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207   Henry Clay  $500 $500 $550 1 You must login to place a bid.

#207 - Henry Clay

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“I lament to see so much agitation and dissatisfaction at the North, manifested against the Fugitive Slave bill”
Description                           Estimate: $9,000+          

ALS signed “H. Clay,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, October 31, 1850. Letter to E. H. Derby, in full: “I received your favor, with a copy of your Review of the pamphlet of Mr. Garnett, for which I thank you. I have attentively perused it, with pleasure. It successively exposes and refutes some of the errors of that pernicious pamphlet, and is a valuable contribution to the cause of truth and correct principles. I lament to see so much agitation and dissatisfaction at the North, manifested against the Fugitive Slave bill. I still hope that these demonstrations are the expiring efforts of the Abolitionists, and that the great mass of the Northern public are really desirous, as they have always professed to be, faithfully to enforce the Constitutional provision on that subject. A repeal of the law, or any modification of it which would render it less efficient, would, I apprehend, lead to the most mischievous consequences.” In fine condition.

The most controversial of the five bills enacted in the Compromise of 1850 was the Fugitive Slave Law, a statute demanding that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to their masters, and that free state officials and citizens alike be forced to enforce such provisions. Noted for his ability to quell sectional tensions over the slavery issue, Senator Clay strove to find a middle ground between Northern and Southern interests. While his efforts temporarily relieved slavery disputes, subsequently delaying secession and a Civil War for another decade, the law’s effects impressed on the North an even greater need for abolition. A superb letter in which Clay portends the “mischievous consequences” of an unavoidable secession. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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