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"Visit to President Lincoln by the Massachusetts Delegation"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Abraham Lincoln won Massachusetts solidly in the 1860 election, earning around two-thirds of the popular vote and all its Electoral College delegates. When the Massachusetts delegation came to him soon after his election, he was facing a friendly audience. Antislavery activism and a traditional dislike for the Democratic party led many to side with the Republicans when the party first emerged in the 1856 election. For the next sixty years Massachusetts would remain solidly Republican. After the delegation left the president they visited Gen. Winfield Scott (1786-1866), the general-in-chief of the army. Scott had been a hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Just eight days before this report was printed in the Greenfield Gazette, Scott had submitted four possible plans to deal with secession. One which argued that to reconquer the south it would take two or three years, 300,000 men and a remarkable leader; in exchange it would leave "15 devastated provinces" that would have to be "held, for generations, by heavy garrisons." Although this report was discounted it proved entirely correct except on one point: direct garrisoning of the south ended after only ten years.


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