Abraham Lincoln - Vol. 2

Abraham Lincoln - Vol. 2

Abraham Lincoln - Vol. 2

Abraham Lincoln - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Opening Scenes of a Political Year

Democrats gather in convention at Charleston -- Lincoln from his Illinois home observes events -- The cultured and self-sufficient Charlestonians scorn the Northern and Western Douglas delegations

The last year of James Buchanan in the White House, ending on March 4, 1861, was in many respects the most critical and disturbing twelvemonth, except for years of actual war, in the history of the United States. We find the events of the year succeeding one another like the progressive scenes of a stupendous political drama. Notable personages crowd the stage, and the sharpening antagonism of the sectional dispute between North and South becomes the distinct motive of a contest that rapidly assumes the aspects of tragedy. Parties are rearranging themselves, and the presidential campaign is going forward under four separate banners.

At the beginning of the year Buchanan is somewhat expectant of Democratic support for a second term; but soon he finds his further leadership rejected alike by Northern and Southern factions, with Mr. Bennett of the New York Herald almost alone in upholding him. Stephen A. Douglas and Jefferson Davis have become the undisputed champions of the rival wings of the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are gathering strength from all factions and elements in the North; and William H. Seward of New York confidently expects the presidential nomination at the hands of the convention that is to meet at Chicago. At the same time Abraham . . .

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