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Chapter 2

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
The Secession Movement 1860‑1861

by
Dwight Lowell Dumond

in the
Negro Universities Press edition,
New York, 1968

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 4
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p35 Chapter III
The Crisis in the Charleston Convention

South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas endorsed the Alabama platform and, rallying behind Yancey, went into the Charleston convention determined to force the issue to a conclusion. They were convinced that the principles for which they were contending constituted the correct interpretation of the Constitution. They were not willing that the Democracy of the North, claiming the right of exclusion for territorial legislatures and not certain to cast an electoral vote for the nominee, should dictate the party platform.1 They knew p36that their endorsement of Douglas as the party candidate would be regarded as an irrevocable acceptance of his doctrines, and that the North certainly would unite in acting upon that policy.

The contest between the two sections of the party to secure endorsement of opposing principles was intensified by a feeling of bitter personal animosity between Douglas and the Southern-rights men. The position assumed by Douglas in the senatorial struggle over the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution had left a bitterness which nothing could efface. It had assumed such proportions by 1860 that Douglas' usual political sagacity failed him, and he refused to accept the nomination if tendered him at Charleston unless the party adopted a platform endorsing popular sovereignty. His Harper's article, in which he virtually endorsed the sweeping consolidation theories of Republicanism, was equally fatal.2 p37The Southerners seized upon both as a further proof that he had broken faith with the party.3 Benjamin analyzed the opposition to Douglas correctly when he said: "We separated from him because he had denied the bargain that he made when he went home; because after telling us here in the Senate that he was willing that this whole matter should be decided by the Supreme Court, in the face of his people he told them that he had got us by the bill; and that, whether the decision was for us or against us, the practical effect was to be against us; and because he tells us now again that he is ready to make use of Black Republican arguments, which he answers at home, and to put them forth against the Democratic party in the speeches that he uses here in the Senate."4

On the other hand, Douglas also denounced all who differed from him as traitors to party principles previously enunciated in the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Cincinnati platform. He was reading into those documents the doctrine of popular sovereignty, claiming for himself alone the virtue of consistency, and defining opposition to his principles and political ambitions as party heresy and disunion sentiment. Moreover, he went into the Charleston convention with sufficient strength to prevent any other candidate from receiving the nomination. His strength was in the Republican states from which few Democratic electoral votes were expected. It is a significant fact that of the fifteen states in which the popular votes for Lincoln exceeded those for Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell combined, p38twelve sent their delegations to the Democratic national convention instructed for Douglas. They represented one hundred twenty votes on the floor, nineteen more than one third.5

The convention assembled at Charleston, South Carolina, April 23, 1860, with full delegations present from every state. From the moment of its temporary organization, disruption impended. No one denied it; none minimized the gravity of the situation. The ablest men of the party, with a seriousness rarely seen in party conventions, sought to avoid a rupture. Day after day the representatives of the Democratic states sought to break through the rank of the Douglas faction in an effort at compromise. But that section of the party, with the solid delegations of twelve Republican states as a nucleus, would neither recede nor compromise.

The first clash of rival interests emerged in the course of organization. Two full delegations from New York were present in Charleston, each claiming to have been regularly elected and demanding the right to cast the thirty-five votes of that state in the convention. The Douglas faction had secured tickets of admission from the chairman of the national executive committee and was present at the time of temporary organization. The opposing delegation, headed by Mayor Wood, had been less fortunate and was outside demanding admission. After prolonged and bitter debate the New York delegation was allowed to place representatives on the two important committees on credentials and organization, and to participate p39in the proceedings of the convention until the committee should make its report.6

With this disturbing question pending, dissension flared up again on the morning of the second day when the committee on organization presented the following resolution:

Resolved, That the rules and regulations adopted by the National Democratic Conventions of 1852 and 1856 be adopted by this Convention for its government, with this additional rule:

That in any State which had not provided or directed by its State Convention how its vote may be given, the convention will recognize the right of each delegate to cast his individual vote.7

Charles Clark, representing the Mississippi delegation, claimed that the resolution had been submitted in committee the previous evening and had been voted down by a majority of the states, the committee having adopted the former rules without change. The proposed rule, he declared, had been adopted since the final adjournment of the committee on Monday evening, and although the chairman was said to have had a majority of the committee together, neither himself, Lubbock of Texas, nor La Seré of Louisiana had been given notice of the meeting nor any previous intimation that the committee would be reassembled.8

The Southerners not only charged irregularity in committee procedure, but opposed the proposed rule as contrary to precedent. They claimed that three definite rules p40had been followed since the party's first organization, to insure internal harmony and prevent it from degenerating into a mere sectional organization: first, every state was given a representation in the national conventions equal to its electoral vote, regardless of how strong the party might be within the state; second, a two thirds vote was required for nomination in order that a nominee particularly objectionable to any large section might not be presented to the country as the choice of the party; and third, the right of each state delegation to cast its vote as it might choose had been recognized. The practical effect of the last rule was that the majority in each delegation determined the entire vote of the delegation whenever it chose to do so. The proposed rule would prevent the majority in a delegation from controlling its entire vote unless previously instructed to vote as a unit. It was intended, furthermore, to apply to delegations appointed by state conventions which the Southerners claimed would have so instructed their delegations had they realized that such a change was imminent.

The Douglas leaders maintained that in 1852 at Baltimore, and in 1856 at Cincinnati, the right of every delegation to divide its vote was recognized unless the state convention which made the appointment had ordered otherwise. The Southerners admitted this, but denied that the party had ever operated under a rule which prevented the majority of a state delegation from controlling its vote if it wished to do so. The rule was adopted by a vote of 198 to 101.9 At best it is only possible to obtain an approximate estimate of its effect. It is certain that the Southern-rights men believed it was a cunningly devised trick to circumvent the will of a majority.10 Davis declared p41in the Senate, May 17, that from "a comparison made by those who had an opportunity to know, it appears that the minority report could not have got a majority of the delegates if each delegate had been permitted to cast his own vote."11 Butler of Massachusetts said that the rule secured for Douglas fifteen votes from New York, six from Ohio, five from Indiana, and two from Minnesota which were actually opposed to him. Pugh denied in the Senate that a single man in the Ohio delegation would have voted for the Southern platform even if there had been no unit rule.12 Numerous charges and denials were made, but the essence of the matter seems to be that the scheme was devised to secure the acceptance of Douglas as the nominee upon his own platform, and that, in part at least, it was responsible for the disruption of the party.

The third day of the convention brought no abatement of ill-feeling, for with the morning came the report of the committee on credentials. The majority of the committee reported in favor of the sitting delegation from New York, headed by Dean Richmond. The minority report was signed by the committeemen from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, and California. It recommended that the two delegations each select thirty-five delegates to cast seventeen votes, the odd vote to be cast alternately, the sitting delegates to cast it first.13 This was the solution of a similar question in the case of New p42York by the Cincinnati convention four years before. The case was exigent because of the greatness of New York's block of votes; and animosities were intensified by the fact that the sitting delegation consisted of thirty anti-Douglas and forty Douglas delegates, under the unit rule casting the entire vote of the state with Douglas as against the south. The contesting or Wood delegation was solidly against Douglas.

In presenting the minority report, Brooks of Alabama said: "It presents one of the most humiliating aspects it has ever been my misfortune to discover; for in the mass of evidence before the committee I regret to say every fact alleged in the case was susceptible of the clearest proof, and also of the clearest refutation. I wish you to observe that, while I shall endeavor to state to you what the testimony on one side proves, or conduces to prove, the testimony on the other pretty clearly disproves."14

Barry, committeeman from Mississippi, reported that "the gentleman from New York [Cochrane] said that he could prove anything by the affidavits of respectable men in the State of New York. I confess, sir, my hair stood on end at that assertion."15 "You cannot rely upon the testimony," said Brooks, "because, as a gentleman remarked to the committee, in New York they can prove anything; and I tell you they have done it in this case."

From the testimony presented to the committee there appeared to have been no division in the state, except in New York City, until the assembling of the state convention at Syracuse, September 14, 1859. That convention virtually broke up in a riot during the process of organization, Wood testifying that if a thirty-two pounder had p43been fired in the convention hall it could not have been heard. "Then the gentlemen whom the sitting members here represent," said Whiteleyº of Delaware, "retired to the back part of the hall, and as I say retired properly; because, however much we are bound to fight for our country, we are not bound enough to be mutilated by a party of shoulder-hitters, in order to show our Democracy."16 As to what happened thereafter there was disputed testimony. Two conventions were held, each claiming a majority of the regularly elected delegates. That also seems to have been true, because after participating in the Wood convention a large number of the regular delegates went over to the Richmond convention "and participated in its deliberations, undertaking to give themselves two chances; as one of the contestants remarked, they undertook to avail themselves of the benefits, no matter which side 'turned up Jack.' "

The point raised by the minority of the committee was that the Wood faction represented the regular Democracy even though they did sit in two conventions, and that both factions ought to be excluded or else both ought to be admitted as was done at Cincinnati. Any other course would alienate the Wood faction, representing the Democratic city of New York, without which the party could not hope to carry the state. The convention, however, rejected the minority report and allowed the delegation headed by Dean Richmond to retain its seats. The importance of the contest subsequently became apparent when the minority (Douglas) platform was substituted for the majority (Southern rights) platform by a vote of 165 to 138. Had the New York delegation been uninstructed or the Wood delegation seated, the Southern-rights p44platform would have been adopted by the convention.

The committee on resolutions reported during the morning of the fifth day, Friday, April 27. A majority report was presented by Avery of North Carolina, a principal minority report by Payne of Ohio, and a second minority report by Butler of Massachusetts. The substantial differences between the two major reports were to be found in the first and third resolutions of the majority report and the first and second resolutions of the minority report. In the majority platform, they were as follows:

1. Resolved, That the Democracy of the United States hold these cardinal principles on the subject of slavery in the Territories; first, that Congress has no power to abolish slavery in the Territories; second, that the Territorial Legislature has no power to abolish slavery in any Territory, nor to prohibit the introduction of slaves therein, nor any power to exclude slavery therefrom, nor any power to destroy or impair the right of property in slaves by any legislation whatever.

3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the Federal Government to protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property on the high seas, in the Territories, or wherever else its constitutional authority extends.

The first two resolutions of the minority platform as reported by Payne were:

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-matter; and we recommend as the only further resolutions the following:

2. Resolved, That all questions in regard to the rights of property in States or Territories, arising under the Constitution of the United States, are judicial in their character; and p45the Democratic party is pledged to abide by and faithfully carry out such determination of these questions as has been or may be made by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Butler presented as a second minority report, signed by himself alone, a resolution merely endorsing the Cincinnati platform of 1856.

Payne, in presenting the minority report, exhibited the sectional alignment by stating that the majority report had been supported in committee by the members from the fifteen slaveholding states, California, and Oregon, representing one hundred sixty-seven electoral votes.

The majority report, said Avery, represented a principle so vital to a great, solidly Democratic section of the nation that it should be given respectful consideration by those delegates from states which would probably not return a Democratic electoral vote, and whose material interests would not be affected by its adoption. It contained "no proposed invasion of the constitutional rights of the North . . . no proposition that you and your property shall be excluded from the Common Territories of the United States." On the other hand "we regard this principle as more important in its ultimate effects than any principle ever discussed before in America, so far as affects the future fate and destiny of the people of the South."17

The wrangle in the committee was transferred to the floor of the convention when the principal minority platform was moved as a substitute for the report of the majority. Stripped of its verbiage, this minority report was a simple endorsement of the Cincinnati platform, which in turn, like the Kansas-Nebraska Act, had been an evasion, an attempt to shift to the courts the responsibility p46for deciding a constitutional question upon which the two sections of the party could not reach an agreement. The Douglas adherents had emphasized non-intervention by Congress before their constituents as the cardinal principle of the Cincinnati platform, and had built their doctrine of popular sovereignty upon it. They had won and held the hearts of the Northern Democracy by eulogies of the inherent right of self-government. If the territorial legislature did not possess absolute power to legislate with regard to slavery, the doctrines of popular sovereignty and congressional non-intervention became absurdities. Whether or not the Supreme Court had decided the question, as the South claimed, it had indicated explicitly what its position would be on any case which might arise. The only hope for the Northern Democratic leaders was to cling to the doctrine of non-intervention, secure its endorsement, if possible, and failing in that, to place upon the Southern-rights men the odium of deserting party principles. Any other course was political suicide.

"This question of intervention in the Territories," said Payne, "has been the subject of more misfortune, of more altercation, of more estrangement, of more heartburnings, than all other evils combined since the Government commenced. I repeat that, upon this question of congressional non-intervention, we are committed by the acts of Congress; we are committed by the acts of the National Democratic Conventions; we cannot recede without personal dishonor; and, so help us God, we never will recede. . . . The abandonment of that position, the surrender of that ground, would be attended with the immediate and inevitable disaster and overthrow of the Democratic party of the free States."18

p47 If the doctrine of non-intervention had any merit, it was that most often advanced by its exponents of eliminating the slavery question from national politics in the hope that public agitation might cease. Non-intervention by Congress as a party platform might win the presidential election and it was certainly the most favorable for party success in the Northwest, but it would never silence agitation in Congress so long as the Republican party existed. The Douglas men were thinking in terms of party necessity, and asking the South to yield to that necessity principles which were their sole defense in the great public arena from which the Republicans refused to let slavery agitation recede. The Southerners were asking the Northern Democrats to yield the possibility of party success in the defense of what they believed to be the constitutional rights of the South. Yancey stated the case clearly when he said:

Ours is the property invaded; ours are the institutions which are at stake; ours is the peace that is to be destroyed; ours is the honor at stake — the honor of children, the honor of families, the lives, perhaps, of all — all of which rests upon what your course may ultimately make a great heaving volcano of passion and crime, if you are enabled to consummate your designs. Bear with us, then, if we stand sternly upon what is yet that dormant volcano, and say we yield no position here until we are convinced we are wrong. We are in a position to ask you to yield. What right of yours, gentlemen of the North, have we of the South ever invaded? What institution of yours have we ever assailed, directly or indirectly? What laws have we ever passed that have invaded, or induced others to invade, the sanctity of your homes or to put your lives in jeopardy, or were likely to destroy the fundamental institutions of your States? The wisest, the most learned, and the best among you will remain silent, because you cannot say that we have done this thing. If your view is right and ours p48is not strictly demanded by the compact, still the consequence, in a remote degree, of your proposition may bring this result upon us; and if you have no domestic nor municipal peace at stake, and no property at stake, and no fundamental institutions of your liberties at stake, are we asking any too much of you today when we ask you to yield to us in this manner as brothers, in order to quiet our doubts — for in yielding you lose nothing that is essentially right?19

Neither side would yield. On the sixth day of the convention, the Southern-rights men, still hopeful of compromise and reluctant to leave the convention — a step which their constituents had instructed them to take in case of failure to secure an endorsement of their platform, and a step which the Northern delegates had repeatedly defied them to take — managed after the most bitter debate to force a recommitment of the platform by a majority of one vote.

Once again there were three reports. The majority report, supported by the original seventeen states, endorsed the Cincinnati platform with the following explanatory resolutions:20

1. That the government of a Territory organized by an act of Congress is provisional and temporary; and during its existence, all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory without their rights, either of persons or property, being destroyed or impaired by congressional or territorial legislation.

2. That it is the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property in the Territories, and wherever else its constitutional authority extends.

3. That when the settlers in a Territory, having an adequate p49population, form a State constitution, the right of sovereignty commences, and, being consummated by admission into the Union, they stand on an equal footing with the people of other States; and the State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union whether its Constitution prohibits or recognizes the institution of slavery.

The minority report presented by Samuels of Iowa was identical with the previous one except that the second resolution was stricken out and the following inserted:

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 question of constitutional law.

This main minority report was signed by seven states only. Three states had absented themselves from the committee, and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Minnesota joined with Massachusetts in a simple endorsement of the Cincinnati platform without explanatory resolutions. For the first time the Northern Democracy showed signs of weakening. Great confusion and disorder followed the committee reports, and so bitter did the debate become that chairman Cushing was not able to restore order until he threatened to vacate the chair. The convention then adjourned until Monday. Sunday only served to consolidate the two opposing forces, and on Monday the rupture came. The vote on Butler's minority platform stood 105 to 198, the Southwest and the Northwest uniting to prevent adoption of the Cincinnati platform without explanation.

The main minority report was then substituted for p50that of the majority by a vote of 165 to 138.21 Every state which was ordinarily Democratic voted against the substitution, including fifteen of the seventeen in which Buchanan had received majorities in 1856. In other words, the majority report from the committee, though it was never voted upon directly, received the support of the entire South, and a majority of all the states. It was rejected by a bare majority of votes, all but twelve of which came from states recognized as free soil and from which the party had no hope of receiving a single electoral vote.22

The several resolutions of the minority report were then voted upon separately. The second resolution was swept away by a vote of 138 to 21, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, and Florida refusing to vote after the adoption of the first resolution. The followers of Douglas could not endorse the second resolution because they did not believe in the natural law of slavery, nor in the right of the common law and the Constitution to enforce it. To their minds, before slavery could exist in a territory it must be legalized by legislative enactment and thereafter sustained by local police laws. They were free to go before the country, so far as the platform adopted was concerned, unhampered by obligations to abide by Supreme Court decisions. They were free to go back to their constituents without having admitted that they had ever compromised their claims regarding the power of the territorial legislature by agreeing to submit the question to the courts.

p51 The Alabama delegates complied with their instructions and promptly withdrew from the convention after the majority platform was rejected. General L. P. Walker announced the reasons for their action. The convention having rejected the Southern demands, there existed a direct issue between it and their own constituents. They were seeking guarantees in pursuance of the Constitution, as they believed, for the stability of an institution which formed the basis of their economic and social life. They believed they were acting for the preservation of their liberties, the honor of their people, and the sacredness of their homes.23 Members of the convention sat silent as one state delegation after another followed that of Alabama from the convention.

In submitting the communication from the Mississippi delegation, Colonel D. C. Glenn said: "I hold in my hand the solemn act of her delegation upon this floor, and I say to you, gentlemen, that it is not a hasty action; that it is not one conceived in passion, or carried out in caprice or disappointment. It is the firm resolve of the great body of the people whom we represent, which was expressed in the convention that sent us here; and that resolve that people and we, their representatives, will maintain at all costs and at all hazards."24 The majority of the Charleston convention had announced to them in a most solemn manner, said Beverly Mathews, that their rights could not be recognized; that while the federal government possessed the power to protect all other species of property within its jurisdiction, it possessed no power to protect property in slaves as recognized by fifteen sovereign states; p52that while the Republicans claimed for the federal government the power to destroy, the Douglas Democracy, controlling the convention, denied the power either to destroy or protect; and "this, they assure us, is, and must, and shall be the condition of our coöperation in the next presidential election."25

Louisiana, the next state to withdraw, presented no prepared address. Ex-Governor Mouton announced their departure and stated that two members of the delegation, although acting with the majority, did so under protest.26

South Carolina followed Louisiana in the order of withdrawal. The action of her delegation was likewise not unanimous, three delegates refusing to sign the communication and two of the three remaining in the convention. There is some evidence that Douglas had counted upon the support of the South Carolina delegation.27 Reid, however, stated afterward in the meeting at the Military Institute that he did not sign the communication because it was hastily drawn up. South Carolina, he said, had thought of remaining in the convention in hopes of effecting reconciliation, but "where Alabama goes, there the Carolinas will go also."28 Perry, one of the two delegates remaining in the convention, said that he and Colonel Boozer remained because their constituents asked nothing more than the ratification of the Cincinnati platform. p53It was his conviction that, if the remnant of the convention would endorse the Dred Scot decision, those delegates who had withdrawn would return.29

Florida and Texas, the next states to withdraw, acted unanimously. The Arkansas delegation did not act as a unit, although the convention at Little Rock had demanded congressional protection for slavery in the territories where such property might otherwise be insecure, and had instructed its delegates to the Charleston convention to withdraw unless this demand was endorsed previous to the nomination of candidates. After six of the Southern states had withdrawn from the convention, Burrows presented a written communication signed by himself, P. Jordan, and Van H. Manning. Those three delegates withdrew immediately, and on the following day Francis Terry, J. P. Johnson, and F. W. Hoadley took similar action.30 Stirman, one of the two delegates from the state who remained, agreed to accept the platform if a Southern man were given the nomination. Flournoy remained and became the leader of the Douglas faction in Arkansas during the choleric canvass which followed the adjournment to Baltimore.

When Burrows of Arkansas ceased speaking, Bayard of Delaware, prominent statesman and representative of the Democracy of the upper South, announced the withdrawal of himself and his colleague Whiteley. His action was indicative of what might be expected of a large part of the remaining delegations unless some compromise could be agreed upon. Several states had already retired for consultation and the convention adjourned until Tuesday morning.

The next morning twenty-eight of the Georgia delegates p54presented a written communication and withdrew.31Four of these had voted in consultation against withdrawing, but agreed to act with the majority. Cohen, one of the eight remaining delegates from that state, state-rights man and in sympathy with the seceders by his own declaration, stated that he remained in the hope of effecting some reunion of the Democracy in order to prevent a Republican victory in November. He contended that the only sense in which the South was divided was in point of time, and made a passionate plea for conciliation.

The rump convention then proceeded to the business of nominating a candidate for the presidency. Chairman Cushing ruled that a vote equal to two thirds of all the electoral votes was necessary for a nomination, and his ruling was sustained by the convention. For fifty-seven ballots, over a period of two days, the Douglas followers sought to force his nomination upon the convention. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, comprising one hundred twenty votes in all, steadfastly refused to compromise on any other candidate, and with but one exception every vote from those states was cast for Douglas on every ballot.32 Repeated efforts were made to secure the endorsement of Hunter of Virginia, Guthrie of Kentucky, or Lane of Oregon, but to no avail; and on the tenth day of its session the convention adjourned to meet again at Baltimore on the eighteenth of June.


The Author's Notes:

1 Davis of Mississippi, Remarks in the Senate, May 24, 1860, Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., III, 2341; Curry of Alabama, Remarks in the House of Representatives, March 14, 1860, ibid., II, 1155‑1159; Speech of William L. Yancey of Alabama, delivered in the National Democratic Convention, Charleston, April 28, 1860, 3. Yancey said in part: "We have come here, then, with the twofold purpose of saving the country and saving the Democracy; and if the Democracy will not lend itself to that high, holy and elevated purpose; if it cannot elevate itself above the mere question of how perfect shall be its personal organization and how widespread shall be its mere voting success, then we say to you, gentlemen, mournfully and regretfully, that in the opinion of the Alabama, and, I believe, of the whole South, you have failed in your mission, and it will be our duty to go forth and make an appeal to the loyalty of the country to stand by that Constitution which party organizations have deliberately rejected." The Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner, March 6, 1860, stated the issue concisely when it asked: "Shall Democratic minorities in Republican States be allowed to shape the policy of the Democratic party with regard to the institutions of slavery, which exist only in Democratic States? Will the platform, so adopted, be likely to enlist the vote of the Southern States absolutely necessary to success?"

[decorative delimiter]

2 Douglas endorsed Republican doctrine in this article by saying that "if it be the imperative duty of Congress to provide by law for the protection of slave property in the Territories upon the ground that 'slavery exists in Kansas' (and consequently in every other Territory), 'by virtue of the Constitution of the United States,' why is it not also the duty of Congress, for the same reason, to provide similar protection to slave property in all the States of the Union when Legislatures fail to furnish such protection?" Douglas, "The Dividing Line Between Federal and Local Authority," in Harper's Monthly Magazine, XIX, 531. In an editorial with the caption "Senator Douglas' Short Cut to Black Republicanism," The Southern Argus, Norfolk, August 28, 1860, said: "His dividing line between Federal and Local authority separates Federal power, not from Territorial power, not from State rights, or State authority, but from all authority that is not Federal in its nature. Thus the States and the Territories are placed upon a common level as to their original powers; the difference, if any exists, being in favor of the Territory, since the States, by entering the Union, have renounced the exercise of a portion of their sovereign rights, and delegated others to the General Government, while the Territories remain in full possession of sovereign attributes."

[decorative delimiter]

3 See Curry, Remarks in the House of Representatives, Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., II, 1159.

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4 Ibid., III, 2241.

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5 Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. The remaining three were Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

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6 Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, 3‑9. The seats of the Illinois delegation were also contested, but the case of the contestants was a weak one; and although that contest was linked with New York in the debate it was not in fact the question at issue.

[decorative delimiter]

7 Ibid., 11.

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8 Ibid., 12.

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9 Ibid., 20.

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10 "Speech of Hon. William L. Yancey of Alabama, at Memphis, Tennessee, August 14, 1860," in Nashville Union and American, Supplement, August, 1860; Andrew Ewing, Sam Milligan, and Alfred Robb, "Address to the Democracy of Tennessee," in Nashville Union and American, July 1, 1860; Buchanan, "Mr. Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion," in The Works of James Buchanan, comprising his Speeches, State Papers, and Private Correspondence (John Bassett Moore, ed.), XII, 56.

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11 Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., III, 2144.

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12 Ibid., 1968.

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13 Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, 30.

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14 Ibid.

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15 Ibid., 35.

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16 Ibid., 33.

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17 Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, 50.

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18 Ibid., 55.

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19 Speech of William L. Yancey of Alabama, delivered in the National Democratic Convention, Charleston, April 28, 1860, 4.

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20 This platform embodied the resolutions presented by Bayard of Delaware, Bigler of Pennsylvania, and Cochrane of New York.

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21 Yancey afterward estimated the true alignment of the convention as 159 to 144. "Speech of William L. Yancey at Baltimore, June 23, 1860," in The Daily Delta, June 30, 1860.

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22 Pennsylvania voted against the report in the committee, but gave a majority for it in the convention. California and Oregon voted with the South. Democratic National Executive Committee, Address to the Democracy of the United States, July 18, 1860, 6.

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23 Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, 118‑120. The written communication was signed by the entire Alabama delegation, but John A. Winston afterward repudiated his action.

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24 Ibid., 121.

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25 Ibid., 122.

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26 Ibid., 120‑122, 138. The Louisiana delegation was composed almost entirely of large property holders, there being but one lawyer and one officeholder. It represented several million dollars in sugar and cotton plantation property, eight of its members having average incomes in excess of $25,000, and holding more than sixty slaves each. McHatton and Jones were the two delegates who withdrew under protest. The Daily Delta, May 5, 1860.

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27 For a stout denial, see The Daily South Carolinian, Columbia, May 10, 1860.

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28 Proceedings of the Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore, 120‑121, 138.

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29 Ibid., 136.

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30 Ibid., 124‑125, 129.

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31 Ibid., 128.

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32 Minnesota gave one vote to Johnson after the ninth ballot. In addition, Douglas received the following votes without change throughout the fifty-seven ballots: Massachusetts 5, Connecticut 3½, Pennsylvania 9½, and Maryland 2.


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