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"1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union, in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject-matters; and we recommend as the only further resolutions the following:
"Inasmuch as differences of opinion exist in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories:
“2. Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on the questions of constitutional law.".
This platform being unsatisfactory to the Southern delegates, a body of them seceded, and called a new Convention at Baltimore, on the 18th of June. The Cotton States all withdrew from the Charleston Convention; but the Border States remained in it, with the hope of effecting some ultimate settlement of the difficulty. But the reassembling of the Convention at Baltimore resulted in a final and embittered separation of the opposing delegations. The majority at Charleston exhibited a more uncompromising spirit than ever; and Virginia, and all the Border Slave States, with the exception of Missouri, withdrew from the Convention, and united with the representatives of the Cotton States, then assembled in Baltimore, in the nomination of candidates representing the views of the South. Their nominees were John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for President, and Joseph Lane of Oregon for Vice-President.
The old Convention, or what remained of it, nominated Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois for President, and Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Alabama for Vice-President. The latter declining, Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia was substituted on the ticket.
A Convention of what was called the "Constitutional Union " party met in Baltimore on the 9th of May, 1860, and nominated for President and Vice-President John Bell of Tennessee and Edward Everett of Massachusetts. Their platform consisted of a vague and undefined enumeration of their political principles, as, "The Constitution of the Country, the Union of the States, and Enforcement of the Laws."
The National Convention of the Black Republican party was held at Chicago in the month of June. It adopted a platform declaring freedom to be the "normal condition" of the Territories; and protesting especial attachment to the Union of the States. The Presidential ticket nominated by the Convention was, Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for President, and Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for Vice-President.
The great majority of the Southern Democracy supported the Breckinridge ticket; it was the leading ticket in all the Slave States except Missouri; but in the North only a small and feeble minority of the Demo
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ELECTED PRESIDENT.
cratic party gave it their support. In several States, the friends of Douglas, of Breckinridge, and of Bell coalesced, to a certain extent, with a view to the defeat of Lincoln, but without success, except in New Jersey, where they partially succeeded.
The result of the contest was, that Abraham Lincoln received the entire electoral vote of every free State, except New Jersey, and was, of course, elected President of the United States, according to the forms of the Constitution.
The entire popular vote for Lincoln was 1,858,200; that for Douglas, giving him his share of the fusion vote, 1,276,780; that for Breckinridge, giving him his share of the fusion vote, 812,500; and that for Bell, including his proportion of the fusion vote, 735,504. The whole vote against Lincoln was thus 2,824,874, showing a clear aggregate majority against him of nearly a million of votes.
The analysis of the vote which elected Mr. Lincoln showed plainly enough that it was a sectional triumph; and it was in view of that. ominous fact, rather than in any less important resentment, or with any especial reference to the declaration of principles in the Chicago platform, that the South proposed to repudiate for herself the result of the election, and to go out of a Union now plainly converted into a means of deliberate sectional oppression.
There has been much loose and plausible protest against this course of the South, in which it has been said that it was essentially revolutionary and refractory; that Mr. Lincoln had been elected according to the forms of the Constitution by a majority of the electoral college, and that the South was bound by honour and in precedent to submit to the result of an election legitimately and constitutionally accomplished. This view was pronounced by Mr. Seward, in the Senate of the United States. " Was the election illegal?" he asked. "No; it is unimpeachable. Is the candidate personally offensive? No; he is a man of unblemished virtue and amiable manners. Is an election of President an unfrequent or extraordinary transaction? No; we never had a Chief Magistrate otherwise designated than by such election, and that form of choice is renewed every four years. Does any one even propose to change the mode of appointing the Chief Magistrate? No; election by universal suffrage, as modified by the Constitution, is the one crowning franchise of the American people. To save it they would defy the world."
But it was surprising to find a man of Mr. Seward's pretension to statesmanship using such a loose and superficial argument to sustain an election, the sectional significance of which, kept out of view, was really the important point, and, of itself, terminated the constitutional existence of the Union.
True, Mr. Lincoln was the choice of the majority of the electoral
college. But his election was almost purely geographical. The South had sustained a defeat, not at the hands of a party, but at those of the Northern power. Every Northern State but New Jersey had voted for Mr. Lincoln; every Southern State had voted against him. He was not known as a statesman, whose name might therefore be one of national significance; he was known only as a partisan, and the election of such a man in such a character was plainly to declare war against the other side.
In the face of this sectional triumph there was plainly no protection for the South in the future. There was none in power; for the superiour political strength of the North was now beyond dispute. There was none in public opinion; for that, all the political history of America showed, was the slave of the majority. There was none in the courts; for the Dred Scott decision had been denounced in the Chicago platform as a dangerous heresy, and the doctrine upon which Mr. Lincoln had been elected had been actually declared illegal by the supreme judicial authority of the country.
In Congress the Northern States had 183 votes; the South, if unanimous, 120. If then the North was prepared to act in a mass its power was irresistible; and the election of Mr. Lincoln plainly showed that it was prepared so to act and to carry out a sectional design. The antislavery power in the North was now compact and invincible. A party opposed to slavery had organized in 1840, with about seven thousand voters; in 1860, it had polled nearly two million votes, and had succeeded in electing the President of the United States. The conservative party in the North had been thoroughly corrupted. They were beaten in every Northern State in 1860, with a single exception, by the avowed enemies of the South, who, but a few years ago, had been powerless in their midst. The leaders of the Northern Democratic party had, in 1856 and in 1860, openly taken the position that freedom would be more certainly secured in the Territories by the rule of non-intervention than by any other policy or expedient. This interpretation of their policy alone saved the Democratic party from entire annihilation. The overwhelming pressure of the anti-slavery sentiment had prevented their acceding to the Southern platform in the Presidential canvass. Nothing in the present or in the future could be looked for from the so-called conservatives of the North; and the South prepared to go out of a Union which no longer afforded any guaranty for her rights or any permanent sense of security, and which had brought her under the domination of a section, the designs of which, carried into legislation, would destroy her institutions, and even involve the lives of her people.
Such was the true and overwhelming significance of Mr. Lincoln's election to the people of the South. They saw in it the era of a sectional domination, which they proposed to encounter, not by revolution, properly
THE LOGICAL NECESSITY OF DISUNION.
so called, not by an attempt to recover by arms their constitutional rights in the Union, but simply to escape by withdrawal from the confederation, and the resumption of their original character of independent States.
But again it was urged by the apologists of Mr. Lincoln's election that such escape of the South from its results was unfair, in view of the fact that during most of the preceding period of the Union, the South had held in its hands the administration at Washington, and had but little reason now to complain that it had passed to those of the rival section.
This view was not without plausibility, and yet as fallacious as that which appealed to the prescriptive rule of majorities in America. The South had held political power at Washington for a long time; but that power threatened nothing in the North, sought nothing from it, desired to disturb nothing in it. It had no aggressive intent: it stood constantly on the defensive. It had no sectional history: it was associated with a general prosperity of the country. "Do not forget," said Senator Hammond of South Carolina, when Mr. Seward boasted in the United States Senate that the North was about to take control at Washington,-" it can never be forgotten-it is written on the brightest page of human historythat we, the slaveholders of the South, took our country in her infancy, and, after ruling her for sixty out of seventy years of her existence, we shall surrender her to you without a stain upon her honour, boundless in prosperity, incalculable in her strength, the wonder and the admiration of the world. Time will show what you will make of her; but no time can ever diminish our glory or your responsibility."
When the South held power, it was only to the North a certain absence from office, a certain exclusion from patronage. But when the North was to obtain it, acting not as a party, but a people united on a geographical idea, it was something more than a negative evil or disappointment to the South; it was the enthronement at Washington of a sectional despotism that threatened the institutions, the property, and the lives of the people of the Southern States. Power in the hands of the South affected the patronage of a political party in the North. Power in the hands of the North affected the safety and happiness of every individual in the South.-It was simply determined by the South to withdraw from a game where the stakes were so unequal, and where her loss would have been ruin.
PREPARATIONS OF SOUTH CAROLINA TO WITHDRAW FROM THE UNION.-PASSAGE OF HER
THE telegraph had no sooner announced the election of Abraham Lincoln President of the United States than the State of South Carolina prepared for a deliberate withdrawal from the Union. Considering the argu