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f UNITED STATES OP AMEJtlGA. f



SEYMOUR AND BLAIR.-CAMPAIGN EDITION.



THE LIVES OF



HORATIO SEYMOUR



J^ISTJD



K



FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.




HOEATIO SEYMOUR.



FEANK P. BLAIE, JR.



This book is a complete History of the Lives and Services of
Horatio Seymour, of New York, and of Frank P. Blair, Jr., of
Missouri, from their Birth up to the present time.



-^ PHILADELPHIA:

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MOORE'S LIFE OP HON. SCHUYLER COLFAX.

THE LIFE OF HON. SCHUYLEH COLFAX. By the Rev. A. Y. Moore,
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The following letter from Mr. Colfax, to Rev. A.. Y. Moore, will explain itself:

,, ,, „ ,r «/ "Washington, D. C, May SO, 1868.

"J/y Dew Mr. Moure: — j ^ .

" As your prediction of a year ago has been realized, I have no further objection to your

publL-^hing any sketch, more or less full, of my life, you may have prepared. As you were

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grossing duties here leave mo no time to revise the manuscript, I have no fear that your

work will not be a faithful one, " Your.s, very truly, " SCHUYLER COLFAX."

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SEYMOUR AND BLAIR.-CAMPAIGN EDITION.



THE LIVES OF



HORATIO SEYMOUR



AND



FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.



This book is a complete History of the Lives and Service^
of Hoi-atio Seymour, of New York, and of Frank P. Blair, Jr.,
of Missouri, from their Birth up to the present time.



PHILADELPHIA:

T. B. PETERSON & BROTHERS;

3 G CHESTNUT STREET.






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CONTENTS.



PAQB

Life of Hon. Horatio Seymour 21

Life of MajorGex. Frank P. Blair, Jr 71



(19)



LIFE AS"D SEEVICES



HORATIO SEYMOUR,



DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES.



HoBATio Seymour is a native of the small town
of Pompey, Onondaga County, New York. lie was
born May 31st; 1810, and is, therefore, over fifty-eight
years of age. He is a descendant of Eichard Sey-
mour, one of the original settlers of Hartford, Con-
necticut. Major Moses Seymour, the fourth lineal
descendant, served in the Eevolutionary war, and
subsequently represented Litchfield in the Legislature
of Connecticut for seventeen years. Of his five sons,
Henry, father of Horatio, was born in 1780. He re-
moved to Utica, in ISTew York, served in the Legis-
lature with signal ability, and was, for many years,
Canal Commissioner, occupying a prominent position
in the politics and legislation of the State. One of
his brothers was a distinguished member of the United
States Senate from Vermont, for twelve years. Hon.
Origen S. Seymour, for some time representative in
Congress from the Litchfield district of Connecticut,

(21)



22 LIFB AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.

was the son of another brother, named Ozias. The
maternal grandfather of Mr. Seymour, Colonel For-
man, served through the Revolutionary war in the
New Jersey line.

Mr. Seymour, in addition to the most superior mental
qualifications, has received the benefit of a thorough
English and classical education, having passed through,
with great credit to himself, some of the finest edu-
cational institutions in the country. The peculiar
bent of his mind during his earlier years led him to
the study of the law, and he made most astonishing
headway in mastering the intricacies of that difficult
profession. He studied with unrelenting vigor and
assiduity, and so rapid was his progress, that he was
admitted to practice when only twenty years of age,
and his maiden legal laurels were won in the city of
Utica, New York. He was, however, obliged to re-
linquish the practice of his chosen profession, in
consequence of the death of his father, because of the
great responsibilities that devolved upon him in the
settlement of his father's estate.

The death of his wife's father, the late John R.
Bleecker, occurring about the same time, added to his
numerous cares in the adjustment of important proper-
ty interests. Some of the best years of Mr. Seymour's
life were absorbed in this work, but no doubt his mind
was being schooled, as it could not otherwise have
been, for the graver responsibilities and duties that
were to come in after life. Up to this time Mr. Sey-
mour had acted no prominent part in political life,
although from his youth, as were his ancestors before



LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR. 23

him, he had always been strongly attached, through
sympathy and taste, to the Democratic party.

Mr. Seymour's advent into political life took place
in the fall of 1841, when after much solicitation he
consented to the use of his name as a Democratic
candidate for the Assembly of New York from Utica.
As an evidence of his rising popularity, Mr. Seymour
was elected by a very flattering majority, notwith-
standing the fact that, at that time, the Whigs were
in the ascendency in Utica.

As a member of the State Assembly, Mr. Seymour
soon ,crave evidence of the brilliant talents, sterlinor
integrity, and magnetic personal power, that were
destined to so distinguish him in after life. He took
a leading position upon the great questions involving
the interests of the State, and engaged in the debates
with fervor, ability, and great success. lie soon
made himself felt by his powers of eloquence, and
commanding presence, and superior delivery, and his
general conduct, while in the Legislature, gave token
that he was destined to be a leader of men.

Among his legislative associates were John A. Dix,
Michael Hoffman, D. E. Floyd Jones, George E. Davis,
Lemuel Stetson, and Calvin T. Hulburd. The Demo-
crats at that time were in the ascendency in both
branches of the Legislature, and the great measure of
the session was Michael Hoffman's celebrated bill in
relation to finances, which was supported and passed
by the Democrats. In the success of this measure,
which was destined to restore the depreciated financial
credit of the State, Mr. Seymour took an active and
sympathetic interest, displaying for the first time the



24 LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.

forensic ability and oratorical powers that have since
distinguished him.

Mr. Seymour, in the Spring of 1842, was elected
Mayor of the City of Utica, in spite of the active
opposition of the then dominant Whig party. As
Mayor, he introduced many wholesome reforms in the
municipal government, and his administration was
characterized by fairness and j ustice to the community
at large.

He was again elected to the State Legislature in the
fall of 1843, and was re-elected to serve in the same
capacity during the sessions of 1844 and 1845. The
session of 1844 was an important and exciting one, the
Assembly being agitated with acrimonious contests,
chiefly springing from contemplated opposition to the
administration of Governor Bouck. The leaders in
the debates of the session were Mr. Seymour and Mr.
Hoffman, the recognized leader of the Legislature of
1842, and a formidable antagonist in debate, but Mr.
Seymour appears to have coped with him successfully,
and to have won not only the plaudits of his political
associates, but the praises of his constituents likewise.
The session of 1845 opened with a changed spirit,
based upon the victorious election of Mr. Polk to the
Presidency. At the outset of this session, Mr. Sey-
mour was induced by his friends to enter the contest
for speakership, to which position he was triumphantly
elected, despite a violent factional fight, which seriously
threatened his prospects. One of the prominent and
important events of this session, was the election of
Daniel S. Dickinson to the United States Senate, in
which Mr. Seymour took a leading and active part.



LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR. 25

He also engaged witli fervent spirit in the discussion
relative to tlie call for a convention to amend tlie Con-
stitution, but voted against tlie bill providing for tliat
measure. With this session Mr. Seymour's legislative
career was brought to a close.

For the succeeding four years, Mr. Seymour was not
prominent in public life, having resumed the practice
of the law in the city of Utica. By the action of the
Legislature of 1850, providing for the enlargement and
improvement of the Erie canal, and appropriating the
revenues of the State in contravention of the provisions
of the Constitution, Mr. Seymour again assumed a lead-
ing position in State politics, and most earnestly re-
sisted this effort to override the provisions of a Consti-
tution so recently adopted. On account of his strenuous
opposition to that measure, he was that year (1850),
for the first time, placed in nomination for Governor
of the State of JSTew York, in opposition to Washing-
ton Hunt. The result of the election was, for Sey-
mour 21-1,852 votes; for Hunt 214,614; Mr. Seymour
having been defeated by 262 votes.

The Democratic party of his native State again
placed Mr. Seymour in nomination for the Guberna-
torial chair in 1852, in opposition to Washington
Hunt ( Whig ), and Minthorne Tompkins {Free Soil),
with the following result :

Seymour, 264,121.

Hunt, 239,730.

Tompkins, 19,299.

The figures will indicate that he was triumphantly
elected, over both his opponents, as Chief Executive
officer of the State. His administration was an admi-



26 LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.

rable one in every respect, and was characterized by
great ability, consummate tact, and sound judgment.
In 1853, he vetoed the obnoxious Maine Law, and the
correctness of his views as to the power of the Legis-
lature to pass sumptuary laws was fully established
by a formal decision of the Court of Appeals.

In 1854, Mr. Seymour received the Demccratio
nomination for re-election, and his opponents were
Myron H. Clark, {Republican,) Daniel Ullman, {Ameri-
can) and Greene C. Bronson, {Hard Shell Democrat)
The following was the result of the election :

Seymour, 156,495.

Clark, 156,804.

Ullman, 122,282.

Bronson, 33,850.

Although this election resulted in Mr. Seymour's
defeat, it demonstrated very satisfactorily his unwaning
popularity with the people, and his certainty of success
with the party united and working for one candidate.
At the conclusion of this contest, Mr. Seymour again
resumed the work of his profession at Utica. In every
thing appertaining to the success of the Democracy he
took an active and sympathetic interest. He attended
national and State conventions with great regularity,
and was always accorded a leading position in the
councils of the same. At the national Democratic
convention at Charleston, in 1860, he was proposed by
the southern delegates as a compromise candidate be-
tween Douglas and Breckenfidge, but owing to the
opposition of the Kew York delegation, his name was
withdrawn.

Mr. Seymour was for the fourth time placed in



LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR. 27

nomination for Governor of New York, in 1862, by
the Democrats, against General Wadsworth, the Re-
publican nominee, and he was again triumphantly
elected, the vote being

Seymour, 300,049.

Wadsworth, 295,897.

Mr. Seymour was thus for the second time elected
Governor of New York by the handsome majority of
10,752. After an able administration of two years, he
was, in 1864, nominated for re-election, this time
against R. E. Fenton, by whom he was defeated.

At the national Democratic convention held in
Chicago in 1864, Mr. Seymour was with great una-
nimity chosen its President, and how ably and effi
ciently he discharged the duties and responsibilities of
that important position the records and history of the
convention will indisputably show. Since that time,
up to the meeting of the national Democratic conven-
tion in New York, Mr. Seymour delivered many
powerful Democratic speeches in various parts of
the country, entering each successive campaign in
his own State with his accustomed vigor, fearlessness,
and efficiency.

At his home in Utica, as well as throughout the
State, he is esteemed and respected with that fervor
that springs only from true friendship. He has been
from early boyhood a faithful and energetic member
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the interest of
which he has labored earnestly to promote, both as an
individual member and a leader in her legislative
councils. He takes especial interest in educational
establishments and in the Sunday-school, whose use



28 LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.

fulness and influence he labors zealously to promote
and advance.

At tlie Democratic national convention, which con-
vened on July 4th, 1868, he was nominated as the
standard-bearer of the Democratic party for the oflBce
of President of the United States, the election for which
takes place in November.

Perhaps no man in the United States is better
endowed with the intellectual qualities necessary to
discharge to the satisfaction of the American people
the vastly responsible and onerous duties of chief
magistrate of the country, than Mr. Seymour ; and no
public man throughout the length and breadth of the
land, possesses a more consistent and shining record,
as far as his fealty to the eternal principles of the
Democratic party is concerned, than the subject of
this sketch.

Before proceeding further, we will glance at the
circumstances that contributed to bring Governor
Horatio Seymour forward as the Democratic candi-
date for the Presidency of the United States, in
opposition to the Republican candidate, General U.
S. Grant.

It can be truly said of Mr. Seymour, that the ofiice
sought the man, and not the man the office, and a
perusal of the proceedings of the Democratic ISTational
Convention, that presented his name for the suffrages
of his fellow-citizens as a candidate for the highest
office in the gift of the American people, forcibly
brings to mind the words of Mark Antony in Shaks-
peare's Julius Cassar :



LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR. 29

''You all did see, that on the Supercal,
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
AVhich ho did thrice refuse."

Mr. Seymour did "tlirice refuse" the nomination as
a candidate for the Presidency, and only consented to
receive it at the unanimous bidding of the members
of the ISTational Democratic Convention of 1868. But
let us look at the action of that convention.

The convention assembled on July -ith, 1868. It
was decided by the leaders of the Democratic party,
that the Presidential convention of 1868 should be
held in the city of New York, and the magnificent
new Tammany Hall, situated on Fourteenth street, ad-
joining the Academy of Music, was selected as the
place for holding the convention, the day chosen
being the anniversary of American Independence,
July 4th.

The convention was called to order at twelve
o'clock, by August Belmont, chairman of the National
Democratic Committee, who said :

AUGUST BELMONT'S SPEECH TO THE CON-
VENTION.

Gentlemen of the Convention: — It is my privi-
lege to-day to welcome you here in this hall, construct-
ed with so much artistic taste, and tendered to you
by the time-honored society of Tammany. I welcome
you to this magnificent temple, erected to the Goddess
of Liberty, by her staunchest defenders and most fer-
vent worshippers. I welcome you to this good city
of New York, the bulwark of Democracy, which has
rolled back the surging waves of Radicalism through



30 LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.

all tlie storms of the last eight years, and I welcome
you, gentlemen, to our Empire State, which last fall
redeemed herself from Republican misrule by a
majority of nearly fifty thousand votes, and which
claims the right to lead the vanguard of victory in the
great battle to be fought next November for the pre-
servation of our institutions, our laws, and our liber-
ties.

It is a most auspicious omen that we meet under
such circumstances, and are surrounded by such asso-
ciations, and I share your own confident hope of the
overwhelming success of the ticket and the plat-
form which will be the result of your deliberations.
For it is to the American people that our appeal lies.
Their final judgment will be just. The American
people will no longer remain deaf to the teachings of
the past. They will remember that it was under suc-
cessive Democratic administrations, based upon our
national principles, the principles of constitutional
liberty, that our country rose to a prosperity and
greatness unsurj^assed in the annals of history ; they
will remember the days when North and South
marched shoulder to shoulder together in the conquest
of Mexico, which gave us our golden empire on the
Pacific, our California, and our Oregon, now the
strongholds of a triumphant Democracy ; they will re-
member the days when peace and plenty reigned over
the whole Union, when we had no national debt to
crush the energies of the people, when the Federal
tax-gatherer was unknown throughout the vast ex-
tent of the land, and when the credit of the United
States stood as high in the money maj'ts of the world



LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR. 31

as that of any other government ; and they will re-
member with a wise sorrow, that Avith the downliill of
the Democratic party in 1860, came that fearful civil
war which has broug^ht mourning: and desolation into
every household, has cost the loss of a million of
American citizens, and has left us with a national
debt, the burden of which drains the resources, crip-
ples the industry, and impoverishes the labor of the
country. They will remember that, after the fratrici-
dal strife was over, when the bravery of our army
and navy, and the sacrifices of the people had restored
the Union and vindicated the supremacy of the law ;
when the victor and the vanquished were equally
ready to bury the past and to hold out the hand of
brotherhood and good will across the graves of their
fallen comrades, it was again the defeat of the Demo-
cratic candidates in 1864, which prevented this con-
summation so devoutly wished for by all. Instead of
restoring the Southern States to their constitutional
rights; instead of trying to wipe out the miseries of
the past by a magnanimous policy, dictated alike by
humanity and sound statesmanship, and so ardently
prayed for by the generous heart of the American
people, the Eadicals in Congress, elected in an evil
hour, have placed the iron heel of the conqueror upon
the South. Austria did not dare to fasten upon van-
quished Hungary, nor Russia to impose upon con-
quered Poland, the ruthless tyranny now inflicted
by Congress upon the Southern States. Military
satraps are invested with dictatorial power, overriding
the decisions of the courts, and assuming the functions
of the civil authorities ; the white populations are



32 LIFE AND SERVICES OF HORATIO SEYMOUR.


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Online LibraryGilbert BurnetThe lives of Horatio Seymour and Frank P. Blair, Jr → online text (page 1 of 8)