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Battles & Leaders of the Civil War

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PRELIMINARY EVENTS. FROM THE CHARLESTON CONVENTION TO THE FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN.1860.

APRIL 23. The National Convention of the Democratic Party assembled at Charleston, S. D. Dissensions arising in regard to the question of congressional protection of slavery in the territories, the Southern delegates withdrew, organized another convention in Charleston, and adjourned May 4th, to meet in Richmond, Va., June 11th.

May 3. The Douglas, or Northern, wing of the Convention adjourned, to reassemble at Baltimore, Md., June 18th.

May 9. The Convention of the Constitutional Union Party (formerly the American, or "Know-Nothing," Party), held at Baltimore, Md., nominated John Bell, of Tennessee, for President, and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, for Vice-President, and adopted a platform evading the slavery issue.

May 18. The National Convention of the Republican Party, held at Chicago, nominated Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, for President, and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, for Vice-President, and pronounced in favour of congressional prohibition of slavery in the territories.

June 23. The Northern "Democratic National Convention," at Baltimore, nominated Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, for President, and Benjamin Fitzpatrick, for Vice-President. (The latter declined, and the National Committee substituted Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia.) The convention declared in favour of leaving the question of slavery in the territories to the people of the territories or to the Supreme Court of the United States.

June 28. The Southern "Democratic National Convention" (adjourned from Richmond) nominated, at Baltimore, Md., John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for President, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, for Vice-President. The convention declared that neither Congress nor a territorial legislature had the right to prohibit slavery in a territory, and that it was the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect slavery in the territories when necessary.

November 6. Presidential election, resulting as follows:

STATES ELECTORAL POPULAR
Lincoln 17 180 1,866,352
Breckenridge 11 72 845,763
Douglas 2 12 1,375,157
Bell 3 39 589,581

December 3. Meeting of Congress. Message from President Buchanan arguing against the right of secession, but expressing doubt as to the constitutional power of Congress to make war upon a State.

December 6. Select Committee of Thirty-three appointed by the House of Representatives to take measures for the perpetuity of the Union. (See "February 28.")

December 10. Resignation of Howell Cobb, of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury.

December 12. Arrival of General Winfield Scott in Washington, to advise with the President.

December 14. Resignation of Lewis Cass, of Michigan, Secretary of State.

December 20. Ordinance of secession adopted in South Carolina by a convention called by the Legislature of the State.

December 26. United States troops, under Major Robert Anderson, transferred from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, S. C.

December 27. Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie, Charleston Harbor, seized by the South Carolina authorities.

December 27. Surrender of the United States Revenue cutter William Aiken to the authorities of South Carolina.

December 27. Arrival in Washington of Messrs. Barnwell, Orr, and Adams, Commissioners from South Carolina, to treat with the administration.

December 29. Resignation of John B. Floyd, of Virginia, Secretary of War.

December 30. United States Arsenal, at Charleston, S. C., seized by the State authorities.


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