Lecture 4 Key Terms  

Antebellum United States Part II 

Wilmot Proviso

Oregon settlement

"54-40 or fight"

common property doctrine

1848 Presidential Elections

Zachary Taylor (W)

Conscience Whigs

Cotton Whigs

William Cass (D)

Popular Sovereignty Doctrine

“Barnburner” Democrats

Free Soil Party

Salmon P. Chase (FS)

California Gold Rush of 1849

New Mexico

Henry Clay (W)

Omnibus Bill

Millard Fillmore (W)

Stephen Douglas  ("Little Giant")  (D)

The Compromise of 1850

Fugitive Slave Act 1850

Federal Marshals

William and Ellen Craft

Boston Abolitionists

Battle of Christiana

Underground Railway

Harriet Tubman 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin

economic determinism

Hacker-Beard Thesis

1852 Presidential election

Winfield Scott (W)

Franklin Pierce (D)

Kansas-Nebraska Act  (1854)

“F Street Mess”

William Seward (R)

Republican Party

Abraham Lincoln (R)

Order of the Star Spangled Banner


American Party


fusion parties

Horace Greeley New York Tribune

Bleeding Kansas

New England Emigrant Aid Company

David Atchison (D)

Border Ruffians



Wakarusa War

Sack of Lawrence

Charles Sumner (FS)

Preston Brooks (D)

Caning of Charles Sumner

John Brown

Presidential Elections 1856

James Buchanan (D)


Slave Statistics in the USA on the eve of the Civil War in 1860

1 in 70 Americans owned slaves – or 1.5 of the American free population (apx. 28,000,000)

4.8 percent of southerners owned one or more slaves

According to the 1860 US Census, 393,975 named persons held 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, for a mathematical average of about ten slaves per holder.  Most actually held only one or two slaves.    

Owners of 200 or more slaves, constituting less than 1% of all US slaveholders (fewer than 4,000 persons, 1 in 7,000 free persons, or 0.015% of the population) held an estimated 20–30% of all slaves (800,000 to 1,200,000 slaves).

A small minority of the slave owners were freed African-Americans:

  • in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city.  In 1860 there were at least six Negroes in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves.
  • In Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 125 free blacks owned slaves; six of them owning 10 or more. Of the $1.5 million in taxable property owned by free blacks in Charleston, more than $300,000 represented slave holdings
  • In North Carolina 69 free blacks were slave owners.

(Larry Koger, Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860, University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
Michael P. Johnson, James L. Roark
, Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South,
W. W. Norton & Company, 1986.)