The Sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856 – 7 The Deed

This post completes the series, “The Sacking of Lawrence May 21, 1856.” Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here, Part 6 here. Free-State men wounded Douglas County sheriff Samuel J. Jones when he returned to Lawrence to serve arrest warrants in the spring of 1856, […]

Read more
The Sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856 – 1

One of the most surprising things I learned from reading Michael F. Holt’s exceptional book, The Political Crisis of the 1850’s, was that the “Sacking of Lawrence” was not the murderous affair I had always thought it was. It led to further research on my part and the realization that I was guilty of combining […]

Read more
The Compromise of 1850: Effective Political Action or Forecast of Disaster?

Thanks to everyone that has participated in the Compromise of 1850 Poll going on here. If you haven’t voted, please do! To expand the discussion, let me share my perspective on the question I raised, whether The Compromise of 1850 was an effective political action or a forecast of disaster. Michael F. Holt makes an […]

Read more
The Invention of Party Politics Requires a Page of Its Own

Studying Antebellum America, as I’m doing this term, provides a fascinating look at the development of the notion of “political parties.” Keeping track of all of the political groups in Antebellum America has become a challenge. I need a list or a matrix. That said, I’ve decided to build a new page called “The Political […]

Read more
On Slavery, Sectionalism, and the First and Second Party Systems

The “First Party System,” according to Donald Grier Stephenson, pitted the Federalists (created by Alexander Hamilton and including John Adams, Fisher Ames, and John Marshall) against the Republicans or Antifederalists (created by Thomas Jefferson and including James Madison, Albert Gallatin, and Philip Freneau) and “took shape at the national level soon after government under the […]

Read more
On Free Soilers – 2

A key reason that “Free Soilers” feared the South, and particularly slaveholders, was because of the political power they wielded in the national parties and government. This resentment found as “epithet the term ‘Slave Power,’ which Northern politicians of both parties used to denounce the political pretensions of slaveholders. Prohibiting slavery from the territories was […]

Read more
On Free Soilers – 1

David M. Potter describes “Free Soilers” as “antislavery dissenters within both old parties.”(1) Michael F. Holt provides an excellent profile of the Northerners who made up the “Free Soil” Party in his description of the delegates, both elected and self-appointed, who attended the first convention of the party in Buffalo. “Uniformly zealous, they were a […]

Read more
Next Class: Antebellum America: Prelude to Civil War

After a short break, I’ll be diving into my next class which starts November 3rd. As is my custom, I’ve added this to “The Courses” page. “Antebellum America: Prelude to Civil War” (starts November 3rd) This course is an analysis of the conditions existing in the United States in the first half of the 19th […]

Read more