Page images
PDF
EPUB

but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike upavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

“These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly-done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated—we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Douglas's new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State Constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

“I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way. Most of them would probably say to us, “ Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery.' But we do let them alone—have never disturbed them-so that, after all, it is what we say, which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.

“ I am also aware they have not, as yet, in terms demanded the overthrow of our Free-State Constitutions. Yet those Constitutions declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis, than do all other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have been silenced, the overthrow of these Constitutions will be demanded, and nothing be left to resist the demand. It is nothing to the contrary, that they do not demand the whole of this just now. Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right, and a social blessing.

“Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot jastly object to its nationality-its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension-its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; buty thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them ? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own ? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this ?

“Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it: alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation ; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States ?

“If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored-contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man—such as a policy of .don't care' on a question about which all true men do care—such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance—such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did.

“ Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, not frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it." IS NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES BY THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION.

On the sixteenth of May, 1860, the Republican National Convention assembled in Chicago, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency. The first day was spent in organizing, and the second, in adopting rules for the government of the Convention and the platform of the party, and on the third, the body proceeded to ballot for the two candidates. Mr. Lincoln was nominated for President by Mr. Judd, of Illinois, and on the first ballot, received 102 votes, Mr. Seward receiving, on the same ballot, 1733 votes, and the balance being divided between the other candidates. On the second ballot, the vote stood : Lincoln, 181; Seward, 1843; and on the third, Mr. Lincoln received 2301 votes, or within one and one-half of a nomination. One of the delegates then changed four votes of his State, giving them to Mr. Lincoln, thus nominating him, and then, amid a scene of the most intense excitement, vote after vote was changed to the successful candidate, until at length the nomination was made unanimous. The selection was received by the Republican voters of the country with the most unbounded enthusiasm, and immediate preparations were made for an arduous campaign. The antecedents of their standard-bearer were of such an honorable and noble character, that they felt convinced the different factions among the opposition-indeed, all who were inspired more by patriotism than party predilections-would support him in the canvass and at the ballot-box. The architect of his own fortunes, he had raised himself from obscurity to eminence and distinction. Born in a floorlese log-cabin, in a Kentucky wilderness; the child of humble and uneducated, but Christian parents; and with no education save that received during six months tuition in an unpretending school-house, and from attentive study at home by the light of a log fire, Abraham Lincoln, by his indefatigable perseverance and energy, rapidly rose from one position of trust and responsibility to another, until he attained the nomination of a great political party for the highest office in the gift of the American people.

IS NOTIFIED OF HIS NOMINATION-THE

ADDRESSES ON THE OCCASION. The committee appointed by the Convention to notify Mr. Lincoln of his nomination, performed their duty without delay, and upon arriving at his residence in Springfield, whither they were escorted by an immense concourse of citizens, the President of the Convention addressed the nominee as follows:

SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CON.

VENTION. “I have, sir, the honor, in behalf of the gentlemen who are present, a Committee appointed by the Republican Convention, recently assembled at Chicago, to discharge a most pleasant duty. We have come, sir, under a vote of instructions to that Committee, to notify you that you have been selected by the Convention of the Republicans at Chicago, for President of the United States. They instruct us, sir, to notify you of that selection, and that Committee deem it not only respectful to yourself, but appropriate to the important matter which they have in hand, that they should come in person, and present to you the authentic evidence of the action of that Convention ; and, sir, without any phrase which shall either be considered personally plauditory to yourself, or which shall have any reference to the principles involved in the questions which are conpected with your nomination, I desire to present to you the letter which has been prepared, and which informs you of the nomination, and with it the platform, resolutions and sentiments, which the Convention adopted. Sir, at your convenience, we shall be glad to receive from you such a response as it may be your pleasure to give us.”

REPLY OF MR. LINCOLN. In response, Mr. Lincoln said :

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee: I tender to you, and through you to the Republican National Convention, and all the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done me, which you now formally announce. Deeply, and even painfully sensible of the great responsibility which is inseparable from this high honor—a responsibility which I could almost wish had fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen whose distinguished names were before the Convention, I shall, by your leave, consider more fully the resolutions of the Convention, denominated the platform, and without unnecessary or unreasonable delay, respond to you, Mr. Chairman, in writing, not doubting that the platform will be found satisfactory, and the nomination gratefully accepted. And now I will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each of you, by the hand.”

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE CONVEN

TION AND MR. LINCOLN. The following letter was addressed to Mr. Lincoln by the President of the Convention, and a committee appointed for that purpose :

CHICAGO, May 18th, 1860. TO THE Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, OF ILLINOIS.

“Sir: The representatives of the Republican party of the United States, assembled in Convention at Chicago, have this day by a unanimous vote, selected you as the Republican candidate for the office of President of the United States to be supported at the next election; and the undersigned were appointed a Committee of the Convention to apprise you of this nomination, and respectfully to request that you

will

accept it. A declaration of the principles and sentiments adopted by the Convention accompanies this communication.

“In the performance of this agreeable duty we take leave to add our confident assurance that the nomination of the Chicago Convention will be ratified by the suffrages of the people.

“We have the honor to be, with great respect and regard, your friends and fellow-citizens.”

On the 23d, Mr. Lincoln addressed the following letter to the President of the Convention :

“SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, May 23rd, 1860. " Hon. GEORGE Ashman, President of the Republican National

Convention. “SIR: I accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention over which you presided, and of which I am formally apprised in the letter of yourself and others, acting as a Committee of the Convention for that purpose.

“The declaration of principles and sentiments, which accompanies your letter, meets my approval ; and it shall be my care not to violate, or disregard it, in any part.

“ Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the Convention; to the rights of all the States and Territories, and people of the nation ; to the inviolability of the Constitution, and the perpetual union, harmony and prosperity of all, I am most happy to co-operate for the practical success of whe principles declared by the Convention, “Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN."

On the sixth of November, 1860, the election for President took place, with the following result: Mr. Lincoln received 491,275 orer Mr. Douglas ; 1,018,499 over Mr. Brecken

« PreviousContinue »