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On the 29th of August of the same year, the Democratic Convention met at Chicago, and nominated George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton as its banner bearers. General McClellan being named for the Presidency and Mr. Pendleton for the Vice-presidency. The platform of the party, as laid down by this convention, set forth, among other things, the following:
“Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity of a wal power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the countly essentially impaired; justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare, demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate Convention of all the States, or other peaceable means to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.”
General McClellan, in his letter of acceptance to the committee appointed by the Convention to notify him of his nomination, virtually ignored the portion of the platform given above, and he urged a vigorous prosecution of the war. Much dissatisfaction in the Democratic party grew out of the differences between the sentiments expressed by the platform and those of the principal candidate placed upon it, and for a time it seemed as though the party would be wrecked in advance upon the rock of these differences. Some of the leading peace men of the party refused to support General McClellan, while the War democracy denounced the platform in unmeasured tel'm S.
To use an expression of General McClellan's, the campaign was “short, sharp, and decisive,” and the candidates of both parties came in for a liberal share of abuse and ridicule.
PRESIDENT T.INCOIN VISITS PHILADELPHIA. A series of monster fairs was held, in 1864, in the principal cities of the Union, for the purpose of aiding the funds of the United States Sanitary Commission. Philadelphia held her great fair in June, and on the sixteenth of the month, the President and Mrs. Lincoln, paid a visit to the fair buildings, in Tiogan square. There was a huge crowd present for the purpose of gazing upon the features of their beloved Chief Magistrate. After a collation had been partaken of, Mr. Lincoln made a characteristic address. In speaking of the war, he said:
“War, at the best, is terrible, and this war of ours, in its magnitude and its duration, is one of the most terrible. It has deranged business, totally in many localities, and partially in all localities. It has destroyed property, and ruined homes; it has produced a national debt and taxation unprecedented, at least in this country. It has carried mourning to almost every home, until it can almost be said that the ‘heavens are hung in black.’ * %. -X- + + * -X- % %
“It is a pertinent question, often asked in the mind privately, and from one to the other, “when is the war to end ?’ Surely I feel as deep an interest in this question as any other can, but I do not wish to name a day, or month, or a year when it is to end. I do not wish to run any risk of seeing the time come, without our being ready for the end, and for fear of disappointment because the time had come, and not the end. We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained. Under God, I hope it never will until that time. [Great cheering.] Speaking of the present campaign, Gen. Grant is reported to have said, ‘I am going through on this line if it takes all summer l’ [Cheers.] This war has taken three years; it was begun, or accepted, upon the line of restoring the national authority over the whole national domain—and for the American people, as far as my knowledge enables me to speak, I say, we are going through on this line if it takes three years more. [Cheers.] My friends, I did not know but that I might be called upon to say a few words before I got away from here, but I did not know it was coming just here. [Iaughter.] I have never been in the habit of making predictions in regard to the war, but I am almost tempted to make one. If I were to hazard it, it is this : That Grant is this evening, with Gen. Meade and Gen. Hancock, of Pennsylvania, and the brave officers and soldiers with him, in a position from whence he will never be dislodged until Richmond is taken, [loud cheering], and I have but one single proposition to put now, and perhaps I can best put it in the form of an interrogatory. If I shall discover that Gen. Grant, and the noble officers and men under him, can be greatly facilitated in their work by a sudden pouring forward of men and assistance, will you give them to me? [Cries of ‘Yes!”] Then, I say, stand ready, for I am waiting for the chance. [Laughter and cheers.] I thank you, gentlemen.”
The hint given by the President in his speech, was understood when a call was made the following month for 500,000 more men.
Towards the middle of July, 1864, rebel raiders, under command of the traitor Breckinridge, audaciously threatened Washington. They approached as near the capital as Tenallytown, burned the residence of Postmaster Blair, at Silver Springs, destroyed passenger trains on the railroad between Baltimore and the Susquehanna, and burnt a large part of Chambersburg. President Lincoln remained placidly in Washington during this exciting period.
“TC) WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.”
While these stirring events were in progress near the national capital, representations were made to President Lincoln that certain parties, who professed to represent the rebel government, were at the Clifton House, at Niagara Falls, and anxious to enter into negotiations with a view to the restoration of peace. Clement C. Clay, Beverly Tucker, and George N. Sanders were the active agents of the South in this business, and they succeeded in persuading Mr. Horace Greeley that much good would come of a conference. The project was doubtless a trick to induce Mr. Lincoln to recognize the Southern Confederacy, and to trap him into a betrayal of his plans. But the following manifesto issued by him overturned all those hopes :
“ExECUTIVE MASION, WASHINGTON, July 18, 1864.—To whom it may concern : Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive Government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points, and the bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both ways. ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”
Mr. Clay and Mr. Holcombe, who were among the chief plenipotentiaries of Jefferson Davis, took high offence at the tone and language of this paper, and they responded to it in a tone of ill temper that evinced their bitter disappointment at the failure of the trap set for the feet of Mr. Lincoln. Their complaints had no other effect than to make their authors ridiculous in the sight of the world.
TIFIE FAILT, OF ATIANTA.
In the month of September, 1864, intelligence arrived of the fall of Atlanta, and the President appointed a day of Thanksgiving, for the success of an event that none who were not in the Secrets of the administration could have imagined the importance of at that time.
IMIR. IIIN COLIN IS RE-ELECTED.
The Presidential election took place upon the eighth of November, 1864, and it resulted in the triumph of Mr. Lincoln in every loyal State except Kentucky, New J ersey and Delaware. In some of the States, their soldiers in the field were allowed to vote, and the military vote was almost invariably cast for Lincoln and Johnson. The official returns for the entire vote polled summed up 4,034,789. Of these Mr. Lincoln received 2,223,035, and McClellan received 1,811,754, leaving a majority of 411,281 on the popular vote. Mr. Lincoln was elected by a plurality in 1860. In 1864 his majority was decided and unmistakable.
This result was considered a full endorsement of the policy of Mr. Lincoln, and the war was more vigorously prosecuted from this time, many of its opponents being at least silenced, if they were not convinced.
IMIR. LIN COLN MIAIKES A SPEECH UIPON PHIS IELECTION.
At a late hour on the night of the election, the President was serenaded by a club of Pennsylvanians, who notified him of the fact of his being the choice of the people for a second term. He responded as follows:
“FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS : Even before I had been informed by you that this compliment was paid me by loyal citizens of Pennsylvania friendly to me, I had inferred that you were of that portion of my countrymen who think that the best interests of the nation are to be subserved by the support of the present administration. I do not pretend to say that you, who think so, embrace all the patriotism and loyalty of the country; but I do believe, and I trust without personal interest, that the welfare of the country does require that such support and endorsement be given. I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day's work, if it be as you assume, and as now seems probable, will be to the lasting advantage if not to the very salvation of the country. I cannot, at this hour, say what has been the result of the election, but whatever it may be, I have no desire to modify this opinion: that all who have labored to-day in behalf of the Union organization, have wrought for the best interest of their country and the world, not only for the present but for all future ages. I am thankful to God for this approval of the people; but while deeply grateful for this mark of their confidence in me, if I know my heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of per80mal triumph. I do not impugn the motives of any one opposed to me. It is no pleasure to me to triumph over any one, but I give thanks to the Almighty for this evidence of the people's resolution to Stand by free government and the rights of humanity .
IAST ANNUAL MIESSAGE OF MIR. IITNCOLTN. On the sixth of December, 1864, Mr. Lincoln sent into Congress his last annual Message. After dwelling at length upon our foreign relations, the state of the country, and the results of the election, which had at once demonstrated the strength of the people and their devotion to the cause of the Union, he said :