Centennial Times - November 11, 1860- Lincoln wins north, loses south
Presidential race to Lincoln
Winner sweep north, but loses south.
Abraham Lincoln, the political unknown from Illinois who swept the Republican nominating convention last May like a prairie cyclone, was elected president of the United States.
He received a plurality of the popular vote, but not a majority. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine is his vice-president.
The popular vote divided this way: Lincoln, Republican, 1,866,452 (40%); Douglas, Northern Democratic, 1,375,157 (29%); Breckinridge, Southern Democratic. 847,953 (18%); Bell, Constitutional Union, 590,631 (13%).
The electoral vote divided on purely sectional lines, and the two sectional candidates virtually divided the electoral vote between them.
Lincoln, the northern candidate. carried Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois. Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and California He carried no state in which slavery is legal.
Breckinridge, the southern candidate, carried Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.
The two candidates of compromise, Douglas and Bell, carried only a few border states. Bell carried Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and Douglas carried Missouri. New Jersey’s seven votes were divided, three for Douglas and four for Lincoln.
The Republicans had not increased their majority over the 1856 election when they ran their first candidate, when they received 38% of the popular vote and lost. Had the Democratic Party remained united, it would have won a majority of the public as it did four years ago, but, such was the distribution of the vote, the new Republican Party would still have received a majority of the electoral vote.
Such was the sectional division that the election might well have been held in two separate countries. Breckinridge and Bell received virtually no votes in the north; Lincoln and Douglas received virtually none in the south, and very few in Washington County.
Yet there still seems hope that the sectional differences can be compromised.
The issue between North and South centers upon two central issues: the Fugitive Slave Law, and extension of slavery into the territories.
The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision upheld the principle that a slave remains a slave even though he enters a free, state. To Southerners, this means that legislation forbidding slavery in the territories would be unconstitutional.
It also means that Northerners who refuse to return fugitive slaves to the South are defying the Supreme Court.
But the North refuses to accept the Supreme Court’s decision as final. Northern legislatures have gone so far as to forbid enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law despite the fact that this is the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court.
This Northern attitude is expressed by a Republican slogan: “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." Yet it would be a mistake to think of the division of feeling as unbridgeable. Many in the South believe slavery is wrong. Many more in the North believe it is right. More still in both sections believe preservation of the Union is more important than the abolition, preservation, or limitation of slavery.
What is the view of the new President? It is impossible to say with any certainty.
In Chicago, Abraham Lincoln said: “Let us discard all this quibbling about this man or the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.”
In Charleston, S. C., he said: “I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races: that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office . . . And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
When his opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, confronted him with the two statements. Lincoln replied, “I have not supposed and do not now suppose that there is any conflict whatever between them.”
South Carolina extremists seem to be taking the first statement as Lincoln’s true view. Resolutions of secession have been placed before the South Carolina legislature. The South Carolina legislature has already passed a resolution proclaiming Nov. 21 a day of national humiliation and fasting because of the election of Lincoln.
Whether South Carolina really will secede, and whether the other southern states will follow if she does remains to be seen. South Carolina passed an ordinance of secession in 1832, because of the high tariff, but the national government never recognized the legality of the ordinance, and the tariff issue was finally compromised. South Carolina returned to the Union. None of the other states followed South Carolina.
The Republicans, the only party in which there is faction hostile to slavery, is in a minority in Congress. If the southern states leave the Union, the Republicans will be in a. majority of the states that remain. These are reasons given by the New York Herald why the South is unlikely to secede.
The Hon. George William Brown, as he was being inaugurated as the new Mayor of Baltimore, said, “Surely no cause has yet arisen sufficient to justify the overthrow of the noblest and most beneficent government ever established by human wisdom, and which is consecrated and endeared to the hearts of all, not only by the abundant blessings of the present moment, but by the sacred memories of the past and the great hopes of the future."
Used with permission of the Herald-Mail
59 x 33 cms
Washington County (Md.), history; Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862; Sharpsburg, Battle of, Md., 1862; Centennial celebrations, etc:
Washington County (Md.), 1860-1862