Charles E. Stuart House
Built in 1858, this is the former home of Charles Stuart who served in both houses of Congress and was the Senate President pro tempore in the 1850s. During these years, the nation debated issues related to the extension of slavery to western lands the U.S. acquired from Mexico. Stuart and other Northern Democrats typically followed the lead of their Southern counterparts until 1860, when the actions of enslaved persons who escaped bondage led to additional political debates that fractured the Democratic Party's uneasy truce on the slavery question and led to the fracture of the party into two separate sectional parties. The current neighboring communities of Stuart and West Douglas demonstrate the friendly relationship between Stuart and Stephan A. Douglas, who ran against Lincoln in 1860.
Backstory and Context
By the late 1850s, Northern Democrats were more assertive about the rights of Northern states to enforce the law within their own borders. Southern Democrats insisted that slave catchers could enter any Northern state and compel local law enforcement officials and judges from enforcing the terms of the federal laws related to runaway slaves.
"Hon. Charles E. Stuart House." Kalamazoo Public Library. kpl.gov. Accessed December 17, 2018. http://www.kpl.gov/local-history/houses-buildings/427--stuart/.
Potter, David M. The Impending Crisis: America Before The Civil War, 1848 - 1861. New York: Harper, 2001, 1976.
Stuart, Charles. E. "Kansas affairs. Speech of Hon. Charles E. Stuart, of Michigan, delivered in the Senate of the United States." archive.org. July 9, 1856." https://archive.org/details/kansasaffairsspe00stua/page/n1.
Charles E. Stuart House: By rossograph - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35569228