early hour on Friday evening Feb. 1st, the Citizens of Manhattan assembled at the City Hall, which was brilliantly illuminated, to greet the intelligence of our admission into the Federal Union as a Sovereign State, with feelings of rejoicing. The meeting was called to order by Mr. C. F. de Vivaldi [editor of the Express], and on motion Judge Pipher was called to the Chair, and James Humphrey appointed Secretary.

After announcing the object of the meeting, the Chair introduced the Hon. S. D. Houston, senator elect from the 4th District. Mr. Houston, enumerated a few of the advantages which we should derive from our admission, and pointed through the present gloom to a prosperous future. On retiring, Rev. Mr. Paulson was loudly called for, and on coming forward, remarked, that the long conflict between freedom and Slavery in Kansas was now forever settled. The foul conspiracy inaugurated by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the enactment of the Kansas Nebraska dodge, to fasten on this beautiful State the dark repulsive features of Slavery had signally failed. Mr. Paulson entered into a becoming and manly vindication of the right and duty of ministers to lift up their voice against political iniquity, and severely rebuked that snivilling class of politicians, who conceive that the ministerial function and patriotism are incompatible.

The meeting was subsequently addressed by Mr. C. F. de Vivaldi, Mr. Fox, Rev. C. E. Blood and others. Three rousing cheers were then given for the new State of Kansas, after which the meeting was dismissed.

The Topeka State Record, one of the papers which inaugurated the first round of statehood celebrations by announcing admission after passage of the bill by the senate, seemed to be remembering that fact when on February 2, 1861, it reported:

KANSAS ADMITTED.

We are at last enabled to announce to our readers, the gratifying intelligence that Kansas is really admitted. . . .

THE CONSTITUTION.

As the Wyandotte Constitution is now a living instrument -- the fundamental law of the State of Kansas, which all will feel a new interest in reading, we surrender much of our space this week to its re-publication. In it are embodied the hopes and aspirations of the people of Kansas. It has become their representative -- the embodiment of their wisdom, and their capacity for self-government upon the National Record. Born of strife and oppression, it stands forth to vindicate its people from the aspersions of venality, of which Statesmen have accused them through a rival but hated instrument, and to demonstrate their unswerving devotion, under temptations which seldom fall to the lot of man, to the enduring principles of Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Speech. It will stand for future time as a proud monument of the first substantial victory of the Nineteenth Century, of Freedom over Slavery, in an equal race, and will be revered by the millions who are destined, at no distant day, to people this great valley of the North American continent, as the inauguration of a new and brilliant era in American politics, when Freedom instead of Slavery will be the presiding genius of our institutions -- Democracy enthroned, and man in the abstract be clothed with equality, and his higher nature acknowledged and vindicated.

The Topeka Tribune, February 2, 1861, followed the general line of Free-State thought but added paragraphs extolling the virtues and glorious history of the new, though supposedly temporary, capital of Kansas:

THE STATE OF KANSAS!
"ALL HAIL THOU GLORIOUS ORB!!"
LET THE OLD CANNON SPEAK.
DO RE ME FA SOL LA SI DO!!
THE KANSAS BILL.
PASSED THE SENATE -- DITTO HOUSE!
SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT!
LET US ALL REJOICE!!

There is no longer any doubts to be entertained with regard to our admission. The nail is clinched. Kansas is to-day a Sovereign State of the American Union. . . .

At last, our prayer has been answered. Kansas is no longer a foot-ball for partizan demagogues and unscrupulous politicians -- a bait to the whale -- and no longer will her people be made to dance and fiddle to advance the cause of a corrupt, ambitious and designing class of political aspirants. We are in the Union, of the Union, for the Union; and what is more, have no thanks to return to any source for political influence or favor, without our own borders. The boon has been nobly fought for, and obtained by the merest exercise of justice -- dearly paid for. Let us give praise unto-ourselves, take hope, courage, and renew our vows of devotion to our glorious country, to our adopted State and our cherished homes and hearthstones. May our dreams of coming prosperity and greatness be realized, and our future prove as glorious and peaceful as our past has been gloomy and beclouded with sorrow.

We, of TOPEKA, hail the news with a peculiar feeling of interest and pride. TOPEKA IS CAPITAL OF KANSAS. Her history is coeval with that of the Territory -- with the cause of political freedom under the unhappy culminations of long continued and bitterly waged intestine partisan conflict; her name in time past has been associated with the history and struggle of the Free State cause of Kansas, and through which it has gained a celebrity second only to the name of Kansas herself. Here it was that was held, commencing upon the 19th day of September, 1855, the first Convention of the freemen of Kansas, having under consideration the question of adopting effective measures in behalf of our sovereign liberty and freedom as a people, and from whose deliberations arose majestically that fair yet formidable structure -- that monument to right and justice around which so determinedly rallied the sovereigns of the soil of these beautiful prairies -- the first State organization of Kansas. Here it was that was held, convening upon the 2d day of October, 1855, the Convention for the purpose of drafting a Constitution for the embryo State, and here it was that assembled, in the March following, the Legislature under its provisions, and enacted a code of laws for the government of its people. Here it was that upon the 4th day of July, '56, the same Legislature assembled persuant to adjournment, and where, at the exact time of noon-day, in the presence of three thousand people, at the roll-calling of the members, it was dispersed at the point of the bayonet by Col. Sumner, at the head of government troops, acting under authority of President Pierce.

Topeka is to Kansas what Philadelphia, with her Continental Congress, was to the Colonies. Her name was the watchword in "times that tried men's souls," and to-day her influence, aside from considerations of policy or profit, is felt in every quiet nook and corner of the Territory. Yet she can exert an influence based upon more substantial reasons. The superiority of her natural and acquired advantages, the great and most important consideration being her nearly exact central location, secured to her the seat of government under the Wyandotte Constitution, an act of justice and wisdom not to be called in question by her veriest enemies. The town was founded in December, '54, and to-day, in point of beauty of location, of population, building, public and private, postal, express and stage arrangements, printing facilities, mercantile and manufacturing prosperity, artistic and mechanical development, general industrial pursuits, religious and educational privileges, wealth, refinement and intelligence, will compare with any city in the West. So much for Topeka. Her civil honors can only be lost when by vote of the people of the State, a majority of all the votes cast are for another locality.

The news of admission was received by our citizens in a becoming manner. The old cannon echoed the joyful tidings to the people of the country, the whole town rejoiced and general conviviality prevailed.

Marcus Parrott arrived in Lawrence on February 8 bearing official notification to Gov.-elect Charles Robinson that Kansas had been admitted. On February 9 Caleb S. Pratt, county clerk of Douglas county, administered the oath of office to the state's first governor. Robinson's first official act was to call the legislature to meet March 26 at Topeka.

Rumors soon filtered into Kansas' new capital that the new governor would visit there on February 12 to obtain a residence for himself and to arrange for the inauguration of a state government. In a flurry of activity the residents of Topeka prepared to meet their leader -- with disheartening results. The Topeka Tribune, February 16, 1861, told the humorous story:

TOPEKA'S LOYALTY TO THE CROWN

The news having reached our city of his Excellency, Governor ROBINSON'S intention to visit the Capital on Tuesday last, preparations were hastily made to welcome him in a manner becoming the occasion. The band was called into requisition and mounted in a carriage, and, attended by an escort of cavalry, some twenty-five or thirty strong, took their line of march out eastward, upon the Lawrence road, with the intention of proceeding until they met the Governor, when they would formally escort him into the city. They passed out of town in fine order, the band playing a national air, (the Southern Confederacy to the contrary notwithstanding,) and our citizens commenced gathering, for the purpose of being on hand and taking part in the public demonstration when the Governor should arrive. Long and patiently they waited to welcome the gallant and brave old soldier -- he who stood foremost in the free State ranks of '56, and who preferred a long incarceration in the "great political prison," at Lecompton, rather than deviate from his cause or compromise his honor -- long they waited we say; twilight came, the cavalcade was seen or heard approaching, expectation was upon tip-toe, there was a fluttering of hearts -- a few moments more and all would have the pleasure of saluting -- of welcoming the first Governor of the State of Kansas! -- the cannon belched forth in "thunder tones" -- three rounds had been fired, when the party came in, BUT NO GOVERNOR! Though great the disappointment, with philosophical cheerfulness it was borne by those upon the ground, and three rousing cheers were sent up for GOVERNOR ROBINSON, when the people dispersed. We were gratified to see persons who, but a few months since, were foremost in maligning Mr. ROBINSON'S character and motives, make themselves particularly active in rendering homage to the official of to-day.

The Governor, however, did visit us on the next day [February 13] . . . .

On March 26 the first state legislature convened at Topeka. Thus, after a long and sometimes bloody struggle, the state of Kansas was born and launched on its voyage into history.

NOTES

1. The Leavenworth Conservative, January 30, 1861.
2. Topeka Tribune, February 2, 1861.
3. Leavenworth Conservative, January 31, 1861.
4. Emporia News, February 2, 1861.
5. White Cloud Kansas Chief, February 14, 1861.
6. Ibid., February 7, 1861.
7. February 9, 1861.
8. February 2, 1861.