The Liberator Announces the Death of William L. Yancey

William Lowndes , Yancey , whose death is announced from Richmond, was born in Columbia, S.C. in 1815, but at an early age removed to Alabama, Where he served in the legislature, and was in 1844, elected to Congress, serving for two terms, voting in 1845 for the admission of Texas.

In the National Democratic Convention in 1848 he nominated Mr. Can for the Presidency. From that time forward he was a leader of the extreme Southern party, always advocating state rights and favoring secession. He was among the seceding delegates to the Charleston Convention, and subsequently warmly advocated the election of Brookenridge.

He was among the principal originators of the rebellion, and as a member of the Alabama Convention reported the ordinance of secession, which was passed January 14th, 1861.

In February following he was sent to Europe to present the claims of the rebels to recognition at the hands of the Great Powers. In February of last year he came home and entered the rebel Congress as a senator from Alabama.


Collection: The Liberator
Date: August 14, 1863
Title: Death of William L. Yancey
Location: Boston


Throughout the 1850s, Yancey, sometimes referred to as the “Orator of Secession”, demonstrated the ability to hold large audiences under his spell for hours at a time.  At the 1860 Democratic National Convention, Yancey, a leading opponent of Stephen A. Douglas and the concept of popular sovereignty, was instrumental in splitting the party into Northern and Southern factions.

During the Civil War, Yancey was appointed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to head a diplomatic delegation to Europe in the attempt to secure formal recognition of Southern independence. In these efforts, Yancey was unsuccessful and frustrated. Upon his return to America in 1862, Yancey was elected to the Confederate States Senate where he was a frequent critic of the Davis Administration. Suffering from ill health for much of his life, Yancey died during the war at the age of 48.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Tags: ,

Stay Connected

Connect with Accessible Archives on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to stay up to date on news and blog posts or get our latest blog posts by email.

Positive SSL