chapter
9 Pages

Slavery in the North

WithThomas H. O'Connor

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison and his emotionally charged abolition movement burst on the scene, denouncing the colonization movement, declaring the institution of slavery to be a monstrous evil, and demanding the total and immediate emancipation of all slaves. The controversy over Texas in the 1840s, however, proved to be only a sideshow compared with the explosive reaction of the 1850s when industrialists all through the North responded to the Kansas question. When their political efforts were defeated and the bill was eventually passed into law, the industrialists used their managerial talents to create a network of organizations throughout the Northeast to counteract the new law. The guns of Sumter finally echoed across the waters of Charleston Harbor, and the nation went to war. The tightrope had finally broken, and the businessmen had no choice but to throw in their lot with the Union, take up arms against their Southern brethren, and accept the reality of eventual emancipation.