4 Dec – The last annual message of James Buchanan’s presidency acknowledged that North and South were “now arrayed against each other.”
5 Dec – President-elect Abraham Lincoln expressed great dissatisfaction with President Buchanan’s message released yesterday. Lincoln disagreed with Buchanan placing responsibility for the sectional crisis on the northern free states.
18 Dec – Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky introduced a complex set of amendments and resolutions designed to end the sectional crisis and ensure the Union remained intact.
20 Dec – Delegates to the Convention of the People of South Carolina unanimously approved an ordinance to secede from the United States.
26 Dec – Major Robert Anderson completed the transfer of Federal troops in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina from Fort Moultrie on the shoreline to the stronger Fort Sumter on a harbor shoal.