How did the Southern Slave Holders Oppress or Attempt to Oppress the North

jgoodguy

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#1
I am thinking of things like the Gag rule in Congress
Insistence on suppressing the Free Speech of abolitionists.
Dred Scott.
Lemmon v New York where Slave owners get to tote there slaves everywhere.
Suppressing free speech criticizing Slavery
1850 Fugitive Slave Act
Anything else?
Go for it.
 

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#2
From another thread: this is about attempts to limit the use of the US Mail to transmit anti-slavery material:

The issue of mail censorship and civil liberties is discussed by Daniel Walker Howe in his book What Hath God Wrought (p 428-430). Note especially what is said in the last paragraph below:

(circa 1835) William Lloyd Garrison and his New York City counterpart, Elizur Wright, then decided to undertake a major southern propaganda offensive. Their target audience consisted of 20,000 influential southern whites, including many who had previously criticized slavery in conventional Jeffersonian terms as an unfortunate legacy from previous generations... Their program took advantage of the latest mass-production printing technology and relied on the U.S. mails for distribution. The federal Post Office would not be legally bound by the censorship that the southern states had enacted in response to David Walker and Nat Turner.

The abolitionists printed 175,000 tracts, and would have a million ready by the end of the calendar year, but no more than a handful ever reached their addresses...

On June 29, 1835, a group of burglars broke into the Charleston, SC, post office and made off with a bag of abolitionist publications that the postmaster had (not coincidentally) sorted out and labelled for their convenience. The next night the contents of the mailbag were burned before a crowd of two thousand.

In the abolitionists' fight to influence public opinion, access to the mail was crucial. Postmasters from around the country began to ask... postmaster general Amos Kendall how they should deal with the abolitionist literature... Kendall consulted with president Andrew Jackson on August 7, proposing to allow local postmasters to leave anti-slavery mail undelivered. Old Hickoy concurred, calling the abolitionists "monsters" guilty of stirring up "the horrors of servile war," who deserved "to atone for these wicked attempts with their lives."

Jackson took the issue public. At the next session of Congress, he called for legislation authorizing federal censorship "to prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulation in the Southern States, through the mail, of incendiary publications intended to instigate slaves to insurrection."

Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers," he told the postmaster general, and then publish their names as supporters of "exciting the negroes to insurrection and murder." This, the president confidently predicted, would bring them "into such dispute with all the South,that they would be compelled to desist, or move from the country."

Kendall went further. He not only deferred to local sentiment in the South, he even instructed postmasters in the North that although there was no legal justification to do so, they were "justified" if they refused to dispatch abolitionist mailings into the South. To shield the administration from legal action, he carefully added that postmasters acted on their own responsibility when they did this.

Where Jackson had proposed the federal government should define and exclude "incendiary" materials from the mail, SC's John Calhoun introduced a bill in the Senate to require the federal Post Office to enforce whatever censorship laws any state might enact... eventually Calhoun's proposal was defeated. Seven slave state senators, including Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton, joined with northerners to vote it down. Concern for civil liberties, even those of unpopular minorities, counted for more in the halls of Congress than within the Jackson administration.

The southern practice of ignoring inconvenient federal laws in order to preserve white supremacy was established long before the Civil War... The refusal of the Post Office to deliver abolitionist mail to the South may well represent the largest peacetime violation of civil liberty in US history.

- Alan
 

WJC

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#3
I am thinking of things like the Gag rule in Congress
Insistence on suppressing the Free Speech of abolitionists.
Dred Scott.
Lemmon v New York where Slave owners get to tote there slaves everywhere.
Suppressing free speech criticizing Slavery
1850 Fugitive Slave Act
Anything else?
Go for it.
Interesting. Thanks for posting!
I'll be interested to see what responses you get....
 

WJC

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#4
From another thread: this is about attempts to limit the use of the US Mail to transmit anti-slavery material:

The issue of mail censorship and civil liberties is discussed by Daniel Walker Howe in his book What Hath God Wrought (p 428-430). Note especially what is said in the last paragraph below:

(circa 1835) William Lloyd Garrison and his New York City counterpart, Elizur Wright, then decided to undertake a major southern propaganda offensive. Their target audience consisted of 20,000 influential southern whites, including many who had previously criticized slavery in conventional Jeffersonian terms as an unfortunate legacy from previous generations... Their program took advantage of the latest mass-production printing technology and relied on the U.S. mails for distribution. The federal Post Office would not be legally bound by the censorship that the southern states had enacted in response to David Walker and Nat Turner.

The abolitionists printed 175,000 tracts, and would have a million ready by the end of the calendar year, but no more than a handful ever reached their addresses...

On June 29, 1835, a group of burglars broke into the Charleston, SC, post office and made off with a bag of abolitionist publications that the postmaster had (not coincidentally) sorted out and labelled for their convenience. The next night the contents of the mailbag were burned before a crowd of two thousand.

In the abolitionists' fight to influence public opinion, access to the mail was crucial. Postmasters from around the country began to ask... postmaster general Amos Kendall how they should deal with the abolitionist literature... Kendall consulted with president Andrew Jackson on August 7, proposing to allow local postmasters to leave anti-slavery mail undelivered. Old Hickoy concurred, calling the abolitionists "monsters" guilty of stirring up "the horrors of servile war," who deserved "to atone for these wicked attempts with their lives."

Jackson took the issue public. At the next session of Congress, he called for legislation authorizing federal censorship "to prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulation in the Southern States, through the mail, of incendiary publications intended to instigate slaves to insurrection."

Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers," he told the postmaster general, and then publish their names as supporters of "exciting the negroes to insurrection and murder." This, the president confidently predicted, would bring them "into such dispute with all the South,that they would be compelled to desist, or move from the country."

Kendall went further. He not only deferred to local sentiment in the South, he even instructed postmasters in the North that although there was no legal justification to do so, they were "justified" if they refused to dispatch abolitionist mailings into the South. To shield the administration from legal action, he carefully added that postmasters acted on their own responsibility when they did this.

Where Jackson had proposed the federal government should define and exclude "incendiary" materials from the mail, SC's John Calhoun introduced a bill in the Senate to require the federal Post Office to enforce whatever censorship laws any state might enact... eventually Calhoun's proposal was defeated. Seven slave state senators, including Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton, joined with northerners to vote it down. Concern for civil liberties, even those of unpopular minorities, counted for more in the halls of Congress than within the Jackson administration.

The southern practice of ignoring inconvenient federal laws in order to preserve white supremacy was established long before the Civil War... The refusal of the Post Office to deliver abolitionist mail to the South may well represent the largest peacetime violation of civil liberty in US history.

- Alan
Thanks for posting. Very informative....
 
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#5
Returning fugitives of one state who have escaped to another, does not oppress or force unwanted laws on the other state.

Local law enforcement or citizens helping a federal marshal does not either.

Both of those things are still done today.
 

WJC

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#6
Returning fugitives of one state who have escaped to another, does not oppress or force unwanted laws on the other state.
Local law enforcement or citizens helping a federal marshal does not either.
Both of those things are still done today.
In general, States honor extradition requests from other states. A State may refuse based on the seriousness of the charge and the outcome of an extradition hearing.
States exercised more independence in this area during the 19th century. This was particularly true in cases involving runaway slaves and eventually led to Dred Scott v Sanford in 1857.
It is worth remembering that in 1854, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional. <http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=170>
This decision was overturned by SCOTUS in Ableman v. Booth in 1859, ruling that State courts cannot issue rulings on federal law that contradict the decisions of federal courts.
 

mobile_96

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#7
Returning fugitives of one state who have escaped to another, does not oppress or force unwanted laws on the other state
True. However, not allowing the 'supposed fugitive' a chance to prove that he might actually be free is very repressive.
And to me, to force a citizen to help capture and send off a person to slavery, who may very well be a freeman, is also repressive.
 
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#8
Returning fugitives of one state who have escaped to another, does not oppress or force unwanted laws on the other state.

Local law enforcement or citizens helping a federal marshal does not either.

Both of those things are still done today.
In general, States honor extradition requests from other states. A State may refuse based on the seriousness of the charge and the outcome of an extradition hearing.
States exercised more independence in this area during the 19th century. This was particularly true in cases involving runaway slaves and eventually led to Dred Scott v Sanford in 1857.
It is worth remembering that in 1854, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional. <http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=170>
This decision was overturned by SCOTUS in Ableman v. Booth in 1859, ruling that State courts cannot issue rulings on federal law that contradict the decisions of federal courts.
The thing to keep in mind is that in the antebellum era, runaway slaves were not always considered "fugitives" in the North. Murderers and felons were, but slaves were sometimes considered, to use modern language, as freedom seekers and not escapees from justice.

To say the northerners in question felt "oppressed" might not be the best wording, but they did feel like they were being forced to do something which they believed was religiously or morally wrong.

- Alan
 

atlantis

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#9
Is the fear that more free states would end the laws, court rulings in favor of slave holders not a big force in driving the secession decision. Were the slave holders foresighted in seeing time was not on their side?
 

WJC

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#11
The thing to keep in mind is that in the antebellum era, runaway slaves were not always considered "fugitives" in the North. Murderers and felons were, but slaves were sometimes considered, to use modern language, as freedom seekers and not escapees from justice.

To say the northerners in question felt "oppressed" might not be the best wording, but they did feel like they were being forced to do something which they believed was religiously or morally wrong.

- Alan
Thanks for your response.
Agreed.
Ableman v. Booth in 1859 was affirmation of the primacy of Federal courts, which had 'decided' the issue in 1857 with Dred Scott v Sanford.
But, as we know, at least as far as slavery, that issue was not decided until the Civil War.
It is interesting that- at least in this case- slave holders who later claimed to have been forced to secede to preserve 'states' rights' were pleased to see states' rights struck down....
 
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#12
The beating of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks in the U.S. Senate is worth a mention here. Although the New York Herald would insist that this was “in fact nothing more than a personal difficulty between two individual members of the federal legislative body,” the reactions North and South made it symbolic of the dispute between the sections. The Carolina Times (Columbia, S.C. 1856-05-26) opined that, “we hope that arguments stronger than words will hereafter be used on every convenient occasion.” Historian William E. Gienapp argues that the incident played a major role in the rise of the Republican party.

Below is an editorial published in the New York Evening Post, May 23, 1856, which claims that the attack was part of a pattern of Southerners using violence to impose their views.

The Outrage on Mr. Sumner
...
The excuse for this base assault is, that Mr. Sumner, on the Senate floor, in the course of debate had spoken disrespectfully of Mr. Butler, a relative of Preston S. Brooks, one of authors of this outrage. No possible indecorum of language on the part of Mr. Sumner could excuse, much less justify, an attack like this; but we have carefully examined his speech to see if it contains any matter which could even extenuate such an act of violence, and find none. He had ridiculed Mr. Butler’s devotion to slavery it is true, but the Weapon of ridicule in debate is by common consent as fair and allowable a weapon as argument....

Has it come to this, that we must speak with bated breath in the presence of our Southern masters; that even their follies are to sacred a subject of ridicule; that we must not deny the consistency of their principles or the accuracy of their statements? If we venture to laugh at them, or question their logic, or dispute their facts, are we to be chastised as they chastise their slaves? Are we, too, slaves for life, a target for their brutal blows, when we do not comport ourselves to please them? If this be so, it is time that the people of the free states knew it, and prepared themselves to acquiesce in their fate. They have labored under the delusion hitherto that they were their own masters...

The sudden attack made with deadly weapons upon an unarmed man in the Senate Chamber, where he could not expect it or have been prepared for it, was the act of men who must be poltroons as well as ruffians. It was as indecent, also, as it was cowardly; the Senate floor should be sacred from such outrages; or, if they are committed at all, it should only be by Senatorial blackguards. It is true that the Senate had just adjourned, but the members were still there, many of them in their places; it was their chamber, and this violence committed in their presence was an insult to their body. Yet we have no expectation that the Senate will do anything to vindicate the sacredness and peace of their chamber, or the right of their members not to be called to account for words spoken in debate. There will be a little discussion; some will denounce and some will defend the assault, and there the matter will end.

The truth is, that the pro-slavery party, which rules in the Senate looks upon violence as the proper instrument of its designs. Violence reigns in the streets of Washington; they are not safe for the man who speaks his mind without reserve.... It had been supposed that the Senate Chamber, the room dedicated to the sittings of that “dignified body,” as it has been called, was at least free from the intrusion of outside bullies, but violence has now found its way into the Senate chamber. Violence lies in wait on all navigable rivers and all the railways of Missouri, to obstruct those who pass from the free states to Kansas. Violence overhangs the frontier of that territory like a stormcloud charged with hail and lightning. Violence has carried election after election in that territory; violence has imposed upon the inhabitants a fictitious legislature and a tyrannical code of laws, and violence is mustering her myrmidons to put that code in execution. In short, violence is the order of the day; the North is to be pushed to the wall by it, and this plot will succeed if the people of the free States are as apathetic as the slaveholders are insolent.

Since we can expect nothing from Congress, the people of the free states must speak out in their public meetings, and denounce the plot and its authors. Here is an attempt to silence a bold and fearless representative of the free states, whose only offense was that he repelled the attacks upon the rights of his constituents with too much plainness of speech. Will the people of the free states stand by him, or will they desert him like cowards, and own that a northern man, who is above fear in the discharge of his duty, deserves to be beaten like a hound? It is idle to wait for what the Senate may do—the Senate will do nothing—it never does anything on such occasions; the people must take the matter into their own hands.​
 
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#13
From another thread: this is about attempts to limit the use of the US Mail to transmit anti-slavery material:

The issue of mail censorship and civil liberties is discussed by Daniel Walker Howe in his book What Hath God Wrought (p 428-430). Note especially what is said in the last paragraph below:

(circa 1835) William Lloyd Garrison and his New York City counterpart, Elizur Wright, then decided to undertake a major southern propaganda offensive. Their target audience consisted of 20,000 influential southern whites, including many who had previously criticized slavery in conventional Jeffersonian terms as an unfortunate legacy from previous generations... Their program took advantage of the latest mass-production printing technology and relied on the U.S. mails for distribution. The federal Post Office would not be legally bound by the censorship that the southern states had enacted in response to David Walker and Nat Turner.

The abolitionists printed 175,000 tracts, and would have a million ready by the end of the calendar year, but no more than a handful ever reached their addresses...

On June 29, 1835, a group of burglars broke into the Charleston, SC, post office and made off with a bag of abolitionist publications that the postmaster had (not coincidentally) sorted out and labelled for their convenience. The next night the contents of the mailbag were burned before a crowd of two thousand.

In the abolitionists' fight to influence public opinion, access to the mail was crucial. Postmasters from around the country began to ask... postmaster general Amos Kendall how they should deal with the abolitionist literature... Kendall consulted with president Andrew Jackson on August 7, proposing to allow local postmasters to leave anti-slavery mail undelivered. Old Hickoy concurred, calling the abolitionists "monsters" guilty of stirring up "the horrors of servile war," who deserved "to atone for these wicked attempts with their lives."

Jackson took the issue public. At the next session of Congress, he called for legislation authorizing federal censorship "to prohibit, under severe penalties, the circulation in the Southern States, through the mail, of incendiary publications intended to instigate slaves to insurrection."

Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers," he told the postmaster general, and then publish their names as supporters of "exciting the negroes to insurrection and murder." This, the president confidently predicted, would bring them "into such dispute with all the South,that they would be compelled to desist, or move from the country."

Kendall went further. He not only deferred to local sentiment in the South, he even instructed postmasters in the North that although there was no legal justification to do so, they were "justified" if they refused to dispatch abolitionist mailings into the South. To shield the administration from legal action, he carefully added that postmasters acted on their own responsibility when they did this.

Where Jackson had proposed the federal government should define and exclude "incendiary" materials from the mail, SC's John Calhoun introduced a bill in the Senate to require the federal Post Office to enforce whatever censorship laws any state might enact... eventually Calhoun's proposal was defeated. Seven slave state senators, including Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton, joined with northerners to vote it down. Concern for civil liberties, even those of unpopular minorities, counted for more in the halls of Congress than within the Jackson administration.

The southern practice of ignoring inconvenient federal laws in order to preserve white supremacy was established long before the Civil War... The refusal of the Post Office to deliver abolitionist mail to the South may well represent the largest peacetime violation of civil liberty in US history.

- Alan
Your post is a great argument for taking Jackson off the $20 bill and putting Harriet Tubmans portrait on instead.
Leftyhunter
 

Irishtom29

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#14
Your post is a great argument for taking Jackson off the $20 bill and putting Harriet Tubmans portrait on instead.
Leftyhunter

Indeed it is, and a far better argument than he was a bad guy because he gave the Indians a raw deal, he was hardly alone as a president in that. Hell, our biggest and most important Indian war was fought under President Washington and our next most important ones under President Madison, both of whom are generally considered good guys.
 

John S. Carter

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#15
I am thinking of things like the Gag rule in Congress
Insistence on suppressing the Free Speech of abolitionists.
Dred Scott.
Lemmon v New York where Slave owners get to tote there slaves everywhere.
Suppressing free speech criticizing Slavery
1850 Fugitive Slave Act
Anything else?
Go for it.
And what was the North's reaction to these act.? Let us not forgit Taney Southern SC rulelings that gave the right to transport their properties into Free states.Harpers Ferry/JB myrta for the cause,Uncle Tom,and the evil overseer.The more the more the attacks the more the South had to counter attack .Then almost forgot; the Southern control of the Democratic party and how many Presidents who were Southern or had Southern polotics.
 

brass napoleon

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#16
Uncle Tom,and the evil overseer
The evil overseer (actually owner) in Uncle Tom's Cabin was in fact a Northerner. Harriet Beecher Stowe did that deliberately to make sure the book was seen as an attack on slavery, and not an attack on Southerners. She also deliberately made some of the most sympathetic characters in the book Southerners. It didn't work though. Slaveholders of the day equated slavery with the South - to them they were one and the same. Any attack on slavery was an attack on the South. Period. (And it never ceases to amaze me how many people still see it that way today.)
 
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#17
""Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers,""

Sounds to me like if you were a subscriber you would get your mail. Only unsolicited junk mail would be stopped.
 

brass napoleon

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#18
""Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers,""

Sounds to me like if you were a subscriber you would get your mail. Only unsolicited junk mail would be stopped.
"... we can do nothing more than direct that those inflamatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers; and in every instance the Postmaster ought to take the names down, and have them exposed thro the publik journals as subscribers to this wicked plan of exciting the negroes to insurrection and massacre. This would bring those in the South, who were patronizing these incendiary works into such disrepute with all the South, that they would be compelled to desist, or move from the country."

- President Andrew Jackson, to Postmaster General Amos Kendall, on August 9, 1835

Source: <https://books.google.com/books?id=pq6JGR_2XjsC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46
 

jgoodguy

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#19
""Until Congress met, Jackson hit upon a scheme to stifle the distribution of abolitionist material. "Direct that those inflammatory papers be delivered to none but who will demand them as subscribers,""

Sounds to me like if you were a subscriber you would get your mail. Only unsolicited junk mail would be stopped.
Sounds like a subscriber could get lynched.
 

matthew mckeon

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#20
Slavery was an oppressive system that required a certain level of brutality to operate. And while people told themselves that it would only be blacks that would suffer, if you'll living in an oppressive society, some of it will splash on you. Your free speech is curtailed and you are forced to participate in oppressing people.
 



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