THE DAILY UNION/ CITY OF WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 16, 1850 - COMPROMISE OF 1850

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Volume 5—Number 247. 4 pp., 19.25 x 24,” 6 columns. Exhibits light fold-marks and slight foxing along right margin. Else VG & entirely legible.

In mid-January Kentucky Senator Henry Clay proposed a packet of five separate bills to address increased tension concerning the status of slavery in territories acquired in the recent war with Mexico. Clay’s proposal was highly controversial and would undergo extensive debate and revision before a compromise was finally reached in the Autumn of 1850--a compromise that, if it did not halt the drift toward Civil War, certainly postponed it. The compromise allowed the admission of California as a free state, will enacting for the benefit of the slave-holding south an extremely stringent national “Fugitive Slave” law.

A number of famous senators were involved in the 1850 debates, most notably John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, Also prominent were Stephen Douglas of Illinois (later the chief sponsor of the 1854 Kansas -Nebraska Act), and Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, future president of the confederacy, who felt the original Clay proposal to be unfair to the South, with its undue restrictions on the spread of slavery.

The first two pages of this issue feature a full report of Davis’s February 14th speech to the Senate addressing the original Clay proposals, including an in-chamber exchange with Stephen Douglas. The third page reports debates in the House of Representatives, and posts the Daily Union’s editorial position, which supported the proposal of Mississippi Senator Foote to combine Clay’s five separate bills into to one, and submit it to a “Committee of Fifteen”, which was eventually done, and made possible the Compromise of 1850.

Fine collectible for connoisseurs of the Congressional battles during the turbulent political prelude to War. In protective sleeve. w/white card backing.  [jp]

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