COMPROMISE MEASURES OF 1850, in American history, a series of measures the object of which was the settlement of five questions in dispute between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States.
Immediately after the sack of Lawrence, John Brown and a small band murdered and mutilated five pro-slavery men, on Pottawatomie Creek; a horrible deed, showing a new spirit on the freestate side, and of ghastly consequence - for it contributed powerfully to widen further the licence of highway robbery, pillage and arson, the ruin of homes, the driving off of settlers, marauding expeditions, attacks on towns, outrages in short of every kind, that made the following months a welter of lawlessness and crime, until Governor Geary - by putting himself above all partisanship, repudiating Missouri, and using Federal troops put an end to them late in 1856.
On the death of John C. Calhoun in 1850 the state, under the leadership of Jefferson Davis, began to rival South Carolina as leader of the extreme pro-slavery States' Rights faction.
The struggle fused with the personal contests of two men, rivals for the United States Senate, William McKendree Gwin (1805-1885, United States senator, 1850-1861), the leader of the pro-slavery party, and David Colbreth Broderick (1819-18J9), formerly a leader of Tammany in New York, and after 1857 a member from California of the United States Senate, the champion of free labour, who declared in 1860 for the policy of the Republican party.
Reeder (1807-1864), who showed himself a pro-slavery sympathizer as first Territorial governor, was removed from office for favouring the free-state party; he became a leader in the free-state cause.
Benton and others prepared a plan for educating the slaves and gradually emancipating them under state law; and undoubtedly a considerable party would have supported such a project, for the Whigs and Democrats were not then divided along party lines on the slavery issue; but nothing took organized form in 1849, when Senator Benton repudiated certain ultra pro-slavery instructions, breathing a secession spirit, passed by the General Assembly for the guidance of the representatives of the state in Congress.
His imprisonment created much excitement, and in some quarters, in spite of the pro-slavery spirit of the time, was a subject of indignant comment in public as well as private.
Jones; he was rescued and taken to Lawrence; the city disclaimed complicity, but Jones persuaded Governor Wilson Shannon that there was rebellion, and Shannon authorized a posse; Missouri responded, and a pro-slavery force marched on Lawrence.
In 1856 he was chosen vice-president of the United States on the Buchanan ticket, and although a strong pro-slavery and states rights man, he presided over the Senate with conspicuous fairness and impartiality during the trying years before the Civil War.
Lawrence, was founded by agents of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company in July 1854, and during the territorial period was the political centre of the free-state cause and the principal point against which the assaults of the pro-slavery party were directed.