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The Nomination Accepted.
formally announce. Deeply, and even painfully sensible of the great responsibility which is inseparable from this high honor-a responsibility which I could almost wish had fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen whose distinguished names were before the Convention, I shall, by your leave, consider more fully the resolutions of the Convention, denominated the platform, and without unnecessary and unreasonable delay, respond to you, Mr. Chairman, in writing, not doubting that the platform will be found satisfactory, and the nomination gratefully accepted. And now I will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each of you, by the hand.”
In reply to the formal letter of the President of the Convention, apprising him of the nomination, Mr. Lincoln addressed the following:
" Springfield, Illinois, May 23d, 1860. "Hon. GEORGE ASHMAN, President of the Republican Na
tional 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, or 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 people of the nation ; to the inviolability of the Constitution, and 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,
" A BRAHAM LINCOLN."
The Electoral Vote.
The coming Storm.
The breach in the Democratic party, threatened at Charleston, was subsequently effected by the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, by one wing, and of John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, by the other.
Although the election of Mr. Lincoln was, under the circumstances, almost a foregone conclusion, yet the canvass which ensued was acrimonious and vindictive in the extreme, the choicest selections from the rank Billingsgate vocabularies being lavished on the head of Mr. Linclon and his supporters.
On the 6th of November, 1860, Mr. Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes, securing 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, Oregon, and four votes of New Jersey, 180 in all; Douglas, 1,375,157 votes, and the electoral votes of Missouri, and three of New Jersey, 12 in all; Breckenridge, 847,953, and the votes of Maryland, Delaware: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, 72 in all; and Bell, 590,631, and the votes of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, 39 in all.
And now was to be tested whether words were to ripen into deeds-whether threats would be reduced to practicewhether, indeed, there were madness enough in any State or States to attempt the life of the republic. Unfortunately, a short space of time elapsed before all doubts were at an end. Men were to be found—not confined to a single State, but representatives of nearly, if not quite all—not to be counted by scores or hundreds even, but by thousands, and soon by tens of thousands-ready to lay their unhallowed hands upon the Union, the ark of our nation's glory and strength.
To South Carolina belongs the bold, bad eminence of taking the initiation in this conspiracy against the interests of humanity. While this State-doomed forever after to an
President Buchanan’s Pusillanimity. South Carolina Secedes. Attempts at Compromise.
ignominy from which centuries of unquestioned loyalty cannot free her—was taking the requisite steps toward secession, the then President, James Buchanan, with a pusillanimityto use no stronger term—which modern history certainly has never paralleled, in his annual message, after having urged the unconstitutionality of the proceeding, gave explicit notification that he had no constitutional power to prevent the proposed measures being hastened to successful completion. Neither, though appealed to, at a still earlier day, by the eteran chief of the army, to occupy and hold the United States on the Southern coast, could he find any warrant for protecting and defending the national property.
Surely nothing more could the conspirators have desired. On the 20th of December, 1860, South Carolina claims to secede Government forts and arsenals are seized, and placed under the protection of the flag of the State. Georgia's Governor lays hand on the United States forts on the coast of that State, on the 3d of January, 1861; as did the Executive of Alabama on the following day.
Events of a startling nature follow in rapid succession. On the 9th of January, hostile shots are fired upon a vessel bringing tardy reinforcements to Fort Sumter, and Mississippi assumes to put herself out of the Union. Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are not laggard ; nor are Texas and Louisiana found wanting. Cabinet officers from the slave States either resigned, after having aided the fell work to their utmost, or remained only to hasten its consummation. A new constitution, "temporary" in its nature, was declared by delegates from the seven States then in rebellion, and a President and Vice-President appointed.
Meanwhile a convention, composed of delegates from most of the Free States, and from all the border Slave States, was striving, at Washington, to heal existing difficulties by compromise. Of its members some were acting in good faith, others were using it as a breakwater for the States already
Constitutional Amendment Proposed.
Davis defines the Rebel position.
in overt rebellion. A series of resolutions, however, aiming at peace on the basis of a preserved Union was agreed to by a majority, and the body adjourned on the 1st of March.
On the 11th of February, moreover, the National House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution--shortly afterward concurred in by the Senate--providing for an amendment to the Constitution, forever prohibiting any Congressional legislation interfering with slavery in any State. Some there were, too, who were willing to concede almost every thing and surrender the long mooted question of slavery in the territories by the adoption of the so-called Crittenden resolutions, which were killed in cold blood by Southern Senators.
But no concession, short of actual national degradation, would satisfy the recusants. Jefferson Davis, the head of the “ Confederacy," on placing bimself at the head of the rebellion, at Montgomery, Alabama, February 18th, modestly defined the position of himself and his co-conspirators thus :
"If a just perception of neutral interest shall permit us peaceably to pursue our separate political career, my most earnest desire will have been fulfilled. But if this be denied us, and the integrity of our territory and jurisdiction be assailed, it will but remain for us with firm resolve to appeal to arms, and invoke the blessing of Providence on a just cause."
This was at once clinched by a recommendation that “ well-instructed, disciplined army, more numerous than would usually be required, on a peace establishment," should be at once organized and put in training for the emergency.
a The Departure.
Seeks Divine Assistance.
The Departure-Farewell Remarks-Speech at Toledo-At Indianapolis—At Cincinnati
At Columbus-At Steubenville-At Pittsburgh-At Cleveland-At Buffalo-At Albany -- At Poughkeepsie-At New York-At Trenton-At Philadelphia-At“Independence Hall”-Flag-raising--Speech at Harrisburg—Secret Departure for Washington-Comments.
Thus matters stood—the air filled with mutterings of an approaching storm--the most filled with a certain undefinable anxiety—the hearts of many failing them through fearwhen, on the morning of the 11th of February, 1861, the President elect with his family, bade adieu to that prairie home which, alas ! he was never again to see.
The large throng which had assembled at the railway station on the occasion of his departure, he addressed in words replete with the pathos of every true manly nature :
“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 cannot 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.”