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Speech written by John J. Ingalls

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Mr. President & Fellow Citizens of Atchison County

 

I desire to take this as the 1st public opportunity I have had to thank you for the  [XXXXXXX]  these affirm confidence extended to me at the last Election although personally a stranger to most of you and the destitute of all claims upon your consideration.  Especially are my thanks due as the recipient of the largest vote ever cast in your fair precinct for a resident of the town which I have the honor to represent – a select indicative, I hope, that all old feuds and local prejudices are forgotten, indicative of an intention to judge men by their merits and not by the accidents of birth or residence a result prophetic of the near approval of the time when honest rivalry shall supply the place of depreciating, when a generous Emulation shall be substituted for local bitterness and animosity – of the time when we all political quarreling affecting the entire community

 

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we shall forget Everything except that we are inhabitants of a Noble County, distinct from its portion, its resources and the Energy and intelligence of its population to become one of the most important and influential in the new State of Kansas.

 

I said that this occasion was its own inspiration.  Considered as the starting point of a Campaign which is to decide the greatest questions which have been presented to the people of this territory, considered in its relation to the great facts of our political and material development.  Considered in relation to the question whether we shall remain for an indefinitely protected period in our present degrading condition of territorial  [XXXXXX]  and  [XXXXXX]  , or whether we shall in a few month assume our rightful portion in the Confederacy of States, it is indeed an occasion of momentous interests and importance.

 

It is an occasion which should be peculiarly

 

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free from the distortions of partisan bitterness and  [XXXXX]  , whose discussions and deliberations should be characterized by appeals to intelligence and patriotism other than to prejudice, when every voter should listen & investigate not as Democrat or a Republican but as a man asking himself the question is this instrument which is submitted for my suffrages the best which could be gained for the interests of the State.  In presenting the Wyandot Constitution to the people of Kansas, the creators do not claim perfection for all of its provisions nor infallibility for its practical results, but the confession was extorted from its opponents upon the floor that backing a few points of  party policy it was a model instrument.

 

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A Constitution is merely a written compact between Society & each of the reasons of which it is compared.  Comprising a common fund of rights conceded by individuals to secure the greatest good for the whole.  All powers not expressly delegated are received by the people and the problem to be solved is the least possible limitations of individual rights  [XXXXX] consonant with the permanent organization of society.  The question to be asked by the individual is does this instrument limit more of my private rights that I can consistently grant, does it make any demands which I cannot well afford to pay for the advantages of being under office & officers of my own choice & of my own  [XXXX]  ?  I do not propose at this time to enter upon

 

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any Elaborate investigation of the excellencies of the Constitution.  I am willing to leave that to the intelligence and good sense of the people.  The objections urged against it are few and though I propose briefly to consider.

 

Before doing so however I wish to allude to the  [XXXX]  of the democratic party in the Convention and regret that a strict regard for veracity compels me to criticize their action as factious, turbulent & dilatory to the last degree.  From the noon of the 5th day of July to the night of the 29th there was not a day when some member of the immortal

 

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minority of 17 did not attempt to enforce the intimidating and procrastinating policy which has given their conduct in Kansas an immortality of infancy.  Day after day from the rising of the sun and the going down thereof, they sung their changes in tired ears  [XXXXXX]  their bully threats of getting on the record and their charges of bias and prejudice.  Day after day, they aired their vocabularies of covert threats & insinuation & ventilated their windy patriotism day after day they played the part of modern knights, tyrant avengers of distress ravishes counties, delivers of  [XXXXX]  delegates from the dreary dungeons of disfranchisement – vagabond philanthropists who not content with the objects of the  [XXXXX]  and the turbulents of the white men of Kansas.  Washed weak in melancholy searches for Niggers over whom their hearts might weep and their delicate  [XXXXXX]  expand – assuming the  [XXXX]  of political piety wearing the garb of political sainthood as men

 

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assume the livery of heaven to serve the devout

 

-         Bennett

-         Wigley

-         Hough & McDowell – Crawled into them & died – took  [XXXX]  [XXXX]

-         The  [XXXX]  that has been pursued  [XXX]  by their efforts to prejudice the minds of the people against the instrument before they have had it

 

When the democratic champion stood upon the floor on Friday  [XXX]  & started the determination of that party, not to vote for the instrument he  [XXXXX]   [XXXX]  chief objecting the boundary – the black law – the apportionment

 

 

 

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