Breckinridge Democratic Platform


Brigadier General
Forum Host
Apr 11, 2016
NE Georgia - SC
1. That the Government of a Territory organized by an act of Congress is provisional and temporary, and during its existence all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory, without their rights, either of person or property, being destroyed or impaired by Congressional or Territorial legislation.

2. That it is the duty of the Federal Government, in all its departments, to protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property in the Territories, and wherever else its constitutional authority extends.

3. That when the settlers in a Territory, having an adequate population, form a State Constitution, the right of sovereignty commences, and being consummated by admission into the Union, they stand on an equal footing with the people of other States, and the State thus organized ought to be admitted into the Federal Union, whether its constitution prohibits or recognizes the institution of slavery.

Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the Island of Cuba, on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain, at the earliest practicable moment.

Resolved, That the enactments of State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.

Resolved, That the Democracy of the United States recognize it as the imperative duty of this Government to protect the naturalized citizen in all his rights, whether at home or in foreign lands, to the same extent as its native-born citizens.

Whereas, one of the greatest necessities of the age, in a political, commercial, postal and military point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Therefore be it

Resolved, that the National Democratic party do hereby pledge themselves to use every means in their power to secure the passage of some bill, to the extent of the constitutional authority of Congress, for the construction of a Pacific Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, at the earliest practicable moment.


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Presidential Candidate Profile:

John Cabell Breckinridge:

Born: January 16, 1821

Birthplace: Cabell's Dale Plantation near Lexington Kentucky

Father: Joseph Cabell Breckinridge 1788 – 1823

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)

Mother: Mary Clay Smith 1787 – 1864

(Buried: Not Known)

Wife: Mary Cyrene Burch 1826 – 1907

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)


John Cabell Breckinridge

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)

Clifton Rodes Breckinridge 1846 – 1932

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)

Frances Viley Breckinridge Steele 1848 – 1924

(Buried: Triangle Public Cemetery Triangle Virginia)

John Witherspoon Breckinridge 1850 – 1892

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)

Mary Breckinridge Maltby 1854 – 1928

(Buried: Lexington Cemetery Lexington Kentucky)


1839: Graduated from Centre College

Studied law at Transylvania University


Attorney in Lexington Kentucky

1847 – 1848: Major of 3rd Kentucky Infantry in Mexican War

1849 – 1851: Kentucky State Representative

1851 – 1855: United States Representative from Kentucky

1857 – Present: Vice President of the United States

Vice Presidential Candidate Profile:

Joseph Lane:

Born: December 14, 1801

Birthplace: Buncombe County North Carolina

Father: John Lane 1769 – 1825

Mother: Elizabeth Street 1772 – 1833

Wife: Mary “Polly” Pierre 1802 – 1870

(Buried: Roseburg Memorial Gardens Roseburg Oregon)


Melissa M. Lane Barlow 1821 – 1895

(Buried: Jacksonville Cemetery Jacksonville Oregon)

Nathaniel Hart “Nat” Lane 1823 – 1878

(Buried: Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery Portland Oregon)

Ratliff Boone Lane 1825 – 1848

(Buried: Rose Hill Cemetery Newburgh Indiana)

Joseph Samuel Lane 1827 – 1910

(Buried: Myrtle Creek IOOF Cemetery Myrtle Creek Oregon)

Mary Virginia Lane Shelby 1830 – 1911

(Buried: River View Cemetery Portland Oregon)

Simon R. Lane 1832 – 1925

(Buried: Roseburg Memorial Gardens Roseburg Oregon)

Sarah Emily Lane Floed 1834 – 1907

(Buried: Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery Roseburg Oregon)

Colonel John Lane 1837 – 1914

(Buried: Normal Hill Cemetery Lewiston Idaho)

Winifred M. “Winnie” Lane Mosher 1840 – 1922

(Buried: Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery Roseburg Oregon)

Paul Lafayette Lane 1842 – 1896

(Buried: Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery Roseburg Oregon)


1810 – 1821: Clerk in General Store in Henderson Kentucky

1821 – 1846: Farmer in Vanderburg County Indiana

Military Experience:

1846: Colonel of 2nd Indiana Volunteers Infantry

1846 – 1847: Brigadier General United States Volunteers

Suffered two minor wounds during Mexican War

1847 – 1848: Brevet Major General United States Volunteers

Political Career:

Indiana State Representative

1844 – 1846: Indiana State Senator

1849 – 1850: Governor of Oregon Territory

1851 – 1859: Oregon Delegate to U.S. House of Representatives

1859 – Present: United States Senator from Oregon

1859 – Present: Senate Chairman of Engrossed Bills Committee

1859 – Present: Senate Chairman of Revolutionary Claims Committee

* Please Note Present means position held up to 1860 Election*

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Lt. Colonel
May 2, 2006
Breckinridge's platform boils down to just this:

  • No Federal or Territorial law can prohibit slavery in a US Territory.
    • IMHO, this is a strong pro-slavery expansion position.
  • The Federal Government should actively "protect, when necessary, the rights of persons and property" anywhere in the US (States or Territories).
    • IMHO, this would appear to mean slavery and is a strong pro-slavery expansion position.
  • Recognition of a US Territory as sovereign before it becomes a State (when they form a Constitution).
    • IMHO, this would appear to be a reference to the 1857 Lecompton Constitution in Kansas. It is a pro-slavery expansion position.
  • Support for the admission of a state whether the constitution "prohibits or recognizes the institution of slavery".
    • IMHO, this is support for the expansion of slavery.
  • Support for the acquisition of Cuba.
    • IMHO, this is support for the expansion of slavery.
  • Support for the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
    • IMHO, this is aimed against the Free States and Territories
  • Naturalized citizens should have the same rights as native-born citizens.
    • IMHO, a general-purpose attempt to reach out to immigrants, most of whom were coming in to the country through Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore, many then heading West by RR.
  • Support for a Transcontinental RR.
    • IMHO, a general-purpose feel-good plank in the platform -- it might not have been too popular in Louisiana, particularly near New Orleans and some other ports. Everywhere else, the devil would be in the details about exactly who benefited from a particular plan for the Transcontinental RR.
Overall, this looks like the Breckinridge Democrats were not really looking for votes in "the North" (as in "the rest of the country"). There just isn't much of anything in the platform that would appeal to people outside of a slave State.