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The National Debate
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The New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Library, Picture Collection

Rights of the States

This cartoon attacks the Democratic Party for its defense of states' rights, which include, it asserts, whipping slaves unmercifully and selling them at auction, without regard for the families they have formed. Southern Democrats fiercely defended their legal right to own and exploit other human beings. Although a Northerner, James Buchanan, president from 1856 to 1860, was quite sympathetic to the slave owners' cause and firmly believed their rights had to be upheld. He thought the abolitionists were creating more problems for the nation than the slaveholders.

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Image ID: 807862
Title: [Slave auction ; Beating of slave on a tree.]
Source: Slavery -- United States
Location: Picture Collection, Mid-Manhattan Library
Subjects: Auctions
Political cartoons
Slavery -- United States
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