The Secession Winter (1860 – 1861)
The November 1860 presidential election was an unusual contest. On election day, the Democratic Party was the only truly national party; and therefore on the ballot in all thirty two states of the Union. the Republican Party was a northern, sectional party and was not on the ballot in most of the slave states.
But, the Democratic Party split over the slavery issue and offered two candidates each of whom presented two different platforms to the people. A third party, the Constitutional Union Party, also emerged. This further split the Democratic vote. On the other hand the Republican Party was united. they had one candidate and one platform. The result was predicable.
The Republican Party nominee, Abraham Lincoln, was elected to the office of President. He was the first candidate elected to that office without receiving even one electoral vote from a slave holding state of the United States.
It is no my intention to examine all the reasons for the panic in the slave south. It is my desire to here chronicle the events of the Secession Winter.
Within one month of the election, the South Carolina Secession Convention voted to invoke their perceived right as a sovereign state to leave the Union. A crisis was thus initiated that would occupy the attention of the people of the entire nation until Fort Sumter was fired upon the following April of 1861.
January 1861, saw several more states join South Carolina; Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, and Alabama. Texas followed in February, and then joined representatives from these other six states in Montgomery Alabama to form a new government, The Confederate States of America.
It is interesting that several other slave states did not immediately join this newly formed confederacy. the citizens of Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas saw their secession convention representatives vote to remain int he Union, for the time being.
More to Come