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throughout the North by the publication in 1852 of Mrs. Stowe's “ Uncle Tom's Cabin.” It was in every respect a remarkable book one written from the heart to the heart. It meant to be truthful, to be fair, to be kind. In a single year two hundred thousand copies were sold in this country, and in a short time the total sales here had reached half a million copies. Mrs. Stowe's object was to show what the life of the slave really was — - to show its bright and happy side, as well as its dark and cruel side. People who took up the book could not lay it down until they had finished it. They laughed and cried, and laughed again, over “Topsy," • Eva,” and “Uncle Tom”; but they ended with tears in their eyes. No arguments, no denials, could shake the influence of the story. From this time onward a silent revolution was going on. The forces for slavery and those against it were girding themselves up for the terrible struggle. The great leaders of the nation on both sides — Clay, Webster, Calhoun — had died before the close of 1852. New men were taking their places in Congress — Charles Sumner representing the North; Jefferson Davis, the South. In the battles which these two men fought in words we have the beginning of that contest which was soon to end in civil war. Both felt that the time was very soon coming when the republic must stand wholly free or wholly on the side of slavery.
300. Summary. — The four chief events of the Taylor and Fillmore administrations were : (1) the debate on the extension of slavery in the new territory gained by the Mexican War; (2) the Compromise Measures of 1850, with the Fugitive-Slave Law; (3) the publication of “Uncle Tom's Cabin"; and (4) the beginning of the final struggle in Congress between the North and the South.
301. Pierce's Administration (Fourteenth President, One Term, 1853–1857); the 6 World's Fair" at New York City ; American Labor-Saving Machines. — The summer following the inauguration of President Pierce' a great exhibition of the products and industries of all nations was held at New York (1853) in a building of glass and iron erected for it, called the Crystal Palace.” Its chief result was that it helped us as a
people to compare our own work with that of Europe. It proved beyond all doubt that Americans have no equals in practical inventions and in the excellence and variety of their labor-saving machinery — their steam-print
ing-presses, power-looms, sewingReaping-Machine, or Harvester.
machines, steam-shovels, planingmachines, and the like. This was especially the case in the exhibition of farming-implements. The reapers and mowers for cutting grain and grass showed the immense advance we had made over the slow work formerly done by hand with sickle and scythe. The French Academy of Sciences declared that Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the reaper, had “done more for the cause of agriculture than any man living.”
1 Franklin Pierce was born in New Hampshire in 1804; died 1869. He was in Congress from 1837–1842, and was a brigadier-general in the Mexican War. He was elected President (William R. King of Alabama, Vice-President) by the Democrats, over General Scott, the Whig candidate. The Whig party had practically ceased to exist before the next presidential election, in 1856. The Free-Soilers humorously declared that it died “of an attempt to swallow the Fugitive-Slave Law” (which the Whig National Convention had accepted in 1852). In 1852 a new political party called the American Party, or “Know Nothings," came into existence. They had a secret organization, and their object was to exclude all but native American citizens from office, to check the power of Catholicism, and to oppose the admission of foreigners to citizenship except after very long residence here. Their motto was, "Americans must rule America." The“ Know Nothings" became a national party, exerted considerable influence for a few years, and then died out.
In 1853 the present boundary between the United States and Mexico was finally established by our purchase (through General James Gadsden, the United States minister to Mexico) of the region including the Mesilla Valley (now Southern Arizona and Southern New Mexico; see Map on page 331) for $10,000,000.
2 Cyrus Hall McCormick was born in Virginia, 1809. In 1834 he patented his THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT.
302. Commodore Perry opens the Ports of Japan. — Not long after the close of the Crystal Palace Exhibition, Commodore Perry sailed into one of the ports of Japan with the first fleet of steamers that had ever entered a harbor of that island. For over two centuries that country had been almost wholly closed to the entire world. The Japanese dreaded Europeans, and they had been taught that all Americans were barbarians of the most dangerous sort.
Commodore Perry succeeded in convincing them that if the Americans were barbarians, they were of an uncommonly ingenious and agreeable kind. Through his influence the government of Japan made a treaty with the United States admitting our ships to trade; and we, on the other hand, made the emperor presents of a locomotive with a train of cars, and a line of telegraph— the first ever seen in that country, which has since adopted, through our influence, both steam and electricity.
303. The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealing the Missouri Compromise. — It will be remembered that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 shut out slavery from the territory west and north of Missouri.? At the time the Compromise was made it was solemnly declared that it should stand“ forever.” But the end of that “forever" was now reached. The South demanded the right to carry slavery into the region of Nebraska beyond Missouri. In 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois — the "Little Giant," as his friends called him? — proposed a law entitled the Kansas
machine for reaping grain (operated by horse-power), and later improved it so that it not only cut the grain, but bound it in sheaves. William H. Seward, then Secretary of State, said in 1859, “Owing to Mr. McCormick's invention, the line of civilization [in the United States] moves westward thirty miles each year.” And Professor Alexander Johnston says that the results of McCormick's invention “have been hardly less than that of the locomotive in their importance to the United States. . .. It was agricultural machinery that made Western farms profitable, and enabled the railroads to fill the West so rapidly."
1 The Dutch had the privilege of trading with Japan, but under restrictions which forbade their landing on the island.
2 See Paragraph 243. 8 Senator Douglas was short in stature and stoutly built. His great intellectual ability and marked decision of character got for him the name of the “ Little Giant,"
and Nebraska Bill. That bill cut what was then the territory of Nebraska into two parts, of which the southern portion was called Kansas; and it left it to the settlers of these two territories to decide whether they would have slave labor or not. Congress passed the bill, and thus repealed or set aside the Missouri agreement made in 1820. The North was indignant at the new law. Senator Douglas was hooted in the streets. Mass meetings were held to denounce him; and so many images of him were made and burned, that Mr. Douglas himself said that he travelled from Washington to Chicago by the light of his own blazing effigies.
304. The Struggle for the Possession of Kansas ; Emigrants from Missouri and from New England. - Now (1854) a desperate struggle began between the North and the South for the possession of Kansas. No sooner had President Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, thus making it law, than bands of men armed with rifles commenced to pour into the territory, resolved to win it either by fraud or force. The first movement came from the slaveholders of Missouri, who crossed the Missouri River and took up lands in the new territory. Soon after, this party began a settlement which they named Atchison, in honor of Senator Atchison of Missouri.
Next, the New England Aid Society of Boston sent out a body of armed emigrants, who settled south of Atchison and about thirty miles further west. They called their little cluster of tents
He died in 1851, shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War. His dying message to his sons was an entreaty that they should stand by the Union and the Constitution.
1 The “ Kansas-Nebraska Act" extended the principles of Clay's Compromise of 1850 (see Paragraph 297) (which applied only to territory acquired from Mexico) by leaving it to the people of all the territories to make their own choice about slavery.
2 In speaking of this coming struggle, Hon. William H. Seward of New York said, in the United States Senate, 1854: "Come on, then, gentlemen of the slave states; since there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it on behalf of Freedom. We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side that is stronger in numbers as it is in right.”
3 See page 239, note 4.
ATTACK ON LAWRENCE.
and log-cabins Lawrence, because Amos A. Lawrence was treasurer of the society, which was established to aid Northern men in the double purpose of building homes in Kansas and of making the territory a free state. Thus, that part of the territory lying on the Missouri River came to be held by men favoring the introduction of slavery; while the territory somewhat further west and south was generally in the hands of those opposed to slavery.
305. The Rival Governments of Kansas; Civil War in the Territory. - These rival sections soon set up governments to suit themselves. The Free-state settlers had their headquarters at Topeka and Lawrence; the Slave-state, at Leavenworth and Lecompton.
From 1854 to 1859 that part of the country suffered so much from the efforts of both parties to get control that it fairly earned the name of “Bleeding Kansas.” During the greater part of five years the territory was torn by civil war. The Free-state men denounced the opposite party as “Border Ruffians" ; the “ Border Ruffians” called the Free-state men “Abolitionists” and “Black Republicans.
306. Attack on Lawrence ; John Brown; Assault on Charles Sumner. — In the course of this period of violence and bloodshed the Slave-state men attacked Lawrence, plundered the town, and burned some of its chief buildings. This roused the spirit of vengeance in the heart of “Old John Brown" of Osawatomie. He was a descendant of one of the Pilgrims who came
1 Civil war (from the Latin word civis, a citizen): a war between citizens of the same state or country.
2 Early in 1856 those who had opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and who were pledged to resist the extension of slavery into new territory, formed a new political party, and adopted the name of “Republicans." This was the origin of the present party of that name. Their opponents at the South nicknamed them “ Black Republicans,” because the party was opposed to holding the black man in bondage.
3 John Brown, born in Torrington, Connecticut, 1800, was executed at Charlestown, West Virginia, December 2, 1859, for having attempted by armed force to liberate slaves in that state. He was a descendant of Peter Brown, who came