Page images
PDF
EPUB

had the misfortune to have gained unpopularity in the two states on which all eyes were fixed, Pennsylvania and Indiana, by his attitude on a school question. His managers were able, and better known than those of his principal rival, but in this affair they were less shrewd. Thurlow Weed, the notorious New York politician, was at the head, with Governor Morgan and Henry Raymond, of the New York Times, as assistants, and William M. Evarts to make the nomination. Colonel McClure divides Lincoln's managers as follows: David Davis for counsel, Leonard Swett for sagacity, Norman B. Judd for tireless hustling. They had filled Chicago with a multitude of Illinois men wild for Lincoln, and while the Seward advocates were making a great noise and display in the streets, the Lincoln leaders, far ahead of the time for balloting, packed the whole wigwam, the great temporary building in which the convention was finally held, so full of their supporters that when the Seward celebrators got there they found room for few more than their delegates and lost the advantages of the enthusiastic cheering of a multitude. If Seward was outgeneralled, however, the more important fact is that he had aroused more hostility and that he did not come from a doubtful state.

Lincoln's friends, not overawed by the underscored passage forbidding bargains, made wise

ones.

To gain the support of Indiana, it was agreed that if Lincoln should be elected, William P. Dole, a clever politician of that state, should be Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and Caleb B. Smith, of the same state, Secretary of the Treasury.

The Indiana delegation was thus prepared to tell the wavering delegates that only Lincoln could carry their state and Illinois, and this work was industriously executed.

Pennsylvania had a “favorite son” in Simon Cameron. Of this notoriously corrupt individual Lincoln had written to Judd, December 9, 1859, perhaps in response to a suggestion that Cameron and Lincoln might be the ticket: “ If the Republicans of the great state of Pennsylvania shall present Mr. Cameron as their candidate for the presidency, such an indorsement of his fitness for the place could scarcely be deemed insufficient." The Pennsylvania politicians had nothing against Lincoln and little hope of nominating Cameron, so all they wished was a fair price. With the two October states in line the outlook would be cheerful. According to the best authority there is on this subject, the Pennsylvania delegation was secured in the small hours of the day on which the balloting was held. The negotiations were carried on by several political friends of Cameron, on the one side, and by Davis, Swett, Logan, Judd, and Dole on the other, Indiana and Illinois being already consolidated. The agreement as finally reached was this:

1. These negotiations shall be forever secret and confidential.

2. Lincoln's friends have no actual authority - none but a moral right.

3. If Lincoln shall be President, Cameron shall have a place in his cabinet.

4. And he shall procure the indorsement of the Republican State Committee.

The second clause made trouble, especially as Lincoln's message was known, but this difficulty finally succumbed to the argument that he could hardly go back on Davis, Logan, and Swett.

There was further stumbling over the choice of the cabinet position. Cameron thought it would be particularly satisfactory to get his teeth into the treasury department, but as the Illinois men, remembering the wrecking of the treasury under Buchanan and the record of Cameron, were obstinate against that, the exact place was left undecided.

The real work having been done, the balloting began. In the presence of possibly ten thousand people William M. Evarts said, “I take the liberty to name as a candidate to be nominated by this convention for the office of President of the United States, William H. Seward."

Norman B. Judd arose and said, “I desire, on behalf of the delegation from Illinois, to put in nomination as a candidate for President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois.”

Others were nominated, but the applause showed that these were the only real candidates.

The first ballot stood :

[blocks in formation]

On the second ballot most of Cameron's votes went to Lincoln, and there were smaller driftings toward him. The result was:

[blocks in formation]

The third ballot saw Lincoln's gain coming from all directions. It stood :

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Before it was announced, votes were changed until Lincoln's total was 354. The nomination was then made unanimous. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was the nominee for Vice-President. When Douglas heard the news of Lincoln's nomination he said to a group of Republican senators that they had nominated a very honest and a very able man. After discussing the various theories of what really led to this nomination, Horace Greeley says that Lincoln was nominated in 1860 because he could obtain more electoral votes than anybody else, — the same reason that nominated Harrison in 1839, Polk in 1844, Taylor in 1848, Pierce in 1852, and Buchanan in 1856.

Lincoln, who heard the returns in Springfield, passed in his usual manner from cheerfulness to gloom and back again, but from this time to the end of his life heavy responsibility added one more weight to his spirits and probably some

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »