1) Fredric Douglass (1817?-1895), the most prominent African American orator, journalist, and antislavery
leader of the 19th century. Douglass, an escaped slave, campaigned for the end of slavery and published
three versions of his autobiography. In these works he described his experiences as a slave in the South and
as a fugitive in the North. He also depicted life as a free black before the American Civil War (1861-1865)
and his rise to national prominence during and after the war.`
2) Franklin pierce: (1804-1869), 14th president of the United States (1853-1857). He came to office in the decade before the Civil War. Although his roots and home were in the Northern, largely antislavery, state of New Hampshire, Pierce sided with the South on the slavery issue. Pierce was devoted to the federal Union of the states, his chief aim being to uphold the Constitution of the United States as a sacred and therefore unchangeable document and to avoid civil war at all costs. He was a weak prescient and spent his time in office trying to avoid a civil war.
3. Zachary Taylor -- A member of the Whig Party, General Zachary Taylor, the "Hero of Buena Vista", was a military genius in the Mexican-American War. By the end of the war, Taylor had never held civil office or even voted for President. However, Taylor won the election of 1848 against the Free Soil Party, who came out in support of the Wilmot Provisio and against slavery in the U.S. A political amateur though he was, Gen. Taylor won purely on the people's respect for his military service, although this was propagandized to say that "his throne was on top of a heap of Mexican skulls". However, Taylor won the election and defeated the divided Democratic party. In 1850, Taylor was the head of a Southern-dominated government and spent his time in office dealing with the issue of slavery and avoiding a civil war.
4. John C. Calhoun -- In the election of 1824, Calhoun ran on a presidential ticket with Andrew Jackson, winning over Clay, Crawford, and another future President, John Quincy Adams. Actually, before clear party lines were founded, all four candidates professed to be "Republicans" and Calhoun ran on both Jackson and Adams' tickets. Calhoun first emerged as a strong nationalist and Unionist when he still lived in South Carolina; however, he reversed himself and when he wrote an anonymous letter in avocation of states' rights, he was still Vice President under Jackson.
5. Winfield Scott - Having already served as the country's general-in-chief for two decades, America's preeminent military figure-perhaps the most celebrated since George Washington, Scott was nearly 75 when he commanded the Union armies at the start of the Civil War. Hero of the War of 1812 and Black Hawk War, commander of U.S. forces in the Mexican War, unsuccessful Whig presidential candidate in 1852, Scott was called "Old Fuss and Feathers" because of his devotion to military pomp and protocol. In October 1861 he refused a commission in the Confederate army, keeping his command of Union forces, yet he was considered basically a politician, and thus much of his advice was overlooked. After the Union's crushing defeat at First Bull Run, Scott's abilities were in question, leading many to believe he was now feebleminded. As a result, Scott was replaced in command, but he did establish a battle plan that finally led to the Union's victory in the war. He was also known for his Anaconda Plan, which he devised as a strategy to strangle the Confederacy.
6. Martin Van Beuren - His efforts, along with those of like-minded politicians brought about an alliance of the "planters of the South and the plain people of the North" to form the Democratic Party. During the administration of the new party's first president, the enormously popular Andrew Jackson, Van Buren served as "Old Hickory's" top advisor. As the eighth President (and the first to be born under the US flag) Martin Van Buren continued the the era of Jacksonian Democracy. Not until his defeat for the presidency in 1848 did Van Buren give up public life.
7. Daniel Webster- Daniel Webster, a lawyer,
statesman, and orator was a well known advocate for
American nationalism. Webster and President Andrew
Jackson joined forces in 1833 to suppress North
Carolina's attempt to abate the tariff. The Whigs
battled Webster on other issues, like the National
Bank. Webster ran for president and only won MA's, for
the remainder of his career he aspired to be
president. He became secretary of state. Webster
stayed in cabinet to settle a dispute with GB
involving the Maine-Canada boundary and successfully
made the Webster Ashburton Treaty (1842). The Whigs
pressured Webster to leave the cabinet, he did in May
1843. Webster wanted the US for recognize the
expansion of slavery, he supported the Compromise of
1850. Webster was named secretary of state in July
8. Harriet Tubman- The fearless Harriet Tubman rescued
three hundred or more slaves. She was the "Premier
Assistant of Runaway Slaves". John Brown called her
"General Tubman" because of her effective assistance
in helping slaves escape to Canada by the Underground
Railroad. She was a Union spy behind the confederate
lines, during the Civil War. She was illiterate
herself, she also worked after war years to bring
education to the slaves who were free in North Carolina.
9. William H. Seward: He was a senator for New York from 1831 to 1834, and he promoted progressive
political policies, such as prison reforms and putting more money into education. He was then elected United
States senator of New York from 1849 to 1861 as a representative of the Whig party. After the Whig party
failed, he became a Republican and ran for president, but lost to John C. Fremont. He was elected as
Secretary of State, and secured the purchase of Alaska for $7,200,000 and was dubbed "Seward's Folly".
10. Henry Clay: He was an important figure in the government, because he ran for president, served as Speaker, and became Secretary of State. He only became Secretary of State due to what is known as the "Corrupt bargain", which was made between him and Adams, in which Clay turned over his followers' votes to Adams, so that Adams could become president in exchange for the position of Secretary of State. He ran for president twice more, and lost to Polk, and Zachary Taylor
11: Millard Fillmore: At the height of the controversy in 1850, President Taylor unknowingly helped the cause of concession by dying suddenly. Vice president Millard Fillmore took his place. As presiding officer of the senate, he had been impressed with the arguments for conciliation, and he gladly signed series of compromise measures that passed Congress after seven long months of stormy debate. The balancing of interests in the Compromise of 1850 was delicate in the extreme.
12: Popular Sovereignty: Utah and New Mexico territories had been left with the decision of whether or not to become free states or slave states in congress. Their becoming slave or free depended on the decision of "popular Sovereignty", or what the citizens wanted. And both territories leaned in favor of freedom.
13. Free soil party—Organized by antislavery men in the north. They came out and said they were against slavery in the territories. They suggested federal aid for internal improvements and urged free government homesteads for settlers. They condemned slavery not so much for enslaving blacks but destroying the chances of free white workers to rise up to the status of self-employment. It foreshadowed the emergence of the Republican Party which would be formed six years later.
14. Fugitive slave law—Introduced in 1850, known as “the Bloodhound Bill”. Fleeing slaves could not testify on their own behalf, and they were denied a jury trial. Americans feared these were precedents for whites. Northerners who helped slaves escape would be given jail sentences. No other law did more to awaken a spirit of antagonism for the South in the North.
15. "conscience" Whigs- Established in 1834, the Whig Party was a reaction to the authoritarian policies of Andrew Jackson. the Whigs were the descendants of the old Federalist Party, supporting the Hamiltonian reference for strong federal action in dealing with national problems. The issue of slavery split the party. “Conscience Whigs” in the North favored the abolition of slavery and halting the institution's spread into new territories. The “Cotton Whigs” in the South took the opposite viewpoints.
16. "Personal Liberty Laws- The Massachusetts Personal Liberty Act resulted from the uproar over the capture and extradition of a slave named Anthony Burns in 1854. A guard was killed in an uproar when a hostile mob attempted the rescue of Anthony Burns. Burns was taken back to Virginia under massive federal and state escort. The Massachusetts legislature passed the 1855 law with the defiant title, "An Act to Protect the Rights and Liberties of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Before the Personal Liberty Laws, the slaves would just be returned, but then everything changed. The Southerners had another reason to feel separated from the north, and they thought the north had more rights than the south.
17. Underground Railroad-The Underground Railroad brought fugitive slaves from slave states to Canada through an informal chain of "stations" (antislavery homes) shepherding "passengers" (runaway slaves) and led by "conductors" (white and black abolitionists). Later, the role of the Underground Railroad was exaggerated somewhat; most slaves became free by self-purchase or were freed by their masters. However, the legendary "freedom train" did exist. The successes at freeing slaves of the Underground Railroad enraged the South, but not as much as the moral superiority of the "conductors" who blatantly disobeyed the law. The Underground Railroad led to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law in Congress in 1850, which put stricter measures on fugitive slaves.
18. The Compromise of 1850-Also known as the Great Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 came at a time when the balance between the North and South seemed ready to erupt. California wanted to enter the Union as a free state, throwing the balance between free states and slave states in Congress. The South began to talk of secession. In the interest of preserving the Union, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster proposed that the North make concessions to the South by passing a stricter fugitive slave law, for example. At first, northerners led by William H. Seward refused any concessions. Finally, the North agreed to compromise with the South in Congress, because of the northern feelings of good will, attributed to the prosperity from California gold. After the Compromise of 1850 was passed, the Second Era of Good Feelings began, marked by a sense of finality to the issue of slavery. However, these good feelings were short lived. The North had gotten the better end of the compromise. By admitting California into the Union, representation in Congress permanently favored the North. The Compromise had stated that Utah and New Mexico could be slave or free depending on public opinion; the public wanted their states to be free. The North's concession, the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, ignited northerners and forced moderates to the side of the abolitionists.
19) Clayton-Bulwer Treaty- signed by US and Britain, this treaty was an agreement that both nations were not to colonize or control any Central American republic. The purpose was to prevent one country from building a canal across Central America that the other would not be able to use. If the canal were built, it would be protected by both four neutrality and security. Any canal would be open to all nations on equal terms.
20) Ostend manifesto- The Ostend Manifesto took place in 1854. A group of southerners met with Spanish officials in Belgium to attempt to get more slave territory. They felt this would balance out congress. They tried to buy Cuba but the Spanish would not sell it. Southerners wanted to take it by force and the northerners were outraged by this thought.
21. Kansas-Nebraska Act: a bill passed by Congress on May 30, 1854 that was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas, a Senator from Illinois. Its purpose was to divide up the rest of the land acquired from the Louisiana Purchase fro settlement and the creation of new states. The act divided the area into the Kansas Territory, which was south of the 40th parallel, and the Nebraska Territory, north of the 40th parallel. The act's most disputed condition was that each territory would decide whether or not to legalize slavery within its borders. This violated the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which outlawed slavery north of latitude 36°30'. The act's passage fuelled the conflict over slavery between the North and the South and led the country closer to civil war.
22. Harriet Beecher Stowe: Stowe, a frail woman who lived from 1811 to 1896, created a national uproar when she published Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852. The novel, written to strike out at the Fugitive Slave Law and to show Northerners the evils of slavery, was an instant bestseller. Millions of copies were sold, not only within the U.S., but also in Europe; it was especially popular in Britain and France. The book inspired thousands of Northerners to oppose the Fugitive Slave Law, and many Northerner youths to join the Union Army. The South cursed Stowe and her "'unfair' indictment." Uncle Tom's Cabin widened the chasm between North and South and helped to start the Civil War.
23) Uncle Tom's Cabin - is a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, in which slavery is a major theme. Stowe had written the novel as an angry response to the 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, which punished those who aided runaway slaves and diminished the rights of fugitives as well as freed slaves.
24) Hinton R. Helper - Helper was an anti-slavery North Carolinian who wrote The Impending Crisis of the South. He wrote in detail how slavery hurt those in the South who didn't own slaves. Hardly a friend of racial equality, his arguments nevertheless took hold--not in the south among poorer whites--but in the north, among the middle class.
27) Pottawatomie Creek Massacre:
In May, 1856, a militant abolitionist named John Brown led a band of his followers to Pottawatomie Creek where they literally hacked to pieces five surprised men, presumed to be pro-slavery This vicious attack, out of character from those known as abolitionists, brought vicious retaliation from proslavery forces.
28) James Buchanan:
He was the 15th president of the United States and the only president never to marry. During his time in office, Buchanan did not do much, and was often criticized for not taking any positive action to preventing the country from falling into civil war.
29) Charles Sumner: a leading abolitionist, and had a prominent political life. However, he was very disliked in the senate because he was said to be cold. He delivered many anti-slavery speeches including one named “the crime against Kansas.” After this particular speech a South Carolinian congressman, Preston Brooks beat Sumner with a cane because he was not of the right social class to challenge him to a duel. Sumner, due to injuries from this incident had to leave his seat and go to Europe for treatment. People in the South thought that it was coming to Sumner, while people in the North applauded the speech and looked at Sumner’s actions as inconceivable. The Sumner Brooks clash showed just how heated the battle between the North and South had become.
30) John C. Fremont: He was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the United States Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. In 1838 and 1839 Fremont assisted Joseph Nicollet in exploring the lands between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. In 1841, with training from Nicollet, he mapped portions of the Des Moines River, and from 1841 to 1846 he led exploration parties on the Oregon Trail and into the Sierra Nevada. In 1847 he was appointed Governor of the new California Territory following the Treaty of Cahuenga which ended the Mexican-American War in California. He served briefly as a Senator from California, and in 1856 the new Republican Party nominated him as their first presidential candidate, but he lost to James Buchanan. Fremont served as a major general in the American Civil War and declared martial law in Missouri. This declaration led to a conflict with Abraham Lincoln and led to Frémont's removal from command in the West on November 2, 1861. He was re-appointed to West Virginia, but lost several battles and resigned his post. Fremont was appointed Governor of the Arizona Territory from 1878 to 1881. He died of peritonitis in a hotel in New York, New York.
31. Dred Scott- An outspoken slave sued the United States for his freedom in 1847. In 1857, his case was brought before the United States Supreme Court. The Court ruled that African Americans could never become citizens of the United States, thus did not have the power to sue in federal states. While the decision was well-received by slaveholders in the South, many northerners were outraged. This decision was one of the factors the led to the Civil War. Scott remained a slave, however a childhood friend eventually bought his freedom, ironically he died nine months later.
32. *Roger Taney*- Roger Taney was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, during the Dred Scott decision. Scott led the majority, and made the following three points:
1. Dred Scott had no legal grounds to sue because blacks, whether they lived in the North of South, could never be citizens.
2. A slave was the property of a slave owner; it was no significance whether the black person lived in a free or slave state.
3. Under the Fifth Amendment, congress had no authority to take away property from citizens. This decision eliminated the slavery provisions of the Missouri Compromise.
33. Dred Scott Decision- Supreme Court ruling in 1857. The court ruled against Dred Scott, a slave who was suing the United States for not giving him his freedom. The court ruled that no black either enslaved or free, could be a U.S. citizen or sue in court. The decision also argued that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional because it disobeyed the 5th amendment's protection of property, including slaves from being taken away without correct accordance of the law. The ruling also supported the right of white slave owners to bring their slaves into free territory.
34. Lecompton Constitution- Pro-slavery constitution created in 1857 in Lecompton, Kansas. It was ratified later that year after an election where voters had the option of either voting for limited or unlimited slavery. Free state men would not vote on the Constitution. President James Buchanan tried hard to convince Congress to make Kansas a slave state under this constitution. Once on Buchanan side, Stephen A. Douglas decided to oppose Buchanan and the Lecompton Constitution. Douglas later sided with pro-slavery democrats. The Lecompton Constitution could not pass at the House. In the next election, Kansas voters rejected the Lecompton Constitution. Kansas became a free state in 1861.
35. Bleeding Kansas- the name given the era in the Kansas territory and subsequent state during the years 1855-1865. The fight for slavery in that state became violent and Northern free-state activists settled in Kansas in order to try and make Kansas a free state. On the contrary, Missourians, with the help of pro-slavery Southerners, also settled the area setting the scene for a very bloody decade. Also this area of violence was a very dominant precursor to the Civil War
36. “Bully” Brooks Incident- The bloodshed that was going on in Kansas spread all the way to the senate. In 1856 Charles Sumner of Mass., one of the most hated
men in the senate, made a speech about the insertion of pro-slavery forces into Kansas that insulted south Carolina and its senator Andrew Butler. Preston H. Brooks took the insults personally. The southern code of honor called for a duel, but not seeing Sumner as his equal, he punished him like he would have a dog, or lower life form. He went to Sumner’s desk and beat him with a cane until it broke. Both senators were triumphantly reelected by either side.
37) Harpers Ferry Raid: In 1859, John Brown planned a scheme to invade
The South, free many slaves, and create a type of sanctuary for the
Oppressed slaves. After acquiring large sums of money to lead a
Rebellion in October 1859, he attacked at Harpers Ferry. He ended up
Killing seven innocent people, including a free slave, accidentally.
Nervous and scared blacks failed to follow him in the uprising, and so
His attempted rebellion was quickly ended by Lieutenant Colonel Robert
E. Lee. The effects of Harpers Ferry proved to be more calamitous than
The actual raid. Many southerners were infuriated that the North would
support such a "murderous" person as John Brown. This raid created
lots of angry emotions as many southerners now asked themselves how
they could possibly stay in the Union after this incident.
38) "Know-Nothing" Party: The Know-Nothing party was an
Anti-immigration, anti-Catholic political organization that flourished
In the United States between 1852 and 1856. Named the American party,
It became known as the Know-Nothing party because members answered "I
know nothing" when asked about their alleged secret society (Order of
The Star-Spangled Banner). They won national prominence chiefly
because the two major parties - Whigs and Democrats - were at that
time breaking apart over the slavery issue. In 1856, Millard Fillmore,
the American party presidential candidate, received 21 percent of the
popular vote, but the party rapidly disintegrated thereafter. Most of
its Northern members joined the newly formed Republican party.
39: Lincoln-Douglas Debates: Lincoln, as a Republican nominee for the Senate seat, challenged Douglas to a series of joint debates. This was a rash act because the stumpy Senator was prob. the most devastating debater. At first, it seemed uneven and leaning in Douglas' favor, but he relied on logic instead of table thumping. He had nearly stumped Douglas in the debate of freeport (there were seven in all), but Douglas' response became known as the "Freeport Doctrine". The upshot was that Douglas had defeated Lincoln for the Senate seat. But the districts represented by Douglas were smaller than those carried by Lincoln, so Lincoln was the clear moral victor.
40: Freeport Doctrine:The Freeport doctrine was when Douglas had reoplied to Lincoln's question of "Who would prevail: The Court or the People?". It stated that Slavery would stay down if the people voted it down. Legislation would have to be made to protect slavery, and if there were no popular approval, then it would not be suggested. Douglas had American history on his side, by stating 'where the public oppinion does not support the federal govt., the law is almost impossible to enorce'.
41. John C. Breckenridge: The moderate vice-president from Kentucky under James Buchanan. He was selected as the Democratic nominee in the election of 1860 and ran on a South-friendly platform promising the extension of slavery into the territories and the annexation of slave-holding Cuba. The Republican candidate, Abe Lincoln, won the election, due in part to sectionalist Democrats' nominating several candidates and splintering their own vote.
42. John Bell: John Bell was a Tennessee lawyer and later politician who ran against Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 election for the Constitutional Union party, but came in fourth place with less than 600,000 votes. Bell had a largely anti-slavery voting record from his time as a Senator and Representative, notably his vehement opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska act. He initially opposed succession by the South, but after losing to Abolitionist Lincoln, he gave his full support to Davis and the Confederate Army.
43. Constitutional Union Party- In U.S. history, this was a short-lived political party formed chiefly of the remnants of the Know-Nothings, the southern wing of the Whig party, and other southern groups. At the founding convention, held in Baltimore, Md., in May 1860, the party nominated former U.S. Senator John Bell of Tennessee for president and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for vice-president. The party’s formation was prompted by the desire to muster popular sentiment for the Union and against southern secession. The platform adopted advocated support for “the Constitution of the country, the union of the States, and the enforcement of the laws,” but took no stand on the slavery issue. In the 1860 election the party carried Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, polled a popular vote of about 600,000, and received 39 electoral votes. The strength of the party, coupled with the split between the northern and southern sections of the Democratic party, contributed to the victory of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican presidential candidate. Following the 1860 campaign the Constitutional Union party was dissolved.
45. Jefferson Davis-When the Confederacy seceded, Davis was not the first choice for interim President, Georgian Alexander "Little Aleck" Stephens was, but his pro-Union stand before secession made Stephens unacceptable. Davis was a compromise candidate who was chosen in secrecy. He was approved by popular vote on Feb. 22, 1862. Davis was an authoritarian Federalist. His policies split the state governors like Joseph E. Brown of Georgia, who felt that Davis violated the intent of Confederate Constitution. Francis Bartow felt that the feud between Brown and Davis had caused his men to enter this battle ill-prepared for war. Davis repeatedly interfered with strategies of his generals and changed orders from his war staff in Richmond. After the battle of Chickamauga and before the battle of Chattanooga he met with Bragg and his senior officers near Rossville, Georgia. Almost all of Bragg's staff had petitioned the President to remove him. Rather than listen to Long street, Forrest and Leonidas Polk, Davis backed the man who saved his regiment at Buena Vista. Over the next two years Davis mismanaged virtually every aspect of the war and the government. Atlanta was nearly surrounded and he was unable to get Joseph E. Johnston to commit to defend his position, so Davis relieved him, replacing him with John B. Hood. Hood then lost more men in 6 weeks than Johnston lost in three months. With the South in ruins and Grant's Army near he fled Richmond, finally being captured in the vicinity of Irwinville, Ga.; the former president spent two years in jail for treason but was released before trial.
46.) John Jordan Crittenden: Crittenden when to college at William and Mary, and established a career as a lawyer before becoming involved in politics. He was elected to the Kentucky Senate before being elected to the national Senate, which he sat on until 1863. Crittenden is most famous for his Compromise, (actually a set of Constitutional Amendments), proposed in 1860 as a final attempt to keep America from war. The Compromise included the extension of the 36'30 slavery division line across the country and the prohibition of slavery above it. The Amendments proved unsuccessful, and the Civil War began. Crittenden later worked to keep Kentucky in the Union during the bombardment of Ft. Sumter. Ironically, Crittenden saw one of his sons fight as a general in the Union, while the other fought for the Confederacy.
47: Crittenden Compromise: proposed in 1860 by Senator John Crittenden of Kentucky, a southern supporter of the Union, on the eve of the American Civil War to avert the impending secession of the southern states. This stated that slavery would be prohibited in north of 36°30‘, the line established by the Missouri Compromise of 1820, but that south of the line slavery would be protected. Slavery, where it existed, could not be abolished without the consent of the particular state, and the federal government would compensate the owners of fugitive slaves whenever the slaves had escaped with outside assistance. President Lincoln’s disapproval of the measure strengthened opposition to the Crittenden Compromise, which was rejected by the House of Representatives and by the Senate in 1861.