Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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The Election To-Day.

November 6, 2010

New York Times

November 6, 1860

It is universally conceded that the vote of New-York to-day decides the Presidential question. Every other Northern State is surrendered to LINCOLN. The great West will pronounce for him by enormous majorities. No one has a moment’s doubt about any NewEngland State, and the vote of last month rendered it absolutely certain that Pennsylvania will vote for him by at least 30,000 majority. The decision of the question, therefore, rests with New-York; — and so certain is the vote of the whole interior, that nothing less than forty or fifty thousand against him in the City can cast a shadow of doubt on the result in the State at large.

The most remarkable feature of the canvass has been the fact that the Republicans are the only organized party in the field. Theirs is the only platform of principles and the only candidate for which any citizen has a chance to vote. The Opposition to LINCOLN are united upon no candidate, nor do they agree upon any political principle. No man can tell what would follow their success, — what principles would come into the ascendant, — what man would take the guidance of public affairs. Indeed the only result of electing the Fusion ticket would be to throw everything into greater confusion than ever. Instead of ending the Presidential contest it would only be just commenced. The agitation throughout the country would be greater, more violent and more ruinous to business than ever before, and we might look forward to a Winter of political turmoil, business stagnation and commercial disaster. Business men in this City begin to see this tendency and dread the result. If the defeat of LINCOLN would end the contest, or put the matter in the way of a peaceful solution; — if it would elect anybody else or settle the principles and policy of the Administration, there would be some show of excuse for pressing it with so much zeal. But no such result is anticipated, or even claimed by his opponents.

The simple truth is, the political parties — and especially the Douglas Democrats, — have been made to play a purely subordinate part in this whole Fusion movement. The active leaders of the whole crusade have been a firm of dry goods merchants in this City, — who have cared far more about advertising their business at the South than about saving the Union or defeating LINCOLN. And the expiring faction of Know-Nothings, and the ultra Pro-Slavery Hards, saw at the outset that their only chance of salvation lay in fastening themselves upon the Democratic Party and being kept from utter extinction by its strength. If the Douglas Democrats had run a ticket of their own, with their own candate and upon their own platform, they would have had at least 20,000 more votes than the Fusion ticket will get, and would have held the organization, the strength and the prestige of the party after the contest was over. As it is, even if the Fusion ticket should succeed, half the victory inures to their copartners, and they themselves become powerless. For the Douglas Democrats, Fusion is the gravest mistake a political party ever committed.

The attitude of the Republican Party is eminently national and conservative, — and its success will do more to suppress the sectional agitation of the Slavery question than any other result. It seeks no interference with Slavery, — but aims only to check its increase. Its candidate is an eminently just, upright and conservative statesman, — pledged by his opinions, his declarations and his life against any invasion of Southern rights and any denial of Southern justice. The whole country has confidence in his honor and his fidelity to the Constitution; — and that confidence will not be misplaced or betrayed.

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