Archive for November 15th, 2012

Personal Liberty Laws and the Fugitive Slave Laws

APStudynotes is a great site you should be using all the time. But here is a great section you need to read on the 1850s: This goes all the way from slave resistance to the Ostend Manifesto. Read it.

This gives an overview of the beginning of personal liberty laws being used even before the new Fugitive Slave Law of 1850:

Video: Franklin Pierce

From the History Channel. Click on the text to go to their website.

President Franklin Pierce

Pierce had some tragedies in his life, too. Does a good job explaining the importance of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Ichabod, by John Greenleaf Whittier

Here is a short summary of the poem and its background (

This was written in response to Webster’s Seventh of March Speech, urging passage of the Compromise of 1850 in the name of national unity and preservation of the Union.

    • O fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
      Which once he wore!
      The glory from his gray hairs gone
      Revile him not, the Tempter hath
      A snare for all;
      And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
      Befit his fall!
      Oh, dumb be passion’s stormy rage,
      When he who might
      Have lighted up and led his age,
      Falls back in night.
      Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark
      A bright soul driven,
      Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark,
      From hope and heaven!
      Let not the land once proud of him
      Insult him now,
      Nor brand with deeper shame his dim,
      Dishonored brow.
      But let its humbled sons, instead,
      From sea to lake,
      A long lament, as for the dead,
      In sadness make.
      Of all we loved and honored, naught
      Save power remains;
      A fallen angel’s pride of thought,
      Still strong in chains.
      All else is gone; from those great eyes
      The soul has fled:
      When faith is lost, when honor dies,
      The man is dead!
      Then, pay the reverence of old days
      To his dead fame;
      Walk backward, with averted gaze,
      And hide the shame!

Attractive Stupid People: Poor Franklin Pierce….

This is one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time, Christine Lavin, helping you all out in a musical way. Here is a link where you can play the song and read the lyrics as it plays:

Meanwhile, here are the lyrics we listened to in class.

Attractive Stupid People
by Christine Lavin

Attractive stupid people
appear to glide through life
watch an attractive stupid man
attract and land a stupid wife
but the problem is the kids
won’t look as good as mom or dad
and they’re always slightly smarter
which drives their pretty parents mad

Attractive stupid people think
talent got them where they are
sometimes it’s not too good
when your good looks take you too far
to places you’re not smart enough
to know you don’t belong
this is the story of Franklin Pierce
this won’t be a happy song . . .

Franklin Pierce was born in New Hampshire
in 1804
57 years before
the start of our Civil War
behind his back they called him “doughface”
a nickname for a Northern man
who had Southern leanings
slavery? — he was a fan

He became our 14th president
in 1852
he had no real credentials
but his looks sure pulled him through
he’s considered the most handsome man
who’s ever held the job
he was the first — but not the last
Democratic presidential heart-throb

Historians tell us
he was an inoffensive bloke
his lack of backbone makes him
today look like a joke
with the Ostend Manifesto
he tried to steal Cuba from Spain
he wanted to make it a slave state
but cooler heads derailed that train

He was much in favor
of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
which also was pro-slavery
set our progress back
in 1856
he did not get a second chance
Democrats nominated James Buchanan
to take them to the dance

Though he was born in New Hampshire
he rooted for the South
and more than once poor Franklin Pierce
put his foot in his moutha
that is when he wasn’t drinking
and he was drinking day and night
his wife was a religious nut
who knew how to pick a fight

He died of cirrhosis of the liver
in 1869
but with his bone structure
even sick he looked so fine
and for years he’s held the title:
the worst president we ever had
his reign now might be ruined
all because of a hanging chad

Attactive stupid women
attractive stupid men
have led the world astray
again and again and again
as we march into the future
the thought that calms my fears
is there’s an attractive man and woman
in the White House
who’ve got brains between their ears