1860 Constitutional Union Convention

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1860 Constitutional Union National Convention
1860 presidential election
JBell.jpg Edward Everett.jpg
Bell and Everett
Date(s)May 9–10, 1860
CityBaltimore, Maryland
Presidential nomineeJohn Bell of Tennessee
Vice Presidential nomineeEdward Everett of

The 1860 Constitutional Union National Convention met in Baltimore's Eastside District Courthouse, on May 9, 1860, one week before the 1860 Republican National Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln. The CU convention nominated John Bell of Tennessee for President on the second ballot, over Governor Sam Houston of Texas. Edward Everett was nominated for Vice President.[1][2]


As the Republican Party strengthened and the Democratic Party fractured, many former Whigs and Know Nothings founded the Constitutional Union Party. They hoped to stave off the danger of secession by avoiding the slavery issue.[3]


A Constitutional Union campaign poster, 1860, portraying John Bell and Edward Everett, respectively the candidates for President and Vice President. Once Lincoln was inaugurated, and called up the militia, Bell supported the secession of Tennessee. In 1863, Everett dedicated the new cemetery at Gettysburg.

Constitutional Union candidates:

John Bell was a former Whig who had opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act and the Lecompton Constitution. Edward Everett had been president of Harvard University and Secretary of State in the Fillmore administration. The party platform advocated compromise to save the Union, with the slogan: "The Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is."[10]



Baltimore Constitutional Union Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st 2nd
John Bell 68.5 138
Sam Houston 57 69
John J. Crittenden 28 1
Edward Everett 25 9.5
William A. Graham 22 18
John McLean 21 1
William C. Rives 13 0
John M. Botts 9.5 7
William L. Sharkey 7 8.5
William L. Goggin 3 0

Vice Presidential[edit]

Everett was nominated by voice vote.


  1. ^ Lossing, Benson John, Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States of America, Volume 1 (1866) Poughkeepsie, NY. Free ebook. viewed January 26, 2012. p. 29 Bolters met at St. Andrew's Hall.
  2. ^ The building had been the First Presbyterian Meeting House (Two Towers Church) on Fayette Street, between Calvert and North Street, demolished before 1866 and occupied by the United States Courthouse.
  3. ^ Schulten, Susan "How (And Where) Lincoln Won". New York Times, 10 November 2010.
  4. ^ John Bell was a former U.S. Senator, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, U.S. Secretary of War
  5. ^ Sam Houston was a sitting Governor of Texas, former U.S. Senator, President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of Tennessee, and U.S. Representative (Tennessee-7)
  6. ^ John Crittenden was a sitting U.S. Senator, former U.S. Attorney General, Governor of Kentucky, U.S. Representative (Kentucky-8)
  7. ^ Edward Everett was a former U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Minister to the United Kingdom, Governor of Massachusetts, U.S. Representative (Massachusetts-4)
  8. ^ William A. Graham was a former U.S. Senator, Governor of North Carolina, U.S. Secretary of the Navy
  9. ^ William C. Rives was a former U.S. Senator 1832–1834, and again 1836-1845
  10. ^ Getting the Message Out! Stephen A. Douglas Archived 2015-01-20 at the Wayback Machine