Lincoln Wins the Presidency

Tuesday, November 6, 1860

Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln voted in Springfield today. Using a printed ballot, Mr. Lincoln voted for the Republican ticket – but not for himself. He cut that portion of the ballot off. The previous day, he had indicated his intention to vote for his longtime friend, fellow attorney Richard Yates for governor. Both would be elected although only Yates had campaigned. Lincoln – as was the custom – did no personal campaigning in the presidential election of 1860.

Walking with Illinois Secretary of State Ozias M. Hatch and some other friends, Lincoln approached the county courthouse where a large crowd awaited him. “The crowded throng respectfully opened a passage for him from the street to the pools,” reported his future aide and biographer John Hay.

That night, Lincoln waited patiently as election returns poured in from around the country. Lincoln’s secretary, John G. Nicolay, reported that the Hall of the State House of Representatives

Illinois State Capitol

“was filled nearly all night by a crowd, shouting, yelling, singing, dancing and indulging in all sorts of demonstration of happiness as the news came in. Across the street, in an ice cream saloon kept by a Republican, a large number of Republican ladies had a table spread with coffee, sandwiches, cake, oysters and other refreshments for their husbands and friends. It was ‘happy times’ there also. I did not go to bed until about half after four in the morning, and then couldn’t sleep for the shouting and firing of guns.” 

Another future Lincoln aide, John Hay, wrote Lincoln “came in with a retinue of choice spirits, and was received with a strange outburst of enthusiasm which never for an instant grew disrespectful.  There was one of that insolent familiarity of which [Stephen A.] Douglas was the victim in this palce a few weeks ago, when grimy blackguards would slap him on the back and roar, ‘How goes it, my buck!’  Lincoln, who was always a gentleman, is now surrounded with womething of that ‘divinity that doth hedge a king.'”

Published in: on November 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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