Gerrit Smith, on Kansas

August  8, 1856

A speech by Smith, at the Kansas Convention, in Buffalo.  In it, Smith urges a mustering of arms to confront the situation in Kansas, where the Government has failed.  “Most of you are relying largely on political action, and especially on the next election, to save Kansas.  Unhappy reliance!  …You are looking to ballots when you should be looking to bayonets; counting up votes, when you should be mustering armed, and none by armed emigrants; electioneering for candidates for civil rulers, when you should be enquiring for military rulers. All the time that you are making this mistake, slavery is fortifying tself in Kansas, and weakening and expelling liberty…..There was a time when slavery could have been ended by political action.  But that time has gone by; and, as I apprehend, forever….”  Resolutions calling for armed action are adopted in Convention.