Abraham Lincoln Elected President

Tuesday, November 6, 1860

Republican campaign banner, 1860. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.

Republican Abraham Lincoln is elected president of the United States, dividing the nation (and Missouri) between secessionists and Unionists. While Lincoln promises not to take measures against slavery in the South, Southerners widely believe him to be a radical abolitionist, and many Northerners see him as inexperienced and unprepared for the presidency in such troubled times. As Lincoln awaits his inauguration in Springfield, Illinois, he receives word that numerous Southern states are seceding from the Union. Seven states secede before Lincoln is even inaugurated on March 4, 1861.

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