Lincoln’s Election, Southern Secession: 1860 to April 1861


Was there a Southern equivalent to the Wide Awakes?

No. What was most apparent in the South was that Lincoln, and indeed the entire Republican Party, would be kept off the ballot! That was worse, in many respects. In ten states—almost all in the South—Lincoln’s name did not appear on the ballot, and in the one Southern state where his name was permitted, Virginia, he would receive very few votes. This meant that if Lincoln did win, he could be accused of being the leader of a sectional, rather than a national, party.

There were plenty of Southerners who viewed Lincoln and the Republicans as sinister, even evil, however. Labels and descriptions of Lincoln as the great baboon, the silly ape, and the would-be liberator of the black slaves began to emerge. Had white Southerners actually read any of Lincoln’s policy papers and speeches, they would have realized that he was no radical or wide-eyed abolitionist. As long as they read only Southern newspapers and periodicals, white Southerners continued to be deluded.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App