Section #13 - The 1850 Compromise has Democrats backing “popular sovereignty” voting instead of a ban
Chapter 149: Four Cross Party Factions Emerge On The Slavery Issue
As Clay weighs in with his Omnibus Bill, four distinct cross-party factions have developed around the issue of “what to do about slavery in the west.”
The first faction remains relatively small, the Abolitionists, a handful of outspoken and much maligned congressional leaders who have followed in the footsteps of John Quincy Adams after his death in 1848. Recent additions include Thad Stevens in the House and Salmon Chase in the Senate.
“Abolish Slavery” Leaders In Congress In 1850
|1847-53||John P. Hale||NH||Free Soil|
|1849-55||Salmon Chase||Ohio||Free Soil|
The second faction is the “Contain Slavery” men of the North, whose leaders accept slavery in the old South, while standing in opposition to expanding it into the new western lands. They are very much in the ascendency by 1850, bolstered by the “Free Soil” movement and Whig Senator Henry Seward’s influence with President Taylor.
“Contain Slavery” Leaders In Congress In 1850
|1849-53||Preston King||NY||Free Soil|
Then come the “Expand Slavery” Southerners – also referred to as State’s Righters or Fire-Eaters – arguing that slavery is guaranteed in the Constitution and threatening secession should Washington interfere with their institution. They are Democrats, serving predominantly in the Senate, and accustomed to having influence over whoever is President.
“Expand Slavery” Leaders In Congress In 1850
|1850-52||Robert B. Rhett||SC||Democrat|
Compromise To Save The Union
Finally, there are the “Unionist” hoping to find a middle ground on slavery that gains enough support to hold the nation together. In the House they have been led so far by the Georgia Whigs, who are now in flux. In the Senate they include the giants, Clay and Webster, and the rising star, Douglas. Their voice into the White House is carried by the Kentucky Governor, John J. Crittenden, who was Taylor’s campaign manager in the 1848 election.
“Unionist” Leaders In Congress In 1850
|1821-51||Thomas Hart Benton||Missouri||Democrat|
|1847-59||John Bell||Tenn||D/Amer/Con U|