previous next
[670] the Union, and guarantee for the future the constitutional rights of every State. The Union is the one condition of peace. We ask no more.

Let me add what I doubt not was, although unexpressed, the sentiment of the Convention, as it is of the people they represent: that, when any one State is willing to return to the Union, it should be received at once, with a full guarantee of all its constitutional rights. If a frank, earnest, and persistent effort to obtain these objects should fail, the responsibility for ulterior consequences will fall upon those who remain in arms against the Union; but the Union must be preserved at all hazards. I could not look in the face my gallant comrades of the army and navy who have survived so many bloody battles, and tell them that their labors and the sacrifice of so many of our slain and wounded brethren had been in vain — that we had abandoned that Union for which we have so often periled our lives. A vast majority of our people, whether in the army and navy, or at home, would, as I would, hail with unbounded joy the permanent restoration of peace on the basis of the Union under the Constitution, without the effusion of another drop of blood; but no peace can be permanent without Union.

The great majority very properly recognized the Convention, not one of its candidates, as the authorized expounder of the party's principles and purposes, and the platform, not the letter of acceptance, as the authentic party creed. Gov. Seward, called out1 by a procession of the Lincoln and Johnson Association of Washington, pungently said:

Fellow Citizens: The Democracy at Chicago, after waiting six weeks to see whether this war for the Union is to succeed or fail, finally concluded that it would fail; and therefore went in for a nomination and platform to make it the sure thing by a cessation of hostilities and an abandonment of the contest. At Baltimore, on the contrary, we determined that there should be no such thing as failure; and therefore we went in to save the Union by battle to the last. Sherman and Farragut have knocked the bottom out of the Chicago nominations; and the elections in Vermont and Maine prove the Baltimore nominations stanch and sound. The issue is thus squarely made up--McClellan and Disunion, or Lincoln and Union. Have you any doubt of the result on that issue? [Cries of “No!” “No!” ] Nor do I have any doubt. Many thanks, my friends, for this visit.

Gen. Fremont now withdrew2 his name from the Presidential canvass, saying:

The Presidential contest has, in effect been entered upon in such a way that the union of the Republican party had become a paramount necessity. The policy of the Democratic party signifies either separation or reestablishment with Slavery. The Chicago platform is simply separation. Gen. McClellan's letter of acceptance is reestablishment with Slavery. The Republican candidate is, on the contrary, pledged to the reestablishment of the Union without Slavery; and, however hesitating his policy may be, the pressure of his party will, we may hope, force him to it. Between these issues, I think that no man of the liberal party can remain in doubt; and I believe I am consistent with any antecedents and my principles in withdrawing — not to aid in the triumph of Mr. Lincoln, but to do my part toward preventing the election of the Democratic candidate. In respect to Mr. Lincoln, I continue to hod exactly the sentiments contained in my letter of acceptance. I consider that his administration has been politically, militarily, and financially, a failure, and that its necessary continuance is a cause of regret for the country.

A few of the ultra “Peace” men talked of repudiating McClellan because of his letter of acceptance; and some, probably, refused on account of it to vote for him; but they finally ran no ticket: so that their disaffection had scarcely a perceptible effect on the canvass. Not so the successive victories of Sheridan in the Valley; which did not serve to elect Lincoln and Johnson--that had been already secured — but doubtless contributed to swell their popular and electoral majority.

The Autumn Elections opened, as usual, with Vermont;3 which gave a slight Republican gain on the vote

1 Sept. 14.

2 Sept. 17.

3 Sept. 6.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 17th (1)
September 14th (1)
September 6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: