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  Speech of Hon. Reuben E. Fenton of New York, "The Designs of the Slave Power"
Author: 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.

Location of Original: KSHS         Call Number: 978.1 Kansas History Pamphlets, v.4, no. 19
Item Number: 102876              Number of images: 15
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.
 
 

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