Back to top

John C. Frémont, Letter announcing his withdrawal from the Presidential Election, September 21, 1864

John Charles Fremont, bust view, detail
Radical Republicans, allied with some War Democrats under the name Radical Democracy Party, had nominated John C. Frémont for President in early June, with John Cochrane of New York as his running mate. This split the Republican vote badly. As the presidential election drew nearer and the prospects of the success of the McClellan-Pendleton Democratic ticket grew, Frémont decided to withdraw, as he said "not to aid in the triumphs of Mr. Lincoln, but to do my part toward preventing the election of the Democratic candidate." He was in no way reconciled with President Lincoln, saying "I consider that his Administration has been politically, militarily and financially, a failure, and that its necessary continuance is a cause of regret for the country." Cochrane followed suit the same day. This healing of the split in Republican votes achieved the desired result in November, when Lincoln easily won the general election. (By John Osborne)

Tabs