"Metropolitan police" just before the War; and the invention of the
steam fire engine, in 1853, promised somewhat better protection against
the common devastating fires. (Cf. 432.)
NORTH AND SOUTH
The foreign-born inhabitants now numbered nearly one in eight of the
total population. They were massed almost wholly in the North, making
more than half the people of some States.
647. The North contained nineteen million of the thirty-one
and a half million people of the Union, a ratio of 19 to 12 ; and
of the twelve and a half million in the South, four million were
slaves. Moreover, when the war line was finally drawn, four
Cnder 2 inhabitants to the square mile
'A From 2 to 18 " " " " "
" 18 to 90 " " " "
90 and over " " "
546 AMERICA IN 1860 [ 648
slave-holding States (Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and
Missouri) remained with the North. These States contained a
fourth of the " Southern " population ; and the recruits which
these divided districts sent to the South were about offset by
recruits to the North from " West " Virginia and Eastern Ten
nessee. Thus, for totals, secession was to be supported by less
than five and a half million Whites (with three and a half
million slaves) against more than twenty-two million for the
Union. The area of Secession contained one White man of
military age to four in the North. The North had three
fourths the railway mileage and six sevenths of the cities of
648. The South too was less able to feed and clothe armies. She
furnished seven eighths of the world's raw cotton ; but she
did not raise her own full supply of food, and manufactures and
mechanical skill were almost totally lacking. Minerals and water-
power were abundant, but unused. Said a Charleston paper to
its people : " Whence come your axes, hoes, scythes ? Yes,
even your plows, harrows, rakes, ax and auger handles ? Your
furniture, carpets, calicoes, and muslins ? The cradle that
rocks your infant, the top your boy spins, the doll your girl
caresses, the clothes your children wear, the books from which
they are educated ... all are imported into South Carolina.' 7
" The North," says Rhodes, " combined the resources of farm,
shop, and factory ; the South was but a farm " and a farm
which received from outside much of its bread and meat.
Even so, only half as much of the land was cultivated South
as North. The value of Southern farm land, too, was less
than that of similar land in the North, while the value of farm
machinery to each cultivated acre was not half that in the
North. Slaves could not be trusted with machinery.
The difference was due not to climate, but to labor. It showed in
stantly upon crossing a State line. In 1796 George Washington noted
the higher prices of land in Pennsylvania than in Maryland "though not
of superior quality" ; and added his opinion, on that ground, that Vir
ginia must follow Pennsylvania's example of emancipation " at a period
650J NORTH AND SOUTH 547
not far remote." Tocqueville (p. 282) noted the contrast between the north
and south banks of the Ohio : thinly scattered population, with occasional
gangs of indolent slaves in the few, " half -desert " fields, as over against
' ' the busy hum of industry . . . fields rich with harvest . . . comfortable
homes . . . prosperity on all sides." In 1859 Frederick Law Olmsted
made a journey through the Southern States ; and his acute observations
(summed up in his Cotton Kingdom} proved that the industrial retarda
tion of the South had been steadily increasing up to the final catastrophe.
649. In other respects, also, slavery was avenged upon the
masters. The poorer Whites were degraded by it, and the
slave-owning class were unduly passionate, imperious, and
The 9,000,000 Whites of the slaveholding States composed
some 1,800,000 families. One fifth of these owned slaves ; but
only eight or ten thousand families owned more than fifty
apiece. This small aristocracy had a peculiar charm if only
the ugly substructure could be forgotten. The men were lei
sured and cultivated, with a natural gift for leadership and a
high sense of public duty. They were courageous, honorable,
generous, with easy bearing and a chivalrous courtesy. Visitors
from the Old World complained that Northern men were ab
sorbed in business cares, and lacking in ease of manner ; but
they were always charmed by the aristocratic manners and
cultivated taste of the gentry of the South.
It must be added, however, not only that the great body of
small slaveowners were destitute of this charm, but that they
were often uneducated. The South produced little literature
(except political speeches) and little art ; and it had almost no
schools. On the other hand, Southern politics had absolutely
no taint of that corruption which had appeared in the North.
650. Man for man, in marching and fighting, the Southerner
was far more than a match for the man of the North, especially
for the man of the Eastern cities. Southern outdoor life and
familiarity with firearms counted for much in the early cam
paigns of the war. The North had been sadly deficient in
athletics and in wholesome living, and was at its lowest ebb in
548 THE CAMPAIGN OF 1860 [ 651
physical condition. 1 The agricultural population of the West,
however, resembled the South in physical characteristics ; and
the men of the North, city or country, had a mechanical ability,
useful in repairing or -building bridges or engines, which was
lacking in the armies of the South.
II. THE LAST POLITICAL STRUGGLE FOR SUPREMACY
651. In April, 1860, the Democratic National Convention met
at Charleston, amid tense excitement over the whole country.
Douglas men had a majority, but not the necessary two thirds.
The Southern extremists insisted on a platform affirming the
duty of Congress to defend slavery in all Territories and con
demning Douglas' doctrine of possible "unfriendly legisla
tion " as unconstitutional. The Douglas men voted this down.
Then the Southern delegates withdrew. After ten days of
fruitless negotiation with that seceding faction, the Convention
adjourned, to meet at Baltimore in June. There the Moderates
nominated Douglas. The seceders then placed in nomination
John (7, BrecJcenridge of Kentucky upon their extreme platform.
Meantime, conservative representatives of the old Whig and
Know-nothing parties organized as the Constitutional Union
party; and their Convention (May 9) nominated John Bell of
Tennessee, announcing the compromise platform, " No consti
tutional principles except the Constitution of the country, the
Union of the States, and the enforcement of the laws." This
party received support from the great moneyed interests of the
North and from many of the large planters of the South.
A week later, the Republican Convention met at Chicago in
a vast ^ wigwam," amid wild enthusiasm from thousands of
spectators. At first Seward was* the leading candidate ; but
he had many personal enemies, and the third ballot nominated
Most New England Eepublicans were deeply grieved. They
believed that, in passing by Seward, principle had been sacri-
1 Emerson ate "pie" for breakfast regularly !
652] " A HOUSE DIVIDED " 549
ficed to a mistaken idea of expediency ; and they looked upon
Lincoln as not only obscure, but ignorant, uncouth, and inca
pable. Most of his support, indeed, came from men who regarded
him as " available " rather than particularly desirable. Al
most no one of prominence yet dreamed of the wise, patient,
steadfast, far-seeing man, of homely grandeur, that the next
years were to reveal.
Lincoln was a strong candidate from the first, and his cause was skill
fully handled. On the morning of the nomination, the Seward men
paraded the city in imposing fashion ; but when they reached the wigwam
they found the center of the hall filled with a solid mass of Lincoln sup
porters (including some men whose stentorian lungs were their chief
recommendation) ; and grave observers believed that the greater vol
ume of Lincoln noise had much to do with deciding wavering delega
tions. Probably the result was due more directly to an unhappy bargain
made by Lincoln's managers with Senator Cameron, the political boss of
Pennsylvania. Cameron transferred fifty delegates, pledged to himself,
into the Lincoln column, in return for a promise of a place in the Cabi
net. 1 Lincoln knew nothing of this at the time, and, indeed, had ex
pressly forbidden any such "bargains" in his behalf ; but afterwards he
made the pledge good until Cameron's official corruption compelled
652. With the Democratic party hopelessly divided, Repub
lican victory in the electoral college was almost certain. To the
South, that prospect was alarming. The Republican platform
had once more reasserted that Congress had no power to inter
fere with slavery in the States ; but in the 1858 debate with
Douglas, Lincoln had said boldly and sagaciously :
. " ' A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this govern
ment cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect
the house to fall ; but I expect it will cease to be divided. It will become
all one thing or all the other."
The South saw that this speech was the real platform, to which
the Republican party would have to come. Republican success
would mean eventually a reversal of the Supreme Court and con-
1 Pennsylvania was one of the doubtful States ; and the platform empha
sized protection, so as to appeal to her manufacturing interests.
550 CAMPAIGN OF 1860 [ 653
tinned progress toward Lincoln's " nation all free," if the nation
held together at all.
653. The South did not shrink. Deliberately, in advance,
it made preparations to break up the Union and save slavery.
North and South no longer understood each other. In the
seventy years since the adoption of the Constitution, the North
had moved steadily toward new intellectual and moral stand
ards and a new system of industry : the South had remained
stagnant. As a Southern writer said : " The whirl and rush of
progress encompassed the South on every side. . . . Yet alone
in all the world she stood unmoved by it." The North had
adopted the new Websterian views of the Constitution, in
accord with modern needs : the South clung to the old,
outgrown views expressed by Calhoun. The great Protestant
denominations Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians had
already split apart into distinct churches, North and South, on
the slavery issue. Southern associations were forming, pledged
to import manufactures from England rather than from the
North. The North condemned the South as a community built
upon a great sin : the South despised and reviled the North as
a race of " mudsills " and cheats, and boasted its own higher
sense of honesty and honor. Unity was already gone in hearts,
in industry, in religious organizations. It was going in com
mercial intercourse. It could nqt long endure, on such terms,
654. Lincoln carried every Northern State (including Cali
fornia) except for three of the seven New Jersey electors.
Douglas received only those three votes and the nine from
Missouri, though his popular vote was nearly as large as Lincoln's.
Bell carried the moderate Border States, Virginia, Kentucky, and
Tennessee. All the other Southern States went to Brecken-
ridge. Lincoln had 180 electoral votes to 123 for his three com
petitors combined ; but in the popular vote, he had only 1,857,610
out of a total of 4,645,390. The victory was narrow ; and it
was the victory of a divided section over a weaker but more
From Chadwlck's Causes of the Civil War, Copyright, 190/1
by Harper & Brothers
SCALE OF MILES
50 100 200 3o7T 400 ^loC^^ToO
LINCOLN BRECKENRIDGE BELL DOUGLAS
Circlet show next highest vote for each candidate as above.
Numbers show vote cast for highest and next highest.
Gothic Numbers thus; 4 show electoral vote of state-
Electoral vote of New Jersey was divided: 4 for Lincoln, 8 for Douglas*
Breckenridge received 44.7 per cent of the Southern vote, and Sell received 40.4 %,
NATIONALISM VICTORIOUS, 1860-1876
THE CALL TO ARMS
655. NOVEMBER 10, four days after Lincoln's* election, the
^gislature of South Carolina appropriated money for arms,
and called a State convention to act on the question of secession.
All over the State, Palmetto banners unfurled and " liberty
poles " rose. December 17, the convention met. Three days
later, it unanimously " repealed " the ratification of the Federal
Constitution by the State convention of 1788, and declared that
" the State of South Carolina has resumed her place among the
nations of the world." By February 1, like action had been
taken in Georgia and the five Gulf States the entire southern
tier of States. 1
1 Northern writers have sometimes charged that the Southern leaders carried
secession as a " conspiracy," and that they were afraid to refer the matter to
a direct vote. This is absolutely wrong. Public opinion forced Jefferson
Davis onward faster than he liked ; and the mass of small farmers were more
ardent than the aristocracy whose large property interests tended, perhaps,
to keep them conservative. For more than a year, in the less aristocratic
counties, popular conventions, local meetings, and newspapers had been
threatening secession if a President unfriendly to the Dred Scott decision
should be elected ; and when even the " Fire-eater " Toombs paused at the last
moment, to contemplate compromise, his constituents talked indignantly of
presenting him with a tin sword. The South was vastly more united in 1861
than the colonies were in 1776. The leaders acted through conventions, not
because they feared a popular vote, but because their political methods had
remained unchanged for seventy years.
552 THE CALL TO ARMS IN 18G1 [ 656
February 4, a convention of delegates from the seven seced
ing States met to form a new union " the Confederate States of
America" The constitution was modeled upon that of the
old Union, with some new emphasis on State sovereignty.
Jefferson Davis was soon chosen President of the Confederacy,
and Alexander H. Stephens Vice President.
656. Few Southerners questioned the right of a "sovereign State " to
secede. The sole difference of opinion was whether sufficient provocation
existed to make such action wise. When a State convention had voted
for secession, even the previous " Union men " went with their State, con
scientiously and enthusiastically. Thus, Alexander H. Stephens made a
desperate struggle in Georgia for the Union, both in the State campaign
and in the convention; but when the convention decided against him
208 to 6Q, 1 he cast himself devotedly into secession. He would have
thought any other course treason. Allegiance, the South felt, was due
primarily to one's State.
To understand the splendid devotion of the South to a hopeless cause
during the bloody years that followed, we must understand this view
point. The South fought " to keep the past upon its throne "; but it believed,
with every drop of its blood, that it was fighting for the sacred right of self-gov
ernment, against " conquest " by tyrannical " invaders. "
657. The Confederacy did not believe the North would use
force against secession. Still it made vigorous preparation for
possible war. As each State seceded, its citizens in Congress
and in the service of the United States resigned their offices.
The small army and navy of the Union was in this way com
pletely demoralized, losing nearly half its officers. Each
seceding State, too, seized promptly upon the Federal forts and
arsenals within its limits, sending commissioners to Wash
ington to arrange for money compensation. In the seven
seceded States, the Federal government retained only Fort
Sumter in Charleston harbor and three forts on the Gulf.
1 The real test vote had come a little earlier 165 to 130. This was the
strongest Union vote in the Lower South. In Mississippi, the test stood 84 to
15; in Florida, 62 to 7; in Alabama, 61 to 39; in Louisiana, 113 to 17. In
Texas the question was referred to the people, and in spite of a vigorous Union
campaign by Governor Sam Houston, they voted three to one for secession.
. 660] SECESSION AND CONFEDERACY 553
Federal courts ceased to be held in the seceded States, because
of the resignation of judges and other officials and the absolute
impossibility of securing jurors. Federal tariffs were no longer
collected. Only the post office remained as a symbol of the
658. President Buchanan, in his message to Congress in De
cember, declared that the Constitution gave no State the right
to secede, but a curious paradox that it gave the govern
ment no right " to coerce a sovereign State " if it did secede.
For the remaining critical three months of his term he let se
cession gather head as it liked. With homely wit, Seward wrote
to his wife that the Message shows " conclusively that it is the
President's duty to execute the laws unless some one opposes
him ; and that no State has a right to go out of the Union un
less it wants to."
659. This flabby policy, moreover, was much like the attitude of
the masses of the North during those same months. Even from
Republican leaders resounded the cry, " Let the erring sisters
go in peace."
In October, General Scott, Commander of the army, suggested to the
President a division of the country into four confederacies, for which he
outlined boundaries. Northern papers declared "coercion" both wrong
and impossible. Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, for years the great
est antislavery organ and the chief molder of Republican opinion, expressed
these views repeatedly : " We hope never to live in a republic, whereof
one section is pinned to another by bayonets " (November 9) ; " Five
millions of people . . . can never be subdued while fighting around their
own hearthstones" (November 30) ; "The South has as good a right to
secede from the Union as the colonies had to secede from Great Britain"
(December 17) ; " If the Cotton States wish to form an independent nation,
they have a clear moral right to do so " (February 23, 1861) . Even Lowell
thought the South "not worth conquering back." And Wendell Phillips
asserted (April 9), "Abraham Lincoln has no right to a soldier in Fort
660. The Border States urged one more try at compromise.
Virginia called a Peace Convention which was well attended
and which sat at Washington through February. This body, and
554 THE CALL TO ARMS IN 1861 [ 661
many Republican leaders, proposed various amendments to the
Constitution to fortify slavery and so conciliate the South : es
pecially (1) to provide Federal compensation for escaped slaves,
and (2) to divide the National domain, present and future, be
tween slavery and freedom, along the line of the old Missouri
But the only outcome of the compromise agitation was the hasty
submission to the country of an amendment prohibiting Congress
from ever interfering with slavery in the States. As Lincoln
said, this merely made express what was already clearly implied
in the Constitution, and it was wholly inadequate to satisfy the
South. It passed Congress with a solid Republican vote, how
ever, and was ratified by three Northern States before war
stopped the process.
661. Lincoln's inaugural, on March 4, was a winning answer
to Southern claims and a firm declaration of policy.
[As to the reason for secession]: "Apprehension seems to exist among
the people of the Southern States that . . . their property and their peace
and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any
reasonable cause for such apprehension. . . . I have no purpose, directly
or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where
it exists.' 1 ''
[After demolishing the constitutional " right " of secession] : " I there
fore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is
unbroken ; and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care . . . that the
laws of the Union shall be faithfully executed in all the States. ... In
doing this there need be no bloodshed . . . unless it is forced upon the
National authority. . . The power confided to me will be used to hold . . .
the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties
and imposts ; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects there
will be no invasion, no using of force against the people anywhere."
[Then, recognizing the right of revolution, the deplorable loss from any
division of the Union is set forth] : " Physically speaking, we cannot sep
arate : we cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build
an impassable wall between them. . . . Intercourse, either amicable or
hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that
intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than
before ? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws ?
" In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine,
663] ABRAHAM LINCOLN 555
is the momentous issue of civil war. . . . You have no oath registered in
heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one
to 'preserve, protect, and defend' it."
662. Statesmen showered the new President with advice.
Lincoln heard all patiently; but his real efforts were given to
keeping in touch, not with " leaders," but with the plain people
whom he so well understood. His own eyes were set unwaver
ing upon his goal the preservation of the Union while with
unrivaled skill, he kept his ringer on the Nation's pulse, to know
how fast he might move toward that end. For a time he was
railed at by noisy extremists, who would have had him faster
or slower ; but the silent masses responded to his sympathy
and answered his appeal with love and perfect trust, and en
abled him to carry through successfully the greatest task so far
set for any American statesman. 1
Despite the seeming cowardice or apathy of Northern statesmen, the
masses needed only a blow and a leader to rally them for the Union.
South Carolina fired on the flag, and Abraham Lincoln called the North
663. From November to April, Major Anderson and sixty
soldiers had held Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. In vain
he had pleaded to Buchanan for reinforcements. In January,
Buchanan made a feeble show of sending some ; 2 but the un
armed vessel, weakly chosen for the purpose, was easily turned
1 The country now paid heavily, through the wear upon its burdened chief
tain, for its low tone toward the spoils system. Washington was thronged,
beyond all precedent, with office seekers, who were " Kepublicans for
revenue " ; and the first precious weeks of the new administration had to
go largely to settling petty personal disputes over plunder. Lincoln com
pared himself to a man busied in assigning rooms in a palace to importunate
applicants, while the structure itself was burning over his head ; and in 1862,
when an old Illinois friend remarked on his careworn face, he exclaimed with
petulant humor, "It isn't this war that's killing me, Judge: it's your con
founded Pepperton postoffice! "
2 Buchanan was shamed or forced to this step by his Cabinet, who threat
ened otherwise to resign. That body was now made up of Northern Demo
crats ; and they meant at least to defend the National property.
556 THE CALL TO ARMS IN 1861 [ 664
back by Secessionist shells ; and further efforts were soon made
difficult by rising batteries whose construction Anderson's
orders did not permit him to prevent.
A month after taking office, Lincoln decided, against all his
Cabinet, to send supplies to Anderson. The Confederates took
this decision as a declaration of war, and attacked the fort.
April 12, the bombardment of Sumter began ; and thirty hours
later, with the fortress in ruins, Major Anderson surrendered.
The next day (April 15) the wires flashed over the country Lincoln's
stirring call for seventy-five thousand volunteers.
664. The call to arms brought a magnificent uprising of the
North. Laborers, mechanics, business men, professional men,
college boys and their learned teachers, shouldered muskets side
by side. From Maine to California, devotion and love for the
Union spoke with one mighty voice. Banks offered huge loans
without security, and wealthy men placed their private fortunes