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Historian Michael Nelson wrote: Lincoln thrived in Springfield: In Springfield Lincoln became a successful lawyer, married Mary Todd, fathered four sons, and pursued a flourishing political career that culminated in his election to the presidency in Lincoln biographer William E. He emerged from grinding poverty into a condition in which he owned a home and had a modest sum of money in the bank. From an obscure figure in State politics he had come to be the recognized leader of a political party that was destined to achieve national success and to determine the policies of the nation with little interruption for more than half a century.
Out of a condition of great mental uncertainty in all matters relating to domestic relations he had come into a settled condition as the husband of a brilliant and ambitious woman and the father of a family of sons to whom he was devotedly attached. Lincoln was a real type of an American gentleman. There were three stages to Mr. The first began with Mr. Lincoln was still something of a country bumpkin in the city even though Springfield was still a village, not a state capital, and quite rural in its own appearances.
For six years, Mr. Lincoln lived the life of a bachelor-lawyer-politician. He roomed with general store owner Joshua F. Speed, a fellow Kentucky transplant, and often took his meals with the family of fellow attorney William Butler.
Herndon, who served later as Mr. In this hope he was by no means in error, for his subsequent history shows that he indeed united his friends to himself with hooks of steel. Lincoln, after his arrival in our city, boarded at the home of Mr. I often observed him as he passed to and fro from his meals to his office. He usually walked alone, his head inclined as if he was absorbed in deep thought, unmindful of surrounding objects and persons. Though he had his wonderful gift of humor, I venture to assert that in the long run of years life was to him serious and earnest.
Lincoln and his adopted home town were beginning major transitions. Small store buildings lined the square, in the center of which stood a two-story brick court house.
Most of the twelve or thirteen hundred inhabitants lived in small fame houses, with here and there an imposing resident, and just as often the simple cabin of an early pioneer. Remnants of the groves in which the town was founded furnished shade, but otherwise the streets were bare of trees. In summer every passing team raised clouds of dust while in winter the mud seemed to have no bottom, for there was not a foot of pavement. Hogs, cows and chickens wandered at will, and disputed the few board walks and footpaths with pedestrians.
Nevertheless, noted Lincoln biographer William E. Springfield, with its four hundred inhabitants, its muddy streets, and its live stock running at large, was to him a lonesome place. He did not attend church in the early months of his residence there, because as he wrote, he did not know how to act. Lincoln wrote fiancee Mary Owens, effectively breaking off their engagement: I am quite as lonesome here as [I] was anywhere in my life.
I am afraid you would not be satisfied. There is a great deal of flourishing about in carriages here; which it would be your doom to see without sharing in it. You would have to be poor without the means of hiding your poverty.
Do you believe you could bear that patiently? Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there, is nothing I can imagine, that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort. I know I should be much happier with you than the way I am, provided I saw no signs of discontent in you. What you have said to me may have been in jest, or I may have misunderstood it.
If so, then let it be forgotten; if otherwise, I much wish you would think seriously before you decide. For my part I have already decided. What I have said I will most positively abide by, provided you wish it. My opinion is, that you had better not do it. You have not been accustomed to hardship, and it may be more severe than you now imagine. Lincoln biographers John G.
The richness of the soil was seen in the mud of the streets, black as ink, and of an unfathomable depth in time of thaw. There were, of course, no pavements, or sidewalks; an attempt at crossings was made by laying down large chunks of wood.
The houses were almost all wooden, and were disposed in rectangular blocks. A large square had been left in the middle of the town, in anticipation of future greatness, and there, when Lincoln began his residence, the work of clearing the ground for the new State-house was already going forward. In one of the largest houses looking on the square, at the north-west corner, the county court had its offices, and other rooms in the building were let to lawyers.
Upon arrival in Springfield, Mr. Lincoln had immediately gone into partnership with John Todd Stuart, whom he had met while serving in the Black Hawk War. Lincoln, Stuart had been born in Kentucky and become an Illinois Whig. Stuart was not necessarily the best mentor for a young lawyer because he devoted more attention to politics than to the law, but he had had encouraged Mr.
Lincoln to pursue this profession. But it was well located — right over the county courthouse on the first floor, and in the middle of what was becoming a bustling business and government district in Springfield. During the legislative session, Mr. Lincoln and his fellow Sangamon legislators, including Stuart, arranged to have the state capital transferred from Vandalia to the more centrally located Springfield. Lincoln was the leader of this difficult effort, according to fellow state legislator Robert L.
Lincoln never for one moment despaired, but collect[ed] his Colleagues to his room for consultation, his practical common Sense, his thorough knowledge of human nature then, made him an overmatch for his compeers and for any many that I have ever known. We surmounted all obstacles, passed the bill, and by a joint vote of both houses, located the Seat of Government of the State of Illinois, at Springfield, just before the adjournment of the Legislature which took place on the 4th day of March Lincoln scholar Paul M.
Lincoln was without money, he was not without friends. Lincoln scholar Joseph E. Sixty or seventy well-to-do- individuals paid dearly in order to hear paeans of praise showered upon Lincoln, O.
Browning and others for the role they played in bringing the seat of state government to their city. Already, people had settled there who could trace their descent down a long line of distinguished ancestry. The established families were mainly from Kentucky. Still it was the centre of a limited area of wealth and refinement. Its citizens were imbued with the spirt of push and enterprise. Lincoln therefore could not have been thrown into a better or more appreciative community. In many ways, Springfield was an appreciative and friendly place for Mr.
He took up residence above the general store co-owned by another Kentucky native, Joshua F. Speed, who became his best friend. His infectious good spirits, his renowned independence, and of course his prodigious absorption in politics all set him apart from — and eventually above — the crowds of aimless young men that inundated Springfield. These intimates might then be joined by others of either party, such as Judge Stephen T. Hardin, Schuyler Strong, and A. His law practice easily extended to the State Supreme Court located in Springfield and later to the U.
District Court when it held sessions there. Thus in a double sense the city became a political focal point. Historian Brian Dirck wrote: Lincoln and his friends visited more rarified company at the home of attorney Ninian Edward. He kept open house, you might say, in those days, when the capital was being moved and established in Springfield.
My father was looked upon as a man of considerable means. As a matter of public spirit, he undertook to supply the social courtesies deemed necessary at the new capital. He gave out that he would have four receptions during the session, inviting the members of the Legislature, the state officers and judges of the Supreme Court and leading lawyers, dividing them into four lists. He carried out the programme to the letter, entertaining that first winter the entire state government.
There were many relatives of our family, young ladies. Father was a great hand to have the house full of company. In the Legislature of and were young men who afterward became the most distinguished in the state. From to he was one of the most frequent visitors. There was nothing bashful about him. The ladies would urge him to call again. Ninian Edwards was the son of the territorial governor and first U. The exclusive aristocratic circle he and Elizabeth Todd Edwards constructed in Springfield continued the integration of politics and family life that Elizabeth and Mary Todd had known as children in Lexington, Kentucky.
As a result, Whigs were heavily Victorian. One-third of Whigs were middle-class, as compared to only one-fourth of Democrats. In fact, two-thirds of the middle class were Whigs. At a dinner in Springfield in July 25, , Lincoln toasted:
Lincoln replied on behalf of Kansas-Nebraska opponents the next day. That speech and the better reported version delivered at Peoria on October 16 catapulted Mr. Lincoln in new political prominence.
Meanwhile, with the Whig Party falling part, a major political realignment was underway in Illinois and the nation. They were led by Owen Lovejoy and Ichabod Codding, both New Englanders, both Congregation ministers, both with an abolitionist political pedigree. This was not the time, he well knew, for a rising politician to have his record indelibly stained with abolitionism.
In November , Mr. Lincoln was elected to the State House of Representatives, a position he promptly resigned in order to be eligible for the forthcoming election for the U. Concentrating on the Senate race, Mr. Lincoln failed to focus on the special election of a successor and the election was won by Democrats.
Lincoln scholar William Lee Miller wrote: Overconfidence may have been one reason; a month earlier, in the congressional election, Richard Yates, though he would lose in the U. Immediately after the November election, Mr. Lincoln began work to win election to the U.
Senate in early House seat, Richard Yates. Although he led on the first ballot in February, his election was stymied by the unwillingness of anti-Nebraska Democrats to vote for a Whig for the seat.
Lincoln threw his support to anti-Nebraska Democrat Lyman Trumbull. A year later, Mr. Lincoln became involved in the establishment of the Republican Party as a statewide organization in Illinois — a chore he had deftly avoided in October rather than be identified with the abolitionist group that was meeting. Mary had her sights set on a different kind of structure — enlarging their house to two stories.
James Gourley recalled that while Mr. The Lincoln-Herndon law office was less impressive. Indeed, it was a model of disorder. Fellow attorney Shelby M. Lincoln constantly and he was my friend. I have been in his law office when he returned from riding the circuit. Lincoln kept no account books to speak of. He practiced at the courts of all the counties around Springfield. After trying a case he would take the fee that he received from his client, wrap it up in a piece of paper, write on the back of the paper the name of the case and the amount — ten, fifteen or twenty-five dollars, whatever it might be — and put the paper in his pocket.
Lincoln came home he would take these papers out of his pockets, one at a time, and divide the amounts with his partner, Herndon. Lincoln was strong on financial questions.
On political economy he was great. Practically, he knew little about money and took no care of it. As a lawyer in practice, he was very strong before both court and jury. He had a great deal of personal magnetism and his honest, plain way captured the jurors. Lincoln would lean over the jury, gesturing with his long arms and holding the jurors fascinated with his homely eloquence. And the sum total of the furnishing of the office, as I recollect it, was a rocking-chair a favorite seat of Lincoln and several other ordinary chairs, an old table numerously indented with a jack-knife, a wood stove, and some common book-cases, occupied for the most part with session laws and public documents.
It did not seem as if the inspiration of genius could haunt such a place, and yet, in this uncouth office, the later creed of the Republican party was formulated in the mutual councils of the law-partners, and more than friends. I recently visited the room, which had been their office, with Herndon, and found that it had undergone a radical change; and was now a tailor shop. To what base uses we may come at last. Lincoln partner Herndon himself was popular in Springfield. No one pushed harder or sang the praises of Springfield louder as the new Athens on the prairie.
Lincoln himself had his peculiar ways. Lincoln not only enjoyed reading this way for hours at a time, but he did his reading aloud. Often he would drone on late into the night, reciting verbatum [ sic] the contents of local newspaper.
Harriet Chapman once remarked: Lincoln Seldom ever wore his Coat when in the house at home, and often went to the table in his Shirt Sleeves, which practice anoyed [sic] his wife vary [sic] much, who by the way loved to put on Style. Lincoln sewed and tatted. Not being a nature-lover, Lincoln had never bothered to plant any trees, shrubs or flowers around the house, and the only shade tree on the property was ordered cut down by Mrs. Lincoln when she had some repairs done to the house.
A nature-loving workman asked her husband to confirm the unnecessary order, and he replied: Neighbor James Gourley remembered: He planted no apple trees, cherry trees — pear trees, grape vines Shade trees and Such like things — he did not seems Care for Such things.
Lincoln loved the beautiful — I have planted flowers in their front yard myself to hide nakedness — ugliness — and have done it often… Mrs. The Lincolns hired occasional household help, both white and black. Lincoln scholar Richard E. Six of those twenty-six were slaves. These Springfield African Americans had an impact on Lincoln that was far greater than their numbers imply.
Also…the Sangamon Journal published advertisements of alleged runaway slaves, including detailed descriptions, rewards, warnings against employing the Negroes so identified, and threats of penalties for aiding them. In that environment, ti is quite apparent that the Lincoln connection must have been as valuable to the black barber as it was unique. In more than one case he suggested and advised that a few dollars be paid to buy off those who were holding the Negro.
In and around the statehouse and the courthouse political activity was at a fever pitch. Throughout the year, statewide and county conventions and party caucuses for the Douglas Democrats, the Buchanan Democrats, the Fillmore Americans, and the Republicans met in Springfield to fashion the platforms and strategies each carried into the campaign of summer and fall.
Representatives from all parts of Illinois, from Chicago to Cairo, from Galena and Quincy to Danville and Charleston, converged repeated on this capital city, estimated by contemporaries to include thirteen thousand, to debate issues threatening to tear the country apart. Lincoln was a frequent visitor there — for research, political information and companionship.
Hatch, Secretary of State of Illinois, who in that capacity occupied a large and well-appointed room in the old Statehouse in Springfield.
This office… was therefore in effect the state political headquarters and a common rendezvous for prominent Illinois politicians… Mr. Lincoln was of course a frequent visitor, and when he came was always the center of an animated and interested group.
It was there, during the years mentioned, that I made his acquaintance. All the election records were kept by the Secretary of State, and I, as Mr. Lincoln, who was an assiduous student of election tables, the latest returns, or the completed record books. Lincoln opened the campaign against Senator Stephen A.
Lincoln carefully prepared in advance a speech to give on that occasion and shared it with friends; many often thought the speech ill-advised. According to one report, Mr. Lincoln told his friends: This nation cannot live on injustice — a house divided against itself cannot stand. I say again and again. Lincoln cited the fear of the slave power conspiracy, not the desire for personal preferment, as his reason for undertaking the Senate campaign. After both parties held their conventions, the Senate speeches and rallies began in earnest.
Lincoln law partner William P. I was on the ground and suppose there were really about 2 or 3 thousand people — no more and there was no deep hearty cheering; it was really cold. The grand preparations and the manifestations did not correspond; things fell flat. Lincoln spoke in the city on the same evening to a crowded house; he spoke in the House of Representatives; it was as full as it could be and all was enthusiasm It was a most enthusiastic gather of the intellect, and heart, and soul of our town.
Lincoln made no special converts, nor did Douglas. Lincoln was carefully preparing for what he knew would be an arduous campaign.
It was a summer in which that mood, spoke of before, of intense application to the work before him shut out everything else. He was in the State Library nearly every day, searching old volumes of the Congressional Globe , and other original sources of information. He went through the clippings he and Mr.
He was no longer the Abraham Lincoln with leisure for the interests of all callers. He lived through laborious days and often late into studious nights; and when he went forth into that debate it was with a firm foundation of well-settled principles, and fully equipped with all historical and collateral data possible to be acquired by him on the live political issues of the day.
Best of all was the complete confidence he had acquired in himself of his ability to meet Senator Douglas, or any other publicist North or South, in the discussion of the interests and problems then before the country. This was no self-asserting egotism. He was the freest from that of all men who have ever engaged the attention of the nation. In this campaign Mr. Lincoln benefitted from a legion of friends around Springfield. Lincoln gained many friends an admirers. As banker Jacob Bunn observed: I am proud to say that I was one of his junior political agents.
Like very many others, I was always glad to do for him anything that I could. Lincoln continued his strong interest in public affairs in , campaigning frequently that fall outside of Illinois. He helped choose the delegates to the Republican National Convention in Chicago later in the month.
There was some pressure on Mr. Lincoln to come to Chicago, but he remained in Springfield during the three-day convention, heading the advice of Leonard Swett, who telegraphed him: Seward and nominate Mr. The actual votes took place on Thursday, May Back in Springfield Mr.
Lincoln found it difficult to concentrate. Lincoln scholar Frank Farrington wrote: After news of Mr. Lincoln biographer Josiah G. Lincoln which amounted almost to idolatry, responded with a hundred guns, and during the afternoon thronged his house to tender their congratulations and express their joy.
In the evening, the State House was thrown open, and a most enthusiastic meeting held by the republicans. At its close, they marched in a body to the Lincoln mansion, and called for the nominee. Lincoln appeared, and after a brief, modest and hearty speech, invited as many as could get into the house to enter, the crowd responding that after the fourth of March they would give him a larger house.
The people did not retire until a late hour, and then moved off reluctantly, leaving the excited household to their rest. Future Congressman James C. Conkling and newspaper publisher George R. His speech was a perfect model in its way, and the loud applause with which it was greeted shows that it struck the right place in the minds of his hearers. Just previous to the conclusion of his speech, Mr.
Lincoln and wished him success in the coming campaign. Upon hearing of the choice at Chicago he could not contain his astonishment. Can it be possible! A man that buys a ten-cent beefsteak for his breakfast, and carried it home himself. The Republican delegation officially notifying Mr. Lincoln of his nomination arrived in Springfield on Saturday, May Cartter; Judge William D. Raymond, and future General Carl Schurz of Wisconsin.
John Hay, a Brown University graduate who was studying law in Springfield, wrote: Lincoln the formal announcement of his nomination.
As the train came rushing in, the delegation was welcomed with round after round of rousing, electrifying western cheers. A procession was speedily formed to escort the committee to their hotel. Conspicuous in the line of march was a squad of enthusiastic Republicans, with venerable fence rails, borne a la militaire, which Lincoln might have rived in his stalwart youth, in the days when a pen would have been an awkward toy in his hand, and the coon-skin cap shaded his black locks so comfortably as to leave no wan for the civic crown.
Springfield had become the current political center of the nation. Even the Democrats came out for a rally in the courthouse, not to ratify any nomination but to show Republicans that Douglas was a greater man than the new hero, Lincoln. The whole country round about seemed to have gathered to greet the honest and noble man whose name has become the rallying cry of Freedom, Country and Victory. Tuck recalled the meeting with the presidential nominee: Ashmun made a few brief and appropriate remarks, and closed by placing in Mr.
We have come, sir, under a vote of instructions to that Committee, to notify you that you have been selected by the Convention of the Republicans at Chicago for President of the United States. They instruct us, sir, to notify you of that selection; and that committee deem it not only respectful to yourself, but appropriate to the important matter which they have in hand, that they should come in person, and present to you the authentic evidence of the action of that convention; and, sir, without any phrase which shall either be personally plauditory to yourself, or which shall have any reference to the principles involved in the questions which are connected with your nomination, I desire to present to you the letter which has been prepared, and which informs you of your nomination, and with it the platform resolutions and sentiments which the Convention adopted.
Sir at your convenience we shall be glad to receive from you such a response as it may be your pleasure to us. Baringer wrote of Mr. Lincoln responded as followed Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee, — I tender you, and through you to the Republican National Convention, and all the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done me, which you formally announce.
Kelley of Pennsylvania recalled: The train bearing the Committee, and a number of distinguished gentlemen who accompanied them, arrived at Springfield shortly before sunset, and after a couple of hours devoted to refreshment and such rest as might be found in the midst of so excited a people, the delegates repaired to Mr. Having entered the room designated, the members of the Committee, and the distinguished men by whom they were accompanied, ranged themselves around three sides of the room [Ashmun, Morgan, Blair, Welles, Cartter, Andrew, William M.
Lincoln assumed his position in the back part of the room, and Mr. Ashman [sic], advancing a few paces, briefly announced the purpose of our visit and delivered the letter containing the platform, etc. It was evident that the voice which addressed him was receiving his exclusive attention. He had no eye nor ear for any other object, and as I contemplated his tall, spare figure, I remembered that of Henry Clay, to whom I noticed a more than passing resemblance; and that of General Jackson, as I had seen him in , forced itself upon my memory.
It was not, however, until the conclusion of Mr. The bowed head rose as by an electric movement, the broad mouth, which had been so firmly drawn together, opened with a genial smile, and the eyes, that had been shaded, beamed with intelligence and the exhilaration of the occasion.
The few words, in which fitting response to Mr. Ashman, and approached the Hon. Morgan, who was Governor of the Empire State, chairman of the Republican Executive Committee, and the most commanding figure of the visiting party. Accident had placed me at the left hand of the Governor, who was not only gifted as a conversationalist but was eminently taciturn, and made no audible response to the cordial welcome with which he had been greeted.
But, interposing, I somewhat boisterously exclaimed: Lincoln, how tall may you be? A peal of laughter greeted this interjection. The ice was broken. A free flow of chat and chaff pervaded the room, and before the company dispersed, every guest had an opportunity for a pleasant exchange of words with the whilom rail-splitter, Abraham Lincoln. The New York Tribune reported on this occasion that Mrs. Lincoln bore himself with dignity and ease.
His lively, sincere manner, frank and honest expression, and unaffected pleasant conversation soon made everyone feel at ease and rendered the hour and a half which they spent with him one of great pleasure to the delegates. He was dressed with perfect neatness — almost elegance — though, as all Illinoisans know, he usually is plain in his attire as he is modest an unassuming in his deportment. He stood erect, displaying to excellent advantage his tall, manly figure.
Not everyone in Springfield was impressed. Lincoln writer Wayne C. Lincoln had his critics, his foes, his detractors, and the Democrats did their best to belittle him as the Republican nominee for the presidency.
To these Democrats the great American hero was Douglas, looming so large on the national horizon that Lincoln seemed a mere second-rate candidate by comparison. The Republicans of Illinois now find that they were perpetrating a joke on their party. For the last seven months of , Mr.
Thus, he needed his offices but occasionally. Then I went to his residence, and learned that he had a room in the Capitol building, and that I would find him there. Arrived at the room, I rapped at the door. It was opened by a tall, spare man, plain of face. I told him that I had come to see Mr. He had the most wonderful faculty I have ever seen in a man to make one feel at ease.
Springfield became a focal point of national political attention. Republicans took advantage of campaign interest in both principled and less principled ways. The demand presented possibilities too obvious to be ignored, and various citizens of Springfield began importing fence rails in wholesale quantities and selling them, authenticated with imposing affidavits, to all comers.
The sale of rails and rail products became a regular profession. Both venues attracted state and national speakers. The campaign peaked earlier. They claimed that Lincoln watched the procession from the State House dome. The Republican highlight of the presidential campaign in Springfield was a major campaign rally on August 8.
When the crowd had been passing out of the city in one continuous stream for hours to the fair grounds, until the large enclosure was filled almost to its utmost capacity by the throng, there still seemed to be no perceptible diminution of the vast crowds that swayed to and fro on the streets and sidewalks.
The fact is, we cannot tell the truth about a crowd like this, without seeming to romance. Lincoln than merely a political gathering. He was deeply touched by the manifestations of personal and political friendship, and returned all his salutations in that off-hand and kindly manner which belonged to him. Several yards of jeans cloth, from which a garment was fashioned for Lincoln, were publicly made.
I dare not estimate the number of beeves roasted whole in the barbecue style. Deep pits, looking like fresh-made graves, were half filled with wood fires, and over each was suspended the carcass of a beef which was kept turning slowly. There seemed to be miles of tables, made of rough boards.
The mere cutting of the loaves of bread for the hungry multitude was a prodigious task for scores of men. At intervals about the grounds were hogsheads of ice-water and wash-tubs of lemonade. There no street railways then, and most of the vast crowd of heated and tired people, including faint women and fretful children, walked the long dusty road back to town, with no apparent loss of enthusiasm.
Far into the night could be heard the mounted men singing the glee choruses and shouting campaign cries, as college boys disturb the quiet with their yells after a football game. I learned that speaking was going on at the Fair Grounds, near the outskirts of the city, and headed that way to investigate. Arriving at the Fair Grounds, I found there were thousands of people, covering acres of ground.
Speaking from half a dozen or more stands, located at different places on the grounds, was in progress. Prominent speakers were there from various States. At some stands there were two speakers speaking at the same time, one to the crowds on the east, and another to those on the west. My first halt was to listen to Senator Trumbull, then moved on to where Owen Lovejoy was speaking.
The next stand I went to, the speaker sat down just as I arrived. Several speakers were seated on this stand. The surrounding crowd then began to call first one name and then another. Finally the name of Doolittle Senator Doolittle of Wisconsin was most frequently called. Finally Senator Doolittle arose and began to talk. After listening to him for a while, I went to another stand where John M.
I had heard him before and soon became much interested, especially as he was comparing the arguments of Lincoln and Douglas, as made by them in the campaign. And whose speeches I had heard delivered. Future White House aide John Hay reported for a newspaper: There was great taste and ingenuity in some cases displayed. A power-loom, for instance, was worked by steam as the procession moved on, and wove several yards of Kentucky jeans, which was passed on and cut by a tailor, and made up with a sewing machine into a pair of pantaloons, to encase the limbs of the future President, who merits as well as King Edward, the English Justinian, did, the title of Long-shanks.
Then there were log cabins and monster flatboats, and big Indians, and allegorical representations of all the trades, and beautiful young women clothed in innocence and tarleton, personating the Union-loving States, and every conceivable variety of mottoes, inscriptions, and devices on banners, globes, and transparencies, that swayed and floated and revolved along a seemingly interminable line of eight miles of procession, where ingenuity and taste seemed to have exhausted themselves in making the details of this colossal parade worthy of the occasion, worthy of the cause, and worthy of the man whom they delighted to honor.
Blair from Missouri made speeches at the capitol and at the newly constructed Republican wigwam. Sometime during the festivities, [Richard J. Slavery, although morally wrong, must be considered a domestic institution in the states where it existed. But the Constitution did not guarantee its propagation in the territories. When new territories were acquired by the United States, the laws which were in effect at that time must be considered valid. One of them remarked to me that it all surely meant something; said that he was personally acquainted with Mr.
Lincoln, and as a man, he had great respect for him, but before leaving home, did not believe it possible that he could be elected president of the United States; but after observing the intense enthusiasm and earnestness of the great crowds there present, he was almost ready to change his opinion.
Although an intense presidential campaign was going on, Mr. Lincoln was essentially an observer rather than a participant. The Republicans maintained no literary or publicity offices there.
Telephones and loud-speakers did not exist. Flash bulbs did not flare, and the radio was still undreamed of. The telegraph was such a novelty that not one Morse instrument was to be found in the State House.
Indeed, there was only one place in town from which telegraphic messages could be sent, and that was in an inconvenient upstairs office on a side street, off the public square. It was a room after fifteen by twenty-five feet in size, adequately furnished. A large-patterned and presumably highly-colored Brussels carpet covered the floor.
The three huge high windows had inside wooden shutters. A gas chandelier of graceful design hung from the ceiling, but no frivolous glass globes were allowed to impede the light. A square sheet-iron stove might easily have been dispensed with during the hot Illinois summer; but the very business-like water cooler was doubtless popular, though furnished with only one stout tumbler. This roused the curiosity of [Nicolay fiancee] Therena Bates, who asked about it in one of her letters.
It is whittled out of wood and is a very perfect model of a common log-chain. It was sent to Mr Lincoln by some man in Wisconsin who wrote that being a cripple and unable to leave his bed, he had the rail brought in from the fence, and amused himself by whittling it out.
Lincoln was the focus of widespread attention and fascination. The Presidential candidate chatted with friends as he walked to and from his office. His most trivial actions, said the Republican Farmer Bridgeport, Conn. In the months just before and after his election in , Mr.
Lincoln was the repeated target of portrait painters and sculptors. Artist Charles Barry wrote of his experience: When I rang the bell a very small boy called out: Lincoln and had come all the way from Boston for that purpose. Then the small boy shouted: Lincoln appeared holding out a hand in welcome.
But Monday morning came, and precisely at the hour named, I turned the corner of the street upon which the State House faced to see Mr. Lincoln coming toward me from the other end of the sidewalk. Now, then, what shall I do? I will not disturb you in the least otherwise. Lincoln with a smile. How vividly it all comes back to me — the lonely room, the great bony figure with its long arms and legs that seemed to be continually twisting themselves together; the long, wiry neck; the narrow chest; the uncombed hair; the cavernous sockets beneath the high forehead, the busy eyebrows hanging like curtains over the bright, dreamy eyes, the awkward speech, the evidence sincerity and patience.
The studies thus begun were continued each morning for ten days. I did not require any long times of sitting, but sketched and studied Mr. Much of my best work upon the portrait was done after moments of conversation with Mr. Lincoln, when he had turned away from his table and was facing me. At such times I had ample opportunity to study that wonderful face which in its entire construction was extraordinary. The head, as a whole, was very large, and the upper part of it high above the eyebrows, contrasting strangely with the thin and sunken cheeks and prominent cheek bones.
But the eyes I looked upon so often never can be fully described by human language. They were not remarkable for constant brightness — on the contrary were dreamy and melancholy, always so when at rest, but could become, in an instant, when moved by some great thought, like coals of living fire. I have seen the eyes of Webster and Choate, of Macready, Forrest and the elder Booth, when they startled and awed the beholder, but I have never seen in all the wanderings of a varied life, such eyes as Lincoln had.
His head was Jacksonian in shape, and the angle of the jaw all that nature intended that it should be as a sing of power and determination. Lincoln was a man of moods, and seemed to be constantly influenced by them, but not to the loss of a great and brave individuality Thus I had no end of trouble in getting the expression I wanted of his mouth — of the whole lower part of his face, in fact — his countenance changed so quickly.
Lincoln, pointing to it said: Wisconsin Republican leader Carl Schurz recalled: He asked me to take dinner with him at his house. At table we conversed about the course and the incidents of the campaign, and his genial and simple-hearted way of expressing himself would hardly permit me to remember that he was a great man and a candidate for the presidency of the United States. He was in the best of humor, and we laughed much. The inevitable brass band took position in front of the house and struck up a lively tune, admonishing us that the time for the business of the day had arrived.
Lincoln expressed his regret that I had to exert myself in such a temperature, and suggested that I make myself comfortable. When he presented himself for the march to the capitol grounds I observed that he had divested himself of his waistcoat and put on, as his sole garment, a linen duster, the back of which had been marked by repeated perspirations and looked somewhat like a rough map of the two hemispheres. In this attire he marched with me behind the brass band, after us, the local campaign committee and the Wide-Awakes.
Of course, he was utterly unconscious of his grotesque appearance. Those neighbors who, from the windows and the sidewalks on that hot afternoon, watched and cheered him as he walked by in the procession behind the brass band, may have regarded him, the future President, with a new feeling of reverential admiration, or awe; but he appeared before and among them entire unconcerned; as if nothing had happened, and so he nodded to his acquaintances, as he recognized them in the crowd, with a: Arrived at the place of meeting, he declined to sit on the platform, but took a seat in the front row of the audience.
He did not join in the applause which from time to time rewarded me, but occasionally he gave me a nod and a broad smile. When I had finished, a few voices called upon Mr. Lincoln for a speech, but he simply shook his head, and the crowd instantly respected the proprieties of the situation, some even shouting: Ohio attorney Don Piatt showed up later in the campaign. Schenck and I had been selected to canvass Southern Illinois in behalf of free soil and Abraham Lincoln. That part of Illinois was then known as Egypt, and in our missionary labors we learned we there that the American eagle sometimes lays rotten eggs.
Our labors on the stump were closed in the wigwam at Springfield a few nights previous to the election. I followed in a cheerful review of the situation, that seemed to amuse the crowd, and none more so than our candidate for the Presidency.
We were both invited to return to Springfield, at the jubilee, should success make such rejoicing proper. We did return, for this homely son of toil was elected, and we found Springfield drunk with delight.
On the day of our arrival we were invited to a supper at the house of the President-elect. It was a plain, comfortable frame structure, and the supper was an old-fashioned mess of indigestion, composed mainly of cake, pies and chickens, the last evidently killed in the morning, to be eaten, as best they might, that evening. Lincoln was the homeliest man I ever saw.
His body seemed to me a huge skeleton in clothes. Tall as he was, his hands and feet looked out of proportion, so long and clumsy were they. Every movement was awkward in the extreme. He sat with one leg thrown over the other, and the pendent foot swung almost to the floor. And all the while, two little boys, his sons, clambered over those legs, patted his cheeks, pulled his nose, and poked their fingers in his eyes, without causing reprimand or even notice.
He had a face that defied artistic skill to soften or idealize. The multiplicity of photographs and engravings makes it familiar to the public.
It was capable of few expressions, but those were extremely striking. When in repose, his face was dull, heavy and repellent. It brightened, like a lit lantern, when animated. His dull eyes would fairly sparkle with fun, or express as kindly a look as I ever saw, when moved by some matter of human interest.
His view of human nature was low, but good-natured. I could not call it suspicious, but he believed only what he saw. This low estimate of humanity blinded him to the South. He could not understand that men would get up in their wrath and fight for an idea.
He considered the movement South as a sort of political game of bluff, gotten up by politicians, and meant solely to frighten the North.
He believed that, when the leaders saw their efforts in that direction were unavailing, the tumult would subside. Expressing no sympathy for the slave, he laughed at the Abolitionists as a disturbing element easily controlled, and without showing any dislike to the slave-holders, said only that their ambition was to be restrained. Lincoln said than from the utterances of our host. This good lady injected remarks into the conversation with more force than logic, and was treated by her husband with about the same good-natured indifference with which he regarded the troublesome boys.
A newly fashioned individuality had come within the circle of my observation. Biographer William Herndon wrote: A poll of the voters had been made in a little book and given to him. On running over the names he found that the greater part of the clergy of the city — in fact all but three — were against him. This depressed him somewhat, and he called in Dr.
As election day approached, it became clear that Mr. Lincoln would be elected. Lincoln had long been attached, rallied Republican voters: Lincoln men of Old Sangamon, do not let it be said that you have failed to do your whole duty in this great crisis.
Historian Michael Burlingame wrote that on election day as Mr. Here the applause became absolutely deafening, and from the time he entered the room and until he cast his vote and again left it, there was wild huzzaing, waving of hats, and all sorts of demonstrations of applause, — rendering all other noise insignificant and futile.
Even the distributors of the Douglas tickets shouted and swung their hats as wildly as the rest. McIntire, who wrote him: Lincoln in a room above the telegraph office: Ed Baker was looking over the dispatches as they came in and trying to figure out something conclusive from them.
After greetings all around Trumbull wanted to know how it looked. Lincoln was very quiet, less excited than anybody else in the party. So that again, I think, added to this "circle the wagons" kind of mentality. It probably would have been nice to have thought, "Well, we've won now, fellows. You've done your job, you go on and do other things.
Come back to the loyalty thing that we talked about. I think Dan Walker felt that those close to him were every much a part of his becoming governor as he was. And he wanted them--he not only wanted them with him, but I think he felt like he had an obligation to have them along. I think he recognizes now that putting Victor de Grazia in the position of deputy to the governor was a mistake. Do you see it as a mixed decision, there were problems with it but he was a valid choice for that job?
The job that Victor held. Well, I think there's no doubt, in terms of the role as it was defined for him to fulfill, he was capable of doing it. Maybe a person who was mere conducive to "Come let us reason together," maybe that was the thing of the moment.
But that may not have even worked. Those on the other side--those who were not ready to accept Walker as governor 1m not sure that they really would have accepted that etiher.
But you've got to think in terms of the human traits that were involved as well. They had just been through a bitter fight, and now everybody wants them to just lay back and say, "Gosh, fellows, come on in. Let 1 s get on about the business of government.
Walker talked through his campaign about doing away with the evils of patronage. From the outset one of the big criticisms in the press was that he didn't do away with patron age. Either there was a misunderstanding there or he didn't come through on h is cam paign promise.
Obviously he did want to repay those people who had been loyal to him. How do you square all that? Well, again it's one of these things that 1 s very tough. To my knowledge, I never heard him say outright that, "I will do away with patronage. What he said was, "I will do away with the evils of patronage. Anybody that would say they were going to do away with political jobs couldn't possibly mean that and certainly couldn't carry it out.
Because politics in Illinois is jobs. There are thousands of jobs that go with politics in Illinois. It's one of the largest political job states in the country. And like it or not, people get into politics in Illinois largely because of jobs. There are middle class people, the middle class mentality that says, "I'm going to get into politics because it's my civic duty to do so. And Walker certainly had every right as governor, as chief administrative officer, to fill those jobs.
And I think that if somebody works on--this is my opinion--if somebody works on a campaign for a candidate and jobs are open and that person is qualified, why shouldn't that person get the job? This is not to say that Walker did not believe in, perpetuate, and enhance the merit system in government. He brought in quality people up and down the line. He did everything he could, I feel, in terms of affirmative action and it was tough , as you well know, very, very tough on things.
I think those are the kinds of things that he said he would try to do something about. There was patronage in the Walker administration. Am I on my soapbox? No, I like it. That word was beaten to death those four years. And how as a political scientist do you see the problem of Walker as an independent Democrat dealing with essentially three parties in the legislature, the Chicago Democrats, the downstate Democrats, and the Republicans? Well, I don't know. That word bothers me immensely for a variety of reasons.
It's again one of these things that I think the press picks up because it makes a good story. Maybe it was the term of the day, like participatory democracy, or whatever the case may be. On a regular basis, I think "confrontation" is something of a misnomer because politics is conflict. You ask from a point of view of a political scientist, politics in government is the allocation of values. It's the authoritative allocation of resources, and we all have varying values.
And any time that happens there1 s going to be conflict and there's going to be confrontation. Anytime you're trying to decide how resources are going to be allocated there's bound to be conflict which means there's bound to be confrontation. So I don't think any government is without confrontation in that sense. And that's a lead-in to what I think some of the problem was, that you've got to come back to what we've talked about, that Governor Dan Walker and his administration was attempting to govern without the support of either political party and without the cooperation of the legislative body.
Government, in my opinion, works great to a certain extent if we can say "Come, let us reason together. It's more expedient and to a certain extent I guess it's efficient. But there are some losers in that process, those who are not involved in that closed decision-making process. So I think two things then: I think Walker did not like the agreed bill process, he didn't necessarily like the idea of getting together with the boys in the backroom and putting public policy together.
But more importantly, from the confrontation point of view, was that it wasn't politics as usual. You didn't have the situation where a party-endorsed candidate was coming into the governor's chair and could sit down that first morning and call the legislative leaders and the party leaders and say, "Come on, fellows, let's close the doors and find out what do you want, what do you want, and what I have to do to get it for you, and what are you going to give me in return.
He had not had benefit also of a legislative tenure. He was considered as an upstart. So there wasn't the atmosphere of amelioration to start with. And I think the confrontation thing just kind of perpetuated itself. What about the legislation? You, in your department, were involved in a lot of different areas of legislation. Can you describe to me some specific situations in which you were involved that characterized that relationship between the Walker administration and the legislature?
Well, I didn't have an awful lot of problem for a variety of reasons; one of which, I wasn1 t carrying the more controversial legislation. I wasn't carrying the legislation on welfare or I wasn't involved in who's going to pay for the transit authority in Chicago. So I wasn't directly involved in those particular things.
But also I had a bit of an advantage in that I had worked with many of the legislators prior to my going into the Walker administration either in the constitutional convention or in other legislative capacities.
So I could take advantage of that. But there were some problems, not problems as such, but it was just a matter of serving as a department head in the cabinet. The biggest problems were, of course, budget. We would agree to a budget level with the governor, and I felt that I was not in a position--! It was not uncomaon for me to get feelers from legislators; they would offer to help on my legislation or increase my budget if I would cut a deal with them on some other item that they wanted but wasn't in the governor's budget.
If you want me to talk about specific legislation or something, you know, be glad to. Now, again, I'm talking only about my department and you've got to remember that we were not a direct service department, nor were we one that was spending billions of dollars in direct service.
We never got together as a cabinet and decided a legislative package. We pretty well worked on that individually within the departments. And I don't know if it was because of my own relationships with the legislature, or whatever the case may be, but I felt that it was largely my responsibility to work the legislature and to do whatever I could on behalf of the department.
But I had a tough time with the bureaucrats; the people who had been there forever and were going to be there another forever. I had a very tough time drawing them out and telling them they had an obligation to work the legislature, that the legislature was a reactive body and we had to go to them. Tourism, I think, was a case in point. I appointed a young woman from within the staff as director of tourism and another young woman as director of the motion picture services division.
We would put on cocktail parties, attend legislative gatherings, etc. The problems ofttimes would be when a particular legislator would want;to add something onto our budget for their own district. I probably wanted the add-on because it was going to mean an enhancement of the kind! And this is related to one of the problems that I had with the zero based budget process.
I think Governor Walker sincerely believed in the zero based budget because, as I mentioned earlier, he was a manager. I think he's steeped in management and he genuinely believes in good management. He would require such things, for example, as the MBO's, management by objectives, which I detested.
We did them, but I detested them. On the zero based budget we would go through the process and we would do it internally on a program budget basis, which I also have some real problems with in terms of its actual practicality.
We would go on the program budget, zero based budget basis, at the department level, through the Bureau of the Budget and through the governor. He would then put together his budget message containing his accountability budget, which was fine up to that point. But then as soon as it got into the legislature, it was back to business as usual. It was back to an incremental budget basis. I knew full well what the governor was doing in terms of his budget level and wbat he was trying to do programatically, but when I got into the legislature I never discussed programming.
I never had anybody want to go back and talk about whether or not this particular resource was resulting in this kind of an output. It was back to, "Can't you give me twenty thousand here for this and cut me five here for this? It ofttimes was not impossible for me to get increases, budgetary increases, over and above what the governor was willing to let me have, but I felt that as a cabinet member I had an obligation to put forth his particular budget. My problems were not so much with the legislature.
And I think that from my perspective one of the saddest things--and this is a selfish perspective-one of the saddest things about losing is that we were so close to doing so many other additiona! We had an awful lot of good programs put together. My problem as a cabinet officer was outside of government. It was trying to balance the relationship between Governor Walker and his positions with regard to business and the economy and the demands of business and industrial groups in the state. They had gotten very used to having the Department of Business and Economic Development be the spokesman of business in government.
I was very sympathetic to business and industry and the need to create jobs, which in turn creates capital. Our role was to create a good environment for business and industry, but I also felt that I was obligated to not roll over and play dead on such issues as workmen's compensation and unemployment compensation. My problems were on the outside. Walker was governor during a time of terrible economic problems in the country and certainly in the state of Illinois.
Can you talk about the impact of that on his administration and his ability to manage the state? I would say, all things considered, all things being equal, Dan Walker couldn't have picked a worse time to be governor of Illinois.
But again it might be one of the reasons why he became governor. It was right at the end of the unrest on the campuses and in the streets; the demands on the system were such that street politics was not uncommon. The Vietnamese War was becoming a reality. The economy was starting to go to hell in a hat basket.
The unemployment just took a nose dive; we'd been used to 4 percent unemployment and suddenly we're being told that 7 percent unemploymant was going to be a continued reality. In parts of Illinois, in East St.
Louis and in Johnson County, some of the downstate areas it was not uncommon to have 17, 18, even 20 percent unemployment. Rockford was having tremendous problems because of the closing of some plants. We were beginning to try to learn to live with double digit inflation, such terms as dollar a gallon gas was starting to go around. The state was in financial trouble. The income tax had been passed but there was still a strong need for tax revision, whether or not there was going to be an increase in the income tax.
The property tax was under tremendous fire. There was need to deal with the replacement tax for the elimination of the personal property tax under the new constitution.
Dan Walker was the first governor to attempt to govern a full term under the new constitution, so there was a lot of change of the norms and mores and the rules of the games that were going on at that particular time. And all of this was being done in full view.
We had, I think, completely reached the electronic era, the media era. Dan Walker was a media candidate and media governor. All of the problems of the times were being exposed to the public on a day-to-day basis.
So you take all of those social and economic problems together with the polit'ical problems that he had, and it was a tough day-to-day kind of a battle, but at the same time, an enjoyable one, I think, from his perspective.
He obviously had decided from the outset that he would not raise taxes. And because of the economic situation a tax increase at any number of points during that four years looked inevitable. How did you feel about his not raising taxes at a time when he needed money to satisfy more people and yet he absolutely refused, he kept cutting back? This again is something that I hope will not get lost when the chronicles of history are written.
Governor Walker governed the state of Illinois for four years without raising taxes. And that is no small achievement. There can be a lot of yes, buts. Yes, but he reduced the reserve fund.
Or yes, but he did such and such. He did not raise taxes for four years in a major state which was undergoing full scale unemployment and double digit inflation and I think that is a marvelous achievement. And I think to have knuckled under to all the demands would have been not only a political mistake, and that's why everybody wants to viewit that way, but you've got to remember that basically Dan Walker is a fiscal conservative.
That is something that gets lost in the shuffle. He is a liberal on many social and people issues, but he is a fiscal conservative. He has said that from the outset. He governed that way and he got defeated as a fiscal conservative. I didn't know we were g ing to have this kind of unemployment. Both are no small achievement, but these basic underlying simple facts get lost in the process. Walker's across-the-board cut in the summer of and also his asking business to speed up their tax payments?
Right, the accelerated tax. Those looked like sort of last ditch efforts to keep from increasing taxes. And at the same time he was running for reelection already, even though he didn't announce until later in the year. And the education question, you know, the misunderstanding about whether or not he was actually cutting education funds at the end of All of these things were very unpopular. He wasn't able to do things for people.
Instead he was asking everybody to tighten their belts. And there wasn't a feeling of camaraderie, a feeling that we're in this together.
How might he have done it differently in order to develop a sense that we have to work under terrible economic conditions together? Well, I think by and large most people in the state did not feel as though there was a crisis.
The high unemployment was pocketed to a large extent in several areas, and in certain social, economic groups. But there were areas, for example, like Peoria which had only a three percent unemployment.
Illinois as an industrial state always lags behind the overall general economy because of the nature of its economy. I don't think there was a feeling of a crisis, and I guess one could have attempted to generate a crisis. I don't think he attempted to do that. One of the things that he could have done differently was to engage in some of the demagoguery that ofttimes is alluded to. I think it would have been very easy to have gone into the University of Illinois for example or to Carbondale or to Bloomington-Normal and say, "I think higher education deserves more, 11 rather than talking about need for fiscal conservatism, the need to hold the line, but at the same time pointing out that education was getting a very fair shake on the thing.
I don't know the answer to your question. Tape 2, Side 1 Q: You were so closely involved with Con Con, the constitutional convention, and certainly knew much more about it than most people would have, just voting to ratify it, and you probably suspected what the impact might be of the changes in articles, and new articles. Can you talk about that element in the Walker administration and how it perhaps changed the setting for him?
Well, I think there were many things that altered it, one of which I think, one of the more visible, was the altering of the method in which the governor and lieutenant governor were elected.
You hit me cold on this. I don't recall anybody expecting to happen what happened--the fact that in a primary one governor candidate would get elected and one lieutenant governor candidate would get elected from opposing teams, and that they would then somehow have to work together in government.
Well, the assumption was if both were from the same party they could get along, and of course Dan Walker was fighting the Daley machine, which created another whole problem that they didn't see in A whole other set of problems that were created because of that. Not only did the Walker administration have to worry about the usual problems of government, but right across the hall was a person who felt like he had a legitimate right to access to what was going on in government; but everyone knew full well that he was there as a liaison from Mayor Richard Daley.
So that created just an horrendous set of problems, which permeated through a lot of boards and commissions and meetings. Lieutenant Governor Hartigan, for example, by legislation was chairman of the Abandoned Mines Reclamation Committee, on which there also by legislation were a whole host of department heads, the cabinet members appointed by Dan Walker.
So you had not only confrontation politics, you had stalemate politics. It just went nowhere. Hartigan ofttimes couldn1 t even get a second to a motion, because everybody knew that he was playing to the press, that he had certain things upon which he was working toward for his own interests and which often went against the Walker administration. I'm not sure that there was an anticipation that the four vetoes together would create some of the problems that were created. The convention, I think, attempted to create a balance between the executive and the legislative, but I think they created some problems therein.
I expected that the executive reorganization provision would be used to a great extent. But Walker didn't use it at all. I think Thompson has used it in his time. The tax situation was very, very tough because of what happened through that whole scenario. The new constitution called for the elimination of the personal property tax by a certain date and then it had to be replaced by another tax at the same time.
This was on everyone's mind as to how that was going to be dealt with, but nobody really wanted to come out and deal with it. And I think that was one that we gladly passed on to Thompson. But then right in the middle of it they eliminated the personal property taxes to household goods and automobiles, which took some of the sting out of it. You talked a little about Neil Hartigan. Can you talk about Walker's relationship with other constitutional officers?
Bill Scott, the attorney general, for instance. Well, personally I do not have any idea of how they got along. Professionally and governmentally there were problems. Governor Walker took the position that he was the chief executive officer of the state and was elected as such and that that included all those things which go along with government, one of which was the legal involvement. He had his own legal counsel, Bill Goldberg, and he relied on that counsel. The attorney general took the position that he should be the legal counsel for government, but politically it just didn't work that way.
And it was again, whatever you want to call it, a flaw in the constitution, but it's something that is inherent in the Illinois political culture and probably won't change for another hundred years. He wasn't necessarily going to expect to have a close working relationship with a Republican elected state officer who was not going to work on behalf of Governor Walker's administration.
So there were problems along that line. Lieutenant Governor Hartigan, we've already talked about the fact that he was not only a Democrat who was affiliated with the Cook County organization but was opposed to Governor Walker in the primary.
Who were the others at that time? I guess Stevenson had been elected already to the U. Howlett, I guess, was secretary of state. I don't know that there was any open hostility or animosity. I think Howlett pretty well ran his own operation with regard to his own patronage system and the building and grounds.
There had to be interaction because the secretary of the state was responsible for the building and maintenance. I think until such time as Howlett became the opposing candidate in the primary, there wasn't a relationship of an adversary nature that existed [with] Hartigan and Scott.
As to Lindberg, the comptroller, I don't know enough about it. I know there were a lot of problems, but the specifics and details of it I really don't know. One area of problems was in his relationship to the state board of education.
If you recall, the new constitution created a new board of education and stipulated the governor would appoint that board. Governor Walker made what he now feels was a mistake, and I share that feeling, by appointing a search and nominating committee to nominate potential members of that board to the governor who would in turn then make the appointments from those nominees.
And I think, if I remember correctly, he drew all appointments from the nominees presented to him by that committee. He didn't have to do this. This was his own choosing. The mistake came, and where the problem arose, is that those persons never felt any loyalty or obligation to the governor.
They felt that they were totally a separate entity and that they were independent operators, and I think that was a mistake. The intent of the constitutional convention was an attempt to further centralize the decision-making, policy-making process, and to create a stronger executive. And I think he would readily tell you that the nominating committee was a mistake, that it, along with the other constitutionally elected officers, resulted in a further diminution of his executive powers, his ability to centralize power and to be a more effective governor.
You've talked a little about legislation. When you think about the legislature, are there people there that you remember either fondly or not so fondly as they related to you and your work as a director? Well, I'd have to put them in a variety of categories. Those whom I had high respect for their ability--Dawn Clark Netsch for example. I knew her for a long time from the constitutional convention.
Everyone I'm sure has an opinion of Dawn Clark Netsch. She was an extremely capable legislator. I never worked directly with her on legislation. She was part of what was identified as the "crazy eight" in the senate, and I think they had a particularly tough time with Walker.
Generally they were liberal, not necessarily a part of the regular Democratic party, but Walker couldn't always rely on them for help. By way of regression just a little bit, he went out in with the jeep. When he first started using the jeep, it was primarily to go out and work on behalf of legislative candidates, and particularly senate candidates, so he could begin to get people who shared his values and his thoughts and, more importantly, that he could work with in the senate.
That was one of his primary purposes in But back to the people that I've good memories of, many of the "crazy eight. Dawn Netsch, Phil Rock was always a tremendous help to us. You talked a little yesterday about the campaign. And I know how important that was to Governor Walker because it was very important to him to elect independent Democrats, people that he could work with in the legislature. Can you go into more detail on that campaign, describe it?
I think the campaigns and election were very important to him for a variety of reasons. One was the legislature, which I think was the paramount reason why he was taking to the people again. He didn't walk it this time but he developed the jeep; this was the mobile answer to walking the state. He had had problems with the legislature. It was obvious that they weren't going to work with him and that things weren't all that harmonious in the legislature.
So what he wanted to do was to identify candidates around the state with whom he could work, not necessarily just independent Democrats, even though I guess I could be classified as that. I was running with party support, party endorsement, but I was not a Democrat of the old political order by any means. I, in many respects, was going counter to many of the issues that were involved.
I think I was somewhat indicative of many of the types of candidates that were starting to emerge at that time. And I think Walker wanted to do everything he could to help us, and I was one candidate who was more than willing to have him do that. And I think there were some up in the Chicago area, for example, some who were identified as independent Democrats but who felt that it was not in their best interest to have him come in and campaign.
I took the exact opposite position. I felt that he was popular in the area where I was campaigning, that he was a first rate campaigner, and that any time that he and I could meet a voter together the chances were awfully good that we were going to get that vote or at least get major consideration of getting that person's vote. I think ofttimes we could neutralize a voter who may otherwise have felt differently.
So I took every opportunity I could to campaign with him. Walker was tireless in going up and down the state on behalf of the candidates, rain or shine, many times running around in that jeep in the rain. I think that that campaign is not only indicative of many things substantially and politically, but I-think it's indicative of the man that he was going back to the thing that got him where he was, the thing that he does best, aqd it was a certain extent a reinforcement of the faithful.
It was sort of a spring ritual, a renewing of the energies, that he was going through as well. I mean there were a lot of very good reasons for doing what he was doing, but I think it was also a good shot in the arm for him. So I think if you focus on that campaign and his role in it, you' 11 learn more about the man. It's not uncommon for governors to sit back and stay out of midterm legislative elections. That's where he was, I think, breaking new ground again.
Ofttimes governors on those off year elections will decide that it's not in their best interest to get out and get involved because it's too risky. And chances are you're going to get bloodied by it or you know you might get hooked up with some hot dog candidates that aren't going to do you any good in turn.
But I think it's indicative of the fact that Walker liked campaigning, he liked being out among the people and he was a risk taker. So I think there were some things to be learned from that. What kind of a chief executive was he that he had time, that kind of time, to go out and campaign so vigorously during that period? You put the question very interestingly.
You know there is a relationship as a chief executive between management and time. I think Governor Walker--and I try to say this from a detached view as a political scientist, as a public administrator, one who professionally looks at organizations and management all the time--!
He was a good chief executive in that he knew what was going on in government, he was involved, he was making the decisions. There are some persons who hold chief executive office who don't have any idea what's going on in their organizations; it exists in Illinois probably today among elected executives who view their primary function as running for reelection all the time and somebody else runs their shops.
Dan Walker ran state government but he was a good enough manager to delegate authority. We talked about those persons who were in his inner circle and we've also talked about the fact that he was a strong believer in a strong cabinet and the cabinet form of government.
The cabinet knew that he was the chief executive, that he was the ultimate one, but they knew that they had responsibility for their department. That, plus the fact that he was tireless. It was not uncommon for him, for example, to run government for many hours during the day, get in his plane and fly somewhere where the jeep was waiting for him, and campaign for four or five hours.
I campaigned with him many, many times and I was just campaigning. He was also running government. And it was all I could do--and he was older than l--and it was all I could do to keep up with him.
He thrived on it. So I don't think that he was by any means neglecting his responsibilities of chief executive to play the role as party leader or as political leader.
The third one is I think that he genuinely felt that as governor that he had an obligation--perhaps not an equal obligation--but he had an obligation to deal with the people, to be out amongst them, if you want to call it that, to get the feedback. And I think that he as a person has a tremendous discipline to get a sense of what's going on. Ofttimes a campaigner, a candidate, is the worst indicator, the worst bellwether of how a campaign is going, because all they really hear is, "Gee, things are great.
He's a tremendous listener and he brings back a great deal of what he would find out in the field to his advisors and to his cabinet officers. So I think there was a governmental function that was going on there as well. And he took seriously his role as chief of state, not only chief executive but chief of state.
He's the symbol of government. In big government, in this time of a feeling of alienation, he took seriously, I think, the fact that he was chief of state, that he had an obligation to be out there cutting the ribbons, etc.
And I think the campaigning was very much a part of that. He obviously loved campaigning. You've talked about it and he has. Others who were around him talked about his skills and how much he enjoyed it. Did he enjoy being governor? He enjoyed the campaigning, he enjoyed the process of getting there, but in my opinion he enjoyed the role, the seat of governor just as much. In his day-to-day actions, the things that go with it, I don't think he ever really felt as though it was a burden.
I know he would agonize over the decisions that he would have to make. I think he genuinely felt that it was a process of rewards and deprivations, that anything he does is going to reward some and deprive others. I think he agonized over that. But I think he was the type of man that recogni2ed that was a part of the process, and I don't think he ever felt it waa a burden.
I think he enjoyed government, for example, the fact that it was darn tough to get him to take a vacation. I think fis recreation was government, the people, and the campaigning. If he was 't campaigning for office he was campaigning for a program, and he did it the only way he knew how--full force and by taking it to the people.
I think it was a very devastating pill for him to swallow, I guess would be a way to say it. Well, I think he bounced back, but I'm not sure he'll ever get over it completely. He loved it and I'm sure he didn't want to lose. But didn't he at one point consider not running again, not running for reelection? I think he went through a variety of processes. And again these are things on which I can only speculate. I think the thought processes went all the way from not running again to running for president of the United States.
At least that's the impression that he left with most of us. I think there were some financial hardships for him; it probably was costing him. I think for certain members of his family--he had a very large family, and I think it was hard on many of them.
He had still young children at home. His wife was not enamored with the whole process. She was basically a person who didn't thrive on it.
She was pretty much the opposite of it. So I think there were some elements to that. Yes, I'm sure there were times when he decided that he would not run again. And I'm sure there were times in which he wasn't sure he could win again.
He monitored that at all times. He believes very strongly that if Mayor Daley had not been in place as he was at that point that Walker probably could have won reelection. Oh, I think so. I think without doubt. That it wasn't Mike Howlett that beat him, it was Mayor Daley. And in my opinion he would have beaten Jim Thompson as well. I don't think that when it came to an outright knock 'em down, drag 'em out campaign that Thompson could have stayed with Walker.
Walker handed Thompson the election, you know. He made raw meat out of Mike Howlett. They lived together for four years, during which time they occupied the same bed during the night some sources specify a large double bed and developed a friendship that would last until their deaths. Historians such as Donald point out it was not unusual at that time for two men to share even a small bed due to financial or other circumstances, without anything sexual being implied, for a night or two when nothing else was available.
Lincoln, who had just moved to a new town when he met Speed, was also at least initially unable to afford his own bed and bedding. That was no secret. There are no known instances in which Lincoln tried to suppress knowledge or discussion of such arrangements, and in some conversations, raised the subject himself. Tripp discusses three men at length and possible sustained relationships: However, in 19th-century America, it was not necessarily uncommon for men to bunk-up with other men, briefly, if no other arrangement were available.
For example, when other lawyers and judges travelled " the circuit " with Lincoln, the lawyers often slept "two in a bed and eight in a room".
Herndon recalled for example, "I have slept with 20 men in the same room". In the nineteenth century, most men were probably not conscious of any erotic possibility in bed-sharing, since it was in public. Speed's immediate, casual offer, and his later report of it, suggests that men's public bed sharing was not then often explicitly understood as conducive to forbidden sexual experiments.
Nevertheless, Katz does indicate that such sleeping arrangements "did provide an important site probably the major site of erotic opportunity" if they could keep others from noticing.
Katz notes that referring to present day concepts of "homo, hetero, and bi distorts our present understanding of Lincoln and Speed's experiences. Some correspondence of the period, such as that between Thomas Jefferson Withers and James Henry Hammond , may provide evidence of a sexual dimension to some secret same-sex bed sharing.
Joshua Speed married Fanny Hennings on February 15, He and Lincoln seem to have consulted each other about married life. Despite having some political differences over slavery  they corresponded for the rest of their lives, and Lincoln appointed Joshua's brother, James Speed , to his cabinet as Attorney General. Captain David was Lincoln's bodyguard and companion between September and April They shared a bed during the absences of Lincoln's wife, until Derickson was promoted in Tripp recounts that, whatever the level of intimacy of the relationship, it was the subject of gossip.
Elizabeth Woodbury Fox, the wife of Lincoln's naval aide, wrote in her diary for November 16, , "Tish says, 'Oh, there is a Bucktail soldier here devoted to the president, drives with him, and when Mrs. Johnson notes that the strong similarity in style and content of the Fox and Chamberlin accounts suggests that, rather than being two independent accounts of the same events as Tripp claims, both were based on the same report from a single source.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. Redeemer President, pg. Baker, "Mary and Abraham: Owens reflecting the frustration of courtship, 16 August ". Homophobia in Lincoln Studies? Retrieved May 23, Sexualities and American Historical Discourse, ed. University of South Carolina Press, University of Chicago Press, For more on Lincoln and sexuality see the notes to this chapter. Retrieved January 13, The True Story of a Great Life. Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis.
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