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Authors: United States. Congress
Date: March 1, 1820
This legislation admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so as not to upset the balance between slave and free states in the nation. It also outlawed slavery above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory. With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and the application of Missouri for statehood, the long-standing balance between the number of slave states and the number of free states would be changed. Controversy arose within Congress over the issue of slavery. Congress adopted this legislation and admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so that the balance between slave and free states in the nation would remain equal. The Missouri compromise also proposed that slavery be prohibited above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory. This provision held for 34 years, until it was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The document featured here is the conference committee's report on the Missouri Compromise. Images, transcription, and document description courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Our Documents web site, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=22.
Keywords: Kansas Nebraska Act; Missouri compromise; United States. Congress
Polling Book, delegate election, Wyandott nation, Nebraska Territory
Authors: Andrews, Benjamin ; Walker, William
Date: October 12, 1852
This three-page document represented the "return of votes polled at the election held in the Wyandott nation, Nebraska Territory, October 12th 1852, for a delegate to represent the aforesaid Territory in the thirty-second Congress of the United States. Abelard Guthrie, who is also on the voter roll, received all 35 votes cast. Guthrie, who married into the Wyandot tribe, was later involved in the development of Quindaro. With one or two exception--e.g.., Thomas Coon Hawk--the names on the roll appear to be Anglo-American in origin.
Keywords: American Indians (see also Native Americans); Congressional delegate; Election, Nebraska Territory, October 1852; Elections; Guthrie, Abelard; Native Americans; Nebraska Territory; United States. Congress; Walker, William; Wyandot Indians; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory
Authors: United States. Congress
Date: May 30, 1854
Officially titled "An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas," this act repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude in the Louisiana Territory and reopened the national struggle over slavery in the western territories. In January 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill that divided the land west of Missouri into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska. He argued for popular sovereignty, which would allow the settlers of the new territories to decide if slavery would be legal there. Antislavery supporters were outraged because, under the terms of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slavery would have been outlawed in both territories. After months of debate, the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed on May 30, 1854. Images and document description courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Our Documents web site, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=28. Transcription courtesy of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm.
Keywords: Kansas Nebraska Act; Missouri compromise; Slavery; United States. Congress; Westward expansion
Letter, J. [John] W. Whitfield to My Dear Sir [J. A. Halderman]
Authors: Whitfield, John W. (Wilkins), ca. 1826-1879
Date: February 25, 1855
John W. Whitfield was a proslave man from Tennessee who would subsequently move to Texas to fight for the Confederacy. He was a congressional delegate for Kansas Territory when he wrote this letter to J. A. Halderman from Washington, D.C., regarding pending legislation "regulating town sites." It had been difficult to build a consensus for this law, but Whitfield hoped it would pass the current session.
Keywords: Halderman, John Adams; Speculation; Town sites; United States. Congress; Washington, D.C.; Whitfield, John W. (John Wilkins), ca. 1826-1879
Authors: Tebbs, W. H.
Date: August 2, 1855
The documented summarized the proceedings of a meeting held by proslavery supporters to determine the proper time and place to hold a convention in which they would nominate a candidate to the U. S. Congress. They decided to have the convention on August 29, 1855 at the Shawnee Manual Labor School.
Keywords: Proslavery; Proslavery activities; Proslavery support; Shawnee Manual Labor School; Territorial politics; United States. Congress
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