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Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 1 3 1 Browse Search
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Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 1, Chapter 43: thirty-sixth Congress — Squatter sovereignty, 1859-61. (search)
the fifth and seventh of the series. Mr. Douglas, the leader if not the author of popular sovereignty, was absent on account of illness, and there were a few other absentees. While the resolutions were pending, Mr. Davis made every effort personally, and through others supposed to have more influence with Mr. Douglas, to induce him to sanction, or initiate some policy which would reconcile the two extremes upon this question, as the following letter, kindly furnished me by the Hon. Cabell R. Breckenridge, will attest: May 15, 1854. Hon. J. C. Breckenridge. Dear Sir: Mr. Stephens, of Michigan, remarked to me this morning that all the Northern Democrats would vote for Douglas's original substitute. I remarked that it was preferable, and he repeated that every Democrat of the North would support it. As the principal difficulty with the Southern men has arisen from the modifications the bill underwent in the Senate after the substitute was offered, I thought it might be i
egates' application for admission to the Committee on Credentials, from which, now that the Southern element had been eliminated, there could be no hope of a favorable action. That remnant of the Southern party was again divided by the candidacy of the Honorable John Bell, of Tennessee. Spent by the fury of the shock, the different Democratic candidates each sustained a defeat, as was to have been expected, until the party united on the nomination and election of handsome, knightly Mr. Breckenridge, who told me immediately after it, I trust I have the courage to lead a forlorn hope. Thus Mr. Lincoln was finally elected over the divided household of our faith on issues antagonistic to our institutions. To the South he represented nothing but the embodiment of the enmity of his party. He was the candidate of a part only of the people of the United States, elected with the express understanding that he would rule in hostility over the minority, while ostensibly acting as the gua