Struggle over Slavery: The "Gag" Rule

Gag rule motion, 1837
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Resolution by Representative John Quincy Adams holding the gag rule unconstitutional, May 26, 1836
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

"Petition of Amos A. Phelps and 31 others, citizens of Boston, Mass. for the rescinding of Res. of December 21," February 14, 1838
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848)
By George Caleb Bingham, ca. 1844
Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Statuary Hall, U.S. Capital
The Hall of the House of Representatives, now Statuary Hall, was the location of John Quincy Adamsıs fight against the gag rule. Here, on February 21, 1848, while seated at his desk, "Old Man Eloquent" would suffer a fatal stroke and die two days later.
Photography by Carol Highsmith

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