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[9]

A week after this, on November 7th, the telegraph flashed to the Union of divided minds the result of the election held on the 6th. In Louisiana the election of Mr. Lincoln, the candidate of the Republican party and the first of that party to snatch victory from the vote of a united country, fell like a shock of icicles upon citizens of all parties. Some received the news with amazement, others with apprehension, others with indignation; all with disappointment During the campaign, thus adversely ended, John C. Breckinridge had said: ‘In the Southern States of the Union a few are, perhaps, per se disunionists—though I doubt if they are.’ For Louisiana, the eternal truth of history justifies Mr. Breckinridge's doubt.

Lincoln's election did more than divide the Union. It consolidated the South. After the result was known, politics turned into a game of partners. The Young Bell Ringers maintained their organization for a while. Their organization, in changing the current of its partisanship, soon amalgamated with their Democratic rivals. All the young voters of 1860 melted into one party. It was the party of the South; a party with one cry and one purpose. It gave out an insistent note, swelling from day to day into larger volume—the cry for an independent Confederacy. Over all these—whether Young Bell Ringers or Breckinridge and Lane men, or Douglas and Johnson clubs-hovered a glorified radiance from the Confederacy that was to be!

I leave here the workers in the political campaign of 1860. In May that campaign had divided upon party interests. In January it was to unite in one controlling, dominating interest of State and section.

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