Mar 21, 2024 - Sale 2663

Sale 2663 - Lot 14

Price Realized: $ 1,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(ABOLITION.) Territory of Nebraska. Council Documents--No. 2. An Act Prohibiting Slavery. 8 pages, 8 x 5½ inches, on 2 unbound folding sheets; two lines slightly cropped on one leaf, mailing folds, small hole in final leaf, two bits of tape in upper margin, moderate foxing. With original mailing envelope postmarked "Omaha City, Neb." addressed to a San Antonio, TX lawyer just a month before Texas secession. [Omaha, NE], 1 January 1861

Additional Details

Slavery was prohibited by the 1820 Missouri Compromise in the area which became Nebraska, but the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act left the decision in the hands of the newly created Territory of Nebraska. The issue was hotly debated, and slavery had a small foothold in the territory: the 1860 census counted ten enslaved people in Nebraska, and a public slave auction was held in Nebraska City in December 1860.

On 1 January 1861, the territorial legislature passed the short but decisive act printed on the first page of this pamphlet, resolving "that slavery or involuntary servitude . . . is hereby prohibited in this territory." The act was sent for the signature of Democratic governor Samuel W. Black, who vetoed it the same day. His lengthy veto message, hoping for reconciliation with the inflamed South, fills the last 7 pages. The legislature overruled his veto, and slavery was banned in Nebraska. Governor Black resigned soon after Lincoln's inauguration, returned to Pennsylvania, served as a general in the Union Army, and died in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Gaines' Mill in 1862.

Sabin 52179. 3 in OCLC, and none traced at auction; a copy was offered by dealer Charles Heartman in 1948.