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CHARLESTON CONVENTION; PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST DAY; Discord Among the Harmonious Democracy (4/24/1860)
New York Times archives - Times Machine ^ | April 24, 1860

Posted on 04/24/2020 8:17:23 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson

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The Convention met at 12 o'clock. Much confusion attended its early deliberations. SMALLEY'S voice was not heard twenty feet from the platform. During the first part of the prayer all was quiet. The latter portion was continually interrupted by conversation and moving.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: charleston; civilwar; secession; southcarolina; treason
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Free Republic University, Department of History presents U.S. History, 1855-1860: Seminar and Discussion Forum
Bleeding Kansas, Dred Scott, Lincoln-Douglas, Harper’s Ferry, the election of 1860, secession – all the events leading up to the Civil War, as seen through news reports of the time and later historical accounts

First session: November 21, 2015. Last date to add: Sometime in the future.
Reading: Self-assigned. Recommendations made and welcomed.

Posting history, in reverse order

To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by reply or freepmail.

Link to previous thread

1 posted on 04/24/2020 8:17:23 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
New feature! I don't know if this is going to work or not due to the subscription requirement. If everyone is limited to 5 articles a month or whatever I will have to find another way. I tried pasting the articles into word but I discovered I am limited to 300 words for the body of the thread. After I get some feedback I will get everything straightened out so we can learn how our favorite newspaper covered the events of 1860-65.

First, can you access the article from the link okay or is there a pay wall?

2 posted on 04/24/2020 8:24:03 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation gets the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
Alternative presentation. This seems to work fine. The html formatting is a bear, but we all need to make sacrifices in times like these.



Discord Among the Harmonious Democracy.

Mayor Wood in the Descendant.

Overwhelming Preference for Mr. Douglas

Strong Probabilities of his Nomination.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.

CHARLESTON, Monday, April 23.

The Convention met at 12 o'clock. Much confusion attended its early deliberations. SMALLEY'S voice was not heard twenty feet from the platform. During the first part of the prayer all was quiet. The latter portion was continually interrupted by conversation and moving.

The fight began early. All were prepared for it by the occurrences of the morning, for nearly all the delegations had held preliminary meetings, and stormy ones at that. That of Massachusetts was particularly so. Her Custom house clique triumphed. Great feeling is manifested in this delegation.

Mr. FISHER, of Virginia, took the floor at the close of the prayer, insisting upon his right to introduce a communication from the New-York contestants. JOHN COCHRANE denied his right. The Chair decided against FISHER, who replied that no power on earth could compel him to yield. The Chair's appeal to the House for support was sustained. Louisiana objected to COCHRANE's speaking. He was a contestant. PERRY WALKER, of Alabama, said "Mr. Chairman" forty-two times. The Chair declined to hear him at present. WALKER insisted. The Chair's appeal, as above, was sustained.

Mr. RYNDERS wanted to know who was Chairman. COCHRANE attempted to speak to a resolution calling for the appointment of Committees on Credentials; the Louisiana men objected. JOHN declined being put down in that way, and a rumpus ensued. The Chair sustained Mr. COCHRANE. Louisiana didn't like it; the Chair appealed to the House, and the House once more sustained the Chair.

Great confusion reigned. The House was crowded; no order was kept; the weather was hot; and members were cross.

The Douglas stock is ahead so far. Southern men are divided on many points. Harmony does not prevail in the Democratic Convention.

MONDAY, April 23 -- 10 P.M.

The Committee on Permanent Organization had a stormy session this afternoon. Messrs. CUSHING, ORE and FLOURNOY were the prominent candidates for Chairman. Mr. CUSHING obtained a majority.

Mayor WOOD is arguing his case before the Committee on Credentials. The Convention will sustain the Richmond delegation. The Illinois contested case has been dropped for to-night.

The Committee decided that majorities must rule and delegations vote as unit. This occasions much indignation. Virginia's vote, cast in favor of the resolution permitting contested delegations to vote on organization, has damaged HUNTER. The extremists threaten to break up the Convention in case DOUGLAS is forced in.

An indignation meeting of editors and reporters, will be held to protest against SMALLEY's course towards the Press. DOUGLASS stock is up, and great pressure is sent from Washington and New-York in his favor. HOWARD.

From the Associated Press.

CHARLESTON, Monday, April 23.

The Democratic National Convention assembled at noon.

There is a full attendance from every State in the Union.

The Convention was called to order by Judge SMALLEY, Chairman of the National Committee.

FRANCIS B. FLOURNEY, of Arkansas, was chosen Temporary Chairman, and returned thanks for the honor.

Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. HANCKEL, of Charleston.

WM.F. RITCHIE was appointed Temporary Secretary.

Mr. FISHER, of Virginia, offered a letter from the Wood delegation of New-York.

The reading of it was objected to by Mr. COCHRANE, of New-York as not in order.

Considerable excitement ensued.

Mr. FISHER denied the right of the delegate from New-York to speak on the subject, and said that when the letter was read he had a resolution to offer.

Mr. COCHRANE demanded the reading of the resolution first.

The question was put to the Convention whether the letter should be read, and decided in the affirmative.

Mr. COCHRANE moved that the rules of the last Convention be adopted.

Mr. FISHER claimed that he had the floor.

Immense confusion and cries of "Order."

The President decided that Mr. COCHRANE was entitled to the floor.

Mr. FISHER would not be trampled upon. He had his rights and would maintain them.

Mr. CLARKE, of Alabama, protested against the decision of the Chair.

Confusion increasing.

Mr. WALKER, of Alabama, came forward, mounted the Clerk's table, and demanded that he should be heard, appealing from the decision of the Chair.

The question was put on the appeal, and the Chair sustained.

Immense cheering.

Mr. FISHER again rose, and offered to present the letter from the Wood delegation, with a resolution.

The President decided the reception of the letter out of order.

Mr. COOK, of Ohio, offered a resolution to appoint a Committee on permanent organization.

Mr. BARKSDALE, of Mississippi, offered an amendment that the Committee shall consist only of members from States from which there is no contest.

Mr. RICHARDSON, of Illinois, spoke in favor of harmony, and urged gentlemen to keep calm and preserve order.

Mr. COCHRANE did not desire anything but a fair hearing.

Mr. COOK, of Ohio, offered a resolution excluding only New-York and Illinois from participating in the organization -- the entire delegations being contested.

Mr. CLARKE of Missouri, protested that the resolution was out of order -- that no State should be excluded whose delegations have been admitted to the floor.

Cheering and excitement.

Mr. COOK contended that those who were admitted to the floor had a right to participate in all the acts of organization except the formation of the Committee on Credentials

A long debate followed, participated in by Messrs. RICHARDSON, JUDGE, MEEK, of Alabama, and BARKSDALE, of Mississippi.

Mr. CESSNA offered an amendment that two Committees, one on Organization and one on Credentials, be appointed, Illinois and New-York to be excluded from the latter.

The previous question was called, and the resolution adopted, by Ayes, 254; Noes, 44.

Resolutions were introduced requesting the delegates from New-York and Illinois not to participate in the organization until the right to the seats of the delegates is settled.

A motion to lay the resolution on the table was carried -- Ayes, 259; Nays, 44.

The States were called for the names of the Committee on Organization and Credentials, and were appointed by the delegations.

A resolution was offered requesting the credentials to be handed to the Secretary.

Mr. FISHER, of Virginia, demanded that FERNANDO WOOD's letter be now read and referred to the Committee on Credentials.

Mr. COCHRANE moved that it be received and referred to the Committee without a reading.

After much excitement it was adopted.

The vote on excluding the New-York and Illinois delegations from the Committee on Credentials was adopted, with the following negative votes: Maryland, one; Virginia, fifteen; Georgia, ten; Alabama, nine; Louisiana, six; Mississippi, seven; Texas, four; California, two. Balance all in the affirmative. Ayes, 244; Nays, 54.

On the motion to request them not to participate in the organization, the vote was nearly the same, except that Virginia voted in the affirmative, and Arkansas in the negative.

The credentials having been handed to the Committee, on motion the Convention adjourned at three until ten to-morrow.

CHARLESTON, Monday, April 23 -- P.M.

The Committee on Credentials are now in session, hearing arguments in the New-York case.

The following is a copy of the Protest presented to the Convention by the Hard-Shell delegates:

ST. ANDREW's HALL, April 23, 1860.

To the Chairman of the National Convention:

SIR: The undersigned, Chairman and Secretaries of the Delegation from the State of New-York, representing the organization of the Democratic Party in said State, have been directed by the Delegation to present to the Convention over which you preside that, by the action of Mr. SMALLEY, Chairman of the late National Committee, they have been excluded from the Hall in which the Convention has assembled, and persons in no way entitled have been allowed to occupy their places. Therefore, in behalf of the delegation from the State of New-York, we protest against their exclusion, whilst the persons referred to who appear here as contestants to our rights are permitted to occupy our seats in advance of an investigation by the Convention, and whilst we claim no advantage over our opponents, we shall not submit to any advantage wrongfully obtained over us.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servants,


F.B. FOLLETT, G.J. TUCKER, Secretaries.

The city is quiet to-night. There is no public speaking at head-quarters. The votes of the delegations to-day are regarded as indicating the nomination of DOUGLAS. All the Douglas delegates voted in favor of the Soft (New-York) delegation. The Committee on Credentials will report largely in favor of the Softs, and also in favor of the Illinois-Douglas delegates. It is believed the Softs will vote for DOUGLAS.

The thermometer is 84 degrees in the shade.

Alabama will demand a slave code, and an effort will be made to ballot for a candidate before the Committee on Platform reports.

The indications are that the Convention will adjourn by Thursday

Page 4 Editorial

The Charleston Convention, "great parent" of Democratic measures and of Democratic men, began its labors yesterday in the manner usual with such bodies by doing nothing, or next to nothing at all. It contented itself with attacking, without solving the important problem of organization; and if we are to draw any inference from the style of these preliminary proceedings to the future of the Democratic canvass, in the coming Presidential contest, the final organization of the Convention will only be accomplished at the expense of the disorganization of the party itself. The National Committee, indeed, preserved yesterday the outward forms of discipline, and carried the body of the Convention, with its own programme, against the stormy remonstrances of a clamorous section. The regular delegations from New-York and Illinois were confirmed in the provisional possession of the floor, to which the Committee had admitted them, but excluded from action upon the organization of the Convention; and the attempts of one or two "Wise men" from Virginia to force a letter from Mayor WOOD upon the consideration of the inchoate body were defeated, Hon. JOHN COCHRANE, of this City, battling stoutly against them. But the temper in which these attempts were made and met was anything but "harmonious," and prefigures an intensity of personal animosity in the decisive struggle for the nomination, never before exhibited so openly in any national gathering of the Democracy.

It is tolerably clear, too, that this animosity will be concentrated both by sectional and personal influences against Mr. DOUGLAS. The votes yesterday taken virtually represent the coalition of Gov. WISE, Mr. SLIDELL, Mr. GWIN, and Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, against the Illinois Senator. Thus far, this coalition reveals a much less formidable front than had been anticipated, falling short by some forty votes of the power to block the action of the Convention under the two-thirds rule. The comparative meagreness of the reports which have reached us from Charleston, when contrasted with the fullness of the details which were flashed to us four years ago, over the wires from Cincinnati, ought, perhaps, to have been expected. It is one of the incidental inconveniences of the selection of the Palmetto City for the assembling of the Democracy. But it makes it difficult to divine the probable course of events, and leaves nothing very plain at this distance, but the unusual severity of the intestine dissensions which threaten the heretofore well-disciplined Democracy.

If the preparations of the great political bodies for the impending campaign should result in a complete discomfiture and abandonment of the whole system of nominating Conventions, the gain to the country from this annihilation of an irresponsible and unconstitutional power, which has gradually drawn all the life away from the natural organs of the popular will, would be so vast and permanent, that perhaps the most patriotic thing which the Democrats at Charleston assembled can do, will be to break up in the hopeless and angry confusion towards which they appear to be drifting.

3 posted on 04/24/2020 8:39:20 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation gets the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Looks like it has possibilities. Thanks.

4 posted on 04/24/2020 9:20:09 AM PDT by Jim W N (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
Here is another presentation. This my favorite, as it takes me back to the carefree days of WWII. But done from home instead of the Monterey library. Downside - it is the most costly and time consuming. So maybe it will be reserved for special events in history. Below is the page 1 lead story and the editorial from page 4.

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5 posted on 04/24/2020 10:15:35 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation gets the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

6 posted on 04/24/2020 10:44:42 AM PDT by Jim W N (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

This is starting to get good now, One year from Ft. Sumter

7 posted on 04/24/2020 12:25:02 PM PDT by rdl6989
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To: Homer_J_Simpson



8 posted on 04/25/2020 10:50:36 AM PDT by M Kehoe (DRAIN THE SWAMP! Finish THE WALL!)
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