American Eloquence, Volume II. (of 4) by Various


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Page 1

On The Repeal Of The Fugitive Slave Law--United
States Senate, August 26, 1852.


RUFUS KING -- From a steel engraving.

JOHN Q. ADAMS -- From a painting by MARCHANT.

JOHN C. CALHOUN -- From a daguerreotype by BRADY.

DANIEL WEBSTER -- From a painting by R. M. STAIGG.

HENRY CLAY -- From a crayon portrait.


The second volume of the American Eloquence is devoted exclusively
to the Slavery controversy. The new material of the revised edition
includes Rufus King and William Pinkney on the Missouri Question; John
Quincy Adams on the War Power of the Constitution over Slavery; Sumner
on the Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law. The addition of the new
material makes necessary the reservation of the orations on the
Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and on the related subjects, for the third volume.

In the anti-slavery struggle the Missouri question occupied a prominent
place. In the voluminous Congressional material which the long
debates called forth, the speeches of King and Pinkney are the best
representatives of the two sides to the controversy, and they are of
historical interest and importance. John Quincy Adams' leadership in
the dramatic struggle over the right of petition in the House of
Representatives, and his opinion on the constitutional power of the
national government over the institution of slavery within the States,
will always excite the attention of the historical student.

In the decade before the war no subject was a greater cause of
irritation and antagonism between the States than the Fugitive Slave
Law. Sumner's speech on this subject is the most valuable of his
speeches from the historical point of view; and it is not only a worthy
American oration, but it is a valuable contribution to the history of
the slavery struggle itself. It has been thought desirable to include in
a volume of this character orations of permanent value on these themes
of historic interest. A study of the speeches of a radical innovator
like Phillips with those of compromising conservatives like Webster and
Clay, will lead the student into a comparison, or contrast, of these
diverse characters. The volume retains the two orations of Phillips, the
two greatest of all his contributions to the anti-slavery struggle. It
is believed that the list of orations, on the whole, presents to the
reader a series of subjects of first importance in the great slavery

The valuable introduction of Professor Johnston, on "The Anti-Slavery
Struggle," is re-printed entire.

J. A. W.


Negro slavery was introduced into all the English colonies of North
America as a custom, and not under any warrant of law. The enslavement
of the negro race was simply a matter against which no white person
chose to enter a protest, or make resistance, while the negroes
themselves were powerless to resist or even protest. In due course of
time laws were passed by the Colonial Assemblies to protect property in
negroes, while the home government, to the very last, actively protected
and encouraged the slave trade to the colonies. Negro slavery in all
the colonies had thus passed from custom to law before the American
Revolution broke out; and the course of the Revolution itself had little
or no effect on the system.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Wed 26th Jan 2022, 20:42