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1856 - Civil War simmers

Among the justifications for use of the phrase "The Civil War" to describe the large-scale political violence in North America during the middle 19th century, is the fact that long before the large Federal and Confederate governments came to blows, private parties perpetrated violence, notably in Bleeding Kansas - and even on the very floor of the United States Congress.

These links originally cited at:
(The road to Civil War: primary sources - entries dated 1856)

1856 Campaign - political cartoon
The Canning of Charles Sumner - editorials from over 20 newspapers
"Crimes Against Kansas" speech - Charles Sumner
"Democratic Platform, 1856" caricature/political cartoon
Francis Henderson describes living conditions under slavery
"Free State Battery" - photo
Kansas - the "Reign of Terror" - The New York Tribune
A Letter From Edward Bridgman (5/25) about the situation in Kansas
Letter from California vigilante committee to John Stephens (9/5)
Letter from Salmon P. Chase on slave power
Letter on the revival of the slavery issue - Gideon Welles
"On the Sumner Assault" by Preston S. Brooks
Republican Campaign Songster - songs for the 1856 campaign
Republican Party Platform of 1856
"The Reign of Terror" - From The New York Tribune (6/12)
"The Ruffians in the Senate"  - Evening Journal (5/23)
Six Months in Kansas - Hannah Anderson Ropes
"Southern Chivalry" - lithograph by John L. Magee
A Southern Response to the Caning of Sumner
"Stump Speaking" - painting by George Caleb Bingham
"Sumner and Brooks" - Journal American (5/24/1856)
"The Union - The Dangers Which Beset It. Number One" - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 37, Issue 1, January 1856
"The Union - The Democratic Party - The Administration" - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 37, Issue 6, June 1856
"White slavery. The new "Democratic doctrine." ... Slavery not to be confined to the negro race, but to be made the universal condition of the laboring classes of society" - broadside