A House Divided: The Determined Mr. Taney III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For twenty-eight years Roger Brooke Taney served as Chief Justice of the United States. As Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of the Treasury, he helped destroy the Second Bank of the United States and remained hostile to corporate interests throughout his career, but his life’s main focus was to protect slavery and those southern values which he saw as uniquely connected to that evil and corrupt institution. When the case of Dred Scott came before the Court, Taney set out to build a wall between blacks, slave and free, and the rights and protections of the federal constitution.

A House Divided: The Determined Mr. Taney II

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Dred Scott’s plea to be given his freedom reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1856-7 the Court could have just punted. There was ample case precedent to assert that temporary residence in free territory was not sufficient to secure freedom for a slave,  that simply walking on free soil did not magically eradicate all property claims of the slave’s owner. The court was initially prepared to take this route, but reversed itself, and, under the leadership of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney began to craft a landmark decision, one of the most infamous in U.S. history.

A House Divided: The Determined Mr. Taney I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


Content: United States Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, son of Maryland, an eighty something year old widower, in precarious health, was a man on a mission. He owned no slaves, having previously manumitted his, but he was determined to create a judicial firewall against those forces that with increasing power were assaulting his beloved southland, its institutions and traditions. And Taney felt he had just the vehicle to that.

A House Divided: Kansas’ Competing Constitutions III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When a territory wishes to become a state, it must among other things submit the results of a referendum requesting statehood and a constitution demonstrating that the state’s laws will be follow the United States constitution and legal system.

A House Divided: Kansas’ Competing Constitutions II

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With a pro-slavery legislature in Lecompton representing a decided minority and a large anti-slavery population demanding a free and clear referendum on statehood, Kansas in 1857 was in deep trouble.

A House Divided: Kansas’ Competing Constitutions I

Lead:One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1854 Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It established the principle of majority determination.  Whoever got there first with the most in population could go a long way in determining whether a territory would enter the Union free or slave. In 1855 pro-slave partisans jumped across the Missouri border and quickly elected a pro-slavery legislature and passed a draconian slave code which proscribed the death penalty for certain types of anti-slavery activity.