Throughout the book, Woodworth traces the path of what had been the "local" issue of slavery as it grew into a central national issue that divided religions, political parties, and, ultimately, the nation itself. An absorbing, animated re-creation of a decade that forged our nation's character and destiny.
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After Texas gained independence, its annexation to the United States created diplomatic problems with Mexico and internal controversy over slavery. Discovery of gold at Sutter's mill near Sacramento was reported ito the world in 1848 and resulted in a rush of men seeking their fortunes in California. Founded by Joseph Smith and later led by Brigham Young, the Church of Latter Day Saints is better known as the Mormons. The telegraph was the first form of telecommunications, using spaced electrical impulses to transmit information over electrical wires.