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A Guide to the Joshua Reed Giddings Letter, 1862
American statesman and prominent opponent of slavery, Joshua Reed Giddings (1795-1864) was born in Pennsylvania to farmer Joshua Giddings and Elizabeth Pease. As a child, the family moved to Ohio’s Western Reserve, where Joshua Reed Giddings would live for the rest of his life. In 1821, with no formal education, Giddings was admitted to the Ohio bar. He served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1826-1827, and the United States House between 1838 and 1859; first running as a Whig, then a Free-soiler, followed by a stint in the Opposition party before ending his career as a Republican.
A prominent opponent of slavery, Giddings argued that slavery was a state institution and thus should be abolished in the District of Columbia and the Territories. Known for his violent language and support of slave uprisings as well as condemning the annexation of Texas, the Mexican War, the 1850 Compromises, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Giddings was also active in the Underground Railroad throughout his life. After failing to be nominated in 1859, Giddings spent the reminder of his life in Canada as the U. S. consul general.
The Joshua Reed Giddings Letter, 1862, was written by Giddings to Senator William P. Fessenden regarding to the appointment of consuls.
This collection is open for research use.
Joshua Reed Giddings Letter, 1862, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Ryder Kouba, December 2011.