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mind more intimately, and who had had in the last few years but too good reason to know its bitterness, so much of which was directed against himself, saw much more clearly. He declared at Chicago, “I believe this country is in more danger now than at any other moment since I have known anything of public life." There was no doubt of the danger in the mind of any patriotic southerner. Bell and Breckinridge, through the intermediation of Davis, both offered to withdraw if an arrangement could be made by which those opposed to the Republicans could be united upon some one more generally acceptable than either of the three in nomination. When this was stated to Douglas he said the scheme was impracticable, as his friends, mainly northern Democrats, would, if he were withdrawn, join in support of Lincoln, rather than of any one who should supplant him." Douglas had little or no expectation of success; early in the canvass, in New England, he expressed to Burlingame and Wilson his conviction that Lincoln would be elected. Later he mentioned to a friend in Washington that he had renounced all hopes of election, but expressed the conviction that "the Union would be safe under Mr. Lincoln, if it could be held together long enough for the development of his policy," though he confessed his fears that that could not be done. Moved
1 National Intelligencer, October 5, 1860.
by his real Unionism, Douglas rose to a higher plane
in maintaining the supremacy of the laws against all resistance to them, come from what quarter it might. In other words, I think the President. whosoever he may be should treat all attempts to break up the Union by resistance to its laws, as Old Hickory treated the nullifiers in 1832 (applause)."1 At Petersburg he said there was no evil in the country for which the Constitution and "laws do not furnish a remedy, no grievance that can justify disunion." At Raleigh he said he was ready "to put the hemp round the neck and hang the man who would raise the arm of resistance to the constituted authorities of the country." Douglas's attitude then and thereafter atoned for much of his shortcomings of previous years.
In the campaign every one was active but Lincoln, who remained quietly at home, an observer only. Seward, who felt himself "a leader deposed ... in the hour of organization for decisive battle, showed a magnanimity in act and expression which was, in the words of Lowell, "a greater ornament to him and a greater honor to his party than his election to the presidency would have been." 4 "No truer or firmer defenders of the Republican faith," wrote Seward for an Auburn paper, "could have been found in the Union than the distinguished
1 Du Bose, Yancey, 523.
• Wilson, Slave Power, II.,
* Letter to his wife, in Seward, Seward, II., 454
• Atlantic Monthly, VI., 499 (October, 1860).
and esteemed citizens on whom the honors of the nomination have fallen." 1 He proved this declaration by his works.
Seward had not always felt thus: it is a mark of his generous character that he rose above a hasty determination expressed before the election. Medill expressed very strongly in the Chicago Tribune, February, 1860, the view that Lincoln could be elected that year and that Seward could not. Meeting Medill in Washington, Seward spoke in strong terms of his disappointment in the latter's preference for that "prairie statesman," as Seward called Lincoln. "He then proceeded to declare, with much heat and temper of expression, that if he was not nominated as the Republican candidate. for president at the ensuing convention, he would shake the dust off his shoes and retire from the service of an ungrateful party for the remainder of his days." " How ephemeral was this feeling of pique has just been shown, and added evidence of the height to which he rose is in the series of great speeches made throughout the North. He did not shirk the question of an irrepressible conflict. He said, October 31, "Upon what issue is the American people divided in this political crisis, except a conflict between freedom and slavery?" Nor did he give any evidence of want of loyalty to the party
1 Seward, Seward, II., 452.
2 Letter of Medill to Frederic Bancroft, in Bancroft, Seward, I., 531. 3 Seward, Works (ed. of 1884), IV., 399.
CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR
nominee. November 2, four days before the election, he could say, "If you elect that eminent, and able, and honest and reliable man, Abraham Lincoln . . . and if, as I am sure you will during the course of the next four years, you constitute the United States Senate with a majority like him, and at the present election establish the House of Representatives on the same basis, you have then done exactly this: you have elected men who will leave slavery in the United States just exactly where it is now, and wh will do more than that-who will leave freedom in the United States and every foot and every acre of the public domain . . . just exactly as it is now. His references to the South were kindly; us course throughout wise, conservative, and conciliatory. It was the apogee of his greatness. But, as mentioned, his optimism played him false in regard to the impending danger; in this respect he showed that he had passed his years in Washington to little purpose; he was no reader of men.
Of the total 4,682,069 votes cast November 6, Lincoln received 1,866,452, or nearly forty per cent. of the whole; Douglas, 1,376,957; Breckinridge, 849,781; Bell, 588,879. Of the 303 electoral votes, Lincoln received 180, being every northern vote except 3 of the 7 of New Jersey; Douglas received 3 there and the 9 of Missouri; Bell received the 39 of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee; Breckinridge 1 Seward, Works (ed. of 1884), IV., 416.