Struggle for Missouri II

Lead: In the late spring of 1861, Missouri's fate hung in the balance. Would the state secede or remain loyal to the Union?

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Congressman Frank Blair faced a difficult task. Despite the fact that a majority of Missourians preferred to remain in the Union, Governor Claiborne Jackson, most of the Missouri legislature, and a substantial minority of the state's most powerful leaders had Southern sympathies and were working actively to pull the state out. Both sides assumed that the key to winning Missouri was the Federal Arsenal at St. Louis. There thousands of weapons and tons of ammunition were available to arm one side or another.

 

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Struggle for Missouri I

Lead: In the early days of the Civil War the destiny of Missouri was very much in doubt.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From the beginning, Missouri was something of an oddity. There it sat, a state in which slavery was permitted, jutting up into the Midwest, surrounded north, east and west by free territory. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 allowed it to become a slave state but decreed that no other territory north of the line running along its southern border could enter the union as a slave state. It was a brilliant solution but a temporary one. In the years running up to the Civil War, life in Missouri reflected the deterioration of national civility and illustrated the tensions that were about to carve the nation into warring camps.

 

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Franklin Buchanan

Lead: The Civil War brought the naval career of Franklin Buchanan to an abrupt halt.

 Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: In the annals of the United States Navy, the service of few officers equals in luster that of Franklin Buchanan. A native of Maryland he went to sea when he was fourteen years old. When the Southern states seceded in 1861, the sixty-year-old Buchanan already had a distinguished and memorable career. He planned the organization of the United States Naval Academy and from 1845 served as its first superintendent. He was executive commander of the Navy's first major steam-powered warship, the Mississippi, and commanded the flagship of Commodore Oliver C. Perry in the 1853 expedition to Japan. On that voyage Buchanan acted as chief negotiator in the talks which helped open Japan to Western commerce. At the outbreak of hostilities before the Civil War, he was in charge of the Washington Navy Yard and watched with apprehension the departure for Confederate service of officers at whose side he had served for decades.

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Presidential Wit: Abraham Lincoln

Lead: Of the weapons available to the politician, among the most powerful is humor. No one was better at wielding that weapon than Abraham Lincoln.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Few politicians can survive if they become an object of laughter and ridicule. On the other hand, those seeking office who have the ability to use humor as a weapon against opponents or as a means of giving themselves a more sympathetic and down-to-earth image, go a long way to winning the support and perhaps the affection of the electorate. A sense of humor is not required for election, but it helps, both to soften the blow of losing or, even better, to keep political success in correct perspective.

Democratic Convention of 1860 IV

Lead: The Democratic Party split at its meeting in 1860 and for a time the Southern port city of Charleston played host to two Conventions.

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

Content: The immediate cause of the division was the insistence of deep South states that the Party Platform must contain a slave code, guaranteeing that neither the Federal government nor territories that had not become states could interfere with slavery. If the code was missing, they were authorized to walk out of the Convention. The Platform Committee brought in two reports. The majority report included the slave code. The committee minority, allied with the front-runner, Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, produced a platform stating that the decision about slavery in the territories had to be made by the people who lived there. There was no slave code. Douglas knew that he could not be elected with the slave code. Northern states would have nothing to do with it.

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Democratic Convention of 1860 III

Lead: In the spring of 1860 the Democratic National Convention met in Charleston. It failed to achieve unity, compromise, or peace.

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

Content: A case can be made that the Charleston convention was a picture of the Republic itself. The politics of the United States were becoming rigid. Compromise, the lubricant that keeps the engine of democracy in motion, was becoming almost impossible to achieve. As if sand had been thrown into its works the machinery of American civilization was being ground to a halt by slavery.

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Democratic Convention of 1860 II

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.

Intro.: "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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Democratic Convention of 1860 I

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.

Intro.: "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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