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The 1860 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United Statesmarker, held in Chicago, Illinoismarker at the Wigwammarker, nominated former U.S.marker Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinoismarker for President and U.S. Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Mainemarker for Vice President. This was only the second national nominating convention for the Republican Party.

Other candidates at the convention included former New Yorkmarker Governor William H. Seward, U.S. Senator Salmon P. Chase of Ohiomarker, former U.S. Representative Edward Bates of Missourimarker, and U.S. Senator Simon Cameron of Pennsylvaniamarker.

This primary was notable as every candidate that ran for the Republican nomination eventually became a member of Lincoln's cabinet.

Seward had been the favorite going into the convention, and led on the first two ballots. His lead soon melted away to the dark horse Lincoln, who captured the nomination on the third ballot. Lincoln's campaign manager, David Davis, was credited with playing a substantial role in the convention outcome.

In an alternative view, Lincoln got the nomination as the result of a local scheme to pack the Wigwam with Lincoln supporters using counterfeit tickets. This early example of Chicago politics was led by Chicago Mayor John Wentworth.

Lincoln-Hamlin went on to defeat three other major tickets that year, including Democratic nominee Stephen A. Douglas, U.S. Senator from Illinois.

Ballot counts

The Republican National Convention met in mid-May, after the Democrats had been forced to adjourn the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolinamarker without a nominee and had not yet re-convened in Baltimore, Marylandmarker. With the Democrats in disarray and with a sweep of the Northern states possible, the Republicans were confident going into their convention in Chicagomarker. William H. Seward of New York was considered the front runner, followed by Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, and Missouri's Edward Bates.

As the convention developed, however, it was revealed that Seward, Chase, and Bates had each alienated factions of the Republican Party. Delegates were concerned that Seward was too closely identified with the radical wing of the party, and his moves toward the center had alienated the radicals. Chase, a former Democrat, had alienated many of the former Whigs by his coalition with the Democrats in the late 1840s, had opposed tariffs demanded by Pennsylvaniamarker, and critically, had opposition from his own delegation from Ohiomarker. Bates outlined his positions on extension of slavery into the territories and equal constitutional rights for all citizens, positions that alienated his supporters in the border states and southern conservatives. German-Americans in the party opposed Bates because of his past association with the Know-Nothings.

Since it was essential to carry the West, and because Lincoln had a national reputation from his debates and speeches as the most articulate moderate, he won the party's nomination on the third ballot on May 18, 1860.

Presidential Ballot
Nominee Home State 1st 2nd 3rd 3rd "corrected"
William H. Seward New Yorkmarker 173.5 184.5 180 111.5
Abraham Lincoln Illinoismarker 102 181 231.5 349
Simon Cameron Pennsylvaniamarker 50.5 2 0 0
Salmon P. Chase Ohiomarker 49 42.5 24.5 2
Edward Bates Missourimarker 48 35 22 0
William L. Dayton New Jerseymarker 14 10 1 1
John McLean Ohiomarker 12 8 5 0.5
Jacob Collamer Vermontmarker 10 0 - -
Benjamin F. Wade Ohiomarker 3 0 - -
John M. Read Pennsylvaniamarker 1 0 - -
Charles Sumner Massachusettsmarker 1 0 - -
John C. Fremont Californiamarker 1 0 - -
Cassius M. Clay Kentuckymarker - 2 1 1

After seeing how close Lincoln was to the 233 votes needed, a delegate from Ohio switched 4 votes from Chase to Lincoln. This triggered an avalanche towards Lincoln with a final count of 364 votes out of 466 cast.

Senator Hannibal Hamlin of Mainemarker was nominated for vice president, defeating Cassius M. Clay of Kentuckymarker.

Vice Presidential Ballot
Nominee Home State 1st 2nd
Hannibal Hamlin Mainemarker 194 367
Cassius M. Clay Kentuckymarker 100.5 86
John Hickman Pennsylvaniamarker 57 13
Andrew H. Reeder Pennsylvaniamarker & Kansasmarker 51 0
Nathaniel Banks Massachusettsmarker 38.5 0
Henry W. Davis Marylandmarker 8 0
Sam Houston Texasmarker 6 0
William L. Dayton New Jerseymarker 3 0
John M. Read Pennsylvaniamarker 1 0

The party platform clearly stated that slavery would not be allowed to spread any further, and it also promised that tariffs protecting industry would be imposed. The party promised a homestead law granting free farm land in the West to settlers. These provisions were highly unpopular in the South.

Candidate gallery

Image:Edward Bates - Brady-Handy.jpg|Former Representative Edward Bates of MissourimarkerImage:Smn Cameron-SecofWar.jpg|Senator Simon Cameron of PennsylvaniamarkerImage:Salmon Chase, Brady-Handy photo portrait ca1855-1865.jpg|Former Governor Salmon P. Chase of OhiomarkerImage:Abraham_Lincoln_1860.jpg|Former Representative Abraham Lincoln of IllinoismarkerImage:William Seward, Secretary of State, bw photo portrait circa 1860-1865.jpg|Senator William H. Seward of New Yorkmarker


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