The Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln

By Henry J. Raymond

Chapter 18



THE American people were approaching another test of  their capacity for self-government, in some respects more  trying than any they had yet encountered. As the spring  of 1864 was passing away, the official term of President  Lincoln drew towards its close, and the people were required to choose his successor. At all times and under  the most favorable circumstances, the election of a President is attended with a degree of excitement, which some  of the wisest theorists have pronounced inconsistent with  the permanent harmony and safety of a republican form  of government. But that such an election should become  necessary in the midst of a civil war, which wrapped the  whole country in its flames and aroused such intense and  deadly passions in the public heart, was felt to be foremost among the calamities which had menaced the land.  The two great rebel armies still held the field. The  power of their government was still unbroken. All our  attempts to capture their capital had proved abortive.  The public debt was steadily and rapidly increasing.  Under the resistless pressure of military necessity, the Government, availing itself of the permissions of the Constitution, had suspended the great safeguard of civil freedom,  and dealt with individuals whom it deemed dangerous  to the public safety with as absolute and relentless  severity as the most absolute monarchies of Europe had  ever shown. Taxes were increasing; new drafts of men to fill the ranks of new armies were impending; the Democratic party, from the very beginning hostile to the war  and largely imbued with devotion to the principle of  State Sovereignty on which the rebellion rested, and  with toleration for slavery out of which it grew, was  watching eagerly for every means of arousing popular  hatred against the Government, that they might secure its  transfer to their own hands; and the losses, the agonies,  the desolations of the war were beginning, apparently, to  make themselves felt injuriously upon the spirit, the endurance, the hopeful resolution of the people throughout  the loyal States.

That under these circumstances and amidst these elements of popular discontent and hostile passion, the  nation should be compelled to plunge into the whirlpool  of a political contest, was felt to be one of the terrible  necessities which might involve the nation's ruin. That  the nation went through it, with a majestic calmness up  to that time unknown, and came out from it stronger,  more resolute, and more thoroughly united than ever before, is among the marvels which confound all theory, and  demonstrate to the world the capacity of an intelligent  people to provide for every conceivable emergency in the  conduct of their own affairs.

Preparations for the nomination of candidates had be  gun to be made, as usual, early in the spring of 1864.  Some who saw most clearly the necessities of the future,  had for some months before expressed themselves strongly  in favor of the renomination of President Lincoln. But  this step was contested with great warmth and activity  by prominent members of the political party by which  he had been nominated and elected four years before.  Nearly all the original Abolitionists and many of the more  decidedly anti-slavery members of the Republican party  were dissatisfied, that Mr. Lincoln had not more rapidly  and more sweepingly enforced their extreme opinions.  Many distinguished public men resented his rejection of  their advice, and many more had been alienated by his  inability to recognize their claims to office. The most violent opposition came from those who had been most  persistent and most clamorous in their exactions. And as  it was unavoidable that, in wielding so terrible and so  absolute a power in so terrible a crisis, vast multitudes  of active and ambitious men should be disappointed in  their expectations of position and personal gain, the  renomination of Mr. Lincoln was sure to be contested by  a powerful and organized effort.

At the very outset this movement acquired consistency  and strength by bringing forward the Hon. S. P. Chase,  Secretary of the Treasury, a man of great political boldness and experience, and who had prepared the way for  such a step by a careful dispensation of the vast patronage of his department, as the rival candidate. But it was  instinctively felt that this effort lacked the sympathy and  support of the great mass of the people, and it ended in  the withdrawal of his name as a candidate by Mr. Chase  himself.

The National Committee of the Union Republican party.  had called their convention, to be held at Baltimore, on  the 8th of June. This step had been taken from a conviction of the wisdom of terminating as speedily as  possible all controversy concerning candidates in the  ranks of Union men; and it was denounced with the  greatest vehemence by those who opposed Mr. Lincoln's  nomination, and desired more time to infuse their hostility  into the public mind. Failing to secure a postponement  of the convention, they next sought to overawe and dictate its action by a display of power, and the following  call was accordingly issued about the 1st of May, for a  convention to be held at Cleveland, Ohio, on the 31st day.  of that month:--


After having labored ineffectually to defer, as far as was in our power,  the critical moment when the attention of the people must inevitably be  fixed upon the selection of a candidate for the chief magistracy of the  country; after having interrogated our conscience and consulted our duty  as citizens, obeying at once the sentiment of a mature conviction and a  profound affection for the common country, we feel ourselves impelled,

on our own responsibility, to declare to the people that the time has  come for all independent men, jealous of their liberties and of the national  greatness, to confer together, and unite to resist the swelling invasion of  an open, shameless, and unrestrained patronage, which threatens to in gulf under its destructive wave the rights of the people, the liberty and  dignity of the nation.

Deeply impressed with the conviction that, in a time of revolution,  when the public attention is turned exclusively to the success of armies,  and is consequently less vigilant of the public liberties, the patronage  derived from the organization of an army of a million of men, and an  administration of affairs which seeks to control the remotest parts of the  country in favor of its supreme chief, constitute a danger seriously  threatening the stability of republican institutions, we declare that the  principle of one term, which has now acquired nearly the force of law  by the consecration of time, ought to be inflexibly adhered to in the approaching election.

We further declare, that we do not recognize in the Baltimore Convention the essential conditions of a truly National Convention. Its proximity to the centre of all the interested influences of the administration, its  distance from the centre of the country, its mode of convocation, the  corrupting practices to which it has been and inevitably will be subjected, do not permit the people to assemble there with any expectation of being able to deliberate at full liberty. Convinced as we are  that, in presence of the critical circumstances in which the nation is  placed, it is only in the energy and good sense of the people that the  general safety can be found; satisfied that the only way to consult it is  to indicate a central position, to which every one may go without too  much expenditure of means and time, and where the assembled people,  far from all administrative influence, may consult freely and deliberate  peaceably, with the presence of the greatest possible number of men,  whose known principles guarantee their sincere and enlightened devotion  to the rights of the people and to the preservation of the true basis of  republican government,--we earnestly invite our fellow-citizens to unite  at Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, May 31, current, for consultation and  concert of action in respect to the approaching Presidential election.

Two other calls were issued after this, prominent  among the signers of which were some of the Germans  of Missouri and some of the old Radical Abolitionists of  the East.

The convention thus summoned met at the appointed  time, about one hundred and fifty in number. No call had  ever been put forward for the election of delegates to it,  and no one could tell whether its members represented any constituency other than themselves. They came from  fifteen different States and the District of Columbia, but  every one knew that at the East the movement had no  strength whatever. An effort was made by some of  them to bring forward the name of General Grant as a  candidate, but the friends of Fremont formed altogether  too large a majority for that.

General John Cochrane, of New York, was chosen to  preside over the convention. In the afternoon the platform was presented, consisting of thirteen brief resolutions, favoring the suppression of the rebellion, the preservation of the habeas corpus, of the right of asylum, and  the Monroe doctrine, recommending amendments of the  Constitution to prevent the re-establishment of slavery,  and to provide for the election of President and Vice-President for a single term only, and by the direct vote  of the people, and also urging the confiscation of the  lands of the rebels and their distribution among the soldiers and actual settlers.

The platform having been adopted, the convention proceeded to nominate General Fremont for President by  acclamation. General Cochrane was nominated for Vice-President. The title of "The Radical Democracy" was  chosen for the supporters of the ticket, a National Committee was appointed, and the convention adjourned.

General Fremont's letter of acceptance was dated June  4th. Its main scope was an attack upon Mr. Lincoln for  unfaithfulness to the principles he was elected to defend,  and upon his Administration for incapacity and selfishness,  and for what the writer called "its disregard of constitutional rights, its violation of personal liberty and the  liberty of the press, and, as a crowning shame, its abandonment of the right of asylum, dear to all free nations  abroad."

The platform he approved, with the exception of the  proposed confiscation. He intimated that if the Baltimore Convention would nominate any one but Mr. Lincoln he would not stand in the way of a union of all upon  that nominee; but said, "If Mr. Lincoln be renominated, as I believe it would be fatal to the country to indorse a  policy and renew a power which has cost us the lives of  thousands of men and needlessly put the country on the  road to bankruptcy, there will remain no alternative but to  organize against him every element of conscientious opposition, with the view to prevent the misfortune of his  re-election." And he accepted the nomination, and announced that he had resigned his commission in the  army.

The convention, the nomination, and the letter of acceptance, fell dead upon the popular feeling. The time  had been when Fremont's name had power, especially  with the young men of the country. Many had felt that  he had received less than he deserved at the hands of  the Administration, and that if the opportunity had been  afforded he would have rendered to the country distinguished and valuable service. But the position which he  had here taken at once separated him from those who had  been his truest friends, whose feelings were accurately  expressed by Governor Morton, of Indiana, in a speech at  Indianapolis on the 12th of June, when he said: "I carried the standard of General Fremont to the best of my  poor ability through the canvass of 1856, and I have  since endeavored to sustain him, not only as a politician,  but as a military chieftain, and never until I read this  letter did I have occasion to regret what I have done. It  has been read with joy by his enemies and with pain by  his friends, and, omitting one or two sentences, there is  nothing in it that might not have been written or subscribed without inconsistency by Mr. Vallandigham."

The next form which the effort to prevent Mr. Lincoln's nomination and election took, was an effort to bring  forward General Grant as a candidate. A meeting had  been called for the 4th of June, in New York, ostensibly  to express the gratitude of the nation to him and the soldiers under his command, for their labors and successes.  As a matter of course the meeting was large and enthusiastic. President Lincoln wrote the following letter in  answer to an invitation to attend:--


Hon. F. A. CONKLING and others:

GENTLEMEN:--Your letter, inviting me to be present at a mass meeting of loyal citizens, to be held at New York, on the 4th instant,  for the purpose of expressing gratitude to Lieutenant-General Grant for  his signal services, was received yesterday. It is impossible for me to  attend. I approve, nevertheless, of whatever may tend to strengthen and  sustain General Grant and the noble armies now under his direction.  My previous high estimate of General Grant has been maintained and  heightened by what has occurred in the remarkable campaign he is now  conducting, while the magnitude and difficulty of the task before him  does not prove less than I expected. He and his brave soldiers are now  in the midst of their great trial, and I trust that at your meeting you  will so shape your good words that they may turn to men and guns,  moving to his and their support.

Yours truly,


Whatever political purposes prompted the call for this  meeting, they were entirely overborne by the simple but  resistless appeal, made by the President in this letter, to  the patriotism of the country. Its effect was to stimulate  instantly and largely the effort to fill up the ranks of the  army, and thus aid General Grant in the great campaign  by which he hoped to end the war. In a private letter  to a personal friend, however, General Grant put a  decisive check upon all these attempts of politicians to  make his name the occasion of division among Union  men, by peremptorily refusing to allow himself to be  made a candidate, and by reiterating in still more emphatic  and hopeful terms the President's appeal to the people  for aid and support.

None of these schemes of ambitious aspirants to political leadership had any effect upon the settled sentiment  and purpose of the great body of the people. They  appreciated the importance of continuing the administration of the government in the same channel, and saw  clearly enough that nothing would more thoroughly  impress upon the rebels and the world the determination  of the people to preserve the Union at all hazards, and at  whatever cost, than the indorsement by a popular vote,  in spite of all mistakes and defects of policy, of the President, by whom the war had thus far been conducted.  The nation, moreover, had entire faith in his integrity,  his sagacity, and his unselfish devotion to the public  good.

The Union and Republican Convention met at Baltimore on the day appointed, the 8th of June. It numbered  nearly five hundred delegates, chosen by the constituents  of each Congressional district of the loyal States, and by  the people in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas, in  which the rebel authority had been overthrown, and  who sought thus to renew their political relations with  the parties of the Union. The Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, was appointed temporary chairman,  and aroused the deepest enthusiasm of the convention  by his patriotic address on taking the chair. He proclaimed openly his hostility to slavery, and demanded, as  essential to the existence of the nation, the complete  overthrow of the rebellion, and condign punishment for  the traitors by whom it had been set on foot. In reference to the nomination of a presidential candidate, he  simply expressed the common sentiment when he said:--

Nothing can be more plain than the fact that you are here as representatives of a great nation--voluntary representatives, chosen with out forms of law, but as really representing the feelings and principles,  and, if you choose, the prejudices of the American people, as if it were  written in their laws and already passed by their votes. For the man  that you will nominate here for the Presidency of the United States and  ruler of a great people, in a great crisis, is just as certain, I suppose,  to become that ruler as any thing under heaven is certain before it is  done. And moreover you will allow me to say, though perhaps it is  hardly strictly proper that I should, but as far as I know your opin ions, I suppose it is just as certain now, before you utter it, whose name  you will utter--one which will be responded to from one end to the  other of this nation, as it will be after it has been uttered and recorded  by your secretary."

The permanent organization was effected in the  afternoon, by the choice of Hon. William Dennison, Ex-Governor of Ohio, as president, with twenty-three vice-presidents, each from a different State, and twenty-three secretaries. After a speech from Governor Dennison, and  another from Parson Brownlow, of Tennessee, the convention adjourned till Wednesday morning at nine  o'clock.

The first business which came up when the convention reassembled, was the report of the Committee on  Credentials. There were two important questions which  arose upon this report. The first was the Missouri question--there being a double delegation present from that  State. The committee had reported in favor of admitting  the delegation called the Radical Union Delegation to  seats in the convention, as the only one elected in conformity with usage and in regular form. An effort was  made to modify this by admitting both delegations to seats,  and allowing them to cast the vote of the State only in  case of their agreement. This proposition, however, was  voted down by a large majority, and the report of the  committee on that point was adopted. This result had  special importance in its bearing upon the vexed state of  politics in Missouri, which had hitherto, as we have seen,  caused Mr. Lincoln much trouble.

The next question, which had still greater importance,  related to the admission of the delegations from Tennessee,  Arkansas, and Louisiana. Congress had passed a resolution substantially excluding States which had been in rebellion from participation in national affairs until specifically readmitted to the Union--while it was known that  President Lincoln regarded all ordinances of secession as  simply null and void, incapable of affecting the legal relations of the States to the National Government. At the  very opening of the convention an effort had been made  by Hon. Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, to secure  the adoption of a resolution against the admission of delegates from any States thus situated. This, however, had  failed, and the whole matter was referred to the Committee  on Credentials, of which Hon. Preston King, of New  York, had been appointed chairman. Mr. King, on behalf of this committee and under its instructions, reported  in favor of admitting these delegates to seats, but without giving them the right to vote. Mr. King, for himself,  however, and as the only member of the committee who  dissented from its report, moved to amend it by giving  them equal rights in convention with delegates from the  other States. This amendment was adopted by a large  majority, and affected in a marked degree the subsequent  action of the convention. The report was further amended so as to admit delegates from the Territories of Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada, and also from Florida and  Virginia, without the right to vote--and excluding a  delegation from South Carolina. Thus amended it was  adopted.

Mr. H. J. Raymond, of New York, as chairman of the  Committee on Resolutions, then reported the following  declaration of principles and policy for the Union and  Republican party:--


Resolved, That it is the highest duty of every American citizen to  maintain, against all their enemies, the integrity of the Union and the par amount authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and  that, laying aside all differences of political opinion, we pledge our selves as Union men, animated by a common sentiment and aiming at a  common object, to do every thing in our power to aid the Government  in quelling by force of arms the rebellion now raging against its author ity, and in bringing to the punishment due to their crimes the rebels and  traitors arrayed against it.

Resolved, That we approve the determination of the Government of  the United States not to compromise with rebels, or to offer any terms of  peace except such as may be based upon an unconditional surrender of  their hostility and a return to their just allegiance to the Constitution  and laws of the United States; and that we call upon the Government  to maintain this position and to prosecute the war with the utmost pos sible vigor to the complete suppression of the rebellion, in full reliance  upon the self-sacrificing patriotism, the heroic valor, and the undying  devotion of the American people to their country and its free institutions.

Resolved, That as slavery was the cause and now constitutes the  strength of this rebellion, and as it must be always and everywhere hostile to the principles of republican government, justice and the national  safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the  republic; and that while we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defence, has aimed a death blow at this gigantic evil, we are in favor, furthermore, of such an  amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people, in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the  existence of slavery within the limits or the jurisdiction of the United  States.

Resolved, That the thanks of the American people are due to the soldiers and sailors of the army and the navy, who have perilled their lives  in defence of their country and in vindication of the honor of its flag;  that the nation owes to them some permanent recognition of their patriotism and their valor, and ample and permanent provision for those of  their survivors who have received disabling and honorable wounds in the  service of their country; and that the memories of those who have fallen  in its defence shall be held in grateful and everlasting remembrance.

Resolved, That we approve and applaud the practical wisdom, the un selfish patriotism, and the unswerving fidelity to the Constitution and the  principles of American liberty with which Abraham Lincoln has discharged, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, the great duties  and responsibilities of the Presidential office; that we approve and indorse, as demanded by the emergency and essential to the preservation  of the nation, and as within the provisions of the Constitution, the measures and acts which he has adopted to defend the nation against its open  and secret foes; that we approve especially the Proclamation of Emancipation and the employment as Union soldiers of men heretofore held  in slavery; and that we have full confidence in his determination to carry  these and all other constitutional measures, essential to the salvation of  the country, into full and complete effect.

Resolved, That we deem it essential to the general welfare that harmony should prevail in our national councils, and we regard as worthy  of public confidence and official trust those only who cordially indorse  the principles proclaimed in these resolutions, and which should characterize the administration of the Government.

Resolved, That the Government owes to all men employed in its  armies, without regard to distinction of color, the full protection of the  laws of war, and that any violation of these laws, or the usages of civilized nations in time of war, by the rebels now in arms, should be made  the subject of prompt and full redress.

Resolved, That the foreign immigration which in the past has added so  much to the wealth, development of resources, and increase of power of  this nation, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, should be fostered  and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

Resolved, That we are in favor of a speedy construction of the railroad  to the Pacific coast.

Resolved, That the national faith, pledged for the redemption of the  public debt, must be kept inviolate, and that for this purpose we recommend economy and rigid responsibility in the public expenditures, and a vigorous and just system of taxation, and that it is the duty of every loyal  State to sustain the credit and promote the use of the national currency.

Resolved, That we approve the position taken by the Government,  that the people of the United States can never regard with indifference  the attempt of any European power to overthrow by force, or to supplant  by fraud, the institutions of any republican government on the Western  Continent; and that they will view with extreme jealousy, as menacing  to the peace and independence of their own country, the efforts of any  such power to obtain new footholds for monarchical governments, sustained by foreign military force, in near proximity to the United States.

These resolutions were adopted unanimously and with  great enthusiasm. A motion was then made that Abraham Lincoln be nominated for re-election by acclamation,  but this was afterwards withdrawn, and a ballot taken  in the usual way; the only votes that were not given  for Mr. Lincoln were the twenty-two votes of Missouri,  which, as was explained by the chairman of the delegation, were given under positive instructions for General  Grant. Mr. Lincoln received four hundred and ninety-seven votes, and on motion of Mr. Hume, of Missouri, his  nomination was made unanimous, amid intense enthusiasm.

The contest over the Vice-Presidency was spirited  but brief. The candidates before the convention were  Vice-President Hamlin, Hon. D. S. Dickinson, of New  York, and Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee. The struggle lay however between Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dickinson.  The action of the Convention in admitting the delegates  from Tennessee to full membership had a powerful effect  in determining the result. Mr. Johnson received two  hundred votes on the first call of the States, and it being  manifest that he was to be the nominee, other States  changed, till the vote, when declared, stood four hundred  and ninety-two for Johnson, seventeen for Dickinson, and  nine for Hamlin.

The National Executive Committee was then appointed,  and the convention adjourned. On Thursday, June 9,  the committee appointed to inform Mr. Lincoln of his  nomination waited upon him at the White House. Governor Dennison, the President of the Convention and Chairman of the Committee, addressed him as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT:--The National Union Convention, which closed its  sittings at Baltimore yesterday, appointed a committee, consisting of one  from each State, with myself as chairman, to inform you of your unanimous nomination by that convention for election to the officer of President  of the United States. That committee, I have the honor of now informing you, is present. On its behalf I have also the honor of presenting you  with a copy of the resolutions or platform adopted by that convention, as  expressive of its sense and of the sense of the loyal people of the country  which it represents, of the principles and policy that should characterize  the administration of the Government in the present condition of the  country. I need not say to you, sir, that the convention, in thus unanimously nominating you for re-election, but gave utterance to the almost  universal voice of the loyal people of the country. To doubt of your  triumphant election would be little short of abandoning the hope of a final  suppression of the rebellion and the restoration of the government over the  insurgent States. Neither the convention nor those represented by that  body entertained any doubt as to the final result, under your administration, sustained by the loyal people, and by our noble army and gallant  navy. Neither did the convention, nor do this committee, doubt the  speedy suppression of this most wicked and unprovoked rebellion.

[A copy of the resolutions, which had been adopted, was here handed  to the President.]

I would add, Mr. President, that it would be the pleasure of the committee to communicate to you within a few days, through one of its most  accomplished members, Mr. Curtis, of New York, by letter, more at length  the circumstances under which you have been placed in nomination for  the Presidency.

The President said in response:--

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE:--I will neither  conceal my gratification, nor restrain the expression of my gratitude, that  the Union people, through their convention, in the continued effort to  save and advance the nation, have deemed me not unworthy to remain in  my present position. I know no reason to doubt that I shall accept the  nomination tendered; and yet, perhaps, I should not declare definitely  before reading and considering what is called the platform. I will say  now, however, that I approve the declaration in favor of so amending the  Constitution as to prohibit slavery throughout the nation. When the  people in revolt, with the hundred days' explicit notice that they could  within those days resume their allegiance without the overthrow of their  institutions, and that they could not resume it afterward, elected to stand  out, such an amendment of the Constitution as is now proposed became a fitting and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause.  Such alone can meet and cover all cavils. I now perceive its importance  and embrace it. In the joint names of Liberty and Union let us labor to  give it legal form and practical effect.

At the conclusion of the President's speech, all of the  committee shook him cordially by the hand and offered  their personal congratulations.

On the same afternoon a deputation from the National  Union League waited upon the President, and the chairman addressed him as follows:--

MR. PRESIDENT:--I have the honor of introducing to you the representatives of the Union League of the Loyal States, to congratulate you  upon your renomination, and to assure you that we will not fail at the polls  to give you the support that your services in the past so highly deserve.  We feel honored in doing this, for we are assured that we are aiding in  re-electing to the proud position of President of the United States one so  highly worthy of it--one among not the least of whose claims is that he  was the emancipator of four millions of bondmen.

The President replied as follows:--

GENTLEMEN:--I can only say in response to the remarks of your chair man, that I am very grateful for the renewed confidence which has been  accorded to me, both by the convention and by the National League. I  am not insensible at all to the personal compliment there is in this, yet I  do not allow myself to believe that any but a small portion of it is to be  appropriated as a personal compliment to me. The convention and the  nation, I am assured, are alike animated by a higher view of the interests of  the country, for the present and the great future, and the part I am entitled  to appropriate as a compliment is only that part which I may lay hold of as  being the opinion of the convention and of the League, that I am not en tirely unworthy to be intrusted with the place I have occupied for the  last three years. I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude  that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded in this connection of a story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion  once that "it was not best to swap horses when crossing a stream."

On the evening of the same day the President was serenaded by the delegation from Ohio, and to them and  the large crowd which had gathered there, he made the  following brief speech:--

GENTLEMEN:--I am very much obliged to you for this compliment. I  have just being saying, and will repeat it, that the hardest of all speeches I have to answer is a serenade. I never know what to say on these occasions. I suppose that you have done me this kindness in connection with  the action of the Baltimore Convention, which has recently taken place,  and with which, of course, I am very well satisfied. What we want still  more than Baltimore Conventions, or Presidential elections, is success  under General Grant. I propose that you constantly bear in mind that  the support you owe to the brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the  very first importance, and we should therefore bend all our energies to that  point. Now without detaining you any longer, I propose that you help me  to close up what I am now saying with three rousing cheers for General  Grant and the officers and soldiers under his command.

The rousing cheers were given--Mr. Lincoln himself  leading off, and waving his hat as earnestly as any one  present.

The written address of the Committee of the Convention  announcing his nomination, sent to him a few days afterwards, was as follows:--

NEW YORK, June 14, 1864.


SIR:--The National Union Convention, which assembled in Baltimore  on June 7th, 1864, has instructed us to inform you that you were nominated with enthusiastic unanimity for the Presidency of the United States  for four years from the 4th of March next.

The resolutions of the convention, which we have already had the  pleasure of placing in your hands, are a full and clear statement of the  principles which inspired its action, and which, as we believe, the great  body of Union men in the country heartily approve. Whether those  resolutions express the national gratitude to our soldiers and sailors, or  the national scorn of compromise with rebels, and consequent dishonor,  or the patriotic duty of union and success; whether they approve the  Proclamation of Emancipation, the Constitutional Amendment, the employment of former slaves as Union soldiers, or the solemn obligation of  the Government promptly to redress the wrongs of every soldier of the  Union, of whatever color or race; whether they declare the inviolability  of the plighted faith of the nation, or offer the national hospitality to the  oppressed of every land, or urge the union by railroad of the Atlantic and  Pacific Oceans; whether they recommend public economy and vigorous  taxation, or assert the fixed popular opposition to the establishment by  armed force of foreign monarchies in the immediate neighborhood of the  United States, or declare that those only are worthy of official trust who  approve unreservedly the views and policy indicated in the resolutions- they were equally hailed with the heartiness of profound conviction.

Believing with you, sir, that this is the people's war for the maintenance  of a Government which you have justly described as "of the people, by

the people, for the people," we are very sure that you will be glad to  know, not only from the resolutions themselves, but from the singular  harmony and enthusiasm with which they were adopted, how warm is  the popular welcome of every measure in the prosecution of the war  which is as vigorous, unmistakable, and unfaltering as the national purpose itself. No right, for instance, is so precious and sacred to the  American heart as that of personal liberty. Its violation is regarded  with just, instant, and universal jealousy. Yet, in this hour of peril,  every faithful citizen concedes that, for the sake of national existence and  the common welfare, individual liberty may, as the Constitution provides  in case of rebellion, be sometimes summarily constrained, asking only  with painful anxiety that in every instance, and to the least detail, that  absolute necessary power shall not be hastily or unwisely exercised.

We believe, sir, that the honest will of the Union men of the country  was never more truly represented than in this convention. Their purpose we believe to be the overthrow of armed rebels in the field, and the  security of permanent peace and union, by liberty and justice, under the  Constitution. That these results are to be achieved amid cruel perplexities, they are fully aware. That they are to be reached only through  cordial unanimity of counsel, is undeniable. That good men may sometimes differ as to the means and the time, they know. That in the  conduct of all human affairs the highest duty is to determine, in the  angry conflict of passion, how much good may be practically accomplished, is their sincere persuasion. They have watched your official  course, therefore, with unflagging attention; and amid the bitter taunts  of eager friends and the fierce denunciation of enemies, now moving too  fast for some, now too slowly for others, they have seen you throughout  this tremendous contest patient, sagacious, faithful, just--leaning upon  the heart of the great mass of the people, and satisfied to be moved by its  mighty pulsations.

It is for this reason that, long before the convention met, the popular  instinct indicated you as its candidate; and the convention, therefore,  merely recorded the popular will. Your character and career prove  your unswerving fidelity to the cardinal principles of American liberty  and of the American Constitution. In the name of that liberty and Constitution, sir, we earnestly request your acceptance of this nomination;  reverently commending our beloved country, and you, its Chief Magistrate, with all its brave sons who, on sea and land, are faithfully defending the good old American cause of equal rights, to the blessing of  Almighty God.

We are, sir, very respectfully, your friends and fellow-citizens.

WM. DENNISON, O., Chairman. W. BUSHNELL, Ill.
W. A. NEWELL, N. J. A. C. WILDER, Kansas.
HENRY JOHNSON, Penn. M. M. BRIEN, Tennessee.
N. B. SMITHERS, Del. J. P. GREVES, Nevada.
JOHN F. HUME, Mo. A. S. PADDOCK, Nebraska.
E. P. TYFFE, Ohio. JOHN A. NYE, Colorado.



HON. WM. DENNISON and others, a Committee of the Union National Convention:

GENTLEMEN:--Your letter of the 14th inst., formally notifying me that  I have been nominated by the convention you represent for the Presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th of March next, has  been received. The nomination is gratefully accepted, as the resolutions  of the convention, called the platform, are heartily approved.

While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of republican government upon the Western Continent is fully concurred in, there might be  misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government  in relation to the action of France in Mexico, as assumed through the  State Department and indorsed by the convention among the measures  and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the  state of facts shall leave that position pertinent and applicable.

I am especially gratified that the soldier and seaman were not forgotten  by the convention, as they forever must and will be remembered by the  grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives.

Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in which you  have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the convention, I subscribe myself,

Your obedient servant,


The platform adopted by the Baltimore Convention  met with the general approval of those of the people who  claimed to be the supporters of the Government. One  exception was, however, found in the person of Mr.  Charles Gibson, Solicitor of the United States in the Court of Claims at St. Louis, who, considering, as he  said, that that platform rendered his retention of office  under Mr. Lincoln's Administration wholly useless to the  country, as well as inconsistent with his principles, tendered his resignation, through the clerk of the Court of  Claims, Mr. Welling.

The President's reply, communicated through his private secretary, was as follows:--



According to the request contained in your note, I have placed Mr.  Gibson's letter of resignation in the hands of the President. He has  read the letter, and says he accepts the resignation, as he will be glad to  do with any other, which may be tendered, as this is, for the purpose of  taking an attitude of hostility against him.

He says he was not aware that he was so much indebted to Mr. Gibson  for having accepted the office at first, not remembering that he ever  pressed him to do so, or that he gave it otherwise than as usual, upon a  request made on behalf of Mr. Gibson.

He thanks Mr. Gibson for his acknowledgment that he has been treated  with personal kindness and consideration, and he says he knows of but  two small drawbacks upon Mr. Gibson's right to still receive such treatment, one of which is that he could never learn of his giving much  attention to the duties of his office, and the other is this studied attempt  of Mr. Gibson's to stab him.

I am, very truly,

Your obedient servant,


The elements of opposition to Mr. Lincoln's election in  the ranks of his own party were checked, though not  wholly destroyed, by the unanimity of his nomination.  Conferences were still held among prominent men, especially in the city of New York, for the purpose of organizing this hostility and making it effective, and a call was  put in circulation for a convention to be held at Cincinnati, to put in nomination another candidate. The movement, however, was so utterly destitute of popular sympathy that it was soon abandoned. A very sharp and  acrimonious warfare was still waged upon Mr. Lincoln  and his Administration not only by the leading presses  of the opposition, but by prominent men and influential journals ostensibly in the ranks of his supporters. Every  act of the government was canvassed with eager and unfriendly scrutiny, and made, wherever it was possible, the  ground of hostile assault.

Among the matters thus seized upon was the surrender to the Spanish authorities of a Cuban named  Arguelles, which was referred to by the Fremont Convention as a denial of the right of asylum. This man,  Don Jose Augustine Arguelles, was a colonel in the  Spanish army, and Lieutenant-Governor of the District  of Colon, in Cuba. As such, in November, 1863, he  effected the capture of a large number of slaves that were  landed within his district, and received from the Government of Cuba praise for his efficiency, and the sum of  fifteen thousand dollars for his share of prize-money on  the capture. Shortly afterwards, he obtained leave of  absence for twenty days, for the purpose of going to New  York and there making the purchase of the Spanish  newspaper called La Cronica. He came to New York,  and there remained. In March following, the Cuban  Government made application to our authorities, through  the Consul-General's office at Havana, stating that it had  been discovered that Arguelles, with others, had been  guilty of the crime of selling one hundred and forty-one  of the cargo of negroes thus captured, into slavery, and  by means of forged papers representing to the Government that they had died after being landed; stating also  that his return to Cuba was necessary to procure the  liberation of his hapless victims, and desiring to know  whether the Government of the United States would  cause him to be returned to Cuba. Documents authenticating the facts of the case were forwarded to our  authorities. There being no extradition treaty between  our country and Spain, the Cuban Government could  take no proceedings before the courts in the matter,  and the only question was whether our Government  would take the responsibility of arresting Arguelles and  sending him back or not. The Government determined  to assume the responsibility, and sent word to the Cuban authorities that if they would send a suitable officer to  New York, measures would be taken to place Arguelles  in his charge. The officer was sent, and Arguelles having been arrested by the United States Marshal at  New York, was, before any steps could be taken to  appeal to any of the courts on his behalf, put on board a  steamer bound for Havana. This proceeding caused  great indignation until the facts were understood. Arguelles having money, had found zealous friends in  New York, and a strong effort was made in his favor.  It was stated on his behalf that, instead of being  guilty of selling these negroes into slavery, it was the  desire of the Cuban authorities to get possession of him  and silence him, lest he should publish facts within his  knowledge which implicated the authorities themselves  in that nefarious traffic. And the fact that he was taken  as he was, by direct order of the Government, not by any  legal or judicial proceedings, and without having the  opportunity to test before the courts the right of the  Government thus to send back any one, however criminal,  was alleged to spring from the same disregard of liberty  and law in which the arbitrary arrests which had been  made of rebel sympathizers were said to have had their  source. Proceedings were even taken against the United  States Marshal under a statute of the State of New York  against kidnapping, and everywhere the enemies of the  Administration found in the Arguelles case material for  assailing it as having trampled upon the right of asylum,  exceeded its own legal powers, insulted the laws and  courts of the land, and endangered the liberties of the  citizen; while the fact of its having aided in the punishment of an atrocious crime, a crime intimately connected  with the slave-trade, so abhorrent to the sympathies of  the people, was kept out of sight.

Another incident used to feed the public distrust of  the Administration, was the temporary suppression of  two Democratic newspapers in the city of New York.  On Wednesday, May 18th, these two papers, the World  and the Journal of Commerce, published what purported to be a proclamation of President Lincoln. At this time,  as will be recollected, General Grant was still struggling  with Lee before Spottsylvania, with terrible slaughter  and doubtful prospects, while Sigel had been driven  back by Imboden, and Butler was held in check by  Beauregard. This proclamation announced to the country that General Grant's campaign was virtually closed;  and, "in view of the situation in Virginia, the disaster at  Red River, the delay at Charleston, and the general state  of the country," it appointed the 26th of May as a day  of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, and ordered a fresh  draft of four hundred thousand men. The morning of its  publication was the day of the departure of the mails for  Europe. Before its character was discovered, this forged  proclamation, telegraphed all over the country, had  raised the price of gold five or six per cent., and carried discouragement and dismay to the popular heart.  The suppression of the papers by which it had been  published, the emphatic denial of its authenticity, and  the prompt adoption of measures to detect its author,  speedily reassured the public mind. After being satisfied that the publication of the document was inadvertent, the journals seized were permitted to resume publication, the authors of the forgery were sent to Fort  Lafayette, and public affairs resumed their ordinary  course.

But the action of the Government gave fresh stimulus  to the partisan warfare upon it. As in the Arguelles case  and the arbitrary arrests it had been charged with trampling upon the liberties of the citizen, so now it was charged  with attacking the liberty of the press. Governor  Seymour directed the District Attorney of New York to  take measures for the prosecution and punishment of all  who had been connected with shutting up the newspaper  offices. The matter was brought before a grand-jury,  which reported that it was inexpedient to examine into  the subject."

Determined not to be thus thwarted, Governor Seymour, alleging that the grand-jury had disregarded their oaths, directed the District Attorney to bring the subject  before some magistrate. Warrants were accordingly  issued by City Judge Russell for the arrest of General  Dix and the officers who had acted in the matter. The  parties voluntarily appeared before the judge, and an  argument of the legal questions involved was had. The  judge determined to hold General Dix and the rest for  the action of the grand-jury. One grand-jury, however,  had already refused to meddle with the matter, and,  greatly to the disappointment of those who had aimed  to place the State of New York in a position of open  hostility to the Government of the United States, no further proceedings were ever taken in the matter.

An effort was made to bring the subject up in Congress. Among other propositions, Mr. Brooks, of New  York, proposed to add, as an amendment to a bill for  the incorporation of a Newsboys' Home in the District of  Columbia, a provision that no newspaper should be suppressed in Washington, or its editor incarcerated, without  due process of law. He succeeded in making a speech  abounding in denunciations of the Government, but had  no other success.

To those men at the North who really sympathized with  the South on the slavery question, the whole policy of  the Administration upon that subject was distasteful.  The Emancipation Proclamation, the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, and even the employment of negroes in  the army, were with them grave causes of complaint  against it. The President's views on this matter were  expressed in the following conversational remarks, to some  prominent Western gentlemen:--

The slightest knowledge of arithmetic (said he) will prove to any  man that the rebel armies cannot be destroyed by Democratic strategy.  It would sacrifice all the white men of the North to do it. There are  now in the service of the United States nearly two hundred thousand  able-bodied colored men, most of them under arms, defending and ac quiring Union territory. The Democratic strategy demands that these  forces be disbanded, and that the masters be conciliated by restoring them  to slavery. The black men who now assist Union prisoners to escape are to be converted into our enemies, in the vain hope of gaining the  good-will of their masters. We shall have to fight two nations instead  of one.

You cannot conciliate the South if you guarantee to them ultimate  success, and the experience of the present war proves their success is  inevitable if you fling the compulsory labor of four millions of black men  into their side of the scale. Will you give our enemies such military  advantages as insure success, and then depend upon coaxing, flattery, and  concession to get them back into the Union? Abandon all the forts now  garrisoned by black men, take two hundred thousand men from our side,  and put them in the battle-field, or cornfield, against us, and we would  be compelled to abandon the war in three weeks.

We have to hold territory in inclement and sickly places. Where are  the Democrats to do this? It was a free fight, and the field was open to  the War Democrats to put down this rebellion by fighting against both  master and slave long before the present policy was inaugurated. There  have been men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery our  black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of  the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned  in time and eternity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with friend and  foe. My enemies pretend I am now carrying on this war for the sole  purpose of abolition. So long as I am President it shall be carried on  for the sole purpose of restoring the Union. But no human power can  subdue this rebellion without the use of the emancipation policy, and  every other policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of  the rebellion.

Freedom has given us two hundred thousand men, raised on Southern  soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has abstracted from the  enemy; and instead of checking the South, there are evidences of a fraternal feeling growing up between our men and the rank and file of the  rebel soldiers. Let my enemies prove to the country that the destruction  of slavery is not necessary to the restoration of the Union. I will abide  the issue.

Aside from the special causes of attack which we have  mentioned, others were brought forward more general in  their character. The burdens of the war were made  especially prominent. Every thing discouraging was  harped upon and magnified, every advantage was belittled  and sneered at. The call for five hundred thousand men  in June was even deprecated by the friends of the Administration, because of the political capital which its  enemies would be sure to make of it. Nor was Mr. Lincoln himself unaware that such would be the result, but, though recognizing the elements of dissatisfaction which  it carried with it, he did not suffer himself to be turned  aside in the least from the path which duty to his coutry required him to pursue. The men were needed, he  said, and must be had, and should he fail as a candidate.  for re-election in consequence of doing his duty to the  country, he would have at least the satisfaction of going  down with colors flying.

Financial difficulties were also used in the same way.  The gradual rise in the price of gold was pointed at as  indicating the approach of that financial ruin which  was surely awaiting the country, if the re-election of Mr.  Lincoln should mark the determination of the people to  pursue the course upon which they had entered.

Amidst these assaults from his opponents, Mr. Lincoln  seemed fairly entitled, at least, to the hearty support of  all the members of his own party. And yet this very  time was chosen by Senator Wade, of Ohio, and H.  Winter Davis, of Maryland, to make a violent attack upon  him for the course which he had pursued in reference  to the Reconstruction Bill, which he had not signed, but  had given his reasons for not signing, in his proclamation of July 18th. They charged him with usurpation,  with presuming upon the forbearance of his supporters,  with defeating the will of the people by an Executive  perversion of the Constitution, &c., &c., and closed a  long and violent attack by saying that if he wished their  support he "must confine himself to his Executive  duties--to obey and execute, not make the laws--to suppress by arms armed rebellion, and leave political reorganization to Congress."

This manifesto, prepared with marked ability, and  skilfully adapted to the purpose it was intended to serve,  at first created some slight apprehension among the supporters of the President. But it was very soon felt that  it met with no response from the popular heart, and it  only served to give a momentary buoyancy to the hopes  of the Opposition.

Still another incident soon occurred to excite a considerable degree of public anxiety concerning the immediate political future. It was universally understood that  a strong desire for peace pervaded the public mind, and.  that the determination to prosecute the war was the dictate of duty, rather than inclination. To such an extent  did this longing for peace influence the sentiments and  action of some, among the least resolute and hopeful of  the political leaders in the Republican party, that ready  access to them was found by agents of the Rebel Government, stationed in Canada for such active service as circumstances might require. Of these agents, who were  then at Niagara Falls, were C. C. Clay, formerly United  States Senator from Alabama, Professor Holcombe, of Virginia, and George N. Sanders. Acting on their behalf  and under their instructions, W. Cornell Jewett, an irresponsible and half-insane adventurer, had put himself in  communication with Hon. Horace Greeley, Editor of the  New York Tribune, whose intense eagerness for peace had  already commended him to the admiration and sympathy  of the emissaries of the Rebel Government. In reply to  some letter which had been addressed to him, but which  has not yet been made public, Jewett wrote on the 5th of  July to Mr. Greeley the following letter:--

NIAGARA FALLS, July 5, 1864.

MY DEAR MR. GREELEY:--In reply to your note, I have to advise having just left Hon. George N. Sanders, of Kentucky, on the Canada side. I  am authorized to state to you, for our use only, not the public, that two  ambassadors of Davis & Co. are now in Canada, with full and complete  powers for a peace, and Mr. Sanders requests that you come on immediately to me, at Cataract House, to have a private interview, or if you  will send the President's protection for him and two friends, they will  come on and meet you. He says the whole matter can be consummated  by me, you, them, and President Lincoln. Telegraph me in such form  that I may know if you come here, or they to come on with me.

Yours, W. C. JEWETT.

The next day Mr. Jewett also telegraphed as follows:--

H. GREELEY, Tribune:

Will you come here? Parties have full power. Wrote you yesterday


This letter and telegram Mr. Greeley enclosed to the  President, at Washington, accompanied by the following letter:--

NEW YORK, July 7, 1864.MY DEAR SIR:--I venture to enclose you a letter and telegraphic dis patch that I received yesterday from our irrepressible friend, Colorado  Jewett, at Niagara Falls. I think they deserve attention. Of course I  do not indorse Jewett's positive averment that his friends at the Falls  have "full powers" from J. D., though I do not doubt that he thinks  they have. I let that statement stand as simply evidencing the anxiety  of the Confederates everywhere for peace. So much is beyond doubt. And therefore I venture to remind you that our bleeding, bankrupt,  almost dying country also longs for peace--shudders at the prospect of  fresh conscriptions, of further wholesale devastations, and of new rivers  of human blood; and a wide-spread conviction that the Government and  its prominent supporters are not anxious for peace, and do not improve  proffered opportunities to achieve it, is doing great harm now, and is  morally certain, unless removed, to do far greater in the approaching  elections. It is not enough that we anxiously desire a true and lasting peace; we  ought to demonstrate and establish the truth beyond cavil. The fact that  A. H. Stephens was not permitted a year ago to visit and confer with  the authorities at Washington has done harm, which the tone at the late  National Convention at Baltimore is not calculated to counteract. I entreat you, in your own time and manner, to submit overtures for  pacification to the Southern insurgents, which the impartial must pronounce frank and generous. If only with a view to the momentous election soon to occur in North Carolina, and of the draft to be enforced in  the Free States, this should be done at once. I would give the safe-con duct required by the rebel envoys at Niagara, upon their parole to avoid  observation and to refrain from all communication with their sympathizers in the loyal States; but you may see reasons for declining it. But  whether through them or otherwise, do not, I entreat you, fail to make  the Southern people comprehend that you, and all of us, are anxious for  peace, and prepared to grant liberal terms. I venture to suggest the following PLAN OF ADJUSTMENT.
1. The Union is restored and declared perpetual.
2. Slavery is utterly and forever abolished throughout the same.
3. A complete amnesty for all political offences, with a restoration of all the inhabitants of each State to all the privileges of citizens of the United States.
4. The Union to pay four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000) in five per cent. United States stock to the late Slave States, loyal and secession alike, to be apportioned pro rata, according to their slave population respectively, by the census of 1860, in compensation for the losses of their loyal citizens by the abolition of slavery. Each State to be entitled to its quota upon the ratification by its legislature of this adjustment. The bonds to be at the absolute disposal of the legislature aforesaid.
5. The said Slave States to be entitled henceforth to representation in the House on the basis of their total, instead of their federal population, the whole now being free.
6. A national convention, to be assembled so soon as may be, to ratify this adjustment, and make such changes in the Constitution as may bedeemed advisable.

Mr. President, I fear you do not realize how intently the people desire  any peace consistent with the national integrity and honor, and how  joyously they would hail its achievement, and bless its authors. With  United States stocks worth but forty cents in gold per dollar, and drafting about to commence on the third million of Union soldiers, can this  be wondered at?

I do not say that a just peace is now attainable, though I believe it to  be so. But I do say that a frank offer by you to the insurgents of terms  which the impartial say ought to be accepted will, at the worst, prove  an immense and sorely needed advantage to the national cause. It may  save us from a Northern insurrection.

Yours, truly, HORACE GREELEY.

Hon. A. LINCOLN, PresidentWashington, D. C.

P. S.--Even though it should be deemed unadvisable to make an offer  of terms to the rebels, I insist that, in any possible case, it is desirable  that any offer they may be disposed to make should be received, and  either accepted or rejected. I beg you to invite those now at Niagara to  exhibit their credentials and submit their ultimatum. H. G.

To this letter the President sent the following answer:--

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 9, 1864.


DEAR SIR:--Your letter of the 7th, with enclosures, received. If you  can find any person anywhere professing to have any proposition of Jefferson Davis, in writing, for peace, embracing the restoration of the  Union and abandonment of slavery, whatever else it embraces, say to  him he may come to me with you, and that if he really brings such prop osition, he shall, at the least, have safe-conduct with the paper (and with out publicity if he chooses) to the point where you shall have met him.  The same if there be two or more persons.

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

Mr. Greeley answered this letter as follows:--


MY DEAR SIR:--I have yours of yesterday. Whether there be persons  at Niagara (or elsewhere) who are empowered to commit the rebels by  negotiation, is a question; but if there be such, there is no question at all  that they would decline to exhibit their credentials to me, much more to  open their budget and give me their best terms. Green as I may be, I am  not quite so verdant as to imagine any thing of the sort. I have neither  purpose nor desire to be made a confidant, far less an agent, in such negotiations. But I do deeply realize that the rebel chiefs achieved a most  decided advantage in proposing or pretending to propose to have A. H.  Stephens visit Washington as a peacemaker, and being rudely repulsed;  and I am anxious that the ground lost to the national cause by that mistake shall somehow be regained in season for effect on the approaching  North Carolina election. I will see if I can get a look into the hand of  whomsoever may be at Niagara; though that is a project so manifestly  hopeless that I have little heart for it, still I shall try.

Meantime I wish you would consider the propriety of somehow apprising the people of the South, especially those of North Carolina, that  no overture or advance looking to peace and reunion has ever been repelled by you, but that such a one would at. any time have been cordially  received and favorably regarded, and would still be.



This letter failed to reach the President until after the  following one was received, and was never, therefore,  specifically answered.

Three days after the above letter, Mr. Greeley, having  received additional information from some quarter, wrote  to the President again as follows:--


MY DEAR SIR:--I have now information on which I can rely that two  persons duly commissioned and empowered to negotiate for peace are at  this moment not far from Niagara Falls, in Canada, and are desirous of  conferring with yourself, or with such persons as you may appoint and  empower to treat with them. Their names (only given in confidence) are  Hon. Clement O. Clay, of Alabama, and Hon. Jacob Thompson, of Mississippi. If you should prefer to meet them in person, they require safe-con ducts for themselves, and for George N. Sanders, who will accompany  them. Should you choose to empower one or more persons to treat with  them in Canada, they will of course need no safe-conduct; but they can not be expected to exhibit credentials save to commissioners empowered  as they are. In negotiating directly with yourself, all grounds of cavil would be avoided, and you would be enabled at all times to act upon the  freshest advices of the military situation. You will of course understand  that I know nothing and have proposed nothing as to terms, and that  nothing is conceded or taken for granted by the meeting of persons empowered to negotiate for peace. All that is assumed is a mutual desire  to terminate this wholesale slaughter, if a basis of adjustment can be mutually agreed on, and it seems to me high time that an effort to this end  should be made. I am of course quite other than sanguine that a peace  can now be made, but I am quite sure that a frank, earnest, anxious  effort to terminate the war on honorable terms would immensely  strengthen the Government in case of its failure, and would help us in the  eyes of the civilized world, which now accuses us of obstinacy, and indisposition even to seek a peaceful solution of our sanguinary, devastating  conflict. Hoping to hear that you have resolved to act in the premises,  and to act so promptly that a good influence may even yet be exerted on  the North Carolina election next month,

I remain yours, HORACE GREELEY.

Hon. A. LINCOLN, Washington.

On the 12th, the day before the foregoing letter was  sent, Mr. George N. Sanders had written to Mr. Greeley  as follows:--


DEAR SIR:--I am authorized to say that Honorable Clement C. Clay,  of Alabama, Professor James P. Holcombe, of Virginia, and George N.  Sanders, of Dixie, are ready and willing to go at once to Washington,  upon complete and unqualified protection being given either by the President or Secretary of War. Let the permission include the three names  and one other.

Very respectfully,



This letter of Mr. Sanders does not seem to have been  communicated to the President, but on the receipt of Mr.  Greeley's letter of the 13th, he immediately answered it  by the following telegram:--


HON. HORACE GREELEY, New York:--I suppose you received my letter  of the 9th. I have just received yours of the 13th, and am disappointed  by it. I was not expecting you to send me a letter, but to bring me a  man, or men. Mr. Hay goes to you with my answer to yours of the 13th.


The answer which Major Hay carried was as follows:--



MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 13th is just received, and I am disappointed that you have not already reached here with those commisioners. If they would consent to come, on being shown my letter to you of  the 9th instant, show that and this to them, and if they will come on the  terms stated in the former, bring them. I not only intend a sincere effort  for peace, but I intend that you shall be a personal witness that it is  made.

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

When Major Hay arrived at New York, he delivered  to Mr. Greeley this letter from the President, and telegraphed its result to the President as follows:--


His Excellency A. LINCOLN,

President of the United States:

Arrived this morning at 6 A.M., and delivered your letter few minutes  after. Although he thinks some one less known would create less excitement and be less embarrassed by public curiosity, still he will start  immediately if he can have an absolute safe-conduct for four persons to  be named by him. Your letter he does not think will guard them from  arrest, and with only those letters he would have to explain the whole  matter to any officer who might choose to hinder them. If this meets  with your approbation, I can write the order in your name as A. A.-G.  or you can send it by mail. Please answer me at Astor House.


The President at once answered by telegraph as follows:--


JOHN HAY, Astor House, New York:

Yours received. Write the safe-conduct as you propose, without wait ing for one by mail from me. If there is or is not any thing in the affair,  I wish to know it without unnecessary delay. A. LINCOLN.

Major Hay accordingly wrote the following safe-conduct,  armed with which Mr. Greeley betook himself at once to  Niagara Falls:--

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C. The President of the United States directs that the four persons whose  names follow, to wit:









shall have safe-conduct to the City of Washington in company with the  Hon. Horace Greeley, and shall be exempt from arrest or annoyance of  any kind from any officer of the United States during their journey to the  said City of Washington.

By order of the President:

JOHN HAY, Major and A. A.-G.

On his arrival, Mr. Greeley sent. by the hands of Mr.  Jewett the following letter:--

NIAGARA FALLS, N. Y., July 17, 1864.

GENTLEMEN:--I am informed that you are duly accredited from Richmond as the bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of peace;  that you desire to visit Washington in the fulfilment of your mission; and  that you further desire that Mr. George N. Sanders shall accompany you.  If my information be thus far substantially correct, I am authorized by  the President of the United States to tender you his safe-conduct on the  journey proposed, and to accompany you at the earliest time that will be  agreeable to you. I have the honor to be, gentlemen,



To this letter the following reply was returned:--


SIR:--We have the honor to acknowledge your favor of the 17th inst.,  which would have been answered on yesterday, but for the absence of  Mr. Clay. The safe-conduct of the President of the United States has  been tendered us, we regret to state, under some misapprehension of facts.  We have not been accredited to him from Richmond, as the bearers of  propositions looking to the establishment of peace. We are, however,  in the confidential employment of our Government, and are entirely  familiar with its wishes and opinions on that subject; and we feel authorized to declare, that if the circumstances disclosed in this correspondence  were communicated to Richmond, we would be at once invested with  the authority to which your letter refers, or other gentlemen, clothed  with full powers, would be immediately sent to Washington with a view  of hastening a consummation so much to be desired, and terminating at  the earliest possible moment the calamities of the war. We respectfully  solicit, through your intervention, a safe-conduct to Washington, and  thence by any route which may be designated through your lines to  Richmond. We would be gratified if Mr. George Sanders was embraced  in this privilege. Permit us, in conclusion, to acknowledge our obligations to you for the interest you have manifested in the furtherance of our wishes, and to express the hope that, in any event, you will afford us  the opportunity of tendering them in person before you leave the Falls.

We remain, very respectfully, &c.,


P. S.--It is proper to state that Mr. Thompson is not here, and has  not been staying with us since our sojourn in Canada.

Mr. Greeley thereupon wrote as follows:--


GENTLEMEN:--I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours  of this date by the hand of Mr. W. C. Jewett. The state of facts therein  presented being materially different from that which was understood to  exist by the President when he intrusted me with the safe-conduct required, it seems to me on every account advisable that I should communicate with him by telegraph, and solicit fresh instructions, which I shall  at once proceed to do.

I hope to be able to transmit the result this afternoon, and at all events  I shall do so at the earliest moment.

Yours truly, HORACE GREELEY.

To Messrs. CLEMENT C. CLAY and JAMES P. HOLCOMBE, Clifton House,  C. W.

This letter was thus acknowledged:--


To Hon. H. GREELEY, Niagara Falls, N. Y.:

SIR:--We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of  this date by the hands of Colonel Jewett, and will await the further  answer which you propose to send to us.

We are, very respectfully, &c.,



Mr. Greeley accordingly sent the following telegram at once to the President at Washington:--


Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President:

I have communicated with the gentlemen in question, and do not find  them so empowered as I was previously assured. They say that "we  are, however, in the confidential employment of our Government, and  entirely familiar with its wishes and opinions on that subject, and we feel!  authorized to declare that, if the circumstances disclosed in this correspondence were communicated to Richmond, we would at once be invested with  the authority to which your letter refers, or other gentlemen clothed with  full power would immediately be sent to Washington with a view of  hastening a consummation so much to be desired, and terminating at the  earliest possible moment the calamities of war. We respectfully solicit,  through your intervention, a safe-conduct to Washington, and thence by  any route which may be designated to Richmond." Such is the more  material portion of the gentlemen's letter. I will transmit the entire  correspondence, if desired. Awaiting your further instructions,

I remain yours, HORACE GREELEY.

The President, on receiving this telegram, immediately  dispatched Major Hay to Niagara with a further communication, and telegraphed to Mr. Greeley that he had  done so, whereupon the latter sent across the river the  following letter:--


GENTLEMAN:--At a late hour last evening (too late for communication  with you) I received a dispatch informing me that further instructions  left Washington last evening, which must reach me, if there be no interruption, at noon to-morrow. Should you decide to await their arrival, I  feel confident that they will enable me to answer definitely your note of  yesterday morning. Regretting a delay which I am sure you will regard  as unavoidable on my part,

I remain yours truly, HORACE GREELEY.

To Hon. Messrs. C. C. CLAY, JR., and J. P. HOLCOMBE, Clifton House,  C. W.

He received the following acknowledgment:--


SIR:-- Colonel Jewett has just handed us your note of this date, in  which you state that further instructions from Washington will reach  you by noon to-morrow, if there be no interruption. One, or possibly  both of us, may be obliged to leave the Falls to-day, but will return in  time to receive the communication which you promise to-morrow.

We remain truly yours, &c.,


To the Hon. HORACE GREELEY, now at the International Hotel.

The further instructions from the President, sent by the  hands of Major Hay, were as follows:--



Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity  of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes  by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against  the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive  Government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on  substantial and collateral points, and the bearer or bearers thereof shall  have safe conduct both ways.



Major Hay arrived at Niagara on the 20th of July, and  went with Mr. Greeley across to the Clifton House, where  he delivered to Professor Holcombe the above paper, in  the President's own handwriting. The interview was a  brief one, and on separating, Mr. Greeley returned to  New York, leaving Major Hay to receive their answer,  if there should be one.

Their reply was, however, sent to Mr. Greeley by the  hands of Mr. Jewett. It was as follows:--



SIR:--The paper handed to Mr. Holcombe on yesterday, in your presence, by Major Hay, A. A.-G., as an answer to the application in our note  of the 18th inst., is couched in the following terms:--



Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity  of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes  by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against  the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive  Government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on  other substantial and collateral points, and the bearer or bearers therof  shall have safe-conduct both ways.


The application to which we refer was elicited by your letter of the  17th inst., in which you inform Mr. Jacob Thompson and ourselves, that  you were authorized by the President of the United States to tender us his  safe-conduct on the hypothesis that we were "duly accredited from Richmond, as bearers of propositions looking to the establishment of  peace," and desired a visit to Washington in the fulfilmeut of this mission. This assertion, to which we then gave, and still do, entire credence,  was accepted by us as the evidence of an unexpected but most gratifying  change in the policy of the President--a change which we felt authorized  to hope might terminate in the conclusion of a peace, mutually just, honorable, and advantageous to the North and to the South, exacting no condition, but that we should be "duly accredited from Richmond as bearers  of propositions looking to the establishment of peace," thus proffering a  basis for conference as comprehensive as we could desire. It seemed to  us that the President opened a door, which had previously been closed  against the Confederate States for a full interchange of sentiments, free  discussion of conflicting opinions, and untrammelled effort to remove all  causes of controversy by liberal negotiations. We indeed could not claim  the benefit of a safe-conduct which had been extended to us in a character we had no right to assume, and had never affected to possess; but the  uniform declaration of our Executive and Congress, and their thrice repeated and as often repulsed attempts to open negotiations, furnish a  sufficient pledge to assure us that this conciliatory manifestation on the  part of the President of the United States would be met by them in a  temper of equal magnanimity. We had therefore no hesitation in declaring that if this correspondence was communicated to the President  of the Confederate States, he would promptly embrace the opportunity  presented for seeking a peaceful solution of this unhappy strife. We feel  confident that you must share our profound regret that the spirit which  dictated the first step towards peace had not continued to animate the  counsels of your President.

Had the representatives of the two Governments met to consider this  question, the most momentous ever submitted to human statesmanship, in  a temper of becoming moderation and equity, followed as their deliberations would have been by the prayers and benedictions of every patriot  and Christian on the habitable globe, who is there so bold as to pronounce  that the frightful waste of individual happiness and public prosperity,  which is daily saddening the universal heart, might not have been terminated, or if the desolation and carnage of war must still be endured  through weary years of blood and suffering, that there might not at least  have been infused into its conduct something more of the spirit which  softens and partially redeems its brutalities? Instead of the safe-conduct  which we solicited, and which your first letter gave us every reason to  suppose would be extended for the purpose of initiating a negotiation in  which neither Government would compromise its rights or its dignity, a  document has been presented which provokes as much indignation as surprise. It bears no feature of resemblance to that which was originally  offered, and is unlike any paper which ever before emanated from the constitutional Executive of a free people. Addressed "to whom it may concern," it precludes negotiation, and prescribes in advance the terms and  conditions of peace. It returns to the original policy of "no bargaining,  no negotiations, no truces with rebels, except to bury their dead, until every  man shall have laid down his arms, submitted to the Government, and sued  for mercy." What may be the explanation of this sudden and entire  change in the views of the President, of this rude withdrawal of a courteous overture for negotiation at the moment it was likely to be accepted, of this emphatic recall of words of peace just uttered, and fresh blasts of  war to the bitter end, we leave for the speculation of those who have the  means or inclination to penetrate the mysteries of his cabinet, or fathom  the caprice of his imperial will. It is enough for us to say that we have  no use whatever for the paper which has been placed in our hands. We  could not transmit it to the President of the Confederate States without  offering him an indignity, dishonoring ourselves, and incurring the well merited scorn of our countrymen.

Whilst an ardent desire for peace pervades the people of the Confederate States, we rejoice to believe that there are few, if any, among them,  who would purchase it at the expense of liberty, honor, and self-respect.  If it can be secured only by their submission to terms of conquest, the  generation is yet unborn which will witness its restitution. If there be  any military autocrat in the North, who is entitled to proffer the conditions of this manifesto, there is none in the South authorized to entertain  them. Those who control our armies are the servants of the people, not  their masters, and they have no more inclination than they have right to  subvert the social institutions of the sovereign States, to overthrow their  established constitutions, and to barter away their priceless heritage of  self-government.

This correspondence will not, however, we trust, prove wholly barren  of good results.

If there is any citizen of the Confederate States who has clung to a  hope that peace was possible with this Administration of the Federal Government, it will strip from his eyes the last film of such a delusion; or if  there be any whose hearts have grown faint under the suffering and agony  of this bloody struggle, it will inspire them with fresh energy to endure  and brave whatever may yet be requisite to preserve to themselves and  their children all that gives dignity and value to life, or hope and consolation to death. And if there be any patriots or Christians in your land,  who shrink appalled from the illimitable vista of private misery and  public calamity which stretches before them, we pray that in their bosoms  a resolution may be quickened to recall the abused authority and vindicate the outraged civilization of their country. For the solicitude you  have manifested to inaugurate a movement which contemplates results the  most noble and humane, we return our sincere thanks, and are most  respectfully and truly

Your obedient servants,  C. C. CLAY, JR.  JAMES P. HOLCOMBE.

The letter to Mr. Jewett in which it was enclosed was as follows:--


Col. W. C. JEWETT, Cataract House, Niagara Falls:

We are in receipt of your note admonishing us of the departure of Hon.  Horace Greeley from the Falls, that he regrets the sad termination of the

initiatory steps taken for peace, in consequence of the change made by  the President in his instructions to convey commissioners to Washington  for negotiations, unconditionally, and that Mr. Greeley will be pleased to  receive any answer we may have to make through you. We avail our selves of this offer to enclose a letter to Mr. Greeley, which you will oblige  us by delivering. We cannot take leave of you without expressing our  thanks for your courtesy and kind offices as the intermediary through  whom our correspondence with Mr. Greeley has been conducted, and assuring you that we are, very respectfully,

Your obedient servants,  C. C. CLAY, JR.  JAMES P. HOLCOMBE.

Mr. Greeley, before his departure, gave the following certificate to Mr. Jewett:--


In leaving the Falls, I feel bound to state that I have had no intercourse  with the Confederate gentlemen at the Clifton House, but such as I was  fully authorized to hold by the President of the United States, and that I  have done nothing in the premises but in fulfilment of his injunctions.  The notes, therefore, which you have interchanged between those gentle men and myself, can in no case subject you to the imputation of unauthorized dealing with public enemies


To W. C. JEWETT, Esq.

In their note of July 20, to Mr. Jewett, enclosing their  final letter to Mr. Greeley, the rebel emissaries acknowledge the assurance, received from Mr. Jewett, that Mr.  Greeley "regrets the sad termination of the initiatory  steps taken for peace, in consequence of the change made  by the President in his instructions to convey commissioners to Washington for negotiations unconditionally."  The Commissioners must have misunderstood Mr. Jewett,  or Mr. Jewett must have misrepresented. Mr. Greeley, in  this report of the ground of his "regrets," or else Mr.  Greeley must have taken a position quite at variance with  the facts of the case. Mr. Greeley could scarcely have  believed that the President had "changed his instructions" in the least degree; and he must have known that  the result of the attempted negotiation was due to a wholly  different cause.

The first response made by the President to Mr. Greeley's urgent entreaty that peace commissioners should be received, was dated July 9, and said:--

"If you can find any person professing to have any proposition of  Jefferson Davis, in writing, for peace, embracing the restoration of the  Union, and abandonment of slavery, whatever else it embraces, say to  him that he may come to me."

At the very outset, therefore, the President distinctly  specified the conditions on which he would receive the  pretended commissioners:--they must bring written propositions for peace from Davis, and those propositions  must embrace two of the things which Mr. Greeley himself  had suggested,--the restoration of the Union, and the abandonment of slavery. So far as appears, Mr. Greeley  neither showed this letter of the President to the pretended  agents of the Rebel Government, nor did he inform them  in any way of the conditions on which alone they would  be received. But in his letters of July 10th and 13th, to  the President, without making any reference to these conditions, he reiterates his pressing entreaty that the negotiations may be encouraged, and that the rebel agents may  be received at Washington. To this the President replied,  expressing his disappointment that the commissioners had  not already arrived, and saying,

"If they would consent to come, on being shown my letter to you of  the 9th inst. [in which the conditions of their coming were distinctly  stated], show that and this to them, and if they will come on the terms  stated in the former, bring them."

Notwithstanding these explicit and peremptory instructions, it does not appear that Mr. Greeley gave the rebel  agents any information whatever as to the "terms" of  their being received, nor did he show them either of  the President's two letters in which these terms were  stated. But he proceeded to make arrangements for their  visit to Washington, and went to Niagara Falls to bear  them company. There he addressed them a letter on the  17th of July, saying that, if it was true, as he had been informed, that they were "duly accredited from Richmond as  the bearers of propositions looking to the establishment  of peace, and in the fulfilment of their mission," he was "authorized by the President of the United States to tender  them his safe-conduct on the journey proposed." Mr. Greeley was not authorized to tender these agents a safe-conduct  to Washington upon any such terms, but only on certain  other conditions which he concealed from the agents, and  of which he took no notice whatever, either in his correspondence with them or with the President. Their reply  to him, however, corrected his impression that they were  "duly accredited" from Richmond to negotiate for peace.  They had no authority of the kind, but expressed their  belief that they could get it, and, upon this presumption,  renewed their solicitations for a safe-conduct to Washington. On the 18th, Mr. Greeley wrote to the President  communicating this information, but still making no allusion whatever to the conditions imposed upon their being  received.

The President, meantime, not understanding the cause  of delay in their arrival, sent Major Hay, his private secretary, to communicate directly with "any persons" professing to have authority from Davis to treat for peace,  and to inform them, as he had twice before instructed  Mr. Greeley to inform them, that any proposition for  peace, in order to be received and considered by him,  must embrace "the restoration of peace, the integrity of  the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery."  These instructions were embodied in the letter addressed  "to whom it may concern"--and were delivered by  Major Hay in person to the rebel agents. As it was the  first they had ever heard of any "conditions," and as  they had been informed by Mr. Greeley that he was instructed by the President to tender them safe-conduct to  Washington, without any mention of conditions--they  were of course taken by surprise, and naturally enough  attributed to the President the "sudden and entire  change of views" with which they reproach him in their  letter to Mr. Greeley of July 21st. And strangely enough,  even after receiving this letter and being thus apprised  of the charge brought against the President, Mr. Greeley  not only failed to relieve him from it by making public the facts, but joined in ascribing to Mr. Lincoln the failure of negotiations for peace and the consequent prolongation of the war. And, according to Mr. Jewett's statement, Mr. Greeley also authorized him to express to the  rebel commissioners his regrets, that the negotiation  should have failed in consequence of the President's  change of views."

It is not easy now, any more than it was then, to  reconcile Mr. Greeley's action in this matter with fidelity  to the Union cause, or with good faith to the Administration, by which alone that cause was maintained. The  Opposition press made Mr. Lincoln's alleged tergiversation the ground of fresh and vehement attack, while it  was used throughout the rebel States as fresh proof of  the faithless character of the Federal Government, and  of the absolute impossibility of making peace except by  successful war. The commissioners themselves made a  very adroit use of the advantage which Mr. Greeley's  extraordinary course had placed in their hands, and, in  their letter of July 21st, addressed to him, but intended  to be a public impeachment of President Lincoln's honor  and good faith, made a powerful and effective appeal to  the indignant pride of the Southern people and the sympathy of their friends in the Northern States.

The President felt very sensibly the injustice done to  himself, and the' injury done the country, by Mr. Greeley's  suppression of these most essential facts, in his intercourse  with the rebel commissioners. As the only mode of  placing the whole subject properly before the people,  he applied to Mr. Greeley for permission to publish the  whole correspondence -- omitting only certain passages  not at all essential to a full understanding of the subject,  and likely seriously to injure the Union cause by infusing  into the public mind something of the despondency,  which Mr. Greeley himself felt and openly avowed, concerning the prospects of the country. The words which  Mr. Lincoln desired to have omitted, in the publication  of the correspondence, were the following. In the letter  of July 7:--

In the second paragraph: the words "and therefore I venture to re mind you that our bleeding, bankrupt, almost dying country also longs  for peace, shudders at the prospect of fresh conscriptions, of further  wholesale devastations, and of new rivers of human blood, and:"--also  the words "now, and is morally certain, unless removed, to do far  greater in the approaching elections."

In the fourth paragraph, the words "If only with a view to the momentous election soon to occur in North Carolina and of the draft to be  enforced in the Free States, this should be done."

In the last paragraph, the words "It may save us from a Northern insurrection.

In the letter of July 10th, second paragraph, the words "in season  for effect on the approaching North Carolina election;" and in the last  paragraph, the words "especially those of North Carolina."

And in the letter of July 13th, last paragraph, the words "that a good  influence may even yet be exerted on the North Carolina election next  month."

Mr. Greeley declined to give his assent to the publication of the correspondence, unless these phrases should be  published also. The President accordingly submitted in  silence to the injustice which had been done him, and committed the whole subject, in the following letter, to the judgment of a personal and political friend:--



My DEAR SIR:--I have proposed to Mr. Greeley that the Niagara correspondence be published, suppressing only the parts of his letters over  which the red-pencil is drawn in the copy which I herewith send. He  declines giving his consent to the publication of his letters unless these  parts be published with the rest. I have concluded that it is better for  me to submit, for the time, to the consequences of the false position in  which I consider he has placed me, than to subject the country to the  consequences of publishing these discouraging and injurious parts. I  send you this, and the accompanying copy, not for publication, but merely  to explain to you, and that you may preserve them until their proper  time shall come.

Yours truly,



This public statement of the facts of this case is deemed  by the author due to the memory of Mr. Lincoln. He  has been widely censured for entering into communication with rebel agents at all;--but this correspondence  shows that Mr. Greeley's assurances, and his pressing entreaties, had made it necessary for him, either to open the way for peace negotiations or reject the opportunity, which one.  of the most influential leaders of his own party thus assured  him was offered, for an honorable termination of the war.  He was charged with having finally insisted upon certain  concessions as the basis of an interview, after having first  promised it unconditionally; but this correspondence  shows that these conditions were distinctly stated at the  very outset, but were withheld by Mr. Greeley from the  knowledge of the rebel commissioners. It is due to justice, as well as to Mr. Lincoln, that impressions so injurious  and so false should no longer prevail.

The effect of this attempt at negotiation upon the public  mind was, for the moment, unfavorable to the Union cause.  The people, responding heartily to the demand of the Baltimore Platform, that no peace should be accepted by the  Government on any terms short of an unconditional surrender, were distrustful of negotiations which might look  to some other issue. The charge of bad faith urged  against the President stimulated the Opposition, and, in  the absence of the facts, embarrassed his supporters; while  the fact that Mr. Lincoln insisted upon the abandonment  of slavery as one of the conditions of peace, was cited by  the opponents of his Administration as proof that the  object of the war was changed, and that it was to be waged  hereafter, not solely for the preservation of the Union, but  for the emancipation of the slaves. In the absence of any  opposing candidate, these and countless other charges were  urged against the Administration with marked effect, and  added very materially to the popular despondency which  the lack of military success had naturally engendered.

Eager to avail themselves to the utmost of this auspicious  condition of political affairs, and embarrassed not a little  by discordant sentiments in their own ranks, the Democratic party had postponed their National Convention for  the nomination of a President from the 22d of June to the  29th of August. But the delay from which they expected  so much, in fact, betrayed them into a confidence which  proved fatal to their hopes. Their expectations, however,  were not without reason. The state of the public mind was favorable to the success of their plans. The assaults upon the Administration had grown more virulent, and seemed to produce more effect. Many of its  friends, who, when Mr. Lincoln was renominated, had  considered the main work of the political campaign over,  had grown gradually doubtful. The uncertainty as to  the course which the Democratic party would pursue  compelled them almost to inaction, at least so far as offensive warfare was concerned, while they were themselves  exposed to every kind of attack. And when the time for  the Chicago Convention came, its managers gathered to it  with high hopes, believing that if they could only unite  upon a candidate and a platform which should not violently offend either wing of the party, their success was  certain. The peace wing of the party, however, had been  relatively strengthened in the interim. The delays and  losses of the armies, the hope deferred to which the long  and bloody struggles in Virginia and in Georgia had familiarized but not inured the popular heart, the rise in  gold, the call for five hundred thousand more men--all  these things had given them strength, and made them more  vehement and more exacting. Their great champion, Mr.  Vallandigham, had surreptitiously returned from Canada,  in violation of the sentence which ordered his banishment  from the lines during the war, and had remained in open  defiance of the Government, whose failure to arrest and  send him back, or otherwise to punish him, was treated  then as an indication of weakness rather than of wisdom.  He and his friends were active everywhere, and did not  hesitate to declare that they must have a peace candidate, or platform, one or both, at all hazards, and  threatened to nominate a candidate of their own, if this  course was not pursued. It cannot be doubted that the  fatal course which was finally adopted by the Convention  was largely due to the efforts of Mr. Vallandigham, and  to the encouragement which his friends received from the  apparent unwillingness of the Government to molest him  on his return.

The Convention met in Chicago on Monday, August 29.

It was called to order by August Belmont, of New York,  the Chairman of the National Committee, on whose motion  Ex-Governor Bigler, of Pennsylvania, was appointed  temporary Chairman. The business transacted on the  first day embraced the appointment of Committees on  Credentials, Organization, and Resolutions, of which latter  committee Mr. Vallandigham was chosen chairman.

On Tuesday the committees reported. There were no  contested delegations except from Kentucky, and this  question the committee settled by admitting both delegations and dividing the vote between them. Louisiana  and the Territories had sent delegates, but these were at  once excluded. Governor Horatio Seymour, of New York,  was chosen President of the Convention, with twenty-one  vice-presidents and secretaries. In the afternoon, the  platform was reported.

The second resolution, which embodied the spirit of  the Convention, and shaped the succeeding canvass, was  as follows:--

Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of  the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union  by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence. of military  necessity or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution  itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private  right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country  essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare  demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with  a view to an ultimate convention of the States or other peaceable means,  to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored  on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.

The other resolutions assailed the Administration for  its military interference in elections, its arbitrary arrests,  suppression of freedom of speech and of the press, denial  of the right of asylum, imposing test-oaths, taking away  arms from the people (as had been done where there was  danger of armed insurrection on the part of local associations), and disregard of duty towards our soldiers who  were prisoners of war; and they extended "the sympathy of the Democratic party" to the soldiers and the  sailors.

Mr. Long, of Ohio, who, as will be recollected, had been  publicly censured by Congress for a speech bordering  upon treason, endeavored to amend the resolutions so as  to "place the Convention in a position favoring peace  beyond the mistakes of any equivocal language." Under  the working of the previous question, however, Mr. Long  was silenced, and the resolutions were adopted with but  four dissenting votes.

The Convention then proceeded to the nomination of  a candidate for President. The nomination of General  McClellan was the signal for a fierce attack upon him by  some of the ultra peace men, but he was vigorously  defended, and the debate lasted till darkness compelled  an adjournment. The vote was taken, as soon as the  Convention met in the morning, and General McClellan  received one hundred and sixty-two votes out of two  hundred and twenty-eight, and this number was increased  to two hundred and two and a half before the ballot  was announced; the rest having been cast for Thomas  H. Seymour, of Connecticut.

For Vice-President, the Convention nominated George  H. Pendleton, of Ohio, whose position was unqualifiedly  among the ultra peace men.

Mr. Wickliffe, of Kentucky, saying that "the delegates  from the West were of the opinion that circumstances  may occur between noon of to-day and the fourth of  March next, which will make it proper for the Democracy  of the country to meet in convention again," moved the  following resolution:--

Resolved, That this Convention shall not be dissolved by adjournment  at the close of its business, but shall remain organized, subject to be called  at any time and place that the Executive National Committee shall  designate.

This suggestive resolution was unanimously adopted,  and the Convention then separated.

The action of the Convention was eminently cheering  to the friends of the Administration. It was more open  and honest than they had anticipated; it avowed sentiments which, though entertained, it was feared would be concealed. The whole tone of the Convention had  been in opposition to the popular feeling on the war.  The ultra peace men had been prominent in its deliberations. Vallandigham, Harris, Long, Pendleton, men who  had done their utmost to help on the rebellion and  hamper the Government, had been its ruling spirits.  The tone of its speeches had been in entire sympathy  with the rebels, for whom no words of reproof were  uttered, while they were unmeasured in their denunciation of Mr. Lincoln and his Administration. The  news of the fall of Fort Morgan had come in upon them  as they sat in conclave, but it won no cheers from that  assembly for the success of the Old Flag and the leaf  of imperishable renown which added to the full wreath  of laurel, which already crowned our army and our  navy. Its resolutions had declared that the war was  a failure, and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities; while, as a striking commentary upon this declaration, the very day after the Convention adjourned  brought the news of the fall of Atlanta and the glorious  success of that grand march of Sherman's army which  turned the tide of war, and contributed so largely to its  final success.

The Union party instantly and joyfully accepted the  issue thus boldly tendered. They knew that, once fairly  before the country, the result could not be doubtful.  The people did not believe that the effort to maintain  the Union by force of arms had yet proved "a failure."  They did not believe that the Union could be preserved  by negotiation, and they were not in favor of a cessation  of hostilities until victory should be secured. The issue  had been fairly made between the two parties in their  respective declarations at Baltimore and Chicago. The  former demanded a vigorous prosecution of the war, and  denounced all terms of peace short of an unconditional  surrender of the rebels; the latter demanded a suspension  of hostilities and a resort to negotiation.

The great body of the Democratic party throughout the  country, sympathizing with the national sentiment, felt that they had been placed in a false position by the action  of their convention. An effort was made to stem the  rising tide of public condemnation by General McClellan,  their candidate for the Presidency, in his letter of acceptance. He declared himself in favor of preserving the  Union by a vigorous prosecution of the war, if all the  "resources of statesmanship," which should be first employed, should prove inadequate. The letter, however,  was without effect. It did something to alienate the peace  men who had controlled the Chicago Convention, but  nothing to disturb the conviction of the people that the  same men would control General McClellan also in the  event of his election.

The political campaign was thus fairly opened. The  Fremont movement, which had but little strength from  the start, now came to an inglorious end. Shortly before  the meeting of the Chicago Convention, some friends of  General Fremont, with some faint hope of compelling Mr.  Lincoln to withdraw, had written to the General to know  if he would withdraw from the canvass, provided Mr.  Lincoln would do so. In reply, General Fremont, saying  that he had no right to act independently of the men  who nominated him, suggested that some understanding  should be had between the supporters of the Baltimore  and Cleveland Conventions, with a view to the convocation of a third convention; for, as he said, "a really popular convention, upon a broad and liberal basis, so that  it could be regarded as a convocation in mass of the  people, and not the work of politicians, would command  public confidence." The proposition, however, commanded not the slightest attention; and after the Democratic nomination was made, the lines were drawn so  closely that the pressure of public sentiment compelled  the absolute withdrawal of General Fremont, which took  place on the 21st of September. From that time forward  the contest was between Mr. Lincoln, representing the  sentiments of the Baltimore Platform on the one hand,  and General McClellan, representing the sentiments of the  Chicago Platform on the other. The lines were clearly drawn, and the canvass was prosecuted with earnestness,  but with less than the usual acrimony and intemperate  zeal. It was felt to be a contest of principle, and was  carried on with a gravity and decorum befitting its importance.

One of the incidents upon which great stress was laid  by the Opposition in the canvass, arose out of some proceedings in Tennessee, of which Andrew Johnson still  remained military governor, with reference to the calling  of a convention and holding an election in the State.  Several efforts had been made in that direction during the  year. As early as January 26th, Governor Johnson had  issued a proclamation, ordering an election for county  officers, and in his proclamation had prescribed stringent  qualifications for voters, and a stringent oath which every  voter must take. Some of the judges of election thought,  however, that it was enough to require of voters to take  the oath of the President's amnesty proclamation. Accordingly, one of them wrote to Washington on the subject, as follows:--

NASHVILLE, February 20, 1864.

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.:

In county and State elections, must citizens of Tennessee take the oath  prescribed by Governor Johnson, or will the President's oath of amnesty  entitle them to vote? I have been appointed to hold the March election  in Cheatham County, and wish to act understandingly.


The President himself answered by telegraph as follows:--

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1864.


In county elections you had better stand by Governor Johnson's plan;  otherwise you will have conflict and confusion. I have seen his plan.


This election was held with but indifferent success. A  convention was also held in May at Knoxville, but took  no important action. But, in September, another convention was called together for the purpose of reorganizing the State and taking part in the approaching Presidential election. The convention met, and determined  that the election should be held. They adopted an electoral ticket, and provided for ascertaining the qualifications of voters. Among other things, they provided a  stringent oath, to be administered to registers and officers  holding the elections, and requested Governor Johnson  to execute the resolutions which they had adopted "in  such manner as he might think would best subserve the  interests of the Government."

Governor Johnson accordingly, on the 30th of September, issued a proclamation, directing that the election be  opened and held, and that at such election "all citizens  and soldiers, being free white men, twenty-one years of  age, citizens of the United States, and for six months  prior to the election citizens of the State of Tennessee,  who have qualified themselves by registration, and who  take the oath prescribed" by the convention, should be.  entitled to vote. The oath prescribed was as follows:--

"I solemnly swear that I will henceforth support the Constitution of  the United States, and defend it against the assaults of all enemies: that  I am an active friend of the Government of the United States, and the  enemy of the so-called Confederate States: that I ardently desire the suppression of the present rebellion against the Government of the United  States: that I sincerely rejoice in the triumph of the armies and navies  of the United States, and in the defeat and overthrow of the armies,  navies, and of all armed combinations in the interest of the so-called Con federate States: that I will cordially oppose all armistices and negotiations for peace with rebels in arms, until the Constitution of the United  States, and all laws and proclamations made in pursuance thereof, shall  be established over all the people of every State and Territory embraced  within the National Union; and that I will heartily aid and assist the  loyal people in whatever measures may be adopted for the attainment of  these ends: and further, that I take this oath freely and voluntarily, and  without mental reservation. So help me God."

An electoral ticket in favor of General McClellan had  previously been nominated by persons not in sympathy  with the State Convention, nor with the National Administration, and these gentlemen, on the appearance of  this proclamation, drew up a protest, which they addressed to the President. They protested against Governor Johnson's assuming to dictate the qualifications of voters,  which they said were prescribed by the laws of Tennessee,  a copy of which they annexed; and they protested against  the oath.

This protest was presented to the President by Mr. J.  Lellyet one of the signers, who sent to a New York newspaper the following account of the interview.

WASHINGTON, October 15.

I called upon the President to-day, and presented and read to him the  subjoined protest. Having concluded, Mr. Lincoln responded:--

"May I inquire how long it took you and the New York politicians to  concoct that paper?"

I replied, "It was concocted in Nashville, without communication with  any but Tennesseans. We communicated with citizens of Tennessee out side of Nashville, but not with New York politicians."

"I will answer," said Mr. Lincoln, emphatically, "that I expect to let  the friends of George B. McClellan manage their side of this contest in  their own way, and I will manage my side of it in my way."

"May we ask an answer in writing?" I suggested.

"Not now. Lay those papers down here. I will give no other answer  now. I may or I may not write something about this hereafter. I understand this. I know you intend to make a point of this. But go  ahead, you have my answer."

"Your answer then is that you expect to let General McClellan's friends  manage their side of the contest in their own way, and you will manage  your side of it in your way?"


I then thanked the President for his courtesy in giving us a hearing at  and then took my leave. * * *


The President, a few days after, however, sent them  the following answer in writing:



Gentlemen:--On the 15th day of this month, as I remember, a printed  paper manuscript, with a few manuscript interlineations, called a protest,  with your names appended thereto, and accompanied by another printed  paper, purporting to be a proclamation by Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee, and also a manuscript paper, purporting to be  extracts from the Code of Tennessee, were laid before me.

The protest, proclamation, and extracts are respectively as follows:--

[The protest is here recited, and also the proclamation of Governor  Johnson, dated September 30, to which it refers, together with a list of  the counties in East, Middle, and West Tennessee; also extracts from the  Code of Tennessee in relation to electors of President and Vice-President,  qualifications of voters for members of the General Assembly, places  of holding elections, and officers of popular elections.]

At the time these papers were presented, as before stated, I had never  seen either of them, nor heard of the subject to which they relate, except  in a general way one day previously.

Up to the present moment, nothing whatever upon the subject has  passed between Governor Johnson, or any one else, connected with the  proclamation, and myself.

Since receiving the papers, as stated, I have given the subject such  brief consideration as I have been able to do, in the midst of so many  pressing public duties.

My conclusion is, that I can have nothing to do with the matter, either  to sustain the plan as the convention and Governor Johnson have initiated  it, or to revoke or modify it as you demand.

By the Constitution and laws, the President is charged with no duty in  the Presidential election in any State, nor do I in this case perceive any  military reason for his interference in the matter.

The movement set on foot by the convention and Governor Johnson  does not, as seems to be assumed by you, emanate from the National  Executive.

In no proper sense can it be considered other than an independent  movement of, at least, a portion of the loyal people of Tennessee.

I do not perceive in the plan any menace, or violence, or coercion towards  any one.

Governor Johnson, like any other loyal citizen of Tennessee, has the  right to favor any political plan he chooses, and, as military governor, it  is his duty to keep the peace among and for the loyal people of the State.

I cannot discern that by this plan he purposes any more. But you object to the plan.

Leaving it alone will be your perfect security against it. It is not pro posed to force you into it.

Do as you please, on your own account, peaceably and loyally, and Governor Johnson will not molest you, but will protect you against violence  as far as in his power.

I presume that the conducting of a Presidential election in Tennessee in  strict accordance with the old code of the State, is not now a possibility.

It is scarcely necessary to add, that if any election shall be held and  any votes shall be east in the State of Tennessee for President and Vice-President of the United States, it will not belong to the military agents,  nor yet to the Executive Department, but exclusively to another department of the Government, to determine whether they are entitled to be  counted in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United  States.

Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to interfere in  any way with any Presidential election.


The signers of the protest thereupon declared the McClellan electoral ticket withdrawn. And this incident  was made the basis of fresh attacks upon the President  for interfering in the election.

Like all other persons in similar position, Mr. Lincoln  was subjected to assaults upon his personal character and  conduct. One of these charges was, that while all other  public creditors drew their compensation in paper money,  his salary was paid in gold. The charge is important,  now, only because it led to the publication of the following letter from the Treasurer of the United States:--


MY DEAR SIR:--Since the receipt of your letter of the 10th instant, I  have found the article spoken of by you, and which, although I am told it  has gone the rounds of the Democratic press, I have not before seen. It  is in the words following:--

" Jeff. Davis's salary is nominally twenty-five thousand a year, but by  the depreciation of the Confederate money is equal to about fifteen hundred  dollars, and on this practically he has to live. Abraham Lincoln's salary  is legally twenty-five thousand dollars a year. But his legal-tender money,  having depreciated to less than half its nominal value, he refuses to take,  and demands and receives his pay in gold or gold certificates, while the  soldiers of his army have to take their pay in greenbacks. Isn't this pa triotic and honest in Old Abe, and ought not he to be re-elected to another  four years' hard money for himself, and of largely depreciated money for  the people?"

Now, this story is perhaps as true as other slanders that have been  heaped upon the head of Mr. Lincoln by his malignant Copperhead and  traitor enemies, North and South. The facts in the case, however, are  entirely at variance with, and the very reverse of, the statements made in  the article quoted. The salary of the President is, in accordance with law,  paid in warrant drafts on the Treasury of the United States for the amount,  less the income tax, which have been sent him regularly monthly. Instead  of drawing his money on these drafts, he has been in the habit of leaving it for a long time without interest. In one case all his salary so remained  for eleven months. On several occasions I solicited the President to draw  what was due him, urging that he was losing largely in interest on the  amount due him. He asked me, "Who gains my loss?" On my answering, "The United States," he replied, "Then as it goes for the good  of the country, let it remain. The Treasury needs it more than I do."  Having at length satisfied the President that it was necessary to the closing of my annual accounts that the drafts on the Treasury that he held  should be presented and paid, he indorsed and handed them to me. I drew  the amount in United States notes, and placed it to his credit as a temporary  loan at five per cent. per annum, payable, principal and interest, in green backs. Since then his salary has been from time to time mostly invested in  the stocks of the United States, purchased at current rates by his friends  for him. The interest of these stocks is payable in coin. When this interest became due, I tried to induce him to draw it. Failing in doing so,  the amount due him was sent by Honorable John O. Underwood, Judge  of the United States Court for the District of Virginia. The result of his  interview with the President is best told in the letter of Judge Underwood  to me, which is herewith enclosed to you. I have caused an investigation  to be made of the transactions of the President with the receipt of his  salary, and the investment of the sums in United States stocks, and enclose  you herewith the letter of Leroy Tuttle, Esq., the Assistant Cashier, from  which it appears that Mr. Lincoln, from his forbearance in collecting his  dues, has lost at least four thousand dollars, and which he has virtually  given to the people of the United States. I have great doubts as to the propriety of answering this foul falsehood, well knowing that others perhaps  even grosser will be made, so as to keep the Union party on the defensive,  and thus preventing the loyal men of the country from attacking the peace at-any-price Democracy for their damning heresies and treasonable practices. You, however, ask me to make the statement and to put it in an  official form. I have therefore done so, and I authorize you to use it  and the accompanying letters, or any part of either, in any way that  may seem best calculated to place the President and his calumniators in  their true light and positions before the American people.

Very respectfully yours,

F. E. SPINNER, U. S. Treasurer.

To General D. W. O. CLARKE, Burlington, Vermont.

We may say here, that this gift of money to the cause  of the country was not the only way in which Mr. Lincoln shared in the burdens of the war. He set an example to his fellow-citizens, also, by sending a representative recruit to the army.

The differences in the Union ranks had all disappeared

before the common danger. Efforts were made on every  side, not for discord, but for harmony and united effort.  With this desire, and in accordance with an intimation  in the Baltimore Platform that a change in the Cabinet  would be desirable, Mr. Lincoln determined to displace  Mr. Blair from the position of Postmaster-General. The  following correspondence passed between them:--



MY DEAR SIR:--You have generously said to me, more than once, that  whenever your resignation could be a relief to me, it was at my disposal.  The time has come. You very well know that this proceeds from no dissatisfaction of mine with you personally or officially. Your uniform  kindness has been unsurpassed by that of any other friend, and while it is  true that the war does not so greatly add to the difficulties of your department as to those of some others, it is yet much to say, as I most truly  can, that in the three years and a half during which you have administered the General Post-Office, I remember no single complaint against you  in connection therewith.

Yours, as ever,



MY DEAR SIR:--I have received your note of this date, referring to my  offers to resign whenever you should deem it advisable for the public interest that I should do so, and stating that, in your judgment, that time  has now come. I now, therefore, formally tender my resignation of the  office of Postmaster-General. I cannot take leave of you without renew ing the expressions of my gratitude for the uniform kindness which has  marked your course towards

Yours truly,



The political canvass was prosecuted with energy and  confidence in every section of the country. The main consideration which was pressed upon the public mind was,  that the defeat of Mr. Lincoln would be, in the eyes of  the rebels, an explicit disapproval of the general line of  policy he had pursued, and a distinct repudiation by the  people of the Northern States of the Baltimore declaration, that the war should be prosecuted to the complete  and final overthrow of the rebellion. This view of the  case completely controlled the sentiment and action of  the people, and left little room or disposition for wrangling over the many petty issues to which such a contest  gives birth. As the canvass advanced the confidence of  success increased, and received a still further impulse  from the grand military victories which, in quick succession, began to crown the Union arms.

During the months of September and October, General  Hood, in a vain endeavor to regain the ground lost by the  fall of Atlanta, made a movement upon General Sherman's  communications. He might have caused some trouble, if  it had not been for the gallant defence of Alatoona, by  General Corse, which enabled Sherman to adopt such  measures as drove Hood away from his line of communication, into the northern part of Alabama, where he gathered  his forces for that fatal march which led his army to be  crushed upon the heights of Nashville.

General Grant had not been idle before Petersburg during this time. Several attacks had been made by our  forces both on the north side of the James and towards  the south of Petersburg, resulting in steady gains for  Grant's operations.

But the most important of all were the brilliant victories  gained by General Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley,  one on September 19th, near Winchester, the second three  days later, at Fisher's Hill, and the greatest of all at Cedar  Creek, on the 19th of October, when what had already  been a repulse of our army, by a surprise on the part of  General Early, was turned into a glorious victory by the  timely arrival of Sheridan, who on his return from  Washington, hearing the guns of the battle at Winchester, rode full speed to join his men, whom he reformed  and led instantly to the destruction of the exalting  rebels.

It was with the joy of this last victory kindling his  heart, that the President, on the 20th of October, issued  his proclamation for a national thanksgiving, as follows:--


It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year,  defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly, designs, from  abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly  Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their  camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual health. He  has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth, and has  crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry  with abundant reward. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and  inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war, into which we have been brought by  our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to  afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from  all our dangers and affliction.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do  hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next, as a  day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they  may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God, the  beneficent Creator and Ruler of the universe; and I do further recommend  to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently  humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fer vent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events, for a return  of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the  land, which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves  and our posterity, throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal  of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this twentieth day of October, in the year of Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

[L. S.]


By the President:  WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

He also wrote the following letter of congratulation to  General Sheridan, which was read at the head of every  regiment in the command:--


To Major-General SHERIDAN:

With great pleasure I tender to you, and your brave army, the thanks  of the nation and my own personal admiration and gratitude for the  month's operations in the Shenandoah Valley, and especially for the splendid work of October 19.

Your obedient servant, 


These victories gave vigor and courage to the country.  The price of gold fell in the market, the credit of the Government was rapidly enhanced, volunteers swelled  the ranks of the army, and the menaced draft promised  to be unnecessary.

The term for Which the hundred-days men from the  West had enlisted had expired, and the men were sent  home, having done good service. Those from Ohio had  served in the east, while those from the States farther west  had aided Sherman's march; when they were discharged  the following complimentary orders, by President Lincoln,  Were issued:--


WASHINGTON, September 10.

Governor BROUGH:

Pursuant to the President's directions, I transmit to you the following  Executive order, made by him in acknowledgment of the services of the  hundred-day men, who at the opening of the spring campaign volunteered  their service in the operations of General Grant. The certificates of ser vices mentioned in the order will be prepared without delay and trans mitted to the officers and soldiers entitled to them.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Executive order returning thanks to the Ohio Volunteers for one hundred days:--


The term of one hundred days for which the National Guard of Ohio  volunteered having expired, the President directs an official acknowledgment of their patriotism and valuable services during the recent campaign.  The term of service of their enlistment was short, but distinguished by  memorable events in the valley of the Shenandoah, on the Peninsula, in  the operations of the James River, around Petersburg and Richmond, in  the battle of Monocacy, in the intrenchments of Washington, and in other  important service. The National Guard of Ohio performed with alacrity  the duty of patriotic volunteers, for which they are entitled, and are here by tendered, through the Governor of their State, the national thanks.

The Secretary of War is directed to transmit a copy of this order to the  Governor of Ohio, and to cause a certificate of their honorable service to be  delivered to the officers and soldiers of the Ohio National Guard, who recently served in the military force of the United States as volunteers for  one hundred days.





The following order has been made by the President, and the Adjutant General is preparing certificates for the officers and soldiers of your  State, which will be forwarded to you for distribution.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War,


Special Executive order returning thanks to volunteers for one hun dred days, from the States of Illinois. Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin:--

The term of one hundred days for which volunteers from the States of  Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin volunteered, under the call of their  respective Governors, in the months of May and June, to aid the recent  campaign of General Sherman, having expired, the President directs an  official acknowledgment to be made of their patriotic service. It was  their good fortune to render effective service in the brilliant operations  in the Southwest, and to contribute to the victories of the national arms  over the rebel forges in Georgia, under command of Johnston and Hood. On  all occasions, and in every service to which they were assigned, their duty  as patriotic volunteers was performed with alacrity and courage, for which  they are entitled to and are hereby tendered the national thanks through  the Governors of their respective States.

The Secretary of War is directed to transmit a copy of this order to  the Governors of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and to cause a  certificate of their honorable services to be delivered to the officers and  soldiers of the States above named, who recently served in the military  service of the United States as volunteers for one hundred days.


To one of the Ohio regiments returning through Washington and calling to serenade him, the President made a brief  speech, in which are noticeable, first, his desire to impress  upon thrum the importance of the main point involved in  the contest with the rebellion, and the duty of not allowing minor matters to blind them to this main point, and  second, that specimen of his careful and perfectly clear  way of stating a proposition, when he says, not that this  is a country in which all men are equal, but that it is one  in which "every man has a right to be equal to every  other man."

The speech was as follows:--

SOLDIERS:--You are about to return to your homes and your friends,  after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short term  of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to yon, and to all  who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it might be  more generally and universally understood what the country is now  engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free government, where every  man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle,  this form of government and every form of human right is endangered  if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is  realized by every one. There is involved in this struggle, the question  whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we  have enjoyed. I say this, in order to impress upon you, if you are not  already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our  great purpose.

There may be some inequalities in the practical application of our  system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion to  the value of his property; but if we should wait, before collecting a tax,  to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with every other  man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may be mistakes  made sometimes; things may be done wrong, while the officers of the  Government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as  citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from  the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to  be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your  homes, rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free  government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced.  I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done  me this afternoon.

To another Ohio regiment he spoke as follows:--

SOLDIERS:--I suppose you are going home to see your families and  friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in which  we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and the country.

I almost always feel inclined, when I say any thing to soldiers, to impress  upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of success in this contest.  It is not merely for the day, but for all time to come, that we should perpetuate for our children's children that great and free government which  we have enjoyed all our lives. I beg you to remember this, not merely  for my sake, but for yours. I happen, temporarily, to occupy this big  White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may  look to come here as my father's child has. It is in order that each one  of you may have, through this free government which we have enjoyed,  an open field, and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence; that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life, with  all its desirable human aspirations--it is for this that the struggle should  be maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights--not only for one,  but for two or three years, if necessary. The nation is worth fighting  for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.

The premonitory symptoms of the result of the Presidential contest were seen in the State elections by which  it was preceded.

In September Vermont led off with a largely increased  Union majorty, and Maine followed her a week after,  showing also a proportionate increase in the majority  with which that State had sustained the Administration.

But the October elections in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania indicated yet more clearly what was to be the result in November. The two former States gave heavy  majorities for the Union ticket on the home vote. In  fact, in Indiana the soldiers were not allowed to vote at  all. Governor Morton, who was a candidate for re-election, had made a splendid canvass, speaking with great  effect all over the State. One matter which doubtless  aided him materially, was the discovery of a plot on the  part of leading members of the Democratic party in the  Northwest to raise a revolt in that section of the country, to release the rebel prisoners, and by arming them,  to make a powerful diversion in favor of the rebels. The  election following close upon this exposure, Indiana reelected Governor Morton by a large majority, in spite of  the absence of many of her loyal sons ill the field.

In Pennsylvania the result upon the home vote was  close, but with the soldiers' votes the Union ticket carried the State by about twelve thousand majority.

A victory was won, also, in Maryland for freedom, by  the adoption, though by a close vote, of the new Free  State Constitution. The heavy majorities in its favor,  which were given by Baltimore and the more loyal sections of the State, were overborne by the votes of the  southern and western counties, but the votes of the  soldiers were almost unanimous in favor of the Constitution, and Maryland took her place as a State whose  freedom was insured.

Mr. Lincoln took great interest in the success of this  Constitution. The following is a letter which he wrote  to a meeting of its friends in Baltimore, before the election:--



MY DEAR SIR:--A convention of Maryland has formed a new Constitution for the State; a public meeting is called for this evening, at Baltimore, to aid in securing its ratification, and you ask a word from me for  the occasion. I presume the only feature of the instrument about which  there is serious controversy, is that which provides for the extinction of  slavery.

It needs not to be a secret, and I presume it is no secret, that I wish  success to this provision. I desire it on every consideration. I wish to see all men free. I wish the national prosperity of the already  free, which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring. I wish to  see in progress of disappearing that only thing which could bring this  nation to civil war. I attempt no argument. Argument upon the question  is already exhausted by the abler, better informed and more immediately  interested sons of Maryland herself. I only add, that I shall be gratified  exceedingly if the good people of the State shall by their votes ratify the  new Constitution.

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

After the result of the election was known, the President made the following speech at a serenade given to  him by the loyal Marylanders, in honor of the adoption  of the Constitution:--

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I am notified that this is a compliment  paid me by the loyal Marylanders resident in this District. I infer that  the adoption of the new Constitution for the State furnishes the occasion,  and that in your view the extirpation of slavery constitutes the chief  merit of the new Constitution. Most heartily do I congratulate you, and  Maryland, and the nation, and the world, upon this event. I regret that  it did not occur two years sooner, which, I am sure, would have saved the  nation more money than would have met all the private loss incident to  the measure; but it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends  may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it, and that its  opponents may by its effects be agreeably and profitably disappointed.

A word upon another subject. Something said by the Secretary of  State in his recent speech at Auburn, has been construed by some into a  threat, that if I shall be beaten at the election, I will, between then and  the end of my constitutional term, do what I may be able to ruin the  Government.

Others regard the fact that the Chicago Convention adjourned, not sine  die, but to meet again, if called to do so by a particular individual, as  the intimation of a purpose that if their nominee shall be elected he will  at once seize control of the Government. I hope the good people will  permit themselves to suffer no uneasiness on either point. I am strug gling to maintain the Government, not to overthrow it. I am struggling  especially to prevent others from overthrowing it. I therefore say  that if I live, I shall remain President until the 4th of next March,  and that whoever shall be constitutionally elected, in November,  shall be duly installed as President on the 4th of March, and in the inter val I shall do my utmost that whoever is to hold the helm for the next  voyage shall start with the best possible chance of saving the ship. This  is due to the people, both on principle and under the Constitution.  Their will, constitutionally expressed, is the ultimate law for all. If they should deliberately resolve to have immediate peace, even at the loss of  their country and their liberties, I know not the power or the right to  resist them. It is their own business, and they must do as they please  with their own. I believe, however, they are still resolved to preserve  their country and their liberties; and in this, in office or out of it, I am re solved to stand by them. I may add, that in this purpose to save the  country and its liberties, no classes of people seem so nearly unanimous  as the soldiers in the field and the sailors afloat. Do they not have the  hardest of it? Who should quail while they do not? God bless the sol diers and seamen, with all their brave commanders.

The latter part of this speech was called forth by a current misrepresentation of a speech made by Secretary Seward at Auburn, on the 5th of September. The Secretary  had alluded to the declaration of the Chicago Convention  in favor of an immediate cessation of hostilities, and the  inevitable tendency of the success of the ticket nominated  upon that platform to paralyze the efforts of the Government to put down the rebellion by force of arms; and  he asked, if such a thing should happen, "who could  vouch for the safety of the country against the rebels,  during the interval which must elapse before the new  Administration can constitutionally come into power?"  This was distorted into a threat that if the Democratic  candidate should be elected, the Administration would  take means to retain by usurpation the power which  should of right be handed over to him. And the charge  was repeated so persistently, that the President at length  felt called upon to notice it as he did.

The result of the October elections had practically  determined the result in November. But, as the time  drew near, the atmosphere seemed full of turbulent and  threatening elements. Loud and angry charges of fraud  in the October elections were made by the Opposition, but  were not sustained; and they were succeeded by yet  louder charges from the other side of an attempted fraud  in the soldiers' votes of the State of New York, which  were followed up by proof. Some of the Democratic  agents were convicted of these attempted frauds, and,  after trial and conviction by a military commission, they  were sentenced to a, heavy imprisonment.

The rebels used all means in their power to aid the  party from whose success they anticipated so much advantage. Hood's movement, it was hoped, would have  a political influence upon the election; and Early's advance was spoken of in Southern journals as a means of  assisting the counting of the ballots in Pennsylvania.  Along the Northern border, too, the rebel agents, sent  thither on "detached service" by the Rebel Government,  were active, in movements intended to terrify and harass  the people. On the 19th of October, a party of them  made a raid into St. Albans, Vermont, robbing the banks  there, and making their escape across the lines into Canada with their plunder, having killed one of the citizens  in their attack. Pursuit was made, and several of  the marauders were arrested in Canada. Proceedings  were commenced to procure their extradition, which were  not, however, brought to a close before the election. The  Government received information that this affair was but  one of a projected series, and that similar attempts would  be made all along the frontier. More than this, there  were threats, followed by actual attempts, to set fire to  the principal Northern cities, and there were not wanting  some signs of an inclination to renew the scenes of the  riots of the year before.

A very grave sensation was produced by the publication of a report of Judge Advocate-General Holt, giving  conclusive proof of the existence of an organized secret  association at the North, controlled by prominent men in  the Democratic party, whose objects were the overthrow,  by revolution, of the Administration, in the interest of the  rebellion. Some of the leaders were arrested and tried.  The Democratic presses had sneered at the whole affair as  one which was got up by the Government for political  effect. But when one of their leaders, being on parole  as he was being tried, ran away rather than meet the result, people began to be sensible of the danger they had  escaped.

So rife were threats of a revolution at the North, and  especially in New York City, if Mr. Lincoln were reelected, that the Government sent a body of veterans  from the Army of the James, under General Butler, to  that city for purposes of precaution. But, fortunately,  in New York, as everywhere else, so quiet an election  was never known, nor was there ever one more utterly  free from complaints of fraud. Certainly, none so decisive was ever held in this country. Of all the States  which voted on that day, General McClellan carried  but three--New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky-while Mr. Lincoln received the votes of all the New  England States, of New York and Pennsylvania, of all  the Western States, of West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and of the new State of Nevada,  which was, on the 31st of October, admitted into the  Union by the following proclamation:--

Whereas, The Congress of the United States passed an act, which was  approved on the 21st day of March last, entitled, "An Act to enable the  People of Nevada to form a Constitution and State Government," and for  the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the  original States; and

Whereas, The said Constitution and State Government have been formed  pursuant to the condition prescribed by the fifth section of the act of Congress aforesaid, and the certificate required by the said act, and also a  copy of the Constitution and ordinances have been submitted to the  President of the United States:

Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of  the United States, in accordance with the duty imposed upon me by the  act of Congress aforesaid, do hereby declare and proclaim that the said  State of Nevada is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the  original States.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal  of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

[L. S.]


By the President:  Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.

The vote at that election was very large everywhere,  and Mr. Lincoln received a popular majority of over four

hundred thousand votes--a larger majority than was ever  received by any other President.

The feeling which was uppermost in the President's  heart at the result of the election was joy over its effects  upon the cause. He expressed this sentiment in some remarks which he made, when serenaded by a club of Pennsylvanians, at a late hour on the night of the election. His  speech was as follows:--

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZEN:--Even before I had been informed by  you that this compliment was paid to me by loyal citizens of Pennsylvania, friendly to me, I had inferred that you were that portion of my  countrymen who think that the best interests of the nation are to be sub served by the support of the present Administration. I do not pretend  to say that you who think so embrace all the patriotism and loyalty of  the country. But I do believe, and I trust without personal interest,  that the welfare of the country does require that such support and indorsement be given. I earnestly believe that the consequence of this  day's work, if it be as you assure me, and as now seems probable, will be  to the lasting advantage, if not to the very salvation of the country. I  cannot at this hour say what has been the result of the election; but what ever it may have been, I have no desire to modify this opinion, that all  who have labored to-day in behalf of the Union organization have  wrought for the best interests of their country and the world, not only  for the present, but for all future ages. I am thankful to God for this  approval of the people. But, while deeply grateful for this mark of their  confidence in me, if I know my heart, my gratitude is free from any taint  of personal triumph. I do not impugn the motives of any one opposed to  me. It is no pleasure to me to triumph over any one, but I give thanks  to the Almighty for this evidence of the people's resolution to stand by  free government and the rights of humanity.

The telegraph brought certain news of the result within a few hours. On the night of November 10th, the  various Lincoln and Johnson Clubs of the District went  to the White House to serenade the President, to whom  he spoke as follows:--

It has long been a grave question whether any Government, not too  strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its  existence in great emergencies. On this point the present rebellion  brought our Government to a severe test, and a Presidential election  occurring in a regular course during the rebellion, added not a little to the  train.

If the loyal people united were put to the utmost of their strength by  the rebellion, must they not fail when divided and partially paralyzed by  a political war among themselves? But the election was a necessity.  We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion  could force us to forego or postpone a national election, it might fairly  claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human nature practically applied to the facts of the case.  What has occurred in this case must ever recur in similar cases. Human  nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared  with the men of this, we will have as weak and as strong, as silly and as  wise, as bad and as good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this  as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be  revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental and undesirable strife, has  done good, too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can  sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war. Until now,  it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility. It shows,  also, how sound and how strong we still are. It shows that even among  the candidates of the same party, he who is most devoted to the Union  and most opposed to treason can receive most of the people's votes. It  shows, also, to the extent yet known, that we have more men now than  we had when the war began. Gold is good in its place; but living,  brave, and patriotic men are better than gold.

But the rebellion continues, and, now that the election is over, may  not all have a common interest to reunite in a common effort to save our  common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive to  avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been here, I  have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom. While I am  duly sensible to the high compliment of a re-election, and duly grateful,  as I trust, to Almighty God, for having directed my countrymen to a  right conclusion, as I think, for their good, it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed by the result.

May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this  same spirit towards those who have? And now, let me close by asking  three hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen, and their gallant  and skilful commanders.

But though the President rejoiced over the result  mainly because of its public bearing on the welfare of  the country, he was by no means insensible to the personal confidence in himself which it exhibited. This feeling he expressed in a speech which he made to the State  Committee of Maryland, who waited on him to congratulate him upon the trust.

The Chairman had remarked that they felt under deep  obligations to him because, by the exercise of rare discretion on his part, Maryland to-day occupied the proud  position of a free State.

The President said that he would not attempt to conceal his gratification with the result of the election. He had exercised his best judgment  for the good of the whole country, and to have the seal of approbation  placed upon his course was exceedingly grateful to his feelings.

Believing the policy he had pursued was the best and the only one  which could save the country, he repeated what he had said before, that  he indulged in no feeling of triumph over any one who had thought or  acted differently from himself. He had no such feeling towards any  living man. He thought the adoption of a Free State Constitution for  Maryland was "a big thing," and a victory for right and worth a great  deal more than the part of Maryland in the Presidential election, although  of the latter he thought well. In conclusion, he repeated what he had  said before: namely, that those who differed from and opposed us, will  yet see that defeat was better for their own good than if they had been  successful.

This same sense of personal gratitude found expression  in the following letter which he wrote to Deacon John  Phillips, of Stourbridge, Massachusetts, who, though a  hundred and four years old, attended the polls to cast  his vote for Mr. Lincoln:--


MY DEAR SIR:--I have heard of the incident at the polls in your town,  in which you acted so honorable a part, and I take the liberty of writing  to you to express my personal gratitude for the compliment paid me by  the suffrage of a citizen so venerable.

The example of such devotion to civic duties in one whose days have  already been extended an average lifetime beyond the Psalmist's limit,  cannot but be valuable and fruitful. It is not for myself only, but for  the country which you have in your sphere served so long and so well,  that I thank you. Your friend and servant,



We publish here, as it was written on the same day, the  following graceful letter addressed by the President to  Mrs. Bixby, a resident of Boston, who had lost five sons  in the war, and whose sixth was lying severely wounded  at the time in the hospital:--


DEAR MADAM:--I have been shown in the files of the War Department  a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the  mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I  feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should  attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I  cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found  in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly  Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only  the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that  must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,


To Mrs. BIXBY, Boston, Massachusetts.

This letter, addressed to one conspicuous among the  thousands who had laid "costly sacrifices upon the altar  of Freedom," touched the hearts of all, and strengthened  the feelings of love which the great body of the people  were coming to cherish for the man whom Providence  had made their ruler.

Prominent among the sentiments which ruled the heart  and life of Mr. Lincoln, was that reverential sense of dependence upon an Almighty Providence, which finds  strong expression in the following letter which he addressed to Mrs. Eliza P. Gurney, an American lady resident in London, and wife of a wealthy Quaker banker  of that city:--

MY ESTEEMED FRIEND:--I have not forgotten, probably never shall  forget, the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends visited me  on a Sabbath forenoon, two years ago; nor had your kind letter, written  nearly a year later, ever been forgotten. In all it has been your purpose  to strengthen my reliance in God. I am much indebted to the good  Christian people of the country for their constant prayer and consolation,  and to no one of them more than to yourself. The purposes of the Al mighty are perfect and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail  to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this, but God knows best, and has  ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own  errors therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights  He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He  ordains. Surely, He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.

Your people--the Friends--have had, and are having, very great trials.  On principle and faith opposed to both war and oppression, they can only  practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma, some have  chosen one horn and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done and shall do the best I could and can in  my own conscience under my oath to the law. That you believe this, I  doubt not, and believing it, I shall still receive for our country and my self your earnest prayers to our Father in Heaven.

Your sincere friend,


This sense of religious reliance upon Providence, evident in all his acts, as well as in his expressions, and a  feeling of the integrity and purity of purpose which pervaded all his acts, had won for Mr. Lincoln the cordial  support of the various Christian churches of the country,  and he had good reason, therefore, for thus expressing  his indebtedness to the "Christian people of the land for  their constant prayer and consolation." Though not a  member of any church or sect, he never neglected a  proper occasion for declaring his faith in those great  principles on which all Christian churches and sects are  built.

When a committee of colored men from Baltimore came  to him to present him an elegant copy of the Bible, he  made the following brief speech in answer to their address:--

I can only say now, as I have often said before, it has always been a  sentiment with me, that all mankind should be free. So far as I have  been able, so far as came within my sphere, I have always acted as I believed was just and right, and done all I could for the good of mankind.  I have, in letters sent forth from this office, expressed myself better than  I can now.

In regard to the great Book, I have only to say it is the best gift which  God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world  is communicated to us through this Book. But for that Book, we could not  know right from wrong. All those things desirable to man are contained  in it. I return you sincere thanks for this very elegant copy of this great  Book of God which you present.

All knew that Mr. Lincoln was a man of thorough  honesty of speech, and his whole life vindicated his assertion that he had acted as he believed was just and right, and  had done all he could for the good of mankind. It was not  strange, therefore, that the churches of the country gathered around such a leader of such a cause. When the  General Conference of the Methodist Church met in May,  1864, they adopted a series of resolutions, expressing the  loyalty of that church, and their sympathy with him.  These resolutions were presented to the President, who  responded to the accompanying address as follows:--

GENTLEMEN:--In response to your address, allow me to attest the  accuracy of its historical statements, indorse the sentiments it expresses,  and thank you in the nation's name for the sure promise it gives. Nobly  sustained, as the Government has been, by all the churches, I would  utter nothing which might in the least appear invidious against any.  Yet without this, it may fairly be said, that the Methodist Episcopal  Church, not less devoted than the best, is by its greatest numbers the  most important of all. It is no fault in others that the Methodist Church  sends more soldiers to the field, more nurses to the hospitals, and more  prayers to Heaven than any other. God bless the Methodist Church.  Bless all the churches; and blessed be God, who in this our great trial  giveth us the churches.

Similar action was also taken by the Baptist Church,  and to their delegation, on the presentation of the resolutions, the President spoke as follows:--

In the present very responsible position in which I am engaged, I have  had great cause of gratitude for the support so unanimously given by all  Christian denominations of the country. I have had occasion so frequently to respond to something like this assemblage, that I have said all I  had to say. This particular body is, in all respects, as respectable as any  that have been presented to me. The resolutions I have merely heard  read, and I therefore beg to be allowed an opportunity to make a short  response in writing.

These expressions were not confined to the religious  bodies; they came to the President from all quarters.  His sense of this sympathy on the part of those engaged  in the educational interest was expressed in a letter which  he wrote on learning that Princeton College had given  him the degree of LL.D. The letter was as follows:--


MY DEAR SIR:--I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your  note of the 20th of December, conveying the announcement that the Trustees of the College of New Jersey had conferred upon me the degree of  Doctor of Laws.

The assurance conveyed by this high compliment, that the course of  the Government which I represent has received the approval of a body of  gentlemen of such character and intelligence, in this time of public trial,  most grateful to me.

Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this continent is involved in the issue of our contest. Among the most gratifying  proofs of this conviction is the hearty devotion everywhere exhibited by  our schools and colleges to the national cause.

I am most thankful if my labors have seemed to conduct to the  of those institutions, under which alone we can expect good  government, and in its train sound learning, and the progress of the  liberal arts.

I am, sir, very truly, your obedient servant,



It was with no ordinary interest that the "good Christian people" of the North had in the political campaign.  And it was with satisfaction that they saw the triumph  of the cause, which was so dear to their hearts, secured  by the re-election of a man so true, so pure, so honest,  so kindly, so thoroughly Christian in the true sense of  the word, as President Lincoln.



Book Navigation Title Page Preface Illustrations Memorandum Table of Contents   ► Chapter I.   ► Chapter II.   ► Chapter III.   ► Chapter IV.   ► Chapter V.   ► Chapter VI.   ► Chapter VII.   ► Chapter VIII.   ► Chapter IX.   ► Chapter X.   ► Chapter XI.   ► Chapter XII.   ► Chapter XIII.   ► Chapter XIV.   ► Chapter XV.   ► Chapter XVI.   ► Chapter XVII.   ► Chapter XVIII.   ► Chapter XIX.   ► Chapter XX.   ► Chapter XXI. Anecdotes and Reminiscences of President Lincoln.   ► Mr. Lincoln's Sadness   ► His Favorite Poem   ► His Religious Experience   ► His Sympathy   ► His Humor, Shrewdness, and Sentiment   ► The Emancipation Proclamation Appendix. Letters on Sundry Occasions.   ► To Mr. Lodges, of Kentucky   ► To General Hooker   ► To John B. Fry   ► To Governor Magoffin   ► To Count Gasparin   ► The President and General McClellan   ► Warnings Against Assassination Reports, Dispatches, and Proclamations Relating to the Assassination.   ► Secretary Stanton to General Dix   ► The Death-Bed   ► The Assassins   ► Reward Offered by Secretary Stanton   ► Flight of the Assassins   ► The Conspiracy Organized in Canada   ► Booth Killed. Harold Captured   ► Reward Offered by President Johnson   ► The Funeral Official Announcements   ► Acting Secretary Hunger to Minister Adams   ► Acting Secretary Hunter to his Subordinates   ► Orders from Secretary Stanton and General Grant   ► Orders from Secretary "Welles   ► Order from Secretary McCulloch   ► Order from Postmaster-General Dennison   ► Proclamation by President Johnson of a Day of Humiliation and Mourning.   ► Secretary Stanton to Minister Adams   ► Important Letter from J. Wilkes Booth   ► Indictment of the Conspirators   ► The Finding of the Court