George Washington Smith.

A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.1) online

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eracy, if the Popular Sovereignty doctrine be adopted as the doctrine
of the Democratic party, would be as dangerous and subversive of their
rights as the adoption of the principle of congressional intervention or
provision." In this Mr. Avery meant to say that the Republican doc-
trine would be as acceptable to the south as the Squatter Sovereignty

A vote was taken on the platform as reported by Mr. Avery and the
one reported by Mr. Payne, both of which had been somewhat modified.

Mr. Payne's report was adopted by a vote of 165 to 138. There-
upon Alabama gave notice of her intention to withdraw from the con-
vention. Other states followed. The seceding members held a meeting
and adjourned to Richmond. The Douglas contingent balloted several
times for President, but not making a choice adjourned to Baltimore.
Here in June. Douglas was nominated for the presidency.

The canvass was encouraging to Lincoln's friends from the start.
The opposition was divided ; the Republicans were enthusiastic from the
beginning. The twenty-four states which took part in the Chicago con-
vention had 234 electoral votes out of the total of 303. Fremont, in
1856, had carried 114 electoral votes and to these the Republicans, in
their estimate, added the votes of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana,
and Illinois, making 169. a wide margin over the needed majority of 152.

A very dramatic feature of the campaign was the use of many things
illustrative of Lincoln's life. Rails, mauls, axes, and log cabins were
siams of his boyhood davs. 'Tis true the east was greatly disappointed
when Lincoln received the nomination. They said he was without school-
ing, was uncultured, and would be a "nullity" if elected. But while
all manner of uncomplimentary things were being said about Lincoln,
the great men who contended with him for the nomination were logically


standing by the candidate. Such men as Sumner, Seward, Chase, Clay,
Greeley, and many others of that kind of people took the stump for

The election came off the 6th of November. Out of the total of 303
electoral votes, Lincoln received 180. But there were fifteen states that
did not give him an electoral vote, and in ten states he did not receive
a single popular vote. Lincoln received in Illinois 172,161 votes;
Douglas, 160,215; Bell, 4,913; Breckenridge, 2,401. Yates was elected
governor over Allen, the Democratic candidate, by some 13,000 votes.

Both houses of the legislature were Republican.

The legislature met Monday, January 7, 1861, and organized by elect-
ing Shelby M. Cullom speaker of the lower house. This was the first
time that the Democrats did not control one or both branches of the leg-
islature. Governor Wood, the retiring executive, reported that the state
debt had decreased during the four years preceding nearly $3,000,000.
On the 14th of January Richard Yates was inaugurated governor for
four years. His inaugural address was a vigorous statement of the views
of the Republican party relative to the preservation of the union. After
the election of Lyman Trumbull, United States senator, and the passage
of a few bills, the legislature adjourned.


Abraham Lincoln was born three miles from Hodgensville, in La Rue
county, Kentucky, February 12, 1809. His father's name was Thomas
and his mother's maiden name was Nancy Hanks. It has often been
stated that Lincoln's parents were poor. Perhaps they were; so were
many other families in Kentucky. When he was about four years old
his parents moved to Knob Creek, sixteen miles away from his birthplace.
Here he began his education, but evidently he did not make a business of
going to school. Mr. Lincoln says he thinks six months would cover all
the time he ever went to school.

In 1816, Thomas Lincoln moved to a farm one and one-half miles
east of Gentryville, Spencer county, Indiana. Abraham was now seven
years old. The home is described as a "half-face camp." The furnish-
ings were very meager. Wild game was plentiful in the thick woods
about them. It has been said that Thomas Lincoln neglected his wife
and children while here. Abraham says that these were "pretty pinch-
ing times. ' ' Abraham 's mother died in 1818, and then no doubt the Lin-
coln home was desolate indeed.

In 1819, Thomas Lincoln returned to Kentucky and married Sally
Bush Johnston, a widow with three children. Mrs. Johnston and Thomas
had been lovers in their younger days. The new mother brought quite
a few comforts to the forlorn home in Indiana.

In 1828 Abraham took a flat boat to New Orleans for a Mr. Gentry.
The cargo was disposed of to the satisfaction of the owner thereof. He
returned to Gentryville to find that the Lincoln family had the western

In 1830 the Lincoln family moved to Illinois and settled near Deca-
tur some ten miles west. Here is where Lincoln made the historic rails.

The Lincolns fenced ten acres of ground, broke it, and planted it in
corn. Lincoln was twenty-one years old February 12, 1830, and this was
the last work he helped his father do.





In the winter of "the deep snow," Lincoln with others engaged to
take a flat boat to New Orleans. Lincoln helped to build the boat at
Sangamon town (New Salem), and the trip was made to New Orleans in
the spring of 1831. It was while in the city of New Orleans that he saw
a mulatto girl offered for sale from the auction block in a slave market.
The conduct of the auctioneer and the bidders was so revolting that Lin-
coln is said to have remarked to his companions, John Hanks and John
D. Johnston, ' ' Boys, let 's get away from this. If I ever get a chance to
hit that thing (slavery), I will hit it hard."

On his return he engaged to keep store in New Salem for Denton
Offutt. This may have been in the fall of 1831. Here Lincoln spent the
next few years of his life. It was indeed a strenuous one. He studied,
read, wrestled, and courted. Some attention was given to the study of
English grammar. In 1832 he offered himself as a candidate for the
legislature. He had hardly announced himself, when in April, 1832,
word came to New Salem of the call for troops to go to the Black Hawk

Abraham Lincoln was captain of one of the four companies which
constituted the Fourth regiment. When the army was mustered out, May
27, 1832, Lincoln re-enlisted as a private in Captain lies' company for
twenty days. When his time was up for this enlistment, he re-enlisted in
Capt. Jacob M. Early 's company. He moved with the army up Rock
river to the Wisconsin line, but later returned to Dixon where he was
mustered out. He and a companion walked across country to Ottawa,
came to Havana in a canoe, and walked to New Salem. He was defeated
in the fall of 1832 for the legislature, but was elected the fall of 1834.

He served in the legislature from December, 1834, to December, 1842.
He represented the Springfield district in congress from December, 1847-
1849. In 1855 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States
senate. In 1856 he was active in the campaign in which Bissell was a
candidate for governor. This brings us to the organization of the Repub-
lican party and his career has been briefly sketched and from that time
to his election to the presidency. Lincoln remained in Springfield during
the canvass of 1860. He received many distinguished visitors during the
summer as well as during the winter following the election. Three things
especially occupied his mind during the winter of 1860-1. One was get-
ting acquainted with the men with whom he must be associated in the
work of carrying on the government. Another was the problem of select-
ing his cabinet a task of no small proportion. A third was formulating
his inaugural address. There was one thing which was a great annoy-
ance in these swiftly passing days; it was the spread of the secession
movement. His mail was extraordinarily heavy. All sorts of suggestions
were pouring in on him and all sorts of inquiries.

As the time approached for his departure for Washington, he settled
up all his private business affairs. One of the most significant incidents
of the closing days of his life as a private citizen was his visit to his step-
mother, who lived in Coles county near Charleston. He spent a day
with her, and accompanied by her, he visited the grave of his father. Mr.
Lincoln loved his step-mother very tenderly and it must indeed have been
very touching to see this sad parting, for his mother told him she never
expected to see him again. She was now seventy-three years old. She
died December 10, 1869.

The ballots of a free people, freely cast, had declared that Abraham


Lincoln should serve the whole people in the exalted station of president
of the United States. No election had ever been freer from undefined or
undefinable issues. There could be no doubt as to where at least three of
the candidates stood upon every issue which entered into the campaign.
But no sooner was the result definitely known than steps were taken
which looked to the ultimate dissolution of the Union. In fact long be-
fore the election in November there was a movement in the south favoring
secession in the event of Mr. Lincoln's election.

The rapid growth of the idea of secession, between November 6, 1860,
and the 4th of March, 1861, is well known, and it need not here be de-
scribed. The seceded states had formed a government, and by the time
Lincoln was inaugurated nearly all semblance of national authority in
the south had been swept away.

The winter of 1860-1 in the national capital, witnessed some very
strange proceedings. The representatives and senators from the seces-
sion states were, day after day, resigning their positions in the federal
congress, and they invariably took occasion to deliver very bitter fare-
wells before retiring. Patriotic men were doing their best to bring about
some sort of a compromise which would restore harmony to the distracted
country. All sorts of rumors were afloat, and the public mind was strung
to the highest tension. Stephen A. Douglas had no sympathy with seces-
sion. He took a very decided stand on behalf of the preservation of the

Lincoln left Springfield for Washington, February 11, 1861. To a
great concourse of friends and neighbors who had gathered about the sta-
tion he addressed a very touching farewell. He said:

' ' My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feelings
of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these
people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and
have passed from a young man to an old man. Here my children have
been born and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when or whether
ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested
upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever
attended him, 1 cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail.
Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be every-
where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His
care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I
bid you an affectionate farewell."

Mr. Lincoln made short speeches in some of the cities through which
he passed on his way to Washington. In Philadelphia word was received
that an attack would be made upon his life in Baltimore. This caused a
change in the programme in the rest of his journey. He reached Wash-
ington safely, on the morning of the 4th of March, 1861, and was ready
for the inaugural exercises.

Shortly before noon the retiring President, Mr. Buchanan, called for
Mr. Lincoln and escorted him to the senate chamber. From here they
passed out upon a large platform erected upon the east side of the capitol
where he delivered his inaugural in the presence of senators, representa-
tives, judges, foreign ministers, and other public dignitaries.

When the distinguished party came upon the platform and were
seated. Senator Edward Baker arose and introduced Mr. Lincoln, and as
he came forward a few steps with his cane in his hand, together with his
manuscript and his tall silk hat, he was embarrassed for want of a place


to put his hat. Just then Senator Douglas saw the embarrassment, step-
ped forward and took the president's hat, and stepping back and holding
it in his hand, said to a cousin of Mrs. Lincoln, " Ifl can 't be President,
I can at least hold his hat. ' '

The inaugural speech was a very clear statement of what he saw as
his duty as the chief magistrate of the nation. He was especially anxious
to have his hearers understand that he had been nominated and elected
by people who had full knowledge of the fact that one of his fundamental
doctrines was that, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to inter-
fere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe
I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. ' ' He
also read from the Chicago platform that, "The right of each state to
order and control its own domestic institution according to its own judg-
ment exclusively is essential to that balance of power on which the per-

'if *



fection and endurance of our political fabric depends." He was also
careful to let be known that he regarded ' ' The Union as unbroken ; and
to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the constitution expressly
enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all
the states." Just near the close, as he was addressing his "dissatisfied
countrymen," he showed them wherein he had the advantage of them.
"You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while
I have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it. ' '

On the 12th of April, Gen. G. T. Beauregard, under the direction of
the authority of South Carolina, commenced a bombardment of Fort
Sumter. This was on Friday. On Sunday morning, General Anderson
surrendered, and marched out with the honors of war. Monday morning,
the 15th, President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 men. The news of the
insult to the flag of the nation and to its brave defenders, flashed over


the loyal states with wonderful rapidity, and nowhere was more patriotic
enthusiasm aroused than in the Prairie state.

Within a few days, on April 18, after the fall of Sumter, Stephen A.
Douglas called on President Lincoln and assured him of his heartiest sup-
port and on the 25th of April he was in Springfield, and here upon invita-
tion of the legislature which had met in special session he addressed that
body. The speech of April 25 was a vigorous arraignment of secession
and a patriotic appeal to all to defend the constitution and the flag.
Prom here Douglas went to Chicago, where he spoke in a similar strain
in the "wigwam," where Lincoln was nominated. Douglas was taken
sick almost immediately after this "wigwam" speech and was confined
to his room in the Tremont House, where he died the 3d of June, 1861.
It was very unfortunate for the cause of the Union that Douglas died
so early in the great struggle. Had he lived he would surely have been
a valuable friend of President Lincoln. He had no sympathy with

WAR HISTORY (1861-1898)


The election in November 1860 resulted in the choice of Richard
Yates, Republican candidate for govenor over James C. Allen. The
Democratic candidate, by a vote of 172,196 to 159,253. Of the nine
congressmen, those from the first, second, third and fourth districts were
Republican while the other five were Democrats. In the seventh district
James C. Robinson, Democrat, of Marshall, defeated James T. Cunning-
ham, Republican ; Philip B. Fouke, Democrat, of Belleville, defeated
Joseph Gillispie, Republican; John A. Logan, Democrat, of Benton,
defeated David T. Linegar, Republican. In this ninth district Logan re-
ceived 20,863 votes while Linegar received 5,207. There were 165 votes
scattering. This would make a total vote on congressman of 26.229 while
the total vote for the four candidates for president as shown below was
28,172, showing 1,943 voters failed to vote for congressman.


The following vote by counties, in Logan's district, November 6,
1860, will be of interest:

Ninth Cong. Dist. Lincoln Douglas Bell Breckinridge

Alexander 106 684 178 79

Edwards 580 * 370 16

Franklin 228 1391 75 5

Gallatin 221 1020 88 13

Hamilton 102 1553 99

Hardin 107 499 62

Jackson 315 1556 147 29

Johnson 40 1563 9

Massac 121 873 84

Perry 649 1101 138 1

Pope 127 1202 83 1

Pulaski 220 550 45 40

Saline 100 1338 113 15



Ninth Cong. Dist. Lincoln Douglas Bell Breckinridge

Union 157 996 58 819

Wabash 597 710 22 1

Wayne 620 1645 48 5

Williamson 173 1835 166 40

White . 756 1544 38 5

5,219 20,430 1,461 1,062

The votes shown above indicate clearly that Southern Illinois was
strongly Democratic in the fall of 1860. John A. Logan who was elected
in November, 1860, had served one term in congress. He was deservedly
popular throughout all Southern Illinois. He stood by Douglas in and
out of congress. In the short session of the congress commencing Decem-
ber 1860, Logan was a prominent figure. He heartily supported the Crit-
tenden Compromise and every way in his power attempted to prevent
secession. In the house on February 5, 1861, Mr. Logan said: "I will
go as far as any man in the performance of a constitutional duty, to put
down rebellion, to suppress insurrection and to enforce the laws ; . . .
Sir, I have always denied, and do yet deny, the right of secession. There
is no warrant for it in the constitution. It is wrong, it is unlawful, un-
constitutional, and should be called by the right name, Revolution.
. . . I would, today, if I had the power, sink my own party, and every
other one, with all their platforms, into the vortex of ruin, without heav-
ing a sigh or shedding a tear, to save the Union, or even stop the Rebellion
where it is. ' '

The session ended past midnight of the 3d of March, 1861, with no
settlement in sight. Lincoln was inaugurated the next day. Shortly the
public men scattered to their homes. The secession movement grew.
Fort Sumter was reduced and on April 15th Lincoln called for 75,000
troops and asked congress to assemble in special session July 4th. Illi-
nois was all military activity. The regiment known afterwards as the
Twenty-first was in camp at Springfield and was soon to be mustered
in as United States troops, having at first been mustered in as state
troops for thirty days. General Grant in his Memoirs says that two con-
gressmen, Logan and McClernand came to Springfield about the middle
of June and addressed his regiment. Grant says he had heard much of
Logan but had not known him personally. "His district had been set-
tled originally by people from the southern states, and at the outbreak
of secession they sympathized with the south. . . . Some of them
joined the southern army ; many were preparing to do so ; others rode
over the country at night denouncing the Union, and made it as necessary
to guard railroad bridges over which national troops had to pass in
Southern Illinois at it was in Kentucky. . . . Logan's popularity
was unbounded. I had some doubt as to the effect a speech from Logan
might have, but as he was with McClernand whose sentiments on the all
absorbing questions of the day were well known I gave my consent. Mc-
Clernand spoke first; Logan followed in a speech which he has hardly
equaled since, for force and eloquence. It breathed a loyalty and devotion
to the union which inspired my men to such a point that they would
have volunteered to remain in the army as long as an enemy of the
country continued to bear arms against it."



Logan attended the special session of congress, and fought in the
battle of Manassas Junction on July 21, 1861. Gen. Anson G. Mc-
Cook in describing the battle of Bull Run said two men were in citi-
zen's clothes. One was his uncle Daniel McCook, and the other was
John A. Logan. Logan had a gun and when not assisting the wounded
was firing. He said Logan wore a silk hat. After the battle Logan
returned to the capital and telegraphed to John H. White, later lieu-
tenant colonel of the Thirty-first regiment, to proceed immediately to
raise troops.

Logan returned from the special session about the 15th of August.
His wife drove from Marion to meet him at Carbondale, the nearest


railroad station. On his arrival in Marion great crowds of former
friends were gathered. They were angry, desperate. They sympathized
with the secessionists. Logan spoke from a wagon and soon converted the
mob to friends for the Union. He headed a drum and fife procession and
enough men came forward to make Company C of the Twenty-first
regiment. From this time forward the tide turned greatly for the Union.
However, not all the people of Southern Illinois were enlisted on the side
of the Union as we shall show.


In January, 1861, a Democratic state convention met at Spring-
field to give expression to the desire of the people for peace. Zadock
Casey of Mt. Vernon presided. Mr. Casey was lieutenant governor in
the stormy nullification days and presided over the senate when Jack-
son's policy of coercion was heartly endorsed "That disunion by
armed force is treason, and should be treated as such by the constituted
authorities of the nation." Now Mr. Casey's convention believed:


"That the perilous condition of the country had been produced by the
agitation of the slavery question, creating discord and enmity be-
tween the different sections, which had been aggravated by the election
of a sectional President."

The Republicans carried both branches of the legislature in the elec-
tion of 1860. But in the election of 1862 the Democrats carried both
branches of the general assembly. From Southern Illinois the sena-
tors were William H. Green, Massac county; Hugh Greeg, William-
son ; I. Blanchard, Jackson ; J. M. Rogers, Clinton ; W. H. Underwood,
St. Clair; S. Moffat, Effingham. The representatives from Southern
Illinois were James H. Smith, Union ; T. B. Hicks, Massac ; James B.
Turner, Gallatin; James W. Sharp, Wabash; H. M. Williams, Jeffer-
son ; J. M. Washburn, Williamson ; Jesse R. Ford, Clinton ; S. W. Miles,
Monroe; E. Menard, Randolph; J. W. Merritt, Marion; James M. Heard,
Wayne; D. W. Odell, Crawford; J. W. Wescott, Clay; R. H. McCann,
Fayette; C. L. Conger, White; J. B. Underwood, St. Clair; J. B. Thomas,
St. Clair; S. A. Buckmaster, Madison; William Watkins, Bond; P.
Dougherty, Clark.

The sittings of this general assembly were stormy indeed. The Dem-
ocrats presented a set of whereases in which they affirmed that "The
allegiance of citizens is due alone to the constitution and laws made in
pursuance thereof not to any man, or officer, or administration and
whatever support is due to any officer of this government, is due alone
by virtue of the constitution and laws." Another resolution read as
follows : ' ' Resolved, That we believe the further prosecution of the pres-
ent war can not result in the restoration of the Union and the preserva-
tion of the constitution, as our fathers made it, unless the President's
Emancipation Proclamation be withdrawn." The Republican minor-
ity resolved that "it is the duty of all good citizens cordially to sup-
port the national and state administrations, and that we hereby offer
to the administration of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, and Richard Yates, governor of the state of Illinois, our earnest
and cordial support in the efforts of their respective administrations to
put down the present most infamous rebellion." The two houses quar-

Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.1) → online text (page 41 of 65)