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COMPLETE RECORD OF THE BUSINESS OF ALL

THE CONVENTIONS ;

WITH

SKETCHES OF DISTINGUISHED MEN IN ATTENDANCE UPON THEM.
AND DESCRIPTIONS OF THE MOST CHARACTERISTIC

SCENES AND MEMORABLE EVENTS.

Compiled from the Correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial, written

*On the Circuit of the Conventions,” and the Official Reports.

By M. HALSTEAD,

AN EYE-WITNESS OF THEM ALL.

COLUMBUS:
"FOLLETT, FOSTER AND COMPANY.

1860.

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PREFACE.

Ir I have a prejudice against or partiality for any political party, such that I am incapable of taking an impartial view of its proceedings, and of telling the truth of it irrespective of the antagonisms, that demand concealment on the one hand and perversion on the other, I am unconscious of the fact.

I know that in making the “ Circuit of the Conventions,” in the capacity of a journalist, I endeavored to pursue the path of candor; and that this was not only my personal feeling but the policy of the journal with which I am connected.

In the first letter of the correspondence from which this publication is largely made up, I promised to remember in my writings of the Conventions the entreaty of Othello, concerning information to be despatched from Cyprus to Venice :

“I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,

Nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice

I should consider the displeasure and hostile criticisms of partisans of all persuasions and organizations, the best testimony that I have kept this promise.

M. H.

CON TENTS.

The Charleston Convention......
The Constitutional Democratic Convention at Charleston..
The Baltimore National Constitutional Union Convention..
The Chicago Convention.....
The Constitutional Democratic Convention at Richmond..
The National Democratic Convention at Baltimore...
Institute Hall (“Seceders”) Convention....
The Second Richmond Convention.....

Page

1 97 104 120 154 159 217

231

THE CHARLESTON CONVENTION.

The Hon. Stephen A. Douglas was the pivot individual of the Charleston Convention. Every delegate was for or against him. Every motion meant to nominate or not to nominate him. Every parliamentary war was pro or con Douglas.

On the route to Charleston, delegates and others who were proceeding to attend the Convention, talked about Mr. Douglas. T'he questions in every car and at every station, were : Would he be ? could be be ? should he be nominated ? Could he get a majority of the Convention ? could he get two-thirds ? Would the South support him if he should be nominated ? Would the Administration acquiesce if he were nominated ?

NOTES BY THE WAY.

[The following extract from a letter written at Atlanta, Ga., April 17th, will give an idea of the spirit of Southerners when en route for the Convention :)

ATLANTA, GA., April 17tb. We had interesting political talk on the cars tbis evening. Two Georgians were disputing as to the strength of Douglas in the State. One, a Charleston delegate, said he would not do. He might possibly vote for him if nominated, but it would be with great reluctance. He did not know but one man in favor of Douglas in bis district. The other had been defeated as a candidate for Charleston delegate. He said Douglas men were thick as black berries all through the region from which he came. Douglas would carry the State by twenty thousand majority. “Let him be nominated, and there will be such a warwhoop as never was heard in the land.” The same man said the oldline Democrats of Georgia were for Douglas, and the old-line Whigs and the Americans, turned Democrats, were against him. This man was asked if he believed in Douglas's doctrine of popular sovereignty, which was no better than Abolitionism, and he said he “went the whole of it ;” and he was backed up by a Douglas man from Kentucky. The Georgians and Kentuckians generally, on the train, considered that it would not do at all to run Douglas. Some man must be run who would unite the party-somebody not obnoxious to any section of it—somebody who had not been so recently as Douglas fighting side by side with the Black Republicans against the one and indivisible Democracy.

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