• 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-Sixth Congress: March 4, 1859, to March 3, 1861
Thirty-sixth Congress: March 4, 1859, to March 3, 1861
  • First session—December 5, 1859, to June 25, 1860
  • Second session—December 3, 1860, to March 3, 1861
  • Special sessions of the Senate—March 4, 1859, to March 10, 1859; June 26, 1860, to June 28, 1860
  • (Administration of James Buchanan, 1857–1861)
Historical Background

Attention once again focused on Kansas during July 1859 when a convention met at Wyandotte for another try at constitution making. The Wyandotte Constitution, prohibiting slavery in the territory, was ratified on October 4, 1859, by a popular vote of 10,421 to 5,530. Less than two weeks later, halfway across the continent, radical abolitionist John Brown and eighteen other men seized the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now in West Virginia), ...

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