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Chapter 1: Theodore Roosevelt and the Abolitionists The following is an extract from Theodore Roosevelt's biography of Thomas H. Benton in Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.'s American Statesmen Series, published in 1887: Owing to a variety of causes, the Abolitionists have received an immense amount of hysterical praise which they do not deserve, and have been credited with deeds done by other men whom, in reality, they hampered and opposed rather than aided. After 1840, the professed Abolitionists formed a small and comparatively unimportant portion of the forces that were working towards the restriction and ultimate destruction of slavery; and much of what they did was positively harmful to the cause for which they were fighting. Those of their number who considered the Constitution as a league with death and hell, and who, therefore, advocated a dissolution of the Union, acted as rationally as would antipolygamists nowadays if, to show their disapproval of Mormonism, they shou