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Yorktown Convention (Napoleon's World)

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The Yorktown Convention was a meeting held by various American politicians, military leaders and intellectuals in Yorktown, Huron in January of 1874. While the meetings were ostensibly held by Nationalist Senator Matthew McClellan to discuss strategy in the upcoming Congressional elections, the idea of both secession and a military coup against President Josiah Marks, whom many Nationalists and military commanders feared would undo the Compromise of 1868 and the Military Act of 1871. Abolitionist crusader James Ramsay emerged as the public face of the opposition to Marks after the convention, where he declared in several prominent newspapers "Let them have their slaves, and let us have none of them!"

In the end, no decisions on either controversial measure were adopted, and the public fallout created a backlash against many of the most fervent abolitionists in the north, helping push their cause out of the mainstream. The commitment of Marks to a gradual phase-out of slavery also helped sate many mainstream and casual abolitionists and his vast expansion of the military later in 1874 ended crucial military support for the Yorktown Convention's leaders. Ramsay was charged and convicted of treason in 1875 in a controversial trial, and was hung in 1876.

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