United States census records show Illinois to have a population of 1.7 million. A total of 7,628 are African Americans. About 707,000 Illinoisans are native to the state. The largest number of non-natives comes from: Ohio (131,000); German states (130,000); New York (121,000); Ireland (87,000); Pennsylvania (83,000); Indiana (62,000); Kentucky (60,000); England (41,000); Tennessee (39,000); Virginia (32,000).

November 6, 1860
Abraham Lincoln of Illinois is elected president of the United States defeating Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, John Bell of Tennessee, and John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky. In Illinois the result (rounded) is: Lincoln 50.7%, Douglas 47.2%, Bell 1.5%, Breckinridge 0.7%.

In state elections the Democrats win 5 seats in the U.S. Congress to 4 for the Republicans. Republicans win all statewide executive offices, beginning with Richard Yates of Jacksonville (Morgan County) as governor, well as majorities of 1 in the Illinois Senate and of 7 in the House of Representatives.

November 7, 1860
Lincoln is reportedly hung in effigy in Pensacola, Florida.

December 5, 1860
The Electoral College, meeting in Washington, DC, officially elects Lincoln as president. There had been fears that this election, which under the terms of the Constitution chooses the president, might be disrupted.

December 20, 1860
South Carolina adopts an ordinance of secession, declaring itself an independent nation and its connections to the United States ended.