The Civil War, Day by Day

General John Hunt Morgan

Alabama State Convention Meets to Discuss Secession

When Douglas refused to go along with this - because it would destroy the Democratic party in the North - Southern delegates walked out of the 1860 Democratic national convention, formed a new “Southern Rights” Democratic party, and nominated their own candidate.

It was this split in the Democratic party and the preference of a majority of Northern voters for the Republican position of excluding slavery from the territories that gave Lincoln the presidency with the electoral votes of every Northern state (and no Southern state). Regarding this as an insult as well as an injury, the seven Deep-South states seceded one after another, beginning with South Carolina on December 20, 1860, and continuing through Texas on February 1, 1861. All efforts at compromise to stop the hemorrhage and stitch together the Union proved unavailing. No compromise, no assurance by Lincoln that he had no intention of interfering with slavery in the states where it existed could undo the fact of his election entirely by Northern votes on a slavery-restriction platform. For Southerners this was the handwriting on the wall. They had lost control of the national government to the “Black Republicans.” This meant loss of control over their future in the Union. So they departed the Union, asserting their right to do so on grounds of state sovereignty.

In this painting by Mort Künstler, General John Hunt Morgan is pictured with the state flag of Alabama.

February's Archived Features:

Wednesday February 1, 2023
Thursday February 2, 2023
Friday February 3, 2023
Saturday February 4, 2023
Sunday February 5, 2023
Monday February 6, 2023



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.