1800s |

President Lincoln Speak Out Against Slavery - 10/16/1854

On this present day in 1854, an American politician and lawyer who comes from the state of Illinois by the name Abraham Lincoln delivers a speech concerning the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which was passed by the Congress five months earlier. The future president of the United States of America condemned the act, while giving his own views concerning slavery in an outline called "immoral". He believed there is nothing moral about enslaving one man by another.

The new Kansas-Nebraska Act specified that the two new states of Kansas and Nebraska will be allowed into the Union and the citizens of each new territory have the power to decide whether slavery will be allowed within their walls. According to abolitionist, the new law would serve as a yardstick in determining the legitimacy of slavery in other new territories that would be created. There were many debates over the act among political races throughout the country. Abolitionist, like Lincoln who believed slavery to be inhumane tried convincing lawmakers in the newly found states to reject slavery.

At the time, Lincoln who was still practicing law campaigned for the abolitionist Republicans in the state of Illinois and condemned the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Lincoln attacked members of the Democratic Party for backing the law of enslaving one man by another. In his opinion, the law had gone totally against everything the founding fathers of America believed in, that is "all men are born equal". He disliked slavery; however, he realized that campaigning against slavery in states where it has been in existence might lead to civil war. Rather, he advocated and focused all his attention on outlawing the widespread of slavery to newly created states. A plan he hoped would preserve the Union and gradually eliminate slavery while confining it to the south, in which, it will soon die a slowly.

Eventually, Kansas voted a pro-slavery candidate into Congress in November, a move that left Lincoln and his fellow abolitionist discouraged. Over the next several years, Lincoln's political career continually gathered momentum and he would refer to the Kansas-Nebraska Act as act of violence that was conceived in violence, passed in violence, maintained in violence and finally executed in violence.

He did not give-up the fight against slavery, rather he continued to actively campaign against it in Kansas. In fact, he helped in raising funds to support anti-slavery candidates in the state. Still practicing law, Lincoln contested for the United State Senate in 1859, but lost to Democrat Stephen Douglas. He was actively involved in national politics and he began to make a name for himself, which later earned him increasing support from the North and abolitionist across all across the nation. His persistency helped in winning the presidency race and landed him in the White House in 1860. Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president of United State of America in November 6, 1860, after beating the same Democrat candidate Stephen Douglas and John C. Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats.

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Mark Hinderberg


Retired History Professor at Vanderbilt University. Love taking a portal through time and sharing my knowledge with anyone else who loves reading about history. It is my passion and my greatest hobby.