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Authors: Fenton, Reuben E.
Date: February 24, 1858
Representative Reuben Fenton, of New York, delivered this speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in reaction to the Congressional debate over the validity of the Lecompton Constitution. Believing that the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was a mistake, meant to allow the extension of slavery into the new territories, Fenton emphasized that their forefathers recognized that slavery and anti-slavery men could not coexist. Thus, under the authority outlined in the Constitution, slavery in all Territories should be abolished, in line with the Federal Government's duty to "install a government [in the Territories] conducive to the greatest degree of happiness and welfare" of its residents. Fenton did not believe that the Lecompton Constitution represented the will of Kansas' citizens, insisting that the majority, as free state supporters, were proposing no challenge to the Government constructed by the founding fathers.
Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Dred Scott decision; Fenton, Reuben E.; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Lecompton Constitution; Missouri compromise; New York; Popular sovereignty; Slavery; Speeches, addresses, etc.
Speech of Hon. James H. Hammond of South Carolina on the Admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution
Authors: Hammond, James H.
Date: March 4, 1858
Senator James Hammond offered this speech as a rebuttal to those recently presented by Senators in oppositon to his perspective, questioning their argument that the Lecompton Constitutional Convention was a tool of the Territorial Government to maintain the dominance of proslavery policy. Hammond maintained instead that the Convention was "an assembly of the people in their highest sovereign capacity" and thus acted with the will of the majority of Kansas citizens. He also indicated that the South did not feel threated by the possibility of Kansas becoming a free state, as their exports and businesses were well off even without the increased foreign slave trade that Kansas potentially could bring.
Keywords: Adams, Zu; Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Business enterprises; Hammond, James H.; Kansas Nebraska Act; Lecompton Constitution; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Popular sovereignty; South Carolina; Southerners; Speeches, addresses, etc.; Territorial government
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