150 years ago the stage was being set for the Civil War. The Buchanan administration sat paralyzed as the tide of secession was about to begin throughout the lower South. One member of the administration was fed up by its inaction. Lewis Cass was Secretary of State in the Buchanan cabinet. He was the Grand Old Man of the Michigan Democrat Party. A strong believer in Popular Sovereignty, a belief that the citizens of a territory should decide the slavery issue themselves, he had long been considered a doughface, a Northern politician who had Southern sympathies.
However, Cass, who was born during the Revolution, also had a deep love for the Union, and he was appalled by the refusal of Buchanan to take a firm military stand against the secessionists. His letter of resignation: (more…)