Lead: In the spring of 1860 the tensions of a nation that was losing patience with itself focused on the quiet port city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Tag: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: A compact and muscular man, with a square-built head and face, and an intense gaze, William Lowndes Yancey of Alabama seemed an unlikely candidate to provoke a revolution. The Democratic Party was gathering in Charleston to nominate a candidate for President. In that late April from all over the nation delegates were meeting to try and find some safe ground of compromise that might set at bay the forces of extremism that seemed bent on tearing the Party and the nation to pieces. Compromise. Yancey would have none of it. If he got his way the Democratic Party would be split and the resulting Republican victory would compel the cotton states of the South out of the Union.

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