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PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S ADMINISTRATION.
FROM THE ELECTION, NOV. 6, 1860, TO THE INAUGURATION, MARCH 4, 1861.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN was elected to be President of the United States on the sixth day of November 1860. The preliminary canvass had not been marked by any very extraordinary features. Party lines were a good deal broken up, and four presidential candidates were in the field; but this departure from the ordinary course of party contests had occurred more than once in the previous political history of the country. Mr. LINCOLN was put in nomination by the Republican party, and represented in his life and opinions the precise aim and object for which that party had been formed. He was a native of a slaveholding State; and while he had been opposed to slavery, he had regarded it as a local institution, the creature of local laws, with which the national government of the United States had nothing whatever to do. But in common with all observant public men, he had watched, with distrust and apprehension, the advance of slavery as an element of political power towards ascendency in the government of the nation, and had cordially co-operated with those who thought it absolutely necessary for the future well-being of the country that this tendency should, be checked. He had, therefore, opposed very strenuously the extension of slavery
"Six feet three; what is yours, Mr. Lincoln ?" "Six feet four."
"Then," said the judge, "Pennsylvania bows to Illinois. My dear man, for years my heart has been aching for a President that I could look up to, and I've found him at last in the land where we thought there were none but little giants."
Mr. Lincoln's formal reply to the official announcement of his nomination, was as follows:
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, May 23, 1860. SIR-I accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention over which you presided, of which I am formally apprised in a 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 it, 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 the principles declared by the Convention.
Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,
HON. GEORGE ASHMUN,
President of the Republican Convention.
Mr. Lincoln's nomination proved universally acceptable to the Republican party. They recognized in him a man of firm principles, of ardent love for freedom,
of strict integrity and truth, and they went into the political contest with a zeal and enthusiasm which was the guarantee of victory; while the doubt and uncertainty, the divided counsels, and wavering purposes of their opponents were the sure precursors of defeat.
His nomination was the signal to the leaders of the slaveholders' party for pressing upon the Democratic Convention their most ultra views, that by the division of the Democratic forces the victory of Mr. Lincoln might be assured, and the pretext afforded them for carrying into execution the plot against the liberties of the country which they had been for so many years maturing. That they would dare to carry their threat of rebellion into execution, was not believed at the North. If it had been, while it would probably have scared away some votes from Mr. Lincoln, it would have brought to him more votes yet from those who, though following the Democratic banner, had not learned to disregard the good old doctrine that the majority must rule, and would have rushed to its rescue, if they had believed that it was really threatened. The vote which he received was that of a solid phalanx of earnest men, who had resolved that Freedom should be henceforth national, and Slavery should be and remain as it was meant to be when the Constitution was adopted. They formed a body of nearly 2,000,000 voters, who carried for Mr. Lincoln the electoral votes of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California.
That the consequences of that election have been