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“At the opening of the year 1853, the white population of Kansas was, as it had been for twenty years, concentrated about the forts trading posts missions and reservations from the Missouri to Council Grove. The population of these centres ranged from ten upwards, the largest number probably being located in and around Uniontown, in what is now Shawnee county. The population was small scattered and uninterested in public affairs.
There were, from 1852, occasional feeble attempts to induce action at Washington, and, in 1853, Abelard Guthrie was nominated as delegate in Congress by a convention at Wyandotte, while Rev. Thomas Johnson was put in nomination at the Kickapoo village. The latter was elected and went to Washington but was not received.
The crisis came with the report on January 24, 1854, from the Committee on Territories, by its chairman, Senator Stephen A Douglas, of Illinois of an amended bill to organize the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, afterward to be known in history as the Kansas- Nebraska Act, though. at the time of its introduction, it was commonly called the Nebraska Bill.
The main feature of this long bill of thirty eight sections was, that it abrogated the agreement of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, prohibiting (as the price of Missouri as a Slave State) slavery north of the line 36° 30', and in place of prohibiting, left the question of slavery or no slavery to the people of the respective Territories when they should come to frame their State Constitutions. This bill was discussed in Congress for four months and passed the Senate at four o clock on the morning of March 4, 1854, and the House at midnight of May 22nd by a vote of 113 to 100, and was signed by President Franklin Pierce on the 30th of May- since chosen as Decoration Day with all its memories.” (Source: A History of Kansas, Noble Lovely Prentis, pp. 41-41)