To the Democracy of the Fifth Congressional District in South Carolina, May 28, 1860.
Having been honored by your delegates in the Democratic Convention of South Carolina, at Columbia, with a seat in the National Democratic Convention in Charleston, and having differed with the majority of my colleagues in that Convention, I deem it proper to address you in explanation of my course. This is more imperative now, since District meetings have been held at all of your Court Houses, approving the course of my colleagues in seceding from the Charleston Convention. I thought at the time that I was fairly representing the feelings and instructions of those who sent me, and that my course would, at least, be approved by the Convention party of the Fifth Congressional District. Hear me, and judge for yourselves with candor and impartiality.
It is well known that the recent Charleston Convention was composed of delegates representing the "National Democracy of South Carolina," as distinguished from the "Secession party" of South Carolina, calling themselves the "States' Rights Democracy," who repudiated the Charleston Convention, and would have no representation in it. I thought the object of the party which assembled in Columbia was three-fold--to preserve the National Democratic party of the Union; to harmonize and agree on a platform which would embody the general political sentiments of that party; and to unite on suitable candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States. I knew that the Secession party of South Carolina, or anti-Convention party, were anxious to