Rebellion February 9, 1841     
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Cartoon depicting Joshua Giddings head on an ass
Detail of a cartoon depicting Giddings' head on the body of an ass, carrying a pack-saddle labeled "abolition." The cartoon predicted that Giddings and other antislavery politicians would lead the Whig party to electoral disaster. Lithograph published by John Childs in 1852. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-91403.
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After the speech, southerners rose one by one to heap scorn on the representative from Ohio. A delegate from Florida adamantly denied that his constituents "were engaged in stealing negroes from the Indians." A Georgian threatened Giddings with lynch law. Julius Alford, another Georgian, said that he would sooner spit on Giddings than listen to more of his abolitionist rant.

"If I could wash your blood from my soul as easily as [your] spittle from my face," replied Giddings, "you should not live another day." Alford rushed the Congressman, but at 6'2" and 250-pounds, Giddings was able to stare down his opponent -- this time.

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Sources: U.S. Congressional Globe, 26th Cong., 2nd Sess., 158-159, Stewart Joshua R. Giddings  "Joshua Giddings" 180-81. Giddings actually made the response to Alford indirectly, by recounting a story in which an unnamed general made the remark to his accuser. Dramatically, the effect was the same as a direct address, judging by Alford's response.
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
National Debate
Creek Tensions
Endangered Alliance
+ American Justice
+ A New Frontier
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion