The 1856 Election
- The American Party (Know Nothings) nominated Millard Fillmore, which was a mistake as Fillmore had pro-Southern sympathies and limited appeal in the North.
- The Republican Party saw Willam Seward and Samuel Chase a possible candidates, but Chase was too much of an abolitionist, and Seward was unlikely to win Nativist support as he had denounded the Know-Nothings.
- Therefore, John C. Fremont was nominated as the Republican candidate. He was born in the South, had had a career as an explorer, and was seen as a national hero. He was young and had little political experience, but his status as a hero made him popular. As he had little experience, he had few enemies. However, he was a rash and egoistical character.