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387. Charles S. Zane (statement for William H. Herndon).

[1865 — 66]

About nine oclock on the morning of the Eighteenth of May 1860 I was sitting in the law office of Messers Lincoln and Herndon, Conversing with a Student in the office, when Mr Lincoln came in, On entering he said — Well boys what do you know? And Sat down in a chair on the North side of the office — I remarked (to him) Mr. Rosett who came from Chicago on the morning train thinks your chances for the nomination are good. He asked me if I knew what Mr. Rosett's reasons for thinking so were. A short conversation then followed during which Mr E. L. Baker entered the office with a telegram which said the names of the Candidates for nomination had been announced to the Convention; that Mr Lincolns name was received with greater applause, than that of any other candidate — Soon after he Lincoln went to the telegraph office accompanied by those


present; After waiting there some time the telegraph of the first ballot first ballot Came over the wires. From the manner in which Mr Lincoln received this dispatch it was my impression that it was as favorable as he expected His opinion was or had been that if Mr Seward did not get the nomination on the first ballot or come very near to it he would not be likely to get it at all After waiting a short time the another telegram of the second ballot Came — This I thought from his manner he considered as virtually deciding the nomination. He then went to the Office of the Illinois State Journal. The local Editor with four others including myself returned to the telegraph office and remaind until the third dispatch came Upon receiving it the operator threw down his pencil evidently excited then taking it up wrote out the dispatch and handed it to the local who read it to himself. Those present asked how it looked he said very bad — which lengthened some of our faces considerably. on the way to the Journal Office he remarked that it looked bad for Mr Seward and the other defeated Candidates. Entering the Office where Mr Lincoln was seated the Local proposed three cheers for the next president, which were given then read the dispatch. Mr Lincoln being seated rose up took the tellegram and read it then said when the second ballot came I knew this must Come". He received all with apparent coolness from the expressions playing upon his Countenance however a close observer Could detect Strong emotions within. When the result was made known on the Streets it was followed by Shouts for Lincoln

In the remarks which followed the last dispatch Some one said Mr Lincoln I suppose we will soon have a book containing your life now; To which he replied there is not much in my past life about which to write a book as it seems to me. He then came down out of the office (which was on the second floor) on to the sidewalk his neighbours and friends gathering around him Commenced shakeing his hand and Congratulating him; he then said jesting gentlemen you had better come up and shake my hand while you can honors elevate some men. After spending a few moments in receiving their Cordial Congratulations looking in the direction of his home he said well gentlemen there is a little woman at our house who is probably more interested in this dispatch than I am; if you will excuse me I will take the dispatch up and let her see it.

As he walked up the Street his friends and neighbors looked after him with a feeling of great satisfaction and as I thought mingled with Considerable of pride others Coming up the Streets would pint after him and say yonder goes Lincoln showing that he had grown in their interest that morning

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 4009 — 10; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:78 — 81



1. John E. Rosette (1824 — 81), a Springfield attorney.

2. Probably Edward L. Baker, the local editor of the Journal.