Saturday, June 12, 2021

The first five congratulation telegraphs sent to Lincoln after the May 18, 1860, Chicago convention.

At least five telegrams reached Abraham Lincoln in Springfield shortly after he had been nominated at the Chicago convention on May 18, 1860. Although there is some difference of opinion as to which one he received first, the order most generally accepted follows:
  1. Lincoln: "You are nominated." John James Speed (J.J.S.) Wilson.
  2. Abe Lincoln: "We did it, glory to God.'' Knapp. (Lincoln abhorred the name "Abe.")
  3. Abraham Lincoln: You're nominated and elected.'' J.J. Richards.
  4. Hon. A. Lincoln: " You were nominated on 3rd ballot.'' J.J. Richards.
  5. Hon. A. Lincoln: "Vote just announced. While number necessary to choice; 234 Lincoln, 354 votes not stated. On motion of Mr. Evarts of New York, the nomination was made unanimous amid intense enthusiasm." J.J.S. Wilson.
J.J.S. Wilson (later a civil war Colonel) was superintendent of the Eastern Division of the Caton Telegraph Lines (later the Illinois Telegraph Company) with headquarters at Springfield. Mr. N. M. Knapp lived in Winchester, Illinois, and worked hard for Lincoln's nomination. J. J. Richards was a resident of Springfield and was connected with the Great Western Railroad. 
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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