Lead: In the Spring of 1860 the national Democratic Party Convention met in Charleston, South Carolina to nominate a candidate for President and Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois was the man to beat.

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

Content: Where Stephen A. Douglas was concerned, few persons held a neutral opinion. He was said to be a passionate man who evoked passion in others, in his friends and in his enemies. His people had set up their headquarters in the Hibernian Hall not far from the Battery, where ancient twisted live oaks dripping with Spanish moss as if from another and more leisurely place and time greeted the frantic visitors from North and West who came seeking compromise in an era of impatience and incivility. Douglas had a majority but his problem was that the Democrats demanded that he secure two-thirds of the votes to carry the nomination.

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