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Apostle of UnionA Political Biography of Edward Everett$
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Matthew Mason

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628608

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628608.001.0001

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Last Ditches

Last Ditches

Union Meetings, the Election of 1860, and the Secession Crisis

(p.243) 9 Last Ditches
Apostle of Union

Matthew Mason

University of North Carolina Press

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.

Keywords:   Union meetings, Election of 1860, Constitutional Union Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Secession crisis

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