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Following the Election of 1860, some prominent Southern leaders, Jefferson Davis among them, wanted to give the Lincoln administration a chance to sooth the sectional strife. However, South Carolina sized the initiative, having clearly warned that if the Republicans won the 1860 election then the state would leave the Union.A special convention, attended by Robert Rhett and other noted “fire-eaters,” was convened following the election and unanimously passed a resolution of secession on December 20, 1860.The second to secede was Mississippi. Texas followed suit on February 1.After the secession decisions of the first seven states had been made, the movement halted. Some observers felt this was an encouraging sign and hoped that war could be averted.President James Buchanan did little. Buchanan believed, and would so maintain to the end of his life, that the problem was caused by the actions of the Northern abolitionists. No plan was forthcoming from the president, who eagerly awaited the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln.Meanwhile the Southern states were taking steps to bolster their military preparedness. Arsenals and forts were seized by state officials.Two fortified positions did not fall immediately into Southern hands—Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor and Fort Pickens near Pensacola. The President attempted to reinforce the position, but the ship carrying supplies and soldiers was dissuaded by Southern guns.