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CHAP. XIV. nether millstones. Edward Everett, one of the most eminent statesmen and scholars of New England, was nominated for Vice-President.

This party becomes historic, not through what it accomplished, but by reason of what a portion of it failed to perform. Within one year from these pledges to the Constitution, the Union, and the enforcement of the laws, Mr. Bell and most of his Southern adherents in the seceding States were banded with others in open rebellion. On the other hand, Mr. Everett and most of the Northern members, together with many noble exceptions in the border slave States, like Mr. Crittenden, of Kentucky, kept the faith announced in their platform, and with patriotic devotion supported the Government in the war to maintain the Union.

CHAPTER XV

THE CHICAGO CONVENTION

IN

1860.

N recognition of the growing power and im- CHAP. XV. portance of the great West, the Republican National Convention was called to meet in Chicago on the 16th of May. The former Presidential canvass, though resulting in the defeat of Frémont, had nevertheless shown the remarkable popular strength of the Republican party in the country at large; since then, its double victory in Congress against Lecompton, and at the Congressional elections over the Representatives who supported Lecompton, gave it confidence and aggressive activity. But now it received a new inspiration and impetus from the Charleston disruption. Former possibility was suddenly changed to strong probability of success in the coming Presidential election. Delegates were not only quickened with a new zeal for their principles; the growing chances spurred them to fresh efforts in behalf of their favorite candidates. Those who had been prominently named were diverse in antecedents and varied in locality, each however presenting some strong point of popular interest. Seward, of New York, a Whig of preeminent fame; Chase, of Ohio, talented and zealous antislavery Democrat, an original founder of the new party; Dayton, of New

CHAP. XV. Jersey, an old Whig high in personal worth and political service; Cameron, of Pennsylvania, a former Democrat, now the undisputed leader of an influential tariff State; Bates, of Missouri, an able and popular antislavery Whig from a slave State; and last, but by no means least in popular estimation, Lincoln, of Illinois.

Pickett to

Lincoln, April 13,

1859. Ms.

Lincoln to
Pickett,
April 16,

The idea of making Lincoln a Presidential candidate had occurred to the minds of many during his growing fame. The principle of natural selection plays no unimportant part in the politics of the United States. There are always hundreds of newspapers ready to "nail to the mast-head” the name of any individual which begins to appear frequently in dispatches and editorials. A few months after the close of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and long before the Ohio speeches and the Cooper Institute address, a warm personal friend, the editor of an Illinois newspaper, wrote him an invitation to lecture, and added in his letter: “I would like to have a talk with you on political matters, as to the policy of announcing your name for the Presidency, while you are in our city. My partner and myself are about addressing the Republican editors of the State on the subject of a simultaneous announcement of your name for the Presidency."

To this Lincoln replied: "As to the other matter you kindly mention, I must in candor say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency. I certainly am flattered and gratified that some partial friends think of me in that connection; but I really think it best for our cause that no concerted effort, such

1859. Ms. as you suggest, should be made."

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