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.
Senator John J. Crittenden introduces a complex program designed to end the sectional crisis and preserve the Union.
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.
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.
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.
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.