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Douglas's friends nominated him for the Presidency, with Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, for Vice-president. The delegates from the cotton-producing States
nominated John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for President and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, for Vice-president.
I remained in the vicinity of Springfield several weeks. Every train brought people to that city to see Mr. Lincoln. Politicians who wanted to be Secretary of War, or of the Navy; who I wanted to be made Minister Plenipotentiary or Consul in some foreign country, position in a custom-house, surveyor of lands, Governor or Secretary of a Territory, postmaster somewhere-all thinking to take time by the forelock by making the acquaintance of Mr. Lincoln in advance of his election. So many came that the Governor of the State kindly allowed him the use of the executive chamber in the State-house, where he courteously welcomed all those who wanted office, as well as those who only wished to shake hands with him.
THE STATE-HOUSE, SPRINGFIELD, ILL., 1860. [The executive chamber was the corner room of the upper story in line with the cupola.]
NOTES TO CHAPTER XI.
(1) "Century Magazine," September, 1887.
(2) Letter to N. B. Judd, December 9, 1859, quoted in "Century Magazine," September, 1887.
(3) I. N. Arnold, "Life of Abraham Lincoln," p. 163.
THE ELECTION, 1860.
HE campaign was one of intense excitement and unbounded enthusiasm on the part of the Republicans, who felt that with the Democratic Party divided they could bring about the election of Mr. Lincoln. Mass meetings were held throughout the Northern States. 1860. The vital questions of the hour were the aggressions of the slave power, the attempt to force slavery into the Territories and the Free States, the Dred Scott decision, and the preservation of the Union. The young men organized "Wide Awake" clubs. They wore uniforms and carried torches. Little did they, in their enthusiasm, comprehend what would be the ultimate outcome of their midnight drilling and marching. Further on we shall see them making other midnight marches as soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The friends of Senator Douglas saw from the outset that they were doomed to defeat. The men who supported the nomination of Bell and Everett in the Northern States endeavored to awaken enthusiasm by ringing bells mounted on wagons and drawn by horses, as their processions paraded the streets of towns and cities.
Breckinridge had not many supporters in the Northern States. It was but a small portion of the Democratic Party that followed his lead.
We are not to think because there was an uprising of people to restrict the further extension of slavery, the party supporting Abraham Lincoln was for its immediate abolition. The printer imprisoned at Baltimore thirty years before for saying the slave-trade was piracy, took no part in advocating the election of Abraham Lincoln, who was not an Abolitionist. Public sentiment cannot be changed in a day. Many good men in the Northern States, including ministers, lawyers, judges, opposed the Republican Party. They said it was sectional, and its success would bring about a dissolution of the Union. The slaveholders were threatening to secede, and establish a Southern Confederacy if Lincoln should be elected. He saw a dark and forbidding
future. Shall we wonder that his friends beheld the old look of sadness upon his face at times?
"Mr. Bateman," said Mr. Lincoln to the Superintendent of Instruction, whose office joined the chamber where he received his friends, "here is a book-a canvass of this city, which my friends have madethe name of every citizen, and how he probably will vote. Here are the names of twenty-three ministers of different denominations, and all but three of them are against me. Here are the names of a great many men who are members of churches, and a very large majority of them are against me. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian. God knows that I want to be one. I have read the Bible ever since I sat at my mother's knee. Here is the New Testament which I carry with me. Its teachings are all for liberty. Now, these ministers and church members know that I am for freedom in the Territories-for freedom everywhere as far as the Constitution and law will permit, and that my opponents are for slavery. They know this, and yet with this book in their hands, in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote against me. I don't understand it." He rises and paces the room. His voice is tremulous as he goes on, and there are tears upon his cheeks.
"Mr. Bateman, I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place for me-and I think He has-I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know that I am right because I know that liberty is right. Jesus Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Christ and reason say the same, and they will find it so. Douglas doesn't care whether slavery is voted up or down; but God cares, humanity cares, and I care. With God's help I shall not fail. I may not see the end; but it will come, and I shall be vindicated, and these men will find that they have not read their Bibles right."
He paces the floor in silence a while, and then goes on:
"Doesn't it seem strange that men ignore the moral aspects of this contest? A revelation could not make it plainer to me that slavery or the Government must be destroyed. The future would be something awful, as I look at it, but for this." He holds up the New Testament.
"There is the rock on which I stand. It seems to me as if God had borne with slavery until the very teachers of religion had come to defend it from the Bible, and to claim for it a divine charter and sanction,