The 1860 Presidential Election

It would not take a genius to determine who will win this election among my readers. After all, in previous elections Democrats have not fared nearly as well as they did historically, and if the Whigs enjoyed the support they do here, there would have been no death of the Whig party and no Republican party.

Nevertheless, I don’t want to deprive people of the opportunity to vote.

25 thoughts on “The 1860 Presidential Election

  1. Bill Newcomer October 22, 2012 / 1:39 pm

    The Cooper Union address demonstrated Lincoln’s grasp of the issues and thier historicl roots. He also in that address and in the previous debates with Douglass pointed to the aggressive nature of the pro-slavery movement and its consequence for the continuing freedom of the Free states to remain free states… In short Lincoln defended the “state rights” of the free states…

  2. Brad October 22, 2012 / 1:46 pm

    I decided to take a chance for this Lincoln guy. Wonder if he’ll be any good!

  3. rcocean October 22, 2012 / 1:58 pm

    Gotta go with Douglas on this one. Douglas probably would’ve delayed the Civil war for a while – which was the most important thing. The North was getting stronger vs. the South over time and war in general was becoming more industrial. Delay the civil war until say 1868 and I see a much quicker and easier Northern Victory. Of course, other than that, I’m all for Lincoln.

  4. Louis Burklow October 22, 2012 / 2:02 pm

    Guess I’m the first to brag I voted for Lincoln. I’m feeling very proud of myself now.

  5. wgdavis October 22, 2012 / 2:52 pm

    Honest Abe for President! No contest…though Douglas was a distant second.

  6. Noma October 22, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    Honest Abe — after all the other choices, it’s good to vote for someone with a brain — and a heart.

  7. John Foskett October 22, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    Lincoln, for all of the obvious reasons. Not the others, for all of the equally obvious reasons. And it’s a good thing I voted for Abe. As it turned out, had I voted for Douglas Herschel Johnson would have become President in June, 1861- if he hadn’t already resigned to go back to Georgia. Besides, Abe opposed the 1830 Indian Removal Act.

  8. michael confoy October 22, 2012 / 7:04 pm

    Besides the Douglas voters, I noticed that no one that did not vote for Lincoln has spoken up.

    • Pat Young October 22, 2012 / 8:56 pm

      Smith. Jeff Davis wanted him executed for backing violence to end slavery.

  9. SF Walker October 22, 2012 / 7:35 pm

    Lincoln all the way. Douglas, though a staunch Unionist, seems to have believed that slavery could co-exist with freedom indefinitely within the nation.

    Although I like Breckinridge as a person, he ran on a pro-slavery platform and got the votes of most of the disunionists. He’d get no vote from me.

    John Bell and especially Gerrit Smith were undesirable. Bell went with the Confederacy soon after the war broke out. I cringe at the thought of what kind of President Smith would have made. A man who gave substantial aid to lunatics like John Brown would never have been viewed by the European leaders with any level of respect. By opposing slavery, his heart was in the right place, but I have serious questions about his brain. Plus he believed in the prohibition of liquor. I bet he didn’t get many votes in Kentucky.

  10. bdhamp October 22, 2012 / 8:01 pm

    I’ve based all my votes in these on what I know of the candidates, including how they historically performed as President. This was particularly notable, for me, in the 1852 election. I know more about how Pierce did perform than I do about how either of the others might have, but knowing what I know of Pierce, you could run a pair of sweater wearing pigs against him, and I’d vote for my favorite color sweater.

    I wonder how my views might change if I were able to magically forget all I know of these candidates since their respective elections. With that in mind, I’m not sure I would have voted for Lincoln. Transplanting to whatever degree possible my current politics into the past, Gerrit Smith is more in line with what I’d like. Still, I am a pragmatic voter and will vote for an acceptable candidate over a preferred one if I believe the preferred one has no chance. So, my choice may well have ended up being Douglas.

  11. rcocean October 22, 2012 / 8:26 pm

    Gerrit Smith was a dangerous crank who financed John Brown’s terrorist raid at Harper’s Ferry and ended up in a nut house. I don’t know why Brooks even included him.

  12. rcocean October 22, 2012 / 9:12 pm

    True, but also true of Abe Lincoln.

  13. Al Mackey October 22, 2012 / 9:14 pm

    Abe’s the man. We have to stand up to the slave power. No coercion of our votes!

  14. TF Smith October 22, 2012 / 10:02 pm

    Hey, dangerous cranks have a constituency too!

  15. Andy Hall October 23, 2012 / 7:40 am

    I tried to cast a vote for Lincoln, and a warning box popped up and said, “Your IP address indicates you are in Texas, where Lincoln was not allowed on the ballot. As a result, your vote for Lincoln has been discarded. Try again.”


    • SF Walker October 23, 2012 / 8:37 pm

      Good one, Andy! I’m in South Carolina, where I’d have had the same problem. Looks like our choices would have been limited to Douglas, Breck, or Bell. Oye vey…

  16. herodotus October 23, 2012 / 10:46 am

    I would vote for Breckinridge. My favorite aunt owns a plantation. Don’t really want to see her ruined. Maybe there is also my racial hatred.

    • Brooks D. Simpson October 23, 2012 / 11:19 pm

      True story: in 8th grade, our history class had two simulations featuring role play. In the first (the Constitutional Convention) I was Alexander Hamilton …a clear case of typecasting. In the second (the election of 1860), I was Breckinridge. My campaign theme song was “When the Saints Come Marching In” (alternative lyrics: “When the South Goes Marching Out”). At the end of the exercise the teacher informed me that it was impossible for Breckinridge to win. I thought that was bogus.

      • Lyle Smith October 24, 2012 / 5:16 pm

        You had a hard sell that’s for sure. Hopefully your classmates didn’t start throwing things at you.

        I participated in Model UN as North Korea in high school and tried to get a sensible pro-communism/authoritarianism bill passed and even the girl representing the Peoples’ Republic of China got up and spoke against me and my bill.

  17. Allen Gathman October 23, 2012 / 11:50 am

    I had to vote for Lincoln, even though Breckinridge was my wife’s first cousin several times removed. Sorry, honey!

  18. rcocean October 23, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    I think its tragic that Douglas died at the beginning of the war. I think he would’ve been a powerful weapon in mobilizing the war democrats and in convincing Southern unionists to end the war.

  19. Michael C. Lucas October 24, 2012 / 5:14 am

    I voted for Breckenridge, I believe he would have been more inclined to maintain balance for the Union. The issues of expansion and slavery would have remained but any chance of peace vs war would have been better than what the nation got.

  20. fra paolo October 29, 2012 / 8:58 am

    My natural inclination is to vote for John Bell, but I voted for Stephen Douglas as the only truly national candidate, and the best hope to keep the radical Republicans from creating the kind of political crisis that could bring about the end of the Union. At times like this, a gradual approach is needed, unless one wants a war.

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