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could be seen, and every speech could be heard. And here was made a choice at which coming generations, as well as those past, have reason to rejoice.
After the opening prayer and a few items of business, Mr. Evarts of New York stood forth and named "as a candidate to be nominated by this Convention for the office of President of the United States, William H. Seward." Then Mr. Judd desired "on behalf of the delegation from Illinois, to put in nomination as a candidate for President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois." After this were names of others who were to be complimented, as the custom was, by the first votes of their States; these "complimentary" men were cheered by their own States. "But," says an account, "at the names of Seward and Lincoln the whole wigwam seemed to respond together." Some States seconded one candidate, and some the other. In the shouting and stamping the whole building shook. Then the balloting began.
The first ballot gave one hundred seventythree and one-half votes to Seward, and one hundred and two for Lincoln, with many scattering votes. In the next ballot Lincoln had gained seventy-nine votes, Seward only eleven. Two hundred and thirty-three votes were needed for a choice. The balloting went on again.
Lincoln was still gaining. At last, a teller waved his tally sheet and shouted a name, a cannon was fired from the roof of the wigwam, the crowds in the streets took up the shouts of those within the wigwam. At last, when he could be heard, the presiding officer announced that on the third ballot Abraham Lincoln of Illinois had received three hundred and sixty-four votes and was "the candidate of the Convention for President of the United States." Then Mr. Evarts with great dignity and eloquence moved to make the nomination unanimous.
It was a busy campaign to elect the "Illinois Rail-Splitter." "Wide-Awake" Clubs were organized all over the country, the Republicans in these "marching in close and orderly ranks, wearing each a cap and large cape of oil-cloth, and bearing over his shoulders a long staff, on the end of which blazed a brilliant torch-light." The first "Wide-Awake" Club was in Hartford, Connecticut, and escorted Mr. Lincoln when he went to that city directly after his speech at the Cooper Institute, New York.
In the campaign the "Wide Awakes" were everywhere. Sometimes in the great cities there were twenty thousand marching in a procession; and no village was too small to have its "Wide Awakes." No doubt, they did give evidence of being awake to the situation. For as the months
went by, the prospects of the Republicans grew better and better. In the great battle of the ballot between freedom and slavery, freedom was to conquer. The other terrible battles of the bayonets, the war for the Union-was to follow.
The election for President came November 6, 1860.
When the polls closed that day, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States.
WHAT THE SOUTH WAS DOING IN THE
The South of the time of which we are speaking was very different from the South as we know it today. The Southerners were always brave and cordial in their manners and hospitable, and they have always had as they have now many fine traits of character.
But when we think of the South as it was at the time of the Civil War, we must remember those words of Abraham Lincoln's, one of the most beautiful thoughts ever uttered. "With malice toward none, with charity for all," he said in his second inaugural address. And it is in this spirit that we must judge the South of that day. It caused the country to spend thousands of millions of dollars in bringing it back to the Union. And the money was a small thing; for thousands upon thousands of the best and bravest young men were killed in the battles
and the sufferings of the terrible Civil War; fathers and mothers mourned for their sons; wives for their husbands; children for their fathers; maidens for their lovers; friends for friends; in every city, and even in every little village in the country, from household to household there was mourning for the brave soldiers who had died. It was a time of grief and dread and agony; there were days when it seemed as if there would no longer be our great nation, but only a country divided and always at war.
But if the South made the North suffer in this way, it also suffered itself in some ways even much more. It was not so rich as the North in the first place; and it grew so poor that before the war was over people were hungry, almost starving; and, at last, there was no food for the soldiers. Then, the war was fought in the South altogether, except two or three battles; and where armies marched and bivouacked and fought, the country was made desolate; forests cut down, earth torn up for ramparts, fields of grain trampled, cattle and forage driven and carried away, and all that was fine and blooming before the armies came left like a wilderness. And much more than all this, the South lost its best and bravest young men as well as the North; and in all homes was sadness and mourning.