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do, and for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right and a social blessing.
Nor can we justifiably withhold this on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it are themselves wrong, and should be silenced and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality—its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension— its enlargement. All they ask we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them : Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?
Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those soPhistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored—contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the fight 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 to 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 is that faith Let us, to THE END, DARE to do our duty as WE UNDERSTAND IT,
The pre-eminent ability displayed in this address, compelled the people of the Middle and Eastern States to acknowledge that Mr. Lincoln was not only one of the foremost men of the West, but of the whole country, and this estimate was confirmed by the speeches which he Subsequently delivered in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to state that the joint effect of these efforts—more particularly his speech at Cooper Institute—and of his debates with Mr. Douglas, was to make Mr. Lincoln decidedly the second choice of the great body of the Republicans of New York, as the candidate of the Republican party for the campaign of 1860. Some incidents of this visit to New York, illustrate the simplicity and earnestness of the character of our late President so forcibly, that they are well deserving being placed on record. A prominent member of the Young Men's Republican Association, who was thrown much in Mr. Lincoln's company during his brief stay, writes:
During the day, before the delivery of the address, a friend of Mr. Lincoln called at the Astor House, where he was staying, and suggested that the orator should be taken up Broadway and shown the city, of which he knew but little, stating, I think, that he had been here but once before. We accompanied him to several large establishments, with all of which he seemed much amused.
At one place he met an Illinois acquaintance of former years, to whom he said, in his dry, good-natured way: “Well, B., how have you fared since you left Illinois?” To which B. replied, “I have made one hundred thousand dollars and lost it all; how is it with you, Mr. Lincoln f" “Oh, very well,” said Mr. Lincoln; “I have the cottage at Springfield and about $3,000 in money. If they make me Vice-President with Seward, as some say they will, I hope I shall be able to increase it to $20,000, and that is as much as any man ought to want.”
We visited a photographic establishment upon the corner of Broadway and Bleecker street, where he sat for his picture, the first taken in New York. At the gallery he met and was introduced to George Bancroft, and had a brief conversation with that gentleman, who welcomed him to New York. The contrast in the appearance of the men was most striking —the one courtly and precise in his every word and gesture, with the air of a trans-Atlantic statesman ; the other bluff and awkward, his every utterance an apology for his ignorance of metropolitan manners and customs. “I am on my way to Massachusetts,” said he to Mr. Bancroft, “where I have a son at school, who, if report be true, already knows much more than his father.”
A teacher at the Five Points House of Industry tells this touching incident, which doubtless transpired during the same visit:
Our Sunday School in the Five Points was assembled, one Sabbath morning, when I noticed a tall, remarkable looking man enter the room and take a seat among us. He listened with fixed attention to our exer. cises, and his countenance expressed 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 fascinated 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 him 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 Abraham Lincoln, from Illinois.”
The following letter, written during this same period, in reply to an invitation to attend a festival in honor of the anniversary of Jefferson's birthday, given by the Republicans of Boston, is thoroughly characteristic of Mr. Lincoln in the quaint humor of its illustration:
Spring FIELD, ILLINois, April 6, 1859. GENTLEMEN:—Your kind note inviting me to attend a festival in Boston on the 13th instant, in honor of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, was duly received. My engagements are such that I cannot attend. . . . The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property. Repub. licans, on the contrary, are both for the man and the dollar, but, in case of conflict, the man before the dollar. I remember being once much amused at seeing two partially intoxi. cated men engaged in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after along and rather harmless contest, ended in each having fought himself out of his own coat, and into that of the other. If the two leading parties of this day are really identical with the two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have performed the same feat as the two drunken men. But, soberly, it is now no child's play to save the principles of Jefferton from total overthrow in this nation. . . . . This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves: and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
All honor to Jefferson; to a man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary docu
ment an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to
embalm it there, that to-day and in all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.
Your obedient servant,
A. LINcoLN. Messrs. H. L. PIERCE, and others, etc.
But we turn from this episode to resume the formal record of Mr. Lincoln's political career. The Republican National Convention of 1860 met on the 16th of May, at Chicago, in an immense building which the people of that city had put up for the purpose, called the Wigwam. There were four hundred and sixty-five delegates. The city was filled with earnest men, who had come there to press the claims of their favorite candidates, and the halls and corridors of all the hotels swarmed and buzzed with an eager crowd, in and out of which darted or pushed or wormed their way the various leaders of party politics. Mr. Chase, Mr. Bates, and Mr. Cameron were spoken of and pressed somewhat as candidates, but from the first it was evident that the contest lay between Mr. Seward and Mr. Lincoln. Judge Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, was chosen temporary Chairman of the Convention, and in the afternoon of the first day a permanent organization was effected, by the choice of George Ashmun, of Massachusetts, as president, with twenty-seven vice-presidents and twenty-five secretaries. On Thursday, the 17th, the Committee on Resolutions reported the platform, which was enthusiastically adopted. A motion was made to proceed to the nomination at once, and if that had been done the result of the Convention might have proved very different, as at that time it was thought that Mr. Seward's chances were the best. But an adjournment was taken till the morning, and during the night the combinations were made which resulted in the nomination of Mr. Lincoln. The excitement of the Convention and of the audience on the morning of Friday was intense. The Illinoisans had turned out in great numbers, zealous for Lincoln ; and though the other States, near and far, had sent many men who were equally zealous for Mr. Seward, it was quite clear that Mr. Lincoln's supporters were in the majority in the audience. The first ballot gave Mr. Seward one hundred and seventy-three and a half votes to one hundred and two for Mr. Lincoln, the rest being scattered. On the second ballot the first indication of the result was felt, when the chairman of the Vermont delegation, which had been divided on the previous ballot, announced, when the name of that State was called, that “Vermon casts her ten votes for the young giant of the wo Abraham Lincoln.” On the second ballot, Mr. Seward had one hundred and eighty-four and a half to one hundred and eighty-one for Mr. Lincoln, and on the third ballot Mr. Lincoln received two hundred and thirty votes, being within one and a half of a majority. The vote was not announced, but so many everywhere had kept the count that it was known throughout the Convention at once. Mr. Carter, of Ohio, rose and announced a change in the vote of the Ohio delegation of four votes in favor of Mr. Lincoln, and the Convention at once burst into a state of the wildest excitement. The cheers of the audience within were answered by those of a yet larger crowd without, to whom the result was announced. Cannon roared, and bands played, and banners waved, and the excited Republicans of Chicago cheered themselves hoarse, while on the wings of electricity sped all over the country the news of Mr. Lincoln's nomination, to be greeted everywhere with similar demonstrations. It was long before the Convention could calm itself enough to proceed to business. When it did, other States changed their votes in favor of the successful nominee, until it Was announced, as the result of the third ballot, that Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, had received three hundred and fifty-four votes, and was nominated by the Republican party for the office of President of the United States. The nomination was then, on the motion of Mr.