It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Eight: Chapter X, The Election of 1860

A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Eight
Chapter X
The Election of 1860
by Gene Kizer, Jr.

At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," Mitcham's endnotes for Chapter X.

Mitcham's epigraph for Chapter X is by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels:

The War between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch on the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for power.

DISHONEST ACADEMIA and the news media will ignore statements like that from their man, Karl Marx. They will use the Marxist tactic of just ignoring powerful evidence that they don't agree with. However, those of us seeking truth will not ignore it and will put it in their faces, front and center.

Mitcham opens by pointing out the North's casual attitude about obeying the Constitution because they were following a "higher law" as New York Senator William H. Seward stated. Seward also believed an "irrepressible conflict" was coming between North and South.

If you can't trust the North to obey the Constitution, what good are they as fellow countrymen? Mitcham points out that "Under Seward's Higher Law Theory, God Himself had to be a Radical Republican."1

The sectional Republican Party was demanding a huge tariff increase yet "The South, which had less than 30 percent of the population, was already paying more than 85 percent of the taxes."2

Didn't matter. Republicans wanted more.

Some abolitionist newspapers "blared that the South deserved economic crushing, for its sins. Southerners should pay because the North---especially New England---had a divine right to tariff income and could disperse it to railroads and banks as they chose."

That is what the Founding Fathers meant by "tyranny of the majority." It was a concept warned about in the secession debate in the South prior to the South seceding.

George Washington warned about "sectional" political parties. It would mean the end of the country, he said. Political parties should be national but radical Republican abolitionist Wendall Phillips proudly stated that the Republican Party was the "party of the North pledged against the South."

Southerners watched this Northern sectional party make gains across the North and as Mitcham points out, "This trend may not have been in every case an endorsement of servile insurrection," but the South interpreted it that way, especially after John Brown and Harper's Ferry in 1859, and before that, with Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis of the South in 1857. Republicans endorsed Helper's book and used it as a campaign document in the election of 1860. They printed hundreds of thousands of copies and distributed them coast to coast though it called for slaves to rise up in the night and slit the throats of Southern men, women and children.

It is important to note that the most prominent economist alive around the time of the War Between the States, Thomas Prentice Kettell, blasted Helper's economic statistics and said they were absurd. Kettell wrote the brilliant Southern Wealth and Northern Profits establishing that the South was producing the wealth of the United States with cotton and other Southern commodities but Northerners were making all the money by shipping cotton, manufacturing and banking for the South, and with tariffs, taxes, bounties, subsidies, and monopoly status for their businesses from the federal government.

In other words, Northerners were dependent on the federal government and the South. Without the South, Northerners were dead economically whereas without the North, Southerners were in great shape with 100% control of King Cotton.

That's why Lincoln refused to let the South go and instead started a war that killed 750,000 men and maimed over a million. He could have removed his troops from sovereign South Carolina and Florida soil and all of us live in peace, but the rise of the free trade South on his southern border guaranteed to end Northern economic dominance and Lincoln and the Republicans could not stand for that.

Mitcham writes that "The South reacted to the rise of the Republicans by becoming a one-party region" influenced by "'Fire-eaters' such as Robert Barnwell Rhett of South Carolina, William L. Yancey of Alabama, Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, and John A. Quitman of Mississippi"3 who "joined the Democratic party and began urging separation as a way to put an end of Washington's political corruption and economic exploitation of the South."4

Fire-eaters had more and more influence in the South as Republicans made gains in the North. Mitcham writes that "The antebellum Washington establishment danced its last dance in 1860 in a troubled atmosphere. Everyone had a sense of foreboding."5

The Democratic party National Convention was held in Charleston, South Carolina in April 1860 with Stephen Douglas the frontrunner. Because of a platform dispute, "fifty-one Southern delegates walked out, led by William L. Yancey." They included all the delegates from the first seven states to secede within the year --- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas --- as well as "three of Arkansas' four delegations and one delegate from Delaware."6

The convention deadlocked and Democrats tried again on June 18 at the Front Street Theater in Baltimore. Mitcham gives all the positions and details but the bottom line is that 110 Southern delegates walked out this time and a rump convention nominated Douglas.

Right after the walk-out in Baltimore, a second Democratic convention in Baltimore nominated John C. Breckinridge "for president and Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon for vice president."7

The Republicans met in Chicago in mid-May 1860 with Seward "the leading contender, but his radicalism, open anti-Southern bigotry, and well-known lack of integrity worked against him." Lincoln was next "followed by Salmon P. Chase of Ohio and Edward Bates of Missouri."8

Mitcham writes:

Except for Lincoln, the GOP candidates had serious political baggage. The Republicans also knew they would have to carry the West to win the election, and Lincoln was popular there. Greeley dropped the non-entity Bates and backed "Honest Abe," who secured the nomination on the third ballot.9

The VP nominee was Hannibal Hamlin of Maine.

The Republican platform:

[F]eatured extremely high tariffs, no slavery in the territories, and subsidies for a transcontinental railroad that, of course, would go through the North, and that would exclude the South from any economic benefit of this massive, federal-supported, internal improvement.10

The centrist Constitutional Union Party that "had been formed from remnants of the defunct Know-Nothing and Whig Parties" was strict constructionist and nominated John Bell for president and Edward Everett as VP, also in Baltimore. Mitcham writes that "This ticket showed surprising strength, and it might have been better for the country if it had won, but it was a centrist party (like the Northern Democrats), and no centrist was going to win in 1860."11

Lincoln needed 152 electoral votes to win and he got 180 carrying 18 states, though his popular vote total was only 1,865,908 or 39.8 percent.

Douglas got 1,380,202 or 29.5 percent but won only one state, Missouri. He had 12 electoral votes.

Breckinridge got 848,019 votes or 18.1 percent and carried 11 states with 72 electoral votes.

John Bell got 590,901 or 12.6 percent and carried three states with 39 electoral votes.

To sum up the popular vote, Lincoln got 1,865,908, but 2,819,122 voted against him.

Mitcham writes about the South:

They had had the presidency for forty-nine of the seventy-two years it existed (more than two-thirds of the time) and had played the most prominent role in writing the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. They had supplied twenty-four of the thirty-six speakers of the House and twenty of the thirty-five Supreme Court justices, giving them a majority in the court always. Twenty-five of the thirty-six presidents pro tempore of the Senate had been Southerners.12

Because of the hate pouring out of the North so they could rally their votes to win, Southerners had had enough and were not about to be ruled by people who supported John Brown's terrorism and Hinton Helper's call for slaves to rise up and slit the throats of Southerners as they slept. These were the same people who were robbing the South blind with tariffs, bounties, subsidies and monopoly status for Northern businesses, so much so that Southerners were paying 85% of the country's taxes, yet 75% of the tax money was being spent in the North. Some were worried the federal government "might encourage or even instigate slave revolts."13

Southerners began setting dates for conventions to debate seceding from the Union and prominent in their speeches and articles was the Declaration of Independence and this phrase:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Mitcham quotes Dr. Don Livingston who said the South "did not secede to protect slavery from a national plan of emancipation because no national political party proposed emancipation."14

Mitcham is correct when he writes:

The states which mentioned slavery in their ordinances were reacting to the irresponsible attacks of the abolitionists and their embrace of terrorism and servile insurrection as legitimate means of gaining their objectives. The South feared (with considerable justification) that the Republican party was a revolutionary party that wanted to destroy the federation of states (as favored by Jefferson) in favor of a dominant central government funded by the South but controlled by the North.15

Here is radical Republican Wendell Phillips' entire statement about the Republican party being a party of the North pledged against the South. It came right after Lincoln's election:

No man has a right to be surprised at this state of things. It is just what we have attempted to bring about. It is the first sectional party ever organized in this country. It does not know its own face, and calls itself national; but it is not national---it is sectional. The Republican party is a party of the North pledged against the South.16


Next Week:
A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Nine
Chapter XI
The Real Cause of the War
(Click Here to go to previous week: Part Seven: Chapter IX, John Brown, Terrorist and Lightning Rod)


(Scroll down for:
It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)

1 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 103.

2 Ibid.

3 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 104.

4 Ibid.

5 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 104-105.

6 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 105.

7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 106.

8 Ibid.

9 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 107.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 108.

13 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 109.

14 Ibid.

15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 109.

16 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 109-110.


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Actual Citation from Book
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  1. Pingback: It Wasn’t About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. – A Comprehensive Review by Gene Kizer, Jr., Part Nine: Chapter XI, The Real Cause of the War - "Everyone should do all in his power to collect and dissemi

  2. New York Times 1861 editorial stated, “It is better to kill every last man, woman and child in the South than to let them get away with secession”. That pretty much covers the pure evil of Northern philosophy.

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