Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Period Article on Lincoln's Nomination

As we enter another election season, I thought I would share this story I found. It comes from the Covington Journal  of May 26,1860. It is a bit more complimentary of the new party's selection than I expected, as the Journal had been a supporter of John Bell and opposed any idea of abolishing slavery, a trait then associated with the Republican Party, as the final sentence shows.

The selection of ABRAHAM LINCOLN and HANNIBAL HAMLIN as candidates for President and Vice President by the Republican Convention at Chicago is hailed with considerable enthusiasm by the adherents of the party of the North. The nomination of Lincoln is perhaps as strong of one as could be made. With talents of no mean order and some rather rare elements of personal popularity, he will undoubtedly unite the Republicans of the North-west, at least, and command their hearty support. New England, too, appears to be satisfied with the nomination, though we have seen no indication of unwonted enthusiasm in that quarter. But this is not enough. The Republicans must carry, in addition, both New York and Pennsylvania and the probabilities now are that they will carry neither of these States. We are not ignorant of the fact that a hundred guns have been fired in honor of the Chicago nominations at Albany, and at some points in Pennsylvania there have been similar manifestations of popular approval. All this, however, is very inconclusive. A dozen men may manage to have a hundred guns fired and fifty man hold a very enthusiastic ratification meeting. SEWARD, as the founder and law-giver of the party, was entitled to the nomination, and expected it. It is evident that he and his devoted followers in the State of New York, are sorely disappointed, and it cannot be supposed they will give a very hearty support to a candidate the selection of whom has dashed to the ground their long cherished hopes. At the late State elections in New York the Republicans were beaten on a part of their ticket, and we see no reason to conclude they are stronger now than then. Indeed, we believe they have been steadily losing strength ever since the last Presidential election. Pennsylvania is essentially a conservative State, and if the Republicans succeed there, the fact will doubtless be owing to the inexcusable failure of the Opposition to unite against them.

The following is the main plank of the Chicago platform: 
"That the normal condition of all the Territory of the United States is that of freedom; that as our Republican fathers when they had abolished Slavery in all our national Territory had ordained that "no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain thus provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress or a Territorial Legislature or any individuals to give local distance to Slavery in any Territory in the United States."

It will be noted that the idea of "no more Slave States" is embodied in unmistakeable language in this declaration. In fact the platform is identical in spirit with that of '56, while the candidates of '60 are, if possible, more sectional than those of '56.

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