Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

Mallalieu, William C.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Howe, Laurence Lee

Committee Member

Hassold, Ernest C.


Clay, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903


Kentucky slavery was attacked during the summer months of 1845 from within by one of the state's native sons. Cassius M. Clay, son of a Madison County slaveholder, began the publication of The True American, an abolition paper, on June 3, of that year. He caught the tide of slavery controversy in one of its numerous periods of flux. At that time opinion on the slavery question was not solidified anywhere in the country. Since 1831 most of the opposition to the "peculiar institution" was centered in the states north of the Mason-Dixon Line. but even in that vast region, there was no unanimity of opinion on the solution for the problem which was presented by the alternative of continued slavery, or of gradual emancipation. Probably, at that date, a majority of people in the North were disposed to look upon slavery as at least a moral evil, but at that point their paths divided in many directions on the question of what should be done about it. There were some who felt that slavery was an evil, but that it was a local problem to be settled by the respective states, with the Federal Government placing no impediments in its path.

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