Political Recollections 1840 to 1872
Free

Political Recollections 1840 to 1872

By George Washington Julian
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Table of Contents
  • POLITICAL RECOLLECTIONS
  • PREFACE.
    • CONTENTS.
      • POLITICAL RECOLLECTIONS.
      • CHAPTER II. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1844—ANNEXATION AND SLAVERY. The nomination of Clay—His position on the slavery question and annexation—Van Buren's letter to Hammet, and its effect upon the South—His repudiation, and the nomination of Polk—The surprise of the country—Unbounded confidence of the Whigs—The course of the New York Democrats—The "Kane Letter"—Trouble among the Whigs on the annexation question—Fierceness of the contest, and singular ability of the leaders—The effect of Clay's defeat upon the Whigs —Causes of the defeat—The Abolitionists, and the abuse heaped upon them—Cassius M. Clay—Mr. Hoar's mission to South Carolina— Election of John P. Hale—Annexation and war with Mexico—Polk's message, and the Wilmot proviso—The Oregon question, and Alex. H. Stephens.
      • CHAPTER III. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1848—ITS INCIDENTS AND RESULTS. The approach of another presidential campaign—Party divisions threatened by the Wilmot proviso—Nomination of Gen. Cass—The "Nicholson Letter"—Democratic division in New York—The nomination of Gen. Taylor—Whig divisions—Birth of the Free Soil party—The Buffalo Convention—Nomination of Van Buren and Adams—Difficulty of uniting on Van Buren—Incidents—Rev. Joshua Leavitt—The work of the campaign—Mr. Webster and Free Soil—Greeley and Seward— Abuse of Whig bolters—Remarkable results of the canvass.
      • CHAPTER IV. REMINISCENCES OF THE THIRTY-FIRST CONGRESS. Novel political complications—The Compromise Measures—First election to Congress—Sketch of the "immortal nine"—The speakership and Wm. J. Brown—Gen. Taylor and the Wilmot proviso—Slave-holding banter—Compromise resolutions of Clay, and retreat of Northern Whigs—Visit to Gen. Taylor—To Mr. Clay—His speeches—Webster's seventh of March speech—Character of Calhoun—Speech on the slavery question.
      • CHAPTER V. REMINISCENCES OF THE THIRTY-FIRST CONGRESS (CONTINUED). Fracas between Col. Benton and Senator Foote—Character of Benton —Death of Gen. Taylor—The funeral—Defeat of the "Omnibus Bill" —Its triumph in detail—Celebration of the victory—"Lower law" sermons and "Union-saving" meetings—Slave-holding literature— Mischievous legislation—Visit to Philadelphia and Boston—Futile efforts to suppress agitation—Andrew Johnson and the homestead law—Effort to censure Mr. Webster—Political morality in this Congress—Temperance—Jefferson Davis and other notable men—John P. Hale—Thaddeus Stevens—Extracts from speeches—The famous men in both Houses—The Free Soilers and their vindication.
      • CHAPTER VI. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. Pro-slavery reaction—Indiana and Ohio—Race for Congress—Free Soil gains in other States—National Convention at Cleveland— National canvass of 1852—Nomination of Pierce and Scott, and the "finality" platforms—Free Soil National Convention—Nomination of Hale—Samuel Lewis—The Whig canvass—Webster—Canvass of the Democrats—Return of New York "Barnburners" to the party—The Free Soil campaign—Stumping Kentucky with Clay—Rev. John G. Fee— Incidents—Mob law in Indiana—Result of the canvass—Ruin of the Whigs—Disheartening facts—The other side of the picture.
      • CHAPTER VII. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY (CONTINUED). A notable fugitive slave case—Inauguration of Pierce—Repeal of the Missouri compromise—Its effect upon the parties—The Free Soil position—Know-Nothingism—The situation—First steps in the formation of the Republican party—Movements of the Know-Nothings —Mistake of the Free Soilers—Anti-slavery progress—Election of Banks as Speaker—Call for a Republican National Convention at Pittsburg—Organization of the party—The Philadelphia convention and its platform—Nomination of Fremont—Know-Nothing and Whig nominations—Democratic nomination and platform—The grand issue of the campaign—The Democratic canvass—The splendid fight for Fremont—Triumph of Buchanan—Its causes and results—The teaching of events.
      • CHAPTER VIII. PROGRESS OF REPUBLICANISM. The Dred Scott decision—The struggle for freedom in Kansas— Instructive debates in Congress—Republican gains in the Thirty- fifth Congress—The English bill—Its defeat and the effect— Defection of Douglas—Its advantages and its perils—Strange course of the New-York Tribune and other Republican papers—Republican retreat in Indiana—Illinois Republicans stand firm, and hold the party to its position—Gains in the Thirty-sixth Congress—Southern barbarism and extravagance—John Brown's raid—Cuba and the slave trade—Oregon and Kansas—Aids to anti-slavery progress—The Speakership and Helper's book—Southern insolence and extravagance —Degradation of Douglas—Slave code for the Territories—Outrages in the South—Campaign of 1860—Charleston convention and division of the Democrats—Madness of the factions—Bell and Everett— Republican National Convention and its platform—Lincoln and Seward —Canvass of Douglas—The campaign for Lincoln—Conduct of Seward —Republican concessions and slave-holding madness.
      • CHAPTER IX. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION AND THE WAR. Visit to Mr. Lincoln—Closing months of Mr. Buchanan's Administration —Efforts to avoid war—Character of Buchanan—Lincoln's Inauguration —His war policy—The grand army of office seekers—The July session of Congress—The atmosphere of Washington—Battle of Bull Run— Apologetic resolve of Congress—First confiscation act—Regular session of Congress—Secretary Cameron—Committee on the conduct of the war—Its conference with the President and his Cabinet— Secretary Stanton and General McClellan—Order to march upon Manassas.
      • CHAPTER X. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION AND THE WAR (CONTINUED). The wooden guns—Conference with Secretary Stanton—His relations to Lincoln—Strife between Radicalism and Conservatism—Passage of the Homestead Law—Visit to the President—The Confiscation Act and rebel landowners—Greeley's "prayer of twenty millions," and Lincoln's reply—Effort to disband the Republican party—The battle of Fredericksburg and General Burnside—The Proclamation of Emancipation—Visit to Mr. Lincoln—General Fremont—Report of the War Committee—Visit to Philadelphia and New York—Gerrit Smith— The Morgan Raid.
      • CHAPTER XI. INCIDENTS AND END OF THE WAR. Campaigning in Ohio—Attempted repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law— Organized movement in favor of Chase for the Presidency—Confiscation of rebel lands—Fort Pillow and the treatment of Union soldiers at Richmond—Mr. Lincoln's letter to Hodges—Southern Homestead Bill and controversy with Mr. Mallory—Nomination of Andrew Johnson— Enforcement of party discipline—Mr. Lincoln's change of opinion as to confiscation of rebel lands—Opposition to him in Congress— General Fremont and Montgomery Blair—Visit to City Point—Adoption of the XIII Constitutional Amendment—Trip to Richmond and incidents —Assassination of the President—Inauguration of Johnson and announcement of his policy—Feeling toward Mr. Lincoln—Capitulation with Gen. Johnston.
      • CHAPTER XII. RECONSTRUCTION AND SUFFRAGE—THE LAND QUESTION. Visit of Indianans to the President—Gov. Morton and reconstruction —Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War—Discussion of negro suffrage and incidents—Personal matters—Suffrage in the District of Columbia—The Fourteenth Constitutional Amendment— Breach between the President and Congress—Blaine and Conkling— Land bounties and the Homestead Law.
      • CHAPTER XIII. MINERAL LANDS AND THE RIGHT OF PRE-EMPTION. The lead and copper lands of the Northwest—The gold-bearing regions of the Pacific, and their disposition—A legislative reminiscence —Mining Act of 1866, and how it was passed—Its deplorable failure, and its lesson—Report of the Land Commission—The Right of Pre- emption, and the "Dred Scott decision" of the settlers.
      • CHAPTER XIV. RECONSTRUCTION AND IMPEACHMENT. Gov. Morton and his scheme of Gerrymandering—The XIV Amendment— Hasty reconstruction and the Territorial plan—The Military Bill— Impeachment—An amusing incident—Vote against impeachment—The vote reversed—The popular feeling against the President—The trial —Republican intolerance—Injustice to senators and to Chief Justice Chase—Nomination of Gen. Grant—Re-nomination for Congress—Personal —Squabble of place-hunters—XVI Amendment.
      • CHAPTER XV. GRANT AND GREELEY. The new Cabinet—Seeds of party disaffection—Trip to California— Party degeneracy—The liberal Republican movement—Re-nomination of Grant—The Cincinnati convention—Perplexities of the situation —The canvass for Greeley—Its bitterness—Its peculiar features— The defeat—The vindication of Liberals—Visit to Chase and Sumner —Death of Greeley.
      • CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUDING NOTES. Party changes caused by the slavery issue—Notable men in Congress during the war—Sketches of prominent men in the Senate and House —Scenes and incidents—Butler and Bingham—Cox and Butler—Judge Kelley and Van Wyck—Lovejoy and Wickliffe—Washburne and Donnelly —Oakes Ames—Abolitionism in Washington early in the war—Life at the capital—The new dispensation and its problems.
    • POLITICAL RECOLLECTIONS.
    • CHAPTER II. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1844—ANNEXATION AND SLAVERY. The nomination of Clay—His position on the slavery question and annexation—Van Buren's letter to Hammet, and its effect upon the South—His repudiation, and the nomination of Polk—The surprise of the country—Unbounded confidence of the Whigs—The course of the New York Democrats—The "Kane Letter"—Trouble among the Whigs on the annexation question—Fierceness of the contest, and singular ability of the leaders—The effect of Clay's defeat upon the Whigs —Causes of the defeat—The Abolitionists, and the abuse heaped upon them—Cassius M. Clay—Mr. Hoar's mission to South Carolina— Election of John P. Hale—Annexation and war with Mexico—Polk's message, and the Wilmot proviso—The Oregon question, and Alex. H. Stephens.
    • CHAPTER III. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1848—ITS INCIDENTS AND RESULTS. The approach of another presidential campaign—Party divisions threatened by the Wilmot proviso—Nomination of Gen. Cass—The "Nicholson Letter"—Democratic division in New York—The nomination of Gen. Taylor—Whig divisions—Birth of the Free Soil party—The Buffalo Convention—Nomination of Van Buren and Adams—Difficulty of uniting on Van Buren—Incidents—Rev. Joshua Leavitt—The work of the campaign—Mr. Webster and Free Soil—Greeley and Seward— Abuse of Whig bolters—Remarkable results of the canvass.
    • CHAPTER IV. REMINISCENCES OF THE THIRTY-FIRST CONGRESS. Novel political complications—The Compromise Measures—First election to Congress—Sketch of the "immortal nine"—The speakership and Wm. J. Brown—Gen. Taylor and the Wilmot proviso—Slave-holding banter—Compromise resolutions of Clay, and retreat of Northern Whigs—Visit to Gen. Taylor—To Mr. Clay—His speeches—Webster's seventh of March speech—Character of Calhoun—Speech on the slavery question.
    • CHAPTER V. REMINISCENCES OF THE THIRTY-FIRST CONGRESS (CONTINUED). Fracas between Col. Benton and Senator Foote—Character of Benton —Death of Gen. Taylor—The funeral—Defeat of the "Omnibus Bill" —Its triumph in detail—Celebration of the victory—"Lower law" sermons and "Union-saving" meetings—Slave-holding literature— Mischievous legislation—Visit to Philadelphia and Boston—Futile efforts to suppress agitation—Andrew Johnson and the homestead law—Effort to censure Mr. Webster—Political morality in this Congress—Temperance—Jefferson Davis and other notable men—John P. Hale—Thaddeus Stevens—Extracts from speeches—The famous men in both Houses—The Free Soilers and their vindication.
    • CHAPTER VI. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. Pro-slavery reaction—Indiana and Ohio—Race for Congress—Free Soil gains in other States—National Convention at Cleveland— National canvass of 1852—Nomination of Pierce and Scott, and the "finality" platforms—Free Soil National Convention—Nomination of Hale—Samuel Lewis—The Whig canvass—Webster—Canvass of the Democrats—Return of New York "Barnburners" to the party—The Free Soil campaign—Stumping Kentucky with Clay—Rev. John G. Fee— Incidents—Mob law in Indiana—Result of the canvass—Ruin of the Whigs—Disheartening facts—The other side of the picture.
    • CHAPTER VII. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY (CONTINUED). A notable fugitive slave case—Inauguration of Pierce—Repeal of the Missouri compromise—Its effect upon the parties—The Free Soil position—Know-Nothingism—The situation—First steps in the formation of the Republican party—Movements of the Know-Nothings —Mistake of the Free Soilers—Anti-slavery progress—Election of Banks as Speaker—Call for a Republican National Convention at Pittsburg—Organization of the party—The Philadelphia convention and its platform—Nomination of Fremont—Know-Nothing and Whig nominations—Democratic nomination and platform—The grand issue of the campaign—The Democratic canvass—The splendid fight for Fremont—Triumph of Buchanan—Its causes and results—The teaching of events.
    • CHAPTER VIII. PROGRESS OF REPUBLICANISM. The Dred Scott decision—The struggle for freedom in Kansas— Instructive debates in Congress—Republican gains in the Thirty- fifth Congress—The English bill—Its defeat and the effect— Defection of Douglas—Its advantages and its perils—Strange course of the New-York Tribune and other Republican papers—Republican retreat in Indiana—Illinois Republicans stand firm, and hold the party to its position—Gains in the Thirty-sixth Congress—Southern barbarism and extravagance—John Brown's raid—Cuba and the slave trade—Oregon and Kansas—Aids to anti-slavery progress—The Speakership and Helper's book—Southern insolence and extravagance —Degradation of Douglas—Slave code for the Territories—Outrages in the South—Campaign of 1860—Charleston convention and division of the Democrats—Madness of the factions—Bell and Everett— Republican National Convention and its platform—Lincoln and Seward —Canvass of Douglas—The campaign for Lincoln—Conduct of Seward —Republican concessions and slave-holding madness.
    • CHAPTER IX. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION AND THE WAR. Visit to Mr. Lincoln—Closing months of Mr. Buchanan's Administration —Efforts to avoid war—Character of Buchanan—Lincoln's Inauguration —His war policy—The grand army of office seekers—The July session of Congress—The atmosphere of Washington—Battle of Bull Run— Apologetic resolve of Congress—First confiscation act—Regular session of Congress—Secretary Cameron—Committee on the conduct of the war—Its conference with the President and his Cabinet— Secretary Stanton and General McClellan—Order to march upon Manassas.
    • CHAPTER X. THE NEW ADMINISTRATION AND THE WAR (CONTINUED). The wooden guns—Conference with Secretary Stanton—His relations to Lincoln—Strife between Radicalism and Conservatism—Passage of the Homestead Law—Visit to the President—The Confiscation Act and rebel landowners—Greeley's "prayer of twenty millions," and Lincoln's reply—Effort to disband the Republican party—The battle of Fredericksburg and General Burnside—The Proclamation of Emancipation—Visit to Mr. Lincoln—General Fremont—Report of the War Committee—Visit to Philadelphia and New York—Gerrit Smith— The Morgan Raid.
    • CHAPTER XI. INCIDENTS AND END OF THE WAR. Campaigning in Ohio—Attempted repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law— Organized movement in favor of Chase for the Presidency—Confiscation of rebel lands—Fort Pillow and the treatment of Union soldiers at Richmond—Mr. Lincoln's letter to Hodges—Southern Homestead Bill and controversy with Mr. Mallory—Nomination of Andrew Johnson— Enforcement of party discipline—Mr. Lincoln's change of opinion as to confiscation of rebel lands—Opposition to him in Congress— General Fremont and Montgomery Blair—Visit to City Point—Adoption of the XIII Constitutional Amendment—Trip to Richmond and incidents —Assassination of the President—Inauguration of Johnson and announcement of his policy—Feeling toward Mr. Lincoln—Capitulation with Gen. Johnston.
    • CHAPTER XII. RECONSTRUCTION AND SUFFRAGE—THE LAND QUESTION. Visit of Indianans to the President—Gov. Morton and reconstruction —Report of Committee on the Conduct of the War—Discussion of negro suffrage and incidents—Personal matters—Suffrage in the District of Columbia—The Fourteenth Constitutional Amendment— Breach between the President and Congress—Blaine and Conkling— Land bounties and the Homestead Law.
    • CHAPTER XIII. MINERAL LANDS AND THE RIGHT OF PRE-EMPTION. The lead and copper lands of the Northwest—The gold-bearing regions of the Pacific, and their disposition—A legislative reminiscence —Mining Act of 1866, and how it was passed—Its deplorable failure, and its lesson—Report of the Land Commission—The Right of Pre- emption, and the "Dred Scott decision" of the settlers.
    • CHAPTER XIV. RECONSTRUCTION AND IMPEACHMENT. Gov. Morton and his scheme of Gerrymandering—The XIV Amendment— Hasty reconstruction and the Territorial plan—The Military Bill— Impeachment—An amusing incident—Vote against impeachment—The vote reversed—The popular feeling against the President—The trial —Republican intolerance—Injustice to senators and to Chief Justice Chase—Nomination of Gen. Grant—Re-nomination for Congress—Personal —Squabble of place-hunters—XVI Amendment.
    • CHAPTER XV. GRANT AND GREELEY. The new Cabinet—Seeds of party disaffection—Trip to California— Party degeneracy—The liberal Republican movement—Re-nomination of Grant—The Cincinnati convention—Perplexities of the situation —The canvass for Greeley—Its bitterness—Its peculiar features— The defeat—The vindication of Liberals—Visit to Chase and Sumner —Death of Greeley.
    • CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUDING NOTES. Party changes caused by the slavery issue—Notable men in Congress during the war—Sketches of prominent men in the Senate and House —Scenes and incidents—Butler and Bingham—Cox and Butler—Judge Kelley and Van Wyck—Lovejoy and Wickliffe—Washburne and Donnelly —Oakes Ames—Abolitionism in Washington early in the war—Life at the capital—The new dispensation and its problems.
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