Plain Talk from a Republican

January 1, 1868


The election of 1868 is prefaced and potential presidential candidates are mentioned. There are predictions made that the Republican party will be drastically beaten if they choose the wrong candidate and platform.


Plain ' Talk from a Republican.-A Radical paper in New York having charged Mr. Raymond with a desire to "get back to the Republicans the best way he can," because he begins to understand that they are going to elect the next President, the New York Times (Mr. Raymond's paper) replies as follows: "As things stand to-day, with universal negro suffrage to be forced upon the southern States by military power as the condition their restoration to the, Union, and in the uncertain tone and temper of the Republican party on the finance questions before the country a Republican defeat is not only 'reasonable,' but it may be called brilliant. What Congress may do to change it, remains to be seen; but if the National Convention takes up the party just where it stands now-if it adopts a Radical platform and nominates a Radical candidate-we venture the prediction that it will be beaten more disastrously than the Whigs were in 1852, or than the Democrats were in 1860. Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan, may vote for a Radical President on a Radical platform; it would be rash to place reliance upon any other northern or western State. "If the Republicans will content themselves with holding the ground they won by the war, and will take as their candidate the man who did the most to help them win it, they can carry the President till election; if not, they can't. Even General Grant, on an ultra Radical platform, would be beaten by General Hancock on a platform which should recognize the real achievements and results of the war, provide wisely for such an extension of rights and political power as the necessities of the day demand, and restore the Union on the basis of the Constitution and in the spirit of harmony in which it was formed." The last remark is an unnecessary amplification of one we have several times made-namely, that Grant, upon a negro suffrage platform, could easily be beaten by Hancock or Sherman upon a white man's platform. We remarked yesterday that the Republicans were too wise to run two candidates for the presidency for the purpose of throwing the election into the House of Representatives." Upon this point Mr. Greeley, the leader of the Chase faction speaks as follows: Come right to "We believe we know Mr. Chase, and speak for the Times and to whom we beg to that they intend to support it may be nominated for the presidency by the Republican Convention to be held in Chicago on the 20th day of May next ensuing. "We trust Mr. Chase may receive that nomination; but whether he does or not, the candidate will be heartily supported by him as well as his friends. There need be no concern on that score." The Democrats need not apprehend the want of a chance to make a fair fight, so far as a battle between but two candidates can make it so. The Radicals of the South will all support the Radical candidate, whether it be Chase, or Grant, or Butler; and it will not be necessary, in order to secure their votes, to nominate a particular candidate. The Bureau can carry them for any candidate whatever. We doubt not that, if so inclined, the Freedmen's Bureau could induce the negroes to vote for Fernando Wood. Those Democrats, therefore, who suppose that a candidate acceptable to the negroes must be nominated by the Republicans are totally in the dark as to the character of Sambo and his qualifications as a voter.
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Mallory Haskins




“Plain Talk from a Republican,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 24, 2022,