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[156]

When the platform was finally disposed of by the adoption of the majority report, the scene that ensued was mournfully dramatic. The chairman of the delegation from Alabama arose read his protest against the platform and announced the withdrawal of the delegation. As it retired there was applause from the delegates who were soon to withdraw. The Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and South Carolina delegations read protests and withdrew in succession from the convention. Then scattering delegates from other Southern States withdrew, sometimes leaving only one or two delegates in their seats.

The scene was a sad and portentous one to me. To my mind it was the prelude to the ‘bloody sweat and agony’ of the war that followed not many months afterward. The writer had determined to disobey instructions and to retain his seat in the convention and vote for Douglass, but when he mentioned the matter to his particular friend, ex-Governor Winston, older and more experienced than this writer, he insisted I should also retire in order not to injure his political prospects, to which I consented against my own judgment.

The breach was never closed. Two Presidential tickets were placed in the field—Douglass and Johnson, and Breckinridge and Lane. The Whigs also nominated a ticket.

It was perfectly clear that, with the opposition to Mr. Lincoln divided among three candidates, he was certain to carry nearly every non-slaveholding State, and to be elected, and this state of things drew to him the floating vote composed of men whose only aim is to vote for the winning ticket.

Mr. Yancey supported Breckinridge and Lane with enthusiasm, speaking in most of the Northern cities, and in nearly every Southern State. The election of Mr. Lincoln was followed by the putting into execution in the Southern States of the pre-arranged programs. State conventions were called, and elections ordered for delegates. Alabama passed the ordinance of secession January 11th, 1861—just a few days after South Carolina had led off. Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas pretty soon followed. They agreed to form a provisional government with Montgomery as the capital. The forts and arms were seized in these seceded States wherever they were able to get possession of them. They apprehended no resistance or coercion from President Buchanan, and were anxious to get possession of the forts and arsenals with their contents, and to


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