TL: The Pathfinder Paves the Way

I was inspired by this timeline, on a potential scenario on what if John C. Fremont won the presidential election of 1856. This is my own version of that TL. The Election of 1856 ends differently than OTL, and a different lore to go with it
 
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November 04, 1856:

Republican: John C. Fremont/Abraham Lincoln, 163 Electoral Votes, 35.2%
Democratic: James Buchanan/John C. Breckinridge, 122 Electoral Votes, 43.3%
American: Millard Fillmore/Andrew Donelson, 11 Electoral Votes, 21.6%
149 Electoral Votes needed to win, 296 total Electoral Votes
1856.png


After Fremont is elected President of the United States, A large collection of Southern states seceded from the Union. Here is a list of those states:

South Carolina
North Carolina
Virginia
Florida
Alabama
Georgia
Mississippi
Louisiana
Arkansas
Texas
Missouri
Indian Territory (occupied by Texas)
civil war map pathfinder.png

Blue: Union States
Red: Confederate States
Light Red: Indian Territory

 
Confederate President: John A. Quitman
220px-Hon._John_A._Quitman%2C_Miss_-_NARA_-_528341.jpg

Quitman was a leading fire eater politician from Mississippi. Staunchly pro-slavery, even having owned 3 different slave plantations at once, Quitman was a very ambitious man, and the chance to take on the leadership of the Southern States and the military it organized was a perfect opportunity at fame. On November 03, 1857, Quitman would be elected President of the Confederate States unanimously. The two Americas were well into war at that point. Despite superior generals at the time, including the prestigious Robert E. Lee, Quitman's arrogance and inability to properly serve would cause the C.S.A to lose ground quite quickly. Not to mention his untimely death on July 17, 1858, just 5 months into his Presidency. He would be succeeded by Vice President Herschel Johnson, a pro-peace advocate. Shortly after the northern and western portions of Virginia broke off into the state of Westylvania in late 1859 and joined the union, Johnson spent the last 6 months of his presidency negotiating peace with the Union before finally stepping down on July 04, 1860


1860 Presidential Election: November 06, 1860
John C. Fremont/Abraham Lincoln (Republican) 141 Electoral Votes
Horatio Seymour/Joseph Lane (Democratic) 62 Electoral Votes
John Bell/Waitman T. Willey (Constitutional Union) 30 Electoral Votes
117 Electoral Votes needed to win, 233 total
1860 Pathfinder.png
 
TBH I do think there would be honest validity to a succession among southern states if Buchanan won the PV by 8 points and still lost. Think of it this way: There have been four who won outright but lost the PV. Hayes by 3, Harrison by 1, Bush by .5 and Trump by 2. This is at least 2.5 times as much as any of the mentioned above cases. That is an amount that would really get the southern base really angry, and would get them to truly feel like they had been cheated out on. Now knowing what happened as a result of succession, I am not saying that they should have done such a thing regardless of PV results, but I do see how such a conclusion would be seen as a valid one in 1856 in such a case
 
TBH I do think there would be honest validity to a succession among southern states if Buchanan won the PV by 8 points and still lost. Think of it this way: There have been four who won outright but lost the PV. Hayes by 3, Harrison by 1, Bush by .5 and Trump by 2. This is at least 2.5 times as much as any of the mentioned above cases. That is an amount that would really get the southern base really angry, and would get them to truly feel like they had been cheated out on. Now knowing what happened as a result of succession, I am not saying that they should have done such a thing regardless of PV results, but I do see how such a conclusion would be seen as a valid one in 1856 in such a case
That and Fremont being opposed to slavery, more so than Lincoln. However my reasoning for making Kentucky and Tennessee stay with the union is because i feel their conventions would feel secession would be too early at that time, meanwhile Missouri leaves the union because Bleeding Kansas had just started around that point, and was fresher in their minds than in 1861.
 
Fremont would spend his latter term in office strictly enforcing Reconstruction on the southern states. Radical Republicans controlled both houses of congress, so this passed through with little opposition. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments would be made from 1860 to 1864. Following the presidential tradition set by George Washington, Fremont declined to contest the 1864 election for a third term. Although Vice President Abraham Lincoln was the obvious successor, Fremont had his reservations, claiming he was too soft on Reconstruction. Fremont and other Radical Republicans drafted Secretary of State William Seward for the nomination. However, his association with Thurlow Weed and Lincoln's immense popularity with the public, effectively ended any chance of Seward winning the nomination, and Lincoln won anyway. The Radicals would have their way with the Vice Presidency, nominating Salmon P. Chase of Ohio.

Abraham Lincoln (R-IL)/Salmon P. Chase (R-OH) 171 Electoral Votes
Francis P. Blair Sr. (CU-MO)/Andrew Johnson (CU-TN) 38 Electoral Votes
Thomas H. Seymour (D-CT)/Thomas Hendricks (D-IN) 36 Electoral Votes
123 electoral votes needed to win, 245 total
1864 Pathfinder.png
 
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Abraham Lincoln entered office in 1865 with what would normally seem as a perfect scenario, when it was actually a very imperfect situation. Despite having a republican congress with him as a republican himself, most of congress were Radical Republicans. Lincoln, meanwhile, was a much more moderate Republican focused on national unity. Despite this, Lincoln was able to pass through most of his agenda in his first term. He was even able to purchase Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1866, with the help of Secretary of State Cassius Marcellus Clay. Speaking of Clay, he would be nominated for Vice President after Salmon Chase rejected the notion of running with Lincoln again, instead running under the Constitutional Union party banner. The Democrats nominated their nominee for running mate in 1864, Thomas Hendricks.

President Abraham Lincoln (Republican-Illinois)/Secretary of State Cassius Marcellus Clay (Republican-Kentucky) 191 Electoral Votes
Vice President Salmon P. Chase (Constitutional Union-Ohio)/Former Representative Francis P. Blair (Constitutional Union-Missouri) 36 Electoral Votes
Senator Thomas Hendricks (Democratic-Indiana)/Former Senator Augustus C. Dodge (Democratic-Iowa) 30 Electoral Votes
1868 Pathfinder.png
 
During the latter half of his Presidency, Lincoln was able to successfully reintegrate the remaining southern states back into the Union. The Democratic and the Constitutional Union parties coalesced into the larger Union Party. The Republicans nominated Ulysses S. Grant, after Vice President Clay stood down at the convention. The Union Party nominated a ticket of Francis P. Blair Jr, the Constitutional Union party's vice presidential nominee in 1868, and Henry Warner Slocum, a Democratic Representative from New York and a Union General during the Civil War

General Ulysses S. Grant (Republican-Ohio)/Speaker of the House of Representatives Schuyler Colfax (Republican-Indiana) 237 Electoral Votes
Senator Francis P. Blair Jr. (Union-Missouri)/Representative Henry Warner Slocum (Union-New York) 126 Electoral Votes
Pathfinder 1872.png


The Union Party would gain much more traction following the 1872 election. Grant's corruption and ineffectiveness to lead the nation through reconstruction would pain the nation, and for the first time in 16 years, the Republicans would lose control of congress. The Union Party would run 1868 Democratic presidential nominee Thomas Hendricks as their candidate for the 1876 Presidential Election, with Thomas Bayard as the running mate. The Republicans would once again run Grant, only this time with the running mate of James G. Blaine of Maine.

Governor Thomas A. Hendricks (Union-Indiana)/Senator Thomas Bayard (Union-Delaware) 206 Electoral Votes
President Ulysses S. Grant (Republican-Ohio)/House Minority Leader James G. Blaine (Republican-Maine) 163 Electoral Votes
Pathfinder 1876.png
 
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