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convention adopted the minority report, which contained the Cincinnati platform with the additions.
Thereupon, L. P. Walker, subsequently the rebel Secretary of War, presented the protest of the delegates from Alabama, and those delegates withdrew from the convention.
Among these delegates was William L. Yancey, long before a notorious secessionist. The delegates from Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Florida, and Arkansas, Georgia, and Delaware, thereupon also withdrew. The convention thereupon resolved that it should require two-thirds of a full convention to nominate, and then, after balloting several times, on each of which ballots Mr. Douglas had a large, but not, under the rule, a two-thirds majority, the convention adjourned to meet at Baltimore, on the 18th of June. The seceding delegates adjourned to meet at Richmond, on the second Monday in June.
The Baltimore convention met and nominated Stephen A. Douglas for President, and Benjamin Fitzpatrick, of Alabama, for Vice President, but on his declining, Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, was substituted.
The seceders' convention at Richmond, adopting the resolutions of the majority of the committee, nominated John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for President, and Colonel Joseph Lane, of Oregon, for Vice President.
The disruption of the democratic party was hailed with delight by the infatuated people of Charleston, and other parts of the rebel States, as the prelude to the breaking up of the Union.
The Constitutional Union (American) party nominated John Bell, for President, and Edward Everett, for Vice President.
On the 16th of May, 1860, the Republican Convention met at Chicago, to nominate candidates for President and Vice President. An immense building called the "Wigwam," capable of holding many thousands of people, had been specially erected for the meeting. Full, and eager, and enthusiastic delegations were there from all the free States, and representatives were present from Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia, and some scattering
representatives from some of the other slave States; but the Gulf States were not represented. Indeed, few of the slave States were fully and perfectly represented. On motion of Governor Morgan, Chairman of the National Executive Committee, David Wilmot, author of the Wimot Proviso, was made temporary Chairman, and George Ashmun, of Massachusetts, permanent President.
Their platform of principles was adopted without difficulty. They resolved to maintain the principles of the Declaration of Independence, declared their fidelity to the Union; their abhorrence of all schemes of disunion; denounced all who threatened disunion as an avowal of contemplated treason, which it was the duty of the people sternly to rebuke and forever silence.
The convention also resolved: "that the new dogma that the Constitution carried slavery into all the territories, was a dangerous political heresy, revolutionary in tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country; that the normal condition of all the territories is that of freedom; that neither Congress, the territorial Legislature, nor any individual could give legal existence to slavery; that Kansas ought to be immediately admitted as a free State; that the opening of the slave trade would be a crime against humanity." They declared also in favor of a homestead law, Harbor and River improvements, and the Pacific Railroad.
The leading candidates for the nomination for President, were William H. Seward, of New York, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, and Edward Bates, of Missouri; but it early became apparent that the contest was between Seward, and Lincoln. Mr. Seward had been for many years, a leading statesman; Governor of New York, and long its most distinguished Senator; he had brought to the discussions of the great issue between liberty and slavery, a philosophic mind, broad and catholic views, great sagacity, and an elevated love of liberty and humanity. Few, if any, had done more to enlighten, create, and consolidate public opinion in the free. States. His position had been far more conspicuous than that of Mr. Lincoln. Hence he had been supposed to be
more in the way of rivals, and had become the object of more bitter personal and political hostility than Mr. Lincoln. The Illinois candidate was principally known outside of the Northwest, as the competitor of Douglas. Yet the sobriquet of "honest old Abe," "the rail-splitter of Illinois," had extended throughout the free States; he had no enemies, and was the second choice of nearly all the delegates of which he was not the first choice. He was supposed by the shrewd politicians, to have, and he did possess, those qualities which make an available candidate. Although a resident of the State, he did not attend the convention, but was quietly at his home in Springfield.
Few men of that convention realized, or had the faintest foreshadowings of the terrible ordeal of civil war, which was before the candidate which they should nominate and the people elect. Yet there seems to have been a peculiar propriety in Mr. Lincoln's nomination; and there was here illustrated, that instinctive sagacity, or more truly, providenvidential guidance, which directs a people in a critical emergency, to act wisely.
Looking back, we now see how wise the selection. The Union was to be assailed; Lincoln was from the National Northwest, which would never surrender its great communications with the ocean, by the Mississippi, or the East.
The great principles of the Declaration of Independence were to be assailed by vast armies; his political platform had ever been that Declaration.
Aristocratic power, with the sympathy of the Kings and nobility of Europe, was to make a gigantic effort to crush liberty and democracy; it was fit that the great champion of liberty, of a government "of the people, for the people, by the people," should be a man born on the wild prairie, nurtured in the rude log cabin, and reared amidst the hardships and struggles of humble life.
On the first ballot, Mr. Seward received 173 votes to 102 for Lincoln, the others being divided on Messrs. Cameron, Chase, Bates, and others. On the second, Mr. Seward received 184 votes to 181 for Mr. Lincoln. On the third, Mr.
Lincoln received a majority, and his nomination was then made unanimous.* While the balloting was in progress,
* Did Lincoln anticipate this nomination?
In March 1860, Mr. Lincoln spent several days at Chicago, engaged in the United States Court in the trial of the case of Johnson v. Jones. During the trial, Judge Drummond, Mr. Lincoln, and the members of the bar engaged in the case, were dining together, at the table of one of the counsel, who was a warm personal and political friend of Mr. Lincoln. Others of the counsel present were equally warm friends of Judge Douglas, who was then the most prominent candidate for the Presidency before the people.
When the cloth was removed the host said "gentlemen, please fill your glasses for a toast, which, differing as we do politically, I am sure all present will heartily respond to." "May Illinois furnish the next President!" The friends of Douglas drank to him, and the rest of us to Lincoln.
So far as the author knows, the first nomination in any newspaper of Mr. Lincoln for the Presidency was made on the 5th day of October 1859, by the Aurora Beacon, published at Aurora, Kane county, Illinois, and then ably edited by John W. Ray, Esq.
In the Beacon for October 6th, 1859, under the caption of "The calmness of the republicans," Mr. Lincoln was named, incidentally, among some half dozen others, as the possible man for their candidate for 1859.
In the issue of the same paper of November 10th, 1859, the nomination took definite shape under the caption, "They say Old Abe is the man.” Among other passages occur the following, in that article:
"Illinois has rather waited for others to move, than to move herself, because her man is one of her own citizens, and she trusted that the people of other States, would do, with a better grace, what she is particularly desirous of having done. She waits to second, what she would be the first to move in, were the great man a citizen of any other State. It is a settled question we believe that the WEST must have the next President, never having had a man in the office, but one month. It is also settled, that there must be a candidate who can carry the most doubtful States. Now Illinois, if any, is one of those stajes. No one doubts that Douglas can poll the largest vote here, of any man, unless it be ABE LINCOLN, and no one doubts that what Lincoln did under all the disadvantages, of 1858, he could do easily under the better auspices of 1860. And it would be peculiarly a glory, if on the very ground where Lincoln was cheated out of his election, (as Senator) there he should be run again, and should have the glory of defeating Douglas, should he be the opponent. He will thus fight neither with great nor small, but only with the King of the democratic host. Lincoln has every element of popularity and success, and he has one which will give him peculiar prominence over Douglas, and that is his integrity to the great principles which this State, and all the free States are determined shall cut a figure in the next election. Freedom v. Slavery. We are in no hurry to bring out Mr. Lincoln. He will be thought of in time by all that will need him, if he be the man. But if he shall become the nominnee of the republican hosts, we shall count it a joy to hoist his name at our mast head, and to hang the banner on the outer wall of our city and country."
The same paper in its issue of December 15th 1859, under the caption, "Who is the strongest man?", after discussing the claims of Mr. Lincoln at length as against Mr. Seward and others, concludes with these truthful and prophetic words:
"And we cannot help thinking how, like a shadow of a great rock in a weary land, such a President will seem, as Abraham Lincoln will make. He will, in his principles and measures, o'er Buchanan, like an eagle soar. Disunion will find him as South Carolina found old Jackson. The slave trade will find him a Wilberforce The army will be used for defence, not offence.
With Lincoln for President, and Cameron, or Reed, or even Thad. Stevens as Vice President, the ticket would sweep the States, as Von Tromp the seas. This is he whom we consider the strongest man, and for whom we would admire to do
Mr. Lincoln was sitting in the office of the State Journal, at Springfield. A telegraph wire had been extended to the Wigwam, and the result of every ballot was immediately telegraphed to Springfield.
Soon after the result of the second ballot had been announced, a gentleman entered the office of the State Journal, and handed a slip of paper to Mr. Lincoln, on which was his nomination, the result of third ballot. He read the paper in silence, and then announcing the result, he said, amidst the shouts of those persons present, "There is a little woman down at our house, would like to hear this-I'll go down and tell her."
No words can adequately describe the enthusiasm by which this nomination was received in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the Northwest. A man who had been placed on the top of the Wigwam, to announce to the thousands outside, the progress of the balloting, as soon as the Secretary read the result of the third ballot, shouted to those below, "Fire the salute-Lincoln is nominated!" The cannon was fired, and before its reverberations died away, a hundred thousand voters of Illinois, and the neighboring States, were shouting, screaming, and rejoicing over the result. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was nominated for Vice President. The nomination of Lincoln was hailed with intense enthusiasm, not only by the crowds in attendence, and the Northwest, but this soon extended throughout all the free States. Everywhere the people were full of zeal for the champion from the West. Never did a party enter upon a canvass with more earnest devotion to principle, than the republican party of 1860. Love of country, devotion to liberty, hatred of slavery, pervaded all hearts. A keen sense of the wrongs and outrages inflicted upon the free State-men of Kansas, the violence, and in many instances, the savage cruelty, by which freedom of speech and liberty of the press had been suppressed in portions of the slave States, and indignation at the long catalogue of crimes of the slaveholders, fired
loyal service, should he be the choice of the convention. We are glad Douglas is recovering his health, and we think he will yet live to attend the levee of President LINCOLN.