The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals

By George Fort Milton | Go to book overview

III. THE NATIONAL UNION CONVENTION

LATE, in May, two Maine politicians set out on a leisurely journey to Baltimore. Josiah H. Drummond was a delegate from Maine's first district to the coming National Union Convention and Charles J. Talbot, although not a delegate, was an influential local figure. Both were friends of Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and neither expected any difficulty in his being again selected for Lincoln's running mate. Breaking their journey at Boston, they proceeded to visit friends and acquaintances. They had not been long on these casual calls before they learned of a secret caucus of the leaders of the Massachusetts delegation, then in progress.1 The Maine visitors walked boldly in.

To their amazement, the caucus proved nothing more nor less than a meeting of a steering committee seeking Hamlin's defeat. The Massachusetts leaders frankly expressed their dissatisfaction with the Lincoln Administration, and their desire to have "a more Radical Republican" in Lincoln's stead. But the renomination of the President, they had regretfully concluded, was "a foregone conclusion, . . . it was no use to make any attempt to nominate anyone else. . . ." None the less these Radicals deemed it of the greatest importance that the influences about Lincoln be altered, so that the conduct of the Administration should be more in keeping with their views. They were especially determined to get rid of Seward.

Much to the discomfiture of Hamlin's two friends, the caucus agreed that the best way to oust Seward from the Cabinet was to nominate a vice president from New York. It was Sumner's formula. Manifestly it would be politically unthinkable for a single State, even New York, to be allowed to furnish both the Vice President and the Secretary of State. Drummond and Talbot vainly pleaded the cause of Hamlin, and continued on their journey to Baltimore, carrying the unwelcome intelligence that Charles Sumner had unsheathed his sword.

It was substantially the first information Hamlin's managers had of the stealthy fight against their chief, and they

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The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgment ix
  • I. War-Time Washington 1
  • Ii. Plot and Counterplot 16
  • III- the National Union Convention 37
  • Iv. the Bound Boy of Raleigh 59
  • V. the Tailor-Politician 74
  • Vt. "In the Furnace of Treason" 98
  • Vii. on the Ticket with Lincoln 120
  • Ix. President Andrew Johnson 160
  • X. the Trial of Mrs. Surratt 190
  • Xi. the Lull Before the Storm 213
  • Xii. Charles Sumner Declares War 236
  • Xiii. the Triumph of Caliban 262
  • Xiv. Victory at Any Price 293
  • Xv. a Marplot in the Cabinet 320
  • Xvi. the Swing Around the Circle 344
  • Xvii. Bayonet Rule by Act Of Congress 370
  • Xix. Johnson Crosses the Rubicon 426
  • Xx. General Grant Breaks His Word 457
  • Xxi. the Impeachment of The President 486
  • Xxii. Preparing for the Trial 515
  • Xxiii. Impartial Court Or Political Inquest? 541
  • Xxiv. Sound and Fury 566
  • Xxvii. Last Months in the White House 633
  • Xviii. the Tennessee Epilogue 654
  • Appendix - Authorities Consulted and Cited In This Volume 677
  • Notes 685
  • Index 755
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