Manassas: A Novel of the War

By Upton Sinclair | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I

THE year 1819 had seen the first dispute about Slavery in the halls of Congress, an event which, as Jefferson wrote from his retreat at Monticello, disturbed him "like a fire bell in the night." In that year the admission of Missouri as a slave State had been contested, and it was finally agreed, as a compromise, that the State should be admitted, but that hereafter her southern boundary-- 36° 30′--was to be the border-line between Slavery and Freedom. The principle of congressional control of Slavery in the territories had been established already by the "Ordinance of 1787"; but now, while many of the founders were still living, it was given renewed sanction, the cabinet of President Monroe, in which was John C. Calhoun, declaring unanimously the constitutionality of the act.

In February of 1847 that doctrine had first been impugned, by Calhoun himself, who now declared that slaves were "property," to be taken anywhere in the Federal territory. This portentous doctrine was at first not taken seriously by any one. Even Jefferson Davis had not dared in 1850 to stand out for more than a continuation of the Missouri line to the Pacific, and this program his State had found too radical. Now, indeed, it was a sign of the times to make one stare when, four years later, the wild doctrine of Calhoun was definitely adopted by the party in power at Washington!

Part of the Compromise of 1850 was the arrangement that Utah and New Mexico were to be allowed to choose between Slavery and Freedom for themselves. On the fourth day of January, 1854, Stephen A. Douglas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, brought in a report declaring that it had been the purpose of the Compromise to establish this new principle -- soon to

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Manassas: A Novel of the War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Notes xxvi
  • Book I - The Morning 1
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 12
  • Chapter III 27
  • Chapter IV 31
  • Chapter V 31
  • Chapter VI 52
  • Chapter VII 62
  • Book II - The Crisis 79
  • Chapter I 81
  • Chapter II 93
  • Chapter III 100
  • Chapter IV 106
  • Chapter V 116
  • Chapter VI 128
  • Chapter VII 141
  • Chapter VIII 155
  • Chapter IX 163
  • Chapter X 168
  • Chapter XI 174
  • Chapter XII 180
  • Chapter XIII 188
  • Book III - The Climax 195
  • Chapter I 197
  • Chapter II 210
  • Chapter III 218
  • Chapter IV 230
  • Chapter V 234
  • Chapter VI 240
  • Chapter VII 252
  • Chapter VIII 261
  • Book IV - The Storm 275
  • Chapter I 277
  • Chapter II 292
  • Chapter III 304
  • Chapter IV 320
  • Chapter V 329
  • Chapter VI 339
  • Book V - The Battle 349
  • Chapter I 351
  • Chapter II 359
  • Chapter III 370
  • Chapter IV 384
  • Chapter V 400
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