By 1856, the time of Benjamin Hedrick’s dismissal from UNC, the nation once again faced debates over slavery. These issues resurfaced many times during the nineteenth century with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, and with the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. The nation slowly crept toward a place where compromise would no longer postpone the problems created by slavery. Before the creation of the Republican Party in 1854, abolitionists did not have a strong national political party. When the openly anti-slavery Republican Party nominated Fremont in the 1856 election, the southern states feared that his potential election would be the end of their way of life. They ignored the fact that the Republicans had no plans to abolish slavery in the states in which it already existed, and made no distinction between free-soil Republicans and radical Republicans. It was due to this fact that Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick’s support for Fremont ballooned into a series of events that eventually threatened his life and forced him to leave North Carolina.