Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.

“2. Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States on the questions of constitutional law.”

[7] “To obtain the aid of the Democracy in this contest, it is necessary to make a contest in its Charleston Convention.  In that body Douglas’s adherents will press his doctrines to a decision.  If the States-Rights men keep out of that convention, that decision must inevitably be against the South, and that either in direct favor of the Douglas doctrine, or by the indorsement of the Cincinnati platform, under which Douglas claims shelter for his principles.”  “The States-Rights men should present in that convention their demands for a decision, and they will obtain an indorsement of their demands, or a denial of these demands.  If indorsed, we shall have greater hope of triumph within the Union.  If denied, in my opinion, the States-Rights wing should secede from the convention, and appeal to the whole people of the South; without distinction of parties, and organize another convention upon the basis of their principles, and go into the election with a candidate nominated by it, as a grand constitutional party.  But in the Presidential contest a black Republican may be elected.  If this dire event should happen, in my opinion the only hope of safety for the South is in a withdrawal from the Union before he shall be inaugurated; before the sword and treasury of the Federal Government shall be placed in the keeping of that party.  I would suggest that the several State legislatures should by law require the Governor, when it shall be made manifest that the black Republican candidate for the Presidency shall receive a majority of the electoral votes, to call a convention of the people of the State, to assemble in ample time to provide for their safety before the 4th of March, 1861.  If, however, a black Republican should not be elected, then, in pursuance of the policy of making this contest within the Union, we should initiate measures in Congress which should lead to a repeal of all the unconstitutional acts against slavery.  If we should fail to obtain so just a system of legislation, then the South should seek her independence out of the Union.”—­Speech of W.L.  Yancey, delivered at Columbia, S.C., July 8, 1859.  Copied in The New York “Tribune,” July 20, 1859.

The corroboration and fulfillment of the plot here indicated are found in the official proceedings of the Alabama Convention and the Alabama Legislature.  The convention on January 13, 1860, expressly instructed its delegation at Charleston to secede in case the ultra-Southern doctrines were not incorporated in the National Democratic platform, and sent Mr. Yancey as a delegate to execute their instructions, which he did as the text states.

The Alabama Legislature, on its part, passed a joint resolution, which the Governor approved, February 24, 1860, providing “that upon the election of a President advocating the principles and action of the party in the Northern States calling itself the Republican party,” the Governor should forthwith call a convention of the State.  This convention was duly called after the election of Mr. Lincoln, and passed the secession ordinance of Alabama.

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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