Congress Plays Kick-the-Can with your Ancestry

In the middle of National Procrastination Week (celebrated the first full week of March), let’s examine the Missouri Compromise–anniversary on 3 March 2014.

In February of 1819, Congress entertained a bill to admit Missouri to the Union as a state prohibiting slavery.  There were 11 free states, and 10 slave states.  And the juggling act Congress had been involved in for several years, since the Members had concluded it was impossible to abolish slavery out-right, continued.

Southern congressmen could not upset the delicate (and negotiated) balance of power–neither North or South would budge.  So Missouri ready for statehood, was the pawn.

The Missouri Compromise simply kicked-the-can down the street–

  1. Missouri was admitted 3 Mar 1820 as a slave state.
  2. Slavery was prohibited forever in the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase–ensuring that Kansas and Nebraska, as well as all other states carved out of that vast section, would have to be free.
  3. In 1854, the Compromise was repealed:  Kansas and Nebraska would decide for themselves by vote, whether to be slave or free.
  4. “Bleeding” Kansas continued the battle.

And you celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Great American Civil War, in which your ancestors fought and died to preserve the Union–where Congress still, today, kicks-the-can when they cannot in good conscience solve the hard problems of governance.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Stay tuned–2014 will be a truly significant genealogy year.  New and little-known records and sources identified and discussed every month.

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