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for Kruman, Marc W
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This article examines opposing historical perspectives on Congressman Thomas Lanier Clingman's change in political parties from Whig to Democrat and its potential effect on the subsequent decline of the Whig party. A particular focus is given to Clingman's thoughts on national and state issues including state funding for transportation projects, geographic balance of power within the state of North Carolina, the lack of prominence of Whig mountaineers in party politics, and the issue of southerners' rights to take slaves into newly acquired territories.