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Authors: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: December 10, 1856
This "essay," presumably by John Alexander Martin, was "Read before the 'Franklin Literary Institute,' of Brownsville [Pennsylvania], Dec. 10th 1856," about a year before Martin moved to Kansas Territory. It was an interesting statement of the young journalist's emerging philosophy on many of the troubling questions of the day, including a discussion of their historical context. According to the "essayist," America's early opponents of "tyrany," both Northern and Southern, "looked forward to the day when it [slavery] would be abolished," and he pointed to the Constitutions and the Ordinance of 1787 as proof "that the founders of the Republic, in all their acts, strove to circumscribe the limits of slavery, and extend the area of Freedom." Subsequent generations of Americans placed greater emphasis on the economic value of slave production and the current generation was aggressively advocating its expansion and taking whatever action was necessary to insure the institution's survival and continue "the march of tyrany."
Keywords: Bleeding Kansas; Crime Against Kansas; Election, Presidential, 1856; Fugitive Slave Law; Kansas Nebraska Act; Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Missouri compromise; Ordinance of 1787 (see United States. Ordinance of 1787); Slave power; Slavery; Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874; United States. Ordinance of 1787