Ill.) Republican National Convention (1860 : Chicago.

Proceedings of the Republican National Convention, held at Chicago, May 16, 17, 18, 1860 online

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elected, and deem it proper to say that the States of Pennsyl-


vania and New Jersey have appointed four delegates from
each Congressional District, and eight Senatorial delegates,
instead of appointing delegates and alternates ; and Iowa has
appointed eight dek\gates from each Congressional District,
and sixteen Senatorial delegates. [Laughter.] Trie Commit-
tee also present the names of the delegates present and duly
elected from the District of Columbia and the Territories of
Kansas and Nebraska, leaving it for the Convention to decide
whether they shall be permitted to vote in this Convention.

All of which is respectfully presented in behalf of the Com-

Mr. Bexton : The states and territories are specified, and I
can read them if the Convention desire it, although the chair-
man did not deem it necessary, as they are in the specifica-
tion accompanying the report.

Gov. Reeder : I desire to know if this committee has re-
ported what states are represented and entitled to a vote in
this Convention. Have they so reported?

Mr. Benton: They have so reported.

Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts : I desire to have that portion
of the report read, stating which states are represented and
entitled to a vote in this Convention, with the number of
votes to each.

Mr. Benton : In accordance with the suggestion, I will read :

Maine, 16

New Hampshire, 10

Vermont, 10

Massachusetts, 26

Rhode Island, 8

Connecticut, 12

New York, 70

New Jersey, 2S

Pennsylvania, 54


Maryland, 10

Delaware, 6

Virginia, 20

Kentucky, 24

Ohio, 46

Indiana, 26

Missouri, 18

Michigan, 12

Illinois, 22

Texas, 8

Wisconsin, 10

Iowa, 8

California, 8

Minnesota, 8

Oregon, 5

Kansas, „ 6

Nebraska, 6

District of Columbia, 4

Hon. Timothy Davis, of Massachusetts, moved (hat so
much of the report as related to the delegation from Texas be
referred back to the committee.

Mr. WiLMOT, of Pennsylvania: I move to amend the mo-
tion of the gentleman from Massachusetts, so as to include
the States of Maryland, Kentucky and Virginia. I had fore-
seen, before I came to this Convention, that the question
would very properly arise as to the propriety of admitting
those states to a full vote in this Convention. We are a Con-
vention of delegates representing a party having constituen-
cies at home. This is not a mass convention, in which each
man's voice is to be heard, and in which a mere numerical
majority of all who choose to attend controls the result, but
this is a Convention of delegates representing a constituency,
and having constituents at home to represent. [Great ap-
plause.] Now, sir, can it be possible that those gentlemen
who come here from states in which they cannot maintain an


organized party — is it possible that they are to come here
and by a full vote control the action of the Convention? I
can see nothing better calculated to demoralize a party, and
to break it up, than just such a proceeding. Why, sir, this
nomination is to be the nomination of the Republican party
in the Union, not the nomination of respectable gentlemen
who may belong to the Republican party in Virginia, Mary-
land or Kentucky, What are the facts in Maryland? In
Maryland, thirty gentlemen assembled in Baltimore for the
purpose of sending a delegation to this Convention. Did they
assemble as the representatives of a party? Not at all.
They have never had a Republican party in Maryland, and,
in my judgment, there will be no such party there until the
people of the free states shall place this government in differ-
ent hands, and relieve them from the tyranny which now
weighs them down. There are respectable gentlemen in
Maryland, many of them who sympathize with us and our
cause ; and so there are in every Southern State ; but they
have not the power to maintain a party organization. These
gentlemen are not here as the representatives of any organized
party at all. If this thing is to be done, the result of the de-
liberations of this Convention, respecting its nominee, may be
anything other than such a result as would be produced by
the voices of those only who are properly represented upon
this floor. Admit this precedent, sir, and hereafter some can-
didate, or rather the friends of the candidate, may, in their
anxiety to procure a result favorable to their washes, at the
next Convention we shall have, carrying this thing still fur-
ther, delegates not representing any party — but there will be
gentlemen, excellent gentlemen, no doubt, coming in here
from every state of the Union, brought here by influences
from the North, but not sent here by a party at home. That
will be the result. [Applause.] Sir, they may possibly come
here in this manner, in a situation of this kind. I cast no im-
putation upon the gentlemen who come here to this Conven-
tion. I have full confidence in their integrity and in the
earnestness and zeal with which they are enlisted in the cause;


but, sir, in another Convention that may assemble here, gen-
tlemen may come from South Carolina, from Alabama, from
Arkansas, and from Mississippi, for the express purpose of
controlling, demoralizing and breaking up the Republican
party. [Loud cheering.] Now, sir, if this is not stopped,
there is no help for us. The true policy of the Republican
party is to allow all its members a voice, but in proportion to
their numbers. The committee have reported here that three
hundred and four votes shall be necessary to a choice — a ma-
jority of the votes of all the states, when a large portion of
those states are not represented here. Why have they done
that? "Why have they broken down the plain old Republican
rule, that the majority — the real majority — shall control?
Because they know it is necessary for the accomplishment of
some object. That rule, if adopted, would establish one pre-
cedent in the adniission of men here to vote who are not
representatives of a party ; and then they adopt another mis-
chievous rule for the purpose of rectifying the first. What
we want is, that the representatives of the Republican party
here should vote for a candidate for President, and that the
majority should control. [Tremendous cheering.] That is
what we desire. The rule that is proposed, would introduce
upon us thirty or forty votes that do not represent any party
whatever. They are gentlemen of character, gentlemen of
worth, gentlemen who sympathize in this movement heartily;
but they represent no organized party — they have no consti-
tuency at home. You admit them here, and then to avoid
the consequences of your first wrongful act, you require three
hundred and four votes for the nomination of a candidate. I,
therefore, move that this question respecting Texas, embraced
in the first motion, embrace, also, Maryland, Virginia, Ken-
tucky, the territories of Nebraska and Kansas, and the Dis-
trict of Columbia, and all be referred back to this committee.

Mr. EwiNG, of Pennsylvania : I deprecate the sentiment
of my friend from Pennsylvania. [Voice — "That's the talk."
Applause.] We all come here as Republicans, and tliose men


who came here from the slave states named deserve tenfold
more credit than those who come here from the free states.
Why, sir, disfraiifhise our friends from Virginia, a bord<,'r
state — a free state so far as concerns "Western Virginia — my
neighbors! Sir, shall they be disfranchiscMl in this Conven-
tion of Republicans, [voices — "No, no !"] by Pennsylvania,
New York or New England, because they have the courage
to stand up in a slave state for Republicanism and for free
thought? [Applause] While, sir, we may not be willing
to give those states the full power of the whole delegation of
the whole state, yet in the name of God shall they not repre-
sent their immediate districts? It cannot be tliat a Conven-
tion of Republicans, assembled here from the whole United
States, will ever adopt such a doctrine as to disfranchise our
friends that come from the Southern States. Why, sir, I was
mortified at such a sentiment coming from my distinguished
friend from Pennsylvania, that these gentlemen who have
come here in defiance of the sentiment which prevails in their
own states; have come here as bold and independent Repub-
licans, and who are as good Republicans at home as here,
should be voted out. They are representatives of the party
so far as there is a party in those states, and we wish to build
up the party in these states. I hope that this Convention never
will adopt the principle to exclude these gentlemen who
come here from the Southern States, because we may yet
take a candidate from one of those Southern States. I know
not what may be the result.

Mr. Armour, of Maryland : Mr. Chairman, I stand before
this Convention and this assembled host of freemen a repre-
sentative from the State of Maryland. [Applause and three
cheers for Maryland.] I claim to be as true a Republican as
the distinguished member of the "People's" party from
Pennsylvania. [Laughter and much applause.] I have dared
more than he has ever dared. [Applause.] I have periled
more than he has ever periled. He lives in a free state ; he
breathes the pure air of the gallant old Keystone State, and


yet they have not arrived at a condition in which they are
willing to avow themselves Republicans. [Great applause.]
I faced the mob in Baltimore ; I faced the mob urged on by
the aristocracy of the custom house, menial hirelings of this
corrupt administration. I went to my home and found that
I had been burned in effigy and suspended by the neck be-
cause I dared to avow myself the friend of freedom. We
met in Baltimore in obedience to the call of the National
Committee. We have a party in Maryland, and we can poll
from three to four thousand votes, [a voice, "good for you,"
and applause,] and if ever we expect Kepublican principles
to prevail all over this land, we must organize, and you who
live in the northern states must fraternize with us, and not
despise the day of small things. [Applause.] There is the
coat of arms of my grand little commonwealth, " Crescite et
MuLTiPLiCAMiNi," and that shall be the motto of the Repub-
licans of Maryland. We will grow, and we will increase,
until Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and all the states of the
northwest will welcome our gallant little commonwealth to
the band of states which have ever been unshrinking in their
devotion and their loyalty to the cause of human freedom. I
scorn the idea. I am proud to despise the sentiment which
says that northern influences have been brought to bear upon
us. We are unpurchased and unpurchaseable. [Loud ap-
plause.] And we tell Pennsylvania to put that in her pipe and
smoke it. [Laughter and applause.] Exclude us from the
Convention if you will — turn us out of these doors ; [cries of
" No," and " we won't,"] we will go home, notwithstanding,
and nominate an electoral ticket, and under the blessing of
Heaven we will do all that we can do to advance the common
cause of humanity. I beg not for northern votes to sustain
us here. I am sure there will be a spontaneous outburst of
the free sentiments and the true sympathy of the people here.
And if this Convention attempts to exclude us, that large
assemblage of people will frown it down. [Applause.] I
have vindicated myself. I have vindicated my co-delegates.


I have vindicated my state. Your <ipplause assures me of
tlie fact, and I will give way. [Three cheers for ]MaryIand.]

Mr. James Wyse, of District of (Jolumbia : i\Ir. Tresident,
I come from the capital of this great and miglity republic,
and like my friend, I am descended from old Maryland. [Ap-
plause.] I stand in this mighty Convention congregated in
the queen city of the great west, the representative from the
District of Columbia, of the great Republican party. [Loud
cheers.] I stand here the representative ot the persecuted and
down-trodden and disfranchised people that have no vote for
President, no voice in Congress, and no voice anywhere to
legislate for us, and yet our territory contains a hundred thou-
sand freemen. I came to this city as a representative of the
Republican party for no sinister purpose, but for the people
of that disfranchised district. We claim from the people of
this country the right of franchise; we claim the right of
citizenship ; we claim to be heard in this discussion, and not
to be silent longer in this republic. We have no legislature.
We ask of Congress a legislature, and we intend that they
shall give us a territorial legislature and a representation in
Congress — that we shall have our own laws, and that Con-
gress will confirm them — that we will be a people, and have
a voice in this great republic. T come here to tell this people
that they have trodden down the Republican party with the
iron heel of despotism, worse and more tyrannical than that
of Russia or the Austrian Empire. What has the Buchanan
administration done ? Why sir, they have gone into the
workshops of the government to seek out a Republican, and
then turn him out to grass, taking the bread from his family
if he did not bow down to the slave power. But thanks be
to God, we come here like the gentleman from Maryland,
daring to be Republicans; and we will baptize that District
of Columbia over again ; and, by the help of God, we will
exclude slavery from it in less than two years.

Mr. Blakey, of Kentucky : Having just arrived from a
meeting of the Committee on Platform, I understand that a pro-


position has been made that this Convention shall exclude the
delegates from the state which in part I represent. I should
not have been more surprised had I been told that a propo-
sition had been gravely made that the ashes of Washington
should have been placed without the pale of this continent.
[Cheers.] I should not have been more surprised had I been
told that a proposition had been gravely made that the re-
mains, the precious remains, now silently resting under the
shade of Ashland, be removed from the precious soil of Ken-
tucky ; nor should I have been more surprised had I been in-
formed that it had been gravely proposed that Cassius ]\I.
Clay [Applause.] should be buried. Who dare propose, I
say, to institute a proposition here that the free born sons of
Kentucky and of Virginia, and of Maryland, and of the Dis-
trict of Columbia, or even of Georgia, or any southern state,
have not just as good a right to be llepublicans and breathe
free air, and be free men upon American soil as the old Key-
stone State. [Applause.] Gentlemen, I have but one word
more to say, and I want it to be heard, and I wish it could
be heard from one end of the continent to the other. I had
the honor of a seat and a prominent position, it was a position
of which my children and their children will be proud, in the
Republican Convention of 1856. [Applause.] When the
vote of Kentucky was called for, for candidate for the Vice-
Presidency I had the honor then and there to announce that
Kentucky had been experimenting; that we had held up the
Declaration of Independence before the mirror, and saw re-
flected the platform of the 17th of June, ISoG; that we held
up the precious ordinance of 1757, and saw reflected the
Wihiiot proviso ; [applause,] and that Kentucky cast her
vote for David Wihnot. [Laughter and applause.] Tlius
stood Kentucky in 185G ! Can I be forgiven for that sin ?
[Applause and laughter.]

Mr. Wm. A. Phillips, of Kansas : Mr. President and gentle-
men of the Republican Convention, I stand here with my
fellow colleagues to represent the people of Kansas. Tlie


Republicans of Kansas, whom we have tljc honor to n.'prc.sent
upon this floor, sent us here expecting that we would have
several grave issues to meet, but they did not expect that
the representatives of Kansas would have to appear upon this
floor with proof that Kansas is an integral part of the liepub-
lican party. Kansas and the Republican party were born
together. [Hearty applause.] Its first impulses were stirred
by the wrongs of her people ; the party was baptized in her
blood. [Rapturous applause.] The people of Kansas in I80G
appeared in the National Republican Convention and threw a
vote for the then Republican nominee. The people of Kan-
sas throughout the whole of their struggle have vindicated
in Kansas the Republican party, their cause and their princi-
ples. Ic may be said to-day that Kansas is not a state — Kan-
sas is not a territory — it is scarcely a state ; but the cause of
liberty is identified with her history. She has a history and
a glorious one. This administration, whose duty it was to
foster this infant state, has dealt with Kansas with a harsh
rule. The hand of the administration, that she has felt so
often, has been a hard, stern hand ; and all has been done to
keep her back, and prevent her from rising and bearing aloft
the banner of Republican liberty. If Kansas had accepted
the Lecompton bribe she would have been a state to-day. If
Kansas had not been one of the strongest and best united
organizations in the Republican party, she would have been
received into the Union years ago by the Democrats at Wash-
ington. [Applause.] But Kansas scorned the Lecompton
bribe, and stands there to-day, and will stand forever, a Re-
publican state. [Great cheers.] Mr. Chairman, Kansas does
not expect to come into this Convention and be alienated
from the Republican party. She stands now a territorv be-
cause she would not share or accept the spoils of the Demo-
cratic party. She has alienated herself from everything to
identify her people and her destiny with the cause of the
National Republican party ; and now I don't think the time
has come when the Republicans can alienate her from them.
[Loud cheers.] I do not wish to consume the time of this


Convention by arguing this point. I do not think the gentle-
men of this Convention will demand that Kansas shall be
excluded. She has come here to say if she have preferences
she will exercise these preferences or leave this hall. Kansas
believes in the right, which has carried her through many a
dark hour; and she believes that it is principle alone which
will carry the Republican cause through in triumph.

Mr. WiLMOT, of Pennsylvania: I regret exceedingly that I
was misunderstood by the gentlemen who have responded to
me in behalf of the States of Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky.
I made no proposition to exclude those gentlemen from a fair
representation upon this floor — [Applause] — none at all. I
proposed that certain states be referred back to the committee
for the purpose of an investigation, to see what vote they are
entitled to on this floor.

Mr. Blakey : I was not present when the proposition was

Mr. WiLMOT : In the course of my argument, for the pur-
pose of enforcing the propriety of my amendment, I presented
certain considerations that seemed to me to be entitled to
weight, to wit : that gentlemen who come here representing
no party — having no constituencies — were not entitled to vote
for their states upon this floor. That was the simple propo-
sition that I made. Now, I desire that the facts be inquired
into. Will it be pretended that thirty gentlemen meeting at
the city of Baltimore, not delegates from the counties of the
state, but gentlemen assembling together — have a right to
represent and select twenty delegates?

Mr. Armour : Will you allow me to correct you '(

Mr. WiLMOT : Certainly.

Mr. Armour : There has existed in Baltimore city, for a
number of years, a Republican association. That association,
in obedience to the call of the National Executive Committee,


issued calls for the Republicans of Maryland to meet in Balti-
more, at such a time specified in the call, for the purpose of
nominating an electoral ticket and sending delegates to this
Convention. When that Convention met every Congressional
district in the State of Maryland was represented. [Applause.]
There were gentlemen from the eastern shore and the western
shore — from the extreme east to the extreme west. There
were, perhaps, only thirty-five or forty delegates ; but there
were at least 150 or 200 Republicans in the Convention.
Baltimore city sent only eleven delegates, and therefore she
was entitled to only eleven votes, yet the hall was full of
Republicans. My town is full of Republicans, and I wish to
say in reference to the remark of Judge Wilmot, that we have
no party in Maryland, I have the assurance of a gentleman,
and know it to be true, that in my town — which polls only
about 900 votes — we can poll 300 votes at the nsxt election,
nearly half the votes of the town — not of the district. That
is all I have to say.

Mr. Wilmot : The explanation that the gentleman has made,
if it does anything, would enforce the propriety of my motion'.
What I have desired is that the committee should investigate
this subject and report the facts in respect to these states.
That is what I have desired. If Maryland be properly repre-
sented here; if there be a party in Maryland, whether great,
large or small, that stands as an organized party in the field,
that is the point; not that there maybe Republicans scat-
tered over the state. There may be a majority in the town
in which the gentleman lives. There may be individual
Republicans scattered over that state in every county, but
have they combined together in a Republican organization,
and do they come here representing an organized party?
This is the question I desire this committee to inquire into,
and that is the very object of the motion. The committee
might report that IMaryland was entitled to her senatorial
votes on this floor, and that she was entitled to a vote from
such and such a district. If they so reported upon the facts


before them I shall be willing to accept that report. So too,
as to Virginia, if the committee reported that certain districts
in Virginia took regular action as an organized party and
elected their delegates, and were entitled to so many votes in
virtue of the delegates from such districts, I should be willing
to accept that report, and in addition, I should stand ready
to give them the two electoral votes of their state. So in
respect to Texas. But wdiat are the facts about her, gentle-
men ? I speak of it upon nothing but rumor and as a rumor
— I don't assert the fact, for I know nothing about it — but I
am told that the gentlemen who are here from Texas, or a
majorit}^ of them, are not residents of the state at all, and that
they have no Republican organization in that state. It may
be said that the delegates of Oregon are not residents of that
state. But w^e know that Oregon has a formidable party — a
minority it is true ; but w^e know that they held a regular
State Convention, and that they elected their delegates regu-
larly, and that some of those gentlemen have given deputa-
tions to certain distinguished gentlemen here, and that these
gentlemen are entitled to their seats ; so if Texas has held a
regular convention and elected her delegates, and they find it
inconvenient to attend as delegates, and they have deputed
others to represent them, then, gentlemen, they are entitled
to seats upon this floor. But if there has been no convention
— no movement in Texas, if nothing having the semblance
of a party has taken action in the State of Texas, and certain
gentlemen are here for the purpose of controlling this result,
then I say it is mischievous, it is demoralizing ; it will break
up any party under God's Heaven. Will the distinguished
gentleman, a candidate Ijefore this Convention, or rather his
friends, consent that they shall be overslaughed or defeated
by the votes of gentlemen representing no party, by gentle-
men having no constituents? Will the friends of the candi-
date which Pennsylvania will present submit to such a pro-
cedure ? If they do, it would be extremely hard — it would
be difficult to enforce submission. This was the object of my
proposition. I wish, gentlemen, instead of indulging in


declamation and rhetorical flourishes, in appeals to the ashes
of Washington, hnd consented to meet the question fairly by
argument. I raised no question with the good gentleman
from Maryland as to who has dared more or suflered more in
this cause. I concede to him and his associates the palm of
victory in that. But if every Republican who has suffered in
the cause of freedom is to come in to settle this question, then
the little territory of Kansas can control this Convention —

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Online LibraryIll.) Republican National Convention (1860 : ChicagoProceedings of the Republican National Convention, held at Chicago, May 16, 17, 18, 1860 → online text (page 4 of 12)