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