The Census--Admission of Kansas

Leavenworth Daily Times, February 18, 1860

We publish the report in full of the House Committee on Elections, upon the subject of the census for the Territory.

As to the correctness of its general conclusions, no doubt hereabouts is or can be entertained.

We are aware of the tendency to exaggeration among Americans. Their cities are larger, their counties more populous, their crowds bigger, for political or party ends, then the cities, counties, or crowds, of the people of any other nation. Yet, for once the population of our Territory has been underrated, and that for these obvious reasons:

First, not only were a certain class of Democrats passive in obtaining census returns, but another class (if limited) was active in preventing them from being taken.

The effect of this policy is plain enough. It would necessarily and naturally create indifference and doubt, and then would lead, as it has led, to partial returns in some counties, and to no returns at all in other counties. It would create doubt, because one called "an honest official" would report a smaller population than supposed, and "indifference," because, trusting to the returns, confiding voters say, "if in our county we number only so many, the Territory cannot be as populous as we had supposed." The result would be to leave "instructed officials" to do as they might please.

Second, as yet we lack the machinery by and through which we can get at exact returns in reference to population.

We have known the Federal Government only as an oppressor or a stranger. Even now our people cannot recognize it as a father or a friend in any of its departments. We say this with deepest regret, for we wish to put an end to the bitter feeling engendered by the struggles of the past. We say this only with sorrow, for we desire to see law and justice in one—to have that rule which would render all our people contented and satisfied. Under these embarrassing influences, the best that could be done has been done by Territorial authority to ascertain the population of Kansas, and the result is this:

—That, taking the returns as reported by the Governor, the population of the Territories is over seventy-one thousand.

—That, adding to cities and counties not returned at all or in full, such as Riley, Atchison and Doniphan, it would swell this number, beyond ninety-five thousand.

—That, taking the registered votes as a test, and looking at the votes of Lykins, Leavenworth, &c., the partial returns of Morris and Pottawatomie, or the failure to make returns for Clay, Dickinson, McGee, Osage, Wilson and Dorn counties, the actual result would show the population of Kansas to be now, over ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN THOUSAND.

Let us have no dodge at Washington.—Here we are. This hour we have the requisite population, and eleven thousand over.—This hour we have treble the population of Florida and nearly that over Oregon. Away then with all the technicalities of sub-federal officials, or of Senators, or of the Chief Magistrate of the Nation. Under the law and of right, Kansas is prepared to be admitted and should be admitted into the Union. If this law is to be violated—if this right is to be denied—put it upon the true ground, and say like men, "we refuse her this boon, we deny her this privilege, because she is, or will be, a FREE STATE."

We ask our subscribers to read the report of the Committee on elections. We ask all to do that; for, upon the evidence offered in it, they will say, as we say, that Kansas should be admitted at once and of right into the Union.