A House Divided: Lincoln vs. Douglas on Slavery 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: They are perhaps the most famous debates in U.S. history. Seven encounters in the run up to the November, 1858 elections for Senator from Illinois. The protagonists, Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln, and the incumbent Democrat Senator Stephen A. Douglas, brought into bright, bold relief what was emerging as most compelling issue of the time, the future of chattel slavery in America.

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.