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Lincoln's AutocratThe Life of Edwin Stanton$
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William Marvel

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622491

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622491.001.0001

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The California Mission

The California Mission

Chapter:
(p.80) 5 The California Mission
Source:
Lincoln's Autocrat
Author(s):

William Marvel

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622491.003.0005

This chapter examines Edwin M. Stanton's California mission and its impact on his career and reputation. As Stanton and Ellen were enjoying their honeymoon, American politics became increasingly volatile. Slavery had come to dominate public debate, especially after 1854, when Senator Stephen A. Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska legislation. The hard-fought Compromise of 1850 had left the territories of Utah and New Mexico to decide their own fate when they applied for statehood, and Douglas's legislation extended the same privilege to Kansas and Nebraska. That concession secured the Southern votes, but it simultaneously alarmed legions of Northerners who had been content with barring slavery's expansion. Salmon P. Chase, Ben Wade, and other antislavery senators seized on Douglas's bill as proof of Southern aggression. At the height of the Panic of 1857, Stanton received an offer to serve as government counsel in California and work on various land cases there.

Keywords:   slavery, Edwin M. Stanton, California, politics, Stephen A. Douglas, Kansas, Nebraska, Panic of 1857, government counsel, land cases

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