Exhibit Theme

Balancing Sectional Interests

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Henry Clay’s handwritten...
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Henry Clay’s handwritten resolutions proposing the Compromise of 1850, January 29, 1850

Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky prefaced his compromise resolutions by stating that they were intended as a peaceful and equitable settlement of all existing controversies among the states over the institution of slavery. Though Clay’s initial proposals and subsequent omnibus bill failed, Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois moved Clay’s separate resolutions through both houses of Congress.

"It being desirable, for the peace, concord and harmony of the Union of these States, to settle and adjust amicably all existing questions of controversy between them, arising out of the institution of slavery, upon a fair, equitable and just basis . . ."

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration