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Category: Expansion and Conflict, by William E. Dodd
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The overthrow of the Democratic party in 1848 was due, not to the ruthless exploitation of Mexico nor to dissatisfaction with the new economic policy, but to the abiding distrust of the aristocratic South and its slavery system by the small business men and farmers of the North. The greater the success of Polk, the greater the danger to the older virtues of the Republic, a simple life and faith in the ideals of freedom and equality. As we have seen, the South had given up these ideals, and the tobacco, cotton, and sugar planters governed there with increasing success and acceptability.

 

There had been persistent economic and religious opposition to the growth of the plantation system. In the closing years of the eighteenth century most people in the South disliked slavery, and in Kentucky majorities of the voters sustained the first abolition movement of radical tendencies in the country; but the excitement over the Alien and Sedition Laws eclipsed at the critical moment the public interest in the anti-slavery struggle. Other outcroppings of the same hostility to slavery, as already noted, were made evident in the meetings of Presbyterian and Methodist church conferences between 1815 and 1825 in Maryland, western Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. But all these efforts failed and the Southern abolitionists, as we have seen, having "fought the good fight," emigrated to the Northwest about 1830, when Virginia failed to rid herself of the growing "incubus." Just as Birney and Rankin "took up arms" in Ohio there arose a fiercer champion of their cause in the East, where distance from the scene, lack of intimate knowledge of "the system," and a strong popular dislike of the South gave unwonted strength to the new evangelism. William Lloyd Garrison, son of a Massachusetts sea captain, was in a humor to reform a world which "sat in darkness." He declared negro slavery the one great evil of his generation, and the Federal Constitution, which protected it, "an agreement with Hell." After some ill-luck and untoward experience in Baltimore, he set up in Boston, in 1831, his famous _Liberator_, in which he said he would be heard, and henceforth his paper appeared every week until the close of the Civil War. Every scrap of news, true or untrue, which reflected the cruelty of the slavery system, the lust of some brutal master, or the growing power of the Southern States in national politics he repeated and exploited. It was "yellow journalism" in a peculiar sense. But a single weekly paper published in Boston, where the commercial and industrial interests had created an aristocracy almost as exclusive as that of the South, could hardly be expected to accomplish a great deal. The other papers of the city would not publish his "stories," nor pay any attention to his earnest appeals.

He made another move upon the entrenched position of the enemy. Between 1831 and 1835 he organized abolition societies, whose members took vows to "fight on and fight ever" till success should be attained. These societies were naturally numerous in all those sections of New England, the Middle States, and the Northwest where hostility and even hatred to the masterful South prevailed. Pure idealists, small farmers, village merchants, the unsuccessful, and debtors who dreamed of an America of which the Declaration of Independence speaks became abolitionists. Orators were employed, speaking campaigns were arranged, and the slogan was always immediate and uncompensated abolition of negro slavery. The more democratic churches were invaded and their preachers were enlisted; or, when these resisted, placarded as unfriendly to mankind. Before 1840 not less than fifteen thousand Methodists refused association with other Methodists who would not declare war on slavery. Nearly all of these lived in western Massachusetts and upper New York. These revolutionists carried their cause to the Methodist General Conference in New York in 1844, and the great Church was broken into two branches: a Northern and a Southern. The Baptists of New England refused the same year to support a missionary who was also a slaveholder, and immediately the Alabama Baptists refused to fellowship their Northern brethren. The Southern Baptist Convention, head of the denomination for all the Southern States, was organized the next year at Augusta. The fact, already noted, that both these sundered denominations almost doubled their membership in the next few years shows the strong sectionalism of the issue.

Nor did the public men of the North escape the ordeal of ardent abolitionism. William H. Seward, a conservative by nature, became an anti-slavery Whig of national influence in 1843; Joshua R. Giddings, of the Western Reserve, and Elijah P. Lovejoy, of Illinois, accepted the agitator's commissions and sought to unite the new idealism with the old Americanism. But John Quincy Adams, who had never been a democrat and who did not sympathize with Garrison, became the arch-leader of the abolitionists in Congress from 1836 to his death in 1848. Smarting under the ill-treatment of Southern politicians, it was easy for the able ex-President to become the political exponent of the new anti-Southern agitation. In no other country of that time could a movement like American abolitionism have gained such a hearing. In England the Government, that is the people, never dreamed of destroying without compensation the millions of property in the West Indian slaves. But American abolitionists declared that there could be no property in man, just as the socialists say there can be no property in land. To destroy outright the property which underlay the Southern political power and the Southern aristocracy was the aim of Garrison, and he found able men, owners of large estates in the North, who were willing to do what he urged.

Petitions asking the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia were presented to Congress by John Quincy Adams in increasing numbers from 1831 to 1836. Southern men denied that the national legislature had the power to destroy property protected by the Constitution; Northern men, especially representatives of the farmer districts, insisted that the right of petition was fundamental to the Constitution itself. There was a deadlock in Congress, for the South controlled the Senate, while the North controlled the House. In this state of things, Southern legislatures formally denounced the abolition movement as endangering the Union, and asked Congress to protect them from the floods of abolition literature which the United States mails carried into communities where negro slaves were in the majority and where insurrections were likely to occur.

In Charleston the people refused to allow the postmaster to deliver the objectionable mail matter. The subject was carried to President Jackson in 1835, and he decided that the uneasy masters of South Carolina were justified in their protest. Calhoun, like Adams in New England, became the champion of his section, and devoted the remainder of his life to a vain defense of slavery against the "foul slanders" of anti-slavery agitators.

In May, 1836, after a fierce struggle in the House, it was decided to lay upon the table without debate all petitions which dealt with slavery. The right of petition was thus formally denied, since a hearing is the one thing prayed for in such documents. John Quincy Adams declared that the rights of his constituents, as guaranteed in the Constitution, were thus abrogated. On the other hand, Calhoun declared in the Senate, with equal truth, that the constitutional rights of his constituents would be jeopardized if the petitions were received and debated. Great excitement prevailed throughout the country, for the contending sections were too strong for any easy-going compromise to be possible. Keen observers then visiting Washington wrote home that the great Republic would go to pieces if either side won.

In the summer of 1837, Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered at Alton, Illinois, where he was trying to publish, against the wishes of the people, an anti-slavery weekly like Garrison's. And in Boston the following December a young aristocrat, a Harvard graduate and a promising lawyer, arose before a large audience, before whom the Attorney-General of the State had just been defending the Alton people against attack, and declared that the "earth should have yawned and swallowed up" the author of such treasonable words. It was Wendell Phillips, and from that day till the close of the bitter sectional struggle, he was the greatest champion of immediate abolition, the fervent orator who was ready to destroy the Union in order to destroy slavery. Four years after Phillips began his public career, Frederick Douglass, escaping from a slave plantation in Maryland, came into contact with Garrison, who at once commissioned him an orator of abolition, and the brilliant mulatto soon developed powers that gave rise to jealous heart burnings among the leading agitators. Lewis Tappan, Gerrit Smith, the Misses Grimké, born in South Carolina, and a host of other enthusiastic democrats and idealists professed the new faith. Contemptuous of Church and State, of union and nationality, these apostles of the new cause laid the foundations of the great sectional party which was later to bear the name Republican, thus appealing to the memories of Jefferson and his followers of 1800.

It was this hostility of the sections, always dangerous, but exceedingly so in 1836, when Texas was asking admission as a slave State, that caused so many of the best men of the time to talk freely of the disruption of the Union. If Texas were annexed, the East would secede; if it were not annexed, the South would secede. Van Buren, the head of the Democratic party, and Clay, the master of the Whigs, exerted all their influence in 1844 to avoid the expected conflict. But President Tyler, without close party affiliations and standing in need of an issue, was ready to take the risk. Radical expansionists, supported by substantial economic interests in the South, urged the immediate annexation of Texas, while Adams and twenty-one of his colleagues from the restless sections of the North declared that the addition of the new region to the Union would be equivalent to a dissolution of the ties which held the warring sections together;[5] and they published, in May, 1843, a formal address to their constituents calling upon them to secede. The members of Congress who signed this address represented the districts, almost without exception, in which abolition had won a footing.

[Footnote 5: See chap. _VII_, pp. 126-127.]

The important question was: Should the East remain passive while the annexation of "another Louisiana" was being consummated and thus allow herself to be submerged.

Charles Sumner, an ambitious young man, an intellectual kinsman of Wendell Phillips, one of those "transcendentalists" of Massachusetts of whom the country was to hear a great deal in the future, answered this question in his famous "grandeur-of-nations" oration of July 4, 1845. The élite of Boston had gathered for the occasion in Tremont Temple, and they had invited the officers of a warship then lying in the harbor, the local military men, and others who took pride in the martial deeds of their ancestors, to join in the accustomed celebration of the Fourth. Dressed in gay, super-fashionable attire, the young Sumner poured forth in matchless language a denunciation of war, of military and naval armaments, of President Polk and the party in power, which drove one half of his audience frantic with resentment and anger. "There is no war which is honorable, no peace which is dishonorable," he declared at the outset, and for two hours he massed his arguments and statistics to prove the thesis. The conservatives of Boston declared that it would be the last of the young man. But Garrison and Phillips had raised up another recruit. The oration which had insulted half of those who heard it was published in edition after edition and distributed in the country districts of the North. Sumner was ever after in great demand as a speaker and anti-Southern agitator. He would not, however, dissolve the Union to escape slavery; he sought rather to mobilize the forces which the abolitionists were stirring to activity.

[Illustration: Location of Abolition Societies in 1847]

The war with Mexico came, victories were won, and the national enthusiasm was running high when President Polk asked Congress in August, 1846, to vote him two million dollars in order that he might have the means of inducing Mexico to make satisfactory cessions of territory. The Western Democrats were smarting under the sting of the veto of their internal improvements bill, and the "people at home" were much disappointed at the loss of half of Oregon, "given away," some said, by a President who was only interested in "Southern policies."[6] Jacob Brinkerhoff, who had had a quarrel with Polk about the patronage, drew a proviso to be added to the appropriation bill, which declared that slavery should be forever forbidden throughout the proposed accessions of territory. Judge Wilmot, a quiet member from Pennsylvania, was induced to offer the amendment. He awoke next day a famous man.

[Footnote 6: See chap. _VIII_, 152.]

Northern Whigs who had been compelled by popular sentiment to support the Administration in all its war measures seized the opportunity to vote for the proviso; of course the Northwestern Democrats, who were dissatisfied because of other matters, took this chance to pay the President for his neglect of them. The abolitionists who were in politics became more active, and many orthodox, that is non-voting, followers of Garrison changed their views and thenceforward fought in the ranks of party organization. It was a critical time for the dominant South. Only the conservative Senate saved the President from a second unpopular veto. A strong popular sentiment supported the proviso movement, and when Congress reassembled in December the determination of the opposition to prevent the extension of slavery into the new territory was stronger than ever. The House attached the proviso to the appropriation bill, which came up again, and the Senate a second time defeated the anti-slavery forces.

The South was by this time greatly excited, and Virginia, South Carolina, and Alabama declared that the passage of the proposed amendment would be resisted to the point of making open war. In the East and Northwest, where the abolitionists were numerous, the leaders were equally resolute in their purpose that slavery should not profit by the war with Mexico. Horace Greeley, William H. Seward, and Salmon P. Chase, a vigorous anti-slavery leader of Ohio, who now came into national prominence, were the most powerful spokesmen of the various elements of the opposition, and they were actively laying the foundations of an abolition and sectional party which should ere long outvote the South.

The candidacy of Zachary Taylor, strongly supported by Thurlow Weed, checked and even defeated the sectional purposes of the radicals. Taylor was the master of a great plantation in Louisiana, and John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, Ballard Preston, of Virginia, and Alexander Stephens, of Georgia, all good pro-slavery men, rallied at once to the popular military chieftain. Clay was promptly snubbed and Webster's claims were unceremoniously brushed aside. The Whig Convention of 1848 met in Philadelphia in May. It was under the control of Weed and his Southern allies. Taylor was nominated, and Webster, Clay, and the other disgruntled leaders finally gave him their support. Nothing was said of the great issue, the spread of slavery over the new accessions; and the party, as in 1840, went before the country without a platform. Nor was the candidate allowed to make speeches or write public letters, which was doubtless wise, for Taylor knew little of public questions. It was said that he had never voted, and he claimed to belong to no party. The Whigs took him on his reputation as a soldier and on the recommendation of the great New York "boss." His candidacy probably saved the party from breaking into two hostile wings.

When the Democratic Convention assembled in Baltimore in May, 1848, Cass met with little opposition. His stout imperialism had won him the leadership of the expansionist West and South. The radical pro-slavery men of the lower South, who feared his former friendliness to the Wilmot Proviso leaders, had been satisfied, with a few exceptions, by the Nicholson letter of December, 1847, in which Cass laid down the doctrine that the settlers in any new region should be allowed to determine for themselves whether they would have slaves or not. It was the same idea which Douglas made famous in his Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854, and which the country then dubbed "squatter-sovereignty." Cass was nominated and the Nicholson letter was made the platform; all the leaders of the party gave him hearty support, save those who had been humiliated at Baltimore four years before by the defeat of Van Buren. Van Buren himself doubtless remembered that Cass had lent assistance to the astute Southern politicians who had compassed his fall.

It was difficult to say which of the great parties was the weaker, the Whigs with both Webster and Clay sulking, or the Democrats with the shrewd Van Buren awaiting his opportunity to punish his enemies. The opportunity came in the nomination of Van Buren by the Liberty Party Convention, which met later in the summer at Syracuse. The Van Buren wing of the New York Democracy approved the Syracuse Convention, and the Free-Soil party began its first and only campaign with the ex-President as its candidate. Van Buren received nearly 300,000 votes in November and prevented Cass from becoming President. He had avenged himself. The South found her alliance with the Northwest broken, but a Southern slave-owner was to be the next President.

As so often happens in American history, the election settled nothing, for the victorious Whigs, as in 1840, had no program, and their candidate had no political record. When the Administration began its work, it was found expedient to underwrite practically all that the Polk Administration had accomplished. There was no idea of reopening the bank or financial questions; and the tariff was already so successful that it would have been plain folly to change it. In the foreign policy of the country the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty with England dealt with the proposed isthmian canal. By this agreement the two contracting parties promised not to acquire further interests in Central America, and thus in a way nullified the concessions of Colombia of 1846, under which Polk had hoped for the building of a canal across Panama.

The one absorbing question after the inauguration of Taylor was that which both the great parties had side-stepped during the campaign, namely, what should be done with slavery in the Territories. The Southern Whigs sought day and night to gain the ear of the President, and the Southern Democrats were not less persistent. Both aimed at the same thing, the extension of their favorite institution. And now that the fight for slavery in Oregon was recognized as lost, this Southern wooing of the new President became the more intense. It was a desperate situation for the South. The Northwest was rapidly expanding toward the Pacific and building up free States which might at any time repudiate their allegiance to the South. Now the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo opened a great hinterland for the South, extending by the easiest passes over the mountains to California. But the abolitionists declared that the South should not expand in that direction save at the expense of slavery. The President's attitude might determine the matter.

The discovery of gold in amazingly rich deposits in California hastened the conflict of the rival sections. During the second half of 1848 and all through 1849 thousands of Southerners, Easterners, and Westerners rushed pell-mell into the new Eldorado, bent on making hasty fortunes and oblivious of the anxious thoughts of statesmen. The motley gold-diggers needed government. They asked Polk to provide it. He failed to grant it. Congress could not do so because of the deadlock over slavery. Benton wrote a public letter to the Californians advising them to form a government for themselves, and his son-in-law, John C. Frémont, went to the new community to help the cause and perhaps to come back to Washington as one of their Senators. In 1849, the Californians formed a State Government, and the new legislature sent their constitution and two Senators, one of whom was Frémont, on to Washington early the next year. Admission as a full-fledged State was asked. They had failed to mention slavery in their constitution.

President Taylor had at last decided to admit to his counsels the anti-slavery leaders of the Whig party, and he filled his Cabinet with men who would support him as against Clay and Webster. William H. Seward became the confidential adviser to the President and a sort of Administration leader of the Senate. Southern Whigs like Stephens, who had done much to secure for Taylor the Presidency, were without influence, and they feared that all the anti-slavery elements of the North were combining to control the Government.

While California was shaping her own course and the President was making his decision as between the factions of his party, South Carolina and Mississippi took the lead in a movement to prevent that or any other State or Territory from being brought into the Union if slavery were not duly recognized. Whigs and Democrats joined in great mass meetings, which showed conclusively that the lower South was in earnest. All classes of the people united in what seemed to be almost the unanimous wish of the South, that the new Southwest should be preserved for the expansion of slavery. These meetings spread over all the lower Southern States, and as a result, a convention was called to meet in Nashville in June, 1850. The object of this general convention was to present to Congress a Southern ultimatum, and in the event that this should not be heeded, to urge the secession of the slaveholding States.

In the West the crisis did not seem so acute. But Clay, now seventy-four years old, and cured of his ambition to be President, was sent back to the Senate in the hope of averting the calamity of a disruption of the Union. Thomas H. Benton, though recently defeated in a campaign for reëlection, was still in the Senate. Cass was again a member of the Senate, and he, too, felt that the Union was about to be dissolved. Douglas and the other younger representatives of the Northwest, who had suffered somewhat from the legislation of 1846, ceased to nurse their grievances against the party, and deplored the "treason" of the abolitionists who were making all the trouble. There was undoubtedly a crisis which Southern leaders like Davis, Stephens, Yancey, and Robert Toombs, another able Georgian who now came into national prominence, took pains to lay to the charge of the radical anti-slavery people of the East; that is, to Seward and his followers, who were allowing Garrison and Phillips and the radical abolitionists to drive them into open opposition to the South.

When Clay came back to Washington, Taylor and his Cabinet had taken their stand, which was to recommend the admission of California as a free State. The Mormons in Deseret and a few Americans and Mexicans in New Mexico had taken steps toward organizing Territories in the region between Texas and eastern California, and they were to be made Territories with or without slavery, as they chose. If all this were done, the South would secede and the Administration would be in a dilemma. Taylor was a stubborn man; he had made up his mind, and he sent to Congress a fatherly message in which his devotion to the Union above everything else was very evident. If the Southerners, who were then offering Texas military assistance to make good her claim to a large part of New Mexico, chose to resist the lawful authority of the Administration and war came, the fault would be theirs, not his.

But Henry Clay and Daniel Webster still enjoyed much more of the confidence of the people of the country, North and South, than the President. Nor was Webster less popular because he had been ignored by the Administration. He was in his place in the Senate. Calhoun was also there. It was an exceedingly able Congress, that to which Taylor and Seward must look for support. With scant courtesy to the President, Clay took the lead in the Senate late in January and offered his plan of compromising the sectional quarrel. He would make a free State of California, allow Utah, as Deseret came to be called, and New Mexico to form Territorial Governments without mention of slavery, pay Texas ten million dollars for her claims against New Mexico, abolish the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and enact a Fugitive Slave Law which would satisfy the border Southern States.

Excitement was too intense for the two parties in the Senate and House to accept immediately this comprehensive plan. The President opposed it; the extreme men of the South opposed it. But Clay had not lost his power to charm, and he was still a good manager, according to the polite phraseology of the day. He quietly secured the support of Thomas Ritchie, editor of the Democratic organ at Washington, _The Union_; he broke the hold of Calhoun on Mississippi by winning to his side Senator Henry S. Foote, a fiery Democrat and foremost advocate of Southern resistance; and within the next three months most of the Southern Whigs who were preparing to take part in the Nashville convention indicated their change of heart. Clay's method, almost exactly parallel to that by which Jackson had defeated Calhoun in 1833, was to steal away the hearts of Whigs and Westerners, to whom the Union was still sacred, and leave the radical South isolated. And in support of his compromise the old statesman made most moving appeals during February and March. It was the greatest moment of his life, he thought, and in this his colleagues were fully agreed.

But Calhoun and the ardent representatives of the lower South, supported by nearly all of the spokesmen of Virginia and North Carolina, were the obstacles in the way of a settlement. They demanded a slave State in California and free access, under the protection of the Union, to all the new Mexican territory. The extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific would have satisfied them. Or failing in this, Calhoun asked for an amendment to the Federal Constitution which should create a dual presidency in which each section was always to have a veto over the legislation of Congress. Permanent deadlock was thus proposed as the remedy for the ills of sectional conflict. Resolute as the old nationalist was, he could not bring himself in these closing days of his life to pronounce to his party the word "secession." It was pathetic to see the disappointed and broken leader of the South as he literally wore his life away trying to defeat Clay, his lifelong antagonist, or to conciliate Webster, for whom he had always entertained a hearty respect.

Upon Webster and his conservative Eastern support depended the outcome. He had never been a democrat, and as he had grown older, he had come to sympathize more than formerly with the great property interests of the South, which were not unlike the industrial interests of the East, for which he had broken many a lance. He, too, had been a rival of Clay since 1832, and three times a disappointed candidate for the Whig nomination for the Presidency. But both he and Clay had been brushed aside in 1848 by Thurlow Weed and the young William H. Seward with rather scant ceremony. And the abolitionists of New England were as noisome to him as were the radical secessionists to Henry Clay. Charles Sumner and his friends were already waging incessant war upon him. He took his stand on March 7, and he made the day famous. He spoke for the Union, and the effect of the speech was probably the postponement of the Civil War. Although he was again the follower of Clay, he was henceforth "the Godlike Webster" to Northern conservatives, and the large business interests of his section applauded him more heartily than they had ever done before. But the price which he paid for this epoch-making speech was fearful. The Massachusetts abolitionists groaned at the mention of his name, and the poet Whittier pilloried him in the famous lines:--

        "So fallen! So lost! the light withdrawn Which once he wore! The glory from his gray hairs gone Forever more! Revile him not--the Tempter hath A snare for all; And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath, Befit his fall."

Clay had won. The President, resisting to the last and following the counsels of Seward, saw the majority of Congress yield slowly to influences which favored compromise. Calhoun died early in April, and though his followers maintained their position resolutely, their Whig allies were deserting them, and the Nashville convention proved a fiasco when it assembled in June. President Taylor died on the 9th of July, and the last obstacle to the success of Clay and Webster was removed. Millard Fillmore, the Vice-President, a close friend of Clay, became President; the Cabinet was reorganized, Webster becoming Secretary of State. One by one during the month of August all the features of the "Omnibus Bill" became law. The great majority of the Southerners indicated their ready acceptance of the compromise as a "finality"; and radicals like Jefferson Davis, Robert Barnwell Rhett, and William L. Yancey retired from public life, either voluntarily or by compulsion of the people. The big cities of the East and the Northwest celebrated the passage of the crisis with the firing of cannon, and everywhere the thanks of the people were expressed to the "great Congress" which had saved them from civil war.

 

[Illustration: The Presidential Election of 1852]

If the logic of events ever pointed to one individual as the proper leader of the people or the fit man for the Presidency, it pointed to Daniel Webster in 1852. The Whigs had not all voted for the compromise, but their leaders had been its authors. The party was entitled to claim the glory for a great performance; and if they claimed it and nominated their candidate upon a platform of "henceforth there shall be peace between the sections," they would undoubtedly win and control the Federal Government for at least two or three presidential terms.

But with a most remarkable aptitude for blundering, the Whigs in their convention of 1852 hesitated in their pronouncement upon the compromise, and refused to nominate Webster. The radical element procured the nomination of General Winfield Scott, a Southern man of anti-slavery proclivities, and Scott blundered through the campaign, losing votes every time he made a public statement. Heart-broken, the "Godlike Webster" died before the day of election. Nor was Clay spared to witness the crushing defeat which awaited his beloved party in November. The Whig newspapers of that autumn appeared in mourning too frequently for the public mind not to be affected.

Conservative interests turned to the Democratic party, whose leaders promptly declared in their convention that the compromise was a finality. They nominated a popular but colorless young New Englander, Franklin Pierce, a colonel under Scott in the war with Mexico, and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the campaign biography. Pierce said little during the months of electioneering. His rôle and that of his party was now one of conciliation. If elected he would enforce the laws and maintain the Union. Every State but four, Massachusetts, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee, gave him their electoral votes. The support of the Free-Soil Democrats, 156,000 votes and all in the abolitionist sections, showed that the country was tired of agitation. The prolonged quarrel of the sections seemed definitely closed, and the future promised peace and prosperity.

Bibliographical Note

A. B. Hart's _Slavery and Abolition_ (1906), in _American Nation_ series; F. J. and W. P. Garrison's _William Lloyd Garrison: the Story of his Life Told by his Children_ (1885-89), and both McMaster and Schouler in their histories, already mentioned, give all the essential facts about the abolitionists and the Wilmot Proviso struggle. James Ford Rhodes's _History of the United States_ (from 1850 to 1877) is a work of the greatest importance, and it gives, in vol. _I_, the best account of the compromise measures of 1850. The following biographies are valuable for the period: T. W. Barnes, _Memoir of Thurlow Weed_ (1884); William Birney, _James G. Birney and his Times_ (1890); G. L. Austin, _Life and Times of Wendell Phillips_ (1887); Henry Cleveland, _Alexander Stephens in Public and Private_ (1866); W. H. Haynes, _Charles Sumner_ (1909), in _American Crises_ series; A. C. McLaughlin, _Lewis Cass_ (1891), in _American Statesmen_ series. Special for the lower South: Miss Cleo Hearon, _Mississippi and the Compromise of 1850_ (1914); W. G. Brown, _The Lower South in American History_ (1902); J. W. DuBose, _The Life of William L. Yancey_; and A. C. Cole, _The Whig Party in the South_ (1913), named in a previous note. J. D. Richardson's _Messages and Papers of the Presidents_ (1900), vol. v; H. V. Ames's _State Documents on Federal Relations_ (1907); and the _Congressional Globe_ for the 29th and 30th Congresses give the most important speeches and documents bearing on the crisis of 1850.

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