In Kansas, pro-slavery delegates drafted the Lecompton Constitution, a pro-slavery document that created great debate about Kansas’s future. It was ultimately rejected but prompted turmoil in the territory.
David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, a radical pamphlet that attacked slavery and the colonization movement, was published in Boston. It called for the abolition of slavery by any means.
Two days after delivering his “Crime against Kansas” speech, abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner was physically attacked by Representative Preston Brooks on the floor of US Senate. Sumner had denounced a number of southern senators in his speech. It took Sumner three years to recover from the beating and return to his Senate seat. Brooks became a hero in the South; merchants in Charleston, South Carolina, bought Brooks a new cane, inscribed, “Hit him again.” In the North, Sumner became a martyr to the cause of freedom, and a million copies...
Congress adopted the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the Union as a free state without forbidding slavery in other territories acquired from Mexico. The law prohibited the sale of slaves in Washington, DC, but included a strict law requiring the return of runaway slaves to slaveholders.