Fort Sumter Museum Exhibit
The November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln to the office of president marked the beginning of the chain of events that led to the secession of South Carolina from the United States of America. This was soon followed by secession of six more Deep South states. On March 4, 1861, Lincoln became the 16th President of a no longer United States. In his conciliatory address, Lincoln reiterated that he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it existed and added that is was the right of each state to control the “domestic institutions” within its borders. But he did not recognize the right of secession. He proclaimed that “the Union is unbroken,” and that any act of violence against the United States was “insurrectionary or revolutionary.”
On April 8, 1861, President Lincoln informed South Carolina’s Governor that provisions were being sent by water to the Federal troops at Fort Sumter. Two days later, Confederate General Beauregard was directed to demand the fort’s evacuation. If the Federals refused to leave, he was authorized to use whatever means necessary to force them out. Please take time to read the text of the exhibit that appears at the Fort Sumter Museum for more information on the events leading up to the first shots at Fort Sumter.
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