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President Abraham Lincoln
Unpopular in Los Angeles County

President Abraham Lincoln, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln, 1863.

Although the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, is considered one of the nation’s greatest presidents, he was not popular in Los Angeles County when he was president. Only 20 percent of Los Angeles County voters (356 of them, to be exact) voted for Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. Four years later, in the 1864 presidential election, as the country suffered through the American Civil War, Lincoln fared better in Los Angeles County. He won 43 percent of the county’s voters (555 of them, to be exact). Nevertheless, he still trailed with county voters behind his Democrat opponent, George B. McClellan. Lincoln’s unpopularity in Los Angeles County came as no surprise. Many Californians, especially in Southern California, were originally from pro-slavery southern states. They opposed Lincoln's anti-slavery position and supported the confederate rebellion against the United States. In fact, the anti-Lincoln and anti-union fervor was so pervasive in the Los Angeles area that federal troops had to be garrisoned here during the war. L.A.'s leading newspaper of the time, the pro-confederate Los Angeles Star, wrote, on Jan. 3, 1863, two days after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation took effect:

“By the stroke of his pen, Mr. Lincoln frees every slave in rebeldom — robs every master of his servant, every household of its property. Was ever such an outrage perpetrated in the name of law, or such foul perjury committed, as by this man, sworn to maintain the Constitution and govern by the laws.”

Also see The Confederate County of Los Angeles

Civil War, Confederacy, Los Angeles County, 1861-1865