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minority report was adopted by 165 to 138, the effect of Yancey's influence was shown. The delegates from Alabama at once presented a written protest in obedience to the behest of their state convention, by which they were "positively in-. structed to withdraw" unless propositions, such as were affirmed in the majority report, should be accepted at the Charleston meeting. A majority of the delegates of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas followed, the chairman of each making a speech of justification.
The main convention, now reduced to 253 votes, proceeded to ballot under the two-thirds rule. After fifty-seven ballots, in which Douglas's highest vote was 151, and the next highest was that of 66 for Guthrie, of Kentucky, it was clear that a choice was impossible so long as Douglas's supporters remained firm; and the convention adjourned, May 3, to meet in Baltimore, June 18. Meantime the seceding members had met, elected James A. Bayard, of Delaware, chairman, adopted the majority platform of the committee, and adjourned to meet at Richmond, June 10."
The act of the Alabama delegation was the first step in the great drama of secession about to open, and it was with sober minds that many men returned North, convinced that the Democratic party
1 For reasons for the adoption of this rule, see Buchanan's speech, Washington, July 9, 1860, in Curtis, Buchanan, II., 290. 2 Hart, Am. Hist. told by Contemporaries, IV., § 49.
was hopelessly divided. Even in the South this extreme doctrine found opposition. Gaulden, of Georgia, said: "I believe that this doctrine of protection to slavery in the territories is a mere theory, a mere abstraction. Practically it can be of no consequence to the South for the reason that the infant has been strangled before it was born. We have no slaves to carry into the territories. We can never make another slave state with our present supply of slaves." To do this "you will be obliged to give up another state-either Maryland, Delaware or Virginia--to free soil upon the North." If the territories were to be occupied, he held that it was necessary to reopen the African slave-trade, which he strongly urged and which he said was less immoral and unchristian than the slave-trade of Virginia.1
May 9, a week before the meeting of the Republican convention, the delegates of the party calling itself the "Constitutional Union" met in Baltimore and nominated Bell, of Tennessee, and Everett, of Massachusetts, as president and vice-president. The members were chiefly of the disintegrated Whig and "American" parties, and represented the conservative element of the country, both in the North and in the South. A platform was adopted recognizing "No political principles other than THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNTRY, THE UNION OF THE STATES, AND THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE 1 Greeley, Am. Conflict, I., 316.
LAWS.” 1 While it was clearly impossible to elect the candidates, it was hoped that the action would throw the election into the House, and it had unquestionable effect in staying, throughout the canvass, much disunion sentiment which otherwise would have had free course.
When the Democratic regular convention reconvened in Baltimore, June 18, a wrangle over the admission of delegates elected to replace some of those who had withdrawn, and who now wished admission again, ended in a second secession of delegates, including those from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Caleb Cushing followed their example, as did the Massachusetts delegation led by Benjamin F. Butler, who announced that he would not sit in a convention "where the African slave trade, which is a piracy by the laws of my country, is approvingly advocated." Soulé, of Louisiana, still clung to Douglas, and was terribly severe upon the seceders as "an army of unprincipled and unscrupulous politicians. Douglas was nominated upon the second ballot, his highest competitor, Guthrie, receiving but ten votes. Fitzpatrick, of Alabama, a southerner of the most advanced type, was chosen for vice-president; he declined, and Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, equally advanced, was substituted.
The Charleston seceders met at Richmond, June
1 McKee, National Conventions and Platforms, 117.
11, but adjourned to Baltimore, where they met June 28, twenty-one states being fully or partially represented. Cushing was again president; the platform rejected there was now unanimously adopted, and John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and General Joseph Lane, of Oregon, were unanimously nominated for president and vice-president.
The Republican convention met in Chicago, May 16. Besides all the free states, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Kansas and Nebraska had representatives. Four names were prominently before the convention - Seward, Lincoln, Chase, and Bates; but there were few throughout the country who doubted the success of the first. Chase's chances were greatly damaged by the fact that Judge McLean and Senator Wade, both of whom were candidates, were from the same state. Schurz had frankly given his opinion to Chase: "Governor, if the Republicans at Chicago have the courage to nominate an advanced antislavery man they will nominate Seward; if not, they will not nominate you." 1 Bates, a Missourian, had weight with those who saw in him an opportunity for a compromise, as he was a conservative southern man with anti-slavery principles strong enough to cause him to free his slaves. His most prominent supporter was Horace Greeley, who, for private reasons as well as public, had brought all 1 Bancroft, Seward, I, 526.
the great weight of the Tribune against Seward,1 and to whose efforts both Seward himself and Weed, his bosom friend, mainly, though incorrectly, attributed Seward's defeat.
The platform quoted the clause of the Declaration of Independence beginning, "All men are created equal"; denounced threats of disunion; declared as essential to our system "the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment"; denounced the invasion by an armed force of any state or territory; condemned the subservience of the administration "to the exactions of a sectional interest, and stigmatized as "a dangerous political heresy" "the new dogma-that the Constitution of its own force carries slavery into any or all of the territories."
The eighth resolution took a position never before adopted by a political party—“That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; that as our republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory ordained that 'no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law,' it becomes our duty by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of individ1 Barnes, Weed, chap. xxi.