Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Clay, Henry (1777-1852) to Calvin Colton

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08952 Author/Creator: Clay, Henry (1777-1852) Place Written: Ashland, Kentucky Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 2 September 1843 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Suggestions for a pamphlet opposing Abolitionists. "Shew that the agitation of the question in free states will first destroy all harmony and finally lead to disunion. That the consequences of disunion - perpetual War - the extinction of the African race - ultimate military despotism...The slaves being free would be dispersed throughout the union; they wd. enter into competition with the American, the Irish, the German, and the free Colored; reduce his wages; be confounded with him; & affect his moral & social standing...Show...That the object is to unite in marriage the laboring white man and the laboring black man" He goes on to discuss colonization in Africa, and opposition to it by the Abolitionists.

People: Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: African American History, Slavery, Abolition, Politics, Immigration and Migration, Freemen, Morality and Ethics, Labor, Colonization, Africa

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery The First Age of Reform