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all hearts with enthusiasm and zeal.


Confident of success,

and determined to leave nothing undone to secure it, the republican party entered upon the canvass. The great Metropolitan press of New York, the Tribune, the Times, and the Post, circulated everywhere, inciting and urging the people to effort. The leading statesmen of all sections, the Senators and members of Congress, Governors of States, the most eloquent speakers, took the stump for "Lincoln and Liberty,” and immense crowds at vast out-door meetings hung with wrapt attention on the stirring speeches of the orators. Everywhere throughout the free States, speeches, newspapers, pamphlets, and documents were scattered, urging the people to resist the encroachments of the slave power.

One of the most efficient agencies, and one characteristic of the people and the times, by which the canvass of 1860 was carried on, was an organization of the young men known as the "Wide Awakes." This embodied nearly all the young men of the party, with a semi- military organization, but without arms, wearing glazed caps and capes, and at night carrying torchlights, and ready at all times for work. Turning out at political meetings, escorting speakers to and from the places of speaking, singing patriotic and campaign songs, circulating documents and canvassing votes. In October, 1860, there was a vast gathering of the people of the Northwest at Chicago, to hear Governor Seward and other distinguished speakers, and in the evening, 10,000 Wide Awakes marched in procession with their torches. The following extract from a speech delivered to them, will illustrate the spirit of the campaign and the organization:

Gentlemen, Wide-Awakes of the Northwest! Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war. In the great victory of liberty about to be consummated by the election of Abraham Lincoln, your organization, of which I see around me, so magnificent and brilliant an array, is contributing a most important part. Among many features which give to this Presidential contest, a peculiar and extraordinary interest, none are more significant than the organization of the WideAwakes. Your vast association numbering more than half a million, extending from Maine to Minnesota, and penetrating every section of the Pepublic where free labor is honored, embodies for efficient action, the zeal, enthusiasm, and energy of the young men of our country.

The object of your association is to aid in securing our success at the polls. You have adopted as your motto these words of Jefferson, "Vigilance," eternal "vigil ance is the price of liberty." Jefferson meant that those who would preserve their liberties, must be " Wide Awakes."

Our political opponents have charged you with being a military organization in disguise. Let not their hearts be troubled. It is doubtless true that the Wide-Awake organization embodies much of the strength of our citizen soldiers, and it is true that they would rally as soon to crush domestic treason, as to repel foreign invasion. But your arms are peaceful; not warlike. Your torches are to light the freeman's pathway to the ballot box, not to the battle-field. Our weapons are ballots not bullets.

It is our adversaries who use the weapons of violence and fraud. They used the bowie-knife of the border-ruffians in Kansas. Their's is the "Lynch-law," and the mob violence which silences the freeman's tongue and shuts the patriot's mouth. They suppress the liberty of speech and the freedom of the press. They threaten to destroy the Union if we take from them the power of prostituting it to the extension of slavery. They knock down Senators for uttering disagreeable truths. They threaten to hang Northern members of Congress, like Hale, and Lovejoy — on the nearest tree. It is the slave party which has introduced a "reign of terror," in a large portion of the South. Against all this, we interpose the peaceful agencies of the printing press, the common school, the sermon, the lecture, the railroad, the telegraph, and above all the free, honest ballot.

This peaceful moral conflict, where reason is free to combat wrong and error, is the "irrepressible conflict" of the great Senator of New York, (Mr. Seward,) who “is our guest to-day."

The Democratic Convention, as we have stated, had met at Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 1860 and had split into two parts upon the slavery question. After vainly wrangling over a platform, the delegates from the slave States seceded and organized a separate convention. The Convention itself adjourned to Baltimore, and nominated Stephen A. Douglas for President, and the seceding delegates met at Richmond, Virginia, on the 11th of June, and nominated John C. Breckinridge.

It is now clear that a considerable portion of the seceding delegates had already entered into the conspiracy to destroy the Union. Hence, they desired and promoted the rupture of the Democratic party, and the election of Mr. Lincoln, as an excuse or pretext for promoting their objects.

W. L. Yancey, of Alabama, a leading secessionist, and others, subsequently prominent in the military and civil service of the rebellion, were active leaders in the measures which broke up the convention. The Chicago Convention, while it resolved that Congress ought to prohibit slavery in the territories, distinctly disclaimed any intention to interfere with it in the States. The existence of the conspiracy to destroy the Union, and the participation in that conspiracy by those who procured the nomination of Breckinridge, is established by the fact, that although it was obvious that by their secession from the Charleston Convention and the



nomination of two candidates, Mr. Lincoln's election was rendered morally certain, yet, to place this beyond a doubt, the same organization ran two tickets in the free States, where the great mass of the Democratic party supported Douglas, and the opposition to him was scattering. Thus the Breckinridge leaders deliberately and intentionally secured Lincoln's election.

The great subject in controversy, among the three leading parties, was slavery.

1st. The Republican party held that slavery was morally wrong and a great political evil; that it could exist only by virtue of positive local law; and that Congress rightfully could, and ought to prohibit it in all the territories.

2d. The party supporting Breckinridge held that slavery was morally right; and that it legally existed in all the territories, and that neither Congress nor the people of a territory could prohibit it, or interfere with it outside of State lines; and that so long as a territory remained such, slavery had legal existence, and was entitled to protection under the Constitution.

3d. The Douglas party were indifferent whether slavery was "roted up or down," but insisted that the people of each territory should decide for themselves whether they would tolerate and protect, or exclude slavery.

One of the most noticeable features of this contest was the personal canvass made by Douglas. He entered upon it with all the vigor and spirit for which he was so distinguished. He spoke in most of the free and many of the slave States.

Mr. Lincoln received large majorities in nearly all the free States. He received 180 electoral votes, and a popular vote of 1,866,452. Douglas received 12 electoral votes, and 1,375,157 of the popular vote. Breckinridge received 72 electoral, and a popular vote of 847,953; and Bell 39 electoral votes, and 570,631 of the popular vote. By the success of Mr. Lincoln, the executive power of the country passed from the hands of slave-holders. They had controlled the government for much the larger portion of the time during which it had existed.

Each decennial census, each new apportionment of members of Congress, in spite of the advantage of the representation of their negroes, had witnessed the gradual passage of political power into the free States. Against this result the slave aristocracy, conscious of their weakness and the wrong of the institution, struggled in vain. The laws of Nature and of God are not more inexorable in their operation than the law that in the race for power, freedom and free labor should outstrip slavery and slave labor. Convinced of this by the logic of the census figures, yet resolved not to yield power, determined not to give up slavery, either to man or God, the slave-holders had deliberately determined, by force and violence, by any means necessary, to extend slavery over all the territories; to seize and appropriate Cuba; to conquer and annex Mexico; and thus secure the means of extending the area of slavery, of controlling the government, and ultimately, to make the States all slave States; or, failing in these plans, to dissolve the Union, and to establish a government based upon slavery. There had long existed at the South an organized conspiracy to accomplish these purposes. They wanted more negroes; and they sought to repeal, and practically disregarded and evaded the law prohibiting the African slave trade. Cargoes of Africans were imported into the cotton States, and, although by law it was piracy, there were no prosecutions therefor.

To an intelligent understanding of the events preceding the rebellion, and during its progress, the existence of this wide spread, thoroughly organized, secret conspiracy must be understood. A secret organization, known as the "Order of the Lone Star," was well known previous to, and at the time of the annexation of Texas. Its ostensible, and one of its real objects was the acquisition of Cuba. It finally merged into a secret band of confederates, extending through several States, with the destinct and definite purpose of overthrowing the Federal Government in the slave States, and establishing a confederacy based upon slavery. The election of Mr. Lincoln was a triumph, in a direct contest, between the slave aristocracy and democracy; between the friends of slavery and those who regarded it as a great moral,




social and political evil, and who meant to exclude it by prohibition, from all the territories, and to use all legal and constitutional means to restrain and weaken its power. was essentially a contest between democracy and aristocracy; between the civilization of free labor and the barbarism of slavery. In the light of to-day, it is clear that the leaders of the slave party plunged the country into war, believing they could, thereby, save the institution from the destruction. threatened by the rapid and irresistible growth of the free States.

Nineteen centuries ago, upon the mountains of Judea, the great principle upon which our Republic was formed, the common Father and the universal brotherhood of man, was taught by the Son of God. This great, christian principle, the germ of liberty regulated by law, after contending against all forms of civil and religious despotism through so many centuries, was distinctly and authoritatively announced by the Fathers of the Republic, on the 4th of July, 1776, when they proclaimed, in the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," and that "among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia democrat, in the conception of that instrument, struck the key-note of christian liberty. He announced a principle antagonistic to human slavery; and in making it the basis, the corner-stone of our political structure, hastened the "irrepressible conflict," which triumphed at the ballot-box in 1860.

Mr. Lincoln had ever, in all his public addresses, in his debates with Douglas, made that declaration his platform; and he, in his personal and political character, illustrated its grand ideas. He honestly and heartily believed in it. The slave power instinctively felt that the end of slavery was a mere question of time Rather than yield, the slave aristocracy determined to "take up" the sword, and hence the terrible civil war. Slavery was the rebel, and the government, in the end, could do no less than make it an outlaw.

It was apparent that there was a party in nearly all the slave-holding States who hated the Union, and sighed for a

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