Civil War 160: December 4, 1860- President James Buchanan sends State of the Union Address to Congress. The lame duck president who would still be POTUS until March 4th- back then there was a much longer period between the election and Inaugural Day. Buchanan would do little during those four months. In his report to Congress- at that time the president didn’t go to the Capital building to give the address but sent a message- Buchanan wrote that the slave states should be left alone- that the states were sovereign and their rights should not be interfered with. Buchanan called for calmness and deliberation. He also said that while the southern states were reacting to the election of Abraham Lincoln the president -elect had done nothing so far to offend them. Buchanan proposed a constitutional amendment recognizing the right of property in slaves where it existed and protecting this right in the territories until they should be admitted with or without slavery as their constitutions might prescribe. Fugitive slaves should be returned. No one was going to be happy with the presidents message- both sides were unhappy with it. The North was disappointed because while he opposed secession he proposed no way to meet it and the South because he condemned secession. Three months to go until Abraham Lincoln would become the 16th POTUS- and he was saying little of note in his home town of Springfield, Illinois. He had no power to do anything at this point anyway.