Rebellion 1842 - 1844     
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First page of Giddings' speech on the Seminole war
The first page of Giddings' speech on the Florida war, from his 1853 book, Speeches in Congress. The Florida speech was published individually as a pamphlet during the 1840s, introducing general audiences for the first time to the history of the Black Seminoles. See online books under Web resources for information about where to find this and other primary documents online.
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Jesup made his arguments in a capital more divided than ever, thanks in no small measure to the Black Seminoles' best friend in Congress, Joshua Giddings. Giddings' 1841 speech calling the Seminole war a government-sponsored foray in slave catching had been widely circulated as an antislavery pamphlet. From that moment on, the Ohio representative became a lightning rod for the South. When he pressed another antislavery case in 1842, the rights of black mutineers on the slave ship Creole, southern constituents pressured Congress to censure him severely. The action compelled Giddings to leave the House in disgrace before the close of his term. Within months, however, his Ohio constituents had voted him back by an overwhelming margin. Even Giddings' strongest enemies conceded that his return to Congress later that year was a major victory for the antislavery movement. His dramatic reinstatement effectively killed the gag rule (though it was not officially repealed until 1844), paving the way for open debate on slavery -- and ultimately, for Civil War.

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Sources: Giddings Speeches 1-12, Stewart Joshua R. Giddings  62-67, McPherson 177-95, Twyman 150-53.
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
+ American Justice
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"The Hero"
Federal Allies
Southern Enemies
Marcellus Duval
Frontier Justice
American Justice
+ A New Frontier
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion