The secession movement

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  • The secession movement had three distinct stages. The first, beginning with the news that Lincoln was elected, closed with the news, sent broadcast over the South from Charleston, that Federal troops had taken possession of Fort Sumter on the night of the 28th of December. During this period the likelihood of secession was the topic of discussion in the lower South. What to do in case the lower South seceded was the question which perplexed the upper South. In this period no State north of South Carolina contemplated taking the initiative.

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  • In Kentucky, during the spring of 1861, every shade of opinion prevailed, from the most pronounced Union sentiment to the most ultra secession sympathy. The Government at Washington wished to enlist Kentucky heartily in support of the Union, while every effort was made by the rebel leaders to secure the secession of the State from the Union, and to have it join its fortunes to those of the South. These several efforts enlisted the active support of those in the State in sympathy with them, and Kentuckians became ultimately divided into two sharply defined parties.

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  • The third volume of the American Eloquence is devoted to the continuation of the slavery controversy and to the progress of the secession movement which culminated in civil war. To the speeches of the former edition of the volume have been added: Everett on the Nebraska bill; Benjamin on the Property Doctrine and Slavery in the Territories; Lincoln on the Dred Scott Decision; Wade on Secession and the State of the Union; Crittenden on the Crittenden Compromise; and Jefferson Davis's notable speech in which he took leave of the United State Senate, in January, 1861....

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