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    Freemen Rally Broadside - Regarding Bleeding Kansas and the Caning of Senator Sumner. One page, 7.25" x 11", Sandy Hill, May 28th, 1856. This small broadside announces a meeting of freemen to discuss several events that effect the abolition movement and slavery as a whole. It reads in part, "…At half past 7 o'clock without distinction of party, to take into consideration the recent infamous outrage in the United State's [sic] Senate, and the state of affairs in Kansas…" The two events hinted at are the "Bleeding Kansas" affair and the caning of Charles Sumner in the U.S. Senate. "Bleeding Kansas" refers to the period between 1854 and 1856 in which there was much civil unrest and violence over the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Settlers from the North and the South moved into Kansas to support his side of the slavery ticket. The name given to the rash of disputes and violence that erupted on the borders of Kansas and Missouri was "Bleeding Kansas." Secondly, the broadside mentions the caning of Senator Charles Sumner as the "infamous outrage." Charles Sumner was a staunch abolitionist and outspoken member of the Senate. On May 19th and 20th of 1856 Sumner gave a speech in the Senate called, "Crime Against Kansas," in which he greatly opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its creators, he insulted them personally and touted his beliefs about abolition and slavery. Two days later a relative of one of the men he insulted, Preston Brooks, approached Sumner in the Senate chamber and beat him nearly to the point of a death with a cane. This event outraged Northerners and infused Southerners with newfound vim and vigor. Many people believe that this attack on Sumner and the entire "Bleeding Kansas" affair were preludes to the Civil War itself. It took three years for Sumner to recover, but Massachusetts decided to re-elect Sumner to the Senate despite his absence in the chamber because they believed his empty chair was the loudest voice for free speech and abolition. It would take much longer for the United States as a whole to recover from the war that would follow.
    The broadside is in fine condition; foxing present on the body of the broadside; the ink has begun to bleed and erode through the paper slightly; mounting traces present on verso.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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