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Himself a brand, kindling wherever he
fell, he was the centre of a conflagration
during all his career. His past as a
direct participant in warlike actions was
inconsequental, and almost ridiculous in
the disproportion between its boastful
prologues and its scant performances. In
the Senate he was far below in debate at
least the reputation which preceded him.
The impassioned harrangues which drove
the men of the border almost to fury,
awoke only in that august body the
smiles of supreme contempt. Yet his
influence with his party and the President
was so undoubted that even his rhapsodies
were tolerated, and his acute mastery of
men found full play in caucuses and com-
mittees. Upon the whole he accomplished
as much in the Senate for Kansas as a more
correct and polished orator could have
done, even his most extravagant speeches
having the merit of earnestness and in-
tense conviction which prevails over faulty
expression in winning a verdict from con-
siderate minds.

Yet a belief in the consistent devotion
of his character to any cause he ardently
championed was the most difificult task to
those who undertook its closest study.
Fertile in expedients and facile in
manuevre, he was seldom beaten, being
all the more successful because he was
seldom withheld by conscientious consid-



erations from any line of policy which
promised success. He was sincere and
unremitting in his homage to one divinity
— himself. He believed in his star and
followed its eratic course as implicitly as
did the great Corsican. It is perhaps too
much to say that had Lane discovered
hopeful prospects of establishing the
Democratic party in Kansas, founded
upon slavery as its corner stone; he
would have constituted himself its cham-
pion, and fought as persistently for the
life as he did for the death of the system.
His want of consistency and continuity
almost suggested a want of courage. He
abandoned the political field in Indiana
without the slightest effort to overcome
the opposition of its people to himself, up
to that time the most popular man in the
State. At several periods of his career,
he had almost decided to abandon the
field to his enemies. When his political
rival, Carney, achieved the barren honor
of election to Lane's place in the Senate,
the latter hesitated to engage his success-
ful antagonist until the patience and al-
most the devotion of his adherents was
well nigh exhausted; and then undertook
the advocacy of his own cause under the
cover of a canvass in favor of the re-elec-
tion of Lincoln, a proceding as needless,
in Kansas as in Vermont. He was not
the leader who would have gone to mar-
tyrdom for his faith. He could fight
bravely when victory impended, but the
bitterness of defeat when encountered al-
most broke his heart. His last days^
tragic with the awful end, began when the
murmurs of reproach rising from every
hamlet in Kansas because of his defence of
the course of President Johnson fell upon
his ears. He started homeward. Benton
would have met the clamor and fought it
down. Douglas would have opposed his
leonine nature to the fury of the mob, and
changed its execrations to new and lavish
hurrahs, — Lane sank upon the soil of
the State he had saved, and which
he loved unto death, as forlornly and help-
lessly as Caesar fell at the foot of Pomp-



s



SEMINARY NOTES.



ey's figure. Yet it was no coward who lay
that beautiful June afternoon on the lovely
sward of. the ground of Fort Leavenworth,
— self slain. Neither was he insane, un-
less his whole life shall be accepted as an
insane existence. He had found the in-
surmountable, and he dashed his life away
upon it. He feared not the contest so
much as the endless disgrace of his failure
therein. His death was ^ the logical

termination of his life.

Ji . JIA. \^ axZaW,

The Constitutional Convention.

ET will be readily conceded that a
greater degree of permanence, of fixity,
should attach to the organic acts of a
State, than to the ordinances of a munici-
pal council, or the resolutions and laws of
a legislative bod)^

Man is naturally conservative and looks
with small favor upon changes in the pri-
mal obligations that control in the affairs
of State.

In its leading features, the constitution
of the Anglo Saxon commonwealth is but
the expression in words of those princi-
ples that have been fought for, and won,
through blood and strife of the centuries,
and are written as Avith a pen of iron, on
every liberty loving heart.

The larger half of our laws are unwrit-
ten, and have remained unchanged in their
essential features for two hundred years.

It has been a custom in framing the con-
stitutions of most' of the States of our
Union, to incorporate much of detail that
:should have been left entirely to legisla-
tive action; and the question with us is,
Avhether the changes in these minor mat-
ters of detail are so numerous as to war-
rant the holding of a convention for the
general revision of our constitution.

Every change in a constitution creates
a doubt, which continues until the courts
have defined the boundaries of the amend-
ment.

But few sections of our constitution
have been seriously criticised as in special
need of amendment; they are the ones on



legislative apportionment, the Supreme
Court, prohibition, and possibly includ-
ing, also, the section on the State Univer-
sity. A general revision would doubtless
result in increasing the number of these
minor details of government that should
be left entirely to legislative action, rather
than decreasing them; so that any plea
that the constitution needs revision on
that account, can have but little force, as
it is now quite as concise and devoid of
such supplanting of legislation as the con-
stitution of any of our States. Revision
by convention means a general remodel-
ing. But there has at no time been a de-
mand for such wholesale amendment.
The sections regulating apportionment
require changing without doubt, and they
have in fact been twice amended in the'
past by submission directly to the people,
and there is no good reason for doubting
but that any proper amendment could be
again carried through in the same manner.

The section providing for the composi-
tion of the Supreme Court and the
selection of its members, has been twice
sought to be amended and each time failed;
and it may be assumed from this that the
desire of the people is that some other
means be provided for advancing the work
of that Court, rather than by increasing
the number of its judges. This can read-
ily be done by the legislature increasing
the amount necessary to confer jurisdiction
from ^loo to, say, $500; which would
reduce the work of the Court nearly, or
quite, one-half. Nearly the same result
could be brought about by the Court itself,
by its ceasing to write opinions in every
case, but content itself with a mere decision
of the case, with reference to the authority
upon which the decision is based.

Of suffrage, whether the privilege should
be extended to women, or still further re-
stricted, and taken from the ignorant, the
vicious, and the newly arrived immigrant,
are questions better determined by the
direct vote of the people than by general
conventions. To discuss prohibition in
this connetion would be useless. It is safe



SEMINA RY NOTES.



to say that the people will not consent to
a general revision if there are no other
reasons therefor than the desire some may
have for the repeal of the prohibitory
amendment. Many are desirous that Sec.
7 of Art. 6, concerning the State Univer-
sity, be amended so as to provide for a
fixed and definite support for that insti-
tution; but it may safely be said that the
time is near at hand if it has not already
arrived, when the people of Kansas will so
appreciate the excellent work of the Uni-
versity, and its great advantages to the
State, as to be ready to adopt such an
amendment without the intervention of a
general convention.

From this it appears that no such gen-
eral revision of our constitution is demand-
ed at this time, as will warrant either the
expense, or the danger, of holding a con-
vention into whose hands that compact
shall be committed for unlimited change.
Let the constitution of our State be inter-
preted as we interpret the constitution of
our country, not by the letter which
killeth, but in the spirit which giveth life;
and new harmonies will be discovered
therein, and like the constitution of our
country, it will become an object of adora-
tion and pride rather than one for criti-
cism and contempt.



^h.%, Mt^-



The Romantic Literature of the Social
Question.

IFE is a comedy to those who think;

a tragedy to those who feel." This
striking epigram of Horace Walpole has
more of pithy sententiousness than of in-
trinsic truth. Life is a comedy only to
those who think superficially; a tragedy to
those who failing in the sturdy strength of
true manliness or womanliness, are over-
whelmed by its trials. The judgment and
the example of the wisest philosophers and
truest men proclaim that, while we may
laugh at the follies and bewail the sorrows
of mankind, we should neither rise to
frivolity nor sink to despair but eagerly
study out and profer such earnest counsel
and help as we may be able to find in



order to make the life in the midst of
which we live, nobler and happier. It
was this motive which prompted all social
reformers. For this, men have indulged
fond dreams of a social elysium in which
all human relations should be so equitably
and beautifully adjusted that folly would
fade and sorrow die away. Thus originat-
ed the Romantic Literature of the Social
Question.

Plato in his "Critics" recalled the
fabled era of the early Athenian Common-
wealth in its contest with the people of the
isle Atlantis. Plutarch told of the
Spartan Commonwealth which Lycurgus
was supposed to have founded. Cicero in
his "De Republica" pictured the Roman
Empire, not as it was but as it should
have been. St. Augustine turning from
the sad contemplation of the "City of the
World" depicted "The City of God" as it
should arise on the crumbling ruins of the
Roman Empire. Dante rising out of the
Middle Ages to the rare stature of genius,
painted in glowing colors on the skies of
fancy his perfect government in the "De
Monarchia " After the art of printing
was discovered and learning began to
spread, when to the startling advance in
knowledge was added the strong stimulus
to the imagination of men which came
when the modest Genoese unveiled the
new continent, then Sir Thomas More
wrote the most famous romance of the
social question, "Utopia." Francis Bacon
in the "New Atlantis" presented society
under the regime of science and the new
inductive philosophy, as did Thomas
Campanella in "The City of the Sun."
After the world emerged from the deluge
of blood we call the French Revolution
Etienne Cabet set forth many of the
dreams and enthusiasms of the men of
the time in his romance, "The voyage to
Icaria." The ideas of the French social
reformers Babouf, St. Simon, Louis Blanc
and others passing over into Germany re-
sulted in the State Socialism of Marx and
Lasalle, which has found a chronicler of
the romantic school in Edward Bellamy.



10



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



A host of other writers have since "Look-
ing Backward" appeared essayed the same
theme and the bibliography of these
romances is growing daily. Read aright
each one of these fictions is a satire and a
lament on the social status of the age in
which it was created. ' Tears of sincere
sorrow have traced the lines of sombre
truth in their pages and the laughter of
ridicule lurks behind every period. But
they stop not with laughter nor with
tears; each profers some genuine help
towards improvement and betterment.
What if their schemes be impracticable or
foolish, they serve a great purpose in
driving out that fatalism which says the
world is not to be improved, and all men
are depraved — for they point ever to the
perfectibility of the human race, demon-
strating that the dream of one age is the
reality of the next, the paradox of to-day
becomes the common place of to-morrow,
and the millennium of the true prophets,
as human ideals widen, lies ever beyond

and nearer the divine.

KoM^ ^ -fct^XM, 'B ji^k. d wt-l^ '

The Afro- American's Outlook.

■grnHE future of the negro in America is



conditioned on the negro himself and

the American people. The sentiment of
this nation might be highly favorable to
the negro, indifferently tolerant, or inten-
sely hostile. The negro might fail to
comprehend or meet the demands of civili-
zation, his development might be homo-
geneous, and it might be out of harmony
with the national ideals. Two nations
can not dwell on the same soil. Should
the negro display disloyalty to democratic
institutions or strong leanings towards
orientalism in morals, he would transform
the most friendly feeling into hostility and
invite banishment or destruction. The
same result would follow should he prove
incompetent to act his part as a member
of civilized society. No one understands
this better than does he. Therefore he
seeks, not from fear but from taste and
and natural aspiration, to be in all senses
a man.



In spite of criticism and ridicule and
thousand-fold wrong unrighted, he believes
thoroughly in himself, in his future, and
in the ultimate out-workings of right and
justice. He has made some progress in
wealth, in intelligence and in comprehend-
ing the responsibilities of freedom. He
is anxious that this progress be taken as a
guarantee not only of his willingness to
advance but also of his ability to advance.
He wants no laws passed to entitle him to
cross any man's threshold unbidden, nor
has he any thirst for empire to be satis-
fied by conquest, grant or domination.
He simply asks for patient judgment and
begs the American nation for a fair chance
to develope his powers and to display his
capacity. He wants legislation that will
not discriminate against him, courts that
will grant him justice, and a public senti-
ment that will sustain a manly assertion of
his rights. .

If the negro must face a hostile opinion
based upon either an unconquerable
antipathy or antagonism qf policy, it will
matter little whether he demonstrate ca-
pacity or prove the lack of it. However,
the prejudice that restricts the negro in the
industries, nullifies his ballot, denies legal
redress for every form of injury and gives
legal sanction to various forms of humiliat-
ing discriminations, is based on no endur-
ing principle and will die out with the
spread of intelligence in the South and the
rapid progress of the negro. The political
difficulty will be greatly reduced by the
imperative demands of business interests.
When the negro achieves industrial inde-
pendence, becomes to a significant extent
a capitalist, a master in industry, neither
white nor black will longer overlook the
fact that their interests are identical. For
a quarter of a century the southern negro's
vote will be more aggravating than valua-.
ble. It will take that time to clarify the
vision of both races and force them to see
the necessity of uniting their best heads
irrespective of color, in maintaining social
order and developing the resources of
their fertile section. The negro will make
his next alliances with his neighbors and
seek community of protection through
clearly proved community of interests.
There are bitter experiences awaiting him,
but "the old prejudices will gradually fade
away, and at no distant day he will figure
not only in politics knd literature, but in
the fine arts and in everything that unites
to harmonize and elevate mankind, just as
the men of other races."



SEMINARY NOTES.



- SEMINARY - NOTES. -

PUBLISHED ON THE FIRST DAY OF OCTOBER,

NOVEMBER, DECEMBER, FEBRUARY,

MARCH, APRIL AND MAY,

BY

the seminary of

Historical and Political Science.

State University, Lawrence, Kansas.

James H. Canfield, | _ _ . Editors.
Frank W. Blackmar. \

Terms, Tec Cents a Number, - Fifty Cents a Year

^^-r'HE purpose of this publicatiou is to secure due
((3) recognition for the work of the Seminaa'y and of
^^ the Departments represented therein, to afford
means of reg'ular communication with corresponding-
members and with the general public— especially with
the Alumni of the LTniversity, and to preserve at least
the outlines ot carefully prepared papers and address-
es. The number of pages in each issue will be in-
creased as rapidly as the subscription list will war-
rant. The entire revenue of the publication will be
applied to its maintenance.
Address all subscriptions and commu.nications to

JAMBS H. CANFIELD,

Lawrence, Kansas.

The announcement of the Seminary
of Historical and Political Science, to
be found on the first page of this
issue, tells its own story and needs
brief comment here. The Seminary is a
natural result of the growth of the '-Law-
rence High School," (as the institution was
formerly called by its detractors) into a
University; with all the larger methods and
broader outlook which characterize such
advanced education. Springing directly
out of the old Political Science Club, or-
ganized several years ago for freer con-
ference than was possible in the lecture
room, the Seminary has become the clear-
ing house for the best work of the
departments joined in this organization;
and a point of contact with the outer world
through the valuable services of its Corres-
ponding Members. Its work has both
culture-value and practical value. Its
projectors believe that it can be made a
potent factor in University life and in that
"post-graduate course" which must be



carried by every intelligent and loyal citizen.
They hope that its members will learn how
to get life while getting a living.



The gentlemen who thus far have shown
their interest in the University and in the
special work undertaken by the Seminary,
by becoming Corresponding Members, are
Hon. Geo. R. Peck, General Solicitor for
the Santa Fe system; Hon. James
Humphrey, ex-Railway Commissioner;
Hon. Frank Betton, State Labor Commiss-
ioner; Hon. CharlesRobinson, Hon. James
S. Emery, Hon. T. Dwight Thacher and
Mr. Noble Prentis — four names that are
household words in Kansas; Major J. K.
Hudson, who is the Topeka Daily Capital;
Col. O. E. Learnard, of the Lawrence/'.:;'//;"-
nal\ Col. H. M. Greene, of the Lawrence ififi:-
ord; Hon. William A. Phillips, of Salina — a
prominent figure in Kansas History; Hon.
B. W. Woodward and Col. H. L. Moore,
of Lawrence; Hon. C. S. Gleed and Hon.
Charles F. Scott, Regents of the LTniver-
sity; Mr. Scott Hopkins and Mr. D. S.
Alford, well known at the Kansas Bar; Hon.
Fred A. Stocks, of Blue Rapids; Rev.
W. W. Ayres and Rev. C. G. Howland, of
Lawrence; Rabbi Henry Berkowitz,' D. D. ,
of Kansas City, Missouri; and Principal
W. E. Higgins, of Topeka. The list is
steadily increasing, and the interest and
participation of these gentlemen have been
appreciated and enjoyed by all connected
with this work.



The officers of the Seminary greatly
regret that they have not the necessary funds
for the publication of the addresses and
papers presented by Corresponding Mem-
bers and by the stronger student-members-
The mere outlines which appear in this
issue are helpful but very imperfect. Some
of the papers are not thus noticed, simply
because it was impossible to reduce them
without destroying their entire force. This
is especially true of the two unusually strong
and thoughtful papers on the Intcr-Statc
Coiniiicrce Commission, presented by Judge
Humphrey; and of the keen and bright



12



SEMINAR V NO TES.



Siddr&S'S, on Fur itanis?n in Old England and
in New England, delivered by Mr. Peck.
It seemed quite impossible to reduce them
to the required limit. All suffered by
such attempted condensation; and the
thanks of the editors are due those who
were willing to make the sacrifice.



This leads naturally to the thought that
there could hardly be found a more worthy
object of large-hearted and open-handed
generosity than provision for placing in
permanent and available form the best
results of the work in the various depart-
ments of the University. Such provision
has already been made for the Department
of Natural History, by the large. bequest
of Mr. Springer, of Boston — amounting, it
is now estimated, to more than the entire
productive University endowment. Here
was a man, quickened by his confidence in
Professor Snow and in his valuable work,
and feeling that such a bequest would be
more safely guarded by a State than by any
private corporation, who provided liberally
for the growth and usefulness of this de-
partment. Other departments ought to
meet with similar appreciation. Even a
hundred dollars a year would be helpful
and encouraging, and could be used
efficiently.



It has always seemed strange that men
who have resources which they desire to
use in the way of advancing educational
work cannot see that the safest investment

. is with the State and in a State institution.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have
been given to upstart "Colleges" and
ephemeral "Universities," only to be worse
than wasted and eventually lost. But back

♦ of every endowment or gift to a State insti-
tution stands the" entire Commonwealth,
pledged to make the gift secure and the
revenue perpetual. The repudiation by
Mississippi of the State bonds in, which
the royal gift of Ceo. Peabody was invested,
is believed to be the only case on record
where a State has mismanaged or lost such
trust funds. P^very man in Kansas interest-



ed in broad and sound education ought to
turn to the University every year, and ask
the proper authorities in what way this or
that amount — be it ten dollars or ten
thousand — can be made useful. Some one
ought boldly to set a contageous example!



The experiment of a Seminary Lecture
Course, maintained almost wholly by
student-members, has proved a great suc-
cess. The young men were greatly profited
by their preparation for this work, and
enjoyed their contact with the outer world.
The themes were grave, and were treated
thoughtfully — but the audiences were large
and attentive. From both Vinland and
Edwardsville have come words of praise,
and not a single adverse criticism has been
heard. At A'^inland, each lecture was
followed by a discussion in which the
audience participated with the greatest
freedom and zest. The readiness of the
students in debate, and their large fund of
information, was a source of surprise to a
few people who still fancy that boys and
girls are sent to the University, rather than
that young men and young women come.
Abridgments of these lectures are given in
this issue.



These lectured form the beginning of
what may prove a strong University Exten-
sion movement — an endeavor to carry the
best results of all University work out to
the world at large. That the world is
waiting anxiously for this goes without
saying. When men and women come four
and five miles, over muddy country roads
and on stormy nights, in order to hear and
talk about such social and civil probleiiis
as are before the American people to-day —
there is manifested an earnestness and a
determination that if rightly met and
organized and guided, if wisely ministered
to, will be a power for good. Never before
have our people been as intellectually
active in all civil matters as to-day; and
and now is the time for the University to
give a most satisfactory reason for its being,
in larsfe and generous service.



SEMINAR V NO TES.



13



In the April number of that excellent
publication, the Illinois Public School
Journal, the editor writes so clearly about
the mutual relations of education and
political activity, that we gladly give him
space in this issue. He says:

"A democratic form of government must
ever be a government administered, for
the most part, by the average man. It
cannot, in the nature of things, be a govern-
ment by the best men. There is a mean
streak in our common human nature, which
cannot brook superiority except as a cats-
paw for our own chestnuts. There can be
found illustrations of the prevalence of
this spirit in every class of people. One
might think the day laborer would be more
free from it than the ambitious politician,
but the experience of every man who has
risen from the condition and environment
of the wage-worker in unskilled labor has



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 2 of 62)