Excerpt From "Lincoln and the Jews" by Markens (PAJHS, v. 17 (1909), 139-141) about Moritz Pinner

Placed in DZ's website: July 19, 2000.

In the Republican State Convention held at St. Louis on March 10, 1860, Moritz Pinner, one of its members, was elected delegate to the National Republican Convention to be held in Chicago the following May. Pinner was a young German of thirty-two engaged in the publication of a German newspaper devoted to anti-slavery causes. The St. Louis Republican of March 11, 1860, gives a detailed account in which Pinner seems to have been very prominent, being especially active in his efforts to defeat the endorsement of Edward Bates of Missouri for the Presidency. The friends of Bates, constituting a majority in the Missouri Convention, having introduced a resolution instructing the national delegates to vote as a unit for the Presidential nominee, Pinner announced his resignation as a delegate to Chicago, the convention immediately adjourning without taking action thereon, thus leaving him free to attend the National Convention where he further devoted his attention to the prevention of Bates' endorsement by the Illinois delegation. This being accomplished he took no further part in the deliberations of the convention and kept aloof from the Missouri delegation, whose leaders Frank P. Blair and B. Gratz Brown he had antagonized in their efforts to secure the nomination of Bates. The consequence was that he failed to record his vote on either of the three ballots which resulted in the choice of Lincoln.

Pinner's name does not appear on the official roll of Missouri delegates to the convention. This omission he explains to the writer as "spite work" of Gratz Brown for his anti Bates activity. Pinner favored the nomination of William H. Seward, but now in the light of history is extremely thankful that Lincoln was nominated and elected. While he made no effort to secure Lincoln's nomination he worked earnestly for his election and claimed that "by preventing the nomination of Bates he paved the way for Lincoln and made his nomination possible and his election probable."

Pinner informs the writer that he became acquainted with Lincoln in Chicago during the Presidential campaign of 1856 and saw him quite often during the Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858. After Lincoln's nomination he met him in Springfield and was there introduced to Mrs. Lincoln with whom he had a pleasant chat. He frequently saw the President after his election and was by him offered the mission to Honduras which he declined, preferring to enter the army. Appointed by General Philip Kearny Brigade Quartermaster on his staff, Secretary Stanton resented Kearny's action, claiming the sole right of such appointments. An appeal to Lincoln followed. The latter's intervention, Pinner says, secured a prompt adjustment of the controversy but not before its consideration by a full cabinet meeting called for that purpose. Pinner's commission followed at once. This document, signed by Lincoln and Stanton, he has shown to the writer. Since the war, Pinner has been engaged in real estate enterprises and the study of economic questions. He is now living in Elizabeth, N.J.

Note added by DZ (3/22/02): The original had an error that I corrected , it stated that the stae convention was held Feb. 10, 1860, and the account in the Daily Missouri Republican was Feb. 11, 1860. The correct dates are as above.
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