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Rebellion February 8, 1841     
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The Honorable Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio (1795-1864), photograph of the antislavery congressman, taken by Matthew Brady between 1855-1864. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-BH82-5251 C.
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In Congress, the Seminole War was finally starting to attract attention. The gag rule remained in effect, prohibiting discussions of slavery, but Congress still had to debate funding for the war. On February 9, 1841, Joshua Reed Giddings, a fiery antislavery Congressman from Ohio, followed in the footsteps of John Quincy Adams in his attempts to flaunt the gag rule. Using parliamentary rules to brilliant effect, Giddings delivered a three-hour diatribe against the war that was simultaneously a ringing indictment of slavery. Peppering his speech with historical references to the Black Seminoles, Giddings described the war as the prostitution of the federal army "to the base purpose of leading on an organized company of Negro catchers."

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Sources: Stewart Joshua R. Giddings  62-64, Giddings Speeches 17. The record of the speech as delivered to Congress can be found in the U.S. Congressional Globe, 26th Cong., 2nd Sess., 346-352.
Part 3, Exile: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 - Exile: 1838-1850
+ Shifting Alliances
spacer spacer Enemy to Ally
Atrocities
National Debate
Prosperity
Emigration
Creek Tensions
Endangered Alliance
+ American Justice
+ A New Frontier
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion