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two things, the ridiculous discussion as to how an American Minister should appear at Court, and the somewhat astounding Ostend Manifesto.

The Secretary of State, William L. Marcy, had proclaimed that the diplomatic agents of the United States were to wear only "the simple dress of an American citizen." This circular to the diplomatic agents was the occasion of a good many jocular remarks at the time, as to what was the dress of an American citizen, and of considerable embarrassment to the courts and the American Ministers. It looked for a time as though a frock coat was to stop all international relations. But the wise ones trained in European diplomacy put their heads together and a compromise was effected. Buchanan could wear the simple dress of an American citizen, but he must so far conform to court usage as to wear at the same time a sword; and so he appeared before Her Majesty in "a black coat, white waistcoat and cravat, and black pantaloons and dress boots, with the addition of a very plain black-hilted dress sword." Mr. Buchanan would have been more admirable had he refused to wear the sword, even if he had run the risk of being mistaken for one of the "upper court servants.'

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During his residence in England James Buchanan was a general favorite and by his attitude on the international questions that arose won the esteem and confidence of his country. He returned home early in the year 1856, and, although he had at the time little thought of the Presidency, the public welcome he received when he arrived in New York and the enthusiasm with which he was everywhere greeted made him turn his eyes towards Washington, but he put forth no strenuous efforts to secure the nomination for President.



On June 2, 1856, the National Democratic Convention met in Cincinnati to select a nominee for President. There were four strong men in the field, -Buchanan, Pierce, Douglas, and Cass. Cass, although an able man, had but few supporters; Douglas had many friends present, but as he had taken the initiative in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, he had made a host of bitter enemies in the North; Pierce had still a large following, but it was evident to many of the candidates that his attitude on the Kansas-Nebraska question would keep him from being sent to Washington for a second term; Buchanan's friends had not the organization of the other candidates and he himself had displayed no eagerness for the nomination, however, it was very soon recognized that he was the man most likely to keep his party in power.

None of the other candidates had as clean a record before the country. He had helped four Presidents to office, and had done more than possibly any other man in the country to elect Polk and Pierce. The Democrats needed Pennsylvania and James Buchanan was the one man capable of keeping that important State in line. His career abroad had been a brilliant one. He was probably the ablest Minister who had served in Europe during the century, and in his dealings with Russia and England

had shown a firmness and wisdom that augured well for his country if he should be sent to the White House. But the thing most in his favour was that during the heated discussion which had gone on for the last three or four years over the KansasNebraska Act he had been abroad and had not been called upon to commit himself on that all-important issue. The Democratic party had undoubtedly lost the North as a whole, but Buchanan stood the best chance among the leaders of the party of still holding a few of the less pronounced anti-slavery States. Again, he was a man most acceptable to the South. He had frequently shown that he was prepared to uphold the institution of slavery on constitutional grounds, and indeed he was believed by many Southerners, especially since the part he played in the Ostend Manifesto, to favour slavery itself.

As a

result, when the first ballot was taken at the Convention the vote stood Buchanan 135, Pierce 122, Douglas 33, Cass 5. Pierce and Cass soon dropped out of the race and the contest was between Douglas and Buchanan. Buchanan's strength at the beginning came principally from the North, but Slidell and Wise brought many of the Southern delegates to his side, and on the sixteenth ballot Buchanan had 168 and Douglas 122. "The Little Giant" had lost the prize for which he played when he introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but he was not hopeless and still looked forward towards being President of the United States. Buchanan's nomination was, after this ballot, made unanimous.

The Whig party had but little life in it, however. Millard Fillmore was its nominee. A new party, the People's party had arisen, and the candidate of this party was John C. Fremont. The real fight was

between Fremont and Buchanan, but the latter was successful after a very heated campaign by 174 electoral votes to Fremont's 114. With the exception of Maryland the South had stood by Buchanan, but he really owed his election to the Free StatesPennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, and California. Had they gone against him Fremont would have had a majority. For the future troubles that arose these five States had themselves much to blame.

The platform adopted by the Democratic convention showed clearly where Buchanan stood on the slavery question. It was declared by that convention: "That Congress has no power under the Constitution to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States; that the foregoing proposition covers the whole subject of the slavery agitation in Congress; that the Democratic party will adhere to a faithful execution of the Compromise measures, the act for reclaiming fugitives from service of labour included; that the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing in Congress, or out of it, the agitation on the slavery question under whatever shape or colour the attempt may be made; and that the American Democratic party recognise and adopt the principle of non-interference by Congress with slavery in State and Territory, or in the District of Columbia."

In his inaugural address, March 4, President Buchanan proved himself either blind to the state of feeling in the Union or that he had wilfully closed his eyes to the growing excitement. It was true that there had been hot words and even blows given and taken during the campaign, but according to him, calm had come to the nation and he was begin

ning his term with fair prospects. It is difficult now to understand how he could have held such a view, and his inaugural address with its trimming and its lack of insight is sufficient to prove him the worst possible man to control the destinies of his country in the most critical moment of her history.

"We have recently," he said, " passed through a presidential contest in which the passions of our fellow citizens were excited to the highest degree by questions of deep and vital importance; but when the people proclaimed their will the tempest at once subsided and all was calm.

"The voice of the majority, speaking in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, was heard, and instant submission followed. Our own country could alone have exhibited so grand and striking a spectacle of the capacity of man for self-government.

"What a happy conception, then, was it for Congress to apply this simple rule, that the will of the majority shall govern, to the settlement of the question of domestic slavery in the Territories; Congress is neither to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States." "

Plausible words these, and no doubt the enthusiasm which attended the inaugural services made him think that the tempest was stilled. But he was blind, blind; a storm of righteous indignation was beating against the abominable institution of slavery, and a wise President would have seen that unless he took a decided stand with the North to prevent slavery from spreading to the Free States only civil war could be the result.

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