But the salient feature of the canvass was the hearty accord of the coalesced parties North of the Potomac
, in attributing to the Republican
platform and to Mr. Lincoln
apprehended consequences that were, by the South
, attributed to Douglas
and “Squatter Sovereignty
The Democratic National Convention and party had been broken up, not because of any suspicion of Republicanism affecting either faction, but because the South
would not abide the doctrine of Mr. Douglas
, with regard to Slavery in the Territories
Yet here were his supporters appealing to the people from every stump to vote the coalition ticket, in order to conciliate the South
, and save the country from the pangs of dissolution!
It was not easy to realize that the Pughs, Paynes, Richardsons, Churches, etc., who had so determinedly bearded the South
and at Baltimore
, defying threats of disruption and disunion, were the very men who now exhorted the People to vote the coalition Electoral tickets, in order to dispel the very dangers which they had persistently invoked, by supporting the Payne-Samuels
platform, and nominating Douglas
It is more difficult to treat calmly the conduct of the “American,” “Conservative,” “Union,” or Bell
party of the South
; or, more accurately, to reconcile its chosen attitude and professions in the canvass with the course taken by thousands of its members immediately on the announcement of the result, with the ultimate concurrence of many more, including even the eminent and hitherto moderate and loyal Tennessean whom it had deliberately presented as an embodiment of its principles by nominating him for the Presidency.
That party was mainly composed of admiring disciples of Clay
, who had sternly resisted Nullification on grounds of principle, and had united in the enthusiastic acclaim which had hailed Webster
as the triumphant champion of our Nationality, the “great expounder of the Constitution
,” in his forensic struggle with Hayne
It had proudly pointed to such men as William Gaston
, of North Carolina
, Sergeant S. Prentiss
, of Mississippi
, Edward Bates
, of Missouri
, George W. Summers
, of Virginia
, John J. Crittenden
, of Kentucky
, and James L. Petigru
, of South Carolina
, as the exponents of its principles, the jewels of its crown.
It had nominated and supported Bell
on a platform which meaningly proclaimed fidelity to “The Union, the Constitution
, and the Enforcement of the Laws,” as its distinctive ground.
To say that it meant by this to stand by the Union
until some other party should, in its judgment, violate the Constitution
, is to set the human understanding at defiance.
It either meant to cling to the Constitution and Union at all hazards and under all circumstances, and to insist that the laws should be enforced throughout the country, or it was guilty of seeking votes under false pretenses.
Unlike the Douglas Democracy
, it was a distinct, well-established party, which had a definitive existence, and at least a semblance of organization in every Slave State but South Carolina
It had polled a majority of the Southern
vote for Harrison
in 1840, for Taylor
in 1848, had just polled nearly forty per cent. of that vote for Bell