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They
announced their unalterable intention of seceding in the event of the
election of a president of Republican principles. The Republicans placed
Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, in nomination. Jefferson Davis saw that
the only way of defeating him was by uniting all the opposing parties
into one. He urged such a union, but the elements would not fuse.

The Democratic convention assembled in Charleston in April, 1860, and
had hardly come together when the members began quarreling over slavery.
Some of the radicals insisted upon the adoption of a resolution favoring
the opening of the slave trade, in retaliation for the refusal of the
North to obey the fugitive slave law. This measure, however, was voted
down, and many were in favor of adopting compromises and making
concessions for the sake of the Union. Stephen A. Douglas was their
candidate, but no agreement could be made, and the convention split
apart. The extremists were not satisfied with "squatter sovereignty,"
and, determined to prevent the nomination of Douglas, they withdrew from
the convention. Those who remained, after balloting some time without
result, adjourned to Baltimore, where, on the 18th of June, they placed
Douglas in nomination, with Herschel V. Johnson as the nominee for
Vice-President. Their platform was the doctrine that the people of each
Territory should settle the question of slavery for themselves, but they
expressed a willingness to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.

The seceding delegates adjourned to Richmond, and again to Baltimore,
where, June 28th, they nominated John C. Breckinridge for President and
Joseph Lane for Vice-President. Their platform declared unequivocally in
favor of slavery being protected in all parts of the Union, where the
owners chose to take their slaves.

The American party, which called themselves Constitutional Unionists,
had already met in Baltimore, and nominated John Bell for President and
Edward Everett for Vice-President. Their platform favored the
"Constitution, the Union, and the enforcement of the laws." This
platform was of the milk-and-water variety, appealing too weakly to the
friends and opponents of slavery to develop great strength. The question
of African slavery had become the burning one before the country, and
the people demanded that the political platforms should give out no
uncertain sound.

Amid uncontrollable excitement, the presidential election took place
with the following result:

Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican, 180; Stephen A. Douglas, of
Illinois, Democrat, 12; John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, Democrat, 72;
John Bell, of Tennessee, Union, 39. For Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin,
of Maine, Republican, 180; Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, Democrat,
12; Joseph Lane, of Oregon, Democrat, 72; Edward Everett, of
Massachusetts, Union, 39.

On the popular vote, Lincoln received 866,352; Douglas, 1,375,157;
Breckinridge, 845,763; Bell, 589,581. Lincoln had the electoral votes of
all the Northern States, except a part of New Jersey; Virginia,
Kentucky, and Tennessee supported Bell, while most of the Southern
States voted for Breckinridge. The Democratic party, which, with the
exception of the break in 1840 and 1848, had controlled the country for
sixty years, was now driven from the field.


SECESSION AND FORMATION OF THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY.

The hope was general that the South would not carry out her threat of
seceding from the Union, and, but for South Carolina, she would not have
done so; but that pugnacious State soon gave proof of her terrible
earnestness. Her Convention assembled in Charleston, and passed an
ordinance of secession, December 20, 1860, declaring "That the Union
heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North
America is dissolved." The other Southern States, although reluctant to
give up the Union, felt it their duty to stand by the pioneer in the
movement against it, and passed ordinances of secession, as follows:
Mississippi, January 9, 1861; Florida, January 10th; Alabama, January
11th; Georgia, January 19th; Louisiana, January 26th; and Texas,
February 23d.

In the hope of averting civil war numerous peace meetings were held in
the North, and Virginia called for a "peace conference," which assembled
in Washington, February 4th. The States represented included most of
those in the North, and Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. Ex-President Tyler, of Virginia, was
made president of the conference. The proposed terms of settlement were
rejected by the Virginia and North Carolina delegates and refused by
Congress, which, since the withdrawal of the Southern members, was
controlled by the Republicans.

The next step of the Southern conventions was to send delegates to
Montgomery, Alabama, where they formed "The Confederate States of
America," with Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, President, and Alexander
H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President. A constitution and flag, both
resembling those of the United States, were adopted and all departments
of the government organized.

As the various States adopted ordinances of secession they seized the
government property within their limits. In most cases, the Southern
United States officers resigned and accepted commissions in the service
of the Confederacy. The only forts saved were those near Key West, Fort
Pickens at Pensacola, and Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. The South
Carolina authorities began preparations to attack Sumter, and when the
steamer _Star of the West_ attempted to deliver supplies to the fort, it
was fired upon, January 9th, and driven off. Thus matters stood at the
close of Buchanan's administration, March 4, 1861.

[Illustration: THE BLUE AND THE GRAY.]




CHAPTER XV.

ADMINISTRATION OF LINCOLN, 1861-1865.

THE WAR FOR THE UNION, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln--Major Anderson's Trying Position--Jefferson
Davis--Inauguration of President Lincoln--Bombardment of Fort
Sumter--War Preparations North and South--Attack on Union Troops in
Baltimore--Situation of the Border States--Unfriendliness of England and
France--Friendship of Russia--The States that Composed the Southern
Confederacy--Union Disaster at Big Bethel--Success of the Union Campaign
in Western Virginia--General George B. McClellan--First Battle of Bull
Run--General McClellan Called to the Command of the Army of the
Potomac--Union Disaster at Ball's Bluff--Military Operations in
Missouri--Battle of Wilson's Creek--Defeat of Colonel Mulligan at
Lexington, Mo.--Supersedure of Fremont--Operations on the Coast--The
Trent Affair--Summary of the Year's Operations.


Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President, ranks among the greatest that has
ever presided over the destinies of our country. He was born in Hardin
(now Larue) County, Kentucky, February 12, 1809, but when seven years
old his parents removed to Indiana, making their home near the present
town of Gentryville.

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

(1809-1865.) Two terms (died in office), 1861-1865.]

His early life was one of extreme poverty, and his whole schooling did
not amount to more than a year; but, possessing a studious mind, he
improved every spare hour in the study of instructive books. At the age
of sixteen the tall, awkward, but powerful boy was earning a living by
managing a ferry across the Ohio. He remained for some time after
reaching manhood with his parents, who removed to Illinois in 1830, and
built a log-cabin on the north fork of the Sangamon. He was able to give
valuable help in clearing the ground and in splitting rails. With the
aid of a few friends he constructed a flat-boat, with which he took
produce to New Orleans. Selling both goods and boat, he returned to his
home and still assisted his father on the farm. In the Black Hawk War he
was elected captain of a company, but did not see active service.

By this time his ability had attracted the notice of friends, and at the
age of twenty-five he was elected to the Illinois Legislature, in which
he served for four terms. Meanwhile he had studied law as opportunity
presented, and was sent to Congress in 1846. He opposed the war with
Mexico, but, among such giants as Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Benton, and
others, he could not make any distinctive mark; but his powerful common
sense, his clear logic, his unassailable integrity, his statesmanship
and grasp of public questions, and his quaint humor, often approaching
the keenest wit, carried him rapidly to the front and made him the
leader of the newly formed Republican party. In 1858 he stumped Illinois
for United States senator against Stephen A. Douglas, his valued friend.
His speeches attracted national attention as masterpieces of eloquence,
wit, and forceful presentation of the great issues which were then
agitating the country. He was defeated by Douglas, but the remarkable
manner in which he acquitted himself made him the successful candidate
of the Republican party in the autumn of 1860.

[Illustration: FROM LOG-CABIN TO THE WHITE HOUSE.]

Lincoln was tall and ungainly, his height being six feet four inches.
His countenance was rugged and homely, his strength as great as that of
Washington, while his wit has become proverbial. His integrity, which
his bitterest opponent never questioned, won for him the name of
"Honest Abe." He was one of the most kind-hearted of men, and his rule
of life was "malice toward none and charity for all". He grew with the
demands of the tremendous responsibilities placed upon him, and the
reputation he won as patriot, statesman, and leader has been surpassed
by no previous President and becomes greater with the passing years.


MAJOR ANDERSON AND FORT SUMTER.

All eyes were turned toward Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. It was the
strongest of the defenses. Major Robert Anderson, learning that the
Confederates intended to take possession of it, secretly removed his
garrison from Fort Moultrie on the night of December 26, 1860. Anderson
was in a trying position, for the secretary of war, Floyd, and the
adjutant-general of the army, Cooper, to whom he was obliged to report,
were secessionists, and not only refused to give him help, but threw
every obstacle in his way.



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