[LINCOLN, Abraham]. Roll of the National Republican Convention, Chicago, May 16th 1860. N.p. [Chicago?], ca.16 May 1860. Broadside folio, 20¾ x 14 9/16 in., full margins, printed in five columns, small tear top along vertical fold, otherwise in very good condition.
THE REGISTER OF DELEGATES TO THE 1860 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION IN CHICAGO. A very rare memento of the Convention that nominated Lincoln for President. At the top of the first column, the broadside lists the Convention's President, George Ashmun of Massachusetts, and enumerates 27 Vice-Presidents (one from each state). Among them are David Davis, who played a critical role as Lincoln's floor manager during the Convention. Lincoln's home state, allocated 11 votes and two alternates also had, as at-large delegates, such Lincoln Stalwarts as Norman B. Judd (who actually placed Lincoln's name in nomination), Gustavus Koerner, David Davis and Orville H. Browning. Two southern states that would later secede after Lincoln's election were represented: Texas sent 6 representatives and Virginia 15. Among Connecticut's delegates is future Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, Frank P. Blair is one of Maryland's at-large delegates and oddly, Horace Greeley is listed as a representative for Oregon.
At the Convention--which Lincoln did not attend--William H. Seward of New York was regarded as the frontrunner for the presidential nomination; other contenders included Edward Bates, Salmon P. Chase and Simon Cameron (all of whom later obtained important appointments). But "from the first day of the Convention," Lincoln was "a serious contender backed by the unanimous delegation from the critical state of Illinois" (D.H. Donald, Lincoln, p.247). David Davis brilliantly managed Lincoln's partisans, while Judd arranged for special trains to bring Lincoln supporters to Chicago. The balloting began on May 18: Seward led on the first ballot, with Lincoln running second. On the second ballot both men picked up votes, but on the third tally, many undecided delegates joined the Lincoln camp and Lincoln won with 364 out of a possible 466 votes. When he was congratulated after the news reached Springfield, Lincoln joked, "Gentlemen, you had better come up and shake my hand while you can--honors elevate some men."