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‘ [155] work at once with their muskets and never stop till their constitutional rights were granted to them.’ His speech was applauded to the echo.

When the National Convention met on the following Monday the delegates from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina had come to an agreement to withdraw if the platform did not embrace the clause respecting slavery demanded by the South.

There was a most bitter opposition to the nomination of Judge Douglass. President Buchanan encouraged and supported this opposition by personal and official influence. John Slidell was not a delegate to the convention, still, he was personally present in Charleston for the purpose of working the wires to defeat Douglass, an art in which natural cunning and long practice had made him very proficient. The selection of Caleb Cushing for president of the convention was a serious blow to Douglass. There was a bitter fight between the rival delegations from New York-one headed by Fernando Wood the other by Dean Richmond, but the latter were admitted to seats. Ultra Southern delegates supported Wood.

When the Committee on Resolutions made their report, there was a majority and a minority report, and this was the signal for battle. George E. Pugh, ex-Governor Paine of Ohio, C. L. Vallandigham and Congressman Richardson of Illinois, were the leading speakers for the majority report. The speeches of Pugh and Vallandigham were able, eloquent and impressive. W. L. Yancey was, practically, the only speaker for the minority report. He was listened to by an audience of 5,000 with undivided and breathless attention—literally speaking, one could have heard a pin fall, so profound was the stillness. He indulged in no invectives against the Northern Democrats; not the faintest expression that could be tortured into hostility to the Union fell from his lips—but his speech was impassioned, eloquent and impressive. No man was freer from bombast, sophomoric declamation and pompous rhetoric than Mr. Yancey. He never was at a loss for a word, and the proper word always came. Mr. Yancey was a born orator, and had no equal in the South before a popular audience. His voice was sweet and round, his articulation very clear and distinct—every word could be heard—and both his looks and manner were impressive and captivating. It was a treat to hear him relate an anecdote in his speeches.

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