In the Spring of 1860 the National Democratic party held their convention in the city of Charleston, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of the United States. It was supposed that the assembling of the delegates in this city would have a salutary influence on the State of South Carolina and the Southern States generally. But it was soon manifest, after the Convention met, that the citizens of Charleston and the crowd of Southern people there at that time exercised a most unhappy influence on the Convention. The galleries of the convention and the streets of the city were crowded with Secessionists and Disunionists, who desired to break up the Democratic party and the Union of the States. The Southern delegates were emboldened to insist on their extreme principles in the formation of the Democratic platform.
First before the meeting of the Charleston Convention, there was a Convention of the Democracy of South Carolina, in Columbia, for the purpose of appointing delegates to the National Democratic Convention. Governor Orr was made President of this Convention, and on taking the chair, delivered a very good Union address. He said that his views in regard to the American Union had undergone a great change, and that he was then disposed to preserve it. The Convention seemed moderate in their tone and temper, and rejected the Alabama resolutions, which some delegate from the eastern part of the State had introduced as a platform of principles. Under these circumstances the delegates