Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Robert S. Stevens to James W. Denver

Item Description Bookbag Share

Washington April 3. ’58.
Hon J. H. Denver
The great battle is over & the victory not yet won – The voting in the House and the amendment of Montgomery’s that passed you will have seen ere this reaches you –Up to the day prior to taking the vote, the friends of the bill were confident of success, but on that day, they became terribly scared, tho they had no definite idea of what was going to be done, until the ayes & nays were called – The opponents had so secretly laid their plans & had so solemnly pledged each other not to divulge them, that nothing leaked out – Then they were all under sacred pledges one to the other & each to all, to stand by the programme laid down & under no considerations to be bought off – These agreements were all carried out by every man in the league save one, Dewart of Pa, who on Wednesday night, surrendered – The bill

Page 2

would have passed as it came from the Senate, unless Gulilings & his fellow Abolitionists could have been brought in to support the Montgomery Amendment . This they for a long time refused to do, but at last yielded – Had I been consulted a week ago (as I have been since) with the aid of some Kansas Gentlemen, now here, the Bill would have passed, but those in power seem infatuated, almost, upon the idea, that none but men of a certain school have any influence – The Bill as amended was sent to Senate the same day & yesterday returned by them to the House, with a refusal to concur – Montgomery & others say they will not recede, nor accept a com of conference, and if he succeeds in those positions, of course then bill is ended – What will be the next move, none can tell, as the Senate are determined not to pass Montgomerys amendment – You will perceive his plan, is exactly like yours & indeed he took it from what I told him, would have been the best plan for the Democratic party, could the Prest. only have, so believed before taking his present position – For the party I now believe that to be

Page 3

the true course to be pursued in order to sustain, but owing to complicated State of things, my opinion is it is best for Kansas to admit her under the Lecompton Const. and if she prospers & thrives, the balance of the Union can have no cause of complaint – This idea, is based of course on the presumption that Calhoun rejects the Delaware crossing vote & gives certificates to the Free State men from Leavenworth County – Sec’y Thompson is determined to do nothing for Kansas until the war is ended & I fear we may consequently get nothing this session – If the constitution should be accepted and you have to report on the wants of Kansas & the true policy to be adopted, all would be easy – as every one now, Republicans & all profess to have great confidence in you – Robinson has really done the honest thing here, as he places your administration in it’s true light & tells every one, no more frauds need be expected, if you can but have the control - & he is doing Lecompton no harm – nothing can be done with Treaties at present, the ½ breeds Pappan & Co, will leave soon – Sec’y T. has

Page 4

Isaac’s, Munsey matter under advisement, but he has some most curious notions- Should he decide adverse to the claim. Isaacs will go to Congress for relief –We go before the House land Committee on Tuesday with our Bill asking for a grant to the Missouri & R. Mn. RR. and the indications are a favorable report – I have prepared a resolution (at Mix Suggestion) directing the Com. on Indian affairs, to inquire of the Secy of Interiors, what sum of money will be required to carry into effect all the stipulations of the New York Indian Treaty – In answering & giving the sum he will also recommend it’s appropation & that upon the stipulations being concluded, the lands be declared subject to pre-emption – Does this plan meet your approval? Mix that it the best way to get at it – No prospect now of Brindles removal, as the matter is so mixed up & Com. Hendricks, is indisposed to act – There should be some method adopted to postpone the land roles ordered in July, as at the Lecompton office not ¼ the contested cases can be settled by that time & all lands will be taken, so that

Page 5

none will be left for schools or anything else, saying nothing about Rail Roads, Universities etc – I wish if these views are in accordance with yours, you would advise Secy Thompson accordingly, as he is the acting man – now a word as to my pay as bearer of dispatches. Mr Appleton is still offish, saying there is no direct statement contained in your letter that I came for that purpose & so hesitates – In order to remove that objection I wish you would inclose to me a letter addressed to him, stating distinctly the fact that you employed me, and ask him to pay me – Living here, with now & then a dinner to some friends is some expensive & taxes me heavily – He will pay at once on such a request from you –
very Respectfully & Truly your friend & Obt Servt –
R. S. Stevens
P. S. April 4 - I am informed this morning that votes enough are received & Lecompton will pass this week – four Members offering to change, this makes a tie & the Speaker will untie – I heard a member from

Page 6

Tenessee (an American) swearing terribly last night about Robinson, charging that he had abandoned his party & was favoring Lecompton – “Straws show which way the wind blows” !

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2019 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.