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Encyclopedia > U.S. presidential election, 1860
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Presidential electoral votes by state.

The U.S. presidential election of 1860 is widely considered to be a realigning election. The nation had been divided through most of the 1850s on the issue of slavery, with Northerners and Southerners disagreeing over whether or not it should be expanded to the territories, and fighting for each new state admitted to the Union. In 1860, this issue finally came to a head, bringing Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party to power, while it simultaneously fractured the formerly dominant Democratic Party in two. Download high resolution version (1182x635, 104 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: U.S. presidential election, 1860 Categories: National Atlas images ... Download high resolution version (1182x635, 104 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: U.S. presidential election, 1860 Categories: National Atlas images ... Realigning election or critical election or realignment are terms from political history and political science. ... // Events and Trends Technology Production of steel revolutionised by invention of the Bessemer process Benjamin Silliman fractionates petroleum by distillation for the first time First transatlantic telegraph cable laid First safety elevator installed by Elisha Otis Science Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species, putting forward the theory of evolution... The Buxton Memorial Fountain, celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, London. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... The Republican Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party. ...


The immediate result was the secession of seven southern states to form their own country and the outbreak of the American Civil War. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Abraham Lincoln Jefferson Davis Strength 1,556,678 (of whom many signed multiple enlistment contracts) 1,064,200 Casualties KIA: 110,100 Total dead: 359,500 Wounded: 275,200 KIA: 74,500 Total dead: 198,500 Wounded: 137,000+  {{{notes...

Contents


Background

Since the previous election, the nation had been radicalized along sectional lines by many factors, including the Dred Scott decision, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Lecompton Constitution, and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Moreover, the Panic of 1857 had weakened the incumbent Democratic Party and the following recession had started to draw the North and the West closer together economically. Holding Blacks, whether slaves or free, could not become United States citizens and the plaintiff therefore lacked the capacity to file a lawsuit. ... The Kansas–Nebraska Act was an Act of Congress passed on January 23, 1854 organizing a territorial government for the lands that later became the states of Kansas and Nebraska. ... Introduction The Lecompton Constitution was one of four proposed Kansas state constitutions. ... John Browns Oath Engraving from daguerreotype by Augustus Washington, ca. ... Harpers Ferry is the name of several places in the United States of America: Harpers Ferry, Iowa Harpers Ferry, West Virginia There was also John Browns raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia as well as a Battle of Harpers Ferry in the American Civil War. ... The Panic of 1857 abruptly ended the boom times that followed the Mexican War. ...

The origins of the American Civil War lay in the complex issues of political party politics, disagreements over the scope of state and federal power, slavery, expansionism, sectionalism, economics and culture of the Antebellum Period. ...

Nominations

Constitutional Union Party nomination

Diehard former Whigs and Know-Nothings who felt they could not support the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party formed the Constitutional Union Party, nominating John C. Bell of Tennessee for president and Edward Everett for vice president in Baltimore on May 9, 1860 (one week before Lincoln was nominated). The Know-Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1850s. ... The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860. ... John Bell (February 15, 1797–September 10, 1869) was a U.S. politician. ... Edward Everett Edward Everett (April 11, 1794–January 15, 1865) was a Whig Party politician from Massachusetts. ... May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ...


John Bell was a former Whig and large slaveholder who had opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Lecompton constitution. Edward Everett had been president of Harvard University and a former secretary of state and Cotton Whig in the Fillmore administration. The party platform advocated compromise to save the Union, with a slogan of “the Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is.” Introduction The Lecompton Constitution was one of four proposed Kansas state constitutions. ...


Democratic Party nominations

The Democratic Party was similarly divided. At the convention in Charleston in April 1860, 50 southern Democrats walked out over a platform dispute. The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...


Six candidates were nominated: Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, Joseph Lane of Oregon, James Guthrie of Kentucky, and Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia. Douglas was ahead on the first ballot, needing 57 more votes. On the 57th ballot, Douglas was still ahead, but was still 50 votes short of the nomination. In desperation, on May 3 the delegates agreed to stop voting and adjourn the convention. Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861), American politician from Illinois, was one of the Democratic Party nominees for President in 1860 (the other being John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky). ... For other people named Andrew Johnson, see Andrew Johnson (disambiguation). ... Daniel S. Dickinson Daniel Stevens Dickinson (September 11, 1800 - April 12, 1866) was an American politician, most notable as a United States Senator from New York from 1844 to 1851. ... Joseph Lane (1801-1881) was an American general during the Mexican War. ... James Guthrie (December 5, 1792–March 3, 1869) was an American businessman and politician. ... Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter (April 21, 1809 - July 18, 1887), American statesman, was born in Essex County, Virginia. ...


They convened again in Baltimore on June 18. This time 110 southern Democrats (led by “fire-eaters”) walked out when the convention would not adopt a resolution supporting slavery in the territories. After many ballots, the remaining Democrats nominated the ticket of Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and Herschel Vespasian Johnson of Georgia. June 18 is the 169th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (170th in leap years), with 196 days remaining. ... By radically urging secessionism in the US South, the Fire-Eaters demonstrated the high level of sectionalism existing in the US during the 1850s, and materially contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War (1861-1865). ... Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861), American politician from Illinois, was one of the Democratic Party nominees for President in 1860 (the other being John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky). ... Herschel Vespasian Johnson (September 18, 1812 - August 16, 1880) was an American politician. ...


The Southern Democrats reconvened in Richmond, Virginia and on June 28 nominated incumbent Vice President John Cabell Breckinridge of Kentucky for President, and Joseph Lane of Oregon for Vice President. Nickname: River City Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra Official website: http://www. ... (Some entries on this page have been duplicated on August 1. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, is a heartbeat from the presidency, and in the calculation of Vice President John Nance Garner, not worth a bucket of warm piss. ... John C. Breckinridge John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821–May 17, 1875) was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, Senator from Kentucky, the fourteenth Vice President of the United States, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... Joseph Lane (1801-1881) was an American general during the Mexican War. ...


This divide was, of course, caused by the issue of slavery. Those in the South nominated a solidly pro-slavery candidate, while those in the North nominated a candidate who maintained a middle field when discussing slavery.


Republican Party nomination

When the Republican National Convention met in mid-May, the Democrats had been forced to adjourn their convention in Charleston after 57 ballots. With the Democrats in disarray and with a sweep of the Northern states possible, the Republicans were confident going into their convention in Chicago, Illinois. William H. Seward of New York was considered the frontrunner, followed by Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, and Pennsylvania's Simon Cameron. The Republican National Convention, the presidential nominating convention of the United States Republican Party, is held every four years to determine the partys candidate for the coming Presidential election and the partys platform. ... The Republican Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party. ... Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden) Official website: http://egov. ... William H. Seward William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... Salmon Portland Chase (January 13, 1808 – May 7, 1873) was an American politician and jurist in the Civil War era who served as Senator from Ohio, as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln, and Chief Justice of the United States. ... Simon Cameron (March 8, 1799–June 26, 1889) was United States Secretary of War for Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1862. ...


As the convention developed, however, it was revealed that Seward, Chase, and Cameron had each alienated factions of the Republican Party. Delegates were concerned that Seward was too identified with the radical wing of the Republican Party, and Seward's moves toward the center had alienated the radicals. Chase, a former Whig himself, had alienated many of the former Whigs by his coalition with the Democrats in the late 1840's and held a view on protectionism that ran counter to the Republican mainstream. Cameron was also anathema to the former Whigs because he had been a Whig and then had switched to the Democratic Party before becoming a Republican.


Since it was essential to carry the West, and because Lincoln, whose only national experience was a single term as a mere United States representative, had offended few delegates, he received the party's nomination on the third ballot on May 16, 1860. May 16 is the 136th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (137th in leap years). ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ...


The party platform clearly stated that slavery would not be allowed to spread any farther, and also promised that tariffs protecting industry would be imposed. A law granting free homesteads in the west to settlers was also part of the platform.


General election

Campaign

The contest in the North was between Lincoln and Douglas, but only the latter took to the stump and gave speeches and interviews. In the South John Breckinridge and John Bell were the main rivals, but Douglas had an important presence in southern cities, especially among Irish Americans. Fusion tickets of the non-Republicans developed in New York and Rhode Island, and partially in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (the northern state in which Breckinridge made the best showing). Irish Americans are residents or citizens of the United States who claim Irish ancestry. ...


Stephen Douglas became the first presidential candidate in history to undertake a nationwide speaking tour. He traveled to the South where he did not expect to win many electoral votes, but he spoke for the maintenance of the Union.


The 1860 campaign was less frenzied than 1856, when the Republicans had crusaded zealously, and their opponents counter-crusaded with warnings of civil war. In 1860 every observer calculated the Republicans had an almost unbeatable advantage in the electoral college, since they dominated almost every northern state.


Results

The election was noteworthy for the exaggerated sectionalism of the vote, with Lincoln not even on the ballot in nine Southern states - and winning only 2 of 996 counties in the entire South[1].


This election is a textbook example of how to win an electoral majority without a popular majority. While Lincoln captured less than 40% of the popular vote, the sectional divisions of the nation allowed him to capture 17 states plus 4 electoral votes in New Jersey for a total of 180 electoral votes. Although the three-way split of the non-Republican vote confuses the issue, the vote split was irrelevant to Lincoln's victory, because he would have won an outright majority in the electoral vote, 169-134, even had the 60% of voters who supported other candidates united behind a single candidate. Except for California, Oregon, and New Jersey, Lincoln won a popular majority in every state that cast its electoral votes for him.[2] Only in California, Oregon, and Illinois had Lincoln's victory margin been less than 7%.


Meanwhile, Douglas finished second in the popular vote, but due to the north-south split garnered only Missouri's 9 electoral votes and three of seven electoral votes in New Jersey, good for fourth place. Bell won Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia's electors, while Breckinridge won every other slave state except Missouri. Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 21st 69,709 mi²; 180,693 km² 240 mi; 385 km 300 mi; 480 km 1. ... Official language(s) None defined, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 47th 22,608 km² 110 km 240 km 14. ... Official language(s) English Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 37th 104,749 km² 225 km 610 km 1. ... Official language(s) English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 36th 109,247 km² 195 km 710 km 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 35th 110,862 km² 320 km 690 km 7. ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 21st 69,709 mi²; 180,693 km² 240 mi; 385 km 300 mi; 480 km 1. ...


The voter turnout rate in 1860 was the second-highest on record (81.2 %, second only to 1876, with 81.8 %). The Fusion ticket of non-Republicans drew 595,846 votes[3].

Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote(a) Electoral Vote Running Mate Running Mate's
Home State
Running Mate's
Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
Abraham Lincoln Republican Illinois 1,865,908 39.8% 180 Hannibal Hamlin Maine 180
John Cabell Breckinridge Southern Democratic Kentucky 848,019 18.1% 72 Joseph Lane Oregon 72
John Bell Constitutional Union Tennessee 590,901 12.6% 39 Edward Everett Massachusetts 39
Stephen Arnold Douglas (Northern) Democratic Illinois 1,380,202 29.5% 12 Herschel Vespasian Johnson Georgia 12
Other 531 0.0% 0 Other 0
Total 4,685,561 100.0% 303 Total 303
Needed to win 152 Needed to win 152

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. 1860 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (July 27, 2005). Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 340 km 629 km 4. ... Photographic portrait of Hannibal Hamlin Hannibal Hamlin (August 27, 1809 – July 4, 1891) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. ... Official language(s) None Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 39th 86,542 km² 305 km 515 km 13. ... John C. Breckinridge John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821–May 17, 1875) was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, Senator from Kentucky, the fourteenth Vice President of the United States, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 37th 104,749 km² 225 km 610 km 1. ... Joseph Lane (1801-1881) was an American general during the Mexican War. ... Official language(s) None Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 9th 255,026 km² 420 km 580 km 2. ... John Bell (February 15, 1797–September 10, 1869) was a U.S. politician. ... The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860. ... Official language(s) English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 36th 109,247 km² 195 km 710 km 2. ... Edward Everett Edward Everett (April 11, 1794–January 15, 1865) was a Whig Party politician from Massachusetts. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861), American politician from Illinois, was one of the Democratic Party nominees for President in 1860 (the other being John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky). ... The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 340 km 629 km 4. ... Herschel Vespasian Johnson (September 18, 1812 - August 16, 1880) was an American politician. ... July 27 is the 208th day (209th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 157 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 31, 2005). July 31 is the 212th day (213th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 153 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


(a) The popular vote figures exclude South Carolina where the Electors were chosen by the state legislature rather than by popular vote. Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 320 km 420 km 6 32°430N to 35°12N 78°030W to 83°20W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012...


Consequences

The election of Lincoln made South Carolina's secession from the United States a foregone conclusion. The state was long waiting for an excuse to secede and unite the southern states against the anti-slavery forces. Upon confirming that the results were final, South Carolina declared, “the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states under the name of the ‘United States of America’ is hereby dissolved,” precipitating the American Civil War. Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 40th 82,965 km² 320 km 420 km 6 32°430N to 35°12N 78°030W to 83°20W Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 26th 4,012... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Abraham Lincoln Jefferson Davis Strength 1,556,678 (of whom many signed multiple enlistment contracts) 1,064,200 Casualties KIA: 110,100 Total dead: 359,500 Wounded: 275,200 KIA: 74,500 Total dead: 198,500 Wounded: 137,000+  {{{notes...


Results by state


Abraham Lincoln

Republican
Stephen Douglas

(Northern) Democrat
John Breckinridge

Southern Democrat
John Bell

Constitutional Union
State Total
State electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
#
Alabama 9 not on ballot 13,618 15.1 - 48,669 54.0 9 27,835 30.9 - 90,122 AL
Arkansas 4 not on ballot 5,357 9.9 - 28,732 53.1 4 20,063 37.0 - 54,152 AR
California 4 38,733 32.3 4 37,999 31.7 - 33,969 28.4 - 9,111 7.6 - 119,812 CA
Connecticut 6 43,488 58.1 6 15,431 20.6 - 14,372 19.2 - 1,528 2.0 - 74,819 CT
Delaware 3 3,822 23.7 - 1,066 6.6 - 7,339 45.5 3 3,888 24.1 - 16,115 DE
Florida 3 not on ballot 223 1.7 - 8,277 62.2 3 4,801 36.1 - 13,301 FL
Georgia 10 not on ballot 11,581 10.9 - 52,176 48.9 10 42,960 40.3 - 106,717 GA
Illinois 11 172,171 50.7 11 160,215 47.2 - 2,331 0.7 - 4,914 1.4 - 339,631 IL
Indiana 13 139,033 51.1 13 115,509 42.4 - 12,295 4.5 - 5,306 1.9 - 272,143 IN
Iowa 4 70,302 54.6 4 55,639 43.2 - 1,035 0.8 - 1,763 1.4 - 128,739 IA
Kentucky 12 1,364 0.9 - 25,651 17.5 - 53,143 36.3 - 66,058 45.2 12 146,216 KY
Louisiana 6 not on ballot 7,625 15.1 - 22,681 44.9 6 20,204 40.0 - 50,510 LA
Maine 8 62,811 62.2 8 29,693 29.4 - 6,368 6.3 - 2,046 2.0 - 100,918 ME
Maryland 8 2,294 2.5 - 5,966 6.4 - 42,482 45.9 8 41,760 45.1 - 92,502 MD
Massachusetts 13 106,684 62.9 13 34,370 20.3 - 6,163 3.6 - 22,331 13.2 - 169,548 MA
Michigan 6 88,481 57.2 6 65,057 42.0 - 805 0.5 - 415 0.3 - 154,758 MI
Minnesota 4 22,069 63.4 4 11,920 34.3 - 748 2.2 - 50 0.1 - 34,787 MN
Mississippi 7 not on ballot 3,282 4.7 - 40,768 59.0 7 25,045 36.2 - 69,095 MS
Missouri 9 17,028 10.3 - 58,801 35.5 9 31,362 18.9 - 58,372 35.3 - 165,563 MO
New Hampshire 5 37,519 56.9 5 25,887 39.3 - 2,125 3.2 - 412 0.6 - 65,943 NH
New Jersey 7 58,346 48.1 4 62,869 51.9 3 partial fusion ticket with Douglas 121,215 NJ
New York 35 362,646 53.7 35 312,510 46.3 - fusion ticket with Douglas 675,156 NY
North Carolina 10 not on ballot 2,737 2.8 - 48,846 50.5 10 45,129 46.7 - 96,712 NC
Ohio 23 231,709 52.3 23 187,421 42.3 - 11,406 2.6 - 12,194 2.8 - 442,730 OH
Oregon 3 5,329 36.1 3 4,136 28.0 - 5,075 34.4 - 218 1.5 - 14,758 OR
Pennsylvania 27 268,030 56.3 27 16,765 3.5 - 178,871 37.5 - 12,776 2.7 - 476,442 PA
Rhode Island 4 12,244 61.4 4 7,707 38.6 - fusion ticket with Douglas 19,951 RI
South Carolina 8 - - 8 - - SC
Tennessee 12 not on ballot 11,281 7.7 - 65,097 44.6 - 69,728 47.7 12 146,106 TN
Texas 4 not on ballot 18 0.0 - 47,454 75.5 4 15,383 24.5 - 62,855 TX
Vermont 5 33,808 75.7 5 8,649 19.4 - 218 0.5 - 1,969 4.4 - 44,644 VT
Virginia 15 1,887 1.1 - 16,198 9.7 - 74,325 44.5 - 74,481 44.6 15 166,891 VA
Wisconsin 5 86,110 56.6 5 65,021 42.7 - 887 0.6 - 161 0.1 - 152,179 WI
TOTALS: 303 1,865,908 39.8 180 1,380,202 29.5 12 848,019 18.1 72 590,901 12.6 39 4,685,030

TO WIN: 152



See also

This period of U.S history saw the breakdown of the ability of white Americans of the North and South to reconcile fundamental differences in their approach to government, economics, society and African Americans. ... The origins of the American Civil War lay in the complex issues of political party politics, disagreements over the scope of state and federal power, slavery, expansionism, sectionalism, economics and culture of the Antebellum Period. ... The presidential seal was first used by president Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii The President of the United States of America (often abbreviated to POTUS) is the head of state of the United States. ... The U.S. House election, 1860 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1860 which coincided with the election of President Abraham Lincoln. ...

References

External links

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