Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Meet Amazing Americans U.S. Presidents James Polk
Portrait of David Wilmot
David Wilmot, author of the Wilmot Proviso

Enlarge this image
From the Wilmot Proviso to the Compromise of 1850

President Polk's alternative to the Wilmot Proviso was to fall back on the Missouri Compromise, an 1820 law that permitted Missouri to be admitted as a slave state with Maine as a free state.

Polk recommended extending the line of the Missouri Compromise west to the Pacific Ocean. That would have allowed slavery below the 36' 30' latitude line (present-day southern California, New Mexico, and Arizona) and forbid it above (present-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and the northern half of California). Was slavery ultimately allowed in the new territory?

Back page 2 of 3 Next

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us