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Northern Men with Southern LoyaltiesThe Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis$
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Michael Todd Landis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453267

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453267.001.0001

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“One of the Most Reliable Politicians upon This Subject of Slavery”

“One of the Most Reliable Politicians upon This Subject of Slavery”

The Rewards of Fidelity and the Perils of Power

(p.63) Chapter 3 “One of the Most Reliable Politicians upon This Subject of Slavery”
Northern Men with Southern Loyalties

Michael Todd Landis

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the political maneuverings of Northern Democrats over the issue of slavery during the June 1852 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore. Delegates to the Democratic National Convention began congregating a month in advance to meet, scheme, and negotiate. Thirty-one states meant thirty-one delegations, with each state casting as many votes as it had presidential electors. But many states sent far more than their voting delegates. The South expected to command the convention as it always had. If Northern Democrats wanted to influence the proceedings, or possibly receive a nomination, they would have to cater to the South and convince them of their continued fidelity. This chapter first discusses the Democratic National Convention before turning to the campaigns for the 1852 elections. It then considers Northern Democrats' focus on cabinet appointments and patronage as well as their views concerning loyalty to the pro-Southern party agenda and abolitionism. It also explores how President Franklin Pierce addressed mounting Southern suspicion and mobilized Northern opposition, both from doughfaces and activists with antislavery sentiment.

Keywords:   slavery, Democratic National Convention, South, Northern Democrats, 1852 elections, cabinet appointments, patronage, abolitionism, Franklin Pierce, antislavery sentiment

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