Senate chamber U.S.A. Conclusion of Clay's speech in defense of slavery
@ Library Company of Philadelphia
DescriptionCartoon satirizing an 1839 anti-abolition speech by the great congressional orator Henry Clay focusing on his conflicting views on the abolition of slavery. Clay, despite deploring the institution of slavery, was a slave owner who was against immediate national abolition. Depicts Clay, in front of the Mason-Dixon line, coming to an agreement with John Calhoun, his chief congressional rival and leading senatorial supporter of slavery, about the issue of slavery. They both stand on past antislavery resolutions and a prostrate slave who states that he shall arise. Clay's remarks "North" of the line reflect his antislavery rhetoric; those "South" of the line refer to his being a slave owner. Calhoun states his pleasure in Clay's awakening to the societal benefits of slavery.