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Evarts, of New York, made unanimous, and the Conven tion adjourned till the afternoon, when they completed their work by nominating Hannibal Hamlin for VicePresident.
Mr. Lincoln was at Springfield at the time. He had been in the telegraph-office during the casting of the first and second ballots, but then left, and went over to the office of the State Journal, where he was sitting conversing with friends while the third ballot was being taken. In a few moments came across the wires the announcement of the result. The Superintendent of the Telegraph Company, who was present, wrote on a scrap of paper, "Mr. Lincoln: You are nominated on the third ballot,' and a boy ran with the message to Mr. Lincoln. He looked at it in silence amid the shouts of those around him; then rising and putting it in his pocket, he said quietly, There's a little woman down at our house would like to hear this-I'll go down and tell her."
Next day there arrived at Springfield the committee appointed by the Convention to inform Mr. Lincoln officially of his nomination. They waited upon him at his residence, and Mr. Ashmun, President of the Conven tion, addressing Mr. Lincoln, said:
I have, sir, the honor, in behalf of the gentlemen who are presenta Committee appointed by the Republican Convention recently assembled at Chicago-to discharge a most pleasant duty. We have come, sir, under a vote of instructions to that Committee, to notify you that you have been selected by the Convention of the Republicans at Chicago for President of the United States. They instruct us, sir, to notify you of that selection, and that Committee deem it not only respectful to yourself, but appropriate to the important matter which they have in hand, that they should come in person, and present to you the authentic evidence of the action of that Convention; and, sir, without any phrase which shall either be considered personally plauditory to yourself, or which shall have any reference to the principles involved in the questions which are connected with your nomination, I desire to present to you the letter which has been prepared, and which informs you of your nomination, and with it the platform resolutions and sentiments which the Convention adopted. Sir, at your convenience we shall be glad to receive from you such a re sponse as it may be your pleasure to give us.
Mr. Lincoln listened to this address with a degree of grave dignity that almost wore the appearance of sadness, and after a brief pause, in which he seemed to be pondering the momentous responsibilities of his position, he replied:
MR. CHAIRMAN And Gentlemen OF THE COMMITTEE:-I tender to you, and through you to the Republican National Convention, and all the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done me, which you now formally announce. Deeply, and even painfully sensible of the great responsibility which is inseparable from this high honor-a responsibility which I could almost wish had fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen whose distinguished names were before the Convention-I shall, by your leave, consider more fully the resolutions of the Convention, denominated the platform, and, without any unnecessary or unreasonable delay, respond to you, Mr. Chairman, in writing, not doubting that the platform will be found satisfactory, and the nomination gratefully accepted.
And now I will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each of you, by the hand.
Tall Judge Kelly, of Pennsylvania, who was one of the committee, and who is himself a great many feet high, had meanwhile been eying Mr. Lincoln's lofty form with a mixture of admiration, and possibly jealousy; this had not escaped Mr. Lincoln, and as he shook hands with the judge he inquired, "What is your height ?" "Six feet three. "Six feet four."
What is yours, Mr. Lincoln?"
"Then," said the judge, "Pennsylvania bows to Illinois. My dear man, for years my heart has been aching for a President that I could look up to, and I've found him at last in the land where we thought there were none but little giants."
Mr. Lincoln's formal reply to the official announcement of his nomination was as follows:
SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, May 23, 1860.
SIRI accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention over which you presided, of which I am formally apprised in a letter of yourself and others acting as a Committee of the Convention for that purpose. The declaration of principles and sentiments which accompanies your letter meets my approval, and it shall be my care not to violate it,
or disregard it in any part. Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the Convention, to the rights of all the States and Territories and people of the nation, to the inviolability of the Constitution, and the perpetual union, harmony, and prosperity of all, I am most happy to cooperate for the practical success of the principles declared by the Convention. Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,
HON. GEORGE ASHMUN,
President of the Republican Convention.
Mr. Lincoln's nomination proved universally acceptable to the Republican party. Its members recognized in him a man of firm principles, of ardent love for freedom, of strict integrity and truth, and they went into the political contest with a zeal and enthusiasm which was the guarantee of victory; while the doubt and uncertainty, the divided counsels and wavering purposes of their opponents were the sure precursors of defeat.
His nomination was the signal to the leaders of the slaveholders' party for pressing upon the Democratic Convention their most ultra views, that by the division of the Democratic forces the victory of Mr. Lincoln might be assured, and the pretext afforded them for carrying into execution the plot against the liberties of the country which they had been for so many years maturing. That they would dare to carry their threat of rebellion into execution, was not believed at the North. If it had been, while it might have frightened away some votes from Mr. Lincoln, it would have brought him substantial accessions from the ranks of those who, though following the Democratic banner, had not learned to disregard the good old doctrine that the majority must rule, and who would have rushed to its rescue, if they had believed that it was really threatened. The vote which he received on November 6, 1860, was that of a solid phalanx of earnest men, who had resolved that freedom should henceforth be national, and that slavery should remain as the framers of the Constitution intended that it should remain.