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MR. LINCOLN'S NOMINATION FOR THE PRESIDENCY. The Republican National Convention at Chicago.-The Charleston Explosion." Constitutional Union" Nominations.--Distinguished Candidates among the Republicans.-The Platform.--The Ballotings.—Mr. Lincoln Nominated.--Unparalleled Enthusiasm.—The Ticket Completed with the name of Senator Hamlin.--Its Reception by the Country.-Mr. Lincoln's Letter of Acceptance.
THE Republican National Convention met at Chicago on the 16th of May, 1860, to nominate candidates for Presiden. and Vice-President of the United States. At the date of its assembling, the great quadrennial convention of the Democratic party had been held at Charleston, and, after nearly two weeks' session, had adjourned without any agreement upon either platform or candidates. Douglas, with his Freeport record, which had become necessary in order to accomplish his temporary purpose, had proved an irreconcilably disturbing element in that convention. The nomination of Douglas by a united Democracy had been demonstrated to be impossible, and the only alternative of his withdrawal or an incurable disruption was presented. Subsequently, a "Constitutional Union" Convention had assembled at Baltimore, and nominated a Presidential ticket, with no other definitely avowed object than that professed in common by all citizens, everywhere, of supporting the Constitution and the Union. All eyes were now turned toward Chicago, as the point at which the problem of the next Presidency was to be definitely solved.
Before the Republican National Convention met, the names
of many distinguished statesmen had been proposed for the first place on the Presidential ticket, and their merits and availability had been extensively discussed. In this preliminary canvassing there had been no bitterness or unseemly personalities. There was a general indication of harmony in ultimate action, and of unbroken union upon whatever ticket should be selected.
The first day of the convention was spent in organizing, and on the second day the committee, selected for that purpose, reported a platform of principles which was unanimonsly adopted, and has been strongly approved by the people.
On the morning of the 18th, amid the most intense though subdued excitement of the twelve thousand people inside of the "Wigwam" in which the convention was held, and amid the anxious solicitude and suspense of the still greater numbers outside who could not gain admission, it was voted to proceed at once to ballot for a candidate for President of the United States. Seven names were formally presented in the following order :
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, of New York; ABRAHAM LINCOLN, of Illinois; WILLIAM L. DAYTON, of New Jersey; SIMON CAMERON, of Pennsylvania; SALMON P. CHASE, of Ohio; Edward Bates, of Missouri; and JOHN MCLEAN, of Ohio.
Loud and long-continued applause greeted the first two of these names, in particular, between which it was soon apparent that the chief contest was to be.
On the first ballot Mr. Seward received 173 votes, Mr. Lincoln 102, Mr. Cameron 50, Mr. Chase 49, Mr. Bates 48, Mr. Dayton 14, Mr. McLean 12, and there were 16 votes scattered among candidates not put in nomination. For a choice, 233 votes were required.
on the second ballot (Mr. Cameron's name having been withdrawn) the vote for the several candidates was as follows: Mr. Seward 184, Mr. Lincoln 181, Mr. Chase 42, Mr. Bates 35, Mr. Dayton 10, Mr. McLean 8, scattering 4.
The third ballot was immediatety taken, and, when the call of the roll was ended, the footings were as follows: For Mr.
Lincoln 231, Mr. Seward 180, Mr. Chase 24, Mr. Bates 22, all others 7. Immediately, before the result was announced, four Ohio delegates changed their votes to Mr. Lincoln, giving him a majority.
The scene which followed-the wild manifestations of approval and delight, within and without the hall, prolonged uninterruptedly for twenty minutes, and renewed again and again for a half hour longer-no words can describe. Never before was there a popular assembly of any sort, probably, so stirred with a contagious and all-pervading enthusiasm. The nomination was made unanimous, on motion of Mr. Everts, of New York, who had presented the name of Mr. Seward, and speedily, on the wings of lightning, the news of the great event was spread to all parts of the land. Subsequently, with like heartiness and unanimity, the ticket was completed by the nomination, on the second ballot, of Senator HANNIBAL HAMLIN, of Maine, for Vice-President.
These demonstrations at Chicago were but a representation of the common sentiments of the masses of the Republican party, and of thousands among the people, not before included in its ranks in the country at large. From that day to the present, the wisdom of the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for the highest place in the American Government has been more and more confirmed. As a man of the people, in cordial sympathy with the masses, he had the undoubting confidence of the sincere friends of free labor, regardless of party distinctions. As a man of sterling integrity and incorruptible honesty, he was to become the fitting agent for upholding the Federal Government in the days of its greatest trial. As a man of eminent ability, and of sound principles, after the earliest and best standard in our political history, his election was to give to the country an administration creditable to our republican polity, and to result in the complete removal of the great disquieting element which at length convulsed the nation with a gigantic civil war.
The brief letter of Mr. Lincoln, in acceptance of the Presidential nomination, is subjoined.
HON. GEO. ASHMUN,
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., May 23, 1860.
President of the Republican National Convention:
SIR-I accept the nomination tendered me by the convention over which you presided, and of which I am formally apprised in the 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, nor 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 the people of the nation; to the inviolability of the Constitution, and to the perpetual union, harmony and prosperity of all, I am most happy to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared by the convention. Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,
The popular favor with which the nomination of Mr. Lincoln was first received was strengthened by the spirited canvass which followed. The electoral votes of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Oregon, seventeen States, were cast for Lincoln and Hamlin. The votes of Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, eleven States, were cast for Breckinridge and Lane. The votes of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee were cast for Bell and Everett. The electoral vote of Missouri was given for Douglas and Johnson. The vote of New Jersey was divided, four being given for Lincoln and three for Douglas.
The aggregate clectoral vote for each Presidential candidate, as found by the official canvass in joint session of the two Houses of Congress, on the 13th day of February, 1861, was as follows: For Abraham Lincoln, 180; for John C. Breckinridge, 72; for John Bell, 39; and for Stephen A. Douglas,
12. The Vice President, Mr. Breckinridge, then officially declared Mr. Lincoln elected President of the United States for four years, commencing on the 4th of March, 1861.
The aggregate popular vote for each of the Presidential candidates, at this election, was as follows: For Mr. Lincoln, 1,866,452; for Mr. Douglas, 1,375,157; for Mr. Breckinridge, 847,953; and for Mr. Bell, 590,631. The last speech of Mr. Douglas, in the ensuing spring, urged upon his friends an earnest support of the administration in putting down the rebellion, as in his speech at Norfolk, Va., during the preceding canvass, he had declared in favor of coercion as the remedy for secession. Mr. Bell went over to the secession cause, co-operating with Mr. Breckinridge, now a General in the Rebel army. The total vote for the two loyal candidates was 3,241,609.
On the morning of February 11th, Mr. Lincoln, with his family, left Springfield for Washington. A large concourse of citizens had assembled at the depot, on the occasion of his departure, whom, with deep emotion, he addressed as follows:
MY FRIENDS: No one, not in my position, can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never could have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I can not succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him; and in the same Almighty being I place my reliance for support, and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I can not succeed. but with which success is certain. Again, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.
The first speech of Mr. Lincoln on his journey was that delivered at Indianapolis, on the evening of the same day, addressed to a multitude of people assembled to welcome him. As containing the earliest direct intimation of his views on the all-engrossing topic of the time, it is appropriately given here: