The Abolitionists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Abolitionists.
being an impediment in their way, it strengthened them with the convention, which, notwithstanding its seeming harmony in his support, contained many delegates who would very much have preferred nominating somebody else; but who, for lack of organized opposition, were compelled to vote for him.  A sufficient evidence of that fact was the presence in the convention of a large number of Congressmen whose antagonism to the President was notorious.  An incident that strikingly illustrated Congressional sentiment toward the President at that time, is given in the Life of Lincoln, by Isaac N. Arnold, then a member of Congress from Illinois.  A Pennsylvanian asked Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican Congressional leader, to introduce him to “a member of Congress who was friendly to Mr. Lincoln’s renomination.”  Thereupon Stevens took him to Arnold, saying:  “Here is a man who wants to find a Lincoln member of Congress, and as you are the only one I know of I bring him to you.”

The same feeling largely prevailed among leading Republicans outside of Congress.  Henry J. Raymond, of the New York Times, in his Life of Lincoln, says that at that time “nearly all the original Abolitionists and many of the more decidedly Anti-Slavery members of the Republican party were dissatisfied with the President.”  More explicit testimony is the statement, in his Political Recollections, of George W. Julian, for many years a leading member of Congress from Indiana.  He says: 

“The nomination of Mr. Lincoln was nearly unanimous, only the State of Missouri opposing him, but of the more earnest and thoroughgoing Republicans in both Houses of Congress, probably not more than one in ten really favored it.  It was not only very distasteful to a large majority of Congress, but to many of the more prominent men of the party throughout the country.”

The writer had an opportunity of witnessing a peculiar manifestation of the feeling that has just been spoken of.  He attended a conference of radical Anti-Slavery people that was held in a parlor of one of the old Pennsylvania Avenue hotels in Washington, a few months before the nominating convention.  A number of well-known politicians were present, but probably the most prominent was Horace Greeley.  The writer had never before seen the great editor, and was considerably amused by his unconventional independence on that occasion.  He occupied an easy chair with a high back.  Having given his views at considerable length, he laid his head back on its support and peacefully went to sleep; but the half-hour lost in slumber did not prevent him from joining vigorously in the discussion that was going on as soon as he awoke.

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The Abolitionists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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