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[655] majority,1 it was simply because, in the absence of any election for Congress, and in view of the certainty that the Republican ascendency would be maintained, no serious effort was made to call out a full vote, and personal considerations exerted their natural influence in so small a State when no special or urgent reason is presented for a rigid respect to party lines.

The Presidential Election in immediate prospect soon fixed that share of public attention which could be diverted from the progress of hostilities wherein every one's hopes and fears were largely involved, and wherein almost every one was, either himself or in the persons of those dear to him, engaged. Among Republicans and those Democrats whom the War had constrained to act with them, there was a very considerable dissent from the policy of renominating Mr. Lincoln; but, as the canvass proceeded, the popular sentiment was found so unequivocally in his favor that no serious or concerted resistance to such renomination was made: its advocates choosing delegates to the National Convention, with barely a show of resistance, from nearly every loyal State--Missouri, because of the intense Radicalism of her firetried Unionists, being the solitary exception.

Kentucky, however, had a creed of her own. Professedly Union, as she had been proved by every test and at each succeeding election, she still remained pro-Slavery; unlike the other “ Border-States,” which had already been brought distinctly to comprehend that they must choose between Emancipation and Disunion. So when, pursuant to the act of (Congress2 providing for the enrollment, as subject to military duty, of all ablebodied male slaves between the ages of 20 and 45, Federal officers commenced such enrollment, a fresh, intense excitement pervaded her slaveholding districts, which impelled her Governor, Thomas E. Bramlette--(elected3 as a Unionist by an overwhelming majority4 over Charles A. Wickliffe, the Democratic candidate, but not without great and apparently well-grounded complaint of Military interference at the polls, to the prejudice of the Opposition)--to address5 to the people of his State a proclamation, counseling them not to let their “indignation,” provoked by this enrollment, impel them to “acts of violence, nor to unlawful resistance.” He continued:--

In the Union, under the Constitution, and in accordance with law, assert and urge your rights. It is our duty to obey tie law until it is declared, by judicial decision, to be unconstitutional. The citizen, whose property may be taken under it for public use, will be entitled, under the imperative mandate of the Constitution, to a just compensation for his private property so taken for public use. Although the present Congress may not do us justice, yet it is safe to rely upon the justice of the American people; and an appeal to them will not be unheeded or unanswered. Peace restored, and the unity of our Government preserved, will drive to ignominious disgrace those who, in the agony of our conflict, perverted their sacred trusts to the base uses of partisan ends and fanatical purposes.

One immediate result of this enrollment and the consequent “indignation” was a call by the Union State Committee of a State Convention, to meet at Louisville, May

1

Total vote:Republican.Democratic.
GovernorJ. Y. Smith, 8,840G. H. Browne, 7,302
 A. C. Barstow, 1,380 

2 Feb. 24, 1864.

3 Aug. 3, 1863.

4 Bramlette, 68,306; Wickliffe (Dem), 17,389.

5 March 15, 1864.

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