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[449] good man, but I had not heard or thought of him for V. P. Wish not to interfere about V. P. Cannot interfere about platform. Convention must judge for itself.

This positive and final instruction was sent at once to Mr. Nicolay, and by him communicated to the President's most intimate friends in the convention. It was therefore with minds absolutely untrammeled by even any knowledge of the President's wishes that the convention went about its work of selecting his associate on the ticket. It is altogether probable that the ticket of 1860 would have been nominated without a contest had it not been for the general impression, in and out of the convention, that it would be advisable to select as a candidate for the vice-presidency a war Democrat. Mr. Dickinson, while not putting himself forward as a candidate, had sanctioned the use of his name on the special ground that his candidacy might attract to the support of the Union party many Democrats who would have been unwilling to support a ticket avowedly Republican; but these considerations weighed with still greater force in favor of Mr. Johnson, who was not only a Democrat, but also a citizen of a slave State. The first ballot showed that Mr. Johnson had received two hundred votes, Mr. Hamlin one hundred and fifty, and Mr. Dickinson one hundred and eight; and before the result was announced almost the whole convention turned their votes to Johnson; whereupon his nomination was declared unanimous. The work was so quickly done that Mr. Lincoln received notice of the action of the convention only a few minutes after the telegram announcing his own renomination had reached him.

Replying next day to a committee of notification, he said in part:

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