Union Meetings, the Election of 1860, and the Secession Crisis
This chapter examines attempts to translate the appeal of Unionism into politics, and Everett’s role in those efforts. It analyses the nature and importance of mass Union meetings held in dozens of Northern towns and cities to denounce John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and to reassure Southerners of Northerners’ attachment to the Union. It analyses the platform and prospects of the Constitutional Union Party—with Everett as its vice presidential nominee—in the election of 1860, explaining its demise by the other parties’ leveraging of the Union appeal. It then illustrates Everett’s confused reaction to the secession of seven Southern states, a confusion typical of citizens throughout the remaining Union states.
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