Robert H. (Robert Henry) Browne.

Abraham Lincoln and the men of his time online

. (page 1 of 55)
Online LibraryRobert H. (Robert Henry) BrowneAbraham Lincoln and the men of his time → online text (page 1 of 55)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook




The Gift of


Class of 1909

Cornell University

The original of tiiis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.













The Condition of Affairs on Shannon's Arrival — Why he was
appointed — His Disgust and Resignation — Mustering in South-
ern Emigrants as Kansas Militia — Woodson again Acting
Governor — Attempt to provolte Free State People to Armed
Resistance, by Orders to Colonel Sumner to disperse Legisla-
ture — Foiled by Robinson — Siege of Lawrence by Missouri
Invaders — Pillage and Destruction — Organizing of Free State
Men vmder Lane and Others — John Brown at Pottawatomie,
and Black Jack — Shannon's Proclamation — Alarmed — Colonel
Sumner's Success in suppressing Disturbances — Strict Im-
partiality—Report to Washington— Removal— General Smith-
Davis outwitted by Scott through Four Years— Plans of the
Slave-leaders — Closing of the Missouri River to Emigration —
Making and Unmaking of Governors — Navigation of the Mis-
souri— "Jim Totem." 11


Railroad Building — Lane — "Emigrant Aid Society" — Colonel
Cooke — Border Bands under Name of Kansas Militia dis-
missed—General Smith's Report— Davis's Anger and Chagrin-
Governor Geary — His Proclamation — Liberation of Robinson
and all Free State Prisoners — Geary's Removal delayed by
Presidential Election— Why he had been appointed— Atchison
defeated and "Border War ended— Lecompton Legislature 26


Buchanan's Administration — Losses in the "Border War" — Par-
ties and Party Divisions at that Time — Fillmore — Abolition-
ists — Nominations and Nominating Conventions in 1856 —
Their Relation to the Slavery Question 47





Meeting at Decatur, Illinois— Mr. Lincoln— His Address— Call
for First Republican Convention— Public Feeling— Excite-
ment and Alarm— Assault on Sumner— Bloomington Conven-
tion— Reeder's Address— Heterogeneous Elements— Some of
the Famous Men present— "Abolitionist Corner"— Lincoln's
Wonderful Speech — Harmony — The Campaign — Lincoln's
Later Addresses— Election Statistics and Results— Lincoln
Pre-eminently a Reformer— His Ideas of Land-ownership ex-
pressed to Mr. Gridley— Some of his Work in saving Farms
to Settlers 63


Judge Douglas — A Personal Reminiscence — Some of his Ideas as
expressed by himself— Dangerous Times — Assaults on Sumner,
Greeley, and Others— Some of the Men vrho composed the Pro-
slavery Cabal— The Dred Scott Decision— Taney's Opinion-
Dissenting Opinions of McLean and Curtis— Quotations from
Bach— Effect of the "Decision"— Cabal overreached Them-
selves — Douglas's Attitude 94


Further Facts about the "Dred Scott Decision" — Never more
than a Political Device — Douglas's Discussion of it — Mr. Lin-
coln's Opportunity and Discussion 116


Robert J. Walker appointed Governor of Kansas — Early Asso-
ciations — An Honest Man — Plotting for his Retirement —
Frederic P. Stanton, Secretary — "Bogus Legislature" at
Lecompton — Election of June 15th; Results — Later Election;
Results — Frauds at Oxford — Exposed and set aside by
Walker — Decline in Value of Slaves — Lecompton Constitu-
tional Convention — Fraudulent Adoption — Walker's Mission to
Washington — Indorsement of Lecompton Outrage by
Buchanan's Administration — Walker's Disgust and Resigna-
tion — J. W. Denver appointed Successor — Lecompton Con-
stitution submitted to the People and voted down by about


10,000 Majority— Summing up of Causes and Culmination of
the Struggle — Calhoun — Davis — Seward, Sumner, Greeley,
Chase, Thaddeus Stevens, Lovejoy, Brown or Ossawatomie —
Jackson, Benton, Cass, Marcy, Douglas 125


Acting Governor Stanton convened Legally-elected Legislature —
Removed, and J. W. Denver appointed — Douglas's Re-
monstrance with Buchanan — "Beware of the Fate of Demo-
cratic Leaders who have defied and resisted the President
and his Policy "^'This will perhaps recall the Fact to your
Mind that General Jackson is Dead" — Slave-leaders perceived
their Power was slipping away — Forced Democratic Party
into Contest for Passage of the Obnoxious and Unadopted
Constitution — Douglas accepted Challenge — His Training,
Character, and Plan of Campaign — His Argument, December
9, 1857— Buchanan's Message, February, 1858— Analysis of
Vote which defeated it— Increased Enmity of Conspirators
against Douglas — Support of Owen Lovejoy — Republican Con-
gressional Convention at Bloomington in 1858 — Nomination
of Lovejoy — Decision of Mr. Lincoln on the Davis Dispute. .. .150


A Day and Night with Lincoln — Douglas's Mass-meeting in
Afternoon — A Chat with Douglas — A Slanderer rebuked—
Lincoln's Evening Address — Trip to Clinton — Long Jim
Davis — Confidential Conversation with Lincoln — Republican
State Convention at Springfield in June, 1858 — Lincoln's
Great Speech — Lincoln Candidate for Senator — His Under-
standing of the Situation 177


Agreement for Joint Debates — Douglas's Position in the Con-
test — Comments on Lincoln's "High Ground" Position — Ex-
tracts from Lincoln's Addresses — Conference at Mendota —
Questions and Answers given in the Debates — Their Effect
to divide Nationally the Democratic Party — Douglas elected
Senator 207




Another Conversation with Lincoln— Letter to Mr. Judd— One
of Mr. Lincoln's Melancholy Moods— A Talk with Judge
Douglas and Statement of his Perplexities— His Trip through
the South— His Removal from Position as Chairman of Com-
mittee on Territories- Angry Senatorial Debates— Douglas's
Defiance of Slave-leaders— Lincoln at Urbana, Illinois— Lin-
coln's Training and Great Power as a Leader in Fitness
to deal with Slavery— Mr. Seward— Lincoln's Addresses in
the East 239


Thurlow Weed and his Scheme to suppress Lincoln and further
Seward's Candidacy for President— Invitation to deliver a
Paid-for Address to a Select Few in Brooklyn— Cooper Insti-
tute Address— Horace Greeley— Lincoln's "Availability as a
Candidate" 265


Mr. Gridley on the Situation — Preparations for Mr. Lincoln's
Nomination — John Brown at Harper's Ferry — Work of W. L.
Yancey in the South — Democratic Convention at Charleston —
Caleb Cushing— Resolutions— Adoption of Cincinnati Platform
without Change — Walk-out of Mr. Yancey and Delegates
from Seven Cotton States 289


Further Maneuvering of Seceding Delegates— Contest in the
United States Senate— Douglas's Disclosure of the Treason-
able Plot of the Conspirators— Leaders who had been over-
thrown by them in the Past— Van Buren— Cass, Webster,
Pierce, Marcy, Benton, "Old Sam Houston"— Slaughter of
Broderick — Constitutional Union Party — Nomination of Bell
and Everett 312


Reassembling Democratic Convention at Baltimore— Disorder —
Judge Douglas's Instructions to his Supporters— Cushing


retained Chairman of Seceders — Senate Resolutions Platform —
Breckinridge and Lane nominated — Regular Convention —
Douglas and Johnson nominated — Cincinnati Platform re-
tained as passed in Charleston Convention — A Revievr of
Douglas and Lincoln as Contestants — Personal Intervievps
with Douglas — Gridley on Douglas 332


Vigorous Political Campaigns and their Value — Increase in Popu-
lation of Illinois and Iowa and Missouri, 1850 to 1860 —
Agitation — Railroad Building — Chicago — Slave-labor — Lincoln's
Law Business — Lincoln's Idea on the Accumulation of
Wealth — Douglas's Beliefs on the Same 354


The Men of the Western States — Country — Growth in Popula-
tion — The Coming Struggle — The Leader — The Convention at
Chicago — Elements out of which the Republican Party was
formed 371


Lincoln as a Prospective Candidate — ^His own Opinion expressed
at the Springfield Conference — What Gridley thought of it —
Arrangements for the Chicago Convention — Some of the Men
who supported him — The Newspapers 391


Management of the Campaign for Mr. Lincoln's Nomination —
Some of the Leaders — Frank P. Blair, Jr. — Henry S. Lane —
Simon Cameron — John Wentworth — Richard J. Oglesby —
Gridley — Chicago Conference — Lincoln's Religious Beliefs —
Illinois Republican Convention at Decatur — Oglesby Chair-
man — ^John Hanks and the "Walnut Rails" — Lincoln's Ac-
knowledgment of the Nomination — The Delegates to Chicago —
Bloomington and Chicago Conferences— Temper of the Dele-
gates 417




Preliminary Work of the Convention— Accommodation and
Preparations— Parades— Wigwam— Weed's Recognition of Mr.
Gridley's Management after Convention was over- David Wil-
mot Temporary Cliairman— George Ashmun Permanent Cliair-
man— Adoption of Platform— Giddings's Amendment— Mr.
Curtis's Patriotic Speech— Nominations— Lincoln's Nomination
on Third Ballot— Hannibal Hamlin for Vice-President—
Formal Notification and Acceptance 444


Lincoln as a Presidential Candidate — ^The Election — Estimate of
Sentiment — The Southern Revolt — Weakness of Buchanan —
Interpretation of the Constitution by Chief-Justice Marshall —
Jackson, Webster — Plotting of Southern Leaders — Senator
Mason — Klingman-Thompson Interviews — Davis-Buchanan
Message to Congress — Address of certain Southern Members
«f Congress— First Act of Establishing a "Southern Con-
federacy" — Personnel of Buchanan's Administration — Retire-
ment of Secretary Cass — Jere Black, Successor — Resignation
of Howell Cobb — South Carolina's Secession — Procrastina-
tion — Breckinridge's Address in the Senate — Douglas's Reply —
Toombs's Proposition 471


States seceding— Address of Alexander H. Stephens to Georgia
Convention— Forming of Confederate States of America Pro-
visional Government— Adoption of Provisional Constitution at
Montgomery— Election of Davis and Stephens as President
and Vice-President— Cabinet selected— John A. Logan and
his "Blank Sheet of Paper" at Richmond — Kansas: Admis-
sion as a State under Wyandotte Constitution— Lincoln's
Parting with his Old Home, never to see it again— Addresses
at Indianapolis, Columbus, Steubenville, Trenton, Phila-
delphia, Harrisburg^Ride from Harrisburg to Washington-
Lincoln's Inauguration — Douglas holds his. Hat — Address —
Cabinet— Closing of Douglas's Life and Public Service— Ad-
dress in Springfield , 497



James S. Green, of Missouri — Douglas's Estimate and Dis-
posal of him — Douglas's Leadership — Private Conversations
with him at Springfield, in which he discussed Public Affairs
and his Closer Relation with Lincoln — Who the Southern
Leaders were — The Parting 531


The Beginning of Lincoln's Administration — The Cabinet — The
Previous Preparation during the Winter at Springfield — The
Situation — Determination of the Conspirators as shown in
Toombs's Letter — Clark's Resolutions — Weed on the Contro-
versy — Plan for Settlement by a National Constitutional Con-
vention — Lincoln's Patience and Ability — Anthony's Propo-
sition — Charles Francis Adams's Proposition — Webster as a
Compromiser in 1850— Clay in the same Debate — Horace
Greeley's "Dare you to do it" 555


New York City — Madison's Interpretation of the Constitution —
Senator Reverdy Johnson on Calhoun and Nullification —
Howell Cobb on Secession — Albany Argus on the South —
Peace Conference in Albany — Clinton's Address — Newspaper
Editorials — Lewis Cass — Davis's Resolutions — A Southern
Physician's Experience— The Crisis— The Nation's Leading
Defenders and Supporters — Lincoln's Dominance above all... 579


Thaddeus Stevens — Interview with Lincoln in which he frees
his Mind, and Lincoln shows a Full Comprehension of the
Situation and analyzes his Cabinet — Stevens announces to
Lovejoy his Full Surrender to the Great Western Leader —
Lincoln's Estimate of Stevens, Lovejoy, and Washburn —
RoUins's Opinion of Them 597




Inauguration of President Lincoln a. Turning-point in Human
Affairs— An Estimate of the Men about him— Events from
the Inauguration to the First Blow of the Conflict — Lin-
coln's Studies 617


Mr. Lincoln's Ideas on Land Ownership and Reform — The North-
west Territory 632


Assault on Fort Sumter— Effect on the People — Extra Session
of Congress— Call for Volunteers— How the Border States
were held in the Union— Lincoln's Message to Congress —
Rapid Work in Legislation — The Cankerous System of
Slavery — General Winfield Scott— Conservatism — Mustering
and Mobilizing of the Armies of the Potomac, Cumberland,
and Tennessee — Lincoln settles "Conservatism"— Halleck —
Buell, Governor Johnson, and Parson Brownlow 645


The Flight of Armies in 1862— European Estimates and Opin-
ions — The Volunteer Soldier — Developing Leaders — Lovejoy's
Story of his Conference with Lincoln on the Emancipation
of a Race 667


Passing the Crisis — Proclamation of Emancipation — Fall
Elections— Recruiting of Colored American Soldiers— Effect of
Emsmcipation Abroad and at Home — The Great Leader in
Comparison with Others — Lincoln's Re-election — Assassina-
tion—Gettysburg Address 687

Abraham Lincoln




SHOETLY after Wilson Shannon's arrival in the Terri-
tory of Kansas ia September, 1855, the contest was
carried on vigorously on both sides, and civil war existed
in every inhabited part of it. Lawrence was held in a state
of siege for several days. The inhabitants, knowing that
they were vastly outnumbered, submitted to the search for
arms, ammunition, and other plundering and pillagiag,
rather than attempt resistance at such unequal advantages.
They did so, too, on Shannon's promises of protection.
Shannon was entertained on his arrival in their best and
most uproarious style by Atchison and his followers. They
had denounced Reeder out of office, as they believed, and
had not been backward in giving their opinions as to the
kind of man to be sent as his successor, if one was sent.
The truth was, they would have been entirely satisfied with
no successor, but to continue with Secretary Woodson as
acting governor, who was one of them, and as certain to
execute their most devilish plans, as Atchison and Jefferson
Davis were to make them.



The Administration would have been altogether will-
ing for this, but public indignation was wrought up over
Eeeder's removal and the deviltry of the border war. So
a reputable Democrat, who could be influenced and molded
to the liking of the slave extenders, was a necessity. Shan-
non was selected, after careful consideration of his dis-
position and qualifications, as the most willing and service-
able man they could get. This he proved to be for a time.
He was plastic, soft clay in their hands, pliable and un-
complaining, until he realized, in the spring of 1856, that
he was not expected to interfere with the operation of their
plans, and that if he did, they would soon be rid of him.
Finding that Atchison was really governor, no difference
who held the title, he resigned, and attempted to leave the
Territory, thoroughly disgusted, while Atchison, Woodson,
and their hordes were assembling for another raid against
the free State settlement of Lawrence. Before leaving, they
compelled him to assent to the mustering in, as Kansas
militia, all the armed Southern immigrants brought in, as
heretofore related, which Woodson took up at once and
completed. He had gained authority again, where he could
for a brief season play the willing agent and petty tyrant,
and, as he hoped, provoke the free State people to open
resistance of the authority of the United States. This, of
all things, these slavery leaders most desired, so that the
regular army might be used against them to their utter
and complete destruction.

The free State movement had been broken up, as much
as it could be by threats, writs issued, arrests made, and
the dispersion and scattering of the members wherever it
was possible. What was left of the free State Legislature
had, among other dispositions, adjourned in March to meet
again on the 4th of July, 1856, to receive the action of
Congress on their application for Statehood. In this sit-
uation, with Shannon fleeing and glad to be free of them,


Atchison and Woodson thought the time was opportune to
provoke the free State people to resistance.

With a chance that they regarded almost a certainty,
Woodson recited President Pierce's Proclamation. He is-
sued his own proclamation, forbidding all persons claiming
to have legislative power and authority, as aforesaid, from
assembling, organizing, or acting in any legislative capacity
whatever. Colonel Sumner, who had been assigned to duty
by direction of General Scott, was a fair, impartial officer,
and, so far, the friend of the free State people, and so de-
sirous of peace that he determined to aid in a peaceful
dispersion of the free State Legislature; but with these
intentions, he was so limited by his instructions that there
was nothing left for him to do but to disperse the un-
offending body of men by armed force if they attempted
any resistance. In this way Jefferson Davis used the army
for the suppression of liberty and the dispersing of a peace-
ful body of "Squatter Sovereigns," exercising their rights
to assemble, organize, and, as has been done over and over
in our progress, petition Congress for admission as a State.

In this move, as in many others, Atchison and Woodson
were playing against a man much better informed and with
more than double their combined wisdom. The free State
people gathered, but not in any public place. Eobinson
explained the situation, and disclosed the trap set for their
destruction. Colonel Sumner fully understood it. The free
State Legislature did not assemble at their regular place
of meeting, but quietly separated. At noon, July 4th,
Colonel Sumner lined up his dragoons in front of the free
State Hall; but there was no free State Legislature there
to disperse or disband, and nobody present for the dragoons
to kill. Atchison, Woodson, and Jones were chagrined and
humiliated again by Robinson.

Early in May, 1856, United States Marshal Donaldson
took Buford's Southern men ^nd several others, amount-


ing to five hundred, into his service as deputies. These
and Jones's posse, and a lot of the Missouri invaders, in
armed movement, laid siege to Lawrence the second time,
about May 1, 1856, under promise of protection of life
and property. The citizens, not being in condition to con-
tend against such unequal forces, not having more than
two or three hundred men capable of making any kind
of defense, surrendered their arms and offered no resist-
ance. Atchison arrived before the capitulation. As soon
as the arms were surrendered, the town was entered, pil-
laged, and almost destroyed. The Free State Hotel, Governor
Eobtnson's house, and two printing establishments were
burned, with many other buildings. The stores, shops,
mills, and many dwellings were robbed, and everything of
value taken that this invading, vandal horde desired to
take or destroy.

From this an aggravated stage of the war developed. Men
were called together in all the settlements to organize and
get into fighting shape in the shortest possible time, to
save their homes and help as they could to repel this Mis-
souri and Federal office-holders' invasion. Money, arms,
and many other supplies were sent by the friends of the
oppressed and war-plundered people from all over the free
States. In a few weeks Lane and others had gathered to-
gether and armed a very determined force of several hun-
dred, who, from that time forward, were the hope and
security of the free State people.

John Brown was attacked at Pottawatomie on May
36th. Five of the assailants were killed against his loss
of two or three. He was attacked again at Black Jack,
where he repulsed them again. This hostile condition lasted
until late in August. A marauding, pillaging, and destroy-
ing war was kept up as long as Woodson was acting gov-
ernor, and the management of affairs in the Territory was
under the control of Atchison. His policy was the same


in this as against the free State Legislature. He expected
to carry on his invasion and outrages until the people be-
came incensed and began armed resistance, when he would
call on the President to declare the Territory in a state
of rebellion. Woodson had done so in June. Under the
President's order they fully expected and intended to de-
clare martial law, take military possession, and drive out
all the free State people under some pretext or other.

Shannon was awaiting removal, and in June tired of
his work. His negligence in trusting too much to Wood-
son resulted in civil war, which was in full and dreadful
progress before July. When he saw this fearful harvest
of the pillagers and marauders, with Lawrence smoking
in its ruins, although ready and anxious to leave, he sum-
moned courage to call on Colonel Sumner for United States
troops at Lawrence, Lecompton, and Topeka, to insure
"the safety of the citizens in both person and property."
The next day the outraged people of Lawrence, from out
the ruins and desolation of their helpless town, saw the
relief for which hitherto they had prayed in vain. Not-
withstanding that the sacking of Lawrence had aroused
the passions of men, although peacefully inclined, the free
State people believed that the crime invited and would
bring the swift punishment it deserved. They began the
most active preparations for peace by driving out the worst
disturbers of it, those who had prevailed so long in the
war on the border. It was a game of house-burning,
guerilla-killing, and marauding of the free State people on
the part of the invaders; and guerilla hunting, destroying,
capturing, killing, and driving home the bandits on the part
of the settlers who had risen, in their wrath, to drive out
their murdering oppressors.

On June 4th, Shannon issued his proclamation "direct-
ing military organizations to disperse, without regard to
party names or distinctions," and called on Colonel Sumner


to enforce it. Sumner was a good man and a good soldier
to the end, and wanted, just what all of pro-slaverydom
did not want, peace; hence he went to work immediately
and earnestly to enforce Shannon's orders. He at once
disarmed the free State improvised militia. Brown, of
Ossawiatomie's companies, among the first, and liberated
the prisoners of both sides. He drove Delegate Whitfield,
militia General Coffee, Atchison, and his Westport clubs,
and all the Missouri companies, bag, baggage, and plunder,
back over the border peacefully, without firing a gun or
wounding a man.

He stationed five companies along the border, and re-
ported to Jefferson Davis, on June 33d, just what the
Secretary did not want to hear, as follows: "I do not think
there is an armed body of either party now in the Terri-
tory, with the exception, perhaps, of a few freebooters.
My measures have necessarily borne hard against both par-
ties, for both have, in many instances, been more or less
wrong. The Missourians were perfectly satisfied so long
as the troops were employed against the free State party,

Online LibraryRobert H. (Robert Henry) BrowneAbraham Lincoln and the men of his time → online text (page 1 of 55)