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 Union could still be save

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PostSubject: Union could still be save   Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Burnett supported fellow Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge for president in the 1860 presidential election, but Breckinridge lost to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. His victory in the election resulted in seven Southern states declaring their secession from the Union. Despite this, most Americans believed the Union could still be saved. Burnett, however, disagreed. In the January 7, 1861 issue of Paducah's Tri-Weekly Herald, he declared that "There is not the slightest hope of any settlement or adjustment of existing troubles."[12] Despite his pessimism, Burnett endorsed the ill-fated Peace Conference of 1861.[13]

Following the rapid secessions of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, Congress began preparing the nation for war, including by strengthening the army and navy and raising funds for the treasury. Burnett attempted to circumvent these measures by proposing an amendment stipulating that none of these new appropriations could be used to subdue or make war against any of the southern states, but the amendment was defeated.[14]

To avert war, the Kentucky General Assembly called for a meeting of border states to convene in Frankfort on May 27. Kentucky's twelve delegates to the convention were to be chosen by special election on May 4. However, after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, the secessionist candidates withdrew from the election. Expressing the view of the majority of these delegates, Burnett opined in the Tri-Weekly Herald that the convention would not occur. He was wrong; the convention was held as scheduled, but it failed to


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