Slike strani
PDF
ePub

Lincoln received a majority, and his nomination was then made unanimous.* While the balloting was in progress, • Did Lincoln anticipate this nomination:

In March 1880, Mr. Lincoln spent several days at Chicago, engaged in the United States Court in the trial of the case of Johnson v. Jones. During the trial, Judge Drummond, Mr. Lincoln, and the members of the bar engaged in the case, were dining together, at the table of one of the counsel, who was a warm personal and political friend of Mr. Lincoln. Others of the counsel present were equally warm friends of Judge Douglas, who was then the most prominent candidate for the Presidency before the people.

When the cloth was removed the host said “gentlemen, please fill your glasses for a toast, which, differing as we do politically, I am sure all present will heartily respond to.” “ May Ilinois furnish the next President." The friends of Douglas drank to him, and the rest of us to Lincoln.

So far as the author knows, the first nomination in any newspaper of Mr. Lincoln for the Presidency was made on the 5th day of October 1859, by the Aurora Beacon, published at Aurora, Kane connty, Illinois, and then ably edited by John W. Ray, Faq.

In the Beacon for October 6th, 1859, under the caption of “ The calmness of the republicans," Mr. Lincoln was named, incidentally, among some half dozen others, es the possible man for their candidate for 1859.

In the issue of the same paper of November 10th, 1859, the nomination took defnite shape under the caption, “ They say Old Abe u the man.” Among other passagen pccur the following, in that article:

“Dlinois has rather waited for others to move, than to move hersell, because her man is one of her own citizens, and she trusted that the people of other states would do, with a better grace, what she is particularly desirous of having done. She waits to second, what she would be the first to move in, were the great man a citizen of any other state. * * It is a settled question we believe that the WEST must have the next President, never having had a man in the office, but one month. It is also settled, that there must be a candidate who can carry the most doubtful States. Now Illinois, if any, is one of those states. No one doubts that Douglas can poll the largest vote here, of any man, unless it be ABE LINCOLN, and no one doubts that what Lincoln did under all the disadvantages, of 1858, he could do easily under the better auspices of 1860. And it would be peculiarly a glory, if on the very ground where Lincoln was cheated out of his election, (as Senator) there he should be run again, and should have the glory of defeating Douglas, should be be the opponent. He will thus fight neither with great nor small, but only with the King of the democratic host. Lincoln has every element of popularity and success, and he has one which will give him peculiar prominence over Douglas, and that 1s his integrity to the great principles which this are, and all the free states are determined shall cut a figure in the next election. Freedom v. Slavery. We are in zo hurry to bring out Mr. Lincoln. He will be thought of in time by all that will need him, if he be the man. But if he shall become the nominnee of the republican hosts, we shall count it a joy to hoist his name at our mast'head, and thang the banner on the outer wall of our alty and country.”

The same paper is its issue of December 15th 1859, under the caption," the strongest man!", after discussing the claims of Mr. Lincoln at length as against Mr. Seward and others, concludes with these truthful and prophetic words;

“And we cannot help thinking how, Uke a shadow of a great rock in a weary land, such a President will seem, as Abraham Lincoln will make. He will, in his principles and measures, o'er Buchanan, like an eagle soar. Disunion will and him as South Carolina found old Jackson. The slave trade will find him a Wuberforce The army will be used for defence, Jsot otence.

With Lincoln for President, and Cameron, or Reed, or even Thad. Stevens as Vice President, the ticket would sweep the states, as Von Tromp the send. This is he whom we consider the strongest man, and for whom we would almire to do

Mr. Lincoln was sitting in the office of the State Journal, at Springfield. A telegraph wire had been extended to the Wigwam, and the result of every ballot was immediately telegraphed to Springfield.

Soon after the result of the second ballot had been an. nounced, a gentleman entered the office of the State Journal, and banded a slip of paper to Mr. Lincoln, on which was his nomination, the result of third ballot. IIe read the paper in silence, and then announcing the result, he said, amidst the shouts of those persons present, “ There is a little woman down at our house, would like to hear this — I'll go down and tell her.”

No words can adequately describe the enthusiasm by which this nomination was received in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the Northwest. A man who had been placed on the top of the Wigwam, to announce to the thousands outside, the progress of the balloting, as soon as the Secretary read the result of the third ballot, shouted to those below, “ Fire the salute Lincoln is nominated!" The cannon was fired, and before its reverberations died away, a hundred thousand voters of Illinois, and the neighboring States, were shouting, screaming, and rejoicing over the result. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was nominated for Vice President. The nomination of Lincoln was hailed with intense enthusi. asm, not only by the crowds in attendence, and the Northwest, but this soon extended throughout all the free States. Everywhere the people were full of zeal for the champion from the West. Never did a party enter upon a canvass with more earnest devotion to principle, than the republican party of 1860. Love of country, devotion to liberty, hatred of slavery, pervaded all hearts. A keen sense of the wrongs and outrages inflicted upon the free State-men of Kansay, the violence, and in many instances, the savage cruelty, by which freedom of speech and liberty of the press had been suppressed in portions of the slave States, and indignation at the long catalogue of crimes of the slaveholders, fired 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.

loyal service, should he be the choice of the convention. We are glad Douglas is recovering his health, and we think he will yet live to attend the levee of President LINCOLN.

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 forches. The following extract from a speech delivered to hern, will illustrate the spirit of the campaign and the organization:

Gentlemen, Wide-Awakes of the Northwest 1 Peace bath her yictortes 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, mo magnifloent and brilliant an array, is contributing a most important part. Among many features which give to this Presidential contest, a peculiar and ex. traordinary interest, nono are more significant than the organization of the Wide Arakes. Your vast association numbering more than balf a million, extending from Maine to Minnesota, and penetrating every section of the Republio where tree labor 18 honored, embodies for efficient action, the zeal, enthusiasm, and energy of the young men of our country. ...

Tho object of your association is to aid in securing our success at the polls. You uave adopted as your motto these words of Jefferson, “ Vigilance," etortal "violla ance is the price of liberty." Jeffersor, meant that those who would premerve their Uberties, must be “ Wide Awakes.*

Our political opponents have charged you with being a military organization in disguise. Løt 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 treasun, run to repel foreign invasion. But your arms are peaceful; not warlike. Your torches are to light the freonnan's pathway to the ballot box, not to the battle-field. Our weapons aro balluts not bullets.

It is our adversaries who use the weapons of violence and fraud. They used the bowie-knife of the border-rufflans in Kankar. Their's is the “ Lynch-law," and the mob violence which silences the freeman's tongue nnd 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 thein the power of prostituting it to the extension of slavery. They knock down Senators for attering 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 "relyn of torror," In a large portion of the south. Against all this, we interpose the peaceful agencies of the printing press, the common school, the serinon, the lecture, the rallroad, the telegraph, and above all the free, honest ballot.

This peaceful moral conflict, where reason 18 free to combat wrong and error, is the “irrepressible conflic" of the great Senator of New York, (Mr. Seward,) who "18 our guest to-day."

а

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

[ocr errors]

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 leadors 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.

29. 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 Hnés; and that so long as a territory remained such, slavery had legal existence, and was entitled to protection under the Constitution.

8d. The Douglas party were indifferent whether slavery was “voted 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 1,886,452. Douglas received 12 electoral votes, and 1,875,157 of the popular vote. Breckinridge received 72 electoral, and a popular vote of 847,953; and Bell 89 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.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »