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violent opposition came from those who had been most persistent and most clamorous in their exactions. And as it was unavoidable that, in wielding so terrible and so absolute a power in so terrible a crisis, vast multitudes of active and ambitious men should be disappointed in their expectations of position and personal gain, the renomination of Mr. Lincoln was sure to be contested by a powerful and organized effort.

At the very outset this movement acquired consistency and strength by bringing forward the Hon. S. P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, a man of great political boldness and experience, and who had prepared the way for such a step by a careful dispensation of the vast patronage of his department, as the rival candidate. But it was instinctively felt that this effort lacked the sympathy and support of the great mass of the people, and it ended in the withdrawal of his name as a candidate by Mr. Chase himself.

The National Committee of the Union Republican party had called their convention, to be held at Baltimore, on the 8th of June. This step had been taken from a conviction of the wisdom of terminating as speedily as possible all controversy concerning candidates in the ranks of Union men; and it was denounced with the greatest vehemence by those who opposed Mr. Lincoln’s nomination, and desired more time to infuse their hostility into the public mind. Failing to secure a postponement of the convention, they next sought to overawe and dictate its action by a display of power, and the following call was accordingly issued about the 1st of May, for a convention to be held at Cleveland, Ohio, on the 31st day of that month:


After having labored ineffectually to defer, as far as was in our power, the critical moment when the attention of the people must inevitably be fixed upon the selection of a candidate for the chief magistracy of the country; after having interrogated our conscience and consulted our duty as citizens, obeying at once the sentiment of a mature conviction and a profound affection for the common country, we feel ourselves impelled,

on our own responsibility, to declare to the people that the time has
come for all independent men, jealous of their liberties and of the national
greatness, to confer together, and unite to resist the swelling invasion of
an open, shameless, and unrestrained patronage, which threatens to in-
gulf under its destructive wave the rights of the people, the liberty and
dignity of the nation.
Deeply impressed with the conviction that, in a time of revolution,
when the public attention is turned exclusively to the success of armies,
and is conseqmently less vigilant of the public liberties, the patronage
derived from the organization of an army of a million of men, and an
administration of affairs which seeks to control the remotest parts of the
country in favor of its supreme chief, constitute a danger seriously
threatening the stability of republican institutions, we declare that the
principle of one term, which has now acquired nearly the force of law
by the consecration of time, ought to be inflexibly adhered to in the ap-
proaching election.
We further declare, that we do not recognize in the Baltimore Conven-
tion the essential conditions of a truly National Convention. Its prox-
imity to the centre of all the interested influences of the administration, its
distance from the centre of the country, its mode of convocation, the
corrupting practices to which it has been and inevitably will be sub.
jected, do not permit the people to assemble there with any expecta-
tion of being able to deliberate at full liberty. Convinced as we are
that, in presence of the critical circumstances in which the nation is
placed, it is only in the energy and good sense of the people that the
general safety can be found ; satisfied that the only way to consult it is
to indicate a central position, to which every one may go without too
much expenditure of means and time, and where the assembled people,
far from all administrative influence, may consult freely and deliberate
peaceably, with the presence of the greatest possible number of men,
whose known principles guarantee their sincere and enlightened devotion
to the rights of the people and to the preservation of the true basis of
republican government, we earnestly invite our fellow-citizens to unite
at Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, May 31, current, for consultation and
concert of action in respect to the approaching Presidential election.

Two other calls were issued after this, prominent among the signers of which were some of the Germans of Missouri and some of the old Radical Abolitionists of the East.

The convention thus summoned met at the appointed time, about one hundred and fifty in number. No call had ever been put forward for the election of delegates to it, and no one could tell whether its members represented

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any constituency other than themselves. They came from
fifteen different States and the District of Columbia, but
every one knew that at the East the movement had no
strength whatever. An effort was made by some of
them to bring forward the name of General Grant as a
candidate, but the friends of Fremont formed altogether
too large a majority for that.
General John Cochrane, of New York, was chosen to
preside over the convention. In the afternoon the plat-
form was presented, consisting of thirteen brief resolu-
tions, favoring the suppression of the rebellion, the pres-
ervation of the habeas corpus, of the right of asylum, and
the Monroe doctrine, recommending amendments of the
Constitution to prevent the re-establishment of slavery,
and to provide for the election of President and Vice-
President for a single term only, and by the direct vote
of the people, and also urging the confiscation of the
lands of the rebels and their distribution among the sol
diers and actual settlers.
The platform having been adopted, the convention pro-
ceeded to nominate General Fremont for President by
acclamation. General Cochrane was nominated for Vice-
President. The title of “The Radical Democracy” was
chosen for the supporters of the ticket, a National Com
mittee was appointed, and the convention adjourned.
General Fremont's letter of acceptance was dated June
4th. Its main scope was an attack upon Mr. Lincoln for
unfaithfulness to the principles he was elected to defend,
and upon his Administration for incapacity and selfishness,
and for what the writer called “its disregard of constitu-
tional rights, its violation of personal liberty and the

liberty of the press, and, as a crowning shame, its aban

donment of the right of asylum, dear to all free nations
The platform he approved, with the exception of the
proposed confiscation. He intimated that if the Balti
more Convention would nominate any one but Mr. Lin
coln he would not stand in the way of a union of all upon
that nominee; but said, “If Mr. Lincoln be renominated,

as I believe it would be fatal to the country to indorse a policy and renew a power which has cost us the lives of thousands of men and needlessly put the country on the road to bankruptcy, there will remain no alternative but to organize against him every element of conscientious opposition, with the view to prevent the misfortune of his re-election.” And he accepted the nomination, and announced that he had resigned his commission in the army. The convention, the nomination, and the letter of acceptance, fell dead upon the popular feeling. The time had been when Fremont's name had power, especially with the young men of the country. Many had felt that he had received less than he deserved at the hands of the Administration, and that if the opportunity had been afforded he would have rendered to the country distinguished and valuable service. But the position which he had here taken at once separated him from those who had been his truest friends, whose feelings were accurately expressed by Governor Morton, of Indiana, in a speech at Indianapolis on the 12th of June, when he said: “I car. ried the standard of General Fremont to the best of my poor ability through the canvass of 1856, and I have since endeavored to sustain him, not only as a politician, but as a military chieftain, and never until I read this letter did I have occasion to regret what I have done. It has been read with joy by his enemies and with pain by his friends, and, omitting one or two sentences, there is nothing in it that might not have been written or subscribed without inconsistency by Mr. Wallandigham.” The next form which the effort to prevent Mr. Lin. coln's nomination and election took, was an effort to bring forward General Grant as a candidate. A meeting had been called for the 4th of June, in New York, ostensibly to express the gratitude of the nation to him and the soldiers under his command, for their labors and successes. As a matter of course the meeting was large and enthusiastic. President Lincoln wrote the following letter in answer to an invitation to attend :—

Executive MANsion, WashingtoN, June 3, 1864. Hon. F. A. CoNKLING and others: GENTLEMEN:—Your letter, inviting me to be present at a mass meeting of loyal citizens, to be held at New York, on the 4th instant, for the purpose of expressing gratitude to Lieutenant-General Grant for his signal services, was received yesterday. It is impossible for me to attend. I approve, nevertheless, of whatever may tend to strengthen and sustain General Grant and the noble armies now under his direction. My previous high estimate of General Grant has been maintained and heightened by what has occurred in the remarkable campaign he is now conducting, while the magnitude and difficulty of the task before him does not prove less than I expected. He and his brave soldiers are now in the midst of their great trial, and I trust that at your meeting you will so shape your good words that they may turn to men and guns, moving to his and their support. Yours truly, A. LINcolN.

Whatever political purposes prompted the call for this meeting, they were entirely overborne by the simple but resistless appeal, made by the President in this letter, to the patriotism of the country. Its effect was to stimulate instantly and largely the effort to fill up the ranks of the army, and thus aid General Grant in the great campaign by which he hoped to end the war. In a private letter to a personal friend, however, General Grant put a decisive check upon all these attempts of politicians to make his name the occasion of division among Union men, by peremptorily refusing to allow himself to be made a candidate, and by reiterating in still more emphatic and hopeful terms the President's appeal to the people for aid and support.

None of these schemes of ambitious aspirants to political leadership had any effect upon the settled sentiment and purpose of the great body of the people. They appreciated the importance of continuing the administration of the government in the same channel, and saw clearly enough that nothing would more thoroughly impress upon the rebels and the world the determination of the people to preserve the Union at all hazards, and at whatever cost, than the indorsement by a popular vote, in spite of all mistakes and defects of policy, of the

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