Diary of a Northern Abolitionist
The Year of 1860, 4th May
This is my second day in Chicago. Thousands of people have swarmed Chicago for the Republican Convention. All forty-two of the city's hotels are filled. Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to get a room in Camden Hotel. My room is small, but sufficient for my needs. I write here today about the hysteria at this historical event. Abraham Lincoln, from Illinois has been nominated for President two days ago. The question now is whether or not Lincoln or Douglas should be President. I really hope Lincoln wins. In the Senate race, he spoke about how the states should have the rights, yet the real issue is the sentiment of the part of the group that looks at slavery as wrong. The argument of slavery is what all the republicans, democrats and people of the nation revolve upon. I think his idea is genuine and what everybody needs to do is to collaborate and make the best of this union. It is twelve o'clock now. I am weary and in need of sleep. Till tomorrow, when we find out if Lincoln or Douglas wins the election. I pray to God that the man wins, for he holds the future of the union in his hands.
The Year of 1869, 5th of May
I thank the heavens for my prayer has been answered! Abraham, I should say President Abraham Lincoln has been elected. I went outside to the corner to buy a bottle of milk when I spotted a newspaper discarded on the street. It said Long Abe has been elected!!! I quickly went and bought a newspaper and read it so intently. It said the votes have been counted. Lincoln had carried the North and won the election. His name was not even on the ballots in ten southern states, yet Northerners outnumbered southerners and outvoted them. The South was very mad about this. Southerners feel that since Lincoln had been elected they had no say in the national government. They also believed that the Congress and the President were against their appeals, one of them is slavery. Rumors have spread saying that South Carolina has threatened secede from the Union. If this is the outcome of this election, something has to be done fast!
The Year of 1861, 13th of April
It has been almost a year since I have written in you. Sorry about that! A lot has changed and happened in this period of time. I have moved out of the small room in Camden Hotel and am now living with my Aunt in her mansion. On December 20, 1869, South Carolina was the first to secede from the Union. By February 1, 1861, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia seceded from the union. These states have called themselves the Confederate States. Jefferson Davis was named president of the Confederacy. I do not know what they were thinking but they claimed they had every right to secede. The Declaration of Independence says that, "It is the right of the people to alter or to abolish." They believed Lincoln would deny them (white southerners) the right to own slaves.
Lincoln took the oath of President on March 4, 1861. He had pledged that he would not start war unless the South did. The confederacy took over some forts, outraging many Northerners. They then forced Lincoln to make up his mind whether or not he wanted war. The confederacy had taken over all forts, post offices and federal buildings. The Union had three forts in Florida and one in South Carolina. The most important fort was Fort Sumter. It was so important because it guarded Charleston Harbor. On April 12, 1861, the Confederacy tried to make the fort surrender. The Union refused and the confederacy started the opening shots. On April 13, 1861, Anderson, the Union commander, surrendered. It was said that the battle looked like a fireworks display. Yet I feel these fireworks marked the start of a war that will last I do not know how long, yet I do know it will be long. I will not be able to write in you much because I have decided that I will join the Union and fight for this significant cause. God I look to you again for your guidance into this war that I hope will not be too quarrelsome.