National Convention held in Chicago, Illinois, May 16-18, 1860
Biography: Lincoln was a former Whig, a member of the House of Representatives from 1847 – 1849 where he opposed the Mexican War. He held a law practice in Springfield, Illinois after leaving office. He ran for United States Senate on the Republican ticket in 1858, against incumbent Stephen Douglas, taking part in the now famous “Lincoln-Douglas Debates.” He lost the election, but gained national recognition.
Slavery: Opposed the spread of slavery in any form to the new territories.
National Convention held in Charleston, South Carolina on April 23, 1860, then again in Baltimore, Maryland on June 18, 1860
Biography: Douglas held United States Senate seat since 1847, supporting both the expansion of the United States to include the entire continent and the Mexican War. In 1858, he was opposed by Lincoln. The two held seven nationally-covered debates across the state of Illinois. Douglas retained the seat.
Slavery: Wanted the people of the territories to be able to decide for themselves whether or not they wanted slavery.
National Convention held in Baltimore on May 9, 1860
Biography: Bell began his career first a democrat and then a Whig, was a member of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and Senator from Tennessee. Voted against the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Slavery: As per party line, would not state whether for or against the spread of slavery – only wanted to keep the Union in tact.
Convention held in Baltimore on June 18, 1860 after split with main Democrat Party
Biography: Democratic member of the House of Representatives, became President Buchanan’s Vice-President, the youngest to hold the office, at age 35. He was nominated for president by the Southern Democrats, having split from the main Democrat Party. Endorsed by President Buchanan.
Slavery: Wished to ensure that slaveholders could own slaves in new territories.