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how very much pleased she had been with you. The queen also spoke of you kindly and inquired in a cordial manner about you. Indeed, it would seem you were a favorite of both. There has been a marked and favorable change of feeling here within the last month towards the United States. I am now made something of a lion wherever I go, and I go much into society as a matter of duty. The sentiment and proceeding at the Mansion House on Wednesday last were quite remarkable. Perhaps it is just as well I received the command to dine with the queen on that day.
I am yet in ignorance as to the time when Mr. Dallas may be expected to arrive. The moment I learn he has arrived in Liverpool, I shall apply for my audience of leave and joyfully surrender the legation to him with the least possible delay.
March 7th, 1856. I received your two letters of February 15th and 19th on Monday last, on my return from Mr. Lampson's, where I went on Saturday evening. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lampson talked much and kindly of you, and desired to be remembered to you. ... I shall expect Mr. Dallas about the middle of next week, and intend soon after his arrival to cross over to Paris. I hope to be at home some time in April, but when, I cannot now inform you.
I am glad to learn that you purpose to go to New York. It was very kind in you to jog my memory about what I should bring you from Paris. I know not what may be the result. Nous verrons.
Becky Smith is a damsel in distress, intelligent and agreeable, and a countrywoman in a strange land. Her conduct in London has been unexceptionable and she is making her way in the world. She has my sympathy, and I have given her “a lift ” whenever I could with propriety.
I delivered your letter to the Duchess of Somerset on Monday last, and she was delighted with it. She handed it to me to read. It was well and feelingly written. I was sorry to perceive that you complained of your health, but you will, I trust, come out with the birds in the spring, restored and renovated. I am pleased with what you say concerning Senator Welsh. In writing to me, I think you had better direct to me at Paris, to the care of Mr. Mason, giving him his appropriate style, and you need not pay the postage; better not, indeed. But you will scarcely have time to write a single letter there before I shall have probably left. I shall continue to write to you, but you need not continue to write to me more than once after the receipt of this, unless I should advise you differently by tho pext steamer.
Mr. Bates is quite unwell, and I fear he is breaking up very fast. At the wedding of Miss Sturgis the other day, as I approached to take my seat beside Madame Van de Weyer, she said : “ Unwilling as you may be, you are now compelled to sit beside me.” Of course I replied that this was no compulsion, but a great privilege. Mrs. Bates complained much that Mrs Lawrence has not written to her.
March 14, 1856. I tell you the simple truth when I say I have no time to-day to write to you at length. Mr. Dallas arrived at Liverpool yesterday afternoon, and is to leave there to-morrow at nine for London; so the consul telegraphed to me. I have heard nothing from him since his appointment. I expect an audience of leave from the queen early next week, and shall then, God willing, pass over to the continent.
I have this morning received your two letters of the 25th and 29th, and congratulate you on your arrival in New York. I hope you may have an agreeable time of it. Your letter of the 25th is excellent. I like its tone and manner very much and am sorry I have not time to write you at length in reply. I am also pleased with that of the 29th. I send by the bag the daguerreotype of our excellent friend, Mrs. Shapter. I have had mine taken for her. I think hers is very good. I saw her yesterday in greatly improved health and in fine spirits.
March 18, 1856. The queen at my audience of leave on Saturday, desired to be kindly remembered to you.
The Marquis of Lansdowne at parting from me said: "If Miss Lane should have the kindness to remember me, do me the honor to lay me at her feet."
Old Robert Owen came in and has kept me so long that I must cut this letter short. I go to Paris, God willing, on Thursday next, in company with Messrs. Campbell and Croshey our consuls. I send a letter from James which I have received open.
BRUSSELS, March 27, 1856. I write this in the legation of Colonel Siebels. He and I intend to go tomorrow to the Hague on a visit to Mr. Belmont, from which I propose to return to Paris on Tuesday or Wednesday next. It is my purpose, God willing, to leave for Havre for home in the Arago on Wednesday, the 9th of April. I do not believe that a more comfortable vessel, or a better or safer captain exists. All who have crossed the Atlantic with him speak in the same terms both of his ship and himself.
I shall return to Mr. Mason's at Paris, because I could not do otherwise without giving offence. What a charming family it is. Judge Mason, though somewhat disabled, has a much more healthy appearance, and in the face resembles much more his former self, than he did when attending the Ostend conference. The redness and sometimes blueness of his face have disappeared, and he now looks as he did in former years.
I shall defer all accounts of my doings on the continent until after we meet. I
may not write to you once more before embarking. You might let Eskridge and Miss Hetty know at what time I shall probably be at home, though I do not wish it to be noised abroad. You cannot calculate our passage to be less than two weeks. Should I reach my native shore on my birth-day, the 23d April, I shall thank God and be content. The Arago takes the southern route to keep clear of the ice.
RETURN TO AMERICA-NOMINATION AND ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY
-SIGNIFICANCE OF MR. BUCHANAN'S ELECTION IN RESPECT TO THE
R. BUCHANAN arrived at New York in the latter part
of April, 1856, and there met with a public reception from the authorities and people of the city, which evinced the interest that now began to be everywhere manifested in him as the probable future President. With what feelings he himself regarded the prospect of his nomination by his party, and his election, has appeared from his unreserved communications with his friends. That he did not make efforts to secure the nomination will presently appear upon other testimony than his own. He reached Wheatland in the last week of April, and there he remained a very quiet observer of what was taking place in the political world. Before he left England, he had been informed that a Democratic convention of his own State had unanimously declared him to be the first choice of the Pennsylvania Democrats for the Presidency. To this he had made no formal or public response; but on the 8th of June he was waited upon by a committee from this convention, and he then addressed them as follows:
I thank you, with all my heart, for the kind terms in which, under a resolution of the late Democratic State Convention, you have informed me that I am “ their unanimous choice for the next Presidency.”
When the proceedings of your convention reached me in a foreign land, they excited emotions of titude which I might in vain attempt to express. This was not because the Democracy of my much-loved State had by their own spontaneous movement placed me in nomination for the Presidency, an honor which I had not sought, but because this nomination constitutes of itself the highest evidence that, after a long course of public services, my public conduct has been approved by those to whom I am indebted, under Providence, for all the offices and honors I have ever enjoyed. In success and in defeat, in the sunshine and in the storm, they have ever been the same kind friends to me, and I value their continued confidence and good opinion far above the highest official honors of my country.
The duties of the President, whomsoever he may be, have been clearly and ably indicated by the admirable resolutions of the convention which you have just presented to me, and all of which, without reference to those merely personal to myself, I heartily adopt. Indeed, they met my cordial approbation from the moment when I first perused them on the other side of the Atlantic. They constitute a platform broad, national, and conservative, and one eminently worthy of the Democracy of our great and good old State.
These resolutions, carried into execution with inflexibility and perseverance, precluding all hope of changes, and yet in a kindly spirit, will ere long allay the dangerous excitement which has for some years prevailed on the subject of domestic slavery, and again unite all portions of our common country in the ancient bonds of brotherly affection, under the flag of the Constitution and the Union.
The Democratic National Convention assembled at Cincinnati soon afterwards, and from a gentleman who was present, although not a member of the body—my friend, Mr. S. L. M. Barlow of New York-I have received an account of what took place, which I prefer to quote rather than to give one of my own, which could only be compiled from the public journals of the time:
In February, 1856, I was in London, with a portion of my family, and liad lodgings at Fenton's Hotel, St. James Street. Shortly after I reached London, Mr. Buchanan, who was then our minister at the court of St. James, gave up his own residence and came to the same hotel with us, where for some weeks he remained, taking his meals in our rooms. I had known Mr. Buchanan for some years, but never intimately until this time. During my stay in London, I became much interested in his nomination for the Presidency, and frequently spoke to him about the action of the National Democratic Convention to be held in Cincinnati in June, 1856, and expressed to him the hope that he would be the nominee of the party. He said that so great an honor could hardly be expected to fall to his lot, as he had made little effort to secure the nomination, and his absence for so long a time from home had prevented any organization of his friends to that end, save what Mr. Slidell in Louisiana, Mr. Schell in New York, and bis own nearest political friends in Pennsylvania, had been able to effect, and that he thought it very unlikely that he could receive the nomination. After a few weeks in London,
Mr. Buchanan joined us in a visit to the continent, remaining in Paris about ten days, and he then embarked for the United States.
I returned to New York in the early part of May, and shortly afterwards went to Cincinnati, upon business connected with an unfinished railroad, in which I was interested, and as the day for the meeting of the convention approached, I was surprised to find a lack of all organization on behalf of the friends of Mr. Buchanan, and was satisfied that his nomination was impossible, unless earnest efforts to that end were made, and at once.
I had taken a large dwelling-house in Cincinnati for my own temporary use, and shortly before the meeting of the convention, I wrote to my political friends in Washington who were friendly to him, telling them the condition of things, and that unless they came to Cincinnati without delay, I thought Mr. Buchanan stood no chance for the nomination. Among others I wrote to Mr. Slidell, Mr. Benjamin, Mr. James A. Bayard, and Mr. Bright, all of whom were then in the United States Senate. I promised them accommodations at my house, and, much to my gratification, they all answered that they would make up a party and come to Cincinnati, to reach there the day before the meeting of the convention. Before the time of their arrival, prominent Democrats from all sections of the country had reached Cincinnati, and the friends of Mr. Douglas were very prominent in asserting his claims to the nomination, through thoroughly organized and noisy committees.
A consultation was held at my house, the evening before the meeting of the convention, and it was evident that if the New York delegation, represented by Mr. Dean Richmond and his associates, who were known as the “Softs," secured seats, that the nomination of Mr. Douglas was inevitable. The other branch of the New York Democrats, who called themselves “ Hards," was represented by Mr. Schell as the head of that organization.
When the convention was organized, Senator James A. Bayard, of Delaware, was made chairman of the Committee on Credentials, and to that committee was referred the claims of the two rival Democratic delegations from New York. The remainder of that day, and much of the night following, were passed in the earnest and noisy presentation of the claims of these two factions to be represented in the convention, each to the exclusion of the other, and it was soon discovered that a majority of this committee was in favor of the “Soft,” or Douglas delegation. A minority of this committee, headed by Mr. Bayard, favored the admission of one-half of the delegates of each branch of the party, so that the vote of New York in the convention might be thereby equally divided between Mr. Douglas and Mr. Buchanan. The preparation of the minority report to this end occupied all the night, and it was not completed until nine o'clock of the following morning, the hour of the meeting of the convention. So soon as we could copy this report, I took it to Mr. Bayard, the convention being already in session.
On the presentation of the majority, or Douglas' report, it was moved by the friends of Mr. Buchanan that the minority report should be substituted, and this motion, after a close vote, was adopted by the convention. As was