The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History
In 1860, the United States was rapidly approaching a fracture in its nearly century old union. Slavery and its spread across the country remained a contentious subject. The election of 1860 would prove pivotal in addressing the direction of the country as well as slavery’s future. The nascent Republican Party sought a strong, viable candidate to run against the Democrats. The most likely candidate was former NY Governor William Seward, an abolitionist politician popular with the public, but not among all his fellow Republicans. Seward’s candidacy would be pushed heavily by his shrewd advisor Thurlow Weed. Among the various Republican hopefuls was a dark horse candidate named Abraham Lincoln. While not a consistent officeholder, Lincoln’s famous debates against Stephen Douglas in 1858 during their Senate race left an indelible mark. The convention was set for Chicago, the outcome anything but assured.
The Lincoln Miracle offers a thorough view into a crucial week long period in the history of the Republican Party along with the United States. The menagerie of politicians, advisers and journalists are an assorted bunch, gathered to spark a revolution. Edward Achorn has written a riveting account of the backroom deals and backbiting that ensued up to the nomination.
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