James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
States] will stay in the Union. Lincoln, therefore, using the powerful indirect influence of the President-elect, caused the Republican senators to defeat the Crittenden Compromise in the committee, who were thus forced to report that they could not agree upon a plan of adjustment. Then Crittenden proposed to submit his plan to a vote of the people. So strong was the desire to preserve the Union that, had this been done, the majority would probably have been overwhelming in favor of the Compromise; and, although only an informal vote, it would have been an instruction impossible for Congress to resist. Crittendens resolution looking to such an expression of public sentiment was prevented from coming to a vote in the Senate by the quiet opposition of Republican senators: the last chance of retaining the six cotton States in the Union was gone.1
Between January 9 and February 1, 1861, the conventions of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas passed ordinances of secession. Early in February the Confederate States was formed. Delegates from six cotton States2 assembled in Montgomery and, proceeding in an orderly manner, formed a government, the cornerstone of which rested upon the great truth that slavery is the negros natural and normal condition. They elected Jefferson Davis3 President and adopted a Constitution modelled on that of the United States, but departing from that instrument in its express recognition of slavery and the right of secession.4
Note 1. III, 150179, 253265; Lect., 68 et seq. For a Senate vote Jan. 16, 1861, III, 266. For vote of the House Feb. 27, 1861, and of the Senate March 2 on the Crittenden Compromise, III, 313. [back]
Note 2. Texas was not at first represented. III, 291, n. 4. [back]