Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

wanted, and one was devised. The prophesy of Jackson which was made in 1833, that "the next pretext would be the negro, or slavery question," was emphatically fulfilled.

The South had already strong political prejudices against the anti-slavery men of the North. They were already violent, the growth of many years of ex-parte and intemperate political discussions, and of unsparing misrepresentation and abuse. Those prejudices must be the agency to accomplish the work. They must be increased. The southern heart must be fired to phrenzied madness, before it would make the awful plunge, into the gulph of secession. The means resorted to for the purpose, were, at once ingenious, and effectual to the end in view.

They were nothing less than to divide, and thus to secure the certain defeat of the Democratic party, and to bring into power an administration especially obnosious to the South, that they might thus unite in opposition to it all the proslavery elements of the country.

The programme was elaborate, embracing careful details, and was carried out with singular energy and fidelity. Delegates, representing those extremists, were carefully selected to the presidential nominating Convention, which convened at Charleston, in May, 1860. They had selected for their candidate, one of the most talented and influential men of the border States, the Hon. John C. Breckenridge ; his rival was the late Hon. Stephen A. Douglass, of Illinois. The platform on which the ultraists had determined to place their candidate, had been purposely made so intensely pro-slavery, that they knew in advance, that the friends of Mr. Douglass could not accept it. The result was, as had been artfully pre-arranged, the rupture of the Convention, and the nomination of each of the rival candidates by their respective friends. Thus two Democratic candidates were placed, and continued, in nomination, resulting in the election of the Republican nominee, the

138

ELECTION OF LINCOLN.

Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, by a minority of the votes cast. The candidates, and the votes cast for each, were as follows: Abraham Lincoln, Republican candidate, received 1,857,610 Stephen A. Douglass, Northern Democrat, 1,365,976 John C. Breckenridge, Southern Democrat,

847,953 John Bell, Union,

590,631

4,662,170 If the Democratic vote had been united upon a single candidate, he would have received some 400,000 more votes than the Republican nominee. As it was, however, Mr. Lincoln received 180, of the 303 electoral votes cast, being a majority of 57 votes over all the opposing candidates. Of the 33 States voting, he received the electoral vote of 17, and votes were cast for him in 23 States of the Union — thus divesting his election of the sectional character, which had been attributed to it by his political opponents.

By the election of an anti-slavery candidate, the friends of secession had secured the desired pretext for it, and which was too rapidly followed by scenes of deeper, and more tragic interest.

PART II.

HISTORY OF THE REBELLION.

FROM THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN TO THE CLOSE

OF THE WAR.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

HISTORY OF THE REBELLION.

PART II.

CHAPTER I.

FROM THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN TO

THE ATTACK ON FORT SUMTER.

Secession of the Cotton States—Their Military Preparations—Seizure of the No

tional Forts, Arsenals, Dock-Yards, Custom House, Post-Office, &c.--Imbecility and Treason of the Buchanan Administration-Action of Congress-President Lincoln's Journey to Washington-Formidable task of Organizing a Loyal Government-Action of Foreign Governments—Rebel Preparations for the attack on Sumter.

Demonstrations for the dissolution of the Union, which we have seen had been continually threatened for over thirty years, began to assume practical shape immediately after the election of President Lincoln. His election had evidently been desired and sought by the extreme pro-slavery men of the South, as a means to unite that section in their long-indulged scheme of secession. It was, therefore, hailed by them with evident satisfaction.

The secessionists had prepared for such a result ; and as soon as it was known, immediate steps were taken to carry their plans into execution. South Carolina, the mother of nullification, opened the ball. On November 10th, a bill was introduced into the Legislature of that State to raise and equip 10,000 men for its defence. Her Senators in Congress, Chesnut and Hammond, resigned their seats. Large and enthusiastic secession meetings were held in Charleston and elsewhere. A Convention was called together, which was composed

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »