The fire-eater William Lowndes Yancey of Alabama made a speaking tour of Northern cities before the election. An article in the New York Tribune of September 24, 1860 critiqued Yancey’s speech:
Next to the certainty of the election of Abraham Lincoln, comes the other certainty of the intention of William L. Yancey to disrupt the Union. He has come North to make speeches to the effect that the South occupies a defensive attitude behind the barrier of the Constitution, and that the North is seeking to break over that barrier; or in other words, to trample upon the rights of the South.
Assuming this to be the issue, he then goes on to throw the onus of the responsibility of saving the Union upon the North, saying, in effect, that if the Republicans succeed, and the South be driven to the wall, then Northern commerce will be destroyed, &c. The South has been agressed upon, her soil has been trespassed upon; four-fifths of the territory in which she has equal rights has been torn form her, and by the acts of Government, she has been excluded from it; revenues are raised at the rate of three dollars in the South to one from any other section, for the support of this great Government; and the North, even now, at midnight, is arming itself, and training its midnight bands for the purpose of forcing the union of a mere majority upon the South. All the horrors of servile insurrection were, by implication, regarded as the result of Mr. Lincoln’s election.
It is with such wholesale libels as these upon the North, that the great Southern apostle of disunion sets out upon his proselyting tour in Pennsylvania. It is but just to state that the mass of our good citizens have no sympathy for Mr. Yancey’s views.