David Prain William Jackson Hooker.

The life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, and Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine online

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effectually the framework of Douglas's argument.

Mr. Lincoln spoke several times during the last winter to
laro-e audiences in the Eastern States. He delivered an effective
oration on "National Politics" at the Cooper Institute, New
York, before the Young Men's Republican Club, of that city,
which was largely attended. A New York correspondent of a
far-western paper, thus describes the speaker, the speech, and
its effects : —

" The tall form of the Westerner, towering as it ought to do,
a full head and shoulders above the New Yorkers who surround-
ed him, and nearly doubling on the fat, jolly, and jocund Gen.
Nye, — his small, compact head, dark complexion, and beard-
less face, too, furnishing a striking contrast to the great head,
grim, grand countenance, and white beard of the venerable poet
Bryant, while the dark piercing eye, close-cut hair, and ears set
back almost out of sight, and the quick, vigilant manner, and
plain Western dress, all combined to give him a decidedly strik-
ing and characteristic personality. His voice is sharp and shrill,
pitched on a very high key, but at times, full, powerful, and
sonorous ; his manner is high-toned and courteous, his features
capable of an infinite variety of expression; his enunciation
slow and emphatic ; his argument candid, closely reasoned, log-
ical, and speaking with a generous humor. Altogether, he made
the best impression, and stirred up the greatest enthusiasm of
any public speaker I have heard for many a day."



OP ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 91



CHAPTER VII.

National Republican Convention — Preparations at Chicago — The Wigwam
— General Enthusiasm — Organization — Speech of the President — Nomi-
nations — Ballotings — Choi^j* of Lincoln — Vice-President — Ilamlin, etc.

The second National nominating Convention of the Republi-
can party, met at Chicago, on the 16th of May. The assem-
bling of the first, at Philadelphia, in June 1856, marked an era
in national politics.

The outrages of the slave oligarchy in Kansas, and the manly
character and life of the gallant Republican standard-bearer,
John Charles Fremont, stirred up such a generous burst of en-
thusiasm as seldom before made the heart of a great nation beat
to a noble cause. The young men were felt in that campaign.
Men grave and reverend, bearing honored names in literature,
sciences, and politics, came forward from their retirement to
speak for the choice of the aroused North. The results of that
glorious campaign are well known. Though defeated, it was
but a Waterloo victory for the foe.

The Republican party showed, by the immense vote given for
its candidates, how great a hold its principles had upon the pub-
lic mind. This hold has not decreased, but rather become in-
tensified, in the intervening four years. The reassembling of
the party in convention, was looked forward to with the most
eager interest.

The people of Chicago made every preparation to accommo-
date the hosts, who were westward wending their way, in the
most liberal manner. Never before had the " Gai den City "
witnessed such animating scenes. It is reported that at least



92 LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

forty thousand strangers visited the city during the sitting of the
Convention. The delegates numbered 465, and comprised re-
presentatives from all the Northern, and six of the slave States,
viz. Maryland, Kentucky, Delaware, Virginia, Texas, and Mis-
souri, and from the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and the
District of Columbia.

The candidates for President, most prominent, were Seward,
of New York ; Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois j Salmon P. Chase
and Judge Wade, of Ohio ; Edward Bates, of Missouri ; and
Mr. Cameron, of Pennsylvania. The friends of each were
earnest and zealous in behalf of their choice, but Mr. Seward's
and Mr. Lincoln's names created tlfr^greatest amount of enthu-
siasm.

The Republicans of Chicago had erected a huge temporary
building for the use of the Convention. The " Wigwam," as it
was called, covered a space of 600 feet by 180, and the height was
between 50 and 60 feet. The building would hold about 10,000
persons, and was divided into platform, ground-floor, and gal-
lery. The stage upon which the delegates and members of the
press were seated, held about 1,800 persons ; the ground-floor and
galleries about 8,000. The floor rested on an inclined platform, so
that those in the rear were able to see the stage as well as the
spectators in the front. A large gallery was reserved for the
ladies, and which was filled every day to overflowing.

At 12, M., on Wednesday the 16th of May, Gov. Morgan, of
New York, Chairman of the National Committee, called the
Convention to order, and nominated David Wilmot, of Pa., as
President, pro tern.

A permanent organization was effected in the afternoon, —
Hon. George Ashmun, of Massachusetts, being chosen President,
and the following gentlemen Vice-Presidents and Secretaries : —

VICE-PRESIDENTS.

S. F. Hersey, Maine. John Beard, Indiana.

Wm. Hall, New Hampshire. David Davis, Illinois.
Wm. Heberd, Vermont. Thos. W. Ferry, Michigan.



OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.



93



Ensijm H. Kellofra;, Mass.

o no'

R. G. Hazard, Rhode Island.
E. F. Cleveland, Connecticut.
Wm. O. Noyes, New York.
E. Z. Rogers, New Jersey.
Thaddeus Stevens, Penn.
John C. Clark, Delaware.
Wm. L. Marshall, Maryland.
Richard Crawford, Virginia.
George D. Burgess, Ohio.



Hans Crocker, Wisconsin.
Henry P. Schotte, Iowa.
Aaron Goodrich, Minnesota.
Henry T. Blow, Missouri.
W. D. Gallagher, Kentucky
W. T. Chandler, Texas.
A. A. Sargent, California.
Joel Burlingame, Oregon.
Wm. Ross, Kansas.
George Harrington, Dist. Col



A. S. Paddock, Nebraska.



SECRETARIES.

Chas. A. Wing, Maine. S. Davis, Illinois.

Nathl. Hubbard, New Hamp.
R. R. Hazard, R. Island.
H. H. Starkweather, Conn.

C. O. Rogers, Massachusetts.
Theodore M. Pomeroy, N. Y.
Edward Bettie, N. Jersey.
J. Bollman Bell, Penn.
Benj. C. Hopkins, Delaware.
William E. Coale, Maryland.
A. W. Campbell, Virginia.
Horace Z. Beebe, Ohio.

D. D. Pellate, Indiana.

Mr. Ashmun, in taking the Chair, spoke as follows : —
Gentlemen of the Convention, Republicans and Americans : My
first duty is to express to you my deep sense of this distinguished
mark of your confidence, and in the spirit in which it is offered [
accept of it. I am sensible of the difficulties which surround the
position, but I am cheered and sustained by the faith that the same
generosity which brought me here will carry me through the dis-
charge of my duties. I will not shrink from the position which is
at the same time the post of danger as well as honor. (Applause.)
Gentlemen, we have come here to-day at the call of the country,
from widely separated homes, to fulfil a great and important duty.



Wm. M. Stoughton, Mich.
L. T. Trisby, Wisconsin.
W. R. Allison, Iowa.
D. A. Secamb, Minnesota.
J. J. Kidd, Missouri.
John J. Hawes, Kentucky.
Dunbar Henderson, Texas.
D. J. Staples, California.
Eli Thayer, Oregon.
John A. Martin, Kansas.
H. R. Hitchcock, Nebraska.



94 LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

No ordinary call has brought us together. Nothing but a moment-
ous question would have called this vast multitude together, — no-
thing but the deep sense of danger into 'which the Government h
fast running, could have rallied the people thus in this city to-day
for the purpose of rescuing the Government from the deep degrada-
tion into which it has fallen. (Loud applause.) We have come
here at the call of the country for the purpose of preparing for the
most solemn duty that freemen can perform. We have here, in
our ordinary capacity as delegates of the people, to prepare for the
formation and carrying on of a new administration, and with the
help of God we will do it. (Loud applause.) No mere controversy
about miserable abstractions brought us here to-day. We do not
come here on any idle question. The sacrifice which we have made
in an extended journey, and the time we have devoted to it, would
not have been made except on some solemn call. The stern look
which I see on every face, and the earnest behavior which has
been manifested in all the preliminary discussion, show that all have
a true and deep sense of the solemn obligations which are resting
upon us. Gentlemen, it does not belong to me to make any ex-
tended address, but rather to assist in the details of the business
which belongs to the Convention ; but allow me to say 1 think we
have a right here to-day, in the name of the American people, to
impeach the administration of our General Government of the highest
crimes that can be committed against a constitutional government,
against a free people, and against humanity. (Prolonged cheers.)
The catalogue of its crimes it is not for me to recite ; it is written
on every page of the history of the present administration of the
Government, and I care not how many paper protests the President
may send into the House of Representatives. (Laughter and ap-
plause.) We here, as a grand inquest of the nation, will find out
for him and his confederates, not only a punishment terrible and
sure, but a remedy that shall be satisfactory. (Loud applause.)
Before proceeding to business, the Convention will allow me to con-
gratulate you and the people on the striking features which I think
must have been noticed by everybody who has mixed in the preli-
minary discussions of the people who have gathered in this beautiful
city ; it is that brotherly kindness and generous emulation which
have marked every conversation and every discussion, showing a
desire for nothing save the country's good. Earnest, warm, generous
preferences are expressed; ardent hopes and fond purposes are



OP ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 95

declared, but not daring the three days I have spent among you all
have I heard one unkind word uttered by one man against another.
I hail it as an augury of success, and if during the proceedings of
the Convention you will unite to perpetuate that feeling and allow
it to pervade all your proceedings, I declare to you that it will be
the surest and brightest omen of our success, whoever may be the
standard-bearer in the great contest that is pending. (Applause.)
In that spirit, gentlemen, let us now proceed to business — to the
great work which the American people have given into our hands
to do. (Loud cheers.)

On Thursday, the 17th, the Committee on Resolutions re-
ported the following platform, which was adopted amid the
wildest enthusiasm.

PLATFORM OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Resolved, That we, the delegated representatives of the Repub-
Ucan Electors of the United States, in Convention assembled, in
the discharge of the duty we owe to our constituents and our coun-
try, unite in the following declarations : —

First, That the history of the nation during the last four years
has fully established the propriety and necessity of the organization
and perpetuation of the Republican party, and that the causes
which called it into existence are permanent in their nature, and
now more than ever before demand its peaceful and constitutional
triumph.

Second: That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in
the Declaration of Independence, and embodied in the Federal
Constitution, is essential to the preservation of our Republican insti-
tutions ; that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and
the union of the States, must and shall be preserved ; and that we
reassert " these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain un-
alienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are insti-
tuted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of
the governed."

Third: That to the union of the States this nation owes its un-
precedented increase in population ; its surprising development of



96 LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

material resources; its rapid augmentation of wealth; its happiness
at home, and its honor abroad : and we hold in abhorrence all
schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may ; and
we congratulate the country that no Republican member of Con-
gress has uttered or countenanced a threat of disunion, so often
made by Democratic members of Congress without rebuke and
with applause from their political associates; and we denounce
those threats of disunion, in case of a popular overthrow of their
ascendency, as denying the vital principles of a free government,
and as an avowal of contemplated treason, which it is the impera-
tive duty of an indignant people strongly to rebuke and forever
silence.

Fourth : That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the
States, and especially the right of each State to order and control
its own domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclu-
sively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection
and endurance of our political faith depends, and we denounce
the lawless invasion by armed force of any State or Territory, no
matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

Fifth : That the present Democratic administration has far ex-
ceeded our worst apprehensions in its measureless subserviency to
the exactions of a sectional interest, as is especially evident in its
desperate exertions to force the infamous Lecompton Constitution
upon the protesting people of Kansas, — in construing the personal
relation between master and servant to involve an unqualified
property in persons, — in its attempted enforcement everywhere,
on land and sea, through the intervention of Congress and the
Federal Courts of the extreme pretentions of a purely local inter-
est, and in its general and unvarying abuse of the power intrusted
to it by a confiding people.

Sixth : That the people justly view with alarm the reckless ex-
travagance which pervades every department of the Federal Gov-
ernment ; that a return to rigid economy and accountability is
indispensable to arrest the system of plunder of the public treas-
ury by favored partisans ; while the recent startling developments
of fraud and corruption at the Federal metropolis, show that an
entire change of administration is imperatively demanded.

Seventh : That the new dogma that the Constitution of its own
force carries slavery into any or all the Territories of the United
States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit



OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 97

provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposi-
tion, and with legislative and judicial precedent, is revolutionary
in its tendency and subversive of the peace and harmony of the
country.

Eighth : That the normal condition of a 1 ! the territory of the
United States is that of freedom ; that as our republican fathers,
when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, or-
dained that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or prop-
erty, without the process of law, it becomes our duty, by legis-
lation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain thii
provision of the Constitution against all attempt to violate it ; and
we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or
of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territo-
ry of the United States.

Ninth : That we brand the recent reopening of the African
slave-trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perver-
sions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, a burning
shame to our country and age, and we call upon Congress to
take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final sup-
pression of that execrable traffic.

Tenth : That in the recent vetoes by their Federal Governors of
thu acts of the legislatures of Kansas and Nebraska, prohibiting
slavery in those Territories, we find a practical illustration of the
boasted Democratic principle of non-intervention and popular sov-
ereignty, embodied in the Kansas and Nebraska bill, and a de-
nunciation of the deception and fraud involved therein.

Eleventh : That Kansas should of right be immediately admit-
ted as a State under the Constitution recently formed and
adopted by her people, and accepted by the House of Rep-
resentatives.

Twelfth : That while providing revenue for the support of the
General Government by duties upon imposts, sound policy requires
such an adjustment of these imposts as to encourage the develop-
ment of the industrial interest of the whole country, and we com-
mend that policy of national exchanges which secures to the work-
ing-men liberal wages, to agriculture remunerating prices, to me-
chanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill,
labor and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and
independence.

Thirteenth : That we protest against any sale or alienation to others



98 LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

of the public lands held by actual settlers, and against any view of
the free Homestead policy which regards the settlers as paupers or
supplicants for public bounty, and we demand the passage by Con-
gress of the complete and satisfactory Homestead measure which
has already passed the House.

Fourteenth: That the Republican party is opposed to any
change in our Naturalization laws, or any State legislation by
which the rights of citizenship hitherto accorded to immigrants
from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired ; and in favor of
giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of
citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home or abroad.

Fifteenth : That appropriations by Congress for river and harbor
improvements of a national character, required for the accommo-
dation and security of an existing commerce, are authorized by the
Constitution, and justified by an obligation of the government to
protect the lives and property of its citizens.

Sixteenth : That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean is imperatively
demanded by the interests of the whole country ; that the Federal
Government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its con-
struction, and that as preliminary thereto, a daily overland mail
should be promptly established.

Seventeenth : Finally, having thus set forth our distinctive prin-
ciples and views, we invite the co-operation of all citizens, however
differing on other questions, who substantially agree with us, in
their affirmance and support.

Ballotings for candidate commenced on Friday, the third day
of the session. William M. Evarts, of New York, placed in
nomination the name of William H. Seward; Mr. Judd, of
Illinois, that of Abraham Lincoln ; Mr. Dudley, of New Jersey,
that of William L. Dayton ; Gov. Reeder, of Pennsylvania, the
name of Simon Cameron; Mr. Carter, of Ohio, Salmon P.
Chase ; Frank P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri, Edward Bates ; and
Tom Corwin, of Ohio, Judge McLean. Much excitement and
cheering followed, as, delegates from various States seconded the
different nominations. The following summary shows the results
of the three ballots taken by the Convention : —



OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 99



FIRST BALLOT.



For Mr. Seward 1 73|

For Mr. Lincoln 102

For Mr. Cameron 50£

For Mr. Chase 49



For Mr. Bates 48

For Mr. Dayton 14

Whole number of votes, 465; necessary to a choice, 233.



For Mr. McLean 12

For Mr. Collamer 10

For Mr. Wade 3

For Mr. Sumner 1

For Mr. Reed 1

For Mr. Fremont 1



SECOND BALLOT.



For Mr. Seward 184£

For Mr. Lincoln 181

For Mr. Chase 42£

For Mr. Bates 35



For Mr. Dayton 10

For Mr. McLean 8

For Mr. Cameron 2

For Mr. Clay 2



THIRD BALLOT.

For Mr. Lincoln 354 |For Mr. Dayton 1

For Mr. Seward 110^|For Mr. McLean. . . , £

Intelligence of the nomination was now conveyed to the men
on the roof of the building, who immediately made the outside
multitude aware of the result. The first roar of the cannon
soon mingled itself with the cheers of the people, and the same
moment a man appeared in the hall, bringing a large painting
of Mr. Lincoln. The scene at this time surpassed description,
— 11,000 people inside, and 20,000 or 30,000 outside, were
yelling and shouting at once. Two cannon sent forth roar after
roar in quick succession. Delegates tore up the sticks and
boards bearing the names of the several States, and waved them
aloft over their heads, and the vast multitude before the platform
were waving hats and handkerchiefs. The whole scene was one
of the wildest enthusiasm.

When silence was restored, William M. Evarts came forward
to the Secretary's table, and spoke as follows : —

Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the National Convention, — The
State of New York, by a full delegation, with complete unanimity
of purpose at home, came to this Convention, and presented as its
choice one of its citizens who had served the State from boyhood
up, and labored for it and loved it. We came here a great State,
with, as we thought, a great statesman — (applause) — and our love



100 LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES

for the great Republic from which we are all delegates, — the great
Republic of the American Union ; and our love for the great Re-
publican party of the Union, and our love of our statesman and
candidate, made us think we did our duty to the country and the
whole country in expressing our preference and love for him. (Ap-
plause.) But, gentlemen, it was from Gov. Seward that most of us
learned to love Republican principles and the Republican party.
(Cheers.) His fidelity to the country, the Constitution and the
laws ; his fidelity to the party and the principles that majorities
govern ; his interest in the advancement of our party to its victory,
that our country may rise to its true glory, induce me to declare
that I speak his sentiments, as I do the united opinion of our dele-
gation, when I move, sir, as I do now, that the nomination of Abra-
ham Lincoln, of Illinois, as the Republican candidate for the suf-
frages of the whole country for the office of Chief Magistrate of
the American Union be made unanimous. (Applause, and three
cheers for New York.)

In the afternoon the Convention balloted for Vice-President.
Mr. Wilder, of Kansas, named John Hickman, of Pennsylva-
nia ; Mr. Lewis, of Pennsylvania, seconded the nomination ;
Mr. Carter, of Ohio, named Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine ; Mr.
Boutwell, of Massachusetts, named N. P. Banks, of Massachu-
setts ; Mr. Smith, of Indiana, named Cassius M. Clay ; Mr.
Lowry, of Pennsylvania, named Gov. Reeder, of Pennsylvania.

The balloting resulted as follows : —

FIRST BALLOT.



For Mr. Hamlin 194

For Mr. Clay 101§

For Mr. Hickman 58

For Mr. Reeder 51

For Mr. Banks 38^



For Mr. Davis 8

For Mr. Houston 6

For Mr. Dayton 3

For Mr. Reed 1



SECOND BALLOT.

For Mr. Hamlin 367 |For Mr. Clay 86

For Mr. Hickman 13

Speeches were made by delegates from the various States, in
favor of the Ticket, Platform, and general success of the Re-
publican party.



OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 101

The Convention, after completing the business, by the ap-
pointment of a National Executive Committee, adjourned sine
die, with nine cheers for the candidates.

The telegraph flashed the intelligence throughout the Union,
and ratification meetings were held in nearly all of the cities
and towns of the Northern States the same evening.

The Republican Convention has done its work. Their plat-
form and candidates are before the people.

Throughout the Northern States, the nominations were enthu-
siastically received. In the Empire State, which had confi-
dently looked for the nomination of her favorite son, William H.
Seward, the effect of the news was at first that of surprise, and
then of hearty approval. In Pennsylvania, by the votes of those
delegates, Mr. Lincoln was virtually placed before the country,
the intelligence was greeted with the utmost enthusiasm. So
throughout the doubtful States. In the West, the excitement
rose to fever-heat.

At Springfield, the home of Mr. Lincoln, the enthusiasm on
receiving the news of his nomination, verged on wildness. Guns
were fired, bonfires blazed, offices, stores, and dwelling-houses
were illuminated, an impromptu torchlight procession formed,
and the Republican candidate greeted with a serenade. Mr.
Lincoln, in returning thanks, spoke of the demonstration thus
made, not as personal to himself, but rather as a tribute to the
principles which he was held worthy enough to represent.

The Committee, appointed by the Republican National Con-
vention, comprising the president, Mr. Ashmun, and the chair-
man of the State delegations, to officially announce to Hon.


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Online LibraryDavid Prain William Jackson HookerThe life and public services of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, and Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine → online text (page 9 of 12)