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Mr. Douglas’s Prospects Doubtful.


March/April 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, April 23, 1860.

From Charleston.

Mr. Douglas’s Prospects Doubtful, &c., &c.

[Special Dispatch to the N. Y. Tribune.]

CHARLESTON, Thursday, April 19, 1860.

All expectation of a great gathering here is now abandoned and there is a general feeling of disappointment at the prospect. The Mills House, which was prepared for over 1,000, has only 100 so far, and other hotels relatively few. The Northwestern delegations are provided for at the Mills House, but sleep at Hibernian Hall, a few yards distant, where 132 cots are spread in a single room.

Messrs. Richardson and Dyer, the two principal managers for Mr. Douglas, reached here last night. When they left Washington his nomination was regarded as certain. Their confidence here is less positive from the absence of the expected enthusiasm. But they remain still firm. They believe he will be nominated on the third ballot, which is a virtual surrender in the estimation of others. No friends could be more zealous or faithful. If Mr. Douglas shall fail on the first ballot, the Northwestern delegations resolved at Washington to change their front in solid column, but indicated no second choice. Several Eastern delegations are expected to co-operate in such a contingency, but cannot be relied on. They will look after their own interests.

The Douglas men claim the delegates from Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, with parts of Massachusetts, and Connecticut, the rest of which are conceded to Mr. Toucey, complimentary. This count is considered extravagant by well informed persons. No safe opinion can be formed of the result till a larger number of delegates have arrived and compared opinions. The Vice Presidency has been held out as bait to North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia, with some personal effect, but no decided influence. The game is well understood, and will be blocked. A partial test will be made on the question of whether the platform or candidate shall first be agreed on. The Douglas interest and Southern extremists favor the former, but from different motives. Others urge a candidate in preference, intending he shall personally indicate the spirit of the platform.

Most of the Kentucky delegates have arrived. They intend adhering tenaciously to Mr. Guthrie, and discouraged emphatically any movement for Mr. Breckinridge, which will impair his strength when urged by a majority of the Pennsylvania delegation. Mr. Bigler will find himself cornered upon reaching here. Mr. Guthrie finds favor with the conservative class, who are uncommitted and not partisans, and is urged judiciously by his friends as a compromise candidate. Outside there is a very small and inconsiderable interest felt. Mr Lane is not named for the Presidency, and the suggestion is ridiculed. Mr. Orr is here surveying the ground, having achieved a victory at the State Convention over the ultras. With any Northern candidate for President, he would be prominent for the nomination for Vice President. Mr. Stuart, of Michigan, is proposed, among others, for President of the Convention, but his Douglas proclivities may interfere. That selection, however, will not be considered a test of strength. Three hundred delegates and visitors from the Northwest arrived this evening to swell the Douglas chorus, which had become weakened.

[Special dispatch to the N. Y, Herald.]

CHARLESTON, April 19th, 1860.

Delegates and outsiders are arriving by the thousand, and all in bustle and excitement. Douglas has the largest outside pressure, and his friends talk confidently; but this confidence is believed to be affected. It is believed Hunter will have nearly the combined vote of the South; but no one attempts to predict the final result. Hunter’s friends want the nomination first, and platform afterwards; but the Convention will not stand this. The platform will be constructed and the candidate put upon it. Both delegates from New York arrived this evening. Mayor Wood marshals his forces. The Softs are marshaled at present by Croswell, Corning and Jewett. The latter are perfectly sanguine of their entire admission, to the exclusion of Wood’s delegates. They have stacked the cards. The Chairman has, it is said, issued tickets of admission to the Softs, and had refused them to Wood’s delegation. This will produce trouble, for it is in direct violation of an understanding between Mr. Smally, the Chairman, and Mayor Wood.

Mr. Bocock, of Virginia, will, it is understood, be permanently Chairman of the Convention. He is a strong Hunter man. President Buchanan has written a letter, which is no in the hands of a delegate from Pennsylvania, positively and peremptorily declining the use of his name for re-nomination. Douglas’ friends are circulatinga report that the letter contains a fling at the “Little Giant;” but there is not a word of truth in it. On Saturday quite a number of Northern delegates meet to confer in regard to the course they intend to pursue. Pennsylvania and New York will vote as a unit.

The Mercury is still disinclined to welcome the Convention, and would prefer disunion to the nomination of Douglas.