Join Dr. Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, Columbia College graduate and author of The F Street Mess: How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), for a talk and book signing from 6 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22 at the Seibels House.
The focus of this talk will be on Senator Andrew Pickens Butler of South Carolina, who is most remembered in South Carolina lore as being the insulted party in a Senate exchange that caused his cousin, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks to savagely beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a wooden cane. By centering on their most significant achievement – forcing a rewrite of the Nebraska bill that repealed the restriction against slavery above the 36° 30′ parallel – Malavasic demonstrates how the F Street Mess’s mastery of the legislative process led to one of the most destructive pieces of legislation in United States history and helped pave the way to secession.
Pushing back against the idea that the “Slave Power” conspiracy was merely an ideological construction, Malavasic argues that some southern politicians in the 1850s did indeed hold an inordinate amount of power in the antebellum Congress and used it to foster the interests of slavery.
Malavasic is associate professor of history at Hudson Valley Community College. Malavasic holds a Doctor of Philosophy in History and a Master of Arts in Education from the University at Albany, State University of New York and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College with a concentration in American History and Holocaust Studies.
This event is free, but registration is encouraged, and includes a book signing and reception at the Seibels House, located at 1601 Richland Street.