Part 7. Antebellum America

The Boisterous Sea of Liberty

Part 7. Antebellum America

The Boisterous Sea of Liberty

A Documentary History of America from Discovery through the Civil War
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Paperback 13/01/2000 ISBN13: 9780195116700 ISBN10: 0195116704 Drawing on a gold mine of primary documents--including letters, diary entries, personal narratives, political speeches, broadsides, trial transcripts, and contemporary newspaper articles--The Boisterous Sea of Liberty brings the past to life in a way few histories ever do.
Here is a panoramic look at early American history as captured in the words of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and many other historical figures, both famous and obscure. In these pieces, the living voices of the past speak to us from opposing viewpoints--from the vantage point of loyalists as well as patriots, slaves as well as masters. The documents collected here provide a fuller understanding of such historical issues as Columbus's dealings with Native Americans, the Stamp Act Crisis, the Declaration of Independence, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Missouri Crisis, the Mexican War, and Harpers Ferry, to name but a few.
Compiled by Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Brion Davis and Steven Mintz, and accompanied by extensive illustrations of original documents, The Boisterous Sea of Liberty brings the reader back in time, to meet the men and women who lived through the momentous events that shaped our nation.

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Part 7. Antebellum America    323

Shifts in Sensibility: Family, Gender Roles, Religion, and the Rise of Humanitarianism   326

The Emergence of the Republican Family    326
1. "Now is your time to lay a foundation for future usefulness"   327
William Ellery, January 16, 1803

Republican Motherhood 328
2. "Dear Children! I tremble for you"    328
Susan Mansfield Huntington, April 4, 1815

3. "I have felt...a sense of my obligations to God"    329
Benjamin Rush, March 9, 1790

Religious Liberalism and Evangelical Revivalism    331
4. "It is more than forty years, since...I renounced the Calvinistic Scheme"   332
Timothy Pickering, January 6, 1816

Disestablishment 333
5. "Any person may separate from one...Religious Society and join another"   333
Columbian Centinel, April 28, 1824

Origins of the American Reform Tradition 333

Dueling    334
6. "Dueling is a mode of settling certain points of single combat"   334
William Ellery, November 5, 1805

Education    335
7. "The school was large, and the pupils rather ungovernable"
Accounts of two New England teachers, August and October 1831   335

8. "An uniform system of weights and measures"    336
John Quincy Adams, 1821

Colonization    338
9. "They neither enjoyed the immunities of freemen, nor...the incapacities of slaves, but partook...of both"   338
"A View of Exertions Lately Made for the Purpose of Colonizing the Free People of Color,"   1817

10. "The existence of distinct and separate an inherent vice in the composition of society"   340
Bushrod Washington, "Memorial of the President and board of Managers of the American society for colonizing the Free People of Color of the U.S.," January 14, 1817

11. "No adequate provision...was made for the shelter and comfort of the people"   340
E.B. Caldwell, October 27, 1826

Postwar Nationalism and Division 342
12. "We were embarked in the same sacred cause of liberty"    342
James Monroe, July 4, 1817

1818 and 1819: Watershed Years in American History 343

The Second Bank of the United States 344
13. "The Bank bill has passed"   344
John F. Lovett, March 14, 1815

14. "The expediency of taxing the United States Bank"   345
Jonathan Roberts, January 16, 1818

McCullough v. Maryland 346
15. "The Judgment of the Supreme the case of McCullough agst. the State of Maryland"   346
James Madison, September 2, 1819

Acquiring Florida 347
16. "Different hordes of people...have violated our laws...and have committed every kind of outrage"    347
James Monroe, November 16, 1818

The Monroe Doctrine 349
17. "The American continents...are henceforth not to be considered... for future colonization by any European powers"   349
James Monroe, December 2, 1823

The Missouri Crisis 350
18. "The great question which now agitates the nation"   350
John Tyler, February 14, 1820

19. "A...deliberate sanction seems to be...given to the continuance of domestic slavery"   352
Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, April 13, 1820

20. "It is not a moral question, but one merely of power"   354
Thomas Jefferson, December 26, 1820

Slavery and Sectionalism 354
21. "The policy of liberating the slaves in the W. Indies"    354
James Monroe, May 20, 1824

22. "We have the wolf by the ear & feel the danger of holding or letting loose"    355
Thomas Jefferson, July 18, 1824

23. "John Harris is a Citizen of the United States of America"   356
Ezekiel Savage, October 23, 1824

The Underground Railroad 357
24. "The master & mistress...treated her with great severity, so much so as to induce some of the friends of assist her in making her escape"   357
Edward Lawton, May 22, 1825

The Rise of the Second Party System 358
25. "I believe their existence to be salutary"   358
Thomas Jefferson, September 5, 1822

26. "The same parties exist now which existed before"    360
Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1822

27. "I zealously supported the emancipation ticket"    361
Henry Clay, August 28, 1823

The Election of 1824 362
28. "I think it certain that the election will come into the H[ouse] of R[epresentatives]"   362
Henry Clay, March 6, 1824

29. "Roads and Canals are among the most essential means of improving the condition of the Nation"    363
John Quincy Adams, May 6, 1824

Power and Ideology in Jackson's America 364

Nullification and the Bank War 365
30. "[The tariff] has divided the country into two great geographical divisions"   365
Connecticut Herald, August 30, 1831

31. "Disunion, by armed force, is TREASON"   368
Andrew Jackson, December 10, 1832

32. "I recognize no ALLEGIANCE, as paramount to that which the citizens of South Carolina owe to the State of their birth"    371
Governor Robert Y. Hayne, December 13, 1832

33. "The union between Mr. Clay & Calhoun"    373
Andrew Jackson, February 23, 1833

34. "A metallic currency to meet the wants of the labouring class "   373
Andrew Jackson, March 14, 1834

35. "My great dread is a Civil War"   374
David Crockett, April 4, 1834

36. "I will go to the Wilds of Texas"    376
David Crockett, December 25, 1834

Political Democratization and the Dorr War 377
37. "Choice of those who make and administer laws is a Natural Right"    377
Thomas W. Dorr, "An Address to the People of Rhode Island,"   1834 Party Competition and the Rise of the Whigs 379

38. "We are now in the midst of a higher political excitement than I have ever yet witnessed"    379
James Buchanan, June 29, 1840

Antebellum Reform: The Shift to Immediatism 381
39. "The fatal consequences of Intemperance"    381
"A Mirror for the Intemperate," 1830

40. "Men of wealth and respectability, who...throw their influence into the scale of intemperance"    381
J. Kitredge, July 4, 1829

41. "30,000 to 50,000 individuals...become sots every year"    382
Edward Hitchcocks, 1830

Abolition and Slavery 383
42. "How is it with the slave?"    383
William Lloyd Garrison, July 14, 1830

43. "Slavery is undoubtedly a manifest violation of the rights of man"    386
Henry Clay, May 19, 1831

Nat Turner's Insurrection 386
44. "Disagreeable rumors have reached this city of an insurrection of the slaves in Southampton County"    386
Constitutional Whig, August 23, 1831

45. "Without any cause or provocation"    387
Richmond Enquirer, August 30, 1831

46. " this 'Land of Liberty' to a state of cruel bondage!"    388
Samuel Warner, Authentic and Impartial Narrative of the Tragical Scene Which was Witnessed in Southampton County, 1831

47. "What we have long predicted...has commenced its fulfillment"    390
The Liberator, September 3, 1831

48. "Any scheme of soon after the Southampton tragedy, would...appear to be the result of the...massacre"   391
Thomas R. Dew, "Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature," 1832

49. "Cease to send that paper to this office"   392 Elijah P. Lovejoy, January 30, 1835

50. "What is the actual condition of the slaves in the United States?"    393
Theodore Dwight Weld, American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, 1839

Narrative and Testimony of Sarah M. Grimké 396
51. "I left my native state on account of slavery"   396
Sarah M. Grimké in Weld, American Slavery As It Is, 1839

52. "Privations of the Slaves"    397
From Weld, American Slavery As It Is, 1839

Testimony of Angelina Grimké 399
53. "It would be utterly impossible to recount the . . . ways the heart of the slave is continually lacerated"    399
Angelina Grimke in Weld, American Slavery As It Is, 1839

54. "General Testimony to the Cruelties Inflicted Upon Slaves"    399
From Weld, American Slavery As It Is, 1839

55. "I take this opportunity of writing to you"   400
Slave letter by an unidentified slave, October 8, 1859

A Proslavery New Yorker 401
56. "The abolitionist...[should] pay attention to his own affairs"   401
E.W. Taylor, January 25, 1837

From Antislavery to Women's Rights 401
57. "Mere circumstances of sex does not give to man higher rights...than to women"    401
Angelina Emily Grimké, letter XII, October 2, 1837, Letters to Catherine E. Beecher

58. "The American Anti-Slavery [Society]...divided when women were put among its officers"    402
Abigail Kelley Foster, March 9, 1881

59. "How many truly harmonious households have we now?"    403
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Address Delivered at Seneca Falls," July 19, 1848

60. "The isolated household is a source of innumerable evils"    404
The Phalanx, February 8, 1844

Manifest Destiny 405

Gone to Texas 405
61. "The...violations of the constitutional rights of the people of Texas... have compelled us to arm in self-defense"    406
Stephen F. Austin, February 16, 1836

62. "The people of Texas, do now constitute a FREE, SOVEREIGN, and INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC"    408
Republic of Texas, March 2, 1836

63. "We...have news that St. Anna has been taken by the Texans"    408
E.G. Fisk, May 22, 1836

Texas Annexation 409
64. "Annexation...would risk a war with Mexico"    409
John Quincy Adams, ca.1842-1843

65. "It would be far better for this country that Texas should remain an independent State " 410
James Buchanan, February 3, 1844

66. "The annexation of Texas is a great offense against humanity"    411
Abiel Abbot, March 11, 1845

67. "In our Mountain home we feel not the withering...influence of political...despotism"   411
Brigham Young, June 29, 1854

Mounting Sectional Antagonisms 413 68. "The stake in the question is your right to petition, your freedom of thought and of action" 413
John Quincy Adams, March 3, 1837

69. "I am no advocate of slavery...but"   415
Franklin Pierce, March 18, 1838

70. "It will do more to unite...the slaveholding states than can be effected by anything else"    415
John C. Calhoun, June 15, 1838

71. "The slave holding states...retained the complete control...of slavery within their...boundaries"    416
William Henry Harrison, October 12, 1838

72. "The combination of Northern labour and Southern capital to suppress the right of Petition"    417
John Quincy Adams, September 21, 1838

The Amistad Affair 419
73. "However unjust...the slave trade may be, it is not contrary to the law of nations"    419
John Forsyth, 1839

74. "All we want is make us free"   424
Kale, January 4, 1841

75. "I appear...on...behalf of thirty-six individuals, the life and liberty of every one...depend on...this Court"   425
John Quincy Adams, February 24 and March 1, 1841

76. "No action of mine the abolition of Slavery"    427
John Quincy Adams, July 15, 1845

Political Antislavery 428
77. "We have pursued slavery...into all its hiding places"   428
Gerrit Smith, ca.1840

78. "The Liberty party is what its enemies reproachfully call it 'a one idea party'"    430
Gerrit Smith, January 1, 1845

The Free Soil Party 431
79. "The Whig and Democratic candidates...are the shameless tools of the slave-power"   431
Gerrit Smith, August 15, 1848

The Mexican War 432
80. "The Wilmot Proviso will shake that body to its center"   433
Zachary Taylor, October 19, 1847

81. "This people have been conceived in sin &...have been degraded by oppression" 434
General Persifor Smith, October 26, 1847

82. "The citizens of the country have...encouraged ambushes"    437
Zachary Taylor, "Proclamation," March 22, 1847

83. "We are not furnished with a uniform"   438
Wellington G. Burnett, April 4, 1848

84. "The close of my congressional career"    439
Abraham Lincoln, June 27, 1848

The Escalating Conflict over Slavery 440

The Compromise of 1850 441
85. "What kind of settlement of the slavery question will be made I cannot tell"   441
David R. Atchison, April 5, 1850

86. "The Compromise Bill is not a pro-Slavery measure"   441
Senator James Shields of Illinois, June 22, 1850

87. "Read and Ponder the Fugitive Slave Law!"   442
Read and Ponder the Fugitive Slave Law, ca. 1850

88. "Live and Die freemen"    443
Robert C. Nell, "Declaration of Sentiments of the Colored Citizens of Boston," 1850

89. "Momentarily liable to be seized by the strong arm of government"    444
"Declaration of Sentiments of the Colored Citizens of Boston," 1850

90. "We pour out upon the Fugitive Slave Law the fullest measure of our contempt and hate and execration"   446
Frederick Douglass and Gerrit Smith, January 7-9, 1851

91. "This simple narrative is an honest attempt to the sufferings of an oppressed race"    449
Harriet Beecher Stowe, March 20, 1852

Mass Immigration 449
92. "Most...who died of ship-fever were delirious"   449
William Smith, An Emigrant's Narrative, 1850

The Know-Nothings and the Disintegration of the Second-Party System 451
93. "I am not a Know-Nothing"    451
Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 24, 1855

America at Midcentury 452
94. "We work now to overturn the Slave-Power"    452
Salmon P. Chase, January 26, 1856

Revival of the Slavery Issue 454
95. "The Democrats are undisguised open servants of the slave-power"   454
Gerrit Smith, November 1, 1854

96. "This state can be made certain for Frèmont"   455
Gideon Welles, July 12, 1856

97. "The people of Kansas...are suffering at the hands of the Federal Administration and the Missouri ruffians"    457
Gerrit Smith, March 13, 1856

Bleeding Kansas 459
98. "We feel more, & more certain that Kansas will be a Free State"   459
John Brown, December 5, 1855

Bleeding Sumner 459
99. "The liberty of white as well as black...will become a name only"    459
Senator Charles Sumner, December 20, 1856

The Dred Scott Decision 460
100. "The right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution"    460
Roger B. Taney, 1857

The Gathering Storm 462
101. "The value of all the seven slave less than the real and personal York"    463
Hinton Rowan Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South, 1857

102. "'A house divided against itself cannot stand'"    464
Abraham Lincoln, ca. 1858

103. "We never hear of the man who wishes to...[be] a slave himself"
Abraham Lincoln, ca. 1857-1858 465

104. "Mr. Buchanan is a very weak man in the two Houses of Congress"    466
Andrew Johnson, January 23, 1858

105. "The Democratic Party has become so startlingly wicked"    467
Robert Goodenow, Astounding Disclosures!, August 18, 1858

106. "Mr. Lincoln stands on the Old Whig Platform, with Clay and Webster"    468
Abraham Lincoln, Facts for the People, ca. 1858

107. "'Why can't this Union endure permanently, half slave and half free?'"    469
Abraham Lincoln, Facts for the People, ca. 1858

108. "Senator Douglas contends that the Territorial Legislatures may lawfully evade the Constitution" 470
Abraham Lincoln, Facts for the People, ca. 1858

109. "Douglas 'Don't Care'"   471
Abraham Lincoln, Facts for the People, ca. 1858

110. "I have said that I do not understand the Declaration to mean that all men are created equal in all respects"    472
Abraham Lincoln, July 17, 1858

Harpers Ferry 474
111. "My father and two brothers...went down to Harper's Ferry"    474
Annie Brown Adams, December 15, 1887

112. "I deny every thing but...a design on my part to free Slaves"    475
John Brown, December 2, 1859

113. "The boys met their fate very cheerful"    476
Aaron D. Stevens, January 5, 1860

114. "The old Union-saving machinery put in motion again"   477
"Free Press-Free Speech-Free Soil-Free Men," Paterson Daily Guardian, November 22, 1859

115. "We have a warm time here with the Southern fire eaters"    478
William Windom, December 10, 1859

116. "Witness the growing distrust with which the people of the North and South begin to regard each other"   479
E.N. Elliott, ed. Cotton Is King, 1860

117. "God...established slavery"    480
Thornton Stringfellow, Cotton Is King, 1860

118. "Let us refer to figures and facts"   481
Samuel A. Cartwright, "The Education, Labor, and Wealth of the South," Cotton Is King, 1860.

119. "Will ye be led away by a cruel and misguided philanthropy, or by designing demagogues"   481
E.N. Elliott, ed., Cotton Is King, 1860

120. "Our friends...are organizing thoroughly for the fight"    483
Stephen A. Douglas, June 29, 1860

121. "The foundations of the Republic tremble under the shock of contending factions"   484
Resolutions of The Southern Rights Vigilance Club of Savannah, 1860

122. "I am for...Universal Liberty"    486
Frederick Douglass, November 10, 1860

123. "Sixteen rifle Cannons...Also, One Hundred thousand (100,000) pounds of lead"    489
Paul Jones Semmes, December 19, 1860

The Secession Crisis 489
124. "The People of South Carolina...have solemnly declared that the Union... is dissolved" 489
The South Carolina Convention, December 20, 1860

125. "Every body is rampant in favor of disunion"   493
William P. Gibson, December 22, 1860

126. "The unanimity of the opposition to the...Union"    493
New York Herald, January 14, 1861

127. "The South cannot be conquered"    495
Robert Campbell, February 1, 1861

128. "The temper of the Black Republicans is not to give us our right in the Union, or allow us to go peaceably out of it"    496
Jefferson Davis, January 13, 1861

129. "I feel that I have humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father"    497
Robert A. Anderson, January 21, 1861

130. "The duty of getting possession of the Forts now held within our limits"    498
Jefferson Davis, February 22, 1861