The Clayton Compromise was a plan drawn up in 1848 by a bipartisan United States Senate committee headed by John M. Clayton for organizing the Oregon Territory and the Southwest. It recognized the validity of Oregon's existing antislavery laws, prohibited the territorial legislatures of New Mexico and California from acting on slavery, and provided for appeal of all slavery cases from the territorial courts to the Supreme Court of the United States. It passed the Senate July 27, 1848, but it was tabled in the United States House of Representatives by a coalition of Southern Whigs led by future Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens. Stephens believed that the compromise would completely surrender southern rights in the territories, as he was certain that the Supreme Court would rule against slavery in the territories.
- Schott, Thomas (1996). Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography. LSU Press. pp. 88–89.
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