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slavery issue. A few men in the party were yet afraid of being confounded with the long-hated and dreaded "Abolitionists.' George W. Curtis, an impetuous and eloquent young delegate from New York, made an impassioned plea for the phrase offered by Giddings. It was accepted, and the whole series of ringing and courageous resolutions were adopted by the convention amid the wildest enthusiasm. A tremendous roar went up from the assembled thousands in the building. Other throngs without took up the cheer, and a vast wave of sound went thundering down the lake-side, telling the world that at last a great national party had asserted in unmistakable language the right of man to freedom.
Then the balloting began. Mr. William M. Evarts, of New York, placed before the convention the naine of William H. Seward, of that State. In like manner, Mr. Judd, of Illinois, nominated Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Dayton, of New Jersey, Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, Edward Bates, of Missouri, and John McLean, of Ohio, were subsequently named. But only the names of Seward and Lincoln, the two great leaders of the new party, provoked much enthusiasm. When these were mentioned, their friends sent up shouts that reverberated like the surges of the sea smiting on the shore. Now the audience adjusted itself to the real business of the day. Telegraph operators sat ready with their instruments to send the news abroad. An army of newspaper reporters, their pencils poised to note events that were coming,
crowded the platform allotted to the press.
The air was hushed. Everybody knew that the supreme moment had arrived. A great act in the drama of national history was about to begin. The roll of the States was called for the first ballot. It was evident that this would be inconclusive; but every ear was strained to catch the slightest whisper from the delegations that were to cast the vote of their several States. Now and again a roar of applause would break forth, as if the delegates were unable to restrain themselves, intense as was their desire to hear the result from each other. Such a burst went up whenever New York steadily cast her seventy votes for Seward, the well-beloved son of the Empire State. And such a burst shook the air when Indiana and Illinois gave their solid votes to Lincoln. The first ballot was as follows: William H. Seward, one hundred and seventy-three and a half; Abraham Lincoln, one hundred and two; Edward Bates, forty-eight; Simon Cameron, fifty and a half; Salmon P. Chase, forty-nine. The remaining forty-two votes were scattered among John McLean, Benjamin F. Wade, William L. Dayton, John M. Reed, Jacob Collamer, Charles Sumner, and John C. Frémont. There was no choice, two hundred and thirty-three of the total four hundred and sixty-five votes cast being necessary to nominate.
On the second ballot, Lincoln gained seventy-nine votes from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, receiving one hundred and eighty-one, all told. Seward gained eleven, having one hundred and eighty-four and a half, all told. The third
ballot began amid the most tense interest, for all felt that this must determine the contest for the nomination. Thousands on the floor and in the galleries followed the ballotings with their pencils, silently keeping tally of the votes as they were announced to the chairman by the spokesmen of the several delegations of the States. Before the secretaries could figure up and verify the result, it was whispered about the convention, which fairly trembled with suppressed excitement, that Lincoln came near to a nomination. He had two hundred and thirty-one and a half votes, lacking only a vote and a half of the nomination. Then, while the house was as still as if it were empty, Mr. Carter, of Ohio, rose and said that four of the votes of that State were changed to Abraham Lincoln. The work was done. Lincoln was nominated.
Turning his face upward to a skylight in the roof, where stood an intent watchman, one of the secretaries cried, “Fire the salute! Lincoln is nominated!” The elate watchman fled along the roof of the Wigwam and shouted the glad tidings to those below. Inside the building, after an instant's pause, like that in the midst of a storm, a hurricane of enthusiasm, almost maddening, broke forth. Men flung away their hats, danced in a wild delirium of delight, hugged and kissed each other, and cheered and cheered again, as if they could find no vent to their overpowering joy. The vast Wigwam shook with the torrent of noise. Without, surging crowds broke forth into answering roars as the cheering inside died away, and this was taken up by those
within, and thus tumult replied to tumult. On the roof of a great hotel, not far away, a battery of cannon volleyed and thundered; the multitudinous wave of sound spread through the city, its streets and lanes, and drifted far over Lake Michigan, telling the world that Lincoln, the beloved, the great, grand man, scarce known outside of his own republic, was nominated. And in this way, the son of Thomas Lincoln, the backwoodsman, stepped out upon the mighty stage on which was to be enacted one of the most tremendous tragedies the world has
The convention adjourned for an hour, and later in the day Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, was nominated for Vice-President with Lincoln. At home, in Springfield, Lincoln waited in a newspaper office, surrounded by friends, for the news that should make him the national candidate of his party, or place him on the retired list of American politicians. At last, a messenger, bearing the fateful message in his hand, came in from the telegraph office, with difficulty keeping his face from showing his inward excitement. With great solemnity, he advanced to Lincoln's side and said: “The convention has made a nomination, and Seward is—the second man on the list.” Then jumping on a table, he cried: “Three cheers for Abraham Lincoln, the next President of the United States!” We can imagine with what a hearty good-will those cheers were given, and how the notes thereof rang out in the streets of Springfield and were echoed far and wide. After shaking hands with his friends and receiving their
fervent congratulations, Lincoln pocketed the telegram, and, saying “There is a little woman on Eighth Street who would like to hear about this,” walked home to tell the news to his household.
It was the duty of the convention to give Lincoln formal and official notice of his nomination. A committee, with Mr. George Ashmun, of Massachusetts, at its head, was accordingly appointed to wait upon the nominee and serve him with the usual notice. Meantime, however, the citizens of Springfield had fired a salute of one hundred guns to speak their joy over the nomination of one who was undoubtedly their popular idol. Then a vast concourse of the people streamed up the street where Lincoln's humble cottage stood, and invaded the hospitable home, as many as could crowd in, eager to take his hand and tell him how glad they were that this great honor had been laid upon him. Some of his devoted Springfield admirers, thinking that a delegation from the great national convention would expect to receive a more liberal supply of refreshment than the total abstainers of the Lincoln family would be likely to have in the house, sent him a supply of wines for this occasion. These unfamiliar fluids gave Lincoln some uneasiness, and, accepting the advice of another, he sent them to their donors, with a courteous explanation of his inability to use them. He had never offered wines to his friends; he could not do it now. The committee arrived. They drank the health of the President that was to be, in water from the spring.
On the 23d of June, Lincoln wrote a formal letter