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The Charleston Convention.


March/April 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, April 24, 1860.



Temporary Organization.


Manager Richardson Exhorts to Peace.

CHARLESTON, S. C., April 23.—The Democratic National Convention was called to order by Judge Smalley, chairman of the National Committee.

Francis B. Flourney, of Arkansas, was chosen temporary chairman, and returned thanks to the convention for the honor.

Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Hankel, of Charleston.

Wm. F. Ritchie was appointed temporary secretary.

Mr. Fisher, of Va., offered a letter from the Wood delegation of New York, the reading of which was objected to by Mr. Cochrane, of N.Y., as not in order. Considerable excitement ensued.

Mr. Fisher denied the right of the delegate from New York to speak on the subject, and said that when the letter was read he had a resolution to offer.

Mr. Cochrane demanded the reading of the resolution.

The question was put to the Convention whether the letter should be read. It was decided in the affirmative.

Mr. Cochrane moved that the rules of the last Convention be adopted.

Mr. Fisher claimed that he had the floor. [Immense confusion and cries of order.]

The President decided that Cochrane was entitled to the floor.

Mr. Fisher would not be trampled upon. He had his rights and would maintain them.

Mr. Clark, of Ala., protested against the decision of the Chair. [The confusion increased.]

Mr. Walker, of Ala., came forward, mounted the Clerk’s table, and demanded that he should be heard. He appealed from the decision of the Chair.

The question was put on appeal, and the Chair sustained. [Immense cheering.]

Mr. Fisher again rose, and offered to present the letter from the Wood delegation.

The President decided the reception of the letter out of order.

Mr. Cook, of Ohio, offered a resolution to appoint a committee on permanent organization.

Mr. Barksdale, of Miss., offered an amendment that the committee shall consist only of members of States from which there is no contest for seats.

Mr. Richardson, of Ill., spoke in favor of harmony, and urged gentlemen to keep calm and preserve order. Mr. Cochrane did not deserve anything less than a fair hearing.

Mr. Cook, of Ohio, offered a resolution excluding only New York and Illinois from participating in the organization, their entire delegations being contested.

Mr. Clark, of Mo., protested that the resolution was out of order-that no State should be excluded whose delegates have been admitted to the floor. [Cheering and excitement.]

Mr. Cook contended that those who were admitted to the floor, had a right to participate in all the acts of organizing except in the Committee on Credentials.

A long debate followed, participated in by Judge Meek, of Alabama, and Messrs. Richardson and Barksdale, of Mississippi.

Mr.Cesna offered an amendment that two Committees-one on organization and one on credentials-be appointed, Illinois and New York to be excluded from the latter. The previous question was called and the resolution adopted by ayes 254, nays 44.

Resolutions were introduced requesting the delegates from New York and Illinois not to participate in the organization until their right to seats of the delegates is settled. A motion to lay the resolution on the table was carried-Ayes 259, nays 44.

The States were called, and the names of the Committees on Organization and Credentials were appointed by the delegations.

A resolution was offered requesting the credentials to be handled by the Secretary.

Mr. Fisher, of Va., demanded that the Fernando Wood letter be read and referred to the Committee on Credentials.

Mr. Cochrane moved that it be received and referred to committee, without a reading. After much excitement it was adopted.

A vote on excluding the New York and Illinois delegation from committee on credentials, was adopted with the following negative votes: Maryland 1, Virginia 15, Georgia 10, Illinois 9, Louisiana 6, Mississippi 7, Texas 4, California 2. The balance were all in the affirmative. Ayes 244; nays 54.

On the resolution to request them not to participate in the organization, the vote was nearly the same, except that Virginia voted in the affirmate, and Arkansas in the negative.

The credentials having been handed to the committee on motion, the Convention adjourned at 3 o’clock until to-morrow.


The Committee on Credentials.

CHARLESTON, S. C., April 23.-The Committee on Credentials are now in session, hearing arguments in the New York case. The following is a copy of the protest presented to the Convention by the Hard Shell delegates:

ST. ANDREW’S HALL, April 23, 1860.

To the Chairman of the National Convention:

SIR:—The undersigned Chairman and Secretaries of New York, representing the organization of the Democratic party in said State, have been directed by the delegation to present to the Convention over which you preside, that by the action of Mr. Smalley, Chairman of the late National Committee, they have been excluded from the hall in which the Convention had been assembled, and persons in no way entitled, have been allowed to occupy their places. Therefore, in behalf of the delegation from the State of New York, we protest against their exclusion, while the persons referred to, who appear here as contestants to our rights, are permitted to occupy our seats, in advance of an investigation by the convention, and whilst we claim no advantage over our opponents, we shall not submit to any advantage wrongfully obtained over us.

Very respectfully, your obedient servants,


G. TUCKER, Secretaries.


From Charleston.

CHARLESTON, S. C., April 23.—Knowing ones say that Mr. Flourney, of Arkansas, will be the temporary Chairman to-morrow; and further, that Mr. Douglas will be nominated, and Mr. Stephens of Georgia, for Vice President.

The masses of the delegates appear confused, and uncertain whether the Wood and Illinois irregular delegates will be admitted or not. The Georgia double delegation case may cause much embarrassment. The delegates mingle pleasantly, and the greatest harmony exists.

The delegates from New York and the Northwest have combined for Douglas, on condition that the latter will follow the former in the event of his defeat, thus transferring to him 101 votes. The present count of the Douglas vote is Northwest 66; Missouri 9; New England, exclusive of Massachusets, 18; Maryland 4; New York 35. Total 132, without New Jersey, Pennsylvania and scattering Southern votes. South Carolina will probably vote for Davis. New Jersey stands 11 for Breckenridge to 3 for Douglas, counting double delegates. Messrs. Butterworth, Burden, Belmont and Clancy will get seats in the New York delegation. Belmont goes openly for Douglas. Watts Sherman also deserves a seat and may procure a vacancy like the others. The Convention will decide a platform first. The Alabama delegation met this evening and resolved to submit their platform, and unless it is substantially adopted to withdraw, without any other demonstration. The Mississippi delegation may follow. It is now ascertained that Douglas will get only 4½ votes from Missouri and two from Maryland, on the first ballot, and probably no others from the South. The Massachusetts delegation met to-day and will give him six votes.