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States Senator Abraham Lincoln met in confidence with the general of the
Illinois State Militia at Lincoln's home in Illinois' capitol,
Springfield. The military man advised Lincoln that the State of Egypt
(Illinois' neighbor to the immediate South) had preemptively mobilized to
form a defensive force against possible aggressive action by Illinois'
volunteer amateur soldiers.
The instigation behind the unprecedented action was the presidential
election of 1860, which was being settled that day. Lincoln was the vice
presidential running mate to Salmon P. Chase, and passed on to Chase news
about slave power advocates readying themselves in Egypt for striking the
first blow in a war for the creation of a slaveowner's republic.
"If Lincoln was cheated out of the Republican
nomination in 1860 then that man would have inherited the Civil war.
Sorry! That's what you get for cheating! The U.S would have been cheated
out of being a union and divided in a least 2 different countries. We, the
citizens would have been cheated out of a great president. Just as we were
cheated out of a great president in 1964 when Barry Goldwater lost. Just
my opinion. " - reader's comments
"Egypt was the northernmost of the
Slave Border states, and brawls and riots over the legal status of Negroes
were commonplace events there. In the previous decade, politics in Cairo
had grown steadily more frothy with the approach of the War Over Slavery.
And now Lincoln heard that an invasion of Egyptians was being planned.
Supposedly, there was to be an invasion of Springfield with an aim to
kidnap Abraham Lincoln and bring him into Egypt as a prisoner.
Lincoln several times said that he felt there was no substance to the
speculation that he was planned as a target of violence. "I've been in
Washington these last two years and know that the secessionists are not
going to start bloodshed when they plan to avoid such trouble all
together," said Lincoln. "Ah . . . "Egypt"? I find
that an unlikely name for a U.S. state, no matter what towns and cities
might be called. And if President-elect Chase allowed himself to be
intimidated out of taking the oath in Washington, his administration would
never recover, and neither would his personal reputation--and the
Confederacy would have won an important symbolic victory right at the
start. Nor would Lincoln have had to be "cheated" out of the Republican
nomination. His selection came as a surprise (shock, really) to many
people, considering his previous obscurity. Re Scott Palter's remark: in
this scenario, it isn't clear that Grant is a "Confederate/slavery
diehard." His motivation for attempting to shoot VP-elect Lincoln remains
obscure. (To me, anyway.)" - reader's comments
Even so, Lincoln
consulted with his friends and they mobilized "Wide Awakes," volunteer
marchers who planned to mount guard around Lincoln's House and stand
discreetly alongside the Lincolns.
"If the cheating was wide-open, there'd have been
bloodshed on that issue alone. By 1860 the whole situation was becoming
increasingly volatile, and open cheating on the Presidential election
would have been like a fireworks display in an oil refinery. " - reader's
Late that evening, as the telegraph showed the Republicans
(Chase and Lincoln) defeated the Democrats (Breckingridge and Seymour),
there was a gunshot at the Lincoln's and a man who was a stranger to
Lincoln was fatally wounded. That man, a military retiree named Grant, was
accused of trying to barge into Lincoln's home at roughly ten PM that
night, carrying a loaded revolver and smelling of the consumption of
liquor. Whether or not ex-Captain Grant had been an emissary from Egypt
has never been settled.
Before the time of the Chase and Lincoln inauguration came about in the
following March, horse and foot soldiers of both Illinois and Egypt fought
in confrontations that grew in size to the actions of battalions. On the
advice of Pinkerton's security detectives, President-Elect Chase chose not
to go to Washington but to take his oath of office in Philadelphia, PA, (A
reluctant Lincoln obeyed his instructions from Chase, and also failed to
show in Washington DC.) As an outcome of that security decision, the
secessionist executive (Breckingridge, supplemented now by new VP
Stephens) took up their offices in Washington DC and awaited a challenge
from the legal government.