« PreviousContinue »
or as a tribune of the people, ever faithful, ever true. In the thickest and the hottest of every battle, there waved the white plume of the gallant leader of New York. And by no hand of Massachusetts was it for him to be stricken down. Dearly as we love triumph, we are used to momentary defeat because we know we are right; and whatever storms assail our ship, before whatever gales she may reel and quake, we know that if the bark sinks it is but to another sea. We know that this cause of ours is bound to triumph, and that the American people will
, one day, be convinced, if not in 1860, that the path of duty and patriotism leads in the direction of the republican cause. It was not for us to strike down William Henry Seward, of New York. But, as we love the cause, and as we respect our own convictions, and as we mean to be faithful to the only organization on earth which is in the van of the cause of freedom, so do we, with entire fidelity of heart, with entire concurrence of judgment, with the firmest and most fixed purpose of our will, adopt the opinion of the majority of this convention. CARL SCHURZ, of Wisconsin:
I am commissioned by the delegation of Wisconsin to second the motion made by the distinguished gentleman from New York. The delegates of Wisconsin were directed to cast their votes unanimously for William H. Seward, and it is unnecessary to say that the instructions we received added but solemn obligations of our constitutents to the spontanequs impulses of our hearts. It would be needless to say anything in praise of Mr. Seward. His claims stand recorded in the annals of the country, and they are reported in the hearts of the people. He needs no eulogy here, and my vote can add nothing to so powerful a testimony. We went for him because we considered him the foremost among the best, and to whatever may be said in his praise I will add but one thing. I now am speaking in the spirit of Mr. Seward, when I say that his ambition will be satisfied with the success of the cause which was the dream of his youth, and to which be has devoted all the days of his manhood-even if the name of Wm. H. Seward should remain in history an instance of the highest merit uncrowned with the highest honor. We stood by Mr. Seward to the last, and we stand by him now in supporting Mr. Lincoln. With the platform we adopted yesterday, and with the candidate who so fairly represents it, as Mr. Lincoln does, we defy all the passion and prejudice that may be enforced against us by our opponents. We defy the whole slave power and the whole vassalage of hell
. Aye, and we defy the Little Giant” himself. Again, I say we stand by Mr. Seward as we did before--for we know that he will be at the head of our column, joining in the battle-cry that joins us now, “Lincoln and victory.” AUSTIN BLAIR, of Michigan :
Like my friend who has just taken his seat, the state of Michigan, from first to last, has cast her vote for the great statesman of New York. She has nothing to take back. She has not sent me forward to worship the rising sun, but she has put me forward to say that, at your behests here to-day, she lays down her first, best loved candidate to take up yours, with some bleeding of the heart, with some quivering in the veins; but she does not fear that the fame of Seward will suffer, for she knows that his faine is a portion of the history of the American Union; it will be written and read and beloved long after the temporary excitement of this day has passed away, and when presidents are themselves forgotten in the oblivion which comes over all temporal things. We stand by him still. We have followed him with a single eye and with unwavering faith in times past. We marshal now behind him in the grand column which shall go out to battle for Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, and to conquer; for mark you, what has happened to-day will happen in November next-Lincoln will be elected with just such a shout as has been given to-day in this vast assemblage. 0. H. BROWNING, of Illinois :
On behalf of the Illinois delegation I have been requested to make some proper response to the speeches that we have heard from our friends of the other states. Illinois ought hardly on this occasion to be expected to make a speech, or called upon to do so. I desire to say, gentlemen of the convention, that in the contest through which we have just passed, we have been actuated by no feeling of hostility to the illustrious statesman from New York, who was in competition with our own loved and gallant son. No republican who has a love of freedom in his heart, and who has marked the course of Gov. Seward, of New York, in the councils of our nation, who has witnessed the many occasions upon which he has risen to the very hight of moral sublimity in his conflicts with the enemies of free institutions; no heart that has the love of freedom in it and has witnessed these great conflicts of his, can do otherwise than venerate his name. On this occasion
desire to say, only, that the hearts of the Illinois delegation are to-day filled with emotions of gratification for which they have no utterance. We are not more overcome by the triumph of our noble Lincoln, loving him as we do, knowing the purity of his past life, the integrity of his character, and devotion to the principles of our party, and the gallantry with which we will be conducted through this contest, than we are by the magnanimity of our friends of the great and glorious state of New York, in moving to make this nomination unanimous. John D. Baldwin, Worcester, Massachusetts :
I went to the Chicago convention feeling it my duty to do everything in my power to secure the nomination of Mr. Seward. This was required by the preferences of those I represented and by my own sentiments.
It is now unnecessary to go into an extended eulogy of Mr. Seward. He is one of the great men of the age, whose fame is as wide as the civilized world. He is thought of in Europe as we think of him here. One evening, after Charles Sumner's return from Europe, at a supper where I heard him relate many incidents connected with his stay in Europe, Mr. Sumner spoke of Wm. E. Gladstone, tho coming man in Great Britain, as the most accomplished orator that speaks in the English language, and gave the company Mr. Gladstone's opinion of Mr. Seward. It was as follows: “Mr. Seward's argument in the Freeman case is the greatest forensic effort in the English language." An English gentleman present replied: "The greatest ? Mr. Gladstone, you forget Erskine." "No," replied Mr. Gladstone, I do not forget Mr. Erskine; Mr. Seward's argument is the greatest forensic effort in the language.” And he is regarded abroad, as well as at home, as one of the most philosophic and profound statesmen living. Mr. Seward could not be made greater by the presidency, and he can feel, as we do, that it is better to be William H. Seward than to be president. THE REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE:
New York, May 19, 1860. To Hon. William H. Seward-Dear Sir.-We address you with feelings of regret that cannot be sufficiently expressed. The result of the Chicago convention has been more than a surprise to the republicans of New York. That you, who have been the earliest defender of republican principles—the acknowledged head and leader of the party—who have given direction to its movements, and form and substance to its acts--that you should have been put aside upon the narrow ground of expediency, we can hardly realize or believe. Whatever the decision of this, or a hundred other conventions, we recognize in you the real leader of the republican party; and the citizens of every state and of all creeds and parties, and the history of our country will confirm this judgment.
As that leader--as one to whom we shall hereafter as in times past look for counsel and direction, the republicans of this city desire, that you should be with them at the first public meeting which will be held. Your presence will at least alleviate their disappointment, and revive their exertions; and will also enable them again to evidence their undiminished confidence and attachment, and their gratitude for all that you have done for the welfare of our country and the preservation of her liberties. Charles C. Nort, WILLIAM H. Bull, A. J. WILLIAMSON, C. S. SPENCER,
F. W. SHEPHERD, Committee, &c.
I know it is a custom of the people of Boston to welcome, with warm hearts and enthusiastic words of friendship, every man of name and fame who does us the honor to visit this our loved city. Here, at least, there are none whom we fear; and from whatever quarter of the world a man shall come, who has served his people in his day or way, we can afford, and we will give, our welcome. But I am glad to say, fellow citizens, that, like other human beings, we have our friends, and among others there is none that finds a warmer place in the hearts of the people of the old Bay state than the renowned statesman of New York.
Though not so well known to us personally as he should be, as citizens of Boston and as citizens of Massachusetts, for many long years we have watched his career, directing the interests of the Empire state and developing the material wealth of that portion of the continent; and, enjoying, as we have, both as citizens of the metropolis of New England and of the commonwealth, the efforts of his eloquence, his industry, his wisdom, and his great and far-reaching experience in the councils of the nation, I know you will welcome him as he deserves, and I know that
you will speak for him and for the people of the commonwealth, when I shall have presented him to you.
Governor SEWARD-Our friends have met here at a few moments' call. They know what hospitality is due to youấthat you come at the close of a long day's travel at the warmest season of the year—and we cannot demand or expect much from you: but a little is required in obedience to that respect and esteem which the people of this commonwealth entertain for you; and I am sure that its citizens would grieve if we were to allow you to pass through this metropolis without a word of welcome, without a cheer that should come from the hearts of the people of Massachusetts.
Fellow citizens, I present to you the Honorable William H. Seward, of the United States senate, respected and loved by the people of all the states. LANSING, Mich.-J. W. LONGYEAR, Esq. :
I have been appointed by a large and enthusiastic meeting of my republican fellow citizens, to discharge the honorable and agreeable duty of expressing to you their affectionate esteem, and their heartfelt welcome to our infant city; and it is here upon the eve of the decision, a final decision it is to be hoped, of one of the most important political contests by which the republic has ever been agitated, that we welcome you among us for your countenance, your counsel, and your advice. - It is here amidst a population emigrated mainly from your native state, here amidst institutions of government copied mainly from those under which you live, we welcome you; and here, noble senator from the Empire state, amidst your ardent admirers, who were second to none in their zeal and exertions to see you the standard-bearer in this decisive contest, that we welcome you, and we thrice welcome you, sir, for the reason that while the republicans in national convention assembled, saw fit, in their wisdom, to choose another, you are not found deserting your post of duty, but like the true soldier ready and willing to do your duty with knapsack and bayonet, if required, although qualified to fill the highest grade of office.
This contest in which so ferocious a war is now raging, is not, as our opponents would urge, of one section of the republic against the other, or of one interest against another, but that of free institutions, free soil, free labor, and free speech, against slavery and its concomitant evils; not a war against the domestic institutions of the states as they now exist, but against the extension of that baleful curse of African slavery into territory now free! It is the contest of freedom against slavery, and it is owing to the patriotic manner in which you have devoted
i See ante page 81.
your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor, to the support of the former, that you now owe this enthusiastic reception.
To you, sentiments expressed by yourself, in years gone by, to one of the nation's most honored sons, now gone to his final rest, upon an occasion similar to this, may, in these, your riper years, be appropriately applied to yourself: “Such honors frequently attend public functionaries, and such a one may sometimes find it difficult to determine how much of the homage he receives is paid to his own worth, how much proceeds from the habitual reverence of good republican citizens to constitute elective authority, and how much from the spirit of venal adulation.
“You, sir, labor under no such embarrassment. The office you hold, though honorable, is purely legislative. You are not in a position, or in nomination for a position, in which you can have any patronage to bestow, and yet your hands are uplifted, and your exertions bestowed to secure blessings on your country.
· The homage paid you, dear sir, is sincere, for it has its sources in the just sentiments and irrepressible affections of a free people, their love of truth, their admiration of wisdom, their reverence for virtue, and their gratitude for beneficence."
The praises we bestow are not of a purely partisan nature. Men of all parties come here to see and hear you, and that with the profoundest respect as one of the great statesmen of the age; and “the praises we bestow are already echoed back to us by voices which come rich and full across the Atlantic, hailing you as the indefatigable champion of humanity." MADISON, Wis.,-CHAUNCEY ABBOTT, Esq.
In behalf of the citizens of Madison, I welcome you, sir, to our midst; and it is with more satisfaction that I do so, inasmuch as I feel the assurance which I convey to you, that it is not merely a formal, but a most hearty and cordial welcome, which general public sentiment extends to you. However flattering any personal preferences or partialities may be, we must still feel that the general and enthusiastic welcome which the people award to you, arises from a sentiment that you are engaged in the great cause of constitutional and political liberty, so near and dear to the people of this state, and of this region. There is a common sentiment and feeling that the great country lying northwest of the Ohio, consecrated to liberty and free institutions, and free government, by the ordinance of 1787, established by the founder of the government, has been preserved to freedom, in a great measure, by the earnest, zealous, able, efforts put forth by you. It is for this reason that the people are so glad to welcome you among them; hoping that you may receive such assurances of their confidence and support as may enable you hereafter to go forth in association with your fellows, to carry out your peaceful and successful issues in the cause of constitutional freedom and free government, in which cause we pledge you our support and our aid. Sir, you are most welcome among us. The governor of the state will now speak in behalf of the people of the state generally. Gov. RANDALL :
You need, sir, no formal introduction to the people of Wisconsin. The gathering throngs that have met you on your way hither, are evidences to you how deeply your name and deeds are engraven on the hearts of this people. We are a young state—a state but twelve years of agema state containing eight hundred thousand inhabitants—a state marvelous in its prosperity, great in its resources, agricultural, mineral and commercial. On its west it has a great commercial highway, another on its east. Iron roads, binding together its rich, growing cities, traverse all its length and breadth. The farms of the people are like gardens, and the cities are set like bright jewels in the crown of their prosperity.
We have grown strong and flourished under the tree of liberty planted here by Virginia Wisconsin is the daughter of Virginia, and the child has not forgotten the early taught lessons of the parent. There shall be no slavery or involuntary
i See ante, page 90.
servitude here forever. To-day the light of other days is around our people; the light of the days of Madison and Jefferson; and we have looked upon you as one of those who have stood forward in maintaining constitutional law and correct principle. You have done more than most men in public life. You have given a moral tone to the politics of the country. Going into the senate all alone, and standing there alone, feeling that
“ Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel jast," You have given to politics a moral tone, and directed the intellect of this great people.
You have done more than most men have, to correct and manufacture and tame public sentiment within correct limits. In all the great measures of public policy for the benefit of the great west, your thoughts and words have been foremost in their advocacy. You have done much in favor of giving farms to the free settlers here, and whenever measures for the benefit of our commercial interest have been pending, your voice and vote have been given for them.
We feel, therefore, to you a debt of gratitude under these considerations. You were the first choice of the people of Wisconsin, as their candidate for the presidency of the United States. Yielding to the will of the national convention that met at Chicago, while we abated not one jot or tittle in our affection for you, Lincoln became, by the action of the convention, its first choice. We do battle today for him, and are proud to know that you stand in the forefront of that battle, and that we follow so illustrious a leader. He is our Moses, and you are our great High Priest, holding up his right hand, while the fight is going on.
Again, sir, in behalf of the free people, I welcome you to Wisconsin and its capital. Saint Paul, Minn., - JUDGE GOODRICH:
GENTLEMEN-WIDE-AWAKES FELLOW CitizENS: The act of presenting to you the illustrious patriot and statesman who has ever occupied the highest niche in the temple of your affections the man upon whom the eye of the nation has long been hopefully and anxiously fixed--the man
Whose control has been felt,
Whore leaves contain your country's history." The man to whose form and features the artist of our day is eager to give immortality, is among the most pleasing incidents of my life. This vast concourse shall dissolve from the face of the earth ; the daguerrean impression shall fade away; the photograph shall vanish; the bronze shall corrode and become as dross; and the marble that shall symbolize the man shall crumble to dust beneath all-conquering hand of time that shall be lifted up during the reign of that glorious immortality which awaits his deeds; the man that is revered by the great and good of all parties—by the north and the south, the east and the west-by the soldier in his camp--the peasant in his cot—the plowman in his field—the mechanic in his shop the merchant and banker who whiten the bosom of every sea beneath the sun with the rich sails of our commerce, by "they who go down to the sea in great ships," the stern warrior clad in mail, and the sage in the halls of the national councils. I have traversed our state, I have looked abroad, I know that
"Throughout the land, o'er vale, o'er bill,
Are faces that attest the same,
At the cound of SEWARD's name." Lastingly exalted is his fame, wherever eminent public service, unbending integ. rity, undying devotion to a righteous cause, transcendent genius, lofty deeds and high moral daring shall cause a thrill, or challenge the admiration of the human heart, there will the name of WILLIAM H. SEWARD be held up to high and noble commendation. Generations yet unborn shall rise up and swell the trumpet of his
1 See ante, page 94.