decide for themselves whether they would or would not have slavery.
The southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckenridge
, of Kentucky
, at that time Vice-President
of the United States
The doctrine which he and his party advocated was the right to carry their slaves into every State and Territory in the Union
without any hindrance whatever.
Then there was still another party, called by some the Peace Party
, which pointed to the Constitution
of the country as its guide, but had nothing to say on the great question of slavery, which was so prominent with the other parties.
It took for its standardbearer John Bell
, of Tennessee
; and Edward Everett
, of Massachusetts
, was nominated as Vice-President
This party drew its membership from both of the others, but largely from the Democrats.
Owing to these divisions the Republican party, which had not been in existence many years, was enabled to elect its candidate.
The Republicans did not intend to meddle with slavery
A Bell and Everett Campaigner.|
where it then was, but opposed its extension into any new
States and Territories.
This latter fact was very well known to the slave-holders, and so they voted almost solidly for John C. Breckenridge
But it was very evident to them, after the Democratic party divided, that the Republicans would succeed, and so, long before the election actually took place, they began to make threats of seceding from the Union
Freedom of speech was not tolerated