On the day after Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention meeting in Chicago, his eldest son Robert was in Exeter, New Hampshire preparing to enter Harvard College. When news reached him, Robert was engaged in bowling. "Bob, your father got it!" exclaimed his friend Albert Blair. Robert Todd Lincoln's response was restrained but practical: "Good! I will write home for a check before he spends all of his money in the campaign."1
Two and a half months earlier, on the morning of Wednesday, February 29, Mr. Lincoln had departed from Providence, Rhode Island for Exeter, Robert was studying at Phillips Exeter Academy so he could pass the entrance examination to Harvard University, which he had previously failed. The original intention for a quiet father-son visit was undermined by the success of Mr. Lincoln's Cooper Union speech in New York City on February 27. Meeting historian George Bancroft in the photographic studio of Mathew Brady in New York that day, Mr. Lincoln reportedly said "I am on my way to New Hampshire...where I have a son at school, who, if reports be true, already knows much more than his father."2 Robert himself recalled: "The news of his speech had preceded him, and he was obliged to speak eleven times before leaving New England."3
New Hampshire Republicans were particularly obliged to have Mr. Lincoln speak since they were locked in a tight gubernatorial election to be held a month after Mr. Lincoln's visit. The Republican candidate was wealthy Portsmouth businessman Ichabod Goodwin, who had already served one, one-year term after many unsuccessful attempts at office as a Whig. As soon as Mr. Lincoln arrived in Exeter, he was besieged by requests to speak.
The family-political visit must have tested Mr. Lincoln's endurance and vocal chords. He would give four speeches in New Hampshire - three on the day after his arrival, at least one them of two hours duration. On March 1, Mr. Lincoln left Exeter, accompanied by his son and Robert's roommate and Springfield friend, shortly after 7 a.m. - bound for Concord by a circuitous room. Accompanying them was another Exeter student and Springfield resident, George C. Latham. They first took a train south to Massachusetts where they changed at Lawrence for a train to Concord, where they arrived around 10:30. Manchester Republican leader Frederick Smyth joined the group when the train stopped in his city and continued on to Concord. Mr. Lincoln's speech had been advertised as a "Grand Republican Rally!" at 1:30 PM at Phenix Hall.
According to Elwin L. Page, who detailed Lincoln's New Hampshire trip years later, "Probably the Lincoln party went directly from the station to their hotel, the Phenix...This hotel was chosen because Lincoln's time in town was to be brief; it was next door to the hall and near to the station. Moreover, the Phenix had years before been the congregating place for the Whigs, and its political atmosphere was right."4 The hall itself was on the third floor of a building just south of the hotel, across an alley. Before his speech, Mr. Lincoln toured the town a bit and had lunch. At the court house, Mr. Lincoln's presence led Judge Asa Fowler to call a recess to introduce him to members of the court.
Despite a heavy rain, near freezing conditions, and scant advance notice, Phenix Hall was jammed with residents from nearby communities. Also in attendance were the judge and jurors from the court house who apparently played hooky from their judicial work. The meeting got under way just 15 minutes late. Mr. Lincoln was introduced by businessman Edward H. Rollins, a prominent Republican leader in the state. Unfortunately, no transcript of his speech has survived.
Although he needed to reverse his train ride to Manchester, Mr. Lincoln did not shortchange his Concord listeners who were treated to "[o]ne of the ablest, most closely reasoned and eloquent speeches ever listened to in Concord," according to one listener. According to Page, Mr. Lincoln "began by alluding to his becoming accustomed in the Douglas debates to a large degree of give-and-take. Douglas had been very kind to him, and though sharp and sarcastic at times, he thought him a pretty good fellow, in spite of his being a Democrat. If any member of that party in Concord thought the speaker made a misstatement, he wished him to rise in his seat and say so. He (Lincoln) would then try to convince him on the spot. He would rather have an opponent get up and say, 'You lie, sir,' than to go away and say the speaker had deceived the people. So goes the story as told many years later. According to another version, Lincoln asked the audience to 'sass back.' In the middle of the speech, William F. Goodwin, a lawyer, rose from his seat in the center of the gallery and put a question. Some hissed, but Lincoln said he was glad of the interruption. At the end of the colloquy that followed, Goodwin, who wrote for 'The Democratic Standard,' a virulent paper taking the extreme pro-slavery view and reputed to have financial support from the South, was said to have admitted himself in the wrong."5
The speech was directed at the debate over the history of, extension of and future of slavery. Page wrote: "Most of what we have comes down to us from George G. Fogg, who had, for a small-town man, superior journalistic ability, but even Fogg gave up in despair, as many better men had done before him, and confessed that he lacked 'the ability to give any adequate idea of the power and eloquence of the speech.' All agreed that it was closely reasoned, powerful, logical and compacted, candid and convincing. Every position was fortified by proofs. While at intervals he enlivened his speech, as he commonly did, by shrewd hits at the opposing party and by apt and homely illustrations, 'not a single word...tended to impair the dignity of the speaker or weaken the force of the great truths he uttered.'" It was at Concord, apparently, that Mr. Lincoln was first to compare slavery to finding a snake in bed with innocent children - an allusion he would repeat elsewhere in New England.6
Page wrote: "In Concord some few of the audience left the hall before they had time to see behind the peculiarities that sometimes seemed ridiculous or even repellant. But nearly everybody remained throughout the long speech, in perfect silence except to applaud some sharp hit at the Democrats. At the close, however, those seated in the gallery rose to their feet and the whole audience, completely won, cheered Lincoln full-throatily."7
Although rumors persisted that Mr. Lincoln requested or received money for his speeches, he did neither. Some of the rumors were spread by Democratic newspapers such as the Nashua Gazette: "The only thing known of him is, that he was the defeated competitor of Douglas in the late contest in Illinois and has read a dull, heavy, sectional 'irrepressible conflict' speech in some parts of the country within the last year, for which he was paid fifty or a hundred dollars an evening for reading it. We understand an attempt was made to get him to read the same speech here last winter, but his terms were considered too exorbitant for the equivalent he proposed to render."8
Mr. Lincoln was invited to Manchester, according to one account, by Republican City Chairman Frederick Smyth. It was at Smyth Hall in the Smyth Block on Elm Street that he would speak, but before Mr. Lincoln arrived there was some confusion - as reflected in a newspaper announced on February 29: "We have the promise of Abraham Lincoln, 'Glorious Old Abe,' tomorrow [sic] night at Smyth's Hall, but Nashua also claims him. The question will be settled tonight. At any rate, he will be here next week."9 According to Page, "when Lincoln stepped from the train at Manchester at quarter-past four, all had been done to get him an audience that a fluttered editor could hurriedly conceive. But the rain continued, and there was cause enough to fear that the hall would be too large, rather than not half large enough."10 He was taken first to the City Hotel where he, his son and George Latham were to stay the night.
Lincoln scholar Percy Eggleston wrote: "There were more than a thousand people present, and every seat was taken, and many were standing," recalled David Cross years later. Cross recalled that Governor Smyth introduced Mr. Lincoln as the next president of the United States. At the City Hotel after the speech, Mr. Lincoln told Governor Smyth that he had been surprised by the introduction - the first such he had received and thought it a mere pleasantry. When Governor Smyth insisted he was serious, Mr. Lincoln said: "No! No! That is impossible. Mr. [William H.] Seward should and will receive the nomination. I do not believe that three states will vote for me in the convention."11
The editor of the Manchester Daily Mirror later reported that: "The platform was covered with notables and Baldwin's Band. The audience was a flattering one to the reputation of the speaker. It was composed of persons of all sorts of political notions, earnest to hear one whose fame was so great, and we think most of them went away thinking better of him than they anticipated they should. He spoke an hour and a half with great fairness, great apparent candor, and with wonderful interest. Some were not so much amused and gratified with personalities as they hoped to be, but after all, if they look closely at their thoughts, they like the man better for that. He did not abuse the South, the Administration, or the Democrats, or indulge in any personalities, with the solitary exceptions of a few hits at Douglas's notions."12
Elwin Page wrote: "'The Union Democrat' of the next day, in giving the fairest report of the meeting which any opposition paper gave Lincoln in New Hampshire, did not pass any remarks upon that portion of the introduction having to do with the presidency. Probably that seemed to the reporter too much like conventional clap-trap. He did take occasion, however, to allude to the 'most sarcastic irony' of the presiding officer in introducing the speaker as the man 'who had met and vanquished the Little Giant of Illinois.' 'Lincoln,' remarked the reporter, 'is a queer-looking specimen of humanity, and we can readily believe that the rustic simplicity of his oratory, and the plausible mode of his reasoning, would secure him a kind of popularity with that portion of the people of the West, who are capable of looking at one aspect only, of a great question of national policy.'"13
"One of the best points of his speech," reported the Manchester Daily American, "was the answer to the question - What will satisfy the demands of the South upon the subject of Slavery?
'Simply this', said the speaker, 'we must not only let them alone, but we must convince them that we do let them alone. This is no easy task. In all our speeches, resolutions and platforms, we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but it has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.
These natural, and apparently adequate means, all failing, what will convince them? This and this only; cease to call slavery wrong, and join with them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Douglas's new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure; we must pull down our Free State Constitutions, inasmuch as they declare the wrong of slavery with more solemn emphasis than do all other sayings against it. If we throw open the Free Territories to them, they will not be satisfied; we know this from past experience, as well as from present controversy.'
The Manchester Daily American went on to report:
Another point considered was the charge that the Republican Party is sectional. The democracy says we are sectional because our party has no existence in the South. The fact is substantially true; but does it prove the issue? If it does, then in case we should, without change of principle, begin to get votes in that section, we should thereby cease to be sectional. You will soon find that we have ceased to be sectional, for we shall have votes in the South in the glorious year of 1680. Some of you delight to flaunt in our face the warning against sectional parties given by Washington in his Farewell Address. Yet, less than eight years before Washington gave that warning, he had, as President of the United States, approved and signed an act of Congress, enforcing the prohibition of slavery in the North Western Territory, which act embodied the policy of the government upon that subject up to, and at the very moment he penned that warning.
Again, the speaker showed that every one of the exciting questions upon slavery now before the country were thrown upon us by those very men who taunt the Republicans as being radical and sectional. We stick to, and contend for, the identical old policy which was adopted by the fathers of the Republic, you reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. Some of you are for reviving the African slave trade; some for a congressional Slave Code for the Territories; some for Congress forbidding the Territories to prohibit slavery within their limits; some for maintaining slavery in the Territories through the Judiciary; and some for Popular Sovereignty principle, which means, if one man would enslave another, no third man should object. Not one of these various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our government originated. Consider then who is conservative, your party, or ours. The speaker said, let us not be slandered from our duty by the false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves."14
The Union Democrat reported that Mr. Lincoln "stated in his speech here, that there were two great classes of minds in this country who were arrayed against each other on the subject of slavery; those who believe it right, and those who believe it wrong. He said that no man could be consistent or sincere, who said that he thought slavery to be wrong who did not labor for its overthrow. He openly declared that it was 'the policy of the Republicans to place their party on such a basis as would tend to secure the gradual extinction of slavery in this country.' These were his very words. Slavery he compared to a snake in bed with the children; and as it might not be good policy to kill the snake for fear of killing the children, so it might not be wise and safe just now, to directly assail slavery in the states, for the reason that we might destroy ourselves in so doing. He declared that slave and free institutions could not both exist in our country. One or the other must go down. There could be no truce or concession, but in the very nature of things there must be an irrepressible conflict. He argued that the people of the South were determined to crush out the free institutions of the North, and in short would demand that slavery should be established all over the land. He ridiculed the idea that there could be any such thing as a let alone policy in regard to slavery."15
The Mirror reported: "For the first half hour, his opponents would agree with every word he uttered and from that part he began to lead them off, little by little, cunningly, till he seems to have gotten them all in the fold. He displays more shrewdness, more knowledge of the masses of mankind than any other public speaker we have heard."16 Lincoln chronicler Percy Eggleston wrote: "The audience was composed of men and women, about half of them Democrats and the rest Republicans, with a few rabid Abolitionists. Mr. Lincoln had talked but a few minutes before he had the eye and the closest attention of every person in the hall. He won the favorable attention of the audience by his clearness, tact and fairness upon facts, to which all agreed. He talked for about an hour and a half; no one left the hall, no one was restless, but everyone watched him closely and continually. At first, only a small part of the audience was in full sympathy with him, but, gradually, he won the interest and the admiration and the enthusiasm of all."
According to Cross, "Rev Mr. [A.T.] Foss, a violent Abolitionist and an able and honest man, one of the Parker-Pillsbury-Garrison followers, occasionally interrupted him and asked him questions. After a while the audience cried, 'Throw him out.' Mr. Lincoln replied, 'No, no, let him stay, he is just the man I want to see and to answer. Now, my friend, what is your question? Let's talk together. I want you to jaw back.' Mr. Foss asked Mr. Lincoln several questions and Lincoln replied, and soon Mr. Foss was applauding with the rest of the audience, and after the meeting was over, Foss took Lincoln by the hand and thanked him and said, 'You are the only man that has ever talked to me in this way and I am not sure but you are right.'" Cross recalled: that Mr. Lincoln "seemed quaint and almost strange in manner and expression, but he seemed a man of intense earnestness and sincerity, gifted with all the arts of the best stump speaker, but also, like some old prophet, solemnly delivering his message of warning and exhortation to the people. I doubt if there was a person in the audience who didn't applaud his speech, although many of them did not agree with him."
Cross said: "I remember Lincoln, somewhere in his talk with Foss, said to him, 'Now, my friend, you are in favor of dis-union. You think the only way is for the North and South to separate, but I tell you to stay with us and in the end the whole country will be free.' I remember a leading Democrat of Manchester, after the meeting, told me 'that was the best speech I ever heard in my life and I don't believe there is another man that can equal him.'"17 Another onlooker recalled standing next to Foss as he shook Lincoln's hand and said: "Mr. Lincoln, I've asked those questions several times in my life, and you're the first man of all my acquaintance that ever answered me civilly. I thank you." In the 1860 and 1864 campaigns, Rev. Foss became a fervent speaker for the Lincoln effort - in New England and beyond. 18
The Daily American editorialized that Mr. Lincoln's "speech had force of argument that must have had a marked effect on every candid listener."19 The paper reported: "The demonstration last evening was worthy of the man and the occasion. Notwithstanding the storm and the short notice, Smyth's Hall was filled in every part, and numbers were obliged to stand during the meeting. The meeting was characterized by the most earnest attention to the remarks of the eloquent speaker, interrupted occasionally by 'irresistible' applause. The speech was one of the best and most convincing political arguments to which we ever listened. Mr. Lincoln's oratory is natural and unstudied, which makes it the more effective, and he possesses rare powers to elucidate and convince. Such a man must be heard to know his power. We should fail if we attempted to give an accurate report of his speech....we are great mistaken if nine tenths of the audience did not go to their homes with a firmer resolution to stand by the Right, and to resist the aggressions of the Slave Power to the last, than they had when they entered the Hall. The influence of such an effort, from such a man, at such a time, is not to be reckoned in a night, but like the key-notes to a song, it shall be heard through the whole campaign, and its power is largely felt in the verdict of the people on the second Tuesday of this month."20
After the Manchester speech, the traveling party went back to the hotel where Robert and George went to sleep. Smyth and Mr. Lincoln discussed his prediction that Mr. Lincoln would become President. Smyth reiterated that he believed the Illinois visitor would be elected. Elwin Page reported that other New Hampshire residents thought the same thing. George B. N. Palmer recalled that he attended the Manchester speech with his father who "said he wanted me to put on a clean collar and go and see the tallest man I ever [would] see. He's going to be President some day." The ten-year-old boy later recalled that his father's notion had come from Smyth, who made his prediction to the elder Palmer at the bank where he worked.21
Mr. Lincoln began his day on Friday, March 2, with a brief breakfast - followed by tours of two big textile factories in Manchester. Smyth himself took Mr. Lincoln to the Manchester Print Works. The agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, Ezekiel A. Straw, invited him to that company's larger plant - where over 2500 men and women worked. Machinist Edwin P. Richardson gave the tour, but was reluctant to shake his dirty hand with Mr. Lincoln's clean one. Mr. Lincoln insisted - and insisted that Richardson not change clothes before showing him around - saying, "Young man, go just as you are."22 Mr. Lincoln was to use this exposure to New England manufacturing and workers in a speech he gave in Hartford a few days later.
Mr. Lincoln had been invited by Dover Republican Chairman George W. Benn - via a letter to Robert Lincoln - to speak in Dover that night. To get to Dover, Mr. Lincoln and companions again went the long way through Massachusetts - staying in Lawrence for several hours in the early afternoon. Then they took the train north again to Dover, probably stopping in Exeter to leave Robert and George back at school. "When Lincoln came to Dover, he had two days' notice, instead of the single day's advertising given in Concord and Manchester. As a consequence, Dover was stirred with anticipation," wrote Elwin Page. "When Lincoln climbed down from his train at Dover, he was greeted by a crowd of curious and good-natured people. As some of them recalled it later, possibly with a bit of adornment, the reception on the station platform was principally noteworthy for interest in Lincoln's stature. Most of the crowd gathered midway of the train. A few went to the rear and surrounded Lincoln as he stepped from the last car. The Westerner towered six inches above the group about him, and one of the town wags cried, 'Didn't they want you any longer where you came from?'"23
It was arranged for Mr. Lincoln to stay at the spacious home of George Mathewson, superintendent of Cochecho Manufacturing Company factory. Mathewson drove him there from the rail station. As they drove by, one young girl remembered being told by her brother, Benjamin Gerrish, "Look at the man riding with Mr. Mathewson. He is going to be the next President."24 After dinner, Mr. Lincoln was driven back to City Hall on Central Avenue and Washington Street for his speech. Preliminary introductions to Republican officials were made in the city clerk's office. The meeting itself was held in a large hall on the second floor that accommodated a crowded audience of at least 1500. For the next two hours, almost all stood to listen to their Illinois guest speaking from a raised platform and surrounded by Republican officials. Halfway through his presentation, Mr. Lincoln thought he might have exhausted the audience's physical patience and offered to stop. The standees replied "Go on!" and he spoke for another hour.25
As usual, Mr. Lincoln began slowly - and somewhat disappointingly for his listeners. First impressions of Mr. Lincoln were often not good, but they speedily improved. Mr. Lincoln himself demanded that all the gas lights be turned on. "Give us more light! We want all the light we can get on this question."26 According to the Dover Gazette, Mr. Lincoln's listeners were expecting "the greatest political speech that ever escaped the lips of mortal man." According to Page, "Many, many of them forever after believed that they heard it."27
Listener John B. Stevens recalled: "He seemed so honest, so simple, touching and conclusive. I don't recall that he moved much on stage, but distinctly I remember the long arms swinging, the mask-live face, the quick turn of the body to right and left as he drove home a red hot rivet of appeal; the mobile change of his face from gravity to mirth, suggested rather than exhibited. At that time it never cross my mind that he would be President. Afterward I found that everybody else was sure of it. It is often thus, but I remember enough to know that the speech was full of freshness and originality, and in accordance with the growing spirit of the North, so there was a perfect understanding between the speaker and the mature part of his audience, and Dover was deeply moved."28 Mr. Lincoln analogized slavery to a tumor on a man's neck - an illustration which he was to use again in Connecticut the next week.
"Mr. Lincoln spoke nearly two hours and we believe he would have held his audience had he spoken all night," reported the Dover Inquirer. The article elaborated:
He gave a brief sketch of the course of the democracy, in reference to the slavery question, showing how they had made it the prominent and almost the only question in National politics - how their leading statesmen had all been compelled to bow to the slave power and become its obedient vassals. In reply to the charge of sectionalism, raised against the republicans, he said, we deny it. That makes an issue, the burden of proof is upon you, the democracy. You produce your proof; and what is it? Why, that the Republican Party has no existence in the South. The fact is substantially true, but does it prove the issue? If it does, then in case we should, without change of principle, begin to get votes there, we should thereby cease to be sectional. There was no escape from this conclusion, and if the democracy would abide by it, they would find that the republicans would get votes at the South this very year. Northern democrats were fond of saying to the opponents of slavery, why don't you go South and preach your doctrines where slavery exists, not oppose it here, where it does not exist. Frank Blair of Missouri, a democrat, did raise the standard of opposition in the very heart of slavery - and when he was defeated, did his brother democrats of the North sympathize with him? 'Not one of them,' said Mr. Lincoln. Their only greeting to him was 'H-u-r-r-a-h for D-i-m-o-c-r-a-cy!' The republicans were charged with being responsible for the John Brown raid, yet a Committee of Congress, with unlimited powers, had failed to implicate a single republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise. If any republican is guilty in that matter, you, the democracy, know it or you do not know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable not to designate the man and prove the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable to assert it, and especially to persist in the assertion after you have tried and failed to make the proof. The republicans, who remained steadfast to the principles of the fathers on the subject of slavery, were the conservative party, while the democracy, who insisted upon substituting something new, was the destructives. But the South were threatening to destroy the Union in the event of the election of a republican President, and were telling us that the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us. This is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, with 'stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer.' To be sure the money which he demands is my own, and I have a clear right to keep it, but it is no more so than my vote, and the threat of death to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle. To satisfy them, said Mr. Lincoln, is no easy task. We must no only cease to call slavery wrong, but we must join with them in calling it right. Silence will not be tolerated. Douglas's new sedition law must be enacted and enforced. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State Constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from the taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us. Wrong as we believe slavery to be, we should let [it] alone in the States where it exists, because its extirpation would occasion greater wrongs, but we should not, while our votes can prevent it, allow it to spread over the National Territories and over-run us in the Free States, Neither should we be diverted by trick or stratagem, by a senseless clamor about 'popular sovereignty,' by any contrivances for groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong - the don't care' policy of Douglas - or Union appeals to true Union men to yield to the threats of Disunionists, which was reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners but the righteous to repentance - none of these things should move or intimidate us; but having faith that right makes might, let us to the end, dare to do our duty. 29
Page wrote that Mr. Lincoln's expansive gestures were long-remembered: Delia A. Varney, then a teenager, recalled Mr. Lincoln saying : "The advocates of the extension of slavery into the new states...will soon find themselves completely [pause] squelched." Another young woman reported, according to Page, "Lincoln came to the extreme front of the platform, raised his right arm to its full length above his head, with the last word closed his hand as if to crush the objectionable thing, leaned forward and swung his arm to the right, bringing his hand down almost to his feet."30 The Boston Evening Traveller reported that "Never in this State was there such a powerful, thorough and statesman-like exposition of political parties and such an able declaration of the national of Republican principles as on that evening by the Champion of the West."31 After his speech Mr. Lincoln walked to New Hampshire House, where he told stories for several hours. After midnight, he walked the short distance to the Mathewson house for a few hours sleep.
Getting up at 5 AM on Saturday, March 3, Mr. Lincoln made his bed and went out for a stroll around Dover. He later got a shave and got another textile factory tour - this one given by Mathewson of the Cochecho Manufacturing Company. Late in the morning, Mr. Lincoln took the half-hour train ride back to rejoin his son in the picturesque village of Exeter. Mr. Lincoln reported to his wife that he found "the boys all right, having caught up with their lessons. Bob had a letter from you saying Willie and Taddy were very sick the Saturday night after I left. Having no dispatch from you, and having one from Springfield, of Wednesday, from Mr. Fitzhugh, saying nothing about our family, I trust the dear little fellows are well again."32 The afternoon was free for father-son bonding, but the evening was dedicated to a speech that attracted residents from miles around to the Town Hall, which was so overflowed with listeners that Robert Lincoln had a hard time getting in.
First impressions were not reassuring. One teenager who walked several miles through mud to hear Mr. Lincoln reported thinking when Mr. Lincoln entered the auditorium: "What a darned fool I've been to walk up here through the mud hear that man speak!"33 Marshall S. Snow, Robert's Exeter classmate, recalled: "We had heard of Lincoln, had read his speeches, but I do not think any of us regarded him as likely to be the Republican nominee for President. We were for Seward, the New York candidate. As soon as it was known Mr. Lincoln was coming to Exeter, the Republican committee arranged for a meeting at the town hall, which would hold about 800 people. There were about ninety of us boys in the academy at that time. Bob was a neat-looking boy, a favorite in the school and popular with the girls of Exeter. We turned out in full force for the meeting to see Bob's father as well as to hear Mr. Lincoln speak."
Snow recalled: "Judge [John C.] Underwood of Virginia had accompanied Mr. Lincoln to Exeter. He was a short man. Mr. Lincoln was very tall. They came on the stage together. The contrast was striking. When they sat down Judge Underwood's feet did not touch the floor. Mr. Lincoln's legs were so long he had trouble in disposing of them and twisted them about under the chair to get them out of the way. One of the boys leaned over and whispered: 'Look here! Don't you feel kind of sorry for Bob?' We did not laugh. We were sympathetic for Bob because his father did not make a better appearance. The girls whispered to each other: 'Isn't it too bad Bob's got such a homely father."34 Another friend of Bob, Albert Blair, thought that his father's lanky figure and strange gestures must give a bad impression to the New Hampshire crowd.
No record of Mr. Lincoln's speech exists, but Snow recalled: "Judge Underwood spoke first, for about thirty minutes. We did not pay much attention to him. I remember I thought Mr. Lincoln the most melancholy man I had ever seen. When he was introduced he got up slowly until he stood there as straight as an arrow in that long black coat. He had not spoken ten minutes until everybody was carried away. We forgot all about his looks. Exeter was full of people of culture. It was a place to which people moved when they retired from active life. The audience was one of educated, cultivated people. I never hard such applause in that hall as Mr. Lincoln received that night. He spoke nearly an hour. There was no coarseness, no uncouthness or speech or manner. Every part fitted into the whole argument perfectly. As I recall it, the Exeter speech followed closely the lines of the Cooper Union address, which was on slavery. I suppose it had been carefully prepared. I know it captured all of us. When the meeting closed we went up on the platform and shook hands with Mr. Lincoln telling him how proud we were to have the honor of meeting Bob's father."35
Page wrote: "During his speech, Blair remembered, Lincoln would put a question to the audience and pause for a reply. In one instance, after vainly awaiting an answer with an eager expectant look, he remarked: 'You people here don't jaw back at a fellow as they do out West.' But, added Blair, 'above the grotesque and the humorous, a lofty feeling was dominant. Whether in boldly meeting the imperious legalism of the South, or in laying bare the equivocations of the Douglas doctrine, or in discussing generally the great issues before the Nation, there was ever the clear, earnest call to reason in behalf of human rights which did not fail to impress every hearer."36
Snow recalled: "At last, then, Judge Underwood concluded his speech, and Mr. Lincoln was presented to us. He rose slowly, untangled those long legs from their contact with the rounds of the chair, drew himself up to his full height of six feet, four inches, and began his speech. Not ten minutes had passed before his uncouth appearance was absolutely forgotten by us boys and, I believe, by all of that large audience. For an hour and a half he held the closest attention of every person present. I cannot recall the details of his speech. We were carried away with the arguments, with the style, and with the rapid change, now and then, from earnest, serious argument to something which in a humorous fashion would illustrate the point he was endeavoring to make. His face lighted up and the man was changed. There was no more pity for our friend Bob; we were proud of his father, and when the exercises of the evening were over and the opportunity was offered to those who desired to meet Mr. Lincoln, we were the first to mount the platform and grasp him by the hand. I have always felt that this was one of the greatest privileges of my life."37
By comparison with the previous three days of intense speech-making, Sunday, March 4, in Exeter with Robert was truly a day of rest for his father. Mr. Lincoln wrote his wife in the morning: "This is Sunday morning; and according to Bob's orders, I am to go to church once to-day. Tomorrow I bid farewell to the boys, go to Hartford, Conn. and speak there in the evening; Tuesday at Meriden, Wednesday at New-Haven--and Thursday at Woonsocket R.I. Then I start home, and think I will not stop. I may be delayed in New York City an hour or two. I have been unable to escape this toil. If I had foreseen it I think I would not have come East at all. The speech at New-York, being within my calculation before I started, went off passably well, and gave me no trouble whatever. The difficulty was to make nine others, before reading audiences, who have already seen all my ideas in print."38
As elsewhere during his New Hampshire sojourn, Mr. Lincoln apparently went for an early morning walk outside of town where he and a young printer watched the rain-gorged river. Later, Mr. Lincoln and his son attended the Second Church of the New Parish and heard a sermon by the Rev. Orpheus T. Lanphear. Afterwards, they went back to Robert's rooming house for lunch. Much of the day was spent with Robert and Robert's friends. That night, they gathered in Robert's room in the home of Samuel B. Clark on Hemlock Square. Learning that Henry Cluskey played the banjo, Mr. Lincoln asked him to get it and play for the group. Of the banjo, he said: "Robert, you ought to have one."39
Early the next morning, Mr. Lincoln left his son and Exeter for Hartford. One teenage bystander later recalled: "I remember very well of seeing Mr. Lincoln at the railway station on Monday morning when he left for Hartford, Connecticut. As I recall, there were quite a number at the station, but not what might be called a crowd, and therefore it was not difficult to have a close view of him, and I have a clear recollection of how he looked. He certainly had a very interesting face, and while I should not call him a handsome man, yet there seemed to be nothing exceptional regarding his looks. He was very tall and straight, wore a dark suit and silk hat, and to me he appeared to be a refined, dignified, and friendly gentleman, and I shall always remember him as such."40
Mr. Lincoln's visit left a strong impact on New Hampshire Republicans, who were to play an important role in the selection of the Republican presidential candidate. The portents were favorable since Governor Goodwin easily won reelection. "During his five days in New Hampshire, Lincoln had spoken four times to audiences aggregating over five thousand, perhaps over six thousand people. That was no mean number in a State which cast not much more than ten times as many votes," wrote Elwin Page. "Lincoln had met, or addressed, or influenced through those he saw, every important Republican leader in the most populous part of the State."41
Republican National Committeeman George C. Fogg favored the 1856 Republican candidate, John C. Frémont, but his candidacy went nowhere. Former Whig Congressman Amos Tuck, who had been irritated when Mr. Lincoln didn't visit his family while in Exeter in February, was supporting Salmon P. Chase, an old friend. The core of Mr. Lincoln's supporters came from people who heard him speak during the March trip - State Chairman Edward H. Rollins, George Mathewson, and Manchester businessman Benjamin F. Martin. Although nominally uncommitted, the group was looking for a candidate who could sweep the North. To the surprise of some New Hampshire Republicans and the campaign team of William H. Seward, most of the delegation rejected the New York Senator. They were not, however, as New York Courier and Enquirer editor James Watson Webb alleged, much influenced by another New York editor, Horace Greeley, who promoted the candidacy of Edward Bates and denigrated Seward. According to Fogg, the delegates "represented truly their Republican constituents at home. They went there not to blindly press this man or that man, regardless of consequences. They went there not to be dictated to by either the friends of Seward or Bates, but to consult with their Republican brethren of other States, and to unite on any reliable Republican statesman whose nomination should promise the sure success of Republican principles."42 The delegates remained unpersuaded by Webb's arguments and were worried by reports that Seward could not win key states such as Pennsylvania and Indiana. The majority of the New Hampshire delegation settled on Mr. Lincoln as the most "available" candidate.
When the voting began at the Chicago convention, New Hampshire votes helped start the bandwagon for Abraham Lincoln. New Hampshire voted second - because the states were called in geographic order, starting in the northeast with Maine. Instead of going as a block to Seward on the first ballot, seven of the ten votes of the Granite State went to Lincoln. One each were cast for Seward, Chase, and Frémont. Journalist Murat Halstead wrote: "The Convention now proceeded to business. The New England States were called first, and it was manifest that Seward had not the strength that had been claimed for him there. Maine gave nearly half her vote for Lincoln. New Hampshire gave seven out of her ten votes for Lincoln. Vermont gave her vote to her Senator [Jacob] Collamer, which was understood to be merely complimentary. It appeared, however, that her delegation was hostile or indifferent to Seward, otherwise there would have been no complimentary vote to another."43 Two more of the state's delegates, including Fogg, switched to Lincoln on the second ballot - the Seward delegate held out through the third and final ballot.
It was Tuck who offered the convention resolution proposing a delegation to go to Springfield and inform Mr. Lincoln of his nomination. Tuck went - as did Fogg who reported on the meeting for Concord Independent Democrat, which he owned and edited. New Hampshire Republicans were cautiously optimistic. In early September, Tuck wrote Mr. Lincoln about the status of the Republican campaign there and the lack of Democratic activity: "We had a great mass meeting in this Town, a few days ago, which it was said, 6 to 8000 people attended - Senators Chase & Wilson, Gov. Goodwin of this State, Mr. Fogg, the Sect. of the Repub. National Committee, were present, as well as two members of Congress from N. York, and others The persons above named were at my house to dinner and it gives me pleasure to say, they all expressed confidence in your election, and confidence in your success after election."44
Fogg had been named secretary of the Republican National Committee and played a key role in the summer and fall campaign. He was described as a "reliable & true man" by Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler, who was not free with compliments.45 Before Fogg visited Springfield in September, Illinois Congressman Elihu B. Washburne described Fogg to Mr. Lincoln as "one of our most reliable men and best politicians. You can talk with him freely. His views correspond with mine on many important matters of policy."46 Fogg frequently wrote Mr. Lincoln from Republican headquarters at Astor House in New York City or from elsewhere in the Northeast as he worked on the Republican campaign:
August 18: "To your question, 'How does it Look now?' I have the satisfaction of relying Well!" 47
August 23: In response to Mr. Lincoln's request for a newspaper correction, "I called on the Editors of the [New York] Herald, and in the most diplomatic way of which I was master, explained the occasion of my call. Mr. [James Gordon] Bennett being present, expressed himself very kindly disposed towards yourself personally, and, of course very far from wishing to misrepresent you. He was willing to give place to any correction desired. When I explained to him, however that I wished the correction made editorially or by his correspondent, he demurred."48
October 26: "Have maintained a 'masterly silence during the five months between your nomination and election, you can afford to maintain an equally 'masterly inactivity' for the four months preceding your inauguration. Allow your friends - who, should Southern secession be attempted, will number twenty millions of freemen - 'quiet the fears of the South.'"49
November 7: "The die is cast; the deed is done; the victory of Republicanism over slave Democracy is won. The friends of constitutional liberty - of 'free speech, free labor, a free country, and free men,' have triumphed. To your hands are entrusted the destinies of the most important revolution of modern times."50
Abraham Lincoln received nearly 57% of New Hampshire's votes. The result in New Hampshire was almost foreordained. From a strongly Democratic state, New Hampshire had become a moderately Republican one. Historian Lex Renda, wrote: "Democrats criticized Lincoln's record, labeling as unpatriotic his opposition to the Mexican War. 'To vote for him is to vote for treason to the country in time of war,' the Patriot charged. A Keene Democrat agreed: 'He took the side of Mexico against his own country. Is he a fit person to be entrusted with the administration?"51
Both Fogg and Tuck were candidates for an appointment to the Lincoln Administration. Amos Tuck was one of the men "of Democratic antecedents from New England" that President-elect Lincoln mentioned to Vice President-elect Hannibal Hamlin in December 1860 as a possible Cabinet appointee. Mentioning in addition Massachusetts' Nathaniel Banks and Connecticut's Gideon Welles, Mr. Lincoln asked: "Which of them do the New England delegation prefer? Or shall I decide for myself."52 According to Hamlin biographer Mark Scroggins, "Mr. Hamlin knew Mr. Tuck well, and highly esteemed him; in fact they were life long friends, and he did not know Mr. Welles except by repute."53 But Welles had connections with other editors - including New Hampshire's George G. Fogg, who backed him. Fogg himself continued to send frequent correspondence to Mr. Lincoln regarding the political situation in the country and his political appointments. Fogg was strongly in favor of the appointment of Salmon P. Chase and strongly against nomination of William H. Seward and Simon Cameron to the Cabinet.
December 13: "I have taken incessant pains to gather the maturest judgment of our best and soundest fiends in both the Senate & House. The result has been my own surprise at the great unanimity with which the eyes of almost everybody turn to Chase as the man of the hour - as the man whose selection would, more than anything else, reassure the country of a strong administration, and the earnest sentiment of the Republican party that it has not fought & won a great battle in vain."54
December 17: "On reaching Washington I found great numbers of our friends afflicted with the secession panic, and almost ready to concede away the entire Republican platform to pacify the secessionists. One of your Illinois members, as I suppose you have already been informed, had agreed to introduce a 'compromise' which if accepted by the Republicans, could not, in my judgment, have broken down our party and your administration, at the very outset. This danger, I hope, is past."55
February 5: "Rumors are still rife about plots to size [sic] the Capitol and prevent the inauguration. There is no doubt that such plots have been talked up. But there is [not] any real danger of their ripening into action, I do not believe." Fogg warned about President-elect Lincoln's proposed cabinet nominees and advised "that both yourself and the party are in peril of shipwreck, and that nothing can save either, but the election of an honest Cabinet devoted to yourself and the principles of the party."56
In later years George Fogg related to a friend his version of the situation in Washington before President Lincoln's inauguration: "Lincoln had arrived in Washington, safe from the plot to assassinate him in Maryland, and was making up his cabinet....The argument against Chase was fully presented, and finally Mr. Seward declared, by Mr. [Thurlow] Weed, that he could not accept an appointment in the same cabinet with Judge Chase. Mr. Lincoln took the case under advisement. The next morning he met Mr. Fogg, who, as secretary of the campaign committee, had won his confidence, and told him the situation. Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he added: 'We must give up both Seward and Chase, I reckon; and I have draw up here a list of the cabinet, leaving them both out.' Handling the list to Mr. Fogg, the latter read, with surprise and amusement,
Secretary of State, William L. Dayton of New Jersey;
Secretary of War, John C. Fremont of California;
Secretary of the Treasury (a New Yorker unfriendly to Seward) and so on. 'I am sending this to Mr. Weed,' said Mr. Lincoln. The effect was what both had of course anticipated; when Mr. Seward found that a cabinet was planned in which he could have no personal influence he withdrew his objection to Mr. Chase, and both were appointed, as the President had intended from the first."57
Fogg himself won appointment as Minister to Switzerland and effectively stayed of political combat for the remainder of the Civil War. He wrote President Lincoln on January 1, 1864 "to add my own personal felicitations on the favorable Auguries for our Country with which the year comes in, and to express the earnest hope that its last day's Sun may set in brightness upon a people whose Soil is trod by no disloyal foot, and whose victorious flag shall be everywhere the emblem of Justice, Liberty and Law --"58
Amos Tuck was appointed as naval officer in Boston. "The salary was good, the duties light and the dignity all that could be desired, and in the case of Mr. Tuck there was the agreeable condition which eh valued beyond all others, nearness to home." 59 But he apparently used his office to advance the presidential ambitions of his friend Chase in 1864. After the election, New Hampshire's governor wrote Mr. Lincoln to dispel allegations of Tuck's disloyalty to President Lincoln.60 Senator-elect Aaron H. Cragin added: "Mr. Tuck is regarded by the people of this State as a man of sound judgment - of undoubted integrity - of excellent moral character, and a firm and able supporter of the Administration. I believe he would scorn to do a mean thing, and that he is not wanting in gratitude and esteem for those who have confided in him".61
Another one of Mr. Lincoln's New Hampshire friends, Edward H. Rollins, was elected to Congress in 1860. He had been one of the guiding forces in the formation of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Biographer James Lyford wrote: "With Rollins, who was the creator and representative of the effective Republican organization of the State, and who in Congress bent all his energy to the support of the administration, [Lincoln] was on terms of intimacy."62 Rollins was a vigorous and aggressive speaker. "A thorough master of details, Rollins was at his best when any of his statements were questioned by his audience, and interruptions at his meetings were of frequent occurrence."63
Congressman Gilman Marston served from 1859 to 1863 - serving as well as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, resigning his commission as brigadier general in 1865. Senator Daniel Clark did not make much of a mark during his congressional service in the Civil War, but he was vocal against the appointment of William H. Seward and Simon Cameron to the cabinet before Mr. Lincoln's inauguration. After the fall of Fort Sumter, Clark wrote President Lincoln from New Hampshire: "There is but one feeling here in regard to the course of the administration - all parties support the Government; and New Hampshire will answer promptly to the call made upon her-"64
Like all congressman, Clark made occasional requests for political appointments that wore down President Lincoln. Artist Francis B. Carpenter reported that in late winter1865, President Lincoln said to Clark: "Can't you and others start a public sentiment in favor of making no changes in offices except for good and sufficient cause? It seems as thought he bare thought of going through again what I did the first year here, would crush me."65
The state's most prominent member of Congress was John P. Hale, a former Democratic congressman and senator who broke sharply with his party over slavery more than a decade before the Civil War and pursued corruption with equal zeal... He was nominated by the Liberty Party for President in 1848 and nominated for the President by the Free Soil Party in 1852. Hale was described by a Philadelphia Press journalist: "How jolly he looks! Dark masses of hair; keen roguish eye; broad, bold front, he stands like a great pump, pouring out a constant stream of good-nature. A little gall, however, will drop into the pure torrent."66
In the Lincoln Administration, Hale fought persistently with Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles over naval affairs, which Senate committee he headed. Hale himself would have preferred to have been awarded Welles's job and was angered when at the beginning of the war, Welles authorized his brother-in-law to purchase naval vessels with no-bid contracts. "The history of this feud reflects credit on neither man," wrote Hale biographer Richard H. Sewell. Father Gideon, suspicious and sanctimonious, only made his task more difficult by the condescension he invariably accorded the senator, by the arbitrary way he ignored recommendations from Hale's committee, and by his open disregard of senatorial courtesy in making appointments. Hale, whose preoccupation with corruption in the Navy Department became more and more intense, not only diminished the efficiency of the naval establishment but also frittered away power and influence which might have been used more constructively."67 Welles' diary is dotted with unpleasant references to Hale. One on April 4, 1864 read: "Had a call from J. P. Hale respecting appointments. This man, so long a Senator, has no comprehensive or statesmanlike views. Would set aside legislative action and law because he thinks it operates hard on a lieutenant whom he knows."68
Hale's quarrels with the Navy Secretary almost got him removed as chairman. "Within his own committee, even, Hale's control became increasingly insecure. Senators Solomon Foot and James W. Grimes openly clashed with their chairman and took Welles' side against him," wrote biographer Sewell. "By December 1863 feeling was so strongly against keeping as head of the Committee on Naval Affairs a man utterly at odds with the Navy Department that Hale barely averted the disgrace of deposition."69
Hale was in better Senate company in one of his other feuds. He was one of several senators who quarreled with U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon, a close friend of President Lincoln. Lamon wrote that Mr. Lincoln advised him to enforce the laws as Congress had enacted them. "In doing this... you will receive much adverse criticism and a good deal of downright abuse from members of Congress," the President told Lamon. "This is certain to come, but it will not be so much intended for you as for me; as our friend Senator Hale, the other day, said in the senate, 'We must not strike too high nor too low, but we must strike between wind and water; the marshal is the man to hit.' And I say, we shall have to stand it whatever they send."70
When the New Hampshire legislature met in June 1864 to decide on whether to reelect Hale to another term, he faced the harvest of two decades of political conflict and four other Republican candidates. After several ballots, Hale lost to former Congressman Aaron H. Cragin. There was joy at the office of Navy Secretary Welles who pronounced Hale "worthless, and a profligate politician."71 In December 1864, the Senate added insult to injury by finally removing the lame-duck Hale from the Naval Committee chairmanship. Meanwhile, Hale's daughter Bessie was engaged in her own maneuvers. She was a close friend of John Wilkes Booth and provided him with a ticket to the Second Lincoln Inauguration in March 1865 - and Booth allegedly got close enough to the President to envision his assassination.
Nathaniel S. Berry won the 1861 gubernatorial election in the April election over Democrat George Stark by 4000 votes. Two years later in 1863 Joseph A. Gilmore was elected governor. In August 1863, Gilmore heard a false rumor that President Lincoln would vacation in the White Mountains. He wrote the President: "May we not have the privilege of welcoming you to our state capital? It would be of immense [sic] service to the cause of the Union if the loyal masses of the North could but catch a sight of their Chief Magistrate. I realize that you need rest and would gladly avoid public receptions and displays. I have no desire to subject you to the annoyance of hearing or making speeches or parading you over our dusty streets in the broiling sun."72
Governor Gilmore was very worried about reelection in 1864 and pressed the Lincoln Administration for help arranging for soldiers to vote in the March canvass. On the day following the election, Governor Gilmore wired President Lincoln "The Granite State sends you greeting[.] New Hampshire stands fast by the country & your administration of the government[.] The spirit of liberty dwells among my people."73
New Hampshire played a key role in the re-nomination of President Lincoln by the Republican Party in 1864. During the summer of 1863, assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox "took his vacation in Portsmouth, where he talked with the master workmen at the yard and with Thomas Tullock, the Navy agent and party boss in the Portsmouth Area. Tullock, who had prospered under Welles 'benign' policy of navy yard patronage, was too closely identified with the administration to expect any mercy at the hands of Hale, should Chase prevail over Lincoln," wrote historian John Niven. Fox's visit was followed a month later one by Gideon Welles. He wrote that "I have not hesitated to let N. Hampshire men know the facts in a quiet way when they have enquired for them."74
A party convention was held on January 7 under the leadership of N G. Ordway, the state chairman. "The platform was reported by Aaron H. Cragin. It contained no endorsement of Lincoln for President," noted James Lyford. "The committee desiring to be conservative, had listened to the advice of those who, while admitting the probability of Lincoln's becoming the Presidential nominee, did not wish to take premature action. Another convention to choose delegates to the national convention would be held in a few months, and to that convention more properly belong the expression of views as to a Presidential candidate." Agents of Salmon P. Chase, led by longtime friend Amos Tuck, were apparently active on his behalf.
But William E. Chandler, the 28-year-old speaker of the State House of Representatives had other ideas. Given the absence of Congressman Edward Rollins and House Sergeant of Arms Nehemiah G. Ordway in Washington, the responsibility for protecting President Lincoln's interest fell upon the young speaker - working with Navy Agent Tullock. "No man in New Hampshire more thoroughly enjoyed the turmoil of political strife," wrote Lyford. "None possessed greater courage, and none made more bitter enemies or more earnest friends. He was always in the thick of the fray, attacking or defending, giving or parrying blows."75 Chandler offered a resolution: We, therefore, declare Abraham Lincoln to be the people's choice for reelection to the Presidency in 1864."76 According to Lyford, "Without debate, it passed unanimously amid great enthusiasm, showing, that while some of the leaders hesitated, the rank and file of the Republican party in New Hampshire were ready and anxious to express their choices.77
Chase and Hale were both dealt near-mortal blows. One of the resolutions that Chandler had the convention pass stated: "Having the fullest confidence in the integrity and financial ability of Hon. Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, we call upon him, and all other officers of the Government in any way responsible for public expenditures, to establish and enforce a rigid system of accountability, and promptly to detect, expose and punish all corruption and fraud upon the Government..."78
Chandler would receive his reward - an appointment as Judge Advocate General in the Navy Department. Historian David H. Donald wrote: "The work of the Lincoln men in a state like New Hampshire is instructive. Dignified Salmon P. Chase was making eyes toward this state where he had been born, but while he was still flirting at a gentlemanly distance, New Hampshire eloped with Lincoln. Shrewd Lincoln agents, dispensing patronage to the faithful and threats of punishment to the disobedient, moved in on the state convention at Concord in January 1864 and rushed through a resolution calling for Lincoln's re-nomination. They permitted New Hampshire Republicans to mention their native son, Chase, in the state platform - but only in order to urge that he clean up the corruption in his Treasury Department."79
Rollins and Ordway continued to keep the White House informed of New Hampshire political developments during the remainder of the campaign. At the 1864 Republican national convention in Baltimore in June, New Hampshire again voted second. According to journalist Noah Brooks, the delegation "attempted to ring in a little speech with its vote, but was summarily choked off with cries of 'No speeches,' and the call proceeded in an orderly manner, no delegation venturing to make any other announcement than that of its vote."80
James Lyford wrote: "The campaign lacked none of the intensity of previous campaigns. It was fought wholly on the war issues," noted Lyford. 81 The 1864 election was closer in New Hampshire than it had been in 1860. President Lincoln received 53% of the votes to 47% for George B. McClellan.