1860 Republican National Convention

1860 Republican National Convention

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The 1860 National Convention of the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, held in Chicago, Illinois at the Wigwam
Wigwam (Chicago)
The Wigwam was a convention center and meeting hall that served as the site of the 1860 Republican National Convention. It was located in Chicago, Illinois at Lake Street and Market near the Chicago River. This site had previously been the site of the Sauganash Hotel, Chicago's first hotel...

, nominated former U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 for President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin was the 15th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War...

 of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 for Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

. This was only the second national nominating convention for the Republican Party.

Other candidates at the convention included former New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 Governor
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

 William H. Seward
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward, Sr. was the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

, U.S. Senator Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon Portland Chase was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.Chase was one of the most prominent members...

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, former U.S. Representative Edward Bates
Edward Bates
Edward Bates was a U.S. lawyer and statesman. He served as United States Attorney General under Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1864...

 of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, and U.S. Senator Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron was an American politician who served as United States Secretary of War for Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War. After making his fortune in railways and banking, he turned to a life of politics. He became a U.S. senator in 1845 for the state of Pennsylvania,...

 of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

.

This primary was notable as every candidate that ran for the Republican nomination eventually became a member of Lincoln's cabinet.

Seward had been the favorite going into the convention, and led on the first two ballots. His lead soon melted away to the dark horse
Dark horse
Dark horse is a term used to describe a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort.-Origin:The term began as horse racing parlance...

 Lincoln, who captured the nomination on the third ballot. Lincoln's campaign manager, David Davis
David Davis (Supreme Court justice)
David Davis was a United States Senator from Illinois and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He also served as Abraham Lincoln's campaign manager at the 1860 Republican National Convention....

, was credited with playing a substantial role in the convention outcome.

In an alternative view, Lincoln got the nomination as the result of a local scheme to pack the Wigwam with Lincoln supporters using counterfeit tickets. This early example of Chicago politics was led by Chicago Mayor John Wentworth
John Wentworth (mayor)
"Long" John Wentworth was the editor of the Chicago Democrat, a two-term mayor of Chicago, and a six-term member of the United States House of Representatives....

.

Lincoln-Hamlin went on to defeat three other major tickets that year, including Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 nominee Stephen A. Douglas
Stephen A. Douglas
Stephen Arnold Douglas was an American politician from the western state of Illinois, and was the Northern Democratic Party nominee for President in 1860. He lost to the Republican Party's candidate, Abraham Lincoln, whom he had defeated two years earlier in a Senate contest following a famed...

, U.S. Senator from Illinois.

Ballot counts



The Republican National Convention
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

 met in mid-May, after the Democrats had been forced to adjourn the 1860 Democratic National Convention
1860 Democratic National Convention
The 1860 Democratic National Convention was one of the crucial events in the lead-up to the American Civil War. Following a fragmented official Democratic National Convention that was adjourned in deadlock, two more presidential nominating conventions took place: a resumed official convention,...

 in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

 without a nominee and had not yet re-convened in Baltimore, Maryland. With the Democrats in disarray and with a sweep of the Northern states possible, the Republicans
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

 were confident going into their convention in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. William H. Seward
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward, Sr. was the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

 of New York was considered the front runner, followed by Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 of Illinois, Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon Portland Chase was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.Chase was one of the most prominent members...

 of Ohio, and Missouri's Edward Bates
Edward Bates
Edward Bates was a U.S. lawyer and statesman. He served as United States Attorney General under Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1864...

.

As the convention developed, however, it was revealed that Seward, Chase, and Bates had each alienated factions of the Republican Party. Delegates were concerned that Seward was too closely identified with the radical wing of the party, and his moves toward the center had alienated the radicals. Chase, a former Democrat, had alienated many of the former Whigs
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 by his coalition with the Democrats in the late 1840s, had opposed tariffs demanded by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, and critically, had opposition from his own delegation from Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. Bates outlined his positions on extension of slavery into the territories and equal constitutional rights for all citizens, positions that alienated his supporters in the border states and southern conservatives. German-Americans in the party opposed Bates because of his past association with the Know-Nothings.

Since it was essential to carry the West, and because Lincoln had a national reputation from his debates and speeches as the most articulate moderate, he won the party's nomination on the third ballot on May 18, 1860.
Presidential Ballot
Nominee Home State 1st 2nd 3rd 3rd "corrected"
William H. Seward
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward, Sr. was the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

 
New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 
173.5 184.5 180 111.5
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 
Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 
102 181 231.5 349
Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron was an American politician who served as United States Secretary of War for Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War. After making his fortune in railways and banking, he turned to a life of politics. He became a U.S. senator in 1845 for the state of Pennsylvania,...

 
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 
50.5 2 0 0
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase
Salmon Portland Chase was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.Chase was one of the most prominent members...

 
Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 
49 42.5 24.5 2
Edward Bates
Edward Bates
Edward Bates was a U.S. lawyer and statesman. He served as United States Attorney General under Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1864...

 
Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 
48 35 22 0
William L. Dayton
William L. Dayton
William Lewis Dayton was an American politician.A distant relation of U.S. House Speaker and U.S. Constitution signatory Jonathan Dayton, he was born in Basking Ridge, New Jersey to farmer Joel Dayton and his wife...

 
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 
14 10 1 1
John McLean
John McLean
John McLean was an American jurist and politician who served in the United States Congress, as U.S. Postmaster General, and as a justice on the Ohio and U.S...

 
Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 
12 8 5 0.5
Jacob Collamer
Jacob Collamer
Jacob Collamer was an American politician from Vermont.-Biography:Jacob Collamer was born in Troy, New York. He graduated from the University of Vermont at Burlington, served in the War of 1812, studied law in St. Albans, Vermont, was admitted to the bar in 1813, and served as an officer in a...

 
Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 
10 0 - -
Benjamin F. Wade  Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 
3 0 - -
John M. Read
John M. Read
John Meredith Read was an American lawyer, jurist, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the founders of the Republican Party and Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.-Early life:...

 
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 
1 0 - -
Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

 
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 
1 0 - -
John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 
California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 
1 0 - -
Cassius M. Clay  Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 
- 2 1 1


After seeing how close Lincoln was to the 233 votes needed, Robert K. Enos, an 1860 Ohio delegate, was responsible for getting 3 fellow Ohio delegates to shift their 4 votes to Lincoln. There is a 5/19/1860 Chicago Press and Tribune article - "The Four Votes" and other accounts proving that fact. This triggered an avalanche towards Lincoln with a final count of 364 votes out of 466 cast.

Senator Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin was the 15th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War...

 of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 was nominated for vice president, defeating Cassius M. Clay of Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

.
Vice Presidential Ballot
Nominee Home State 1st 2nd
Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin was the 15th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War...

 
Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 
194 367
Cassius M. Clay  Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 
100.5 86
John Hickman
John Hickman (congressman)
John Hickman was a Republican, Democratic and Anti-Lecompton Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.-Early life:...

 
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 
57 13
Andrew H. Reeder
Andrew Horatio Reeder
Andrew Horatio Reeder was the first governor of the Territory of Kansas.Reeder was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, to Absolom Reeder and Christina Reeder. He was educated at an academy in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He read law in a Pennsylvania law office and was admitted to the bar there in 1828....

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 & Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 
51 0
Nathaniel Banks  Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 
38.5 0
Henry W. Davis  Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 
8 0
Sam Houston
Sam Houston
Samuel Houston, known as Sam Houston , was a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He was born in Timber Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of...

 
Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 
6 0
William L. Dayton
William L. Dayton
William Lewis Dayton was an American politician.A distant relation of U.S. House Speaker and U.S. Constitution signatory Jonathan Dayton, he was born in Basking Ridge, New Jersey to farmer Joel Dayton and his wife...

 
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 
3 0
John M. Read
John M. Read
John Meredith Read was an American lawyer, jurist, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the founders of the Republican Party and Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.-Early life:...

 
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 
1 0


The party platform clearly stated that slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

would not be allowed to spread any further, and it also promised that tariffs protecting industry would be imposed. The party promised a homestead law granting free farm land in the West to settlers. These provisions were highly unpopular in the South.