Democratic Convention of 1860 II

Lead: In the Spring of 1860 the national Democratic Party Convention met in Charleston, South Carolina to nominate a candidate for President and Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois was the man to beat.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Where Stephen A. Douglas was concerned, few persons held a neutral opinion. He was said to be a passionate man who evoked passion in others, in his friends and in his enemies. His people had set up their headquarters in the Hibernian Hall not far from the Battery, where ancient twisted live oaks dripping with Spanish moss as if from another and more leisurely place and time greeted the frantic visitors from North and West who came seeking compromise in an era of impatience and incivility. Douglas had a majority but his problem was that the Democrats demanded that he secure two-thirds of the votes to carry the nomination.

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Democratic Convention of 1860 I

Lead: In the spring of 1860 the tensions of a nation that was losing patience with itself focused on the quiet port city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: A compact and muscular man, with a square-built head and face, and an intense gaze, William Lowndes Yancey of Alabama seemed an unlikely candidate to provoke a revolution. The Democratic Party was gathering in Charleston to nominate a candidate for President. In that late April from all over the nation delegates were meeting to try and find some safe ground of compromise that might set at bay the forces of extremism that seemed bent on tearing the Party and the nation to pieces. Compromise. Yancey would have none of it. If he got his way the Democratic Party would be split and the resulting Republican victory would compel the cotton states of the South out of the Union.

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Frederic Douglass I

Lead: "All the other speakers seemed tame after Frederick Douglass. He stood there like an African Prince, majestic in his wrath."Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Elizabeth Cady Stanton knew her activists. It was an age of moral agitation and she would go on to great fame at the side of Susan B. Anthony in the service of women's rights. That day in the mid-1800s when Frederick Douglass spoke to an antislavery meeting in Boston, Stanton was as moved as the rest at the sound of his voice and the moral imperative of his message.

Douglass was an escaped slave. Raised by his grandmother on a Chesapeake Bay plantation, at the age of six he began his work under Captain Aaron Anthony, the white farm manager and, so some of the slaves said, Frederick's father. In later years, he would make vivid to audiences throughout the North the picture of life as a slave.

A House Divided: (50) The Martyr of Harper’s Ferry – 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: After capturing the Federal Armory in Harper’s Ferry in October, 1859, John Brown awaited the arrival of the authorities. They came in form of a detachment of marines commanded by Col. Robert E. Lee of Virginia. They stormed the engine house, captured a slightly wounded Brown and in less than 40 hours his grand illusion had fallen apart.

A House Divided: (49) The Martyr of Harper’s Ferry – 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: He was a murderer whose grand scheme included a vast destruction of white southerners in a slave uprising, but in the white hot discourse that was the national conversation in America of the 1850s, he became for many opposed to slavery a martyr to the cause.

Compromise of 1833 IV

Lead: Conflict over a protective tariff almost produced Civil War in the United States in 1833.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Angered over protective tariffs which benefited Northern industry and hurt Southern farmers, Southerners, led by United States Vice-President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina in the early 1830s, advocated nullification. If states were convinced the Federal government had passed laws that were unconstitutional, they could nullify them, declare them inoperative inside their state's boundaries.

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Compromise of 1833 III

Lead: The debate over a protective tariff nearly brought the United States to Civil War in 1833.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1820s, Northern manufacturers wanted a high tariff to protect their businesses from foreign competition. Southern farmers despised protective tariffs. They wanted free trade to buy cheaper goods from Europe and to discourage other countries from imposing retaliatory tariffs which made it harder to sell Southern rice and cotton overseas.

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Compromise of 1833 II

Lead: In late 1832 the state of South Carolina declared that it had the right to nullify or ignore Federal law within its boundaries.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At its heart, the U.S. Constitution was a compromise, more precisely, it was a series of compromises, between rural and urban areas, between small states and large ones, between those living on the frontier and maritime interests on the coast, between slaveholders and those opposed to this institution and embarrassed by its glaring violation of the nation's ideals.

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