Fogg & War

Thursday, January 24, 1861

New Hampshire’s George Fogg, secretary of the Republican National Committee, visits Springfield in regard to New England candidates for the Lincoln Cabinet. Fogg also carries numerous letters from Republican leaders in New England and elsewhere objecting to the appointment Simon Cameron to the Cabinet.
Attorney Leonard Swett writes Lincoln about General Winfield Scott’s plans to protect Lincoln. General Scott “wants quietly to station such force about Baltimore, I suppose as will protect you, in any event.”

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Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lincoln starts Chicago meetings

Thursday, November 22, 1860

President-elect Lincoln begins a series of public appearances and private meetings in Chicago  — while potential patronage appointees hovered looking to make a pitch.  He also visits the Wigwam.

Chicago's Wigwam

Ohio politician Donn Piatt recalled: “Mr. Lincoln did not believe, could not be made to believe, that the South meant secession and war.  When I told him, subsequently to this conversation, at a dinner-table in Chicago, where the Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, General [Robert] Schenck, and others were guests, that the Southern people were in dead earnest, meant war, and I doubted whether he would be inaugurated at Washington, he laughed and said the fall of pork at Cincinnati had affected me.  I became somewhat irritated, and told him that in ninety days the land would be whitened with tents. He said in reply, ‘Well, we won’t jump that ditch until we come to it,’ and then, after a pause, he added, ‘I must run the machine as I find it.’  I take no credit to myself for this power of prophecy.  I only said what every one acquainted with the Southern people knew, and the wonder is that Mr. Lincoln should have been so blind to the coming storm.”

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lincoln reaches out to his Vice President

Thursday, November 8, 1860

President-elect Abraham Lincoln sends a letter to his running mate for Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin

1860 Republican Ticket

whom he has never met. The Maine senator was chosen at the Republican National Convention in Chicago the previous May – without his consent or that of Mr. Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln thinks it wise that the two meet in Chicago later in the month.  Hamlin, a former Democrat, had been chosen to balance the ticket with Lincoln, a former Whig. Together, they had been labeled “black Republicans” by Democrats.  Lincoln’s letter to Hamlin was brief:  “It appears to me that you and I ought to be acquainted, and accordingly I write this as a sort of introduction of myself to you.  You first entered the Senate during the single term I was a member of the House of Representatives, but I have no recollection that we were introduced.  I shall be pleased to receive a line from you. The prospect of Republican success now appears very flattering, so far as I can perceive. Do you see anything to the contrary?”

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lincoln Considers His Cabinet

Wednesday, November 7, 1860

On the day after his election, President-elect Lincoln began a four-month transition to the Presidency.

Much of that time was spent as he had before the election – greeting visitors at the State Capitol – using the office of the outgoing governor.

Before he went to bed, early that morning, Lincoln had sketched out a list of possible cabinet appointments. Most of the candidates he had barely met and knew primarily by reputation. Most on the original list would eventually be selected.

Election results that continued to reach Springfield’s telegraph office that day confirmed that Lincoln had swept the north – winning a majority of the electoral votes (180 out of 303) but only a plurality of the popular vote in the four-way race. His victory in vote-rich New York was particularly important since the forces of his three opponents had unsuccessfully tried to combine to defeat him that state.

Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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