-- Dilemmas of Compromise --


Tuesday December 18, 1860

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Crittenden's Compromise Proposal

On this day, Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden proposed a compromise plan involving six constitutional amendments and four resolutions. The heart of the compromise was an amendment prohibiting slavery in all territory of the United States "now held, or hereafter acquired," north of latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes. In territory south of the line, slavery was "hereby recognized" and should be "protected as property by all the departments of the territorial government during its continuance." States would then be admitted to the Union with or without slavery, as their constitutions provided.

The Crittenden Compromise proposal was referred to the Senate's Committee of Thirteen.

Bibliography: Potter, Lincoln and His Party, pp. 104-5.

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