Congress gathered to try to find a compromise that both North and South might accept. Many hoped that President Buchanan’s final message to Congress might contain solutions to the country’s problems. President-elect Lincoln continued working toward forming his administration while trying to keep quiet about what he planned to do once in office. Federal troops isolated in Charleston Harbor called for reinforcements as South Carolina prepared to leave the Union.
The Florida legislature kicks off the month by meeting in special session to consider seceding from the Union. Other states would soon follow.
Maj. Robert Anderson begins looking for a more defensible position for his Federal garrison in Charleston Harbor, and South Carolina officials go to Washington to negotiate Anderson’s withdrawal from their state.
The last annual message of James Buchanan’s presidency acknowledges that North and South are “now arrayed against each other.” He offers suggestions on how to resolve the crisis, but he leaves both sections dissatisfied.
The U.S. House of Representatives forms a committee to hammer out a compromise between North and South, but both sides show signs of inflexibility.
Treasury Secretary Howell Cobb became the first member of President James Buchanan’s cabinet to resign over the sectional crisis. He would not be the last.
President-elect Abraham Lincoln meets with influential Congressman Francis P. Blair, Jr. and publishes an editorial about possibly bringing a southerner into his cabinet.
President-elect Abraham Lincoln tries to reach out to influential southerners to find some sort of rapidly vanishing middle ground in the unfolding sectional crisis.
Senator John J. Crittenden introduces a complex program designed to end the sectional crisis and preserve the Union.
Delegates to the Convention of the People of South Carolina unanimously approve an ordinance to secede from the United States and form the Palmetto Republic.
The quickly spreading news of South Carolina’s exit from the Union shakes America like nothing before in her history.
Various opinions are offered on secession, while the U.S. military faces the fact that it is completely unprepared for any kind of armed conflict.
Tensions near their breaking point in Charleston, causing Major Robert Anderson to make a fateful decision that threatened to start a war.
Secretary of War John B. Floyd faces charges of corruption and collusion with the South, as Major Robert Anderson moves his Federal garrison from Fort Moultrie to the stronger Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
The transfer of Major Robert Anderson’s Federal garrison to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor provokes intense reactions in the days that follow.
President-elect Abraham Lincoln reacts to the recent events in Charleston Harbor while he continues trying to fill his cabinet.
The adversarial relationship between Secretary of War John B. Floyd and the rest of President James Buchanan’s cabinet worsens when news arrives that Major Robert Anderson had moved his Federal garrison to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
South Carolinians complete their seizure of all Federal property in Charleston Harbor except Fort Sumter, while President James Buchanan issues a statement to the South Carolina commissioners and prepares to take action.
Several proposals to keep the Union intact are proposed, but none seem to be popular enough for both North and South to support.
Last Updated: 1/8/2021