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with Wentworth's article on Barbarism &
Civilisation. It is well arranged & simple,
richly illustrated by curious facts & references,
& altogether a finished & interesting essay, witty
and lively withal. Storrow was charmed with it.
I have read aloud to Willie, who cannot
use his eyes, the political article, by
Lowell. I suppose, quite good & decided.
As to politics, where be me! Back?
& ninety looks? the present & the near future.
I can form no confident opinion of what
is coming. It may be a conflict of some
years, to end only with Freedom to the Slave,
or in organized steps in that direction. or it
may end soon in fresh concessions to the
Slave power. I fear the latter most, as a
prolongation of injustice to the blacks, of Southern
insolence & of northern baseness, involving a
more desperate conflict a few years later.
I am drawing towards Mr Garrison, & Wentworth's
opinions, that it may be more practicable to
dissolve the Union & form a new constitution
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The days before the Civil War caused much anxiety and created speculation among Americans about the nation's future. In a letter to his mother, Stephen Higginson describes his opinion on the best course of action for the American government. He sees the "Constitution of '89" as a "bad pro-Slavery" document. Rather than going through the slow process of amending it over time, he thinks "it is high time to have done such a Union." At the end of his letter, Stephen tells his mother "you asked me some time ago to give you a dish of politics" which indicates that although restricted from formal engagement in politics, women often took a keen interest.
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Partial letter to Louisa Higginson from son regarding politics and slavery
| author Stephen Higginson II (1808-1870)
| date Jan 4, 1861
| location Cambridge, Massachusetts
| height 8.0"
| width 5.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L05.043
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