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“ the Fathers” stood on the slavery question, and eloquently enforcing the sentiment expressed by Mr. Douglas in his Columbus speech of the previous autumn, namely: “Our fathers, when they framed the Government under which we live, understood this question just as well, and even better, than we do now.” The argument and its illustrations were masterly; the logic unanswerable. A few pararaphs of his concluding remarks are all that can be given here:
WHAT WILL SATISFY THE SOUTHERN DEMOCRACY 7
A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper. Even though the Southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them, if, in our deliberate view cf our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them. Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and insurrections? We know it will not. We so know, because we know we never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the denunciation. The question recurs, What will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them, from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches, we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact, that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them. These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them * This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. All this must be done thoroughly—done in acts as well as in words. * * If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of
LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 189
those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored—contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man—such as a policy of “don't care” on a question about which all true men do care—such as Union appeals, beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the Divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance—such as invocations of Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did. Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.
This is the last of the great speeches of Mr. Lincoln, prior to the election of 1860, of which there is any complete report. It forms a brilliant close to this period of his life, and a fitting prelude to that on which he was about to enter.
It was during this visit to New York that the following incident occurred, as related by a teacher in the Five Points House of Industry, in that city:
Our Sunday-school in the Five Points was assembled, one Sabbath morning, a few months since, when I noticed a tall and remarkable-looking man enter the room and take a seat among us. He listened with fixed attention to our exercises, and his countenance manifested such genuine interest, that I approached him and suggested that he might be willing to say something to the children. He accepted the invitation with evident pleasure, and coming forward began a simple address, which at once facinated every little hearer, and hushed the room into silence. His language was strikingly beautiful, and his tones musical with intensest feeling. The little faces around would droop into sad conviction as he uttered sentences of warning, and would brighten into sunshine as he spoke cheerful words of promise. Once or twice he attempted to close his remarks, but the imperative shout of “Go on!” “Oh, do go on " would compel him to resume. As I looked upon the gaunt and sinewy frame of the stranger, and marked his powerful head and determined features, now touched into softness by the impressions of the moment, I felt an irrepressible curiosity to learn something more about him, and when he was quietly leaving the room, I begged to know his name. He courteously replied, “It is Abra'm Lincoln, from Illinois "
H A PTE R XIII.
MR. LINCOLN'S NOMINATION FOR THE PRESIDENCY.
The Republican National Convention at Chicago.—The Charleston Explosion.—“Constitutional Union” Nominations.—Distinguished Candidates among the Republicans.—The Platform.—The Ballotings.-Mr. Lincoln Nominated.—Unparalleled Enthusiasm.—The Ticket Completed with the name of Senator Hamlin.-Its Reception by the Country.-Mr. Lincoln's Letter of Acceptance.
THE Republican National Convention met at Chicago on the 16th of May, 1860, to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States. At the date of its assembling, the great quadrennial convention of the Democratic party had been held at Charleston, and, after nearly two weeks' session, had adjourned without any agreement upon either platform or candidates. Douglas, with his Freeport record, which had become necessary in order to accomplish his temporary purpose, had proved an irreconcilably disturbing element in that convention. The nomination of Douglas by a united Democracy had been demonstrated to be impossible, and the only alternative of his withdrawal or an incurable disruption was presented. Subsequently, a “Constitutional Union” Convention had assembled at Baltimore, and nominated a Presidential ticket, with no other definitely avowed object than that professed in common by all citizens, everywhere, of supporting the Constitution and the Union. All eyes were now turned toward Chicago, as the point at which the problem of the next Presidency was to be definitely solved.
Before the Republican National Convention met, the names of many distinguished statesmen had been proposed for the first place on the Presidential ticket, and their merits and availability had been extensively discussed. In this preliminary canvassing there had been no bitterness or unseemly personalities. There was a general indication of harmony in ultimate action, and of unbroken union upon whatever ticket should be selected. The first day of the convention was spent in organizing, and on the second day the committee, selected for that purpose, reported a platform of principles which was unanimonsly adopted, and has been strongly approved by the people. On the morning of the 18th, amid the most intense though subdued excitement of the twelve thousand people inside of the “Wigwam ” in which the convention was held, and amid the anxious solicitude and suspense of the still greater numbers outside who could not gain admission, it was voted to proceed at once to ballot for a candidate for President of the United States. Seven names were formally presented in the following order: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, of New York; ABRAHAM LINcoLN, of Illinois; WILLIAM L. DAYTON, of New Jersey; SIMon "CAMERON, of Pennsylvania; SALMoN P. CHASE, of Ohio; Edwah.D BATEs, of Missouri; and JoHN McLEAN, of Ohio. Loud and long-continued applause greeted the first two of these names, in particular, between which it was soon apparent that the chief contest was to be. On the first ballot Mr. Seward received 173 votes, Mr. Lincoln 102, Mr. Cameron 50, Mr. Chase 49, Mr. Bates 48, Mr. Dayton 14, Mr. McLean 12, and there were 16 votes scattered among candidates not put in nomination. For a choice, 233 votes were required. on the second ballot (Mr. Cameron's name having been withdrawn) the vote for the several candidates was as follows: Mr. Seward 184, Mr. Lincoln 181, Mr. Chase 42, Mr. Bates 35, Mr. Dayton 10, Mr. McLean 8, scattering 4. The third ballot was immediatety taken, and, when the call of the roll was ended, the footings were as follows: For Mr. Lincoln 231, Mr. Seward 180, Mr. Chase 24, Mr. Bates 22, all others 7. Immediately, before the result was announced, four Ohio delegates changed their votes to Mr. Lincoln, giving him a majority. The scene which followed—the wild manifestations of approval and delight, within and without the hall, prolonged uninterruptedly for twenty minutes, and renewed again and again for a half-hour longer—no words can describe. Never before was there a popular assembly of any sort, probably, so stirred with a contagious and all-pervading enthusiasm. The nomination was made unanimous, on motion of Mr. Everts, of New York, who had presented the name of Mr. Seward, and speedily, on the wings of lightning, the news of the great event was spread to all parts of the land. Subsequently, with like heartiness and unanimity, the ticket was completed by the nomination, on the second ballot, of Senator HANNIBAL HAMLIN, of Maine, for Vice-President. These demonstrations at Chicago were but a representation of the common sentiments of the masses of the Republican party, and of thousands among the people, not before included n its ranks in the country at large. From that day to the present, the wisdom of the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for the highest place in the American Government has been more and more confirmed. As a man of the people, in cordial sympathy with the masses, he had the undoubting confidence of the sincere friends of free labor, regardless of party distinctions. As a man of sterling integrity and incorruptible honesty, he was to become the fitting agent for upholding the Federal Government in the days of its greatest trial. As a man of eminent ability, and of sound principles, after the earliest and best standard in our political history, his election was to give to the country an administration creditable to our republican polity, and to result in the complete removal of the great disquieting element which at length convulsed the nation with a gigantic civil war. The brief letter of Mr. Lincoln, in acceptance of the Presidential nomination, is subjoined.