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That June dwells alone in the heart of youth,
And here you are in your eons, Earth,
With as sweet a June as you had at birth.
And God! He is ages and ages older!
And the love of age is paler, colder —
The poets sing, as of very truth —
Than the love that springs in the heart of youth;
So he cannot love, if the songs run true,
As he did when he shaped and fashioned you,
Ah! there's something wrong with the poets' song,
Julia G. Skinner.
ACROSS THE FIELDS TO ANNE.
From Stratford-on-Avon a lane runs westward through the fields a mile to the little village of Shottery, in which is the cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakspere's sweetheart and wife.
HOW often in the summer-tide,
His graver business set aside, Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed, As to the pipe of Pan
Stepped blithesomely with lover's pride
It must have been a merry mile,
To dear delights of kiss and smile,
The silly sheep that graze to-day,
Nor once looked up, as who should say: "It is a seemly man."
For many lads went wooing aye
The oaks, they have a wiser look ;
Though now he fleets like any rook
And I am sure, that on some hour
And bore it as a lover's dower
While from her cottage garden-bed
What luckier swain than he who sped
The winding path whereon I pace,
Turn poet and join the singing race
Richard E. Burton.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: A HISTORY.'
THE CHICAGO SURRENDER-CONSPIRACIES IN THE NORTH
BY JOHN G. NICOLAY AND JOHN HAY, PRIVATE SECRETARIES TO THE PRESIDENT.
THE CHICAGO SURRENDER.
HE Democratic managers had called the National Convention of their party to meet on the Fourth of July, 1864, but after the nomination of Frémont at Cleveland and of Lincoln at Baltimore it was thought prudent to postpone it to a later date, in the hope that something in the chapter of accidents might arise to the advantage of the opposition. It appeared for awhile as if this manoeuvre were to be successful. As a vessel shows its finest sailing qualities against a head wind, so the best political work is always done in the face of severe opposition; and as the Republican party had as yet no enemy before it, the canvass, during its first months, seemed stricken with languor and apathy. The military situation was far from satisfactory. The terrible fighting in the Wilderness, succeeded by Grant's flank movement to the left, and the culmination of the campaign in the horrible slaughter at Cold Harbor, had profoundly shocked and depressed the country. The movement upon Petersburg, so far without decisive results, had contributed little of hope or encouragement; the campaign of Sherman in Georgia gave as yet no positive assurance of the brilliant result it afterwards attained; the Confederate raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania, in July, was the cause of great annoyance and exasperation. This untoward state of things in the field of military operations found its exact counterpart in the political campaign. Several circumstances contributed to divide and discourage the Administration party. The resignation of Mr. Chase, on the last day of June, had seemed, to not a few leading Republicans at the North, as a presage of disintegration in the Government; Mr. Greeley's mission to Niagara Falls, in spite of the wise and resolute attitude taken by the President in relation to peace negotiations, had unsettled and troubled the minds of many. The Democratic party, not having as yet appointed a candidate nor formulated a platform, were free to devote all their leisure
2 Davis," Rise and Fall of the Confederate States," Vol. II., p. 611.
to attacks upon the Administration; and the political fusillade continued with great energy through the summer months. The Republicans were everywhere on the defensive, having no objective point of attack in the opposite lines. The rebel emissaries in Canada, being in thorough concert with the leading peace men of the North, redoubled their efforts to disturb the public tranquillity, and not without success. Mr. Davis says of this period :
Political developments at the North favored the adoption of some action that might influence popular sentiment in the hostile section. The aspect of the peace party was quite encouraging, and it seemed that the real issue to be decided in the Presidential election in that year was the continuance
or cessation of the war.2
There is a remarkable concurrence between this view of Mr. Davis and that of Mr. Lincoln in a letter to a friend which we have quoted in another place. Referring to the emissaries at Niagara Falls and their interest in the Chicago convention, and also to the expressions used by the Confederate authorities in their conversation with Jaquess, Mr. Lincoln said, "The Presidential contest is between a Union and a Disunion candidate, disunion certainly following the success of the latter!"3
Mr. Thompson, in his report of the operations of the rebel commission in Canada, claims that the results of the Niagara Falls conference were the source of such encouragement to the peace party as to lead them to give up their half-formed project of insurrection in the North-west in the hope of defeating Lincoln at the polls. In the midst of these discouraging circumstances the manifesto of Wade and Davis came to add its depressing influence to the general gloom. It seemed for a time as if this action of two of the most prominent Republicans in either house of Congress would result in a serious defection from the Republican party, though in the end the effect of the demonstration proved inconsiderable.
General McClellan had before this time become the acknowledged leader of the Democratic party in the North. It is true he was 3 Lincoln to Wakeman, July 25, 1864. Unpublished MS.
1 Copyright by J. G. Nicolay and John Hay, 1886. All rights reserved.
not the favorite candidate of the Democracy in most of the Western States, but in the powerful States of the seaboard, and especially in the large cities, he was the only person indicated by popular consent among the opposition as the antagonist of Lincoln in the Presidential canvass. His attitude was therefore a matter of grave preoccupation, not only to most of the leading Republicans, but even to the President himself. There have been, in the last twenty years, many conflicting stories in regard to the overtures made to him during this summer; but, so far as can be ascertained, they were all the voluntary acts of over-anxious friends of the President, and made without his knowledge or consent. As early as the month of June, 1863, Mr. Thurlow Weed conceived the idea that it would be of great advantage to the Union cause if General McClellan would take a prominent part in a great war meeting to be held in New York. With the knowledge and approval of the President he approached the general with this purpose; he even suggested to him that the result might be the organization of a movement to make him the Union candidate for the Presidency. We learn from Mr. Weed that General McClellan at first gave a favorable hearing to the proposition, but at the last moment withdrew his consent to preside at the meeting in a letter in which he said: "I am clear in the conviction that the policy governing the conduct of the war should be one looking not only to military success, but also to ultimate reunion, and that it should consequently be such as to preserve the rights of all Unionloving citizens, wherever they may be, as far as compatible with military necessity."1 The chance of identifying himself with the Union party thus passed away; later in the season he came out in favor of the candidates of the peace faction in Pennsylvania.
An attempt made in July, 1864, by Mr. Francis P. Blair, the elder, to induce McClellan to withdraw from the canvass caused a great deal of gossip at the time, and led to such misstatements and exaggerations that Mr. Blair afterwards published a full and detailed account of his action.2 This venerable gentleman, sharing in the apprehension entertained by many as to the divisions and consequent weakness of the Union party, went to New York in the latter part of July "to make an effort at conciliation." "I went on this errand," said Mr. Blair," without consulting the President, without giving him, directly or indirectly, the slightest intimation of my object, and, of course, without his authority. I apprised no one but my son." He first called upon the leading 1 T. W. Barnes, "The Life of Thurlow Weed," Vol. II., p. 429.
editors of the city. Mr. Bryant, though discontented with the Administration, considered Mr. Lincoln, with all his abatements, the only man who could be relied upon for the defense of the Union. Mr. Greeley assured Mr. Blair that "his best efforts would not be wanting to secure the peace of the country through the reelection of the President"; Mr. Bennett of the "Herald" gave his ultimatum in a "raucle Scotch accent "—"Tell him to restore McClellan to the army and he will carry the election by default." Through Mr. S. L. M. Barlow, Mr. Blair had a long and intimate conversation with General McClellan. He began by stating distinctly to him that he had not come from Mr. Lincoln; that he had no authority or even consent from him to make representations or overtures of any sort. He then urged him, with the privilege of age and long friendship, to have nothing to do with the Chicago convention, saying that if he accepted their nomination he would be defeated. He pictured to him the dismal fate that awaits defeated candidates; he urged him to make himself the inspiring center and representative of the loyal Democrats of the North by writing a letter to Lincoln asking to be restored to service in the army, declaring at the same time that he did not seek it with a view to recommend himself to the Presidential nomination. "In case the President should refuse this request," said Mr. Blair, "he would then be responsible for the consequences." General McClellan received this well-meant advice in his customary manner. It is altogether probable that he did not believe a word of Mr. Blair's opening statement that this overture was without the approval or privity of the President. It no doubt seemed to him a political trick to induce him to decline the nomination of which he was already certain. He listened with his habitual courtesy and answered with his habitual indecision. He disclaimed any desire for the Presidential candidacy; he thanked Mr. Blair for his friendly suggestions; he said he would give them deep consideration; that he was called to the country to see a sick child and regretted that he could not talk with him again. Mr. Blair came back from his useless mission and repeated to Mr. Lincoln what he had done, adding that he thought it probable that General McClellan would write to him. The President "neither expressed approval nor disapprobation," says Mr. Blair in his letter, “but his manner was as courteous and kind as General McClellan's had been."
The political situation grew darker throughout the summer. At last, towards the end of August, the general gloom and depression
2 Letter of F. P. Blair, dated Oct. 5, 1864, in the "National Intelligencer."
enveloped the President himself. The Democrats had not yet selected their candidate nor opened their campaign. As in the field of theology there is no militant virtue unless there is an active evil to oppose, so in that of politics a party without an organized opposition appears to drop to pieces by its own weight. To use Mr. Lincoln's words: "At this period we had no adversary and seemed to have no friends." For a moment he despaired of the success of the Union party in the coming election. He was not alone in this impression. It was shared by his leading friends and counselors. So experienced and astute a politician as Mr. Thurlow Weed wrote on the 22d of August :
When, ten days since, I told Mr. Lincoln that his reelection was an impossibility, I also told him that the information would soon come to him through other channels. It has doubtless ere this reached him. At any rate nobody here doubts it, nor do I see anybody from other States who authorizes the slightest hope of success. Mr. Raymond, who has just left me, says that unless some prompt and bold step be taken all is lost. The people are wild for peace. They are told that the President will only listen to terms of peace on condition that slavery be abandoned. . . . Mr. Raymond thinks that commissioners should be immediately sent to Richmond offering to treat for peace on the basis of Union. That something should
be done and promptly done to give the Administra
tion a chance for its life is certain.1
Mr. Lincoln's action in this conjuncture was most original and characteristic. Feeling that the campaign was going against him, he made up his mind deliberately as to the course he should pursue, and unwilling to leave his resolution to the chances of the changed mood which might follow in the natural exasperation of defeat, he resolved to lay down for himself the course of action demanded by his present conviction of duty. He wrote on the 23d of August the following memorandum:
This morning, as for several days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reelected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; 1 Weed to Seward, August 22. MS. 2 Copied from the MS.
3 We copy from the MS. diary of one of the President's secretaries under date of November 11, 1864, the following passage relating to this incident: "At the meeting of the Cabinet to-day the President took out a paper from his desk and said: Gentlemen, do you remember last summer I asked you all to sign your names to the back of a paper of which I did not show you the inside? This is it. Now, Mr. Hay, see if you can open this without tearing it.' He had pasted it up in so singular a style that it required some cutting to get it open. He then read this memorandum [given in the text above]. The President said: You will remember that this was written at the time, six days before the Chicago nominating convention, when as yet we had no adversary and seemed to have no friends. I then lemnly resolved on the course of action indicated in
as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards.2
He then folded and pasted the sheet in such manner that its contents could not be read, and as the Cabinet came together he handed this paper to each member successively, requesting them to write their names across the back of it. In this peculiar fashion he pledged himself and the Administration to accept loyally the anticipated verdict of the people against him, and to do the utmost to save the Union in the brief remainder of his term of office. He gave no intimation to any member of the Cabinet of the nature of the paper they had signed until after his triumphant reëlection.3
The Democratic convention was finally called to meet in Chicago on the 29th of August. Much was expected from the strength and the audacity which the peace party in the North-west had recently displayed, and the day of the meeting of the convention was actually chosen by rebel emissaries in Canada and their agents in the Western States for an outbreak which should effect that revolution in the Northwest which was the vague and chimerical dream that had been so long cherished and caressed in Richmond and Toronto.
About the time of the adjournment of Congress the Democratic members of that body issued an address to their party, which, when read after twenty-five years, shows how blinded by partisan passion these intelligent and wellmeaning gentlemen, neither better nor worse in most respects than the rest of their fellowcitizens, had become. They charged in effect that there were only two classes of people supporting the Government-those who were making money out of the war, and the Radical abolitionists; and they called upon the indefinite abstraction which they named "the country" to throw out of office the administration of a
Government under favor of which these two classes of men "nestle in power and gratify their unholy greed and their detestable passions." The party of the Union- that is to say, the majority of the people of the country-is this paper. I resolved in case of the election of General McClellan, being certain that he would be the candidate, that I would see him and talk matters over with him. I would say, "General, the election has demonstrated that you are stronger, have more influence with the American people, than I. Now let us together, you with your influence and I with all the executive power of the Government, try to save the country. You raise as many troops as you possibly can for this final trial, and I will devote all my energies to assist and finish the war.
"Seward said, 'And the general would have answered you, "Yes, yes"; and the next day when you saw him again and pressed these views upon him he would have said, “Yes, yes,” and so on forever, and would have done nothing at all.'
"At least,' said Lincoln, I should have done my duty and have stood clear before my own conscience.'"
called in this address "a nightmare of corruption and fanaticism which is pressing out its very existence." The most remarkable feature of this singular document is its assumption that the people who were trying to save the Union and to reestablish its authority were influenced only by sentimental doctrines and the wild passions of fury and vengeance. "We do not decry theory," these congressmen gravely said; "but we assert that statesmanship is concerned mainly in the domain of the practical, and that in the present imperfect condition of human affairs it is obliged to modify general ideas and adapt them to existing conditions." They called upon the country to sustain this calm and philosophic view of the functions of statesmanship, "to bring the sound elements of society to the surface," to "purge the body politic of its unhealthy elements," and to substitute in places of public trust "just and broad-minded, pure and liberal men, in the place of radicals and corruptionists." This being done, they promised the millennium.
The Democratic National Convention came together at the time appointed, but it is by no means sure that any real and permanent advantage had been gained by the delay. The scheme of the American Knights to inaugurate on that day their counter-revolution had, by the usual treachery of some of its members, been discovered and guarded against by a strong show of force in the city of Chicago, and its execution was postponed until the day of the November election. No great approach to harmony, on the subject of peace or war, had been made in the two months of observation and skirmishing which the managers had allowed themselves. The only manner in which the peace men and the war Democrats could arrive at an agreement was by mutual deception. The war Democrats, led by the delegation from New York, were working for a military candidate; and the peace Democrats, under the redoubtable leadership of Mr. Vallandigham, who had returned from Canada and was allowed to remain at large by the halfcontemptuous and half-calculated lenity of the Government he defied, bent all their energies to a clear statement of their principles in the platform.
Mr. August Belmont, a German by birth and the representative of the Rothschilds' banking-house, called the delegates to order, informing them that the future of the Republic rested in their hands. "Four years of misrule," he said, "by a sectional, fanatical, and corrupt party have brought our country to the very verge of ruin." He gravely stated, expecting it to be believed, and apparently believing it himself, that the "results of such a calamity as the reëlection of Mr. Lincoln must be the
utter disintegration of our whole political and social system amidst bloodshed and anarchy." This German banker promised the convention that the American people would rush to the support of their candidate and platform, "provided you will offer to their suffrage a tried patriot." This vague reference to McClellan was greeted with applause from the Eastern delegates. Mr. Belmont said: "We are here, not as war Democrats nor as peace Democrats, but as citizens of the great Republic"; and he named as temporary chairman Mr. William Bigler, formerly governor of Pennsylvania. Mr. Bigler made a brief speech charging upon the Republicans all the woes of the country, and saying that "the men now in authority, because of the feud which they have so long maintained with violent and unwise men of the South, and because of a blind fanaticism about an institution of some of the States in relation to which they have no duties to perform and no responsibilities to bear, are rendered incapable of adopting the proper means to rescue our country from its present lamentable condition."
The usual committees were appointed, and Mr. Vallandigham was presented by his State delegation as a member of the committee on platform. Several resolutions were offered in open convention-one by Washington Hunt of New York suggesting a convention of the States; one by Mr. Price of Missouri for a demonstration in favor of the freedom and purity of the elective franchise; and one by Mr. Long of Ohio, a furious advocate of peace, who had attained the honor of censure by the Congress of the United States, suggested that a committee proceed forthwith to Washington to demand of Mr. Lincoln the suspension of the draft until after the election.
Governor Seymour of New York was chosen permanent chairman of the convention. He made a long and eloquent speech full of abstract devotion to the Union and of denunciation of all the measures that had hitherto been taken to save it. "This Administration," he said, "cannot save this Union if it would. It has, by its proclamations, by vindictive legislation, by displays of hate and passion, placed obstacles in its own pathway which it cannot overcome, and has hampered its own freedom of action by unconstitutional acts." But Mr. Seymour did not mourn as one without hope. He continued: "If the Administration cannot save this Union, we can. Mr. Lincoln values many things above the Union; we put it first of all. He thinks a proclamation worth more than peace; we think the blood of our people more precious than the edicts of the President. . . . We demand no conditions for the restoration of our Union. We are shackled