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the 72 of the remaining southern states.1 It is a remarkable fact that in the southern states, excluding South Carolina, in which the electors were elected by the legislature, Breckinridge received but 571,051 votes, against 515,973 for Bell; a difference of less than 60,000, showing that Bell received the support of almost all of the former Whig party. The total southern vote for the three candidates opposed to Breckinridge was 705,928, showing a majority with unionist sympathies of 134,877. It is evident that on the day of the election the masses of the South were not secessionist. The border states cast 26,430 votes for Lincoln, 17,028 of which were in Missouri.
But while electing the executive, the Republicans were clearly to be in a minority in both Senate and House. Close estimates showed a majority of 8 against the Republicans in the former and 21 in the latter. Certainly no serious ill could befall the South in such circumstances.
In Stephens's view, Buchanan was responsible for the introduction at Charleston of the new dogma in the party platform which caused the rupture of the party. It has been supposed, says Stephens, that the outcome of the movement which led to the rupture of the Democratic party: the secession at
1 Stanwood, Hist. of the Presidency, 297; McKee, National Conventions and Platforms, 118, 119.
'Rhodes, United States, II., 501.
' Stephens, War between the States, II., 259.
Charleston, the division at Baltimore, the nomination of Breckinridge, was in order to further the ulterior purpose of disunion. No such result was, in Stephens's opinion, anticipated; and speaking for what he thought an overwhelming majority of those who advocated the action which had taken place, the movers were as much disappointed as 'men ever were at the consequences of their own acts. They really hoped and expected the final result to be the election of Mr. Breckinridge." Failing election by the popular vote, they were quite assured that he would receive enough electoral votes to carry his name to the House of Representatives, should no one of the candidates receive a majority of votes cast by the electoral colleges. As the majority of the representatives from the majority of states was Democratic, but opposed to Douglas, they considered the election of Breckinridge in such circumstances certain. Even failing this, they looked with confidence to the election of Lane as vice-president either by the electoral colleges or by the Senate, which was Democratic, and to him, they calculated, would fall the presidency should no choice for president be made by the electoral colleges or by the House before March 4, 1861.1
In June none of the leaders of the southern wing of the Democrats thought the election of Lincoln and Hamlin possible, and when Stephens, in a speech at Augusta, Georgia, September 1, 1860, 1 1 Stephens, War between the States, II., 275-277.
said that one need not be surprised to see civil war in less than six months, it was said that the weakness of his body was extending to his head, he was becoming "crazy. crazy." As time grew on apprehensions, however, became serious, and many of the leading men and papers supporting Breckinridge declared for secession in case they should not succeed in the elections. When the result came, "it struck the masses with general consternation.” 1
1 1 Stephens, War between the States, II., 277.
EVERAL weeks before the election, steps had been taken in South Carolina looking to secession. A conference was held October 25 at the residence of Senator Hammond, at which were present Governor Gist, ex-Governor Adams, exSpeaker Orr, and all the delegation of the state to Congress except one who was ill. It was there unanimously resolved to secede in the event of Lincoln's election. The governor called the legislature in special session for November 5, to cast the electoral vote of the state. Before the legislature met there was a caucus called to meet at Columbia, at which were read letters from Pugh, Bullock, Yancey, and others, in reply to categorical questions from Gist in a circular letter of October 5, as to what action it was desired South Carolina should take. The answers counselled that this state should take the lead, pledging the cotton states to support her, and dispelled the idea of jealousy of her leadership. The plea to wait for "cooperation" 1 Crawford, Fort Sumter, 14.