The Tragic Conflict: The Civil War and Reconstruction

By William B. Hesseltine | Go to book overview

5
The Republicans Nominate Lincoln

Murat Halstead

ENROUTE, May 15-16, 1860.

Leaving Baltimore in a flood we found the West afflicted with a drouth. At one end of the journey, there was a torrent tearing down every ravine; at the other there was a fog of dust all along the road.

The incidents of the trip were a land-slide on the Pennsylvania Central, and the unpleasantness of being behind time to the extent of six hours on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago, The detention was occasioned by the fact of the train consisting of thirteen cars full of "lrrepressibles." I regret to say that most of the company were, "unsound," and rather disposed to boast of the fact.

The difference between the (country passed over between Baltimore and Chicago, and that between Louisville and Baltimore, by way of Charleston, is greatly in favor of the former. I have not had any disposition to speak in disparaging terms of the Southern country, but it is the plain truth that the country visible along the road from Baltimore to Harrisburg alone, is worth more by far than, all that can be seen from Charleston to the Potomac. In the South few attempts have been made to cultivate any lands other than those most favorably situated, and most rich. But in Pennsylvania, free labor has made not only the valleys bloom, but the hill-tops are radiant with clover and wheat. And there are many other things that rush upon the sight in the North as contrasted with the South, that testify to the paramount glory of free labor.

And while pursuing the path of perfect candor in all these matters, it becomes necessary to say that the (quantity of whiskey and other ardent beverages consumed on the train in which I reached this city was much greater than on any train that within my knowledge entered Charleston during Convention times. The number of private bottles on our train last night was something surprising. A portion of the Republicans are distressed by what they see and hear of the disposition to use ardent spirits which appears in members of their supposed to be painfully virtuous party. And

WILLIAM B. HESSELTINE, ed., Three Against Lincoln ( Baton Rouge, La., 1960), Ch. 4.

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