National Union Convention in Baltimore Renominates President Lincoln

June 7, 1864

The National Union Convention convenes in Baltimore with New York Senator Edwin D. Morgan presiding. “Frederick C. Meyer, chairman, Baltimore Convention, telegraphs Lincoln: ‘The Convention has just been called to order everything progressing.’” Presidential aide John G. Nicolay writes colleague John Hay: “The Convention met at noon today and organized by making Dr Breckenridge of Ky. temporary chairman. He is a poor presiding officer – has a weak voice and is somewhat slow. But the Convention was good natured and tractable, and he managed to get through the session, not however without wasting a couple of hours of time. In the stormy seas of the Chicago Wigwam he could not have lived fifteen minutes.

“But the Convention had ample compensation for his other disqualifications, in the fact that he made a splendid, straight-out radical speech. It was clear earnest and forcible and will make an invaluable campaign document – I doubt whether we get a better one during the whole campaign. The Convention adjourned to seven this evening after appointing Committees on Credentials, Organization, and Resolutions.

“The Vice Presidency goes a-begging. Yesterday as I wrote you the current set toward Hamlin. But New England does not support Hamlin, or at least Massachusetts does not, because, it is shrewdly suspected, she hopes something may turn up in a new deal which would enable her to push Andrew. New York leaned decidedly to Hamlin yesterday evening; but the main thing New York wants is not to have the V.P. because that would obstruct Seward’s future. So this morning, New York, fearing that through Hamlin’s failure Dickinson might succeed determined to go for Johnson…So the matter drifts…”

Frederick C. Meyer telegraphs President Lincoln: “Compliments of the Chairman of the national Committee to the President & assures him that Convention now being organized is overflowing with his friends, The friends of the Union– The Convention has just been called to order, & everything progressing happily.” Washington Marshal Ward Hill Lamon writes President Lincoln from Baltimore Convention: ‘Enthusiastic unanimity beyond even my expectations. Preliminaries not yet settled. Nomination to be made tomorrow.” Lamon later wrote: “On the day of his renomination at Baltimore, Mr. Lincoln was engaged at the War Department in constant telegraphic communication with General Grant, who was then in front of Richmond. Throughout the day he seemed wholly unconscious that anything was going on at Baltimore in which his interests were in any way concerned. At luncheon time he went to the White House, swallowed a hasty lunch, and without entering his private office hurried back tot he War Office. On his arrival at the War Department the first dispatch that was shown him announced the nomination of Andrew Johnson for Vice-President.

‘This is strange,’ said he, reflectively; ‘I thought it was usual to nominate the candidate for President first.’

His informant was astonished. ‘Mr. President, ‘ said he, ‘have you not heard of your own renomination? It was telegraphed to you at the White House two hours ago.’

Published in: on June 7, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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