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Chapter 31: thirty-first Congress, 1849-50. The first session of the Thirty-first Congress opened on Monday, December 3, 1849. In no preceding Senate had been seen more brilliant groups of statesmen from both South and North. Among the distinguished senators then, or soon subsequently to be, famous, were Davis, Calhoun, Clay, Webster, Benton, Corwin, Cass, Fillmore, Johnson, Stephen A. Douglas, Seward, Chase, Houston, Badger, of North Carolina; Butler, of South Carolina; Hamlin, Hunter, and Mason, of Virginia; Berrien, Mangum, and Pierre Soule. It was to this Congress that Mr. Clay presented his famous compromise resolutions, which may be regarded as the beginning of the last period of the long controversy between the sections before the secession of the Southern States from the Union. It was memorable by the threatening prominence given to the Anti-slavery agitation, which was now beginning to overshadow all other Federal issues. The growth of the Anti-slavery movem