The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics - Vol. 1

By William Ernest Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI
ELECTION OF 1860

At once there rose so wild a yell
Within that dark and narrow dell;
As all the fiends from heaven that fell
Had pealed the banner cry of hell.


1

THE Jeffersonian Democracy disappeared in the Jacksonian revolt after twenty-eight years of public leadership. By 1860 the party once known as the Jacksonian Democracy deserved a humiliating defeat. The Republican crusaders of six years of party battles were anxious to administer that defeat in the election of 1860 and face the consequences. Each debatable issue during the last decade had added strength to their party. Between 1856 and 1860 men were forced either to become Republicans or support an effete Democracy controlled by a militant corporal's guard which demanded the right to extend slavery. Letters similar to that of Frank Blair to Rollins of November 24, 1856, were passing from man to man. He wrote as follows:1

DEAR ROLLINS

I received your letter a few days ago. I like your spunk-- I like also your plain way of talking to me and to show you that I do like it, I shall be equally plain & frank in return. Altho' both of [us] are defeated in our hopes, yet I believe we are both nearer to success than we thought ourselves to be a short time ago. We are nearer to victory because we have heretofore been travelling the wrong road and that has been stopped, barred up & now if we have the sense we can find the right one & by travelling it we will come out victorious, but first we must be convinced that we have been going wrong and not continue the struggle in that direction. Are you convinced that Know Nothingism is the d--dest folly of the age? Are you ready to let it go to the devil & give it a kick to help it along? I am convinced that some things that I have been working for, are infernal Humbugs and one of them the father of Humbugs (not the father in law by any

____________________
1
Rollins MSS.

-453-

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