December 1859 to June 1860
Callie Anthony says: I'm worried about the political tensions that keep getting worse and worse. After that abolitionist John Brown raided the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry in October 1859, people have been getting more and more upset. We've been afraid that other abolitionists will incite the slaves to rebel and there will be more violence and bloodshed. People in the free states and the slave states are even more distrustful of each other now, and I don't know if these differences can be solved. The presidential election campaign doesn't seem to be helping resolve these problems. The Democrats are arguing so much that at their April convention they split into two groups. The Northern faction nominated Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas and the Southern faction nominated Vice President John C. Breckinridge, from Kentucky. The Republicans nominated a known opponent of slavery, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, but people around here will never vote for him. But there's another party that hopes to preserve the Union, and John Bell, of Tennessee, is the presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union Party.