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mour, which was in vain, and also Thurlow Weed, which succeeded better. R. E. Fenton tells of being called to Washington by a telegram from one of the President's private secretaries, and addressed by Lincoln, as nearly as he could remember, as follows: "You are to be nominated by our folks for governor of your state. Seymour of course will be the Democratic nominee. You will have a hard fight. . . . There is some trouble among our folks over there, which we must try and manage. Or, rather, there is one man who may give us trouble, because of his indifference, if in no other way. He has great influence and his feelings may be reflected in many of his friends. We must have his counsel and coöperation if possible." Thurlow Weed, in short, was not pleased with the disposition of the Federal patronage in New York, being particularly hostile to the collector and surveyor. Nicolay, the secretary, and Fenton returned to New York that evening. The next day Fenton had a consultation with Weed, Nicolay returned to Washington with the resignation of the surveyor, and a friend of Weed was the successor. state went Republican in the fall.
It has been frequently said that Lincoln as far back as 1862 offered to get out of the way in 1864 if Seymour would take the right ground in his annual message; but Seymour remained as
violent as ever. Lamon also says that the President then made an offer to McClellan looking to his nomination by the Democrats with Republican support; but these stories have little to rest upon. As far as can now be seen, Lincoln, in spite of certain strong moods and consequently strong expressions, was in the field for renomination from the beginning. His correspondence indicates some of the directions of his political activity during the first part of 1864. He was once heard to say that honest statesmanship was the employment of individual meanness for the public good. He played on most of the keys of human nature and he never failed to aim at the public good. He held a sharp rein on the politicians in his party, and yet he treated them leniently. "I am in favor of short statutes of limitations in politics," he said, which was only another side of his love for forgiveness and his lack of rancor. He worked hard for his renomination and his reëlection, and he faced much malice but bore none. Speaking of resentment he said: "Perhaps I have too little of it; but I never thought it paid. A man has no time to spend half his life in quarrels." Again, to Mr. Hay, "It is singular that I, who am not a vindictive man, should always, except once, have been before the people for election in canvasses marked for their bitterness." In the present
contest he saw that those who opposed him were working against the public good and he knew that every point he could make for himself was a point for his country. After his nomination he said to a delegation : “But I do not allow myself to suppose that either the convention or the league have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or best man in America, but rather they have concluded that it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap."
Nothing could better show his combination of frankness and modesty.
Three days before the Republican convention a mass meeting was held in New York to thank Grant, and there was thought to be a design to present him as a candidate. The general, however, firmly refused the use of his name. It is said that the President, warned about him, had sounded him through friends earlier in the season. When the convention was actually held, June 7, Lincoln received 484 votes on the first ballot, the 32 from Missouri going to Grant, but being immediately transferred to Lincoln.
About the vice-presidency there has been some controversy in print, but the facts are in no reasonable doubt. General Butler tells us that he was offered the second place, but said he would not take it unless the President would agree to die during the term. Colonel McClure confirms this, and gives a full and apparently exact account of the movement against Hamlin's renomination. The Vice-President had apparently given at least passive support to the Republican opposition to Lincoln led by Wade of Ohio and Davis of Maryland, although he is reported to have refused to be nominated against the President. Lincoln felt an underlying despondency in the North, after the effect of Gettysburg and Vicksburg had passed and the heavy drafts in 1864 were being felt. He therefore decided early in the year that it would strengthen him to have on the ticket with him a conspicuous war Democrat who had opposed him in 1860, but was now in the military service. Hamlin did not belong in this class. After Butler declined, Lincoln expressed his preference for Andrew Johnson, war-governor of Tennessee. He summoned General Sickles to Washington, and sent him to Tennessee to make a confidential report on Johnson's record as military governor. The report was favorable, and relieved the President's mind of the fear that charges of violence and despotism might be successfully brought against Johnson during the campaign. The Wade-Davis faction charged that Lincoln's determination not to have
the question of reconstruction settled in the summer of 1864 by Congress was caused by his desire to guard against defeat at the polls, by putting himself in a position to have the votes of certain partly reconstructed Southern states counted if it became necessary.
Wade and Davis published an attack on Lincoln in the Tribune of August 5 in which they said, “ The President, by preventing this bill from becoming a law, holds the electoral votes of the Southern states at the dictates of his personal ambition." The most promising situation was in Tennessee, but McClure believes that if the contest was close Lincoln intended to have Louisiana, Arkansas, and West Virginia also organized into some sort of state-hood. He had delegates elected from these states to the national convention, and the battle for their admission was led by Lincoln's confidants. Tennessee's position being the strongest it was chosen for the test fight. The oppo-V sition came from the anti-Johnson men. After a struggle, that delegation was admitted, and Louisiana and Arkansas were then given the right to representation almost as a matter of course. Their votes in the end were not counted, but the result might have been different had they been needed.
One of the ways in which Lincoln's political shrewdness was shown was in the care he took to consult Cameron early on this matter of the