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Newspapers react to Abraham Lincoln's 1860 presidential win

-- The Daily Spy, Worcester, Mass.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Mathew Brady made the momentous decision to go to a battlefield and document what he found there.

Friday, Nov. 9, 1860


The election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency is the first triumph of a great political revolution. It does not mean evil to any section of the country. It is not only regular and lawful, but is necessary to restore the old spirit and policy of the country, and give peace to the land. It comes hard for those Southern extremists to be driven from power without any hope of returning to it; but they will submit to necessity and become less dangerous, for the sentiment of the Southern people will constrain them to good behavior. Mr. Lincoln will be inaugurated peacefully, and we believe confidently that his administration will reproduce the era of good feeling.

-- The Courier

(A New Orleans paper published in English and French editions)

Friday, Nov. 9, 1860


The election of Abraham Lincoln to the chief magistracy of the country by the hordes of fanatics and negrophilists who have been flocking to his standards since the opening of the Presidential canvass has awakened throughout the South a spirit of stubborn resistance which it will be found is impossible to quell. . . .

The crisis now impending upon the whole country is a necessary consequence of the abnormal condition into which our dearest and most sacred institutions have been plunged by the success of our avowedly unrelenting enemies. . . .

The unmistakable fact stares us in the face that we are now in a state of danger unparalleled in the annals of our history. . . . Of one thing, however, the whole South may rest assured -- that the sons of Louisiana will not remain indifferent spectators of the drama about to be enacted, and if the sword is to be drawn, they will be . . . found in the vanguard of the Southern phalanx. . . .

-- Morning Courier and New York Enquirer

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1860

The returns before us indicate the election of ABRAHAM LINCOLN President of the United States. The result anticipated has become a gratifying reality. . . . It is enough that the great fact stands out clearly . . . that LINCOLN is elected president, and that the principle of intimidation, so persistently and wickedly brought to bear on this election by Southern extremists and their allies the Northern Democratic panic makers, has signally failed. . . .

All honor to freemen of this Republic; congratulations warm and hearty be theirs, for the great principle of the defence of freedom within the free territories of the United States, to establish which the Republican Party entered upon this canvass, has its complete vindication in signal victory. . . .

Stretching out our hands to the South over this victory, we have no word of taunt to utter for the threats of disunion which were raised for our defeat. Let those threats be buried in oblivion; for through the long vista of this success we see a reign of peace from Slavery agitation, established simply by that circumscribing of Slavery within its local bounds, and that firm defence of the integrity of National Freedom, which this triumph of the Republican party on the 6th of November, 1860, seals now and henceforth.

-- The Semi-Weekly Mississippian Jackson, Miss.

Friday, Nov. 9, 1860


The outrages which abolition fanaticism has continued year by year to heap upon the South, have at length culminated in the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, avowed abolitionists, to the presidency and vice presidency -- both bigoted, unscrupulous and cold-blooded enemies of the peace and equality of the slaveholding states, and one of the pair strongly marked with the blood of his negro ancestry. . . . In view of the formal declaration, through the ballot box, of a purpose by the northern states to wield the vast machinery of the federal Government as now constituted, for destroying the liberties of the slaveholding states, it becomes their duty to dissolve their connection with it and establish a separate and independent government of their own.

-- Compiled by Michael E. Ruane

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