election of 1856, a Free Soil or Abolition party, under the name of the Republican party, engaged in the contest for the presidency which resulted in the election of James Buchanan
, of Pennsylvania
, a Democrat.
The Congress that met in December of that year was organized with a Southern speaker, Orr
, of South Carolina
, and the struggle as to whether Kansas
should be admitted as a slaveholding State was continued with ever-increasing bitterness until it caused a split in the Democratic party.
About this time appeared one of the most remarkable romances, under the name of ‘Uncle Tom's Cabin,’ by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe
, that was ever published.
Its overdrawn and highly-colored picture of Southern slavery greatly intensified anti-slavery feeling throughout the North
, and even provoked strong criticism of the Southern States
in foreign lands.
This, and its results, naturally provoked strong resentment throughout the South
and increased the growing alienation between the two sections.
Among the sixteen States and territories of the Union
that were slaveholding in 1860, Virginia
held a commanding position.
Of the 384,884 slaveholders in the United States
, 52,128, or about one-seventh of the whole number, lived within her borders.
She ranked first in the number of this class of citizens; Georgia second, with 41,084; Kentucky third, with 38,645, and Tennessee fourth, with 36,844; these four States containing nearly one-half of the whole number of slaveholders in the Union
also owned more slaves than any other State.
Of the 3,953,743 enumerated in the census of 1860, her citizens held 490,865, or about one-eighth of the whole number.
was second, with 462,198; Mississippi third, with 436,631, and South Carolina fourth, with 402,406; the four States holding nearly one-half the whole number of slaves in the United States
had more slaveholders among her citizens than did any of her sister Southern States, she strikingly differed from them in the distribution of the ownership of her slaves, showing thereby that within her borders slavery was a peculiarly ‘domestic institution;’ for while she had more slaveholders than any other State, yet, as a rule, the holdings of the individual were smaller.
The details of ownership are worth considering.
Of her 52,188 holders of slaves, 11,085 of these owned but one