Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 15 of 41)
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Second — The casualties of battle, sickness, prisoners, and deser-
tion; and

Third — The hundred-days troops and all others going out by ex-
piration of service this fall.

One hundred thousand new troops promptly furnished are all that
General Grant asks for the capture of Richmond and to give a fin-
ishing blow to the rebel armies yet in the field. The residue of the
call would be adequate for garrisons in forts and to guard all the
lines of communication and supply, free the country from guerrillas,
give security to trade, protect commerce and travel, and re-establish
peace, order, and tranquillity in every State.

Edwin M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

This close of General Sherman's campaign was greeted
-with the greatest exultation by all the people, and they
heartily responded to the recommendations of the Thanks-
giving proclamation, while the President at once issued, and
joined heartily in the thanks which he gave in the name of
the nation to officers and men, and rejoiced in the salutes of
one hundred guns which he ordered to be fired everywhere.

This proclamation and the orders issued were as fol-
lows : —

Executive Mansion, Washington City, September 3, 1864.

The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed
to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor
of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort
Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-
General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture
of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment # to the Su-
preme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It js
therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in


the United States, thanksgivings be offered to Him for His mercy
in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who
have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United
States for its overthrow, and also that prayer be made for Divine
protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field who
have so often and so gallantly perilled their lives in battling with
the enemy, and for blessings and comfort from the Father of mercies
to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows
of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that He
will continue to uphold the Government of the United States against
all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.

Abraham Lincoln.

Executive Mansion, September 3, 1864.

The national thanks are tendered by the President to Admiral Far-
ragut and Major-General Canby, for the skill and harmony with
which the recent operations in Mobile Harbor and against Fort
Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan were planned and carried into
execution. Also to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Granger,
under whose immediate command they were conducted, and to the
gallant commanders on sea and land, and to the sailors and soldiers
engaged in the operations, for their energy and courage, which,
under the blessing of Providence, have been crowned with brilliant
success, and have won for them the applause and thanks of the nation.

Abraham Lincoln.

Executive Mansion, September 3, 1864.
The national thanks are tendered by the President to Major-Gen-
eral William T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his
command before Atlanta, for the distinguished ability, courage, and
perseverance displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which under
Divine power resulted in the capture of the city of Atlanta. The
marches, battles, sieges, and other military operations that have sig-
nalized this campaign must render it famous in the annals of war,
and have entitled those who participated therein to the applause and
thanks of the nation. Abraham Lincoln.

Executive Mansion, September 3, 1864.

Ordered.— First— That on Monday, the 5th day of September, com-
mencing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be given a
salute of one hundred guns at the arsenal and navy-yard at Washing-
ton, and on Tuesday, the 6th of September, or on the > day after the
receipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy-yard in the United
States, for the recent brilliant achievements of the fleet and land
forces of the United States in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduc-
tion of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan. The Secretary
of War and the Secretary of the Navy will issue the necessary direc-
tions in their respective departments for the execution of this order.

Second — That on Wednesday, the 7th day of September, commenc-
ing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be fired a salute of
one hundred guns at the arsenal at Washington, and at New York,
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport, Ky,» and at



St. Louis, and at New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton-Head, and
Newbern, the day after the receipt of this order, for the brilliant
achievements of the army under command of Major-General Sher-
man, in the State of Georgia, and the capture of Atlanta. The Sec-
retary of War will give directions for the execution of this order.

Abraham Lincoln.




The Presidential Election. — The Cleveland Convention. — The Con- 1
vention at Baltimore. — Mr. Lincoln's Renomination and Accept-J
ance.— Popular Feeling During the Summer. — The Arguelles Case.]
— The Forged Proclamation. — The "Niagara Falls Conference. — The 1
Chicago Convention. — Progress and Result of the Campaign.— I
Popular Joy at the Result.

The American people were approaching another test of.i
their capacity for self-government, in some respects morel
trying than any they had yet encountered. As the spring of J
1864 was passing away, the official term of President Lh>|
coin drew towards its close, and the people were required!
to choose his successor. At all times and under the most
favorable circumstances, the election of a President is at-
tended with a degree of excitement, which some of the wisest
theorists have pronounced inconsistent with the permanent
harmony and safety of a republican form of government.
But that such an election should become necessary in the 1
midst of a civil war, which wrapped the whole country in its
flames and aroused such intense and deadly passions in the
public heart, was felt to be foremost among the calamities:
which had menaced the land. The two great rebel armies
still held the field. The power of their government was stil
unbroken. All our attempts to capture their capital hat
proved abortive. The public debt was steadily and rapidly
increasing. Under the resistless pressure of military neces-
sity, the Government, availing itself of the permissions of the
Constitution, had suspended the great safeguard of civil
freedom, and dealt with individuals whom it deemed danger-
ous to the public safety with as absolute and relentless sever-,
ity as the most absolute monarchies of Europe had ever
shown. Taxes were increasing; new drafts of men to fill the I
ranks of new armies were impending; th: Democratic party j
from the very beginning hostile to the war and largely im-


bued with devotion to the principle of State Sovereignty on
which the rebellion rested, and with toleration for slavery
out of which it grew, was watching eagerly for every means
of arousing popular hatred against the Government, that
they might secure its transfer to their own hands; and the
losses, the agonies, the desolations of the war were begin-
ning, apparently, to make themselves felt injuriously upon
the spirit, the endurance, the hopeful resolution of the peo-
ple throughout the loyal States.

That under these circumstances and amidst these elements
of popular discontent and hostile passion, the nation should
be compelled to plunge into the whirlpool of a political con-
test, was felt to be one of the terrible necessities which might
involve the nation's ruin. That the nation went through it,
with a majestic calmness up to that time unknown, and came
out from it stronger, more resolute, and more thoroughly
united than ever before, is among the marvels which con-
found all theory, and demonstrate to the world the capacity
of an intelligent people to provide for every conceivable
emergency in the conduct of their own affairs.
• Preparations for the nomination of candidates had begun
to be made, as usual, early in the spring of 1864. Some who
saw most clearly the necessities of the future, had for some
months before expressed themselves strongly in favor of
the renomination of President Lincoln. But this step was
contested with great warmth and activity by prominent
members of the political party by which he had been nom-
inated and elected four years before. Nearly all the original
Abolitionists and many of the more decidedly anti-slavery
members of the Republican party were dissatisfied, that Mr.
Lincoln had not more rapidly and more sweepingly enforced
their extreme opinions. Many distinguished public men re-
sented his rejection of their advice, and many more had been
alienated by his inability to recognize their claims to office.
The most violent opposition came from those who had been
most persistent and most clamorous in their exactions. And
.as it was unavoidable that, in wielding so terrible and so
absolute a power in so terrible a crisis, vast multitudes of
active and ambitious men should be disappointed in their
expectations of position and personal gain, the renomina-


tion of Mr. Lincoln was sure to be contested by a powerful
and organized effort.

At the very outset this movement acquired consistency ,
and strength by bringing forward the Hon. S. P. Chase,
Secretary of the Treasury, a man of great political boldness
and experience, and who had prepared the way for such a
step by a careful dispensation of the vast patronage of his {
department, as the rival candidate. But it was instinctively
felt that his effort lacked the sympathy and support of the
great mass of the people, and it ended in the withdrawal of
his name as a candidate by Mr. Chase himself.

The National Committee of the Union Republican party |
had called their convention, to be held at Baltimore, on the
8th of June. This step had been taken from a conviction of
the wisdom of terminating as speedily as possible all contro- '
versy concerning candidates in the ranks of the Union men;
and it was denounced with the greatest vehemence by those I
who opposed Mr. Lincoln's nomination, and desired more I
time to infuse their hostility into the public mind. Failing to 1
secure a postponement of the convention, they next sought
to overawe and dictate its action by a display of power, and,
the following call was accordingly issued about the ist of
May, for a convention to be held at Cleveland, Ohio, on the
31st day of that month: —


After having labored ineffectually to defer, as far as was in our 1
power, the critical moment when the attention of the people must i
inevitably be fixed upon the selection of a candidate for the chief
maeistracy of the country; after having interrogated our conscience I
and consulted our duty as citizens, obeying at once the sentiment of J
a mature conviction and a profound affection for the common coun- I
try, we feel ourselves impelled on our own responsibility, to declare ;
to the people that the time has come for all independent men, jealous
0! their liberties and of the national greatness, to confer together, I
and unite to resist the swelling invasion of an open, shameless, and
unrestrained patronage, which threatens to ingulf under its destruc- I
tive wave the rights of the people, the liberty and dignity of the nation, j

Deeply impressed with the conviction that, in a time of revolution. I
when the public attention is turned exclusively to the success of
armies, and is consequently less vigilant of the public liberties, the
patronage derived from the organization of an army of a million of
men, and an administration of affairs which seeks to control the re-
motest parts of the country in favor of its supreme chief, constitute
a danger seriously threatening the stability of republican institutions,


we declare that the principle of one term, which has now acquired
nearly the force of law by the consecration of time, ought to be in-
flexibly adhered to in the approaching election.

We further declare, that we do not recognize in the Baltimore
Convention the essential conditions of a truly National Convention.
Its proximity to the centre of all the interested influences of the
administration, its distance from the centre of the country, its mode
of convocation, the corrupting practices to which it has been and in-
evitably will be subjected, do not permit the people to assemble there
with any expectation of being able to deliberate at full liberty. Con-
vinced as we are that, in presence of the critical circumstances in
which the nation is placed, it is only in the energy and good sense
of the people that the general safety can be found; satisfied that the
only way to consult it is to indicate a central position, to which
every one may go without too much expenditure of means and time,
and where the assembled people, far from all administrative influ-
ence, may consult freely and deliberate peaceably, with the presence
of the greatest possible number of men, whose known principles
guarantee their sincere and enlightened devotion to the rights of
the people and to the preservation of the true basrs of republican
government, we earnestly invite our fellow-citizens to unite at Cleve-
land, Ohio, on Tuesday, May 31, current, for consultation and con-
cert of action in respect to the approaching Presidential election.

Two other calls were issued after this, prominent among
the signers of which were some of the Germans of Missouri
and some of the old Radical Abolitionists of the East.

The convention thus summoned met at the appointed
time, about one hundred and fifty in number. No call had
ever been^put forward for the election of delegates to it, and
no one could tell whether its members represented any con-
stituency other than themselves. They came from fifteen dif-
ferent States and the District of Columbia, but every one
knew that at the East the movement had no strength what-
ever. An effort was made by some of them to bring forward
the name of General Grant as a candidate, but the friends of
Fremont formed altogether too large a majority for that.

General John Cochrane, of New York, was chosen to pre-
side over the convention. In the afternoon the platform was
presented, consisting of thirteen brief resolutions, favoring
the suppression of the rebellion, the preservation of the
habeas corpus, of the right of asylum, and the Monroe doc-
trine, recommending amendments of the Constitution to
prevent the re-establishment of slavery, and to provide for
the election of President and Vice-President for a single
term only, and by the direct vote of the people, and also


urging the confiscation of the lands of the rebels and their
distribution among the soldiers and actual settlers.

The platform having been adopted, the convention pro-
ceeded to nominate General Fremont for President by ac-
clamation. General Cochrane was nominated for Vice-Presi-
dent. The title of "The Radical Democracy" was chosen for
the supporters of the ticket, a National Committee was
appointed, and the convention adjourned.

General Fremont's letter of acceptance was dated June
4th. Its main scope was an attack upon Mr. Lincoln for
unfaithfulness to the principles he was elected to defend, and
upon his Administration for incapacity and selfishness, and
for what the writer called "its disregard of constitutional
rights, its violation of personal libery and the liberty of the
press, and, as a crowning shame, its abandonment of the
right of asylum, dear to all free nations abroad.''

The platform he approved, with the exception of the pro-
posed confiscation. He intimated that if the Baltimore Con-
vention would nominate any one but Mr. Lincoln he would
not stand in the way of a union of all upon that nominee; but
said, "If Mr. Lincoln be renominated, as I believe it would
be fatal to the country to indorse a policy and renew a power
which has cost us the lives of thousands of men and need-
lessly put the countrv on the road to bankruptcy, there will
remain no alternative but to organize against hiurevery ele-
ment of conscientious opposition, with the view to prevent
the misfortune of his re-election." And he accepted the
nomination, and announced that he had resigned his com-
mission in the army.

The convention, the nomination, and the letter of accept-
ance, fell dead upon the popular feeling. The time had been i
when Fremont's name had power, especially with the young
men of the country. Many had felt that he had received less
than he deserved at the hands of the Administration, and
that if the opportunity had been afforded he would have ren-
dered to the country distinguished and valuable service. But
the position which he had here taken at once separated him
from those who had been his truest friends, whose feelings
were accurately expressed by Governor Morton, of Indiana,
in a speech at Indianapolis on the 12th of Tune, when he
said : "I carried the standard of General Fremont to the


best of my poor ability through the canvass of 1856, and I
have since endeavored to sustain him, not only as a politi-
cian, but as a military chieftain, and never until I read this
letter did I have occasion to regret what I have done. It
has been read with joy by his enemies and with pain by his
friends, and, omitting one or two sentences, there is nothing
in it that might not have been written or subscribed without
inconsistency by Mr. Vallandieriam."

The next form which the effort to prevent Mr. Lincoln's
nomination and election took, was an effort to bring forward
General Grant as a candidate. A meeting- had been called
for the 4th of June, in New York, ostensibly to express the
gratitude of the nation to him and the soldiers under his
command, for their labors and successes. As a matter of
course the meeting was large and enthusiastic. President
Lincoln wrote the following letter in answer to an invitation
to attend : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, June 3, 1864.

Hon. F. A. Conkling and ethers:

Gentlemen: — Your letter, inviting me to be present at a mass
meeting of loyal citizens, to be held at New York, on the 4th instant,
for the purpose of expressing gratitude to Lieutenant-General Grant
for his signal services, was received yesterday. It is impossible for
me to attend. I approve, nevertheless, of whatever may tend to
strengthen and sustain General Grant and the noble armies now
under his direction. My previous high estimate of General Grant has
been maintained and .heightened by what has occurred in the re-
markable campaign he is now conducting, while the magnitude and
difficulty of the task before him does not prove less than I expected.
He and his brave soldiers are now in the midst of their great trial,
and I trust that at your meeting you will so shape your good words
that they may turn to men and guns, moving to his and their sup-
port. Yours truly, A. Lincoln.

Whatever political purposes prompted the call for this
meeting, they were entirely overborne by the simple but re-
sistless appeal, made by the President in this letter, to the
patriotism of the country. Its effect was to stimulate in-
stantly and largely the effort to fill up the ranks of the army,
and thus aid General Grant in the great campaign by which
he hoped to end the war. In a private letter to a personal
friend, however, General Grant put a decisive check upon
all these attempts of politicians to make his name the occa-
sion of division among Union men, by peremptorily refus-


ing to allow himself to be made a candidate, and by reiterat-
ing in still more emphatic and hopeful terms the President's
appeal to the people for aid and support.

None of these schemes of ambitious aspirants to political
leadership had any effect upon the settled sentiment and pur-
pose of the great body of the people. They appreciated the
importance of continuing the administration of the govern-
ment in the same channel, and saw clearly enough that noth-
ing would more thoroughly impress upon the rebels and the
world the determination of the people to preserve the Union
at all hazards, and at whatever cost, than the indorsement
by a popular vote, in spite of all mistakes and defects of
policy, of the President, by whom the war had thus far been
conducted. The nation, moreover, had entire faith in his
integrity, his sagacity, and his unselfish devotion to the pub-
lic good.

The Union and Republican Convention met at Baltimore
on the day appointed, the 8th of June. It numbered nearly
five hundred delegates, chosen by the constituents of each
Congressional district of the loyal States, and by the people
in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas, in which the rebel
authority had been overthrown, and who sought thus to re-
new their political relations with the parties of the Union.
The Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, was ap-
pointed temporary chairman, and aroused the deepest en-
thusiasm of the convention by his patriotic address on tak-
ing the chair. He proclaimed openly his hostility to slavery,
and demanded, as essential to the existence of the nation, the
complete overthrow of the rebellion, and condign punish-
ment for the traitors by whom it had been set on foot. In
reference to the nomination of a presidential candidate, he
simply expressed the common sentiment when he said : —

Nothing can be more plain than the fact that you are here as
representatives of a great nation — voluntary representatives, chosen
without forms of law, but as really representing the feelings and
principles, and, if you choose, the prejudices of the American people,
as if it were written in their laws and already passed by their votes.
For the man that you will nominate here for the Presidency of the
United States and ruler of a great people, in a great crisis, is just as
certain, I suppose, to become that ruler as any thing under iheaven
is certain before it is done. And moreover you will allow me to say,
though perhaps it is hardly strictly proper that I should, but as far
as I know your opinions, I suppose it is just as certain now, before


you utter it, whose name you will utter — one which will be responded
to from one end to the other of this nation, as it will be after it has
been uttered and recorded by your secretary."

The permanent organization was effected in the afternoon,
by the choice of Hon. William Dennison, Ex-Governor of
Ohio, as president, with twenty-three vice-presidents, each
from a different State, and twenty-three secretaries. After
a speech from Governor Dennison, and another from Par-
son Brownlow, of Tennessee, the convention adjourned till
Wednesday morning at nine o'clock.

The first business which came up when the convention
reassembled, was the report of the Committee on Creden-
tials. There were two important questions which arose upon
this report. The first was the Missouri question — there be-
ing a double delegation present from that State. The com-
mittee had reported in favor of admitting the delegation
called the Radical Union Delegation to seats in the conven-
tion, as the only one elected in conformity with usage and
in regular form. An effort was made to modify this by ad-
mitting both delegations to seats, and allowing them to cast
the vote of the State only in case of their agreement. This
proposition, however, was voted down by a large majority,
and the report of the committee on that point was adopted.
This result had special importance in its bearing upon the
vexed state of politics in Missouri, which had hitherto, as
we have seen, caused Mr. Lincoln much trouble.

The next question, which had still greater importance,
related to the admission of the delegations from Tennessee,
Arkansas, and Louisiana. Congress had passed a resolution
substantially excluding States which had been in rebellion

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 15 of 41)