Debate Missouri as Free State - Banning Slavery "Unjust"

John Randolph (1773-1833), from Virginia, opposed admitting Missouri as a "free" state not because he approved of slavery but because he disapproved of the federal government's interference with it. Almost more than anything else, from a political-philosophy standpoint, he cherished the right of a state to choose its own path. 

If Missourians wanted slavery, Randolph argued, they should enter the Union as a "slave state."  If they opposed it, Missouri should be "free."

This image is a page from the Congressional Debates on whether Missouri should be admitted as a state and, if so, whether it should be free or slave.

Click on the image to expand its view.

Media Credits

Image, Library of Congress

History of Congress
Debates on the Admission of Missouri
Page 1572


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