Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Another Flare-Up at Charleston.


May/June 1860

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, May 4, 1860.


The plot by which the Democratic nominee was to be Douglas or nobody, thickens. After several days of ineffectual labor, marked perceptibly by the withdrawal of several Southern States, the Convention at Charleston, yesterday adjourned to meet in Baltimore, on the 18th of June next. All the particulars we have, only tell us that the vote stood 166 to 88, and as the proposition came from a friend of Mr. Hunter, we conclude that Douglas is already as good as counted out when the Convention met, and for weeks before hand the Douglas organs in this city and elsewhere, boastfully vaunted that their favorite would certainly have a majority of the whole vote on the first ballot, and by the third receive two-thirds. One by one all their predictions have been scattered to the winds, and with the adjournment, the last hope may be said to have faded away. The Little Giant, who was to receive a majority on the first vote, struggled along till the twenty-fourth ballot, crawling up from 145½ to 152½, before he accomplished that much of the anticipations of his friends. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Missouri, which were claimed as a unit for him, cast a majority of their votes the other way. Out of the Missouri delegation, which his organs claimed would go for Douglas almost unanimously, he got only 4½ votes-and this, too, after ex-Gov. King had stirred up the Convention with a rampant Douglas speech. This result explodes another falsehood resorted to for the purpose of sustaining the falling fortunes of the Illinois Senator. We do not believe that in any event he could have been nominated. The withdrawal of several Southern States frightened the delegates remaining, and enough of them would have held out to prevent the nomination of Douglas by the two-third vote required. The opposition from the North, led on by Collector Baker, of Philadelphia, would have seen Douglas hanged before voting for him, and enough of these men remained to defeat Douglas, which to them was an object dear to all their hearts. In fact, the ultimatum, that it must be Douglas or nobody, inspired a similar feeling on the other side, and would rather have seen the fiend incarnate nominated than Douglas. The adjournment to Baltimore, we believe, will only serve to kick him further from the honors of the party than ever. The pressure from the States, which were always Democratic, cannot fail to exert a stronger influence on the party organization than the pressure from the States that were never Democratic. The Administration will wield its tremendous power with redoubled fierceness against his nomination; the Senate, probably, will force him to a vote on the question of a slave code, and thus seal his fate in the South, as it is likely Douglas will vote against it. New complications will be forced upon him, and all combining for his defeat. Democratic Senators will extract confessions from his lips, and, if silent, his Northern supporters, particularly in New England, where the party is kept alive only by hopes of office under the Federal Administration, will grow lukewarm. We defy any man to stand up under such a fire, and after exhausting his strength to get a nomination in one Southern city to get it in another. Douglas is used up completely.

What a spectacle does all this present to the country. The National Democracy has harped upon the single idea of its conservatism and its opposition to agitating the slavery question for years. The party has manufactured platform after platform on the principle of settling the slavery issue and quieting its agitation ever since Douglas first entered into politics. But now, as ever, it has showed itself utterly incapable of managing its own leaders, and although to-day charging the Republican party of the North with disturbing the question, the scene at Charleston was the worst form of nigger agitation that it has ever assumed in this country. Every speech, every resolution, every question, every significance, contained an allusion to the eternal nigger; and thus, day after day, the slavery issue has been fanned into excitement, and the Convention turned into a machine for the agitation of the nigger question. The Republican party has not, in the whole course of its history, warred one-half as much about the nigger as this same Charleston Convention. We pass from it with a firm conviction whatever portion of the party—the Plug Uglies of Baltimore—leave unfinished in June, the people will wipe out of existence in November.