Election of 1856

Date Span

The 1856 presidential contest was a three-way affair involving Democrat James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, Republican John Fremont, the famed western explorer, and American or Know Nothing candidate Millard Fillmore, the former president. The exciting contest marked a new, more openly sectional era in American politics but resulted in victory for Buchanan, who aspired to forge a national consensus for compromise on the difficult issue of slavery. (By Matthew Pinsker)

    Date Title
    New York Herald, "The Boston Fugitive Case," June 3, 1854
    Fayetteville (NC) Observer,“Senator Douglas and the Presidency,” December 24, 1855
    Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Trumbull, June 7, 1856
    New York Herald, "Our Boston Correspondance," July 26, 1856
    Abraham Lincoln, Form Letter to Fillmore men, September 8, 1856
    Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “N. C. University,” October 13, 1856
    Abraham Lincoln, Speech at a Republican Banquet, Chicago, Illinois, December 10, 1856
    New York Times, “The Slave Troubles,” December 30, 1856
    Washington (DC) National Era, "Black Republicanism in Missouri," January 1, 1857
    Washington (DC) National Era, "The Future Judged by the Past," January 1, 1857
    New York Times, “Message of Gov. Hamlin, of Maine,” January 9, 1857
    New York Times, "The Joint Committee to Notify the President and Vice-President Elect," February 14, 1857
    New York Times, "Cabinet Rumors at Washington," February 20, 1857
    New York Times, “The Buchanan Cabinet,” February 28, 1857
    New York Times, “Advertising Patronage and the ‘Irish’ Weekly Newspapers,” April 17, 1857
    Washington (DC) National Era, "The Southern Press," April 30, 1857
    New York Times, “Where is the South?,” July 11, 1857
    Washington (DC) National Era, “Inconsistency,” October 1, 1857
    New York Times, “The Crisis at Last,” October 14, 1857
    Washington (DC) National Era, "The Union," October 15, 1857
    New York Times, “The Fall Elections,” October 17, 1857
    Washington (DC) National Era, “Virginia and the South,” October 22, 1857
    Abraham Lincoln, Fragment of a Speech, circa December 28, 1857
    New York Herald, "Political Agitation in this Metropolis," Febraury 26, 1858
    Thomas J. Pickett to Abraham Lincoln, August 3, 1858
    New York Herald, “The Illinois Campaign,” August 13, 1858
    New York Herald, “Political Joking," August 15, 1858
    New York Herald, “The Illinois Campaign,” August 22, 1858
    Lowell (MA) Journal and Courier, "The Senatorial Canvass in Illinois," September 22, 1858
    Lowell (MA) Citizen & News, "Divided We Fall," October 25, 1858
    Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, "A House Divided, &c.," November 17, 1858
    Recollection of Jesse W. Fell, Conversation with Abraham Lincoln in early 1859
    New York Times, “Arrival of Senator Douglas in Philadelphia,” January 4, 1859
    New York Herald, “The Present Congress and the Next President,” January 17, 1859
    New York Herald, “The Presidential Question,” January 24, 1859
    New York Herald, “The Presidential Question,” January 29, 1859
    Bangor (ME) Whig and Courier, “Untitled,” February 11, 1859
    New York Times, “The Political Future,” February 26, 1859
    Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Br. [Mr.] Buchanan and the Democratic Party,” March 7, 1859
    New York Times, “The President and the Democracy,” March 15, 1859
    New York Herald, “The Late Scattering Elections,” April 6, 1859
    New York Times, “When Did He Die?,” May 11, 1859
    New York Times, “The Slavery Question,” July 29, 1859
    Memphis (TN) Appeal, “Fremont’s Position,” October 9, 1859
    New York Times, “Buchanan vs. Forney,” October 14, 1859
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "Dissolution of the Union," October 25, 1859
    Newark (OH) Advocate, “Mr. Douglas and the Presidency,” December 23, 1859
    Boston (MA) Advertiser, “What to do with Mr. Douglas,” February 23, 1860
    Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Mr. Buchanan’s Letter,” April 20, 1860
    Ripley (OH) Bee, “The Candidates,” May 24, 1860
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune,“The Fillmore Men,” May 25, 1860
    Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 31, 1860
    Chillicothe (OH) Scioto Gazette, “Can Locofocos Explain It?,” June 5, 1860
    Richard W. Thompson to Abraham Lincoln, June 12, 1860
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Fillmore Men,” June 19, 1860
    Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “A Quiet Campaign,” July 2, 1860
    John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, July 11, 1860
    Ripley (OH) Bee, "The 'Irrepressible Conflict,'" August 9, 1860
    Ripley (OH) Bee, “The War of the Giants,” September 13, 1860
    New York Times, “The Wide-Awake Parade,” October 3, 1860
    Ripley (OH) Bee, "The Disunion Slave Code Candidate," October 4, 1860
    Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Fear of Insurrection,” October 24, 1860
    Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Prime Cause," December 8, 1860
    (Montpelier) Vermont Patriot, “A Presidential Election Without A Parallel,” December 22, 1860
    John P. Verree to Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1861
    Boston (MA) Advertiser, “Not Quite a Unit,” May 9, 1861
    Chicago Style Entry Link
    Anspach, F. R. The Sons of the Sires; A History of the Rise, Progress, and Destiny of the American Party, and its Probable Influence on the Next Presidential Election. To Which is Added a Review of the Letter of the Hon. Henry A. Wise, Against the Know-Nothings. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1855.
    View Record
    The Agitation of Slavery. Who Commenced! And Who Can End It!! Buchanan and Fillmore Compared. From the Record. Washington, DC: Union Office, 1856. View Record
    The American Text Book, for the Campaign of 1856. Baltimore, MD: Bull & Tuttle, 1856. View Record
    Auchampaugh, Philip G. “James Buchanan, the Conservatives’ Choice, 1856.; A Political Portrait.” Historian 7 (Spring 1945): 77-90. View Record
    Carlson, Robert E. “Buchanan and Western Pennsylvania in 1856.” Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 40 (1957): 45-57. View Record
    Carroll, Anna Ella and James French. Who Shall be President?: An Appeal to the People. Boston: James French & Co., 1856. View Record
    Choate, Rufus. The Old-Line Whigs for Buchanan! Letters of Rufus Choate and James B. Clay. 1856. View Record
    Cluskey, M. W. Buchanan and Breckinridge: The Democratic Handbook. Washington, DC: R. A. Waters, 1856. View Record
    Freehling, William W. The Road to Disunion. Vol. 2, Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. View Record
    Gienapp, William E. The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. View Record
    Holt, Michael F. The Political Crisis of the 1850s. New York: W W Norton & Company, 1983. View Record
    Johnson, Kenneth R., ed. “A Southern Student Describes the Inauguration of President James Buchanan.” Alabama Historical Quarterly 31, no. 3-4 (1969): 237-240. View Record
    Klein, Frederic S. “Election of Buchanan in 1856 is Commemorated at Lancaster; British Share in Celebration.” Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs Bulletin 24 (1956): 17-20, 22. View Record
    Levin, Lewis C. The Union Safe!: The Contest Between Fillmore and Buchanan!: Fremont Crushed!. New York, 1856. View Record
    Lynch, William O. "Indiana in the Buchanan-Douglas Contest of 1856." Indiana Magazine of History 30 (1934): 119-132. View Record
    Montgomery, Horace. “Georgia’s Howell Cobb Stumps for James Buchanan in 1856.” Pennsylvania History 29 (1962): 40-52. View Record
    Parker, John A. “How James Buchanan was Made President, and by Whom.” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 13 (July 1905): 81-87. View Record
    Tinelli, L. W. Fremont, Buchanan and Fillmore; or, The Parties Called to Order. New York: Livermore & Rudd, 1856. View Record
    How to Cite This Page: "Election of 1856," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/9598.