This resolution, which was, in truth, a more vigorous assertion of the Monroe Doctrine than the author of that famous tenet ever dreamed of making, had been introduced in the convention by the radicals as a covert censure of Mr. Lincoln’s attitude toward the French invasion of our sister republic; but through skilful wording of the platform had been turned by his friends into an indorsement of the administration.
And, indeed, this was most just, since from the beginning President Lincoln and Mr. Seward had done all in their power to discourage the presence of foreign troops on Mexican territory. When a joint expedition by England, France, and Spain had been agreed upon to seize certain Mexican ports in default of a money indemnity demanded by those countries for outrages against their subjects, England had invited the United States to be a party to the convention. Instead, Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward attempted to aid Mexico with a sufficient sum to meet these demands, and notified Great Britain of their intention to do so, and the motives which prompted them. The friendly assistance came to naught; but as the three powers vigorously disclaimed any designs against Mexico’s territory or her form of government, the United States saw no necessity for further action, beyond a clear definition of its own attitude for the benefit of all the parties.
This it continued to repeat after England withdrew from the expedition, and Spain, soon recalling her troops, left Napoleon III to set the Archduke Maximilian on his shadowy throne, and to develop in the heart of America his scheme of an empire friendly to the South. At the moment the government was unable to do more, though recognizing the veiled hostility of Europe which thus manifested itself in a movement on what may be called the right flank of the republic. While giving utterance to no expressions of indignation at the aggressions, or of gratification at disaster which met the aggressor, the President and Mr. Seward continued to assert, at every proper opportunity the adherence of the American government to its traditional policy of discouraging European intervention in the affairs of the New World.
The Bogus Proclamation—The Wade-Davis Manifesto—Resignation of Mr. Chase—Fessenden Succeeds Him—The Greeley Peace Conference—Jaquess-Gilmore Mission—Letter of Raymond—Bad Outlook for the Election—Mr. Lincoln on the Issues of the Campaign—President’s Secret Memorandum—Meeting of Democratic National Convention—McClellan Nominated—His Letter of Acceptance—Lincoln Reelected—His Speech on Night of Election—The Electoral Vote—Annual Message of December 6, 1864—Resignation of McClellan from the Army