Talk:Political career of John C. Breckinridge

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Review comments by Wehwalt[edit]

Sorry to have been so slow in my review. Looks quite good, generally, a few things:

General comment: Consider having the chronological run-through of political career before the discussion of views. That way people are more familiar with the events you speak of in there. Just a suggestion.
Lede
  • "almost three decades". Checking the article, it seems to be 23 years, 1828 to 1851. Perhaps "almost a quarter century"? And were there really Democrats before that?
  • Fixed. Re: Democrats before then, John Breathitt, governor from 1832 to 1834, was considered a Democrat. They were clearly fewer back then, though. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Your capitalization of "vice president" looks to me to be inconsistent.
Formative years
  • "denouncing the Alien and Sedition Acts and asserting that states could nullify it" Them, no doubt, not "it".
  • "his friend and law partner," You should probably make clearer that this is the grandson's, not the grandfather's.
  • Yes, this problem plagues me throughout the articles about John C. Breckinridge. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Kentucky H of R
  • "As a reward for supporting internal improvements," You use the "i i" phrase in the last sentence, so I would suggest changing the last two words to "these projects".
  • Out of curiosity, were these resolutions on the Compromise of 1850 resolutions instructing Kentucky's senators how to vote? I've got an article planned on the legislative election of senators, and resolutions of instruction are all part of that. Just wondering for future reference.
  • Although I don't have the Heck book in front of me right now, if I remember the chronology correctly, the Compromise of 1850 was more like a list of ideas that formed the basis for a potential compromise than an actual piece of legislation at the time the resolutions were passed, hence the "fair and equitable basis" language. I think they were just kind of saying, "Yeah, we could get behind a plan that looks kinda like that." Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "the problem was money". Although this article merely covers the political career, a few timely words on how Breckinridge made a living would be a good idea.
First term
  • Can a percentage or the total votes cast be given? A raw vote margin of victory doesn't give all the necessary info.
  • Required a bit of math, but I added the percentage. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "Then he denounced Sanders" Strike "then". Also, I'd toss in a "likely" before "Democratic".
  • "Millard Fillmore's re-election". You have not mentioned his succession, and you may get some heat about "re-election"
  • Oops! Forgot Fillmore succeeded Taylor. How about I just call him the "incumbent", as I have now? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • " Fillmore held unclear views on slavery" They were perhaps clear to Fillmore! Perhaps something along the lines that Fillmore had not fully disclosed his views on slavery.
  • "After his maiden speech, Breckinridge took a more active role in the House." More active than what? He spoke on the day he was sworn in!
  • Oops! I was off by a year on the date of his speech. Davis goes into some detail about how newly-elected reps tried to get the floor to say pretty much anything to show that they were doing their jobs (and hence worthy of re-election), contrasting this with Breckinridge, who was apparently admired by his more senior colleagues for his restraint. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • " Andrew Johnson's Homestead Act," I'd preface it with a "Tennessee Representative" or similar, and call it the Homestead Bill, as it was not enacted until 11 years later, using a pipe.
Second term
  • Introductory paragraph. I'm a bit confused by the sequence of events. Washington Territory was not organized until March 2, 1853. Wouldn't waiting to decline the governorship leave very little time for re-election? You need to be clearer about the month and year that these elections took place in (including for the first term). I'm gathering that like Tennessee, they sometimes didn't bother to have the election until the term started, after all, Congress wasn't going to convene until December. But that doesn't explain his maiden speech. Also … Governor of Washington Territory .. in 1853 (I've just read one of Ezra Meeker's memoirs) when there was nothing there … that seems like a reward you'd rather not have because it would sideline you from national politics. It also makes me wonder why he would seek it at all.
  • Well, hopefully, the maiden speech issue has been cleared up. The dates of the 1851 election were August 3-4, 1851; I would assume the 1853 elections were in a similar time frame. I don't have the exact date of the election that took Crittenden out of the running as a competitor – only the year – but he had to be elected by the General Assembly, which convenes January through March or so, unless he was elected in a special session. As for Governor of Washington Territory, I know that by the end of Breckinridge's second House term, his wife was pushing him to leave national politics anyway, so that sentiment might have already been present in 1853. Also, financial troubles were probably a factor again. Being one of the first lawyers in that area could have made for a lucrative practice a few years down the road. That's guesswork on my part, though. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "and he decided to decline it " The "and" should not be there.
  • Given that you are detailing the other side's shenanigans towards Breckinridge in his second congressional election, if he also indulged in such things then, and if the source says so, you should mention it. As one of Hanna's biographers put it, this was the way the game was played on both sides.
  • It's very ambiguous. Davis says that Breckinridge's friends raised money "to counteract the damage the Whigs were doing". While he goes as far as to give the amounts Letcher supporters were paying people to not vote or to vote for Letcher, this one statement is all that is said about how Breckinridge used the few thousand dollars he raised. If the estimates of $30,000 to $100,000 raised by the Whigs are accurate, it is difficult to believe the $4,000 to $5,000 raised by Breckinridge could effectively combat widespread vote buying, but who knows? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "Democracy". Suggest a footnote or parenthetical indicating that he was talking about the party. That may be lost on a 21st century reader
  • Hmm. Wouldn't have expected that, but it's easy enough to add the footnote. Done. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • 80 out of 234 re-elected is very low by today's standards. If it was less so by the standards of the time, I would say so.
  • Heck seems to imply that it was also low at that time. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "Ways and Means committee" I would think you would capitalize the C as part of the usual name of the committee.
  • "Southerners thwarted his previous attempts" Perhaps "Southerners had thwarted his previous attempts to accomplish this", perhaps tossing in the fact that the territories might become free states, helping to outvote the South. Also, you sort of dance around the point that the K-N act was passed, but you never quite close the deal on it. You should also explain how it was the South did not block the K-N act, as you've mentioned that they thwarted Douglas's previous attempts.
  • "Had it taken place, Breckinridge could have been removed from the House; the 1850 Kentucky Constitution " this was long before Powell v. McCormick, of course, but would a clause in a state constitution have really removed him from office? I can see state officials might have kept him off the ballot in future elections.
  • It's impossible to say for sure, of course, but I think it's possible. If he became ineligible for the office by participating in a duel, the seat could have been declared vacant and a new election ordered by the General Assembly. As evidenced by the subsequent gerrymandering of the district, the Whigs had both the votes and the motivation to take such an action. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "paid only debts those related to powers" Issue here.
  • "removing over 500 Democrats and adding several hundred Whigs " perhaps "substituting several hundred Whig voters for Democrats by replacing … "
  • "The ascension of the Know Nothing Party further hindered Breckinridge's re-election chances." A few words as to why would be good. I'd also toss a "nativist" or "anti-immigrant" in front of the party name.
  • "the salary was insufficient" If I'm correct that the minister was expected to pay for many of his own expenses out of the salary, that might be worth a mention.
Davis strikes a glancing blow at this, but doesn't say it outright. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
U.S. Vice President
  • "presidential elector " When? Surely not in 1856? And if before then, why would that carry particular weight of itself?
  • Davis says that, at the state Democratic convention in Louisville in 1856, Powell supporters had the pleasure of "seeing Breckinridge appointed a state elector and delegate to Cincinnati". Not sure how else to read it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I guess they made nominations for elector. The Whigs could have carried Kentucky. Perhaps nominated?--Wehwalt (talk) 18:20, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • No, you'll notice the article says the Democrats carried Kentucky in 1856 for the first time since 1828. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:34, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "Tennessee's Andrew Johnson" "Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson". I really don't see the need to link the name of states, generally, except for in this article probably Kentucky and possibly Iowa.
  • Fixed the title. I do prefer to link state names in case non-U.S. readers are not familiar with them. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "electoral college " caps, I think.
  • If the prayer resolution session was the only time B&B were alone, who was present the other times they met? The Secretary to the President?
  • It isn't really clear. I get the impression that Buchanan rarely was in the same room with Breckinridge at all. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "a fourth defeated Johnson's Homestead Act." Homestead Bill, I suggest. I mention this incident in Johnson's article. Also, does the VP ever actively debate? Especially the 19th century vice president? I'm a bit taken aback by the suggestion that but for his desire to be seen as an impartial moderator, he'd have been fighting in the trenches of Senate debate. I'm not even sure he was allowed to rule on questions raised to the chair, because I know Hobart changed that.
  • I didn't really mean to imply that a desire to be impartial motivated his non-interference. Certainly, the rules of debate dictated that, something that clearly frustrated Breckinridge. Davis writes that he had much more influence as a legislator under Pierce than as vice-president under Buchanan. But I also wanted to note that, despite his strong feelings on the issues of the day, he tried – and succeeded in the opinion of most – to be impartial in his duties. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • " Kansas's approval" perhaps "the voters of Kansas Territory's approval"
  • You should toss a year into the final paragraph, two if the events happened in different years.
  • Done, but the preceding paragraph falls chronologically between the two. Do you see that as a problem from a prose standpoint? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Prez election of 1860
  • "they adjourned" refers to convention, so should be "it". I'd make it clearer that Guthrie was also a Kentuckian, perhaps by adding "as favorite son" after his first mention.
  • "On June 25, Jefferson Davis" His famous office so blinds people to the rest of his political career that I think you have to throw a "Mississippi Senator" in there.
  • " his strength in the south" Consistently with the usage of this article, should be South.
  • " rather than a compromise Democrat" reads strangely, you might want to frame it if the source supports about an unwillingness to vote for a slavery supporter, or possibly a Southerner.
  • I don't have the source in front of me, but I've changed this to "compromise candidate" pending further investigation. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • "Reminding the audience that Douglas wanted the Supreme Court to decide the issue of slavery in the territories, he pointed out that Douglas then denounced the Dred Scott ruling and laid out a means for territorial legislatures to circumvent it.Reminding the audience that Douglas wanted the Supreme Court to decide the issue of slavery in the territories, he pointed out that Douglas then denounced the Dred Scott ruling and laid out a means for territorial legislatures to circumvent it." I'm not sure I see the relevance of this to B's candidacy.
  • I read it to be a charge of "flip flopping" by Douglas, an accusation that seems to have carried political weight since the beginning of American political history. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Check over your capitalization of "Southern" to ensure it is as you would have it (there's at least one, in another section, "pro-Southern", which looks a bit odd to me. Also, "southern states" is inconsistently capitalized.)
  • I'm always torn between the idea of "south" and "southern" as a regional designation or a simple geographic descriptor. I think I've at least got it consistent now. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Aftermath
  • " on a compromise" strike, not needed.
  • "Governor Magoffin refused to endorse the resolution, preventing its enforcement." Short of with a gun, it was difficult to see how they would enforce it anyway, which was the problem with resolutions of instruction and the like.
  • True, but Davis credits the lack of endorsement with preventing enforcement. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
That's all I got. Well done.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:30, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. Since I got my new computer, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time playing Civilization V instead of doing Wikipedia. Have responded to some comments above. Hope to get to the rest soon. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:03, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
All responded to. Some may need follow-up. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:23, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm OK with what you've done in response to my comments.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:29, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Political career of John C. Breckinridge/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ealdgyth (talk · contribs) 15:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC) I'll be reviewing this article shortly. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Lots of spots where the prose needs work.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
  • General:
    • Duplicate links - do you have the script to check for those? You've got a few ...
  • IMages: File:John C. Breckinridge statue Lexington KY.jpg I'm unclear on the status of photographs of statues in the US - do we need to know the copyright status of the statue as well as the actual photograph?
    • Probably. I'll have to look it up, but I'm pretty sure the statue was first publicly displayed in the late 19th century. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • OK, sourced the date (1887) and took my best shot at making sure the licensing was right. Please double check that. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Lead:
    • "...in over twenty years." I believe it should be "in over 20 years." per the MOS.
    • run-in links "he was one of three candidates opposing Republican Abraham Lincoln." perhaps try "he was one of three candidates opposing Abraham Lincoln, a Republican."
      • How about "the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln", as I have it now? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • I think "southern states" rather than "Southern States".
      • Actually, per the comments from Wehwalt, I think I tried to go with "Southern states", where "Southern" is capitalized because it refers to the South as a region. Changed. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "After the firing on Fort Sumter, he opposed allocating resources..." awkward, can we reword?
    • "he fled behind Confederate battle lines and joined" odd phrasing for modern writing - suggest "he fled to the south and joined..."
      • Really? I didn't really think it was all that odd. Plus, "fled south" isn't really accurate. He fled east, then back west, and ended up only a little south (relatively speaking) from where he started. Bowling Green is more west by southwest of Lexington. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Then perhaps "he fled to the Confederacy and joined"? Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • I suppose that will work, since the details are in the article body. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "he encouraged Davis to effect a national surrender" very Victorian phrasing - suggest "he encouraged Davis to surrender"
      • I guess using "effect" as a verb is a little antiquated, but it's not accurate to say he encouraged Davis to surrender. He wanted the Confederacy to surrender, but Davis personally planned to flee for his life unless he got a guarantee of amnesty, I think. Davis was potentially facing capital punishment for treason. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Formative years ... (oh, look .. its Cabell again! So nice to meet old friends...)
I forgot that you did the GA review for Cabell, too. The Breckinridges are an interesting lot. If I ever finish John C., I may do some work on his nephew, William Campbell Preston Breckinridge, next. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Shouldn't we have a "Main article" link here - to Breckenridge's main article? I think Template:Details may work...
      • Having never done a biographical sub-article before, I wasn't sure where I should link the main article, but this works as well as any. Done. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "John Breckinridge believed the federal government..." which John Breckenridge?
      • I've tried to consistently use "John Breckinridge" for the elder (I've never seen a middle name or initial for him) and "John C. Breckinridge" for the younger. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "As a state representative, he introduced the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799, denouncing the Alien and Sedition Acts and asserting that states could nullify them and other federal..." you've switched tenses here .. pick on and stick with it.
    • "His brother-in-law wrote that, upon ..." which brother-in-law?
      • I assume you mean Bullock's or Breckinridge's. Clarified. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Early influences:
    • Suggest a tie to a section of his main article here...
      • Via a seealso template? Would that be considered overlinking, since we just linked the entire main article above? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Later views:
    • "he lost to Constitutional Unionist John Bell, who owned" ... link run on here .. suggest "he lost to the Constitutional Unionist candidate John Bell, who owned..."
    • "Bell and Illinois' Stephen Douglas exceeded"... run on again ... suggest just dropping "Illinois'"
      • Changed to "Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas". Since the details of the nominations and election are later in the article, it gives some sense of who the candidate was. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "was the most extreme to which the South would agree" most extreme what?
      • I intended this to refer back to "proposal", but that kind of gets lost with the dashes, so I added it again here. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Early political career:
    • "running for Scott County clerk of after" clerk of what?
      • There is an actual office called "county clerk", but I can't add "county" again here because of redundancy. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "Initially supportive of Zachary Taylor for the presidency, he endorsed the Democratic ticket of Lewis Cass and William O. Butler after Taylor became a Whig." can we have a few dates in here to help anchor things chronologically?
  • Kentucky House of Representatives:
    • need a cite on "impairing [slavery protections] in any form" quotation
      • It belongs to one of the two footnotes at the end of that sentence, although without either source in front of me, I can't say which. Typically, I try to keep all cites at the end of a sentence. Does this require breaking that convention to keep the footnote adjacent to the quote? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Yeah, you do need it here because it's a reasonably long way away from the cite. Quotes need cites within a word or two of them ending, whether or not that's the end of the sentence. It's the one big thing about citations for GA - Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "Speaker" .. linkage?
      • It's just a redirect to "Kentucky House of Representatives". Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "Davis wrote that his most important work during the session was bank reform." this jars with the previous sentence... can we get a bit better linkage/transition?
      • The unfortunate thing is, although Davis makes the assertion, he gives no context or details, so this seems to stick out no matter where I put it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Blargh. Does nothing else tie into the previous bits? Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • About the committees and his floor leadership? Not really, except his work on the Federal Relations Committee wrt the Compromise of 1850, but moving this up breaks the section's chronology. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
    • linkage for any of these - (minus the river which is linked) "geologic survey, making the Kentucky River more navigable, chartering a turnpike, incorporating a steamboat company, and funding the Kentucky Lunatic Asylum"?
      • Are you looking for links to the specific survey, turnpike, steamboat company, and asylum? None of those articles exist, and the source isn't even specific about which turnpike or which steamboat company. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Actually, I was thinking the generic items - not all folks know what a turnpike is anymore... and I'd think the lunatic asylum would merit an article... (you could always try to convince Malleus to flesh it out...) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • Linked "turnpike" and learned that the Kentucky Lunatic Asylum eventually became known as Eastern State Hospital, so I've linked that. Are asylums an interest of Malleus'? I'm only vaguely familiar with his work, although I generally have a favorable impression. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "The committee's Whig majority favored one calling the compromise a ..." one what?
      • A resolution. Several competing ones were on the table, as noted in the previous sentence. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • First term:
    • "no Democrat made the race." Very odd phrasing - suggest rewording.
    • "Despite this, after Boyd's election, he assigned Breckinridge.." it's slightly unclear who "he" is referring to here.
      • Really? The only alternative interpretation would be that Breckinridge assigned himself to a lightly-regarded committee, which doesn't make much sense. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • It was to me on my only slightly sinus pill impaired reading... .Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "Like Young America, Breckinridge favored westward expansion and free trade.." Did you mean "Like Young Americans, Breckinridge favored westward expansion and free trade"?
      • Well, I was really referring to the movement itself, which was known as "Young America". I'm not sure if "Young Americans" was used as a moniker for the movement's adherents or not. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • It really reads oddly as it is. I suggest figuring out if "Young American" would apply as it jars badly as written. The reader is expecting an adjectival bit and gets a noun. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • Found at least one credible reference to adherents as "Young Americans". Changed. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "..aspirant William Butler against charges by Florida's Edward Carrington Cabell, a Young American and distant cousin, that he secretly sympathized with the Free Soilers." tangled up here - that last "he secretly" phrase isn't quite clear who "he" means
    • "The speech made Breckinridge a target of Whigs, Young America, and Douglas supporters.." I think you mean "Young Americans" again here
    • "...a Kentucky Whig who supported incumbent Millard Fillmore, attacked Breckinridge..." incumbent of what?
    • Not sure what "but Breckinridge showed that Douglas endorsed the Democratic Review a month after it printed its first anti-Butler article" has to do with anything, I'm missing context, I suspect.
      • Richardson was trying to put distance between Douglas and Sanders' anti-Butler articles in the Democratic Review, but Breckinridge showed that Douglas actually endorsed the Democratic Review after its first article denouncing Butler. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "because the sculptor proposed depicting Washington in a toga." didn't this statue get funded anyway? Would be a great explanatory footnote ...
      • You know, I'm not actually sure. Davis – the only source I presently have in front of me – says he was opposed to "any more" sculptures depicting Washington in a toga, so apparently, there were several such sculptures, and without knowing the proposed sculptor, it would be difficult to say whether the specific one he opposed was actually completed. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • I know there is at least one such sculpture ... I've seen it. (It's pretty horrid, honestly - very ... odd and jarring!) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • I would imagine so, but without knowing if this is the one referenced, is it problematic to leave this open-ended? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "when the legislature rose in April"... huh?
      • I assumed this was common usage. It means they adjourned their session. Reworded. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "increasing a subsidy to Collins Line for carrying" I think it should be "increasing a subsidy to the Collins Line for carrying" to make it clear it's not a person.
      • Seems like the sources were consistently omitting "the", but our wiki-article says "the" was commonly included, so I've added it here. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "Finally, he showed Cornelius Vanderbilt's statement promising to build a fleet of mail ships at his expense and carry the mail for $4 million less than Collins" ... awkward - suggest "Finally, he mentioned Cornelius Vanderbilt's statement promising to build a fleet of mail ships at his expense and carry the mail for $4 million less than Collins."
      • If I read your comment correctly, I think the confusion comes from the fact that I hadn't explicitly mentioned that it was a written statement. I've rectified that. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Second term:
    • "to recruit Douglas to his cause" --- Breckenridges or Pierce's cause?
      • They were kind of one in the same at that point, but I've clarified. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Election:
    • "included contributions from Collins Line" ... need a "the" before "collins" again
  • Service:
    • "Southerners thwarted his previous attempts" need a "had" before "thwarted"
    • "To his uncle Robert, he wrote that he..." "his" and "he" are unclear here as the last person mentioned was Pierce.
    • Need a cite on the quote "had more to do than any man here, in putting [the Act] in its present shape"
      • It's the same one that is used for the sentence as a whole. Is it necessary to repeat it twice in the same sentence? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • IF the quote is more than a word or so removed from the cite, yes. Quotes need cites ON them, not at the end of the sentence. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Retirement:
    • "nativist" - linkage?
    • "December, U.S. Minister to Spain Pierre Soulé resigned" back to back linkage - need to try to separate them.
    • "Pierce told Breckinridge of his nomination to fill the vacancy just before the Senate's January" does this mean that Pierce nominated Breckenridge? Its unclear..
  • US Vice President:
    • "and his enemy, Linn Boyd" ... but I thought Breckenridge had supported Boyd before?
      • Not really. He deferred to him in the Speaker's race, and after he got snubbed (twice) by Boyd on committee assignments, the sources say they became factional enemies, although any conflict between them other than electoral contests go unmentioned. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • I guess my point is that the reader doesn't know why Boyd's an enemy - there isn't any development of why this is so. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
          • Yeah, as a reader of both Heck and Davis' biographies, I'm not either. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Election:
    • Really don't need to attribute "Heck wrote that the election was between Buchanan and Republican... " to Heck - it's a pretty common belief as I recall from my various US history classes.
      • I always try to cite observations like this in case there is competing scholarship on the subject. If you're sure there isn't on this point, I'll remove it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • Trust me, I learned this in Jr. High U.S. History - if I can learn it there, it's common scholarship! Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Service:
    • inflation for "pensions to $50 per month"...
    • "fourth defeated Johnson's Homestead Bill" which Johnson? Do we have a link for the bill?
      • Both Johnson and the bill are first mentioned and linked in the fourth paragraph under "First term". The bill kept getting defeated and Johnson kept re-introducing it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "more commodious one" ... very Victorian phrasing, suggest rewording.
      • Guess I was just feeling Victorian when I wrote this article! :) Changed to "spacious". Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Nomination:
    • "Breckinridge, but he wrote to Beck" ... who is meant by "he" here?
    • "On June 23, Massachusetts' George B. Loring nominated..." was this at the "National Democratic Convention"? It's unclear.
  • Election:
    • Again, no need to attribute to a specific historican "Harrison characterized the race as "Lincoln against Douglas in the north; Breckinridge against Bell in the south"." .. this is pretty common historical consensus as I understand it.
      • Same comment as above. If we're pretty sure there is no competing scholarship, I'll drop it. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • U. S. Senate:
    • Can we get a better heading here? It implies that it covers his entire Senate career but that's not the case
      • Yes, really it does, unless you count his service as vice president as part of his Senate career. He was elected in December 1859, but his predecessor's term did not expire until 1861. His term as vice president expired the same day his term as a senator began – March 4, 1861. He served until either his resignation in his October 8 letter or his expulsion on December 2, whichever you regard as valid. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • "reminded the solons that Congress had not approved" - solons??? huh?
      • Another old-style term that I see a lot in the sources. Keeps me from having to repeat "legislators" so often. Do you think it's too problematic to leave? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
        • I doubt anyone but me would understand the reference quite honestly. You're falling into the same problem I have - you read so much of a particular type of source that you start adopting the phrasing of them... academic phrasing isn't always the best choice for a general readership encyclopedia. Reword it - no one is going to get the phrase (which traces, by the way, to the ancient Athenian lawgiver Solon... very typical that a Victorian writer would use it but well out of common usage nowadays.) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Confederate Secretary of War:
    • why list all the offices held by the confederates, but omit the military title for Sherman?
      • Lack of confidence in my understanding of military rank. Often, I see "General" but then I understand that can be "brigadier general", "major general", "lieutenant general", or full-fledged "general". Didn't know off-hand which Sherman was, and the source didn't say, so I left it out. All that said, I now see that Sherman's is an FA, and it has the dates of his promotions given, so I can accurately determine that his rank at the time was "major general". Added. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Again a lack of rank for "forces under Andrew K. Campbell"...
      • Same issue. The article on Campbell has a "citation needed" tag on his promotion to lieutenant colonel. If correct, I suppose that would have been his rank at the time. I'll assume good faith and add that. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I've put the article on hold for seven days to allow folks to address the issues I've brought up. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, or here with any concerns, and let me know one of those places when the issues have been addressed. If I may suggest that you strike out, check mark, or otherwise mark the items I've detailed, that will make it possible for me to see what's been addressed, and you can keep track of what's been done and what still needs to be worked on. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:10, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
I struck the items where I'm pretty sure I address the concern satisfactorily. I left some others pending your feedback. If they are to your satisfaction, go ahead and strike them if you want. A few will almost certainly merit some further discussion. Thanks for the quick and thorough review. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:56, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Struck some more and have a few replies on a few more. Suggest, as usual, getting someone else to copyedit for FAC as I'm only sorta good at it. I can pick apart the context with the best of them though! Ealdgyth - Talk 23:34, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Okay, basically those changes look good. Just waiting on the statue/photograph issue for GA... Ealdgyth - Talk 13:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Addressed that and the other comments I didn't get to before. Hope it's all kosher now. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

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