popular soverignty : a doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people
we want slavery!
Race for possession
Sack of Lawrence
BURN THESE HOMES ! LOOT THE STORES!
Douglas introduced a bill in Congress to divide the area into two territories. Nebraska would be in the North and Kansas would be in the South. If this Act was passed, the Missouri Compromise would be repealed. Then with popular sovereignty in the territories, it would be decided whether the state would be a slave or free state.
From both the North and the South settlers came into the Kansas Territory. Thousands of "border ruffians" illegally crossed the border from Missouri to vote and affect the outcome. Due to the many illegal votes for a proslavery constitution, proslavery won as the final outcome. Angered abolitionists organized a rival government in Topeka.
I must leave before I get killed too!
I have never seen bloodshed like this before!! Am I safe here? Is my family safe?
Anti-slavery settlers founded Lawrence. A proslavery grand jury condemns Lawrence's inhabitants as traitors and so sheriffs would arrest traitors. A posse of 800 proslavery armed men who swept into Lawrence to carry out the grand jury's will. They burned down anti-slavery headquarters, destroyed two printing presses, and looted many houses and stores.
Violence Within Senate
John Brown, an abolitionist, believed God called him to fight slavery. He was mistaken that the posse of 800 men also killed 5 anti-slavery people and so brown wanted revenge. In response to this news, he gathered his followers and they pulled 5 men from their bed in the proslavery settlement. They killed the 5 men and so this attack soon became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre.
What are you doing?
The massacre caused much uprise and triggered dozens of incidents in Kansas. About 200 people were killed. Brown left the territory because of this but left behind women and children. Those living there had rifles near them at all times, even when they slept just in case. People began calling this territory Bleeding Kansas because in a way it became a violent battlefield.
Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts senator delivered an impassioned speech in Congress called "The Crime Against Kansas." He verbally attacked his colleagues for their support of slavery. One day, Preston Brooks walked into the Senate Chamber over to Sumner's desk. He lifted his cane and struck Sumner in the head profusely until the cane broke. Sumner suffered shock and brain damage but soon returned to Senate 3 years later. Southerners were pleased and showered Brook's with more canes, saying "hit him again." However, on the other hand, Northerners viewed this as another example of Southern brutality and antagonism toward free speech.