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From one end of the country to the other such spontaneous nominations had joyously echoed his name. Only in Missouri did it fail of overwhelming adhesion, and even in the Missouri Assembly the resolution in favor of his renomination was laid upon the table by a majority of only eight. The current swept on irresistibly throughout the spring. A few opponents of Mr. Lincoln endeavored to postpone the meeting of the national convention until September, knowing that their only hope lay in some possible accident of the summer. But though supported by so powerful an influence as the New York "Tribune," the National Committee paid no attention to this appeal. Indeed, they might as well have considered the request of a committee of prominent citizens to check an impending thunderstorm.

Mr. Lincoln took no measures whatever to promote his own candidacy. While not assuming airs of reluctance or bashfulness, he discouraged on the part of strangers any suggestion as to his reëlection. Among his friends he made no secret of his readiness to continue the work he was engaged in, if such should be the general wish. "A second term would be a great honor and a great labor, which together, perhaps, I would not decline if tendered," he wrote Elihu B. Washburne. He not only opposed no obstacle to the ambitions of Chase, but received warnings to beware of Grant in the same serene manner, answering tranquilly, "If he takes Richmond, let him have it." And he discouraged office-holders, civil or military, who showed any special zeal in his behalf. To General Schurz, who wrote asking permission to take an active part in the presidential campaign, he replied:

"Allow me to suggest that if you wish to remain in the military service, it is very dangerous for you to get

LETTERS TO SCHURZ

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temporarily out of it; because, with a major-general once out, it is next to impossible for even the President to get him in again. Of course I would

be very glad to have your service for the country in the approaching political canvass; but I fear we cannot properly have it without separating you from the military." And in a later letter he added: "I perceive no objection to your making a political speech when you are where one is to be made; but quite surely, speaking in the North and fighting in the South at the same time are not possible; nor could I be justified to detail any officer to the political campaign during its continuance and then return him to the army."

Not only did he firmly take this stand as to his own nomination, but enforced it even more rigidly in cases where he learned that Federal office-holders were working to defeat the return of certain Republican congressmen. In several such instances he wrote instructions of which the following is a type:

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"Complaint is made to me that you are using your official power to defeat Judge Kelley's renomination to Congress. The correct principle, I think, is that all our friends should have absolute freedom of choice among our friends. My wish, therefore, is that you will do just as you think fit with your own suffrage in the case, and not constrain any of your subordinates to do other than as he thinks fit with his."

He made, of course, no long speeches during the campaign, and in his short addresses, at Sanitary Fairs, in response to visiting delegations, or on similar occasions where custom and courtesy decreed that he must say something, preserved his mental balance undisturbed, speaking heartily and to the point, but skilfully avoiding the perils that beset the candidate who talks.

When at last the Republican convention came together on June 7, 1864, it had less to do than any other convention in our political history; for its delegates were bound by a peremptory mandate. It was opened by brief remarks from Senator Morgan of New York, whose significent statement that the convention would fall far short of accomplishing its great mission unless it declared for a Constitutional amendment prohibiting African slavery, was loudly cheered. In their speeches on taking the chair, both the temporary chairman, Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge of Kentucky, and the permanent chairman, William Dennison of Ohio, treated Mr. Lincoln's nomination as a foregone conclusion, and the applause which greeted his name showed that the delegates did not resent this disregard of customary etiquette. There were, in fact, but three tasks before the convention-to settle the status of contesting delegations, to agree upon a platform, and to nominate a candidate for Vice-President.

The platform declared in favor of crushing rebellion and maintaining the integrity of the Union, commending the government's determination to enter into no compromise with the rebels. It applauded President Lincoln's patriotism and fidelity in the discharge of his duties, and stated that only those in harmony with "these resolutions" ought to have a voice in the administration of the government. This, while intended to win support of radicals throughout the Union, was aimed particularly at Postmaster General Blair, who had made many enemies. It approved all acts directed against slavery; declared in favor of a constitutional amendment forever abolishing it; claimed full protection of the laws of war for colored troops; expressed gratitude to the soldiers and sailors of the Union; pronounced in favor of encouraging foreign immigration;

LINCOLN RENOMINATED

447

of building a Pacific railway; of keeping inviolate the faith of the nation, pledged to redeem the' national debt; and vigorously reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine. Then came the nominations. The only delay in registering the will of the convention occurred as a consequence of the attempt of members to do it by irregular and summary methods. When Mr. Delano of Ohio made the customary motion to proceed to the nomination, Simon Cameron moved as a substitute the renomination of Lincoln and Hamlin by acclamation. A long wrangle ensued on the motion to lay this substitute on the table, which was finally brought to an end by the cooler heads, who desired that whatever opposition to Mr. Lincoln there might be in the convention should have fullest opportunity of expression. The nominations, therefore, proceeded by call of States in the usual way. The interminable nominating

speeches of recent years had not yet come into fashion. B. C. Cook, the chairman of the Illinois delegation, merely said:

"The State of Illinois again presents to the loyal people of this nation for President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln-God bless him!"

Others, who seconded the nomination, were equally brief. Every State gave its undivided vote for Lincoln, with the exception of Missouri, which cast its vote, under positive instructions, as the chairman stated, for Grant. But before the result was announced, John F. Hume of Missouri moved that Mr. Lincoln's nomination be declared unanimous. This could not be done until the result of the balloting was made known-four hundred and eighty-four for Lincoln, twenty-two for Grant. Missouri then changed its vote, and the secretary read the grand total of five hundred and six for Lincoln; the announcement being

greeted with a storm of cheering which lasted many minutes.

The principal names mentioned for the vice-presidency were Hannibal Hamlin, the actual incumbent; Andrew Johnson of Tennessee; and Daniel S. Dickinson of New York. Besides these, General L. H. Rousseau had the vote of his own State-Kentucky. The radicals of Missouri favored General B. F. Butler, who had a few scattered votes also from New England. Among the principal candidates, however, the voters were equally enough divided to make the contest exceedingly spirited and interesting.

For several days before the convention met Mr. Lincoln had been besieged by inquiries as to his personal wishes in regard to his associate on the ticket. He had persistently refused to give the slightest intimation of such wish. His private secretary, Mr. Nicolay, who was at Baltimore in attendance at the convention, was well acquainted with this attitude; but at last, overborne by the solicitations of the chairman of the Illinois delegation, who had been perplexed at the advocacy of Joseph Holt by Leonard Swett, one of the President's most intimate friends, Mr. Nicolay wrote to Mr. Hay, who had been left in charge of the executive office in his absence:

"Cook wants to know, confidentially, whether Swett is all right; whether in urging Holt for Vice-President he reflects the President's wishes; whether the President has any preference, either personal or on the score of policy; or whether he wishes not even to interfere by a confidential intimation. Please get this information for me, if possible.'

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The letter was shown to the President, who indorsed upon it:

"Swett is unquestionably all right. Mr. Holt is a

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