The Dawning of Indestructible Joy

The Dawning of Indestructible JoyChristmas….

A time of music and laughter.

A time of bright lights and tinsel.

A time of friends and family.

A time of giving and sharing.

But more than that.

A time to celebrate the beginning of the greatest miracle the world has ever known.

A miracle that took just a little over 40 years to unfold, but that was planned all the way back at the dawn of time.

A miracle of eternal consequence to every single human being who ever was born and ever will be born.

That miracle began in a stable.

If you would like to take time this Christmas season to try to fully grasp the full implications of this miracle, you may enjoy The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper. Through a series of 25 readings, you will be reminded of what Christmas and Christ are all about.

Each reading is brief—about five minutes or so. But the impact is lasting.

May true joy be yours this Christmas.

Hugh Sleight Walsh

Hugh Sleight WalshHugh Sleight Walsh was born on November 10, 1810, in New Windsor, New York. He spent his entire childhood and much of his early adulthood in New York, but also lived for a time in Alabama before coming to Kansas Territory in 1857.

In Kansas, Walsh worked as a private secretary, first to Frederick P. Stanton and later to James W. Denver, with whom he appears to have cultivated a close political relationship. On May 12, 1858, Walsh became the territorial secretary, replacing Denver, who had vacated the position to become territorial governor.

As territorial secretary, Walsh had the job of serving as acting governor when necessary. This occurred four times total.


Time in Office

Walsh’s first stint as acting governor lasted from July 3 to July 30 in 1858 during the temporary absence of Governor Denver. Little of note occurred during this time.

He next became acting governor on October 10, 1858, upon the resignation of Governor Denver. Walsh remained in close contact with Denver, however. He confided to the outgoing governor that he entertained some hopes of securing an appointment to the office himself, although he was also amenable to the idea of having a Kentucky man as the next territorial governor. When word came that Samuel Medary was the president’s selection, Walsh was disappointed, but admitted to Denver that he respected the future governor’s tact. Meanwhile, Walsh occupied the rest of his time as acting governor petitioning for federal money to offer as a reward for the capture of John Brown and dispatching Missouri guerilla fighters to stamp out an opposing abolitionist band under James Montgomery known as the Jayhawkers.

Despite Walsh’s suspicions of the new governor, his relationship with Medary started off cordially enough. But when Walsh became acting governor again on August 1, 1859, a small matter arose that was to have a negative impact on his future career. Provisions had previously been made to examine the claims of those who had suffered property damage due to border conflict with the understanding that the United States Congress would pay the claims. Kansas Territory was prohibited by law from issuing bonds for the purpose. So when Territorial Treasurer Robert B. Mitchell came to the acting governor with a request to approve a bond issue, Walsh was duly suspicious. The treasurer hastened to assure him that the bonds were to cover territorial expenses, not to pay off private claims. Walsh refused, however, stating that he would not approve them without examining the matter thoroughly and that he did not have the time to do so just then. Medary returned on September 15 and subsequently approved and sold the bonds himself.

The bonds came to Secretary Walsh’s attention again during his fourth period as acting governor, which began on April 15, 1860. Based on the bonds and on an 1858 charter authorizing the establishment of banks in Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte (now part of Kansas City, Kansas), a bank was established in Lawrence. Acting Governor Walsh protested on the grounds that the charter had expired, but the bank officials politely advised him not to interfere. That May, Walsh challenged Treasurer Mitchell for his reasoning on the subject and merely received a formal letter asking on what authority Walsh was questioning the treasurer. Walsh retorted that the territorial treasurer was required to submit his records for inspection at the request of the governor. But all his repeated demands for further information could only elicit the following reply from Mitchell:

…I have been, since the reception of your note of yesterday, wholly incapable to find the time to make a satisfactory reply to your inquiries, but will endeavor to do so at the earliest possible time convenient.

The treasurer subsequently left town.

According to Walsh, Governor Medary had already been treating him rather coldly, starting from January 1860 when the secretary had made a report to the territorial legislature on the fraudulent bonds. Subsequent events did not improve the relationship any. The governor eventually asked to have Walsh removed from office, claiming “incompatibility of temper” as a pretext. Walsh resigned that June and took up a much more congenial life of farming near Grantville in Jefferson County, Kansas.



  • Suppressed James Montgomery’s guerilla warfare efforts to some extent.
  • Exposed Governor Medary’s claim bond fraud.


In His Own Words

  • Gubernatorial ambitions: “If Mr. Medary should not accept I hope that the appointment may be held in abeyance until after the session and if I succeed well and the President chooses to honor me with the appointment I will esteem it a high honor—but it is almost as difficult to get a good secretary as a good Governor and I would rather be without one than not have a good one—I can find good clerks & make them do what perhaps I could not find a secretary willing to do….”
  • Beginning of the claim bond scandal: “In May or June, 1859, I was applied to by Mr. Mitchell, the Treasurer of the Territory, to approve, as Acting Governor, certain Territorial Bonds. I refused on the grounds that I did not believe any Bonds issued for Claims, under the Act to provide for the adjustment and payment of Claims, were valid. The Treasurer informed me that the Bonds were not for claims but Territorial expenses, and belonged to David Weir. I informed him that I would not sign any Territorial Bonds whatever without tracing them back to their original indebtedness, through all the parties’ hands through which they might have passed. As I was superintending the public printing at the time, I had not then leisure to do it.”
  • Relationship with Governor Medary: “Before the time of issuing the Bonds we were on friendly terms, and so continued for sometime afterwards. The Bonds were issued in the summer of 1859; we continued friendly up to January, 1860. I then for the first time, discovered that Gov. Medary was unfriendly to me, and I presumed his hostility arose out of a report which I made as Secretary, to 21 members of the Legislature who called upon me for information in regard to these claim Bonds. At least up to that time we were on speaking terms.”


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British and Continental Cattle Breeds

British and Continental Cattle Breeds

There are many way to categorize cattle breeds—beef and dairy, standard and miniature, commercial and heritage, Bos taurus taurus and Bos taurus indicus. One classification that is frequently used to describe beef breeds is British versus Continental.

The names are rather self-explanatory. British breeds come from the United Kingdom, while Continental breeds come from Continental Europe. But there is more here than meets the eye. British and Continental breeds were developed under vastly different circumstances, giving each type unique characteristics suited to different applications.

British Breeds

America has long had an association with the British Isles, so it was only natural that British cattle breeds predominated on our shores for many years. The foundation of our British cattle population was imported beginning in the late 1700s. These importations continued well into the following century. The vast majority of beef herds in America today are still built on British genetics.

Examples of British breeds include:

While each breed is slightly different, most British breeds share the following characteristics:

  • Small size.
  • Hardiness in cold climates.
  • Early maturity.
  • Fertility.
  • Calving ease.
  • High percentage of waste at slaughter.
  • Marbled beef.
  • Meat tenderness.

British breeds have found niches in both commercial and alternative agriculture due to their adaptability. Although they dominate the industry sale barns, they are also typically the breeds of choice for grassfed beef production. A few of the breeds, such as the Devon, can be used as all-around homestead cattle, providing beef, milk, and draft power for small farms.

Continental Breeds

British and Continental Cattle Breeds

Although experiments were made with Continental breeds in the early 1900s, they did not become popular in the United States until the late 1960s and early 1970s, hence their other name—“exotic breeds.” These cattle were costly and difficult to obtain at first, so the process of establishing an American population was expedited by upgrading imports with British cattle already living on our shores. Most Continental breeds were considered purebred after four or five generations of upgrading. They left their mark on the beef industry by promoting the breeding of large-framed cattle, but this trend has abated somewhat in recent years along with the use of Continental genetics.

Examples of Continental breeds include:

Continental breeds vary widely, but they tend to share a few traits:

  • Large size.
  • Late maturity.
  • Rapid weight gain on feed.
  • Large yield of beef.
  • Low percentage of waste at slaughter.
  • Lean beef.

While quite a few of the Continental breeds have potential as dual-purpose beef and dairy animals, they are rarely used in this way in America. One of the most important roles of Continental cattle in the United States is crossbreeding with British breeds to create more desirable beef animals.

British/Continental Crossbred Cattle

The most common goal in crossing British and Continental cattle is to produce beef calves that retain the marbling of the former type, but with the bigger, more muscular package associated with the latter type.

Unfortunately, introducing the positive traits of Continental cattle into a herd can also introduce negative characteristics. In particular, using a Continental bull on a British cow can lead to the conception of a calf far too large for the cow to give birth to unassisted.

These crossbred cattle need plenty of grain to reach their full potential, so they are more commonly found in the feedlot than in a grassfed operation.

Helpful Resource

Choosing a Breed of Cattle

Choosing a Breed of Cattle
This book will help you compare British and Continental breeds with zebu, American, and Spanish-American breeds, and will walk you through the process of deciding what breed is right for you. Information is also included on British and Continental dairy cattle. Free sample pages are available.

The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)

The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!)Looking for clean jokes for the whole family? Look no further!

Homestead on the Range is pleased to announce the release of The Worst Jokes I Know (and I Know a Lot!): 101 Funny Bone Ticklers for Jokesters of All Ages by B. Patrick Lincoln in paperback and on Kindle.

Young jokers (cards, you might say) will learn 101 side-splitting riddles and funny bone ticklers, all in a small, illustrated book made to be shared. Jokesters of all ages will enjoy trying out corny wordplay on their family, friends, and pun pals.

Along the way, children will find out:

  • Why is it inadvisable to read the contents of this book to an egg?
  • Why was the ground delighted with the earthquake?
  • And why did the chicken really cross the road?

This great gift will connect generations as children, parents, and grandparents share laughs together.

Click here to preview free sample pages.

James W. Denver

James W. DenverJames W. Denver was born in Winchester, Virginia, on October 23, 1817. He grew up on a farm in that state, but about the time he reached adulthood he went with his parents to Ohio, where he studied engineering.

Engineering was not Denver’s calling, however. In 1841, he moved to Missouri and spent some time teaching school, but within a year he was back in Ohio to study law. He entered the legal profession in 1844, practicing first in Ohio and then in Missouri.

After serving as a captain in the 12th U.S. Volunteer Infantry during the Mexican–American War, Denver decided to move to the promising young state of California in 1850. Here he made a living, not prospecting as so many tried to do, but trading. Like many lawyers, however, Denver was attracted to politics. He served in the California state senate, a term tainted by rumors of his profiteering from a relief expedition to aid destitute overland immigrants to the state. These charges terminated in a duel with newspaper editor Edward Gilbert, in which the latter was shot and killed, Denver being a superior marksman.

Denver’s political career continued, however. He subsequently served as California Secretary of State, Representative from California, and Commissioner of Indian Affairs under President James Buchanan. It was in this last role that he first came to Kansas on the official business of making treaties.

But the resignation of Governor Robert J. Walker and the impending resignation of Territorial Secretary Frederick P. Stanton left the president with the task of finding yet another appointee to take up the unenviable work of keeping peace in Kansas. Denver was his choice.

James W. DenverTime in Office

Denver arrived in Kansas on December 21, 1857, as territorial secretary. Because there was no governor, however, he immediately became acting governor—on the day of the vote on the Lecompton Constitution, no less. But Denver was prepared. He had already secured from John Calhoun, a Democratic leader in the territory not to be confused with the more famous South Carolina statesman of the same name, a promise that the election would be carried out fairly. Calhoun had gone a step farther and invited Denver to be personally present at the counting of the ballots.

It was Denver and his assistants who unmasked the widespread fraud that had taken place. The Lecompton Constitution had been approved with provisions for slavery by all appearances, but a variety of discrepancies were noted, such as disproportionately large numbers of ballots being cast in areas with small populations. President Buchanan persisted in claiming that the document was legitimate, but with Denver’s influence on the territorial scene and Senator Stephen A. Douglas’s influence on the national scene, a referendum was secured. Denver accomplished an even more amazing feat by coaxing the Free State Party to vote instead of boycott. The Lecompton Constitution as a whole was overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Kansas on January 4, 1858. A legitimate territorial legislature with Free State leanings was elected at the same time.

Denver’s personal correspondence from this time suggests that he may have felt that this should have been the end of the issue. However, neither faction was ready to yield. President Buchanan loudly denounced the referendum on the Lecompton Constitution, while the new legislature drafted a new and equally controversial constitution in Leavenworth without the acting governor’s approval.

Despite Denver’s strong desire to leave Kansas Territory and turn over his job to someone else, he was selected to be the official governor of the territory and accordingly took the oath of office on May 12. His private secretary, Hugh Sleight Walsh, filled his place as territorial secretary. Exactly one week later, the turbulent border erupted into violence again when a band of Missourians rounded up 11 unarmed Free State men and opened fire, killing five of them. This event became known as the Marais des Cygnes Massacre, the last major act of violence in Kansas territorial history.

The United States Congress paid little heed to the Leavenworth Constitution and instead sent the English Bill to the territory. This bill promised Kansas 3.5 million acres of public land if it would only ratify the Lecompton Constitution. If the citizens turned down this opportunity, however, Kansas would be denied statehood until the population substantially increased. On August 2, the English Bill and the Lecompton Constitution were overwhelmingly rejected. President Buchanan urged Governor Denver to stay in office until the next session of the territorial legislature ended, thereby preventing any further attempts to make Kansas a state. But all to no avail. The governor resigned on October 10.


Denver also served as a brigadier general in the Civil War from 1861 to 1863.

  • Instrumental in unmasking the fraud involved in first vote on the Lecompton Constitution.
  • Brought the Lecompton Constitution back to the people for a fair vote.
  • Became the namesake of Denver, Colorado, at that time part of Kansas Territory.

In His Own Words

  • Bleeding Kansas: “This country beats all creation for reports of every hue and description. A quarrel between two men is soon magnified into a battle in which a score or two are killed. Putting reports into circulation and exciting the public mind has become a business here, and people are beginning to understand them. Nothing can be believed until it is corroborated by well established facts.”
  • First vote on Lecompton Constitution: “It is asserted by some that persons from other States have interfered in the elections and that frauds have been perpetrated by which they have been over-powered, and deprived of their rights. These charges may be true, but if so the evils they complain of will not be remedied by absenting themselves from the polls.…It is true that a question may be presented in a manner objectionable to some but that is not a good reason for refusing to vote; for if the majority wills it, the difficulty can soon be remedied by presenting the question in the manner required.”
  • Role of the governor: “I began writing this before noon—it is now after dark and I have only got thus far—being interrupted every minute or two by persons on business or loafing. Many people here seem to think that the Governor is all powerful and if one man makes mouths at another he must run with a complaint to the Governor about it. If a desperado is to be taken it is expected that the Governor will do it.”
  • Desire to resign: “If they will only let me turn over the government to some of them in four or five weeks I will give them a pledge never to put my foot inside of their Territory again. Confound the place it seems to have been cursed of God and man. Providence gave them no crops last year scarcely and now it requires all the powers conferred on me by the President to prevent them from cutting each others throats. Were I not a very patient man they would almost tempt me to swear, but I endeavor to call philosophy to my aid to resist the temptation. Among them there is one continual struggle for the ascendancy, and all means are resorted to, fair or foul, to effect their object. They are ready to cheat, to swindle, to violate their word of honor given in the most solemn manner,—in fact they are in good part a most rascally set.”
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Rosewood: Southeast Asian, Amazonian, & Honduran

Rosewood: Southeast Asian, Amazonian & HonduranSoutheast Asian Rosewood

Southeast Asian rosewood is an endangered species. This wood is no longer harvested for guitar manufacture, and is therefore extremely hard to find from legitimate sources.

Southeast Asian rosewood has the exotic colors that make Brazilian rosewood so highly sought. It tends toward a reddish cast. Black grain lines offer contrast, but without the unique branching typically seen in rio, as the Brazilian species is also known.

Furthermore, Southeast Asian rosewood is often regarded as being remarkably similar to rio in sound. When played, it rings out loud and strong. But this wood is no mere copycat—it has a unique sparkle of its own, sounding particularly lively toward the high end while still displaying character in the bass notes.

In Short
  • Extremely rare.
  • Often sold illegally.
  • Resonant.
  • Lively lows.
  • Sparkling highs.


Amazonian Rosewood

Amazonian rosewood, while not found on the majority of guitars today, is probably one of the least rare species of rosewood. No trade restrictions on this wood are in effect at the time of this writing. It is still uncommon, however, as most of it comes from one supplier.

Brazilian rosewood and Amazonian rosewood are commonly confused. They are actually two separate species that grow in different parts of Brazil. Contrary to popular perception, Brazilian rosewood does not grow in the Amazon rainforest like Amazonian rosewood does.

In appearance, Amazonian rosewood is fairly similar to Brazilian rosewood, but with somewhat finer and straighter grain. But note the word somewhat. There are many excellent pieces of Amazonian rosewood in existence that can boast an exceptionally unique, striking appearance.

Amazonian rosewood is a little denser than rio, giving it a deeper, bassier sound. It is slightly less resonant, but makes up for that with power and crystal clarity.

In Short
  • Somewhat rare.
  • Striking in appearance.
  • Heavy.
  • Bassy.
  • Somewhat less resonant than other rosewoods.
  • Projects sound well.
  • Clear.
  • Good sustain.


Honduran Rosewood

Not only is Honduran rosewood a less common selection, in January 2017 it fell under the treaty restrictions that impact buying and selling Indian rosewood guitars. Little wonder—this species is quite rare, growing only in Belize. Needless to say, Honduran rosewood is difficult to obtain these days.

In appearance, Honduran rosewood is far more subtle than the bold and striking Brazilian rosewood. It is tends to look pinkish or purplish with fine grain and minimal contrast. To some luthiers and guitarists, this makes a Honduran rosewood guitar bland; to others, it adds a more subtle element of beauty.

Honduran rosewood is denser than rio wood, putting it in a class of its own. It has a strong tone with excellent sound projection. Its harmonic properties are very complex, giving it a rich sound unlike any other. There is a trade-off to this complexity, however—the notes of a Honduran rosewood guitar, while still articulate, are not as impeccably clear as with some of the other rosewood species.

The tonal range is well balanced across the spectrum. As with most other dense woods, however, Honduran rosewood really shines in the bass range.

In Short
  • Rare.
  • Heavy.
  • Subtly beautiful.
  • Balanced.
  • Excellent bass response.
  • Tonally complex.
  • Projects sound well.
  • Excellent sustain.
  • Warm tone.

10 Gifts for Gardeners

10 Gifts for GardenersChristmas is just around the corner! If you are looking for a few ideas to bring a smile to the face of that gardener in the family this year, allow us to make a few recommendations.

  1. The Family Garden JournalThe Family Garden Journal. Our garden journal is a great way for a gardener to celebrate a year of growing plants. It features 366 pages with room for to-do lists, observations, harvest records, and other notes, and it even includes a shopping list, a map, a planting table, and other useful tools for planning a garden. Makes a great keepsake. Read more.
  2. Heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are sure to delight! Choose varieties with a compelling story and an attractive appearance. If the seeds come from your own heirloom garden, that makes them even more special.
  3. The Christian Kids’ Gardening Guide. Looking for a gift for a budding green thumb? This delightful little book offers both practical growing tips and fun activities to foster a love of gardening. Read our full review.
  4. All New Square Foot GardeningAll New Square Foot Gardening. If your fellow gardener does not already have a copy of this revolutionary book on gardening, do him a favor and get him one. Even those committed to traditional row gardening can pick up many useful tips for making the garden more productive and attractive. Read our full review.
  5. Oxo Good Grips trowel. Every gardener needs a trowel. If the trowel has a comfortable handle, a sharp stainless-steel blade, and handy measuring marks, so much the better. (Update: Sadly, our favorite trowel may no longer be available at Amazon; you may have to search around a bit for a similar product.)
  6. Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. Another classic work on gardening that deserves a place on every gardener’s bookshelf. This one is an indispensable reference for those who garden naturally. Read our full review.
  7. Luster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test KitLuster Leaf Rapitest Soil Test Kit. Does your gardening friend know how to test his soil for pH and NPK? If not, this kit will make it easy for him. Read our full review.
  8. Gardening gloves. Even a gardener who already has a pair probably won’t mind an extra pair.
  9. Seed packets. This is another good choice for an heirloom gardener. These seed packets seal to protect their contents, and they can be used with a home inkjet or laser printer.
  10. Sweet potato beetle. This hilarious craft is a great way to use that overgrown sweet potato! Warning: The laughter will be heard for miles around!

Robert J. Walker

Robert J. WalkerRobert J. Walker was born on July 19, 1801, in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. His father was a district court judge, so perhaps he inspired young Walker to take interest in the law. Walker graduated at the top of his class at the University of Pennsylvania in 1819 and was admitted to the bar two years later, practicing law first in his native state and after 1826 in Mississippi.

While Walker became interested in politics during an 1832 controversy over the rights of states to declare federal laws null and void, what finally convinced him to pursue a political career came a year later. He had become involved in land speculation, accumulating much debt in the process. However, he found a way to earn a little extra cash by negotiating secret agreements between prospective buyers. The buyers promised not to compete against each other at auctions of public land, thus allowing parties to the agreement to purchase large acreages for considerably reduced prices. When Walker’s role in the negotiation process became known, a scandal erupted. It took some persuasive speaking on his part to put the matter to rest, but he did conclude that he was born for politics.

Walker served as a Democratic senator from Mississippi between 1835 and 1845, spending part of that time as Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands. Westward expansion was his favorite topic, and he became famous as one of the earliest advocates of a homestead act and as a senator who worked tirelessly to make Texas an American state. He also made a name for himself as a pro-Union Democrat of the antislavery stripe, preferring gradual emancipation of slaves.

Unfortunately, Walker’s time as Secretary of the Treasury under President James Knox Polk was considerably less illustrious. While he assisted in drafting legislation that lowered tariffs and established the Department of the Interior, Walker was frequently implicated in speculation and financial scandal. While serving as Secretary of the Treasury, he became a shareholder in a railroad company and tried to use his influence to secure a southern route for the proposed transcontinental railroad—a route that promised to bring him a handsome profit when he sold his stock. Also, money had a way of disappearing from the Treasury unaccounted for on Walker’s watch, a phenomenon that Walker never seemed to care to explain very clearly.

After leaving the Treasury, Walker resumed his legal practice. He refused an ambassadorship to China in 1853, but could not quite avoid public life altogether. After the controversial Kansas–Nebraska Act was passed, he became a proponent of the popular sovereignty doctrine—the concept that the people of a state should decide what institutions would be legal or illegal in that state. This and his past record as a moderate Democrat probably inspired President James Buchanan to select Walker as the next governor of Kansas Territory in 1857. Walker refused several times, but the president insisted. Walker finally consented to accept the post.


Robert J. WalkerTime in Office

When Walker arrived in Kansas in the spring of 1857, it was with the typical talk of impartiality and justice. But when he took office in Lecompton on May 27, his inaugural address created an uproar on both sides of the debate. Besides the usual promises to uphold the territorial government and its laws, Walker promised that the upcoming election to choose delegates for a constitutional convention would be held fairly this time. He urged Free Staters to make their voice heard by casting ballots. Perhaps what he said next was meant to placate them, but if so, it failed miserably. Walker went on to observe that popular sovereignty was the real issue at hand, not slavery. Kansas, he claimed, would never become a slave state, no matter what the people voted. That little matter had already been decided by the inexorable authority of isothermal lines (lines on a map displaying differences in temperature across the United States).

This did little to reassure Free Staters—abolition was too important of an issue to them to be treated so lightly. Furthermore, they saw no point in voting when all other territorial elections had been beset with widespread fraud and when the voter registration process under Frederick P. Stanton had already gone awry. Walker spoke to the Topeka legislature on June 9, attempting to make peace with its members and urge them to vote. However, he continued to insist that the existing territorial legislature was recognized by the federal government and therefore legitimate, election fraud or no. Walker’s attempts at reconciliation failed again, and the Free State Party boycotted the election for delegates.

In July, the town of Lawrence rejected its municipal charter, which had been issued by the “Bogus Legislature.” The townspeople applied to the Topeka legislature for a new charter, but when their request was denied they proceeded to craft their own charter independently. Governor Walker vigorously protested this defiance of territorial authority in an official proclamation and hurried to the scene with the United States infantry at his back. Newspapers North and South openly ridiculed his pomposity and self-importance. Walker’s reputation did not improve when he abruptly withdrew from Lawrence without accomplishing his purpose on the pretext of an Indian scare.

The Lecompton Constitution was drafted by early November. Unfortunately, its provisions for ratification were extremely controversial. Voters were to be handed two ballots—one marked “Constitution With Slavery” and one marked “Constitution With No Slavery.” The latter option allowed existing slaves to be kept as property, which did not appeal to those favoring emancipation. Furthermore, there was no provision made for voting against the constitution altogether.

Governor Walker strongly opposed this unfair ratification process, but with President Buchanan evidently bent on recognizing the legality of the proceedings, there was little that he could do. Walker left the territory and ultimately resigned to resume his legal practice.



  • Oversaw the formation of the Lecompton constitutional convention.


Robert J. WalkerIn His Own Words

  • The real issue in Kansas: “It is not merely shall slavery exist in or disappear from Kansas, but shall the great principles of self-government and state sovereignty be maintained or subverted?”
  • Climate and slavery: “I shall dissipate the delusion which has prevailed upon this subject, and show that, after three years’ experiment, when I arrived in Kansas there were less than 300 slaves there, and the number constantly diminishing; that, as proved by the official records of Congress, published and authenticated by those distinguished southern statesmen, John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis, the winter climate, even of eastern Kansas, is colder than that of New England, and that the pro-slavery territorial convention of Kansas consolidated with the pro-slavery territorial legislature on January 4, 1857, nearly five months before my arrival here, did distinctly abandon the slavery issue, the cause as set forth by one of their number, ‘the pro-slavery party was in a small and admitted minority,’ ‘and the cooperation of the free-state democrats was invited as the only hope of success, not to make Kansas a slave state, which was conceded to be impossible, but to make it a conservative democratic free state.'”
  • Authority of the territorial legislature: “You were distinctly informed in my inaugural address of May last, that the validity of the Territorial laws was acknowledged by the government of the United States, and that they must and would be carried into execution under my oath of office and the instructions of the President of the United States.…If laws have been enacted by the Territorial Legislature which are disapproved of by a majority of the people of the Territory, the mode in which they could elect a new Territorial Legislature and repeal those laws, was also designated.”
  • Lawrence municipal charter controversy: “As all arguments heretofore so often addressed by me to you, have failed as yet to produce any effect upon you, I have deemed it necessary for your own safety, and that of the Territory, and to save you from the perilous consequences of your own acts, under the authority vested in me by the President of the United States, to order an adequate force of the troops of the United States into your immediate vicinage, to perform the painful duty of arresting your revolutionary proceedings. Let me implore you not to compel me to appeal to that military power which is required in the last resort, to protect the government of your country.”
  • Lecompton Constitution: “By that inaugural and subsequent addresses I was pledged to the people of Kansas to oppose by all ‘lawful means’ the adoption of any constitution which was not fairly and fully submitted to their vote for ratification or rejection. These pledges I cannot recall or violate without personal dishonor and the abandonment of fundamental principles, and therefore it is impossible for me to support what is called the Lecompton constitution, because it is not submitted to a vote of the people for ratification or rejection.”
  • Resignation: “…[The president’s] message clearly indicates an approval of my course up to the present most unfortunate difference about the so-called Lecompton constitution. Inasmuch, however, as this difference is upon a vital question, involving practical results and new instructions, it is certainly much more respectful to the President, on my part, to resign the office of governor, and give him an opportunity of filling it, as his right under the constitution, with one who concurs with him in his present opinions, rather than go to Kansas and force him to remove me by disobedience to his instructions.”


Helpful Resource

“Proclamation, No. 2, To my rebellious subjects at Lawrence”
An example of the style of ridicule that Walker faced over his solution to the Lawrence charter controversy.


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Kansas Ag Connection

Kansas Ag ConnectionLooking for a good way to keep up with daily agriculture-related headlines? Give Kansas Ag Connection a try!

Subscribers to On the Range, our weekly country living update (read more), may already be familiar with this site as a source for some of our headlines. There’s a reason for that. Kansas Ag Connection is a clutter-free aggregator of news stories and press releases of interest to farmers small and large across the state.

Kansas Ag Connection offers a way to keep up with the latest stories on:

  • USDA news.
  • Updates from the governor and state legislature.
  • Health issues currently affecting Kansans.
  • KU and K-State research on health, nature, and agricultural topics.
  • Press releases from Kansas-based companies.
  • State and regional crop and weather reports.
  • Conferences and workshops coming to Kansas.
  • Ron Wilson’s Kansas Profile column, featuring Kansas entrepreneurs with rural roots.

Links are also provided to more headlines from neighboring states, across the nation, and around the world.

Highly recommended!