A closeup of a printed copy of the Declaration of Independence.
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The Declaration of Independence and Missouri Statehood: Debates Over Slavery

On August 10, 1821, Missouri became the 24th state. This year, as we celebrate Independence Day and the bicentennial of Missouri statehood, we reflect on the political debates that shaped our past. The first draft of the Declaration of Independence included an anti-slavery clause that was cut out before the document was finalized, allowing for the continued enslavement of people in a document that declares all men to be created equal. Missouri statehood hinged on a compromise over slavery, which prohibited northern states from eradicating the expansion of slavery into Western territories while also introducing legislation that prohibited slavery north of the 36°30′ parallel. Join us for a panel discussion on the Declaration of Independence and Missouri statehood.