We can thank Paris Hill resident Tony Kleitz for this wonderful piece of history he discovered at the Maine State Archives in Augusta. It is a copy of the letter Hannibal Hamlin’s father in law, Stephen Emery, wrote to him upon his election in 1860 as Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President. It reads as follows:
“Auburn, Nov. 7, 1860
Language is almost powerless to express my joy at the result of yesterday’s labor, and I should do violence to my feelings, were I to neglect to express that joy to you, altho’ you will be nearly overwhelmed with congratulatory letters. My better way perhaps would be to rejoice in silence, but the very “stones” should be permitted “to cry out” in shouts of exultation. O, how glorious the triumph!
“The powers of Hell are captive led, dragged from the portals of the sky.”
My faith in human nature, which years of rascality & barefaced corruption had gradually but steadily impaired, is renewed again and hope our country & the right return with beaming eye and elevated crest. May the victory now won be used wisely & well, and become as memorable for lasting good, as it is gratifying to the feelings.
Please say to Dear Ellie, I rec’d her letter yesterday. I thank her very much for it. May Heaven guide, and keep, and bless you all.
Your affec. father
Hope I shall see you before many weeks. Burlingame, who has vindicated the honor of Massachusetts, and promoted her interest, with singular ability & fidelity, is sacrificed by a cold, heartless, corrupt aristocracy. Shame, shame, on such base ingratitude!”
Would you like to know more about the presidential election of 1860? If so, come on out to our program, “Hannibal Hamlin, the 1860 Presidential Campaign, and its Impact on Paris, Maine” tomorrow night, August 9th, at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church of Paris here on Paris Hill. Hope to see you then!