Theodore Parker: Preacher and Reformer

By John White Chadwick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
KANSAS AND JOHN BROWN

AFTER the Burns rendition then was no further attempt to compel Boston to surrender a fugitive slave. The Washington administration gauged the temper of the city by the Burns affair and perceived that it had gone quite far enough upon that line. There was, however, little danger that Parker would find his anti-slavery occupation gone. Some months before the Burns affair had run its course and reached its hateful end, all the fine hopes which some had cherished, of Saturnian days returning after the Compromises of 1850, had been rudely dashed by the reopening of the whole controversy more fundamentally than ever by the introduction and passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the offspring of Stephen A. Douglas's immoral temper and ingenious mind. The bill repealing the Missouri Compromise and opening to slavery the territories rescued from it even by that base concession was passed in the Senate March 4, 1854, and a second time, after some insignificant changes in the House, the following May (25th). The North, drugged by the cup which Clay had mixed so skillfully and Webster had commended to

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