How did southern states keep Lincoln off their ballots?

RetiredCPT

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It is my understanding that most southern states did not even have the republican nominees on their ballots. My question is how did they do these and why wasn't there a stink about it? I have never heard of the northern states doing this during the election of 1860. Nor have I ever come across this happening in any other election.
 

Drew

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My question is how did they do these and why wasn't there a stink about it?

Generally, candidates need to be nominated at the state level to be balloted. There was virtually zero support for Lincoln in the South and so that didn't happen.

Nor have I ever come across this happening in any other election.

This is an oversight on your part and has wildly modern connotations. I'll not address it here.
 

rpkennedy

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It is my understanding that most southern states did not even have the republican nominees on their ballots. My question is how did they do these and why wasn't there a stink about it? I have never heard of the northern states doing this during the election of 1860. Nor have I ever come across this happening in any other election.

At the time, ballots were provided by local representatives of the political party and a voter would choose their ballot and cast it publically. Since the Republican Party was made unwelcome throughout the South, no representatives meant no ballots.

Ryan
 

Drew

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At the time, ballots were provided by local representatives of the political party and a voter would choose their ballot and cast it publically. Since the Republican Party was made unwelcome throughout the South, no representatives meant no ballots.

Ryan

No, this muddles the issue. A candidate had to be placed on the ballot at the state level, not local. The Republican Party was new in 1860 and very unpopular in the South. It did not enjoy the support necessary to get its slate of candidates on the 1860 ballot there. It wasn't about individual voter choice on election day.
 

W. Richardson

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The Republican Party was a sectional party. They (Lincoln) knew what states they needed to win to win the Electoral College and the presidency, hence the RP did not need the Southern vote. Lincoln and the RP won via the sectional EC vote and with only IIRC 39% of the popular vote.


The inauguration of Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Alabama, February 18, 1861.jpg

Respectfully,
William
 

John Hartwell

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Fremont wasn't on the ballots in the South in 1856, either.

Getting on the ballot is a state issue. In South Carolina there were no ballots; the people didn't vote for any Presidential candidate -- Electors were chosen by the legislature, which included no Republican member. As for the other southern states: who was going to organize the Republican Party in the South in 1856 or 1860? The once-influential southern anti-slavery, even Abolitionist opinion in the South had long since been driven out or intimidated into silence by the hostility of the pro-slavery majorities. To campaign for an anti-slavery party was to put oneself at considerable personal risk.

On December 7, 1860, Georgia Gov. Joseph Brown, in an open letter to the people of his state, called for secession, because, in part, if Lincoln were allowed to appoint "Judges, District Attorneys, Marshals, Post Masters, Custom House officers, etc., etc., he will have succeeded in dividing us to an extent that will destroy all our moral powers, and prepare us to tolerate the running of a Republican ticket, in most of the States of the South, in 1864." (my emphasis). [http://www.civilwarcauses.org/jbrown.htm]. A Republican presence was simply intolerable.

BTW: The Democrats had also become a Sectional Party in 1860. Northern Democrats (Douglas), Southern Democrats (Breckenridge), were the principal fragments of the crumbling structure. (Which left poor Bell as the last truly National Democrat!)

There's a, probably apocryphal, story that Lincoln received only 9 votes in some Southern county. When a Northerner expressed incredulity at the total, a Southerner replied, "Yes, and when we find the SOB who voted 9 times, we're gonna hang him!"
 
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NedBaldwin

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It is my understanding that most southern states did not even have the republican nominees on their ballots. My question is how did they do these and why wasn't there a stink about it? I have never heard of the northern states doing this during the election of 1860.

Need a State party organization to get on ballots in that State. Republicans had no state party organization in most of the south.

Nor have I ever come across this happening in any other election.
Even today 3rd parties arent on the ballot in all the states.
 

brass napoleon

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Fremont wasn't on the ballots in the South in 1856, either.

Getting on the ballot is a state issue. In South Carolina there were no ballots; the people didn't vote for any Presidential candidate -- Electors were chosen by the legislature, which included no Republican member. As for the other southern states: who was going to organize the Republican Party in the South in 1856 or 1860? The once-influential southern anti-slavery, even Abolitionist opinion in the South had long since been driven out or intimidated into silence by the hostility of the pro-slavery majorities. To campaign for an anti-slavery party was to put oneself at considerable personal risk.

On December 7, 1860, Georgia Gov. Joseph Brown, in an open letter to the people of his state, called for secession, because, in part, if Lincoln were allowed to appoint "Judges, District Attorneys, Marshals, Post Masters, Custom House officers, etc., etc., he will have succeeded in dividing us to an extent that will destroy all our moral powers, and prepare us to tolerate the running of a Republican ticket, in most of the States of the South, in 1864." (my emphasis). [http://www.civilwarcauses.org/jbrown.htm]. A Republican presence was simply intolerable.

BTW: The Democrats had also become a Sectional Party in 1860. Northern Democrats (Douglas), Southern Democrats (Breckenridge), were the principal fragments of the crumbling structure. (Which left poor Bell as the last truly National Democrat!)

There's a, probably apocryphal, story that Lincoln received only 9 votes in some Southern county. When a Northerner expressed incredulity at the total, a Southerner replied, "Yes, and when we find the SOB who voted 9 times, we're gonna hang him!"

Indeed. The case of UNC professor Benjamin Hedrick, even in the moderate state of North Carolina, shows what would happen if a Southerner even considered supporting the Republicans.

“you shall be requested to use your influence in persuading him to resign…if he has any sensibility or proper self respect…he shall resign…but if he wishes to be dismissed; that he may fly to Yankeedom as the great Proscribed; & find refuge in the bosom of Black Republicans with the blood of martyrdom streaming from his skirts, then he will resign and wait to be kicked out.”

- Charles Manly, UNC board of trustees secretary-treasurer, October 4, 1856
But it didn't stop at dismissal:

Benjamin Hedrick’s ordeal in North Carolina was far from over. Through articles published throughout North Carolina’s newspapers, word of Hedrick’s political affiliations and dismissal from UNC spread. Following mob action and threats to tar and feather the former professor at an education conference in Salisbury, North Carolina, the professor was forced to flee the state. He would only return to his home state a handful of times before his death in 1886.
You can read his story here:
http://cwnc.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/exhibits/show/benjamin-hedrick/unfortunate-fate
 
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brass napoleon

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BTW: The Democrats had also become a Sectional Party in 1860. Northern Democrats (Douglas), Southern Democrats (Breckenridge), were the principal fragments of the crumbling structure. (Which left poor Bell as the last truly National Democrat!)

Yes, 1860 was the final step in making the Democratic Party a purely sectional party, a process which the southern Democrats had been working at for many years:

"At all events [the Wilmot Proviso] is dividing and weakening the North, and if we of the South only act unitedly, our triumph is certain. The Anti-Slavery Democrats, Butler of New York, Hamlin etc. must be driven off to the Whigs. Certainly since the foundation of the Government, there never has been in politics so silly a move as that of the Northern Democrats on this subject. Their leaders see it, but so many are committted, as to render a return to the right policy very difficult."

- R. Barnwell Rhett to John C. Calhoun, Sept 8, 1847

Source: <<https://books.google.com/books?id=GRpUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA1132&lpg=PA1132
 

brass napoleon

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The Republican Party was a sectional party. They (Lincoln) knew what states they needed to win to win the Electoral College and the presidency, hence the RP did not need the Southern vote. Lincoln and the RP won via the sectional EC vote and with only IIRC 39% of the popular vote.

Respectfully,
William

The Republican Party was anti-slavery. That translates to being a sectional party only if slavery and the South were considered synonymous. I myself don't consider them synonymous, but many Southern leaders did. Of course everyone's entitled to their own opinion.
 
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NedBaldwin

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Need a State party organization to get on ballots in that State. Republicans had no state party organization in most of the south.
Though my answer leads to the question of why didnt they have State organizations in the deep south.

In May 1860, newspapers reported on a political rally in support of Sam Houston at which the president of the Texas&Lousiana Railroad gave a speech in which he said "No men could have assembled anywhere in Texas to elect delegates to the Chicago Convention [the Republican convention that nominated Lincoln] and lived till morning."
 

RochesterBill

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Though my answer leads to the question of why didnt they have State organizations in the deep south.

In May 1860, newspapers reported on a political rally in support of Sam Houston at which the president of the Texas&Lousiana Railroad gave a speech in which he said "No men could have assembled anywhere in Texas to elect delegates to the Chicago Convention [the Republican convention that nominated Lincoln] and lived till morning."

Intimations of violence aside - and that certainly was an intimidating factor - if nothing else there was substantial social pressure as well.

Circulating a nominating petition for a "Black Republican" slate in most towns in the South would have been a good way to make sure no one ever spoke to you again.

And as a practical matter, it would have been a colossal waste of time anyway since there was exactly no chance of winning or even getting more than a couple percentage points worth of votes.

Yes there was unionist sentiment in the south (a toic of endless debate of course) and in places it was substantial but those people could vote with the Douglas democats or the Bell constitutionalists without throwing in with what most people saw as the wild eyed screaming abolitionist party.
 

CW Buff

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Hmmm. I wonder why every single anti-slavery party was sectional?

Seems to me the sectional argument was just a distraction. Southerners made it that way, and then complained about it. What was really wrong with the Republican party to Southerners wasn’t that it was sectional, it was that it was anti-slavery. And, of course, it was starting to win. Pretending there was something inherently wrong with sectional anti-slavery parties, or a sectionally elected anti-slavery president, is saying slavery should have continued to get a free ride in America. That stuff went on far too long as it was.
 

RochesterBill

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Hmmm. I wonder why every single anti-slavery party was sectional?

Seems to me the sectional argument was just a distraction. Southerners made it that way, and then complained about it. What was really wrong with the Republican party to Southerners wasn’t that it was sectional, it was that it was anti-slavery. And, of course, it was starting to win. Pretending there was something inherently wrong with sectional anti-slavery parties, or a sectionally elected anti-slavery president, is saying slavery should have continued to get a free ride in America. That stuff went on far too long as it was.

Well of course there really weren't any other "anti slavery" parties besides the Republicans. Sectional or otherwise. And even they weren't uniformly abolitionist, although that was a large element and certainly that's the way the other parties portrayed them.

And yes, human bondage as a system of labor had been going on for 10,000 years and that is indeed far too long.

But sectionality was an issue, maybe THE issue to a lot of people because one "section" of the country allowed slavery and one "section" didn't, which created two very very different cultures and societies.

And to an extent it was the consequent lack of commonality between the sections which led a lot of people to conclude that they didn't have enough left in common to share a nation.
 

brass napoleon

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Well of course there really weren't any other "anti slavery" parties besides the Republicans. Sectional or otherwise. And even they weren't uniformly abolitionist, although that was a large element and certainly that's the way the other parties portrayed them.

Actually, there were anti-slavery parties before the Republicans. There was the Free Soil Party in the late 1840s and early 1850s, and there was the Liberty Party, which was in fact a uniformly abolitionist party, in the early 1840s to early 1850s. Neither of them had any Southern support either.
 

RochesterBill

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Actually, there were anti-slavery parties before the Republicans. There was the Free Soil Party in the late 1840s and early 1850s, and there was the Liberty Party, which was in fact a uniformly abolitionist party, in the early 1840s to early 1850s. Neither of them had any Southern support either.

Absolutely true.

Since the thread topic refers to Lincoln, I was assuming that pre-1860 political parties were not germane.

In any case, the Free Soil party united with anti Kansas-Nebraska Act Whigs in 1856 to form the Republican party. So essentially they're one in the same.

And of course the Liberth Party, largely a creation of Salmon P Chase, folded his movement into the Free Soil party, making them more or less a Republican party precursor as well.

If memory serves they were uncompromisingly abolitionist. The Free Soilers perhaps a bit less so.
 
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CW Buff

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And yes, human bondage as a system of labor had been going on for 10,000 years and that is indeed far too long.

True, but I was referring to the 85 or so years in which the North had kowtowed to slavery since the Revolution, when its incompatibility/hypocrisy with freedom and liberty became apparent. And specifically, provision for its expansion. There may have been no good way to end it, but making it worse by expanding it was not the answer.

But sectionality was an issue, maybe THE issue to a lot of people because one "section" of the country allowed slavery and one "section" didn't, which created two very very different cultures and societies.

And to an extent it was the consequent lack of commonality between the sections which led a lot of people to conclude that they didn't have enough left in common to share a nation.

The rest I kinda agree with. But slavery was the sore spot, the other sectional differences served to pick at the sore and make it worse. But yes, definitely, one people came to see themselves as two incompatible people.
 
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