Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History Volume 02.
more than four years before, he had essayed to describe “The Crime against Kansas”; now, in an address free from offensive personalities but more unsparing in rhetoric and stronger in historical arraignment, he delineated what he named the “Barbarism of Slavery.”  Picturing to ourselves the orator, the circumstances, and the theme, we can comprehend the exaltation with which he exclaimed in his exordium:  “Slavery must be resisted not only on political grounds, but on all other grounds, whether social, economical, or moral.  Ours is no holiday contest; nor is it any strife of rival factions—­of White and Red Roses; of theatric Neri and Bianchi; but it is a solemn battle between Right and Wrong, between Good and Evil....  Grander debate has not occurred in our history, rarely in any history; nor can this debate close or subside except with the triumph of Freedom.”

With this speech Sumner resumed his place as a conspicuous figure and an indefatigable energy in national politics and legislation, tireless in attacking and pursuing slavery until its final overthrow.

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[1] Preston S. Brooks died in Washington, January 27, 1857; Andrew P.
Butler died in South Carolina, May 25, 1857.

CHAPTER IV

THE DRED SCOTT DECISION

  [Sidenote] 1854.

  [Sidenote] March 6, 1857.

Deep and widespread as hitherto had been the slavery agitation created by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and by the consequent civil war in Kansas, an event entirely unexpected to the public at large suddenly doubled its intensity.  This was the announcement, two days after Buchanan’s inauguration, of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case.  This celebrated case had arisen as follows: 

Two or three years before the Nebraska bill was thought of, a suit was begun by a negro named Dred Scott, in a local court in St. Louis, Missouri, to recover the freedom of himself and his family from slavery.  He alleged that his master, one Dr. Emerson, an army surgeon, living in Missouri, had taken him as his slave to the military post at Rock Island, in the State of Illinois, and afterwards to Fort Snelling, situated in what was originally Upper Louisiana, but was at that time part of Wisconsin Territory, and now forms part of Minnesota.  While at this latter post Dred Scott, with his master’s consent, married a colored woman, also brought as a slave from Missouri, and of this marriage two children were born.  All this happened between the years 1834 and 1838.  Afterwards Dr. Emerson brought Dred Scott and his family back to Missouri.  In this suit they now claimed freedom, because during the time of residence with their master at these military posts slavery was there prohibited by positive law; namely, at Bock Island by the ordinance of 1787, and later by the Constitution of Illinois; at Fort Snelling by the Missouri Compromise acts of 1820, and other acts of Congress relating to Wisconsin Territory.

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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