li NHH George McClellan

President George B. McClellan


George B. McClellan (1826 -   ) was the 17th President of the United States and a major general during the Civil War. McClellan joined the army on the side of the Union very early in the war, and was handpicked by President Lincoln to lead the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia.

After Lincoln's failure to defeat the Confederate States in the Civil War, McClellan announced his decision to seek the Democratic nomination in the Election of 1864. McClellan won the election on a pro-war campaign, as Lincoln had stated that he planned to avoid a second war at all costs. Upon his victory, McClellan set up clear demands with the South, including an immediate end to the slave trade and slavery in North America. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Charlotte in 1865, which promised an end to slavery, but accomplished little in practice.

After the signing of this treaty, the McClellan administration, as many viewed it, was on the road to self-destruction. He signed legislation making it more difficult for states to return to the Union, failed to act when President Davis of the CSA (Confederate States of America) went on a lynching rampage through Georgia, and threatened to block the 14th Amendment from becoming law.

The elections of 1866 brought in a Republican wave in response to McClellan's administration, therefore preventing any progress for two years. McClellan voiced his support of the Confederate occupation of Cuba, but resented the United States' decision to not "grab the island first." McClellan lost the Democratic nomination in 1868 to Governor of New York Horatio Seymour, who would go on to lose the election to Republican John Fremont.

McClellan remained popular in conservative circles, but is widely recognized as a Confederate sympathizer and a failure for not taking immediate action against the South as promised in his campaign. He remains influential in the Democratic Party, endorsing pro-war candidates, including Samuel Tilden in 1880.