John G. (John Gaylord) Wells.

Wells' illustrated national campaign hand-book for 1860 online

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houn. But, by all of the three gentlemen, Mr. Everett's
services were duly appreciated.


Mr. Everett's social position in England was equally
honorable and agreeable to him, and a source of just
pride to his countrymen. His cultivation and accom-
plishments were everywhere recognized, and his public
speeches were received with enthusiasm.

In the spring of 1843 he was appointed to fill the
newly-constituted mission to China, with a view to es-
tablish commercial relations with that country, which
honorable trust he was compelled to decline. Imme-
diately on his return to the United States, in the au-
tumn of 1845, he was chosen President of Harvard
University. He entered upon the duties of this new
trust with characteristic energy and enthusiasm, and it
was a subject of great regret to the friends of the col-
lege that the burdensome details and monotonous con-
finement of his official life wore so heavily upon his
health as to compel him to resign his post at the end
of three years.

Mr. Everett gave a portion of his leisure, after re-
signing the Presidency, to tlie preparation of a col-
lected edition of his Orations and Speeches, which
appeared in two vols., Svo., in 1850. He also superin-
tended the publication of the new edition of the works
of Mr. Webster, at his special request, and prepared
an elaborate memoir, which was prefixed to the first

Upon the death of that great statesman, in Novem-
bei*, 1852, Mr. Everett was called upon by President
Fillmore to fill tlie vacant place of Secretary of State.
He held the office during the last four months of Pres-
ident Fillmore's administration, and the condition of
the public business made them months of most severe


labor, and notliiug but his indefatigable industry and
great patience conid have carried him through.

Besides paying the most conscientious attention to
the regular business of the Department, he adjusted
the perplexing affair of the Crescent City steamer, and
the Lobos Islands, — prosecuted with energy the diffi-
cult negotiations pertaining to the Usheries, — concluded
an international copy-right convention with Great Bri-
tain, and a Consular convention with France, — and re-
viewed the whole subject of Central American affairs
in their relation to our Government and Great Britain,
and recommended and induced Congress to establish
there a mission of the lirst class.

But the question which attracted most of the public
interest during Mr. Everett's administration of the De-
partment of State, was the joint proposition of England
and France to enter with the United States into a tri-
partite convention, guaranteeing to Spain, in perpetuity,
the exclusive possession of Cuba.

This proposition was declined by the United States,
in a diplomatic note of great ability, drawn up by Mr.
Everett. His exposition of the policy of this country
was received with very general approbation by the
People and the Press, without distinction of party.

Notwithstanding all these arduous official duties, he
found time to prepare an elaborate address for the an-
nual meeting of the American Colonization Society in
"Washington, in 1853, in exposition and defence of the
objects of that Association. Before leaving the De-
partment of State, Mr. Everett was elected by the
Legislature of Massachusetts to the Senate of the Uni-
ted States, — took his seat in that body at the com-


niencement of the special Executive Session in March,

1853, and made an able and elaborate speech on the
Central American question.

In the summer and fall of 1853, besides an address
before the New York Historical Society on Coloniz-
ation and Emigration, and a reply to the protest of
Lord John Russell against the doctrines asserted by
our Government in the note declining the tripartite
Convention, Mr Everett spoke more than once in oppo-
sition to the proposed new Constitution in Massachu-

Upon the assembling of the XXXTTTrd Congress, in
December, 1853, Mr. Everett, as might have been
expected, found himself in a state of impaired health,
but he applied himself with his usual industry to the
discharge of his duties. Had the session proved one
of no more than average labor and excitement, perhaps
his strength would have enabled him to meet the duties
of his post.

The introduction of the bill for the repeal of tlio
Missouri Compromise, (the ISTebraska and Kansas bill,)
produced great agitation throughout the country, and
brought the opposing parties in the Senate into violent
and protracted antagonism. For many weeks the ses-
sions were long continued, and the discussions of the
most vehement and impassioned character, Mr. Ever-
ett delivered a speech against this bill, February 8,

1854, characterized by his usual moderate and conser-
vative views, as well as by good taste and good temper.
His health, under the pressure of official toil and excite-
ment, grew constantly worse, and in the following May


under the imperative advice of his physician, he
resigned his seat.

A few months of rest and quiet restored him — and
now there began a new phase in his life, and tiie open-
ing of a new and peculiar sphere of action.

In the year 1853, the project of purchasing Mount
Vernon by private subscription was first started by
Miss Ann Pamelia Cunningham, in an Address to the
People of the United States, under the head of " A
Southern Matron." Tlie proposal was favorably re-
ceived, and Associations of Ladies began to be formed
in several of the States, for the purpose of collecting
funds. Mr. Everett having been applied to, by the
Mercantile Library Association of Boston, to deliver a
Lecture during their course of 1855-56, proposed that
the Association should celebrate the next amiiversary of
the Birth-day of Washington, and offered to prepare
for that occasion a discourse upon his character, the
proceeds to be applied to some commemorative pur-
pose. The offer was accepted, and on the 22nd of
February, 1856, Mr. Everett pronounced his Oration
on Washington, for the first time, before an immense
audience at the Music Hall, Boston. It was immedi-
ately repeated at l^ew York, New Haven and Balti-
more, and the proceeds were applied to various objects.
It was delivered for the first time for the benefit of the
Mount Yernon Fund, at Richmond, Yirginia, March 19,
1856 — and down to June, 1859, it had been delivered in
various parts of the country oiie hundred and twenty-
nine times ; always, except in seven cases, for the benefit
of the Mount Yernon Fund.


No deduction has ever been made from the amount
received on account of his expenses, which have been
uniformly paid by himself. The proceeds received
were deposited by him in the hands of a Board of
Trustees, appointed by himself. They had paid over,
up to the first of June, 1859, to the General Treasurer
of the Fund, the sum of $53,393 81, and had remaining
on their hands the further sum of $4,T65 75.

In the autumn of 1858, Mr. Everett entered into an
engagement with Mr. Robert Bonner, Editor and Pro-
prietor of the '•'■New York Ledger^'' to furnish an article
weekly for that paper for one year, in consideration of
$1 0,000, to be paid in advance to the Mount Yernon
Fund. In the first of these articles Mr. Everett invited
the readers of the " Ledger" to tramsmit each the sum
of fifty cents or more towards the increase of the Mount
Vernon Fund. Many persons responded to this call,
and the net amount received from this som'ce was, on
the first of June, 1859, $2,929 94, which is included in
the simi of $53,393 81, before mentioned as having been
paid over to the General Treasurer.

Nor have Mr. Everett's benevolent labors been limited
to the augmentation of the Mount Yernon Fund.
December 22nd, 185Y, he delivered at Boston an
address on Charity and Charitable Associations, for the
benefit of the Boston Provident Association, which has
since been repeated in different parts of the country
fifteen times, with an aggregate net receipt, for the
benefit of various Charitable Associations, of about

January 17, 1859, he delivered an address at Boston


on " The Early Days of Franklin," at the invitation of
the association of the Franklin Medalists of that city,
which has since been repeated five times, yielding
about $4,000 for the benefit of various charitable and
public associations.

December 7, 1858, he pronounced a eulogy on Mr.
Thomas Dowse, before the Dowse Institute, at Cam-
bridge, Mass., which was afterward repeated before
the Massachusetts Historical Society, yielding to the
two Institutions about $1,500.

The aggregate sum total realized in the ways before
mentioned, and paid over to the Mount Yernon Fund,
and sundry public and charitable associations, includ-
ing the proceeds of the seven repetitions of the Wash-
ington Discourse which were not for the benefit of the
Fund, will not fall much short of $100,000.

We have gone somewhat into detail in our sketch of
this part of Mr. Everett's Life, not merely on account
of its peculiar and interesting character, but because
we think the facts we have mentioned are entitled to
record as illustrating the genius of our people, and the
relations which our political institutions have estab-
lished between the general community and those men
who, from their abilities and accomplishments, are the
leaders of public sentiment.

It would not fall in the province of this sketch to
give an analysis of the mental qualities and personal
traits of a man now so prominently before the public
for their sufirages. The wide reputation he enjoys and
the opportunity which so many have had of listening to
his eloquence, renders it superfluous. It may not,


however, be unbecoming to hold him up for commen-
dation and imitation to the youth of the country for his
indefatigable industry and his methodical habits of la-
bor, and as an example that such habits will command
the most brilliant success.



As it is now known and recognized, was not known,
either in form or in name, five years ago; but the
principal elements from which it has sprung and grown
in strength, had their existence in events that trans-
pired in the troublous times of 1849-50. When forty-
two members of the thirty-first Congress, from the
slave States, issued their famous manifesto, and con-
tributed the sum of $30,000 to establish a disunion
organ at the seat of government, the public mind was
greatly startled, and men of all parties at the North,
together with a majoiity of the people at the South,
were anxious to devise some moans by which this
threatened danger could be passed without evil conse-
quences ; and many eminent men and distinguished
politicians, holding the view that the slavery question
was the great moving cause of all the difficulty,
arrayed themselves against the admission of any more
territory in which slavery should be legalized. To
this end, they asked Congress, to insert the following
clause in all bills for the admission of States, or the
formation of territorial governments, to wit :

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, other-
wise than by conviction for crime, shall ever be

This proviso, in such evident and direct antagonism
to the long-established doctrine of State Rights, was
met by the determined opposition of the democratic
party and a large proportion of the old whigs ; and,
following immediately on its introduction, the principle
of Squatter Sovereignty was inaugurated as a compro-
mise measure, taking the intermediate ground between
the doctrines and teachings of the ultra Northern and
the intensely Southern parties.



Tlie Republican Party proper, however, did not
declare itself fully, by a platform and formal declara-
tion of its views, until the meeting of the Philadelphia
Convention, in 1856, — when a schedule of its principles
was duly issued, founded mainly on the Wilmot Proviso
and the doctrine of Congressional Intervention. Men
who had previously acted with the other parties of the
(lay, now enrolled themselves under the Republican
banner in large numbers ; and what was at first viewed
as an insignificant faction, in the course of a few
uKJiiths, assumed all the consequence and influence of
a powerful organization.

Tiie Republican Party is looked upon as revolution-
ary in its teachings and ultimate results. It is so most
emphatically. Its doctrines are not in accordance
with those advanced by any political party that has
preceded it, but are new, and mainly in contemplation
of what its partisans view as pressing emergencies.
Whether the ends sought will justify the means
employed for their accomplishment, is a question that
we do not propose to canvass.

' On the 16th day of May, 1860, the Republican
National Convention met at Chicago, in a large
building erected for the purposes of the meeting, and
called the " "Wigwam."

The Convention was called to order by Gov. Mor-
gan, of New York, Chairman of the National Republi-
can Committee, who named Hon. David Wilmot, of
Pennsylvania, for temporary President. The remarks
of Mr. Wilmot, on taking the chair, may possess some
interest, as defining in part the position of the Repub-
lican Party at this moment. He addressed the Con-
vention briefly, returning thanks for the high and
undeserved honor. He would carry the remembrance
of it with him to the day of his death. It was uimeces-
sary for him to remind the Convention of the high
duty devolved upon them. A great sectional interest
had for years dominated with a high hand over the


affairs of the country. It had bent all its energy to
the extension and naturalization of slavery. It is the
mission of the Republican party to oppose this policy,
and to restore to the government the policy of tiie
Revolutionary fathers ; to resist the dogma that
slavery exists wherever the Constitution extends ; to
read the Constitution as our fathers read it. That
Constitution was not ordained to embrace slavery
within all the limits of the country. They lived and
died in the faith that slavery was a blot, and would
soon be washed out. Had they deemed that the Rev-
olution was to establish a great slave empire, not one
would have drawn his sword in such a cause. The
battle was fought to establish freedom. Slavery is
sectional — freedom is national.

He deemed it unnecessary to remind the delegates
of the outrages and usurpations of the Democratic
party. Tliose outrages -Cvill not be contined to the
limits of the slave States if the South have the power ;
and the safety of the free States requires that the Repub-
licans should take the government, and administer it as
it has been administered by Washington, Jefferson and
Jackson — even down to Yan Buren and Polk — before
these new dogmas were engrafted in the Democratic
policy. He assumed his duties, exhorting a spirit of
harmony to control the action of the delegates.

In the afternoon session, the committee on organiza-
tion reported the name of George Ashmun, of Massa-
chusetts, for President, and Vice-Presidents and Secre-
taries from every State represented in the Convention.
The following States and Territories were represented :
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa,
Minnesota, Delaware, Maryland, Yirginia, Kentucky,
Michigan, Missouri, California, Texas, District of Co-
lumbia, Kansas and Nebraska. It was agreed that a
majority shall nominate. A series of seventeen resolu-


tions was adopted, and denominated the Platform of tlie
Ee^^ublican Party. They will be found in another
part of this work.

There were an unprecedented number of names sub-
mitted for the nomination as a candidate for the Presi-
dency, but on the third ballot, Abkaham Lincoln, of
Illinois, received a majority of the votes cast, and his
nomination was made unanimous by acclamation.

On the first ballot for the nomination of a candidate
for the Yice-Presidency, Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine,
received a majority of the votes cast, and was declared
nominated with great enthusiasm.









"Was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, February 12,
1809. He is probably descended from the Lincolns of
Massachusetts, though his parents were of the Quaker
stock that emigrated from Pennsylvania to Rocking-
ham County, Ya. ; whence his grandfather, Abraham,
removed to Kentucky in 1781.

The record of his boyhood and youth, so far as we have
been able to trace it, is not distinguished by anything
more remarkable than the usual experience of children
of pioneers in a new country. In 1816 we learn he
removed, with his parents, to what is now Spencer
County, Indiana. Here he enjoyed the advantages of
a few months' schooling — ^less than a year, however, in
all. Whatever else he afterward learned from books
was without the aid of the schoolmaster — the result of
his own energy and indomitable perseverance.

In 1830, young Lincoln having just completed his
twenty-first year, his father and family left the old
homestead in Indiana, and removed to Illinois ; they
located in the county of Macon, built a cabin, and
opened and fenced a farm some ten miles west of De-
catur. Abe was handy at rail-splitting in those days,
and it is said that he accomplished his full quota of
labor in clearing up and fencing this new place ; and
that some of those identical rails have recently played


a more important part than dividing the fields of the
Macon County farm. His life was that of an ordinary
farmer's boy until 1832, when the Black Hawk war
broke out. Young Lincoln immediately joined a volun-
teer compan}^ composed principally of the young men
of his neighborhood, and was chosen captain by accla-
mation. He seems to have possessed the elements of
popularity, and those distinguishing traits of character
that mark the leader ; even at this early age, the germ
of a superior mind was discovered and appreciated.
Although he was in no engagement, he served to the
end of the campaign, and now owns the land upon
which his warrants for this service were located.

Immediately after his return from this campaign, he
was a candidate for the Legislature, but was beaten ;
his own precinct, however, casting its vote 277 for, and
7 against him, and this, too, when he was an avowed
and enthusiastic Clay man, and the same precinct the
autumn afterwards giving a majority of 115 for Gene-
ral Jackson over Mr. Clay. It is stated, on good au-
thority, that this was the only time Lincoln was ever
beaten by a direct vote of the people.

About this time, having left the paternal roof, and
finding himself obliged to shift for himself, he deter-
mined to adopt the profession of the law — and to this
end, employed whatever time he could spare from
manual labor, which he was obliged to pursue for
physical support, in the reading of such legal works as
he could borrow, and thus acquired the rudiments
of the profession in which he has since so eminently
distinguished himself. In the autumn of 1836 he
obtained a license to practice, and in 1837 he removed


to Springfield, and formed a partnership with Major
John F. Stnart, at that time one of the leading lawyers
of the State.

In 1834 he was elected to the Legislature, and
re-elected in 1836, 1838 and 1840. He briefly defined
his position on the Slavery question in 1837 by a pro-
test entered on the Illinois House Journal, at pages
817, 818, with Dan Stone, another representative from
Sangamon County, as follows :

" March Zd, 1837.

" The following protest was presented to the House,
which was read, and ordered to be spread on the jour-
nal, to wit :

" Resolutions upon the subject of domestic Slavery
having passed both branches of the general assembly,
at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest
against the passage of the same.

" They believe that the institution of Slavery is
founded on both injustice and had policy j but that the
promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to in-
crease than abate its evils.

" They believe that the Congress of the United
States has no power, under the Constitution, to inter-
fere with the institution of slavery in the different

" They believe that the Congress of the United States
has the power, under the Constitution, to abolish
Slavery in the District of Columbia ; but that the
power ought not to be exercised unless at the request
of the people of said District.

"The difference between these opinions and those


contained in the said resolutions, is their reason for en-
tering this protest.

" Dan Stone,
" A. Lincoln,
" Representatives from the County of Sangamon."

For many years Lincoln was a prominent leader of
the Whig party in Illinois, and was on the electoi'ial
ticket in several Presidential campaigns. In 1844 he
canvassed the entire state for Henry Clay, of whom he
was a sincere and enthusiastic friend, and exerted him-
self powerfully for the favorite of his party. In 1846
Mr. Lincoln was elected to Congress. He took his
seat on the first Monday in December, 1847, — the only
Whig representative from his State. Of seven members
of the House from Illinois, six were Democrats

Mr. Lincoln's first vote in Congress was cast Decem-
ber 20th, 1847, in favor of the subjoined resolutions :

" Resolved, That if, in the judgment of Congress, it be
necessary to improve the navigation of a river, to expedite
and render secure the movements of our army, and save
from delay and loss our arms and munitions of war, that
Congress has the power to improve such river.

"Resolved, That if it be necessary for the preservation
of the lives of our seamen, repairs, safety or maintenance of
our vessels of war, to improve a harbor or inlet, either on
our Atlantic or Lake coast, Congress has the power to make
such improvement."

These resolutions formed the basis for the introduc-
tion of the famous River and Harbor bill, to which Mr.
Lincoln and the other Whigs in Congress gave their


hearty support. In fact, all acts for internal inipruve-
raents introduced into Congress while he was a member
thereof, received all tlie aid at his liands he was
entitled to render them. About this time Mr. Giddinorg
presented a memorial from certain citizens of the
District of Columbia, asking Congress to repeal all
laws sanctioning the slave trade in the District. A
motion was made to refer the memorial to the Judici-
ary Committee, with instructions to inquire into the
constitutionality of laws by which slaves are held as
property in the District of Columbia. A motion fol-
lowed to lay the paper on the table, — against which
we find recorded the vote of Mr. Lincoln. The vote,
however, resulted in a tie, and the Speaker, (Mr. Win-
throp, of Mass.) voted in the negative. Mr. Cobb
announced that he wished to debate the matter, and it
was laid over under the rules.

These two instances furnish a correct index to Lin-
coln's subsequent votes on the questions involved, and,
in fact, his course has been consistent and unwavering
on all the topics of the day. How far it has been
judicious, patriotic and useful to the country, it is not
our province to determine.

On the subject of the war with Mexico, Mr. Lin-
coln took the position occupied by other members of
his party North and South, objecting to what was con-
sidered a false statement of the origin of the diflScul-
ties, in the message of President Polk ; but in every
instance, we believe, voting supplies for the war, and
recognizing it, after hostilities were actually com-


irienced, as a contest in which our national honor must
be sustained, at all hazards.

February ITth, 1848, the Committee of Ways and
Means reported a Loan bill, to raise the sum of sixteen
millions of dollars, to enable the government to provide
for its debts, principally incurred in Mexico. This
bill passed the House by the following vote : ayes 192,
nays 14, — Mr. Lincoln voting for it.

February 28th, 1848, Mr. Putnam, of New York,

Online LibraryJohn G. (John Gaylord) WellsWells' illustrated national campaign hand-book for 1860 → online text (page 2 of 27)