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"The United States Senate, A.D., 1850"

By Robert Whitechurch, after Peter Frederick Rothermel, 1855

United States Senate Collection

Not to be used without permission

The Senate’s deliberations over the Compromise of 1850 featured the three most distinguished orators of the mid-19th century-Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina in what would be their last great debate. Webster called for a compromise to preserve the Union while Calhoun argued that the Union could only be preserved if Northerners respected the Southern institutions including slavery. In this painting Clay has the floor, Calhoun stands third from the right, and Daniel Webster, head in hand sits on the left.

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