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Slaveholding had been abolished decades earlier in New England when Robert Rantoul, presented his paper on "Negro Slavery in Massachusetts" for a Beverly, Massachusetts audience in 1833. Earlier hopes that this 'Peculiar Institution' so at odds with the nation's republican institutions would fade away grew dimmer as slavery grew stronger than ever in the South. The national debate over slavery intensified and became more divisive as even those who opposed the practice disagreed over how best to eliminate it.