Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Smith, Gerrit (1797-1874) Letter of Gerrit Smith to S.P. Chase, on the unconstitutionality of every part of American slavery

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04717.01 Author/Creator: Smith, Gerrit (1797-1874) Place Written: Albany, New York Type: Pamphlet Date: 1847 Pagination: 1 v. : 12 p. ; 14.4 x 9.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Published by S. W. Green, Patriot Office. Letter was written at Peterboro, New York 1 November 1847. Chase recently disagreed with Smith's resolution at the National Convention of the Liberty party that slavery is unconstitutional. Argues that the Constitution "enjoins the abolition of every part of American slavery."

Background Information: Smith, a politician from New York, served as a U.S. Representative from 1853-1854. He was a noted philanthropist and social reformer active in anti-slavery campaigns and women's rights. Chase ...was a United States Senator from Ohio 1849-1854 and 1861-1862, Governor of Ohio 1856-1860, and Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln.See More

People: Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874
Chase, Salmon P. (Salmon Portland), 1808-1873
Green, S. W., fl. 1847

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Reform MovementAbolitionSlaveryAfrican American HistoryUS ConstitutionGovernment and CivicsLaw

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources