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Letter to Agnes Gordon Cochran Higginson regarding slavery and democracy
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Four days after the first shots were fired in the American Civil War, Stephen Higginson Perkins wrote this letter which he called "a paper and preachment." He lectured Mrs. Higginson on the ways the War Between the States would encourage democracy by crushing the southern "slave aristocracy." He didn't foresee the war as an end to slavery. Rather, he was pleased to think the war would end what he viewed as southern political domination of the nation. Many Northerners thought Southern politicians had a choke-hold on the federal government. Given the structure of Congress, the more populous North had more representatives in the House of Representatives, while the balance of slave to free states evened the numbers in the Senate. Slavery reforms pushed through the House by Northern Representatives, usually died in the Senate inciting cries of political domination.
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