previous next

From an early stage of the canvass, the Republicans could not help seeing that they had the potent aid, in their efforts, of the good wishes for their success of at least a large proportion of the advocates of Breckinridge and Lane. The toasts drunk with most enthusiasm at the Fourth-of-July celebrations throughout South Carolina pointed to the probable election of Mr. Lincoln as the necessary prelude to movements whereon the hearts of all Carolinians were intent. Southern “Fire-Eaters” canvassed the Northern States in behalf of Breckinridge and Lane, but very much to the satisfaction of the friends of Lincoln and Hamlin. The “Fusion” arrangements, whereby it was hoped, at all events, to defeat Lincoln, were not generally favored by the “Fire-Eaters” who visited the North, whether intent on politics, business, or pleasure; and, in some instances, those who sought to commend themselves to the favor of their Southern patrons or customers, by an exhibition of zeal in the “Fusion” cause, were quietly told: “What you are doing looks not to the end we desire: we want Lincoln elected.” In no Slave State did the supporters of Breckinridge unite in any “Fusion” movement whatever; and it was a very open secret that the friends of Breckinridge generally — at all events, throughout the Slave States--next to the all but impossible success of their own candidate — preferred that of the Republicans.1 In the Senate throughout the preceding, Session, at Charleston, at Baltimore, and ever since, they had acted precisely as they would have done, had they preeminently desired Mr. Lincoln's success, and determined to do their best to secure it.

And now, a large majority of Lincoln Electors had been carried, rendering morally certain his choice by the Electoral Colleges next month, and his inauguration on the 4th of March ensuing. So the result contemplated and labored for by at least two of the four contending parties in the canvass had been secured.

What next?

In October, 1856, a Convention of Southern Governors was held at Raleigh, N. C., at the invitation of Gov. Wise, of Virginia. This gathering was kept secret at the time; but it was afterward proclaimed by Gov. Wise that, had Fremont been elected, he would have marched at the head of twenty thousand men to Washington, and taken possession of the Capitol, preventing by force Fremont's inauguration at that place.

In the same spirit, a meeting of the prominent politicians of South

1 The Washington Star, then a Breckinridge organ, noticing, in September, 1860, the conversion of Senator Clingman, of North Carolina, from the support of Douglas to that of Breckinridge, said:

While we congratulate him on the fact that his eyes are at length open to the (to the South) dangerous tendency of the labors of Douglas, we hail his conversion as an evidence of the truth of our oft-repeated declaration, that, ere the first Monday in November, every honest and unselfish Democrat throughout the South will be found arrayed against Douglas-Freesoilism, as being far more dangerous to the South than the election of Lincoln; because it seeks to create a Free-Soil party there; while, if Lincoln triumphs, the result cannot fail to be a South united in her own defense — the only key to a full and — we sincerely believe — a peaceful and happy solution of the political problem of the Slavery question.

Columns like the above might be quoted from the Breckinridge journals of the South, showing that they regarded the success of Douglas as the great peril, to be defeated at all hazards.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September, 1860 AD (1)
October, 1856 AD (1)
November (1)
July (1)
March 4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: