Today in History–September 20–the Library of Congress features the abolishment of the slave trade in Washington D.C., which was a feature of a legislative package known as the Compromise of 1850. Learn more by reading the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to access related primary & secondary sources.
Compromise of 1850 timeline and select documents
- January 29, 1850 : Senator Henry Clay introduces a series of resolutions.
- February 5 and 6, 1850: Senator Henry Clay defends compromise proposals
- March 4, 1850: Senator John Calhoun’s speech against the Compromise of 1850 was delivered by Senator James Murray Mason of Virginia
- March 7, 1850: Senator Daniel Webster delivered his speech in favor of the Compromise of 1850 (“Seventh of March” speech)
- Speech of Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, on the measures of compromise delivered in the Senate of the United States, July 22, 1850
- The slavery agitation. Speech of Hon. J. L. Orr, of South Carolina, in the House of representatives May 8, 1850
- More speeches related to the Compromise of 1850Letter to the Hon. Daniel Webster, on the compromises of the Constitution 1850
Historical newspaper coverage related to the Compromise of 1850
- “Mr. Clay’s Speech and Resolutions” The North-Carolina Standard. (Raleigh, N.C.), February 6, 1850.
- “Tuesday, February 5, 1850 – Senate” The National Era. (Washington [D.C.]), 07 Feb. 1850.
- “The Slavery Question – The Constitution of California” The New York Herald. (New York [N.Y.]), 14 Feb. 1850.
- More 1850 articles related to Clay’s resolutions in the Senate
- “Mr. Calhoun’s Speech” The North-Carolina Standard. (Raleigh, N.C.), March 13, 1850.
- More 1850 articles related to Calhoun’s speech in the Senate
- “Mr. Webster” The Daily Crescent. (New Orleans, La.), March 16, 1850.
- More 1850 articles related to Webster’s speech in the Senate
Related Today in History primary source collections
Resources outside the Library
- Clay’s Last Compromise, United States Senate
- Daniel Webster: The Constitution & the Union, United States Senate
- Our Documents, Compromise of 1850, National Archives and Records Administration
- Speech Costs Senator His Seat (Daniel Webster), United States Senate
- Struggles over Slavery: The Compromise of 1850, National Archives and Records Administration
- Thomas Hart Benton: Against the Compromise of 1850, United States Senate