Perley's Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis - Vol. 1

By Ben: Perley Poore | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV.
COMMENCEMENT OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT.

AGITATION OF THE SLAVERY QUESTION--EARLY SECESSION MOVEMENTS
--DANIEL WEBSTER ON EMANCIPATION--HIS IDEA OF THE FAR WEST
--FRANKLIN PIERCE'S POSITION--SERGEANT S. PRENTISS, THE FORE-
MOST OF ORATORS--JOSEPH HOLT--W. R. KING--THE BUCKSHOT WAR
--STAR ROUTES--PRESIDENT VAN BUREN'S TITLES.

IT was during the Administration of Mr. Van Buren that the English Abolitionists first began to propagate their doctrines in the Northern States, where the nucleus of an anti-slavery party was soon formed. This alarmed the Southerners, who, under the lead of Mr. Calhoun, threatened disunion if their "peculiar institution" was not let alone. The gifted South Carolinian having in January, 1838, paid a high compliment in debate to John Randolph for his uncompromising hostility to the Missouri Compromise, Mr. Clay said: "I well remember the Compromise Act and the part taken in that discussion by the distinguished member from Virginia, whose name has been mentioned, and whose death I most sincerely lament. At that time we were members of the other House. Upon one occasion, during a night session, another member from Virginia, through fatigue and the offensive exhalations from one of the surrounding lamps, fainted in his seat and was borne to the rear of the Representatives' Hall. Calling some one to the Speaker's chair, I left my place to learn the character

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