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uals to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States."


This advanced ground ignored the fact that Congress had both allowed and prohibited slavery in a territory. Under the compromise of 1820 it was tacitly allowed to continue south of 36° 30'; and by the compromise of 1850 New Mexico, which Clay believed to be free, was opened to slavery. The resolution was "a reading of the constitution diametrically opposed to the Southern reading. The political men who framed this 'platform' doubtless considered that the time had come for a direct antagonism between the North and South on this subject so that it might be decided by the votes of the people. . . . That such antagonism was the consequence and purpose of this declaration of a new principle of action on this subject will be denied by no one." 1

In the remaining eight resolutions Congress was called upon to suppress finally the African slavetrade reopened under cover of our flag; the admission of Kansas was called for; a protective policy recommended; the passage of the homestead bill demanded; full protection to all citizens, native and naturalized, supported; river and harbor improvements of a national character favored; and immediate and efficient aid from Congress to a Pacific railroad demanded.2

1 Curtis, Buchanan, II., 285.

2 Stanwood, Hist. of the Presidency, 291, 294; McKee, National Conventions and Platforms, 113-116; Lincoln, Works (ed. of 1894), I., 035-637

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When it came to ballot for the candidates, 233 votes were necessary to a choice. The first ballot stood: Seward, 1731; Lincoln, 102; Cameron, 501; Chase, 49; Bates, 48; scattering, 42. On the second ballot Seward had 1843; Lincoln, 181. On the third there were 180 for Seward, 231 for Lincoln. To make the necessary majority, four Ohio votes were changed from Chase to Lincoln, and others followed until he had 354 out of the whole 446, when Evarts, of New York, performed the melancholy courtesy of moving that the vote be declared unanimous.1 Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was nominated for vice-president.

The result was a shock of surprise to the country at large, and particularly in the East, as Seward's nomination had been looked upon as secure. The failure filled his followers with gloom and bitterness. Thurlow Weed shed tears.2 The East knew Lincoln by report as abnormally uncouth, as the natural outcome of a rough early life spent in splitting rails and in flat-boating upon the Ohio and Mississippi. The South in addition, ignoring the conservative attitude involved in the full expression of his most sane and reasonable views, regarded him as one of the monsters of depravity who had


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1 Rhodes, United States, II., 456-473; Greeley, Am. Conflict, I., 319-321; Stanwood, Hist. of the Presidency, 290–295; Hart, Am. Hist. told by Contemporaries, IV., § 50.

2 Barnes, Weed, 271.

3 See speech of October 16, 1854, Lincoln, Works (ed. of 1894), 1., 187.

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declared that war must be made upon slavery, selecting a single sentence, his declaration that "a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free" as typifying his stand and probable course of action. He was nominated largely because of this conservatism so unwisely disregarded by the South, and as a more available candidate for this reason than Seward. It is a striking fact that the Garrison school of abolitionists themselves were opposed to the result."

Seward himself had been certain of success, despite the knowledge of an opposition, the grounds of which were frankly stated to him by an eminent member of his own party. When about leaving Washington he complained to Senator Wilson of the latter's antagonism. Wilson replied, substantially: "If I could elect a President, I should nominate you or Mr. Chase. . . . But . . . like Mr. Chase, you have by your ability and long devotion to the antislavery cause, excited prejudices and awakened conservative fears in the great states of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut which are to be the battle ground of the contest, and whose votes must be secured to give success. I do not think your name will command the necessary strength." Nevertheless, Seward left the Senate chamber with Sumner, reiterat


Speech at Springfield, June 16, 1858, Lincoln, Works (ed. of 1894), I., 240. 2 Garrisons. Garrison, III., 502.

ing his confidence, assured of both the nomination and election.1

Seward had failed to recognize the weight and influence gained by his western antagonist just preceding the election. Even a few in the South had begun to comprehend that Lincoln was more than the uncouth boor, the possibility of whose nomination had been derided. Benjamin, of Louisiana, was one of the southerners who had come to recognize the lofty qualities of his nature and mind. In his speech in the Senate against Douglas, of May 22, he said, referring to the category of questions put by Douglas to Lincoln in the debate of 1858,2 the answers to which are among the finest in character of Lincoln's statements, "It is impossible, Mr. President, however we may differ in opinion with the man not to admire the perfect candor and frankness with which these answers are given; no equivocation-no evasion."

The victory for Lincoln was in fact a simple question of availability. He had not been seriously thought of for the presidency until his acclaim at the Republican state convention at Decatur, Illinois, May 10, 1860. There can be little doubt that a large majority of those assembled at Chicago went expecting to vote for Seward.. "Certainly two thirds of the delegates. preferred him

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1 Wilson, Slave Power, II., 694.

2 Lincoln, Works (ed. of 1894), I., 306.


Cong. Globe, 36 Cong., 1 Sess., 2237.

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for president. But Pennsylvania and Indiana were to hold elections for governor in October. Those who had nominated Curtin in Pennsylvania had not even yet taken the name "Republican.' It was a party of fusionists in which the "American" element was strong, and this element was bitterly opposed to Seward through his favoring a division of school funds. "Without its aid the success of Curtin was simply impossible. A like condition of things existed in Indiana. . . . While the anti-slavery sentiment asserted itself by the election of a majority of Republicans to Congress in 1858, the entire Democratic State ticket was successful by majorities varying from 1534 to 2896. . . . The one thing that Curtin, Lane [the Republican nominee for governor in Indiana] and their respective lieutenants agreed upon, was that the nomination of Seward meant hopeless defeat in their respective States." 2

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Seward thus, in fact, though it was not apparent, was defeated before the convention met. The struggle really lay between Lincoln and Bates, and Lincoln had immensely the advantage in the locale of the convention. It was the first which had been held at Chicago, and it was in his own state. The environment was one which knew the man and his worth. The fact, too, that Douglas was certain to be the nominee of the regular Democratic conven

1 McClure, Lincoln and Men of War Times, 28.
2 Ibid., 31-33.

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