Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kansas admitted to the Union

  • Kansas is admitted to the Union with a constitution prohibiting slavery, giving property rights to women, but barring the right to vote from women, Americans of African descent, and American Indians. Its admission had been blocked in the Senate, but with the resignation of senators from Southern states, William Seward secured the votes needed (36-16), and the House then voted a second time to admit Kansas (this time 117-42). Today President James Buchanan signed the bill admitting Kansas as the 34th state./1861 
  • After having ordered the screw steamer USS Brooklyn to Fort Pickens at Pensacola Bay, Florida, with supplies and reinforcement troops US Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer's command of 81 men on January 21, the Buchanan administration now wisely changes the Brooklyn’s orders to land supplies, but keep the troops on board. The soldiers are to remain at sea unless the fort comes under imminent danger or actual attack. Lt. Slemmer is instructed to act "strictly on the defensive, and avoid as far as possible a collision with the hostile troops concentrated at Pensacola and in the adjacent forts." In return, the Buchanan administration receives "satisfactory assurances" from Florida forces that the Fort Pickens will not be attacked. /1861

  • President Buchanan replies today to John Slidell, lately the US Senator from Louisiana (now seceded), telling him he backs his Secretary of War's decision to revoke orders for Slidell's brother-in-law P.Gustave T. Beauregard as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Beauregard had gained the position through then-Senator Slidell but was then forced out less than a week later because his home state of Louisiana seceded from the Union./1861

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