“The President,” says Mr. Taussig, “said that the Union men in Missouri who are in favor of gradual emancipation, represented his views better than those who are in favor of immediate emancipation. In explanation of his views on this subject the President said that in his speeches he had frequently used as an illustration the case of a man who had an excrescence on the back of his neck, the removal of which in one operation would result in the death of the patient, while tinkering it off by degrees would preserve life.”
“Although sorely tempted,” continues Mr. Taussig, “I did not reply with the illustration of the dog whose tail was amputated by inches, but confined myself to arguments. The President announced clearly that, so far as he was at present advised, the Radicals in Missouri had no right to consider themselves the representatives of his views on the subject of emancipation in that State.”
The foregoing interview, it is well enough to state, was long after the issuance of Mr. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
In addition to carrying the State for Mr. Lincoln, the Missouri Radicals carried it for themselves. They elected a constitutional convention that promptly passed an unconditional freedom ordinance. And thus terminated what is certainly one of the most notable contests in our political history, bringing about, as it did, the triumph of a reform of unquestionable value to civilization and humanity, which was accomplished by men working without patronage or other outside help, with no pecuniary interest at stake, and no incentive beyond the principle involved.
Here follows an extract from the published proceedings of the National Republican Convention of 1864, in which Mr. Lincoln was renominated.
“When that State [Missouri] was
called, Mr. J.F. Hume addressed
the convention as follows:
“’It is a matter of great regret that we differ from the majority of the convention that has been so kind to the Radicals of Missouri, but we came here instructed. We represent those who are behind us at home, and we recognize the right of instruction and intend to obey our instruction; but, in doing so, we declare emphatically that we are with the Union party of the nation, and we intend to fight the battle through to the end with it, and assist in carrying it to victory. We will support your nominees be they whom they may. I will read the resolution adopted by the convention that sent us here.’”
[Here resolution of instruction was read.]
“’Mr. President, in the spirit
of that resolution I cast the
twenty-two votes of Missouri for them an who stands at the head of
the fighting Radicals of the nation—General U.S. Grant.’”