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.