Sara Robinson And David Atchison’s Roles In “Bleeding Kansas”

982 words - 4 pages

“Bleeding Kansas” had many senseless deaths and tragedies caused by the fight for slavery to either become a part of or become eradicated from the new state, Kansas. David Atchison was a major proslavery advocate who believed that slavery needed to be expanded because of its intrinsic value in the culture and economy of the South (Hollitz 210). Sara Robinson, on the other hand, believed that slavery was giving the South unfair political power while simultaneously giving them an economic power that was outdated and inhibiting to the future of the United States (213). Without ever meeting, these two influential figures went head to head in the issue of slavery and greatly influenced both of their parties. Robinson would eventually come out with the victory along with her “free soilers” group and would blaze a trail for many more to challenge the institution of slavery. Atchison would come to lose his battle and a portion of his great reputation and become known as the hell-raiser for his known and unknown relations with the violence during “Bleeding Kansas.” The events in Kansas seemed to bring up many issues that would come to change the face of the United States forever.
Both Robinson and Atchison grew up in wealthy families but under very different circumstances. Atchison was from Kentucky and his father owned up to 8 slaves at one point (209). Robinson was raised in Massachusetts with an attorney for a father (212). With his charm and interest in political issues, Atchison became and lawyer and then eventually a job as president pro tempore in Senate for Missouri (210). Robinson would eventually get married to her doctor at the time of an accident, Charles Robinson (212). Mr. Robinson would go on to become in charge of movement to Kansas under the New England Emigrant Aid Society which moved Yankees to the Kansas Territory (213). When the subject of the expansion of slavery into the Nebraska Territory came up, Atchison’s southern roots caused him to see the need for slavery’s expansion because of its vital role in the South’s political, cultural, and economic status (210). He then played a major part in helping Stephen A. Douglas get the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed in 1854 which repealed the previous Missouri Compromise which prohibited slavery over a certain line (210). When act was passed, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson moved to Kansas to establish the new town of Lawrence in order to have more northern votes (213).
When it came time to vote for the status of Kansas, there was a lot of tension between the settlers of the new state (214). Even though nearly 60 percent of the populations in Kansas were newcomers from the South, Atchison didn’t want to take any chances in letting the Yankees win so he gathered a group, which became known as the “Border Ruffians” to travel to Missouri to vote (214)....

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