The Mount Vernon Democratic Banner, in the election of 1860, supported Sen. Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois in the race, although it had commented that it preferred Vice President John Breckinridge. However, the paper clearly saw Douglas as the legitimate nominee of the Democratic party.
Like Douglas did when the war erupted, the Banner supported the Lincoln administration. But it did not support everything Lincoln did.
Two of the controversial things Lincoln did in 1861 were the enlisting of volunteers for three-year terms and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
The president had issued a message explaining his actions, and on July 16, 1862, the Banner commented.
“We have read this document over carefully and we see very little in it to admire, but a great deal to condemn.”
First, to link Lincoln to the old Democratic bogeyman of Federalism: “There are, to be sure, several finely worded sentences in the messages, professing great devotion to the Union, which the President’s political friends may consider “patriotic,” but to our mind there is a little too much of old Federalism in it to suit the great mass of the American people, especially those who have been educated in the school of Jefferson, Madison and Jackson.”