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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.

Bates, Edward (1793-1869) to Joseph Barrett

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01567 Author/Creator: Bates, Edward (1793-1869) Place Written: St. Louis, Missouri Type: Letter signed Date: 8 March 1860 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written before the Republican Party Convention. Responds to a note from Barrett, fielding questions on legal matters and slavery. Argues that the United States should not extend slavery into free territories. Attests that in the Dred Scott case, Scott "being a negro could not be a citizen of Missouri therefore could not bring the actions in the Federal Court." Argues that the Constitution does not carry slavery into the Territories. Regarding a homestead bill, remarks that public lands "ought to be as little as possible, the subject of trade & speculation... I think it would be a wise and beneficent policy to give freely homes to such actual settlers..." Thinks Kansas should be admitted to the Union without delay.

People: Bates, Edward, 1793-1869.
Barrett, Joseph Hartwell, 1824-1910.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: African American History, Slavery, US Constitution, Republican Party, Politics, Election, Law, Dred Scott, Judiciary, Suffrage, Westward Expansion, Land Transaction, Statehood

Sub Era: Age of Jackson