U. S. President James Polk requests 2 million dollars to purchase land from Mexico following the Mexican-American War. David Wilmot of Pennsylvania attaches the "Wilmot Proviso" to this bill. It passes in the House but is tabled in the Senate.
Democratic Convention begins in Baltimore, Maryland. Four candidates, Lewis Cass, Stephen Douglas, William Marcy and James Buchanan struggle for philosophical control of the Democrat Party. On the 35th ballot the name of Franklin Pierce is added by the state of Virginia
Following a discussion with Franklin Pierce and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Douglas releases the Nebraska act with two significant changes: Two terrortories, Kansas and Nebraska will be formed and the Missouri Compromise is superceded and inoperative.
Stephen Douglas stands his ground in the Senate as he closes debate on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Biographers consider this to be one of his shining moments. Finally, at 5:00 am on the 4th, the Senate passes the bill, 37 to 14
Democratic Convention - After 14 ballots, sitting President Franklin Pierce withdraws his name from nomination. Stephen Douglas withdraws at the end of the 16th ballot. James Buchanan is nominated by acclamation
The Democrats reconvene in Baltimore to select a nominee, but Douglas can't make the necessary 2/3 majority until the anti-Douglas delegates leave on June 22 and the floor rules are changed to require 2/3 vote of the members present. On June 23rd the Convention nominates Stephen Douglas and Herschal V. Johnson