• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Thirty-Fifth Congress: March 4, 1857, to March 3, 1859
Thirty-fifth Congress: March 4, 1857, to March 3, 1859
  • First session—December 7, 1857, to June 14, 1858
  • Second session—December 6, 1858, to March 3, 1859
  • Special sessions of the Senate—March 4, 1857, to March 14, 1857; June 15, 1858, to June 16, 1858
  • (Administration of James Buchanan, 1857–1861)
Historical Background

On March 6, 1857, two days after President James Buchanan in his inaugural address condemned slavery agitation in Kansas, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford. The case stemmed from a suit brought by Dred Scott, a Missouri slave, who sought to gain his freedom. Scott claimed to be free by virtue of having lived for almost four years with his master in a free state ...

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