ABRAHAM LINCOLN employed numerous Irish when he took over as president in 1860. Some were to play a major role in his life. Here is a chapter eight extract from Irish Voice publisher Niall O’Dowd’s new book Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story of How the Irish Helped Abraham Lincoln Save the Union.
THE election of 1860 was never close, with the pro-slavery vote badly split. Abraham Lincoln took 40 per cent of the vote, with Stephen A. Douglas second at 30 per cent. Douglas was the only candidate to win both a pro and anti-slave state.
He won the Irish Catholic vote overwhelmingly, both North and South.
Many Irish organisations stood guard during his rallies; there is one description of Ancient Order of Hibernian members forming a protective phalanx around him.
As Douglas faded from history (he would die a year later), Lincoln emerged in his full pomp.
On his first day in the White House, accompanied by his outgoing predecessor James Buchanan (arguably the worst president in history), they arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where usually the only security was the elderly Irish doorman Edward McManus. Old Edward had served every president since either Jackson or Polk, depending on the historian.
Read the full article here