Friday, May 08, 2009

Then, as now, the democrat elites, both north and south, exploited the vulnerable for political gain, while endangering the country.

Republicans first call Abraham Lincoln "the Rail Splitter"

On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln acquired the nickname the Rail Splitter.

The Illinois Republican Party convention began with a grand gesture. At the invitation of the chairman, Governor Richard Oglesby, two childhood friends of Lincoln carried in two wooden rails he was said to have split thirty years earlier. Delegates then lifted Lincoln on their shoulders and carried him to the stage. The Republican dubbed him the Rail Splitter.

Meeting just a week before the Republican National Convention, the state convention helped propel Lincoln to the presidential nomination. Delegates voted to give him their unanimous support:

"Abraham Lincoln is the first choice of the Republicans of Illinois for the Presidency and their delegates are instructed to use every honorable means to secure his nomination, and to cast the vote of the state as a unit for him."

This image of Abraham Lincoln the Rail Splitter was a signal that, unlike the Democrats, Republicans revered the free market system and people who worked for a living. It also contrasted Lincoln's working-class sensibilities with the elitism of his Democrat opponent, Stephen Douglas, owner of a slave plantation in Mississippi.