The Nominations

San Francisco Daily Alta California, June 11, 1860

The office of this paper was literally besieged, yesterday, by politicians of every stripe, all eager to learn the proceedings of the Chicago Convention. The multitude could scarcely wait for the news to be flashed over the wires—after the arrival of the overland mail at the end of the telegraph line was announced by us—and for it to be put in type and issued in the form of an extra. In due season our extra was issued, and the keen appetite of the masses—by this time grown into a condition approaching ravenous ferocity, was assuaged. Lincoln and Hamlin astonished everybody. The information which we published on Saturday, relative to the nomination of Lincoln, had prepared the public mind for a confirmation of that report; but they were wholly unprepared for the news of the nomination of Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, for Vice-President.

Taken as a whole, the announcement of the ticket has given a severe shock to the leaders of the Republican party in California, since it is a well established fact, that Mr. Seward was their first choice, and their preference for him had created a deep-seated conviction that he was to be the man. We scarcely need say, therefore, that the nominations were received here with marked coolness at first. Doubtless, when the first shock of disappointment occasioned by the defeat of Mr. Seward, is over, we shall see no lack of enthusiasm and political unity among the masses who compose the Republican party of California.

Viewing the action of the Chicago Convention from an independent stand-point we do not hesitate to say that the nomination of Mr. Lincoln is a very strong one. He is a man who possesses perhaps a cleaner political record than any other whose name was before the Convention, and he is therefore less vulnerable than either of the others, Mr. Seward not excepted. His contest with Mr. Douglas in the struggle in Illinois, for the U.S. Senatorship gave him a singular prestige before the whole country; and, though that contest resulted in his defeat, yet he won perhaps a greater and a more wide-spread popularity in the North than even a success would have given to him. His reception some months ago, during a visit to New York and the Eastern States, is the best evidence of the correctness of this conclusion.

Looking upon the nomination of Mr. Douglas at Baltimore, as a foregone conclusion, it was doubtless a master stroke of political policy to nominate Lincoln as his opponent. With these two men as the standard bearers of their respective parties, the contest at once assumes a phase of far more exciting magnitude than it has held before, and he is possessed of the wisdom of a prophet, who can foretell the result that is to be brought about in November.

It is difficult to imagine what was the governing power before the convention, which produced the nomination of Mr. Hamlin, of Maine. This is the strange feature of the whole affair, which Republicans themselves cannot account for. It was generally thought that the nomination of Vice-President would have been given to Pennsylvania, or some one of the middle or southern states, as a matter of party policy. And we venture the assertion that Mr. Hamlin's name had not been thought of, in this connection, by a single person in California. When the mail comes to hand, the reasons which prompted his nomination will perhaps be made manifest.

Both nominees are generally conceded to be able and honest men. Mr. Lincoln was formerly an old line Whig, and Mr. Hamlin an old line Democrat. Ten years ago the year 1860 might have been looked forward to as the beginning of the millennial period, had the nomination of both, upon the same ticket, for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States, been predicted. Now, the fact, in itself, occasions no surprise, and is only looked upon as an act of wise party policy. Let the Baltimore Convention lay aside old political hacks, as their opponents have done, and select as good and as honest men as these for the standard-bearers of the Democratic party, and if an election is had by the people at all, we shall, for once, be sure of a good and an honest Administration, let which party win that may.