« AnteriorContinuar »
..Ohairman of the Committee, addressed him
MR. PRESIDENT:-The National Union Convention, which closed ita sittings at Baltimore yesterday, appointed a committee, consisting of one from each State, with myself as chairman, to inform you of your upanimous nomination by that convention for election to the office of President of the United States. That committee, I have the honor of now inforining you, is present. On its behalf I have also the honor of presenting you with a copy of the resolutions or platform adopted by that convention, as expressive of its sense and of the sense of the loyal people of the country which it represents, of the principles and policy that shonld characterize the administration of the Government in the present condition of the country. I need not say to you, sir, that the convention, in thus udanimously nominating you for re-election, but gave utterance to the almost universal voice of the loyal people of the country. To doubt of your triamphant election would be little short of abandoning the hope of a final suppression of the rebellion and the restoration of the government over the insurgent States. Neither the convention nor those represented by that body entertained any doubt as to the final result, under your administration, sustained by the loyal people, and by our noble army and gallant navy. Neither did the convention, nor do this committee, doubt the spoedy suppression of this most wicked and unprovoked rebellion.
[A copy of the resolutions, which had been adopted, was here handel to the President.
I would add, Mr. President, that it would be the pleasure of the committee to communicate to you within a few days, through one of its moet accomplished members, Mr. Curtis, of New York, by letter, more at length the circumstances under which you have been placed in nomination for the Presidency.
The President said in response :MB. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE :-I will neither conceal my gratification, nor restrain the expression of my gratitude, that the Union people, through their convention, in the continued effort to save and advance the nation, have deemed me not unworthy to remain in my present position. I know no reason to doubt that I shall accept the nomination tendered; and yet, perhaps, I should not declare definitely before reading and considering what is called the platform. I will say
now, however, that I approve the declaration in favor of so amending the · Constitution as to prohibit slavery throughout the nation. When the
people in revolt, with the hundred days' explicit notice that they could · within those days resume their allegiance without the overthrow of their institutions, and that they could not resume it afterward, elected to stand dut, such an amendment of the Constitution as is now proposed becaine :!
fitting and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause. Such alone can meet and cover all cavils. I now perceive its inportance and embrace it. In the joint names of Liberty and Union let us labor to give it legal form and practical effect.
At the conclusion of the President's speech, all of the committee shook him cordially by the hand and offered their personal congratulations.
On the same afternoon a deputation from the National Union League waited upon the President, and the chairman addressed him as follows:
MR. PRESIDENT :-I have the honor of introdacing to you the representatives of the Union League of the Loyal States, to congratulate you upon your renomination, and to assure you that we will not fail at the polls to give you the support that your services in the past so highly deserve. We feel lionored in doing this, for we are assured that we are aiding in re-electing to the proud position of President of the United States one so highly worthy of it-one among not the least of whose claims is that he was the emancipator of four millions of bondmen.
The President replied as follows:
GENTLEMEN :- I can only say in response to the remarks of your chairman, that I am very grateful for the renewed confidence which has been accorded to me, both by the convention and by the National League. I am not insensible at all to the personal compliment there is in this, yet I do not allow myself to believe that any but a small portion of it is to be appropriated as a personal compliment to me. The convention and the nation, I am assured, are alike animated by a higher view of the interests of the country, for the present and the great future, and the part I am entitled to appropriate as a compliment is only that part which I may lay hold of as being the opinion of the convention and of the League, that I am not entirely unworthy to be intrusted with the place I have occupied for the last three years. I have not perunitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded in this connection of a story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion once that “it was not best to swap horses when crossing a stream."
On the evening of the same day the President was serenaded by the delegation from Ohio, and to them and the large crowd which had gathered there, he made the following brief speech :
GENTLEMEN: I am very much obliged to you for this compliment. I have just being saying, and will repeat it, that the hardest of all speeches I
have to answer is a serenade. I never know what to say on these occasions. I suppose that you have done me this kindness in connection with the action of the Baltiinore Convention, which has recently taken place, and with which, of course, I am very well satisfied. What we want still more than Baltimore Conventions, or Presidential elections, is success ander General Grant. I propose that you constantly bear in mind that the support you owe to the brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the very first importance, and we should therefore bend all our energies to that point. Now without detaining you any longer, I propose that you help mo to close up what I am now saying with three rousing cheers for General Grant and the officers and soldiers under his command.
The rousing cheers were given-Mr. Lincoln himself leading off, and waving his hat as earnestly as any one present.
The written address of the Committee of the Convention announcing his nomination, sent to him a few days afterwards, was as follows:
Now YORX, June 14, 1884. Hon. ABRAHAM LINOOLN :
Sir:-The National Union Convention, which assembled in Baltimore on June 7th, 1864, has instructed us to inform you that you were nominated with enthusiastic unanimity for the Presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th of March uext.
The resolntions of the convention, which we have already had the pleasure of placing in your hands, are a full and clear statement of the principles which inspired its action, and which, as we believe, the great body of Union men in the country heartily approre. Whether those resolutions express the national gratitude to our soldiers and sailors, or the national scorn of compromise with rebels, and consequent dishonor, or the patriotic duty of onion and success; whether they approve the Proclamation of Emancipation, the Constitutional Amendident, tho employment of former slaves as Union soldiers, or the solemn obligation of the Government promptly to redress the wrongs of every soldier of the Union, of whatever color or race; whether they declare the inviolability of the plighted faith of the nation, or offer the national hospitality to the oppressed of every land, or urge the union by railroad of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; whether they recommend public economy and vigorous taxation, or assert the fixed popular opposition to the establishment by armed force of foreign monarchies in the immediate neighborhood of the United States, or declare that those only are worthy of official trust who approve unreservedly the views and policy indicated in the resolutionsthey were equally hailed with the boartiness of profound conviction.
Believing with you, sir, that this is the people's war for the maintenance of o Government which you have justly described as “of the people, by the people, for the people, we are very sure that you will be glad to know, not only from the resolutions themselves, but from the singular harmony and enthusiasm with which they were adopted, bow warm is the popular welcome of every measure in the prosecution of the war which is as vigorous, unmistakable, and unfaltering as the national purpose itself. No right, for instance, is so precious and sacred to the American heart as that of personal liberty. Its violation is regarded with just, instant, and universal jealousy. Yet, in this hour of peril, every faithful citizen concedes that, for the sake of national existence and the common welfare, individual liberty may, as the Constitution provides in case of rebellion, be sometimes summarily constrained, asking only with painful anxiety that in every instance, and to the least detail, that absolute necessary power shall not be hastily or unwisely exercised.
We believe, sir, that the honest will of the Union men of the country was never more truly represented than in this convention. Their purpose we believe to be the overthrow of armed rebels in the field, and the security of permanent peace and union, by liberty and justice, under the Constitution. That these results are to be achieved amid cruel perplexities, they are fully aware. That they are to be reached only through cordial unanimity of counsel, is undeniable. That good men may sometimes differ as to the means and the time, they know. That in the conduct of all human affairs the highest duty is to determine, in the angry conflict of passion, how much good may be practically accomplished, is their sincere persuasion. They have watched your official course, therefore, with unflagging attention; and amid the bitter taunts of eager friends and the fierce denunciation of enemies, now moving too fast for some, now too slowly for others, they have seen you throughoni this tremendous contest patient, sagacious, faithful, just cleaning upon the heart of the great mass of the people, and satisfied to be moved by its mighty pulsations.
It is for this reason that, long before the convention met, the popular instinct indicated you as its candidate; and the convention, therefore, merely recorded the popular will. Your character and career prore your unswerving fidelity to the cardinal principles of American liberty and of the American Constitution. In the name of that liberty and Constitution, sir, we earnestly request your acceptance of this nominatior; reverently commending our beloved country, and you, its Chief Magis. trate, with all its brave sons who, on sea and land, are faithfully defending the good old American cause of equal rights, to the blessing of Almighty God. We are, sir, very respectfully, your friends and fellow-citizens.
WM. DENNISON, O., Chairman. W. BUSHNELL, NI.
L. P. ALEXANDER, Mich.
A. W. RANDALL, Wis.
A. OLIVER, Iowa.
A. H. BULLOCK, Mass.
Toomas Simpson, Minn.
REPLY OF MR. LINCOLN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, June 27, 1864 Hon. WM. DENNISON and others, a Committeo of the Union National Con
contion: GENTLEMEN :-Your letter of the 14th inst., formally notifying me that I have been nominated by the convention you represent for the Presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th of March next, has been received. The nomination is gratefully accepted, as the resolutions of the convention, called the platform, are heartily approved.
While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of republican government upon the Western Continent is fully concurred in, there might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government in relation to the action of France in Mexico, as assumed through the State Department and indorsed by the convention ainong the measures and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave that position pertinent and applicable.
I am especially gratified that the soldier and seaman were not forgotten by the convention, as they forever must and will be remombered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives. · Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in which you have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the convention, I subscribe myself,
Your obedient servant,
The platform adopted by the Baltimore Convention met with the general approval of those of the people who claimed to be the supporters of the Government. One exception was, however, found in the person of Mr. Charles Gibson, Solicitor of the United States in the