1864 · New York
This Democratic Party campaign pamphlet quotes an April 1864 letter to argue that Lincoln gave Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant free rein to conduct the war, after having interfered with and micromanaged McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862. The publication also declared that Republicans were stained with "The Taint of Disunion" and quoted from Republican speeches and editorials to insist that the Democrats were the party of "UNION AND PEACE." [ABRAHAM LINCOLN].
Printed Document. Democrat Campaign "Document No. 12" with headings "Lincoln's Treatment of Gen. Grant," "Mr. Lincoln's Treatment of Gen. McClellan," and "The Taint of Disunion." [New York, 1864.] 8 pp., 5¾ x 8⅝ in.
Lincoln to Grant, April 30, 1864
"I wish to express in this way, my entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know, nor seek to know. You are vigilant and self-reliant; and pleased with this, I wish not to obtrude any restrains or constraints upon you, while I am very anxious that any real disaster or capture of our men in great numbers be avoided." (p1/c1)
"Such, in brief, are some of the most notable instances in which Mr. Lincoln interfered with General McClellan when he occupied a position similar to that held by General Grant. They reflect so severely upon the President that no attempt to gloss them over by his apparent subsequent repentance can disabuse the patriotic portion of the nation of the matured conviction that he is to be held responsible for the lack of decisive victories in Eastern Virginia. The blame must and will rest upon him, to whom it belongs." (p5/c2)
"Having shown by copious extracts from the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, W. H. Seward, Wendell Phillips, Wm. Lloyd Garrison, and from the editorial writings of the Chicago Tribune and the N. Y. Tribune… that they were all original secessionists and disunion men, we propose now to give the evidence that Mr. Lincoln himself has, within the last three months, been concerned in a movement to make peace with Jeff. Davis, on terms involving the direct proposal to divide the Union and let the South go." (p7/c2-p8/c1)
"with the same determination to divide the country unless they can secure universal abolition, we are exposed to the same dangers every day, and God only knows in what unlucky hour our ruin may be consummated. Mark how Mr. Lincoln constantly keeps up the idea of negotiating only with Jefferson Davis. Why does he never address himself to the people or the States of the South?... Compare his policy with McClellan's expression of readiness to receive any State when its people offer to submit to the Union." (p8/c2)
The 1864 presidential election pitted President Lincoln against his Democratic challenger, General George B. McClellan. Although McClellan had been the commander of the Army of the Potomac and general-in-chief of the Union Army, the Peace platform adopted by the Democratic National Convention in Chicago declared the war a failure. The party was bitterly divided between War Democrats, who favored continuing the war to restore the Union while leaving slavery alone; moderate Peace Democrats, who favored an armistice and a negotiated peace that would likely protect slavery in a reconstructed union, and radical Peace Democrats, who favored an immediate end to the war without securing Union victory. McClellan was a War Democrat, but the platform was written by radical Peace Democrat Clement Vallandigham, and Peace Democrat George H. Pendleton was nominated for vice president.
In 1864, Republicans created the National Union Party to attract War Democrats, Unconditional Unionists, and Unionist Party members who would not vote for the Republican Party, though most state Republican parties did not change their name. President Abraham Lincoln won the nomination of the "National Union Party" at its Baltimore convention, and won re-election with new running mate War Democrat Andrew Johnson.
Although Lincoln was convinced by August 1864 that he would not be reelected, General William T. Sherman's capture of Atlanta in early September and General Philip Sheridan's successes in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia from August to October ensured his victory. Without the participation of the seceded states, Lincoln and Johnson won 55 percent of the popular vote and an overwhelming 212-to-21 victory in the Electoral College. McClellan and Pendleton carried only Kentucky, Delaware, and McClellan's home state of New Jersey. (Inventory #: 24901.02)