James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
THE GREAT factor in the destruction of slavery was the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 18601 by the Republican party, who had declared against the extension of slavery into the territories. The territories were those divisions of the national domain2 which lacked as yet the necessary qualifications for statehood through insufficient population or certain other impediments; they were under the control of Congress and the President. The Republicans were opposed to any interference with slavery in the States where it already existed, but they demanded freedom for the vast unorganized territory west of the Missouri river. How the election of Lincoln was brought about I have already related at length in my History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Final Restoration of Home Rule at the South in 18773 and more briefly in the first of my Oxford Lectures.4 It was a sectional triumph, inasmuch as Lincoln did not receive a single vote in ten out of the eleven States that afterwards seceded and made up the Confederate States. Charleston, South Carolina, an ultra pro-slavery city and eager for secession, rejoiced equally with the Northern cities over the election of Lincoln, but the Charleston crowds were cheering for a
Note 1. Nov. 6. For a characterization of Lincoln, see II, 308; Lect., 46. [back]