Monday, January 18, 2016

Sheldon on Lincoln, the Supreme Court, and the Politics of Slavery

Next month at the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress: The lecture Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Politics of Slavery will take place on Thursday, February 18, 2016, 4:00 p.m., Room LJ-119, First floor, Thomas Jefferson Building:
In his 1858 "House Divided" speech, Abraham Lincoln accused Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, outgoing President Franklin Pierce, president-elect James Buchanan, and Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas of a conspiracy to perpetuate slavery in the United States. According to Lincoln, this conspiracy took form in the infamous 1857 Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which excluded African Americans from U.S. citizenship. Kluge Fellow Rachel Shelden re-examines Lincoln’s conspiracy charge in the context of how the federal political system – and particularly the Supreme Court – operated in the mid-nineteenth century.