Speech on Reconstruction

“Reconstruction,” Hon. Thaddeus Stevens on the Great Topic of the Hour. An Address Delivered to…

Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

The people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, on the 26th day…

The Address of the People of South Carolina Assembled in Convention, to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States

It is seventy-three years, since the Union between the United States was made by the…

Fugitive Slave Act 1850

Section 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United…

Fragment on Government

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they…

Annual Message to Congress (excerpt)

It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon…

Speech on the Kansas Nebraska Act at Peoria, Illinois (abridged)

The repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the propriety of its restoration, constitute the subject…

Letter to Ulysses S. Grant

Major General Grant My dear General I do not remember that you and I ever…

Letter to George McClellan

Major General McClellan. My dear Sir. Your despatches complaining that you are not properly sustained,…

Letter to John G. Whittier

As published in The Liberator on August 31, 1844. DISUNION! NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS! Motto of…

Herbert Spencer and the Doctrine of Evolution

A Lecture delivered before the New York Liberal Club The change that has taken place…

Baconianism and the Bible

The substance of an address delivered before the Ecumenean and Philanthropic Societies of Davidson College,…

On Being Born Again

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man…

Stay of Execution for Nathaniel Gordon

Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, To all to whom these Presents…

Mississippi Black Code

Apprentice Law Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that it…

Wade-Davis Bill and President Lincoln’s Pocket Veto Proclamation

Source: Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation 115 – Concerning a Bill To Guarantee to Certain States, Whose…

Interview with Lincoln

Freedman’s Village, Va., Nov.17, 1864 DEAR FRIEND, … It was about 8 o’clock A.M., when…

Letter to James H. Hackett

MY DEAR SIR: Months ago I should have acknowledged the receipt of your book and…

Democratic Party Platform of 1856

Resolved, That the American Democracy place their trust in the intelligence, the patriotism, and the…

Speech to the 166th Ohio Regiment

I suppose you are going home to see your families and friends. For the service…

“Mud Sill” Speech in the Senate

In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to…

Cannibals All!

We are, all, North and South, engaged in the White Slave Trade, and he who…

Sociology for the South, or, The Failure of Free Society

George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or, The Failure of Free Society (Richmond: Morris, 1854).…

Slavery in Light of Social Ethics

…The coercion of slavery alone to form man to habits of labor. Without it, there…

Fragment on Free Labor

Equality, in society, alike beats inequality, whether the latter be of the British aristocratic sort, or…

Fort Hill Address

[This is an abridged version of the document.]   The question of the relation which…

The Webster-Hayne Debates

[This is an abridged version of the document.]   Speech of Senator Robert Y. Hayne…

“Corner Stone” Speech (excerpt)

[This is an abridged version of the document.]   Savannah, Georgia, as reported in the Savannah…

Did John Brown Fail?

Not to fan the flame of sectional animosity now happily in the process of rapid…

Self-Made Men

The subject announced for this evening’s entertainment is not new. Man in one form or…

Letter to Matthew Birchard and Others

  Messrs M. Birchard David A Houk Geo. Bliss T. W. Bartley W. J. Gordon…

Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions

  We have all heard of Young America. He is the most current youth of…

First Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions

All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all…

Letter to Mrs. Orville Browning

  Springfield Dear Madam: Without appologising[sic] for being egotistical, I shall make the history of…

Letter to John Johnston

  Dear Brother: On the day before yesterday I received a letter from Harriett, written…

Lessons of the Hour (excerpt)

… Do not ask me what will be the final result of the so-called negro…

The Slaveholders’ Rebellion

FELLOW CITIZENS: Eighty-six years ago the fourth of July was consecrated and distinguished among all…

Our Composite Nationality

As nations are among the largest and the most complete divisions into which society is…

Spot Resolutions in the U.S. House of Representatives

  WHEREAS the President of the United States, in his message of May 11th. 1846,…

Letter to John Johnston

Dear Brother Your letter of the 22nd. is just received. Your proposal about selling the…

Letter to John Johnston

Dear Brother: When I wrote you before I had not received your letter. I still…

Letter to John D. Johnston

Dear Brother: When I came into Charleston daybefore yesterday, I learned that you are anxious…

Black Codes of Mississippi

Source: Laws of the State of Mississippi, passed at a Regular Session of the Mississippi…

Letter to William H. Seward

  Hon. W. H. Seward Executive Mansion My dear Sir My view of the present…

Our Work is Not Done

Ladies and Gentlemen: I confess, at the outset, to have felt a very profound desire…

Letter to William Sharkey

Governor William L. Sharkey, Jackson, Miss. I am gratified to see that you have organized…

Letter to D.H. Chamberlain, Governor of South Carolina

Dear Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of the 22d of July, and…

Letter of Acceptance of the Nomination for the Presidency

With a civil service organized upon a system which will secure purity, experience, efficiency, and…

Speech at the South Carolina Constitutional Convention

Editor’s Note: Richard H. Cain, one of many black delegates to the South Carolina Constitutional…

Excerpts of Testimony from Mattie Curtis

An interview with Mattie Curtis, 98 years old, of Raleigh, North Carolina. …When de Yankees…
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