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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Proclaimed by President Comonfort


[Sidenote:

"Osawatomie Brown"]

Acting-Governor Woodson proclaimed the Territory to be in a state of rebellion. A large pro-slavery force was gathering at Lecompton and another at Santa Fe. Osawatomie was captured, seven men were killed and thirty buildings burned. Among the killed was a son of John Brown. Atchison's pro-slavery force withdrew into Missouri. On September 1, in a municipal election at Leavenworth, an armed band of Missourians killed and wounded a number of Free State men, burned their houses, and compelled one hundred and fifty of them to embark for St. Louis.

[Sidenote: Fight at Lawrence]

The attack on Lawrence was renewed under the direct authority of the government. Many lives were lost. The United States troops at Leavenworth were used by Shannon. The Free State Legislature was dispersed by the United States forces. Other Missouri forces invaded the Territory and destroyed Brown's village of Osawatomie, but the Free State men compelled them to retreat across the Missouri. In September, President Pierce appointed Gray Governor of Kansas. Arriving at Lecompton, he released Robinson and other Free State prisoners on bail, and ordered all hostile forces to disband. On September 15, three regiments of Missourians with cannon attacked Lawrence. Governor Gray with United States troops compelled them to retire. December 15, Lecompton, a partisan judge, was removed on demand

of the Governor, and Harrison of Kentucky was appointed. The Free State preponderance among settlers constantly increased. Nearly all the clearing, plowing, and planting was done by Free State men. All manner of irregularities constantly thinned the ranks of volunteers from the South. Kansas, according to Greeley's expressive phrase, "was steadily hardening into the bone and sinew of a Free State."

[Sidenote: Senator Sumner assaulted]

The National Convention of the American Party virtually approved the Fugitive Slave law and the Kansas-Nebraska act. In Congress, Sumner delivered a philippic on "The Crime against Kansas," in which he commented severely on Senator Butler of South Carolina. Thereupon Preston Brooks brutally assaulted Sumner in his seat in the Senate. As a result of his injuries Sumner was an invalid for four years.

[Sidenote: Puebla revolts]

In Mexico, President Comonfort had barely reached a temporary adjustment of difficulties with Spain when his government was embarrassed by a serious insurrection in Puebla. Government troops in overwhelming numbers put a bloody end to the revolt. Orihuela, the rebel chief, was shot.

[Sidenote: Friction with Spain]

[Sidenote: Civil war in Mexico]

A new liberal Constitution in Mexico, proclaimed by President Comonfort, did not mend matters much in that distracted republic. New troubles with Spain arose over unpunished robberies and murders of Spanish subjects. In March, diplomatic intercourse between the two countries was severed. Spanish warships were ordered to the Gulf of Mexico. At the last moment, diplomatic mediation on the part of England and France succeeded in averting war. General Comonfort, finding himself unable to make much headway by constitutional means, invoked the help of General Zuloaga, and established himself once more as military dictator. When it came to dividing the spoils, Comonfort and Zuloaga fell out, and a seven days' conflict resulted. Comonfort's followers were routed. The defeated President had to flee the country.


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