"Any Candidate but Seward"
I HOPE TO DO my part toward electing a Republican President this year. That done I intend to stop lecturing and running about. I shall limit my work, sit down and edit The Tribune and live out the residue of my life in peace."
Thus on January 6, 1860, Greeley repeated to his friend Mrs. Allen his frequent dream of a future that was never to be. The greatest triumph of his political career was less than five months distant in Chicago's Wigwam, and his severest trials were to follow it. He had returned home confirmed in his long-held opinion that the Democrats, if united on Douglas, were certain to elect him as Buchanan's successor in the White House. "I don't believe that the time has come when a Republican on a square issue can poll one hundred electoral votes," he wrote editor Baker of the Independent. Increasing hostility to the "Little Giant" among southern radicals afforded the strongest hope for Republican success, but Greeley saw no signs of Republican activity. He chose the last day of 1859 to arouse the party: "We must wrest the Federal Administration from the hands of slavery extensionists," he then declared, "and this, if ever, is to be done in 1860. At the risk of being denounced as croaking or faint-hearted we tell the Republicans of these United States that we believe they are to be beaten, and badly beaten, in the presidential campaign now opening unless they soon organize...and place their views and objects so dearly and fully before the great body of their fellow-citizens as to secure thousands of votes that will otherwise be cast against them."