/ Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-Election and the End of Slavery, by David E. Long; Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency, by John C. Waugh

David E. Long, Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-Election and the End of Slavery. New York: DaCapo, reprint 1997. 368 pp., index.
John C. Waugh, Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. New York: Crown Publishers, 1997. 452 pp.

Despite a range of political difficulties, and mounting public war weariness during the summer months, Abraham Lincoln seemed to have easily won reelection in 1864. He defeated his Democratic rival, General George B. McClellan, by an overwhelming majority in the electoral college (and by a respectable 55 percent of the popular vote). Most historians regard the election as part of the grand finale to the Civil War, arguing that it signified the commitment of a majority of the Northern people to the project of unconditional military subjugation of the Confederacy. The events leading up to Lincoln's triumph make a wonderful story that reveals much about the nature of the American political process in the midst of its greatest crisis. But until recently, it has been a relatively neglected subject.

William F. Zornow's Lincoln and the Party Divided (1954) was for forty years the only monograph devoted to the election available to historians. [1] Zornow saw the politics of 1864 in terms of President Lincoln's struggle to bring the radicals into line. Writing in 1954, as the Revisionist interpretation of the war just began to ebb, he considered that the radicals, entirely scornful of constitutional niceties, were more concerned with imposing a social revolution on the South and in furthering their capitalist agenda in the North than with the maintenance of the Union. Although Lincoln defeated the threats to his nomination and won enough radical support to be reelected, Zornow argued that the radicals strengthened their Page  [End Page 67] hold on Congress, preparing the way for their assault on the policy and authority of Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. In contrast, the historiographical trend over the last thirty years has been to argue that Lincoln "sympathized with the Radicals and admired them as the genuine patriots and freedom fighters of the Civil War," as, clearly, do many recent historians. [2] This debate was initiated by David Donald, among others, who in the mid-1960s began to question the prevailing interpretation, enshrined by Zornow, but most commonly associated with T. Harry Williams, that the principal line of partisan division was not between Republicans and Democrats but between the president and his moderate allies and the radicals (or "jacobins" as Williams called them, taking his cue from John Hay). [3]

Two recent books by David E. Long and Jack C. Waugh remind us of the importance of this subject but also reveal the failure of Civil War historians effectively to synthesize writing on Northern politics during the war or to relate it to the larger narrative of the political process in the nineteenth century.[4] Although very different in style, both of these books are about Lincoln and the importance of the election for the course of the war and subsequent American history. Waugh writes with the aplomb of a professional storyteller who is fascinated by the tale he is weaving. In the preface, he explains that this is not a monograph but a "journalistic" attempt to "tell a true story."[5] Historians, especially in the age of postmodernism, may raise the odd eyebrow at the jaunty confidence displayed in this aspiration, but the end result is highly readable and, in many ways, more analytical than the author gives himself credit for. Nevertheless, this book is not intended to be, and is not, an original contribution to a surprisingly neglected field of study: the political process in the North during the Civil War.

David Long's book started life as his PhD dissertation. However, he shares with Waugh a bewilderment that this major political Page  [End Page 68] event has not received more attention from historians, and both of them have consciously set out to put the 1864 election back on the historical agenda. From the outset, Long makes clear his view that the 1864 election "did more to define and expand the meaning of democracy in the United States than any other event since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence." [6] In line with earlier historians—most notably Harold Hyman—Long is impressed by the fact that a relatively free and fair election was held in the middle of a civil war.[7] But Long is far more bold than previous historians in arguing that Lincoln's victory was essential to the survival of the Republic. It was, he states, "A necessary rite of passage for a nation struggling to live up to its stated ideals while it tossed in a sea of violence." What most characterizes this book is Long's conviction that the 1864 election was "the most important electoral event in history." Historians have neglected the 1864 election perhaps because its outcome seems so inevitable; it merely reaffirmed Lincoln's position rather than created radical change. But Long rightly emphasizes that Lincoln's defeat at the polls in November 1864 was the last best hope of the Confederates; his victory removed any possibility of compromise with the South. The election "determined the outcome of the Civil War," Long writes, and assured the "freedom of millions of slaves." No previous historian has so confidently linked Lincoln's reelection to the story of emancipation. What is attractive about The Jewel of Liberty is the passion with which it is evidently written. Its weaknesses stem from the same source. [8]

Rather than being organized around an analysis of the election itself, The Jewel of Liberty offers a discursive narrative of the political impact of Lincoln's emancipation policy from 1862 to 1864. "Would Americans continue to support a party that had raised the standard of emancipation next to the guidon of Union as the banner its legions would carry into battle?" asks David Long at the end of his first chapter. [9] The rest of the book is one possible answer to this question. Long follows the fortunes of the Republican party through the difficult elections of 1862, when they lost control of several key states, including New York, through the better fortunes of 1863 when military victories restored public confidence Page  [End Page 69] in the administration, despite the sometimes violent opposition to conscription. The bulk of the book is concerned with some of the political issues of 1864: the peace negotiations of the summer, Copperhead opposition, the race issue (which flared up in the early part of the year with the publication of the spoof pamphlet, Miscegenation), and the question of soldier voting. Throughout the book, Long never loses sight of events on the battlefield, and thus, his description of politics is always infused with an awareness of the contingency of events and the fickleness of public opinion.

He writes judiciously about the problem of soldier voting in the field, an important subject that Long argues played the decisive role in the Republican successes in New York and Connecticut.[10] One of the best chapters is devoted to the peace "negotiations" during the summer of 1864. Long pulls no punches in his criticism of the naiveté and irresponsibility of Horace Greeley, the powerful New York Tribune editor who embroiled Lincoln in the "farce" of taking seriously the posturing of two Confederate commissioners at Niagara Falls. The "whole ridiculous episode" drew out of the president a commitment to emancipation as a condition for reunion that, Long rightly emphasizes, would damage his chances of reelection. One of the strengths of this book is the confident way in which the author brings to life the personalities of the leading players in the political world of the war, and Long does not squander the opportunity to be dismissive of Horace Greeley's "hypocrisy and petulance."[11]

The Jewel of Liberty departs most dramatically from Zornow's book over the fundamental question of what the choice between Lincoln and McClellan represented. Whereas for Zornow the Democrats are a largely loyal opposition, Long sees the prospect of McClellan's victory as fatal to the survival of the United States. "Most Regular Democrats," Long insists, "had long before 1864 ceased to support the war because it was being prosecuted by a Republican administration and Congress that considered emancipation and conscrip- Page  [End Page 70] tion necessary to secure unconditional surrender."[12] Contradicting the work of the historian Frank Klement, David Long takes seriously the "prospect of a violent uprising" in the Midwest in 1864, although he argues that the strength of the "peace" or "Copperhead" faction within the Democratic party lessened the likelihood of such a resort to arms by keeping open the possibility that they could be successful at the ballot box. This is an interpretation in line with Republican charges during and after the war that most Northern Democrats were traitors, but it flies in the face of most scholarship on the subject. Frank L. Klement, in a study of the "Sons of Liberty" and other secret societies, and Joel Silbey, in his book on the Democrats during the war, have both dismissed the Copperheads as a small faction without much influence either with the membership or in the leadership of the party. [13] Studies of congressional behavior by Allan Bogue, Leonard P. Curry, Jean Baker, and Michael Les Benedict, which have employed statistical analysis to identify factionalism and measure party coherence, agree that although Republicans and Democrats disagreed over questions of race and reconstruction, the Democrats supported war measures, even after the Emancipation Proclamation. [14] Long's view of the Democrats accurately recreates the rhetorical world of Lincoln's supporters. Some other studies also reinforce the sense of political crisis within the North. Iver Bernstein's study of the New York City draft riots, for instance (published in 1990), reveals the extent of democratic obstructionism on a local level.[15] Indeed, some of the most sophisticated new works on the Civil War are local studies, many of which—such as Lex Renda's excellent book on New Hampshire politics—indicate that Democrats opposed taxes and bond issues Page  [End Page 71] necessary to finance the volunteers raised by the state governments.[16]

His publishers claim that Professor Long is the first historian to investigate deeply the events of 1864 "that eventually produced the November electoral result." It is certainly true that since the 1960s, historians have strikingly failed to create an effective synthesis of Northern politics during the Civil War. The only general overview is James A. Rawley's brief but valuable The Politics of Union (1974), which was published before the most interesting and methodologically sophisticated work on Northern politics appeared.[17] But David Long has not written a book about the political process, he has written a book about Lincoln. In line with much recent writing on the Great Emancipator, Long's book can be read as a confident latter-day vindication of the arguments of Abraham Lincoln's most loyal supporters. He rightly emphasizes that the Confederates would have been greatly encouraged by Lincoln's defeat and points to the practical difficulties of attempting to withdraw the Emancipation Proclamation, particularly with respect to the military implications of the loss of the significant proportion of the Union army who were Black, many of whom were freed slaves. The greatest contribution of this book is the convincing argument that "if the Union had not won the war before March 4, 1865, McClellan could not have done so afterward."[18] Long echoes the words of Union propagandists, who insisted that the election was "no less than a contest for the life of the nation," or of the radical Carl Schurz, who warned in 1864 that "the millions to come after us, are interested in this struggle."[19] Page  [End Page 72] In his concluding chapter, Long speculates about whether "without a strong Western hemisphere democracy, the European and Asian monarchs and despots [would] have deferred to growing demands for responsive and responsible government" and even wonders if the twentieth-century United States would have been able, had Lincoln not been reelected, to defeat "an aggressive international communist movement." [20] The Jewel of Liberty is a story of political heroism in which President Lincoln, sticking steadfast to his commitment to the slaves, steers the Union into a future in which the United States has the moral authority to lead the free world and defeat the communist enemy. Lincoln's commitment to end slavery through the difficult summer months of 1864 has been described elsewhere by David Long as "an act of unsurpassed political courage and integrity" and a "singular act of human decency."[21] One can agree with such statements and yet still search for more sophisticated explanations for the working of the political process. Long relies on his defense of Lincoln's integrity in order to understand the election result. "Abraham Lincoln had never sought to mislead the voters regarding his view of slavery and its relationship to the war," Long has written, and "therefore very few voters who cast a ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 could claim to be unaware of what his reelection meant in terms of slavery."[22] But, of course, that connection is not obvious. The National Union party did not renege on its commitment to emancipation in the campaign, but it certainly did not emphasize it. The Jewel of Liberty makes its case that the 1864 election was of profound importance to the course of the war; Lincoln's reelection undoubtedly smoothed the way for the ending of slavery. But the book does little to advance our understanding of the political process or of the links between voters and politicians.

In myriad ways, The Jewel of Liberty would have benefited from drawing more generously on recent scholarship. The omission in the bibliography, never mind in the body of the text, of any mention of Mark Neely's book on civil liberties or of a single book or article by Eric Foner, Michael Holt, or William Gienapp (three historians who have dominated the historiographical discussion of the ideology and development of the Republican party through the Page  [End Page 73] war) seems to place a burden on Long's own mastery of the primary sources, which does not always seem wise. [23]

Because David Long's book does not situate his narrative of Lincoln's refusal to "recall a word" in the context of the existing historiography on the nature of the political process in the mid-nineteenth century, the reader is left with many outstanding questions. Three areas of conflicting interpretation or ambiguity need to be addressed. First, how methodologically and conceptually should historians describe the interaction between ideas and political action? Second, how should historians understand the role of parties in the political process? In particular, can the 1864 election be understood as simply another two-party contest between well-established political foes who campaigned by trying to mobilize their habitual electorate, or was the situation more fluid and complex than that? Finally, how did the political system contribute to (or impede) Northern military victory?

The first question—the relationship between politics and popular attitudes—is one that lay at the heart of the development of the "New Political History" in the 1960s. Using statistical analysis, historians began to employ the methodology of political science in order to understand the factors that determined election results. "Ethnocultural" historians altered the study of nineteenth-century American political history by using new data and statistical analysis to argue that the basis of political divisions lay in the "tribal" loyalties and negative references of religious and ethic identity. More recently, historians have used the term political culture to describe the networks of institutions and conventions that determine the parameters within which political discourse is conducted. [24] Unfortunately, the 1864 election has not been studied with these questions and problems in mind. David Long feels able to observe that "most" Ohio voters in 1863 and 1864 "were offended by the Copperhead's campaign of racist rhetoric" without attempting to substantiate this assumption. Likewise, his careful discussion of the "peace panic" of the summer is entirely focused on the Page  [End Page 74] machinations of the president and those trying to advise him. [25] Long states that Lincoln's letter to the Confederate commissioners at Niagara Falls, which appeared to make emancipation a condition of reunion, was so politically damaging that it "nearly destroyed his chances of re-election." [26] But he offers little in the way of corroborating evidence for this statement in the form of reactions from those involved in the political process. Long spends only two pages on analyzing the election results; he is not concerned with the question of who voted for whom.[27] But frustratingly, neither does he attempt to use the "traditional" evidence on which he relies to ask what the election reveals about the impact of the war on party ideology or political culture. Consequently, he misses the immensely rich detail of a political campaign that produced, on the Republican side alone, well over three hundred different centrally produced pamphlets and broadsides, and in which perhaps ten million copies of them were distributed.

The language of political pamphlets and cartoons has always been the raw material with which historians have examined structures of ideas and their relationship to politics. "In 1864," writes David Long, the issue of slavery "was before the voters and they overwhelmingly rejected the institution."[28] Although, in retrospect, that appears to be self-evidently true—Lincoln was after all running on a platform that committed him to the support of what would become the thirteenth amendment—the evidence of the campaign literature complicates the picture considerably. The chairman of the Union party national committee, Henry J. Raymond, feared that "we have not a ghost of a chance in November" because of the "suspicion ... that ... [Lincoln] does not seek peace, that he is fighting not for the Union but for the abolition of slavery."[29] This perception guided those in charge of the election campaign who sought to distance the president from the emancipation policy. Campaign texts rarely mentioned slavery. Instead, the focus was relentlessly negative. Long's mild comment that "the Union campaign focused on the domestic treason issue" does not quite capture the way in which Lincoln supporters waged a campaign that adeptly defined the Democrats as disloyal and all political oppo- Page  [End Page 75] sition to the administration as unpatriotic.[30] In Union propaganda, the Chicago platform became the "Chicago surrender." The Democratic platform, declared the keynote "appeal" of the National Union committee, "gives a silent approval of the Rebellion itself, and an open condemnation of the war waged for its suppression. Without a word of censure for the conspirators who plotted the Nation's death, it brands with unsparing denunciation the patriots and heroes who defend its life."[31] On posters, the election of McClellan was always equated with the loss of the Union, with anarchy, perpetual civil war, and despotism. One Union party broadside warned that a Democratic victory would lead to "a military system which will put every man in the army for years! destruction of the public credit requiring taxation which will consume the substance of poor and rich! [and] yearly invasions, destroying property and paralyzing industry!" [32] Sometimes the Union party propaganda went so far as to disclaim blatantly any interest in slavery. A poem issued by an enterprising Philadelphia publisher contained these lines: "The Negro—free or slave—We care no pin about/But for the flag our fathers gave, we mean to fight it out." [33] The rallying cry "all for the Union" was an effective means of avoiding in public the debate about the problematic implications of emancipation that, by the fall of 1864, Republicans and others were conducting in private. According to the evidence of Union party campaign literature, Lincoln was reelected to prosecute the war against the rebels and "vindicate the nation." The interesting aspect of the 1864 election campaign is not that the Republican party won by appealing to voters to support emancipation but that they fashioned an appeal that embedded an end to slavery into an optimistic vision of the material abundance and moral strength of the reunited nation. The way in which they did this is the missing part of David Long's story of the politics of emancipation in 1864.

The second question left open by recent literature on the election of 1864 opens the problem of how historians understand the role of parties and the role of ideology in the political process. Historians disagree about the stability of party politics during the war. Page  [End Page 76] According to Paul Kleppner's analysis of the third-party system in the Midwest, the voter fluctuation that began in the 1850s lasted into the 1870s. Dale Baum's study of Massachusetts, on the other hand, indicates that the entire decade of the 1860s witnessed rigidly polarized electoral cleavages in Massachusetts and that there a new realignment began in the 1870s when the salience of Civil War and Reconstruction issues declined. Joel Silbey's careful study of aggregate voting figures in the 1860s suggests that, after the realignments of the mid-1850s, the Democrats held on to most of their support throughout the war years. "By 1860 the electorate had become locked in" he argues. "The war apparently did not create many new Republican or Democratic voters or else created them in equal numbers." [34]

In contrast, the notion that the war challenged and disrupted, rather than intensified, party identities explains a great deal about the politics of 1864. Politicians' speeches and private letters—the traditional sources of political history—provide ample evidence that politicians believed that votes were "up for grabs." Even more important, from the perspective of 1864, it seemed very unlikely that a national two-party system of Republicans and Democrats could be established. Most historians mention only in passing that the Republican party changed its name in 1864 to the National Union party and offer no analysis of what this change signified. David Long mentions the formation of a "Union coalition" in Indiana and that, in several states, Democrats had been elected to state offices on Union party tickets with the support of Republicans. He notes that "many War Democrats merged with the Republican party." [35] But Long does not follow up these observations with any attempt to analyze who these Democrats were, how many of them there were, Page  [End Page 77] what their motives might have been, or what the political consequences were. The extent of practical cooperation between the parties in the formation of new "Union" organizations has been documented by Christopher Dell. His book, Lincoln and the War Democrats (1975), argues that Union coalitions were devices designed to win conservative support for radical policies. [36] Michael Holt is the only other historian to have seriously examined the significance of these political developments. In a brilliantly suggestive but disappointingly uninfluential article entitled "Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Union," he argues that Lincoln consciously tried to build the kind of moderate national coalition that Andrew Johnson later attempted. [37] Holt's position—that the Union party represented a shift to the political middle ground—is supported by evidence of the pressure exerted on Republican party leaders to jettison the old Republican organization and its old sectional and abolitionist connotations. The participation of many ex-Democrats and Constitutional Unionists in the Union party campaign meant that Lincoln was continually reminded of the electoral debt he owed to a constituency beyond the Republican heartlands.[38] Part of this shifting political picture is a development explored in an article by William C. Harris published in 1992: the movement of old Whigs and conservatives that attempted to build a centrist political coalition that supported the war while rejecting the "radicalism" of the administration's emancipation policy. [39] Lincoln himself seemed very aware that the real threat to his reelection was the possibility that the Democrats could have run a strong war candidate on a war platform, gaining the support of the conservative "middle ground." In fact, there was a widespread assumption that, at least in the form in which it was constituted in 1860, the Republican party was not a viable national organization. No sectional party had ever before managed to sustain themselves for long on the national stage, and it was assumed that Republicans would have to form alliances with moderate groups in the border and upper south. The "Union" label consciously echoed the pleas Page  [End Page 78] of many conservatives who, since the decline of the Whig party in the mid-1850s, had been left without a natural political home. Moderate Republican leaders such as Secretary of State William H. Seward and the chairman of the national committee, Henry J. Raymond, saw the Union party as a strategic step toward a new organization that would embrace a national conservative constituency. Seward spoke enthusiastically of a "great coming together" of the parties once the divisive issue of slavery was dispensed with by the thirteenth amendment.[40] The abandonment of the Republican name, coupled with the involvement of Democrats in the Lincoln campaign, suggests that the National Union party may have represented an attempt at political realignment of the kind that was to reoccur in the early 1870s with the alliance between "New Departure" Democrats and liberal Republicans. But the basic point is that contemporaries did not conceive of wartime politics in terms of a stable two-party conflict; party identities were in a state of flux. "The tempest is sweeping away old party obligations and raining down upon us new duties," as one war Democrat put it in an election address.[41] It meant a different thing to vote for Lincoln in 1864 than it did in 1860, at least according to the language of the campaign.

The middle decades of the nineteenth century have become known as the "party period" in American history.[42] Almost all historians agree that in the years between the second administration of Andrew Jackson and the presidential election of 1892, political parties were the dominant forces that shaped and directed politi- Page  [End Page 79] cal life. But this analysis of political fluidity during the Civil War reinforces the point that political parties created only one of many competing, politically significant identities for Americans living during the Civil War era. The Democratic party drew on a long tradition of resistance to political and economic changes, which threatened the autonomy of individuals and communities. The Republican party had, in a very short time, forged a dramatically successful electoral alliance based on a cultural and moral response to the idea of the Slave Power. Each party relied on a popular sense that it represented distinct values and traditions. But the issues and dynamic of political conflict sometimes overrode these partisan meanings. Individuals combined loyalty to a particular political tradition with a self-identification that ranged from religious affiliation to ethnic background to economic status and aspiration. Partisan identification also coexisted with identities that were sometimes synonymous with parties but were not necessarily so—terms such as conservative and radical had contested meanings that partisan political discourse tried to control. Parties tried to monopolize these means of self-identification but did not always manage to do so.

The third question raised by a consideration of the election of 1864—the relationship between party politics and the war effort—was addressed in a highly imaginative article by Eric McKitrick, published in 1967. He argued that the two-party system in the North helped the North to victory by legitimizing and channeling dissent through the "normal" process of party conflict.[43] Mark E. Neely has recently dissented from McKitrick's analysis, arguing that his party-conflict thesis has been accepted by most writers on the Civil War without careful scrutiny.[44] Neely suggests that McKitrick does not accurately capture the extreme fears and suspicions on both sides about the electoral success of the other. Party politics became bound up with violent political divisions (often cor- Page  [End Page 80] responding to the fault lines of class and ethnicity) that went beyond the bounds of "normal" party politics. The Union leagues formed vigilante groups and militia companies that reported the names of suspected disloyalists to the war office. [45] Especially in the West, the Union leagues were the most vocal organizations to call for the suppression of newspapers of which they disapproved and were apparently involved in the mobbing of several small-town newspaper offices, the editors of which had expressed support for the election of Democratic candidates or had attacked the administration. [46] When the president of the national Union League of America, James Edmunds, became concerned about Lincoln's prospects, he wrote to the president advising him to make a show of military strength in Maryland and New York. "I trust there will be no hesitation," he wrote. "There is power behind a bold hand at this time."[47] The war also saw a resurgence of an older desire for unanimity. Wartime election campaigns undermined the notion of a legitimate opposition. Francis Lieber, who in 1839 had argued that "without well-understood opposition liberty cannot coexist with peace and order," now believed that party conflict was dangerous in this time of national crisis. In a pamphlet entitled No Party Now But All For Our Country, he urged Democrats to rally to the support of the administration. It may be that the two-party system was not permanently disrupted, but it seems clear that there is a disjuncture between the conviction of Civil War historians that the war was a watershed event in the lives of Americans, and the confidence of political historians, working within the "party period" paradigm that the political process survived the fiery trial unsigned.

There is a frustrating lack of dialogue between the studies of the 1864 election discussed in this essay and other work on nineteenth-century American politics. In fact, however, there are several respects in which a study of Lincoln's reelection undermines prevailing interpretations of the political process. An awareness of the contested nature of party identities and partisan allegiance is a use- Page  [End Page 81] ful counterpoint to the tendency of ethnocultural historians to see the American political nation in this period as divided into mutually exclusive partisan cultures. A broader consideration of public involvement in the political process in wartime may also indicate that political parties were not quite the dominant organizations, structuring and creating popular participation, that they were generally considered to have been. Citizens participation in Sanitary fairs, church meetings that addressed political questions, even in Union leagues and at Union rallies had obvious political impact but were not necessarily regarded as partisan by those involved. The Civil War may provide an excellent means by which historians of American politics in the nineteenth century can reach beyond the confines of the formal political world and the activities of party leaders to examine the nature and extent of political engagement. Contrary to Joel Silbey's arguments, the structure and dynamics of popular involvement in political matters during the Civil War may have been exceptional. But, perhaps, for that very reason, a study of wartime political activity that related the process of political mobilization to the role of voluntary associations (including churches), which explored the meaning and use of public spaces and which, in short, placed politics in the wider context of public life, would expand our understanding of the role of politics in people's lives and would create a more textured understanding of the process of political change.[48] For too long, historians have asked the same set of questions about wartime politics. Rather than continuing to worry about the relationship between Lincoln and the radicals or whether or not the Democrats were disloyal, historians need to ask how the political process contributed to defining popular understandings of the Page  [End Page 82] meaning of the war. Rather than seeing the 1864 Republican party as gearing itself up for the "radicalism" of the postwar clash with President Johnson over Reconstruction, historians need to rediscover the sense that the war had created a new political world. As Henry J. Raymond stated, the war "wholly changed the character of our national politics."[49] Page  [End Page 83]


  1. William Frank Zornow, Lincoln and the Party Divided (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1954). return to text
  2. David E. Long, The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-election and the End of Slavery (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole, 1994), 23. return to text
  3. David Donald, "The Radicals and Lincoln," in Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (New York: Knopf, 1961); T. Harry Williams, Lincoln and the Radicals (Madison: publisher needed, 1941); David Donald, "Devils facing Zionwards" and T. Harry Williams "Lincoln and the Radicals: An Essay in Civil War History and Historiography," in Grant, Lee, Lincoln and the Radicals, ed. Grady McWhiney (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), 72–177. return to text
  4. Jack C. Waugh, Reelecting Lincoln: The Presidential Election of 1864, rev. ed. (New York: Crown, 1998); Long, The Jewel of Liberty. return to text
  5. Ibid., vii–ix. return to text
  6. Long, Jewel of Liberty, xvii. return to text
  7. Harold M. Hyman, "The Election of 1864," in History of American Presidential Elections vol. 2, ed. Arthur Schlesinger (New York: Macmillan, 1971), 1155–244. return to text
  8. Quotations are from Long, Jewel of Liberty, xix, 271, xvii. return to text
  9. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 20. return to text
  10. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 233–34. There is also an article on soldier voting by Samuel T. McSeveney, "Re-electing Lincoln: The Union Party Campaign and the Military Vote in Connecticut," Civil War History 32 (1986): 139–58. Older work includes Josiah Henry Benton, Voting in the field (Boston: Plimpton Press, 1915); T. Harry Williams, "Voters in Blue," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 31 (1944): 187–204; Oscar O. Winther, "Soldier Voting in the Election of 1864," New York History 25 (1944). return to text
  11. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 124. return to text
  12. Ibid., 265. return to text
  13. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 134; Frank L. Klement, Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1984); Joel H. Silbey, A Respectable Minority (New York: Norton, 1977), 89–114. return to text
  14. Allan Bogue, The Earnest Men: Republicans of the Civil War Senate (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1981) and The Congressman's Civil War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Michael Les Benedict, A Compromise of Principle: Congressional Republicans and Reconstruction, 1863–1869 (New York: Norton, 1974); Jean H. Baker, "A Loyal Opposition: Northern Democrats in the Thirty-seventh Congress," Civil War History 25 (1979): 139–55. return to text
  15. Iver Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance in American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). return to text
  16. Lex Renda, Running on the Record: Civil War Era Politics in New Hampshire (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1997). Other recent local studies that are immensely useful for the study of politics during the war include William E. Gillette, Jersey Blue: Civil War Politics in New Jersey, 1854–1865 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995); Thomas H. O'Connor, Civil War Boston: Home Front and Battlefield (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997); Ernest McKay, The Civil War and New York City (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990); Matthew J. Gallman, Mastering Wartime: a Social History of Philadelphia During the Civil War (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1990). return to text
  17. James A. Rawley, The Politics of Union: Northern Politics During the Civil War (Hinsdale, Ill.: Dryden Press, 1974). return to text
  18. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 266, 267. return to text
  19. "How shall we end the rebellion: shall we coax it, or crush it?" broadside issued by the National Union Executive Committee, Astor House, New York, [1864]. Collection of political broadsides, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Speech of Major-General Carl Schurz, "delivered at Concert Hall, Philadelphia, on Friday Evening, September 16, 1864" (Washington: Union Congressional Committee, 1864). return to text
  20. Long, The Jewel of Liberty, 270. return to text
  21. David E. Long, "I Shall Never Recall a Word," in Abraham Lincoln: Sources and Style of Leadership, ed. Frank J. Williams, William D. Pederson, and Vincent Marsala (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994), 106. return to text
  22. David E. Long, "I Shall Never Recall a Word," 106. return to text
  23. Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991). return to text
  24. Two outstanding books on antebellum politics that recreate the political culture of partisan politics are Daniel Walker Howe, The Political Culture of the American Whigs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), and Jean H. Baker, Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of Northern Democrats in the Mid-nineteenth Century (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983). return to text
  25. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 248. return to text
  26. Ibid., 121. return to text
  27. Ibid., 257–58. return to text
  28. Ibid., 264. return to text
  29. Henry J. Raymond to Simon Cameron, August 19 and August 21, 1864, Simon Cameron Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. return to text
  30. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 253. return to text
  31. National Union Committee, The Presidential Election: Appeal of the National Union Committee to the People of the United States (New York: National Union Committee, 1864). return to text
  32. "The Democratic Times," Broadside in the Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana, Library of Congress. return to text
  33. "We will fight it out," The President Lincoln Campaign Songster (Philadelphia: T. R. Dawley, 1864). return to text
  34. Paul Kleppner, The Third Electoral System: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979); Joel Silbey, The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991); Dale E. Baum, The Civil War Party System: The Case of Massachusetts, 1848–1876 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984); Silbey, A Respectable Minority, xi, 157, 175. See also Silbey's calculation of Democratic electoral support on Page 151. His figures do not include border states where the electoral situation could not be characterized as a continuation of the antebellum party system and where the Republican party had, in any case, never existed in any strength. For an excellent discussion of the historiography of Civil War politics, see Michael F. Holt, "An Elusive Synthesis: Recent Literature on Northern Politics During the Civil War," in Writing the Civil War, ed. William J. Cooper, Jr., and James M. McPherson (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998). return to text
  35. Long, Jewel of Liberty, 245, 40. return to text
  36. Christopher Dell, Lincoln and the War Democrats: The Grand Erosion of Conservative Tradition (Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1975). return to text
  37. Michael F. Holt, "Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Union" in Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992), 323–53. return to text
  38. John W. Forney to Abraham Lincoln, October 24, 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. return to text
  39. There is an article on this subject by William C. Harris, "Conservative Unionists and the Presidential Election of 1864," Civil War History 38 (1992): 298–318. return to text
  40. George E. Baker, The Works of William H. Seward, 5 vols. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1884) V: 513–14. return to text
  41. David S. Coddington, The Crisis and the Man. Address of David S. Coddington, on the Presidential Crisis, delivered before the Union War Democracy at the Cooper Institute, New York, Nov. 1, 1864 (New York: W. O. Bourne, 1864). return to text
  42. The term the "party period" was first coined by Richard L. McCormick, The Party Period and Public Policy: American Politics from the Age of Jackson to the Progressive Period (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), but has also been used by Joel Silbey, The Partisan Imperative: the Dynamics of American Politics Before the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). Silbey has recently surveys the entire period in a work of synthesis, The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1991). Works that embody this interpretation of American politics in this period include Paul Bourke and Donald DeBats, Washington County: Politics and Community in Antebellum America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995); William G. Shade, Democratising the Old Dominion: Virginia and the Second Party System, 1824–1861 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996); Michael E. McGerr, The Decline of Popular Politics: the American North 1865–1928 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). There have been some challenges to the dominant interpretation from historians who lament the failure of political historians to create a synthesis that incorporates the old political history and the new social history. See, for instance, J. Morgan Kousser, "Toward 'Total Political History': A Rational-Choice Research Program," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 20 (1990): 521–60; Michael F. Holt, Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992), 1–32. return to text
  43. Eric McKitrick, "Party Politics and the Union and Confederate War Efforts," in The American Party Systems: Stages of Political Development, ed. William N. Chambers and Walter Dean Burnham (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), 117–51. return to text
  44. Mark E. Neely, Jr., "The Civil War and the two-party system," in We Cannot Escape History: Lincoln and the Last, Best Hope of Earth, ed. James M. McPherson (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 86–104. return to text
  45. H. G. McPike to Lyman Trumbull, February 6, 1863, Lyman Trumbull Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. return to text
  46. Union League of Springfield, Illinois, to Abraham Lincoln, March 17, 1863; Union League of York, Pennsylvania to Abraham Lincoln, December 16, 1863, February 9, 1864, James Edmunds to Edwin M. Stanton, March 1, 1864, all in the Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. return to text
  47. James Edmunds to Abraham Lincoln, November 1, 2, 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. return to text
  48. Some of these themes have been explored in the context of the antebellum political world by Glenn C. Altschuler and Stuart M. Blumin, "Limits of Political Engagement in Antebellum America: A New Look at the Golden Age of Participatory Democracy," Journal of American History, 84 (December 1997): 855–85. Their focus is on those who were disengaged from the political process but who nevertheless turned out to vote, leading them to reemphasize the importance of political parties in structuring political life. An interesting book on nineteenth-century British politics that pushes beyond the confines of what is normally understood by political culture is James Vernon, Politics and the People: A Study in English Political Culture 1815–1867 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1993). For a fascinating discussion of the "language of party," see pp. 163–82. Another work that employs a similar approach to explore the dynamics and political significance of festivals and fetes in the Early American Republic is David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 177–245. return to text
  49. Henry J. Raymond, "Notes for a speech to the National Union convention at Philadelphia in 1866," Henry J. Raymond Papers, New York Public Library. return to text