“Facts” about Breckinridge

John Cabell Breckinridge
John Cabell Breckinridge. Not actually a vampire, as far as we know.

From the Carrolton (LA) Sun of October 6, 1860:

Promiscuous Political News-Items.

Facts for the People.

It is a fact — That the entire democratic party were for non-intervention when we had a Congress favorable to the institution of slavery; but now, when we have a black republican Congress, the disunion wing of the democratic party is for intervention.

It is a fact — That John C. Breckinridge is the candidate of a party organized for the avowed purpose of bringing about dissolution of the Union.

It is a fact — That the disunionists, both north and south, are ardent supporters of John C. Breckinridge.

It is a fact — That all the abolition papers in the north prefer the election of John C. Breckinridge to that of Judge Douglas.

It is a fact
— That Cassius M. Clay said in a public speech, that if he had the power he would rather a thousand times place John C. Breckinridge in the presidential chair than Douglas.

It is a fact — That most of the supporters of Breckinridge north of Mason and Dixon’s line are office-holders under the present corrupt administration.

It is a fact — That the Breckinridge party supports the present disgraceful administration; and excuse, if they do not indorse; the barefaced speculations of the President.

It is a fact
— That the Frankfort Yeoman office, and the Louisville Courier published the speech of Yancey as a Breckinridge campaign document.

It is a fact — That John C. Breckinridge accepted the nomination of the Richmond disunion convention, and hoped to “merit its confidence.”

It is a fact
— That, in the same convention, a Mr. Baldwin, of New York, was called to order because he spoke in favor of the Union.

It is a fact — That the disunion party are running electoral tickets in Indiana and Illinois for no other purpose than that of dividing the democratic vote, and thus securing the election of Lincoln.

It is a fact — That Mr. Breckinridge, in his Lexington speech, DID NOT answer the question which a Breckinridge elector put to Mr. Douglas at Norfolk, and which questions said elector said should be answered by Mr. Breckinridge.

It is a fact — That Mr. Breckinridge dare not answer said questions, because, if he answers as Douglas did, he will lose the disunion vote in the south; and if he answers them to please Yancey, he will lose all the anti-Yancey votes.

It is a fact — That all these facts are facts, and cannot be truthfully denied. —

Frankfort (KY.) Commonwealth

Some of those “facts” seem to be unverifiable at best, but I guess we can make some allowances; it must have been difficult running a Douglas paper in the deep South at the time. I’ve seen a lot of accusations like these, that the Breckinridge faction wanted Lincoln to win in order to ignite secession sentiment. While it seems unlikely that Breckinridge himself approved this strategy, fire-eaters like Yancey were certainly happy to have an excuse to secede, and may have supported Breckinridge in part for that reason.

The question asked of Douglas at Norfolk was whether the President should take action against states that secede, to which Douglas responded that “if the Southern States (not a part but all) shall secede from the Union, upon the inauguration of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, it will be the duty of the President of the United States, who, in the case supposed, will be LINCOLN, by arms to punish or subdue them.” As the article above says, this view probably extinguished Douglas’ chances in the South.

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