When news of Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency reached South Carolina on Nov. 8, 1860, joyful Charlestonians took to the streets as if their candidate had won. They erected liberty poles near the battery, and booming cannon saluted the Palmetto flag. "The tea has been thrown overboard," editorialized the Charleston Mercury. "The revolution of 1860 has been initiated."
Douglas Egerton, a descendant of North Carolina slaveholders and Confederates, is a Professor of Early American and 19th Century U.S. History at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. His publications include "The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era". New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2014, "A History of the Atlantic World, 1400-1888" (with Kris Lane, Donald R. Wright, and Alison Games). Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 2007, and "Court of Death: A Documentary History of Denmark Vesey's Conspiracy" (with Robert L. Paquette), 2013.