Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

they formed a procession of their forces, and in marching thither attempted to go right through the other crowd in the street where Douglas was speaking, and out of their way. This was not to be brooked ; a parley ensued, during which the band wagon was attempted to be driven through the crowd and a conflict was the immedate result. But through the commanding voice of Doug. las, beyond a few blows, a general melee was averted.

At Winchester, his first bowe, Douglas' enthusiastic greeting was deeply touching. The old county of Scott was never so aroused before. His arrival was announced by the roar of cannon and the glad shouts of a large assemblage. Here among these people the now great senator had first cast his lot a penniless stranger. Here he had taught school, and among his auditory were gray. haired sires and fond old matrons who had entrusted to him the education of their children, and pupils whom he had taught. All the old settlers well remembered him in his poverty and obscurity, and doubtless the entire community were now animated by that pleasant pride and affection which said "we are the makers of this great man"-glorying in his fame and prosperity-and with that feeling welcomed the whilom schoolmaster in his present character of the great American statesman. Let the reader trust both the heart and mind of Douglas to suitably deal with the occasion of such a kindly re-union, and display to the utmost those wonderful powers of eloquence which were placed under additional tribute by the time, circumstance and place. He alludel, in the most touching manner, to his advent and residence at Winchester, his early struggles and honest efforts for a beginning in a strange land; the ready imagination of his bearers readily suggesting the rest, while many a tear of joy crept down furrowed cheeks as the spontaneous outburst of cheers from friend and political foe rent the air, and attested the opinion of all in entire approbation of his subsequent career, more exalted, but among true Americans, not more honorable. The audience and occasion were suggestive of a rich vein of sentimental topics to the orator, and one escaped him or were omitted. It is a source of regret that this speech, so well calculated to give us a fuller insight into the depth of Doug. las' better nature, was not recorded.

The result of the election returned to the legislature, in the house, 40 democrats and 35 republicans; the senate stood 14 democrats and 11 republicans, giving the former 8 majority on joint ballot. The republicans carried the State by a plurality, the vote standing : republicans, 124,698; democrats, 121,190; Buchanan democrats, and scattering, 4,863.

And now the administration clique, defeated in their efforts to beat Douglas, fell out among themselves, and blamned each other for the result. It seems that some of the Buchanan office-holders, like Ike Cook and others, favored the direct support of the republicans at the polls, while others, like R. B. Carpenteretc., made the fight against Douglas and the republicans, both, on principle. Many charges of subserviency, gross deception of the president as to their strength, blunders, follies and villainies, were bandied back and forth. Col. John Dougherty, the administration candidate for treasurer, who had received less than 5,000 votes out of the one-fourth of a million cast, issued a manifesto to the people of Illinois, through the Cairo Gazıttı, "reading the entire democratic party out of the party, and insisting that their delegates should not be admitted to the Charleston convention (in 1860)." The Buchanan party now affected to believe that Douglas would be defeated before the legislature; but when the time came there were no opponents to him before the democratic caucus,t though he was absent, and he was re-elected by 54 votes to Mr. Lincoln 46. He telegraphed back from Baltimore—“Let the voice of the people rule.”

*See Ill. State Register, Sept. 25, 1858 +See his letter to Chicago Democrat, Nov., 1858.

Thus terminated this unprecedented senatorial contest, which was waged throughout with a vigor and spirit which had no parallel in the history of parties in this or any other State. Both the great political organizations fought with a fierceness which never lagged for a moment, but increased with every coming day. With Douglas, apparently, his political fortune was at stake. The republicans, after the election, complimented Mr. Lincoln for the strong and noble fight he had made, what no other man in the State could have done for the cause; and they consoled him in the lauguage of Pope:

“More true joy Marcellus exiled feels

Than Cæsar with a smale at his heels.Mr. Lincoln was thus brought conspicuonly before the nation as one of the ablest leaders of the opposition; and, in the humble opinion of the writer, tbis great contest, which primarily resulted simply in the making of a U. S. senator of one of the contestants, directed the public eye to the merits of the other, and caused him to become the standard bearer, two years later, of that party whose cardinal principle demanded freedom for the public domain, and which, aided by the divisions in the ranks of the democracy, carried him by their voices triumphantly into the presidential chair; which the south deemed a sufficient atfront for disunion.

Having consumed so inuch space to complete the sketch of our senators in congress, we can only say that to the seat of Douglas, after his death in 1861, succeeded, 1st, the Hon. O. H. Browning by appointment from Gov. Yates; 2d, the legislature in 1863, being democratic, aud fierce in partisan spirit, Browning failed of confirmation, and the Hon. W. A. Richardson was elected for the remainder of Douglas' unexpired term. In the three executive appointments to senatorial vacancies in the history of the StateBaker in 1830, Semple in 1843, and Browning in 1861-only one, that of Semple, has been confirmed by the legislature. In 1865 Richard Yates was elected to the same seat for a full term, and he in 1871 was succeeded by Gen. John A. Logan, who is the second native Illinoisan that has ever filled that exalted office for this State.

"Not having the fear of numbers before his eyes, he boldly ruled the 121,000 democrats who voted for Douglas, out, to graze upon the common, as unworthy to associate with him, and sat the autocrat of the party in Illinois"-said the St. Louis Republican at the time.

+ Though in September Judge Breese in a letter to Mr. Boyakin, of the Belleville Democrot, wrote : "Idemand as a right to know who requested you to say as you have said in an editorial in your paper of the 4th, that Judge Breese is not, nor will be be, a candidate for the U. S. senate in odposition to Mr. Douglas."

CHAPTER LIII.

1861-1865-ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNOR YATES.

Party Conventions of 1860-The two Great Labor Systems of the

Country in Direct AntagonismLife and Character of Governor Yates-Lieutenant Governor Hoffman-Condition of the State and Comparative Growth since 1850.

The republican State convention of 1860 met at Decatur, May 9th. Every county except Pulaski was represented. The Hon. Joseph Gillespie, of Madison, was chosen to preside over its deliberations. For the candidacy of governor there were three aspirants: Norman B. Judd, of Cook, Leonard Swett, of McLean, and Richard Yates, of Morgan. On the first ballot Judd received 245 votes, Swett 191, Yates 183 and James Knox 12 ; on the third ballot Judd received his highest number, 263; on the fourth all the Swett men but 36 went to the support of Yates, giving him 363 votes, which nominated him. Judd had incurred the formidable opposition of the Chicago Democrat, then a power with the republican party of the State. Francis A. Hoffman, of DuPage,

, was next nominated as a candidate for lieutenant governor by acclamation. The remainder of the ticket was: For auditor, Jesse K. Dubois; for treasurer, William Butler; for secretary of State, 0. M. Hatch, and for superintendent of public instruction, Newton Bateman-all incumbents. The Bloomington platform of 4 years before was re-adopted with a stronger plank regarding the right of foreigners, doubtless to sweeten the slightly remaining taint of know nothingism that democrats might scent about republican garments. They also declared for a homestead act by congress, and the immediate admission of Kansas as a free State. A resolution was adopted that Abraham Lincoln was the choice of the republican party of Illinois for president, and the delegates from this State were instructed to use all honorable means to secure his nomination at the Chicago convention, and to vote for him as a unit. A motion to strike out the last clause was defeated.

Mr. Hoffman, candidate for lieutenant governor, it will be remembered by the reader, was nominated for the same place on the republican ticket in 1856, but shortly after was found vot to be eligible to the office if elected, he being a German and not a citizen for 14 years as the constitution required. He now refused to run for the position, alleging ill health. The State central committee put the name of Hon. Vital Jarrot, of St. Clair, on the ticket in his stead. But the congressional convention of the 3d district at Bloomington refused to ratify his nomination, whereupon he also declined to run. The objection was that it gave both gubernatorial candidates to the southern portion of the State. The State convention was thereupon recalled and met again, this time at Springfield, August 8th, on occasion of the great republican mass meeting at the home of Lincoln, one of the grandest outpourings of the people and largest civicdemonstration with which any public man was ever honored. In convention, on motion of Mr. Jarrot, Mr. Hoffman had leave to withdraw his letter of declination, and his nomination was again unanimously confirmed.

The State democratic convention of 1860 met at Springfield in the ball of the house of representatives, June 13th. Hon. Wm. Mc Murtry, of Knox, presided. On the first ballot to nominate a candidate for governor, J. C. Allen, of Crawford, received 157 votes ; S. A. Buckmaster, of Madison, 81; J. L. D. Morrison, of St. Clair, 88; Newton Cloud, of Morgan, 65; W. B. Scates, of Cook, 14; J. A. McClernand and B. 8. Edwards, both of Sangamon, 2 each. On the second ballot it was soon disclosed that Allen was the favorite, and all the other competitors being withdrawn before the announcement of the vote, Allen's nomination was made unanimous. The balance of the ticket was: For lieutenant governor, L. W.Ross, of Fulton; secretary of State, G. H. Campbell, of Logan; auditor, Bernard Arntzen, of Adams; treasurer, Hugh Maher, of Cook; superintendent of public instruction, Dr. E. R. Roe, of McLean. Their resolutions reaffirmed the principles of the Cincinnati platform of 1856, approved the course of the delegates to the Charleston convention, and expressed their confidence in Stephen A. Douglas for president.

On July the 11th, the Buchanan or Breckinridge democracy met in convention also at Springfield, and put the following State ticket in the field: For governor, Dr. Thomas M. Hope, of Madi. son ; lieutenant governor, Thomas Snell, of De Witt; secretary of State, B. T. Burke, of Macoupin; auditor, Henry 8. Smith, of Knox; treasurer, W. H. Cather, of Adams; superintendent of public instruction, J. H. Dennis, of St. Clair; the electors at large being John Dougherty and Thompson Campbell. Eleven coun. ties out of 102 were represented by 53 delegates, 41 of whom were currently reported at the time as federal office-holders.

The Bell-Everett State convention met at Decatur, Aug. 16, 1860. Thirty counties were represented by an aggregate of 92 delegates. They nominated the following ticket: For governor, the Hon. John T. Stuart, of Sangamon ; lieutenant governor, Henry S. Blackburn, of Rock Island; secretary of State, James Monroe, of Coles; auditor, James D. Smith, of Sangamon; treasurer, Jonathan Stamper, of Macon ; superintendent of public instruction, D. J. Snow, of Sangamon; electors at large, M. Y. Johnson, of JoDaviess and D. M. Woodson, of Green.

Thus 4 tickets were in the field. The political contest of 1860 over the question of slavery was the most momentous in the history of this nation. The two great labor systems of the country, free and slave, representing their respective sections, were brought into direct antagonism for the first time in a presidential election. The southern wing of the democratic party, spurning Douglas and his theory of popular sovereignty at Charleston, split from its northern associate, and eagerly brought forward the labor system of its section and opposed it to that of the north. The issue thus presented was so clearly defined that it was impossi. ble to long occupy any middle ground. The power of Douglas alone held his followers to one for a time, but it was apparent that all between would soon be but a chaotic mass, whose particles, drifting hither and thither, must find lodgment on the side within whose sectional or local focus of attraction they chanced to come. The inexorable logic of events disclosed the completion of an inevitable destiny. The house was indeed divided against itselt, and the irrepressible conflict was at hand. The canvass proved both an exciting and determined one, and the fearful consequenquences have passed into history, abundantly and ably written up by other hands.

The victory at the polls for the republicans of Illinois in 1860 was complete. They carried the presidential and State tickets, and gained both houses of the legislature, each by a small majority. For governor, Yates received 172,196, Allen 159,253, Stuart 1,626, Hope 2,049 and Chickering 1,140. The vote on the presidential ticket was: for Lincoln, 171,106; Douglas, 158,254 ; Bell-Everett, 4,851 ; and Breckenridge, 2,292. With few exceptions the adherents of the latter two tickets—particularly the leaders of the Breckinridge faction-were shortly afterwards absorbed by the republican party, where some of the Buchanan men have since attained distinction, both for their radicalism and success in obtaining office.

a

Richard Yates was born January 18, 1818, on the banks of the Ohio river, at Warsaw, Gallatin county, Kentucky. His father, in 1831, moved to Illinois, and settled (after stopping for a time in Springfield,) at Island Grove, Sangamon county. Here, after attending school, Richard joined the family. Subsequently, he entered Illinois College, at Jacksonville, where, in 1837, he grad. uated with first honors. He chose for his profession the law, the Hon. J. J. Hardin being his instructor. After admission to the bar he soon rose to distinction as an advocate. Gifted with a fluent and ready oratory, he soon appeared in the political hustings, and being a passionate admirer of the great whig leader of the west, Henry Clay, he joined his political fortunes to the party of bis idol. In 1840 he engaged with great ardor in the exciting “hard cider campaign” for Harrison. Two years later he was elected to the legislature from Morgan county, a democratic stronghold. He served three or four terms in the legislature, and such was the fascination of his oratory, that by 1850 bis large congressional district, extending from Morgan and Sangamou north to include La Salle, unanimously tendered him the whig nomination. His opponent of the democratic party, was Major Thomas L. Harris, a very popular man, who had won distinction at the battle of Cerro Gordo, in the late war with Mexico, and who, though the district was wbig, had beaten for the same position, two years before, the Hon. Stephen T. Logan by a large majority. The contest between Yates and Harris, animating and persevering, resulted in the election of the former. Two years later, the democracy ungenerously thrust aside Major Harris and pitted John Calhoun against Yates, and, though Calhoun was a man of great intellect, and when aroused, of unsurpassed ability

« AnteriorContinuar »