Then followed a short interval of active caucusing in the various delegations, while excited men went about rapidly interchanging questions, solicitations, and messages between delegations from different States. Neither candidate had yet received a majority of all the votes cast, and the third ballot was begun amid a deep, almost painful suspense, delegates and spectators alike recording each announcement of votes on their tally-sheets with nervous fingers. But the doubt was of short duration. The second ballot had unmistakably pointed out the winning man. Hesitating delegations and fragments from many States steadily swelled the Lincoln column. Long before the secretaries made the official announcement, the totals had been figured up: Lincoln, two hundred and thirty one and one half, Seward, one hundred and eighty. Counting the scattering votes, four hundred and sixty-five ballots had been cast, and two hundred and thirty-three were necessary to a choice. Seward had lost four and one half, Lincoln had gained fifty and one half, and only one and one half votes more were needed to make a nomination.
The Wigwam suddenly became as still as a church, and everybody leaned forward to see whose voice would break the spell. Before the lapse of a minute, David K. Cartter sprang upon his chair and reported a change of four Ohio votes from Chase to Lincoln. Then a teller shouted a name toward the skylight, and the boom of cannon from the roof of the Wigwam announced the nomination and started the cheering of the overjoyed Illinoisans down the long Chicago streets; while in the Wigwam, delegation after delegation changed its vote to the victor amid a tumult of hurrahs. When quiet was somewhat restored, Mr. Evarts, speaking for New York and for Seward, moved to make the nomination unanimous, and Mr. Browning gracefully returned the thanks of Illinois for the honor the convention had conferred upon the State. In the afternoon the convention completed its work by nominating Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for Vice-President; and as the delegates sped homeward in the night trains, they witnessed, in the bonfires and cheering crowds at the stations, that a memorable presidential campaign was already begun.
Candidates and Platforms—The Political Chances—Decatur Lincoln Resolution—John Hanks and the Lincoln Rails—The Rail-Splitter Candidate—The Wide-Awakes—Douglas’s Southern Tour—Jefferson Davis’s Address—Fusion—Lincoln at the State House—The Election Result