Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.

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former, as the clearest and most convincing
exponent of Republican doctrine.
Early in I859 he began to be named in
Illinois as a suitable Republican candidate
for the Presidential campaign of the ensuing
year, and a political address delivered
at the Cooper Institute, New York, February
27, i86o, followed by similar speeches
at New Haven, Hartford and elsewhere in
New England, first made him known to the
Eastern States in the light by which he had
long been regarded at home. By the Republican
State Convention, which met at
Decatur, Illinois, May 9 and io, Lincoln
was unanimously endorsed for the Presidency.
It was on this occasion that two
rails, said to have been split by his hands
thirty years before, were brought into the
convention, and the incident contributed
much to his popularity. The National
Republican Convention at Chicago, after
spirited efforts made in favor of Seward,
Chase and Bates, nominated Lincoln for
the Presidency, with Hannibal Hamlin
for Vice-President, at the same time adopting
a vigorous anti-slavery platform.
The Democratic party having been disorganized
and presenting two candidates,
Douglas and Breckenricdge, and the remnant
of the " American" party having put
forward John Bell, of Tennessee, the Republican
victory was an easy one, Lincoln
being elected November. 6 by a large plurality,
comprehending nearly all the Northern
States, but none of the Southern. The
secession of South Carolina and the Gulf
States was the immediate result, followed
a few months later by that of the border
slave States and the outbreak of the great
civil !war.
The life of Abraham Lincoln became
thenceforth merged in the history of his
country. None of the details of the vast
conflict which filled the remainder of Lincoln's
life can here be given. Narrowly
escaping assassination by avoiding Baltimore
on his way to the capital, he reached
Washington February 23, and was inaugurated
President of the United States March
4, i86i.
In his inaugural address he said: " I hold,
that in contemplation of universal law and
the Constitution the Union of these States is
perpetual. Perpetuity is implied if not expressed
in the fundamental laws of all national
governments. It is safe to assert
that no government proper ever had a provision
in its organic law for its own termination.
I therefore consider that in view
of the Constitution and the laws, the Union
is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability
I shall take care, as the Constitution enjoins
upon me, that the laws of the United
States be extended in all the States. In
doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence,
and there shall be none unless it be
forced upon the national authority. The
power conferred to me will be used to hold,
occupy and possess the property and places
belonging to the Government, and to collect
the duties and imports, but beyond
what. may be necessary for these objects
there will be no invasion, no using of force
against or among the people anywhere. In
your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen,
is the momentous issue of civil war.
The Government will not assail you. You
can have no conflict without being yourselves
the aggressors. You have no oath
registered in heaven to destroy the Government,
while I shall have the most solemn
one to preserve, protect and defend
it."
He called to his cabinet his principal
rivals for the Presidential nominationSeward,
Chase, Cameron and Bates; secured
the co-operation of the Union Democrats,
headed by Douglas; called out 75,000
militia from the several States upon the first
tidings of the bombardment of Fort Sumter,
April 15; proclaimed a blockade of the
Southern posts April I9; called an extra

Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.. Chicago, Illinois. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/. Accessed October 25, 2014.