AT Springfield by the Sangamon, on the night of November 6th, 1860, Candidate Lincoln sat in the telegraph office, musing over the bulletins as the sounder clicked them in. Unfavorable dispatches from New York had depressed him briefly; but before long a turn had come, and by twelve o'clock he knew the Presidency was his. Out in the streets, wreathing lines of men, linked arm to arm, chanted over and over, "Oh, ain't we glad we joined the Republicans!"--to the tune of "Oh, ain't I glad I got out of the wilderness!" With that firm, springless gait of his, but more buoyantly than usual, Lincoln walked home to the frame house at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets--the only house he ever owned--and called out, "Mary--Mary! We are elected!"
Yes, it was victory; but because the Democrats had been split between Breckinridge and Douglas it was a victory by a minority of the popular vote. Many a Northern Democrat never forgave Lincoln for his presumptuous defeat of the Little Giant. Southern Democrats termed him a sectional President. He once compared his attitude to that of a backwoods surveyor who, as he hunted for a corner, kept a weather-eye open for prowling Indians. Decisively his election marked the cleavage between slave states and free. It set the free states at last in power. It made widely vocal the Southern disdain and hatred of Lincoln himself.
During the campaign, mutterings had been heard. In June the Hon. John Townsend delivered at Rockville, South Carolina, an address on the provocative topic "The South Alone Should Govern the South." In August, Texans were stirring. One protested: