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  • 1908
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_a_. Why is the period covered by this division so important?

_b_. Give the principal events since the Revolution which made Western expansion possible.

_c_. Explain, using a chart, the changes in parties since 1789.

_d_. What were the good points in Jackson’s administration? The mistakes?


_a_. Select some one invention between 1790 and 1835, describe it, explain the need for it, and the results which have followed from it.

_b_. The Erie Canal.

_c_. The career of Webster, Clay, or Calhoun.

_d_. Life and works of any one of the literary men of this period.

_e_. The Ashburton Treaty, with a map.


The personality of Andrew Jackson, representing as he does a new element in social and political life, deserves a careful study. The financial policy of his administration is too difficult for children. With brief comparisons with present-day conditions the study of this subject can be confined to what is given in the text. Jackson’s action at the time of the nullification episode may well be compared with Buchanan’s inaction in 1860-61. The constitutional portions of Webster’s great speeches are too hard for children, but his burning words of patriotism may well be learned by the whole class. The spoils system may be lightly treated here. It can best be studied in detail later in connection with civil service reform.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1859.]



Books for Study and Reading

References.–Scribner’s _Popular History_, IV; _McMaster’s_ _With the Fathers_, Coffin’s _Building the Nation_, 314-324.

Home Readings.–Wright’s _Stories of American Progress_; Bolton’s _Famous Americans_; Brooks’s _Boy Settlers_; Stowe’s _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_; Lodge’s _Webster_.



[Sidenote: Antislavery sentiments of the Virginians.]

[Sidenote: Slavery in the far South.]

[Sidenote: _Source-book_, 244-248, 251-260.]

323. Growth of Slavery in the South.–South of Pennsylvania and of the Ohio River slavery had increased greatly since 1787 (p. 136). Washington, Jefferson, Henry, and other great Virginians were opposed to the slave system. But they could find no way to end it, even in Virginia. The South Carolinians and Georgians fought every proposition to limit slavery. They even refused to come into the Union unless they were given representation in Congress for a portion at least of their slaves. And in the first Congress under the Constitution they opposed bitterly every proposal to limit slavery. Then came Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin. That at once made slave labor vastly more profitable in the cotton states and put an end to all hopes of peaceful emancipation in the South.

[Sidenote: Proposal to end slavery with compensation.]

[Sidenote: The _Liberator_.]

324. Rise of the Abolitionists.–About 1830 a new movement in favor of the negroes began. Some persons in the North, as, for example, William Ellery Channing, proposed that slaves should be set free, and their owners paid for their loss. They suggested that the money received from the sale of the public lands might be used in this way. But nothing came of these suggestions. Soon, however, William Lloyd Garrison began at Boston the publication of a paper called the _Liberator_. He wished for complete abolition without payment. For a time he labored almost alone. Then slowly others came to his aid, and the Antislavery Society was founded.

[Sidenote: Anti-abolitionist sentiment in the North. _Higginson_, 268.]

[Sidenote: Disunion sentiment of abolitionists.]

[Sidenote: The Garrison riot, 1835. _Source-Book_, 248-251.]

325. Opposition to the Abolitionists.–It must not be thought that the abolitionists were not opposed. They were most vigorously opposed. Very few Northern men wished to have slavery reestablished in the North. But very many Northern men objected to the antislavery agitation because they thought it would injure business. Some persons even argued that the antislavery movement would bring about the destruction of the Union. In this idea there was a good deal of truth. For Garrison grew more and more outspoken. He condemned the Union with slaveholders and wished to break down the Constitution, because it permitted slavery. There were anti-abolitionist riots in New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. In Boston the rioters seized Garrison and dragged him about the streets (1835).

[Sidenote: Nat Turner’s Rebellion, 1831.]

[Sidenote: Incendiary publications in the mails. _McMaster_, 313-314.]

326. Slave Rebellion in Virginia, 1831.–At about the time that Garrison established the _Liberator_ at Boston, a slave rebellion broke out in Virginia. The rebels were led by a slave named Nat Turner, and the rebellion is often called “Nat Turner’s Rebellion.” It was a small affair and was easily put down. But the Southerners were alarmed, because they felt that the Northern antislavery agitation would surely lead to more rebellions. They called upon the government to forbid the sending of the _Liberator_ and similar “incendiary publications” through the mails.

[Sidenote: Right of petition.]

[Sidenote: J.Q. Adams and antislavery petitions, 1836. _Hero Tales_, 151-159.]

[Sidenote: The “gag-resolutions.” _McMaster_, 314-315.]

327. The Right of Petition.–One of the most sacred rights of freemen is the right to petition for redress of grievances. In the old colonial days the British Parliament had refused even to listen to petitions presented by the colonists. But the First Amendment to the Constitution forbade Congress to make any law to prevent citizens of the United States from petitioning. John Quincy Adams, once President, was now a member of the House of Representatives. In 1836 he presented petition after petition, praying Congress to forbid slavery in the District of Columbia. Southerners, like Calhoun, thought these petitions were insulting to Southern slaveholders. Congress could not prevent the antislavery people petitioning. They could prevent the petitions being read when presented. This they did by passing “gag-resolutions.” Adams protested against these resolutions as an infringement on the rights of his constituents. But the resolutions were passed. Petitions now came pouring into Congress. Adams even presented one from some negro slaves.

[Sidenote: Growth of antislavery feeling in the North.]

328. Change in Northern Sentiment.–All these happenings brought about a great change of sentiment in the North. Many people, who cared little about negro slaves, cared a great deal about the freedom of the press and the right of petition. Many of these did not sympathize with the abolitionists, but they wished that some limit might be set to the extension of slavery. At the same time the Southerners were uniting to resist all attempts to interfere with slavery. They were even determined to add new slave territory to the United States.



[Sidenote: The Mexican Republic, 1821.]

[Sidenote: Texas secedes from Mexico, 1836, _McMaster_, 320-322; _Hero Tales_, 173-181.]

329. The Republic of Texas.–The Mexicans won their independence from Spain in 1821 and founded the Mexican Republic. Soon immigrants from the United States settled in the northeastern part of the new republic. This region was called Texas. The Mexican government gave these settlers large tracts of land, and for a time everything went on happily. Then war broke out between the Mexicans and the Texans. Led by Samuel Houston, a settler from Tennessee, the Texans won the battle of San Jacinto and captured General Santa Anna, the president of the Mexican Republic. The Texans then established the Republic of Texas (1836) and asked to be admitted to the Union as one of the United States.

[Sidenote: Question of the admission of Texas to the Union.]

330. The Southerners and Texas.–The application of Texas for admission to the Union came as a pleasant surprise to many Southerners. As a part of the Mexican Republic Texas had been free soil. But Texas was well suited to the needs of the cotton plant. If it were admitted to the Union, it would surely be a slave state or, perhaps, several slave states. The question of admitting Texas first came before Jackson. He saw that the admission of Texas would be strongly opposed in the North. So he put the whole matter to one side and would have nothing to do with it. Tyler acted very differently. Under his direction a treaty was made with Texas. This treaty provided for the admission of Texas to the Union. But the Senate refused to ratify the treaty. The matter, therefore, became the most important question in the presidential election of 1844.

[Illustration: JAMES K. POLK.]

[Sidenote: Candidates for the presidency, 1844.]

[Sidenote: The Liberty party.]

[Sidenote: Polk elected.]

331. Election of 1844.–President Tyler would have been glad of a second term. But neither of the great parties wanted him as a leader. The Democrats would have gladly nominated Van Buren had he not opposed the acquisition of Texas. Instead they nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee, an outspoken favorer of the admission of Texas. The Whigs nominated Henry Clay, who had no decided views on the Texas question. He said one thing one day, another thing another day. The result was that the opponents of slavery and of Texas formed a new party. They called it the Liberty party and nominated a candidate for President. The Liberty men did not gain many votes. But they gained enough votes to make Clay’s election impossible and Polk was chosen President.

[Sidenote: Texas admitted by joint resolution, 1845. _McMaster_, 325.]

332. Acquisition of Texas, 1845.–Tyler now pressed the admission of Texas upon Congress. The two houses passed a joint resolution. This resolution provided for the admission of Texas, and for the formation from the territory included in Texas of four states, in addition to the state of Texas, and with the consent of that state. Before Texas was actually admitted Tyler had ceased to be President. But Polk carried out his policy, and on July 4, 1845, Texas became one of the United States.

[Sidenote: Southern boundary of Texas.]

[Sidenote: Taylor on the Rio Grande.]

[Sidenote: War declared, 1846. Lowell in _Source-Book_, 271-276.]

333. Beginning of the Mexican War, 1846.–The Mexicans had never acknowledged the independence of Texas. They now protested against its admission to the United States. Disputes also arose as to the southern boundary of Texas. As no agreement could be reached on this point, President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to march to the Rio Grande and occupy the disputed territory. Taylor did as he was ordered, and the Mexicans attacked him. Polk reported these facts to Congress, and Congress authorized the President to push on the fighting on the ground that “war exists, and exists by the act of Mexico herself.”

[Sidenote: The three parts of the Mexican War.]

[Sidenote: Taylor’s campaign. _McMaster_, 326-327.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Buena Vista, 1847.]

334. Taylor’s Campaigns.–The Mexican War easily divides itself into three parts: (1) Taylor’s forward movement across the Rio Grande; (2) Scott’s campaign, which ended in the capture of the City of Mexico; and (3) the seizure of California. Taylor’s object was to maintain the line of the Rio Grande, then to advance into Mexico and injure the Mexicans as much as possible. The battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma (May 8, 9, 1846) were fought before the actual declaration of war. These victories made Taylor master of the Rio Grande. In September he crossed the Rio Grande. So far all had gone well. But in the winter many of Taylor’s soldiers were withdrawn to take part in Scott’s campaign. This seemed to be the Mexicans’ time. They attacked Taylor with four times as many men as he had in his army. This battle was fought at Buena Vista, February, 1847. Taylor beat back the Mexicans with terrible slaughter. This was the last battle of Taylor’s campaign.

[Sidenote: Scott’s campaign. _Eggleston_, 284-286; _McMaster_, 327-328.]

[Sidenote: He captures City of Mexico, 1847.]

335. Scott’s Invasion of Mexico.–The plan of Scott’s campaign was that he should land at Vera Cruz, march to the city of Mexico,–two hundred miles away,–capture that city, and force the Mexicans to make peace. Everything fell out precisely as it was planned. With the help of the navy Scott captured Vera Cruz. He had only about one-quarter as many men as the Mexicans. But he overthrew them at Cerro Gordo, where the road to the City of Mexico crosses the coast mountains (April, 1847). With the greatest care and skill he pressed on and at length came within sight of the City of Mexico. The capital of the Mexican Republic stood in the midst of marshes, and could be reached only over narrow causeways which joined it to the solid land. August 20, 1847, Scott beat the Mexicans in three pitched battles, and on September 14 he entered the city with his army, now numbering only six thousand men fit for active service.

[Illustration: THE BEAR FLAG.]

[Sidenote: California.]

[Sidenote: The “Bear Republic,” 1846.]

[Sidenote: California seized by American soldiers.]

336. Seizure of California.–California was the name given to the Mexican possessions on the Pacific coast north of Mexico itself. There were now many American settlers there, especially at Monterey. Hearing of the outbreak of the Mexican War, they Set up a republic of their own. Their flag had a figure of a grizzly bear painted on it, and hence their republic is often spoken of as the Bear Republic. Commodore Stockton with a small fleet was on the Pacific coast. He and John C. Fremont assisted the Bear Republicans until soldiers under Colonel Kearney reached them from the United States by way of Santa Fe.

[Illustration: JOHN C. FREMONT.]

[Sidenote: Mexican cessions, 1848.]

[Sidenote: The Gadsden Purchase, 1853. _McMaster_, 334.]

337. Treaty of Peace, 1848.–The direct cause of the Mexican War was Mexico’s unwillingness to give up Texas without a struggle. But the Mexicans had treated many Americans very unjustly and owed them large sums of money. A treaty of peace was made in 1848. Mexico agreed to abandon her claims to Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The United States agreed to withdraw its armies from Mexico, to pay Mexico fifteen million dollars, and to pay the claims of American citizens on Mexico. These claims proved to amount to three and one-half million dollars, In the end, therefore, the United States paid eighteen and one-half million dollars for this enormous and exceedingly valuable addition to its territory. When the time came to run the boundary line, the American and Mexican commissioners could not agree. So the United States paid ten million dollars more and received an additional strip of land between the Rio Grande and the Colorado rivers. This gave the United States its present southern boundary. This agreement was made in 1853 by James Gadsden for the United States, and the land bought is usually called the Gadsden Purchase.

[Sidenote: Oregon.]

[Sidenote: Joint occupation by United States and Great Britain.]

338. The Oregon Question.–It was not only in the Southwest that boundaries were disputed; in the Northwest also there was a long controversy which was settled while Polk was President. Oregon was the name given to the whole region, between Spanish and Mexican California and the Russian Alaska. The United States and Great Britain each claimed to have the best right to Oregon. As they could not agree as to their claims, they decided to occupy the region jointly. As time went on American settlers and missionaries began to go over the mountains to Oregon. In 1847 seven thousand Americans were living in the Northwest.

[Sidenote: “All Oregon or none.”]

[Sidenote: Division of Oregon, 1846.]

339. The Oregon Treaty, 1846.–The matter was now taken up in earnest. “All Oregon or none,” “Fifty-four forty or fight,” became popular cries. The United States gave notice of the ending of the joint occupation. The British government suggested that Oregon should be divided between the two nations. In 1818 he boundary between the United States and British North America had been fixed as the forty-ninth parallel from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. It was now proposed to continue this line to the Pacific. The British government, however, insisted that the western end of the line should follow the channel between Vancouver’s Island and the mainland so as to make that island entirely British. The Mexican War was now coming on. It would hardly do to have two wars at one time. So the United States gave way and a treaty was signed in 1846. Instead of “all Oregon,” the United States received about one-half. But it was a splendid region and included not merely the present state of Oregon, but all the territory west of the Rocky Mountains between the forty-second and the forty-ninth parallels of latitude.



[Sidenote: Should Oregon and Mexican cessions be free soil?]

[Sidenote: The Wilmot Proviso. _McMaster_, 324.]

340. The Wilmot Proviso, 1846.–What should be done with Oregon and with the immense territory received from Mexico? Should it be free soil or should it be slave soil? To understand the history of the dispute which arose out of this question we must go back a bit and study the Wilmot Proviso. Even before the Mexican War was fairly begun, this question came before Congress. Every one admitted that Texas must be a slave state. Most people were agreed that Oregon would be free soil. For it was too far north for negroes to thrive. But what should be done with California and with New Mexico? David Wilmot of Pennsylvania thought that they should be free soil. He was a member of the House of Representatives. In 1846 he moved to add to a bill giving the President money to purchase land from Mexico a proviso that none of the territory to be acquired at the national expense should be open to slavery. This proviso was finally defeated. But the matter was one on which people held very strong opinions, and the question became the most important issue in the election of 1848.

[Illustration: ZACHARY TAYLOR.]

[Sidenote: Candidates for the presidency, 1848.]

[Sidenote: “Squatter sovereignty.”]

[Sidenote: Free Soil party. _McMaster_, 334-335.]

[Sidenote: Taylor and Fillmore elected.]

341. Taylor elected President, 1848.–Three candidates contested the election of 1848. First there was Lewis Cass of Michigan, the Democratic candidate. He was in favor of “squatter sovereignty,” that is, allowing the people of each territory to have slavery or not as they chose. The Whig candidate was General Taylor, the victor of Buena Vista. The Whigs put forth no statement of principles. The third candidate was Martin Van Buren, already once President. Although a Democrat, he did not favor the extension of slavery. He was nominated by Democrats who did not believe in “squatter sovereignty,” and by a new party which called itself the Free Soil party. The abolitionists or Liberty party also nominated a candidate, but he withdrew in favor of Van Buren. The Whigs had nominated Millard Fillmore of New York for Vice-President. He attracted to the Whig ticket a good many votes in New York. Van Buren also drew a good many votes from the Democrats. In this way New York was carried for Taylor and Fillmore. This decided the election, and the Whig candidates were chosen.

[Illustration: THE SITE OF SAN FRANCISCO IN 1847. From an original drawing.]

[Sidenote: Discovery of gold in California, 1848.]

[Sidenote: The “rush” to California, 1849. _McMaster_, 337-338; _Source-Book_, 276-279.]

342. California.–Before the treaty of peace with Mexico was ratified, even before it was signed, gold was discovered in California. Reports of the discovery soon reached the towns on the western seacoast. At once men left whatever they were doing and hastened to the hills to dig for gold. Months later rumors of this discovery began to reach the eastern part of the United States. At first people paid little attention to them. But when President Polk said that gold had been found, people began to think that it must be true. Soon hundreds of gold-seekers started for California. Then thousands became eager to go. These first comers were called the Forty-Niners, because most of them came in the year 1849. By the end of that year there were eighty thousand immigrants in California.

[Sidenote: California constitutional convention, 1849.]

[Sidenote: Slavery forbidden.]

343. California seeks Admission to the Union.–There were eighty thousand white people in California, and they had almost no government of any kind. So in November, 1849, they held a convention, drew up a constitution, and demanded admission the Union as a state. The peculiar thing about this constitution was that it forbade slavery in California. Many of the Forty-Niners were Southerners. But even they did not want slavery. The reason was that they wished to dig in the earth and win gold. They would not allow slave holders to work their mining claims with slave labor, for free white laborers had never been able to work alongside of negro slaves. So they did not want slavery in California.

[Sidenote: Divisions on the question of the extension of slavery. _McMaster_, 335-336.]

344. A Divided Country.–This action of the people of California at once brought the question of slavery before the people. Many Southerners were eager to found a slave confederacy apart from the Union. Many abolitionists were eager to found a free republic in the North. Many Northerners, who loved the Union, thought that slavery should be confined to the states where it existed. They thought that slavery should not be permitted in the territories, which belonged to the people of the United States as a whole. They argued that if the territories could be kept free, the people of those territories, when they came to form state constitutions, would forbid slavery as the people of California had just done. They were probably right, and for this very reason the Southerners wished to have slavery in the territories. So strong was the feeling over these points that it seemed as if the Union would split into pieces.

[Sidenote: Taylor’s policy.]

[Sidenote: California demands admission.]

345. President Taylor’s Policy.–General Taylor was now President. He was alarmed by the growing excitement. He determined to settle the matter at once before people could get any more excited. So he sent agents to California and to New Mexico to urge the people to demand admission to the Union at once. When Congress met in 1850, he stated that California demanded admission as a free state. The Southerners were angry. For they had thought that California would surely be a slave state.

[Sidenote: Clay’s compromise scheme, 1850. _McMaster_, 339-341; _Source-Book_, 279-281.]

346. Clay’s Compromise Plan.–Henry Clay now stepped forward to bring about a “union of hearts.” His plan was to end all disputes between Northerners and Southerners by having the people of each section give way to the people of the other section. For example, the Southerners were to permit the admission of California as a free state, and to consent to the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia. In return, the Northerners were to give way to the Southerners on all other points. They were to allow slavery in the District of Columbia. They were to consent to the organization of New Mexico and Utah as territories without any provision for or against slavery. Texas claimed that a part of the proposed Territory of New Mexico belonged to her. So Clay suggested that the United States should pay Texas for this land. Finally Clay proposed that Congress should pass a severe Fugitive Slave Act. It is easily seen that Clay’s plan as a whole was distinctly favorable to the South. Few persons favored the passage of the whole scheme. But when votes were taken on each part separately, they all passed. In the midst of the excitement over this compromise President Taylor died, and Millard Fillmore, the Vice-President, became President.

[Illustration: MILLARD FILLMORE.]

[Sidenote: Art. IV, sec. 2.]

[Sidenote: Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.]

[Sidenote: Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. _McMaster_, 341-343.]

[Sidenote: Results of passage of this act. _Higginson_, 281; _Source-Book_, 282-284.]

[Sidenote: The “Underground Railway.” _Source-Book_, 260-263.]

347. The Fugitive Slave Act.–The Constitution provides that persons held to service in one state escaping into another state shall be delivered up upon claim of the person to whom such service may be due. Congress, in 1793, had passed an act to carry out this provision of the Constitution. But this law had seldom been enforced, because its enforcement had been left to the states, and public opinion in the North was opposed to the return of fugitive slaves. The law of 1850 gave the enforcement of the act to United States officials. The agents of slave owners claimed many persons as fugitives. But few were returned to the South. The important result of these attempts to enforce the law was to strengthen Northern public opinion against slavery. It led to redoubled efforts to help runaway slaves through the Northern states to Canada. A regular system was established. This was called the “Underground Railway.” In short, instead of bringing about “a union of hearts,” the Compromise of 1850 increased the ill feeling between the people of the two sections of the country.

[Sidenote: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”]

[Sidenote: Effects of this book.]

348. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”–It was at this time that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” In this story she set forth the pleasant side of slavery–the light-heartedness and kind-heartedness of the negroes. In it she also set forth the unpleasant side of slavery–the whipping of human beings, the selling of human beings, the hunting of human beings. Of course, there never was such a slave as Uncle Tom. The story is simply a wonderful picture of slavery as it appeared to a brilliant woman of the North. Hundreds of thousands of copies of this book were sold in the South as well as in the North. Plays founded on the book were acted on the stage. Southern people when reading “Uncle Tom” thought little of the unpleasant things in it: they liked the pleasant things in it. Northern people laughed at the pretty pictures of plantation life: they were moved to tears by the tales of cruelty. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Fugitive Slave Law convinced the people of the North that bounds must be set to the extension of slavery.



[Sidenote: Campaign of 1852.]

[Sidenote: Pierce elected President.]

349. Pierce elected President, 1852.–It was now Campaign time for a new election. The Whigs had been successful with two old soldiers, so they thought they would try again with another soldier and nominated General Winfield Scott, the conqueror of Mexico. The Democrats also nominated a soldier, Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire, who had been in northern Mexico with Taylor. The Democrats and Whigs both said that they would stand by the Compromise of 1850. But many voters thought that there would be less danger of excitement with a Democrat in the White House and voted for Pierce for that reason. They soon found that they were terribly mistaken in their belief.

[Sidenote: The Nebraska bill, 1854. _Source-Book, 284-287._]

[Sidenote: Douglas asserts Compromise of 1820 to be repealed.]

350. Douglas’s Nebraska Bill.–President Pierce began his term of office quietly enough. But in 1854 Senator Douglas of Illinois brought in a bill to organize the Territory of Nebraska. It will be remembered that in 1820 Missouri had been admitted to the Union as a slave state. In 1848 Iowa had been admitted as a free state. North of Iowa was the free Territory of Minnesota. Westward from Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota was an immense region without any government of any kind. It all lay north of the compromise line of 1820 (p. 222), and had been forever devoted to freedom by that compromise. But Douglas said that the Compromise of 1820 had been repealed by the Compromise of 1850. So he proposed that the settlers of Nebraska should say whether that territory should be free soil or slave soil, precisely as if the Compromise of 1820 had never been passed. Instantly there was a tremendous uproar.

[Illustration: FRANKLIN PIERCE.]

[Sidenote: The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854.]

[Sidenote: Antislavery senators attack the bill.]

[Sidenote: The Independent Democrats.]

351. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854.–Douglas now changed his bill so as to provide for the formation of two territories. One of these he named Kansas. It had nearly the same boundaries as the present state of Kansas, except that it extended westward to the Rocky Mountains. The other territory was named Nebraska. It included all the land north of Kansas and between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains. The antislavery leaders in the North attacked the bill with great fury. Chase of Ohio said that it was a violation of faith. Sumner of Massachusetts rejoiced in the fight, for he said men must now take sides for freedom or for slavery. Some, independent Democrats published “An Appeal.” They asked their fellow-citizens to take their maps and see what an immense region Douglas had proposed to open to slavery. They denied that the Missouri Compromise had been repealed. Nevertheless, the bill passed Congress and was signed by President Pierce.

[Illustration: Territory opened to slavery.]

[Sidenote: Abraham Lincoln, _Hero Tales_, 325-335.]

[Sidenote: Aroused by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.]

352. Abraham Lincoln.–Born in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln went with his parents to Indiana and then to Illinois. As a boy he was very poor and had to work hard. But he lost no opportunity to read and to study. At the plow or in the long evenings at home by the firelight he was ever thinking and studying. Growing to manhood he became a lawyer and served one term in Congress. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act aroused his indignation as nothing had ever aroused it before. He denied that any man had the right to govern another man, be he white or be he black, without that man’s consent. He thought that blood would surely be shed before the slavery question would be settled in Kansas, and the first shedding of blood would be the beginning of the end of the Union.

[Sidenote: Seward’s challenge to the Southerners. _McMaster_, 347-351.]

[Sidenote: The Sons of the South.]

[Sidenote: Fraudulent election. _Source-Book_, 287-289.]

353. Settlement of Kansas.–In the debate on the Kansas-Nebraska bill Senator Seward of New York said to the Southerners: “Come on, then…. We will engage in competition for the soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side that is strong in numbers as it is in right.” Seward spoke truly. The victory came to those opposed to the extension of slavery. But it was a long time in coming. As soon as the act was passed, armed “Sons of the South” crossed the frontier of Missouri and founded the town of Atchison. Then came large bands of armed settlers from the North and the East. They founded the towns of Lawrence and Topeka. An election was held. Hundreds of men poured over the boundary of Missouri, outvoted the free-soil settlers in Kansas, and then went home. The territorial legislature, chosen in this way, adopted the laws of Missouri, slave code and all, as the laws of Kansas. It seemed as if Kansas were lost to freedom.

[Sidenote: Free-state constitution.]

[Sidenote: The Senate refuses to admit Kansas.]

354. The Topeka Convention.–The free-state voters now held a convention at Topeka. They drew up a constitution and applied to Congress for admission to the Union as the free state of Kansas. The free-state men and the slave-state men each elected a Delegate to Congress. The House of Representatives now took the matter up and appointed a committee of investigation. The committee reported in favor of the free-state men, and the House voted to admit Kansas as a free state. But the Senate would not consent to anything of the kind. The contest in Kansas went on and became more bitter every month.

[Sidenote: Origin of the Republican party. _McMaster_, 352-355.]

[Sidenote: Anti-Nebraska men.]

355. The Republican Party.–The most important result of the Kansas-Nebraska fight was the formation of the Republican party. It was made up of men from all the other parties who agreed in opposing Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska policy. Slowly they began to think of themselves as a party and to adopt the name of the old party of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe–Republican.

[Sidenote: Presidential candidates, 1856.]

[Sidenote: Buchanan.]

[Sidenote: Fremont.]

356. Buchanan elected President, 1856.–The Whigs and the Know-Nothings nominated Millard Fillmore for President and said nothing about slavery. The Democrats nominated James Buchanan of Pennsylvania for President and John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for Vice-President. They declared their approval of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and favored a strict construction of the Constitution. The Republicans nominated John C. Fremont. They protested against the extension of slavery and declared for a policy of internal improvements at the expense of the nation. The Democrats won; but the Republicans carried all the Northern states save four.

[Sidenote: Dred Scott decision, 1857. _McMaster_, 355-357; _Source-Book_, 290-291]

[Sidenote: Opinions of the judges.]

357. The Dred Scott Decision, 1857.–The Supreme Court of the United States now gave a decision in the Dred Scott case that put an end to all hope of compromise on the slavery question. Dred Scott had been born a slave. The majority of the judges declared that a person once a slave could never become a citizen of the United States and bring suit in the United States courts. They also declared that the Missouri Compromise was unlawful. Slave owners had a clear right to carry their property, including slaves, into the territories, and Congress could not stop them.

[Sidenote: Lincoln’s policy.]

[Sidenote: His debates with Douglas. _McMaster_, 388-389; _Source-Book_, 290-294.]

358. The Lincoln and Douglas Debates, 1858.–The question of the reelection of Douglas to the Senate now came before the people of Illinois. Abraham Lincoln stepped forward to contest the election with him. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Lincoln. “This government cannot endure half slave and half free…. It will become all one thing or all the other.” He challenged Douglas to debate the issues with him before the people, and Douglas accepted the challenge. Seven joint debates were held in the presence of immense crowds. Lincoln forced Douglas to defend the doctrine of “popular sovereignty.” This Douglas did by declaring that the legislatures of the territories could make laws hostile to slavery. This idea, of course, was opposed to the Dred Scott decision. Douglas won the election and was returned to the Senate. But Lincoln had made a national reputation.

[Illustration: HARPER’S FERRY.]

[Sidenote: Civil war in Kansas. _McMaster_, 357.]

[Sidenote: John Brown.]

[Sidenote: The slave constitution.]

[Sidenote: Douglas opposes Buchanan.]

359. “Bleeding Kansas.”–Meantime civil war had broken out in Kansas, Slavery men attacked Lawrence, killed a few free-state settlers, and burned several buildings. Led by John Brown, an immigrant from New York, free-state men attacked a party of slave-state men and killed five of them. By 1857 the free-state voters had become so numerous that it was no longer possible to outvote them by bringing men from Missouri, and they chose a free-state legislature. But the fraudulent slave-state legislature had already provided for holding a constitutional convention at Lecompton. This convention was controlled by the slave-state men and adopted a constitution providing for slavery. President Buchanan sent this constitution to Congress and asked to have Kansas admitted as a slave state. But Douglas could not bear to see the wishes of the settlers of Kansas outraged. He opposed the proposition vigorously and it was defeated. It was not until 1861 that Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state.

[Sidenote: John Brown’s Raid, 1859. _Higginson_, 286-289; _Source-Book_, 294-296.]

[Sidenote: He seizes Harper’s Ferry.]

[Sidenote: His execution, 1859.]

360. John Brown’s Raid, 1859.–While in Kansas John Brown had conceived a bold plan. It was to seize a strong place in the mountains of the South, and there protect any slaves who should run away from their masters. In this way he expected to break slavery in pieces within two years. With only nineteen men he seized Harper’s Ferry, in Virginia, and secured the United States arsenal at that place. But he and most of his men were immediately captured. He was executed by the Virginian authorities as a traitor and murderer. The Republican leaders denounced his act as “the gravest of crimes.” But the Southern leaders were convinced that now the time had come to secede from the Union and to establish a Southern Confederacy.



Sec. 323.–_a_. Why were the people of South Carolina so opposed to any limitation of slavery? How did they show their opposition?

_b_. Had slavery disappeared in the North because people thought that it was wrong?

Sec.Sec. 324, 325.–_a_. What suggestions were made by some in the North for the ending of slavery? What do you think of these suggestions?

_b_. For what did Garrison contend, and how did he make his views known? Why were these views opposed in the North?

Sec. 326.–_a_. Why were the Southerners so alarmed by Nat Turner’s Rebellion?

_b_. What power had Congress over the mails? How would you have voted on this question?

Sec.Sec. 327, 328.–_a_. Why is the right of petition so important? How is this right secured to citizens of the United States?

_b_. Why should these petitions be considered as insulting to slaveholders?

_c_. Why were the Southerners so afraid of any discussion of slavery?


Sec.Sec. 329, 330.–_a_. Show by the map the extent of the Mexican Republic.

_b_. Why did Texas wish to join the United States? What attitude had Mexico taken on slavery?

Sec.Sec. 331, 332.–_a_. Explain carefully how the Texas question influenced the election of 1844.

_b_. What was the Liberty party? How did its formation make the election of Polk possible?

_c_. What is a “joint resolution”?

Sec. 333.–How did the Mexicans regard the admission of Texas? What dispute with Mexico arose? Did Mexico begin the war?

Sec.Sec. 334, 335.–_a_. What was the plan of Taylor’s campaign? Of Scott’s campaign?

_b_. Mention the leading battles of Taylor’s campaign. Of Scott’s campaign.

Sec.Sec. 336, 337.–_a_. What action did the American settlers in California take? With what result?

_b_. Explain by a map the Mexican cessions of 1848 and 1853.

Sec.Sec. 338, 339.–_a_. What was the extent of Oregon in 1845?

_b_. How was the dispute finally settled? Explain by a map.

_c_. What was the extent of Oregon in 1847? Is it the same to-day?

_d_. Of what value was this region to the United States?


Sec.Sec. 340, 341.–_a_. Why was there little question whether Oregon would be slave or free?

_b_. Explain carefully Wilmot’s suggestion. What would be the arguments in Congress for and against this “proviso”?

_c_. What is meant by “squatter sovereignty”? What do you think of the wisdom and justice of such a plan?

Sec.Sec. 342, 343.–_a_. Describe the discovery of gold in California and the rush thither. What difference did _one year_ make in the population of California?

_b_. What attitude did California take on the slavery question? Why?

Sec.Sec. 344, 345.–_a_. How had the question of slavery already divided the country?

_b_. What extreme parties were there in the North and the South?

_c_. Why was the question about the territories so important?

_d_. What action did President Taylor take? Why? What do you think of the wisdom of this policy?

Sec.Sec. 346, 347.–_a_. State the provisions of Clay’s compromise plan. Which of these favored the North? The South?

_b_. What law had been made as to fugitive slaves? Why had it not been enforced? Why was the change made in 1850 so important?

_c_. How would you have acted had you been a United States officer called to carry out the Fugitive Slave Law?

Sec. 348.–_a_. Who was Mrs. Stowe? What view did she take of slavery?

_b_. Were there any good points in the slave system?

_c_. Why is this book so important?


Sec.Sec. 349-351.–_a_. Who were the candidates in 1852? Who was chosen? Why?

_b_. What doctrine did Douglas apply to Kansas and Nebraska?

_c_. Why did Chase call this bill “a violation of faith”?

_d_. Was Douglas a patriot? Chase? Sumner? Pierce?

Sec. 352.–_a_. Give an account of the early life and training of Abraham Lincoln.

_b_. What did he think of the Kansas-Nebraska Act?

Sec.Sec. 353, 354.–_a_. What effect did the Kansas-Nebraska Act have on the settlement of Kansas?

_b_. Describe the election. Do you think that laws made by a legislature so elected were binding?

_d_. Explain the difference in the attitude of the Senate and House on the Kansas question.

Sec.Sec. 355, 356.–_a_. How was the Republican party formed? _b_. Were its principles like or unlike those of the Republican party of Jefferson’s time? Give your reasons.

Sec. 357.–_a_. What rights did the Supreme Court declare a slave could not possess? Was a slave a person or a thing?

_b_. What power does the Constitution give Congress over a territory? (Art. IV, Sec. 3.)

Sec. 358.–_a_. Explain carefully the quotations from Lincoln’s speeches.

_b_. Was the doctrine of popular sovereignty necessarily favorable to slavery? Give illustrations to support your reasons.

_c_. Was Douglas’s declaration in harmony with the decision of the Supreme Court?

Sec.Sec. 359, 360.–_a_. Compare the attitude of Douglas and Buchanan upon the admission of Kansas.

_b_. Describe John Brown’s raid. Was he a traitor?


_a_. Give, with dates, the important laws as to slavery since 1783.

_b_. What were the arguments in favor of the extension of slavery? Against it?

_c_. Find and learn a poem against slavery by Whittier, Lowell, or Longfellow.

_d_. Make a table of elections since 1788, with the leading parties, candidates, and principal issues. Underline the name of the candidate elected.


_a_. John Brown in Kansas or at Harper’s Ferry.

_b_. The career, to this time, of any man mentioned in Chapters 33 and 34.

_c_. Any one fugitive slave case: Jerry McHenry in Syracuse (A.J. May’s _Antislavery Conflicts_), Shadrach, Anthony Burns.


Preparation is especially important in teaching this period. The teacher will find references to larger books in Channing’s _Students’ History._

Show how the question of slavery was really at the basis of the Mexican War. Geographical conditions and the settlement of the Western country should be carefully noted. A limited use of the writings and speeches of prominent men and writers is especially valuable at this point.

Have a large map of the United States in the class room, cut out and fasten upon this map pieces of white and black paper to illustrate the effects of legislation under discussion, and also to illustrate the various elections.

The horrors of slavery should be but lightly touched. Emphasize especially the fact that slavery prevented rather than aided the development of the South, and was an evil economically as well as socially.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1860.]


SECESSION, 1860-1861

Books for Study and Reading

References.–Scribner’s _Popular History_, IV, 432-445; McMaster’s _School History_, chap. xxvi (industrial progress, 1840-60).

Home Readings.–Page’s _The Old South_.



[Sidenote: Area of the United States, 1860.]

[Sidenote: Population, 1860.]

361. Growth of the Country.–The United States was now three times as large as it was at Jefferson’s election. It contained over three million square miles of land. About one-third of this great area was settled. In the sixty years of the century the population had increased even faster than the area had increased. In 1800 there were five and a half million people living in the United States. In 1860 there were over thirty-one million people within its borders. Of these nearly five millions were white immigrants. More than half of these immigrants had come in the last ten years, and they had practically all of them settled in the free states of the North. Of the whole population of thirty-one millions only twelve millions lived in the slave states, and of these more than four millions were negro slaves.

[Sidenote: New states. _McMaster_, 365-368.]

362. Change of Political Power.–The control of Congress had now passed into the hands of the free states of the North. The majority of the Representatives had long been from the free states. Now more Senators came from the North than from the South. This was due to the admission of new states. Texas (1845) was the last slave state to be admitted to the Union. Two years later the admission of Wisconsin gave the free states as many votes in the Senate as the slave states had. In 1850 the admission of California gave the free states a majority of two votes in the Senate. This majority was increased to four by the admission of Minnesota in 1858, and to six by the admission of Oregon in 1859. The control of Congress had slipped forever from the grasp of the slave states.

[Sidenote: The cities.]

[Sidenote: New York.]

[Sidenote: Chicago.]

363. The Cities.–The tremendous increase in manufacturing, in farming, and in trading brought about a great increase in foreign commerce. This in turn led to the building up of great cities in the North and the West. These were New York and Chicago; and they grew rapidly because they formed the two ends of the line of communication between the East and the West by the Mohawk Valley (p. 239). New York now contained over eight hundred thousand inhabitants. It had more people within its limits than lived in the whole state of South Carolina. The most rapid growth was seen in the case of Chicago. In 1840 there were only five thousand people in that city; it now contained one hundred and nine thousand inhabitants. Cincinnati and St. Louis, each with one hundred and sixty thousand, were still the largest cities of the West, and St. Louis was the largest city in any slave state. New Orleans, with nearly as many people as St. Louis, was the only large city in the South.

[Sidenote: The North and the South.]

[Sidenote: Growth of the Northwest.]

[Sidenote: Density of population, 1860.]

364. The States.–As it was with the cities so it was with the states–the North had grown beyond the South. In 1790 Virginia had as many inhabitants as the states of New York and Pennsylvania put together. In 1860 Virginia had only about one-quarter as many inhabitants as these two states. Indeed, in 1860 New York had nearly four million inhabitants, or nearly as many inhabitants as the whole United States in 1791 (p. 156). But the growth of the states of the Northwest had been even more remarkable. Ohio now had a million more people than Virginia and stood third in population among the states of the Union. Illinois was the fourth state and Indiana the sixth. Even more interesting are the facts brought out by a study of the map showing the density of population or the number of people to the square mile in the several states. It appears that in 1860 Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts each had over forty-five inhabitants to the square mile, while not a single Southern state had as many as forty-five inhabitants to the square mile. This shows us at once that although the Southern states were larger in extent than the Northern states, they were much less powerful.

[Illustration: DENSITY OF POPULATION IN 1860.]

[Sidenote: Improvements in living.]

365. City Life.–In the old days the large towns were just like the small towns except that they were larger. Life in them was just about the same as in the smaller places. Now, however, there was a great difference. In the first place the city could afford to have a great many things the smaller town could not pay for. In the second place it must have certain things or its people would die of disease or be killed as they walked the streets. For these reasons the streets of the Northern cities were paved and lighted and were guarded by policemen. Then, too, great sewers carried away the refuse of the city, and enormous iron pipes brought fresh water to every one within its limits. Horse-cars and omnibuses carried its inhabitants from one part of the city to another, and the railroads brought them food from the surrounding country.

[Illustration: AN OMNIBUS]

[Sidenote: Growth of the railroad systems.]

366. Transportation.–Between 1849 and 1858 twenty-one thousand miles of railroad were built in the United States, In 1860 there were more than thirty thousand miles of railroad in actual operation. In 1850 one could not go from New York to Albany without leaving the railroad and going on board a steamboat. In 1860 one continuous line of rails ran from New York City to the Mississippi River. Traveling was still uncomfortable according to our ideas. The cars were rudely made and jolted horribly. One train ran only a comparatively short distance. Then the traveler had to alight, get something to eat, and see his baggage placed on another train. Still, with all its discomforts, traveling in the worst of cars was better than traveling in the old stagecoaches. Many more steamboats were used, especially on the Great Lakes and the Western rivers.

[Illustration: HORACE GREELEY]

[Sidenote: Schools.]

[Sidenote: Newspapers.]

[Sidenote: Horace Greeley.]

367. Education.–The last thirty years had also been years of progress in learning. Many colleges were founded, especially in the Northwest. There was still no institution which deserved the name of university. But more attention was being paid to the sciences and to the education of men for the professions of law and medicine. The newspapers also took on their modern form. The _New York Herald_, founded in 1835, was the first real newspaper. But the _New York Tribune_, edited by Horace Greeley, had more influence than any other paper in the country. Greeley was odd in many ways, but he was one of the ablest men of the time. He called for a liberal policy in the distribution of the public lands and was forever saying, “Go West, young man, go West.” The magazines were now very much better than in former years, and America’s foremost writers were doing some of their best work.


[Sidenote: The telegraph.]

[Sidenote: The Howe sewing machine.]

[Sidenote: Agriculture machinery.]

[Sidenote: Stagnation in the South.]

368. Progress of Invention.–The electric telegraph was now in common use. It enabled the newspapers to tell the people what was going on as they never had done before. Perhaps the invention that did as much as any one thing to make life easier was the sewing machine. Elias Howe was the first man to make a really practicable sewing machine. Other inventors improved upon it, and also made machines to sew other things than cloth, as leather. Agricultural machinery was now in common use. The horse reaper had been much improved, and countless machines had been invented to make agricultural labor more easy and economical. Hundreds of homely articles, as friction matches and rubber shoes, came into use in these years. In short, the thirty years from Jackson’s inauguration to the secession of the Southern states were years of great progress. But this progress was confined almost wholly to the North. In the South, living in 1860 was about the same as it had been in 1830, or even in 1800. As a Southern orator said of the South, “The rush and whirl of modern civilization passed her by.”


SECESSION, 1860-1861

[Illustration: WILLIAM H. SEWARD.]

[Sidenote: Candidates for the Republican nomination 1860.]

[Sidenote: Lincoln nominated. The platform.]

369. The Republican Nomination, 1860.–Four names were especially mentioned in connection with the Republican nomination for President. These were Seward, Chase, Cameron, and Lincoln. Seward was the best known of them all. In the debates on the Compromise of 1850 he had declared that there was “a higher law” than the Constitution, namely, “the law of nature in men’s hearts.” In another speech he had termed the slavery contest “the irrepressible conflict.” These phrases endeared him to the antislavery men. But they made it impossible for many moderate Republicans to follow him. Senator Chase of Ohio had also been very outspoken in his condemnation of slavery. Senator Cameron of Pennsylvania was an able political leader. But all of these men were “too conspicuous to make a good candidate.” They had made many enemies. Lincoln had spoken freely. But he had never been prominent in national politics. He was more likely to attract the votes of moderate men than either of the other candidates. After a fierce contest he was nominated. The Republican platform stated that there was no intention to interfere with slavery in the states where it existed; but it declared the party’s opposition to the extension of slavery. The platform favored internal improvements at the national expense. It also approved the protective system.

[Sidenote: The Charleston convention, 1860. _McMaster_, 360-361.]

[Sidenote: The Douglas Democrats.]

[Sidenote: The Breckinridge Democrats.]

370. The Democratic Nominations.–The Democratic convention met at Charleston, South Carolina. It was soon evident that the Northern Democrats and the Southern Democrats could not agree. The Northerners were willing to accept the Dred Scott decision and to carry it out. But the Southerners demanded that the platform should pledge the party actively to protect slavery in the territories. To this the Northerners would not agree. So the convention broke up to meet again at Baltimore. But there the delegates could come to no agreement. In the end two candidates were named. The Northerners nominated Douglas on a platform advocating “popular sovereignty.” The Southerners nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky. In their platform they advocated states’ rights, and the protection of slavery in the territories by the federal government.

[Sidenote: The Constitutional Union party.]

371. The Constitutional Union Party.–Besides these three candidates, cautious and timid men of all parties united to form the Constitutional Union party. They nominated Governor John Bell of Tennessee for President. In their platform they declared for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union, regardless of slavery.


[Sidenote: The campaign of 1860.]

[Sidenote: Lincoln elected.]

372. Lincoln elected President, 1860.–With four candidates in the field and the Democratic party hopelessly divided, there could be little doubt of Lincoln’s election. He carried every Northern state except Missouri and New Jersey. He received one hundred and eighty electoral notes. Breckenridge carried every Southern state except the “border states” of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and received seventy-two electoral votes. Bell carried the three “border” Southern states and Douglas carried Missouri and New Jersey. There was no doubt as to Lincoln’s election. He had received a great majority of the electoral votes. But his opponents had received more popular votes than he had received. He was therefore elected by a minority of the voters.

[Illustration: LINCOLN’S BOOKCASE. From the Keyes-Lincoln Memorial Collection, Chicago.]

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Republicans.]

[Sidenote: Southern fears.]

373. The North and the South.–Lincoln had been elected by a minority of the people. He had been elected by the people of one section. Other Presidents had been chosen by minorities. But Lincoln was the first man to be chosen President by the people of one section. The Republicans, moreover, had not elected a majority of the members of the House of Representatives, and the Senate was still in the hands of the Democrats. For two years at least the Republicans could not carry out their ideas. They could not repeal the Kansas-Nebraska Act. They could not admit Kansas to the Union as a free state. They could not carry out one bit of their policy. In their platform they had declared that they had no intention to interfere with slavery in the states. Lincoln had said over and over again that Congress had no right to meddle with slavery in the states. The Southern leaders knew all these things. But they made up their minds that now the time had come to secede from the Union and to establish a Southern Confederacy. For the first time all the southernmost states were united. No matter what Lincoln and the Republicans might say, the Southern slaveholders believed that slavery was in danger. In advising secession, many of them thought that by this means they could force the Northerners to accept their terms as the price of a restored Union. Never were political leaders more mistaken.

[Sidenote: Southern conventions.]

374. Threats of Secession, November, 1860.–The Constitution permits each state to choose presidential electors as it sees fit. At the outset these electors had generally been chosen by the state legislatures. But, in the course of time, all the states save one had come to choose them by popular vote. The one state that held to the old way was South Carolina. Its legislature still chose the state’s presidential electors. In 1860 the South Carolina legislature did this duty and then remained in session to see which way the election would go. When Lincoln’s election was certain, it called a state convention to consider the question of seceding from the United States. In other Southern states there was some opposition to secession. In Georgia, especially, Alexander H. Stephens led the opposition. He said that secession “was the height of madness.” Nevertheless he moved a resolution for a convention. Indeed, all the southernmost states followed the example of South Carolina and summoned conventions.

[Sidenote: Buchanan’s compromise plan.]

[Crittenden’s plan of compromise. _McMaster_, 380-381.]

[Sidenote: It fails to pass Congress.]

375. The Crittenden Compromise Plan.–Many men hoped that even now secession might be stopped by some compromise. President Buchanan suggested an amendment to the Constitution, securing slavery in the states and territories. It was unlikely that the Republicans would agree to this suggestion. The most hopeful plan was brought forward in Congress by Senator Crittenden of Kentucky. He proposed that amendments to the Constitution should be adopted: (1) to carry out the principle of the Missouri Compromise (p. 222);(2) to provide that states should be free or slave as their people should determine; and (3) to pay the slave owners the value of runaway slaves. This plan was carefully considered by Congress, and was finally rejected only two days before Lincoln’s inauguration.

[Sidenote: South Carolina secedes, 1860. _Eggleston_, 304-305.]

[Sidenote: Six other states secede.]

376. Secession of Seven States, 1860-61.–The South Carolina convention met in Secession Hall, Charleston, on December 17, 1860. Three days later it adopted a declaration “that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” Six other states soon joined South Carolina. These were Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

[Sidenote: Confederate states constitution]

[Sidenote: Views of Jefferson Davis.]

377. The “Confederate States of America.”–The next step was for these states to join together to form a confederation. This work was done by a convention of delegates chosen by the conventions of the seven seceding states. These delegates met at Montgomery, Alabama. Their new constitution closely resembled the Constitution of the United States. But great care was taken to make it perfectly clear that each member of the Confederacy was a sovereign state. Exceeding care was also taken that slavery should be protected in every way. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was chosen provisional president, and Alexander H. Stephens provisional vice-president.


[Sidenote: Views of Jefferson Davis.]

[Sidenote: Views of Alexander H. Stephens. _Source-Book_, 296-299.]

378. Views of Davis and Stephens.–Davis declared that Lincoln had “made a distinct declaration of war upon our (Southern) institutions.” His election was “upon the basis of sectional hostility.” If “war must come, it must be on Northern and not on Southern soil…. We will carry war … where food for the sword and torch awaits our armies in the densely populated cities” of the North. For his part, Stephens said the new government’s “foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man.”

[Sidenote: “Let the erring sisters” go in peace.]

[Sidenote: Greeley’s opinions.]

[Sidenote: Buchanan’s opinions.]

379. Hesitation in the North.–At first it seemed as if Davis was right when he said the Northerners would not fight. General Scott, commanding the army, suggested that the “erring sisters” should be allowed to “depart in peace,” and Seward seemed to think the same way. The Abolitionists welcomed the secession of the slave states. Horace Greeley, for instance, wrote that if those states chose to form an independent nation, “they had a clear moral right so to do.” For his part, President Buchanan thought that no state could constitutionally secede. But if a state should secede, he saw no way to compel it to come back to the Union. So he sat patiently by and did nothing.



Sec.Sec. 361, 362.–_a_. Compare the area and population of the United States in 1800 and in 1860.

_b_. Compare the white population of the North and the South. Were all the Southern whites slave owners?

_c_. Why had the control of the House passed to the free states? Did a white man in the North and in the South have proportionally the same representation in the House? Why?

_d_. What change in the control of the Senate had taken place? Why? Why was this change so important?

Sec.Sec. 363, 364.–_a_. What had caused the growth of the Northern cities? Why were there so few large cities in the slave states?

_b_. How had the population of the states changed since 1790? What had caused the growth of the Northwest?

_c_. Where was there the greatest density of population? Why?

Sec.Sec. 365, 366.–_a_. Describe the change of life in the cities. What arrangements were made for the comfort and health of the people?

_b_. How had railroads increased, and what improvements had been made?

Sec.Sec. 367, 368.–_a_. Of what use are newspapers? How do they influence the opinions of the people? What policy did Horace Greeley uphold? Why?

_b_. Who were some of the important writers? Mention two works of each.

_c_. What influence did the telegraph have? Was this important?

_d_. Describe some of the other inventions.

_e_. Why had this progress been confined mainly to the North?


Sec. 369.–_a_. Who were the leading Republican candidates?

_b_. Why was Lincoln nominated? What is the meaning of the phrase “too conspicuous”?

_c_. What did Seward mean by saying that there was a “higher law” than the Constitution? Why was the slavery contest “irrepressible”?

_d_. What declaration was made by the Republican party as to slavery? Compare this policy with the Wilmot Proviso.

Sec.Sec. 370, 371.–_a_. What divisions took place in the Democratic party? Why?

_b_. What candidates were named? What policy did each uphold?

_c_. How had the demands of the Southerners concerning slavery increased?

_d_. What third party was formed? By whom? What does the name show?

Sec.Sec. 372, 373.–_a_. What was the result of the election?

_b_. What was there peculiar in Lincoln’s election?

_c_. Were the Southern states in any particular danger?

_d_. Why should the Southerners have felt so strongly about this election? What was their hope in threatening secession?

Sec.Sec.374, 375.–_a_ Give arguments for and against secession. In what other question similar to this had South Carolina led?

_b_. Were the people of the South generally in favor of secession?

_c_. What compromise did Buchanan suggest? What do you think of the wisdom of the plan?

_d_. Explain carefully the points in Crittenden’s plan. Discuss its value.

Sec.Sec. 376, 377.–_a_ Could one state dissolve the Union? _b_. What other states followed South Carolina?

_c_. What government was formed by them? What two points were especially emphasized in their constitution? Why these?

Sec.Sec. 378, 379.–_a_. What statement did Davis make as to Lincoln? Was it true or false? Give your reasons.

_b_. Why did Davis advocate war on Northern soil?

_c_. Why was there such hesitation in the North? State the opinions of Scott, Greeley, and Buchanan.

_d_. What would Jackson probably have done had he been President?


_a_. Was the South justified in thinking that the North would yield? Give illustrations to support your view.

_b_. Were the years 1857-61 more or less “critical” than the years 1783-87? Why?

_c_. How was the South dependent upon the North?


_a_. Comparison between the North and the South.

_b_. Any invention mentioned in this part.

_c_. Some writer of this period.

_d_. The condition of your own state (or town or city) in 1860.


The first chapter of this part should be taught very slowly, and at each point the contrast between the North and the South should be pointed out.

In Chapter 36 the changed attitude of the Southern politicians should be noted and their demands clearly set forth. The fact that the slave owners while a minority in the South dominated public opinion should be pointed out.

In considering the question of secession it will be well to review the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, the Hartford Convention, and the Nullification episode. The weakness of Pierce and Buchanan may be contrasted with the strength of Jackson, and will serve as an introduction to the study of Lincoln’s character.



Books for Study and Reading

References.–Dodge’s _Bird’s-Eye View_; Scribner’s _Popular History_, IV and V; McMaster’s _School History_. chap, xxix (the cost of the war); Lincoln’s _Inaugurals_ and _Gettysburg Address_.

Home Readings.–_Battles and Leaders of the Civil War_ (composed largely of articles that had previously appeared in the _Century Magazine_; Whittier’s _Barbara Frietchie; _Coffin’s _Winning his Way_ and other stories; Soley’s _Sailor Boys of ’61_; Trowbridge’s _Drummer Boy_ and other stories; Read’s _Sheridan’s Ride_; Champlin’s _Young Folks’ History of the War for the Union_).



[Sidenote: Lincoln’s inaugural address, March 4, 1861.]

380. Lincoln’s Inauguration.–On March 4, 1861, President Lincoln made his first inaugural address. In it he declared: “The Union is much older than the Constitution…. No state upon its own motion can lawfully get out of the Union…. In view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken … I shall take care that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states.” As to slavery, he had “no purpose … to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists.” He even saw no objection to adopt an amendment of the Constitution to prohibit the Federal government from interfering with slavery in the states. But he was resolved to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.



[Sidenote: Fort Sumter. _Source-Book_, 299-302.]

[Sidenote: The call to arms, April 15, 1861.]

381. Fall of Fort Sumter, April, 1861.–The strength of Lincoln’s resolve was soon tested. When South Carolina seceded, Major Anderson, commanding the United States forces at Charleston, withdrew from the land forts to Fort Sumter, built on a shoal in the harbor. He had with him only eighty fighting men and was sorely in need of food and ammunition. Buchanan sent a steamer, the _Star of the West, _to Charleston with supplies and soldiers. But the Confederates fired on her, and she steamed away without landing the soldiers or the supplies. Lincoln waited a month, hoping that the secessionists would come back to the Union of their own accord. Then he decided to send supplies to Major Anderson and told the governor of South Carolina of his decision. Immediately (April 12) the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter. On April 14 Anderson surrendered. The next day President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteers.

[Sidenote: The Northern volunteers. _McMaster_, 386-387; _Source-Book_, 303-305.]

[Sidenote: Douglas, Buchanan, and Pierce]

[Sidenote: Progress of secession.]

382. Rising of the North.–There was no longer a question of letting the “erring sisters” depart in peace. The Southerners had fired on “Old Glory.” There was no longer a dispute over the extension of slavery. The question was now whether the Union should perish or should live. Douglas at once came out for the Union and so did the former Presidents, Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. In the Mississippi Valley hundreds of thousands of men either sympathized with the slaveholders or cared nothing about the slavery dispute. But the moment the Confederates attacked the Union, they rose in defense of their country and their flag.

[Sidenote: West Virginia.]

383. More Seceders.–The Southerners flocked to the standards of the Confederacy, and four more states joined the ranks of secession. These were Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. In Virginia the people were sharply divided on the question of secession. Finally Virginia seceded, but the western Virginians, in their turn, seceded from Virginia and two years later were admitted to the Union as the state of West Virginia. Four “border states” had seceded; but four other “border states” were still within the Union. These were Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.

[Sidenote: Kentucky and Maryland saved to the Union.]

[Sidenote: Missouri saved to the Union. _Eggleston_, 310.]

384. The Border States.–The people of Maryland and of Kentucky were evenly divided on the question of secession. They even tried to set up as neutral states. But their neutrality would have been so greatly to the advantage of the seceders that this could not be allowed. Lincoln’s firm moderation and the patriotism of many wise leaders in Kentucky saved that state to the Union. But Maryland was so important to the defense of Washington that more energetic means had to be used. In Missouri, a large and active party wished to join the Confederacy. But two Union men, Frank P. Blair and Nathaniel Lyon, held the most important portions of the state for the Union. It was not until a year later, however, that Missouri was safe on the Northern side.

[Sidenote: Southern sentiment in Washington.]

[Sidenote: Southern Unionists.]

[Sidenote: First bloodshed, April 19, 1861.]

385. To the Defense of Washington.–The national capital was really a Southern town, for most of the permanent residents were Southerners, and the offices were filled with Southern men. In the army and navy, too, were very many Southerners. Most of them, as Robert E. Lee, felt that their duty to their state was greater than their duty to their flag. But many Southern officers felt differently. Among these were two men whose names should be held in grateful remembrance, Captain David G. Farragut and Colonel George H. Thomas. The first soldiers to arrive in Washington were from Pennsylvania; but they came unarmed. Soon they were followed by the Sixth Massachusetts. In passing through Baltimore this regiment was attacked. Several men were killed, others were wounded. This was on April 19, 1861,–the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. It was the first bloodshed of the war.




[Sidenote: The field of war.]

386. Nature of the Conflict.–The overthrow of the Confederate states proved to be very difficult. The Alleghany Mountains cut the South into two great fields of war. Deep and rapid rivers flowed from the mountains into the Atlantic or into the Mississippi. Each of these rivers was a natural line of defense. The first line was the Potomac and the Ohio. But when the Confederates were driven from this line, they soon found another equally good a little farther south. Then again the South was only partly settled. Good roads were rare, but there were many poor roads. The maps gave only the good roads. By these the Northern soldiers had to march while the Southern armies were often guided through paths unknown to the Northerners, and thus were able to march shorter distances between two battlefields or between two important points.

[Sidenote: Plan of campaign.]

[Sidenote: Disaster at Bull Run, July, 1861. _Source-Book_, 305-308.]

387. The Bull Run Campaign, July, 1861.–Northern soldiers crossed the Potomac into Virginia and found the Confederates posted at Bull Run near Manassas Junction. Other Northern soldiers pressed into the Shenandoah Valley from Harper’s Ferry. They, too, found a Confederate army in front of them. The plan of the Union campaign is now clear: General McDowell was to attack the Confederates at Bull Run, while General Patterson attacked the Confederates in the Valley, and kept them so busy that they could not go to the help of their comrades at Bull Run. It fell out otherwise, for Patterson retreated and left the Confederate general, Johnston, free to go to the aid of the sorely pressed Confederates at Bull Run. McDowell attacked vigorously and broke the Confederate line; but he could not maintain his position. The Union troops at first retreated slowly. Then they became frightened and fled, in all haste, back to Washington. The first campaign ended in disaster.

[Illustration: GENERAL MCCLELLAN.]

[Sidenote: The Army of the Potomac, 1862.]

388. The Army of the Potomac.–While the Bull Run campaign was going on in eastern Virginia, Union soldiers had been winning victories in western Virginia. These were led by General George B. McClellan. He now came to Washington and took command of the troops operating in front of the capital. During the autumn, winter, and spring he drilled his men with great skill and care. In March, 1862, the Army of the Potomac left its camps a splendidly drilled body of soldiers.

[Sidenote: Southern preparations. _Source-Book_, 308-311.]

[Sidenote: Richmond.]

[Sidenote: Army of Northern Virginia.]

389. The Army of Northern Virginia.–Meantime the government of the Confederacy had gathered great masses of soldiers. There were not nearly as many white men of fighting age in the South as there were in the North. But what men there were could be placed in the fighting line, because the negro slaves could produce the food needed by the armies and do the hard labor of making forts. The capital of the Confederacy was now established at Richmond, on the James River, in Virginia. The army defending this capital was called the Army of Northern Virginia. It was commanded by Joseph E. Johnston; but its ablest officers were Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson).

[Sidenote: McClellan’s plan of campaign, 1862.]

[Sidenote: Objections to it.]

390. Plan of the Peninsular Campaign.–The country between the Potomac and the James was cut up by rivers, as the Rappahannock, the Mattapony, and Pamunkey, and part of it was a wilderness. McClellan planned to carry his troops by water to the peninsula between the James and the York and Pamunkey rivers. He would then have a clear road to Richmond, with no great rivers to dispute with the enemy. Johnston would be obliged to leave his camp at Bull Run and march southward to the defense of Richmond. The great objection to the plan was that Johnston might attack Washington instead of going to face McClellan. General Jackson also was in the Shenandoah Valley. He might march down the Valley, cross the Potomac, and seize Washington. So the government kept seventy-five thousand of McClellan’s men for the defense of the Federal capital.

[Illustration: THE “MONITOR.”]

[Sidenote: The _Monitor_ and the _Merrimac_. _Hero Tales_, 183, 195.]

391. The _Monitor_ and the _Merrimac_.–On March 8 a queer-looking craft steamed out from Norfolk, Virginia, and attacked the Union fleet at anchor near Fortress Monroe. She destroyed two wooden frigates, the _Cumberland_ and the _Congress_, and began the destruction of the _Minnesota_. She then steamed back to Norfolk. This formidable vessel was the old frigate _Merrimac_. Upon her decks the Confederates had built an iron house. From these iron sides the balls of the Union frigates rolled harmlessly away. But that night an even stranger-looking ship appeared at Fortress Monroe. This was the _Monitor_, a floating fort, built of iron. She was designed by John Ericsson, a Swedish immigrant. When the _Merrimac_ came back to finish the destruction of the _Minnesota_, the _Monitor_ steamed directly to her. These two ironclads fought and fought. At last the _Merrimac_ steamed away and never renewed the fight.

[Sidenote: Battle of Fair Oaks, May, 1862.]

[Sidenote: The Seven Days.]

[Sidenote: Malvern Hill.]

392. The Peninsular Campaign, 1862.–By the end of May McClellan had gained a position within ten miles of Richmond. Meantime, Jackson fought so vigorously in the Shenandoah Valley that the Washington government refused to send more men to McClellan, although Johnston had gone with his army to the defense of Richmond. On May 31 the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia fought a hard battle at Fair Oaks. Johnston was wounded, and Lee took the chief command. He summoned Jackson from the Valley and attacked McClellan day after day, June 26 to July 2, 1862. These terrible battles of the Seven Days forced McClellan to change his base to the James, where he would be near the fleet. At Malvern Hill Lee and Jackson once more attacked him and were beaten off with fearful loss.

[Sidenote: Lee’s plan of campaign.]

[Sidenote: Second battle of Bull Run, August, 1862.]

393. Second Bull Run Campaign.–The Army of the Potomac was still uncomfortably near Richmond. It occurred to Lee that if he should strike a hard blow at the army in front of Washington, Lincoln would recall McClellan. Suddenly, without any warning, Jackson appeared at Manassas Junction (p. 317). McClellan was at once ordered to transport his army by water to the Potomac, and place it under the orders of General John Pope, commanding the forces in front of Washington. McClellan did as he was ordered. But Lee moved faster than he could move. Before the Army of the Potomac was thoroughly in Pope’s grasp, Lee attacked the Union forces near Bull Run. He defeated them, drove them off the field and back into the forts defending Washington (August, 1862).

[Sidenote: Lee invades Maryland.]

[Sidenote: Antietam, September, 1862. _Hero Tales_, 199-209.]

394. The Antietam Campaign, 1862.–Lee now crossed the Potomac into Maryland. But he found more resistance than he had looked for. McClellan was again given chief command. Gathering his forces firmly together, he kept between Lee and Washington, and threatened Lee’s communications with Virginia. The Confederates drew back. McClellan found them strongly posted near the Antietam and attacked them. The Union soldiers fought splendidly. But military writers say that McClellan’s attacks were not well planned. At all events, the Army of the Potomac lost more than twelve thousand men to less than ten thousand on the Confederate side, and Lee made good his retreat to Virginia. McClellan was now removed from command, and Ambrose E. Burnside became chief of the Army of the Potomac.


[Sidenote: Battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862.]

395. Fredericksburg, December, 1862.–Burnside found Lee strongly posted on Marye’s Heights, which rise sharply behind the little town of Fredericksburg on the southern bank of the Rappahannock River. Burnside attacked in front. His soldiers had to cross the river and assault the hill in face of a murderous fire–and in vain. He lost thirteen thousand men to only four thousand of the Confederates. “Fighting Joe” Hooker now succeeded Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. We must now turn to the West, and see what had been doing there in 1861-62.

[Sidenote: General Grant.]

[Sidenote: He seizes Cairo.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Mill Springs, January, 1862.]

396. Grant and Thomas.–In Illinois there appeared a trained soldier of fierce energy and invincible will, Ulysses Simpson Grant. He had been educated at West Point and had served in the Mexican War. In September, 1861, he seized Cairo at the junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi. In January, 1862, General George H. Thomas defeated a Confederate force at Mill Springs, in the upper valley of the Cumberland River. In this way Grant and Thomas secured the line of the Ohio and eastern Kentucky for the Union.

[Illustration: THE BRIDGE AT ANTIETAM. Burnside’s soldiers charged over the bridge from the middle foreground.]

[Sidenote: Capture of Fort Henry, February, 1862.]

[Sidenote: Fort Donelson.]

397. Forts Henry and Donelson, February, 1862.–In February, 1862, General Grant and Commodore Foote attacked two forts which the Confederates had built to keep the Federal gunboats from penetrating the western part of the Confederacy. Fort Henry yielded almost at once, but the Union forces besieged Fort Donelson for a longer time. Soon the Confederate defense became hopeless, and General Buckner asked for the terms of surrender. “Unconditional surrender,” replied Grant, and Buckner surrendered. The lower Tennessee and the lower Cumberland were now open to the Union forces.

[Sidenote: The lower Mississippi.]

[Sidenote: Admiral Farragut.]

398. Importance of New Orleans.–New Orleans and the lower Mississippi were of great importance to both sides, for the possession of this region gave the Southerners access to Texas, and through Texas to Mexico. Union fleets were blockading every important Southern port. But as long as commerce overland with Mexico could be maintained, the South could struggle on. The Mississippi, too, has so many mouths that it was difficult to keep vessels from running in and out. For these reasons the Federal government determined to seize New Orleans and the lower Mississippi. The command of the expedition was given to Farragut, who had passed his boyhood in Louisiana. He was given as good a fleet as could be provided, and a force of soldiers was sent to help him.

[Illustration: A RIVER GUNBOAT.]

[Sidenote: Capture of New Orleans, April, 1862. _Higginson_, 303-304; _Source-Book_, 313-315.]

399. New Orleans captured, April, 1862.–Farragut carried his fleet into the Mississippi, but found his way upstream barred by two forts on the river’s bank. A great chain stretched across the river below the forts, and a fleet of river gunboats with an ironclad or two was in waiting above the forts. Chain, forts, and gunboats all gave way before Farragut’s forceful will. At night he passed the forts amid a terrific cannonade. Once above them New Orleans was at his mercy. It surrendered, and with the forts was soon occupied by the Union army. The lower Mississippi was lost to the Confederacy.

[Illustration: A WAR-TIME ENVELOPE.]

[Sidenote: Shiloh, April, 1862.]

[Sidenote: Corinth, May, 1862.]

400. Shiloh and Corinth, April, May, 1862.–General Halleck now directed the operations of the Union armies in the West. He ordered Grant to take his men up the Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing and there await the arrival of Buell with a strong force overland from Nashville. Grant encamped with his troops on the western bank of the Tennessee between Shiloh Church and Pittsburg Landing. Albert Sidney Johnston, the Confederate commander in the West, attacked him suddenly and with great fury. Soon the Union army was pushed back to the river. In his place many a leader would have withdrawn. But Grant, with amazing courage, held on. In the afternoon Buell’s leading regiments reached the other side of the river. In the night they were ferried across, and Grant’s outlying commands were brought to the front. The next morning Grant attacked in his turn and slowly but surely pushed the Confederates off the field. Halleck then united Grant’s, Buell’s, and Pope’s armies and captured Corinth.

[Sidenote: General Bragg invades Kentucky.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Perryville, October, 1862.]

[Sidenote: Murfreesboro’, December, 1862. _Eggleston_, 331.]

401. Bragg in Tennessee and Kentucky.–General Braxton Bragg now took a large part of the Confederate army, which had fought at Shiloh and Corinth, to Chattanooga. He then marched rapidly across Tennessee and Kentucky to the neighborhood of Louisville on the Ohio River. Buell was sent after him, and the two armies fought an indecisive battle at Perryville. Then Bragg retreated to Chattanooga. In a few months he was again on the march. Rosecrans had now succeeded Buell. He attacked Bragg at Murfreesboro’. For a long time the contest was equal. In the end, however, the Confederates were beaten and retired from the field.



[Sidenote: The blockade.]

402. The Blockade.–On the fall of Fort Sumter President Lincoln ordered a blockade of the Confederate seaports. There were few manufacturing industries in the South. Cotton and tobacco were the great staples of export. If her ports were blockaded the South could neither bring in arms and military supplies from Europe, nor send cotton and tobacco to Europe to be sold for money. So her power of resisting the Union armies would be greatly lessened. The Union government bought all kinds of vessels, even harbor ferryboats, armed them, and stationed them off the blockaded harbors. In a surprisingly short time the blockade was established. The Union forces also began to occupy the Southern seacoast, and thus the region that had to be blockaded steadily grew less.

[Sidenote: Effect of the blockade.]

403. Effects of the Blockade.–As months and years went by, and the blockade became stricter and stricter, the sufferings of the Southern people became ever greater. As they could not send their products to Europe to exchange for goods, they had to pay gold and silver for whatever the blockade runners brought in. Soon there was no more gold and silver in the Confederacy, and paper money took its place. Then the supplies of manufactured goods, as clothing and paper, of things not produced in the South, as coffee and salt, gave out. Toward the end of the war there were absolutely no medicines for the Southern soldiers, and guns were so scarce that it was proposed to arm one regiment with pikes. Nothing did more to break down Southern resistance than the blockade.

[Sidenote: Hopes of the Southerners.]

404. The Confederacy, Great Britain, and France.–From the beginning of the contest the Confederate leaders believed that the British and the French would interfere to aid them. “Cotton is king,” they said. Unless there were a regular supply of cotton, the mills of England and of France must stop. Thousands of mill hands–men, women, and children–would soon be starving. The French and the British governments would raise the blockade. Perhaps they would even force the United States to acknowledge the independence of the Confederate states. There was a good deal of truth in this belief. For the British and French governments dreaded the growing power of the American republic and would gladly have seen it broken to pieces. But events fell out far otherwise than the Southern leaders had calculated. Before the supply of American cotton in England was used up, new supplies began to come in from India and from Egypt. The Union armies occupied portions of the cotton belt early in 1862, and American cotton was again exported. But more than all else, the English mill operatives, in all their hardships, would not ask their government to interfere. They saw clearly enough