Archive for November, 2011

Lincoln’s House Divided Specch

This launched his bid for the Senate.

Charles Sumner’s Charges Against Senator Andrew Butler

Excerpted from a three- hour long speech in the Senate known as “The Crime Against Kansas.” After Sumner personally insulted Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina and Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, Senator Butler’s kinsman, Representative Preston Brooks, attacked Sumner on the floor of the Senate until he was beaten unconscious. Here are the specific charges of what exactly the “Crime Against Kansas” was, who was responsible, and what exactly Sumner said about Butler.

A longer version of the speech can be found here:

“Take down your map, Sir, and you will find that the Territory of Kansas, more than any other region, occupies the middle spot of North America, equally distant from the Atlantic on the east and the Pacific on the west, from the frozen waters of Hudson’s Bay on the north and the tepid Gulf Stream on the south, — constituting the precise geographical centre of the whole vast Continent. To such advantages of situation, on the very highway between two oceans, are added a soil of unsurpassed richness, and a fascinating, undulating beauty of surface, with a health-giving climate, calculated to nurture a powerful and generous people, worthy to be a central pivot of American institutions. A few short months have hardly passed since this spacious mediterranean country was open only to the savage, who ran wild in its woods and prairies; and now it has drawn to its bosom a population of freemen larger than Athens crowded within her historic gates….
Against this Territory, thus fortunate in position and population, a Crime has been committed which is without example in the records of the Past.…

The wickedness which I now begin to expose is immeasurably aggravated by the motive which prompted it. Not in any common lust for power did this uncommon tragedy have its origin. It is the rape of a virgin Territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of Slavery; and it may be clearly traced to a depraved desire for a new Slave State, hideous offspring of such a crime, in the hope of adding to the power of Slavery in the National Government….

Such is the Crime which you are to judge. The criminal also must be dragged into the day, what you may see and measure the power by which all this wrong is sustained….In its perpetration was needed a spirit of vaulting ambition which would hesitate at nothing; a hardihood of purpose insensible to the judgment of mankind; a madness for Slavery, in spite of Constitution, laws, and all the great examples of our history… There, Sir, stands the criminal, unmasked before you, heartless, grasping, and tyrannical, with an audacity beyond that of Verres, a subtlety beyond that of Machiavel, a meanness beyond that of Bacon, and an ability beyond that of Hastings. Justice to Kansas can be secured only by the prostration of this influence; for this is the Power behind — greater than any President — which succors and sustains the Crime….

Before entering upon the argument, I must say something of a general character, particularly in response to what has fallen from Senators who have raised themselves to eminence on this floor in championship of human wrong: I mean the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. Butler] and the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Douglas], who, though unlike as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, yet, like this couple, sally forth together in the same adventure. I regret much to miss the elder Senator from his seat; but the cause against which he has run a tilt, with such ebullition of animosity, demands that the opportunity of exposing him should not be lost; and it is for the cause that I speak. The Senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him, — though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight: I mean the harlot Slavery. For her his tongue is always profuse in words. Let her be impeached in character, or any proposition be made to shut her out from the extension of her wantonness, and no extravagance of manner or hardihood of assertion is then too great for this Senator.

19:2 MC practice

Your test over chapters 17-19 is Friday unless you are going debating!!!!

1. The consequences of the Kansas-Nebraska Act included
A. splitting of the Democratic party.
B. organization of the Republican party.
C. an erosion of the Missouri Compromise.
D. exacerbating sectional tensions.
E. all of the above.

2. The Crittenden Compromise included all of the following EXCEPT
A. attempted to revive the latitude line of 36° 30’ as the dividing line between slave and free territory.
B. provided that the US government should compensate owners for fugitive slaves whose owners were prevented from recovering them.
C. slavery would be protected in the District of Columbia so long as Maryland and Virginia were both slave states.
D. six amendments would be added to the Constitution.
E. a reopening of the African slave trade.

3. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 included all of the following EXCEPT
A. the requirement that escaped slaves be returned from Canada.
B. denial of a jury trial to runaway slaves.
C. denial of fugitive slaves’ right to testify in their own behalf.
D. the penalty of imprisonment for northerners who helped slaves to escape.
E. the payment to a federal commissioner of a higher fee if the apprehended person was ruled to be a runaway slave.

Use the excerpt for questions 4-6.
“I hear with distress and anguish the word “secession,” especially when it falls from the lips of those who are patriotic, and known to the country, and known all over the world, for their political services. Secession! Peaceable secession! Sir, your eyes and mine are never destined to see that miracle. The dismemberment of this vast country without convulsion! The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep without ruffling the surface! Who is so foolish, I beg every body’s pardon, as to expect to see any such thing? Sir, he who sees these States, now revolving in harmony around a common centre, and expects to see them quit their places and fly off without convulsion, may look the next hour to see heavenly bodies rush from their spheres, and jostle against each other in the realms of space, without causing the wreck of the universe. There can be no such thing as peaceable secession. Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility. Is the great Constitution under which we live, covering this whole country, is it to be thawed and melted away by secession, as the snows on the mountain melt under the influence of a vernal sun, disappear almost unobserved, and run off? No, Sir! No, Sir!”

4. What is the source of this excerpt?
A. General Cass on the Wilmot Proviso.
B. the Clay Compromise Measures by John C. Calhoun.
C. the Seventh of March speech by Daniel Webster.
D. the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
E. Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address.

5. When the author speaks of—and criticizes– someone who is “patriotic, and known to the country, and known all over the world, for their political services,” who is being referred to?
A. Daniel Webster
B. Henry Clay
C. Stephen Douglas
D. John Calhoun
E. Jefferson Davis

6. What is the main point of the excerpt?
A. No one who is truly patriotic can suggest secession.
B. Slavery is an abomination which must be kept out of the territories.
C. Secession is an act of war and violence.
D. Our country is like a solar system, and the Constitution is the gravity that holds it all together.
E. Anyone who doubts the sincerity of the threats by southerners to secede is deluding himself.

7. According to Charles Sumner, who were “hirelings picked from the drunken spew and vomit of an uneasy civilization?”
A. Black Republicans
B. radical abolitionists
C. slaves
D. pro-slavery sympathizers
E. immigrants

8. What reward did Sumner get for his remarks?
A. He was named “man of the year” by the Liberator.
B. Repeated blows with a cane until he was knocked unconscious.
C. Nomination for president from the Democratic party.
D. Tarring and feathering by his own constitutents.
E. He was challenged to a duel by John Calhoun.

Use the excerpt, from John C. Calhoun’s response in 1850 known as the Clay Compromise Measures, written in the heat of the debate over the Compromise of 1850, to answer question 9 and 10.

“How can the Union be saved? To this I answer, there is but one way by which it can be, and that is by adopting such measures as will satisfy the States belonging to the Southern section that they can remain in the Union consistently with their honor and their safety…. The North has only to will it to accomplish it–to do justice by conceding to the South an equal right in the acquired territory, and to do her duty by causing the stipulations relative to fugitive slaves to be faithfully fulfilled–to cease the agitation of the slave question, and to provide for the insertion of a provision in the Constitution, by an amendment, which will restore to the South, in substance, the power she possessed of protecting herself before the equilibrium between the sections was destroyed by the action of this government…. At all events, the responsibility of saving the Union rests on the North, and not on the South. The South can not save it by any act of hers, and the North may save it without any sacrifice whatever, unless to do justice and to perform her duties under the Constitution should be regarded by her as a sacrifice.”

9. What territory is in dispute as referred to in the excerpt?
A. Louisiana Purchase
B. Mexican Cession
C. Kansas and Nebraska
D. Maine and Oregon
E. Texas

10. How was an “equal right in the acquired territory” obtained?
A. the Dred Scott decision abolished the right of Congress to restrict slavery.
B. the Missouri Compromise created a line at 36° 30 latitude.
C. popular sovereignty was granted in the new territories of New Mexico and Utah.
D. a transcontinental railroad was built in the South.
E. all of the above.

11. John Brown’s “Pottawatamie Massacre” was launched in retaliation for
A. the attack on Harpers Ferry.
B. the “Sack of Lawrence” by pro-slavery thugs.
C. the Sumner-Brooks incident.
D. the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
E. all of the above.

12. What was the main consequence of Stephen Douglas’s blockage of congressional approval of the Lecompton Constitution?
A. He was hailed as a hero by abolitionists.
B. He lost his bid for reelection to the Senate.
C. Many northerners saw him as an enemy of “free soil” principles.
D. Many southerners refused to support him in the presidential election of 1860.
E. He was censured by the US Senate.

13. Place the events in chronological order: (W) President James Buchanan leaves office; (X) Abraham Lincoln elected president; (Y) South Carolina secedes; (Z) Jefferson Davis inaugurated as president of the Confederacy.
A. W, X, Y, Z
B. X, W, Y, Z
C. W, Y, Z. X
D. Y, Z, X, W
E. X, Y, Z, W

14. Place these events in chronological order: (W) Dred Scott decision; (X) Lincoln-Douglas debates; (Y) Kansas-Nebraska Act; (Z) Harpers Ferry raid.
A. W, X, Y, Z
B. X, Z, Y, W
C. Y, X, Z, W
D. Y, W, X, Z
E. Z, X, W, Y

15. During the debate of 1850, who claimed that there was a “higher law” than the Constitution that compelled him to demand the exclusion of slavery from the territories?
A. William H. Seward
B. Henry Clay
C. James Buchanan
D. Daniel Webster
E. Abraham Lincoln

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

The tune had been called “John Brown’s Body” before Julia Ward Howe added her new lyrics for what would become “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Even though this has some recording problems about 2 minutes in, I found this to be the most touching version, since it was from a National Remembrance in England in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Here are British voices raised singing our song…

Here are the lyrics for the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

For more background, here is information from the Library of Congress:

Lincoln’s Evolving Views on Slavery

The most recent work by a serious historian on Loncoln and Slavery is Eric Foner’s The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, published in 2010. Here is a link to a story on NPR reviewing this work:

Not only is Eric Foner an historian with whom you should be familiar, but this is a very good work on its own merits.

19:1 MC practice

1. The pro-slavery government of Kansas Territory was headquartered in
A. Kansas City
B. Wichita
C. Shawnee Mission
D. Topeka
E. Leavenworth

2. The trick of the Lecompton Constitution was that
A. it allowed slaveholders more representation than non-slaveholders.
B. rejection of the constitution automatically made Kansas a slave state.
C. the vote on it was held directly over the border between Missouri and Kansas.
D. voters had to present proof of ownership of slaves before being allowed to cast a ballot.
E. even voting for the constitution “without slavery” allowed slave-owners in the territory to keep their slaves.

3. In 1856, the breaking point over slavery in Kansas occurred with
A. the passage of the Lecompton Constitution.
B. the influx of a large number of slaves.
C. the establishment of abolitionist churches within Kansas.
D. an attack on Lawrence by a gang of proslavery raiders.
E. the arrival of John Brown.

4. In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled in Scott v. Sanford that
A. slavery was constitutional, but the slave trade was unconstitutional.
B. protection of slavery was guaranteed in all the Western territories.
C. slavery was inconsistent with the Constitution and must be abolished.
D. slavery could only be abolished through the vote of state legislatures.
E. slavery would be allowed only in those territories where there were already at least 10% of the population enslaved.

5. When the British and French people read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, their governments
A. concluded they must end slavery in their own territories.
B. decided to give aid to the slaveholding South.
C. banned the book.
D. distributed the book as anti-American propaganda.
E. realized that intervention on behalf of the South would be deeply unpopular.

6. Nativists in the 1850s were known for their
A. anti-Catholic and anti-foreign attitudes.
B. support of slavery.
C. support of Native Americans (indigenous peoples).
D. opposition to alcohol and Sabbath-breaking.
E. opposition to old-stock Protestants.

7. A significant reason the Republicans lost the election of 1856 is
A. the division between Democrats and Know-Nothings.
B. southern threats that a Republican victory would be a declaration of war.
C. their refusal to address the issue of slavery over economic concerns.
D. the North’s unwillingness to leave the South alone.
E. lingering support for slavery in the North.

8. In the presidential election of 1856, the Republicans
A. lost behind their most popular leader, William Seward.
B. revealed astonishing strength for a brand new party.
C. made their debut as the most successful third party in American political history.
D. finished third behind the Democrats and Know-Nothings.
E. proved unable to present a clear platform on slavery expansion.

9. The panic of 1857
A. was caused by over-exportation of southern cotton.
B. finally caused southern congressmen to support free homesteads in the West.
C. demonstrated the economic dominance of the North.
D. hit hardest among grain growers in the Northwest.
E. stimulated Northern demands for lower tariff rates.

10. As a result of the Lincoln-Douglas debates
A. Lincoln was elected president.
B. Lincoln was elected to the Senate.
C. Douglas increased his chances of winning the presidency.
D. Illinois voters rejected the concept of popular sovereignty.
E. Douglas defeated Lincoln for the Senate.

Biblical Verses used by Slaveowners to Justify Slavery

Psalm 123:2 (New International Version (NIV)): As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

Ephesians 6:4-6: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Ephesians 6:5:Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

Ephesians 6:9:And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

Colossians 3:22:Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

Colossians 4:1:Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Titus 2:9:Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,

1 Peter 2:18:Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

Slaveowners would read these verses to slaves as part of the worship services that they allowed (and controlled) as a means of encouraging the proper attitude among their slaves. Based upon these isolated verses, slaveowners claimed that the Bible supported slavery and taught slaves to be obedient to their masters.

On the surface, this certainly appears true. However, When looking at the evidence, one has to remember that the Bible was created in a time when slavery was certainly condoned. Paul’s letters mention slavery so often because Christianity appealed to slaves. Many slaves converted to the new religion of Christianity because of Christianity’s message of justice and freedom. Nonetheless, Christianity was an outlawed religion in the Roman Empire. Therefore, Paul counseled his followers, if they were slaves, to be peaceable and obedient so that further oppression would not be brought down on the heads of slaves as well as upon the members of the Church in general. The verses about obedience are not condoning slavery but are practical matters to try to prevent further suffering of Christians, whether slave or free.

The most compelling argument AGAINST slavery in the New Testament is Paul’s letter to Philemon, in which Paul asks a Christian to free his Christian slave. Most Christians countered these claims of Biblical support that owning slaves violated the spirit of Christian teaching.