Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99


Wars and Interventions
Should Lincoln have kept his first VP?
Should Lincoln have kept his first VP?

The other day I found myself at the famous Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago, talking about my latest effort, a history on the evolution of the American vice presidency. The visit brought to mind a little-discussed Lincoln story in the book that I will convey here in necessarily abbreviated form. In 1864, as Lincoln faced the challenge of re-election and the Civil War still raged, he decided unbeknownst to his first-term vice president, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, to replace him for his second term with a Southern War Democrat — that is, a Democrat who had opposed secession from the Union. Lincoln feared that without Southern support, he would lose the election before he could...