When Democrats held a rally in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1860, the Carlisle (PA) American Volunteer reported that no one had been ready for the “overwhelming avalanche” of delegates from “every town and township in the county.” Over 8,000 people filled the streets before noon, according to some estimates. The American Volunteer backed Senator Stephen Douglas and supported this event as a means to rally Democratic voters before a critical election. In the months before the election, the American Volunteer tried to convince Cumberland County residents that the Republican party represented a serious threat. “The election of LINCOLN will be the death-knell to our Republic,” as the American Volunteer warned. As Republican “Wide Awake” groups held parades in northern cities, the American Volunteer reported that “each man carried a six-barreled revolver” in order to demonstrate that “LINCOLN and his party are determined to carry out their sectional doctrines at all hazards and at any sacrifice.” The American Volunteer saw Republicans as a “sectional Abolition party” which was determined to “humble the South [and] root out slavery.” If Republicans carried out their plan, the American Volunteer predicted that “every State in the Union will be bathed in blood.” Only a Democratic victory in November 1860 would ensure a future for the Union. If Lincoln won, the American Volunteer observed that it “will be regarded as a declaration of war.” Yet the American Volunteer’s arguments failed to convince a sufficient number of Cumberland County voters – Lincoln ended up with a 400 vote majority. “A long dreary winter is ahead,” the American Volunteer predicted.