Slavery drove the South to doorstep of disunion

The nation will soon mark the sesquicentennial of our most uncivil of wars, the war that claimed the lives of more Americans than all other wars combined in our country’s history. The causes of this great tragedy are complex and many, but one towers over all the others — slavery.

On Jan. 3, 1860, the Honorable W.W. Boyce of South Carolina rose in the U.S. House of Representatives to respond to certain statements attributed to William H. Seward. Seward was then the likely candidate of the Republican Party for president of the United States.

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