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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.

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) "House divided" speech fragment re: slavery, Dred Scott, Kansas

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02533 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: [Springfield?] Type: Autograph manuscript Date: [1857/12 ?] Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: A single page beginning "Why Kansas is neither the whole, nor a tithe of the real question." Written before the debates with Stephen A. Douglas, apparently in response to that Senator's Dec. 9, 1857 speech in opposition to Buchanan's State of the Union address (as suggested by Don Fehrenbacher, "House Divided," 89 ff.). Nicolay and Hay date the metaphor from Oct. 1858 while Basler assigns it to May 1858. Unpublished and unrecorded. Current dating is based upon Don E. Fehrenbacher's hypothesis that this speech responds to Stephen A. Douglas's speech in the Senate of 1857 Dec. 9 (Prelude to Greatness, chap. 4).

People: Dred Scott
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: Slavery, Dred Scott, President Bleeding Kansas, African American History, Politics, Government and Civics, Congress, Law, Election, US Constitution, Supreme Court, Freedom and Independence, Civil Rights

Sub Era: Age of Jackson Slavery & Anti-slavery The Crisis of the 1850's Lincoln