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Today In Charleston History: November 6

1782 – Revolutionary War. 
John Laurens

John Laurens

Upon receiving the news of John Laurens’ death, John Adams wrote to Henry Laurens:

“I feel for you more than I can or ought to express. Our country has lost its most promising character, in a manner, however, that was worthy of the cause. I can say nothing more to you, but that you have much greater reasons to say, in this case, as a Duke of Ormond said of an Earl of Ossory, “I would not exchange my dead son for any living son in the world.”

 Henry Laurens replied, “Thank God, I had a son who dared to die in defence of his country.”

1860 – Road to Secession.

Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to be elected President. Voter turnout was 81.2 %, the highest in American history at the time. Lincoln did not carry a single slave-holding state and won the Electoral College with less than 40% of the vote.

 

1860 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS

CANDIDATE / POLITICAL PARTY PERCENTAGE OF VOTE
Abraham Lincoln (Republican) 39.8%
John Breckenridge (Southern Democrat) 18.1%
John Bell (Constitution Union / Whig) 12.6%
Stephen Douglas (Northern Democrat) 29.5%

South Carolina legislature immediately called for a state secession convention. Since the new state house was under construction, the legislature held meetings at the First Baptist Church in Columbia, as it was the largest meeting place in the city.

city hall - lincoln election

Charleston City Hall – assembled crowd awaiting the result of the 1860 Presidential elections. Harper’s Weekly image.

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