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Title: Life of Abraham Lincoln - Sixteenth President of the United States
Author: Crosby, Frank
Language: English
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  “If this country cannot be saved without giving up the principle of
  Liberty, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this
  spot than surrender it.”

      _From Mr. Lincoln’s Speech at Independence Hall, Philadelphia,
      February 21, 1861._

  “I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and
  half free.”

      _Springfield, Illinois, June, 1858._

  “I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and
  the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with
  the original idea for which the Revolution was made.”

      _Trenton, New Jersey, February 21, 1861._

  “Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure
  purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear
  and with manly hearts.”

      _Message, July 5, 1861._

  “In giving freedom to the slaves, we assure freedom to the free;
  honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.”

      _Message, December 1, 1862._

  “I hope peace will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to
  be worth the keeping in all future time.”

      _Springfield Letter, August 26, 1863._

  “The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here;
  but it can never forget what the brave men, living and dead, did

      _Speech at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863._

  “I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation
  Proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is
  free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the Acts of

      _Amnesty Proclamation, December 8, 1863._

  “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that
  events have controlled me.”

      _Letter to A. G. Hodges, April 4, 1864._

  “With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in
  the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to
  finish the work we are in.”

      _Last Inaugural, March 4, 1865._








    310-318 SIXTH AVENUE






An attempt has been made in the following pages to portray Abraham
Lincoln, mainly in his relations to the country at large during his
eventful administration.

With this view, it has not been deemed necessary to cumber the work
with the minute details of his life prior to that time. This period
has, therefore, been but glanced at, with a care to present enough to
make a connected whole. His Congressional career and his campaign with
Senator Douglas are presented in outline, yet so, it is believed, that
a clear idea of these incidents in his life can be obtained.

After the time of his election as President, however, a different
course of treatment has been pursued. Thenceforward, to the close of
his life, especial pains have been taken to present everything which
should show him as he was--the Statesman persistent, resolute, free
from boasting or ostentation, destitute of hate, never exultant,
guarded in his prophecies, threatening none at home or abroad,
indulging in no utopian dreams of a blissful future, moving quietly,
calmly, conscientiously, irresistibly on to the end he saw with
clearest vision.

Yet, even in what is presented as a complete record of his
administration, too much must not be expected. It is impossible, for
example, to thoroughly dissect the events of the great Rebellion in
a work like the present. Nothing of the kind has been attempted. The
prominent features only have been sketched; and that solely for the
purpose of bringing into the distinct foreground him whose life is
under consideration.

Various Speeches, Proclamations, and Letters, not vitally essential
to the unity of the main body of the work, yet valuable as affording
illustrations of the man--have been collected in the Appendix.

Imperfect as this portraiture must necessarily be, there is one
conciliatory thought. The subject needs no embellishment. It furnishes
its own setting. The acts of the man speak for themselves. Only such an
arrangement is needed as shall show the bearing of each upon the other,
the development of each, the processes of growth.

Those words of the lamented dead which nestle in our hearts so
tenderly--they call for no explanation. Potent, searching, taking hold
of our consciences, they will remain with us while reason lasts.

Nor will the people’s interest be but for the moment. The baptism of
blood to which the Nation has been called, cannot be forgotten for
generations. And while memories of him abide, there will inevitably be
associated with them the placid, quiet face, not devoid of mirth--its
patient, anxious, yet withal hopeful expression--the sure, elastic
step--the clearly cut, sharply defined speech of him, who, under
Providence, was to lead us through the trial and anguish of those
bitter days to the rest and refreshing of a peace, whose dawn only,
alas! he was to see.

Though this work may not rise to the height required, it is hoped that
it is not utterly unworthy of the subject. Such as it is--a labor of
love--it is offered to those who loved and labored with the patriot
and hero, with the earnest desire that it may not be regarded an
unwarrantable intrusion upon ground on which any might hesitate to

        F. C.

    _Philadelphia, June, 1865._




  Preliminary--Birth of Abraham Lincoln--Removal from Kentucky--At
  Work--Self Education--Personal Characteristics--Another Removal
  --Trip to New Orleans--Becomes Clerk--Black Hawk War--Engages in
  Politics--Successive Elections to the Legislature--Anti-Slavery
  Protest--Commences Practice as a Lawyer--Traits of Character--
  Marriage--Return to Politics--Election to Congress                  13



  The Mexican War--Internal Improvements--Slavery in the
  District of Columbia--Public Lands--Retires to Private Life--
  Kansas-Nebraska Bill--Withdraws in Favor of Senator Trumbull--
  Formation of Republican Party--Nominated for U. S. Senator--
  Opening Speech of Mr. Lincoln--Douglas Campaign--The Canvass--
  Tribute to the Declaration of Independence--Result of the Contest   19



  Speeches in Ohio--Extract from the Cincinnati Speech--Visits
  the East--Celebrated Speech at the Cooper Institute, New
  York--Interesting Incident                                          34



  The Republican National Convention--Democratic Convention--
  Constitutional Union Convention--Ballotings at Chicago--
  The Result--Enthusiastic Reception--Visit to Springfield--
  Address and Letter of Acceptance--The Campaign--Result
  of the Election--South Carolina’s Movements--Buchanan’s
  Pusillanimity--Secession of States--Confederate Constitution--
  Peace Convention--Constitutional Amendments--Terms of the Rebels    60



  The Departure--Farewell Remarks--Speech at Toledo--At
  Indianapolis--At Cincinnati--At Columbus--At Steubenville--
  At Pittsburgh--At Cleveland--At Buffalo--At Albany--At
  Poughkeepsie--At New York--At Trenton--At Philadelphia--At
  “Independence Hall”--Flag Raising--Speech at Harrisburg--
  Secret Departure for Washington--Comments                           67



  Speeches at Washington--The Inaugural Address--Its Effect--
  The Cabinet--Commissioners from Montgomery--Extracts from A.
  H. Stephens’ Speech--Virginia Commissioners--Fall of Fort
  Sumter                                                              90



  Effects of Sumter’s Fall--President’s Call for Troops--
  Response in the Loyal States--In the Border States--Baltimore
  Riots--Maryland’s Position--President’s Letter to Maryland
  Authorities--Blockade Proclamation--Additional Proclamation--
  Comments Abroad--Second Call for Troops--Special Order for
  Florida--Military Movements                                        108



  Opening of Congress--President’s First Message--Its Nature--
  Action of Congress--Resolution Declaring the Object of the
  War--Bull Run--Its Effect                                          117


  CLOSE OF 1861.

  Election of the Rebels--Davis’ Boast--McClellan appointed
  Commander of Potomac Army--Proclamation of a National Fast--
  Intercourse with Rebels Forbidden--Fugitive Slaves--Gen.
  Butler’s Views--Gen. McClellan’s Letter from Secretary
  Cameron--Act of August 6th, 1861--Gen. Fremont’s Order--
  Letter of the President Modifying the Same--Instructions to
  Gen. Sherman--Ball’s Bluff--Gen. Scott’s Retirement--Army of
  the Potomac                                                        137


  THE CONGRESS OF 1861-62.

  The Military Situation--Seizure of Mason and Slidell--
  Opposition to the Administration--President’s Message--
  Financial Legislation--Committee on the Conduct of the War--
  Confiscation Bill                                                  148



  Situation of the President--His Policy--Gradual Emancipation--
  Message--Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia--
  Repudiation of Gen. Hunter’s Emancipation Order--Conference with
  Congressmen from the Border Slave States--Address to the Same--
  Military Order--Proclamation under the Conscription Act            171



  President’s War Order--Reason for the Same--Results in West
  and South-west--Army of the Potomac--Presidential Orders--
  Letter to McClellan--Order for Army Corps--The Issue of the
  Campaign--Unfortunate Circumstances--President’s Speech
  at Union Meeting--Comments--Operations in Virginia and
  Maryland--In the West and South-west                               181



  Tribune Editorial--Letter to Mr. Greeley--Announcement of the
  Emancipation Proclamation--Suspension of the _Habeas Corpus_
  in certain Cases--Order for Observance of the Sabbath--The
  Emancipation Proclamation                                          190



  Situation of the Country--Opposition to the Administration--
  President’s Message                                                199



  Military Successes--Favorable Elections--Emancipation Policy--
  Letter to Manchester (Eng.) Workingmen--Proclamation for a
  National Fast--Letter to Erastus Corning--Letter to a Committee
  on Recalling Vallandigham                                          226



  Speech at Washington--Letter to Gen. Grant--Thanksgiving
  Proclamation--Letter Concerning the Emancipation Proclamation--
  Proclamation for Annual Thanksgiving--Dedicatory Speech at
  Gettysburg                                                         242



  Organization of the House--Different Opinions as to
  Reconstruction--Provisions for Pardon of Rebels--President’s
  Proclamation of Pardon--Annual Message--Explanatory
  Proclamation                                                       263



  President’s Speech at Washington--Speech to a New York
  Committee--Speech in Baltimore--Letter to a Kentuckian--
  Employment of Colored Troops--Davis’ Threat--General Order--
  President’s Order on the Subject                                   275



  Lieut. Gen. Grant--His Military Record--Continued Movements--
  Correspondence with the President--Across the Rapidan--
  Richmond Invested--President’s Letter to a Grant Meeting--
  Meeting of Republican National Convention--The Platform--
  The Nomination--Mr. Lincoln’s Reply to the Committee of
  Notification--Remarks to Union League Committee--Speech at a
  Serenade--Speech to Ohio Troops                                    285



  President’s Speech at Philadelphia--Philadelphia Fair--
  Correspondence with Committee of National Convention--
  Proclamation of Martial Law in Kentucky--Question of
  Reconstruction--President’s Proclamation on the Subject--
  Congressional Plan                                                 298



  Proclamation for a Fast--Speech to Soldiers--Another Speech--
  “To Whom it may Concern”--Chicago Convention--Opposition
  Embarrassed--Resolution No. 2--McClellan’s Acceptance--
  Capture of the Mobile Forts and Atlanta--Proclamation for
  Thanksgiving--Remarks on Employment of Negro Soldiers--
  Address to Loyal Marylanders                                       314



  Presidential Campaign of 1864--Fremont’s Withdrawal--Wade
  and Davis--Peace and War Democrats--Rebel Sympathizers--
  October Election--Result of Presidential Election--Speech to
  Pennsylvanians--Speech at a Serenade--Letter to a Soldier’s
  Mother--Opening of Congress--Last Annual Message                   325



  Speech at a Serenade--Reply to a Presentation Address--Peace
  Rumors--Rebel Commissioners--Instructions to Secretary
  Seward--The Conference in Hampton Roads--Result--Extra
  Session of the Senate--Military Situation--Sherman--
  Charleston--Columbia--Wilmington--Fort Fisher--Sheridan--
  Grant--Rebel Congress--Second Inauguration--Inaugural--
  English Comment--Proclamation to Deserters                         350



  President Visits City Point--Lee’s Failure--Grant’s Movement--
  Abraham Lincoln in Richmond--Lee’s Surrender--President’s
  Impromptu Speech--Speech on Reconstruction--Proclamation Closing
  Certain Ports--Proclamation Relative to Maritime Rights--
  Supplementary Proclamation--Orders from the War Department--
  The Traitor President                                              362



  Interview with Mr. Colfax--Cabinet Meeting--Incident--
  Evening Conversation--Possibility of Assassination--Leaves
  for the Theatre--In the Theatre--Precautions for the
  Murder--The Pistol Shot--Escape of the Assassin--Death of
  the President--Pledges Redeemed--Situation of the Country--
  Effect of the Murder--Obsequies at Washington--Borne Home--
  Grief of the People--At Rest                                       374



  Reasons for His Re-election--What was Accomplished--Leaning on
  the People--State Papers--His Tenacity of Purpose--Washington
  and Lincoln--As a Man--Favorite Poem--Autobiography--His Modesty
  --A Christian--Conclusion                                          382


  Mr. Lincoln’s Speeches in Congress and Elsewhere, Proclamations,
    Letters, etc., not included in the Body of the Work.

  Speech on the Mexican War, (In Congress, Jan. 12, 1848)            391

  Speech on Internal Improvements, (In Congress, June 20, 1848)

  Speech on the Presidency and General Politics, (In Congress,
    July 27, 1848)                                                   417

  Speech in Reply to Mr. Douglas, on Kansas, the Dred Scott
    Decision, and the Utah Question, (At Springfield, June 26,
    1857)                                                            431

  Speech in Reply to Senator Douglas, (At Chicago, July 10, 1858)    442

  Opening Passages of his Speech at Freeport                         459

  Letter to Gen. McClellan                                           464

  Letter to Gen. Schofield Relative to the Removal of Gen. Curtis    466

  Three Hundred Thousand Men Called For                              466

  Rev. Dr. McPheeters--President’s Reply to an Appeal for
    Interference                                                     468

  An Election Ordered in the State of Arkansas                       470

  Letter to William Fishback on the Election in Arkansas             471

  Call for Five Hundred Thousand Men                                 471

  Letter to Mrs. Gurney                                              473

  The Tennessee Test Oath                                            474




  Preliminary--Birth of Abraham Lincoln--Removal from Kentucky--
  At Work--Self Education--Personal Characteristics--Another
  Removal--Trip to New Orleans--Becomes Clerk--Black Hawk War--
  Engages in Politics--Successive Elections to the Legislature--
  Anti-Slavery Protest--Commences Practice as a Lawyer--Traits of
  Character--Marriage--Return to Politics--Election to Congress.

The leading incidents in the early life of the men who have most
decidedly influenced the destinies of our republic, present a striking
similarity. The details, indeed, differ; but the story, in outline, is
the same--“the short and simple annals of the poor.”

Of obscure parentage--accustomed to toil from their tender years--with
few facilities for the education of the school--the most struggled
on, independent, self-reliant, till by their own right hands they had
hewed their way to the positions for which their individual talents
and peculiarities stamped them as best fitted. Children of nature,
rather than of art, they have ever in their later years--amid scenes
and associations entirely dissimilar to those with which in youth and
early manhood, they were familiar--retained somewhat indicative of
their origin and training. In speech or in action--often in both--they
have smacked of their native soil. If they have lacked the grace of
the courtier, ample compensation has been afforded in the honesty of
the man. If their address was at times abrupt, it was at least frank
and unmistakable. Both friend and foe knew exactly where to find them.
Unskilled in the doublings of the mere politician or the trimmer, they
have borne themselves straight forward to the points whither their
judgment and conscience directed. Such men may have been deemed fit
subjects for the jests and sneers of more cultivated Europeans, but
they are none the less dear to us as Americans--will none the less take
their place among those whose names the good, throughout the world,
will not willingly let die.

Of this class, pre-eminently, was the statesman whose life and public
services the following pages are to exhibit.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Sixteenth President of the United States, son
of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln--the former a Kentuckian, the latter
a Virginian--was born February 12th, 1809, near Hodgenville, the
county-seat of what is now known as La Rue county, Kentucky. He had one
sister, two years his senior, who died, married, in early womanhood;
and his only brother, his junior by two years, died in childhood.

When nine years of age, he lost his mother, the family having, two
years previously, removed to what was then the territory of Indiana,
and settled in the southern part, near the Ohio river, about midway
between Louisville and Evansville. The thirteen years which the lad
spent here inured him to all the exposures and hardships of frontier
life. An active assistant in farm duties, he neglected no opportunity
of strengthening his mind, reading with avidity such instructive works
as he could procure--on winter evenings, oftentimes, by the light of
the blazing fire-place. As satisfaction for damage accidentally done to
a borrowed copy of Weems’ Life of Washington--the only one known to be
in the neighborhood--he pulled fodder for two days for the owner.

At twenty years of age, he had reached the height of nearly six feet
and four inches, with a comparatively slender yet uncommonly strong
muscular frame--a youthful giant among a race of giants. Morally, he
was proverbially honest, conscientious, and upright.

In 1830, his father again emigrated, halting for a year on the north
fork of the Sangamon river, Illinois, but afterwards pushing on to
Coles county, some seventy miles to the eastward, on the upper waters
of the Kaskaskia and Embarrass, where his adventurous life ended in
1851, he being in his seventy-third year. The first year in Illinois
the son spent with the father; the next he aided in constructing
a flat-boat, on which, with other hands, a successful trip to New
Orleans and back was made. This city--then the El Dorado of the Western
frontiersman--had been visited by the young man, in the same capacity,
when he was nineteen years of age.

Returning from this expedition, he acted for a year as clerk for
his former employer, who was engaged in a store and flouring mill
at New Salem, twenty miles below Springfield. While thus occupied,
tidings reached him of an Indian invasion on the western border of
the State--since known as the Black Hawk war, from an old Sac chief
of that name, who was the prominent mover in the matter. In New Salem
and vicinity, a company of volunteers was promptly raised, of which
young Lincoln was elected captain--his first promotion. The company,
however, having disbanded, he again enlisted as a private, and during
the three months’ service of this, his first short military campaign,
he faithfully discharged his duty to his country, persevering amid
peculiar hardships and against the influences of older men around him.

With characteristic humor and sarcasm, while commenting, in a
Congressional speech during the canvass of 1848, upon the efforts of
General Cass’s biographers to exalt their idol into a military hero, he
thus alluded to this episode in his life:

“By the way, Mr. Speaker, did you know I am a military hero? Yes, sir,
in the days of the Black Hawk war, I fought, bled, and came away.
Speaking of General Cass’s career, reminds me of my own. I was not
at Stillman’s defeat, but I was about as near it as Cass to Hull’s
surrender; and like him, I saw the place very soon afterward. It is
quite certain I did not break my sword, for I had none to break; but I
bent a musket pretty badly on one occasion. If Cass broke his sword,
the idea is, he broke it in desperation; I bent the musket by accident.
If General Cass went in advance of me in picking whortleberries, I
guess I surpassed him in charges upon the wild onions. If he saw any
live, fighting Indians, it was more than I did, but I had a good many
bloody struggles with the mosquitoes; and although I never fainted from
loss of blood, I can truly say I was often very hungry.

“Mr. Speaker, if I should ever conclude to doff whatever our Democratic
friends may suppose there is of black-cockade Federalism about me,
and, thereupon, they should take me up as their candidate for the
Presidency, I protest they shall not make fun of me as they have of
General Cass, by attempting to write me into a military hero.”

This bit of adventure over, Mr. Lincoln--who had determined to become a
lawyer, in common with most energetic, enterprising young men of that
period and section--embarked in politics, warmly espousing the cause
of Henry Clay, in a State at that time decidedly opposed to his great
leader, and received a gratifying evidence of his personal popularity
where he was best known, in securing an almost unanimous vote in his
own precinct in Sangamon county as a candidate for representative in
the State Legislature, although a little later in the same canvass
General Jackson, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, led his
competitor, Clay, one hundred and fifty-five votes.

While pursuing his law studies, he engaged in land surveying as a
means of support. In 1834, not yet having been admitted to the bar--a
backwoodsman in manner, dress, and expression--tall, lank, and by no
means prepossessing--he was first elected to the Legislature of his
adopted State, being the youngest member, with a single exception.
During this session he rarely took the floor to speak, content to
play the part of an observer rather than of an actor. It was at this
period that he became acquainted with Stephen A. Douglas, then a recent
immigrant from Vermont, in connection with whom he was destined to
figure so prominently before the country.

In 1836, he was elected for a second term. During this session, he put
upon record, together with one of his colleagues, his views relative to
slavery, in the following protest, bearing date March 3d, 1837:--

“Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed
both branches of the General Assembly, at its present session, the
undersigned hereby protest against the passage of the same.

“They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both
injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition
doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

“They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power,
under the Constitution, to interfere with the institution of slavery in
the different States.

“They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power,
under the Constitution, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia;
but that the power ought not to be exercised, unless at the request of
the people of said district.”

In 1838 and 1840, he was again elected and received the vote of his
party for the speakership. First elected at twenty-five, he had
been continued so long as his inclination allowed, and until by his
kind manners, his ability, and unquestioned integrity, he had won a
position, when but a little past thirty, as the virtual leader of his
party in Illinois. His reputation as a close and logical debater had
been established; his native talent as an orator had been developed;
his earnest zeal for his party had brought around him troops of
friends; while his acknowledged goodness of heart had knit many to
him, who, upon purely political grounds, would have held themselves

While a member of the Legislature, he had devoted himself, as best he
could--considering the necessity he was under of eking out a support
for himself, and the demands made upon his time by his political
associates--to mastering his chosen profession, and in 1836 was
admitted to practice. Securing at once a good amount of business, he
began to rise as a most effective jury advocate, who could readily
perceive, and promptly avail himself of, the turning points of a
case. A certain quaint humor, withal, which he was wont to employ
in illustration--combined with his sterling, practical sense, going
straight to the core of things--stamped him as an original. Disdaining
the tricks of the mere rhetorician, he spoke from the heart to the
heart, and was universally regarded by those with whom he came in
contact as every inch a man, in the best and broadest sense of that
term. His thoughts, his manner, his address were eminently his own.
Affecting none of the cant of the demagogue, the people trusted him,
revered him as one of the best, if not the best, among them. Their
sympathies were his--their weal his desire, their interests a common
stock with his own.

Having permanently located himself at Springfield, the seat of Sangamon
county--which ever after he called his home--he devoted himself to the
practice of his profession, and on the 4th of November, 1842, married
Mary Todd, daughter of the Hon. Robert S. Todd of Lexington, Kentucky,
a lady of accomplished manners and refined social tastes.

Although he had determined to retire from the political arena and taste
the sweets which a life with one’s own family can alone secure, his
earnest wishes were at length overruled by the as earnest demands of
that party with the success of which he firmly believed his country’s
best interests identified, and in 1844 he thoroughly canvassed his
State in behalf of Clay--afterward passing into Indiana, and daily
addressing immense gatherings until the day of election. Over the
defeat of the great Kentuckian he sorrowed as one almost without hope;
feeling it, indeed, far more keenly than his generous nature would have
done, had it been a merely personal discomfiture.

Two years later, in 1846, Mr. Lincoln was persuaded to accept the Whig
nomination for Congress in the Sangamon district, and was elected by
an unprecedently large majority. Texas had meanwhile been annexed; the
Mexican war was in progress; the Tariff of 1842 had been repealed.

With the opening of the Thirtieth Congress--December 6th, 1847--Mr.
Lincoln took his seat in the lower house of Congress, Stephen A.
Douglas also appearing for the first time as a member of the Senate.



  The Mexican War--Internal Improvements--Slavery in the
  District of Columbia--Public Lands--Retires to Private Life--
  Kansas-Nebraska Bill--Withdraws in favor of Senator Trumbull--
  Formation of Republican Party--Nominated for U. S. Senator--
  Opening Speech of Mr. Lincoln--Douglas Campaign--The Canvass--
  Tribute to the Declaration of Independence--Result of the Contest.

Mr. Lincoln was early recognized as one of the foremost of the Western
men upon the floor of the House. His Congressional record is that
of a Whig of those days. Believing that Mr. Polk’s administration
had mismanaged affairs with Mexico at the outset, he, in common with
others of his party, was unwilling, while voting supplies and favoring
suitable rewards for our gallant soldiers, to be forced into an
unqualified indorsement of the war with that country from its beginning
to its close.

Accordingly, December 22d, 1847, he introduced a series of resolutions
of inquiry concerning the origin of the war, calling for definite
official information, which were laid over under the rule, and never
acted upon. Upon a test question on abandoning the war, without any
material result accomplished, he voted with the minority in favor of
laying that resolution upon the table.

In all questions bearing upon the matter of internal improvements,
he took an active interest. He took manly ground in favor of the
unrestricted right of petition, and favored a liberal policy toward the
people in disposing of the public lands. He exerted himself during the
canvass of 1848, to secure the election of General Taylor, delivering
several effective campaign speeches in New England and the West.

At the second session of the Thirtieth Congress, he voted in favor of
laying upon the table a resolution instructing the Committee on the
District of Columbia to report a bill prohibiting the slave-trade in
the District, and subsequently read a substitute which he favored. This
substitute contained the form of a bill enacting that no person not
already within the District, should be held in slavery therein, and
providing for the gradual emancipation of the slaves already within the
District, with compensation to the owners, if a majority of the legal
voters of the District should assent to the act, at an election to be
holden for the purpose. It made an exception of the right of citizens
of the slave-holding States coming to the District on public business,
to “be attended into and out of said District, and while there, by the
necessary servants of themselves and their families.”

In regard to the grant of public lands to the new States, to aid in the
construction of railways and canals, he favored the interests of his
own constituents, under such restrictions as the proper scope of these
grants required.

Having declined to be a candidate for re-election, he retired once
more to private life, resuming the professional practice which had been
temporarily interrupted by his public duties, and taking no active part
in politics through the period of General Taylor’s administration, or
in any of the exciting scenes of 1850.

The introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska bill by Stephen A. Douglas, in
1854, aroused him from his repose, and summoned him once more to battle
for the right. In the canvass of that year, he was one of the most
active leaders of the anti-Nebraska movement, addressing the people
repeatedly from the stump, with all his characteristic earnestness and
energy, and powerfully aided in effecting the remarkable political
changes of that year in Illinois.

The Legislature that year having to choose a United States Senator, and
for the first time in the history of the State, the election of one
opposed to the Democratic party being within the reach of possibility,
Mr. Lincoln, although the first choice of the great body of the
opposition, with characteristic self-sacrificing disposition, appealed
to his old Whig friends to go over in a solid body to Mr. Trumbull,
a man of Democratic antecedents, who could command the full vote of
the anti-Nebraska Democrats; and the latter was consequently elected.
Mr. Lincoln was subsequently offered the nomination for Governor of
Illinois, but declined the honor in favor of Col. William H. Bissell,
who was elected by a decisive majority.

In the formation of the Republican party as such, Mr. Lincoln bore
an active and influential part, his name being presented, but
ineffectually, at the first National Convention of that party, for
Vice-President; laboring earnestly during the canvass of 1856, for the
election of General Fremont, whose electoral ticket he headed.

After Mr. Douglas had taken ground against Mr. Buchanan’s
administration relative to the so-called Lecompton Constitution of
Kansas, and had received the indorsement of the Democratic party of
Illinois--his re-election as Senator depending upon the result of the
State election in 1858--the Republican Convention of that year with
shouts of applause, unanimously resolved that Abraham Lincoln was “the
first and only choice of the Republicans of Illinois for the United
States Senate, as the successor of Stephen A. Douglas.” At the close of
the proceedings, he delivered the following speech, which struck the
key-note of his contest with Senator Douglas, one of the most exciting
and remarkable ever witnessed in this country:

  “GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION:--If we could first know where we
  are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what
  to do, and how to do it. We are now far on into the fifth year,
  since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident
  promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation
  of that policy, that agitation had not only not ceased, but has
  constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until
  a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided
  against itself can not stand.’ I believe this Government can not
  endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the
  Union to be dissolved--I do not expect the house to fall--but I do
  expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing,
  or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the
  further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest
  in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction, or its
  advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful
  in all the States, old as well as new--North as well as South.

  “Have we no tendency to the latter condition? Let any one who
  doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal
  combination--piece of machinery, so to speak--compounded of the
  Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider
  not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well
  adapted, but also let him study the history of its construction,
  and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the
  evidences of design, and concert of action, among its chief
  master-workers from the beginning.

  “But, so far, Congress only had acted; and an indorsement by
  the people, real or apparent, was indispensable, to save the
  point already gained, and give chance for more. The new year of
  1854 found slavery excluded from more than half the States by
  State Constitutions, and from most of the national territory by
  Congressional prohibition. Four days later commenced the struggle,
  which ended in repealing that Congressional prohibition. This
  opened all the national territory to slavery, and was the first
  point gained.

  “This necessity had not been overlooked, but had been
  provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of
  ‘_squatter sovereignty_,’ otherwise called ‘_sacred right of
  self-government_,’ which latter phrase, though expressive of the
  only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this
  attempted use of it as to amount to just this: that if any one man
  choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object.
  That argument was incorporated into the Nebraska Bill itself, in
  the language which follows: ‘It being the true intent and meaning
  of this act not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State,
  nor exclude it therefrom; but to leave the people thereof perfectly
  free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own
  way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.’

  “Then opened the roar of loose declamation in favor of ‘squatter
  sovereignty,’ and ‘sacred right of self-government.’

  “‘But,’ said opposition members, ‘let us be more specific--let us
  _amend_ the bill so as to expressly declare that the people of the
  territory _may_ exclude slavery.’ ‘Not we,’ said the friends of the
  measure; and down they voted the amendment.

  “While the Nebraska Bill was passing through Congress, a law case,
  involving the question of a negro’s freedom, by reason of his
  owner having voluntarily taken him first into a free State and then
  a territory covered by the Congressional prohibition, and held him
  as a slave--for a long time in each--was passing through the U. S.
  Circuit Court for the District of Missouri; and both the Nebraska
  Bill and law suit were brought to a decision in the same month
  of May, 1854. The negro’s name was ‘Dred Scott,’ which name now
  designates the decision finally made in the case.

  “Before the then next Presidential election case, the law came
  to, and was argued in the Supreme Court of the United States;
  but the decision of it was deferred until _after_ the election.
  Still, _before_ the election, Senator Trumbull, on the floor of the
  Senate, requests the leading advocate of the Nebraska Bill to state
  _his opinion_ whether a people of a territory can constitutionally
  exclude slavery from their limits; and the latter answers, ‘That is
  a question for the Supreme Court.’

  “The election came. Mr. Buchanan was elected, and the
  _indorsement_, such as it was, secured. That was the _second_ point
  gained. The indorsement, however, fell short of a clear popular
  majority by nearly four hundred thousand votes, and so, perhaps,
  was not overwhelmingly reliable and satisfactory. The outgoing
  President in his last annual message, as impressively as possible
  echoed back upon the people the weight and authority of the

  “The Supreme Court met again; did not announce their decision, but
  ordered a re-argument. The Presidential inauguration came, and
  still no decision of the court; but the incoming President, in his
  Inaugural Address, fervently exhorted the people to abide by the
  forthcoming decision, _whatever it might be_. Then, in a few days
  came the decision.

  “This was the third point gained.

  “The reputed author of the Nebraska Bill finds an early occasion
  to make a speech at this capitol indorsing the Dred Scott
  decision and vehemently denouncing all opposition to it. The new
  President, too, seizes the early occasion of the Silliman letter
  to indorse and strongly construe that decision, and to express his
  astonishment that any different view had ever been entertained. At
  length a squabble springs up between the President and the author
  of the Nebraska Bill on the mere question of fact, whether the
  Lecompton Constitution was or was not, in any just sense, made by
  the people of Kansas; and, in that squabble, the latter declares
  that all he wants is a fair vote for the people, and that he cares
  not whether slavery be voted down or voted up. I do not understand
  his declaration that he cares not whether slavery be voted down or
  voted up, to be intended by him other than as an apt definition of
  the policy he would impress upon the public mind--the principle for
  which he declares he has suffered much, and is ready to suffer to
  the end.

  “And well may he cling to that principle. If he has any parental
  feeling, well may he cling to it. That principle is the only shred
  left of his original Nebraska doctrine. Under the Dred Scott
  decision, ‘squatter sovereignty’ squatted out of existence, tumbled
  down like temporary scaffolding--like the mould at the foundry,
  served through one blast, and fell back into loose sand--helped to
  carry an election, and then was kicked to the winds. His late joint
  struggle with the Republicans, against the Lecompton Constitution,
  involves nothing of the original Nebraska doctrine. That struggle
  was made on a point--the right of a people to make their own
  Constitution--upon which he and the Republicans have never differed.

  “The several points of the Dred Scott decision, in connection
  with Senator Douglas’s ‘care not’ policy, constitute the piece of
  machinery in its present state of advancement. The working points
  of that machinery are:

  “First, That no negro slave, imported as such from Africa, and no
  descendant of such, can ever be a citizen of any State in the
  sense of that term as used in the Constitution of the United States.

  “This point is made in order to deprive the negro, in every
  possible event, of the benefit of this provision of the United
  States Constitution, which declares that--‘The citizens of each
  State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of
  citizens in the several States.’

  “Secondly, that ‘subject to the Constitution of the United States,’
  neither Congress nor a Territorial Legislature can exclude slavery
  from any United States Territory.

  “This point is made in order that individual men may fill up the
  Territories with slaves, without danger of losing them as property,
  and thus to enhance the chances of permanency to the institution
  through all the future.

  “Thirdly, that whether the holding a negro in actual slavery in
  a free State makes him free, as against the holder, the United
  States courts will not decide, but will leave it to be decided by
  the courts of any slave State the negro may be forced into by the

  “This point is made, not to be pressed immediately; but, if
  acquiesced in for a while, and apparently indorsed by the people at
  an election, then, to sustain the logical conclusion that what Dred
  Scott’s master might lawfully do with Dred Scott, in the free State
  of Illinois, every other master may lawfully do with any other one,
  or one thousand slaves, in Illinois, or in any other free State.

  “Auxiliary to all this, and working hand in hand with it, the
  Nebraska doctrine, or what is left of it, is to educate and mould
  public opinion, at least Northern public opinion, not to care
  whether slavery is voted down or voted up.

  “This shows exactly where we now are, and partially also, whither
  we are tending.

  “It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back and
  run the mind over the string of historical facts already stated.
  Several things will now appear less dark and mysterious than
  they did when they were transpiring. The people were to be left
  “perfectly free,” “subject only to the Constitution.” What the
  Constitution had to do with it, outsiders could not then see.
  Plainly enough now, it was an exactly fitted niche for the Dred
  Scott decision afterward to come in, and declare that perfect
  freedom of the people to be just no freedom at all.

  “Why was the amendment expressly declaring the right of the people
  to exclude slavery, voted down? Plainly enough now, the adoption of
  it would have spoiled the niche for the Dred Scott decision.

  “Why was the court decision held up? Why even a Senator’s
  individual opinion withheld till after the Presidential election?
  Plainly enough now; the speaking out then would have damaged the
  “_perfectly free_” argument upon which the election was to be

  “Why the outgoing President’s felicitation on the indorsement? Why
  the delay of a re-argument? Why the incoming President’s advance
  exhortation in favor of the decision? These things look like the
  cautious patting and petting of a spirited horse preparatory to
  mounting him, when it is dreaded that he may give the rider a
  fall. And why the hasty after-indorsements of the decision, by the
  President and others?

  “We cannot absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the
  result of pre-concert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers,
  different portions of which we know have been gotten out, at
  different times and places, and by different workmen--Stephen,
  Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance--and when we see these
  timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a
  house or a mill, all the tenons and mortices exactly fitting, and
  all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly
  adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or
  too few--not omitting even scaffolding--or, if a single piece be
  lacking, we can see the place in the frame exactly fitted and
  prepared to yet bring such piece in--in such a case, we find it
  impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and
  James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked
  upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first blow was

  “It should not be overlooked that, by the Nebraska bill, the people
  of a State as well as Territory, were to be left ‘_perfectly
  free_,’ ‘_subject only to the Constitution_.’ Why mention a State?
  They were legislating for Territories, and not for or about States.
  Certainly the people of a State are and ought to be subject to
  the Constitution of the United States; but why is mention of this
  lugged into this merely territorial law? Why are the people of
  a Territory and the people of a State therein lumped together,
  and their relation to the Constitution therein treated as being
  precisely the same?

  “While the opinion of the court, by Chief Justice Taney, in the
  Dred Scott case, and the separate opinions of all the concurring
  judges, expressly declare that the Constitution of the United
  States neither permits Congress nor a Territorial Legislature, to
  exclude slavery from any United States Territory, they all omit to
  declare whether or not the same Constitution permits a State, or
  the people of a State, to exclude it. _Possibly_, this was a mere
  _omission_; but who can be quite sure, if McLean or Curtis had
  sought to get into the opinion a declaration of unlimited power in
  the people of a State to exclude slavery from their limits, just
  as Chase and Mace sought to get such declaration, in behalf of the
  people of a Territory, into the Nebraska bill--I ask, who can be
  quite sure that it would not have been voted down, in the one case
  as it had been in the other.

  “The nearest approach to the point of declaring the power of a
  State over slavery, is made by Judge Nelson. He approaches it more
  than once, using the precise idea, and almost the language, too,
  of the Nebraska Act. On one occasion his exact language is, ‘except
  in cases where the power is restrained by the Constitution of the
  United States, the law of the State is supreme over the subject of
  slavery within its jurisdiction.’

  “In what cases the power of the State is so restrained by the
  United States Constitution, is left an open question, precisely
  as the same question, as to the restraint on the power of the
  Territories was left open in the Nebraska Act. Put that and that
  together, and we have another nice little niche, which we may ere
  long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring
  that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a State
  to exclude slavery from its limits. And this may especially be
  expected if the doctrine of ‘care not whether slavery be voted down
  or voted up,’ shall gain upon the public mind sufficiently to give
  promise that such a decision can be maintained when made.

  “Such a decision is all that slavery now lacks of being alike
  lawful in all the States. Welcome or unwelcome, such decision is
  probably coming, and will soon be upon us, unless the power of the
  present political dynasty shall be met and overthrown. We shall
  lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on
  the verge of making their State free; and we shall awake to the
  reality, instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave

  “To meet and overthrow the power of that dynasty, is the work now
  before all those who would prevent that consummation. That is what
  we have to do. But how can we best do it?

  “There are those who denounce us openly to their own friends, and
  yet whisper softly, that Senator Douglas is the _aptest_ instrument
  there is, with which to effect that object. They do not tell us,
  nor has he told us, that he wishes any such object to be effected.
  They wish us to infer all, from the facts that he now has a little
  quarrel with the present head of the dynasty; and that he has
  regularly voted with us, on a single point, upon which he and we
  have never differed.

  “They remind us that _he_ is a very _great man_, and that the
  largest of us are very small ones. Let this be granted. But ‘a
  _living dog_ is better than a _dead lion_.’ Judge Douglas, if not
  a _dead_ lion for this work, is at least a _caged_ and _toothless_
  one. How can he oppose the advances of slavery? He don’t care
  anything about it. His avowed mission is impressing the ‘public
  heart’ to care nothing about it.

  “A leading Douglas Democrat newspaper thinks Douglas’s superior
  talent will be needed to resist the revival of the African
  slave-trade. Does Douglas believe an effort to revive that trade
  is approaching? He has not said so. Does he _really_ think so? But
  if it is, how can he resist it? For years he has labored to prove
  it a _sacred right_ of white men to take negro slaves into the new
  Territories. Can he possibly show that it is less a sacred right
  to buy them where they can be bought cheapest? And, unquestionably
  they can be bought cheaper in Africa than in Virginia.

  “He has done all in his power to reduce the whole question of
  slavery to one of a mere right of property; and as such, how can
  he oppose the foreign slave-trade--how can he refuse that trade in
  that ‘property’ shall be ‘perfectly free’--unless he does it as a
  _protection_ to the home production? And as the home _producers_
  will probably not ask the protection, he will be wholly without a
  ground of opposition.

  “Senator Douglas holds, we know, that a man may rightfully be wiser
  to-day than he was yesterday--that he may rightfully change when he
  finds himself wrong. But can we for that reason run ahead and infer
  that he will make any particular change, of which he himself has
  given no intimation? Can we safely base our action upon any such
  vague inferences?

  “Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Judge Douglas’s position,
  question his motives, or do aught that can be personally offensive
  to him. Whenever, _if ever_, he and we can come together on
  _principle_, so that our great cause may have assistance from his
  great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle.

  “But clearly, he is not now with us--he does not pretend to be--he
  does not promise ever to be. Our cause, then, must be intrusted to,
  and conducted by its own undoubted friends--those whose hands are
  free, whose hearts are in the work--who do care for the result.

  “Two years ago the Republicans of the nation mustered over thirteen
  hundred thousand strong. We did this under the single impulse of
  resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance
  against us. Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we
  gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle
  through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud and
  pampered enemy. Did we brave all then to falter now?--_now_--when
  that same enemy is wavering, dissevered and belligerent?

  “The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail--if we stand firm,
  we shall not fail. _Wise counsels_ may _accelerate_ or _mistakes
  delay_ it, but, sooner or later, the victory is _sure_ to come.”

In this most vigorously prosecuted canvass Illinois was stumped
throughout its length and breadth by both candidates and their
respective advocates, and the struggle was watched with interest by the
country at large. From county to county, from township to township, and
village to village the two champions travelled, frequently in the same
car or carriage, and in the presence of immense crowds of men, women,
and children--for the wives and daughters of the hardy yeomanry were
naturally interested--argued, face to face, the important points of
their political belief and contended nobly for the mastery.

In one of his speeches during this memorable campaign, Mr. Lincoln paid
the following tribute to the Declaration of Independence:--

  “These communities, (the thirteen colonies,) by their
  representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the world of men,
  ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born
  equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable
  rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
  happiness.’ This was their majestic interpretation of the economy
  of the universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble
  understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures.
  Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family
  of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the
  Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on,
  and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only
  the race of men then living, but they reached forward and seized
  upon the furthest posterity. They created a beacon to guide their
  children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads
  who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they
  were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and
  so they established these great self-evident truths that when, in
  the distant future, some man, some faction, some interest, should
  set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men,
  or none but Anglo-Saxon white men, were entitled to life, liberty,
  and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again
  to the Declaration of Independence, and take courage to renew the
  battle, which their fathers began, so that truth, and justice,
  and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be
  extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to
  limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of
  liberty was being built.

  “Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting
  with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if
  you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its
  grandeur, and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions; if you
  have been inclined to believe that all men are not created equal in
  those inalienable rights enumerated by our chart of liberty, let
  me entreat you to come back--return to the fountain whose waters
  spring close by the blood of the Revolution. Think nothing of me,
  take no thought for the political fate of any man whomsoever, but
  come back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence.

  “You may do any thing with me you choose, if you will but heed
  these sacred principles. You may not only defeat me for the
  Senate, but you may take me and put me to death. While pretending
  no indifference to earthly honors, I _do claim_ to be actuated
  in this contest by something higher than an anxiety for office.
  I charge you to drop every paltry and insignificant thought for
  any man’s success. It is nothing; I am nothing; Judge Douglas is
  nothing. _But do not destroy that immortal emblem of humanity--the
  Declaration of American Independence._”

In the election which closed this contest, the Republican candidate
received 126,084 votes; the Douglas Democrats, 121,940; and the
Lecompton Democrats, 5,091. Mr. Douglas was, however, re-elected
to the Senate by the Legislature, in which, owing to the peculiar
apportionment of the legislative districts his supporters had a
majority of eight in joint ballot.



  Speeches in Ohio--Extract from his Cincinnati Speech--Visits
  the East--Celebrated Speech at the Cooper Institute, New York--
  Interesting Incident.

The issue of this contest with Douglas, seemingly a defeat, was
destined in due time to prove a decisive triumph. Mr. Lincoln’s
reputation as a skillful debater and master of political fence was
secure, and admitted throughout the land. During the year ensuing
he again devoted himself almost exclusively to professional labors,
delivering, however, in the campaign of 1859, at the earnest
solicitation of the Republicans of Ohio, two most convincing speeches
in that State, one at Columbus, and the other at Cincinnati.

In his speech in the latter city, alluding to the certainty of a speedy
Republican triumph in the nation, Mr. Lincoln thus sketched what he
regarded as the inevitable results of such a victory:

  “I will tell you, so far as I am authorized to speak for the
  opposition, what we mean to do with you. We mean to treat you, as
  nearly as we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison
  treated you. We mean to leave you alone, and in no way interfere
  with your institution; to abide by all and every compromise of
  the Constitution; and, in a word, coming back to the original
  proposition to treat you, so far as degenerated men (if we have
  degenerated) may, imitating the example of those noble fathers,
  Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. We mean to remember that you
  are as good as we; that there is no difference between us other
  than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize and
  bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as
  other people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly.
  We mean to marry your girls when we have a chance--the white ones
  I mean--and I have the honor to inform you that I once did get a
  chance in that way.

  “I have told you what we mean to do. I want to know, now, when that
  thing takes place, what you mean to do. I often hear it intimated
  that you mean to divide the Union whenever a Republican, or any
  thing like it, is elected President of the United States. [A voice,
  ‘That is so.’] ‘That is so,’ one of them says. I wonder if he is a
  Kentuckian? [A voice, ‘He is a Douglas man.’] Well, then, I want to
  know what you are going to do with your half of it? Are you going
  to split the Ohio down through, and push your half off a piece? Or
  are you going to keep it right alongside of us outrageous fellows?
  Or are you going to build up a wall some way between your country
  and ours, by which that movable property of yours can’t come
  over here any more, and you lose it? Do you think you can better
  yourselves on that subject, by leaving us here under no obligation
  whatever to return those specimens of your movable property that
  come hither? You have divided the Union because we would not do
  right with you, as you think, upon that subject; when we cease to
  be under obligations to do any thing for you, how much better off
  do you think you will be? Will you make war upon us and kill us
  all? Why, gentlemen, I think you are as gallant and as brave men
  as live; that you can fight as bravely in a good cause, man for
  man, as any other people living; that you have shown yourselves
  capable of this upon various occasions; but, man for man, you are
  not better than we are, and there are not so many of you as there
  are of us. You will never make much of a hand at whipping us. If
  we were fewer in numbers than you, I think that you could whip us;
  if we were equal it would likely be a drawn battle; but being
  inferior in numbers, you will make nothing by attempting to master

  “I say that we must not interfere with the institution of Slavery
  in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it,
  and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not
  withhold an efficient fugitive slave law because the Constitution
  requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law, but we
  must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither
  the constitution nor the general welfare requires us to extend it.
  We must prevent the revival of the African slave-trade and the
  enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent
  each of these things being done by either Congresses or Courts.
  CONGRESSES AND COURTS, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to
  overthrow the men who pervert that Constitution.”

In the spring of 1860, Mr. Lincoln yielded to the urgent calls which
came to him from the East for his aid in the exciting canvasses then in
progress in that section, and spoke at various places in Connecticut,
New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and also in New York city, and was
everywhere warmly welcomed by immense audiences.

Without doubt, one of the greatest speeches of his life was that
delivered by him in the Cooper Institute, in New York, on the 27th of
February, 1860, in the presence of a crowded assembly which received
him with the most enthusiastic demonstrations. We subjoin a full report
of this masterly analysis of men and measures. After being introduced
in highly complimentary terms by the venerable William Cullen Bryant,
who presided on the occasion, he proceeded:

  which I shall deal this evening are mainly old and familiar; nor
  is there any thing new in the general use I shall make of them. If
  there shall be any novelty, it will be in the mode of presenting
  the facts, and the inferences and observations following that

  “In his speech last autumn, at Columbus, Ohio, as reported in _The
  New York Times_, Senator Douglas said:

  “‘Our fathers, when they framed the Government under which we live,
  understood this question just as well, and even better than we do

  “I fully indorse this and I adopt it as a text for this discourse.
  I so adopt it because it furnishes a precise and agreed starting
  point for the discussion between Republicans and that wing of
  Democracy headed by Senator Douglas. It simply leaves the inquiry:
  ‘What was the understanding those fathers had of the questions

  “What is the frame of Government under which we live?

  “The answer must be: ‘The Constitution of the United States.’ That
  Constitution consists of the original, framed in 1787 (and under
  which the present Government first went into operation), and twelve
  subsequently framed amendments, the first ten of which were framed
  in 1789.

  “Who were our fathers that framed the Constitution? I suppose
  the ‘thirty-nine’ who signed the original instrument may be
  fairly called our fathers who framed that part of the present
  Government. It is almost exactly true to say they framed it, and
  it is altogether true to say they fairly represented the opinion
  and sentiment of the whole nation at that time. Their names being
  familiar to nearly all, and accessible to quite all, need not now
  be repeated.

  “I take these ‘thirty-nine,’ for the present, as being ‘our fathers
  who framed the Government under which we live.’

  “What is the question which, according to the text, those fathers
  understood just as well, and even better than we do now?

  “It is this: Does the proper division of local from federal
  authority, or any thing in the Constitution, forbid our Federal
  Government control as to slavery in our Federal Territories?

  “Upon this, Douglas holds the affirmative, and Republicans the
  negative. This affirmative and denial form an issue; and this
  issue--this question--is precisely what the text declares our
  fathers understood better than we.

  “Let us now inquire whether the ‘thirty-nine,’ or any of them, ever
  acted upon this question; and if they did, how they acted upon
  it--how they expressed that better understanding.

  “In 1784--three years before the Constitution--the United States
  then owning the Northwestern Territory, and no other--the Congress
  of the Confederation had before them the question of prohibiting
  slavery in that Territory; and four of the ‘thirty-nine’ who
  afterward framed the Constitution were in that Congress, and voted
  on that question. Of these, Roger Sherman, Thomas Mifflin, and Hugh
  Williamson voted for the prohibition--thus showing that, in their
  understanding, no line dividing local from federal authority, nor
  any thing else, properly forbade the Federal Government to control
  as to slavery in federal territory. The other of the four--James
  McHenry--voted against the prohibition, showing that, for some
  cause, he thought it improper to vote for it.

  “In 1787, still before the Constitution, but while the Convention
  was in session framing it, and while the Northwestern Territory
  still was the only territory owned by the United States--the
  same question of prohibiting slavery in the territory again came
  before the Congress of the Confederation; and three more of the
  ‘thirty-nine’ who afterward signed the Constitution, were in that
  Congress, and voted on the question. They were William Blount,
  William Few, and Abraham Baldwin; and they all voted for the
  prohibition--thus showing that, in their understanding, no line
  dividing local from federal authority, nor any thing else, properly
  forbids the Federal Government to control as to slavery in federal
  territory. This time the prohibition became a law, being part of
  what is now well known as the Ordinance of ’87.

  “The question of federal control of slavery in the territories,
  seems not to have been directly before the Convention which framed
  the original Constitution; and hence it is not recorded that the
  ‘thirty-nine’ or any of them, while engaged on that instrument,
  expressed any opinion on that precise question.

  “In 1789, by the First congress which sat under the Constitution,
  an act was passed to enforce the Ordinance of ’87 including the
  prohibition of slavery in the Northwestern Territory. The bill
  for this act was reported by one of the ‘thirty-nine,’ Thomas
  Fitzsimmons, then a member of the House of Representatives from
  Pennsylvania. It went through all its stages without a word of
  opposition, and finally passed both branches without yeas and nays,
  which is equivalent to an unanimous passage. In this Congress there
  were sixteen of the ‘thirty-nine’ fathers who framed the original
  Constitution. They were John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman, Wm. S.
  Johnson, Roger Sherman, Robert Morris, Thos. Fitzsimmons, William
  Few, Abraham Baldwin, Rufus King, William Patterson, George Clymer,
  Richard Bassett, George Read, Pierce Butler, Daniel Carrol, James

  “This shows that, in their understanding, no line dividing local
  from federal authority, nor any thing in the Constitution, properly
  forbade Congress to prohibit slavery in the federal territory;
  else both their fidelity to correct principle, and their oath to
  support the Constitution, would have constrained them to oppose the

  “Again, George Washington, another of the ‘thirty-nine,’ was then
  President of the United States, and, as such, approved and signed
  the bill, thus completing its validity as a law, and thus showing
  that, in his understanding, no line dividing local from federal
  authority, nor any thing in the Constitution, forbade the Federal
  Government to control as to slavery in Federal territory.

  “No great while after the adoption of the original Constitution,
  North Carolina ceded to the Federal Government the country now
  constituting the State of Tennessee; and a few years later Georgia
  ceded that which now constitutes the States of Mississippi and
  Alabama. In both deeds of cession it was made a condition by the
  ceding States that the Federal Government should not prohibit
  slavery in the ceded country. Besides this, slavery was then
  actually in the ceded country. Under these circumstances, Congress,
  on taking charge of these countries did not absolutely prohibit
  slavery within them. But they did interfere with it--take control
  of it--even there, to a certain extent. In 1798, Congress organized
  the Territory of Mississippi. In the act of organization they
  prohibited the bringing of slaves into the Territory, from any
  place without the United States, by fine and giving freedom to
  slaves so brought. This act passed both branches of Congress
  without yeas and nays. In that Congress were three of the
  ‘thirty-nine’ who framed the original Constitution. They were John
  Langdon, George Read, and Abraham Baldwin. They all, probably,
  voted for it. Certainly they would have placed their opposition to
  it upon record, if, in their understanding, any line dividing local
  from Federal authority, or any thing in the Constitution, properly
  forbade the Federal Government to control as to slavery in Federal

  “In 1803, the Federal Government purchased the Louisiana country.
  Our former territorial acquisitions came from certain of our own
  States; but this Louisiana country was acquired from a foreign
  nation. In 1804, Congress gave a territorial organization to that
  part of it which now constitutes the State of Louisiana. New
  Orleans, lying within that part, was an old and comparatively
  large city. There were other considerable towns and settlements,
  and slavery was extensively and thoroughly intermingled with
  the people. Congress did not, in the Territorial Act, prohibit
  slavery; but they did interfere with it--take control of it--in
  a more marked and extensive way than they did in the case of
  Mississippi. The substance of the provision therein made, in
  relation to slaves, was:

  “_First._ That no slave should be imported into the territory from
  foreign parts.

  “_Second._ That no slave should be carried into it who had been
  imported into the United States since the first day of May, 1798.

  “_Third._ That no slave should be carried into it, except by the
  owner, and for his own use as a settler; the penalty in all the
  cases being a fine upon the violator of the law, and freedom to the

  “This act also was passed without yeas and nays. In the Congress
  which passed it, there were two of the ‘thirty-nine.’ They were
  Abraham Baldwin and Jonathan Dayton. As stated in the case of
  Mississippi, it is probable they both voted for it. They would not
  have allowed it to pass without recording their opposition to it,
  if, in their understanding, it violated either the line proper
  dividing local from Federal authority or any provision of the

  “In 1819-20, came and passed the Missouri question. Many votes
  were taken, by yeas and nays, in both branches of Congress,
  upon the various phases of the general question. Two of the
  ‘thirty-nine’--Rufus King and Charles Pinckney--were members of
  that Congress. Mr. King steadily voted for slavery prohibition
  and against all compromises, while Mr. Pinckney as steadily voted
  against slavery prohibition and against all compromises. By this
  Mr. King showed that, in his understanding, no line dividing local
  from Federal authority, nor any thing in the Constitution, was
  violated by Congress prohibiting slavery in Federal territory;
  while Mr. Pinckney, by his votes, showed that in his understanding
  there was some sufficient reason for opposing such prohibition in
  that case.

  “The cases I have mentioned are the only acts of the ‘thirty-nine,’
  or of any of them, upon the direct issue, which I have been able to

  “To enumerate the persons who thus acted, as being four in 1784,
  three in 1787, seventeen in 1789, three in 1798, two in 1804, and
  two in 1819-20--there would be thirty-one of them. But this would
  be counting John Langdon, Roger Sherman, William Few, Rufus King,
  and George Read, each twice, and Abraham Baldwin four times. The
  true number of those of the ‘thirty-nine’ whom I have shown to have
  acted upon the question, which, by the text they understood better
  than we, is twenty-three, leaving sixteen not shown to have acted
  upon it in any way.

  “Here, then, we have twenty-three out of our ‘thirty-nine’ fathers
  who framed the government under which we live, who have, upon
  their official responsibility and their corporal oaths, acted upon
  the very question which the text affirms they ‘understood just as
  well, and even better than we do now;’ and twenty-one of them--a
  clear majority of the ‘thirty-nine’--so acting upon it as to make
  them guilty of gross political impropriety, and wilful perjury,
  if, in their understanding, any proper division between local and
  Federal authority, or any thing in the Constitution they had made
  themselves, and sworn to support, forbade the Federal Government
  to control as to slavery in the Federal territories. Thus the
  twenty-one acted; and, as actions speak louder than words, so
  actions under such responsibility speak still louder.

  “Two of the twenty-three voted against Congressional prohibition of
  slavery in the Federal Territories, in the instances in which they
  acted upon the question. But for what reasons they so voted is not
  known. They may have done so because they thought a proper division
  of local from Federal authority, or some provision or principle of
  the Constitution, stood in the way; or they may, without any such
  question, have voted against the prohibition, on what appeared to
  them to be sufficient grounds of expediency. No one who has sworn
  to support the Constitution, can conscientiously vote for what he
  understands to be an unconstitutional measure, however expedient
  he may think it; but one may and ought to vote against a measure
  which he deems constitutional, if, at the same time, he deems it
  inexpedient. It, therefore, would be unsafe to set down even the
  two who voted against the prohibition, as having done so because,
  in their understanding, any proper division of local from Federal
  authority, or any thing in the Constitution, forbade the Federal
  Government to control as to slavery in Federal Territory.

  “The remaining sixteen of the ‘thirty-nine,’ so far as I have
  discovered, have left no record of their understanding upon the
  direct question of Federal control of slavery in the Federal
  Territories. But there is much reason to believe that their
  understanding upon that question would not have appeared different
  from that of their twenty-three compeers, had it been manifested at

  “For the purpose of adhering rigidly to the text, I have purposely
  omitted whatever understanding may have been manifested, by any
  person, however distinguished, other than the ‘thirty-nine’ fathers
  who framed the original Constitution; and, for the same reason, I
  have also omitted whatever understanding may have been manifested
  by any of the ‘thirty-nine’ even, on any other phase of the
  general question of slavery. If we should look into their acts and
  declarations on those other phases, as the foreign slave-trade,
  and the morality and policy of slavery generally, it would appear
  to us that on the direct question of Federal control of slavery
  in Federal Territories, the sixteen, if they had acted at all,
  would probably have acted just as the twenty-three did. Among
  that sixteen were several of the most noted anti-slavery men of
  those times--as Dr. Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and Governeur
  Morris--while there was not one now known to have been otherwise,
  unless it may be John Rutledge, of South Carolina.

  “The sum of the whole is, that of our ‘thirty-nine’ fathers who
  framed the original Constitution, twenty-one--a clear majority
  of the whole--certainly understood that no proper division of
  local from Federal authority nor any part of the Constitution,
  forbade the Federal Government to control slavery in the
  Federal Territories, while all the rest probably had the same
  understanding. Such, unquestionably, was the understanding of our
  fathers who framed the original Constitution; and the text affirms
  that they understood the question better than we.

  “But, so far, I have been considering the understanding of the
  question manifested by the framers of the original Constitution. In
  and by the original instrument, a mode was provided for amending
  it; and, as I have already stated, the present frame of government
  under which we live consists of that original, and twelve
  amendatory articles framed and adopted since. Those who now insist
  that Federal control of slavery in Federal territories violates
  the Constitution, point us to the provisions which they suppose it
  thus violates; and, as I understand, they all fix upon provisions
  in these amendatory articles, and not in the original instrument.
  The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, plant themselves upon the
  fifth amendment, which provides that ‘no person shall be deprived
  of property without due process of law;’ while Senator Douglas and
  his peculiar adherents plant themselves upon the tenth commandment,
  providing that ‘the powers not granted by the Constitution are
  reserved to the States respectively, and to the people.’

  “Now, it so happens that these amendments were framed by the first
  Congress which sat under the Constitution--the identical Congress
  which passed the act already mentioned, enforcing the prohibition
  of slavery in the north-western territory. Not only was it the
  same Congress, but they were the identical, same individual men
  who, at the same time within the session, had under consideration,
  and in progress toward maturity, these Constitutional amendments,
  and this act prohibiting slavery in all the territory the nation
  then owned. The Constitutional amendments were introduced before,
  and passed after the act enforcing the Ordinance of ’87; so that
  during the whole pendency of the act to enforce the Ordinance, the
  Constitutional amendments were also pending.

  “That Congress, consisting in all of seventy-six members, including
  sixteen of the framers of the original Constitution, as before
  stated, were pre-eminently our fathers who framed that part of
  the government under which we live, which is now claimed as
  forbidding the Federal Government to control slavery in the Federal

  “Is it not a little presumptuous in any one at this day, to
  affirm that the two things which that Congress deliberately
  framed, and carried to maturity at the same time, are absolutely
  inconsistent with each other? And does not such affirmation become
  impudently absurd when coupled with the other affirmation, from
  the same mouth, that those who did the two things alleged to be
  inconsistent, understood whether they were really inconsistent,
  better than we--better than he who affirms that they are

  “It is surely safe to assume that the ‘thirty-nine’ framers of the
  original Constitution, and the seventy-six members of the Congress
  which framed the amendments thereto, taken together, do certainly
  include those who may be fairly called ‘our fathers who framed the
  government under which we live.’ And so assuming, I defy any man to
  show that any one of them ever, in his whole life, declared that,
  in his understanding, any proper division of local from Federal
  authority, or any part of the Constitution, forbade the Federal
  government to control as to slavery in the Federal territories. I
  go a step further. I defy any one to show that any living man in
  the whole world ever did, prior to the beginning of the present
  century (and I might almost say prior to the beginning of the last
  half of the present century), declare that, in his understanding,
  any proper division of local from Federal authority, or any part of
  the Constitution, forbade the Federal government to control as to
  slavery in the Federal territories. To those who now so declare, I
  give, not only ‘our fathers who framed the government under which
  we live,’ but with them all other living men within the century in
  which it was framed, among whom to search, and they shall not be
  able to find the evidence of a single man agreeing with them.

  “Now, and here, let me guard a little against being misunderstood.
  I do not mean to say we are bound to follow implicitly in whatever
  our fathers did. To do so would be to discard all the lights of
  current experience--we reject all progress--all improvement. What I
  do say is, that if we would supplant the opinions and policy of our
  fathers in any case, we should do so upon evidence so conclusive,
  and argument so clear, that even their great authority, fairly
  considered and weighed, cannot stand; and most surely not in a case
  whereof we ourselves declare they understood the question better
  than we.

  “If any man, at this day, sincerely believes that a proper division
  of local from Federal authority, or any part of the Constitution,
  forbids the Federal government to control as to slavery in the
  Federal territories, he is right to say so, and to enforce his
  position by all truthful evidence and fair argument which he can.
  But he has no right to mislead others, who have less access to
  history and less leisure to study it, into the false belief that
  ‘our fathers, who framed the government under which we live,’ were
  of the same opinion, thus substituting falsehood and deception for
  truthful evidence and fair argument. If any man, at this day,
  sincerely believes ‘our fathers, who framed the government under
  which we live,’ used and applied principles, in other cases, which
  ought to have led them to understand that a proper division of
  local from Federal authority, or some part of the Constitution,
  forbids the Federal government to control as to slavery in the
  Federal territories, he is right to say so. But he should, at the
  same time, brave the responsibility of declaring that, in his
  opinion, he understands their principles better than they did
  themselves; and especially should he not shirk that responsibility
  by asserting that they ‘understood the question just as well, and
  even better than we do now.’

  “But enough. Let all who believe that ‘our fathers, who framed the
  government under which we live,’ understood this question just as
  well, and even better than we do now,’ speak as they spoke, and act
  as they acted upon it. This is all Republicans ask, all Republicans
  desire, in relation to slavery. As those fathers marked it, so
  let it be again marked, as an evil not to be extended, but to be
  tolerated and protected only because of and so far as its actual
  presence among us makes that toleration and protection a necessity.
  Let all the guaranties those fathers gave it, be, not grudgingly,
  but fully and fairly maintained. For this Republicans contend, and
  with this, so far as I know or believe, they will be content.

  “And now, if they would listen--as I suppose they will not--I would
  address a few words to the Southern people.

  “I would say to them: You consider yourselves a reasonable and
  a just people; and I consider that, in the general qualities of
  reason and justice, you are not inferior to any other people.
  Still, when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to
  denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than
  outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but
  nothing like it to ‘Black Republicans.’ In all your contentions
  with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation
  of ‘Black Republicanism’ as the first thing to be attended to.
  Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable
  prerequisite--license, so to speak--among you to be admitted or
  permitted to speak at all.

  “Now can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider
  whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves?

  “Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient
  long enough to hear us deny or justify.

  “You say we are sectional. We deny it. That makes an issue; and
  the burden of proof is upon you. You produce your proof; and what
  is it? Why, that our party has no existence in your section--gets
  no votes in your section. The fact is substantially true; but
  does it prove the issue? If it does, then, in case we should,
  without change of principle, begin to get votes in your section,
  we should thereby cease to be sectional. You cannot escape this
  conclusion; and yet, are you willing to abide by it? If you are,
  you will probably soon find that we have ceased to be sectional,
  for we shall get votes in your section this very year. You will
  then begin to discover, as the truth plainly is, that your proof
  does not touch the issue. The fact that we get no votes in your
  section is a fact of your making, and not of ours. And if there
  be fault in that fact, that fault is primarily yours, and remains
  so until you show that we repel you by some wrong principle or
  practice. If we do repel you by any wrong principle or practice,
  the fault is ours; but this brings us to where you ought to have
  started--to a discussion of the right or wrong of our principle. If
  our principle, put in practice, would wrong your section for the
  benefit of ours, or for any other object, then our principle, and
  we with it, are sectional, and are justly opposed and denounced as
  such. Meet us, then, on the question of whether our principle, put
  in practice, would wrong your section; and so meet it as if it were
  possible that something may be said on our side. Do you accept the
  challenge? No? Then you really believe that the principle which
  our fathers, who framed the government under which we live, thought
  so clearly right as to adopt it, and indorse it again and again
  upon their official oaths, is, in fact, so clearly wrong as to
  demand your condemnation without a moment’s consideration.

  “Some of you delight to flaunt in our faces the warning against
  sectional parties given by Washington in his Farewell Address.
  Less than eight years before Washington gave that warning, he had,
  as President of the United States, approved and signed an act of
  Congress enforcing the prohibition of slavery in the Northwestern
  Territory, which act embodied the policy of the government upon
  that subject, up to and at the very moment he penned that warning;
  and about one year after he penned it he wrote Lafayette that he
  considered that prohibition a wise measure, expressing, in the same
  connection, his hope that we should some time have a confederacy of
  free States.

  “Bearing this in mind, and seeing that sectionalism has since
  arisen upon this same subject, is that warning a weapon in your
  hands against us, or in our hands against you? Could Washington
  himself speak, would he cast the blame of that sectionalism upon
  us, who sustain his policy, or upon you, who repudiate it? We
  respect that warning of Washington, and we commend it to you,
  together with his example pointing to the right application of it.

  “But you say you are conservative--eminently conservative--while
  we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What
  is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried against
  the new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical
  old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by our
  fathers who framed the government under which we live; while
  you, with one accord, reject, and scout, and spit upon that old
  policy, and insist upon substituting something new. True, you
  disagree among yourselves as to what that substitute shall be.
  You have considerable variety of new propositions and plans, but
  you are unanimous in rejecting and denouncing the old policy of
  the fathers. Some of you are for reviving the foreign slave-trade;
  some for a Congressional Slave-Code for the Territories; some for
  Congress forbidding the Territories to prohibit slavery within
  their limits; some for maintaining slavery in the Territories
  through the Judiciary; some for the ‘gur-reat pur-rinciple’ that,
  ‘if one man would enslave another, no third man should object,’
  fantastically called ‘Popular Sovereignty;’ but never a man
  among you in favor of Federal prohibition of slavery in Federal
  Territories, according to the practice of our fathers who framed
  the government under which we live. Not one of all your various
  plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within
  which our government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim
  of conservatism for yourselves, and your charge of destructiveness
  against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations.

  “Again, you say we have made the slavery question more prominent
  than it formerly was. We deny it. We admit that it is more
  prominent, but we deny that we made it so. It was not we, but you,
  who discarded the old policy of the fathers. We resisted, and still
  resist, your innovation; and thence comes the greater prominence of
  the question. Would you have that question reduced to its former
  proportions? Go back to that old policy. What has been will be
  again, under the same conditions. If you would have the peace of
  the old times, re-adopt the precepts and policy of the old times.

  “You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We
  deny it. And what is your proof? Harper’s Ferry! John Brown! John
  Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single
  Republican in his Harper’s Ferry enterprise. If any member of our
  party is guilty in that matter, you know it, or you do not know
  it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable to not designate the
  man, and prove the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable
  to assert it, and especially to persist in the assertion after you
  have tried and failed to make the proof. You need not be told that
  persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true is simply
  malicious slander.

  “Some of you admit that no Republican designedly aided or
  encouraged the Harper’s Ferry affair; but still insist that our
  doctrines and declarations necessarily lead to such results. We
  do not believe it. We know we hold to no doctrine, and make no
  declarations which were not held to and made by our fathers who
  framed the government under which we live. You never deal fairly by
  us in relation to this affair. When it occurred, some important
  State elections were near at hand, and you were in evident glee
  with the belief that, by charging the blame upon us, you could get
  an advantage of us in those elections. The elections came, and
  your expectations were not quite fulfilled. Every Republican man
  knew that, as to himself, at least, your charge was a slander,
  and he was not much inclined by it to cast his vote in your
  favor. Republican doctrines and declarations are accompanied with
  a continual protest against any interference whatever with your
  slaves, or with you about your slaves. Surely, this does not
  encourage them to revolt. True, we do, in common with our fathers,
  who framed the government under which we live, declare our belief
  that slavery is wrong; but the slaves do not hear us declare even
  this. For any thing we say or do, the slaves would scarcely know
  there is a Republican party. I believe they would not, in fact,
  generally know it but for your misrepresentations of us in their
  hearing. In your political contest among yourselves, each faction
  charges the other with sympathy with Black Republicanism; and then,
  to give point to the charge, defines Black Republicanism to simply
  be insurrection, blood and thunder among the slaves.

  “Slave insurrections are no more common now than they were before
  the Republican party was organized. What induced the Southampton
  insurrection, twenty-eight years ago, in which, at least, three
  times as many lives were lost as at Harper’s Ferry? You can
  scarcely stretch your very elastic fancy to the conclusion that
  Southampton was got up by Black Republicanism. In the present state
  of things in the United States, I do not think a general, or even a
  very extensive slave insurrection, is possible. The indispensable
  concert of action cannot be attained. The slaves have no means of
  rapid communication; nor can incendiary free men, black or white,
  supply it. The explosive materials are everywhere in parcels;
  but there neither are, nor can be supplied, the indispensable
  connecting trains.

  “Much is said by southern people about the affection of slaves for
  their masters and mistresses; and a part of it, at least, is true.
  A plot for an uprising could scarcely be devised and communicated
  to twenty individuals before some one of them, to save the life of
  a favorite master or mistress, would divulge it. This is the rule;
  and the slave revolution in Hayti was not an exception to it, but a
  case occurring under peculiar circumstances. The gunpowder plot of
  British history, though not connected with the slaves, was more in
  point. In that case, only about twenty were admitted to the secret;
  and yet one of them, in his anxiety to save a friend, betrayed the
  plot to that friend, and, by consequence, averted the calamity.
  Occasional poisoning from the kitchen, and open or stealthy
  assassinations in the field, and local revolts extending to a score
  or so, will continue to occur as the natural results of slavery;
  but no general insurrection of slaves, as I think, can happen in
  this country for a long time. Whoever much fears, or much hopes,
  for such an event, will be alike disappointed.

  “In the language of Mr. Jefferson, uttered many years ago, ‘It is
  still in our power to direct the process of emancipation, and
  deportation, peaceably, and in such slow degrees, as that the evil
  will wear off insensibly; and their places be, _pari passu_, filled
  up by free white laborers. If, on the contrary, it is left to force
  itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up.’

  “Mr. Jefferson did not mean to say, nor do I, that the power of
  emancipation is in the Federal Government. He spoke of Virginia;
  and, as to the power of emancipation, I speak of the slaveholding
  States only.

  “The Federal Government, however, as we insist, has the power of
  restraining the extension of the institution--the power to insure
  that a slave insurrection shall never occur on any American soil
  which is now free from slavery.

  “John Brown’s effort was peculiar. It was not a slave insurrection.
  It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in
  which the slaves refused to participate. In fact, it was so absurd
  that the slaves, with all their ignorance, saw plainly enough it
  could not succeed. That affair, in its philosophy, corresponds
  with the many attempts, related in history, at the assassination
  of kings and emperors. An enthusiast broods over the oppression
  of a people till he fancies himself commissioned by Heaven to
  liberate them. He ventures the attempt, which ends in little else
  than in his own execution. Orsini’s attempt on Louis Napoleon, and
  John Brown’s attempt at Harper’s Ferry were, in their philosophy,
  precisely the same. The eagerness to cast blame on old England in
  the one case, and on New England in the other, does not disprove
  the sameness of the two things.

  “And how much would it avail you, if you could, by the use of
  John Brown, Helper’s book, and the like, break up the Republican
  organization? Human action can be modified to some extent, but
  human nature cannot be changed. There is a judgment and a feeling
  against slavery in this nation, which cast at least a million and a
  half of votes. You cannot destroy that judgment and feeling--that
  sentiment--by breaking up the political organization which rallies
  around it. You can scarcely scatter and disperse an army which has
  been formed into order in the face of your heaviest fire; but if
  you could, how much would you gain by forcing the sentiment which
  created it out of the peaceful channel of the ballot-box, into some
  other channel? What would that other channel probably be? Would the
  number of John Browns be lessened or enlarged by the operation?

  “But you will break up the Union rather than submit to a denial of
  your Constitutional rights.

  “That has a somewhat reckless sound; but it would be palliated,
  if not fully justified, were we proposing by the mere force of
  numbers, to deprive you of some right plainly written down in the
  Constitution. But we are proposing no such thing.

  “When you make these declarations, you have a specific and
  well-understood allusion to an assumed Constitutional right of
  yours, to take slaves into the federal territories, and hold them
  there as property, but no such right is specifically written in
  the Constitution. That instrument is literally silent about any
  such right. We, on the contrary, deny that such a right has any
  existence in the Constitution, even by implication.

  “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is, that you will destroy
  the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the
  Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you
  and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

  “This, plainly stated, is your language to us. Perhaps you will say
  the Supreme Court has decided the disputed Constitutional question
  in your favor. Not quite so. But waiving the lawyer’s distinction
  between dictum and decision, the Courts have decided the question
  for you in a sort of way. The Courts have substantially said,
  it is your Constitutional right to take slaves into the Federal
  Territories, and to hold them there as property.

  “When I say the decision was made in a sort of way, I mean it was
  made in a divided Court by a bare majority of the Judges, and they
  not quite agreeing with one another in the reasons for making it;
  that it is so made as that its avowed supporters disagree with one
  another about its meaning, and that it was mainly based upon a
  mistaken statement of fact--the statement in the opinion that ‘the
  right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed
  in the Constitution.’

  “An inspection of the Constitution will show that the right of
  property in a slave is not distinctly and expressly affirmed in
  it. Bear in mind the Judges do not pledge their judicial opinion
  that such right is impliedly affirmed in the Constitution; but
  they pledge their veracity that it is distinctly and expressly
  affirmed there--‘distinctly’ that is, not mingled with anything
  else--‘expressly’ that is, in words meaning just that, without the
  aid of any inference, and susceptible of no other meaning.

  “If they had only pledged their judicial opinion that such right
  is affirmed in the instrument by implication, it would be open
  to others to show that neither the word ‘slave’ nor ‘slavery’ is
  to be found in the Constitution, nor the word ‘property’ even,
  in any connection with language alluding to the things slave, or
  slavery, and that wherever in that instrument the slave is alluded
  to, he is called a ‘person;’ and wherever his master’s legal right
  in relation to him is alluded to, it is spoken of as ‘service or
  labor due,’ as a ‘debt’ payable in service or labor. Also, it would
  be open to show, by contemporaneous history, that this mode of
  alluding to slaves and slavery, instead of speaking of them, was
  employed on purpose to exclude from the Constitution the idea that
  there could be property in man.

  “To show all this is easy and certain.

  “When this obvious mistake of the Judges shall be brought to their
  notice, is it not reasonable to expect that they will withdraw the
  mistaken statement, and reconsider the conclusion based upon it?

  “And then it is to be remembered that ‘our fathers, who framed
  the Government under which we live’--the men who made the
  Constitution--decided this same Constitutional question in our
  favor, long ago--decided it without a division among themselves,
  when making the decision; without division among themselves about
  the meaning of it after it was made, and so far as any evidence is
  left, without basing it upon any mistaken statement of facts.

  “Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves
  justified to break up this Government, unless such a court decision
  as yours is shall be at once submitted to, as a conclusive and
  final rule of political action.

  “But you will not abide the election of a Republican President. In
  that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then,
  you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us!

  “That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters
  through his teeth, ‘stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and
  then you will be a murderer!’

  “To be sure, what the robber demanded of me--my money--was my own;
  and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than
  my vote is my own; and threat of death to me, to extort my money,
  and threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can
  scarcely be distinguished in principle.

  “A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that
  all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in
  harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have
  it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion
  and ill-temper. Even though the southern people will not so much
  as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield
  to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can.
  Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of
  their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will
  satisfy them?

  “Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally
  surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present
  complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned.
  Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy
  them if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and
  insurrections? We know it will not. We so know because we know we
  never had any thing to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet
  this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the

  “The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We
  must not only let them alone, but we must, somehow, convince them
  that we do let them alone. This we know by experience, is no
  easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very
  beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our
  platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose
  to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them.
  Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never
  detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

  “These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what
  will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery
  _wrong_, and join them in calling it _right_. And this must be done
  thoroughly--done in _acts_ as well as in _words_. Silence will not
  be tolerated--we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Douglas’s
  new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all
  declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in
  presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return
  their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our
  Free-State Constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected
  from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to
  believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

  “I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this
  way. Most of them would probably say to us, ‘Let us alone, do
  nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery.’ But we do
  let them alone--have never disturbed them--so that, after all,
  it is what we say which dissatisfies them. They will continue to
  accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.

  “I am also aware they have not, as yet, in terms, demanded the
  overthrow of our Free-State Constitutions. Yet those Constitutions
  declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis than do all
  other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall
  have been silenced, the overthrow of these Constitutions will be
  demanded, and nothing be left to resist the demand. It is nothing
  to the contrary, that they do not demand the whole of this just
  now. Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can
  voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as
  they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating,
  they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a
  legal right and a social blessing.

  “Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our
  conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words,
  acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and
  should be silenced and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly
  object to its nationality--its universality; if it is wrong, they
  cannot justly insist upon its extension--its enlargement. All they
  ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we
  ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their
  thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact
  upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as
  they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition,
  as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to
  them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own?
  In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can
  we do this?

  “Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone
  where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from
  its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will
  prevent it, allow it to spread into the National Territories, and
  to overrun us here in these Free States?

  “If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our
  duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of
  those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously
  plied and belabored--contrivances such as groping for some middle
  ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a
  man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man--such as a
  policy of ‘dont care’ on a question about which all true men do
  care--such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield
  to Disunionists, reversing the Divine rule, and calling, not the
  sinners, but the righteous to repentance--such as invocations to
  Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo
  what Washington did.

  “Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations
  against us, not frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the
  Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that
  right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to
  do our duty as we understand it.”

It was during this visit to New York that the following incident
occurred, as related by a teacher in the Five-Points House of Industry,
in that city:

  “Our Sunday-school in the Five-Points was assembled, one
  Sabbath morning, a few months since, when I noticed a tall and
  remarkable-looking man enter the room and take a seat among
  us. He listened with fixed attention to our exercises, and his
  countenance manifested such genuine interest that I approached him
  and suggested that he might be willing to say something to the
  children. He accepted the invitation with evident pleasure, and,
  coming forward, began a simple address, which at once fascinated
  every little hearer, and hushed the room into silence. His language
  was strikingly beautiful, and his tones musical with intensest
  feeling. The little faces around would droop into sad conviction as
  he uttered sentences of warning, and would brighten into sunshine
  as he spoke cheerful words of promise. Once or twice he attempted
  to close his remarks, but the imperative shout of ‘Go on!’ ‘Oh,
  do go on!’ would compel him to resume. As I looked upon the gaunt
  and sinewy frame of the stranger, and marked his powerful head and
  determined features, now touched into softness by the impressions
  of the moment, I felt an irrepressible curiosity to learn something
  more about him, and when he was quietly leaving the room I begged
  to know his name. He courteously replied, ‘It is Abra’m Lincoln,
  from Illinois!’”



  The Republican National Convention--Democratic Convention--
  Constitutional Union Convention--Ballotings at Chicago--The
  Result--Enthusiastic Reception--Visit to Springfield--Address
  and Letter of Acceptance--The Campaign--Result of the Election--
  South Carolina’s Movements--Buchanan’s pusillanimity--Secession
  of states--Confederate Constitution--Peace Convention--
  Constitutional Amendments--Terms of the Rebels.

On the 16th of May, 1860, the Republican National Convention met at
Chicago, to present candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency.
The Democratic Convention had previously adjourned, after a stormy
session of some two weeks, at which it was apparent that, if Mr.
Douglas’s friends persisted in placing him in nomination, another
candidate would be presented by the wing opposed to his peculiar views
on the slavery question, and the great party would thus be disrupted.
Another convention, claiming to represent, in a peculiarly individual
manner, the party in favor of the Constitution and the Union, had met
at Baltimore and put in nomination John Bell, of Tennessee, and Edward
Everett, of Massachusetts.

The aspect seemed favorable for the election of the Republican
candidates, and that convention, on the morning of the 18th of May--one
day having been spent in organizing and another in the adoption of
a platform of principles--amid the intense excitement of the twelve
thousand people inside of the “Wigwam” (as the building was styled in
which the body was in session), voted to proceed at once to ballot for
a candidate for President of the United States.

Seven names were formally presented in the following order: William H.
Seward, of New York; Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois; William L. Dayton,
of New Jersey; Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania; Salmon P. Chase, of
Ohio; Edward Bates, of Missouri; and John McLean, of Ohio.

On the first ballot Mr. Seward received 173 votes, Mr. Lincoln 102,
Mr. Cameron 50, Mr. Chase 49, Mr. Bates 48, Mr. Dayton 14, Mr. McLean
12, and there were 16 votes scattered among candidates not put in
nomination. For a choice, 233 votes were required.

On the second ballot (Mr. Cameron’s name having been withdrawn) the
vote for the several candidates was as follows: Mr. Seward 184, Mr.
Lincoln 181, Mr. Chase 42, Mr. Bates 35, Mr. Dayton 10, Mr. McLean 8,
scattering 4.

The third ballot was immediately taken, and, when the call of the roll
was ended, the footings were as follows: For Mr. Lincoln 231, Mr.
Seward 180, Mr. Chase 24, Mr. Bates. 22, all others 7. Immediately
before the result was announced, four Ohio delegates changed their
votes to Mr. Lincoln, giving him a majority.

The scene which followed--the wild, almost delirious outburst of
applause within and without the building, the congratulations, the
hand-shakings, the various manifestations of joy, continued with
scarcely any interruption for some three-quarters of an hour--was
probably never before witnessed in a popular assembly.

The nomination having been made unanimous, the ticket was completed by
the selection of Senator Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, as Vice-President.

The country then felt that the right man had for once been put in the
right place. As a man of the people, in cordial sympathy with the
masses, Mr. Lincoln enjoyed the unhesitating confidence of the sincere
friends of free labor, regardless of party distinctions. His tried
integrity and incorruptible honesty gave promise of a return to the
better days of the republic. Every man, laboring for the advancement
of his fellow, knew that in him humanity, irrespective of race or
condition, had a tried and trusty friend.

The committee, appointed to apprise him of his nomination, found him
at his home, in Springfield, a frame two-storied house, apparently
about thirty-five or forty feet square, standing at the corner of two
streets. After entering the parlor, which was very plainly furnished,
though in good taste, a brief address was made by the chairman of the
convention, upon the utterance of the first sentence of which a smile
played round Mr. Lincoln’s large, firm-set mouth, his eyes lit up, and
his face conveyed to those who then for the first time met him, an
impression of that sincere, loving nature which those who had known him
long and well had learned in some measure to comprehend and revere.

       *       *       *       *       *

In response to this address, Mr. Lincoln said:

  and through you to the Republican National Convention, and all
  the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high
  honor done me, which you now formally announce. Deeply, and
  even painfully sensible of the great responsibility which is
  inseparable from this high honor--a responsibility which I could
  almost wish had fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men
  and experienced statesmen whose distinguished names were before
  the Convention, I shall, by your leave, consider more fully the
  resolutions of the Convention, denominated the platform, and
  without unnecessary and unreasonable delay, respond to you, Mr.
  Chairman, in writing, not doubting that the platform will be found
  satisfactory, and the nomination gratefully accepted. And now I
  will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each of you,
  by the hand.”

In reply to the formal letter of the President of the Convention,
apprising him of the nomination, Mr. Lincoln addressed the following:

    “_Springfield, Illinois_, May 23d, 1860.

    “HON. GEORGE ASHMAN, _President of the Republican National

  “SIR: I accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention
  over which you presided, and of which I am formally apprised in
  the letter of yourself and others, acting as a Committee of the
  Convention for that purpose.

  “The declaration of principles and sentiments, which accompanies
  your letter, meets my approval; and it shall be my care not to
  violate, or disregard it, in any part.

  “Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard
  to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the
  Convention; to the rights of all the States and Territories, and
  people of the nation; to the inviolability of the Constitution, and
  the perpetual union, harmony and prosperity of all, I am most happy
  to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared
  by the Convention,

    “Your obliged friend and fellow-citizen,

The breach in the Democratic party, threatened at Charleston, was
subsequently effected by the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas
and Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, by one wing, and of John C.
Breckinridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph Lane, of Oregon, by the other.

Although the election of Mr. Lincoln was, under the circumstances,
almost a foregone conclusion, yet the canvass which ensued was
acrimonious and vindictive in the extreme, the choicest selections from
the rank Billingsgate vocabularies being lavished on the head of Mr.
Lincoln and his supporters.

On the 6th of November, 1860, Mr. Lincoln received 1,866,452 votes,
securing the electoral votes of the States of Maine, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, California, Oregon, and four votes of New Jersey, 180 in
all; Douglas, 1,375,157 votes, and the electoral votes of Missouri, and
three of New Jersey, 12 in all; Breckinridge, 847,953, and the votes of
Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, 72 in all; and
Bell, 590,631, and the votes of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, 39
in all.

And now was to be tested whether words were to ripen into
deeds--whether threats would be reduced to practice--whether, indeed,
there were madness enough in any State or States to attempt the life of
the republic. Unfortunately, a short space of time elapsed before all
doubts were at an end. Men were to be found--not confined to a single
State, but representatives of nearly, if not quite all--not to be
counted by scores or hundreds even, but by thousands, and soon by tens
of thousands--ready to lay their unhallowed hands upon the Union, the
ark of our nation’s glory and strength.

To South Carolina belongs the bold, bad eminence of taking the
initiation in this conspiracy against the interests of humanity. While
this State--doomed forever after to an ignominy from which centuries
of unquestioned loyalty cannot free her--was taking the requisite
steps toward secession, the then President, James Buchanan, with a
pusillanimity--to use no stronger term--which modern history certainly
has never paralleled, in his annual message, after having urged the
unconstitutionality of the proceeding, gave explicit notification that
he had no constitutional power to prevent the proposed measures being
hastened to successful completion. Neither, though appealed to, at a
still earlier day, by the veteran chief of the army, to occupy and hold
the United States on the Southern coast, could he find any warrant for
protecting and defending the national property.

Surely nothing more could the conspirators have desired. On the 20th of
December, 1860, South Carolina claims to secede--Government forts and
arsenals are seized, and placed under the protection of the flag of the
State. Georgia’s Governor lays hand on the United States forts on the
coast of that State, on the 3d of January, 1861; as did the Executive
of Alabama on the following day.

Events of a startling nature follow in rapid succession. On the 9th
of January, hostile shots are fired upon a vessel bringing tardy
reinforcements to Fort Sumter, and Mississippi assumes to put herself
out of the Union. Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are not laggard;
nor are Texas and Louisiana found wanting. Cabinet officers from
the slave States either resigned, after having aided the fell work
to their utmost, or remained only to hasten its consummation. A new
constitution, “temporary” in its nature, was declared by delegates from
the seven States then in rebellion, and a President and Vice-President

Meanwhile a convention, composed of delegates from most of the Free
States, and from all the border Slave States, was striving, at
Washington, to heal existing difficulties by compromise. Of its members
some were acting in good faith, others were using it as a breakwater
for the States already in overt rebellion. A series of resolutions,
however, aiming at peace on the basis of a preserved Union was agreed
to by a majority, and the body adjourned on the 1st of March.

On the 11th of February, moreover, the National House of
Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution--shortly afterward
concurred in by the Senate--providing for an amendment to the
Constitution, forever prohibiting any Congressional legislation
interfering with slavery in any State. Some there were, too, who were
willing to concede almost every thing and surrender the long mooted
question of slavery in the territories by the adoption of the so-called
Crittenden resolutions, which were killed in cold blood by Southern

But no concession, short of actual national degradation, would satisfy
the recusants. Jefferson Davis, the head of the “Confederacy,” on
placing himself at the head of the rebellion, at Montgomery, Alabama,
February 18th, modestly defined the position of himself and his
co-conspirators thus:

“If a just perception of neutral interest shall permit us peaceably
to pursue our separate political career, my most earnest desire will
have been fulfilled. But if this be denied us, and the integrity of our
territory and jurisdiction be assailed, it will but remain for us with
firm resolve to appeal to arms, and invoke the blessing of Providence
on a just cause.”

This was at once clinched by a recommendation that “a well-instructed,
disciplined army, more numerous than would usually be required, on a
peace establishment,” should be at once organized and put in training
for the emergency.



  The Departure--Farewell Remarks--Speech at Toledo--At
  Indianapolis--At Cincinnati--At Columbus--At Steubenville--
  At Pittsburgh--At Cleveland--At Buffalo--At Albany--At
  Poughkeepsie--At New York--At Trenton--At Philadelphia--At
  “Independence Hall”--Flag-raising--Speech at Harrisburg--Secret
  Departure for Washington--Comments.

Thus matters stood--the air filled with mutterings of an approaching
storm--the most filled with a certain undefinable anxiety--the hearts
of many failing them through fear--when, on the morning of the 11th of
February, 1861, the President elect with his family, bade adieu to that
prairie home which, alas! he was never again to see.

       *       *       *       *       *

The large throng which had assembled at the railway station on the
occasion of his departure, he addressed in words replete with the
pathos of every true manly nature:

  “MY FRIENDS:--No one, not in my position, can appreciate the
  sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I
  am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my
  children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not
  how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which
  is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other
  man since the days of Washington. He never could have succeeded
  except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times
  relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid
  which sustained him; and in the same Almighty being I place my
  reliance for support, and I hope you, my friends, will all pray
  that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I can not
  succeed, but with which success is certain. Again, I bid you all an
  affectionate farewell.”

Along the route, multitudes gathered at the stations to greet him. At
Toledo, Ohio, in reply to repeated calls, he appeared on the platform
of the car and said:

  “I am leaving you on an errand of national importance, attended, as
  you are aware, with considerable difficulties. Let us believe, as
  some poet has expressed it, ‘Behind the cloud the sun is shining
  still.’ I bid you an affectionate farewell.”

At Indianapolis, on the evening of the same day, in reply to an
official address of welcome, he gave the first direct public intimation
of his views concerning the absorbing topics of the day, in which
homely sense and cheerful pleasantry were blended with a skill beyond
the power of mere art:

  for this magnificent welcome, and still more for the very generous
  support given by your State to that political cause, which, I
  think, is the true and just cause of the whole country, and the
  whole world. Solomon says, ‘there is a time to keep silence;’ and
  when men wrangle by the mouth, with no certainty that they mean the
  same thing while using the same words, it perhaps were as well if
  they would keep silence.

  “The words ‘coercion’ and ‘invasion’ are much used in these days,
  and often with some temper and hot blood. Let us make sure, if we
  can, that we do not misunderstand the meaning of those who use
  them. Let us get the exact definitions of these words, not from
  dictionaries, but from the men themselves, who certainly deprecate
  the things they would represent by the use of the words.

  “What, then, is coercion? What is invasion? Would the marching of
  an army into South Carolina, without the consent of her people, and
  with hostile intent toward them, be invasion? I certainly think it
  would, and it would be coercion also, if the South Carolinians were
  forced to submit. But if the United States should merely hold and
  retake its own forts and other property, and collect the duties on
  foreign importations, or even withhold the mails from places where
  they were habitually violated, would any or all of these things be
  invasion or coercion? Do our professed lovers of the Union, who
  spitefully resolve that they will resist coercion and invasion,
  understand that such things as these, on the part of the United
  States, would be coercion or invasion of a State? If so, their idea
  of means to preserve the object of their great affection would seem
  to be exceedingly thin and airy. If sick, the little pills of the
  homeopathist would be much too large for it to swallow. In their
  view, the Union, as a family relation, would seem to be no regular
  marriage, but rather a sort of ‘free-love’ arrangement, to be
  maintained on passional attraction.

  “By the way, in what consists the special sacredness of a State?
  I speak not of the position assigned to a State in the Union
  by the Constitution, for that is a bond we all recognize. That
  position, however, a State cannot carry out of the Union with
  it. I speak of that assumed primary right of a State to rule all
  which is less than itself, and to ruin all which is larger than
  itself. If a State and a County, in a given case, should be equal
  in number of inhabitants, in what, as a matter of principle, is
  the State better than the County? Would an exchange of name be
  an exchange of rights? Upon what principle, upon what rightful
  principle, may a State, being no more than one-fiftieth part of
  the nation in soil and population, break up the nation, and then
  coerce a proportionally large sub-division of itself in the most
  arbitrary way? What mysterious right to play tyrant is conferred
  on a district or country with its people, by merely calling it a
  State? Fellow citizens, I am not asserting any thing. I am merely
  asking questions for you to consider. And now allow me to bid you

Proceeding to Cincinnati, he received a most enthusiastic welcome.
Having been addressed by the mayor of the city, and escorted by a
civic and military procession to the Burnet House, he addressed the
assemblage in these words:

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS: I have spoken but once before this in Cincinnati.
  That was a year previous to the late Presidential election. On that
  occasion in a playful manner, but with sincere words, I addressed
  much of what I said to the Kentuckians. I gave my opinion that we,
  as Republicans, would ultimately beat them as Democrats, but that
  they could postpone the result longer by nominating Senator Douglas
  for the Presidency than they could in any other way. They did not,
  in any true sense of the word, nominate Mr. Douglas, and the result
  has come certainly as soon as ever I expected.

  “I also told them how I expected they would be treated after they
  should have been beaten, and now wish to call their attention to
  what I then said:

  “‘When we do, as we say we will, beat you, you perhaps want to
  know what we will do with you. I will tell you--as far as I
  am authorized to speak for the opposition--what we mean to do
  with you. We mean to treat you as near as we possibly can, as
  Washington, Jefferson, and Madison treated you. We mean to leave
  you alone, and in no way to interfere with your institutions; to
  abide by all and every compromise of the Constitution. In a word,
  coming back to the original proposition, to treat you, as far as
  degenerate men--if we have degenerated--may, according to the
  example of those noble fathers, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison.
  We mean to remember that you are as good as we; that there is no
  difference between us other than the difference of circumstances.
  We mean to recognize and bear in mind always that you have as good
  hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as we claim to have, and
  to treat you accordingly.’

  “Fellow-citizens of Kentucky, friends, brethren: May I call you
  such? In my new position I see no occasion and feel no inclination
  to retract a word of this. If it shall not be made good be assured
  that the fault shall not be mine.”

On the next morning he left Cincinnati, and arrived at Columbus, where
he was received with every demonstration of enthusiasm. He visited the
Governor in the Executive Chamber, and was subsequently introduced to
the members of the Legislature in joint session, when he was formally
welcomed by the Lieutenant-Governor, to whom Mr. Lincoln responded in
these words:

  “It is true, as has been said by the President of the Senate,
  that very great responsibility rests upon me in the position to
  which the votes of the American people have called me. I am deeply
  sensible of that weighty responsibility. I cannot but know, what
  you all know, that without a name--perhaps without a reason why I
  should have a name--there has fallen upon me a task such as did not
  rest upon the Father of his Country. And so feeling, I cannot but
  turn and look for the support without which it will be impossible
  for me to perform that great task. I turn, then, and look to the
  American people, and to that God who has never forsaken them.

  “Allusion has been made to the interest felt in relation to the
  policy of the new Administration. In this, I have received from
  some a degree of credit for having kept silence, from others
  some depreciation. I still think I was right. In the varying and
  repeatedly shifting scenes of the present, without a precedent
  which could enable me to judge for the past, it has seemed fitting,
  that before speaking upon the difficulties of the country I should
  have gained a view of the whole field. To be sure, after all, I
  would be at liberty to modify and change the course of policy as
  future events might make a change necessary.

  “I have not maintained silence from any want of real anxiety. It
  is a good thing that there is no more than anxiety, for there is
  nothing going wrong. It is a consoling circumstance that when we
  look out there is nothing that really hurts anybody. We entertain
  different views upon political questions, but nobody is suffering
  any thing. This is a most consoling circumstance, and from it I
  judge that all we want is time and patience, and a reliance on that
  God who has never forsaken this people.”

On the 14th of February, Mr. Lincoln proceeded to Pittsburgh. At
Steubenville, on the route, in reply to an address, he said:

  “I fear the great confidence placed in my ability is unfounded.
  Indeed, I am sure it is. Encompassed by vast difficulties, as I am,
  nothing shall be wanted on my part, if sustained by the American
  people and God. I believe the devotion to the Constitution is
  equally great on both sides of the river. It is only the different
  understanding of that instrument that causes difficulties. The only
  dispute is ‘What are their rights?’ If the majority should not
  rule who should be the judge? Where is such a judge to be found?
  We should all be bound by the majority of the American people--if
  not, then the minority must control. Would that be right? Would it
  be just or generous? Assuredly not.” He reiterated, the majority
  should rule. If he adopted a wrong policy, then the opportunity to
  condemn him would occur in four years’ time. “Then I can be turned
  out and a better man with better views put in my place.”

The next morning he left for Cleveland, but before his departure he
made an address to the people of Pittsburgh, in which he said:

  “In every short address I have made to the people, and in every
  crowd through which I have passed of late, some allusion has
  been made to the present distracted condition of the country.
  It is naturally expected that I should say something upon this
  subject, but to touch upon it at all would involve an elaborate
  discussion of a great many questions and circumstances, would
  require more time than I can at present command, and would perhaps
  unnecessarily commit me upon matters which have not yet fully
  developed themselves.

  “The condition of the country, fellow-citizens, is an extraordinary
  one, and fills the mind of every patriot with anxiety and
  solicitude. My intention is to give this subject all the
  consideration which I possibly can before I speak fully and
  definitely in regard to it, so that, when I do speak, I may be as
  nearly right as possible. And when I do speak, fellow-citizens,
  I hope to say nothing in opposition to the spirit of the
  Constitution, contrary to the integrity of the Union, or which will
  in any way prove inimical to the liberties of the people or to the
  peace of the whole country. And, furthermore, when the time arrives
  for me to speak on this great subject, I hope to say nothing
  which will disappoint the reasonable expectations of any man, or
  disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially
  if their expectations have been based upon any thing which I may
  have heretofore said.

  “Notwithstanding the troubles across the river [the speaker,
  smiling, pointed southwardly to the Monongahela river], there is
  really no crisis springing from any thing in the Government itself.
  In plain words, there is really no crisis except an artificial one.
  What is there now to warrant the condition of affairs presented
  by our friends ‘over the river?’ Take even their own view of the
  questions involved, and there is nothing to justify the course
  which they are pursuing. I repeat it, then, there is no crisis,
  except such a one as may be gotten up at any time by turbulent
  men, aided by designing politicians. My advice, then, under such
  circumstances, is to keep cool. If the great American people will
  only keep their temper on both sides of the line, the trouble will
  come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country
  will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like
  character which have originated in this government have been
  adjusted. Let the people on both sides keep their self-possession,
  and just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so
  will this, and this great nation shall continue to prosper as

He then referred to the subject of the tariff, and said:

  “According to my political education, I am inclined to believe that
  the people in the various portions of the country should have their
  own views carried out through their representatives in Congress.
  That consideration of the tariff bill should not be postponed until
  the next session of the National Legislature. No subject should
  engage your representatives more closely than that of the tariff.
  If I have any recommendation to make, it will be that every man who
  is called upon to serve the people, in a representative capacity,
  should study the whole subject thoroughly, as I intend to do
  myself, looking to all the varied interests of the common country,
  so that, when the time for action arrives, adequate protection
  shall be extended to the coal and iron of Pennsylvania, and the
  corn of Illinois. Permit me to express the hope that this important
  subject may receive such consideration at the hands of your
  representatives that the interests of no part of the country may be
  overlooked, but that all sections may share in the common benefits
  of a just and equitable tariff.”

Mr. Lincoln, upon his arrival in Cleveland, adverted to the same
subject in the following terms:

  “It is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the
  Union and the Constitution, and not with any one man. It rests
  with you alone. This fact is strongly impressed on my mind at
  present. In a community like this, whose appearance testifies to
  their intelligence, I am convinced that the cause of liberty and
  the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the
  excitement at present existing in national politics. I think there
  is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is
  altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation, there
  are differences of opinion in politics. There are differences
  of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who
  now addresses you. And how is it with those who are not here?
  Have they not all their rights as they ever had? Do they not have
  their fugitive slaves returned now as ever? Have they not the same
  Constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have
  they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have
  we any power to change that position? What, then, is the matter
  with them? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints? As I
  said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in
  fact. It was ‘argued up,’ as the saying is, and cannot be argued
  down. Let it alone, and it will go down itself.”

On Saturday he proceeded to Buffalo, where he arrived at evening, and
was met by an immense concourse of citizens headed by Ex-President

Arriving at the hotel, Mr. Lincoln was welcomed in a brief speech by
the acting chief magistrate, to which he made a brief reply, as follows:

  “MR. MAYOR AND FELLOW CITIZENS:--I am here to thank you briefly
  for this grand reception given to me not personally, but as the
  representative of our great and beloved country. Your worthy Mayor
  has been pleased to mention in his address to me, the fortunate and
  agreeable journey which I have had from home--only it is rather
  a circuitous route to the Federal Capitol. I am very happy that
  he was enabled, in truth, to congratulate myself and company on
  that fact. It is true, we have had nothing thus far to mar the
  pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who
  assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone, but by
  the whole population of the country through which we have passed.
  This is as it should be. Had the election fallen to any other of
  the distinguished candidates instead of myself, under the peculiar
  circumstances, to say the least, it would have been proper for
  all citizens to have greeted him as you now greet me. It is an
  evidence of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution,
  the Union, and the perpetuity of the liberties of this country. I
  am unwilling, on any occasion, that I should be so meanly thought
  of as to have it supposed for a moment that these demonstrations
  are tendered to me personally. They are tendered to the country,
  to the institutions of the country, and to the perpetuity of the
  liberties of the country for which these institutions were made
  and created. Your worthy mayor has thought fit to express the hope
  that I may be able to relieve the country from the present, or, I
  should say, the threatened difficulties. I am sure I bring a heart
  true to the work. For the ability to perform it, I trust in that
  Supreme Being who has never forsaken this favored land, through the
  instrumentality of this great and intelligent people. Without that
  assistance I should surely fail; with it I cannot fail. When we
  speak of the threatened difficulties to the country, it is natural
  that it should be expected that something should be said by myself
  with regard to particular measures. Upon more mature reflection,
  however, I think,--and others will agree with me--that, when it is
  considered that these difficulties are without precedent, and never
  have been acted upon by any individual situated as I am, it is most
  proper that I should wait and see the developments, and get all the
  light possible, so that, when I do speak authoritatively, I may
  be as near right as possible. When I shall speak authoritatively,
  I hope to say nothing inconsistent with the Constitution, the
  Union, the rights of all the States, of each State, and of each
  section of the country, and not to disappoint the reasonable
  expectations of those who have confided to me their votes. In this
  connection, allow me to say that you, as a portion of the great
  American people, need only to maintain your composure, stand up
  to your sober convictions of right, to your obligations to the
  Constitution, and act in accordance with those sober convictions,
  and the clouds which now arise in the horizon will be dispelled,
  and we shall have a bright and glorious future; and, when this
  generation shall have passed away, tens of thousands shall inhabit
  this country where only thousands inhabit it now. I do not propose
  to address you at length. I have no voice for it. Allow me again to
  thank you for this magnificent reception, and bid you farewell.”

Mr. Lincoln then proceeded from Buffalo to Albany. Here he was met by
the Mayor, the City Councils, and the Legislative Committees, and was
conducted to the Capitol, where he was welcomed by Governor Morgan, and
responded briefly, as follows:

  “GOVERNOR MORGAN:--I was pleased to receive an invitation to visit
  the capital of the great Empire State of this nation, while on my
  way to the Federal capital. I now thank you, and you, the people
  of the capital of the State of New York, for this most hearty
  and magnificent welcome. If I am not at fault, the great Empire
  State at this time contains a larger population than did the whole
  of the United States of America at the time they achieved their
  national independence; and I was proud to be invited to visit its
  capital, to meet its citizens as I now have the honor to do. I
  am notified by your governor that this reception is tendered by
  citizens without distinction of party. Because of this, I accept it
  the more gladly. In this country, and in any country where freedom
  of thought is tolerated, citizens attach themselves to political
  parties. It is but an ordinary degree of charity to attribute this
  act to the supposition that, in thus attaching themselves to the
  various parties, each man, in his own judgment, supposes he thereby
  best advances the interests of the whole country. And when an
  election is passed, it is altogether befitting a free people that,
  until the next election, they should be one people. The reception
  you have extended me to-day is not given to me personally. It
  should not be so, but as the representative, for the time being, of
  the majority of the nation. If the election had fallen to any of
  the more distinguished citizens, who received the support of the
  people, this same honor should have greeted him that greets me this
  day, in testimony of the unanimous devotion of the whole people
  to the Constitution, the Union, and to the perpetual liberties of
  succeeding generations in this country. I have neither the voice
  nor the strength to address you at any greater length. I beg you
  will, therefore, accept my most grateful thanks for this manifest
  devotion--not to me but to the institutions of this great and
  glorious country.”

He was then conducted to the Legislative halls, where, in reply to an
address of welcome, he again adverted to the troubles of the country in
the following terms:

  NEW YORK:--It is with feelings of great diffidence, and, I may
  say, feelings even of awe, perhaps greater than I have recently
  experienced, that I meet you here in this place. The history of
  this great State, the renown of its great men, who have stood in
  this chamber, and have spoken their thoughts, all crowd around my
  fancy, and incline me to shrink from an attempt to address you. Yet
  I have some confidence given me by the generous manner in which
  you have invited me, and the still more generous manner in which
  you have received me. You have invited me and received me without
  distinction of party. I could not for a moment suppose that this
  has been done in any considerable degree with any reference to
  my personal self. It is very much more grateful to me that this
  reception and the invitation preceding it were given to me as
  the representative of a free people, than it could possibly have
  been were they but the evidence of devotion to me or to any one
  man. It is true that, while I hold myself, without mock-modesty,
  the humblest of all the individuals who have ever been elected
  President of the United States, I yet have a more difficult task to
  perform than any one of them has ever encountered. You have here
  generously tendered me the support, the united support, of the
  great Empire State. For this, in behalf of the nation--in behalf
  of the President and of the future of the nation--in behalf of
  the cause of civil liberty in all time to come--I most gratefully
  thank you. I do not propose now to enter upon any expressions as
  to the particular line of policy to be adopted with reference
  to the difficulties that stand before us in the opening of the
  incoming administration. I deem that it is just to the country, to
  myself, to you, that I should see every thing, hear every thing,
  and have every light that can possibly be brought within my reach
  to aid me before I shall speak officially, in order that, when I
  do speak, I may have the best possible means of taking correct and
  true grounds. For this reason, I do not now announce any thing in
  the way of policy for the new Administration. When the time comes,
  according to the custom of the Government, I shall speak, and speak
  as well as I am able for the good of the present and of the future
  of this country--for the good of the North and of the South--for
  the good of one and of the other, and of all sections of it. In
  the meantime, if we have patience, if we maintain our equanimity,
  though some may allow themselves to run off in a burst of passion,
  I still have confidence that the Almighty Ruler of the Universe,
  through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people,
  can and will bring us through this difficulty, as he has heretofore
  brought us through all preceding difficulties of the country.
  Relying upon this, and again thanking you, as I forever shall, in
  my heart, for this generous reception you have given me, I bid you

At Albany, he was met by a delegation from the city authorities of New
York, and on the 19th started for that city. At Poughkeepsie, he was
welcomed by the Mayor of the city. Mr. Lincoln, in reply, said:

  “I am grateful for this cordial welcome, and I am gratified
  that this immense multitude has come together not to meet the
  individual man, but the man who, for the time being, will humbly
  but earnestly represent the majesty of the nation. These receptions
  have been given me at other places, and, as here, by men of
  different parties, and not by one party alone. It shows an earnest
  effort on the part of all to save, not the country, for the country
  can save itself, but to save the institutions of the country--those
  institutions under which, for at least three-quarters of a
  century, we have become the greatest, the most intelligent, and
  the happiest people in the world. These manifestations show that
  we all make common cause for these objects; that if some of us
  are successful in an election, and others are beaten, those who
  are beaten are not in favor of sinking the ship in consequence
  of defeat, but are earnest in their purpose to sail it safely
  through the voyage in hand, and, in so far as they may think there
  has been any mistake in the election, satisfying themselves to
  take their chance of setting the matter right the next time. That
  course is entirely right. I am not sure--I do not pretend to be
  sure--that in the election of the individual who has been elected
  this term, the wisest choice has been made. I fear it has not. In
  the purposes and in the principles that have been sustained, I
  have been the instrument selected to carry forward the affairs of
  this Government. I can rely upon you, and upon the people of the
  country; and with their sustaining hand, I think that even I shall
  not fail in carrying the Ship of State through the storm.”

The reception of President Lincoln in New York City was a most imposing
demonstration. Places of business were generally closed, and hundreds
of thousands were in the streets. On the next day, he was welcomed to
the city by Mayor Wood, and replied as follows:

  “MR. MAYOR: It is with feelings of deep gratitude that I make my
  acknowledgments for the reception given me in the great commercial
  city of New York. I cannot but remember that this is done by
  a people who do not, by a majority, agree with me in political
  sentiment. It is the more grateful, because in this I see that,
  for the great principles of our Government, the people are almost
  unanimous. In regard to the difficulties that confront us at
  this time, and of which your Honor has thought fit to speak so
  becomingly and so justly, as I suppose, I can only say that I agree
  in the sentiments expressed. In my devotion to the Union, I hope I
  am behind no man in the nation. In the wisdom with which to conduct
  the affairs tending to the preservation of the Union, I fear that
  too great confidence may have been reposed in me; but I am sure I
  bring a heart devoted to the work. There is nothing that could ever
  bring me to willingly consent to the destruction of this Union,
  under which not only the great commercial city of New York, but the
  whole country, acquired its greatness, except it be the purpose
  for which the Union itself was formed. I understand the ship to be
  made for the carrying and the preservation of the cargo, and so
  long as the ship can be saved with the cargo, it should never be
  abandoned, unless it fails the possibility of its preservation,
  and shall cease to exist, except at the risk of throwing overboard
  both freight and passengers. So long, then, as it is possible that
  the prosperity and the liberties of the people be preserved in this
  Union, it shall be my purpose at all times to use all my powers to
  aid in its perpetuation. Again thanking you for the reception given
  me, allow me to come to a close.”

On the next day he left for Philadelphia. At Trenton he remained a few
hours, and visited both Houses of the Legislature. On being received in
the Senate, he thus addressed that body:

  JERSEY:--I am very grateful to you for the honorable reception of
  which I have been the object. I cannot but remember the place that
  New Jersey holds in our early history. In the early Revolutionary
  struggle, few of the States among the old Thirteen had more of the
  battle-fields of the country within its limits than old New Jersey.
  May I be pardoned, if, upon this occasion, I mention that away back
  in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got
  hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have
  ever seen, ‘Weems’ Life of Washington.’ I remember all the accounts
  there given of the battle-fields and struggles for the liberties
  of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so
  deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New Jersey. The crossing
  of the river--the contest with the Hessians--the great hardships
  endured at that time--all fixed themselves on my memory more than
  any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all
  been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others.
  I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must
  have been something more than common that those men struggled for.
  I am exceedingly anxious that that thing which they struggled
  for--that something even more than National Independence--that
  something that held out a great promise to all the people of the
  world to all time to come--I am exceedingly anxious that this
  Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people, shall be
  perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that
  struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed, if I shall be
  an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, His
  almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great
  struggle. You give me this reception, as I understand, without
  distinction of party. I learn that this body is composed of a
  majority of gentlemen who, in the exercise of their best judgment
  in the choice of a Chief Magistrate, did not think I was the man. I
  understand, nevertheless, that they came forward here to greet me
  as the Constitutional President of the United States--as citizens
  of the United States, to meet the man who, for the time being,
  is the representative man of the nation, united by a purpose to
  perpetuate the Union and liberties of the people. As such, I accept
  this reception more gratefully than I could do did I believe it was
  tendered to me as an individual.”

He then passed into the Chamber of the Assembly, and upon being
introduced by the Speaker, addressed that body as follows:

  “MR. SPEAKER AND GENTLEMEN:--I have just enjoyed the honor of a
  reception by the other branch of this Legislature, and I return to
  you and them my thanks for the reception which the people of New
  Jersey have given, through their chosen representatives, to me,
  as the representative, for the time being, of the majesty of the
  people of the United States. I appropriate to myself very little
  of the demonstrations of respect with which I have been greeted.
  I think little should be given to any man, but that it should be
  a manifestation of adherence to the Union and the Constitution. I
  understand myself to be received here by the representatives of the
  people of New Jersey, a majority of whom differ in opinion from
  those with whom I have acted. This manifestation is therefore to
  be regarded by me as expressing their devotion to the Union, the
  Constitution, and the liberties of the people. You, Mr. Speaker,
  have well said, that this is the time when the bravest and wisest
  look with doubt and awe upon the aspect presented by our national
  affairs. Under these circumstances, you will readily see why I
  should not speak in detail of the course I shall deem it best
  to pursue. It is proper that I should avail myself of all the
  information and all the time at my command, in order that when the
  time arrives in which I must speak officially, I shall be able to
  take the ground which I deem the best and safest, and from which I
  may have no occasion to swerve. I shall endeavor to take the ground
  I deem most just to the North, the East, the West, the South, and
  the whole country. I take it, I hope, in good temper--certainly
  with no malice towards any section. I shall do all that may be in
  my power to promote a peaceful settlement of all our difficulties.
  The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am--none
  who would do more to preserve it. But it may be necessary to put
  the foot down firmly. And if I do my duty, and do right, you will
  sustain me, will you not? Received, as I am, by the members of a
  Legislature, the majority of whom do not agree with me in political
  sentiments, I trust that I may have their assistance in piloting
  the Ship of State through this voyage, surrounded by perils as it
  is; for if it should suffer shipwreck now, there will be no pilot
  ever needed for another voyage.”

On his arrival in Philadelphia, he was received with great enthusiasm,
and to an address from the Mayor Mr. Lincoln replied:

  you to make no lengthy speech but to thank you for this reception.
  The reception you have given me to-night is not to me, the man, the
  individual, but to the man who temporarily represents, or should
  represent, the majesty of the nation. It is true, as your worthy
  Mayor has said, that there is anxiety among the citizens of the
  United States at this time. I deem it a happy circumstance that
  this dissatisfied portion of our fellow-citizens do not point us
  to any thing in which they are being injured, or are about to be
  injured; for which reason I have felt all the while justified in
  concluding that the crisis, the panic, the anxiety of the country
  at this time, is artificial. If there be those who differ with
  me upon this subject, they have not pointed out the substantial
  difficulty that exists. I do not mean to say that an artificial
  panic may not do considerable harm; that it has done such I do not
  deny. The hope that has been expressed by your Mayor, that I may be
  able to restore peace, harmony, and prosperity to the country, is
  most worthy of him; and happy indeed will I be if I shall be able
  to verify and fulfil that hope. I promise you, in all sincerity,
  that I bring to the work a sincere heart. Whether I will bring a
  head equal to that heart, will be for future times to determine.
  It were useless for me to speak of details or plans now; I shall
  speak officially next Monday week, if ever. If I should not speak
  then, it were useless for me to do so now. If I do speak then,
  it is useless for me to do so now. When I do speak, I shall take
  such grounds as I deem best calculated to restore peace, harmony,
  and prosperity to the country, and tend to the perpetuity of the
  nation, and the liberty of these States and these people. Your
  worthy Mayor has expressed the wish, in which I join with him, that
  if it were convenient for me to remain with your city long enough
  to consult your merchants and manufacturers; or, as it were, to
  listen to those breathings rising within the consecrated walls
  wherein the Constitution of the United States, and, I will add, the
  Declaration of Independence, were originally framed and adopted.
  I assure you and your Mayor, that I had hoped on this occasion,
  and upon all occasions during my life, that I shall do nothing
  inconsistent with the teachings of these holy and most sacred
  walls. I never asked any thing that does not breathe from those
  walls. All my political warfare has been in favor of the teachings
  that come forth from these sacred walls. May my right hand forget
  its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if ever
  I prove false to those teachings. Fellow-citizens, now allow me to
  bid you good-night.”

On the next morning Mr. Lincoln visited the old “Independence Hall,”
for the purpose of raising the national flag over it. Here he was
received with a warm welcome, and made the following address:

  “I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing here,
  in this place, where were collected the wisdom, the patriotism,
  the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions
  under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my
  hands is the task of restoring peace to the present distracted
  condition of the country. I can say in return, sir, that all the
  political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have
  been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated and
  were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling
  politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the
  Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers
  which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and
  adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have pondered over the
  toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army
  who achieved that independence. I have often inquired of myself
  what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy
  so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation
  of the colonies from the mother-land, but that sentiment in the
  Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the
  people of this country, but, I hope, to the world for all future
  time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight
  would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment
  embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can
  this country be saved upon this basis? If it can, I will consider
  myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save
  it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly
  awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that
  principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated
  on this spot than surrender it. Now, in my view of the present
  aspect of affairs, there need be no bloodshed or war. There is no
  necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a course, and I may
  say, in advance, that there will be no blood shed unless it be
  forced upon the government, and then it will be compelled to act in

  “My friends, this is wholly an unexpected speech, and I did not
  expect to be called upon to say a word when I came here. I supposed
  it was merely to do something towards raising the flag. I may,
  therefore, have said something indiscreet. I have said nothing
  but what I am willing to live by, and, if it be the pleasure of
  Almighty God, to die by.”

The party then proceeded to a platform erected in front of the State
House, when the President-elect was invited to raise the flag. Mr.
Lincoln responded in a brief speech, stating his cheerful compliance
with the request, and alluded to the original flag of thirteen
stars, saying that the number had increased as time rolled on, and
we now became a happy and a powerful people, each star adding to its
prosperity. “The future,” he added, “is in the hands of the people. It
is on such an occasion as this that we can reason together, reaffirm
our devotion to the country and the principles of the Declaration of
Independence. Let us make up our mind, that when we do put a new star
upon our banner, it shall be a fixed one, never to be dimmed by the
horrors of war, but brightened by the contentment and prosperity of
peace. Let us go on to extend the area of our usefulness, add star upon
star, until their light shall shine upon five hundred millions of a
free and happy people.”

The President-elect then raised the flag to the top of the staff.

At half-past 9 o’clock the party left for Harrisburg. Both Houses of
the Legislature were visited by Mr. Lincoln, and to an address of
welcome he thus replied:

  “I appear before you only for a very few brief remarks, in response
  to what has been said to me. I thank you most sincerely for this
  reception, and the generous words in which support has been
  promised me upon this occasion. I thank your great commonwealth for
  the overwhelming support it recently gave, not to me personally,
  but the cause, which I think a just one, in the late election.
  Allusion has been made to the fact--the interesting fact, perhaps
  we should say--that I, for the first time, appear at the Capital
  of the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania upon the birthday of the
  Father of his Country, in connection with that beloved anniversary
  connected with the history of this country. I have already gone
  through one exceedingly interesting scene this morning in the
  ceremonies at Philadelphia. Under the high conduct of gentlemen
  there, I was, for the first time, allowed the privilege of standing
  in Old Independence Hall, to have a few words addressed to me
  there, and opening up to me an opportunity of expressing, with much
  regret, that I had not more time to express something of my own
  feelings, excited by the occasion, somewhat to harmonize and give
  shape to the feelings that had been really the feelings of my whole
  life. Besides this, our friends there had provided a magnificent
  flag of the country. They had arranged it so that I was given the
  honor of raising it to the head of its staff. And when it went
  up I was pleased that it went to its place by the strength of my
  own feeble arm; when, according to the arrangement, the cord was
  pulled, and it flaunted gloriously to the wind without an accident,
  in the bright glowing sunshine of the morning, I could not help
  hoping that there was in the entire success of that beautiful
  ceremony at least something of an omen of what is to come. Nor
  could I help feeling then, as I often have felt, in the whole of
  that proceeding, I was a very humble instrument. I had not provided
  the flag; I had not made the arrangements for elevating it to its
  place. I had applied but a very small portion of my feeble strength
  in raising it. In the whole transaction I was in the hands of the
  people who had arranged it; and if I can have the same generous
  coöperation of the people of the nation, I think the flag of
  our country may yet be kept flaunting gloriously. I recur for a
  moment but to repeat some words uttered at the hotel in regard to
  what has been said about the military support which the General
  Government may expect from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in
  a proper emergency. To guard against any possible mistake do I
  recur to this. It is not with any pleasure that I contemplate the
  possibility that a necessity may arise in this country for the use
  of the military arm. While I am exceedingly gratified to see the
  manifestation upon your streets of your military force here, and
  exceedingly gratified at your promise here to use that force upon
  a proper emergency--while I make these acknowledgements, I desire
  to repeat, in order to preclude any possible misconstruction,
  that I do most sincerely hope that we shall have no use for them;
  that it will never become their duty to shed blood, and most
  especially never to shed fraternal blood. I promise that, so far
  as I have wisdom to direct, if so painful a result shall in any
  wise be brought about, it shall be through no fault of mine.
  Allusion has also been made by one of your honored speakers to some
  remark recently made by myself at Pittsburg, in regard to what is
  supposed to be the especial interest of this great Commonwealth of
  Pennsylvania. I now wish only to say, in regard to that matter,
  that the few remarks which I uttered on that occasion were rather
  carefully worded. I took pains that they should be so. I have seen
  no occasion since to add to them or subtract from them. I leave
  them precisely as they stand, adding only now, that I am pleased to
  have an expression from you, gentlemen of Pennsylvania, significant
  that they are satisfactory to you. And now, gentlemen of the
  General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, allow me to
  return you again my most sincere thanks.”

Arrangements had been made for his departure from Harrisburg on the
following morning; but the timely discovery of a plot to assassinate
him on his way through Baltimore--a plot in which several of the
leading citizens of that place were believed to be interested, although
the work was to be done by other hands--caused a change in the
schedule, and on the evening of the day on which he had been received
by the Legislature, he left on a special train for Philadelphia, and
thence proceeded in the sleeping-car attached to the regular midnight
train to Washington, where he arrived at an early hour on the morning
of the 23d.

As an evidence how little the extent to which unscrupulous men were
prepared to go, was understood at this time, it may be remarked that
not a few made themselves very merry over this midnight ride--a
leading pictorial even indulging itself in an attempt at a humorous
illustration of it, an act which, viewed in the light of a startling
event but little more than four years later, in which a native of the
same city was directly concerned, would hardly have been repeated.



  Speeches at Washington--The Inaugural Address--Its Effect--
  The Cabinet--Commissioners from Montgomery--Extract from A. H.
  Stephens’s speech--Virginia Commissioners--Fall of Fort Sumter.

A few days after his arrival in Washington, the President elect was
waited upon by the Mayor and other municipal authorities, welcoming him
the city, to whom he made the following reply:

  “Mr. MAYOR: I thank you, and through you the municipal authorities
  of this city who accompany you, for this welcome. And as it is
  the first time in my life since the present phase of politics
  has presented itself in this country, that I have said anything
  publicly within a region of country where the institution of
  slavery exists, I will take this occasion to say that I think
  very much of the ill feeling which has existed, and still exists,
  between the people in the sections from whence I came and the
  people here, is dependent upon a misunderstanding of one another.
  I therefore avail myself of this opportunity to assure you, Mr.
  Mayor, and all the gentlemen present, that I have not now, and
  never have had, any other than as kindly feelings towards you as
  towards the people of my own section. I have not now, nor never
  have had, any disposition to treat you in any respect otherwise
  than as my own neighbors. I have not now any purpose to withhold
  from you any of the benefits of the Constitution, under any
  circumstances, that I would not feel myself constrained to withhold
  from my neighbors; and I hope, in a word, that when we shall become
  better acquainted, and I say it with great confidence, we shall
  like each other the more. I thank you for the kindness of this

On the following evening, at the close of a serenade tendered him by
the Republican Association, he thus addressed the crowd:

  “MY FRIENDS: I suppose that I may take this as a compliment paid
  to me, and as such please accept my thanks for it. I have reached
  this city of Washington under circumstances considerably differing
  from those under which any other man has ever reached it. I am
  here for the purpose of taking an official position amongst the
  people, almost all of whom were politically opposed to me, and are
  yet opposed to me as I suppose. I propose no lengthy address to
  you. I only propose to say, as I did on yesterday, when your worthy
  Mayor and Board of Aldermen called upon me, that I thought much
  of the ill feeling that has existed between you and the people of
  your surroundings and that people from amongst whom I came, has
  depended, and now depends, upon a misunderstanding.

  “I hope that, if things shall go on as prosperously as I believe we
  all desire they may, I may have it in my power to remove something
  of this misunderstanding, that I may be enabled to convince you,
  and the people of your section of the country, that we regard you
  as in all things our equals, and in all things entitled to the same
  respect and the same treatment that we claim for ourselves; that
  we are in nowise disposed, if it were in our power, to oppress you,
  to deprive you of any of your rights under the Constitution of the
  United States, or even narrowly to split hairs with you in regard
  to those rights, but are determined to give you, as far as lies in
  our hands, all your rights under the Constitution--not grudgingly,
  but fully and fairly. I hope that, by thus dealing with you, we
  will become better acquainted, and be better friends. And now, my
  friends, with these few remarks, and again returning my thanks for
  this compliment, and expressing my desire to hear a little more of
  your good music, I bid you good-night.”

Never, in the history of the country, has the inaugural address of any
President been so anxiously awaited as was that of Mr. Lincoln. The
most of his countrymen, even in States whose loyalty to the Government
was beyond suspicion, were certain to be disappointed, whatever that
inaugural might prove to be. An impression prevailed, for which no good
grounds could be shown, that somehow, in some inexplicable way, this
particular address would operate as a panacea to heal the nation’s
malady. One class, who knew not the man, hoped, almost against hope,
that such concessions would be made to the rebels as would bridge
over existing difficulties, and restore the good old times when men
could vend their goods and principles--or what served them in lieu
thereof--without being annoyed by war or rumor of war. Another would
be satisfied with nothing short of the most positive and unqualified
denunciations of the rebels, coupled with the details in advance of
dealing with them. Still another were simply curious in the premises to
know what could be said. Whisperings, too, that the address would be
prevented by violence, and hints of assassination were heard here and

All necessary precautions, however, having been taken to guard against
the latter contingencies, Mr. Lincoln appeared at the east front
of the capitol, and received, at the hour appointed, the oath of
office from Chief Justice Taney. Then followed, in a clear, steady
tone of voice, in the presence of more than ten thousand of his
fellow-citizens, the address:

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES:--In compliance with a custom
  as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address
  you briefly, and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by
  the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President
  before he enters on the execution of his office.

  “I do not consider it necessary, at present, for me to discuss
  those matters of administration about which there is no special
  anxiety or excitement. Apprehension seems to exist among the people
  of the Southern States, that, by the accession of a Republican
  Administration, their property and their peace and personal
  security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable
  cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to
  the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their
  inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him
  who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches,
  when I declare that ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to
  interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it
  exists.’ I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no
  inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me, did so
  with the full knowledge that I had made this, and made many similar
  declarations, and had never recanted them. And, more than this,
  they placed in the platform, for my acceptance, and as a law to
  themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now

  “‘_Resolved_, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of
  the States, and especially the right of each State to order and
  control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment
  exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the
  perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we
  denounce the lawless invasion, by armed force, of the soil of any
  State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the
  gravest of crimes.’

  “I now reiterate these sentiments; and in doing so I only press
  upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which
  the case is susceptible, that the property, peace and security of
  no section are to be in anywise endangered by the now incoming

  “I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the
  Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given
  to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause, as
  cheerfully to one section as to another.

  “There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives
  from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written
  in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

  “‘No person held to service or labor in one State under the laws
  thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or
  regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but
  shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or
  labor may be due.’

  “It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by
  those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive
  slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law.

  “All members of Congress swear their support to the whole
  Constitution--to this provision as well as any other. To the
  proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms
  of this clause ‘shall be delivered up,’ their oaths are unanimous.
  Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not,
  with nearly equal unanimity, frame and pass a law by means of which
  to keep good that unanimous oath?

  “There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should
  be enforced by National or by State authority; but surely that
  difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be
  surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to
  others by which authority it is done; and should any one, in
  any case, be content that this oath shall go unkept on a merely
  unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?

  “Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards
  of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be
  introduced, so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as
  a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by
  law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which
  guarantees that ‘the citizens of each State shall be entitled
  to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several

  “I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations,
  and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any
  hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify
  particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest
  that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private
  stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand
  unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity
  in having them held to be unconstitutional.

  “It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a
  President under our National Constitution. During that period,
  fifteen different and very distinguished citizens have in
  succession administered the executive branch of the Government.
  They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with
  great success. Yet, with all this scope for precedent, I now enter
  upon the same task, for the brief constitutional term of four
  years, under great and peculiar difficulties.

  “A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is
  now formidably attempted. I hold that in the contemplation of
  universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States
  is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the
  fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert
  that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic
  law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express
  provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure
  forever, it being impossible to destroy it, except by some action
  not provided for in the instrument itself.

  “Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an
  association of States in the nature of a contract merely, can it,
  as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties
  who made it? One party to a contract may violate it--break it,
  so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
  Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition
  that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual, confirmed by
  the history of the Union itself.

  “The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed,
  in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured
  and continued in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was
  further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States
  expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by
  the Articles of the Confederation, in 1778; and, finally, in
  1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing
  the Constitution was to form a more perfect Union. But if the
  destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be
  lawfully possible, the Union is less than before, the Constitution
  having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

  “It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere
  motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and
  ordinances to that effect, are legally void; and that acts of
  violence within any State or States against the authority of the
  United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to

  “I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the
  laws, the Union is unbroken, and, to the extent of my ability, I
  shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon
  me, that the laws of the Union shall be faithfully executed in all
  the States. Doing this, which I deem to be only a simple duty on
  my part, I shall perfectly perform it, so far as is practicable,
  unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the
  requisition, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary.

  “I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the
  declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend
  and maintain itself.

  “In doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence, and there
  shall be none unless it is forced upon the National authority.

  “The power confided to me _will be used to hold, occupy, and
  possess the property and plants belonging to the Government_, and
  collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary
  for these objects there will be no invasion, no using of force
  against or among the people anywhere.

  “Where hostility to the United States shall be so great and so
  universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding
  Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious
  strangers among the people that object. While the strict legal
  right may exist of the Government to enforce the exercise of these
  offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly
  impracticable withal, that I deem it best to forego, for the time,
  the uses of such offices.

  “The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all
  parts of the Union.

  “So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that sense
  of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and

  “The course here indicated will be followed, unless current events
  and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper;
  and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised
  according to the circumstances actually existing, and with a view
  and hope of a peaceful solution of the National troubles and the
  restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.

  “That there are persons, in one section or another, who seek to
  destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do
  it, I will neither affirm nor deny. But if there be such, I need
  address no word to them.

  “To those, however, who really love the Union, may I not speak,
  before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our
  National fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its
  hopes? Would it not be well to ascertain why we do it? Will you
  hazard so desperate a step, while any portion of the ills you fly
  from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills
  you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from? Will
  you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake? All profess
  to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights can be
  maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written in
  the Constitution, has been denied? I think not. Happily the human
  mind is so constituted, that no party can reach to the audacity of
  doing this.

  “Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly-written
  provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If, by the
  mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any
  clearly-written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of
  view, justify revolution; it certainly would, if such right were a
  vital one. But such is not our case.

  “All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so
  plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties
  and prohibitions in the Constitution, that controversies never
  arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with
  a provision specifically applicable to every question which may
  occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate, nor
  any document of reasonable length contain, express provisions for
  all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered
  by National or by State authorities? The Constitution does not
  expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories?
  The Constitution does not expressly say. From questions of this
  class, spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide
  upon them into majorities and minorities.

  “If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the
  Government must cease. There is no alternative for continuing the
  Government but acquiescence on the one side or the other. If a
  minority in such a case will secede rather than acquiesce, they
  make a precedent which, in turn, will ruin and divide them, for a
  minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority
  refuses to be controlled by such a minority. For instance, why not
  any portion of a new Confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily
  secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim
  to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now
  being educated to the exact temper of doing this. Is there such
  perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new
  Union as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed secession?
  Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.

  “A majority held in restraint by constitutional check and
  limitation, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of
  popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a
  free people. Whoever rejects it, does, of necessity, fly to anarchy
  or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a majority,
  as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible. So that,
  rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism, in some
  form, is all that is left.

  “I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional
  questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny
  that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties
  to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also
  entitled to a very high respect and consideration in all parallel
  cases by all other departments of the Government; and while it is
  obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given
  case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that
  particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never
  become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could
  the evils of a different practice.

  “At the same time the candid citizen must confess that if the
  policy of the Government upon the vital question affecting the
  whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by the decisions of the
  Supreme Court, the instant they are made, as in ordinary litigation
  between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased
  to be their own masters, unless having to that extent practically
  resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

  “Nor is there in this view any assault upon the Court or the
  Judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink, to decide
  cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs
  if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes. One
  section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be
  extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to
  be extended; and this is the only substantial dispute; and the
  fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the
  suppression of the foreign slave-trade, are each as well enforced,
  perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral
  sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great
  body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases,
  and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly
  cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of
  the sections than before. The foreign slave-trade, now imperfectly
  suppressed, would be ultimately revived, without restriction, in
  one section; while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered,
  would not be surrendered at all by the other.

  “Physically speaking we can not separate; we can not remove our
  respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall
  between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of
  the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different
  parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face
  to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue
  between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more
  advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before?
  Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can
  treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can
  among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and
  when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you
  cease fighting, the identical questions as to terms of intercourse
  are again upon you.

  “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people
  who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing
  government, they can exercise their constitutional right of
  amending, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow
  it. I can not be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and
  patriotic citizens are desirous of having the National Constitution
  amended. While I make no recommendation of amendment, I fully
  recognize the full authority of the people over the whole subject,
  to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument
  itself, and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather
  than oppose, a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act
  upon it.

  “I will venture to add, that to me the Convention mode seems
  preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the
  people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or
  reject propositions originated by others not especially chosen for
  the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would
  wish either to accept or refuse. I understand that a proposed
  amendment to the Constitution (which amendment, however, I have
  not seen) has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal
  Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions
  of States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid
  misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not
  to speak of particular amendments, so far as to say that, holding
  such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no
  objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

  “The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people,
  and they have conferred none upon him to fix the terms for the
  separation of the States. The people themselves, also, can do
  this if they choose, but the Executive, as such, has nothing to
  do with it. His duty is to administer the present government as
  it came to his hands, and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his
  successor. Why should there not be a patient confidence in the
  ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope
  in the world? In our present differences is either party without
  faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations, with
  his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on
  yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail
  by the judgment of this great tribunal, the American people. By the
  frame of the government under which we live, this same people have
  wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief,
  and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little
  to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain
  their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme
  wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in
  the short space of four years.

  “My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole
  subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.

  “If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a
  step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be
  frustrated by taking time: but no good object can be frustrated by

  “Such of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old
  Constitution unimpaired, and on the sensitive point, the laws of
  your own framing under it; while the new administration will have
  no immediate power, if it would, to change either.

  “If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the
  right side in the dispute, there is still no single reason for
  precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a
  firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land,
  are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present

  “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine,
  is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail

  “You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.
  You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Government;
  while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and
  defend’ it.

  “I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not
  be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our
  bonds of affection.

  “The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battle-field
  and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over
  this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when
  again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our

One point was established, at least, by this inaugural, whatever
uncertainties might cluster about it--we had, at last, a Government. No
Buchanan ruled the hour. Loyal men of every shade breathed more freely.
At the same time, the whole drift was toward securing, if possible, an
honorable reconciliation. If, after this lucid, temperate statement
of the plans and purposes of the new Administration, the blow must
fall, which all wished to avoid, it was encouraging to feel--as every
one who heard Mr. Lincoln on that eventful day must have felt--that a
man was at the helm who had firm faith that the organic law, so far
from providing for the dissolution of the Union, had vitality and force
within itself sufficient to defend the nation against dangers from
within as well as from without.

The announcement of the President’s cabinet, likewise--composed, as it
was, of the ablest men in his own party, the majority of whom had been
deemed worthy of presentation as candidates for the high office which
he held--imparted confidence to all who wished well to the country. The
able pen of the Secretary of State was at once called into requisition
to communicate, through the newly appointed ministers abroad, the true
state of affairs to the European powers. As speedily as possible the
Departments were purged of disloyal officials, although the deceptions
and subterfuges which constituted a goodly portion of the stock in
trade of the rebellion rendered this a work of more time than was
satisfactory to many.

The Davis dynasty, at Montgomery, having, on the 9th of March, passed
an act to organize a Confederate army, two persons--one from Alabama
and the other from Georgia--announced themselves, three days later, as
“Confederate Commissioners,” accredited for the purpose of negotiating
a treaty. The President declined to recognize these “Commissioners,”
who were referred to a copy of his inaugural enclosed for a full
statement of his views.

On the 21st of March, Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President
of the Montgomery traitors, up to that time regarded as one of the most
moderate--as he certainly was one of the ablest--of the conspirators,
in a speech at Savannah, silenced all questionings as to the intent of
himself and co-workers.

He said on that occasion:

  “The new Constitution (that adopted at Montgomery) has put at
  rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar
  institutions--African slavery as it exists among us--the proper
  status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the
  immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.
  Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this as the rock upon
  which the old Union would split. He was right. What was conjecture
  with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended
  the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be
  doubted. The prevailing ideas, entertained by him and most of
  the leading statesmen, at the time of the formation of the old
  Constitution, were, that the enslavement of the African was in
  violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle,
  socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not
  well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that
  day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the
  institution would be evanescent and pass away. * * *

  “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas.
  Its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great
  truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery,
  subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal
  condition. This, our new Government, is the first in the history
  of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and
  moral truth. * * * It is upon this, as I have stated, our social
  fabric is firmly planted; and I can not permit myself to doubt the
  ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout
  the civilized and enlightened world. * * * This stone, which was
  rejected by the first builders, ‘is become the chief stone of the
  corner’ in our new edifice.”

On the 13th of April, the President was waited upon by a committee from
a Convention of the State of Virginia, which Convention was discussing
the question whether to go with the States already in rebellion, or to
remain in the Union, for the sake of furthering the ends of the rebels.
The object of the visit, and its result, may be determined from Mr.
Lincoln’s response:

  “GENTLEMEN:--As a committee of the Virginia Convention, now in
  session, you present me a preamble and resolution, in these words:

  “‘WHEREAS, In the opinion of this Convention, the uncertainty which
  prevails in the public mind as to the policy which the Federal
  Executive intends to pursue towards the seceded States is extremely
  injurious to the industrial and commercial interests of the
  country, tends to keep up an excitement which is unfavorable to the
  adjustment of the pending difficulties, and threatens a disturbance
  of the public peace; therefore,

  “_Resolved_, That a committee of three delegates be appointed
  to wait on the President of the United States, present to him
  this preamble, and respectfully ask him to communicate to this
  Convention the policy which the Federal Executive intends to pursue
  in regard to the Confederate States.’

  “In answer, I have to say, that having, at the beginning of my
  official term, expressed my intended policy as plainly as I was
  able, it is with deep regret and mortification I now learn there
  is great and injurious uncertainty in the public mind as to what
  that policy is, and what course I intend to pursue. Not having as
  yet seen occasion to change, it is now my purpose to pursue the
  course marked out in the inaugural address. I commend a careful
  consideration of the whole document as the best expression I can
  give to my purposes. As I then and therein said, I now repeat, ‘The
  power confided in me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess
  property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect
  the duties and imposts; but beyond what is necessary for these
  objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against
  or among the people anywhere.’ By the words ‘property and places
  belonging to the Government,’ I chiefly allude to the military
  posts and property which were in possession of the government
  when it came into my hands. But if, as now appears to be true, in
  pursuit of a purpose to drive the United States authority from
  these places, an unprovoked assault has been made upon Fort Sumter,
  I shall hold myself at liberty to repossess it, if I can, like
  places which had been seized before the Government was devolved
  upon me, and in any event I shall, to the best of my ability,
  repel force by force. In case it proves true that Fort Sumter has
  been assaulted, as is reported, I shall, perhaps, cause the United
  States mails to be withdrawn from all the States which claim to
  have seceded, believing that the commencement of actual war against
  the Government justifies and possibly demands it. I scarcely need
  to say that I consider the military forts and property, situated
  within the States which claim to have seceded, as yet belonging to
  the Government of the United States, as much as they did before the
  supposed secession. Whatever else I may do for the purpose, I shall
  not attempt to collect the duties and imposts by any armed invasion
  of any part of the country--not meaning by this, however, that I
  may not land a force deemed necessary to relieve a fort upon the
  border of the country. From the fact that I have quoted a part of
  the inaugural address, it must not be inferred that I repudiate any
  other part, the whole of which I reaffirm, except so far as what I
  now say of the mails may be regarded as a modification.”

Fort Sumter fell on the day following the reception of these
commissioners, after every effort, consistent with the means at the
disposal of the government, had been made to prevent what then seemed
a catastrophe. This action could bear but one interpretation. A
reconciliation of difficulties was utterly impracticable. An appeal
had been made to the sword. The power and authority of the United
States had been defied and insulted. No loyal man could now hesitate.
If, however, there were any who, even then, clung to the fallacy that
compromise could save us, Abraham Lincoln was not of the number.



  Effects of Sumter’s Fall--President’s Call for Troops--Response
  in the Loyal States--In the Border States--Baltimore Riot--
  Maryland’s Position--President’s Letter to Maryland Authorities--
  Blockade Proclamation--Additional Proclamation--Comments Abroad--
  Second Call for Troops--Special Order for Florida--Military

Sumter fell, but the nation arose. With one mind the Free States
determined that the rebellion must be put down. All were ablaze with
patriotic fire. The traitors at heart, who lurked in the loyal States,
found it a wise precaution to float with the current. The shrewder ones
among them saw well how such a course would give them vantage-ground
when the reaction, which they hoped, and for which in secret they
labored, should come. But the great mass of the people would not have
admitted the possibility of any reaction--action was to continue the
order of the day until the business in hand was finished.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 15th of April, 1861, the President issued his first proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, The laws of the United States have been for some time
  past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed,
  in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida,
  Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to
  be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or
  by the powers vested in the marshals by law; now, therefore, I,
  ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, in virtue of the
  power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought
  fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the
  several States of the Union to the aggregate number of seventy-five
  thousand, in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the
  laws to be duly executed.

  “The details for this object will be immediately communicated to
  the State authorities through the War Department. I appeal to
  all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to
  maintain the honor, the integrity, and existence of our national
  Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress
  wrongs already long enough endured. I deem it proper to say that
  the first service assigned to the forces hereby called forth, will
  probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have
  been seized from the Union; and in every event the utmost care will
  be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any
  devastation, any destruction of, or interference with property, or
  any disturbance of peaceful citizens of any part of the country;
  and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations
  aforesaid, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective
  abodes, within twenty days from this date.

  “Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an
  extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me
  vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. The
  Senators and Representatives are, therefore, summoned to assemble
  at their respective chambers at twelve o’clock, noon, on Thursday,
  the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and
  determine such measures as in their wisdom, the public safety and
  interest may seem to demand.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this fifteenth day of April, in
  the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one,
  and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

In response to this proclamation enthusiastic public meetings were
held throughout the loyal States; all party lines seemed obliterated;
enlistments were almost universal; Washington, which was at one time
in imminent danger, was soon considered amply defended. The majority
entertained no doubt that with the force summoned the rebellion would
be nipped in the bud; the more sagacious minority shook their heads,
and wished that a million of men had been asked.

An excellent opportunity was afforded to the border slave States for
pronouncing their election--whether to stand by the Government, or,
practically, to furnish aid and comfort to the rebels. Magoffin,
Governor of Kentucky, was soon heard from: “Kentucky will furnish
no troops,” said he, “for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister
Southern States.” Letcher, of Virginia: “The militia of Virginia
will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such case
or purpose as they have in view;” and on the 17th, the State was
dragooned into passing, in secret, an ordinance of secession, and
immediately commenced those warlike preparations, whose evil fruits
she was destined so soon and in so much sorrow to reap. The Executives
of Tennessee and North Carolina refused compliance; and those States,
together with Arkansas, went over to the “Confederacy.”

How was the call for troops received by the rebel conclave at
Montgomery? They laughed.

The first blood shed in the war was in the streets of Baltimore, on
the 19th of April. Massachusetts troops, passing through that city for
the defence of the common capitol, were attacked by a mob, instigated
and encouraged by men of property and social standing. The State
hung trembling in the balance between loyalty and treason. Had its
geographical position been other than it was, it would have undeniably
embraced the fortune of the South. Its Governor was, however, strongly
inclined to support the Government, although the peculiar circumstances
in which he was placed called for peculiar tact and dexterity in
management. It was seriously proposed that no more troops should be
sent through Baltimore.

       *       *       *       *       *

The day following this attack, the President sent the following letter
in reply to a communication broaching this modest proposition:

    “_Washington_, April 20th, 1861.


  “GENTLEMEN:--Your letter by Messrs. Bond, Dobbin, and Brune, is
  received. I tender you both my sincere thanks for your efforts to
  keep the peace in the trying situation in which you are placed. For
  the future, troops _must_ be brought here, but I make no point of
  bringing them _through_ Baltimore.

  “Without any military knowledge myself, of course I must leave
  details to General Scott. He hastily said this morning in presence
  of those gentlemen, ‘March them _around_ Baltimore, and not through

  “I sincerely hope the General, on fuller reflection, will consider
  this practical and proper, and that you will not object to it. By
  this a collision of the people of Baltimore with the troops will
  be avoided, unless they go out of the way to seek it. I hope you
  will exert your influence to prevent this. Now and ever, I shall
  do all in my power for peace, consistently with the maintenance of

    “Your obedient servant,
    “A. LINCOLN.”

To a delegation of rebel sympathizers from the same State, who demanded
a cessation of hostilities until Congress should assemble, and
accompanied their demand with the statement that seventy-five thousand
Marylanders would dispute the passage of any more United States troops
over the soil of that State, he quietly remarked that he presumed there
was room enough in the State to bury that number, and declined to
accede to their proposal. The Maryland imbroglio was, after no great
time, adjusted, and ample precautions taken to guard against any future
trouble in that quarter.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 19th of April, every port of the States in rebellion was
declared blockaded by the following proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, An insurrection against the Government of the United
  States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia,
  Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws
  of the United States for the collection of the revenue can not be
  efficiently executed therein conformably to that provision of the
  Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the
  United States:

  “AND WHEREAS, A combination of persons, engaged in such
  insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque
  to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives,
  vessels, and property of good citizens of the country lawfully
  engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in waters of the United

  “AND WHEREAS, An Executive Proclamation has already been issued,
  requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to
  desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose
  of repressing the same, and convening Congress in extraordinary
  session to deliberate and determine thereon:

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to
  the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property
  of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations,
  until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said
  unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall have ceased, have
  further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports
  within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United
  States, and of the laws of nations in such cases provided. For this
  purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance
  and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with
  a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall
  attempt to leave any of the said ports, she will be duly warned by
  the commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will indorse
  on her register the fact and date of such warning; and if the same
  vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port,
  she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for
  such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize, as may be
  deemed advisable.

  “And I hereby proclaim and declare, that if any person, under the
  pretended authority of said States, or under any other pretence,
  shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo
  on board of her, such person will be held amenable to the laws of
  the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

On the 27th of April, the following additional proclamation was issued:

  “WHEREAS, For the reasons assigned in my proclamation of the 19th
  instant, a blockade of the ports of the States of South Carolina,
  Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas was
  ordered to be established; AND WHEREAS, since that date public
  property of the United States has been seized, the collection of
  the revenue obstructed, and duly commissioned officers of the
  United States, while engaged in executing the orders of their
  superiors, have been arrested and held in custody as prisoners,
  or have been impeded in the discharge of their official duties,
  without due legal process, by persons claiming to act under
  authority of the States of Virginia and North Carolina, an
  efficient blockade of the ports of these States will therefore also
  be established.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this 27th day of April, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of
  the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

This greatly affected the commercial interests of the European powers,
who made haste to announce that the blockade must be an effectual one,
in order to be respected; supposing, in common with the rebels, that
they were demanding what would prove to be an impossibility. To say
that they erred decidedly in this opinion, is but stating a matter
of general notoriety, and simply adds another to the list of serious
mistakes made, during the progress of the war, by the two European
nations most deeply interested in its issue.

It was soon perceived that more men would be needed in the field,
Davis, in a message to his Congress, having proposed “to organize and
hold in readiness for instant action, in view of the exigencies of
the country, an army of six hundred thousand men.” On the 3d of May,
accordingly, another call was made, in anticipation of its ratification
at the extra session of Congress, which ratification took place,
without opposition.

  “WHEREAS, Existing exigencies demand immediate and adequate
  measures for the protection of the national Constitution and
  the preservation of the national Union by the suppression of the
  insurrectionary combinations now existing in several States for
  opposing the laws of the Union and obstructing the execution
  thereof, to which end a military force, in addition to that
  called forth by my Proclamation of the fifteenth day of April,
  in the present year, appears to be indispensably necessary, now,
  therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
  and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the
  militia of the several States, when called into actual service,
  do hereby call into the service of the United States forty-two
  thousand and thirty-four volunteers, to serve for a period of three
  years, unless sooner discharged, and to be mustered into service
  as infantry and cavalry. The proportions of each arm, and the
  details of enrolment and organization will be made known through
  the Department of War; and I also direct that the regular army of
  the United States be increased by the addition of eight regiments
  of infantry, one regiment of cavalry and one regiment of artillery,
  making altogether a maximum aggregate increase of twenty-two
  thousand seven hundred and fourteen officers and enlisted men,
  the details of which increase will also be made known through the
  Department of War; and I further direct the enlistment, for not
  less than one nor more than three years, of eighteen thousand
  seamen, in addition to the present force, for the naval service of
  the United States. The details of the enlistment and organization
  will be made known through the Department of the Navy. The call
  for volunteers, hereby made, and the direction of the increase of
  the regular army, and for the enlistment of seamen hereby given,
  together with the plan of organization adopted for the volunteers
  and for the regular forces hereby authorized, will be submitted to
  Congress as soon as assembled.

  “In the meantime, I earnestly invoke the coöperation of all
  good citizens in the measures hereby adopted for the effectual
  suppression of unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement of
  constitutional laws, and for the speediest possible restoration
  of peace and order, and with those of happiness and prosperity
  throughout our country.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this third day of May, in the year
  of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the
  Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

On the 10th of May, 1861, the following proclamation was promulgated:

  “Whereas, An insurrection exists in the State of Florida, by which
  the lives, liberty, and property of loyal citizens of the United
  States are endangered.

  “And Whereas, It is deemed proper that all needful measures should
  be taken for the protection of such citizens and all officers of
  the United States in the discharge of their public duties in the
  State aforesaid:

  “Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of
  the United States, do hereby direct the commander of the forces
  of the United States on the Florida coast to permit no person to
  exercise any office or authority upon the islands of Key West, the
  Tortugas, and Santa Rosa, which may be inconsistent with the laws
  and Constitution of the United States, authorizing him at the same
  time, if he shall find it necessary, to suspend there the writ of
  _habeas corpus_, and to remove from the vicinity of the United
  States fortresses all dangerous or suspected persons.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this tenth day of May, in the
  year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of
  the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

Volunteers meanwhile presented themselves for the defence of the
country in numbers greater than could be accepted, and the strife was
who should secure the coveted distinction of a citizen soldier. An
early movement upon the rebel army in Virginia was contemplated, and it
was confidently anticipated that to advance was to put the enemies of
the Government to flight.



  Opening of Congress--President’s First Message--Its Nature--
  Action of Congress--Resolution Declaring the Object of the War--
  Bull Run--Its Effect.

The first session of Congress during Mr. Lincoln’s Administration
commenced on the 4th of July, 1861, in pursuance of his call to that
effect. The following message was transmitted from the Executive:

  REPRESENTATIVES:--Having been convened on an extraordinary
  occasion, as authorized by the Constitution, your attention is not
  called to any ordinary subject of legislation. At the beginning
  of the present Presidential term, four months ago, the functions
  of the Federal Government were found to be generally suspended
  within the several States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
  Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, excepting only those of the
  Post-office Department.

  “Within these States, all the Forts, Arsenals, Dock-Yards,
  Custom-Houses, and the like, including the movable and stationary
  property in and about them, had been seized, and were held in open
  hostility to this Government, excepting only Forts Pickens, Taylor
  and Jefferson, on and near the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter in
  Charleston harbor, South Carolina. The forts thus seized had been
  put in improved condition, new ones had been built, and armed
  forces had been organized, and were organizing, all avowedly with
  the same hostile purpose.

  “The forts remaining in possession of the Federal Government in
  and near these States were either besieged or menaced by warlike
  preparations, and especially Fort Sumter was nearly surrounded by
  well-protected hostile batteries, with guns equal in quality to the
  best of its own, and outnumbering the latter as, perhaps, ten to
  one--a disproportionate share of the Federal muskets and rifles had
  somehow found their way into these States, and had been seized to
  be used against the Government.

  “Accumulations of the public revenue lying within them had been
  seized for the same object. The navy was scattered in distant seas,
  leaving but a very small part of it within the immediate reach of
  the Government.

  “Officers of the Federal Army had resigned in great numbers, and of
  those resigning a large proportion had taken up arms against the

  “Simultaneously, and in connection with all this, the purpose to
  sever the Federal Union was openly avowed. In accordance with this
  purpose an ordinance had been adopted in each of these States,
  declaring the States respectively to be separated from the National
  Union. A formula for instituting a combined Government of those
  States had been promulgated, and this illegal organization, in
  the character of the ‘Confederate States,’ was already invoking
  recognition, aid and intervention from foreign powers.

  “Finding this condition of things, and believing it to be an
  imperative duty upon the incoming Executive to prevent, if
  possible, the consummation of such attempt to destroy the Federal
  Union, a choice of means to that end became indispensable. This
  choice was made and was declared in the Inaugural Address.

  “The policy chosen looked to the exhaustion of all peaceful
  measures before a resort to any stronger ones. It sought only to
  hold the public places and property not already wrested from the
  Government, and to collect the revenue, relying for the rest on
  time, discussion, and the ballot-box. It promised a continuance
  of the mails, at Government expense, to the very people who were
  resisting the Government, and it gave repeated pledges against
  any disturbances to any of the people, or any of their rights, of
  all that which a President might constitutionally and justifiably
  do in such a case; every thing was forborne, without which it was
  believed possible to keep the Government on foot.

  “On the 5th of March, the present incumbent’s first full day in
  office, a letter from Major Anderson, commanding at Fort Sumter,
  written on the 28th of February, and received at the War Department
  on the 4th of March, was by that Department placed in his hands.
  This letter expressed the professional opinion of the writer,
  that reinforcements could not be thrown into that fort within the
  time for its relief rendered necessary by the limited supply of
  provisions, and with a view of holding possession of the same,
  with a force less than twenty thousand good and well-disciplined
  men. This opinion was concurred in by all the officers of his
  command, and their memoranda on the subject were made inclosures
  of Major Anderson’s letter. The whole was immediately laid before
  Lieutenant-General Scott, who at once concurred with Major Anderson
  in his opinion. On reflection, however, he took full time,
  consulting with other officers, both of the Army and Navy, and at
  the end of four days came reluctantly but decidedly to the same
  conclusion as before. He also stated at the same time that no such
  sufficient force was then at the control of the Government, or
  could be raised and brought to the ground, within the time when the
  provisions in the fort would be exhausted. In a purely military
  point of view, this reduced the duty of the Administration in the
  case to the mere matter of getting the garrison safely out of the

  “It was believed, however, that to so abandon that position, under
  the circumstances, would be utterly ruinous; that the necessity
  under which it was to be done would not be fully understood; that
  by many it would be construed as a part of a voluntary policy; that
  at home it would discourage the friends of the Union, embolden
  its adversaries, and go far to insure to the latter a recognition
  abroad; that, in fact, it would be our national destruction
  consummated. This could not be allowed. Starvation was not yet upon
  the garrison, and ere it would be reached, Fort Pickens might be
  reinforced. This last would be a clear indication of policy, and
  would better enable the country to accept the evacuation of Fort
  Sumter as a military necessity. An order was at once directed to
  be sent for the landing of the troops from the steamship Brooklyn
  into Fort Pickens. This order could not go by land, but must take
  the longer and slower route by sea. The first return news from the
  order was received just one week before the fall of Sumter. The
  news itself was that the officer commanding the Sabine, to which
  vessel the troops had been transferred from the Brooklyn, acting
  upon some quasi armistice of the late Administration, and of the
  existence of which the present Administration, up to the time the
  order was dispatched, had only too vague and uncertain rumors to
  fix attention, had refused to land the troops. To now reinforce
  Fort Pickens before a crisis would be reached at Fort Sumter, was
  impossible, rendered so by the near exhaustion of provisions at the
  latter named fort. In precaution against such a conjuncture the
  Government had a few days before commenced preparing an expedition,
  as well adapted as might be, to relieve Fort Sumter, which
  expedition was intended to be ultimately used or not, according
  to circumstances. The strongest anticipated case for using it was
  now presented, and it was resolved to send it forward as had been
  intended. In this contingency it was also resolved to notify the
  Governor of South Carolina that he might expect an attempt would
  be made to provision the fort, and that if the attempt should not
  be resisted there would be no attempt to throw in men, arms or
  ammunition, without further notice, or in case of an attack upon
  the fort. This notice was accordingly given, whereupon the fort
  was attacked and bombarded to its fall, without even awaiting the
  arrival of the provisioning expedition.

  “It is thus seen that the assault upon and reduction of Fort
  Sumter, was in no sense, a matter of self-defense on the part of
  the assailants. They well knew that the garrison in the fort could
  by no possibility commit aggression upon them; they knew they were
  expressly notified that the giving of bread to the few brave and
  hungry men of the garrison was all which would, on that occasion,
  be attempted, unless themselves, by resisting so much, should
  provoke more. They knew that this Government desired to keep the
  garrison in the fort, not to assail them, but merely to maintain
  visible possession, and thus to preserve the Union from actual and
  immediate dissolution; trusting, as hereinbefore stated, to time,
  discussion, and the ballot-box for final adjustment, and they
  assailed and reduced the fort, for precisely the reverse object,
  to drive out the visible authority of the Federal Union, and thus
  force it to immediate dissolution; that this was their object the
  Executive well understood, having said to them in the Inaugural
  Address, ‘You can have no conflict without being yourselves the
  aggressors.’ He took pains not only to keep this declaration
  good, but also to keep the case so far from ingenious sophistry
  as that the world should not misunderstand it. By the affair at
  Fort Sumter, with its surrounding circumstances, that point was
  reached. Then and thereby the assailants of the Government began
  the conflict of arms--without a gun in sight, or in expectancy,
  to return their fire, save only the few in the fort sent to that
  harbor years before, for their own protection, and still ready
  to give that protection in whatever was lawful. In this act,
  discarding all else, they have forced upon the country the distinct
  issue, immediate dissolution or blood, and this issue embraces more
  than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole
  family of man the question whether a Constitutional Republic or
  Democracy, a Government of the people, by the same people, can or
  can not maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic
  foes. It presents the question whether discontented individuals,
  too few in numbers to control the Administration according to
  the organic law in any case, can always, upon the pretenses made
  in this case, or any other pretenses, or arbitrarily without any
  pretense, break up their Government, and thus practically put an
  end to free government upon the earth. It forces us to ask, ‘Is
  there in all republics this inherent and fatal weakness?’ ‘Must
  a Government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its
  own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?’ So viewing
  the issue, no choice was left but to call out the war power of the
  Government, and so to resist the force employed for its destruction
  by force for its preservation. The call was made, and the response
  of the country was most gratifying, surpassing, in unanimity and
  spirit, the most sanguine expectation. Yet none of the States,
  commonly called Slave States, except Delaware, gave a regiment
  through the regular State organization. A few regiments have
  been organized within some others of those States by individual
  enterprise, and received into the Government service. Of course
  the seceded States so called, and to which Texas had been joined
  about the time of the inauguration, gave no troops to the cause of
  the Union. The Border States, so called, were not uniform in their
  action, some of them being almost for the Union, while in others,
  as in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, the Union
  sentiment was nearly repressed and silenced. The course taken in
  Virginia was the most remarkable, perhaps the most important. A
  Convention, elected by the people of that State to consider this
  very question of disrupting the Federal Union, was in session at
  the capitol of Virginia when Fort Sumter fell.

  “To this body the people had chosen a large majority of professed
  Union men. Almost immediately after the fall of Sumter many members
  of that majority went over to the original disunion minority, and
  with them adopted an ordinance for withdrawing the State from the
  Union. Whether this change was wrought by their great approval
  of the assault upon Sumter, or their great resentment at the
  Government’s resistance to that assault, is not definitely known.
  Although they submitted the ordinance for ratification to a vote of
  the people, to be taken on a day then somewhat more than a month
  distant, the Convention, and the Legislature, which was also in
  session at the same time and place, with leading men of the State,
  not members of either, immediately commenced acting as if the State
  was already out of the Union. They pushed military preparations
  vigorously forward all over the State. They seized the United
  States Armory at Harper’s Ferry, and the Navy Yard at Gosport,
  near Norfolk. They received, perhaps invited into their State,
  large bodies of troops, with their warlike appointments, from the
  so-called seceded States.

  “They formally entered into a treaty of temporary alliance with the
  so-called Confederate States, and sent members to their Congress
  at Montgomery, and finally they permitted the insurrectionary
  Government to be transferred to their capitol at Richmond. The
  people of Virginia have thus allowed this giant insurrection to
  make its nest within her borders, and this Government has no
  choice left but to deal with it where it finds it, and it has the
  less to regret as the loyal citizens have, in due form, claimed
  its protection. Those loyal citizens this Government is bound to
  recognize and protect as being in Virginia. In the Border States,
  so called, in fact the Middle States, there are those who favor
  a policy which they call armed neutrality, that is, an arming of
  those States to prevent the Union forces passing one way or the
  disunion forces the other, over their soil. This would be disunion
  completed. Figuratively speaking, it would be the building of an
  impassable wall along the line of separation, and yet not quite an
  impassable one, for under the guise of neutrality it would tie the
  hands of the Union men, and freely pass supplies from among them,
  to the insurrectionists, which it could not do as an open enemy. At
  a stroke it would take all the trouble off the hands of secession,
  except only what proceeds from the external blockade. It would do
  for the disunionists that which of all things they most desire,
  feed them well, and give them disunion, without a struggle of their
  own. It recognizes no fidelity to the Constitution, no obligation
  to maintain the Union, and while very many who have favored it are
  doubtless loyal citizens, it is, nevertheless, very injurious in

  “Recurring to the action of the Government, it may be stated that
  at first a call was made for seventy-five thousand militia, and
  rapidly following this, a proclamation was issued for closing the
  ports of the insurrectionary districts by proceedings in the nature
  of a blockade. So far all was believed to be strictly legal.

  “At this point the insurrectionists announced their purpose to
  enter upon the practice of privateering.

  “Other calls were made for volunteers, to serve three years, unless
  sooner discharged, and also for large additions to the regular
  army and navy. These measures, whether strictly legal or not, were
  ventured upon under what appeared to be a popular demand and a
  public necessity, trusting then, as now, that Congress would ratify

  “It is believed that nothing has been done beyond the
  constitutional competency of Congress. Soon after the first call
  for militia it was considered a duty to authorize the commanding
  general, in proper cases, according to his discretion, to suspend
  the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; or, in other words,
  to arrest and detain, without resort to the ordinary processes
  and forms of law, such individuals as he might deem dangerous to
  the public safety. This authority has purposely been exercised,
  but very sparingly. Nevertheless, the legality and propriety of
  what has been done under it are questioned, and the attention of
  the country has been called to the proposition, that one who is
  sworn to take care that the laws be faithfully executed should not
  himself violate them. Of course some consideration was given to
  the questions of power and propriety before this matter was acted
  upon. The whole of the laws, which were required to be faithfully
  executed, were being resisted, and failing of execution in nearly
  one-third of the States. Must they be allowed to finally fail of
  execution, even had it been perfectly clear that, by use of the
  means necessary to their execution, some single law, made in such
  extreme tenderness of the citizen’s liberty that practically it
  relieves more of the guilty than the innocent, should, to a very
  great extent, be violated? To state the question more directly, are
  all the laws but one to go unexecuted, and the Government itself
  to go to pieces, lest that one be violated? Even in such a case
  would not the official oath be broken, if the Government should be
  overthrown when it was believed that disregarding the single law
  would tend to preserve it?

  “But it was not believed that this question was presented. It was
  not believed that any law was violated. The provision of the
  Constitution, that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
  shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or
  invasion, the public safety may require it, is equivalent to a
  provision that such privilege may be suspended when, in cases of
  rebellion or invasion, the public safety does require it. It was
  decided that we have a case of rebellion, and that the public
  safety does require the qualified suspension of the privilege of
  the writ, which was authorized to be made. Now, it is insisted
  that Congress, and not the Executive, is vested with this power.
  But the Constitution itself is silent as to which or who is to
  exercise the power; and as the provision was plainly made for a
  dangerous emergency, it cannot be believed that the framers of the
  instrument intended that in every case the danger should run its
  course until Congress could be called together, the very assembling
  of which might be prevented, as was intended in this case by the
  rebellion. No more extended argument is now afforded, as an opinion
  at some length will probably be presented by the Attorney-General.
  Whether there shall be any legislation on the subject, and if so,
  what, is subject entirely to the better judgment of Congress.
  The forbearance of this Government had been so extraordinary,
  and so long continued, as to lead some foreign nations to shape
  their action as if they supposed the early destruction of our
  National Union was probable. While this, on discovery, gave the
  Executive some concern, he is now happy to say that the sovereignty
  and rights of the United States are now everywhere practically
  respected by foreign powers, and a general sympathy with the
  country is manifested throughout the world.

  “The reports of the Secretaries of the Treasury, War, and the
  Navy, will give the information, in detail, deemed necessary and
  convenient for your deliberation and action, while the Executive
  and all the Departments will stand ready to supply omissions or to
  communicate new facts considered important for you to know.

  “It is now recommended that you give the legal means for making
  this contest a short and decisive one; that you place at the
  control of the Government for the work, at least 400,000 men and
  $400,000,000; that number of men is about one-tenth of those of
  proper ages within the regions where apparently all are willing to
  engage, and the sum is less than a twenty-third part of the money
  value owned by the men who seem ready to devote the whole. A debt
  of $600,000,000 now is a less sum per head than was the debt of our
  Revolution when we came out of that struggle, and the money value
  in the country bears even a greater proportion to what it was then
  than does the population. Surely each man has as strong a motive
  now to preserve our liberties, as each had then to establish them.

  “A right result at this time will be worth more to the world than
  ten times the men and ten times the money. The evidence reaching us
  from the country, leaves no doubt that the material for the work
  is abundant, and that it needs only the hand of legislation to
  give it legal sanction, and the hand of the Executive to give it
  practical shape and efficiency. One of the greatest perplexities
  of the Government is to avoid receiving troops faster than it
  can provide for them; in a word, the people will save their
  Government if the Government will do its part only indifferently
  well. It might seem at first thought to be of little difference
  whether the present movement at the South be called secession or
  rebellion. The movers, however, well understand the difference. At
  the beginning they knew that they could never raise their treason
  to any respectable magnitude by any name which implies violation
  of law; they knew their people possessed as much of moral sense,
  as much of devotion to law and order, and as much pride in its
  reverence for the history and government of their common country,
  as any other civilized and patriotic people. They knew they could
  make no advancement directly in the teeth of these strong and noble
  sentiments. Accordingly they commenced by an insidious debauching
  of the public mind; they invented an ingenious sophism, which, if
  conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps through all the
  incidents of the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism
  itself is that any State of the Union may, consistently with the
  nation’s Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully,
  withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any
  other State.

  “The little disguise that the supposed right, is to be exercised
  only for just cause, themselves to be the sole judge of its
  justice, is too thin to merit any notice with rebellion. Thus
  sugar-coated, they have been drugging the public mind of their
  section for more than thirty years, and until at length they have
  brought many good men to a willingness to take up arms against
  the Government the day after some assemblage of men have enacted
  the farcical pretence of taking their State out of the Union, who
  could have been brought to no such thing the day before. This
  sophism derives much, perhaps the whole of its currency, from the
  assumption that there is some omnipotent and sacred supremacy
  pertaining to a State, to each State of our Federal Union. Our
  States have neither more nor less power than that reserved to
  them in the Union by the Constitution, no one of them ever having
  been a State out of the Union. The original ones passed into the
  Union before they cast off their British Colonial dependence,
  and the new ones came into the Union directly from a condition
  of dependence, excepting Texas, and even Texas, in its temporary
  independence, was never designated as a State. The new ones
  only took the designation of States on coming into the Union,
  while that name was first adopted for the old ones in and by the
  Declaration of Independence. Therein the United Colonies were
  declared to be _free_ and _independent_ States. But even then
  the object plainly was not to declare their independence of one
  another of the Union, but directly the contrary, as their mutual
  pledge and their mutual action before, at the time, and afterward,
  abundantly show. The express plight of faith by each and all of
  the original thirteen States in the Articles of Confederation two
  years later that the Union shall be perpetual, is most conclusive.
  Having never been States either in substance or in name outside
  of the Union, whence this magical omnipotence of State rights,
  asserting a claim of power to lawfully destroy the Union itself?
  Much is said about the sovereignty of the States, but the word
  even is not in the National Constitution, nor, as is believed,
  in any of the State constitutions. What is sovereignty in the
  political sense of the word? Would it be far wrong to define it a
  political community without a political superior? Tested by this,
  no one of our States, except Texas, was a sovereignty, and even
  Texas gave up the character on coming into the Union, by which
  act she acknowledged the Constitution of the United States; and
  the laws and treaties of the United States, made in pursuance
  of States, have their status in the Union, made in pursuance of
  the Constitution, to be for her the supreme law. The States have
  their status in the Union, and they have no other legal status.
  If they break from this, they can only do so against law and by
  revolution. The Union and not themselves, separately procured
  their independence and their liberty by conquest or purchase. The
  Union gave each of them whatever of independence and liberty it
  has. The Union is older than any of the States, and, in fact, it
  created them as States. Originally, some dependent Colonies made
  the Union, and in turn the Union threw off their old dependence for
  them, and made them States, such as they are. Not one of them ever
  had a State constitution independent of the Union. Of course it is
  not forgotten that all the new States formed their constitutions
  before they entered the Union; nevertheless, dependent upon, and
  preparatory to coming into the Union. Unquestionably the States
  have the powers and rights reserved to them in and by the National

  “But among these surely are not included all conceivable powers,
  however mischievous or destructive, but at most such only as
  were known in the world at the time as governmental powers, and
  certainly a power to destroy the Government itself had never
  been known as a governmental, as a merely administrative power.
  This relative matter of National power and State rights as a
  principle, is no other than the principle of generality and
  locality. Whatever concerns the whole should be conferred on the
  whole General Government, while whatever concerns only the State
  should be left exclusively to the State. This is all there is of
  original principle about it. Whether the National Constitution,
  in defining boundaries between the two, has applied the principle
  with exact accuracy, is not to be questioned. We are all bound
  by that defining without question. What is now combatted is the
  position that secession is consistent with the Constitution, is
  lawful and peaceful. It is not contended that there is any express
  law for it, and nothing should ever be implied as law which leads
  to unjust or absurd consequences. The nation purchased with money
  the countries out of which several of these States were formed. Is
  it just that they shall go off without leave and without refunding?
  The nation paid very large sums in the aggregate, I believe nearly
  a hundred millions, to relieve Florida of the aboriginal tribes.
  Is it just that she shall now be off without consent, or without
  any return? The nation is now in debt for money applied to the
  benefit of these so-called seceding States, in common with the
  rest. Is it just, either that creditors shall go unpaid, or the
  remaining States pay the whole? A part of the present National debt
  was contracted to pay the old debt of Texas. Is it just that she
  shall leave and pay no part of this herself? Again, if one State
  may secede, so may another, and when all shall have seceded none
  is left to pay the debts. Is this quite just to creditors? Did
  we notify them of this sage view of ours when we borrowed their
  money? If we now recognize this doctrine by allowing the seceders
  to go in peace, it is difficult to see what we can do if others
  choose to go, or to extort terms upon which they will promise
  to remain. The seceders insist that our Constitution admits of
  secession. They have assumed to make a National Constitution of
  their own, in which, of necessity, they have either discarded or
  retained the right of secession, as they insist exists in ours. If
  they have discarded it, they thereby admit that on principle it
  ought not to exist in ours; if they have retained it, by their own
  construction of ours that shows that to be consistent, they must
  secede from one another whenever they shall find it the easiest way
  of settling their debts, or effecting any other selfish or unjust
  object. The principle itself is one of disintegration, and upon
  which no Government can possibly endure. If all the States save one
  should assert the power to drive that one out of the Union, it is
  presumed the whole class of seceder politicians would at once deny
  the power, and denounce the act as the greatest outrage upon State
  rights. But suppose that precisely the same act, instead of being
  called driving the one out, should be called the seceding of the
  others from that one, it would be exactly what the seceders claim
  to do, unless, indeed, they made the point that the one, because
  it is a minority, may rightfully do what the others, because they
  are a majority, may not rightfully do. These politicians are
  subtle, and profound in the rights of minorities. They are not
  partial to that power which made the Constitution, and speaks
  from the preamble, calling itself, ‘We, the people.’ It may be
  well questioned whether there is to-day a majority of the legally
  qualified voters of any State, except, perhaps, South Carolina, in
  favor of disunion. There is much reason to believe that the Union
  men are the majority in many, if not in every one of the so-called
  seceded States. The contrary has not been demonstrated in any
  one of them. It is ventured to affirm this, even of Virginia and
  Tennessee, for the result of an election held in military camps,
  where the bayonets are all on one side of the question voted upon,
  can scarcely be considered as demonstrating popular sentiment. At
  such an election all that large class who are at once for the Union
  and against coercion would be coerced to vote against the Union. It
  may be affirmed, without extravagance, that the free institutions
  we enjoy have developed the powers and improved the condition of
  our whole people beyond any example in the world. Of this we now
  have a striking and impressive illustration. So large an army as
  the Government has now on foot was never before known, without a
  soldier in it but who has taken his place there of his own free
  choice. But more than this, there are many single regiments whose
  members, one and another, possess full practical knowledge of all
  the arts, sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether useful
  or elegant, is known in the whole world, and there is scarcely one
  from which there could not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a
  Congress, and perhaps a Court, abundantly competent to administer
  the Government itself. Nor do I say this is not true also in the
  army of our late friends, now adversaries, in this contest. But
  it is so much better the reason why the Government which has
  conferred such benefits on both them and us should not be broken
  up. Whoever in any section proposes to abandon such a Government,
  would do well to consider in deference to what principle it is that
  he does it. What better he is likely to get in its stead, whether
  the substitute will give, or be intended to give so much of good
  to the people. There are some foreshadowings on this subject.
  Our adversaries have adopted some declarations of independence
  in which, unlike our good old one penned by Jefferson, they omit
  the words, ‘all men are created equal.’ Why? They have adopted a
  temporary National Constitution, in the preamble of which, unlike
  our good old one signed by Washington, they omit, ‘We, the people,’
  and substitute, ‘We, the deputies of the sovereign and independent
  States.’ Why? Why this deliberate pressing out of view the rights
  of men and the authority of the people? This is essentially a
  people’s contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for
  maintaining in the world that form and substance of Government
  whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men, to lift
  artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of
  laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a
  fair chance in the race of life, yielding to partial and temporary
  departures from necessity. This is the leading object of the
  Government for whose existence we contend.

  “I am most happy to believe that the plain people understand and
  appreciate this. It is worthy of note that while in this, the
  Government’s hour of trial, large numbers of those in the army
  and navy who have been favored with the offices, have resigned
  and proved false to the hand which pampered them, not one common
  soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag. Great
  honor is due to those officers who remained true despite the
  example of their treacherous associates, but the greatest honor
  and the most important fact of all, is the unanimous firmness
  of the common soldiers and common sailors. To the last man, so
  far as known, they have successfully resisted the traitorous
  efforts of those whose commands but an hour before they obeyed as
  absolute law. This is the patriotic instinct of plain people. They
  understand without an argument that the destroying the Government
  which was made by Washington means no good to them. Our popular
  Government has often been called an experiment. Two points in
  it our people have settled: the successful establishing and the
  successful administering of it. One still remains. Its successful
  maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow
  it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those
  who can fairly carry an election, can also suppress a rebellion;
  that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets,
  and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided,
  there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves
  at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace,
  teaching men that what they cannot take by an election, neither can
  they take by a war, teaching all the folly of being the beginners
  of a war.

  “Lest there should be some uneasiness in the minds of candid
  men as to what is to be the course of the Government toward the
  Southern States after the rebellion shall have been suppressed,
  the Executive deems it proper to say it will be his purpose then,
  as ever, to be guided by the Constitution and the laws, and that
  he probably will have no different understanding of the powers
  and duties of the Federal Government relatively to the rights
  of the United States and the people under the Constitution than
  that expressed in the Inaugural Address. He desires to preserve
  the Government that it may be administered for all, as it was
  administered by the men who made it. Loyal citizens everywhere have
  a right to claim this of their Government, and the Government has
  no right to withhold or neglect it. It is not perceived that in
  giving it there is any coercion, conquest or subjugation in any
  sense of these terms.

  “The Constitution provided, and all the States have accepted the
  provision, ‘that the United States shall guarantee to every State
  in this Union a Republican form of government,’ but if a State
  may lawfully go out of the Union, having done so, it may also
  discard the Republican form of Government. So that to prevent its
  going out is an indispensable means to the end of maintaining the
  guaranty mentioned; and when an end is lawful and obligatory, the
  indispensable means to it are also lawful and obligatory.

  “It was with the deepest regret that the Executive found the duty
  of employing the war power. In defence of the Government forced
  upon him, he could but perform this duty or surrender the existence
  of the Government. No compromise by public servants could in this
  case be a cure, not that compromises are not often proper, but
  that no popular government can long survive a marked precedent,
  that those who carry an election can only save the Government
  from immediate destruction by giving up the main point upon which
  the people gave the election. The people themselves and not their
  servants can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.

  “As a private citizen the Executive could not have consented that
  these institutions shall perish, much less could he, in betrayal
  of so vast and so sacred a trust as these free people had confided
  to him. He felt that he had no moral right to shrink, nor even to
  count the chances of his own life in what might follow.

  “In full view of his great responsibility, he has so far done
  what he has deemed his duty. You will now, according to your own
  judgment, perform yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and
  your actions may so accord with his as to assure all faithful
  citizens who have been disturbed in their rights, of a certain and
  speedy restoration to them, under the Constitution and laws; and
  having thus chosen our cause without guile, and with pure purpose,
  let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with
  manly hearts.

  “July 4, 1861.      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

This document, it will be observed, sets forth in temperate language
the facts bearing upon the rebellion in its then stage--facts so stated
that the common people could readily comprehend the exact situation of
affairs. Such a message, always in place, was never more needed than at
a juncture when--as seemed not altogether impossible to many--an appeal
might yet have to be made again and again to the great mass of the
people for men and money to maintain the unity of the nation. It may
be safely asserted, that the messages of none of our Presidents have
been so generally read and so thoroughly mastered by the average mind,
as those of Mr. Lincoln, himself the tribune of the people.

Congress granted five hundred millions in money, and directed a call
for five hundred thousand volunteers for the army; made provisions
for a popular national loan; revised the tariff; passed a direct tax
bill; adopted measures, moderate in their scope, for the confiscation
of rebel property; legalized the official acts of the President during
the emergency in which the country had been placed; and the House
of Representatives, with but two dissentients, passed the following

  “_Resolved, By the House of Representatives of the Congress of the
  United States_, That the present deplorable civil war has been
  forced upon the country by the disunionists of the Southern States,
  now in revolt against the Constitutional Government, and in arms
  around the capital; that in this national emergency Congress,
  banishing all feeling of mere passion or resentment, will recollect
  only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged
  on our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of
  conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of authorizing or interfering
  with the rights or established institutions of the States, but
  to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to
  preserve the Union, with all the dignities, equality, and rights of
  the several States unimpaired, and that as soon as these objects
  are accomplished the war ought to cease.”

On the 21st of July, the Army of the Union, under the direct command
of General McDowell, and the general supervision of the veteran
Scott--from whose onward movement against the rebels in Virginia
so much had been expected--met with a serious reverse at Bull Run.
They went forth, exulting in victory as certain; they came back a
panic-stricken mob. For an instant, despondency took possession of
every loyal heart; all manner of vague fears seized the people;
Washington would be captured; the cause was lost.

It was but for an instant, however. The rebound came. Washington which
might easily have been captured and sacked, had the rebels known how to
improve their success, was securely fortified and amply garrisoned. One
did not then comprehend what now the most concede--that Bull Run was a
necessary discipline--a school in which all learned somewhat--though,
unfortunately, not all of us as much as we should. That came later.


CLOSE OF 1861.

  Elation of the Rebels--Davis’s boast--McClellan appointed
  Commander of Potomac Army--Proclamation of a National Fast--
  Intercourse with rebels forbidden--Fugitive slaves--Gen. Butler’s
  views--Gen. McClellan’s letter from Secretary Cameron--Act of
  August 6th, 1861--Gen. Fremont’s order--Letter of the President
  modifying the same--Instructions to Gen. Sherman--Ball’s Bluff--
  Gen. Scott’s retirement--Army of the Potomac.

The victory of the conspirators at Bull Run, as was to have been
expected, elated them no little. Their President in his message was
supercilious and confident. Lauding the prowess and determination of
his confederates, he said:

“To speak of subjugating such a people, so united and determined, is
to speak in a language incomprehensible to them: to resist attack on
their rights or their liberties is with them an instinct. Whether this
war shall last one, or three, or five years, is a problem they leave
to be solved by the enemy alone. It will last till the enemy shall
have withdrawn from their borders; till their political rights, their
altars, and their homes are freed from invasion. Then, and then only,
will they rest from this struggle to enjoy in peace, the blessings
which, with the favor of Providence, they have secured by the aid of
their own strong hearts and steady arms.”

On the 25th of July, a new commander was assigned to the Army of
the Potomac, upon the warm recommendation of Gen. Scott; George B.
McClellan, who had already become favorably known from his conducting
a successful campaign in Western Virginia. With the extravagance so
characteristic of the American people, this commander--whose laurels
were yet to be won--was hailed as a young Napoleon, lauded to the
skies, and failure under him regarded as an utter impossibility.

And the General betook himself to the organizing, disciplining, and
supplying his army, to which large accessions were continually making
from week to week.

On the 12th day of August was issued the following proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, A joint committee of both Houses of Congress has waited
  on the President of the United States, and requested him to
  ‘recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting, to
  be observed by the people of the United States with religious
  solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty
  God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessings on
  their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace.’

  “AND WHEREAS, It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times,
  to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow
  in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore
  their sins and transgressions, in the full conviction that the
  fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray, with all
  fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offences, and
  for a blessing upon their present and prospective action.

  “AND WHEREAS, When our own beloved country, once, by the blessing
  of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction
  and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand
  of God in this terrible visitation, and, in sorrowful remembrance
  of our own faults and crimes as a nation, and as individuals, to
  humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy--to pray
  that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly
  deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the
  re-establishment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide
  extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and
  religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the
  labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its
  original excellence;

  “_Therefore, I_, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
  do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of
  humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation.
  And I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to
  all ministers and teachers of religion, of all denominations, and
  to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day, according
  to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility, and
  with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer
  of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down
  plentiful blessings upon our country.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed, this 12th day of August,
  A. D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States of America
  the eighty-sixth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

And four days later the following:

  “WHEREAS, On the 15th day of April, the President of the United
  States, in view of an insurrection against the laws, Constitution,
  and Government of the United States, which had broken out
  within the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida,
  Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and in pursuance of the
  provisions of an act entitled an act to provide for calling
  forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress
  insurrections and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in
  force for that purpose, approved February 28th, 1795, did call
  forth the militia to suppress said insurrection and cause the laws
  of the Union to be duly executed--and the insurgents have failed
  to disperse by the time directed by the President; AND WHEREAS,
  such insurrection has since broken out and yet exists within the
  States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas; AND
  WHEREAS, the insurgents in all the said States claim to act under
  authority thereof, and such claim is not discarded or repudiated by
  the persons exercising the functions of government in such State or
  States, or in the part or parts thereof, in which such combinations
  exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by said States.

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, in pursuance of the Act of Congress approved July 13th,
  1861, do hereby declare that the inhabitants of the said States
  of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas,
  Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida, except the inhabitants of
  that part of the State of Virginia lying west of the Allegheny
  Mountains, and of such other parts of that State and the other
  States hereinbefore named as may maintain a loyal adhesion to the
  Union and the Constitution, or may be, from time to time occupied
  and controlled by the forces of the United States engaged in the
  dispersion of said insurgents, are in a state of insurrection
  against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse
  between the same and the inhabitants thereof, with the exception
  aforesaid, and the citizens of other States and other parts of the
  United States, is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such
  insurrection shall cease or has been suppressed; that all goods
  and chattels, wares and merchandise, coming from any of the said
  States, with the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the
  United States, without the special license and permission of the
  President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding
  to any of the said States, with the exception aforesaid, by land
  or water, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same,
  or conveying persons to and from the said States, with the said
  exceptions, will be forfeited to the United States; and that, from
  and after fifteen days from the issuing of this proclamation, all
  ships and vessels belonging, in whole or in part, to any citizen
  or inhabitant of any of the said States, with the said exceptions,
  found at sea in any part of the United States, will be forfeited to
  the United States; and I hereby enjoin upon all District Attorneys,
  Marshals, and officers of the revenue of the military and naval
  forces of the United States, to be vigilant in the execution of the
  said act, and in the enforcement of the penalties and forfeitures
  imposed or declared by it, leaving any party who may think himself
  aggrieved thereby, to his application to the Secretary of the
  Treasury for the remission of any penalty or forfeiture, which the
  said Secretary is authorized by law to grant, if in his judgment,
  the special circumstances of any case shall require such a

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done in the City of Washington, this, the 16th day of August, in
  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one,
  and of the Independence of the United States of America the

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The question as to the disposition to be made of the slaves of
rebel masters presented itself early in the contest, and it was at
once perceived that its settlement would be attended with no little

As early as May 27th, 1861, General Butler, in command at Fortress
Monroe, had informed the War Department as to his views relative to
the fugitive slaves--that they were to be regarded as “contraband of
war”--and Secretary Cameron, under date of May 30th, had instructed
that commander neither to permit any interference by persons under
his command with the relations of persons held to service under the
laws of any State; nor, on the other hand, while such States remained
in rebellion, to surrender such persons to their alleged masters, but
to employ them in such service as would be most advantageous, keeping
an account of the value of their labor and the expenses of their
support--the question of their final disposition to be reserved for
future determination.

At about the same time, General McClellan, advancing into Western
Virginia to the aid of the loyal men of that section, used this
language in his address to the people:

  “Notwithstanding all that has been said by the traitors to induce
  you to believe that our advent among you will be signalized by
  interference with your slaves, understand one thing clearly--not
  only will we abstain from all such interference, but we will, on
  the contrary, with an iron hand, crush any attempt at insurrection
  on their part.”

On the 8th of August, Secretary Cameron, in reply to a second letter
from General Butler upon the same subject, said:

  “GENERAL:--The important question of the proper disposition to
  be made of fugitives from service in the States in insurrection
  against the Federal Government, to which you have again directed
  my attention, in your letter of July 20th, has received my most
  attentive consideration. It is the desire of the President that
  all existing rights in all the States be fully respected and
  maintained. The war now prosecuted on the part of the Federal
  Government is a war for the Union, for the preservation of all the
  Constitutional rights of the States and the citizens of the States
  in the Union; hence no question can arise as to fugitives from
  service within the States and Territories in which the authority
  of the Union is fully acknowledged. The ordinary forms of judicial
  proceedings must be respected by the military and civil authorities
  alike for the enforcement of legal forms. But in the States wholly
  or in part under insurrectionary control, where the laws of the
  United States are so far opposed and resisted that they can not
  be effectually enforced, it is obvious that the rights dependent
  upon the execution of these laws must temporarily fail, and it is
  equally obvious that the rights dependent on the laws of the States
  within which military operations are conducted must necessarily be
  subordinate to the military exigencies created by the insurrection,
  if not wholly forfeited by the treasonable conduct of the parties
  claiming them. To this the general rule of the right to service
  forms an exception. The act of Congress approved August 6, 1861,
  declares that if persons held to service shall be employed in
  hostility to the United States, the right to their services shall
  be discharged therefrom. It follows of necessity that no claim
  can be recognized by the military authority of the Union to the
  services of such persons when fugitives.

  “A more difficult question is presented in respect to persons
  escaping from the service of loyal masters. It is quite apparent
  that the laws of the State under which only the service of such
  fugitives can be claimed must needs be wholly or almost wholly
  superseded, as to the remedies, by the insurrection and the
  military measures necessitated by it; and it is equally apparent
  that the substitution of military for judicial measures for the
  enforcement of such claims must be attended by great inconvenience,
  embarrassments and injuries. Under these circumstances, it seems
  quite clear that the substantial rights of loyal masters are still
  best protected by receiving such fugitives, as well as fugitives
  from disloyal masters, into the service of the United States, and
  employing them under such organizations and in such occupations as
  circumstances may suggest or require. Of course a record should
  be kept showing the names and descriptions of the fugitives, the
  names and characters, as loyal or disloyal, of their masters, and
  such facts as may be necessary to a correct understanding of the
  circumstances of each case.

  “After tranquility shall have been restored upon the return of
  peace, Congress will doubtless properly provide for all the persons
  thus received into the service of the Union, and for a just
  compensation to loyal masters. In this way only, it would seem,
  can the duty and safety of the Government and just rights of all
  be fully reconciled and harmonized. You will, therefore, consider
  yourself instructed to govern your future action in respect to
  fugitives from service by the premises herein stated, and will
  report from time to time, and at least twice in each month, your
  action in the premises to this Department. You will, however,
  neither authorize nor permit any interference by the troops under
  your command with the servants of peaceable citizens in a house or
  field, nor will you in any manner encourage such citizens to leave
  the lawful service of their masters, nor will you, except in cases
  where the public good may seem to require it, prevent the voluntary
  return of any fugitive to the service from which he may have

The Act of Congress to which allusion has already been made, as
providing for the confiscation of the estates of persons in open
rebellion against the Government, limited the penalty to property
actually employed in the service of the rebellion, with the knowledge
and consent of its owners; and, instead of emancipating slaves thus
employed, left the disposition to be made of them to be determined by
the United States Courts, or by subsequent legislation.

General Fremont, in command of the Department of Missouri, in an order
dated August 30th, declaring martial law established throughout that
State, used the following language:

  “Real and personal property of those who shall take up arms
  against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have
  taken an active part with their enemies in the field, is declared
  confiscated to public use, and their slaves if any they have, are
  hereby declared free men.”

This order violated the above-named act, and could only be justified
upon the ground of imperative military necessity. Some correspondence
which passed between the President and General Fremont upon this topic,
resulted in the following official letter, dated Washington, D. C.,
Sept. 11, 1861:


  “SIR,--Yours of the 8th, in answer to mine of the 2d inst., is just
  received. Assured that you, upon the ground, could better judge of
  the necessities of your position than I could at this distance,
  on seeing your proclamation of August 30, I perceived no general
  objection to it; the particular clause however, in relation to the
  confiscation of property and the liberation of slaves, appeared to
  me to be objectionable in its non-conformity to the Act of Congress
  passed the 6th of last August, upon the same subjects, and hence I
  wrote you, expressing my wish that that clause should be modified
  accordingly. Your answer just received expresses the preference on
  your part that I should make an open order for the modification,
  which I very cheerfully do. It is, therefore, ordered that the said
  clause of the said proclamation be so modified, held and construed,
  as to conform with, and not to transcend the provisions on the
  same subject contained in the Act of Congress entitled ‘An Act to
  confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes,’ approved
  August 6, 1861, and that said Act be published at length with this

    “Your obedient servant,
    “A. LINCOLN.”

In the instructions from the War Department to General Sherman, in
command of the land forces destined to operate on the South Carolina
coast, that commander was directed to govern himself relative to
this class of persons, by the principles of the letters addressed to
General Butler, exercising, however, his own discretion as to special
cases. If particular circumstances seemed to require it, they were
to be employed in any capacity, with such organization in squads,
companies, or otherwise, as should be by him deemed most beneficial to
the service. This, however, not to mean a general arming of them for
military service. All loyal masters were to be assured that Congress
would provide just compensation to them for any loss of the services of
persons so employed.

This phase--varying and indefinite--at that time did that question
present, which was at a later period to take, under the moulding hand
of the President, body and form clearly defined and unmistakable.

The battle of Ball’s Bluff--the first under the direction of the
new commander on the Potomac--fought October 21st was but Bull Run
repeated; happily, however, on a somewhat smaller scale. A convenient
scapegoat upon whom to throw the responsibility--General Stone--was
found, and the indignation of the country was measurably, and for the
time, appeased.

Directly after this affair, the veteran Scott having asked to be
relieved from active service, his request was granted in the following
highly complimentary order:

    “_Executive Mansion, Washington_, Nov. 1, 1861.

  “On the 1st day of November, A. D., 1861, upon his own application
  to the President of the United States, Brevet Lieutenant-General
  Winfield Scott is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon
  the list of retired officers of the Army of the United States,
  without reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowances.

  “The American people will hear with sadness and deep emotion that
  General Scott has withdrawn from the active control of the army,
  while the President and the unanimous Cabinet express their own
  and the nation’s sympathy in his personal affliction, and their
  profound sense of the important public services rendered by him
  to his country during his long and brilliant career, among which
  will ever be gratefully distinguished his faithful devotion to
  the Constitution, the Union, and the flag, when assailed by a
  parricidal rebellion.


To General McClellan, now the ranking officer of the army, the duties
of General-in-chief were assigned by the President.

The autumnal months passed away--gorgeous and golden--men thought them
made for fighting, if fighting must be; but no fighting for the Army of
the Potomac--an occasional skirmish only--mainly reviews.

The winter months came--the dry season had passed. The Grand Army
being now thoroughly organized, disciplined, and equipped went--to
fight?--no--into winter quarters.

And the people, patient ever and forgiving, when inclination impels,
forgot Ball’s Bluff--forgot what they had hoped for--trusted in
the prudent caution of the general in command, and waited for the



  The Military Situation--Seizure of Mason and Slidell--Opposition
  to the Administration--President’s Message--Financial
  Legislation--Committee on the Conduct of the War--Confiscation

At the time of the re-assembling of Congress, December 2d, 1861,
the military situation was by no means as promising as the liberal
expenditure of money and the earnest efforts of the Administration
toward a vigorous prosecution of the war might have led the people to
expect. True, the National Capitol had been protected, and Maryland,
West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri had not, as had been at various
times threatened, been brought in subjection to the rebels. Nothing
more, however--though this would have been judged no little, had the
people been less sanguine of great results immediately at hand--than
this had been accomplished in the East; and in the West, large rebel
forces threatened Kentucky and Missouri, and the Mississippi river was
in their possession from its mouth to within a short distance of the
mouth of the Ohio.

The seizure of the emissaries, Mason and Slidell likewise--though
afterwards disposed of by the Government in such a way as to secure
the acquiescence of the nation--taken in connection with the position
assumed by the British Government--in every way unpalatable to the mass
of the people--seemed likely to entangle us in foreign complications
exceedingly undesirable at that juncture. It was generally believed
that England and France, while neutral on the surface, were in reality
affording very material aid and comfort to the rebel cause, our
commercial interests being very seriously impaired by the construction
which those powers saw fit to place upon their duties as neutrals.

Efforts, moreover, were making to organize a formidable party in
antagonism to the Administration, comprising the loose ends of every
class of malcontents; those who had always opposed the war, though for
a time cowed down by the outburst which followed the fall of Sumter;
those who were satisfied that no more progress had been made; those
who were inclined, constitutionally, to oppose any thing which any
Administration, under any circumstances, might do; those who were
beginning to tire of the war, and were ready to patch matters up in any
way, so only that it should come to an end; and those who were on the
alert for some chance whereby to make capital, political or pecuniary,
for their own dear selves.

As a whole, affairs were by no means a cheering aspect at the opening
of this Session.

That the President was fully alive to the true state of the case, the
views announced in the following message clearly show:

  the midst of unprecedented political troubles, we have cause of
  great gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant

  “You will not be surprised to learn that, in the peculiar exigences
  of the times, our intercourse with foreign nations has been
  attended with profound solicitude, chiefly turning upon our own
  domestic affairs.

  “A disloyal portion of the American people have, during the whole
  year, been engaged in an attempt to divide and destroy the Union.
  A nation which endures factious domestic division, is exposed to
  disrespect abroad; and one party, if not both, is sure, sooner or
  later, to invoke foreign intervention.

  “Nations thus tempted to interfere, are not always able to resist
  the counsels of seeming expediency and ungenerous ambition,
  although measures adopted under such influences seldom fail to be
  unfortunate and injurious to those adopting them.

  “The disloyal citizens of the United States who have offered the
  ruin of our country, in return for the aid and comfort which they
  have invoked abroad, have received less patronage and encouragement
  than they probably expected. If it were just to suppose, as the
  insurgents have seemed to assume, that foreign nations, in this
  case, discarding all moral, social and treaty obligations, would
  act solely, and selfishly, for the most speedy restoration of
  commerce, including, especially, the acquisition of cotton, those
  nations appear, as yet, not to have seen their way to their objects
  more directly, or clearly, through the destruction than through
  the preservation of the Union. If we could dare to believe that
  foreign nations are actuated by no higher principle than this, I am
  quite sure a sound argument could be made to show them that they
  can reach their aim more readily and easily by aiding to crush this
  rebellion than by giving encouragement to it.

  “The principal lever relied on by the insurgents for exciting
  foreign nations to hostility against us, as already intimated,
  is the embarrassment of commerce. Those nations, however, not
  improbably, saw from the first, that it was the Union which made,
  as well our foreign, as our domestic commerce. They can scarcely
  have failed to perceive that the effort for disunion produces
  the existing difficulty; and that one strong nation promises
  more durable peace, and a more extensive, valuable and reliable
  commerce, than can the same nation broken into hostile fragments.

  “It is not my purpose to review our discussions with foreign
  States; because whatever might be their wishes or dispositions, the
  integrity of our country and the stability of our Government mainly
  depend, not upon them, but on the loyalty, virtue, patriotism and
  intelligence of the American people. The correspondence itself,
  with the usual reservations, is herewith submitted.

  “I venture to hope it will appear that we have practiced prudence
  and liberality toward foreign powers, averting causes of
  irritation, and with firmness maintaining our own rights and honor.

  “Since, however, it is apparent that here, as in every other
  State, foreign dangers necessarily attend domestic difficulties,
  I recommend that adequate and ample measures be adopted for
  maintaining the public defences on every side. While, under this
  general recommendation, provision for defending our sea-coast line
  readily occurs to the mind, I also, in the same connection, ask the
  attention of Congress to our great lakes and rivers. It is believed
  that some fortifications and depots of arms and munitions, with
  harbor and navigation improvements, all at well-selected points
  upon these, would be of great importance to the National defence
  and preservation. I ask attention to the views of the Secretary of
  War, expressed in his report, upon the same general subject.

  “I deem it of importance that the loyal regions of East Tennessee
  and Western North Carolina should be connected with Kentucky,
  and other faithful parts of the Union, by railroad. I therefore
  recommend, as a military measure, that Congress provide for the
  construction of such road as speedily as possible. Kentucky, no
  doubt, will co-operate, and, through her Legislature, make the most
  judicious selection of a line. The northern terminus must connect
  with some existing railroad; and whether the route shall be from
  Lexington or Nicholasville to the Cumberland Gap, or from Lebanon
  to the Tennessee line, in the direction of Knoxville, or on some
  still different line, can easily be determined. Kentucky and the
  General Government coöperating, the work can be completed in a very
  short time; and when done, it will be not only of vast present
  usefulness, but also a valuable permanent improvement, worth its
  cost in all the future.

  “Some treaties, designed chiefly for the interests of commerce, and
  having no grave political importance, have been negotiated, and
  will be submitted to the Senate for their consideration.

  “Although we have failed to induce some of the commercial powers
  to adopt a desirable amelioration of the rigor of maritime war, we
  have removed all obstructions from the way of this humane reform,
  except such as are merely of temporary and accidental occurrence.

  “I invite your attention to the correspondence between Her
  Britannic Majesty’s Minister, accredited to this Government, and
  the Secretary of State, relative to the detention of the British
  ship Perthshire, in June last, by the United States steamer
  Massachusetts, for a supposed breach of the blockade. As this
  detention was occasioned by an obvious misapprehension of the
  facts, and as justice requires that we should commit no belligerent
  act not founded in strict right, as sanctioned by public law, I
  recommend that an appropriation be made to satisfy the reasonable
  demand of the owners of the vessel for her detention.

  “I repeat the recommendation of my predecessor, in his annual
  message to Congress in December last, in regard to the disposition
  of the surplus which will probably remain after satisfying the
  claims of the American citizens against China, pursuant to the
  awards of the commissioners under the act of the 3d of March,
  1859. If, however, it should not be deemed advisable to carry that
  recommendation into effect, I would suggest that authority be given
  for investing the principal, over the proceeds of the surplus
  referred to, in good securities, with a view to the satisfaction
  of such other just claims of our citizens against China as are not
  unlikely to arise hereafter in the course of our extensive trade
  with that empire.

  “By the act of the 5th of August last, Congress authorized the
  President to instruct the commanders of suitable vessels to defend
  themselves against and to capture pirates. This authority has
  been exercised in a single instance only. For the more effectual
  protection of our extensive and valuable commerce, in the Eastern
  seas especially, it seems to me that it would also be advisable
  to authorize the commanders of sailing vessels to recapture any
  prizes which pirates may make of United States vessels and their
  cargoes, and the consular courts, now established by law in Eastern
  countries, to adjudicate the cases, in the event that this should
  not be objected to by the local authorities.

  “If any good reason exists why we should persevere longer in
  withholding our recognition of the independence and sovereignty
  of Hayti and Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling,
  however, to inaugurate a novel policy in regard to them without
  the approbation of Congress, I submit for your consideration the
  expediency of an appropriation for maintaining a charge d’affaires
  near each of those new States. It does not admit of doubt that
  important commercial advantages might be secured by favorable
  treaties with them.

  “The operations of the treasury during the period which has elapsed
  since your adjournment, have been conducted with signal success.
  The patriotism of the people has placed at the disposal of the
  Government the large means demanded by the public exigencies. Much
  of the national loan has been taken by citizens of the industrial
  classes, whose confidence in their country’s faith, and zeal for
  their country’s deliverance from present peril, have induced them
  to contribute to the support of the Government the whole of their
  limited acquisitions. This fact imposes peculiar obligations to
  economy in disbursement, and energy in action.

  “The revenue from all sources, including loans, for the financial
  year ending on the 30th of June, 1861, was eighty-six million
  eight hundred and thirty-five thousand nine hundred dollars and
  twenty-seven cents, and the expenditures for the same period,
  including payments on account of the public debt, were eighty-four
  million five hundred and seventy-eight thousand eight hundred and
  thirty-four dollars and forty-seven cents; leaving a balance in
  the treasury on the 1st of July of two million two hundred and
  fifty-seven thousand sixty-five dollars and eighty cents. For
  the first quarter of the financial year, ending on the 30th of
  September, 1861, the receipts from all sources, including the
  balance of the 1st of July, were one hundred and two million five
  hundred and thirty-two thousand five hundred and nine dollars and
  twenty-seven cents, and the expenses ninety-eight million two
  hundred and thirty-nine thousand seven hundred and thirty-three
  dollars and nine cents; leaving a balance on the 1st of October,
  1861, of four million two hundred and ninety-two thousand seven
  hundred and seventy-six dollars and eighteen cents.

  “Estimates for the remaining three-quarters of the year, and for
  the financial year 1863, together with his views of ways and means
  for meeting the demands contemplated by them, will be submitted
  to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury. It is gratifying to
  know that the expenditures made necessary by the rebellion are not
  beyond the resources of the loyal people, and to believe that the
  same patriotism which has thus far sustained the Government will
  continue to sustain it till peace and Union shall again bless the

  “I respectfully refer to the report of the Secretary of War for
  information respecting the numerical strength of the Army, and for
  recommendations having in view an increase of its efficiency and
  the well-being of the various branches of the service intrusted
  to his care. It is gratifying to know that the patriotism of the
  people has proved equal to the occasion, and that the number of
  troops tendered greatly exceeds the force which Congress authorized
  me to call into the field.

  “I refer with pleasure to those portions of his report which make
  allusion to the creditable degree of discipline already attained by
  our troops, and to the excellent sanitary condition of the entire

  “The recommendation of the Secretary for an organization of the
  militia upon a uniform basis is a subject of vital importance to
  the future safety of the country, and is commended to the serious
  attention of Congress.

  “The large addition to the regular army, in connection with the
  defection that has so considerably diminished the number of its
  officers, gives peculiar importance to his recommendation for
  increasing the corps of cadets to the greatest capacity of the
  Military Academy.

  “By mere omission, I presume, Congress has failed to provide
  chaplains for hospitals occupied by volunteers. This subject was
  brought to my notice, and I was induced to draw up the form of a
  letter, one copy of which, properly addressed, has been delivered
  to each of the persons, and at the dates respectively named and
  stated, in a schedule, containing also the form of the letter,
  marked A, and herewith transmitted.

  “These gentlemen, I understand, entered upon the duties designated,
  at the times respectively stated in the schedule, and have labored
  faithfully therein ever since. I therefore recommend that they be
  compensated at the same rate as chaplains in the army. I further
  suggest that general provision be made for chaplains to serve at
  hospitals, as well as with regiments.

  “The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents in detail the
  operations of that branch of the service, the activity and energy
  which have characterized its administration, and the results of
  measures to increase its efficiency and power. Such have been the
  additions, by construction and purchase, that it may almost be
  said a navy has been created and brought into service since our
  difficulties commenced.

  “Besides blockading our extensive coast, squadrons larger than
  ever before assembled under our flag have been put afloat, and
  performed deeds which have increased our naval renown.

  “I would invite special attention to the recommendation of
  the Secretary for a more perfect organization of the Navy by
  introducing additional grades in the service.

  “The present organization is defective and unsatisfactory, and the
  suggestions submitted by the Department will, it is believed, if
  adopted, obviate the difficulties alluded to promote harmony, and
  increase the efficiency of the Navy.

  “There are three vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court--two
  by the decease of Justices Daniel and McLean, and one by the
  resignation of Justice Campbell. I have so far forborne making
  nominations to fill these vacancies for reasons which I will now
  state. Two of the outgoing judges resided within the States now
  overrun by revolt; so that if successors were appointed in the
  same localities, they could not now serve upon their circuits;
  and many of the most competent men there probably would not take
  the personal hazard of accepting to serve, even here, upon the
  Supreme Bench. I have been unwilling to throw all the appointments
  northward, thus disabling myself from doing justice to the South on
  the return of peace; although I may remark that to transfer to the
  North one which has heretofore been in the South would not, with
  reference to territory and population, be unjust.

  “During the long and brilliant judicial career of Judge McLean, his
  circuit grew into an empire--altogether too large for any one judge
  to give the courts therein more than a nominal attendance--rising
  in population from one million four hundred and seventy thousand
  and eighteen, in 1830, to six million one hundred and fifty-one
  thousand four hundred and five, in 1860.

  “Besides this, the country generally has outgrown our present
  judicial system. If uniformity was at all intended, the system
  requires that all the States shall be accommodated with circuit
  courts, attended by supreme judges, while, in fact, Wisconsin,
  Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, Texas, California, and Oregon,
  have never had any such courts. Nor can this well be remedied
  without a change in the system; because the adding of judges to
  the Supreme Court, enough for the accommodation of all parts of
  the country, with circuit courts, would create a court altogether
  too numerous for a judicial body of any sort. And the evil, if it
  be one, will increase as new States come into the Union. Circuit
  courts are useful, or they are not useful; if useful, no State
  should be denied them; if not useful, no State should have them.
  Let them be provided for all, or abolished as to all.

  “Three modifications occur to me, either of which, I think, would
  be an improvement upon our present system. Let the Supreme Court
  be of convenient number in every event. Then, first, let the
  whole country be divided into circuits of convenient size, the
  supreme judges to serve in a number of them corresponding to their
  own number, and independent circuit judges be provided for all
  the rest. Or, secondly, let the supreme judges be relieved from
  circuit duties, and circuit judges provided for all the circuits.
  Or, thirdly, dispense with circuit courts altogether, leaving
  the judicial functions wholly to the district courts, and an
  independent Supreme Court.

  “I respectfully recommend to the consideration of Congress the
  present condition of the statute laws, with the hope that Congress
  will be able to find an easy remedy for many of the inconveniences
  and evils which constantly embarrass those engaged in the practical
  administration of them. Since the organization of the Government,
  Congress has enacted some five thousand acts and joint resolutions,
  which fill more than six thousand closely printed pages, and are
  scattered through many volumes. Many of these acts have been drawn
  in haste and without sufficient caution, so that their provisions
  are often obscure in themselves, or in conflict with each other, or
  at least so doubtful as to render it very difficult for even the
  best informed persons to ascertain precisely what the statute law
  really is.

  “It seems to me very important that the statute laws should be made
  as plain and intelligible as possible, and be reduced to as small a
  compass as may consist with the fulness and precision of the will
  of the legislature and the perspicuity of its language. This well
  done, would, I think, greatly facilitate the labors of those whose
  duty it is to assist in the administration of the laws, and would
  be a lasting benefit to the people, by placing before them in a
  more accessible and intelligible form, the laws which so deeply
  concern their interests and their duties.

  “I am informed by some whose opinions I respect, that all the acts
  of Congress now in force, and of a permanent and general nature,
  might be revised and re-written, so as to be embraced in one volume
  (or at most, two volumes) of ordinary and convenient size. And I
  respectfully recommend to Congress to consider the subject, and, if
  my suggestion be approved, to devise such plan as to their wisdom
  shall seem most proper for the attainment of the end proposed.

  “One of the unavoidable consequences of the present insurrection,
  is the entire suppression, in many places, of all the ordinary
  means of administering civil justice by the officers and in the
  forms of existing law. This is the case, in whole or in part, in
  all insurgent States; and as our armies advance upon and take
  possession of parts of those States the practical evil becomes more
  apparent. There are no courts nor officers to whom the citizens of
  other States may apply for the enforcement of their lawful claims
  against citizens of the insurgent States; and there is a vast
  amount of debt constituting such claims. Some have estimated it
  as high as two hundred million dollars, due in large part, from
  insurgents in open rebellion to loyal citizens, who are even now
  making great sacrifices in the discharge of their patriotic duty,
  to support the Government.

  “Under these circumstances, I have been urgently solicited to
  establish by military power, courts to administer summary justice
  in such cases. I have thus far declined to do it, not because I had
  any doubt that the end proposed--the collection of the debts--was
  just and right in itself, but because I have been unwilling to go
  beyond the pressure of necessity in the unusual exercise of power.
  But the powers of Congress, I suppose, are equal to the anomalous
  occasion, and therefore I refer the whole matter to Congress, with
  the hope that a plan may be devised for the administration of
  justice in all such parts of the insurgent States and Territories
  as may be under the control of this Government, whether by a
  voluntary return to allegiance and order, or by the power of our
  arms. This, however, not to be a permanent institution, but a
  temporary substitute, and to cease as soon as the ordinary courts
  can be re-established in peace.

  “It is important that some more convenient means should be
  provided, if possible, for the adjustment of claims against the
  Government, especially in view of their increased number by
  reason of the war. It is as much the duty of Government to render
  prompt justice against itself, in favor of citizens, as it is to
  administer the same between private individuals. The investigation
  and adjudication of claims, in their nature, belong to the judicial
  department; besides, it is apparent that the attention of Congress
  will be more than usually engaged for some time to come with great
  national questions. It was intended, by the organization of the
  Court of Claims, mainly to remove this branch of business from
  the halls of Congress; but while the court has proved to be an
  effective and valuable means of investigation, it in a great degree
  fails to effect the object of its creation for want of power to
  make its judgments final.

  “Fully aware of the delicacy, not to say the danger, of the
  subject, I commend to your careful consideration whether this power
  of making judgments final may not properly be given to the court,
  reserving the right of appeal on questions of law to the Supreme
  Court, with such other provisions as experience may have shown to
  be necessary.

  “I ask attention to the report of the Postmaster General, the
  following being a summary statement of the condition of the

  “The revenue from all sources during the fiscal year ending June
  30th, 1861, including the annual permanent appropriation of seven
  hundred thousand dollars for the transportation of ‘free mail
  matter,’ was nine million forty-nine thousand two hundred and
  ninety-six dollars and forty cents, being about two per cent. less
  than the revenue for 1860.

  “The expenditures were thirteen million six hundred and six
  thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine dollars and eleven cents,
  showing a decrease of more than eight per cent. as compared with
  those of the previous year, and leaving an excess of expenditure
  over the revenue for the last fiscal year of four million five
  hundred and fifty-seven thousand four hundred and sixty-two dollars
  and seventy-one cents.

  “The gross revenue for the year ending June 30th, 1863, is
  estimated at an increase of four per cent. on that of 1861, making
  eight million six hundred and eighty-three thousand dollars, to
  which should be added the earnings of the department in carrying
  free matter, viz: seven hundred thousand dollars, making nine
  million three hundred and eighty-three thousand dollars.

  “The total expenditures for 1863 are estimated at twelve million
  five hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars, leaving an
  estimated deficiency of three million one hundred and forty-five
  thousand dollars to be supplied from the treasury, in addition to
  the permanent appropriation.

  “The present insurrection shows, I think, that the extension of
  this District across the Potomac river, at the time of establishing
  the capital here, was eminently wise, and consequently that the
  relinquishment of that portion of it which lies within the State of
  Virginia was unwise and dangerous. I submit for your consideration
  the expediency of regaining that part of the District, and
  the restoration of the original boundaries thereof, through
  negotiations with the state of Virginia.

  “The report of the Secretary of the Interior, with the accompanying
  documents, exhibits the condition of the several branches of the
  public business pertaining to that department. The depressing
  influences of the insurrection have been specially felt in the
  operations of the Patent and General Land Offices. The cash
  receipts from the sales of public lands during the past year have
  exceeded the expenses of our land system only about two hundred
  thousand dollars. The sales have been entirely suspended in the
  Southern States, while the interruptions to the business of the
  country, and the diversions of large numbers of men from labor to
  military service, have obstructed settlements in the new States and
  Territories of the North-west.

  “The receipts of the Patent Office have declined in nine months
  about one hundred thousand dollars, rendering a large reduction of
  the force employed necessary to make it self-sustaining.

  “The demands upon the Pension Office will be largely increased by
  the insurrection. Numerous applications for pensions, based upon
  the casualties of the existing war, have already been made. There
  is reason to believe that many who are now upon the pension rolls,
  and in receipt of the bounty of the Government, are in the ranks of
  the insurgent army, or giving them aid and comfort. The Secretary
  of the Interior has directed a suspension of the payment of the
  pensions of such persons upon the proof of their disloyalty. I
  recommend that Congress authorize that officer to cause the names
  of such persons to be stricken from the pension rolls.

  “The relations of the Government with the Indian tribes have been
  greatly disturbed by the insurrection, especially in the Southern
  Superintendency and in that of New Mexico. The Indian country
  south of Kansas is in the possession of insurgents from Texas and
  Arkansas. The agents of the United States appointed since the
  4th of March for this superintendency have been unable to reach
  their posts, while the most of those who were in office before
  that time have espoused the insurrectionary cause, and assume to
  exercise the powers of agents by virtue of commissions from the
  insurrectionists. It has been stated in the public press that a
  portion of those Indians have been organized as a military force,
  and are attached to the army of the insurgents. Although the
  Government has no official information upon this subject, letters
  have been written to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs by several
  prominent chiefs, giving assurance of their loyalty to the United
  States, and expressing a wish for the presence of Federal troops
  to protect them. It is believed that upon the repossession of the
  country by the Federal forces the Indians will readily cease all
  hostile demonstrations, and resume their former relations to the

  “Agriculture, confessedly the largest interest of the nation, has
  not a department, nor a bureau, but a clerkship only, assigned
  to it in the Government. While it is fortunate that this great
  interest is so independent in its nature as to not have demanded
  and extorted more from the Government, I respectfully ask Congress
  to consider whether something more can not be given voluntarily
  with general advantage.

  “Annual reports exhibiting the condition of our agriculture,
  commerce, and manufactures, would present a fund of information of
  great practical value to the country. While I make no suggestion
  as to details, I venture the opinion that an agricultural and
  statistical bureau might profitably be organized.

  “The execution of the laws for the suppression of the African
  slave-trade has been confided to the Department of the Interior.
  It is a subject of gratulation that the efforts which have been
  made for the suppression of this inhuman traffic have been recently
  attended with unusual success. Five vessels being fitted out for
  the slave-trade have been seized and condemned. Two mates of
  vessels engaged in the trade, and one person in equipping a vessel
  as a slaver, have been convicted and subjected to the penalty of
  fine and imprisonment, and one captain, taken with a cargo of
  Africans on board his vessel, has been convicted of the highest
  grade of offence under our laws, the punishment of which is death.

  “The Territories of Colorado, Dakota, and Nevada, created by the
  last Congress, have been organized, and civil administration has
  been inaugurated therein under auspices especially gratifying, when
  it is considered that the leaven of treason was found existing in
  some of these new countries when the Federal officers arrived there.

  “The abundant natural resources of these Territories, with the
  security and protection afforded by organized government, will
  doubtless invite to them a large immigration when peace shall
  restore the business of the country to its accustomed channels.
  I submit the resolutions of the Legislature of Colorado, which
  evidence the patriotic spirit of the people of the Territory. So
  far, the authority of the United States has been upheld in all the
  Territories, as it is hoped it will be in the future. I commend
  their interests and defence to the enlightened and generous care of

  “I recommend to the favorable consideration of Congress the
  interests of the District of Columbia. The insurrection has been
  the cause of much suffering and sacrifice to its inhabitants, and
  as they have no representative in Congress, that body should not
  overlook their just claims upon the Government.

  “At your late session a joint resolution was adopted authorizing
  the President to take measures for facilitating a proper
  representation of the industrial interests of the United States
  at the exhibition of the industry of all nations, to be holden
  in London in the year 1862. I regret to say I have been unable
  to give personal attention to this subject--a subject at once so
  interesting in itself, and so extensively and intimately connected
  with the material prosperity of the world. Through the Secretaries
  of State and of the Interior a plan, or system, has been devised,
  and partly matured, and which will be laid before you.

  “Under and by virtue of the act of Congress entitled ‘An act to
  confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes,’ approved
  August 6, 1861, the legal claims of certain persons to the labor
  and service of certain other persons have become forfeited; and
  numbers of the latter, thus liberated, are already dependent on
  the United States, and must be provided for in some way. Besides
  this, it is not impossible that some of the States will pass
  similar enactments for their own benefit respectively, and by
  operation of which persons of the same class will be thrown upon
  them for disposal. In such case I recommend that Congress provide
  for accepting such persons from such States according to some
  mode of valuation, in lieu, _pro tanto_, of direct taxes, or upon
  some other plan to be agreed on with such States, respectively;
  that such persons, on such acceptance by the General Government,
  be at once deemed free; and, that, in any event, steps be taken
  for colonizing both classes (or the one first mentioned, if the
  other shall not be brought into existence) at some place or places
  in a climate congenial to them. It might be well to consider,
  too, whether the free colored people already in the United States
  could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such

  “To carry out the plan of colonization may involve the acquiring
  of territory, and also the appropriation of money beyond that to
  be expended in the territorial acquisition. Having practiced the
  acquisition of territory for nearly sixty years, the question of
  constitutional power to do so is no longer an open one with us.
  The power was questioned at first by Mr. Jefferson, who, however,
  in the purchase of Louisiana, yielded his scruples on the plea of
  great expediency. If it be said that the only legitimate object
  of acquiring territory is to furnish homes for white men, this
  measure effects that object, for the emigration of colored men
  leaves additional room for white men remaining or coming here. Mr.
  Jefferson, however, placed the importance of procuring Louisiana
  more on political and commercial grounds than on providing room for

  “On this whole proposition, including the appropriation of money
  with the acquisition of territory, does not the expediency amount
  to absolute necessity--that without which the Government itself
  cannot be perpetuated?

  “The war continues. In considering the policy to be adopted for
  suppressing the insurrection, I have been anxious and careful that
  the inevitable conflict for this purpose shall not degenerate
  into a violent and remorseless revolutionary struggle. I have,
  therefore, in every case thought it proper to keep the integrity
  of the Union prominent as the primary object of the contest on
  our part, leaving all questions which are not of vital military
  importance to the more deliberate action of the legislature.

  “In the exercise of my best discretion, I have adhered to the
  blockade of the ports held by the insurgents, instead of putting
  in force, by proclamation, the law of Congress enacted at the late
  session for closing those ports.

  “So, also, obeying the dictates of prudence, as well as the
  obligations of law, instead of transcending, I have adhered to the
  act of Congress to confiscate property used for insurrectionary
  purposes. If a new law upon the same subject shall be proposed, its
  propriety will be duly considered. The Union must be preserved; and
  hence all indispensable means must be employed. We should not be in
  haste to determine that radical and extreme measures, which may
  reach the loyal as well as the disloyal, are indispensable.

  “The inaugural address at the beginning of the administration,
  and the message to Congress at the late special session, were
  both mainly devoted to the domestic controversy out of which the
  insurrection and consequent war have sprung. Nothing now occurs
  to add or subtract to or from the principles or general purposes
  stated and expressed in those documents.

  “The last ray of hope for preserving the Union peaceably expired
  at the assault upon Fort Sumter; and a general review of what
  has occurred since may not be unprofitable. What was painfully
  uncertain then is much better defined and more distinct now; and
  the progress of events is plainly in the right direction. The
  insurgents confidently claimed a strong support from north of
  Mason and Dixon’s line, and the friends of the Union were not free
  from apprehension on the point. This, however, was soon settled
  definitely, and on the right side. South of the line, noble little
  Delaware led off right from the first. Maryland was made to _seem_
  against the Union. Our soldiers were assaulted, bridges were
  burned, and railroads torn up within her limits, and we were many
  days, at one time, without the ability to bring a single regiment
  over her soil to the capital. Now her bridges and railroads are
  repaired and open to the Government; she already gives seven
  regiments to the cause of the Union and none to the enemy; and her
  people, at a regular election, have sustained the Union by a larger
  majority and a larger aggregate vote than they ever before gave
  to any candidate or any question. Kentucky, too, for some time in
  doubt, is now decidedly, and, I think, unchangeably, ranged on the
  side of the Union. Missouri is comparatively quiet, and I believe
  can not again be overrun by the insurrectionists. These three
  States of Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, neither of which would
  promise a single soldier at first, have now an aggregate of not
  less than forty thousand in the field for the union; while of their
  citizens certainly not more than a third of that number, and they
  of doubtful whereabouts and doubtful existence, are in arms against
  it. After a somewhat bloody struggle of months, winter closes on
  the Union people of Western Virginia, leaving them masters of their
  own country.

  “An insurgent force of about fifteen hundred, for months dominating
  the narrow peninsular region, constituting the counties of Accomac
  and Northampton, and known as the eastern shore of Virginia,
  together with some contiguous parts of Maryland, have laid down
  their arms; and the people there have renewed their allegiance to,
  and accepted the protection of the old flag. This leaves no armed
  insurrectionist north of the Potomac or east of the Chesapeake.

  “Also we have obtained a footing at each of the isolated points,
  on the southern coast, of Hatteras, Port Royal, Tybee Island,
  near Savannah, and Ship Island; and we likewise have some general
  accounts of popular movements, in behalf of the Union, in North
  Carolina and Tennessee.

  “These things demonstrate that the cause of the Union is advancing
  steadily and certainly southward.

  “Since your last adjournment, Lieut.-Gen. Scott has retired from
  the head of the army. During his long life, the nation has not been
  unmindful of his merit; yet, on calling to mind how faithfully,
  ably and brilliantly he has served the country, from a time far
  back in our history, when few of the now living had been born, and
  thenceforward continually, I can not but think we are still his
  debtors. I submit, therefore, for your consideration, what further
  mark of recognition is due to him, and to ourselves, as a grateful

  “With the retirement of Gen. Scott came the Executive duty of
  appointing, in his stead, a General-in-chief of the army. It is
  a fortunate circumstance that neither in council nor country
  was there, so far as I know, any difference of opinion as to
  the proper person to be selected. The retiring chief repeatedly
  expressed his judgment in favor of Gen. McClellan for the position,
  and in this the nation seemed to give a unanimous concurrence.
  The designation of Gen. McClellan is, therefore, in considerable
  degree, the selection of the country as well as of the Executive;
  and hence there is better reason to hope there will be given him
  the confidence and cordial support thus, by fair implication,
  promised, and without which he can not, with so full efficiency,
  serve the country.

  “It has been said that one bad General is better than two good
  ones; and the saying is true, if taken to mean no more than that an
  army is better directed by a single mind, though inferior, than by
  two superior ones at variance and cross-purposes with each other.

  “And the same is true in all joint operations wherein those engaged
  _can_ have none but a common end in view, and _can_ differ only as
  to the choice of means. In a storm at sea, no one on board _can_
  wish the ship to sink, and yet, not unfrequently, all go down
  together because too many will direct and no single mind can be
  allowed to control.

  “It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if
  not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular
  government--the rights of the people. Conclusive evidence of
  this is found in the most grave and maturely-considered public
  documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In
  those documents we find the abridgment of the existing right of
  suffrage and the denial to the people of all right to participate
  in the selection of public officers, except the legislative, boldly
  advocated, with labored arguments to prove that large control of
  the people in government is the source of all political evil.
  Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from
  the power of the people.

  “In my present position I could scarcely be justified were I to
  omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning

  “It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should
  be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point,
  with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which
  I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place _capital_ on
  an equal footing with, if not above _labor_, in the structure
  of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in
  connection with capital--that nobody labors unless somebody else,
  owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This
  assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital
  shall _hire_ laborers, and thus induce them to work by their
  own consent, or _buy_ them, and drive them to it without their
  consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that
  all laborers are either _hired_ laborers, or what we call slaves.
  And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is
  fixed in that condition for life.

  “Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as
  assumed; nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for
  life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions
  are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

  “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only
  the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not
  first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much
  the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as
  worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that
  there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and
  capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that
  the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men
  own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their
  capital hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority
  belong to neither class--neither work for others nor have others
  working for them. In most of the Southern States a majority of the
  whole people, of all colors, are neither slaves nor masters, while
  in the Northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired.
  Men, with their families--wives, sons, and daughters--work for
  themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops,
  taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of
  capital, on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the
  other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons
  mingle their own labor with capital--that is, they labor with their
  own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this
  is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is
  disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

  “Again, as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any
  such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition
  for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few
  years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent,
  penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a
  surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors
  on his own account another while, and at length hires another
  new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and
  prosperous system, which opens the way to all--gives hope to all,
  and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition
  to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those
  who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch
  aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of
  surrendering a political power which they already possess, and
  which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of
  advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and
  burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.

  “From the first taking of our National Census to the last are
  seventy years; and we find our population at the end of the period
  eight times as great as it was at the beginning. The increase of
  those other things which men deem desirable has been even greater.
  We thus have at one view what the popular principle, applied to
  Government through the machinery of the States and the Union, has
  produced in a given time, and also what if firmly maintained, it
  promises for the future. There are already among us those who, if
  the Union be preserved, will live to see it contain two hundred and
  fifty millions. The struggle _of_ to-day is not altogether _for_
  to-day; it is for a vast future also. With a reliance on Providence
  all the more firm and earnest, let us proceed in the great task
  which events have devolved upon us.


  “WASHINGTON, December 3, 1861.”

At this session, provision was made for the issue of legal tender
notes, and an internal revenue bill was matured, for the purposing of
increasing largely the receipts of the Treasury, affording a basis for
the payment of interest on authorized loans, and insuring confidence in
the National currency.

A Congressional committee on the conduct of the war was also appointed,
the evidence obtained by which was submitted to the President for his
consideration and eventually given to the public.

A confiscation bill was passed, with a special provision for
conditional pardon and amnesty, limiting the forfeiture of real estate
to the lifetime of its rebel owners.



  Situation of the President--His Policy--Gradual Emancipation
  Message--Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia--
  Repudiation of General Hunter’s Emancipation Order--Conference
  with Congressmen from the Border Slave States--Address to the
  same--Military Order--Proclamation under the Confiscation Act.

What was to be the final disposition of the question of slavery could
not be thrust aside. The intimate connection of this institution with
our military operations, was perpetually forcing it upon the attention
of the nation. This subject had, since it had been rendered patent to
all, that it was to be no holiday struggle in which we were engaged,
but a life and death grapple with desperate and determined foes, been
ever present to Mr. Lincoln’s mind. His action was, however, to a
certain extent, not suffered to be independent. Could he have boldly
assumed the initiative, assured that the great mass of the people were
at his back, he could have acted far otherwise than he was necessitated
to act, considering the delicate nature of the question, the utter lack
of precedents, the intertwining of interests, the dangers resulting
from a single misstep, the divisions on this point, existing in the
ranks even of his own political supporters, and the conflicting
views held by men whose loyalty and devotion to the country were

He chose not to go far ahead of popular indications; he deemed it the
wiser statesmanship, in the existing state of affairs, to keep in the
lead but a little, feeling, so to speak, his way along--making haste
slowly. That this would dissatisfy many of his political friends he
well knew; but he, upon mature deliberation, decided that it was for
the interest of the country, and that to that consideration everything
else must yield.

On the 6th of March, 1862, he sent to the Congress the following
message concerning this question, the resolution embodied in which, was
passed by both Houses:

  recommend the adoption of a joint resolution by your honorable
  bodies, which shall be substantially as follows:

  “_Resolved_, That the United States ought to coöperate with any
  State which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving
  to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its
  discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences, public and
  private, produced by such change of system.

  “If the proposition contained in the resolution does not meet the
  approval of Congress and the country, there is the end; but if it
  does command such approval, I deem it of importance that the States
  and people immediately interested, should be at once distinctly
  notified of the fact, so that they may begin to consider whether to
  accept or reject it. The Federal Government would find its highest
  interest in such a measure as one of the most efficient means
  of self-preservation. The leaders of the existing insurrection
  entertain the hope that this Government will ultimately be forced
  to acknowledge the independence of some part of the disaffected
  region, and that all the slave States north of such part will then
  say, ‘the Union for which we have struggled being already gone, we
  now choose to go with the southern section.’ To deprive them of
  this hope substantially ends the rebellion, and the initiation of
  emancipation completely deprives them of it as to all the States
  initiating it. The point is not that _all_ the States tolerating
  slavery would very soon, if at all, initiate emancipation, but
  that, while the offer is equally made to all, the more northern
  shall, by such initiation, make it certain to the more southern
  that in no event will the former ever join the latter in their
  proposed confederacy. I say ‘initiation,’ because in my judgment,
  gradual, and not sudden emancipation, is better for all. In the
  mere financial or pecuniary view, any member of Congress, with the
  census tables and treasury reports before him, can readily see for
  himself how very soon the current expenditures of this war would
  purchase, at fair valuation, all the slaves in any named State.
  Such a proposition on the part of the general Government sets up
  no claim of a right by Federal authority to interfere with slavery
  within State limits, referring, as it does, the absolute control of
  the subject in each case to the State and its people immediately
  interested. It is proposed as a matter of perfectly free choice
  with them.

  “In the annual message last December, I thought fit to say, ‘the
  Union must be preserved; and hence all indispensable means must be
  employed.’ I said this not hastily, but deliberately. War has been
  made, and continues to be an indispensable means to this end. A
  practical re-acknowledgment of the national authority would render
  the war unnecessary, and it would at once cease. If, however,
  resistance continues, the war must also continue, and it is
  impossible to foresee all the incidents which may attend, and all
  the ruin which may follow it. Such as may seem indispensable, or
  may obviously promise great efficiency toward ending the struggle,
  must and will come.

  “The proposition now made, though an offer only, I hope it may be
  esteemed no offence to ask whether the pecuniary consideration
  tendered would not be of more value to the States and private
  persons concerned, than are the institutions and property in it, in
  the present aspect of affairs.

  “While it is true that the adoption of the proposed resolution
  would be merely initiatory, and not within itself a practical
  measure, it is recommended in the hope that it would soon
  lead to important practical results. In full view of my great
  responsibility to my God and to my country, I earnestly beg the
  attention of Congress and the people to the subject.

  “March 6, 1862.      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

A bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia having passed
both Houses of Congress early in April, the President, in communicating
his approval of the measure, judged it necessary to accompany the same
with the following message:

  act entitled ‘An act for the release of certain persons held to
  service or labor in the District of Columbia,’ has this day been
  approved and signed.

  “I have never doubted the constitutional authority of Congress
  to abolish slavery in this District, and I have ever desired to
  see the National Capital freed from the institution in some
  satisfactory way. Hence there has never been, in my mind, any
  question upon the subject except the one of expediency, arising in
  view of all the circumstances. If there be matters within and about
  this act which might have taken a course or shape more satisfactory
  to my judgment, I do not attempt to specify them. I am gratified
  that the two principles of compensation and colonization are both
  recognized and practically applied in the act.

  “In the matter of compensation it is provided that claims may be
  presented within ninety days from the passage of the act, ‘but not
  thereafter,’ and there is no saving for minors, _femes-covert_,
  insane or absent persons. I presume this is an omission by mere
  oversight, and I recommend that it be supplied by an amendatory or
  supplemental act.

    “April 16, 1862.       ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

The President’s repudiation, by the following proclamation, of an
emancipation order of General Hunter, was conclusive evidence that he
was determined to keep the control of this vexed question in his own
hands, and to suffer no military commander to exercise jurisdiction
over it:

  “WHEREAS, There appears in the public prints what purports to be
  a proclamation of Major-General Hunter, in the words and figures
  following, to wit:

    ‘Head-Quarters, Department of the South,

    ‘_Hilton Head, S. C._, May 9th, 1862.


  ‘The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina,
  comprising the Military Department of the South, having
  deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of
  the United States of America, and having taken up arms against the
  said United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare them
  under martial law. This was accordingly done on the twenty-fifth
  day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country
  are altogether incompatible. The persons in these three States,
  Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, heretofore held as slaves,
  are therefore declared forever free.

    ‘DAVID HUNTER, _Major-General Commanding_.


    ‘ED. W. SMITH, _Acting Assistant Adjutant-General_.’

“AND WHEREAS, The same is producing some excitement and

“_Therefore_, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
proclaim and declare that the government of the United States had no
knowledge or belief of an intention, on the part of General Hunter, to
issue such a proclamation, nor has it yet any authentic information
that the document is genuine; and further, that neither General Hunter
nor any other commander or person has been authorized by the government
of the United States to make proclamation declaring the slaves of
any State free, and that the supposed proclamation now in question,
whether genuine or false, is altogether void, so far as respects such

“I further make known, that whether it be competent for me as
commander-in-chief of the army and navy to declare the slaves of any
State or States free, and whether at any time, or in any case, it shall
become a necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the Government
to exercise such supposed power, are questions which, under my
responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I cannot feel justified
in leaving to the decision of commanders in the field. These are
totally different questions from those of police regulations in armies
and camps.

“On the sixth day of March last, by a special message, I recommended
to Congress the adoption of a joint resolution, to be substantially as

“_Resolved_, That the United States ought to coöperate with any State
which may adopt a gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such
State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its discretion, to
compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such
change of system.’

“The resolution, in the language above quoted, was adopted by large
majorities in both branches of Congress, and now stands an authentic,
definite and solemn proposal of the nation to the States and people
most immediately interested in the subject matter. To the people of
these States I now earnestly appeal. I do not argue; I beseech you
to make the arguments for yourselves. You cannot, if you would, be
blind to the signs of the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged
consideration of them, ranging, if it may be, far above personal and
partisan politics. This proposal makes common cause for a common
object, casting no reproaches upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The
change it contemplates would come gently as the dews of Heaven, not
rending or wrecking any thing. Will you not embrace it? So much good
has not been done by one effort in all past time, as in the Providence
of God it is now your high privilege to do. May the vast future not
have to lament that you have neglected it.

“In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed.

“Done at the City of Washington, this nineteenth day of May, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the
Independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

A short time before the adjournment of Congress, while the country
was in a state of great despondency, owing to the miscarriage of the
Peninsular Campaign, the President, knowing that whatever measures
events should point out as necessary to put down the rebellion must be
adopted, and anticipating that a blow directed at the institution of
slavery would, probably, at no distant period have to be dealt, invited
the Senators and Representatives of the Border Slave States to a
conference, for the purpose of preparing their minds for the happening
of such a contingency. On this occasion he read to them the following
carefully prepared address, to which he received an approving response
from but nine of the twenty-nine:

  “GENTLEMEN:--After the adjournment of Congress, now near, I shall
  have no opportunity of seeing you for several months. Believing
  that you of the Border States held more power for good than any
  other equal number of members, I feel it a duty which I can not
  justifiably waive to make this appeal to you.

  “I intend no reproach or complaint when I assure you that, in
  my opinion, if you all had voted for the resolution in the
  gradual emancipation message of last March, the war would now be
  substantially ended. And the plan therein proposed is yet one of
  the most potent and swift means of ending it. Let the States which
  are in rebellion see definitely and certainly that in no event will
  the States you represent ever join their proposed Confederacy, and
  they can not much longer maintain the contest. But you can not
  divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with them so long
  as you show a determination to perpetuate the institution within
  your own States. Beat them at elections, as you have overwhelmingly
  done, and, nothing daunted, they still claim you as their own.
  You and I know what the lever of their power is. Break that lever
  before their faces, and they can shake you no more forever.

  “Most of you have treated me with kindness and consideration,
  and I trust you will not now think I improperly touch what is
  exclusively your own, when, for the sake of the whole country, I
  ask, ‘Can you, for your States, do better than to take the course I
  urge?’ Discarding _punctilio_ and maxims adapted to more manageable
  times, and looking only to the unprecedentedly stern facts of our
  case, can you do better in any possible event? You prefer that
  the constitutional relations of the States to the nation shall
  be practically restored without disturbance of the institution;
  and, if this were done, my whole duty in this respect, under the
  Constitution and my oath of office, would be performed. But it is
  not done, and we are trying to accomplish it by war. The incidents
  of the war can not be avoided. If the war continues long, as it
  must if the object be not sooner attained, the institution in your
  States will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion--by the
  mere incidents of the war. It will be gone, and you will have
  nothing valuable in lieu of it. Much of its value is gone already.
  How much better for you and for your people to take the step which
  at once shortens the war, and secures substantial compensation
  for that which is sure to be wholly lost in any other event! How
  much better to thus save the money which else we sink forever in
  the war! How much better to do it while we can, lest the war, ere
  long, render us pecuniarily unable to do it! How much better for
  you, as seller, and the nation, as buyer, to sell out and buy out
  that without which the war could never have been, than to sink both
  the thing to be sold and the price of it, in cutting one another’s

  “I do not speak of emancipation at once, but of a decision at once
  to emancipate gradually. Room in South America for colonization can
  be obtained cheaply and in abundance, and when numbers shall be
  large enough to be company and encouragement for one another, the
  freed people will not be so reluctant to go.

  “I am pressed with a difficulty not yet mentioned--one which
  threatens division among those who, united, are none too strong. An
  instance of it is known to you. General Hunter is an honest man. He
  was, and I hope still is, my friend. I valued him none the less for
  his agreeing with me in the general wish that all men everywhere
  could be freed. He proclaimed all men free within certain States,
  and I repudiated the proclamation. He expected more good and less
  harm from the measure than I could believe would follow. Yet, in
  repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offence, to many
  whose support the country can not afford to lose. And this is not
  the end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me, and
  is increasing. By conceding what I now ask you can relieve me, and,
  much more, can relieve the country in this important point.

  “Upon these considerations, I have again begged your attention to
  the Message of March last. Before leaving the Capitol, consider
  and discuss it among yourselves. You are patriots and statesmen,
  and as such, I pray you consider this proposition, and, at the
  least, commend it to the consideration of your States and people.
  As you would perpetuate popular government for the best people in
  the world, I beseech you that you do in no wise omit this. Our
  common country is in great peril, demanding the loftiest views and
  boldest action to bring a speedy relief. Once relieved, its form of
  government saved to the world, its beloved history and cherished
  memories are vindicated, and its happy future fully assured and
  rendered inconceivably grand. To you, more than to any others,
  the privilege is given to assure that happiness, and swell that
  grandeur, and to link your own names therewith forever.”

On the twenty-second of July, the following order was issued:

    “WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington_, July 22d, 1862.

  “_First._ Ordered that military commanders within the States of
  Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,
  Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, in an ordinary manner seize and
  use any property, real or personal, which may be necessary or
  convenient for their several commands, for supplies, or for other
  military purposes; and that while property may be destroyed for
  proper military objects, none shall be destroyed in wantonness or

  “_Second._ That military and naval commanders shall employ as
  laborers, within and from said States, so many persons of African
  descent as can be advantageously used for military or naval
  purposes, giving them reasonable wages for their labor.

  “_Third._ That, as to both property, and persons of African
  descent, accounts shall be kept sufficiently accurate and in detail
  to show quantities and amounts, and from whom both property and
  such persons shall have come, as a basis upon which compensation
  can be made in proper cases; and the several departments of this
  government shall attend to and perform their appropriate parts
  toward the execution of these orders.

    “By order of the President.

    “EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.”

And on the twenty-fifth of July, by proclamation, the President
warned all persons to cease participating in aiding, countenancing,
or abetting the rebellion, and to return to their allegiance, under
penalty of the forfeitures and seizures provided by an act “to suppress
insurrections, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate
the property of rebels, and for other purposes,” approved July 17th,



  President’s War Order--Reason for the same--Results in West and
  South-west--Army of the Potomac--Presidential Orders--Letter
  to McClellan--Order for Army Corps--The Issue of the Campaign--
  Unfortunate Circumstances--President’s Speech at Union Meeting--
  Comments--Operations in Virginia and Maryland--In the West and

Early in 1862 appeared the following:

    “_Executive Mansion, Washington_, January 27th, 1862.

  [President’s General War Order, No. 1.]

  “ORDERED, That the 22d day of February, 1862, be the day for a
  general movement of the land and naval forces of the United States
  against the insurgent forces.

  “That especially the Army at and about Fortress Monroe, the Army
  of the Potomac, the Army of Western Virginia, the Army near
  Mumfordsville, Kentucky, the Army and Flotilla at Cairo, and a
  Naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready for a movement on that

  “That all other forces, both land and naval, with their respective
  commanders, obey existing orders for the time, and be ready to obey
  additional orders when duly given.

  “That the Heads of Departments, and especially the Secretaries
  of War and of the Navy, with all their subordinates, and the
  General-in-chief, with all other commanders and subordinates of
  land and naval forces, will severally be held to their strict and
  full responsibilities for the prompt execution of this order.


In thus resuming whatever of his constitutional duties as
Commander-in-chief of the army and navy might have been temporarily
devolved upon others, and directing immediate and energetic aggressive
measures, the President only acted as the exponent of the popular
feeling, which had become manifest, of dissatisfaction at the
apparently inexcusable want of action in military affairs.

In the West and South-west followed the successful battle at Mill
Spring, Kentucky; the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, compelling
the evacuation of Nashville, and ridding Kentucky of any organized
rebel force; the hardly contested, but successful battle of Pea Ridge,
Arkansas, relieving Missouri, in a great degree; victory for our arms
wrested from the jaws of defeat at Shiloh; and the occupation of New
Orleans, giving control of the Mouth of the Mississippi.

What at the East?--Roanoke Island.

Touching the movements of the Army of the Potomac, to which the country
looked so expectantly for grand results, efficiently officered,
thoroughly disciplined, and splendidly equipped as it was known or
supposed to be, the first difficulty was to fix upon a plan. For the
purpose of leading the attention of its General to something like a
definite decision however, the order of January 27th was succeeded by
the following:

    “_Executive Mansion, Washington_, January 31st, 1862.

  “ORDERED, That all the disposable force of the Army of the
  Potomac, after providing safely for the defence of Washington, be
  formed into an expedition for the immediate object of seizing and
  occupying a point upon the railroad south-westward of what is known
  as Manassas Junction; all details to be in the discretion of the
  Commander-in-chief, and the expedition to move before, or on the
  twenty-second day of February next.


General McClellan objecting to this movement and earnestly urging a
plan of advance upon Richmond by the Lower Rappahannock with Urbana as
a base, the President addressed him the following letter:

    “_Executive Mansion, Washington_, February 3d, 1862.

  “MY DEAR SIR:--You and I have distinct and different plans for
  a movement of the Army of the Potomac; yours to be done by the
  Chesapeake, up the Rappahannock to Urbana, and across land to the
  terminus of the railroad on the York river; mine to move directly
  to a point on the railroad south-west of Manassas.

  “If you will give satisfactory answers to the following questions,
  I shall gladly yield my plan to yours:

  “First. Does not your plan involve a greatly larger expenditure of
  _time_ and _money_ than mine?

  “Second. Wherein is a victory _more certain_ by your plan than mine?

  “Third. Wherein is a victory _more valuable_ by your plan than mine?

  “Fourth. In fact, would it not be _less_ valuable in this that it
  would break no great line of the enemy’s communications, while mine

  “Fifth. In case of disaster, would not a retreat be more difficult
  by your plan than mine?

    “Yours, truly,      A. LINCOLN.


Which plain, practical questions were never directly answered.

This army being without any organization into Army Corps, the
President, on the 8th of March, as a movement was about to be made
toward Manassas, issued a peremptory order to the Commanding General
to attend forthwith to such organization, naming the Corps and their
Commanders, according to seniority of rank.

On the same day, the President, who had, against his own judgment,
yielded the plan for an advance upon Richmond which should at the same
time cover Washington, wise through experience, issued the following:

    “_Executive Mansion, Washington_, March 8th, 1862.

  “ORDERED. That no change of the base of operations of the Army of
  the Potomac shall be made without leaving in and about Washington
  such a force as, in the opinion of the General-in-chief and the
  commanders of Army Corps, shall leave said city entirely secure.

  “That no more than two Army Corps (about fifty thousand troops) of
  said Army of the Potomac shall be moved _en route_ for a new base
  of operations until the navigation of the Potomac, from Washington
  to the Chesapeake Bay, shall be freed from the enemy’s batteries,
  and other obstructions, or until the President shall hereafter give
  express permission.

  “That any movement as aforesaid, _en route_ for a new base of
  operations, which may be ordered by the General-in-chief, and
  which may be intended to move upon Chesapeake Bay, shall begin to
  move upon the bay as early as the 18th of March, instant, and the
  General-in-chief shall be responsible that it moves as early as
  that day.

  “ORDERED, That the Army and Navy coöperate in an immediate
  effort to capture the enemy’s batteries upon the Potomac between
  Washington and the Chesapeake Bay.


  “L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.”

Finally--after delays manifold, correspondence voluminous, discussions
heated, and patience nearly worn threadbare--commenced that military
movement, which has passed into history as the American Peninsular
Campaign; by virtue of which, commencing about the middle of March,
1862, a large body of finely disciplined troops--their numbers varying,
according to various accounts, from one hundred thousand nine hundred
and seventy, to one hundred and twenty-one thousand five hundred
men--left Alexandria for Richmond, _via_ Yorktown, and succeeded, after
sanguinary battles, swamp sickness, severe exposures, and terrible
hardships, in returning (how many of them?) to Alexandria _via_
Harrison’s Landing, by about the middle of August, 1862.

That campaign was the most disastrous drawback of the war, not merely
in the loss of men, nor in the failure to reach the end aimed at, but
mainly in its enervating effect upon the supporters of the Government.
It was Bull Run over again, only immensely magnified, indefinitely
prolonged. Fortune seemed determined never to favor our Eastern braves.

Into the details of that campaign it is needless to enter here. Every
schoolboy knows them by heart, so far as they are spread upon the
record. Equally idle is it to attempt a criticism upon the campaign in
a military point of view. That has been already done to a nauseating
extent; yet will, doubtless, continue to be done while the reader lives.

No details, nor military criticism therefore here. But that President
Lincoln may fairly be presented in his relations to this campaign,
certain observations must be made. And this is the place to make them.

Conceding to General McClellan all the ability, patriotism, and bravery
which have been claimed for him by his warmest admirers, there still
remain some unfortunate circumstances connected with him, by reason of
which--even though he, personally, were responsible for no single one
of them--not all the ability, patriotism, and bravery of a Napoleon,
Tell, and Bayard combined, could have secured in his person what this
country needed for the rooting out of the great rebellion.

It was unfortunate for him that, at the very outset--when so little was
known of him, when he had done so little--sycophantic flatterers should
have exalted him at once into a great military chieftain. Peculiarly
unfortunate was this, considering that the changeable American people
were to pass upon him and his actions--that people, in their relations
to their leading men, with their “Hosannas” to-day and their “Crucify
him’s” to-morrow. The sequel of “going up like a rocket” is not
generally supposed to be particularly agreeable.

It was unfortunate for him that the opinion obtained, in the minds of
many, impartial and competent to judge, that, in his case, caution had
passed the bounds of prudence and run mad. There are emergencies when
every thing must be risked that nothing be lost.

It was unfortunate for him that he was made the especial pet of those
individuals who were most clamorous against an Administration which,
whatever its short comings, every candid man knew was earnestly intent
upon ending the war upon such a basis as could alone, in its judgment,
secure permanent peace. If a subordinate general could not agree with
his superiors, or content himself with matters purely military, he
should have declined to remain in the service.

It was unfortunate for him that his especial friends sought, in print,
and public speech, and private conversation, to create the impression
that the President did not desire that he should succeed, owing
to a fear that he might prove a formidable competitor at the next
Presidential election. Peculiarly unfortunate, when one remembers that
this President had, at the outbreak of the war, put at the head of
three important military departments three of the most decided of his
political opponents--Patterson, Butler, and McClellan--that no man ever
occupied the Presidential chair, unless it be its first occupant, who
had less selfishness and more disinterestedness in his composition than
President Lincoln.

It was unfortunate for him that such desperate efforts were made by
his supporters to fasten the responsibility for admitted failures upon
other parties. This began at Ball’s Bluff, as has already been noted.
The Secretary of War was dragged in, as well as the President, in
connection with the Peninsular Campaign. As to this last, nothing more
to the point can be adduced than the words of a man, whose honesty and
truthfulness were known wherever he was known--Abraham Lincoln--in a
characteristic speech made by him at a Union meeting in Washington,
August 6th, 1862, when the issue of the campaign was certain:

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I believe there is no precedent for my appearing
  before you on this occasion; but it is also true that there is
  no precedent for your being here yourselves, and I offer, in
  justification of myself and of you, that, upon examination, I have
  found nothing in the Constitution against it. I, however, have an
  impression that there are younger gentlemen who will entertain you
  better, and better address your understanding than I will or could,
  and therefore I propose but to detain you a moment longer.

  “I am very little inclined on any occasion to say any thing unless
  I hope to produce some good by it. The only thing I think of just
  now not likely to be better said by some one else is a matter
  in which we have heard some other persons blamed for what I did
  myself. There has been a very widespread attempt to have a quarrel
  between General McClellan and the Secretary of War. Now, I occupy
  a position that enables me to observe, that at least these two
  gentlemen are not nearly so deep in the quarrel as some pretending
  to be their friends. General McClellan’s attitude is such that,
  in the very selfishness of his nature, he cannot but wish to be
  successful, and I hope he will--and the Secretary of War is in
  precisely the same situation. If the military commanders in the
  field cannot be successful, not only the Secretary of War, but
  myself, for the time being the master of them both, can not be but
  failures. I know that General McClellan wishes to be successful,
  and I know he does not wish it any more than the Secretary of
  War for him, and both of them together no more than I wish it.
  Sometimes we have a dispute about how many men General McClellan
  has had, and those who would disparage him say that he has had a
  very large number, and those who would disparage the Secretary of
  War insist that General McClellan has had a very small number.
  The basis for this is, there is always a wide difference, and on
  this occasion perhaps a wider one, between the grand total on
  McClellan’s rolls and the men actually fit for duty; and those who
  would disparage him talk of the grand total on paper, and those who
  would disparage the Secretary of War talk of those at present fit
  for duty. General McClellan has sometimes asked for things that
  the Secretary of War did not give him. General McClellan is not to
  blame for asking what he wanted and needed, and the Secretary of
  War is not to blame for not giving when he had none to give. And I
  say here, as far as I know, the Secretary of War has withheld no
  one thing at any time in my power to give him. I have no accusation
  against him. I believe he is a brave and able man, and I stand
  here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has
  been charged on the Secretary of War, as withholding from him. I
  have talked longer than I expected to, and now I avail myself of my
  privilege of saying no more.”

It was unfortunate for him that the precedents were so numerous in
American history for making a successful military man President. This
must have embarrassed him no little, and tempted him into much of that
correspondence which otherwise he would have avoided. Had it not been
for these fatal precedents, he, assuredly, would not have leisurely
seated himself at Harrison’s Landing to write to the President a
lengthy homily on affairs of State at a moment when it was doubtful
whether he would long have an army of which he could be General in

Finally, it was unfortunate for him that he had not, when learning to
command, learned also to obey. This would have spared himself and the
country and the cause several entirely superfluous inflictions.

Whoever would form a correct estimate of President Lincoln’s connection
with the Peninsular campaign and its commander, must bear these facts
in mind. Aside from all considerations of a purely military nature,
they are indispensable in reaching an unbiassed decision.

What dogged the heels of the unfortunate campaign must be briefly told.
Vigorous orders from Pope, “headquarters in the saddle,” turned into
most melancholy bombast by his failure, occasioned either by want of
brains or willful lack of coöperation; a rebel invasion of Maryland;
the battle of South Mountain gained under McClellan; Antietam, not the
victory it might have been, for which a ream of reasons were given; the
withdrawal of the rebels; Government hard at work urging McClellan to
follow; supersedure of the latter by the President, who survived his
cabinet in clinging to him; appointment of Burnside, much against his
wishes; another defeat at Fredericksburg; and the Army of the Potomac
in winter-quarters again.

Such is the summary in the East for A. D. 1862.

In the West, the year closed with the opening of the battle of
Murfreesboro and Vicksburg still held out against all our attempts to
take it.



  Tribune Editorial--Letter to Mr. Greeley--Announcement of the
  Emancipation Proclamation--Suspension of the _Habeas Corpus_
  in certain cases--Order for Observance of the Sabbath--The
  Emancipation Proclamation.

An editorial article having appeared in the _New York Tribune_, in
the month of August, 1862, in the form of a letter addressed to the
President, severely criticising his action relative to the question
of slavery--a letter written in ignorance of the fact that a definite
policy had already been matured, which would be announced at a suitable
moment--Mr. Lincoln responded as follows:

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, Aug. 22, 1862.

  HON. HORACE GREELEY--_Dear Sir_: I have just read yours of the
  19th, addressed to myself through the _New York Tribune_. If there
  be in it any statements or assumptions of fact which I may know to
  be erroneous, I do not now and here controvert them. If there be in
  it any inference which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not
  now and here argue against them. If there be perceptible in it an
  impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old
  friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

  “As to the policy I ‘seem to be pursuing,’ as you say, I have not
  meant to leave any one in doubt.

  “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the
  Constitution. The sooner the National authority can be restored,
  the nearer the Union will be ‘the Union as it was.’ If there be
  those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same
  time _save_ Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those
  who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time
  _destroy_ Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object
  in this struggle _is_ to save the Union, and is _not_ either to
  save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing
  _any_ slave, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing _all_
  the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and
  leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery
  and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this
  Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do _not_ believe it
  would help to save the Union. I shall do _less_ whenever I shall
  believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do _more_
  whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall
  try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt
  new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have
  here stated my purpose according to my view of _official_ duty, and
  I intend no modification of my oft-expressed _personal_ wish that
  all men, every where, could be free.

    “Yours,      A. LINCOLN.”

What that policy was, every manly heart learned with delight when the
following Proclamation appeared, the most important state-paper ever
penned by any American President:

  “I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States of America,
  and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby
  proclaim and declare, that hereafter, as heretofore, the war
  will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the
  constitutional relation between the United States and the people
  thereof, in those States in which that relation is, or may be,
  suspended or disturbed; that it is my purpose, upon the next
  meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical
  measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection
  of all the Slave States, so-called, the people whereof may not
  then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States
  may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily
  adopt, the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within
  their respective limits, and that the effort to colonize persons
  of African descent, with their consent, upon the continent or
  elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the government
  existing there, will be continued; that on the first day of
  January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
  sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any
  designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in
  rebellion against the United States, SHALL BE THEN, THENCEFORWARD
  AND FOREVER, FREE, and the Executive Government of the United
  States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will
  recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no
  act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts
  they may make for their actual freedom; that the Executive will, on
  the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the
  States, and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof
  respectively shall be in rebellion against the United States; and
  the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day
  be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States
  by members chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the
  qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall,
  in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed
  conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof have not
  been in rebellion against the United States.

  “That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress, entitled,
  ‘An act to make an additional article of war,’ approved March 13,
  1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:

  “‘_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
  United States of America, in Congress assembled_, That hereafter
  the following shall be promulgated as an additional Article of War
  for the government of the Army of the United States, and shall be
  observed and obeyed as such.

  “‘_Article --._ All officers or persons of the military or naval
  service of the United States, are prohibited from employing any
  of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of
  returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from
  any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due;
  and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of
  violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.

  “‘_Section 2._ And be it further enacted, That this act shall take
  effect from and after its passage.’

  “Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled, ‘An act
  to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to
  seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes,’
  approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and
  figures following:

  “‘_Section 9._ And be it further enacted, That all slaves of
  persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the
  government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid
  or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge
  within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such
  persons or deserted by them, and coming under the control of the
  government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons
  found on (or being within) any place occupied by rebel forces and
  afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall
  be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their
  servitude, and not again held as slaves.

  “_Section 10._ And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping
  into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, from any
  of the States, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or
  hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offence against
  the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make
  oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive
  is alleged to be due, is his lawful owner, and has not been in
  arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in
  any way given aid and comfort thereto; and no person engaged in
  the military or naval service of the United States shall, under
  any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the
  claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person,
  or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being
  dismissed from the service.

  “And I do hereby enjoin upon, and order all persons engaged in the
  military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey
  and enforce within their respective spheres of service, the act and
  sections above recited.

  “And the executive will in due time recommend that all citizens of
  the United States who shall have remained loyal thereto throughout
  the rebellion, shall (upon the restoration of the constitutional
  relation between the United States and their respective States and
  people, if the relation shall have been suspended or disturbed) be
  compensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including
  the loss of slaves.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-second day of
  September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
  and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

This herald of freedom to millions was, of course, intensely disliked
by those who omitted no opportunity to cavil at the Administration. As
efforts were making--not entirely without success--to embarrass the
Government in securing the necessary reinforcements for the army, and
certain lewd fellows of the baser sort holding themselves in readiness
to take advantage of the bitter prejudices existing in the minds of
a portion of the people against the negroes among us, the following
proclamation was issued two days later, that no one might plead
ignorance of results, if such treasonable practices should be persisted

  “WHEREAS, It has become necessary to call into service, not only
  volunteers, but also portions of the militia of the States by
  draft, in order to suppress the insurrection existing in the United
  States, and disloyal persons are not adequately restrained by the
  ordinary processes of law from hindering this measure, and from
  giving aid and comfort in various ways to the insurrection:

  “Now, therefore, be it ordered:

  “_First._ That during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary
  measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their
  aiders and abettors, within the United States, and all persons
  discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts,
  or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to
  the rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be
  subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by
  courts-martial or military commission.

  “_Third._ That the writ of _habeas corpus_ is suspended in respect
  to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the
  rebellion shall be imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military
  prison, or other place of confinement, by any military authority or
  by the sentence of any court-martial or military commission.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-fourth day of
  September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred
  and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

It would be paying but a poor compliment to the sagacity which prompted
this proclamation, if one were not obliged to say that it was
exceedingly distasteful to many. Truth, however, compels us to add that
the evils aimed at ceased, to a very great extent, shortly after its

The following order, issued November 16th, 1862, is but one among the
many evidences of that deep and earnest reverence for Christianity
which formed a noticeable feature, not only in most of Mr. Lincoln’s
official papers, but also in the character of the man:

  “The President, Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, desires
  and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath, by the officers
  and men in the military and naval service. The importance, for man
  and beast, of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of
  Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best
  sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine
  will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to
  the measure of strict necessity.

  “The discipline and character of the National forces should not
  suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled, by the profanation
  of the day or name of the Most High. ‘At this time of public
  distress,’ adopting the words of Washington in 1776, ‘men may find
  enough to do in the service of God and their country, without
  abandoning themselves to vice and immorality.’ The first general
  order issued by the Father of his Country, after the Declaration of
  Independence, indicates the spirit in which our institutions were
  founded and should ever be defended: ‘The General hopes and trusts
  that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes
  a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of
  his country.’


On the 1st day of January, 1863, appeared that proclamation which was
to supplement that of September 22d, 1862, crowning with complete
fullness that great work and giving it health and being:

  “WHEREAS, On the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our
  Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was
  issued by the President of the United States, containing, among
  other things, the following, to wit:

  “That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one
  thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves
  within any State, or any designated part of a State the people
  whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall
  be thenceforward and forever free, and the Executive Government
  of the United States, including the military and naval authority
  thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons,
  and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them,
  in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

  “That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by
  proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
  which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion
  against the United States, and the fact that any State, or the
  people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented
  in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto
  at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such
  State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong
  countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such
  State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the
  United States.

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-chief
  of the Army and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed
  rebellion against the authority and Government of the United
  States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for repressing said
  rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our
  Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance
  with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period
  of one hundred days from the day of the first above-mentioned
  order designate, as the States and parts of States wherein the
  people thereof respectively are this day in rebellion against the
  United States, the following, to wit: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana,
  except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St.
  John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne,
  Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city
  of New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South
  Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, except the forty-eight
  counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of
  Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann,
  and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and
  which excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if
  this proclamation were not issued.

  “And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do
  order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said
  designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward
  shall be free; and that the Executive Government of the United
  States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will
  recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

  “And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free, to
  abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence, and
  I recommend to them, that in all cases, when allowed, they labor
  faithfully for reasonable wages.

  “And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable
  condition will be received into the armed service of the United
  States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places,
  and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

  “And upon this, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
  warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke
  the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of
  Almighty God.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the city of Washington, this first day of January, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of
  the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”



  Situation of the Country--Opposition to the Administration--
  President’s Message.

Dark days for the friends of freedom in this country were those at
the close of 1862. Prior to the autumn of that year the elections
had shown a popular indorsement of the acts of the Administration.
Then came a change. The three leading States--New York, Ohio, and
Pennsylvania--through manifestations and misrepresentations which it is
unnecessary here to detail, had been induced to give majorities against
the Government. Not the least singular of the many remarkable instances
of inconsistency which our political annals afford, was furnished in
the State first-named, which had actually elected a “Peace” man as its
Governor, on the platform of “a more vigorous prosecution of the war.”

The failure of the Peninsular Campaign was charged upon the President.
The war, it was asserted, had been perverted from its original purpose.
It was no longer waged to preserve the Union, but to free the slave;
or, in the more elegant phraseology of the day, it had become “a nigger
war.” With the ignorant and unthinking such statements passed as

The number of those who, never having invested any principle in the
struggle, had become tired of the war, had largely increased. The
expectation of a draft--or a “conscription,” as it better suited the
objects of the disaffected to term it--which was passed at the next
session of Congress, made the lukewarm love of many to wax cold.

Newspapers and stump-speakers had the hardihood to demand peace upon
any terms. It was even claimed that an opposition majority had been
secured in the lower House of the next Congress. Their representatives
in the Congress of 1862 began to re-assume those airs of insolence and
defiance which they had previously found it convenient to lay aside for
the time.

Dark days, indeed, when the Thirty-seventh Congress assembled for its
last session, on the 1st of December, 1862.

Yet there was one who never faltered in purpose, however discouraging
the prospect; one, who, assured that he was right, was determined
to follow the right, wherever it might lead him. And, though his
careworn expression and anxious look told plainly how the fearful
responsibilities of his office weighed upon him, he had ever a cheerful
word, a happy illustration, a kindly smile, or a look of sympathy for
those with whom he came in contact.

       *       *       *       *       *

The essential portions of his Annual Message on this occasion are given

  your last annual assembling, another year of health and bountiful
  harvests has passed. And, while it has not pleased the Almighty to
  bless us with a return of peace, we can but press on, guided by the
  best light He gives us, trusting that, in His own good time and
  wise way, all will yet be well....

  “If the condition of our relations with other nations is less
  gratifying than it has usually been at former periods, it is
  certainly more satisfactory than a nation so unhappily distracted
  as we are, might reasonably have apprehended. In the month of June
  last there were some grounds to expect that the maritime powers
  which, at the beginning of our domestic difficulties, so unwisely
  and unnecessarily, as we think, recognized the insurgents as a
  belligerent, would soon recede from that position, which has proved
  only less injurious to themselves than to our own country. But the
  temporary reverses which afterward befell the National arms, and
  which were exaggerated by our own disloyal citizens abroad, have
  hitherto delayed that act of simple justice.

  “The civil war, which has so radically changed, for the moment,
  the occupations and habits of the American people, has necessarily
  disturbed the social condition, and affected very deeply the
  prosperity of the nations with which we have carried on a commerce
  that has been steadily increasing throughout a period of half a
  century. It has, at the same time, excited political ambitions and
  apprehensions which have produced a profound agitation throughout
  the civilized world. In this unusual agitation we have forborne
  from taking part in any controversy between foreign States, and
  between parties or factions in such States. We have attempted
  no propagandism, and acknowledged no revolution. But we have
  left to every nation the exclusive conduct and management of its
  own affairs. Our struggle has been, of course, contemplated by
  foreign nations with reference less to its own merits, than to its
  supposed, and often exaggerated, effects and consequences resulting
  to those nations themselves. Nevertheless, complaint on the part of
  this Government, even if it were just, would certainly be unwise.

  “The treaty with Great Britain for the suppression of the
  slave-trade, has been put into operation, with a good prospect
  of complete success. It is an occasion of special pleasure to
  acknowledge that the execution of it, on the part of Her Majesty’s
  Government, has been marked with a jealous respect for the
  authority of the United States, and the rights of their moral and
  loyal citizens....

  “Applications have been made to me by many free Americans of
  African descent to favor their emigration, with a view to such
  colonization, as was contemplated in recent acts of Congress. Other
  parties, at home and abroad--some from interested motives, others
  upon patriotic considerations, and still others influenced by
  philanthropic sentiments--have suggested similar measures; while,
  on the other hand, several of the Spanish-American republics have
  protested against the sending of such colonies to their respective
  territories. Under these circumstances I have declined to move
  any such colony to any State, without first obtaining the consent
  of its Government, with an agreement on its part to receive and
  protect such emigrants in all the rights of freemen; and I have,
  at the same time, offered to the several States situated within
  the tropics, or having colonies there, to negotiate with them,
  subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, to favor the
  voluntary emigration of persons of that class to their respective
  territories, upon conditions which shall be equal, just, and
  humane. Liberia and Hayti are, as yet, the only countries to which
  colonists of African descent from here, could go with certainty of
  being received and adopted as citizens; and I regret to say such
  persons, contemplating colonization, do not seem so willing to
  migrate to those countries, as to some others, nor so willing as
  I think their interest demands. I believe, however, opinion among
  them in this respect is improving; and that, ere long, there will
  be an augmented and considerable migration to both these countries,
  from the United States....

  “I have favored the project for connecting the United States with
  Europe by an Atlantic telegraph, and a similar project to extend
  the telegraph from San Francisco, to connect by a Pacific telegraph
  with the line which is being extended across the Russian Empire.

  “The Territories of the United States, with unimportant exceptions,
  have remained undisturbed by the civil war; and they are exhibiting
  such evidence of prosperity as justifies an expectation that some
  of them will soon be in a condition to be organized as States, and
  be constitutionally admitted into the Federal Union.

  “The immense mineral resources of some of those territories
  ought to be developed as rapidly as possible. Every step in
  that direction would have a tendency to improve the revenues of
  the Government, and diminish the burdens of the people. It is
  worthy of your serious consideration whether some extraordinary
  measures to promote that end can not be adopted. The means which
  suggests itself as most likely to be effective, is a scientific
  exploration of the mineral regions in those Territories, with a
  view to the publication of its results at home and in foreign
  countries--results which can not fail to be auspicious.

  “The condition of the finances will claim your most diligent
  consideration. The vast expenditures incident to the military and
  naval operations required for the suppression of the rebellion,
  have hitherto been met with a promptitude and certainty unusual
  in similar circumstances; and the public credit has been fully
  maintained. The continuance of the war, however, and the increased
  disbursements made necessary by the augmented forces now in the
  field, demand your best reflections as to the best modes of
  providing the necessary revenue, without injury to business, and
  with the least possible burdens upon labor.

  “The suspension of specie payments by the banks, soon after the
  commencement of your last session, made large issues of United
  States notes unavoidable. In no other way could the payment of
  the troops, and the satisfaction of other just demands, be so
  economically or so well provided for. The judicious legislation of
  Congress, securing the receivability of these notes for loans and
  internal duties, and making them a legal tender for other debts,
  has made them a universal currency; and has satisfied, partially
  at least, and for the time, the long felt want of an uniform
  circulating medium, saving thereby to the people immense sums in
  discounts and exchanges.

  “A return to specie payments, however, at the earliest period
  compatible with due regard to all interests concerned, should ever
  be kept in view. Fluctuations in the value of currency are always
  injurious, and to reduce these fluctuations to the lowest possible
  point, will always be a leading purpose in wise legislation.
  Convertibility, prompt and certain convertibility into coin, is
  generally acknowledged to be the best and the surest safeguard
  against them; and it is extremely doubtful whether a circulation of
  United States notes, payable in coin, and sufficiently large for
  the wants of the people, can be permanently, usefully and safely

  “Is there, then, any other mode in which the necessary provision
  for the public wants can be made, and the great advantages of a
  safe and uniform currency secured?

  “I know of none which promises so certain results, and is, at the
  same time, so unobjectionable, as the organization of banking
  associations, under a general Act of Congress, well guarded
  in its provisions. To such associations the Government might
  furnish circulating notes, on the security of the United States
  bonds deposited in the treasury. These notes, prepared under the
  supervision of proper officers, being uniform in appearance and
  security, and convertible always into coin, would at once protect
  labor against the evils of a vicious currency, and facilitate
  commerce by cheap and safe exchanges.

  “A moderate reservation from the interest on the bonds would
  compensate the United States for the preparation and distribution
  of the notes, and a general supervision of the system, and would
  lighten the burden of that part of the public debt employed
  as securities. The public credit, moreover, would be greatly
  improved, and the negotiation of new loans greatly facilitated by
  the steady market demand for Government bonds which the adoption of
  the proposed system would create.

  “It is an additional recommendation of the measure of considerable
  weight, in my judgment, that it would reconcile as far as possible,
  all existing interests, by the opportunity offered to existing
  institutions to reörganize under the act, substituting only the
  secured uniform national circulation for the local and various
  circulation, secured and unsecured, now issued by them.

  “The receipts into the treasury, from all sources, including loans,
  and balance from the preceding year, for the fiscal year ending on
  the 30th June, 1862, were $583,885,247 06, of which sum $49,056,397
  62 were derived from customs $1,795,331 73 from the direct tax;
  from public lands, $152,203 77; from miscellaneous sources,
  $931,787 64 from loans in all forms, $529,692,460 50. The remainder
  $2,257,065 80, was the balance from last year.

  “The disbursements during the same period were for Congressional,
  Executive, and Judicial purposes, $5,939,009 29; for foreign
  intercourse, $1,339,710 35; for miscellaneous expenses, including
  the mints, loans, post office deficiencies, collection of revenue,
  and other like charges, $14,129,771 50; for expenses under the
  Interior Department, $3,102,985 52; under the War Department,
  $394,368,407 36; under the Navy Department, $42,674,569 69; for
  interest on public debt, $13,190,324 45; and for payment of public
  debt, including reimbursement of temporary loan, and redemptions
  $96,096,922 09; making an aggregate of $570,841,700 25, and leaving
  a balance in the treasury on the first day of July, 1862, of
  $13,043,546 81.

  “It should be observed that the sum of $96,096,922 09, expended for
  reimbursements and redemption of public debt, being included also
  in the loans made, may be properly deducted, both from receipts
  and expenditures, leaving the actual receipts for the year,
  $487,788,324 97; and the expenditures $474,744,778 16....

  “On the 22d day of September last a proclamation was issued by the
  Executive, a copy of which is herewith submitted.

  “In accordance with the purpose expressed in the second paragraph
  of that paper, I now respectfully call your attention to what may
  be called ‘compensated emancipation.’

  “A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people
  and its laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain
  durability. ‘One generation passeth away and another generation
  cometh, but the earth abideth forever.’ It is of the first
  importance to duly consider, and estimate, this ever-enduring part.
  That portion of the earth’s surface which is owned and inhabited by
  the people of the United States, is well adapted to be the home of
  one national family; and it is not well adapted for two or more.
  Its vast extent, and its variety of climate and productions, are
  of advantage, in this age, for one people, whatever they might
  have been in former ages. Steam, telegraphs and intelligence have
  brought these to be an advantageous combination for one united

  “In the inaugural address I briefly pointed out the total
  inadequacy of disunion, as a remedy for the differences between the
  people of the two sections. I did so in language which I can not
  improve, and which, therefore, I beg to repeat:

  “‘One section of our country believes Slavery is _right_, and
  ought to be extended, while the other believes it is _wrong_ and
  ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.
  The fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the
  suppression of the foreign slave-trade, are each as well enforced,
  perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral
  sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great
  body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both
  cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be
  perfectly cured; and it would be worse in both cases _after_ the
  separation of the sections, than before. The foreign slave-trade,
  now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without
  restriction in one section; while fugitive slaves, now only
  partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

  “‘Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our
  respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall
  between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the
  presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different
  parts of our country can not do this. They cannot but remain face
  to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue
  between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse
  more advantageous, or more satisfactory, _after_ separation than
  _before_? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make
  laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens,
  than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not
  fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain
  on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to
  terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

  “‘There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a National
  boundary, upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west,
  upon the line between the free and slave country, and we shall
  find a little more than one-third of its length are rivers, easy
  to be crossed, and populated, or soon to be populated, thickly,
  upon both sides; while nearly all its remaining length are merely
  surveyors’ lines, over which people may walk back and forth without
  any consciousness of their presence. No part of this line can be
  made any more difficult to pass, by writing it down on paper, or
  parchment, as a national boundary. The fact of separation, if it
  comes, gives up, on the part of the seceding, the fugitive slave
  clause, along with all other constitutional obligations upon the
  section seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation
  would ever be made to take its place.

  “But there is another difficulty. The great interior region,
  bounded east by the Alleghanies, north by the British Dominions,
  west by the Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along which
  the culture of corn and cotton meets, and which includes part
  of Virginia, part of Tennessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,
  Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota,
  and The territories of Dakota, Nebraska, and part of Colorado,
  already has above ten millions of people, and will have fifty
  million within fifty years, if not prevented by any political folly
  or mistake. It contains more than one-third of the country owned
  by the United States--certainly more than one million of square
  miles. Once half as populous as Massachusetts already is, it would
  have more than seventy-five millions of people. A glance at the
  map shows that, territorially speaking, it is the great body of
  the Republic. The other parts are but marginal borders to it; the
  magnificent region sloping west from the Rocky Mountains to the
  Pacific, being the deepest, and also the richest, in undeveloped
  resources. In the production of provisions, grains, grasses,
  and all which proceed from them, this great interior region is
  naturally one of the most important in the world. Ascertain from
  the statistics the small proportion of the region which has, as
  yet, been brought into cultivation, and also the large and rapidly
  increasing amount of its products, and we shall be overwhelmed with
  the magnitude of the prospect presented. And yet this region has no
  sea-coast, touches no ocean any where. As part of one nation, its
  people now find, and may forever find, their way to Europe by New
  York, to South America and Africa by New Orleans, and to Asia by
  San Francisco. But separate our common country into two nations,
  as designed by the present rebellion, and every man of this great
  interior region is thereby cut off from some one or more of these
  outlets, not, perhaps, by a physical barrier, but by embarrassing
  and onerous trade regulations.

  “And this is true, _wherever_ a dividing or boundary line may be
  fixed. Place it between the now free and slave country, or place it
  south of Kentucky, or north of Ohio, and still the truth remains,
  that none south of it can trade to any port or place north of
  it, and none north of it can trade to any port or place south of
  it, except upon terms dictated by a government foreign to them.
  These outlets, east, west, and south, are indispensable to the
  well-being of the people inhabiting, and to inhabit, this vast
  interior region. _Which_ of the three may be the best, is no proper
  question. All are better than either; and all, of right, belong to
  that people, and to their successors forever. True to themselves,
  they will not ask _where_ a line of separation shall be, but will
  vow, rather, that there shall be no such line. Nor are the marginal
  regions less interested in these communications to, and through
  them, to the great outside world. They, too, and each of them, must
  have access to this Egypt of the West, without paying toll at the
  crossing of any National boundary.

  “Our National strife springs not from our permanent part; not from
  the land we inhabit; not from our National homestead. There is no
  possible severing of this, but would multiply, and not mitigate,
  evils among us. In all its adaptations and aptitudes, it demands
  union, and abhors separation. In fact it would, ere long, force
  reunion, however much of blood and treasure the separation might
  have cost.

  “Our strife pertains to ourselves--to the passing generations of
  men; and it can, without convulsion, be hushed forever with the
  passing of one generation.

  “In this view, I recommend the adoption of the following resolution
  and articles amendatory to the Constitution of the United States:

  “_Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled_, (two-thirds of both
  Houses concurring,) That the following articles be proposed to the
  Legislatures (or conventions) of the several States as amendments
  to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which
  articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures
  (or conventions), to be valid as part or parts of the said
  Constitution, viz.:

  “_Article --._ Every State, wherein Slavery now exists, which shall
  abolish the same therein, at any time, or times, before the first
  day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand and nine
  hundred, shall receive compensation from the United States as
  follows, to wit:

  “The President of the United States shall deliver, to every such
  States, bonds of the United States, bearing interest at the rate
  of ---- per cent. per annum, to an amount equal to the aggregate
  sum of ---- for each slave shown to have been therein, by the
  eighth census of the United States, said bonds to be delivered to
  such State by installments, or in one parcel, at the completion of
  the abolishment, accordingly as the same shall have been gradual,
  or at one time, within such State; and interest shall begin to
  run upon any such bond, only from the proper time of its delivery
  as aforesaid. Any State, having received bonds as aforesaid, and
  afterward re-introducing or tolerating slavery therein, shall
  refund to the United States the bonds so received, or the value
  thereof, and all interest paid thereon.

  “_Article --._ All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom
  by the chances of the war, at any time before the end of the
  rebellion, shall be forever free; but all owners of such, who shall
  not have been disloyal, shall be compensated for them, at the same
  rates as is provided for States adopting abolishment of slavery,
  but in such way, that no slave shall be twice accounted for.

  “_Article --._ Congress may appropriate money, and otherwise
  provide for colonizing free colored persons, with their own
  consent, at any place or places without the United States.

  “I beg indulgence to discuss these proposed articles at some
  length. Without slavery, the rebellion could never have existed;
  without slavery, it could not continue.

  “Among the friends of the Union, there is great diversity of
  sentiment, and of policy, in regard to slavery, and the African
  race among us. Some would perpetuate slavery; some would abolish
  it suddenly, and without compensation; some would abolish it
  gradually, and with compensation; some would remove the freed
  people from us, and some would retain them with us; and there are
  yet other minor diversities. Because of these diversities, we waste
  much strength in struggles among ourselves. By mutual concession we
  should harmonize, and act together. This would be compromise; but
  it would be compromise among the friends, and not with the enemies
  of the Union. These articles are intended to embody a plan of such
  mutual concessions. If the plan shall be adopted, it is assumed
  that emancipation will follow, at least in several of the States.

  “As to the first article, the main points are: first, the
  emancipation; secondly, the length of time for consummating
  it--thirty-seven years; and thirdly, the compensation.

  “The emancipation will be unsatisfactory to the advocates of
  perpetual slavery; but the length of time should greatly mitigate
  their dissatisfaction. The time spares both races from the
  evils of sudden derangement--in fact, from the necessity of any
  derangement--while most of those whose habitual course of thought
  will be disturbed by the measure, will have passed away before its
  consummation. They will never see it. Another class will hail the
  prospect of emancipation, but will deprecate the length of time.
  They will feel that it gives too little to the now living slaves.
  But it really gives them much. It saves them from the vagrant
  destitution which must largely attend immediate emancipation in
  localities where their numbers are very great; and it gives the
  inspiring assurance that their posterity shall be free forever. The
  plan leaves to each State, choosing to act under it, to abolish
  slavery now, or at the end of the century, or at any intermediate
  time, or by degrees extending over the whole or any part of the
  period; and it obliges no two States to proceed alike. It also
  provides for compensation, and, generally, the mode of making it.
  This, it would seem, must further mitigate the dissatisfaction of
  those who favor perpetual slavery, and especially of those who
  are to receive the compensation. Doubtless, some of those who are
  to pay, and not to receive, will object. Yet the measure is both
  just and economical. In a certain sense, the liberation of slaves
  is the destruction of property--property acquired by descent, or
  by purchase, the same as any other property. It is no less true
  for having been often said, that the people of the South are not
  more responsible for the original introduction of this property,
  than are the people of the North; and when it is remembered how
  unhesitatingly we all use cotton and sugar and share the profits of
  dealing in them, it may not be quite safe to say, that the South
  has been more responsible than the North for its continuance. If,
  then, for a common object, this property is to be sacrificed, is it
  not just that it be done at a common charge?

  “And if, with less money, or money more easily paid, we can
  preserve the benefits of the Union by this means, than we can by
  the war alone, is it not also economical to do it? Let us consider
  it then. Let us ascertain the sum we have expended in the war since
  compensated emancipation was proposed last March, and consider
  whether, if that measure had been promptly accepted, by even some
  of the slave States, the same sum would not have done more to close
  the war, than has been otherwise done. If so, the measure would
  save money, and, in that view, would be a prudent and economical
  measure. Certainly it is not so easy to pay _something_ as it is
  to pay _nothing_; but it is easier to pay a _large_ sum, than it
  is to pay a _larger_ one. And it is easier to pay any sum _when_
  we are able, than it is to pay it _before_ we are able. The war
  requires large sums, and requires them at once. The aggregate
  sum necessary for compensated emancipation, of course, would be
  large. But it would require no ready cash; nor the bonds even,
  any faster than the emancipation progresses. This might not, and
  probably would not, close before the end of the thirty-seven
  years. At that time we shall probably have a hundred millions of
  people to share the burden, instead of thirty-one millions, as
  now. And not only so, but the increase of our population may be
  expected to continue for a long time after that period, as rapidly
  as before; because our territory will not have become full. I do
  not state this inconsiderately. At the same ratio of increase
  which we have maintained, on an average, from our first National
  census, in 1790, until that of 1860, we should, in 1900, have a
  population of one hundred and three million, two hundred and eight
  thousand, four hundred and fifteen. And why may we not continue
  that ratio far beyond that period? Our abundant room--our broad
  National homestead--is our ample resource. Were our territory as
  limited as are the British Isles, very certainly our population
  could not expand as stated. Instead of receiving the foreign born,
  as now, we should be compelled to send part of the native born
  away. But such is not our condition. We have two millions nine
  hundred and sixty-three thousand square miles. Europe has three
  millions and eight hundred thousand, with a population averaging
  seventy-three and one-third persons to the square mile. Why may not
  our country, at some time, average as many? Is it less fertile? Has
  it more waste surface, by mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, or
  other causes? Is it inferior to Europe in any natural advantage?
  If, then, we are, at some time, to be as populous as Europe, how
  soon? As to when this _may_ be, we can judge by the past and the
  present, as to when it _will_ be, if ever, depends much on whether
  we maintain the Union. Several of our States are already above the
  average of Europe--seventy-three and a third to the square mile.
  Massachusetts has one hundred and fifty-seven; Rhode Island, one
  hundred and thirty-three; Connecticut, ninety-nine; New York and
  New Jersey, each, eighty. Also two other great States, Pennsylvania
  and Ohio, are not far below, the former having sixty-three and the
  latter fifty-nine. The States already above the European average,
  except New York, have increased in as rapid a ratio, since passing
  that point, as ever before; while no one of them is equal to some
  other parts of our country, in natural capacity for sustaining a
  dense population.

  “Taking the nation in the aggregate, and we find its population
  and ratio of increase, for the several decennial periods, to be as

    1790       3,929,827
    1800       5,305,937      35.02 per cent. ratio of increase
    1810       7,239,814      36.45       “         “
    1820       9,638,131      33.13       “         “
    1830      12,866,020      33.49       “         “
    1840      17,069,453      32.67       “         “
    1850      23,191,876      35.87       “         “
    1860      31,443,790      35.58       “         “

  “This shows an average decennial increase of 34.60 per cent. in
  population through the seventy years from our first to our last
  census yet taken. It is seen that the ratio of increase, at one
  of these seven periods, is either two per cent. below, or two
  per cent. above, the average, thus showing how inflexible, and,
  consequently, how reliable, the law of increase, in our case is.
  Assuming that it will continue, gives the following results:

    1870      42,423,341
    1880      56,967,216
    1890      76,677,872
    1900     103,208,415
    1910     138,918,526
    1920     186,984,335
    1930     251,680,914

  “These figures show that our country _may_ be as populous as Europe
  now is, at some point between 1920 and 1930--say about 1925--our
  territory, at seventy-three and a third persons to the square mile,
  being the capacity to contain 217,186,000.

  “And we _will_ reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish
  the chance, by the folly and evil of disunion, or by long and
  exhausting war, springing from the only great element of National
  discord among us. While it can not be foreseen exactly how much one
  huge example of secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would
  retard population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt
  that the extent of it would be very great and injurious.

  “The proposed emancipation would shorten the war, perpetuate peace,
  insure this increase of population, and proportionately the wealth
  of the country. With these, we should pay all the emancipation
  would cost, together with our other debt, easier than we should
  pay our other debt, without it. If we had allowed our old National
  debt to run at six per cent. per annum, simple interest, from the
  end of our Revolutionary struggle until to-day, without paying any
  thing on either principal or interest, each man of us would owe
  less upon that debt now, than each man owed upon it then; and this
  because our increase of men, through the whole period, has been
  greater than six per cent.; has run faster than the interest upon
  the debt. Thus, time alone relieves a debtor nation, so long as its
  population increases faster than unpaid interest accumulates on its

  “This fact would be no excuse for delaying payment of what is
  justly due; but it shows the great importance of time in this
  connection--the great advantage of a policy by which we shall
  not have to pay until we number a hundred millions, what, by a
  different policy, we would have to pay now, when we number but
  thirty-one millions. In a word, it shows that a dollar will be much
  harder to pay for the war, than will be a dollar for emancipation
  on the proposed plan. And then the latter will cost no blood, no
  precious life. It will be a saving of both.

  “As to the second article, I think it would be impracticable to
  return to bondage the class of persons therein contemplated. Some
  of them, doubtless, in the property sense, belong to loyal owners;
  and hence, provision is made in this article for compensating such.

  “The third article relates to the future of the freed people.
  It does not oblige, but merely authorizes, Congress to aid in
  colonizing such as may consent. This ought not to be regarded as
  objectionable, on the one hand, or on the other, in so much as it
  comes to nothing, unless by the mutual consent of the people to be
  deported, and the American voters, through their representatives in

  “I can not make it better known than it already is, that I strongly
  favor colonization. And yet I wish to say there is an objection
  urged against free colored persons remaining in the country, which
  is largely imaginary, if not sometimes malicious.

  “It is insisted that their presence would injure, and displace
  white labor and white laborers. If there ever could be a proper
  time for mere catch arguments, that time surely is not now. In
  times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they
  would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.
  Is it true, then, that colored people can displace any more
  white labor by being free, than by remaining slaves? If they
  stay in their old places, they jostle no white laborers; if they
  leave their old places, they leave them open to white laborers.
  Logically, there is neither more nor less of it. Emancipation,
  even without deportation, would, probably enhance the wages of
  white labor, and, very surely, would not reduce them. Thus, the
  customary amount of labor would still have to be performed; the
  freed people would surely not do more than their old proportion
  of it, and very probably, for a time, would do less, leaving
  an increased part to white laborers, bringing their labor into
  greater demand, and, consequently, enhancing the wages of it. With
  deportation, even to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white
  labor is mathematically certain. Labor is like any other commodity
  in the market--increase the demand for it, and you increase the
  price of it. Reduce the supply of black labor, by colonizing the
  black laborer out of the country, and, by precisely so much you
  increase the demand for, and wages of, white labor.

  “But it is dreaded that the freed people will swarm forth, and
  cover the whole land. Are they not already in the land? Will
  liberation make them any more numerous? Equally distributed among
  the whites of the whole country, and there would be but one colored
  to seven whites. Could the one, in any way, greatly disturb the
  seven? There are many communities now, having more than one free
  colored person to seven whites; and this without any apparent
  consciousness of evil from it. The District of Columbia, and the
  States of Maryland and Delaware, are all in this condition. The
  District has more than one free colored to six whites; and yet,
  in its frequent petitions to Congress, I believe it has never
  presented the presence of free colored persons as one of its
  grievances. But why should emancipation South send the freed people
  North? People, of any color, seldom run, unless there be something
  to run from. _Heretofore_, colored people, to some extent, have
  fled North from bondage; and _now_, perhaps, from both bondage
  and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and deportation be
  adopted, they will have neither to flee from. Their old masters
  will give them wages, at least until new laborers can be procured;
  and the freed men, in turn, will gladly give their labor for the
  wages, till new homes can be found for them, in congenial climes,
  and with people of their own blood and race. This proposition can
  be trusted on the mutual interests involved. And, in any event, can
  not the North decide for itself, whether to receive them?

  “Again, as practice proves more than theory, in any case has there
  been any irruption of colored people northward, because of the
  abolishment of slavery in this District last spring?

  “What I have said of the proportion of free colored persons to the
  whites, in the District, is from the census of 1860, having no
  reference to persons called contrabands, nor to those made free by
  the Act of Congress abolishing slavery here.

  “The plan consisting of these articles is recommended, not but that
  a restoration of the National authority would be accepted without
  its adoption.

  “Nor will the war, nor proceedings under the proclamation of
  September 22d, 1862, be stayed because of the _recommendation_
  of this plan. Its timely _adoption_, I doubt not, would bring
  restoration, and thereby stay both.

  “And, notwithstanding this plan, the recommendation that Congress
  provide by law for compensating any State which may adopt
  emancipation, before this plan shall have been acted upon, is
  hereby earnestly renewed. Such would be only an advance part of the
  plan, and the same arguments apply to both.

  “This plan is recommended as a means, not in exclusion of,
  but in addition to, all others for restoring and preserving
  the National authority throughout the Union. The subject is
  presented exclusively in its economical aspect. The plan would,
  I am confident, secure peace more speedily, and maintain it more
  permanently, than can be done by force alone; while all it would
  cost, considering amounts, and manner of payment, and times of
  payment, would be easier paid than will be the additional cost of
  the war, if we rely solely upon force. It is much--very much--that
  it would cost no blood at all.

  “The plan is proposed as permanent constitutional law. It cannot
  become such without the concurrence of, first, two-thirds of
  Congress, and, afterward, three-fourths of the States. The
  requisite three-fourths of the States, will necessarily include
  seven of the slave States. Their concurrence, if obtained, will
  give assurance of their severally adopting emancipation, at no very
  distant day, upon the new constitutional terms. This assurance
  would end the struggle now, and save the Union forever.

  “I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper
  addressed to the Congress of the nation, by the Chief Magistrate
  of the nation. Nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors;
  nor that many of you have more experience than I, in the conduct
  of public affairs. Yet I trust that, in view of the great
  responsibility resting upon me, you will perceive no want of
  respect to yourselves, in any undue earnestness I may seem to

  “Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would
  shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of
  blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority
  and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is
  it doubted that we here--Congress and Executive--can secure its
  adoption? Will not the good people respond to a united and earnest
  appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means, so certainly
  or so speedily, assure these vital objects? We can succeed only
  by concert. It is not, ‘Can _any_ of us _imagine_ better?’ but,
  ‘Can we _all_ do better?’ Object whatsoever is possible, still the
  question recurs, ‘Can we do better?’ The dogmas of the quiet past
  are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high
  with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case
  is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disinthrall
  ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

  “Fellow-citizens, _we_ can not escape history. We of this Congress
  and this Administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves.
  No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or
  another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light
  us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We _say_
  we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this.
  We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how
  to save it. We--even _we here_--hold the power, and bear the
  responsibility. In _giving_ freedom to the _slave_, we _assure_
  freedom to the _free_--honorable alike in what we give and what we
  preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope
  of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way
  is plain, peaceful, generous, just--a way which, if followed, the
  world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.

    Dec. 1, 1862.      “ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”



  Military Successes--Favorable Elections--Emancipation Policy--
  Letter to Manchester (England) Workingmen--Proclamation for a
  National Fast--Letter to Erastus Corning--Letter to a Committee
  on recalling Vallandigham.

It had been decreed by a kind Providence that the year 1863 was to mark
a turn in the almost unbroken line of reverses which the Union army had
experienced for some time previous.

True, Hooker, who had superseded Burnside in command of the Army of
the Potomac, had been signally repulsed at Chancellorsville; but this
was more than compensated by the decided victory achieved by the same
troops, under Meade, over the rebels at Gettysburg. Grant, by the
capture of Vicksburg, and the surrender of Port Hudson, which was
the inevitable result, had opened the Mississippi to the Gulf, and
completely severed the bastard confederacy. We moreover secured East
Tennessee, and by the victories of Lookout Mountain and Missionary
Ridge, and the repulse of a rebel attempt to retake Knoxville, paved
the way for an offensive movement into the vitals of Georgia.

The sober, second thought of the people was manifest. Vallandigham in
Ohio, who for his treasonable practices had been tried by Burnside’s
order, convicted, and ordered South to his friends, but who had been
suffered to return _via_ Canada, and was put forward as the exponent
of “Democracy” in Ohio, was shelved by some one hundred thousand
majority. Pennsylvania, likewise, more than redeemed herself. In fact
every loyal State--except New Jersey--showed decided majorities for the

In this election, be it remembered, the emancipation policy of the
President had entered largely as an element of discussion; and the
results were the more gratifying as it established conclusively, that
however unfavorable early indications might have been, the great pulse
of the people beat in unison with freedom for man as man. If in a
contest like that in which the nation was then engaged, all merely
mercenary considerations could be overlooked, deep-rooted prejudices
mastered, and long withheld rights cheerfully granted, there would be,
indeed, strong grounds to hope for the progress of our race.

At the beginning of the year, the President received a gratifying
evidence of the appreciation in which his efforts for freedom were
held, in a testimonial of sympathy and confidence from the workingmen
of Manchester, England; to which address he made the following reply:

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, January 19, 1863.

  “TO THE WORKINGMEN OF MANCHESTER:--I have the honor to acknowledge
  the receipt of the address and resolutions which you sent me on the
  eve of the new year.

  “When I came, on the 4th of March, 1861, through a free and
  constitutional election, to preside in the Government of the United
  States, the country was found at the verge of civil war. Whatever
  might have been the cause, or whosesoever the fault, one duty,
  paramount to all others, was before me, namely, to maintain and
  preserve at once the Constitution and the integrity of the Federal
  Republic. A conscientious purpose to perform this duty is the key
  to all the measures of administration which have been, and to all
  which will hereafter be pursued. Under our frame of government and
  my official oath, I could not depart from this purpose if I would.
  It is not always in the power of governments to enlarge or restrict
  the scope of moral results which follow the policies that they may
  deem it necessary, for the public safety, from time to time to

  “I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation rests
  solely with the American people. But I have, at the same time, been
  aware that the favor or disfavor of foreign nations might have a
  material influence in enlarging and prolonging the struggle with
  disloyal men in which the country is engaged. A fair examination of
  history has seemed to authorize a belief that the past action and
  influences of the United States were generally regarded as having
  been beneficial toward mankind. I have, therefore, reckoned upon
  the forbearance of nations. Circumstances--to some of which you
  kindly allude--induced me especially to expect that, if justice and
  good faith should be practised by the United States, they would
  encounter no hostile influence on the part of Great Britain. It
  is now a pleasant duty to acknowledge the demonstration you have
  given of your desire that a spirit of peace and amity toward this
  country may prevail in the councils of your Queen, who is respected
  and esteemed in your own country only more than she is by the
  kindred nation which has its home on this side of the Atlantic.

  “I know, and deeply deplore, the sufferings which the workingmen at
  Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis.
  It has been often and studiously represented that the attempt to
  overthrow this Government, which was built upon the foundation
  of human rights, and to substitute for it one which should rest
  exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely to obtain
  the favor of Europe. Through the action of our disloyal citizens,
  the workingmen of Europe have been subjected to severe trial, for
  the purpose of forcing their sanction to that attempt. Under these
  circumstances, I can not but regard your decisive utterances upon
  the question as an instance of sublime Christian heroism, which has
  not been surpassed in any age or in any country. It is indeed an
  energetic and reinspiring assurance of the inherent power of truth,
  and of the ultimate and universal triumph of justice, humanity and
  freedom. I do not doubt that the sentiments you have expressed will
  be sustained by your great nation; and, on the other hand, I have
  no hesitation in assuring you that they will excite admiration,
  esteem, and the most reciprocal feelings of friendship among the
  American people. I hail this interchange of sentiment, therefore,
  as an augury that, whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune
  may befall your country or my own, the peace and friendship which
  now exist between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire
  to make them, perpetual.


On the 30th of March the following proclamation was issued in pursuance
of a request to that effect from the Senate:

  “WHEREAS, The Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing
  the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all
  the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested
  the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer
  and humiliation;

  “AND WHEREAS, It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own
  their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their
  sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that
  genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize
  the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by
  all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the

  “And, insomuch as we know that, by His Divine law, nations, like
  individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this
  world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war,
  which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted
  upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our
  National reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients
  of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these
  many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers,
  wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have
  forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved
  us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us;
  and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts,
  that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom
  and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have
  become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and
  preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

  “It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended
  Power, to confess our National sins, and to pray for clemency and

  “Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully
  concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my
  proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the thirteenth
  day of April, 1863, as a day of National humiliation, fasting
  and prayer. And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on
  that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at
  their several places of public worship and their respective homes,
  in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble
  discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

  “All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest
  humbly in the hope, authorized by the Divine teachings, that the
  united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with
  blessings, no less than the pardon of our National sins, and
  restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former
  happy condition of unity and peace.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, on this thirtieth day of March, in
  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,
  and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The following letter, which belongs in this place, will explain itself:

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, June 13th, 1863.

  “HON. ERASTUS CORNING and others--_Gentlemen_:--Your letter of May
  19th, inclosing the resolutions of a public meeting held at Albany,
  New York, on the 16th of the same month, was received several days

  “The resolutions, as I understand them, are resolvable into two
  propositions--first, the expression of a purpose to sustain the
  cause of the Union, to secure peace through victory, and to support
  the Administration in every constitutional and lawful measure to
  suppress the rebellion; and, secondly, a declaration of censure
  upon the Administration for supposed unconstitutional action, such
  as the making of military arrests. And from the two propositions
  a third is deduced, which is, that the gentlemen composing the
  meeting are resolved on doing their part to maintain our common
  Government and country, despite the folly or wickedness, as they
  may conceive, of any Administration. This position is eminently
  patriotic, and as such I thank the meeting and congratulate the
  nation for it. My own purpose is the same; so that the meeting and
  myself have a common object, and can have no difference, except in
  the choice of means or measures for effecting that object.

  “And here I ought to close this paper, and would close it, if
  there were no apprehension that more injurious consequences
  than any merely personal to myself might follow the censures
  systematically cast upon me for doing what, in my view of duty, I
  could not forbear. The resolutions promise to support me in every
  constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the rebellion, and
  I have not knowingly employed, nor shall knowingly employ, any
  other. But the meeting, by their resolutions, assert and argue that
  certain military arrests and proceedings following them, for which
  I am ultimately responsible, are unconstitutional. I think they are
  not. The resolutions quote from the Constitution the definition of
  treason, and also the limiting safeguards and guaranties therein
  provided for the citizen on trial for treason, and on his being
  held to answer for capital, or otherwise infamous crimes; and in
  criminal prosecutions, his right to a speedy and public trial by
  an impartial jury. They proceed to resolve, ‘that these safeguards
  of the rights of the citizen against the pretensions of arbitrary
  power were intended more _especially_ for his protection in times
  of civil commotion.’

  “And, apparently to demonstrate the proposition, the resolutions
  proceed: ‘They were secured substantially to the English people
  _after_ years of protracted civil war, and were adopted into our
  Constitution at the _close_ of the Revolution. Would not the
  demonstration have been better if it could have been truly said
  that these safeguards had been adopted and applied _during_ the
  civil wars and _during_ our Revolution, instead of _after_ the
  one and at the _close_ of the other? I, too, am devotedly for
  them _after_ civil war, and _before_ civil war, and at all times,
  ‘except when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety
  may require’ their suspension. The resolutions proceed to tell
  us that these safeguards ‘have stood the test of seventy-six
  years of trial, under our republican system, under circumstances
  which show that, while they constitute the foundation of all free
  government, they are the elements of the enduring stability of
  the Republic.’ No one denies that they have so stood the test up
  to the beginning of the present rebellion, if we except a certain
  occurrence at New Orleans; nor does any one question that they
  will stand the same test much longer after the rebellion closes.
  But these provisions of the Constitution have no application to
  the case we have in hand, because the arrests complained of were
  not made for treason--that is, not for _the_ treason defined in
  the Constitution, and upon conviction of which the punishment is
  death--nor yet were they made to hold persons to answer for any
  capital or otherwise infamous crimes; nor were the proceedings
  following, in any constitutional or legal sense, ‘criminal
  prosecutions.’ The arrests were made on totally different grounds,
  and the proceedings following accorded with the grounds of the
  arrest. Let us consider the real case with which we are dealing,
  and apply to it the parts of the Constitution plainly made for such

  “Prior to my installation here, it had been inculcated that any
  State had a lawful right to secede from the National Union, and
  that it would be expedient to exercise the right whenever the
  devotees of the doctrine should fail to elect a President to
  their own liking. I was elected contrary to their liking, and
  accordingly, so far as it was legally possible, they had taken
  seven States out of the Union, and had seized many of the United
  States forts, and had fired upon the United States flag, all
  before I was inaugurated, and, of course, before I had done any
  official act whatever. The rebellion thus began soon ran into
  the present civil war; and, in certain respects, it began on
  very unequal terms between the parties. The insurgents had been
  preparing for it for more than thirty years, while the Government
  had taken no steps to resist them. The former had carefully
  considered all the means which could be turned to their account. It
  undoubtedly was a well-pondered reliance with them that, in their
  own unrestricted efforts to destroy Union, Constitution, and law
  together, the Government would, in a great degree, be restrained
  by the same Constitution and law from arresting their progress.
  Their sympathizers pervaded all departments of the Government,
  and nearly all communities of the people. From this material,
  under cover of ‘liberty of speech,’ ‘liberty of the press,’ and
  ‘_habeas corpus_,’ they hoped to keep on foot among us a most
  efficient corps of spies, informers, suppliers, and aiders and
  abettors of their cause in a thousand ways. They knew that in times
  such as they were inaugurating, by the Constitution itself, the
  ‘_habeas corpus_’ might be suspended; but they also knew they had
  friends who would make a question as to _who_ was to suspend it;
  meanwhile, their spies and others might remain at large to help on
  their cause. Or if, as has happened, the Executive should suspend
  the writ, without ruinous waste of time, instances of arresting
  innocent persons might occur, as are always likely to occur in such
  cases, and then a clamor could be raised in regard to this which
  might be, at least, of some service to the insurgent cause. It
  needed no very keen perception to discover this part of the enemy’s
  programme, so soon as, by open hostilities, their machinery was put
  fairly in motion. Yet, thoroughly imbued with a reverence for the
  guaranteed rights of individuals, I was slow to adopt the strong
  measures which by degrees I have been forced to regard as being
  within the exceptions of the Constitution, and as indispensable to
  the public safety. Nothing is better known to history than that
  courts of justice are utterly incompetent to such cases. Civil
  courts are organized chiefly for trials of individuals, or, at
  most, a few individuals acting in concert, and this in quiet times,
  and on charges of crimes well defined in the law. Even in times
  of peace, bands of horse-thieves and robbers frequently grow too
  numerous and powerful for the ordinary courts of justice. But what
  comparison, in numbers, have such bands ever borne to the insurgent
  sympathizers even in many of the loyal States? Again, a jury too
  frequently has at least one member more ready to hang the panel,
  than to hang the traitor. And yet, again he who dissuades one man
  from volunteering, or induces one soldier to desert, weakens the
  Union cause as much as he who kills a Union soldier in battle.
  Yet this dissuasion or inducement may be so conducted as to be no
  defined crime of which any civil court would take cognizance.

  “Ours is a case of rebellion--so called by the resolution before
  me--in fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of rebellion; and
  the provision of the Constitution that ‘the privilege of the writ
  of _habeas corpus_ shall not be suspended unless when, in cases
  of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,’ is
  _the_ provision which specially applies to our present case. This
  provision plainly attests the understanding of those who made the
  Constitution, that ordinary courts of justice are inadequate to
  ‘cases of rebellion’--attests their purpose that, in such cases,
  men may be held in custody whom the courts, acting on ordinary
  rules, would discharge. _Habeas corpus_ does not discharge men who
  are proved to be guilty of defined crime; and its suspension is
  allowed by the Constitution on purpose that men may be arrested and
  held who can not be proved to be guilty of defined crime, ‘when,
  in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require
  it.’ This is precisely our present case--a case of rebellion,
  wherein the public safety _does_ require the suspension. Indeed,
  arrests by process of courts, and arrests in cases of rebellion, do
  not proceed altogether upon the same basis. The former is directed
  at the small percentage of ordinary and continuous perpetration
  of crime; while the latter is directed at sudden and extensive
  uprisings against the Government, which at most will succeed or
  fail in no great length of time. In the latter case arrests are
  made, not so much for what has been done as for what probably would
  be done. The latter is more for the preventive and less for the
  vindictive than the former. In such cases the purposes of men are
  much more easily understood than in cases of ordinary crime. The
  man who stands by and says nothing when the peril of his Government
  is discussed, can not be misunderstood. If not hindered, he is sure
  to help the enemy; much more, if he talks ambiguously--talks for
  his country with ‘buts,’ and ‘ifs’ and ‘ands.’ Of how little value
  the constitutional provisions I have quoted will be rendered, if
  arrests shall never be made until defined crimes shall have been
  committed, may be illustrated by a few notable examples. General
  John C. Breckinridge, General Robert E. Lee, General Joseph E.
  Johnston, General John B. Magruder, General William B. Preston,
  General Simon B. Buckner, and Commodore Franklin Buchanan, now
  occupying the very highest places in the rebel war service,
  were all within the power of the Government since the rebellion
  began, and were nearly as well known to be traitors then as now.
  Unquestionably, if we had seized and held them, the insurgent
  cause would be much weaker. But no one of them had then committed
  any crime defined by law. Every one of them, if arrested, would
  have been discharged on _habeas corpus_, were the writ allowed to
  operate. In view of these and similar cases, I think the time not
  unlikely to come when I shall be blamed for having made too few
  arrests rather than too many.

  “By the third resolution, the meeting indicate their opinion
  that military arrests may be constitutional in localities
  where rebellion actually exists, but that such arrests are
  unconstitutional in localities where rebellion or insurrection does
  _not_ actually exist. They insist that such arrests shall not be
  made ‘outside of the lines of necessary military occupation and the
  scenes of insurrection.’ Inasmuch, however, as the Constitution
  itself makes no such distinction, I am unable to believe that there
  _is_ any such constitutional distinction. I concede that the class
  of arrests complained of can be constitutional only when, in cases
  of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require them; and
  I insist that in such cases they are Constitutional _wherever_ the
  public safety does require them; as well in places to which they
  may prevent the rebellion extending, as in those where it may be
  already prevailing; as well where they may restrain mischievous
  interference with the raising and supplying of armies to suppress
  the rebellion, as where the rebellion may actually be; as well
  where they may restrain the enticing men out of the army, as where
  they would prevent mutiny in the army; equally constitutional
  at all places where they will conduce to the public safety, as
  against the dangers of rebellion or invasion. Take the particular
  case mentioned by the meeting. It is asserted, in substance, that
  Mr. Vallandigham was, by a military commander, seized and tried
  ‘for no other reason than words addressed to a public meeting, in
  criticism of the course of the Administration, and in condemnation
  of the military orders of the general.’ Now, if there be no mistake
  about this; if this assertion is the truth and the whole truth;
  if there was no other reason for the arrest, then I concede that
  the arrest was wrong. But the arrest, as I understand, was made
  for a very different reason. Mr. Vallandigham avows his hostility
  to the war on the part of the Union; and his arrest was made
  because he was laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising
  of troops; to encourage desertion from the army, and to leave the
  rebellion without an adequate military force to suppress it. He
  was not arrested because he was damaging the political prospects
  of the Administration, or the personal interests of the commanding
  general, but because he was damaging the army, upon the existence
  and vigor of which the life of the nation depends. He was warring
  upon the military, and this gave the military constitutional
  jurisdiction to lay hands upon him. If Mr. Vallandigham was not
  damaging the military power of the country, then this arrest was
  made on mistake of fact, which I would be glad to correct on
  reasonably satisfactory evidence.

  “I understand the meeting whose resolutions I am considering to be
  in favor of suppressing the rebellion by military force--by armies.
  Long experience has shown that armies cannot be maintained unless
  desertions shall be punished by the severe penalty of death. The
  case requires, and the law and the Constitution sanction, this
  punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts,
  while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to
  desert? This is none the less injurious when effected by getting
  a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there
  working upon his feelings till he is persuaded to write the soldier
  boy that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked Administration
  of a contemptible Government, too weak to arrest and punish him
  if he shall desert. I think that in such a case to silence the
  agitator and save the boy is not only constitutional, but withal a
  great mercy.

  “If I be wrong on this question of constitutional power, my error
  lies in believing that certain proceedings are constitutional when,
  in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety requires them,
  which would not be constitutional when, in the absence of rebellion
  or invasion, the public safety does _not_ require them; in other
  words, that the Constitution is not, in its application, in all
  respects the same--in cases of rebellion or invasion involving
  the public safety, as it is in time of profound peace and public
  security. The Constitution itself makes the distinction; and I can
  no more be persuaded that the Government can constitutionally take
  no strong measures in time of rebellion, because it can be shown
  that the same could not be lawfully taken in time of peace, than
  I can be persuaded that a particular drug is not good medicine
  for a sick man, because it can be shown not to be good food for a
  well one. Nor am I able to appreciate the danger apprehended by
  the meeting, that the American people will, by means of military
  arrests during the rebellion, lose the right of public discussion,
  the liberty of speech and the press, the law of evidence, trial
  by jury, and _habeas corpus_, throughout the indefinite peaceful
  future, which I trust lies before them, any more than I am able
  to believe that a man could contract so strong an appetite for
  emetics, during temporary illness, as to persist in feeding upon
  them during the remainder of his healthful life.

  “In giving the resolutions that earnest consideration which you
  request of me, I can not overlook the fact that the meeting speak
  as ‘Democrats.’ Nor can I, with full respect for their known
  intelligence, and the fairly presumed deliberation with which
  they prepared their resolutions, be permitted to suppose that
  this occurred by accident, or in any way other than that they
  preferred to designate themselves ‘Democrats’ rather than ‘American
  Citizens.’ In this time of National peril, I would have preferred
  to meet you on a level one step higher than any party platform;
  because I am sure that, from such more elevated position, we could
  do better battle for the country we all love than we possibly
  can from those lower ones where, from the force of habit, the
  prejudices of the past, and selfish hopes of the future, we are
  sure to expend much of our ingenuity and strength in finding fault
  with and aiming blows at each other. But, since you have denied
  me this, I will yet be thankful for the country’s sake, that not
  all Democrats have done so. He on whose discretionary judgment
  Mr. Vallandigham was arrested and tried is a Democrat, having
  no old party affinity with me; and the judge who rejected the
  constitutional view expressed in these resolutions, by refusing to
  discharge Mr. Vallandigham on _habeas corpus_, is a Democrat of
  better days than these, having received his judicial mantle at the
  hands of President Jackson. And still more, of all those Democrats
  who are nobly exposing their lives and shedding their blood on the
  battle-field, I have learned that many approve the course taken
  with Mr. Vallandigham, while I have not heard of a single one
  condemning it. I can not assert that there are none such.

  “And the name of Jackson recalls an incident of pertinent history:
  After the battle of New Orleans, and while the fact that the treaty
  of peace had been concluded was well known in the city, but before
  official knowledge of it had arrived, Gen. Jackson still maintained
  martial or military law. Now that it could be said the war was
  over, the clamor against martial law, which had existed from the
  first, grew more furious. Among other things, a Mr. Louiallier
  published a denunciatory newspaper article. Gen. Jackson arrested
  him. A lawyer by the name of Morrel procured the United States
  Judge Hall to issue a writ of _habeas corpus_ to relieve Mr.
  Louiallier. Gen. Jackson arrested both the lawyer and the judge. A
  Mr. Hollander ventured to say of some part of the matter that ‘it
  was a dirty trick.’ Gen. Jackson arrested him. When the officer
  undertook to serve the writ of _habeas corpus_, Gen. Jackson took
  it from him, and sent him away with a copy. Holding the judge in
  custody a few days, the general sent him beyond the limits of his
  encampment, and set him at liberty, with an order to remain till
  the ratification of peace should be regularly announced, or until
  the British should have left the Southern coast. A day or two more
  elapsed, the ratification of a treaty of peace was regularly
  announced, and the judge and others were fully liberated. A few
  days more, and the judge called Gen. Jackson into court and fined
  him $1,000 for having arrested him and the others named. The
  general paid the fine, and there the matter rested for nearly
  thirty years, when Congress refunded principal and interest. The
  late Senator Douglas, then in the House of Representatives, took a
  leading part in the debates, in which the constitutional question
  was much discussed. I am not prepared to say whom the journals
  would show to have voted for the measure.

  “It may be remarked: First, that we had the same Constitution then
  as now; secondly, that we then had a case of invasion, and now we
  have a case of rebellion; and, thirdly, that the permanent right
  of the people to public discussion, the liberty of speech and of
  the press, the trial by jury, the law of evidence, and the _habeas
  corpus_, suffered no detriment whatever by that conduct of Gen.
  Jackson, or its subsequent approval by the American Congress.

  “And yet, let me say that, in my own discretion, I do not know
  whether I would have ordered the arrest of Mr. Vallandigham. While
  I can not shift the responsibility from myself, I hold that, as a
  general rule, the commander in the field is the better judge of
  the necessity in any particular case. Of course, I must practise a
  general directory and revisory power in the matter.

  “One of the resolutions expresses the opinion of the meeting that
  arbitrary arrests will have the effect to divide and distract
  those who should be united in suppressing the rebellion, and I am
  specifically called on to discharge Mr. Vallandigham. I regard this
  as, at least, a fair appeal to me on the expediency of exercising
  a constitutional power which I think exists. In response to such
  appeal, I have to say, it gave me pain when I learned that Mr.
  Vallandigham had been arrested--that is, I was pained that there
  should have seemed to be a necessity for arresting him--and that
  it will afford me great pleasure to discharge him so soon as I
  can, by any means, believe the public safety will not suffer by
  it. I further say that, as the war progresses, it appears to me,
  opinion and action which were in great confusion at first, take
  shape and fall into more regular channels, so that the necessity
  for strong dealing with them gradually decreases. I have every
  reason to desire that it should cease altogether; and far from
  the least is my regard for the opinions and wishes of those who,
  like the meeting at Albany, declare their purpose to sustain the
  Government in every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress
  the rebellion. Still, I must continue to do so much as may seem to
  be required by the public safety.

    “A. LINCOLN.”

Mr. Lincoln, having been waited upon by a Committee of Ohio
“Democrats,” who urged him to recall Vallandigham, whom they sought to
exalt as a “martyr to popular rights,” addressed the following reply,
the quiet sarcasm of which is not the least of its many good points:

    “Washington, June 29, 1863.

  “GENTLEMEN:--The resolutions of the Ohio Democratic State
  Convention, which you present me, together with your introductory
  and closing remarks, being, in position and argument, mainly the
  same as the resolutions of the Democratic meeting at Albany, New
  York, I refer you to my response to the latter as meeting most of
  the points in the former.

  “This response you evidently used in preparing your remarks, and
  I desire no more than that it be used with accuracy. In a single
  reading of your remarks, I only discovered one inaccuracy in
  matter which I suppose you took from that paper. It is where you
  say, ‘The undersigned are unable to agree with you in the opinion
  you have expressed that the Constitution is different in time of
  insurrection or invasion from what it is in time of peace and
  public security.’

  “A recurrence to the paper will show you that I have not
  expressed the opinion you suppose. I expressed the opinion that
  the Constitution is different _in its application_ in cases of
  rebellion or invasion involving the public safety, from what it is
  in times of profound peace and public security. And this opinion I
  adhere to, simply because, by the Constitution itself, things may
  be done in the one case which may not be done in the other.

  “I dislike to waste a word on a merely personal point, but I must
  respectfully assure you that you will find yourselves at fault
  should you ever seek for evidence to prove your assumption that
  I ‘opposed, in discussions before the people, the policy of the
  Mexican War.’

  “You say: ‘Expunge from the Constitution this limitation upon the
  power of Congress to suspend the writ of _habeas corpus_, and yet
  the other guaranties of personal liberty would remain unchanged.’
  Doubtless, if this clause of the Constitution, improperly called,
  as I think, a limitation upon the power of Congress, were expunged,
  the other guaranties would remain the same; but the question is,
  not how those guaranties would stand with that clause _out_ of the
  Constitution, but how they stand with that clause remaining in it,
  in case of rebellion or invasion involving the public safety. If
  the liberty could be indulged in expunging that clause, letter and
  spirit, I really think the constitutional argument would be with

  “My general view on this question was stated in the Albany
  response, and hence I do not state it now. I only add that, as
  seems to me, the benefit of the writ of _habeas corpus_ is the
  great means through which the guaranties of personal liberty are
  conserved and made available in the last resort; and corroborative
  of this view is the fact that Mr. Vallandigham, in the very case in
  question, under the advice of able lawyers, saw not where else to
  go but to the _habeas corpus_. But by the Constitution the benefit
  of the writ of _habeas corpus_ itself may be suspended, when, in
  case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

  “You ask, in substance, whether I really claim that I may
  override all the guaranteed rights of individuals, on the plea of
  conserving the public safety--when I may choose to say the public
  safety requires it. This question, divested of the phraseology
  calculated to represent me as struggling for an arbitrary personal
  prerogative, is either simply a question _who_ shall decide, or
  an affirmation that _nobody_ shall decide, what the public safety
  does require in cases of rebellion or invasion. The Constitution
  contemplates the question as likely to occur for decision, but
  it does not expressly declare who is to decide it. By necessary
  implication, when rebellion or invasion comes, the decision is
  to be made from time to time; and I think the man whom, for
  the time, the people have, under the Constitution, made their
  Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, is the man who holds the
  power and bears the responsibility of making it. If he uses the
  power justly, the same people will probably justify him; if he
  abuses it, he is in their hands, to be dealt with by all the modes
  they have reserved to themselves in the Constitution.

  “The earnestness with which you insist that persons can only, in
  times of rebellion, be lawfully dealt with in accordance with
  the rules for criminal trials and punishments in times of peace,
  induces me to add a word to what I said on that point in the Albany
  response. You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those
  whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion, and then be dealt
  with only in turn as if there were no rebellion. The Constitution
  itself rejects this view. The military arrests and detentions
  which have been made, including those of Mr. Vallandigham,
  which are not different in principle from the other, have been
  for _prevention_, and not for _punishment_--as injunctions to
  stay injury, as proceedings to keep the peace--and hence, like
  proceedings in such cases and for like reasons, they have not been
  accompanied with indictments, or trial by juries, nor in a single
  case by any punishment whatever beyond what is purely incidental
  to the prevention. The original sentence of imprisonment in Mr.
  Vallandigham’s case was to prevent injury to the military service
  only, and the modification of it was made as a less disagreeable
  mode to him of securing the same prevention.

  “I am unable to perceive an insult to Ohio in the case of Mr.
  Vallandigham. Quite surely nothing of this sort was or is intended.
  I was wholly unaware that Mr. Vallandigham was, at the time of his
  arrest, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor,
  until so informed by your reading to me the resolutions of the
  convention. I am grateful to the State of Ohio for many things,
  especially for the brave soldiers and officers she has given, in
  the present national trial, to the armies of the Union.

  “You claim, as I understand, that, according to my own position in
  the Albany response, Mr. Vallandigham should be released; and this
  because, as you claim, he has not damaged the military service by
  discouraging enlistments, encouraging desertions, or otherwise;
  and that if he had, he should have been turned over to the civil
  authorities under the recent Act of Congress. I certainly do
  not _know_ that Mr. Vallandigham has specifically and by direct
  language advised against enlistments and in favor of desertions and
  resistance to drafting. We all know that combinations, armed, in
  some instances, to resist the arrest of deserters, began several
  months ago; that more recently the like has appeared in resistance
  to the enrollment preparatory to a draft; and that quite a number
  of assassinations have occurred from the same _animus_. These had
  to be met by military force, and this again has led to bloodshed
  and death. And now, under a sense of responsibility more weighty
  and enduring than any which is merely official, I solemnly declare
  my belief that this hindrance of the military, including maiming
  and murder, is due to the cause in which Mr. Vallandigham has been
  engaged, in a greater degree than to any other cause; and it is
  due to him personally in a greater degree than to any other one man.

  “These things have been notorious, known to all, and of course
  known to Mr. Vallandigham. Perhaps I would not be wrong to say
  they originated with his especial friends and adherents. With
  perfect knowledge of them he has frequently, if not constantly,
  made speeches in Congress and before popular assemblies; and if it
  can be shown that, with these things staring him in the face, he
  has ever uttered a word of rebuke or counsel against them, it will
  be a fact greatly in his favor with me, and one of which, as yet,
  I am totally ignorant. When it is known that the whole burden of
  his speeches has been to stir up men against the prosecution of
  the war, and that in the midst of resistance to it he has not been
  known in any instance to counsel against such resistance, it is
  next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counselled
  directly in favor of it.

  “With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have
  nominated Mr. Vallandigham for Governor of Ohio, and both they and
  you have declared the purpose to sustain the National Union by all
  constitutional means; but, of course, they and you, in common,
  reserve to yourselves to decide what are constitutional means, and,
  unlike the Albany meeting, you omit to state or intimate that, in
  your opinion, an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union
  against a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious
  of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object
  of destroying that very Union. At the same time, your nominee for
  Governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you, and to
  the world, to declare against the use of an army to suppress the
  rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion,
  resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those who
  incline to desert and to escape the draft, to believe it is your
  purpose to protect them, and to hope that you will become strong
  enough to do so.

  “After a personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the Committee,
  I can not say I think you desire this effect to follow your
  attitude; but I assure you that both friends and enemies of the
  Union look upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by
  consequence, a real strength to the enemy. If it is a false hope,
  and one which you would willingly dispel, I will make the way
  exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in order
  that you, or a majority of you, may, if you choose, indorse your
  names upon one of them, and return it thus indorsed to me, with
  the understanding that those signing are thereby committed to the
  following propositions, and to nothing else:

  “1. That there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object
  and tendency of which is to destroy the National Union; and that,
  in your opinion, an army and navy are constitutional means for
  suppressing that rebellion.

  “2. That no one of you will do any thing which, in his own
  judgment, will tend to hinder the increase, or favor the decrease,
  or lessen the efficiency of the Army and Navy, while engaged in the
  effort to suppress that rebellion; and--

  “3. That each of you will, in his sphere, do all he can to have the
  officers, soldiers, and seamen of the Army and Navy, while engaged
  in the effort to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and
  otherwise well provided and supported.

  “And with the further understanding that upon receiving the letter
  and names thus indorsed, I will cause them to be published, which
  publication shall be, within itself, a revocation of the order in
  relation to Mr. Vallandigham.

  “It will not escape observation that I consent to the release of
  Mr. Vallandigham upon terms not embracing any pledge from him or
  from others as to what he will or will not do. I do this because
  he is not present to speak for himself, or to authorize others to
  speak for him; and hence I shall expect that on returning he would
  not put himself practically in antagonism with the position of his
  friends. But I do it chiefly because I thereby prevail on other
  influential gentlemen of Ohio to so define their position as to be
  of immense value to the army--thus more than compensating for the
  consequences of any mistake in allowing Mr. Vallandigham to return,
  so that, on the whole, the public safety will not have suffered by
  it. Still, in regard to Mr. Vallandigham and all others, I must
  hereafter, as heretofore, do so much as the public service may seem
  to require.

  “I have the honor to be respectfully, yours, etc.,




  Speech at Washington--Letter to General Grant--Thanksgiving
  Proclamation--Letter concerning the Emancipation Proclamation--
  Proclamation for Annual Thanksgiving--Dedicatory Speech at

On the evening of the 4th of July, 1863, having been serenaded by many
of the citizens of Washington, jubilant over the defeat of the rebels
at Gettysburg, the President acknowledged the compliment thus:

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I am very glad indeed to see you to-night,
  and yet I will not say I thank you for this call; but I do most
  sincerely thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have
  called. How long ago is it--eighty odd years--since, on the 4th of
  July, for the first time in the history of the world, a nation,
  by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident
  truth, ‘that all men are created equal?’ That was the birthday
  of the United States of America. Since then, the 4th of July
  has had several very peculiar recognitions. The two men most
  distinguished in the framing and support of the Declaration, were
  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams--the one having penned it, and the
  other sustained it the most forcibly in debate--the only two, of
  the fifty-five who signed it, who were elected Presidents of the
  United States. Precisely fifty years after they put their hands to
  the paper, it pleased Almighty God to take both from this stage of
  action. This was indeed an extraordinary and remarkable event in
  our history. Another President, five years after, was called from
  this stage of existence on the same day and month of the year; and
  now, on this last 4th of July just passed, when we have a gigantic
  rebellion, at the bottom of which is an effort to overthrow the
  principle that all men were created equal, we have the surrender of
  a most powerful position and army on that very day. And not only
  so, but in a succession of battles in Pennsylvania, near to us,
  through three days, so rapidly fought that they might be called
  one great battle, on the 1st, 2d, and 3d of the month of July, and
  on the 4th the cohorts of those who opposed the declaration that
  all men are created equal, ‘turned tail’ and run. Gentlemen, this
  is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech; but I am not
  prepared to make one worthy of the occasion. I would like to speak
  in terms of praise due to the many brave officers and soldiers
  who have fought in the cause of the Union and liberties of their
  country from the beginning of the war. These are trying occasions,
  not only in success, but for the want of success. I dislike to
  mention the name of one single officer, lest I might do wrong to
  those I might forget. Recent events bring up glorious names, and
  particularly prominent ones; but these I will not mention. Having
  said this much, I will now take the music.”

The following letter, addressed to General Grant after the capture of
Vicksburg, gives an insight into the transparent candor and frankness
of the President.

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, July 13th, 1863.

  “MAJOR-GENERAL U. S. GRANT--_My Dear General_: I do not remember
  that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful
  acknowledgment of the almost inestimable service you have done the
  country. I write to say a word further. When you first reached the
  vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally
  did--march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the
  transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except
  a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass
  expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below, and
  took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should
  go down the river and join General Banks, and when you turned
  northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now
  wish to make the personal acknowledgment, that you were right and I
  was wrong.

    “Yours, truly,
    “A. LINCOLN.”

The following was issued in commemoration of the victories at
Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Gettysburg:

  PROCLAMATION.--It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the
  supplications and prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe
  to the Army and Navy of the United States, on the land and on the
  sea, victories so signal and so effective as to furnish reasonable
  grounds for augmented confidence that the Union of these States
  will be maintained, their Constitution preserved, and their peace
  and prosperity permanently secured; but these victories have
  been accorded, not without sacrifice of life, limb, and liberty,
  incurred by brave, patriotic, and loyal citizens. Domestic
  affliction, in every part of the country, follows in the train of
  these fearful bereavements. It is meet and right to recognize and
  confess the presence of the Almighty Father, and the power of his
  hand equally in these triumphs and these sorrows.

  “Now, therefore, be it known, that I do set apart Thursday, the
  6th day of August next, to be observed as a day for National
  Thanksgiving, praise, and prayer; and I invite the people of the
  United States to assemble on that occasion in their customary
  places of worship, and in the form approved by their own
  consciences, render the homage due to the Divine Majesty, for the
  wonderful things he has done in the Nation’s behalf, and invoke
  the influence of his Holy Spirit, to subdue the anger which has
  produced, and so long sustained, a needless and cruel rebellion; to
  change the hearts of the insurgents; to guide the counsels of the
  Government with wisdom adequate to so great a National emergency,
  and to visit with tender care, and consolation, throughout the
  length and breadth of our land, all those who, through the
  vicissitudes of marches, voyages, battles, and sieges, have been
  brought to suffer in mind, body, or estate; and finally, to lead
  the whole nation through paths of repentance and submission to the
  Divine will, back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this fifteenth day of July, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of
  the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The following letter, written in August, 1863, in answer to an
invitation to attend a meeting of unconditional Union men held in
Illinois, gives at length the President’s views at that time on his
Emancipation proclamation:

    “EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, August 26th, 1863.

  “MY DEAR SIR:--Your letter inviting me to attend a mass meeting of
  unconditional Union men, to be held at the capital of Illinois
  on the third day of September, has been received. It would be
  very agreeable to me thus to meet my old friends at my own home;
  but I cannot just now be absent from this city so long as a
  visit there would require. The meeting is to be of all those who
  maintain unconditional devotion to the Union; and I am sure that
  my old political friends will thank me for tendering, as I do,
  the nation’s gratitude to those other noble men whom no partisan
  malice or partisan hope can make false to the nation’s life. There
  are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say:--You
  desire peace, and you blame me that we do not have it. But how
  can we attain it? There are but three conceivable ways:--First,
  to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. This I am trying to
  do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed. If you are
  not for it, a second way is to give up the Union. I am against
  this. If you are, you should say so, plainly. If you are not for
  force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable
  compromise. I do not believe that any compromise embracing the
  maintenance of the Union is now possible. All that I learn leads
  to a directly opposite belief. The strength of the rebellion is
  its military--its army. That army dominates all the country and
  all the people within its range. Any offer of any terms made by
  any man or men within that range in opposition to that army is
  simply nothing for the present, because such man or men have no
  power whatever to enforce their side of a compromise, if one were
  made with them. To illustrate: Suppose refugees from the South and
  peace men of the North get together in convention, and frame and
  proclaim a compromise embracing the restoration of the Union. In
  what way can that compromise be used to keep General Lee’s army out
  of Pennsylvania? General Meade’s army can keep Lee’s army out of
  Pennsylvania, and I think can ultimately drive it out of existence.
  But no paper compromise to which the controllers of General Lee’s
  army are not agreed, can at all affect that army. In an effort at
  such compromise we would waste time which the enemy would improve
  to our disadvantage, and that would be all. A compromise, to be
  effective, must be made either with those who control the rebel
  army, or with the people, first liberated from the domination of
  that army by the success of our army. Now, allow me to assure you
  that no word or intimation from the rebel army, or from any of
  the men controlling it, in relation to any peace compromise, has
  ever come to my knowledge or belief. All charges and intimations
  to the contrary are deceptive and groundless. And I promise you
  that if any such propositions shall hereafter come, it shall not
  be rejected and kept secret from you. I freely acknowledge myself
  to be the servant of the people, according to the bond of service,
  the United States Constitution; and that, as such, I am responsible
  to them. But, to be plain. You are dissatisfied with me about the
  negro. Quite likely there is a difference of opinion between you
  and myself upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could
  be free, while you, I suppose, do not. Yet I have neither adopted
  nor proposed any measure which is not consistent with even your
  view, provided you are for the Union. I suggested compensated
  emancipation, to which you replied that you wished not to be
  taxed to buy negroes. But I have not asked you to be taxed to buy
  negroes, except in such way as to save you from greater taxation,
  to save the Union exclusively by other means.

  “You dislike the emancipation proclamation, and perhaps would have
  it retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently.
  I think that the Constitution invests its Commander-in-chief with
  the law of war in time of war. The most that can be said, if so
  much, is, that the slaves are property. Is there, has there ever
  been, any question that by the law of war, property, both of
  enemies and friends, may be taken when needed? And is it not needed
  whenever taking it helps us or hurts the enemy? Armies, the world
  over, destroy enemies’ property when they cannot use it; and even
  destroy their own to keep it from the enemy. Civilized belligerents
  do all in their power to help themselves or hurt the enemy, except
  a few things regarded as barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions
  are the massacre of vanquished foes and non-combatants, male and
  female. But the proclamation, as law, is valid or is not valid. If
  it is not valid it needs no restriction. If it is valid it cannot
  be retracted, any more than the dead can be brought to life. Some
  of you profess to think that its retraction would operate favorably
  for the Union. Why better after the retraction than before the
  issue? There was more than a year and a half of trial to suppress
  the rebellion before the proclamation was issued, the last one
  hundred days of which passed under an explicit notice, that it
  was coming unless averted by those in revolt returning to their
  allegiance. The war has certainly progressed as favorably for us
  since the issue of the proclamation as before. I know as fully as
  one can know the opinions of others, that some of the commanders
  of our armies in the field, who have given us our most important
  victories, believe the emancipation policy and the aid of colored
  troops constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt to the rebellion,
  and that at least one of those important successes could not have
  been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers. Among
  the commanders holding these views are some who have never had
  any affinity with what is called abolitionism or with ‘republican
  party politics,’ but who hold them purely as military opinions.
  I submit their opinions as being entitled to some weight against
  the objections often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks
  are unwise as military measures, and were not adopted as such in
  good faith. You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some
  of them seem to be willing to fight for you--but no matter. Fight
  you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation
  on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall
  have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to
  continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare
  that you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that in your
  struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should
  cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy
  in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought
  that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just
  so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does
  it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act
  upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us if we will do
  nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us they must be
  prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And
  the promise being made, must be kept. The signs look better. The
  Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great
  North-west for it. Nor yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up
  they met New England, Empire, Keystone, and Jersey, hewing their
  way right and left. The Sunny South, too, in more colors than one,
  also lent a hand. On the spot, their part of the history was jotted
  down in black and white. The joy was a great national one, and let
  none be banned who bore an honorable part in it; and, while those
  who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is
  not all. It is hard to say that any thing has been more bravely
  and better done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro’, Gettysburg, and
  on many fields of less note. Nor must Uncle Sam’s web feet be
  forgotten. At all the waters’ margins they have been present--not
  only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also
  up the narrow, muddy bayou; and wherever the ground was a little
  damp they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all. For the
  great Republic--for the principles by which it lives and keeps
  alive--for man’s vast future--thanks to all. Peace does not appear
  so far distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to
  stay: and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time.
  It will then have been proved that among freemen there can be no
  successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who
  take such appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the cost.
  And then there will be some black men who can remember that, with
  silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and well poised
  bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation;
  while I fear that there will be some white men unable to forget
  that with malignant heart and deceitful speech they have striven
  to hinder it. Still let us not be over sanguine of a speedy final
  triumph. Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means,
  never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us
  the rightful result.

    “Yours very truly,      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

Desirous of inaugurating the custom of setting apart each year a common
day throughout the land for thanksgiving and prayer, Mr. Lincoln issued
the following:

  PROCLAMATION:--The year that is drawing towards its close has been
  filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.
  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are
  prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been
  added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not
  fail to even penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually
  insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the
  midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which
  has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of
  foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order
  has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and
  harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military
  conflict. While that theatre has been greatly contracted by the
  advancing armies and navies of the Union, the needful diversion of
  wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the
  national defence, has not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the
  ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and
  the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals,
  have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has
  steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made
  in the camp, the siege, and the battle-field; and the country,
  rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is
  permitted to expect a continuance of years, with a large increase
  of freedom. No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand
  worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the
  Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins,
  hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

  “It hath seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly,
  devoutly, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and
  voice, by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my
  fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those
  who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to
  set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day
  of thanksgiving and prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth
  in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up
  the ascriptions justly due to him for such signal deliverances and
  blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our National
  perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all
  those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers, in
  the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged,
  and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to
  heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may
  be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of
  peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this, the third day of October,
  in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,
  and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

On the 19th of November, 1863, President Lincoln delivered the
following dedicatory address upon the occasion of consecrating a
National Cemetery at Gettysburg, for the secure rest of those brave men
who yielded up their lives in behalf of their country during the three
days’ battle at that place:

  “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this
  continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the
  proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in
  a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so
  conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great
  battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it
  as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that
  that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we
  should do this.

  “But in a larger sense we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate,
  we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who
  struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or
  detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say
  here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us,
  the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work
  that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us
  to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that
  from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for
  which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we
  here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that
  the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that
  the government of the people, by the people, and for the people,
  shall not perish from the earth.”



  Organization of the House--Different Opinions as to
  Reconstruction--Provisions for Pardon of Rebels--President’s
  Proclamation of Pardon--Annual Message--Explanatory Proclamation.

Upon the assembling of the Thirty-eighth Congress, December 7th,
1863--that Congress, in the lower branch of which the Opposition had
counted upon a majority--the supporters of the Government found no
difficulty in electing their candidates for Speaker by a majority of
twenty, nor a radical anti-slavery man as Chaplain, albeit against the
latter was offered as candidate an Episcopalian Bishop, nameless here,
who had had the effrontery since the outbreak of the war to appear
before the public as a defender of the institution upon Christian

With the success of our arms--movements toward an organization of the
local governments in the States of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas
being in progress--the difficult question as to the principles upon
which such reorganization should be effected presented itself for

Some took the ground that, by virtue of their rebellion, the disloyal
States had lapsed into mere territorial organizations, and should
remain in that condition until again admitted into the Union.

Others contended that this would be, in effect, to recognise
secession, and maintained that, whatever might have been the acts of
the inhabitants of any State, the State as such still constituted an
integral member of the Union, entitled to all privileges as such,
whenever a sufficient number of loyal citizens chose to exercise the
right of suffrage--the General Government seeing to it, as was its
duty under the Constitution, that a republican form was guarantied. As
to what number of loyal inhabitants should suffice, opinions differed.

Congress had provided, by an act approved July 17, 1862:

That the President is hereby authorized, at any time hereafter, by
proclamation, to extend to persons who may have participated in the
existing rebellion in any State or part thereof, pardon and amnesty,
with such exceptions, and at such time, and on such conditions, as he
may deem expedient for the public welfare.

In accordance with this authority, the following proclamation was
issued by Mr. Lincoln, by which it appeared he held himself pledged,
before the world and to the persons immediately affected by it, to
make an adherence to the policy of emancipation, inaugurated by him, a
condition precedent to any act of clemency to be exercised by himself:

  “WHEREAS, In and by the Constitution of the United States, it is
  provided that the President ‘shall have power to grant reprieves
  and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases
  of impeachment;’ and whereas, a rebellion now exists whereby the
  loyal State Governments of several States have for a long time
  been subverted, and many persons have committed and are now guilty
  of treason against the United States; and whereas, with reference
  to said rebellion and treason, laws have been enacted by Congress
  declaring forfeitures and confiscation of property and liberation
  of slaves, all upon terms and conditions therein stated; and also
  declaring that the President was thereby authorized at any time
  thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons who may have
  participated in the existing rebellion, in any State or part
  thereof, pardon and amnesty, with such exceptions and at such times
  and on such conditions as he may deem expedient for the public
  welfare; and whereas, the Congressional declaration for limited
  and conditional pardon accords with well-established judicial
  exposition of the pardoning power; and whereas, with reference
  to said rebellion, the President of the United States has issued
  several proclamations, with provisions in regard to the liberation
  of slaves; and whereas, it is now desired by some persons
  heretofore engaged in said rebellion, to resume their allegiance
  to the United States, and to reinaugurate loyal State Governments
  within and for their respective States; therefore,

  “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do proclaim,
  declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly or by
  implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as
  hereinafter excepted, that a full pardon is hereby granted to them
  and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property,
  except as to slaves, and in property cases where rights of third
  parties shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every
  such person shall take and subscribe an oath, and thenceforward
  keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be
  registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor
  and effect following, to wit:

  “‘I, ---- ----, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God,
  that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect and defend
  the Constitution of the United States, and the Union of the
  States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and
  faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing
  rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not
  repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of
  the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and
  faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during
  the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so
  far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme
  Court. So help me God.’

  “The persons excepted from the benefits of the foregoing
  provisions are all who are, or shall have been, civil or diplomatic
  officers or agents of the so-called Confederate Government; all
  who have left judicial stations under the United States to aid
  the rebellion; all who are, or shall have been, military or naval
  officers of the said so-called Confederate Government, above the
  rank of colonel in the army, or of lieutenant in the navy; all who
  left seats in the United States Congress to aid the rebellion; all
  who resigned commissions in the Army or Navy of the United States,
  and afterward aided the rebellion; and all who have engaged in
  any way in treating colored persons, or white persons in charge
  of such, otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war, and which
  persons may have been found in the United States service as
  soldiers, seamen, or in any other capacity.

  “And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that whenever,
  in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
  Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North
  Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one-tenth in number
  of the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election of
  the year of our Lord 1860, each having taken the oath aforesaid,
  and not having since violated it, and being a qualified voter
  by the election law of the State existing immediately before
  the so-called act of secession, and excluding all others, shall
  re-establish a State Government which shall be republican, and in
  nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true
  Government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder
  the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that
  ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union
  a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them
  against invasion; and on application of the Legislature, or the
  Executive, (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against
  domestic violence.’

  “And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that any
  provision which may be adopted by such State Government in
  relation to the freed people of such State, which shall recognize
  and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education,
  and which may yet be consistent, as a temporary arrangement, with
  their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless
  class, will not be objected to by the National Executive. And it
  is suggested as not improper, that, in constructing a loyal State
  Government in any State, the name of the State, the boundary,
  the subdivisions, the Constitution, and the general code of
  laws, as before the rebellion, be maintained, subject only to
  the modifications made necessary by the conditions hereinbefore
  stated, and such others, if any, not contravening said conditions,
  and which may be deemed expedient by those framing the new State

  “To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this
  proclamation, so far as it relates to State Governments, has no
  reference to States wherein loyal State Governments have all the
  while been maintained. And for the same reason, it may be proper to
  further say that whether members sent to Congress from any State
  shall be admitted to seats constitutionally, rests exclusively with
  the respective Houses, and not to any extent with the Executive.
  And still further, that this proclamation is intended to present
  the people of the States wherein the National authority has been
  suspended, and loyal State Governments have been subverted, a mode
  in and by which the National authority and loyal State Governments
  may be re-established within said States, or in any of them; and,
  while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest,
  with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no
  other possible mode would be acceptable.

  “Given under my hand at the city of Washington, the eighth day of
  December, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States
  of America the eighty-eighth.


The Annual Message sent in to Congress on the 9th day of December,
omitting matters of but temporary interest--is as follows:

  REPRESENTATIVES:--Another year of health and sufficiently abundant
  harvests, has passed. For these, and especially for the improved
  condition of our National affairs, our renewed and profoundest
  gratitude to God is due.

  “We remain in peace and friendship with foreign powers.

  “The efforts of disloyal citizens of the United States to involve
  us in foreign wars, to aid an inexcusable insurrection, have been
  unavailing. Her Britannic Majesty’s Government, as was justly
  expected, have exercised their authority to prevent the departure
  of new hostile expeditions from British ports. The Emperor
  of France has, by a like proceeding, promptly vindicated the
  neutrality which he proclaimed at the beginning of the contest.
  Questions of great intricacy and importance have arisen, out of the
  blockade and other belligerent operations, between the Government
  and several of the maritime powers, but they have been discussed,
  and, as far as was possible, accommodated in a spirit of frankness,
  justice, and mutual good will. It is especially gratifying that
  our prize courts, by the impartiality of their adjudications, have
  commanded the respect and confidence of maritime powers.

  “The supplementary treaty between the United States and Great
  Britain for the suppression of the African slave-trade, made on
  the 17th of February last, has been duly ratified, and carried
  into execution. It is believed that, so far as American ports and
  American citizens are concerned, that inhuman and odious traffic
  has been brought to an end....

  “Incidents occurring in the progress of our civil war have forced
  upon my attention the uncertain state of international questions
  touching the rights of foreigners in this country and of United
  States citizens abroad. In regard to some Governments, these
  rights are at least partially defined by treaties. In no instance,
  however, is it expressly stipulated that, in the event of civil
  law, a foreigner residing in this country, within the lines of the
  insurgents, is to be exempted from the rule which classes him as a
  belligerent, in whose behalf the Government of his country can not
  expect any privileges or immunities distinct from that character.
  I regret to say, however, that such claims have been put forward,
  and, in some instances, in behalf of foreigners who have lived in
  the United States the greater part of their lives.

  “There is reason to believe that many persons born in foreign
  countries, who have declared their intention to become citizens,
  or who have been fully naturalized, have evaded the military duty
  required of them by denying the fact, and thereby throwing upon
  the Government the burden of proof. It has been found difficult or
  impracticable to obtain this proof, from the want of guides to the
  proper sources of information. These might be supplied by requiring
  clerks of courts, where declarations of intention may be made or
  naturalizations effected, to send, periodically, lists of the names
  of the persons naturalized, or declaring their intention to become
  citizens, to the Secretary of the Interior, in whose Department
  those names might be arranged and printed for general information.

  “There is also reason to believe that foreigners frequently
  become citizens of the United States for the sole purpose of
  evading duties imposed by the laws of their native countries, to
  which, on becoming naturalized here, they at once repair, and,
  though never returning to the United States, they still claim the
  interposition of this Government as citizens. Many altercations
  and great prejudices have heretofore arisen out of this abuse. It
  is, therefore, submitted to your serious consideration. It might
  be advisable to fix a limit, beyond which no citizen of the
  United States residing abroad may claim the interposition of his

  “The right of suffrage has often been assumed and exercised
  by aliens, under pretences of naturalization, which they have
  disavowed when drafted into the military service. I submit the
  expediency of such an amendment of the law as will make the fact
  of voting an estoppel against any plea of exemption from military
  service, or other civil obligation, on the ground of alienage....

  “The condition of the several organized Territories is generally
  satisfactory, although Indian disturbances in New Mexico have
  not been entirely suppressed. The mineral resources of Colorado,
  Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona, are proving far richer than
  has been heretofore understood. I lay before you a communication
  on this subject from the Governor of New Mexico. I again submit
  to your consideration the expediency of establishing a system for
  the encouragement of immigration. Although this source of national
  wealth and strength is again flowing with greater freedom than for
  several years before the insurrection occurred, there is still a
  great deficiency of laborers in every field of industry, especially
  in agriculture and in our mines, as well of iron and coal as of the
  precious metals. While the demand for labor is thus increased here,
  tens of thousands of persons, destitute of remunerative occupation,
  are thronging our foreign consulates, and offering to emigrate to
  the United States if essential, but very cheap, assistance can be
  afforded them. It is easy to see that, under the sharp discipline
  of civil war, the nation is beginning a new life. This noble effort
  demands the aid, and ought to receive the attention and support, of
  the Government.

  “Injuries, unforeseen by the Government and unintended, may, in
  some cases, have been inflicted on the subjects or citizens of
  foreign countries, both at sea and on land, by persons in the
  service of the United States. As this Government expects redress
  from other powers when similar injuries are inflicted by persons
  in their service upon citizens of the United States, we must be
  prepared to do justice to foreigners. If the existing judicial
  tribunals are inadequate to this purpose, a special court may
  be authorized, with power to hear and decide such claims of the
  character referred to as may have arisen under treaties and
  the public law. Conventions for adjusting the claims by joint
  commission, have been proposed to some Governments, but no definite
  answer to the propositions has yet been received from any.

  “In the course of the session, I shall probably have occasion
  to request you to provide indemnification to claimants where
  decrees of restitution have been rendered, and damages awarded by
  admiralty courts, and in other cases, where this Government may be
  acknowledged to be liable in principle, and where the amount of
  that liability has been ascertained by an informal arbitration.

  “The proper officers of the Treasury have deemed themselves
  required, by the law of the United States upon the subject, to
  demand a tax upon the incomes of foreign consuls in this country.
  While such demand may not, in strictness, be in derogation of
  public law, or perhaps of any existing treaty between the United
  States and a foreign country, the expediency of so far modifying
  the act as to exempt from tax the income of such consuls as are
  not citizens of the United States, derived from the emoluments of
  their office, or from property not situated in the United States,
  is submitted to your serious consideration. I make this suggestion
  upon the ground that a comity which ought to be reciprocated
  exempts our consuls, in all other countries, from taxation to the
  extent thus indicated. The United States, I think, ought not to be
  exceptionally illiberal to international trade and commerce.

  “The operations of the Treasury during the last year have been
  successfully conducted. The enactment by Congress of a National
  Banking Law has proved a valuable support of the public credit; and
  the general legislation in relation to loans has fully answered the
  expectations of its favorers. Some amendments may be required to
  perfect existing laws; but no change in their principles or general
  scope is believed to be needed.

  “Since these measures have been in operation, all demands on
  the Treasury, including the pay of the Army and Navy, have been
  promptly met and fully satisfied. No considerable body of troops,
  it is believed, were ever more amply provided and more liberally
  and punctually paid; and it may be added that by no people were the
  burdens incident to a great war ever more cheerfully borne.

  “The receipts during the year from all sources, including loans and
  the balance in the Treasury at its commencement, were $901,125,674
  86, and the aggregate disbursements, $895,796,630 65, leaving a
  balance on the 1st of July, 1863, of $5,329,044 21. Of the receipts
  there were derived from customs, $69,059,642 40; from internal
  revenue, $37,640,787 95; from direct tax, $1,485,103 61; from
  lands, $167,617 17; from miscellaneous sources, $3,046,615 35; and
  from loans, $776,682,361 57; making the aggregate, $901,125,674
  86. Of the disbursements, there were, for the civil service,
  $23,253,922 08; for pensions and Indians, $4,216,520 79; for
  interest on public debt, $24,729,846 51; for the War Department,
  $599,298,600 83; for the Navy department, $63,211,105 27; for
  payment of funded and temporary debt, $181,086,635 07; making the
  aggregate, $895,796,630 65; and leaving the balance of $5,329,044
  21. But the payment of funded and temporary debt, having been made
  from moneys borrowed during the year, must be regarded as merely
  nominal payments, and the moneys borrowed to make them as merely
  nominal receipts; and their amount, $181,086,635 07, should
  therefore be deducted both from receipts and disbursements. This
  being done, there remain as actual receipts, $720,039,039 79; and
  the actual disbursements, $714,709,995 58, leaving the balance as
  already stated.

  “The actual receipts and disbursements for the first quarter,
  and the estimated receipts and disbursements for the remaining
  three-quarters, of the current fiscal year 1864, will be shown in
  detail by the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to which I
  invite your attention. It is sufficient to say here that it is not
  believed that actual results will exhibit a state of the finances
  less favorable to the country than the estimates of that officer
  heretofore submitted; while it is confidently expected that at the
  close of the year both disbursements and debt will be found very
  considerably less than has been anticipated.

  “The report of the Secretary of War is a document of great
  interest. It consists of--

  “1. The military operations of the year, detailed in the report of
  the General-in-Chief.

  “2. The organization of colored persons into the war service.

  “3. The exchange of prisoners, fully set forth in the letter of
  General Hitchcock.

  “4. The operations under the act for enrolling and calling out the
  National forces, detailed in the report of the Provost Marshal

  “5. The organization of the Invalid Corps; and,

  “6. The operation of the several departments of the Quartermaster
  General, Commissary General, Paymaster General, Chief of Engineers,
  Chief of Ordnance, and Surgeon General.

  “It has appeared impossible to make a valuable summary of this
  report, except such as would be too extended for this place, and
  hence I content myself by asking your careful attention to the
  report itself.

  “The duties devolving on the Naval branch of the service during
  the year, and throughout the whole of this unhappy contest, have
  been discharged with fidelity and eminent success. The extensive
  blockade has been constantly increasing in efficiency, and the Navy
  has expanded; yet on so long a line it has so far been impossible
  to entirely suppress illicit trade. From returns received at the
  Navy Department, it appears that more than one thousand vessels
  have been captured since the blockade was instituted, and that the
  value of prizes already sent in for adjudication, amounts to over
  thirteen million dollars.

  “The naval force of the United States consists, at this time, of
  five hundred and eighty-eight vessels, completed and in the course
  of completion, and of these seventy-five are iron-clad or armored
  steamers. The events of the war give an increased interest and
  importance to the Navy, which will probably extend beyond the war

  “The armored vessels in our Navy, completed and in service, or
  which are under contract and approaching completion, are believed
  to exceed in number those of any other Power. But while these
  may be relied upon for harbor defence and coast service, others,
  of greater strength and capacity, will be necessary for cruising
  purposes, and to maintain our rightful position on the ocean.

  “The change that has taken place in naval vessels and naval warfare
  since the introduction of steam as a motive power for ships-of-war,
  demands either a corresponding change in some of our existing
  navy-yards, or the establishment of new ones, for the construction
  and necessary repairs of modern naval vessels. No inconsiderable
  embarrassment, delay, and public injury have been experienced
  from the want of such Governmental establishments. The necessity
  of such a navy-yard, so furnished, at some suitable place upon
  the Atlantic seaboard, has, on repeated occasions, been brought
  to the attention of Congress by the Navy Department, and is again
  presented in the report of the Secretary which accompanies this
  communication. I think it my duty to invite your special attention
  to this subject, and also to that of establishing a yard and
  depot for naval purposes upon one of the Western rivers. A naval
  force has been created on those interior waters, and under many
  disadvantages, within little more than two years, exceeding in
  numbers the whole naval force of the country at the commencement of
  the present Administration. Satisfactory and important as have been
  the performances of the heroic men of the Navy at this interesting
  period, they are scarcely more wonderful than the success of our
  mechanics and artisans in the production of war vessels, which has
  created a new form of naval power.

  “Our country has advantages superior to any other nation in our
  resources of iron and timber, with inexhaustible quantities of fuel
  in the immediate vicinity of both, and all available and in close
  proximity to navigable waters. Without the advantage of public
  works, the resources of the nation have been developed, and its
  power displayed, in the construction of a navy of such magnitude,
  which has, at the very period of its creation, rendered signal
  service to the Union.

  “The increase of the number of seamen in the public service, from
  seven thousand five hundred men in the spring of 1861, to about
  thirty-four thousand at the present time, has been accomplished
  without special legislation or extraordinary bounties to promote
  that increase. It has been found, however, that the operation
  of the draft, with the high bounties paid for army recruits, is
  beginning to affect injuriously the naval service, and will, if not
  corrected, be likely to impair its efficiency, by detaching seamen
  from their proper vocation and inducing them to enter the army. I
  therefore respectfully suggest that Congress might aid both the
  army and naval services by a definite provision on this subject,
  which would at the same time be equitable to the communities more
  especially interested.

  “I commend to your consideration the suggestions of the Secretary
  of the Navy in regard to the policy of fostering and training
  seamen, and also the education of officers and engineers for the
  naval service. The Naval Academy is rendering signal service in
  preparing midshipmen for the highly responsible duties which in
  after-life they will be required to perform. In order that the
  country should not be deprived of the proper quota of educated
  officers for which legal provision has been made at the Naval
  School, the vacancies caused by the neglect or omission to make
  nominations from the States in insurrection have been filled by the
  Secretary of the Navy. The school is now more full and complete
  than at any former period, and in every respect entitled to the
  favorable consideration of Congress.

  “During the past fiscal year the financial condition of the Post
  Office Department has been one of increasing prosperity, and I am
  gratified in being able to state that the actual postal revenue
  has nearly equaled the entire expenditures; the latter amounting
  to $11,314,206 84, and the former to $11,163,789 59, leaving a
  deficiency of but $150,411 25. In 1860, the year immediately
  preceding the rebellion, the deficiency amounted to $5,656,705
  49, the postal receipts of that year being $2,645,722 19 less
  than those of 1863. The decrease since 1860 in the annual amount
  of transportation has been only about twenty-five per cent., but
  the annual expenditure on account of the same has been reduced
  thirty-five per cent. It is manifest, therefore, that the Post
  Office Department may become self-sustaining in a few years, even
  with the restoration of the whole service.

  “The quantity of land disposed of during the last and the first
  quarter of the present fiscal years was 3,841,549 acres, of which
  161,911 acres were sold for cash, 1,456,514 acres were taken up
  under the homestead law, and the residue disposed of under laws
  granting lands for military bounties, for railroad and other
  purposes. It also appears that the sale of public lands is largely
  on the increase.

  “It has long been a cherished opinion of some of our wisest
  statesmen that the people of the United States had a higher and
  more enduring interest in the early settlement and substantial
  cultivation of the public lands than in the amount of direct
  revenue to be derived from the sale of them. This opinion has
  had a controlling influence in shaping legislation upon the
  subject of our National domain. I may cite, as evidence of this,
  the liberal measures adopted in reference to actual settlers;
  the grants to the States of the overflowed lands within their
  limits; in order to their being reclaimed and rendered fit for
  cultivation; the grants to railway companies of alternate sections
  of land upon the contemplated lines of their roads, which, when
  completed, will so largely multiply the facilities for reaching
  our distant possessions. This policy has received its most signal
  and beneficent illustration in the recent enactment granting
  homesteads to actual settlers. Since the 1st day of January last,
  the before-mentioned quantity of 1,456,514 acres of land have
  been taken up under its provisions. This fact and the amount of
  sales furnish gratifying evidence of increasing settlement upon
  the public lands, notwithstanding the great struggle in which the
  energies of the Nation have been engaged, and which has required so
  large a withdrawal of our citizens from their accustomed pursuits.

  “The measures provided at your last session for the removal of
  certain Indian tribes, have been carried into effect. Sundry
  treaties have been negotiated which will, in due time, be submitted
  for the constitutional action of the Senate. They contain
  stipulations for extinguishing the possessory rights of the
  Indians to large and valuable tracts of lands. It is hoped that
  the effect of these treaties will result in the establishment of
  permanent friendly relations with such of these tribes as have
  been brought into frequent and bloody collision with our outlying
  settlements and emigrants. Sound policy and our imperative duty
  to these wards of the Government demand our anxious and constant
  attention to their material well-being, to their progress in the
  arts of civilization, and above all, to that moral training which,
  under the blessing of Divine Providence, will confer upon them the
  elevated and sanctifying influences, the hopes and consolations of
  the Christian faith.

  “When Congress assembled a year ago, the war had already lasted
  nearly twenty months; and there had been many conflicts on both
  land and sea, with varying results. The rebellion had been pressed
  back into reduced limits; yet the tone of public feeling and
  opinion, at home and abroad, was not satisfactory. With other
  signs, the popular elections, then just past, indicated uneasiness
  among ourselves, while, amid much that was cold and menacing,
  the kindest words coming from Europe were uttered in accents of
  pity that we were too blind to surrender a hopeless cause. Our
  commerce was suffering greatly by a few armed vessels built upon
  and furnished from foreign shores; and we were threatened with such
  additions from the same quarter as would sweep our trade from the
  sea and raise our blockade. We had failed to elicit from European
  Governments any thing hopeful upon this subject. The preliminary
  Emancipation Proclamation, issued in September, was running its
  assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the
  final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored
  men of suitable condition would be received into the war service.
  The policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers, gave
  to the future a new aspect, about which hope, and fear, and doubt
  contended in uncertain conflict. According to our political system,
  as a matter of civil administration, the General Government had
  no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State; and for a
  long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed
  without resorting to it as a military measure. It was all the while
  deemed possible that the necessity for it might come, and that,
  if it should, the crisis of the contest would then be presented.
  It came, and as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and
  doubtful days. Eleven months having now passed, we are permitted to
  take another review. The rebel borders are pressed still further
  back, and by the complete opening of the Mississippi the country
  dominated by the rebellion is divided into distinct parts, with no
  practical communication between them. Tennessee and Arkansas have
  been substantially cleared of insurgent control, and influential
  citizens in each, owners of slaves and advocates of slavery at the
  beginning of the rebellion, now declare openly for emancipation
  in their respective States. Of those States not included in the
  Emancipation Proclamation, Maryland and Missouri, neither of which,
  three years ago, would tolerate any restraint upon the extension of
  slavery into new Territories, only dispute now as to the best mode
  of removing it within their own limits.

  “Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion, full
  one hundred thousand are now in the United States military service,
  about one-half of which number actually bear arms in the ranks;
  thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the
  insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be
  filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to
  say they are not as good soldiers as any. No servile insurrection,
  or tendency to violence or cruelty, has marked the measures of
  emancipation and arming the blacks. These measures have been
  much discussed in foreign countries, and contemporary with such
  discussion the tone of public sentiment there is much improved.
  At home the same measures have been fully discussed, supported,
  criticised, and denounced, and the annual elections following are
  highly encouraging to those whose official duty it is to bear the
  country through this great trial. Thus we have the new reckoning.
  The crisis which threatened to divide the friends of the Union is

  “Looking now to the present and future, and with reference to a
  resumption of the National authority within the States wherein
  that authority has been suspended, I have thought fit to issue
  a proclamation, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. On
  examination of this proclamation it will appear, as is believed,
  that nothing is attempted beyond what is amply justified by the
  Constitution. True, the form of an oath is given, but no man is
  coerced to take it. The man is only promised a pardon in case
  he voluntarily takes the oath. The Constitution authorizes the
  Executive to grant or withhold the pardon at his own absolute
  discretion; and this includes the power to grant on terms, as is
  fully established by judicial and other authorities.

  “It is also proffered that if, in any of the States named, a
  State Government shall be, in the mode prescribed, set up, such
  Government shall be recognized and guarantied by the United
  States, and that under it the State shall, on the constitutional
  conditions, be protected against invasion and domestic violence.
  The constitutional obligation of the United States to guarantee
  to every State in the Union a republican form of government, and
  to protect the State, in the cases stated, is explicit and full.
  But why tender the benefits of this provision only to a State
  Government set up in this particular way? This section of the
  Constitution contemplates a case wherein the element within a State
  favorable to republican government, in the Union, may be too feeble
  for an opposite and hostile element external to or even within
  the State; and such are precisely the cases with which we are now

  “An attempt to guarantee and protect a revived State Government,
  constructed in whole, or in preponderating part, from the very
  element against whose hostility and violence it is to be protected,
  is simply absurd. There must be a test by which to separate the
  opposing element, so as to build only from the sound; and that test
  is a sufficiently liberal one, which accepts as sound whoever will
  make a sworn recantation of his former unsoundness.

  “But if it be proper to require, as a test of admission to the
  political body, an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the
  United States, and to the Union under it, why also to the laws and
  proclamations in regard to slavery? Those laws and proclamations
  were enacted and put forth for the purpose of aiding in the
  suppression of the rebellion. To give them their fullest effect,
  there had to be a pledge for their maintenance. In my judgment
  they have aided, and will further aid, the cause for which they
  were intended. To now abandon them would be not only to relinquish
  a lever of power, but would also be a cruel and an astounding
  breach of faith. I may add at this point that, while I remain in
  my present position, I shall not attempt to retract or modify the
  Emancipation Proclamation; nor shall I return to slavery any person
  who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the
  acts of Congress. For these and other reasons, it is thought best
  that support of these measures shall be included in the oath; and
  it is believed the Executive may lawfully claim it in return for
  pardon and restoration of forfeited rights, which he has clear
  constitutional power to withhold altogether, or grant upon the
  terms which he shall deem wisest for the public interest. It should
  be observed, also, that this part of the oath is subject to the
  modifying and abrogating power of legislation and supreme judicial

  “The proposed acquiescence of the National Executive in any
  reasonable temporary State arrangement for the freed people,
  is made with the view of possibly modifying the confusion and
  destitution which must, at best, attend all classes by a total
  revolution of labor throughout whole States. It is hoped that the
  already deeply afflicted people in those States may be somewhat
  more ready to give up the cause of their affliction, if, to this
  extent, this vital matter be left to themselves; while no power
  of the National Executive to prevent an abuse, is abridged by the

  “The suggestion in the proclamation as to maintaining the political
  framework of the States on what is called reconstruction, is made
  in the hope that it may do good without danger of harm. It will
  save labor, and avoid great confusion.

  “But why any proclamation now upon this subject? This question is
  beset with the conflicting views that the step might be delayed
  too long or be taken too soon. In some States the elements for
  resumption seem ready for action, but remain inactive, apparently
  for want of a rallying point--a plan of action. Why shall A adopt
  the plan of B, rather than B that of A? And if A and B should
  agree, how can they know but that the General Government here will
  reject their plan? By the proclamation a plan is presented which
  may be accepted by them as a rallying point, and which they are
  assured in advance will not be rejected here. This may bring them
  to act sooner than they otherwise would.

  “The objection to a premature presentation of a plan by the
  National Executive consists in the danger of committals on points
  which could be more safely left to further developments. Care has
  been taken to so shape the document as to avoid embarrassment from
  this source. Saying that, on certain terms, certain classes will be
  pardoned, with rights restored, it is not said that other classes
  or other terms will never be included. Saying that reconstruction
  will be accepted, if presented in a specific way, it is not said it
  will never be accepted in any other way.

  “The movements, by State action, for emancipation in several of
  the States, not included in the Emancipation Proclamation, are
  matters of profound congratulation. And while I do not repeat in
  detail what I have heretofore so earnestly urged upon this subject,
  my general views and feelings remain unchanged; and I trust that
  Congress will omit no fair opportunity of aiding these important
  steps to a great consummation.

  “In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose
  sight of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To
  that power alone can we look, yet for a time, to give confidence
  to the people in the contested regions that the insurgent power
  will not again overrun them. Until that confidence shall be
  established, little can be done anywhere for what is called
  reconstruction. Hence our chiefest care must still be directed to
  the Army and Navy, who have thus far borne their harder part so
  nobly and well. And it may be esteemed fortunate that in giving
  the greatest efficiency to these indispensable arms, we do also
  honorably recognize the gallant men, from commander to sentinel,
  who compose them, and, to whom, more than to others, the world must
  stand indebted for the home of freedom disenthralled, regenerated,
  enlarged, and perpetuated.

    Dec. 8, 1863.

    “Abraham Lincoln.”

On the twenty-sixth of March, 1864, the following proclamation,
explanatory of the one issued on the eighth of December, 1863, was

  “WHEREAS, It has become necessary to define the cases in which
  insurgent enemies are entitled to the benefits of the Proclamation
  of the President of the United States, which was made on the 8th
  day of December, 1863, and the manner in which they shall proceed
  to avail themselves of these benefits;

  “AND WHEREAS, The objects of that proclamation were to suppress the
  insurrection and to restore the authority of the United States;

  “AND WHEREAS, The amnesty therein proposed by the President was
  offered with reference to these objects alone;

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the said proclamation
  does not apply to the cases of persons who, at the time when they
  seek to obtain the benefits thereof, by taking the oath thereby
  prescribed, are in military, naval or civil confinement or custody,
  or under bonds or on parole of the civil, military or naval
  authorities or agents of the United States, as prisoners of war, or
  persons detained for offences of any kind, either before or after
  conviction; and that on the contrary, it does apply only to those
  persons who, being at large and free from any arrest, confinement
  or duress, shall voluntarily come forward and take the said oath,
  with the purpose of restoring peace and establishing the national

  “Prisoners excluded from the amnesty offered in the said
  proclamation may apply to the President for clemency, like
  all other offenders, and their application will receive due

  “I do further declare and proclaim that the oath prescribed in the
  aforesaid proclamation of the 8th of December, 1863, may be taken
  and subscribed to before any commanding officer, civil, military
  or naval, in the service of the United States, or any civil or
  military officer of a State or Territory not in insurrection, who,
  by the laws thereof, may be qualified for administering oaths.

  “All officers who receive such oaths are hereby authorized to
  give certificates thereon to the persons respectively by whom
  they are made, and such officers are hereby required to transmit
  the original records of such oaths at as early a day as may be
  convenient to the Department of State, where they will be deposited
  and remain in the archives of the Government.

  “The Secretary of State will keep a register thereof, and will, on
  application, in proper cases, issue certificates of such records in
  the customary form of official certificates.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of March, in
  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and
  of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”



  President’s Speech at Washington--Speech to a New York Committee--
  Speech In Baltimore--Letter to a Kentuckian--Employment of
  Colored Troops--Davis’s Threat--General Order--President’s Order
  on the Subject.

On the night of the eighteenth of March, 1864, in response to a call
from the multitude at a fair held in the Patent Office at Washington,
in aid of an organization for the relief of Union soldiers everywhere,
Mr. Lincoln spoke as follows:

  “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--I appear, to say but a word. This
  extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all
  classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it
  has been said, ‘All that a man hath will he give for his life;’
  and, while all contribute of their substance, the soldier puts his
  life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The
  highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.

  “In this extraordinary war, extraordinary developments have
  manifested themselves, such as have not been seen in former wars;
  and among these manifestations nothing has been more remarkable
  than these fairs for the relief of suffering soldiers and their
  families. And the chief agents in these fairs are the women of
  America. I am not accustomed to the use of the language of eulogy;
  I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but
  I must say, that, if all that has been said by orators and poets,
  since the creation of the world, in praise of women, were applied
  to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their
  conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the
  women of America!”

Three days later, a committee appointed by the Workingmen’s Democratic
Republican Association of New York waited on the President, and
presented him with an address informing him that he had been elected a
member of that organization. After the chairman had stated the object
of the visit, Mr. Lincoln made the following reply:

  “GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE:--The honorary membership in your
  Association so generously tendered is gratefully accepted. You
  comprehend, as your address shows, that the existing rebellion
  means more and tends to more than the perpetuation of African
  slavery--that it is, in fact, a war upon the rights of all working
  people. Partly to show that the view has not escaped my attention,
  and partly that I cannot better express myself, I read a passage
  from the message to Congress in December, 1861:

  “‘It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely,
  if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular
  government--the rights of the people. Conclusive evidence of
  this is found in the most grave and maturely considered public
  documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In
  those documents we find the abridgement of the existing right of
  suffrage, and the denial to the people of all right to participate
  in the selection of public officers, except the legislative body,
  boldly advocated with labored arguments, to prove that large
  control of the people in government is the source of all political
  evil. Monarchy is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the
  power of the people. In my present position, I could scarcely be
  justified were I to omit raising my voice against this approach of
  returning despotism.

  “‘It is not needed or fitting here that a general argument should
  be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point,
  with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which
  I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place _capital_ on
  an equal footing with, if not above, _labor_ in the structure of
  the Government. It is assumed that labor is available only in
  connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else
  owning capital somehow, by use of it, induces him to labor.

  “‘This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that
  capital shall _hire_ laborers, and thus induce them to work by
  their own consent, or _buy them_ and drive them to it without their
  consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that
  all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves.
  And, further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer
  is fixed in that condition for life. Now there is no such relation
  between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing
  as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired
  laborer. Both of these assumptions are false, and all inferences
  from them are groundless.

  “‘Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the
  fruit of labor, and never could have existed if labor had not first
  existed. Labor is the support of capital, and deserves much the
  higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy
  of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is,
  and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital
  producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole
  labor of a community exists within that relation. A few men own
  capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with that capital
  hire or buy another few to labor for them.

  “‘A large majority belong to neither class--neither work for others
  nor have others working for them. In most of the Southern States
  a majority of the whole people, of all colors, are neither slaves
  nor masters, while, in the Northern States, a large majority are
  neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families--wives, sons, and
  daughters--work for themselves on their farms, in their houses, and
  in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking
  no favors of capital on the one hand nor of hired laborers or
  slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number
  of persons mingle their own labor with capital--that is, they labor
  with their own hands and also buy or hire others to labor for them;
  but this is only a mixed and not a distinct class. No principle
  stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

  “‘Again. As has already been said, there is not of necessity any
  such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition
  for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few
  years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent,
  penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a
  surplus with which to buy tools or lands for himself, then labors
  on his own account another while, and at length hires another
  new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and
  prosperous system which opens the way to all--gives hope to all,
  and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement to all. No men
  living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from
  poverty--none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have
  not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political
  power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will
  surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as
  they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all
  of liberty shall be lost.’

  “The views then expressed remain unchanged--nor have I much to
  add. None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion
  as the working people. Let them beware of prejudices working
  disunion and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature
  of a disturbance in your city last summer, was the hanging of
  some working people by other working people. It should never be
  so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family
  relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations,
  tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property
  or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor;
  property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some
  should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is
  just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who
  is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor
  diligently and build one for himself; thus, by example, assuring
  that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”

And in Baltimore--that Baltimore through which, in February, 1861, he
had been compelled to pass by stealth, to avoid the assassin, on his
way to his inauguration--on the 18th of April, 1864, the anniversary
eve of that murder of loyal citizens armed in defence of their
imperilled country--Mr. Lincoln spoke at a similar Fair, and spoke,
too, of slavery, as of an institution practically annihilated in

Truly some advance had been made during those three years, so pregnant
with events!

  “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--Calling it to mind that we are in
  Baltimore, we cannot fail to note that the world moves. Looking
  upon the many people I see assembled here to serve as they best
  may the soldiers of the Union, it occurs to me that three years
  ago those soldiers could not pass through Baltimore. I would say,
  blessings upon the men who have wrought these changes, and the
  ladies who have assisted them. This change which has taken place in
  Baltimore, is part only of a far wider change that is taking place
  all over the country.

  “When the war commenced, three years ago, no one expected that it
  would last this long, and no one supposed that the institution of
  slavery would be materially affected by it. But here we are. The
  war is not yet ended, and slavery has been very materially affected
  or interfered with. So true is it that man proposes and God

  “The world is in want of a good definition of the word liberty. We
  all declare ourselves to be for liberty, but we do not all mean the
  same thing. Some mean that a man can do as he pleases with himself
  and his property. With others, it means that some men can do as
  they please with other men and other men’s labor. Each of these
  things are called liberty, although they are entirely different. To
  give an illustration: A shepherd drives the wolf from the throat
  of his sheep when attacked by him, and the sheep, of course,
  thanks the shepherd for the preservation of his life; but the wolf
  denounces him as despoiling the sheep of his liberty--especially if
  it be a black sheep.

  “This same difference of opinion prevails among some of the people
  of the North. But the people of Maryland have recently been doing
  something to properly define the meaning of the word, and I thank
  them from the bottom of my heart for what they have done and are

  “It is not very becoming for a President to make a speech at
  great length, but there is a painful rumor afloat in the country,
  in reference to which a few words shall be said. It is reported
  that there has been a wanton massacre of some hundreds of colored
  soldiers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, during a recent engagement
  there, and it is fit to explain some facts in relation to the
  affair. It is said by some persons that the Government is not, in
  this matter, doing its duty. At the commencement of the war, it
  was doubtful whether black men would be used as soldiers or not.
  The matter was examined into very carefully, and after mature
  deliberation, the whole matter resting as it were with himself, he,
  in his judgment, decided that they should.

  “He was responsible for the act to the American people, to a
  Christian nation, to the future historian, and above all, to his
  God, to whom he would have, one day, to render an account of
  his stewardship. He would now say that in his opinion the black
  soldier should have the same protection as the white soldier, and
  he would have it. It was an error to say that the Government was
  not acting in the matter. The Government has no direct evidence to
  confirm the reports in existence relative to this massacre, but
  he himself believed the facts in relation to it to be as stated.
  When the Government does know the facts from official sources, and
  they prove to substantiate the reports, retribution will be surely

Mr. Lincoln’s policy upon the question of slavery, is tersely presented
in the following letter written by him to a Kentuckian, dated Executive
Mansion, Washington, April 4, 1864.

    “A. G. HODGES, ESQ., Frankfort, Ky.:

  “MY DEAR SIR:--You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I
  verbally said the other day in your presence, to Governor Bramlette
  and Senator Dixon. It was about as follows:

  “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is
  wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think and feel. And
  yet, I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon
  me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and
  feeling. It was in the oath I took, that I would, to the best of
  my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
  United States. I could not take the office without taking the
  oath. Nor was it my view, that I might take an oath to get power,
  and break the oath in using the power. I understood, too, that
  in ordinary civil administration, this oath even forbade me to
  practically indulge my primary, abstract judgment, on the moral
  question of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times, and
  in many ways. And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official
  act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on

  “I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the
  Constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty
  of preserving, by every indispensable means, the Government--that
  Nation--of which that Constitution was the organic law. Was it
  possible to lose the Nation, and yet preserve the Constitution?

  “By general law, life and limb must be protected: yet often a limb
  must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given
  to save a limb. I feel that measures, otherwise unconstitutional,
  might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation
  of the Constitution, through the preservation of the Nation. Right
  or wrong, I assumed this ground and now avow it. I could not feel
  that to the best of my ability I had even tried to preserve the
  Constitution, if to save slavery or any minor matter, I should
  permit the wreck of Government, Country and Constitution, all
  together. When early in the war, Gen. Fremont attempted military
  emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then think it an
  indispensable necessity. When a little later, Gen. Cameron, then
  Secretary of War, suggested the arming of the blacks, I objected,
  because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity. When,
  still later, Gen. Hunter attempted military emancipation, I again
  forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable necessity
  had come.

  “When, in March, and May, and July, 1862, I made earnest and
  successive appeals to the Border States to favor compensated
  emancipation, I believed the indispensable necessity for military
  emancipation and arming the blacks would come, unless averted by
  that measure. They declined the proposition, and I was, in my
  best judgment, driven to the alternative of either surrendering
  the Union, and with it the Constitution, or of laying strong hand
  upon the colored element. I chose the latter. In choosing it, I
  hoped for greater gain than loss; but of this I was not entirely
  confident. More than a year of trial now shows no loss by it, in
  our foreign relations; none in our home popular sentiment; none in
  our white military force--no loss by it anyhow or anywhere. On the
  contrary, it shows a gain of quite a hundred and thirty thousand
  soldiers, seamen, and laborers. These are palpable facts, about
  which, as facts, there can be no caviling. We have the men, and we
  could not have had them without the measure.

  “And now, let any Union man who complains of the measure, test
  himself, by writing down in one line that he is for subduing the
  rebellion by force of arms, and in the next that he is for taking
  these one hundred and thirty thousand men from the Union side, and
  placing them where they would be, but for the measure he condemns.
  If he can not face his cause so stated, it is only because he can
  not face the truth.

  “I add a word, which was not in the verbal conversation. In telling
  this tale, I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim
  not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events
  have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years’ struggle, the
  Nation’s condition is not what either party or any man devised or
  expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending, seems
  plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills
  also that we of the North, as well as you of the South, shall
  pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history
  will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and
  goodness of God.

    “Yours truly,
    “A. LINCOLN.”

The results of the employment of negro soldiers--a measure which, at
the time it was first announced, caused no little commotion among
the over-sensitive in the loyal States, and was looked upon with
disfavor by many white soldiers, as well--as shown in the above letter,
precluded further arguments upon the question.

The Davis combination at Richmond, having announced that none of the
immunities recognized under the laws of war would be granted to colored
soldiers or their officers, General Orders No. 100, under date of April
24, 1863, “previously approved by the President,” promulgating general
instructions for the government of our armies, was issued, containing
the following:

  “The law of nations knows of no distinction of color; and if an
  enemy of the United States should enslave and sell any captured
  persons of their army, it would be a case for the severest
  retaliation, if not redressed upon complaint. The United States
  cannot retaliate by enslavement; therefore, death must be the
  retaliation for this crime against the law of nations.

  “All troops of the enemy known or discovered to give no quarter in
  general, or to any portion of the army, will receive none.”

The following order of the President, issued by him as
Commander-in-chief, and communicated to the entire army deals with this
subject alone:

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, July 30, 1863.

  “It is the duty of every Government to give protection to its
  citizens of whatever class, color or condition, and especially to
  those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service.
  The law of nations, and the usages and customs of war, as carried
  on by civilized powers, prohibit no distinction as to color in the
  treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave
  any captured person, on account of his color, and for no offence
  against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism, and a crime
  against the civilization of the age.

  “The Government of the United States will give the same protection
  to all its soldiers; and if the enemy shall sell or enslave any one
  because of his color, the offence shall be punished by retaliation
  upon the enemy’s prisoners in our possession.

  “It is therefore ordered, that for every soldier of the United
  States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier
  shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold
  into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the
  public works, and continued at such labor until the one shall be
  released and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.




  Lieut. Gen. Grant--His Military Record--Continued Movements--
  Correspondence with the President--Across the Rapidan--Richmond
  Invested--President’s Letter to a Grant Meeting--Meeting of
  Republican National Convention--The Platform--The Nomination--
  Mr. Lincoln’s Reply to the Committee of Notification--Remarks to
  Union League Committee--Speech at a Serenade--Speech to Ohio

In 1864, those grand military combinations were planned and had their
commencement which were to give the quietus to that gigantic rebellion,
which, as we had been gravely and repeatedly assured by patronizing
foreigners and ill-wishers of the Republic here at home, could never
be subdued--to which, they being judges, the United States would
eventually be forced to succumb.

On the 2nd of March, the President approved a bill, passed by Congress
on the 26th of February, reviving the grade of Lieutenant-General
in the Army, to which position he at once nominated, and the Senate
unanimously confirmed, Ulysses S. Grant, then Major-General.

Like the President, Gen. Grant sprang from “plain people;” arose from
humble circumstances, and had none of those advantages of birth, or
family connections, or large estate, which have so often furnished
such material leverage for men who have attained distinction. Entering
the army as Colonel of an Illinois regiment, on the point of being
disbanded, which within a month he had made noticeable for its
discipline and character, even when compared with those noteworthy
regiments which Illinois has furnished; promoted to the grade of
Brigadier-General; preventing, by the battle of Belmont--criticised
at the time, but, like many other engagements, little understood--the
reinforcement of the rebels in Southern Missouri by troops from
Columbus; seizing, with a strong force, which he had quietly gathered
near Smithland, almost at one fell swoop, Forts Henry and Donelson--a
rebel army, with artillery, and material, being captured in each;
starting the till then defiant rebels on a run from Kentucky and
Tennessee, which did not end until they reached Corinth; next fighting
the battle of Shiloh, a critical point of the war, with Sherman as
Chief Lieutenant--Shiloh, of which he said, at the close of the first
day’s fight, when every thing seemed against us, “Tough work to-day,
but we’ll beat them to-morrow;” superseded by Buell, patiently sitting
at the long, unprofitable siege of Corinth, until he was transferred
to Vicksburg, which in due time greeted him with the surrender of
another rebel army, reopening the Father of Waters to navigation; then
Chattanooga, which he ordered Thomas to hold fast, and not to give up,
if he starved--and it was not given up, and East Tennessee was freed
from rebels; these had been the prominent points of Grant’s military
career during the rebellion up to the time when he was summoned to the
command of all the armies then engaged in its suppression.

On the 9th of March, being upon official business at Washington, the
General was invited to the White House, and addressed as follows by the
President, who handed him his commission:

  “GENERAL GRANT:--The expression of the nation’s approbation of what
  you have already done, and its reliance on you for what remains
  to do in the existing great struggle, is now presented with this
  commission, constituting you Lieutenant-General of the Army of the
  United States.

  “With this high honor devolves on you an additional responsibility.
  As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain
  you. I scarcely need add, that with what I here speak for the
  country, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.”

Sherman having been left in command in the south-west, with
instructions to capture Atlanta, the vital point in Georgia, commenced
that grand series of flanking movements, which, for a time, seemed to
occasion intense satisfaction to the rebels, whose commander, Johnston,
upon all occasions had Sherman exactly where he wished him; while
Grant--taciturn, cool, and collected, with no set speeches, no flourish
of reviews--proceeded with the difficult task which he had taken in
hand--the annihilation or capture of Lee’s army, the mainstay of the
rebels’ military resources, and the occupation of Richmond.

On the 30th of April, the President addressed the following letter to
the new Commander:

  “LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:--Not expecting to see you before the
  spring campaign opens, I wish to express in this way my entire
  satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I
  understand it. The particulars of your plan I neither know, nor
  seek to know. You are vigilant and self-reliant; and pleased with
  this, I wish not to obtrude any restraints or constraints upon you.
  While I am very anxious that any great disaster or capture of our
  men in great numbers shall be avoided, I know that these points are
  less likely to escape your attention than they would be mine.

  “If there be any thing wanting which is in my power to give, do
  not fail to let me know it. And now, with a brave army and a just
  cause, may God sustain you!

    “Yours, very truly,      A. LINCOLN.”

To which the General, from Culpepper Court House, Va., on the 1st of
May, thus replied:

  “TO THE PRESIDENT:--Your very kind letter is just received. The
  confidence you express for the future and satisfaction for the
  past, in my military administration, is acknowledged with pride. It
  shall be my earnest endeavor that you and the country shall not be

  “From my first entrance into the volunteer service of the country
  to the present day, I have never had cause of complaint, have never
  expressed or implied a complaint against the Administration, or the
  Secretary of War, for throwing any embarrassment in the way of my
  vigorously prosecuting what appeared to be my duty.

  “Indeed, since the promotion which placed me in command of all the
  armies, and in view of the great responsibility and importance of
  success, I have been astonished at the readiness with which every
  thing asked for has been yielded, without even an explanation being
  asked. Should my success be less than I desire and expect, the
  least I can say is, the fault is not with you.

  “Very truly, your obedient servant,

    “U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.”

Beginning at the right end--profiting by the experience of
others--wasting no time nor strength in mere display--promptly
breaking up, as an essential preliminary, the cliques and cabals which
had so long hindered the usefulness of the Army of the Potomac--when
the Lieutenant-General was at last ready, he moved across the Rapidan,
was attacked impetuously by Lee with his whole army before he had
fairly posted his own--“Any other man,” said Mr. Lincoln, “would
have been on this side of the Rapidan after the first three days’
fighting”--still fought--moved by the left flank--fought on--prepared,
after six days very heavy work, as he telegraphed the President, “to
fight it out on that line, if it took all summer”--outgeneralled Lee
at Spottsylvania Court House--secured his position--and held it till
the contemplated movements in other quarters should place the prize he
aimed at within his grasp.

Holding his ground, undeterred by an attempted diversion, in July,
in the shape of a rebel raid toward Washington and an invasion
of Maryland--a favorite summer pastime, in those days, for the
Confederates--he bided his time, his teeth fixed, and the utmost
efforts of his wily opponent could not induce him to relax that grim
hold. Richmond papers sneered and scolded and abused--proved that he
ought to have acted entirely otherwise--asseverated that he was no
strategist, but simply a lucky blunderer, a butcher on a vast scale;
and rebel sympathizers in the North served up, in talk and print,
approved re-hashes of the same staple, and were in the highest dudgeon
that General McClellan was not recalled instanter to save the Capital
at least, if not to take Richmond. But Grant still held on--the teeth
still set--and could not be moved.

While this campaign was progressing, the President addressed the
following letter to the Committee of Arrangements of a mass meeting
in New York, which had been called as a testimonial of confidence in
General Grant, and of satisfaction that his efforts had been crowned
with so large a measure of success:

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, June 3d, 1864.

  “GENTLEMEN:--Your letter inviting me to be present at a mass
  meeting of the loyal citizens to be held at New York on the
  4th instant, for the purpose of expressing gratitude to
  Lieutenant-General Grant for his signal services, was received
  yesterday. It is impossible for me to attend. I approve,
  nevertheless, whatever may tend to strengthen and sustain General
  Grant and the noble armies now under his direction. My previous
  high estimate of General Grant has been maintained and heightened
  by what has occurred in the remarkable campaign he is now
  conducting; while the magnitude and difficulty of the task before
  him do not prove less than I expected. He and his brave soldiers
  are now in the midst of their great trial, and I trust that at your
  meeting you will so shape your good words that they may turn to men
  and guns moving to his and their support.

    “Yours truly,      A. LINCOLN.”

On the 7th of June, the Republican National Convention met at Baltimore
for the purpose of nominating candidates for the Presidency and

For some time prior to the assembling of this body, the popular
voice had pronounced decidedly in favor of the renomination of Mr.
Lincoln. State Legislatures, mass meetings, State Conventions, the
large majority of the loyal press demanded that the man, to whose
election, constitutionally effected, the rebels had refused to submit
and who, during three years of the most arduous labors, had evinced
his patriotism, his ability, and his integrity, should have the
satisfaction of seeing the work commenced by himself as President
brought to a successful completion while an incumbent of the same high

A few, however, in the ranks of the loyal and patriotic, were not
satisfied that the good work, whose consummation they so ardently and
perhaps, impatiently, desired, had been pushed forward as vigorously
and earnestly as it might have been under other auspices. A portion
of these favored the postponement of the Convention till a later day,
after the fourth of July ensuing, in the expectation that the country
would be in a better condition to judge whether, indeed, Mr. Lincoln
was the best man for the place. Another portion had already assembled
at Chicago and put in nomination, upon a platform devoted mainly to
criticisms of Mr. Lincoln’s Administration without any practical or
pertinent suggestion as to the points wherein improvement was to be
made, General Fremont for the Presidency and General Cochrane as
Vice-President. The former had therefore resigned his commission in the
army, not having been in active service for some time, and accepted the
nomination conditionally that the Baltimore Convention nominated no
other candidate than Mr. Lincoln.

This opposition, however, was more apparent than real. The general
feeling throughout the country was to support that man heartily who
should secure the nomination of the Republican Convention, waiving all
minor questions for the sake of the common weal.

On the second day, the convention adopted by acclamation the following

  “_Resolved_, That it is the highest duty of every American citizen
  to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union
  and the paramount authority of the Constitution and laws of the
  United States; and that, laying aside all differences of political
  opinion, we pledge ourselves as Union men, animated by a common
  sentiment, and aiming at a common object, to do every thing in
  our power to aid the Government in quelling by force of arms the
  rebellion now raging against its authority, and in bringing to the
  punishment due to their crimes, the rebels and traitors arrayed
  against it.

  “_Resolved_, That we approve the determination of the Government of
  the United States not to compromise with rebels, nor to offer any
  terms of peace except such as may be based upon an ‘unconditional
  surrender’ of their hostility and a return to their just allegiance
  to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that we call
  upon the Government to maintain this position and to prosecute the
  war with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression
  of the rebellion, in full reliance upon the self-sacrifice, the
  patriotism, the heroic valor, and the undying devotion of the
  American people to their country and its free institutions.

  “_Resolved_, That, as Slavery was the cause, and now constitutes
  the strength, of this rebellion, and as it must be always and
  everywhere hostile to the principles of republican government,
  justice and the national safety demand its utter and complete
  extirpation from the soil of the Republic; and that we uphold and
  maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its
  own defence, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil. We are
  in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to
  be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall
  terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the
  limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.

  “_Resolved_, That the thanks of the American people are due to the
  soldiers and sailors of the army and of the navy, who have perilled
  their lives in defence of their country, and in vindication of the
  honor of the flag; that the Nation owes to them some permanent
  recognition of their patriotism and their valor, and ample and
  permanent provision for those of their survivors who have received
  disabling and honorable wounds in the service of the country; and
  that the memories of those who have fallen in its defence shall be
  held in grateful and everlasting remembrance.

  “_Resolved_, That we approve and applaud the practical wisdom, the
  unselfish patriotism, and unswerving fidelity to the Constitution
  and the principles of American liberty, with which Abraham Lincoln
  has discharged, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, the
  great duties and responsibilities of the presidential office; that
  we approve and indorse, as demanded by the emergency, and essential
  to the preservation of the Nation, and as within the Constitution,
  the measures and acts which he has adopted to defend the Nation
  against its open and secret foes; that we approve especially the
  Proclamation of Emancipation, and the employment as Union soldiers
  of men heretofore held in Slavery; and that we have full confidence
  in his determination to carry these and all other constitutional
  measures essential to the salvation of the country into full and
  complete effect.

  “_Resolved_, That we deem it essential to the general welfare that
  harmony should prevail in the National councils, and we regard
  as worthy of public confidence and official trust those only who
  cordially indorse the principles contained in those resolutions,
  and which should characterize the administration of the Government.

  “_Resolved_, That the Government owes to all men employed in its
  armies, without regard to distinction of color, the full protection
  of the laws of war; and that any violation of these laws or of the
  usages of civilized nations in the time of war by the Rebels now in
  arms, should be made the subject of full and prompt redress.

  “_Resolved_, That the foreign immigration, which in the past has
  added so much to the wealth and development of resources and
  increase of power to this Nation, the asylum of the oppressed of
  all nations, should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and
  just policy.

  “_Resolved_, That we are in favor of the speedy construction of the
  railroad to the Pacific.

  “_Resolved_, That the national faith pledged for the redemption of
  the public debt must be kept inviolate, and that for this purpose
  we recommend economy and rigid responsibility in the public
  expenditures, and a vigorous and just system of taxation; that it
  is the duty of every loyal State to sustain the credit and promote
  the use of the national currency.

  “_Resolved_, That we approve the position taken by the Government
  that the people of the United States can never regard with
  indifference the attempt of any European power to overthrow by
  force, or to supplant by fraud the institutions of any republican
  government on the Western Continent; and that they will view with
  extreme jealousy, as menacing to the peace and independence of this
  our country the efforts of any such power to obtain new footholds
  for monarchical governments, sustained by a foreign military force
  in near proximity to the United States.”

Upon the first ballot for a candidate for President, ABRAHAM LINCOLN
received the vote of every State, except Missouri, whose delegates
voted for Gen. Grant. The nomination having, on motion of a Missourian,
been made unanimous, a scene of the wildest enthusiasm followed, the
whole convention being on their feet shouting, and the band playing
“Hail Columbia.”

For Vice-President, the following names were presented: Andrew Johnson,
of Tennessee; Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine; Gen. L. H. Rousseau, of
Kentucky; and Daniel S. Dickinson, of New York.

As the vote proceeded, it was soon apparent that ANDREW JOHNSON was to
be the nominee; and before the result was announced the various States
whose delegations had been divided, commenced changing their votes, and
went unanimously for Mr. Johnson, amid the greatest enthusiasm.

On the 9th of June, Mr. Lincoln was waited on by a committee of the
convention, and notified of his nomination by the chairman, ex-Governor
Dennison, of Ohio, who, in the course of his address, said:

  “I need not say to you, sir, that the Convention, in thus
  unanimously nominating you for re-election, but gave utterance to
  the almost universal voice of the loyal people of the country.
  To doubt of your triumphant election would be little short of
  abandoning the hope of a final suppression of the rebellion and the
  restoration of the Government over the insurgent States. Neither
  the Convention nor those represented by that body entertained any
  doubt as to the final result, under your administration, sustained
  by the loyal people, and by our noble army and gallant navy.
  Neither did the Convention, nor do this Committee doubt the speedy
  suppression of this most wicked and unprovoked rebellion.”

In reply the President said:

  conceal my gratification nor restrain the expression of my
  gratitude that the Union people, through their Convention, in the
  continued effort to save and advance the nation, have deemed me
  not unworthy to remain in my present position. I know no reason
  to doubt that I shall accept the nomination tendered; and yet,
  perhaps, I should not declare definitely before reading and
  considering what is called the platform.

  “I will say now, however, that I approve the declaration in favor
  of so amending the Constitution as to prohibit slavery throughout
  the nation. When the people in revolt, with the hundred days
  explicit notice that they could within those days resume their
  allegiance without the overthrow of their institutions, and that
  they could not resume it afterward, elected to stand out, such an
  amendment of the Constitution as is now proposed became a fitting
  and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause.

  “Such alone can meet and cover all cavils. I now perceive its
  importance, and embrace it. In the joint name of Liberty and Union
  let us labor to give it legal form and practical effect.”

On the following day, in reply to a congratulatory address from a
deputation of the National Union League, the President said:

  “GENTLEMEN:--I can only say in response to the remarks of your
  Chairman, I suppose, that I am very grateful for the renewed
  confidence which has been accorded to me, both by the Convention
  and by the National League. I am not insensible at all to the
  personal compliment there is in this; yet I do not allow myself to
  believe that any but a small portion of it is to be appropriated as
  a personal compliment to me.

  “The Convention and the Nation, I am assured, are alike animated
  by a higher view of the interests of the country for the present
  and the great future, and that part I am entitled to appropriate
  as a compliment is only that which I may lay hold of, as being the
  opinion of the Convention and the League, that I am not entirely
  unworthy to be entrusted with the place I have occupied for the
  last three years.

  “I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the
  best man in the country; but I am reminded in this connection, of
  the story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion once,
  that ‘it was not best to swop horses when crossing streams.’”

Prolonged and tumultuous laughter followed this last characteristic
remark, given with that telling force which only those who had the
privilege of meeting Mr. Lincoln in his moments of relaxation and
semi-_abandon_ can appreciate.

Having been serenaded, on the 9th, by the delegation from Ohio, he
addressed the assemblage as follows:

  “GENTLEMEN:--I am very much obliged to you for this compliment. I
  have just been saying, and will repeat it, that the hardest of all
  speeches I have to answer is a serenade. I never knew what to say
  on such occasions.

  “I suppose you have done me this kindness in connection with the
  action of the Baltimore Convention, which has recently taken place,
  and with which, of course, I am very well satisfied. What we want
  still more than Baltimore Conventions or Presidential elections, is
  success under General Grant.

  “I propose that you constantly bear in mind that the support you
  owe to the brave officers and soldiers in the field is of the very
  first importance, and we should therefore lend all our energies to
  that point.

  “Now, without detaining you any longer, I propose that you help
  me to close up what I am now saying with three rousing cheers for
  General Grant and the officers and soldiers under his command.”

And the cheers were given with a will, the President leading off and
waving his hat with as much earnestness as the most enthusiastic
individual present.

To a regiment of Ohio troops, one hundred days men, volunteers for the
emergency then upon the country, who called, on the 11th, upon Mr.
Lincoln, he spoke as follows:

  “SOLDIERS:--I understand you have just come from Ohio--come to help
  us in this the nation’s day of trial, and also of its hopes. I
  thank you for your promptness in responding to the call for troops.
  Your services were never needed more than now. I know not where you
  are going. You may stay here and take the places of those who will
  be sent to the front; or you may go there yourselves. Wherever you
  go, I know you will do your best. Again I thank you. Good-bye.”



  President’s Speech at Philadelphia--Philadelphia Fair--
  Correspondence with Committee of National Convention--Proclamation
  of Martial Law in Kentucky--Question of Reconstruction--
  President’s Proclamation on the subject--Congressional Plan.

On the 16th of June, the President was present at a Fair held in
Philadelphia in aid of that noble organization, the United States
Sanitary Commission, which was productive of so much good during
the war, placing as it did, the arrangements for the care and
comfort of our brave boys on a basis which no nation--not France,
not England, though experienced in war, and generally of admirable
promptitude in availing themselves of all facilities to its successful
prosecution--had ever before been able to secure.

On the occasion of this visit, Philadelphia witnessed one of her
largest crowds. Not less than fifteen thousand people were straining to
get a glimpse of their beloved President at one and the same moment.

After the customary hand-shaking, borne by the victim with contagious
good humor, a collation was served, at the close of which, in
acknowledgment of a toast to his health, drank with the heartiest
sincerity by all present, the President said:

  “I suppose that this toast is intended to open the way for me to
  say something. War at the best is terrible; and this of ours in its
  magnitude and duration is one of the most terrible the world has
  ever known. It has deranged business totally in many places, and
  perhaps in all.

  “It has destroyed property, destroyed life, and ruined homes.
  It has produced a national debt and a degree of taxation
  unprecedented in the history of this country. It has caused
  mourning among us until the heavens may almost be said to be hung
  in black. And yet it continues. It has had accompaniments not
  before known in the history of the world.

  “I mean the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, with their labors
  for the relief of the soldiers, and the Volunteer Refreshment
  Saloon, understood better by those who hear me than by myself.
  These Fairs, too, first began at Chicago, then held in Boston,
  Cincinnati, and other cities.

  “The motive and object which lies at the bottom of them is worthy
  of the most that we can do for the soldier who goes to fight the
  battles of his country. By the fair and tender hand of woman is
  much, very much, done for the soldier, continually reminding him of
  the care and thought of him at home. The knowledge that he is not
  forgotten is grateful to his heart.

  “And the view of these institutions is worthy of thought. They are
  voluntary contributions, giving proof that the national resources
  are not at all exhausted, and that the national patriotism will
  sustain us through all. It is a pertinent question--when is this
  war to end?

  “I do not wish to name a day when it will end, lest the end should
  not come at the given time. We accepted this war, and did not
  begin it. We accepted it for an object; and when that object is
  accomplished, the war will end; and I hope to God it will never end
  until that object is accomplished.

  “We are going through with our task, so far as I am concerned, if
  it takes us three years longer. I have not been in the habit of
  making predictions, but I am almost tempted now to hazard one. I
  will. It is that Grant is this evening in a position, with Meade
  and Hancock of Pennsylvania, where he can never be dislodged by the
  enemy until Richmond is taken.

  “If I shall discover that General Grant may be facilitated in the
  capture of Richmond by rapidly pouring to him a large number of
  armed men at the briefest notice, will you go? [Cries of ‘Yes.’]
  Will you march on with him? [Cries of ‘Yes, yes.’]

  “Then I shall call upon you when it is necessary.”

The following correspondence passed between Mr. Lincoln and the
Committee of the National Convention relative to his nomination:

    “New York, June 14, 1864.


  “SIR:--The National Union Convention, which assembled in Baltimore
  on June 7, 1864, has instructed us to inform you that you were
  nominated with enthusiastic unanimity, for the Presidency of the
  United States for four years from the 4th of March next.

  “The resolutions of the Convention, which we have already had the
  honor of placing in your hands, are a full and clear statement of
  the principles which inspired its action, and which, as we believe,
  the great body of Union men in the country heartily approve.
  Whether those resolutions express the national gratitude to our
  soldiers and sailors, or the national scorn of compromise with
  rebels, and consequent dishonor; or the patriotic duty of Union and
  success; whether they approve the Proclamation of Emancipation, the
  Constitutional amendment, the employment of former slaves as Union
  soldiers, or the solemn obligation of the Government promptly to
  redress the wrongs of every soldier of the Union, of whatever color
  or race; whether they declare the inviolability of the pledged
  faith of the nation, or offer the national hospitality to the
  oppressed of every land, or urge the union, by railroad, of the
  Atlantic and Pacific oceans; whether they recommend public economy
  and a vigorous taxation, or assert the fixed popular opposition
  to the establishment of avowed force of foreign monarchies in the
  immediate neighborhood of the United States, or declare that those
  only are worthy of official trust who approve unreservedly the
  views and policy indicated in the resolutions--they were equally
  hailed with the heartiness of profound conviction.

  “Believing with you, sir, that this is the people’s war for the
  maintenance of a government which you have justly described as ‘of
  the people, by the people, for the people,’ we are very sure that
  you will be glad to know, not only from the resolutions themselves,
  but from the singular harmony and enthusiasm with which they were
  adopted, how warm is the popular welcome of every measure in
  the prosecution of the war, which is as vigorous, unmistakable,
  and unfaltering as the National purpose itself. No right, for
  instance, is so precious and sacred to the American heart as that
  of personal liberty. Its violation is regarded with just, instant,
  and universal jealousy. Yet in this hour of peril every faithful
  citizen concedes that, for the sake of National existence and
  the common welfare, individual liberty may, as the Constitution
  provides in case of rebellion, be sometimes summarily constrained,
  asking only with painful anxiety that in every instance, and to the
  least detail, that absolutely necessary power shall not be hastily
  or unwisely exercised.

  “We believe, sir, that the honest will of the Union men of the
  country was never more truly represented than in this Convention.
  Their purpose we believe to be the overthrow of armed rebels in the
  field, and the security of permanent peace and Union by liberty
  and justice under the Constitution. That these results are to
  be achieved amid cruel perplexities, they are fully aware. That
  they are to be reached only by cordial unanimity of counsel, is
  undeniable. That good men may sometimes differ as to the means and
  the time, they know. That in the conduct of all human affairs the
  highest duty is to determine, in the angry conflict of passion,
  how much good may be practically accomplished, is their sincere
  persuasion. They have watched your official course, therefore, with
  unflagging attention; and amid the bitter taunts of eager friends
  and the fierce denunciations of enemies, now moving too fast for
  some, now too slowly for others, they have seen you throughout this
  tremendous contest patient, sagacious, faithful, just, leaning upon
  the heart of the great mass of the people, and satisfied to be
  moved by its mighty pulsation.

  “It is for this reason that, long before the Convention met, the
  popular instincts had plainly indicated you as its candidate;
  and the Convention, therefore, merely recorded the popular will.
  Your character and career proves your unswerving fidelity to
  the cardinal principles of American Liberty and of the American
  Constitution. In the name of that Liberty and Constitution, sir, we
  earnestly request your acceptance of this nomination; reverently
  commending our beloved country, and you, its Chief Magistrate, with
  all its brave sons who, on sea and land, are faithfully defending
  the good old American cause of equal rights, to the blessings of
  Almighty God, we are, sir, very respectfully, your friends and

    “WILLIAM DENNISON, _Ohio_, Chairman.

    “_And signed by the Committee._”

       *       *       *       *       *

    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, June 27th, 1863.

  “Hon. WILLIAM DENNISON and others:

    “_A Committee of the National Union Convention_:

  “GENTLEMEN:--Your letter of the 14th inst., formally notifying
  me that I had been nominated by the Convention you represent for
  the Presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th
  of March next, has been received. The nomination is gratefully
  accepted, as the Resolutions of the Convention--called the
  Platform--are heartily approved.

  “While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of Republican
  Government upon the Western Continent is fully concurred in, there
  might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of
  the Government in relation to the action of France in Mexico,
  as assumed through the State Department and endorsed by the
  Convention, among the measures and acts of the Executive, will be
  faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave
  that position pertinent and applicable.

  “I am especially gratified that the soldiers and seamen were not
  forgotten by the Convention, as they forever must and will be
  remembered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote
  their lives.

  “Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in which you
  have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the
  Convention, I subscribe myself,

  “Your obedient servant, ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”

On the 5th of July, appeared the following proclamation, ordering
martial law in Kentucky:

  “WHEREAS, By a proclamation, which was issued on the 15th day of
  April, 1861, the President of the United States announced and
  declared that the laws of the United States had been for some time
  past, and then were, opposed and the execution thereof obstructed,
  in certain States therein mentioned, by combinations too powerful
  to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or
  by the power vested in the marshals by law; and,

  “WHEREAS, Immediately after the issuing of the said proclamation,
  the land and naval force of the United States were put into
  activity to suppress the said insurrection and rebellion; and,

  “WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States, by an act approved on
  the 3d day of March, 1863, did enact that during the said rebellion
  the President of the United States, whenever in his judgment
  the public safety may require it, is authorized to suspend the
  privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_ in any case throughout
  the United States, or any part thereof; and,

  “WHEREAS, The said insurrection and rebellion still continues,
  endangering the existence of the Constitution and Government of the
  United States; and,

  “WHEREAS, The military forces of the United States are now actively
  engaged in suppressing the said insurrection and rebellion in
  various parts of the States where the said rebellion has been
  successful in obstructing the laws and public authorities,
  especially in the States of Virginia and Georgia; and,

  “WHEREAS, On the 15th day of September last, the President of the
  United States duly issued his proclamation, wherein he declared
  that the privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_ should be
  suspended throughout the United States, in cases where, by the
  authority of the President of the United States, the military,
  naval, and civil officers of the United States, or any of them,
  hold persons under their command or in their custody either as
  prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or
  officers, soldiers, or seamen, enrolled, or drafted, or mustered,
  or enlisted in, or belonging to, the land or naval forces of the
  United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable
  to military law or the rules and articles of war, or the rules
  and regulations prescribed for the military or naval service by
  authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting
  a draft, or for any other offence against the military or naval
  service; and,

  “WHEREAS, Many citizens of the State of Kentucky have joined the
  forces of the insurgents, have on several occasions entered the
  said State of Kentucky in large force, and not without aid and
  comfort furnished by disaffected and disloyal citizens of the
  United States residing therein, have not only greatly disturbed the
  public peace, but have overborne the civil authorities and made
  flagrant civil war, destroying property and life in various parts
  of the State; and,

  “WHEREAS, It has been made known to the President of the United
  States by the officers commanding the National armies, that
  combinations have been formed in the said State of Kentucky, with a
  purpose of inciting the rebel forces to renew the said operations
  of civil war within the said State, and thereby to embarrass the
  United States armies now operating in the said States of Virginia
  and Georgia, and even to endanger their safety;

  “Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United
  States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
  and laws, do hereby declare, that in my judgment the public safety
  especially requires that the suspension of the privilege of the
  writ of _habeas corpus_, so proclaimed in the said proclamation of
  the fifteenth of September, 1863, be made effectual, and be duly
  enforced in and throughout the said State of Kentucky, and that
  martial law be for the present ordered therein. I do therefore
  hereby require of the military officers in the said State that the
  privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_ be effectually suspended
  within the said State, according to the aforesaid proclamation, and
  that martial law be established therein, to take effect from the
  date of this proclamation, the said suspension and establishment of
  martial law to continue until this proclamation shall be revoked or
  modified, but not beyond the period when the said rebellion shall
  have been suppressed or come to an end. And I do hereby require
  and command as well military officers as all civil officers and
  authorities existing or found within the said State of Kentucky,
  to take notice of this proclamation and to give full effect to the
  same. The martial law herein proclaimed, and the things in that
  respect herein ordered, will not be deemed or taken to interfere
  with the holding of elections, or with the proceedings of the
  Constitutional Legislature of Kentucky, or with the administration
  of justice in the courts of law existing therein between citizens
  of the United States in suits or proceedings which do not affect
  the military operations or the constituted authorities of the
  Government of the United States.

  “In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this fifth day of July, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of
  the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The question as to what principles should be adopted in reconstructing
the rebel States, as fast as the insurrection within their limits
should be suppressed, had already, as remarked upon a former page,
presented itself as one to be met and disposed of. Congress having, at
almost the last moment of its session, passed a bill intended to meet
this case, the President issued the following proclamation, on the
9th of July, practically approving the same and accepting its spirit,
but making exception in the case of Louisiana and Arkansas, which
States had been reorganized according to the spirit and intent of a
previous proclamation, making the will of one-tenth of the voters of a
State sufficient for its return to allegiance--the bill under notice
requiring the votes of a majority:

  “WHEREAS, At the last session, Congress passed a bill to guarantee
  to certain States whose Governments have been usurped or
  overthrown, a republican form of government, a copy of which is
  hereunto annexed; and,

  “WHEREAS, The said bill was presented to the President of the
  United States for his approval, less than one hour before the _sine
  die_ adjournment of said session, and was not signed by him; and,

  “WHEREAS, The said bill contains, among other things, a plan for
  restoring the States in rebellion to the proper practical relation
  in the Union, which plan presents the sense of Congress upon that
  subject, and which plan it is now thought fit to lay before the
  people for their consideration:

  “Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United
  States, do proclaim, declare, and make known, that, while I am, as
  I was in December last, when by proclamation I propounded a plan
  for restoration, unprepared, by a formal approval of this bill,
  to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration,
  and while I am also unprepared to declare that the Free State
  Constitutions and Governments already adopted and installed in
  Arkansas and Louisiana shall be set aside and held for naught,
  thereby repelling and discouraging the loyal citizens who have set
  up the same, as to further effort, or to declare a constitutional
  competency in Congress to establish slavery in States, but am at
  the same time sincerely hoping and expecting that a constitutional
  amendment abolishing slavery throughout the nation may be adopted;
  nevertheless I am fully satisfied with the system of restoration
  contained in the bill as one very proper plan for the loyal people
  of any State choosing to adopt it, and that I am and at all times
  shall be prepared to give the Executive aid and assistance to any
  such people, so soon as the military resistance to the United
  States shall have been suppressed in any such State, and the people
  thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the
  Constitution and the laws of the United States, in which cases
  military Governors will be appointed, with directions to proceed
  according to the bill.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this eighth day of July, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of
  the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The following is the bill, a copy of which was annexed to the

  “A BILL to guarantee to certain States whose Governments have been
  overthrown or usurped, a Republican form of Government.

  “_Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
  the United States of America, in Congress assembled_, That in
  the States declared in rebellion against the United States, the
  President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,
  appoint for each a Provisional Governor, whose pay and emoluments
  shall not exceed those of a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, who
  shall be charged with the civil administration of such State, until
  a State Government therein shall be recognized as hereinafter

  “SECTION 2. _And be it further enacted_, That so soon as the
  military resistance to the United States shall have been suppressed
  in any such State, and the people thereof shall have sufficiently
  returned to their obedience to the Constitution and laws of the
  United States, the Provisional Governor shall direct the Marshal
  of the United States, as speedily as may be, to name a sufficient
  number of deputies, and to enroll all white male citizens of
  the United States, resident in the State, in their respective
  counties, and to require each one to take the oath to support
  the Constitution of the United States, and in his enrollment
  to designate those who take and those who refuse to take that
  oath, which rolls shall be forthwith returned to the Provisional
  Governor; and if the persons taking that oath shall amount to
  a majority of the persons enrolled in the State, he shall, by
  proclamation, invite the loyal people of the State to elect
  delegates to a Convention, charged to declare the will of the
  people of the State, relative to the reëstablishment of a State
  Government subject to, and in conformity with the Constitution of
  the United States.

  “SECTION 3. That the Convention shall consist of as many members
  as both Houses of the last Constitutional State Legislature,
  apportioned by the Provisional Governor among the counties,
  parishes, or districts of the State, in proportion to the white
  population returned as electors by the Marshal, in compliance with
  the provisions of this Act. The Provisional Governor shall, by
  proclamation, declare the number of delegates to be elected by each
  county, parish, or election district; name a day of election not
  less than thirty days thereafter; designate the place of voting in
  each county, parish, or election district, conforming as nearly as
  may be convenient, to the places used in the State elections next
  preceding the rebellion; appoint one or more Commissioners to hold
  the election at each place of voting, and provide an adequate force
  to keep the peace during the election.

  “SECTION 4. That the delegates shall be elected by the loyal white
  male citizens of the United States, of the age of twenty-one
  years, and resident at the time in the county, parish, or election
  district in which they shall offer to vote, and enrolled as
  aforesaid, or absent in the military service of the United States,
  and who shall take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to the
  United States in the form contained in the Act of Congress of
  July 2, 1862; and all such citizens of the United States who are
  in the military service of the United States, shall vote at the
  head-quarters of their respective commands, under such regulations
  as may be prescribed by the Provisional Governor for the taking and
  return of their votes; but no person who has held or exercised any
  office, civil or military, State or Confederate, under the rebel
  usurpation, or who has voluntarily borne arms against the United
  States, shall vote or be eligible to be elected as delegate at such

  “SECTION 5. That the said Commissioners, or either of them, shall
  hold the election in conformity with this Act, and so far as may
  be consistent therewith, shall proceed in the manner used in the
  State prior to the rebellion. The oath of allegiance shall be taken
  and subscribed on the poll-book in the form above described, but
  every person known by or proved to the Commissioners to have held
  or exercised any office, civil or military, State or Confederate,
  under the rebel usurpation, or to have voluntarily borne arms
  against the United States, shall be excluded, though he offer to
  take the oath; and in case any person who shall have borne arms
  against the United States shall offer to vote, he shall be deemed
  to have borne arms voluntarily, unless he shall prove the contrary
  by the testimony of a qualified voter. The poll-book, showing the
  name and oath of each voter, shall be returned to the Provisional
  Governor by the Commissioner of elections, or the one acting, and
  the Provisional Governor shall canvass such return, and declare the
  person having the highest number of votes elected.

  “SECTION 6. That the Provisional Governor shall, by proclamation,
  convene the delegates elected as aforesaid, at the Capital of the
  State, on a day not more than three months after the election,
  fixing at least thirty days’ notice of such day. In case the
  said Capital shall in his judgment be unfit, he shall in his
  proclamation appoint another place. He shall preside over the
  deliberations of the Convention, and administer to each delegate,
  before taking his seat in the Convention, the oath of allegiance to
  the United States in the form above prescribed.

  “SECTION 7. That the Convention shall declare, on behalf of the
  people of the State, their submission to the Constitution and laws
  of the United States, and shall adopt the following provisions,
  hereby prescribed by the United States in the execution of the
  Constitutional duty to guarantee a republican form of government to
  every State, and incorporate them in the Constitution of the State;
  that is to say:

  “_First._ No person who has held or exercised any office, civil or
  military, except offices merely ministerial, and military offices
  below the grade of Colonel, State or corporate, under the usurping
  power, shall vote for, or be a member of the Legislature, or

  “_Second._ Involuntary servitude is forever prohibited, and the
  freedom of all persons is guaranteed in said State.

  “_Third._ No debt, State or corporate, created by or under the
  sanction of the usurping power, shall be recognized or paid by the

  “SECTION 8. That when the Convention shall have adopted these
  provisions, it shall proceed to reëstablish a republican form of
  Government, and ordain a Constitution containing these provisions,
  which, when adopted, the Convention shall, by ordinance, provide
  for submitting to the people of the State entitled to vote under
  this law, at an election to be held in the manner prescribed by
  the Act for the election of delegates, but at a time and place
  named by the Convention, at which Election the said Electors, and
  none others, shall vote directly for or against such Constitution
  and form of State government; and the returns of said election
  shall be made to the Provisional Governor, who shall canvass the
  same in the presence of the electors, and if a majority of the
  votes cast shall be for the Constitution and form of government,
  he shall certify the same, with a copy thereof, to the President
  of the United States, who, after obtaining the assent of Congress
  shall, by proclamation, recognize the government so established,
  and none other, as the Constitutional Government of the State, and
  from the date of such recognition, and not before, Senators, and
  Representatives, and Electors for President and Vice-President may
  be elected in such State, according to the laws of the State and of
  the United States.

  “SECTION 9. That if the Convention shall refuse to reëstablish
  the State Government on the conditions aforesaid, the Provisional
  Governor shall declare it dissolved; but it shall be the duty
  of the President, whenever he shall have reason to believe
  that a sufficient number of the people of the State entitled
  to vote under this Act, in number not less than a majority of
  those enrolled, as aforesaid, are willing to reëstablish a State
  Government on the conditions aforesaid, to direct the Provisional
  Governor to order another election of delegates to a Convention
  for the purpose and in the manner prescribed in this Act, and
  to proceed in all respects as hereinbefore provided, either to
  dissolve the Convention, or to certify the State Government
  reëstablished by it to the President.

  “SECTION 10. That, until the United States shall have recognized
  a republican form of State Government, the Provisional Governor
  in each of said States shall see that this Act, and the laws of
  the United States, and other laws of the State in force when the
  State Government was overthrown by the rebellion, are faithfully
  executed within the State; but no law or usage whereby any person
  was heretofore held in involuntary servitude shall be recognized
  or enforced by any Court or officer in such State, and the laws
  for the trial and punishment of white persons shall extend to all
  persons, and jurors shall have the qualifications of voters under
  this law for delegates to the Convention. The President shall
  appoint such officers provided for by the laws of the State when
  its government was overthrown as he may find necessary to the civil
  administration of the State, all which officers shall be entitled
  to receive the fees and emoluments provided by the State laws for
  such officers.

  “SECTION 11. That, until the recognition of a State Government, as
  aforesaid, the Provisional Governor shall, under such regulations
  as he may prescribe, cause to be assessed, levied, and collected,
  for the year eighteen hundred and sixty-four, and every year
  thereafter, the taxes provided by the laws of such State to be
  levied during the fiscal year preceding the overthrow of the
  State Government thereof, in the manner prescribed by the laws of
  the State, as nearly as may be; and the officers appointed, as
  aforesaid, are vested with all powers of levying and collecting
  such taxes, by distress or sale, as were vested in any officers
  or tribunal of the State Government aforesaid for those purposes.
  The proceeds of such taxes shall be accounted for to the
  Provisional Governor, and be by him applied to the expenses of the
  administration of the laws in such State, subject to the direction
  of the President, and the surplus shall be deposited in the
  Treasury of the United States, to the credit of such State, to be
  paid to the State upon an appropriation therefor, to be made when
  a republican form of government shall be recognized therein by the
  United States.

  “SECTION 12. That all persons held to involuntary servitude
  or labor in the States aforesaid, are hereby emancipated and
  discharged therefrom, and they and their posterity shall be
  forever free. And if any such persons or their posterity shall
  be restrained of liberty, under pretence of any claim to such
  service or labor, the Courts of the United States shall, on _habeas
  corpus_, discharge them.

  “SECTION 13. That if any person declared free by this Act, or any
  law of the United States, or any proclamation of the President,
  be restrained of liberty, with intent to be held in or reduced to
  involuntary servitude or labor, the person convicted before a Court
  of competent jurisdiction of such Act, shall be punished by fine of
  not less than one thousand five hundred dollars, and be imprisoned
  for not less than five or more than twenty years.

  “SECTION 14. That every person who shall hereafter hold or exercise
  any office, civil or military, except offices merely ministerial,
  and military offices below the grade of Colonel, in the rebel
  service, State or Corporate, is hereby declared not to be a citizen
  of the United States.”



  Proclamation for a Fast--Speech to Soldiers--Another Speech--
  “To Whom It may Concern”--Chicago Convention--Opposition
  Embarrassed--Resolution No. 2--McClellan’s Acceptance--Capture
  of the Mobile Forts and Atlanta--Proclamation for Thanksgiving
  Remarks on Employment of Negro Soldiers--Address to Loyal

On the 7th of July the following proclamation for a National Fast

  “WHEREAS, The Senate and House of Representatives, at their last
  session, adopted a concurrent resolution which was approved on the
  third day of July instant, and which was in the words following:

  “‘That the President of the United States is requested to appoint a
  day of humiliation and prayer by the people of the United States;
  that he request his constitutional advisers at the head of the
  Executive Departments to unite with him, as Chief Magistrate of the
  Nation, at the city of Washington, and the members of Congress,
  and all magistrates, all civil, military and naval officers, all
  soldiers, sailors, and marines, with all loyal and law-abiding
  people, to convene at their usual places of worship, or wherever
  they may be, to confess and to repent of their manifold sins; to
  implore the compassion and forgiveness of the Almighty, that, if
  consistent with His will, the existing rebellion may be speedily
  suppressed, and the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the
  United States may be established throughout all the States; to
  implore Him, as the Supreme Ruler of all the world, not to destroy
  us as a people, nor suffer us to be destroyed by the hostility or
  connivance of other nations, or by obstinate adhesion to our own
  counsels, which may be in conflict with His eternal purposes, and
  to implore him to enlighten the mind of the Nation to know and
  to do his will, humbly believing that it is not in accord ever
  with his will that our place should be maintained as a wicked
  people among the family of nations; to implore him to grant to our
  armed defenders and the masses of the people that courage, power
  of resistance, and endurance necessary to secure that result;
  to implore him in his infinite goodness to soften the hearts,
  enlighten the minds, and quicken the consciences of those in
  rebellion, that they may lay down their arms and speedily return to
  their allegiance to the United States, that they may not be utterly
  destroyed, that the effusion of blood may be stayed, and that unity
  and fraternity may be restored, and peace established throughout
  all our borders.’

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, cordially concurring with the Congress of the United States
  in the penitential and pious sentiments expressed in the aforesaid
  resolution, and heartily approving of the devotional design and
  purpose thereof, do hereby appoint the first Thursday of August
  next, to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of
  National humiliation and prayer.

  “I do hereby further invite and request the heads of the Executive
  Department of this Government, together with all legislators, all
  Judges and magistrates, and all other persons exercising authority
  in the land, whether civil, military, or naval, and all soldiers,
  seamen and marines in the National service, and all other loyal
  and law-abiding people of the United States, to assemble in their
  professed places of public worship on that day, and there to render
  to the Almighty and merciful Ruler of the universe such homage
  and such confessions, and to offer him such supplications, as the
  Congress of the United States have in their aforesaid resolution so
  solemnly, so earnestly, and so reverently recommended.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington, this, the seventh day of July, in
  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and
  of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

To some Ohio volunteers, about to return home at the expiration of
their term of service, who had called upon the President to pay him
their respects, he spoke, on the 18th of August, thus:

  “SOLDIERS: You are about to return to your homes and your friends,
  after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short
  term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you and
  to all who have come forward at the call of their country.

  “I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what
  the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free
  Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every
  other man. In this great struggle, this form of government and
  every form of human rights is endangered if our enemies succeed.
  There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every
  one. There is involved in this struggle the question whether
  your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have
  enjoyed. I say this, in order to impress upon you, if you are not
  already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from
  our great purpose.

  “There may be some inequalities in the practical working of
  our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact
  proportion for the value of his property; but if we should wait,
  before collecting a tax, to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact
  proportion to every other man, we should never collect any tax at
  all. There may be mistakes made somewhere; things may be done
  wrong, which the officers of Government do all they can to prevent

  “But I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let
  your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us.
  This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any
  small matter. When you return to your homes, rise up to the height
  of a generation of men, worthy of a free government, and we will
  carry out the great work we have commenced. I return you my sincere
  thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.”

And again, on the 22d of August, under similar circumstances:

  “SOLDIERS:--I suppose you are going home to see your families and
  friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in
  which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and
  the country.

  “I almost always feel inclined, when I say any thing to soldiers,
  to impress upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of
  success in this contest. It is not merely for to-day, but for all
  time to come, that we should perpetuate for our children’s children
  that great and free Government which we have enjoyed all our lives.
  I beg you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours.
  I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living
  witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my
  father’s child has.

  “It is in order that each one of you may have, through this free
  Government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance
  for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence; that you may all
  have equal privileges in the race of life, with all its desirable
  human aspirations; it is for this that the struggle should be
  maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights--not only for one,
  but for two or three years. The nation is worth fighting for, to
  secure such an unquestionable jewel.”

During the excitement accompanying the rebel attempts upon the National
Capitol, during the month of July, heretofore noticed, representations
were made to the President that certain individuals, professing to
represent the rebel leaders, were in Canada, anxious to enter into
negotiations, with a view to the restoration of peace.

In response to this suggestion, Mr. Lincoln issued the following
paper, which was very unsatisfactory to those who affected to believe
that peace could be secured upon any basis short of the recognition
of the Southern Confederacy unless the rebels in arms were thoroughly
defeated, dated, Executive Mansion, Washington, July 18, 1864.

  “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.--Any proposition which embraces the
  restoration of peace, the integrity of the Union, and the
  abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with authority
  that can control the armies now at war against the United States,
  will be received and considered by the Executive Government of
  the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other
  substantial and collateral points, and the bearers thereof shall
  have safe conduct both ways.


This ended that attempt to divide the supporters of the Administration.

On the 29th of August, 1864, assembled at Chicago the National
Convention of the Democratic party. This had been preceded by a “Mass
Peace Convention,” at Syracuse, on the 18th of August, at which it had
been resolved, among other things, that it was the duty of the Chicago
Convention to give expression to a beneficent sentiment of peace
and to declare as the purpose of the Democratic party, if it should
recover power, to cause the desolating war to cease by the calling of a
National Convention, in which all the States should be represented in
their sovereign capacity; and that, to that end, an immediate armistice
should be declared of sufficient duration to give the States and the
people ample time and opportunity to deliberate upon and finally
conclude a form of Union.

There were two factions represented at Chicago: one, unqualifiedly in
favor of peace at any price, upon any terms, with any concessions; the
other, disposed to take every possible advantage of the mistakes of the
Administration, but not possessed of effrontery sufficient to pronounce
boldly for a cessation of hostilities in any and every event.

Thus embarrassed, what was left of the still great Democratic
party--that party which had swayed the country for so many years, and
whose disruption in 1860 was the immediate occasion of the war that
ensued--determined to do what it never before, in all its history, had
ventured upon. It essayed to ride, at one and the same time, two horses
going in diametrically opposite directions.

To conciliate whatever feeling in favor of a prosecution of the war
there might be in their ranks, without at the same time going too
far in that direction, and to secure as many soldiers’ votes as
possible, they put in nomination for the Presidency, Gen. McClellan.
To neutralize this apparent tendency toward war, they associated the
General with George H. Pendleton, of Ohio, as a candidate for the
Vice-Presidency--a man, who, during his entire Congressional career as
member of the National House of Representatives, had avowed himself and
voted as a Peace-at-any-price individual, from the very outset.

The bane and antidote having thus been blended, as only political
chemists would have attempted, the candidates were placed upon a
platform, the second resolution of which was as follows:

  “_Resolved_, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the
  sense of the American people, that, after four years of failure
  to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which under
  the pretence of a military necessity or war power higher than the
  Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every
  part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down,
  and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired,
  justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that
  immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with
  a view to an ultimate Convention of all the States, or other
  peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable moment
  peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the

This accomplished, the Convention adjourned, having provided for its
indefinite existence by empowering its chairman to reconvene it,
whenever, in his judgment, it should be thought necessary.

McClellan accepted the nomination, happy to know that when it was
made, the record of his public life was kept in view. In his letter of
acceptance, he talked all around the peace proposition, ignored the
idea of a cessation of hostilities, and went for the whole Union. The
document, though sufficiently general and indefinite to answer the
purpose, failed to satisfy the ultra-peace men of his party.

Thus, in the midst of a civil war, unparalleled in the world’s
history, the extraordinary spectacle was presented of a great people
entering with earnestness upon a political campaign, one of whose
issues--indeed, the main one--was as to the continuance of that war,
with all its hardships and burdens.

Just after the adjournment of the Chicago Convention Sherman’s
occupation of Atlanta and the capture of the forts in the harbor of
Mobile, were announced, seeming to intimate that the war had not been,
up to that time, wholly a failure. The thanks of the Nation were
tendered by the President to the officers and men connected with these
operations, national salutes ordered, and the following proclamation
issued, dated September 3d, 1864.

  “The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed
  to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the
  harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines,
  and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under
  Major-General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the
  capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment of
  the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations.

  “It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places
  of worship in the United States, thanksgiving be offered to Him
  for His mercy in preserving our national existence against the
  insurgent rebels who have been waging a cruel war against the
  Government of the United States for its overthrow, and also that
  prayer be made for Divine protection to our brave soldiers and
  their leaders in the field, who have so often and so gallantly
  perilled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessing
  and comfort from the Father of Mercies to the sick, wounded, and
  prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen
  in the service of their country, and that He will continue to
  uphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts
  of public enemies and secret foes.


Mr. Lincoln’s views relative to the employment of negroes as soldiers
were again and fully expressed about this time in a conversation with
leading gentlemen from the West. On that occasion he said:

  “The slightest knowledge of arithmetic will prove to any man that
  the rebel armies cannot be destroyed by Democratic strategy. It
  would sacrifice all the white men of the North to do it. There
  are now in the service of the United States nearly two hundred
  thousand able-bodied colored men, most of them under arms,
  defending and acquiring Union territory. The Democratic strategy
  demands that these forces be disbanded, and that the masters be
  conciliated by restoring them to slavery. The black men, who
  now assist Union prisoners to escape, are to be converted into
  our enemies, in the vain hope of gaining the good-will of their
  masters. We shall have to fight two nations instead of one.

  “You can not conciliate the South, if you guarantee to them
  ultimate success; and the experience of the present war proves
  their success is inevitable, if you fling the compulsory labor of
  millions of black men into their side of the scale. Will you give
  our enemies such military advantages as insure success, and then
  depend upon coaxing, flattery, and concession to get them back
  into the Union? Abandon all the forts now garrisoned by black men,
  take two hundred thousand men from our side and put them in the
  battle-field or corn-field against us, and we would be compelled to
  abandon the war in three weeks.

  “We have to hold territory in inclement and sickly places; where
  are the Democrats to do this? It was a free fight; and the field
  was open to the War Democrats to put down this rebellion by
  fighting against both master and slave, long before the present
  policy was inaugurated.

  “There have been men base enough to propose to me to return to
  slavery our black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win
  the respect of the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should
  deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come what will, I will
  keep my faith with friend and foe. My enemies pretend I am now
  carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition. So long
  as I am President, it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of
  restoring the Union. But no human power can subdue this rebellion
  without the use of the Emancipation policy, and every other policy
  calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion.

  “Freedom has given us two hundred thousand men raised on Southern
  soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has subtracted
  from the enemy; and, instead of checking the South, there are now
  evidences of a fraternal feeling growing up between our men and the
  rank and file of the rebel soldiers. Let my enemies prove to the
  country that the destruction of slavery is not necessary to the
  restoration of the Union. I will abide the issue.”

On the 19th of October, the President having been serenaded by the
loyal Marylanders of the District of Columbia, said:

  “I am notified that this is a compliment paid me by the loyal
  Marylanders resident in this district. I infer that the adoption of
  the new Constitution for the State furnishes the occasion, and that
  in your view the extirpation of slavery constitutes the chief merit
  of the new Constitution.

  “Most heartily do I congratulate you, and Maryland, and the Nation,
  and the world upon the event. I regret that it did not occur two
  years sooner, which, I am sure, would have saved to the nation more
  money than would have met all the private loss incident to the
  measure; but it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends
  may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it, and that
  its opponents may, by its effects, be agreeably and profitably

  “A word upon another subject: Something said by the Secretary of
  State in his recent speech at Auburn, has been construed by some
  into a threat that, if I shall be beaten at the election, I will
  between then and the end of my constitutional term do what I may
  be able to ruin the Government. Others regard the fact that the
  Chicago Convention adjourned, not _sine die_, but to meet again,
  if called to do so by a particular individual, as the ultimatum of
  a purpose that, if the nominee shall be elected, he will at once
  seize control of the Government.

  “I hope the good people will permit themselves to suffer no
  uneasiness on either point. I am struggling to maintain the
  Government, not to overthrow it. I therefore say that, if I shall
  live, I shall remain President until the fourth of March. And
  whoever shall be constitutionally elected, therefore, in November,
  shall be duly installed as President on the fourth of March; and
  that, in the interval, I shall do my utmost that whoever is to hold
  the helm for the next voyage, shall start with the best possible
  chance to save the ship.

  “This is due to our people, both on principle and under the
  Constitution. Their will, constitutionally expressed, is the
  ultimate law for all. If they should deliberately resolve to have
  immediate peace, even at the loss of their country and their
  liberties, I know not the power or the right to resist them. It is
  their own business, and they must do as they please with their own.

  “I believe, however, that they are all resolved to preserve their
  country and their liberty; and in this, in office or out of it, I
  am resolved to stand by them. I may add, that in this purpose--to
  save the country and its liberties--no class of people seem so
  nearly unanimous as the soldiers in the field and the seamen
  afloat. Do they not have the hardest of it? Who shall quail, when
  they do not? God bless the soldiers and seamen and all their brave



  Presidential Campaign of 1864--Fremont’s Withdrawal--Wade
  and Davis--Peace and War Democrats--Rebel Sympathizers--
  October Election--Result of Presidential Election--Speech to
  Pennsylvanians--Speech at a Serenade--Letter to a Soldier’s
  Mother--Opening of Congress--Last Annual Message.

The Presidential campaign of 1864, was, in several of its aspects,
an anomaly. The amount of low blackguard and slang dealt out against
the Administration, was perhaps to have been expected in a land
where personal abuse seems to have become regarded as so vital an
accompaniment of a National Election, that its absence in any exciting
canvass would give rise to grave fears that positive Constitutional
requirements had been disregarded.

Though freedom, in such instances, far too often is wrested into the
vilest abuse, it was in truth passing strange that an Administration
should be so violently assailed by its opponents as despotic and
tyrannical, when the very fact that such strictures and comments were
passed upon it, without let or hindrance, by word of mouth and on the
printed page, afforded a proof that the despotism, if such there were,
was either too mild or too weak to enforce even a decent treatment of
itself and its acts. It is safe to say, that, within the limits of
that section with which we were under any circumstances to establish
harmonious and peaceful relations, according to the requirements
of the opposition, not one speech in a hundred, not one editorial
in a thousand, would have been permitted under precisely similar

General Fremont withdrew his name shortly after the Chicago
nominations, that he might not distract and divide the friends of the
Union. In his letter of withdrawal he said:

“The policy of the Democratic party signifies either separation,
or reëstablishment, with slavery. The Chicago platform is
simply separation. General McClellan’s letter of acceptance, is
reëstablishment with slavery.... The Republican candidate, on the
contrary, is pledged to the reëstablishment of Union without slavery.”

Senator Wade and Henry Winter Davis, who had joined in a manifesto to
the people, bitterly denunciatory of the President’s course in issuing
his reconstruction proclamation, entered manfully into the canvass in
behalf of the Baltimore nominees. The ranks of the supporters of the
Government closed steadily up, and pressed on to a success, of which
they could not, with their faith in manhood and republican principles,
suffer themselves to doubt.

The Opposition were not entirely in accord. It was a delicate position
in which the full-blooded Peace Democrat found himself, obliged as
he was to endorse a man whose only claim for the nomination was
the reputation which he had made as a prominent General engaged
in prosecuting an “unnatural, unholy war.” Nor did it afford much
alleviation to his distress to remember that this candidate had been
loudly assailed in the Convention as the first mover in the matter of
arbitrary arrests, against which a sturdy outcry had long been raised
by himself and friends. It was unpleasant, moreover, not to be able
to forget that the same candidate had been the first to suggest a
draft--or “conscription,” as your true peace man would call it: that
measure so full of horrors, against which unconstitutional act such an
amount of indignation had been expended.

Nor was the situation of the War Democrat, if he were indeed honestly
and sincerely such, much better. He could not shut his eyes to the
fact, that his candidate’s military record, whatever else it might have
established, did not evince very remarkable vigor and celerity in his
movements, as compared with other Generals then and since prominently
before the public. Even had he blundered energetically, in that there
would have been some consolation. The thought, not unpleasant to the
Pendletonian, of the possibility of the General’s death during his term
of office, stirred up certain other thoughts which he would rather have

However, it must be said, that, taken as a whole, the Opposition came
up to the work more vigorously than might have been supposed, and
carried on their campaign in as blustering and defiant a style as if
victory were sure to perch upon their banners. There was the usual
amount of cheap enthusiasm, valiant betting, and an unusual amount,
many thought, of cheating--at least, the results of investigations at
Baltimore and Washington, conducted by a military tribunal, to a casual
observer appeared to squint in that direction.

Richmond papers were, for a marvel, quite unanimous in the desire
that Mr. Lincoln should not be reëlected. The rebel Vice-President
declared that the Chicago movement was “the only ray of light which
had come from the North during the war.” European sympathizers with
the rebellion, likewise, were opposed to Mr. Lincoln’s reëlection, and
their organs on the Continent and in the provinces did their best to
abuse him shockingly.

The State elections in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, occurring in
October, created much consternation in the opposition ranks--that in
the latter State particularly, which had been set down positively as
upon their side, but insisted, upon that occasion, in common with the
first two in pronouncing unequivocally in favor of the Administration

The result could no longer be doubtful. Yet the most of the supporters
of McClellan kept up their talk, whatever their thoughts may have been.

No opportunity for talk, even, was afforded when the results of the
election of November 8th became known. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew
Johnson--whom an opposition journal, with rarest refinement and
graceful courtesy, concentrating all its malignity into the intensest
sentence possible, had characterized as “a rail-splitting buffoon and
a boorish tailor, both from the backwoods, both growing up in uncouth
ignorance”--these men of the people carried every loyal State, except
Kentucky, New Jersey, and Delaware, the vote of soldiers in service
having been almost universally given to them.

Of the four million, thirty-four thousand, seven hundred and
eighty-nine votes cast, Mr. Lincoln received, according to official
returns, two million, two hundred and twenty-three thousand, and
thirty-five; a majority on the aggregate popular vote, of four hundred
and eleven thousand, two hundred and eighty-one.

The President elect by a plurality in 1860, he was reëlected in 1864 by
a majority decisive and unmistakable.

Having been serenaded early in the morning following his reëlection,
by Pennsylvanians then in Washington, he thus gave utterance to his

  “FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--Even before I had been informed
  by you that this compliment was paid me by loyal citizens of
  Pennsylvania friendly to me, I had inferred that you were of
  that portion of my countrymen who think that the best interests
  of the nation are to be subserved by the support of the present
  administration. I do not pretend to say that you, who think so,
  embrace all the patriotism and loyalty of the country; but I do
  believe, and I trust without personal interest, that the welfare
  of the country does require that such support and indorsement be
  given. I earnestly believe that the consequences of this day’s
  work if it be as you assume, and as now seems probable, will be to
  the lasting advantage if not to the very salvation of the country.
  I cannot, at this hour, say what has been the result of the
  election, but whatever it may be, I have no desire to modify this
  opinion: that all who have labored to-day in behalf of the Union
  organization, have wrought for the best interest of their country
  and the world, not only for the present, but for all future ages.
  I am thankful to God for this approval of the people; but while
  deeply grateful for this mark of their confidence in me, if I know
  my heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph.
  I do not impugn the motives of any one opposed to me. It is no
  pleasure to me to triumph over any one, but I give thanks to the
  Almighty for this evidence of the people’s resolution to stand by
  free government and the rights of humanity.”

When the result was definitely known, at a serenade given in his honor
on the night of November 10th, by the various Lincoln and Johnson Clubs
of the District, he said:

  “It has long been a grave question whether any Government, not
  too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough
  to maintain its existence in great emergencies. On this point the
  present rebellion brought our Government to a severe test, and a
  Presidential election occurring in a regular course during the
  rebellion, added not a little to the strain.

  “If the loyal people united were put to the utmost of their
  strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided and
  partially paralyzed by a political war among themselves? But
  the election was a necessity--we can not have free government
  without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego
  or postpone a national election, it must fairly claim to have
  already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is
  but human nature practically applied to the facts of the case.
  What has occurred in this case must ever recur in similar cases.
  Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial,
  compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong,
  as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us, therefore, study
  the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from; and none
  of them as wrongs to be revenged.

  “But the election, along with its incidental and undesirable
  strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people’s
  government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great
  civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this
  was a possibility. It shows also how sound and how strong we still
  are. It shows that, even among the candidates of the same party, he
  who is most devoted to the Union, and most opposed to treason, can
  receive most of the people’s votes. It shows also, to the extent
  yet known, that we have more men now than we had when the war
  began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, and patriotic
  men are better than gold.

  “But the rebellion continues; and now that the election is over,
  may not all having a common interest reunite in a common effort to
  save our common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall
  strive to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have
  been here I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man’s bosom.
  While I am duly sensible to the high compliment of a reëlection,
  and duly grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God for having directed
  my countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think, for their good,
  it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be
  disappointed by the result.

  “May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in
  this same spirit toward those who have? And now let me close by
  asking three hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen and
  their gallant and skilful commanders.”

As indicative of Mr. Lincoln’s warmth and tenderness of heart the
following letter will be read with interest. It was addressed to a poor
widow, in Boston, whose sixth son, then recently wounded, was lying in
a hospital and bears date November 21st, 1864.

  “DEAR MADAM:--I have been shown in the files of the War Department
  a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you
  are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field
  of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of
  mine, which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a
  loss so overwhelming; but I cannot refrain from tendering to you
  the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic
  they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage
  the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished
  memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be
  yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

    “Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

The Thirty-eighth Congress commenced its second session on the 5th of
December, 1864. On the following day Mr. Lincoln transmitted what was
to be his last annual message:

  the blessings of health and abundant harvests claim our profoundest
  gratitude to Almighty God.

  “The condition of our foreign affairs is reasonably satisfactory.

  “Mexico continues to be a theatre of civil war. While our political
  relations with that country have undergone no change, we have
  at the same time strictly maintained neutrality between the

  “At the request of the States of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, a
  competent engineer has been authorized to make a survey of the
  river San Juan and the port of San Juan. It is a source of
  much satisfaction that the difficulties, which for a moment
  excited some political apprehension, and caused a closing of the
  inter-oceanic transit route, have been amicably adjusted, and that
  there is a good prospect that the route will soon be re-opened with
  an increase of capacity and adaptation.

  “We could not exaggerate either the commercial or the political
  importance of that great improvement. It would be doing injustice
  to an important South American State not to acknowledge the
  directness, frankness, and cordiality with which the United
  States of Columbia has entered into intimate relation with this
  Government. A Claim Convention has been constituted to complete the
  unfinished work of the one which closed its session in 1861.

  “The new liberal Constitution of Venezuela having gone into effect
  with the universal acquiescence of the people, the Government under
  it has been recognised, and diplomatic intercourse with it has been
  opened in a cordial and friendly spirit.

  “The long-deferred Avis Island claim has been satisfactorily
  paid and discharged. Mutual payments have been made of the
  claims awarded by the late Joint Commission for the settlement
  of claims between the United States and Peru. An earnest and
  candid friendship continues to exist between the two countries;
  and such efforts as were in my power have been used to prevent
  misunderstanding, and avert a threatened war between Peru and Spain.

  “Our relations are of the most friendly nature with Chili, the
  Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, San Salvador,
  and Hayti. During the past year, no differences of any kind have
  arisen with any of these Republics. And, on the other hand, their
  sympathies with the United States are constantly expressed with
  cordiality and earnestness.

  “The claims arising from the seizure of the cargo of the brig
  Macedonian, in 1821, have been paid in full by the Government of

  “Civil war continues in the Spanish port of San Domingo, apparently
  without prospect of an early close.

  “Official correspondence has been freely opened with Liberia, and
  it gives us a pleasing view of social and political progress in
  that Republic. It may be expected to derive new vigor from American
  influence, improved by the rapid disappearance of slavery in the
  United States.

  “I solicit your authority to promise to the Republic a gunboat,
  at a moderate cost, to be reimbursed to the United States by
  instalments. Such a vessel is needed for the safety of that State
  against the native African races, and in Liberian hands it would be
  more effective in arresting the African slave-trade than a squadron
  in our own hands.

  “The possession of the least authorized naval force would stimulate
  a generous ambition in the Republic, and the confidence which we
  should manifest by furnishing it would win forbearance and favor
  toward the colony from all civilized nations. The proposed overland
  telegraph between America and Europe by the way of Behring Strait
  and Asiatic Russia, which was sanctioned by Congress at the last
  session, has been undertaken under very favorable circumstances by
  an association of American citizens, with the cordial good will and
  support as well of this Government as of those of Great Britain and

  “Assurances have been received from most of the South American
  States of their high appreciation of the enterprise and their
  readiness to coöperate in constructing lines tributary to that
  world-encircling communication.

  “I learn with much satisfaction that the noble design of a
  telegraphic communication between the eastern coast of America and
  Great Britain has been renewed with full expectation of its early

  “Thus it is hoped that with the return of domestic peace the
  country will be able to resume with energy and advantage her former
  high career of commerce and civilization. Our very popular and
  able representative in Egypt died in April last.

  “An unpleasant altercation which arose between the temporary
  incumbent and the Government of the Pacha, resulted in a suspension
  of intercourse. The evil was promptly corrected on the arrival
  of the successor in the consulate, and our relations with Egypt
  as well as our relations with the Barbary Powers, are entirely

  “The rebellion which has so long been flagrant in China, has at
  last been suppressed with the coöperating good offices of this
  Government and of the other Western Commercial States. The judicial
  consular establishment has become very difficult and onerous, and
  it will need legislative requisition to adapt it to the extension
  of our commerce, and to the more intimate intercourse which has
  been instituted with the Government and people of that vast empire.

  “China seems to be accepting with hearty good-will the conventional
  laws which regulate commerce and social intercourse among the
  Western nations.

  “Owing to the peculiar situation of Japan, and the anomalous form
  of its Government, the action of that Empire in performing treaty
  stipulations is inconsistent and capricious. Nevertheless good
  progress has been effected by the Western Powers, moving with
  enlightened concert. Our own pecuniary claims have been allowed, or
  put in course of settlement, and the Inland Sea has been reopened
  to Commerce.

  “There is reason also to believe that these proceedings have
  increased rather than diminished the friendship of Japan toward the
  United States.

  “The ports of Norfolk, Fernandino, and Pensacola have been opened
  by proclamation.

  “It is hoped that foreign merchants will now consider whether it
  is not safer and more profitable to themselves as well as just to
  the United States, to resort to these and other open ports, than it
  is to pursue, through many hazards and at vast cost, a contraband
  trade with other ports which are closed, if not by actual military
  operations, at least by a lawful and effective blockade.

  “For myself, I have no doubt of the power and duty of the
  Executive, under the laws of nations, to exclude enemies of the
  human race from an asylum in the United States. If Congress should
  think that proceedings in such cases lack the authority of law, or
  ought to be further regulated by it, I recommend that provision
  be made for effectually preventing foreign slave-traders from
  acquiring domicil and facilities for their criminal occupation in
  our country.

  “It is possible that if this were a new and open question, the
  maritime powers, with the light they now enjoy, would not concede
  the privileges of a naval belligerent to the insurgents of the
  United States, destitute as they are and always have been, equally
  of ships, and of ports and harbors.

  “Disloyal enemies have been neither less assiduous nor more
  successful during the last year than they were before that time,
  in their efforts, under favor of that privilege, to embroil our
  country in foreign wars. The desire and determination of the
  maritime States to defeat that design are believed to be as sincere
  as, and cannot be more earnest than our own.

  “Nevertheless, unforseen political difficulties have arisen,
  especially in Brazilian and British ports, and on the Northern
  boundary of the United States, which have required and are likely
  to continue to require the practice of constant vigilance, and a
  just and conciliatory spirit on the part of the United States,
  as well as of the nations concerned and their Governments.
  Commissioners have been appointed under the treaty with Great
  Britain, in the adjustment of the claims of the Hudson’s Bay
  and Puget Sound Agricultural Companies in Oregon, and are now
  proceeding to the execution of the trust assigned to them.

  “In view of the insecurity of life in the region adjacent to the
  Canadian border by recent assaults and depredations committed by
  inimical and desperate persons who are harbored there, it has
  been thought proper to give notice that after the expiration of
  six months, the period conditionally stipulated in the existing
  arrangements with Great Britain, the United States must hold
  themselves at liberty to increase their naval armament upon the
  lakes, if they shall find that proceeding necessary.

  “The condition of the Border will necessarily come into
  consideration in connection with the continuing or modifying the
  rights of transit from Canada through the United States, as well
  as the regulation of imposts, which were temporarily established
  by the Reciprocity Treaty of the 5th of June, 1864. I desire,
  however, to be understood while making this statement that the
  Colonial authorities are not deemed to be intentionally unjust or
  unfriendly toward the United States; but, on the contrary, there
  is every reason to expect that, with the approval of the Imperial
  Government, they will take the necessary measures to prevent new
  incursions across the border.

  “The act passed at the last session for the encouragement of
  immigration has, as far as was possible, been put into operation.

  “It seems to need an amendment which will enable the officers
  of the Government to prevent the practice of frauds against the
  immigrants while on their way and on their arrival in the ports,
  so as to secure them here a free choice of avocations and place of

  “A liberal disposition toward this great National policy is
  manifested by most of the European States, and ought to be
  reciprocated on our part by giving the immigrants effective
  National protection. I regard our immigrants as one of the
  principal replenishing streams which are appointed by Providence
  to repair the ravages of internal war, and its wastes of National
  strength and health.

  “All that is necessary is, to secure the flow of that stream in its
  present fullness, and to that end, the Government must, in every
  way, make it manifest that it neither needs nor designs to impose
  involuntary military service upon those who come from other lands
  to cast their lot in our country.

  “The financial affairs of the Government have been successfully
  administered. During the last year the legislation of the last
  session of Congress has beneficially affected the revenue,
  although sufficient time has not yet elapsed to experience the
  full effect of several of the provisions of the act of Congress
  imposing increased taxation. The receipts during the year, from all
  sources, upon the basis of warrants signed by the Secretary of the
  Treasury, including loans and the balance in the Treasury on the
  first day of July, 1863, were $1,394,796,007 62, and the aggregate
  disbursements, upon the same basis, were $1,298,056,101 89, leaving
  a balance in the Treasury, as shown by warrants, of $96,739,905
  73. Deduct from these amounts the amount of the principal of the
  public debt redeemed, and the amount of issues in substitution
  therefor, and the actual cash operations of the Treasury were:
  Receipts, $3,075,646 77; disbursements, $865,734,087 76; which
  leaves a cash balance in the Treasury of $18,842,558 71. Of the
  receipts, there were derived from customs, $102,316,152 99; from
  lands, $588,333 29; from direct taxes, $475,648 96; from internal
  revenues, $109,741,134 10; from miscellaneous sources, $47,511,448;
  and from loans applied to actual expenditures, including former
  balance, $623,443,929 13. There were disbursed for the civil
  service, $27,505,599 46; for pensions and Indians, $7,517,930 97;
  for the War Department, $60,791,842 97; for the Navy Department,
  $85,733,292 79; for interest of the public debts, $53,685,421 69;
  making an aggregate of $865,234,081 86, and leaving a balance in
  the Treasury of $18,842,558 71, as before stated.

  “For the actual receipts and disbursements for the first quarter,
  and the estimated receipts and disbursements for the three
  remaining quarters of the current fiscal year, and the general
  operations of the Treasury in detail, I refer you to the report of
  the Secretary of the Treasury.

  “I concur with him in the opinion, that the proportion of the
  moneys required to meet the expenses consequent upon the war
  derived from taxation, should be still further increased; and I
  earnestly invite your attention to this subject, to the end that
  there may be such additional legislation as shall be required to
  meet the just expectations of the Secretary.

  “The public debt, on the first day of May last, as appears by the
  books of the Treasury, amounted to $1,740,690,489 49. Probably,
  should the war continue for another year, that amount may be
  increased by not far from five hundred millions. Held, as it is
  for the most part, by our own people, it has become a substantial
  branch of national, though private property.

  “For obvious reasons, the more nearly this property can be
  distributed among all the people, the better. To forward general
  distribution, greater inducements to become owners, might, perhaps,
  with good effect and without injury, be presented to persons of
  limited means. With this view, I suggest whether it might not be
  both expedient and competent for Congress to provide that a limited
  amount of some future issue of public securities might be held, by
  any _bonâ fide_ purchaser, exempt from taxation and from seizure
  for debt, under such restrictions and limitations as might be
  necessary to guard against abuse of so important a privilege. This
  would enable prudent persons to set aside a small annuity against a
  possible day of want.

  “Privileges like these would render the possession of such
  securities, to the amount limited, most desirable to every person
  of small means who might be able to save enough for the purpose.
  The great advantage of citizens being creditors as well as debtors,
  is obvious. Men readily perceive that they cannot be much
  oppressed by a debt which they owe to themselves.

  “The public debt on the first day of July last, although somewhat
  exceeding the estimate of the Secretary of the Treasury made to
  Congress at the commencement of last session, falls short of the
  estimate of that office made in the succeeding December as to
  its probable amount at the beginning of this year, by the sum of
  $3,995,079 33. This fact exhibits a satisfactory condition and
  conduct of the operations of the Treasury.

  “The National banking system is proving to be acceptable to
  capitalists and the people. On the 25th day of November, five
  hundred and eighty-four National Banks had been organized, a
  considerable number of which were conversions from State banks.
  Changes from the State system to the National system are rapidly
  taking place, and it is hoped that very soon there will be in
  the United States no banks of issue not authorized by Congress,
  and no bank-note circulation not secured by the government. That
  the government and the people will derive general benefit from
  this change in the banking system of the country can hardly be

  “The National system will create a reliable and permanent influence
  in support of the national credit, and protect the people against
  losses in the use of paper money. Whether or not any further
  legislation is advisable for the suppression of State bank issues,
  it will be for Congress to determine. It seems quite clear that the
  Treasury cannot be satisfactorily conducted unless the government
  can exercise restraining power over the bank-note circulation of
  the country.

  “The Report of the Secretary of War, and the accompanying
  documents, will detail the campaigns of the armies in the field
  since the date of the last annual Message, and also the operations
  of the several administrative bureaus of the War Department during
  the last year.

  “It will also specify the measures deemed essential for the
  national defence, and to keep up and supply the requisite military

  “The Report of the Secretary of the Navy presents a comprehensive
  and satisfactory exhibit of the affairs of that department and of
  the naval service. It is a subject of congratulation and laudable
  pride to our countrymen, that a navy of such vast proportions has
  been organized in so brief a period and conducted with so much
  efficiency and success.

  “The general exhibits of the Navy, including vessels under
  construction, on the first of December, 1864, shows a total of 671
  vessels, carrying 4,610 guns, and 510,396 tons--being an actual
  increase during the year over and above all losses by shipwreck
  or in battle, of 83 vessels, 167 guns, and 42,427 tons. The total
  number at this time in the naval service, including officers, is
  about 51,000. There have been captured by the Navy during the
  year, 324 vessels, and the whole number of naval captures since
  hostilities commenced is 1,379, of which 267 are steamers. The
  gross proceeds arising from the sale of condemned prize property,
  thus far reported, amount to $14,396,250 51.

  “A large amount of such proceeds is still under adjudication and
  yet to be reported. The total expenditures of the Navy Department,
  of every description, including the cost of the immense squadrons
  that have been called into existence, from the 4th of March, 1861,
  to the 1st of November, 1864, are $238,647,262 35. Your favorable
  consideration is invited to the various recommendations of the
  Secretary of the Navy, especially in regard to a navy yard and
  suitable establishment for the construction and repair of iron
  vessels, and the machinery and armature for our ships, to which
  reference was made in my last annual message.

  “Your attention is also invited to the views expressed in the
  report in relation to the legislation of Congress at its last
  session in respect to prizes on our inland waters.

  “I cordially concur in the recommendation of the Secretary as to
  the propriety of creating the new rank of Vice-admiral in our naval

  “Your attention is invited to the report of the Postmaster-General,
  for a detailed account of the operations and financial condition of
  the Post-Office Department. The postal revenues for the year ending
  June 30, 1864, amounted to $12,438,253 78, and the expenditures
  to $12,644,786 20; the excess of expenditures over receipts being
  $206,532 42.

  “The views presented by the Postmaster-General on the subject of
  special grants by the Government in aid of the establishment of new
  lines of ocean mail steamships, and the policy he recommends for
  the development of increased commercial intercourse with adjacent
  and neighboring countries, should receive the careful consideration
  of Congress.

  “It is of noteworthy interest that the steady expansion of
  population, improvement and governmental institutions over the new
  and unoccupied portions of our country have scarcely been checked,
  much less impeded or destroyed by our great civil war, which,
  at first glance, would seem to have absorbed almost the entire
  energies of the Nation.

  “The organization and admission of the State of Nevada has been
  completed in conformity with law, and thus our excellent system is
  firmly established in the mountains which once seemed a barren and
  uninhabitable waste between the Atlantic States and those which
  have grown up on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

  “The Territories of the Union are generally in a condition of
  prosperity and growth. Idaho and Montana, by reason of their
  great distance and the interruption of communication with them by
  Indian hostilities, have been only partially organized; but it is
  understood that those difficulties are about to disappear, which
  will permit their governments, like those of the others, to go into
  speedy and full operation.

  “As intimately connected with and promotive of this material
  growth of the Nation, I ask the attention of Congress to the
  valuable information and important recommendation relating to the
  public lands, Indian affairs, the Pacific Railroad, and mineral
  discoveries contained in the report of the Secretary of the
  Interior, which is herewith transmitted, and which report also
  embraces the subjects of the patents, pensions, and other topics of
  public interest pertaining to his Department.

  “The quantity of public land disposed of during the five quarters
  ending on the 30th of September last, was 4,221,342 acres, of
  which 1,538,614 acres were entered under the Homestead law. The
  remainder was located with military land warrants, agricultural
  script certified to States for railroads, and sold for cash. The
  cash received from sales and location fees was $1,019,446. The
  income from sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, was
  $678,007 21, against $136,077 95, received during the preceding
  year. The aggregate number of acres surveyed during the year has
  been equal to the quantity disposed of, and there are open to
  settlement about 133,000,000 acres of surveyed land.

  “The great enterprise of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific
  States by railways and telegraph lines has been entered upon
  with a vigor that gives assurance of success, notwithstanding
  the embarrassments arising from the prevailing high prices of
  materials and labor. The route of the main line of the road has
  been definitely located for one hundred miles westward from the
  initial point at Omaha City, Nebraska, and a preliminary location
  of the Pacific Railroad of California has been made from Sacramento
  eastward to the great bend of Mucker river, in Nevada. Numerous
  discoveries of gold, silver and cinnabar mines have been added
  to the many heretofore known, and the country occupied by the
  Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains and the subordinate ranges now
  teems with enterprising labor which is richly remunerative. It is
  believed that the products of the mines of precious metals in that
  region have, during the year reached, if not exceeded, $100,000,000
  in value.

  “It was recommended in my last annual message, that our Indian
  system be remodeled. Congress, at its last session, acting upon
  the recommendation, did provide for reorganizing the system in
  California, and it is believed that under the present organization
  the management of the Indians there will be attended with
  reasonable success. Much yet remains to be done to provide for the
  proper government of the Indians in other parts of the country,
  to render it secure for the advancing settler and to provide
  for the welfare of the Indian. The Secretary reiterates his
  recommendations, and to them the attention of Congress is invited.

  “The liberal provisions made by Congress for paying pensions to
  invalid soldiers and sailors of the Republic, and to the widows,
  orphans and dependent mothers of those who have fallen in battle,
  or died of disease contracted, or of wounds received in the service
  of their country, have been diligently administered.

  “There have been added to the pension rolls during the year ending
  the thirtieth day of June last, the names of 16,770 invalid
  soldiers, and of 271 disabled seamen, making the present number of
  army invalid pensioners 22,767, and of navy invalid pensioners 712.
  Of widows, orphans and mothers, 22,198 have been placed on the army
  pension rolls, and 248 on the navy rolls.

  “The present number of Army pensioners of this class is 25,433, and
  of Navy pensioners 793. At the beginning of the year, the number
  of revolutionary pensioners was 1,430. Only twelve of them were
  soldiers, of whom seven have since died. The remainder are those
  who, under the law, receive pensions because of relationship to
  revolutionary soldiers.

  “During the year ending the thirtieth of June, 1864, $4,504,616 92
  have been paid to pensioners of all classes.

  “I cheerfully commend to your continued patronage the benevolent
  institutions of the District of Columbia, which have hitherto been
  established or fostered by Congress, and respectfully refer for
  information concerning them, and in relation to the Washington
  Aqueduct, the Capitol, and other matters of local interest to the
  report of the Secretary.

  “The Agricultural Department, under the supervision of its
  present energetic and faithful head, is rapidly commending itself
  to the great and vital interest it was intended to advance. It
  is peculiarly the People’s Department, in which they feel more
  directly concerned than in any other, I commend it to the continued
  attention and fostering care of Congress.

  “The war continues. Since the last annual message, all the
  important lines and positions then occupied by our forces have been
  maintained, and our armies have steadily advanced, thus liberating
  the regions left in the rear, so that Missouri, Kentucky,
  Tennessee, and parts of other States have again produced reasonably
  fair crops.

  “The most remarkable feature in the military operations of the
  year, is General Sherman’s attempted march of three hundred miles
  directly through insurgent regions. It tends to show a great
  increase of our relative strength, that our General-in-chief should
  feel able to confront and hold in check every active force of the
  enemy, and yet to detach a well-appointed, large army to move on
  such an expedition. The result not being yet known, conjecture in
  regard to it is not here indulged.

  “Important movements have also occurred during the year to the
  effect of moulding society for ductility in the Union. Although
  short of complete success, it is much in the right direction
  that twelve thousand citizens in each of the States of Arkansas
  and Louisiana, have organized loyal State governments with free
  Constitutions, and are earnestly struggling to maintain and
  administer them.

  “The movement in the same direction, more extensive, though less
  definite, in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, should not be

  “But Maryland presents the example of complete success. Maryland
  is secure to liberty and union for all the future. The genius of
  rebellion will no more claim Maryland. Like another foul spirit,
  being driven out, it may seek to tear her but it will rule her no

  “At the last Session of Congress, a proposed amendment of the
  Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States,
  passed the Senate, but failed, for lack of the requisite two-thirds
  vote in the House of Representatives. Although the present is the
  same Congress, and nearly the same members, and without question
  on the patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to
  recommend the consideration and passage of the measure at the
  present session.

  “Of course the abstract question is not changed, but an intervening
  election shows almost certainly that the next Congress will pass
  the measure, if this does not. Hence there is only a question of
  time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States for
  their action; and as it is to go at all events, may we not agree
  that the sooner the better? It is not claimed that the election
  has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their votes
  any further than as an additional element to be considered. Their
  judgment may be affected by it.

  “It is the voice of the people, now for the first time heard upon
  the question. In a great national crisis like ours, unanimity of
  action among those seeking a common end is very desirable, almost
  indispensable, and yet an approach to such unanimity is attainable,
  only as some deference shall be paid to the will of the majority,
  simply because it is the will of the majority.

  “In this case, the common end is the maintenance of the Union,
  and among the means to secure that end, such will, through the
  election, is most clearly declared in favor of such Constitutional
  Amendment. The most reliable indication of public purpose in this
  country is derived through our popular election. Judging by the
  recent canvass and its result, the purpose of the people within the
  loyal States to maintain the integrity of the Union was never more
  firm nor more nearly unanimous than now.

  “The extraordinary calmness and good order with which the millions
  of voters met and mingled at the polls, give strong assurance of
  this. Not only those who supported the ‘Union Ticket,’ so called,
  but a great majority of the opposing party also, may be fairly
  claimed to entertain and to be actuated by the same purpose. It is
  an unanswerable argument to this effect that no candidate to any
  office whatever, high or low, has ventured to seek votes on the
  avowal that he was for giving up the Union.

  “There has been much impugning of motives, and heated controversy
  as to the proper means and best mode of advancing the Union cause,
  but in the distinct issue of Union or no Union, the politicians
  have shown their distinctive knowledge that there is no diversity
  among the people. In affording the people a fair opportunity of
  showing one to another and to the world this firmness and unanimity
  of purpose, the election has been of vast value to the National

  “The election has exhibited another fact not less valuable to be
  known in the fact that we do not approach exhaustion in the most
  important branch of the national resources, that of living men.
  While it is melancholy to reflect that the war has filled so many
  graves, and carried mourning to so many hearts, it is some relief
  to know that, compared with the surviving, the fallen have been
  so few. While corps, and divisions, and brigades, and regiments
  have formed, and fought and dwindled, and gone out of existence,
  a great majority of the men who composed them are still living.
  The same is true of the naval service. The election returns prove
  this. So many votes could not else be found. The States regularly
  holding elections, both now and four years ago, to wit California,
  Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine,
  Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New
  Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
  Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, cast 3,982,011 votes
  now against 3,870,222 then, to which are to be added 33,762 cast
  now in the new States of Kansas and Nevada, which States did not
  vote in 1860; thus swelling the aggregate to 4,075,773, and the net
  increase during the three years and a half of war to 145,751.

  “To this, again, should be added the number of all soldiers in
  the field from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware,
  Indiana, Illinois, and California, who, by the laws of those
  States, could not vote away from their homes, and which number
  cannot be less than ninety thousand. Nor yet is this all. The
  number in organized territories is triple now what it was four
  years ago, while thousands, white and black, join us as the
  National army forces back the insurgent lines. So much is shown,
  affirmatively and negatively, by the election.

  “It is not natural to inquire how the increase has been produced,
  or to show that it would have been greater but for the war, which
  is partially true; the important fact remaining demonstrated, that
  we have more men now than we had when the war began; that we are
  not exhausted, nor in process of exhaustion; that we are gaining
  strength, and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely.
  This as to men.

  “National resources are now more complete and abundant than ever;
  the National resources, then, are unexhausted, and, as we believe,
  inexhaustible. The public purpose to reëstablish and maintain the
  National authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable.
  The manner of continuing the effort remains to choose. On careful
  consideration of all the evidence accessible, it seems to me that
  no attempts at negotiation with the insurgent leader could result
  in any good.

  “He would accept of nothing short of the severance of the Union.
  His declarations to this effect are explicit and oft-repeated. He
  does not attempt to deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive
  ourselves. We cannot voluntarily yield it. Between him and us the
  issue is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It is an issue which can
  only be tried by war, and decided by victory.

  “If we yield, we are beaten; if the Southern people fail him, he is
  beaten--either way, it would be the victory and defeat following
  war. What is true, however, of him who heads the insurgent cause,
  is not necessarily true of those who follow. Although he cannot
  reaccept the Union, they can. Some of them, we know, already desire
  peace and reunion. The number of such may increase.

  “They can at any moment have peace simply by laying down their arms
  and submitting to the National authority under the Constitution.
  After so much, the Government could not, if it would, maintain war
  against them. The loyal people would not sustain, or allow it. If
  questions should remain, we would adjust them by the peaceful means
  of legislation, conference, courts, and votes.

  “Operating only in constitutional and lawful channels, some certain
  and other possible questions are and would be beyond the Executive
  power to adjust; for instance, the admission of members into
  Congress, and whatever might require the appropriation of money.

  “The Executive power itself would be really diminished by the
  cessation of actual war. Pardons and remissions of forfeiture,
  however, would still be within Executive control. In what spirit
  and temper this control would be exercised, can be fairly judged of
  by the past. A year ago general pardon and amnesty upon specified
  terms were offered to all except certain designated classes, and it
  was at this same time made known that the excepted classes were
  still within contemplation of special clemency.

  “During the year many availed themselves of the general provision,
  and many more would, only that the sign of bad faith in some led to
  such precautionary measures as rendered the practical power less
  easy and certain. During the same time, also, special pardons have
  been granted to individuals of excepted classes, and no voluntary
  individual application has been denied.

  “Thus, practically, the door has been for a full year open to all,
  except such as were not in condition to make free choice; that is,
  such as were in custody or under constraint. It is still so open to
  all; but the time may come, probably will come, when public duty
  shall demand that it be closed, and that, in lieu, more vigorous
  measures than heretofore shall be adopted.

  “In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the National
  authority, on the part of the insurgents, as the only indispensable
  condition to ending the war on the part of the Government, I
  retract nothing heretofore said as to slavery. I repeat the
  declaration made a year ago, that while I remain in my present
  position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation
  Proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free
  by the terms of that proclamation or by any of the acts of Congress.

  “If the people should, by whatever mode, or means, make it an
  Executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must
  be their instrument to perform it.

  “In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that
  the war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall
  have ceased on the part of those who began it.




  Speech at a Serenade--Reply to a Presentation Address--Peace
  Rumors--Rebel Commissioners--Instructions to Secretary Seward--
  The Conference in Hampton Roads--Result--Extra Session of the
  Senate--Military Situation--Sherman--Charleston--Columbia--
  Wilmington--Fort Fisher--Sheridan--Grant--Rebel Congress--
  Second Inauguration--Inaugural--English Comment--Proclamation to

As illustrative of the genial, pleasant manner of the President, take
the following, in response to a serenade, December 6th, 1864:

  “FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I believe I shall never be old
  enough to speak without embarrassment when I have nothing to talk
  about. I have no good news to tell you, and yet I have no bad news
  to tell. We have talked of elections until there is nothing more
  to say about them. The most interesting news we now have is from
  Sherman. We all know where he went in at, but I can’t tell where he
  will come out at. I will now close by proposing three cheers for
  General Sherman and his army.”

On the 24th of January, 1865, having been made the recipient of a
beautiful vase of skeleton leaves, gathered from the battle-field of
Gettysburg, which had been subscribed for at the great Sanitary Fair,
held in Philadelphia during the previous summer, in reply to the warmly
sympathetic and appreciative address of the Chairman of the Committee
entrusted with the presentation, he said:

  “REVEREND SIR, AND LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--I accept, with emotions
  of profoundest gratitude, the beautiful gift you have been pleased
  to present to me. You will, of course, expect that I acknowledge
  it. So much has been said about Gettysburg and so well said, that
  for me to attempt to say more may perhaps, only serve to weaken the
  force of that which has already been said.

  “A most graceful and eloquent tribute was paid to the patriotism
  and self-denying labors of the American ladies, on the occasion of
  the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, by our
  illustrious friend, Edward Everett, now, alas! departed from earth.
  His life was a truly great one, and, I think, the greatest part of
  it was that which crowned its closing years.

  “I wish you to read, if you have not already done so, the glowing,
  and eloquent, and truthful words which he then spoke of the women
  of America. Truly the services they have rendered to the defenders
  of our country in this perilous time, and are yet rendering, can
  never be estimated as they ought to be.

  “For your kind wishes to me, personally, I beg leave to render you,
  likewise, my sincerest thanks. I assure you they are reciprocated.
  And now, gentlemen and ladies, may God bless you all.”

       *       *       *       *       *

With the opening of the new year, the air--as often before--was filled
with rumors that the insurgents were anxious to negotiate for peace.

Some there were, even among Mr. Lincoln’s friends and supporters, who
were apprehensive that his “To whom it may concern” announcement of
the previous year, was somewhat too curt and blunt. Without claiming
to have as good an opportunity as the President for judging in the
premises, they could not yet divest themselves of the idea that
something definite and tangible might result from an interview with
representatives from rebeldom; if nothing more, at least a distinct
understanding that no peace could be attained, without separation,
unless it were conquered.

Thoroughly familiar with the designs and purposes of the leading rebels
as Mr. Lincoln was, and well aware that any such attempt must prove
futile, he was nevertheless determined that no valid ground for censure
should be afforded by himself, in case a favorable opening presented

Accordingly, when he learned--as he did during the last week of
January, from his friend, Francis P. Blair, who had visited Richmond,
with the President’s permission--that the managers there were desirous
of sending certain persons as commissioners to learn from the United
States Government upon what terms an adjustment of difficulties
could be made, and that A. H. Stephens, of Georgia, R. M. T. Hunter,
of Virginia, and J. A. Campbell, of Alabama, had been sent through
the enemy’s lines by Davis for the purpose of a conference upon the
subject, Mr. Lincoln, not choosing that the commissioners should visit
Washington, entrusted the matter to Secretary Seward, furnishing him
with the following letter of instructions, dated Executive Mansion,
Washington, January 31st, 1865:

  “HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State:--You will proceed to
  Fortress Monroe, Virginia, there to meet and informally confer with
  Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, on the basis of my letter
  to F. P. Blair, Esq., of January 18, 1865, a copy of which you have.

  “You will make known to them that three things are indispensable,
  to wit:

  “1. The restoration of national authority throughout all the States.

  “2. No receding by the Executive of the United States, on the
  slavery question, from the position assumed thereon in the late
  annual message to Congress, and in preceding documents.

  “3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and the
  disbanding of all forces hostile to the Government.

  “You will inform them that all propositions of theirs not
  inconsistent with the above, will be considered and passed upon in
  a spirit of sincere liberality.

  “You will hear all they may choose to say, and report it to me.

  “You will not assume to definitely consummate any thing.

    “Yours truly,      A. LINCOLN.”

On the 2d of February, the President himself left for the point
designated, and on the morning of the 3d, attended by Mr. Seward,
received Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, on board a United
States steamer anchored in Hampton Roads.

The conference that ensued was altogether informal. There was no
attendance of Secretaries, clerks, or witnesses. Nothing was written
or read. The conversation, although earnest and free, was calm and
courteous and kind, on both sides. The Richmond party approached
the discussion rather indirectly, and at no time did they make
categorical demands or tender formal stipulations or absolute refusals;
nevertheless, during the conference, which lasted four hours, the
several points at issue between the Government and the insurgents
were distinctly raised and discussed fully, intelligently, and in an
amicable spirit. What the insurgent party seemed chiefly to favor was
a postponement of the question of separation, upon which the war was
waged, and a mutual direction of the efforts of the Government as well
as those of the insurgents, to some extraneous policy or scheme for a
season, during which passions might be expected to subside, and the
armies be reduced, and trade and intercourse between the people of both
sections be resumed.

It was suggested by them that through such postponement we might have
immediate peace, with some, not very certain, prospect of an ultimate
satisfactory adjustment of political relations between the Government
and the States, section or people engaged in conflict with it. The
suggestion, though deliberately considered, was nevertheless regarded
by the President as one of armistice or truce, and he announced that we
could agree to no cessation or suspension of hostilities except on the
basis of the disbandonment of the insurgent forces, and the restoration
of the national authority throughout all the States in the Union
collaterally, and in subordination to the proposition which was thus

The anti-slavery policy of the United States was reviewed in all its
bearings, and the President announced that he must not be expected to
depart from the positions he had heretofore assumed in his proclamation
of emancipation and other documents, as these positions were reiterated
in his annual message.

It was further declared by the President that the complete restoration
of the national authority everywhere was an indispensable condition of
any assent on our part to whatever form of peace might be proposed.
The President assured the other party that while he must adhere to
these positions he would be prepared, so far as power was lodged
with the Executive, to exercise liberality. Its power, however, is
limited by the Constitution, and when peace should be made Congress
must necessarily act in regard to appropriations of money and to the
admission of representatives from the insurrectionary States.

The Richmond party were then informed that Congress had, on the 31st
of January, adopted, by a constitutional majority, a joint resolution
submitting to the several States the proposition to abolish slavery
throughout the Union, and that there was every reason to expect that it
would soon be accepted by three-fourths of the States, so as to become
a part of the national organic law.

The conference came to an end by mutual acquiescence, without producing
an agreement of views upon the several matters discussed, or any of

On the following morning the President and Secretary returned to
Washington, and shortly afterward, in compliance with a resolution to
that effect, Congress was informed in detail of all that had led to the
interview and its issue.

Thus was spiked the last gun bearing upon the terms on which the
rebels would consent to peace. Whatever might have been the impression
previously it was then well understood that to the armies in the field
then converging toward Richmond, and not to the Executive of the
nation, resort was to be had for peace upon any basis which loyal men
would indorse.

On the 17th of February, in accordance with the general custom at the
expiration of a Presidential term, the Senate was convened in active
session by the following proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, objects of interest to the United States require that the
  Senate should be convened at twelve o’clock on the fourth of March
  next, to receive and act upon such communications as may be made to
  it on the part of the Executive--

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, have considered it to be my duty to issue this my
  proclamation, declaring that an extraordinary occasion requires
  the Senate of the United States to convene for the transaction of
  business, at the Capitol, in the city of Washington, on the fourth
  day of March next, at twelve o’clock at noon on that day, of which
  all who shall at that time be entitled to act as members of that
  body are hereby required to take notice.

  “Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at
  Washington, the 17th day of February, in the year of our Lord one
  thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of
  the United States of America, the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

At this time, the military situation was very interesting to every
friend of the Union, whatever might have been the feelings it created
among those who had so long been in arms against the Government.

Sherman had “come out” at Savannah, capturing it and presenting it
as a Christmas gift to the nation, after an extraordinary march from
Atlanta--which he had deprived of all power for harm--directly through
the heart of Georgia; a march as to which the rebel journalists made
ludicrous efforts to be oracular in advance, predicting all manner of
mishaps from the Georgia militia and the various “lions” in his way.

Thomas had fallen back leisurely to Nashville, forcing Hood, his
antagonist, who had supplanted Johnston on account of his fighting
qualities, to the loss of almost his entire army in a sanguinary battle
which occurred near that city, Thomas being the attacking party. With
the remnants of his discomfited force, the fighting general had fallen
back, where was not definitely known, but evidently to some secure

Sherman having recuperated his army, had left Savannah and marched
into South Carolina, where, according to the beforenamed veracious
chroniclers, he was to flounder in bogs and quagmires, at the mercy
of his valorous foes. He floundered on, truly--floundered, so as to
flank Charleston, that nursery and hot-bed of treason, which had so
long insulted the land--and compel its hurried evacuation; floundered,
so as to capture and occupy Columbia, the capital of the Palmetto
State; floundered, so as to threaten Raleigh, the capital of North
Carolina; and at the time of which we write, had at last floundered to
Goldsborough, where he had effected a connection with another column,
which had pierced to that point after the capture of Wilmington, North
Carolina, the pet port of disinterested blockade-runners--a capture
rendered certain by the storming of Fort Fisher, commanding the
entrance to its harbor, in connection with which one Major-General was
made and another unmade--whether the latter result was brought about
with or without the coöperation of the commander of the naval part of
the expedition, it boots not here to inquire.

Whither Sherman would flounder next became to all rebeldom a question
of the very deepest interest. Davis having been compelled by his
Congress to assign the discarded Johnston to a command, and Lee to
the command of all the rebel armies, Johnston was dispatched to head
Sherman off, should he be insane enough to attempt to move any nearer
Richmond--a species of insanity to which, it must be confessed, he had
shown a marked tendency.

Sheridan, too, having chased Early up and out of the Shenandoah
Valley--that Early the one of whom his troops were wont to remark,
that his principal business seemed to be “to trade Confederate cannon
for Yankee whiskey”--had been raiding around Richmond in whatsoever
direction he listed, severing communications, gobbling up supplies, and
creating a general consternation.

And still the bull-dog’s teeth were firmly fastened in his victim. Not
twistings, nor squirmings, nor strugglings, nor counterbites could do
more than to defer--and that but for a short time--the inevitable.

The rebel congress, at the very last moment of its last session, had
squeezed through a bill for arming the slaves, and Davis had grimly
wished them a safe and pleasant journey to their respective homes. It
was too late, both for the slaves and the homes.

Meantime, on Saturday, March 4th--a day which opened unpropitiously, so
far as the elements were concerned, but which redeemed itself before
noontide, becoming bright and cheerful--at the hour appointed, the oath
of office was for the second time administered to Mr. Lincoln--not,
however, by the same Chief Justice, for Roger B. Taney slept with his
fathers, and in his place stood Salmon P. Chase--after which, on a
staging erected at the eastern portico of the Capitol, he read in a
clear, distinct voice, his second inaugural, occupying not more than
ten minutes in the act:

  “FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN:--At this second appearing to take the oath of
  the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended
  address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat
  in detail of a course to be pursued seemed very fitting and
  proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public
  declarations have constantly been called forth on every point and
  phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and
  engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be

  “The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends,
  is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust,
  reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope
  for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the
  occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were
  anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all
  sought to avoid it. While the inaugural address was being delivered
  from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without
  war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it,
  without war; seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects
  by negotiation.

  “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather
  than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather
  than let it perish, and the war came.

  “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not
  distributed generally over the Union, but located in the southern
  part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful
  interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of
  the war. To strengthen, perpetuate and extend this interest was
  the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war,
  while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict
  the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected the
  magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither
  anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease, even before
  the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph
  and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same
  Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes his aid against
  the other. It may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a
  just God’s assistance in wringing his bread from the sweat of other
  men’s faces. But let us judge not, that we be not judged.

  “The prayer of both should not be answered. That of neither has
  been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. ‘Woe unto
  the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences
  come, but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.’ If we shall
  suppose that American slavery is one of these offences which, in
  the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued
  through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he
  gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due
  to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any
  departure from those Divine attributes which the believers in a
  living God always ascribe to him?

  “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray that this mighty scourge
  of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue
  until all the wealth piled by the bondman’s two hundred and fifty
  years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of
  blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the
  sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must
  be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous

  “With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in
  the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to
  finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care
  for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his
  orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting
  peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Of this address--which was of course made the subject for the coarsest
comments of those who enjoyed nought so much as aiding the pack that
hounded Mr. Lincoln while living--an English journal, second to none
in ability and judgment, and leader of the better class of thinkers in
that country, thus spoke:

  “It is the most remarkable thing of the sort, ever pronounced by
  any President of the United States from the first day until now.
  Its Alpha and its Omega is _Almighty God_, the God of justice and
  the Father of mercies, who is working out the purposes of his love.
  It is invested with a dignity and pathos, which lift it high above
  every thing of the kind, whether in the Old World or the New.
  The whole thing puts us in mind of the best men of the English
  Commonwealth; there is, in fact, much of the old prophet about it.”

On the 16th of March, in accordance with an Act of Congress, grace was
extended to deserters by the following proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, The twenty-first section of the act of Congress,
  approved on the 3d instant, entitled ‘an act to amend the several
  acts heretofore passed to provide for the enrolling and calling
  out of the National forces, and for other purposes,’ requires
  that, in addition to the other lawful penalties of the crime
  of desertion from the military or naval service, ‘all persons
  who have deserted the military or naval service of the United
  States, who shall not return to the said service or report
  themselves to a provost-marshal within sixty days after the
  proclamation hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed and taken
  to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights to
  become citizens; and such deserters shall be forever incapable of
  holding any office of trust or profit under the United States,
  or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all persons
  who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and all
  persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction
  of the district in which he is enrolled, or go beyond the limits
  of the United States, with the intent to avoid any draft into the
  military or naval service duly ordered, shall be liable to the
  penalties of this section. And the President is hereby authorized
  and required forthwith, on the passage of this act, to issue
  his proclamation setting forth the provisions of this section,
  in which proclamation the President is requested to notify all
  deserters returning within sixty days, as aforesaid, that they
  shall be pardoned on condition of returning to their regiments and
  companies, or to such other organizations as they may be assigned
  to, unless they shall have served for a period of time, equal to
  their original term of enlistment’--

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, do issue this my proclamation, as required by said act,
  ordering and requiring all deserters to return to their proper
  posts, and I do hereby notify them that all deserters who shall
  within sixty days from the date of this proclamation, viz.: on or
  before the tenth day of May, 1865, return to service, or report
  themselves to a provost-marshal, shall be pardoned, on condition
  that they return to their regiments and companies or such other
  organizations as they may be assigned to, and serve the remainder
  of their original terms of enlistment, and, in addition thereto, a
  period equal to the time lost by desertion.

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
  seal of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the city of Washington, this eleventh day of March, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of
  the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”



  President Visits City Point--Lee’s Failure--Grant’s Movement--
  Abraham Lincoln in Richmond--Lee’s Surrender--President’s
  Impromptu Speech--Speech on Reconstruction--Proclamation Closing
  Certain Ports--Proclamation Relative to Maritime Rights--
  Supplementary Proclamation--Orders from the War Department--The
  Traitor President.

On the afternoon of the 23d of March, 1865, the President, accompanied
by Mrs. Lincoln, his youngest son, and a few invited guests, left
Washington for an excursion to City Point. The trip was taken under
advice of his medical attendant, his health having become somewhat
impaired by his unremitting attention to the pressing duties of his

A desperate attempt had been made by Lee to break through the lines
surrounding him. Assaulting our right centre, he had been repulsed with
a severe loss.

Shortly after, Grant determined that the moment had arrived for his
advance. A movement was ordered along the entire line--Petersburg
fell--Richmond was abandoned in hot haste--and Lee’s routed army
“driven to the wall.”

During the progress of the movement, the President forwarded, from time
to time, the particulars--pressed on to the evacuated Capital--entered
it, conspicuous amid the sweeping mass of men, women, and children,
black, white, and yellow, running, shouting, dancing, swinging
their caps, bonnets, and handkerchiefs--passed on to the deserted
mansion of the rebel chief, cheer upon cheer going up from the
excited multitude--there held a levee--left the same evening for City
Point--and soon afterward returned to Washington.

Lee, hemmed in on every side, soon after surrendered; the terms of
capitulation, which were dictated by the magnanimous President, and
dated Appomattox Court House, April ninth, 1865, being as follows:

  “GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE, ARMY C. S.:--In accordance with the
  substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to
  receive the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia on the
  following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be
  made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer designated
  by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as
  you may designate, the officers to give their individual paroles
  not to take up arms against the Government of the United States
  until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander
  to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms,
  artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned
  over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not
  embrace the side arms of the officers, nor their private horses or
  baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return
  to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so
  long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they
  may reside.

    “Very respectfully,
    “U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.”

Johnston was next in order; and toward him Sherman was in motion.

The night following the President’s arrival in Washington, the workmen
of the Navy-yard formed in procession, marched to the White House, in
front of which thousands were assembled, bands playing, and the entire
throng alive with excitement.

Repeated calls having been made for him, he appeared at the window, on
the entrance door, calm amid the tumult, and was greeted with cheers
and waving of hats.

Comparative silence having been secured, he said:

  “MY FRIENDS:--I am very greatly rejoiced that an occasion has
  occurred so pleasurable that the people can’t restrain themselves.
  I suppose that arrangements are being made for some sort of formal
  demonstration--perhaps this evening or to-morrow night. If there
  should be such a demonstration, I, of course, will have to respond
  to it; and I will have nothing to say if you dribble it out of me.

  “I see you have a band. I propose now closing up by requesting you
  to play a certain piece of music, or a tune--I thought ‘Dixie’ one
  of the best tunes I ever heard.

  “I had heard that our adversaries over the way had attempted to
  appropriate it. I insisted yesterday we had fairly captured it! I
  presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as
  his opinion that it is our lawful prize. I ask the band to give us
  a good turn upon it.”

The band accordingly played “Dixie,” with extraordinary vigor, when
“three cheers and a tiger” were given, followed by the tune of “Yankee
Doodle.” The President then proposed three rousing cheers for Grant and
all under his command--and next, three cheers for the Navy and all its

The President then retired, amid cheers, the tune of “Hail Columbia,”
and the firing of cannon.

On the night of the eleventh of April, the Executive Departments,
including the President’s House, as also many places of business and
private residences, were illuminated, and adorned with transparencies
and national flags; bon-fires blazed in various parts of the city; and
rockets were fired.

In response to the unanimous call of the thousands of both sexes who
surrounded the Executive Mansion, Mr. Lincoln appeared at an upper
window, and when the cheering with which he was greeted had subsided,
spoke as follows in his last public speech:

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS:--We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in
  gladness of heart. The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond,
  and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of
  a righteous and speedy peace, whose joyous expression cannot be

  “In the midst of this, however, He, from whom all blessings flow,
  must not be forgotten. A call for a National Thanksgiving is being
  prepared, and will be duly promulgated.

  “Nor must those, whose harder part gives us the cause of rejoicing,
  be overlooked--and their honors must not be parcelled out. With
  others I myself was near the front, and had the high pleasure of
  transmitting much of the good news to you, but no part of the
  honor, or praise, or execution, is mine. To General Grant, his
  skilful officers and brave men, all belongs. The gallant Navy stood
  ready, but was not in reach to take an active part. By these recent
  successes the reinauguration of the national authority, and the
  reconstruction, which has had a large share of thought from the
  first, is pressed much more closely upon our attention.

  “It is fraught with great difficulty. Unlike the case of a war
  between independent nations, there is no authorized organ for us
  to treat with. No one man has authority to give up the rebellion
  for any other man. We simply must begin with and mould from
  disorganized and discordant elements. Nor is it a small additional
  embarrassment, that we the loyal people, differ amongst ourselves
  as to the mode, manner, and measure of reconstruction.

  “As a general rule, I abstain from reading the reports of attacks
  upon myself, wishing not to be provoked by that to which I cannot
  properly offer an answer; for, spite of this precaution, however,
  it comes to my knowledge that I am much censured from some
  supposed agency in setting up and seeking to sustain the new State
  Government of Louisiana. In this I have done just so much and no
  more than the public knows. In the annual Message of December,
  1863, and the accompanying Proclamation, I presented a plan of
  reconstruction, as the phrase goes, which I promised, if adopted by
  any State, should be acceptable to and sustained by the Executive
  Government of the nation.

  “I distinctly stated that this was not the only plan which might
  possibly be acceptable; and I also distinctly protested that the
  Executive claimed no right to say when or whether members should be
  admitted to seats in Congress from such States. This plan was in
  advance submitted to the then Cabinet, and as distinctly approved
  by every member of it.

  “One of them suggested that I should then, and in that connection,
  apply the Emancipation Proclamation to the theretofore excepted
  parts of Virginia and Louisiana; that I should drop the suggestion
  about apprenticeship for freed people; and that I should omit
  the protest against my own power in regard to the admission of
  members of Congress; but even he approved every part and parcel
  of the plan which has since been employed or touched by the
  action of Louisiana. The new Constitution of Louisiana, declaring
  emancipation for the whole State, particularly applies the
  proclamation to the part previously excepted. It does not adopt
  apprenticeship for freed people, and it is silent--as it could not
  well be otherwise--about the admission of members to Congress; so
  that, as it applies to Louisiana, every member of the Cabinet fully
  approved the plan.

  “The message went to Congress, and I received many commendations
  of the plan, written and verbal, and not a single objection to
  it by any professed emancipationist came to my knowledge until
  after the news reached Washington that the people of Louisiana had
  begun to move in accordance with it. From about July, 1862, I had
  corresponded with different persons supposed to be interested
  in seeking a reconstruction of a State Government for Louisiana.
  When the message of 1863, with the plan before mentioned, reached
  New Orleans, and General Banks wrote me that he was confident
  the people, with his military coöperation, would reconstruct
  substantially on that plan, I wrote him and some of them to try it.
  They tried it, and the result is known.

  “Such only has been my agency in getting up the Louisiana
  Government. As to sustaining it, my promise is out, as before
  stated; but, as bad promises are better broken than kept, I shall
  treat this as a bad promise, and break it whenever I shall be
  convinced that keeping it is adverse to the public interest. But I
  have not yet been so convinced.

  “I have been shown a letter on this subject, supposed to be an
  able one, in which the writer expresses regret that my mind has
  not seemed to be definitely fixed on the question whether the
  seceded States, so called, are in the Union or out of it. It would,
  perhaps, add astonishment to his regret were he to learn that
  since I have found professed Union men endeavoring to make that
  a question, I have purposely forborne any public expression upon
  it, as it appears to me that question has not been, nor yet is, a
  practically material one, and that any discussion of it while it
  thus remains practically material could have no effect other than
  the mischievous one of dividing our friends.

  “As yet, whatever it may become hereafter, that question is bad,
  as the basis of a controversy, and good for nothing at all, a
  merely pernicious abstraction. We all agree that the seceded
  States, so-called, are out of their proper practical relation with
  the Union, and that the sole object of the Government, civil and
  military, in regard to those States, is to again get them into
  that proper practical relation. I believe it is not only possible,
  but in fact easier to do this without deciding or even considering
  whether these States have ever been out of the Union, than with it;
  finding themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial
  whether they had ever been abroad.

  “Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the
  proper practical relations between these States and the Union, and
  each forever after, innocently indulge his own opinion whether in
  doing the acts he brought the States from without into the Union,
  or only gave them proper assistance, they never having been out of

  “The amount of constituency, so to speak, on which the new
  Louisiana Government rests, would be more satisfactory to all if
  it contained 50,000, 30,000, or even 20,000, instead of only about
  12,000, as it does.

  “It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is
  not given to the colored men. I would myself prefer that it were
  conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our
  cause as soldiers. Still the question is not whether the Louisiana
  Government, as it stands, is quite all that is desirable. The
  question is, will it be wiser to take it as it is, and help to
  improve it, or to reject and disperse it? Can Louisiana be brought
  into proper practical relation with the Union sooner by sustaining
  or by discarding her new State Government?

  “Some twelve thousand voters in the heretofore slave State of
  Louisiana have sworn allegiance to the Union, assumed to be the
  rightful political power of the State, held elections, organized
  a State government, adopted a free State constitution, giving
  the benefit of public schools equally to black and white, and
  empowering the Legislature to confer the elective franchise upon
  the colored man. Their Legislature has already voted to ratify the
  Constitutional amendment recently passed by Congress, abolishing
  slavery throughout the Nation. These twelve thousand persons are
  thus fully committed to the Union, and to perpetual freedom in
  the State--committed to the very beings and nearly all the things
  the Nation wants--and they ask the Nation’s recognition and its
  assistance to make good their committal. Now, if we reject and
  spurn them, we do our utmost to disorganize and disperse them. We,
  in fact, say to the white man, ‘You are worthless, or worse; we
  will neither help you nor be helped by you.’ To the blacks we say,
  ‘This cup of liberty which your old masters there hold to your lips
  we will dash from you, and leave you to the chances of gathering
  the spilled and scattered contents in some vague and undefined
  way when, where, and how.’ If this course, by discouraging and
  paralyzing both white and black, has any tendency to bring
  Louisiana into proper practical relations with the Union, I have so
  far been unable to perceive it. If, on the contrary, we recognize
  and sustain the new Government of Louisiana, the converse of all
  this is made true.

  “We encourage the hearts and nerve the arms of the twelve thousand
  to adhere to their work, and argue for it, and proselyte for it,
  and fight for it, and feed it, and grow it, and ripen it, to a
  complete success. The colored man, too, in seeing all united for
  him, is inspired with vigilance, and energy, and daring to the same
  end. Grant that he desires the elective franchise, will he not
  attain it sooner by saving the already advanced steps toward it
  than by running backward over them? Concede that the new Government
  of Louisiana is only what it should be, as the egg is to the fowl,
  we shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg, than by smashing
  it. [Laughter.]

  “Again, if we reject Louisiana, we also reject our vote in favor of
  the proposed amendment to the National Constitution. To meet this
  proposition, it has been argued that no more than three-fourths of
  those States which have not attempted secession are necessary to
  validly ratify the amendment. I do not commit myself against this,
  further than to say that such a ratification would be questionable,
  and sure to be persistently questioned, while a ratification
  by three-fourths of all the States would be unquestioned and

  “I repeat the question. Can Louisiana be brought into proper
  practical relation with the Union sooner by sustaining or by
  discarding her new State Government? What has been said of
  Louisiana will apply severally to other States; yet so great
  peculiarities pertain to each State, and such important and
  sudden changes occur in the same State, and withal so new and
  unprecedented is the whole case, that no exclusive and inflexible
  plan can safely be prescribed. As to details and collaterals,
  such an exclusive and inflexible plan would surely become a new
  entanglement. Important principles may and must be inflexible.

  “In the present situation, as the phrase goes, it may be my duty
  to make some new announcement to the people of the South. I am
  considering, and shall not fail to act when satisfied that action
  will be proper.”

On the 11th of April, also, appeared the following proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, By my proclamation of the 19th and 27th days of April,
  1861, the ports of the United States of Virginia, North Carolina,
  South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
  and Texas were declared to be subject to blockade, but whereas the
  said blockade has, in consequence of actual military occupation
  by this Government, since then been conditionally set aside or
  released in respect to the ports of Norfolk and Alexandria, in the
  State of Virginia, Beaufort, in the State of North Carolina, Port
  Royal, in the State of South Carolina, Pensacola and Fernandina, in
  the State of Florida, and New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana;
  and whereas, by the 4th section of the act of Congress approved on
  the 13th of July, 1861, entitled ‘an act further to provide for
  the collection of duties on imports, and for other purposes,’ the
  President, for the reasons therein set forth, is authorized to
  close certain ports of entry.

  “Now, therefore, be it known that I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of
  the United States, do hereby proclaim that the ports of Richmond,
  Tappahannock, Cherry Stone, Yorktown, and Petersburg, in Virginia;
  of Camden, Elizabeth City, Edenton, Plymouth, Washington, Newbern,
  Ocracoke, and Wilmington, in North Carolina; of Charleston,
  Georgetown, and Beaufort, in South Carolina; of Savannah, St.
  Marys, Brunswick, and Darien, in Georgia; of Mobile, in Alabama; of
  Pearl river, Shieldsboro’, Natchez, and Vicksburg, in Mississippi;
  of St. Augustine, Key West, St. Marks, Port Leon, St. Johns,
  Jacksonville, and Apalachicola, in Florida; of Teche and Franklin,
  in Louisiana; of Galveston, La Salle, Brazos de Santiago, Point
  Isabel, and Brownsville, in Texas, are hereby closed, and all
  rights of importation, warehousing, and other privileges shall, in
  respect to the ports aforesaid, cease until they shall again have
  been opened by order of the President; and if, while said ports are
  so closed, any ship or vessel from beyond the United States, or
  having on board any articles subject to duties, shall attempt to
  enter any such port, the same, together with its tackle, apparel,
  furniture, and cargo, shall be forfeited to the United States.

  “In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
  of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington this eleventh day of April, in the
  year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of
  the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.

    “Abraham Lincoln.

    “William H. Seward, Secretary of State.”

And on the same day the following:

  “WHEREAS, for some time past vessels-of-war of the United
  States have been refused in certain foreign ports privileges and
  immunities to which they were entitled by treaty, public law,
  or the comity of nations, at the same time that vessels-of-war
  of the country wherein the said privileges and immunities have
  been withheld have enjoyed them fully and uninterruptedly in
  ports of the United States, which condition of things has not
  always been forcibly resisted by the United States, although,
  on the other hand, they have not at any time failed to protest
  against and declare their dissatisfaction with the same. In the
  view of the United States no condition any longer exists which
  can be claimed to justify the denial to them by any one of said
  nations of customary naval rights, such as has heretofore been so
  unnecessarily persisted in--

  “Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United
  States, do hereby make known that if after a reasonable time
  shall have elapsed for intelligence of this proclamation to have
  reached any foreign country in whose ports the said privileges
  and immunities shall have been refused as aforesaid, they shall
  continue to be so refused, then and thenceforth the same privileges
  and immunities shall be refused to the vessels-of-war of that
  country in the ports of the United States; and this refusal shall
  continue until war-vessels of the United States shall have been
  placed upon an entire equality in the foreign ports aforesaid with
  vessels of other countries. _The United States, whatever claim or
  pretence may have existed heretofore, are now at least entitled to
  claim and concede an entire and friendly equality of rights and
  hospitalities with all maritime nations._

  “In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
  of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the city of Washington this eleventh day of April, in the
  year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and
  of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

And, on the twelfth April, the following supplementary proclamation:

  “WHEREAS, By my proclamation of this date the port of Key West, in
  the State of Florida, was inadvertently included among those which
  are not open to commerce:

  “Now, therefore, be it known that I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of
  the United States, do hereby declare and make known that the said
  port of Key West is and shall remain open to foreign and domestic
  commerce, upon the same conditions by which that commerce has
  hitherto been governed.

  “In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
  of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the City of Washington this eleventh day of April, in the
  year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of
  the Independence of the United States of America, the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

The light in which the administration regarded the position of affairs
can best be judged from the following official bulletin from the War
Department, bearing date April thirteenth, 1865:

  “This Department, after mature consideration and consultation with
  the Lieutenant-General upon the results of the recent campaigns,
  has come to the following determination, which will be carried into
  effect by appropriate orders, to be immediately issued:

  “_First._ To stop all drafting and recruiting in the loyal States.

  “_Second._ To curtail purchases for arms, ammunition,
  quartermaster’s and commissary supplies, and reduce the expenses of
  the military establishment and its several branches.

  “_Third._ To reduce the number of general and staff officers to the
  actual necessities of the service.

  “_Fourth._ To remove all military restrictions upon trade and
  commerce, so far as may be consistent with the public safety.

  “As soon as these measures can be put in operation, it will be made
  known by public orders.

    “EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.”

The Traitor President, who, on the fifth of April, had issued a
proclamation to the effect that he should hold on to Virginia--where
was he at this time?



  Interview with Mr. Colfax--Cabinet Meeting--Incident--Evening
  Conversation--Possibility of Assassination--Leaves for the
  Theatre--In the Theatre--Precautions for the Murder--The Pistol
  Shot--Escape of the Assassin--Death of the President--Pledges
  Redeemed--Situation of the Country--Effect of the Murder--
  Obsequies at Washington--Borne Home--Grief of the People--At

On the morning of Friday, April fourteenth, 1865, after an interesting
conversation with his eldest son, Robert, a captain on General Grant’s
staff, relative to the surrender of Lee, with the details of which the
son was familiar, the President, hearing that Schuyler Colfax, Speaker
of the House of Representatives, was in the Executive Mansion, invited
the latter to a chat in the reception-room, and during the following
hour the talk turned upon his future policy toward the rebellion--a
matter which he was about to submit to his Cabinet.

After an interview with John P. Hale, then recently appointed Minister
to Spain, as well as with several Senators and Representatives, a
Cabinet meeting was held, at eleven o’clock, General Grant being
present, which proved to be one of the most satisfactory and important
consultations held since his first inauguration. The future policy
of the Administration was harmoniously and unanimously agreed upon,
and upon the adjournment of the meeting the Secretary of War remarked
that the Government was then stronger than at any period since the
commencement of the rebellion.

It was afterwards remembered that at this meeting the President turned
to General Grant and asked him if he had heard from General Sherman.
General Grant replied that he had not, but was in hourly expectation of
receiving dispatches from him, announcing the surrender of Johnston.

“Well,” said the President, “you will hear very soon now and the news
will be important.”

“Why do you think so?” said the General.

“Because,” said Mr. Lincoln, “I had a dream last night, and ever since
the war began I have invariably had the same dream before any very
important military event has occurred.” He then instanced Bull Run,
Antietam, Gettysburg, etc., and said that before each of these events
he had had the same dream, and turning to Secretary Welles, said:

“It is in your line, too, Mr. Welles. The dream is that I saw a ship
sailing very rapidly, and I am sure that it portends some important
national event.”

In the afternoon, a long and pleasant conversation was held with
eminent citizens from Illinois.

In the evening, during a talk with Messrs. Colfax and Ashman--the
latter of whom presided at the Chicago Convention, in 1860--speaking
about his trip to Richmond, when the suggestion was made that there
was much uneasiness at the North while he was at what had been the
rebel capital, for fear that some traitor might shoot him, Mr. Lincoln
reportively replied, that he would have been alarmed himself, if any
other person had been President and gone there, but that, as for
himself, he did not feel in any danger whatever.

This possibility of an assassination had been presented before to the
President’s mind, but it had not occasioned him a moment’s uneasiness.
A member of his Cabinet one day said to him, “Mr. Lincoln, you are not
sufficiently careful of yourself. There are bad men in Washington. Did
it never occur to you that there are rebels among us who are bad enough
to attempt your life?” The President stepped to a desk and drew from a
pigeon-hole a package of letters. “There,” said he, “every one of these
contains a threat to assassinate me. I might be nervous, if I were to
dwell upon the subject, but I have come to this conclusion: there are
opportunities to kill me every day of my life, if there are persons
disposed to do it. It is not possible to avoid exposure to such a fate,
and I shall not trouble myself about it.”

Upon the evening alluded to, while conversing upon a matter of business
with Mr. Ashman, he saw that the latter was surprised at a remark which
he had made, when, prompted by his well-known desire to avoid any thing
offensive, he immediately said, “You did not understand me, Ashman:
I did not mean what you inferred, and I will take it all back, and
apologize for it.” He afterward gave Mr. A. a card, admitting himself
and friend for a further conversation early in the morning.

Turning to Mr. Colfax, he said, “You are going with Mrs. Lincoln and me
to the theatre, I hope.” The President and General Grant had previously
accepted an invitation to be present that evening at Ford’s Theatre,
but the General had been obliged to leave for the North. Mr. Lincoln
did not like to entirely disappoint the audience, as the announcement
had been publicly made, and had determined to fulfil his acceptance.

Mr. Colfax, however, declining on account of other engagements, Mr.
Lincoln said to him, “Mr. Sumner has the gavel of the Confederate
Congress, which he got at Richmond to hand to the Secretary of War.
But I insisted then that he must give it to you; and you tell him for
me to hand it over.” Mr. Ashman alluded to the gavel, still in his
possession, which he had used at Chicago; and about half an hour after
the time they had intended to leave for the theatre, the President and
Mrs. Lincoln rose to depart, the former reluctant and speaking about
remaining at home a half hour longer.

At the door he stopped and said, “Colfax, do not forget to tell
the people in the mining regions, as you pass through them, what I
told you this morning about the development when peace comes, and I
will telegraph you at San Francisco.” Having shaken hands with both
gentlemen and bidden them a pleasant good-bye, the President with his
party left for the theatre.

The box occupied by them was on the second tier above the stage, at
the right of the audience, the entrance to it being by a door from the
adjoining gallery. One, who had planned Mr. Lincoln’s assassination
with extraordinary precautions against any failure, having effected
an entrance by deceiving the guard, found himself in a dark corridor,
of which the wall made an acute angle with the door. The assassin had
previously gouged a channel from the plaster and placed near by a stout
piece of board, which he next inserted between the wall and the panel
of the door.

Ingress then being rendered impossible, he next turned toward the
entrances to the President’s box, two in number, as the box by a
sliding partition could, at pleasure, be converted into two. The door
at the bottom of the passage was open; that nearer the assassin was
closed. Both had spring-locks, but their screws had been carefully
loosened so as to yield to a slight pressure, if necessary.

Resort was had to the hither door, in which a small hole had been
bored, for the purpose of securing a view of the interior of the box,
the door first described having first been fastened, and the discovery
made that the occupants had taken seats as follows: the President in
the arm-chair nearest the audience, Mrs. Lincoln next, then, after
a considerable space, a Miss Clara Harris in the corner nearest the
stage, and a Major H. R. Rathbone on a lounge along the further wall.

The play was, “Our American Cousin.” While all were intent upon its
representation, the report of a pistol first announced the presence
of the assassin, who uttered the word “Freedom!” and advanced toward
the front. The Major having discerned the murderer through the smoke,
and grappled with him, the latter dropped his pistol and aimed with a
knife at the breast of his antagonist, who caught the blow in the upper
part of his left arm, but was unable to detain the desperado, though he
immediately seized him again. The villain, however, leaped some twelve
feet down upon the open stage, tangling his spur in the draped flag
below the box and stumbling in his fall.

Recovering himself immediately, he flourished his dagger, shouted “_Sic
semper tyrannis_” and “_The South is avenged_,” retreated successfully
through the labyrinth of the theatre--perfectly familiar to him--to his
horse in waiting below. Between the deed of blood and the escape there
was not the lapse of a minute. The hour was about half-past ten. There
was but one pursuer, and he from the audience, but he was outstripped.

The meaning of the pistol-shot was soon ascertained. Mr. Lincoln had
been shot in the back of the head, behind the left ear, the ball
traversing an oblique line to the right ear. He was rendered instantly
unconscious, and never knew friends or pain again. Having been conveyed
as soon as possible to a house opposite the theatre, he expired there
the next morning, April fifteenth, 1865, at twenty-two minutes past
seven o’clock, attended by the principal members of his Cabinet and
other friends, from all of whom the heart-rending spectacle drew
copious tears of sorrow. Mrs. Lincoln and her son Robert were in an
adjoining apartment--the former bowed down with anguish, the latter
strong enough to sustain and console her. A disconsolate widow and two
sons now constituted the entire family. Soon after nine o’clock, the
body was removed to the White House under military escort.

Thus ended the earthly career of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President
of the United States, on the threshold of his fifty-seventh year and
second Presidential term.

“_Sic semper tyrannis!_” And this the justification for the murder of a
ruler who had

    “---- borne his faculties so meek, had been
    So clear in his great office, that his virtues
    Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
    The deep damnation of his taking-off.”

“The South avenged!” And by the cold-blooded murder of the best friend
that repentant rebels ever had--of one who had long withstood the
pressing appeals of his warmest personal and political friends for less
lenity and more rigor in dealing with traitors.

It was written in the decrees of the Immutable that he should fall by
the bullet--not, indeed, on the battle-field, whose sad suggestings
he had so often, and so tenderly, lovingly heeded--but in the midst
of his family, while seeking relief from the cares of state--and by a
murderer’s hand!--the first President to meet such a fate--thenceforth
our martyr-chief!

But sorrow was tempered with mercy. He did not fall until a benignant
Providence had permitted him to enjoy a foretaste, at least, of the
blessings which he had been instrumental in conferring upon the land he
loved so well.

The pledges of his first Inaugural Address had been amply
redeemed--those pledges which so many declared impossible of
fulfilment, which not a few mocked as beyond human power to accomplish.
The power confided to him had been successfully used “to hold, occupy,
and possess the property and places belonging to the Government.” No
United States fort at the time of his fall flaunted treason in the eyes
of the land. The day of his murder the old flag had been flung to the
breeze from Sumter with ceremonies befitting the joyous occasion, by
the very hands that four years before had been compelled to lower it
to arrogant traitors; and friends of freedom for man, irrespective of
color or race, walked the streets of Charleston--a city of desolation,
a skeleton of its former self--jubilant that, since God so willed it,
in His own good time, Freedom was National and Slavery but a thing of
the past.

When he fell, the Nation, brought by the stern necessities of direful
war to the discharge of duties befitting a better manhood, passing by
all projects for an emancipation of slaves, which should be merely
gradual, not content even that such emancipation had been proclaimed
as a measure of military necessity, had spoken in favor of such an
amendment of the Constitution as should forever prohibit any claim of
property in man. Though the final consummation of that great measure
had not been reached when our President was removed, it was given him
to feel assured that the end was not distant, was even then close at

When he fell, that body of traitors which had assumed to be a
Government had fled, one scarcely knew whither, with whatever
of ill-gotten gains their greedy hands could grasp--their main
army captive, the residue of their military force on the point of
surrendering. From what had been their capital, in the mansion
appropriated to the special use of the chiefest among the conspirators,
he had been permitted to send words of greeting to the nation.

When he fell, treason throughout the land lay gasping, dying.

It needed not that dismal, dreary, mid-April day to intensify the
sorrow. As on the wings of lightning the news sped through the
land--“the President is Shot”--“is dying”--“is dead”--men knew scarcely
how to credit the tale. When the fearful certainty came home to each,
strong men bowed themselves and wept--maid and matron joined in the
plaint. With no extraneous prompting, with no impulse save that of
the heart alone, the common grief took on a common garb. Houses were
draped--the flag of our country hung pensive at half-mast--portraitures
of the loved dead were found on all.

And dreary as was the day when first the tidings swept through the
country, patriot hearts were drearier still. It was past analysis. It
was as if chaos and dread night had come again.

Meanwhile the honored dead lay in state in the country’s capitol.

On that dreamy, hazy nineteenth of April--suggesting, were it not for
the early green leaves, the fresh springing grass, the glad spring
caroling of birds, “that sweet autumnal summer which the Indian loved
so well”--on that day when sleep wooed one even in the early morn, his
obsequies were celebrated in the country’s metropolis.

And throughout the land, minute guns were fired, bells tolled, business
suspended, and the thoughtful betook themselves to prayer, if so be
that what verily seemed a curse might pass from us.

Thence the funeral _cortege_ moved to the final resting-place--the
remains of a darling son, earlier called, accompanying those of the
father--by the route the President had taken when first he had been
summoned to the chair of State. Before half of the mournful task was
done, came tidings that the assassin had been sent to his final account
by the avenger’s hand, gurgling out, as his worthless life ebbed away,
“useless! useless!”

As the sad procession wended its way, where hundreds had gathered in
’61, impelled by mere curiosity or by partisan sympathy, thousands
gathered, four years later, through affection, through reverence,
through deep, abiding sorrow.

Flowers beautified the lifeless remains--dirges were sung--the people’s
great heart broke out into sobs and sighing.

And so, home to the prairie they bore him whom, when first he was
called, the Nation knew not--whom, mid the storms and ragings of those
years of civil war, they had learned, had loved, to call father and

In the Oak Ridge Cemetery, in his own Springfield, on the fourth of
May, 1865, they laid him to rest, at the foot of a knoll, in the most
beautiful part of the ground, over which forest trees--rare denizens of
the prairie--look lovingly.

There all that is mortal of ABRAHAM LINCOLN reposes.

“The immortal?” Hail, and farewell!



  Reasons for His Re-election--What was Accomplished--Leaning on
  the People--State Papers--His Tenacity of Purpose--Washington
  and Lincoln--As a Man--Favorite Poem--Autobiography--His
  Modesty--A Christian--Conclusion.

What shall be said, in summing up, of Abraham Lincoln as a statesman
and a man? That from such humble beginnings, in circumstances so
adverse, he rose to be the Chief Magistrate of one of the leading
countries of the world, would were it in any other country, be
evidence of ability of the very highest order.

Here, however, so many from similar surroundings have achieved similar
results that this fact of itself does not necessarily unfold the man
clearly and fully to us. He might have been put forward for that high
station as a skillful and accomplished politician, from whose elevation
hosts of partisans counted upon their own personal advancement and
profit. Or he might have been a successful general; or one possessing
merely negative qualities, with no salient points, all objectionable
angularities rounded off till that desirable availability, which has at
times been laid hold of for the Presidency had been reached; or, yet
again, one who had for a long time been in the front ranks of an old
and triumphant party, and, therefore, as such matters have been managed
with us, admitted to have strong claims upon such party; or, lastly,
one who, having for many years schemed and plotted and labored, in
season and out of season, for the nomination, at last achieved it.

For such Presidents have been furnished us. But he was neither. And yet
the highest point to which an American may aspire he reached. Clearly,
then, there must have been something of strength and of worth in the

He was reëlected, the first President since Jackson to whom that honor
had been accorded. And thirty-two years had passed--eight Presidential
terms--since Jackson’s reëlection. He was, moreover, reëlected by a
largely increased vote.

The years covered by his administration were the stormiest in American
history, “piled high,” as he himself said, “with difficulties.” No
President was ever more severely attacked, more unsparingly denounced
than he. None more belittled than he. And yet he was triumphantly
reëlected. Why? For the same reason that first brought him before the

Primarily and mainly because the mass of the people had unbounded
confidence in his honesty and devotion to principle. Though these
qualities, it is pleasant to say, have been by no means rare in our
Presidents, yet Abraham Lincoln seemed so to speak, so steeped and
saturated in them that a hold was thereby obtained upon the common
mind, the like of which no other President since Washington had
secured. The bitterest opponent of his policy was constrained, if
candid, to admit, if not the existence of these qualities, at least the
prevailing popular belief in their existence.

What shall be said of him as a statesman?

That he found the fabric of our National Government rocking from turret
to foundation stone--that he left it, after four years of strife such
as, happily, the world rarely witnesses, firmly fixed, and sure; this
should serve in some sort, as an answer.

But might not this be owing, or principally so, to the ability of the
counsellors whom he gathered about him? Beyond a doubt the meed of
praise is to be shared. Yet we should remember that few Presidents have
so uniformly acted of and for themselves in matters of state policy,
as did Mr. Lincoln. Upon many questions the opinions of his Cabinet
were sought--a Cabinet representing the various shades of thought, the
various stages of progress, through which the people, of whom they
were the exponents, were passing from year to year--after obtaining
which, he would act. But, in most instances, perhaps, he struck out for
himself, after careful, conscientious reflection, launching his policy
upon unknown seas, quietly assured that truth was with him and that he
could not be mistaken. Nor was he often.

Having to feel his way along, for the most part--groping in the
dark--he could not push on so fast and far as to leave the people out
of breath or staring far in his rear. Still, it must not be understood
that he never acted against what was plainly the popular will. The
man was not of that mould. Unquestionably in his dealings with the
two leading European powers he often acted in direct opposition to
the popular wish. Nothing would have been easier than for him to have
brought a foreign war upon the country; and in such action, for a time
at least, he would have been sustained by the mass of the people. So,
too, as to vindictive measures towards the rebels. By adopting these
he would, oftentimes, have been in harmony with the general wish
for vengeance and retaliation. In both these instances--to name no
others--he chose to act counter to the current sentiment. More politic,
with a more piercing outlook than the mass, he saw the end from the
beginning, and in the one case chose to overlook what was, to his mind,
grossly wrong, and in the other, to stand up for the general interests
of humanity through all time rather than to cater to the desire of the
hour, natural and, perhaps, pardonable though it was.

What is meant is this--that, in the complications in which the country
was involved, he invariably acted, where expediency simply and not
principle was concerned, so as to feel sure that the body of the people
were with him. If failure were to result, he would have them feel that
the responsibility for it rested as much upon them as upon him. He
earnestly endeavored to point out what he judged the better way and to
bring the people to his conviction; but, if they relucted, he waited
till they should have advanced where, or nearly where, he was. This was
generally felt, and it added largely to the confidence reposed in him.
By means of it, a general acquiescence was procured in many measures
earlier than could have been gained by any other course. We Americans
are a peculiar people in some respects. We dislike to be led by any
man. Nay, we stoutly deny that we are. We are not--when we see the
leading strings.

Mr. Lincoln’s state papers in their structure and composition were
not always what a critical scholar would have desired. Some would say
they were presented quite too often in undress. The people are not
profound critics. They could comprehend every word. They felt that
they were addressed as fellow-citizens. The ordinarily formal and
stilted official documents came from his plain pen a talk to them by
the fireside. He said, moreover, exactly what he meant and as he meant,
in his own clear cogent way, void of verbiage, homely often but always
the outgrowth of a profound intelligent conviction. And, generally,
he struck home. His were the words to which “the common pulse of man
keeps time.” How studded are his papers with lucid illustration; how
transparently honest and candid, like the man, their author!

His tenacity of purpose was marked. Signing that immortal proclamation,
which made him the Liberator of America, on the afternoon of January
1st, 1863, after hours of New Year’s hand-shaking, he said to friends
that night--“The signature looks a little tremulous, for my hand was
tired, but my resolution was firm. I told them in September, if they
did not return to their allegiance and cease murdering our soldiers,
I would strike at this pillar of their strength. And now the promise
shall be kept; and not one word of it will I ever recall.” In all the
varying scenes through which as our leader he passed, avoiding the
extremes of sudden exultation or deep depression, calm and quiet,
and resolute and determined, he kept on his course, with duty as his
guiding star, an unwarped conscience his prompter. Feeling always that
he bore his life in his hands, in the perilous position in which he was
placed, as well as he who went forth to do duty in the battle-field, he
faltered not, swerved not, compromised not, retracted not, apologized
not, but pursued his way with an inflexibility as rare as it is grand
and inspiring. Others might doubt--not he. He saw the end toward which
the nation and himself must strive. That was ever present to him, and
toward that he ever worked. His mission as President was, as he so
often and so pointedly stated, to save the Union. And he saved it.
There may be those who will contend that such a result might have been
reached by other means than those he was impelled to employ. That is
theory. He reduced his to practice. For himself, he could work only in
his own harness; and patiently, persistently, painfully he worked on
till the goal was reached.

Well has Washington been styled the Father of his Country. Yet this
arose from veneration rather than from love; for the most felt such an
impassable gulf between themselves and the patriot-hero, that to them
he appeared of quite another order of beings than themselves.

Abraham Lincoln was both Saviour and Father; for he preserved whatever
was most valuable in the old and created a new order of things
possessing an inherent dignity and importance which the old never had.
And such titles the people bestow upon him through love.

The characteristics of the man stood prominently out in the statesman.
He had not one garb as an official and another as a citizen. No
change marked his transit from the chat of the drawing-room to the
consultation of cabinet. What he was in the one situation he was in the
other. His peculiar humor was not, as those who least knew him judged,
his habitual disposition. More of melancholy and sadness centred in him
than most were aware. His favorite poem--given below for the sufficient
reason that it was his favorite--attests the vein of pensiveness which
was in him. “There is one poem,” he remarked in conversation, “that is
almost continually present with me: it comes in my mind whenever I have
relief from thought and care.”

    Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
    Like a swift, fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
    A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
    Man passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

    The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
    Be scattered around and together be laid;
    And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
    Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.

    The infant a mother attended and loved;
    The mother that infant’s affection who proved;
    The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
    Each, all, are away to their dwellings of Rest.

    The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye
    Shone beauty and pleasure--her triumphs are by;
    And the memory of those who loved her and praised,
    Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

    The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne;
    The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn;
    The eye of the sage and the heart of the brave,
    Are hidden and lost in the depth of the grave.

    The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap;
    The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep;
    The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread,
    Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

    The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven,
    The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven,
    The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
    Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

    So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed
    That withers away to let others succeed;
    So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
    To repeat every tale that has often been told.

    For we are the same our fathers have been;
    We see the same sights our fathers have seen--
    We drink the same stream and view the same sun--
    And run the same course our fathers have run.

    The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
    From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink,
    To the life we are clinging they also would cling;
    But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.

    They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
    They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
    They grieved, but no wail from their slumber will come;
    They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

    They died, aye! they died; and we things that are now,
    Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
    Who make in their dwelling a transient abode,
    Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

    Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
    We mingle together in sunshine and rain;
    And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge,
    Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.

    ’Tis the wink of an eye, ’tis the draught of a breath;
    From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
    From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud--
    Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

No one was more modest than he. Look at the record of his life as
furnished by himself, in 1858, for Lanman’s Dictionary of Congress:

  “Born February 12, 1809, in Hardin county, Kentucky.

  “Education Defective.

  “Profession a lawyer.

  “Have been a captain of volunteers in the Black Hawk war.

  “Postmaster at a very small office.

  “Four times a member of the Illinois Legislature.

  “And was a member of the lower House of Congress.

    “Yours, etc.,
    A. LINCOLN.”

With no self-conceit, a pupil in the school of events, he was never
ashamed to confess himself a learner, and as such he grew and ripened.
Equable in his temperament, never wrathful or passionate, none need
have been his enemy, unless such an one were intended for an enemy of
the human race. Mild and forgiving, he never allowed the unmerited
abuse which was heaped upon him to affect in the least his intercourse
or dealings with its authors. His very failings leaned to mercy’s side.
There is scarcely a hamlet in the loyal States that does not contain
some witness of his clemency and lenity. One of the most touching
incidents connected with his obsequies at Washington was the placing
on his coffin of a wreath of flowers, sent from Boston by the sister
of a young man whom he had pardoned when sentenced to death for some
military offence.

Honored as a private citizen, happy in his domestic relations,
successful as a statesman, he was, moreover, an avowed Christian. He
often said that his reliance in the gloomiest hours was on his God, to
whom he appealed in prayer, although he had never become a professor
of religion. To a clergyman who asked him if he loved his Saviour, he

“When I was first inaugurated I did not love him; when God took my son
I was greatly impressed, but still I did not love him; but when I stood
upon the battle-field of Gettysburg I gave my heart to Christ, and I
can now say I do love the Saviour.”

Attention has already been called to the reverential spirit which
pervades his official papers; and this was the index of the man.
Leaving home, he invoked the prayers of his townsmen and friends;
during the excitements of his Washington life, he leaned upon a more
than human arm; against his pure moral character not even his bitterest
enemy could truthfully utter a word.

Such--imperfectly sketched, and at best but in rude outline--was
Abraham Lincoln. The manner of his death invests his name with a
tragic interest. This will be but temporary. But the more the man as
he was is known, the more completely an insight is obtained into his
true character, the more his private and public life is studied, the
more carefully his acts are weighed, the higher will he rise in the
estimation of all whose esteem is desirable. Coming years will detract
nought from him. He has passed into history. There no lover of honesty
and integrity, no admirer of firmness and resolution, no sympathizer
with conscientious conviction, no friend of man need fear to leave--





(_In Committee of the Whole House, January 12, 1848._)

Mr. Lincoln addressed the Committee as follows:

  “MR. CHAIRMAN:--Some, if not all, of the gentlemen on the other
  side of the House, who have addressed the Committee within the
  last two days, have spoken rather complainingly, if I have
  rightly understood them, of the vote given a week or ten days
  ago, declaring that the war with Mexico was unnecessarily and
  unconstitutionally commenced by the President. I admit that such
  a vote should not be given in mere party wantonness, and that the
  one given is justly censurable, if it have no other or better
  foundation. I am one of those who joined in that vote; and did
  so under my best impression of the _truth_ of the case. How I
  got this impression, and how it may possibly be removed, I will
  now try to show. When the war began, it was my opinion that all
  those who, because of knowing too _little_, or because of knowing
  too _much_, could not conscientiously approve the conduct of the
  President (in the beginning of it), should, nevertheless, as good
  citizens and patriots, remain silent on that point, at least
  till the war should be ended. Some leading Democrats, including
  ex-President Van Buren, have taken this same view, as I understand
  them; and I adhered to it, and acted upon it, until since I
  took my seat here; and I think I should still adhere to it, were
  it not that the President and his friends will not allow it to
  be so. Besides, the continual effort of the President to argue
  every silent vote given for supplies into an indorsement of the
  justice and wisdom of his conduct; besides that singularly candid
  paragraph in his late message, in which he tells us that Congress,
  with great unanimity (only two in the Senate and fourteen in the
  House dissenting) had declared that ‘by the act of the Republic
  of Mexico a state of war exists between that Government and the
  United States;’ when the same journals that informed him of this,
  also informed him that, when that declaration stood disconnected
  from the question of supplies, sixty-seven in the House, and not
  fourteen, merely, voted against it; besides this open attempt to
  prove by telling the _truth_, what he could not prove by telling
  the _whole truth_, demanding of all who will not submit to be
  misrepresented, in justice to themselves, to speak out; besides all
  this, one of my colleagues [Mr. Richardson], at a very early day in
  the session, brought in a set of resolutions, expressly indorsing
  the original justice of the war on the part of the President.
  Upon these resolutions, when they shall be put on their passage,
  I shall be _compelled_ to vote; so that I can not be silent if I
  would. Seeing this, I went about preparing myself to give the vote
  understandingly, when it should come. I carefully examined the
  President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and
  proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make
  the impression, that, taking for true all the President states as
  facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that
  the President would have gone further with his proof, if it had not
  been for the small matter that the _truth_ would not permit him.
  Under the impression thus made I gave the vote before mentioned. I
  propose now to give, concisely, the process of the examination I
  made, and how I reached the conclusion I did.

  “The President, in his first message of May, 1846, declares that
  the soil was _ours_ on which hostilities were commenced by Mexico;
  and he repeats that declaration, almost in the same language, in
  each successive annual message--thus showing that he esteems that
  point a highly essential one. In the importance of that point I
  entirely agree with the President. To my judgment, it is the _very
  point_ upon which he should be justified or condemned. In his
  message of December, 1846, it seems to have occurred to him, as is
  certainly true, that title, ownership to soil, or any thing else,
  is not a simple fact, but is a conclusion following one or more
  simple facts; and that it was incumbent upon him to present the
  facts from which he concluded the soil was ours on which the first
  blood of the war was shed.

  “Accordingly, a little below the middle of page twelve, in the
  message last referred to, he enters upon that task; forming an
  issue and introducing testimony, extending the whole to a little
  below the middle of page fourteen. Now, I propose to try to show
  that the whole of this--issue and evidence--is, from beginning to
  end, the sheerest deception. The issue, as he presents it, is in
  these words: ‘But there are those who, conceding all this to be
  true, assume the ground that the true western boundary of Texas
  is the Nueces, instead of the Rio Grande; and that, therefore, in
  marching our army to the east bank of the latter river, we passed
  the Texan line, and invaded the territory of Mexico.’ Now, this
  issue is made up of two affirmatives and no negative. The main
  deception of it is, that it assumes as true that _one_ river or the
  _other_ is necessarily the boundary, and cheats the superficial
  thinker entirely out of the idea that _possibly_ the boundary is
  somewhere _between_ the two, and not actually at either. A further
  deception is, that it will let in _evidence_ which a true issue
  would exclude. A true issue made by the President would be about as
  follows: ‘I say the soil _was ours_ on which the first blood was
  shed; there are those who say it was not.’

  “I now proceed to examine the President’s evidence, as applicable
  to such an issue. When that evidence is analyzed it is all included
  in the following propositions:

  “1. That the Rio Grande was the western boundary of Louisiana, as
  we purchased it of France in 1803.

  “2. That the Republic of Texas always _claimed_ the Rio Grande as
  her western boundary.

  “3. That, by various acts, she had claimed it _on paper_.

  “4. That Santa Anna, in his treaty with Texas, recognized the Rio
  Grande as her boundary.

  “5. That Texas _before_, and the United States _after_ annexation,
  had _exercised_ jurisdiction _beyond_ the Nueces, _between_ the two

  “6. That our Congress _understood_ the boundary of Texas to extend
  beyond the Nueces.

  “Now for each of these in its turn:

  “His first item is, that the Rio Grande was the western boundary
  of Louisiana, as we purchased it of France in 1803; and, seeming
  to expect this to be disputed, he argues over the amount of nearly
  a page to prove it true; at the end of which he lets us know that,
  by the treaty of 1819, we sold to Spain the whole country, from
  the Rio Grande eastward to the Sabine. Now, admitting for the
  present, that the Rio Grande was the boundary of Louisiana, what,
  under heaven, had that to do with the _present_ boundary between
  us and Mexico? How, Mr. Chairman, the line that once divided your
  land from mine can _still_ be the boundary between us _after_ I
  have sold my land to you, is, to me, beyond all comprehension. And
  how any man, with an honest purpose only of proving the truth,
  could ever have _thought_ of introducing such a fact to prove such
  an issue, is equally incomprehensible. The outrage upon common
  _right_, of seizing as our own what we have once sold, merely
  because it _was_ ours _before_ we sold it, is only equaled by the
  outrage on common _sense_ of any attempt to justify it.

  “The President’s next piece of evidence is, that ‘The Republic
  of Texas always _claimed_ this river (Rio Grande) as her western
  boundary.’ That is not true, in fact. Texas _has_ claimed it,
  but she has not _always_ claimed it. There is, at least, one
  distinguished exception. Her State Constitution--the public’s
  most solemn and well-considered act; that which may, without
  impropriety, be called her last will and testament, revoking all
  others--makes no such claim. But suppose she had always claimed it.
  Has not Mexico always claimed the contrary? So that there is but
  _claim_ against _claim_, leaving nothing proved until we get back
  of the claims, and find which has the better _foundation_.

  “Though not in the order in which the President presents his
  evidence, I now consider that class of his statements, which are,
  in substance, nothing more than that Texas has by various acts
  of her Convention and Congress, claimed the Rio Grande as her
  boundary--_on paper_. I mean here what he says about the fixing
  of the Rio Grande as her boundary, in her old Constitution (not
  her State Constitution), about forming congressional districts,
  counties, etc. Now, all this is but naked _claim_; and what I have
  already said about claims is strictly applicable to this. If I
  should claim your land by word of mouth, that certainly would not
  make it mine; and if I were to claim it by a deed which I had made
  myself, and with which you had nothing to do, the claim would be
  quite the same in substance, or rather in utter nothingness.

  “I next consider the President’s statement that Santa Anna, in
  his _treaty_ with Texas, recognized the Rio Grande as the western
  boundary of Texas. Besides the position so often taken that Santa
  Anna, while a prisoner of war--a captive--_could_ not bind Mexico
  by a treaty, which I deem conclusive; besides this, I wish to say
  something in relation to this treaty so called by the President,
  with Santa Anna. If any man would like to be amused by a sight at
  that _little_ thing, which the President calls by that _big_ name,
  he can have it by turning to Niles’ Register, volume 50, page 386.
  And if any one should suppose that Niles’ Register is a curious
  repository of so mighty a document as a solemn treaty between
  nations, I can only say that I learned, to a tolerable degree of
  certainty, by inquiry at the State Department, that the President
  himself never saw it anywhere else. By the way, I believe I should
  not err if I were to declare, that during the first ten years of
  the existence of that document, it was never by anybody _called_
  a treaty; that it was never so called till the President, in his
  extremity, attempted, by so calling it, to wring something from it
  in justification of himself in connection with the Mexican war. It
  has none of the distinguishing features of a treaty. It does not
  call itself a treaty. Santa Anna does not therein assume to bind
  Mexico; he assumes only to act as President, Commander-in-chief
  of the Mexican army and navy; stipulates that the then present
  hostilities should cease, and that he would not _himself_ take up
  arms, nor _influence_ the Mexican people to take up arms, against
  Texas, during the existence of the war of independence. He did
  not recognize the independence of Texas; he did not assume to put
  an end to the war, but clearly indicated his expectation of its
  continuance; he did not say one word about boundary, and most
  probably never thought of it. It _is_ stipulated therein that the
  Mexican forces should evacuate the territory of Texas, _passing
  to the other side of the Rio Grande_; and in another article it
  is stipulated, that to prevent collisions between the armies, the
  Texan army should not approach nearer than five leagues--of _what_
  is not said--but clearly, from the object stated, it is of the Rio
  Grande. Now, if this is a treaty recognizing the Rio Grande as a
  boundary of Texas, it contains the singular feature of stipulating
  that Texas shall not go within five leagues of _her own_ boundary.

  “Next comes the evidence that Texas before annexation, and the
  United States afterward, exercising jurisdiction beyond the
  Nueces, and _between_ the two rivers. This actual _exercise_ of
  jurisdiction is the very class or quality of evidence we want.
  It is excellent so far as it goes; but does it go far enough?
  He tells us it went _beyond_ the Nueces, but he does not tell
  us it went _to_ the Rio Grande. He tells us jurisdiction was
  exercised _between_ the two rivers, but he does not tell us
  it was exercised over _all_ the territory between them. Some
  simple-minded people think it possible to cross one river and go
  beyond it, without going all the way to the next; that jurisdiction
  may be exercised _between_ two rivers without covering _all_
  the country between them. I know a man, not very unlike myself,
  who exercises jurisdiction over a piece of land between the
  Wabash and the Mississippi; and yet so far is this from being
  _all_ there is between those rivers, that it is just one hundred
  and fifty-two feet long by fifty wide, and no part of it much
  within a hundred miles of either. He has a neighbor between him
  and the Mississippi--that is, just across the street, in that
  direction--whom, I am sure, he could neither _persuade_ nor _force_
  to give up his habitation; but which, nevertheless he could
  certainly annex, if it were to be done, by merely standing on his
  own side of the street and claiming it, or even sitting down and
  writing a deed for it.

  “But next, the President tells us, the Congress of the United
  States _understood_ the State of Texas they admitted into the
  Union to extend _beyond_ the Nueces. Well, I suppose they did--I
  certainly so understand it--but how _far_ beyond? That Congress
  did _not_ understand it to extend clear to the Rio Grande, is
  quite certain by the fact of their joint resolutions for admission
  expressly leaving all questions of boundary to future adjustment.
  And, it may be added, that Texas herself is proved to have had the
  same understanding of it that our Congress had, by the fact of the
  exact conformity of her new Constitution to those resolutions.

  “I am now through the whole of the President’s evidence; and it
  is a singular fact, that if any one should declare the President
  sent the army into the midst of a settlement of Mexican people,
  who had never submitted, by consent or by force to the authority
  of Texas or of the United States, and that _there_, and _thereby_,
  the first blood of the war was shed, there is not one word in
  all the President has said which would either admit or deny
  the declaration. In this strange omission chiefly consists the
  deception of the President’s evidence--an omission which, it does
  seem to me, could scarcely have occurred but by design. My way
  of living leads me to be about the courts of justice; and there
  I have sometimes seen a good lawyer, struggling for his client’s
  neck, in a desperate case, employing every artifice to work round,
  befog, and cover up with many words some position pressed upon him
  by the prosecution, which he _dared_ not admit, and yet _could_
  not deny. Party bias may help to make it appear so; but, with all
  the allowance I can make for such bias, it still does appear to me
  that just such and from just such necessity, are the President’s
  struggles in this case.

  “Some time after my colleague (Mr. Richardson) introduced the
  resolutions I have mentioned, I introduced a preamble, resolution,
  and interrogatories, intended to draw the President out, if
  possible, on this hitherto untrodden ground. To show their
  relevancy, I propose to state my understanding of the true rule
  for ascertaining the boundary between Texas and Mexico. It is,
  that _wherever_ Texas was _exercising_ jurisdiction was hers; and
  wherever Mexico was exercising jurisdiction was hers: and that
  whatever separated the actual exercise of jurisdiction of the one
  from that of the other, was the true boundary between them. If,
  as is probably true, Texas was exercising jurisdiction along the
  western bank of the Nueces, and Mexico was exercising it along
  the eastern bank of the Rio Grande, then _neither_ river was
  the boundary, but the uninhabited country between the two was.
  The extent of our territory in that region depended not on any
  _treaty-fixed_ boundary (for no treaty had attempted it), but on
  revolution. Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the
  power, have the _right_ to rise up and shake off the existing
  government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a
  most valuable, a most sacred right--a right which, we hope and
  believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to
  cases in which the whole people of an existing government may
  choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that _can_ may
  revolutionize, and make their _own_ of so much of their territory
  as they inhabit. More than this, a _majority_ of any portion
  of such people may revolutionize, putting down a _minority_,
  intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their
  movements. Such minority was precisely the case of the Tories of
  our own Revolution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old
  lines, or old laws; but to break up both and make new ones. As to
  the country now in question, we bought it of France in 1803, and
  sold it to Spain in 1819, according to the President’s statement.
  After this, all Mexico, including Texas, revolutionized against
  Spain; and still later, Texas revolutionized against Mexico. In my
  view, just so far as she carried her revolution, by obtaining the
  _actual_, willing or unwilling submission of the people, so _far_
  the country was hers, and no further.

  “Now, sir, for the purpose of obtaining the very best evidence
  as to whether Texas had actually carried her revolution to the
  place where the hostilities of the present war commenced, let
  the President answer the interrogatories I proposed, as before
  mentioned, or some other similar ones. Let him answer fully, fairly
  and candidly. Let him answer with _facts_, and not with arguments.
  Let him remember he sits where Washington sat; and, so remembering,
  let him answer as Washington would answer. As a nation _should_
  not, and the Almighty _will_ not, be evaded, so let him attempt no
  evasion, no equivocation. And if, so answering, he can show that
  the soil was ours where the first blood of the war was shed--that
  it was not within an inhabited country, or, if within such, that
  the inhabitants had submitted themselves to the civil authority of
  Texas, or of the United States, and that the same is true of the
  site of Fort Brown--then I am with him for his justification. In
  that case, I shall be most happy to reverse the vote I gave the
  other day. I have a selfish motive for desiring that the President
  may do this; I expect to give some votes, in connection with the
  war, which, without his so doing, will be of doubtful propriety,
  in my own judgment, but which will be free from the doubt if he
  does so. But if he _can not or will not_ do this,--if, on any
  pretence, or no pretence, he shall refuse or omit it,--then I shall
  be fully convinced, of what I more than suspect already, that he
  is deeply conscious of being in the wrong; that he feels the blood
  of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to heaven against
  him; that he ordered General Taylor into the midst of a peaceful
  Mexican settlement, purposely to bring on a war; that originally
  having some strong motive--what I will not stop now to give my
  opinion concerning--to involve the two countries in a war, and
  trusting to escape scrutiny by fixing the public gaze upon the
  exceeding brightness of military glory--that attractive rainbow
  that rises in showers of blood--that serpent’s eye that charms to
  destroy--he plunged into it, and has swept _on_ and _on_, till,
  disappointed in his calculation of the ease with which Mexico might
  be subdued, he now finds himself he knows not where. How like the
  half insane mumbling of a fever dream is the whole war part of
  the late message! At one time telling us that Mexico has nothing
  whatever that we can get but territory; at another, showing us how
  we can support the war by levying contributions on Mexico. At one
  time urging the national honor, the security of the future, the
  prevention of foreign interference, and even the good of Mexico
  herself, as among the objects of the war; at another, telling
  us that, ‘to reject indemnity by refusing to accept a cession of
  territory, would be to abandon all our just demands, and to wage
  the war, bearing all its expenses, _without a purpose or definite
  object_.’ So, then, the national honor, security of the future, and
  everything but territorial indemnity, may be considered the _no
  purposes_ and _indefinite_ objects of the war! But having it now
  settled that territorial indemnity is the only object, we are urged
  to seize, by legislation here, all that he was content to take a
  few months ago, and the whole province of Lower California to boot,
  and to still carry on the war--to take _all_ we are fighting for,
  and _still_ fight on. Again, the President is resolved, under all
  circumstances, to have full territorial indemnity for the expenses
  of the war; but he forgets to tell us how we are to get the
  _excess_ after those expenses shall have surpassed the value of the
  _whole_ of the Mexican territory. So, again, he insists that the
  separate national existence of Mexico shall be maintained; but he
  does not tell us _how_ this can be done after we shall have taken
  _all_ her territory. Lest the question I here suggest be considered
  speculative merely, let me be indulged a moment in trying to show
  they are not.

  “The war has gone on some twenty months; for the expenses of which,
  together with an inconsiderable old score, the President now claims
  about one-half of the Mexican territory, and that by far the better
  half, so far as concerns our ability to make any thing out of it.
  It is comparatively uninhabited; so that we could establish land
  offices in it, and raise some money in that way. But the other half
  is already inhabited, as I understand it, tolerably densely for the
  nature of the country; and all its lands, or all that are valuable,
  already appropriated as private property. How, then, are we to make
  any thing out of these lands with this incumbrance on them, or how
  remove the incumbrance? I suppose no one will say that we shall
  kill the people, or drive them out, or make slaves of them, or
  even confiscate their property? How, then, can we make much out of
  this part of the territory? If the prosecution of the war has, in
  expenses, already equalled the _better_ half of the country, how
  long its future prosecution will be in equalling the less valuable
  half is not a _speculative_ but a _practical_ question, pressing
  closely upon us; and yet it is a question which the President seems
  never to have thought of.

  “As to the mode of terminating the war and securing peace, the
  President is equally wandering and indefinite. First, it is to be
  done by a more vigorous prosecution of the war in the vital parts
  of the enemy’s country; and, after apparently talking himself tired
  on this point, the President drops down into a half despairing
  tone, and tells us, that ‘with a people distracted and divided by
  contending factions, and a government subject to constant changes,
  by successive revolutions, _the continued success of our arms
  may fail to obtain a satisfactory peace_.’ Then he suggests the
  propriety of wheedling the Mexican people to desert the counsels
  of their own leaders, and, trusting in our protection, to set
  up a government from which we can secure a satisfactory peace,
  telling us that ‘_this may become the only mode of obtaining such a
  peace_.’ But soon he falls into doubt of this too, and then drops
  back on to the already half abandoned ground of ‘more vigorous
  prosecution.’ All this shows that the President is in no wise
  satisfied with his own positions. First, he takes up one, and, in
  attempting to argue us into it, he argues himself _out_ of it;
  then seizes another, and goes through the same process; and then,
  confused at being able to think of nothing new, he snatches up the
  old one again, which he has some time before cast off. His mind,
  tasked beyond its power, is running hither and thither, like some
  tortured creature on a burning surface, finding no such position on
  which it can settle down and be at ease.

  “Again, it is a singular omission in this message, that it nowhere
  intimates _when_ the President expects the war to terminate. At
  its beginning, General Scott was, by this same President driven
  into disfavor, if not disgrace, for intimating that peace could
  not be conquered in less than three or four months. But now at the
  end of about twenty months, during which time our arms have given
  us the most splendid successes--every department, and every part,
  land and water, officers and privates, regulars and volunteers,
  doing all that men could do, and hundreds of things which it had
  ever before been thought that men could _not_ do; after all this,
  this same President gives us a long message without showing us that
  _as to the end_, he has himself even an imaginary conception. As
  I have before said, he knows not where he is. He is a bewildered,
  confounded, and miserably-perplexed man. God grant he may be able
  to show that there is not something about his conscience more
  painful than all his mental perplexity.”

       *       *       *       *       *


(_In Committee of the Whole House, June 20, 1848._)

Mr. Lincoln said:

  “MR. CHAIRMAN:--I wish at all times in no way to practice any fraud
  upon the House or the Committee, and I also desire to do nothing
  which may be very disagreeable to any of the members. I therefore
  state, in advance, that my object in taking the floor is to make a
  speech on the general subject of internal improvements; and if I
  am out of order in doing so I give the Chair an opportunity of so
  deciding, and I will take my seat.”

  The Chair.--“I will not undertake to anticipate what the gentleman
  may say on the subject of internal improvements. He will,
  therefore, proceed in his remarks, and if any question of order
  shall be made, the Chair will then decide it.”

  Mr. Lincoln.--“At an early day of this session the President sent
  to us what may properly be termed an internal improvement veto
  message. The late Democratic Convention which sat at Baltimore, and
  which nominated General Cass for the Presidency, adopted a set of
  resolutions, now called the Democratic platform, among which is one
  in these words:

  “‘That the Constitution does not confer upon the General Government
  the power to commence and carry on a general system of internal

  “General Cass, in his letter accepting the nomination, holds this

  “‘I have carefully read the resolutions of the Democratic National
  Convention, laying down the platform of our political faith, and I
  adhere to them as firmly as I approve them cordially.’

  “These things, taken together, show that the question of internal
  improvements is now more distinctly made--has become more intense,
  than at any former period. It can no longer be avoided. The
  veto message and the Baltimore resolution I understand to be,
  in substance, the same thing; the latter being the more general
  statement, of which the former is the amplification--the bill of
  particulars. While I know there are many Democrats, on this floor
  and elsewhere, who disapprove that message, I understand that all
  who shall vote for General Cass will thereafter be considered
  as having approved it, as having indorsed all its doctrines. I
  suppose all, or nearly all, the Democrats will vote for him. Many
  of them will do so, not because they like his position on this
  question, but because they prefer him, being wrong in this, to
  another, whom they consider further wrong on other questions. In
  this way the internal improvement Democrats are to be, by a sort
  of forced consent, carried over, and arrayed against themselves
  on this measure of policy. General Cass, once elected, will not
  trouble himself to make a Constitutional argument, or, perhaps,
  any argument at all, when he shall veto a river or harbor bill. He
  will consider it a sufficient answer to all Democratic murmurs, to
  point to Mr. Polk’s message, and to the “Democratic platform.” This
  being the case, the question of improvements is verging to a final
  crisis; and the friends of the policy must now battle, and battle
  manfully, or surrender all. In this view, humble as I am, I wish to
  review, and contest as well as I may, the general positions of this
  veto message. When I say _general_ positions, I mean to exclude
  from consideration so much as relates to the present embarrassed
  state of the Treasury, in consequence of the Mexican war.

  “Those general positions are: That internal improvements ought not
  to be made by the General Government:

  “1. Because they would overwhelm the treasury;

  “2. Because, while their _burdens_ would be general, their
  _benefits_ would be _local_ and _partial_, involving an obnoxious

  “3. Because they would be unconstitutional;

  “4. Because the States may do enough by the levy and collection of
  tonnage duties; or, if not,

  “5. That the Constitution may be amended.

  “‘Do nothing at all, lest you do something wrong,’ is the sum
  of these positions--is the sum of this message; and this, with
  the exception of what is said about Constitutionality, applying
  as forcibly to making improvements by State authority as by the
  national authority. So that we must abandon the improvements of the
  country altogether, by any and every authority, or we must resist
  and repudiate the doctrines of this message. Let us attempt the

  “The first position is, that a system of internal improvement would
  overwhelm the treasury.

  “That, in such a system, there is a _tendency_ to undue expansion,
  is not to be denied. Such tendency is founded in the nature of the
  subject. A member of Congress will prefer voting for a bill which
  contains an appropriation for his district, to voting for one which
  does not; and when a bill shall be expanded till every district
  shall be provided for, that it will be too greatly expanded is
  obvious. But is this any more true in Congress than in a State
  Legislature? If a member of Congress must have an appropriation
  for his district, so a member of a Legislature must have one for
  his county; and if one will overwhelm the national treasury, so
  the other will overwhelm the State treasury. Go where we will,
  the difficulty is the same. Allow it to drive us from the halls
  of Congress, and it will just as easily drive us from the State
  Legislatures. Let us, then, grapple with it, and test its strength.
  Let us, judging of the future by the past, ascertain whether there
  may not be, in the discretion of Congress, a sufficient power to
  limit and restrain this expansive tendency within reasonable and
  proper bounds. The President himself values the evidence of the
  past. He tells us that at a certain point of our history, more
  than two hundred millions of dollars had been _applied for_, to
  make improvements, and this he does to prove that the treasury
  would be overwhelmed by such a system. Why did he not tell us how
  much was _granted_? Would not that have been better evidence?
  Let us turn to it, and see what it proves. In the message, the
  President tells us that ‘during the four succeeding years, embraced
  by the administration of President Adams, the power not only
  to appropriate money, but to apply it, under the direction and
  authority of the General Government, as well to the construction
  of roads as to the improvement of harbors and rivers, was fully
  asserted and exercised.’

  “This, then, was the period of greatest enormity. These, if any,
  must have been the days of the two hundred millions. And how much
  do you suppose was really expended for improvements during those
  four years? Two hundred millions? One hundred? Fifty? Ten? Five?
  No, sir, less than two millions. As shown by authentic documents,
  the expenditures on improvements during 1825, 1826, 1827 and 1828,
  amounted to $1,879,627 01. These four years were the period of Mr.
  Adams’ administration, nearly, and substantially. This fact shows
  that when the power to make improvements was ‘fully asserted and
  exercised,’ the Congress _did_ keep within reasonable limits; and
  what _has_ been done it seems to me, _can_ be done again.

  “Now for the second position of the message, namely, that the
  burdens of improvements would be _general_, while their _benefits_
  would be _local_ and _partial_, involving an obnoxious inequality.
  That there is some degree of truth in this position I shall not
  deny. No commercial object of Government patronage can be so
  exclusively _general_, as not to be of some peculiar _local_
  advantage; but on the other hand, nothing is so _local_ as not to
  be of some general advantage. The navy, as I understand it, was
  established, and is maintained, at a great annual expense, partly
  to be ready for war, when war shall come, but partly also, and
  perhaps chiefly, for the protection of our commerce on the high
  seas. This latter object is, for all I can see, in principle, the
  same as internal improvements. The driving a pirate from the track
  of commerce on the broad ocean, and the removing a snag from its
  more narrow path in the Mississippi river, can not, I think, be
  distinguished in principle. Each is done to save life and property,
  and for nothing else. The navy, then, is the most general in its
  benefits of all this class of objects; and yet even the navy is of
  some peculiar advantage to Charleston, Baltimore, Philadelphia,
  New York and Boston, beyond what it is to the interior towns of
  Illinois. The next most general object I can think of, would be
  improvements on the Mississippi river and its tributaries. They
  touch thirteen of our States--Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky,
  Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois,
  Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Now, I suppose it will not be
  denied, that these thirteen States are a little more interested in
  improvements on that great river than are the remaining seventeen.
  These instances of the navy, and the Mississippi river show clearly
  that there is something of local advantage in the most general
  objects. But the converse is also true. Nothing is so _local_
  as not to be of some _general_ benefit. Take, for instance, the
  Illinois and Michigan canal. Considered apart from its effects,
  it is perfectly local. Every inch of it is within the State of
  Illinois. That canal was first opened for business last April. In a
  very few days we were all gratified to learn, among other things,
  that sugar had been carried from New Orleans, through the canal,
  to Buffalo, in New York. This sugar took this route, doubtless,
  because it was cheaper than the old route. Supposing the benefit in
  the reduction of the cost of carriage to be shared between seller
  and buyer, the result is, that the New Orleans merchant sold his
  sugar a little _dearer_, and the people of Buffalo sweetened their
  coffee a little _cheaper_ than before; a benefit resulting _from_
  the canal, not to Illinois, where the canal _is_, but to Louisiana
  and New York, where the canal is _not_. In other transactions
  Illinois will, of course, have her share, and perhaps the larger
  share too, in the benefits of the canal; but the instance of the
  sugar clearly shows that the _benefits_ of an improvement are by no
  means confined to the particular locality of the improvement itself.

  “The just conclusion from all this is, that if the nation refuse to
  make improvements of the more general kind, because their benefits
  may be somewhat local, a State may for the same reason, refuse to
  make an improvement of a local kind, because its benefits may be
  somewhat general. A State may well say to the Nation: ‘If you will
  do nothing for me, I will do nothing for you.’ Thus it is seen,
  that if this argument of ‘inequality’ is sufficient anywhere, it is
  sufficient everywhere, and puts an end to improvements altogether.
  I hope and believe, that if both the Nation and the States would,
  in faith, in their respective spheres, do what they could in the
  way of improvements, what of inequality might be produced in one
  place might be compensated in another and that the sum of the
  whole might not be very unequal. But suppose, after all, there
  should be some degree of inequality: inequality is certainly never
  to be embraced for its own sake; but is every good thing to be
  discarded which may be inseparably connected with some degree of
  it? If so, we must discard all government. This Capitol is built
  at the public expense, for the public benefit; but does any one
  doubt that it is of some peculiar local advantage to the property
  holders and business people of Washington? Shall we remove it for
  this reason? And if so, where shall we set it down, and be free
  from the difficulty? To make sure of our object shall we locate
  it nowhere, and leave Congress hereafter to hold its sessions as
  the loafer lodged, ‘in spots about?’ I make no special allusion
  to the present President when I say, there are few stronger cases
  in this world of ‘burden to the many, and benefit to the few’--of
  ‘inequality’--than the Presidency itself is by some thought to be.
  An honest laborer digs coal at about seventy cents a day, while the
  President digs abstractions at about seventy dollars a day. The
  _coal_ is clearly worth more than the _abstractions_, and yet what
  a monstrous inequality in the prices! Does the President, for this
  reason, propose to abolish the Presidency? He _does_ not, and he
  _ought_ not. The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any
  thing, is not whether it have _any_ evil in it, but whether it have
  more of evil than of good. There are few things _wholly_ evil or
  _wholly_ good; almost every thing, especially of government policy,
  is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment
  of the preponderance between them is continually demanded. On this
  principle the President, his friends, and the world generally, act
  on most subjects. Why not apply it, then, upon this question? Why,
  as to improvements, magnify the _evil_, and stoutly refuse to see
  any good in them?

  “Mr. Chairman, on the third position of the message (the
  Constitutional question) I have not much to say. Being the man
  I am, and speaking when I do, I feel that in any attempt at an
  original, Constitutional argument, I should not be, and ought
  not to be, listened to patiently. The ablest and the best of men
  have gone over the whole ground long ago. I shall attempt but
  little more than a brief notice of what some of them have said.
  In relation to Mr. Jefferson’s views, I read from Mr. Polk’s veto

  “‘President Jefferson, in his message to Congress in 1806,
  recommended an amendment of the Constitution, with a view to apply
  an anticipated surplus in the treasury ‘to the great purposes of
  the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects
  of public improvements as it may be thought proper to add to the
  Constitutional enumeration of the Federal powers.’ And he adds: ‘I
  suppose an amendment to the Constitution, by consent of the States,
  necessary because the objects now recommended are not among those
  enumerated in the Constitution, and to which it permits the public
  moneys to be applied.’ In 1825, he repeated, in his published
  letters, the opinion that no such power had been conferred upon

  “I introduce this, not to controvert, just now, the Constitutional
  opinion, but to show, that on the question of _expediency_, Mr.
  Jefferson’s opinion was against the present President--that this
  opinion of Mr. Jefferson, in one branch at least, is, in the hands
  of Mr. Polk, like McFingal’s gun:

    “‘Bears wide and kicks the owner over.’

  “But, to the Constitutional question. In 1826, Chancellor Kent
  first published his Commentaries on American Law. He devoted a
  portion of one of the lectures to the question of the authority of
  Congress to appropriate public moneys for internal improvements.
  He mentions that the question had never been brought under judicial
  consideration, and proceeds to give a brief summary of the
  discussions it had undergone between the legislative and executive
  branches of the Government. He shows that the legislative branch
  had usually been _for_, and the executive _against_, the power,
  till the period of Mr. J. Q. Adams’ administration; at which point
  he considers the executive influence as withdrawn from opposition,
  and added to the support of the power. In 1844, the Chancelor
  published a new edition of his Commentaries, in which he adds some
  notes of what had transpired on the question since 1826. I have not
  time to read the original text, or the notes, but the whole may
  be found on page 267, and the two or three following pages of the
  first volume of the edition of 1844. As what Chancellor Kent seems
  to consider the sum of the whole, I read from one of the notes:

  “‘Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution of
  the United States, vol. 2, page 429-440, and again, page 519-538,
  has stated at large the arguments for and against the proposition
  that Congress have a Constitutional authority to lay taxes, and
  to apply the power to regulate commerce, as a means directly to
  encourage and protect domestic manufactures; and, without giving
  any opinion of his own on the contested doctrine, he has left the
  reader to draw his own conclusion. I should think, however, from
  the arguments as stated, that every mind which has taken no part
  in the discussions, and felt no prejudice or territorial bias on
  either side of the question, would deem the arguments in favor of
  the Congressional power vastly superior.’

  “It will be seen, that in this extract, the power to make
  improvements is not directly mentioned; but by examining the
  context, both of Kent and of Story, it will appear that the power
  mentioned in the extract and the power to make improvements, are
  regarded as identical. It is not to be denied that many great and
  good men have been _against_ the power; but it is insisted that
  quite as many, as great, and as good, have been _for_ it; and
  it is shown that, on a full survey of the whole, Chancelor Kent
  was of opinion that the arguments of the latter were _vastly_
  superior. This is but the opinion of a man; but who was that man?
  He was one of the ablest and most learned lawyers of his age, or
  of any other age. It is no disparagement to Mr. Polk, nor, indeed,
  to any one who devotes much time to politics, to be placed far
  behind Chancelor Kent as a lawyer. His attitude was most favorable
  to correct conclusions. He wrote coolly and in retirement. He
  was struggling to rear a durable monument of fame; and he well
  knew that _truth_ and thoroughly sound reasoning were the only
  sure foundations. Can the party opinion of a party President, on
  a law question, as this purely is, be at all compared or set in
  opposition to that of such a man, in such an attitude as Chancelor

  “This Constitutional question will probably never be better settled
  than it is, until it shall pass under judicial consideration; but
  I do think that no man who is clear on this question of expediency
  need feel his conscience much pricked upon this.

  “Mr. Chairman, the President seems to think that enough may be
  done in the way of improvements, by means of tonnage duties, under
  State authority, with the consent of the General Government. Now,
  I suppose this matter of tonnage duties is well enough in its own
  sphere. I suppose it may be efficient, and perhaps _sufficient_,
  to make slight improvements and repairs in harbors already in use,
  and not much out of repair. But if I have any correct general idea
  of it, it must be wholly inefficient for any generally beneficent
  purposes of improvement. I know very little, or rather nothing at
  all, of the practical matter of levying and collecting tonnage
  duties; but I suppose one of its principles must be, to lay a duty,
  for the improvement of any particular harbor, _upon the tonnage
  coming into that harbor_. To do otherwise--to collect money in
  _one_ harbor to be expended in improvements in _another_--would be
  an extremely aggravated form of that inequality which the President
  so much deprecates. If I be right in this, how could we make any
  entirely new improvements by means of tonnage duties? How make a
  road, a canal, or clear a greatly obstructed river? The idea that
  we could, involves the same absurdity of the Irish bull about the
  new boots: ‘I shall never git ‘em on,’ says Patrick, ’till I wear
  ’em a day or two, and stretch ’em a little.’ We shall never make
  a canal by tonnage duties, until it shall already have been made
  awhile, so the tonnage can get into it.

  “After all, the President concludes that possibly there may be some
  great objects of improvements which can not be effected by tonnage
  duties, and which, therefore, may be expedient for the General
  Government to take in hand. Accordingly, he suggests, in case any
  such be discovered, the propriety of amending the Constitution.
  Amend it for what? If, like Mr. Jefferson, the President thought
  improvements _expedient_ but not Constitutional, it would be
  natural enough for him to recommend such an amendment; but hear
  what he says in this very message:

  “‘In view of these portentous consequences, I can not but think
  that this course of legislation should be arrested, even were there
  nothing to forbid it in the fundamental laws of our Union.’

  “For what, then, would _he_ have the Constitution amended? With
  _him_ it is a proposition to remove _one_ impediment, merely to
  be met by _others_, which, in his opinion, can not be removed--to
  enable Congress to do what, in his opinion, they ought not to do if
  they could.”

  [Here Mr. Meade, of Virginia, inquired if Mr. L. understood the
  President to be opposed, on grounds of expediency, to any and every

  To which Mr. Lincoln answered: “In the very part of his message
  of which I am now speaking, I understand him as giving some vague
  expressions in favor of some possible objects of improvement; but,
  in doing so, I understand him to be directly in the teeth of his
  own arguments in other parts of it. Neither the President, nor
  any one, can possibly specify an improvement, which shall not be
  clearly liable to one or another of the objections he has urged on
  the score of expediency; I have shown, and might show again, that
  no work--no object--can be so general, as to dispense its benefits
  with precise equality; and this inequality is chief among the
  ‘portentous consequences’ for which he declares that improvements
  should be arrested. No, sir; when the President intimates that
  something in the way of improvements may properly be done by the
  General Government, he is shrinking from the conclusions to which
  his own arguments would force him. He feels that the improvements
  of this broad and goodly land are a mighty interest; and he is
  unwilling to confess to the people, or perhaps to himself, that
  he has built an argument which, when pressed to its conclusion,
  entirely annihilates this interest.

  “I have already said that no one who is satisfied of the expediency
  of making improvements need be much uneasy in his conscience about
  its Constitutionality. I wish now to submit a few remarks on the
  general proposition of amending the Constitution. As a General
  rule, I think we would do much better to let it alone. No slight
  occasion should tempt us to touch it. Better not take the first
  step, which may lead to a habit of altering it. Better rather
  habituate ourselves to think of it as unalterable. It can scarcely
  be made better than it is. New provisions would introduce new
  difficulties, and thus create and increase appetite for further
  change. No, sir; let it stand as it is. New hands have never
  touched it. The men who made it have done their work, and have
  passed away. Who shall improve on what _they_ did?

  “Mr. Chairman, for the purpose of reviewing this message in the
  least possible time, as well as for the sake of distinctness, I
  have analyzed its arguments as well as I could, and reduced them
  to the propositions I have stated. I have now examined them in
  detail. I wish to detain the committee only a little while longer,
  with some general remarks on the subject of improvements. That the
  subject is a difficult one, can not be denied. Still, it is no
  more difficult in Congress than in the State legislatures, in the
  counties or in the smallest municipal districts which everywhere
  exist. All can recur to instances of this difficulty in the case of
  county roads, bridges, and the like. One man is offended because a
  road passes over his land; and another is offended because it does
  _not_ pass over his; one is dissatisfied because the bridge, for
  which he is taxed, crosses the river on a different road from that
  which leads from his house to town; another can not bear that the
  county should get in debt for these same roads and bridges; while
  not a few struggle hard to have roads located over their lands, and
  then stoutly refuse to let them be opened, until they are first
  paid the damages. Even between the different wards and streets
  of towns and cities, we find this same wrangling and difficulty.
  Now, these are no other than the very difficulties against which,
  and out of which, the President constructs his objections of
  ‘inequality,’ ‘speculation,’ and ‘crushing the Treasury.’ There is
  but a single alternative about them--they are _sufficient_, or they
  are _not_. If sufficient, they are sufficient _out_ of Congress
  as well as _in_ it, and there is the end. We must reject them as
  insufficient, or lie down and do nothing by any authority. Then,
  difficulty though there be, let us meet and overcome it.

    ‘Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt;
    Nothing so hard, but search will find it out.’

  “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall
  find the way. The tendency to undue expansion is unquestionably
  the chief difficulty. How to do _something_, and still not to do
  _too much_, is the desideratum. Let each contribute his mite in
  the way of suggestion. The late Silas Wright, in a letter to the
  Chicago Convention, contributed his, which was worth something; and
  I now contribute mine, which may be worth nothing. At all events,
  it will mislead nobody, and therefore will do no harm. I would
  not borrow money. I am against an overwhelming, crushing system.
  Suppose that at each session, Congress shall first determine _how
  much_ money can, for that year, be spared for improvements; then
  apportion that sum to the most _important_ objects. So far all is
  easy; but how shall we determine which _are_ the most important?
  On this question comes the collision of interests. _I_ shall be
  slow to acknowledge that _your_ harbor or _your_ river is more
  important than _mine_, and _vice versa_. To clear this difficulty,
  let us have that same statistical information which the gentleman
  from Ohio [Mr. Vinton] suggested at the beginning of this session.
  In that information we shall have a stern, unbending basis of
  _facts_--a basis in nowise subject to whim, caprice, or local
  interest. The pre-limited amount of means will save us from doing
  _too much_, and the statistics will save us from doing what we do
  in _wrong places_. Adopt and adhere to this course, and, it seems
  to me, the difficulty is cleared.

  “One of the gentlemen from South Carolina (Mr. Rhett) very much
  deprecates these statistics. He particularly objects, as I
  understand him, to counting all the pigs and chickens in the land.
  I do not perceive much force in the objection. It is true, that if
  every thing be enumerated, a portion of such statistics may not be
  very useful to this object. Such products of the country as are to
  be _consumed_ where they are _produced_, need no roads and rivers,
  no means of transportation, and have no very proper connection with
  this subject. The _surplus_, that which is produced in _one_ place
  to be consumed in _another_; the capacity of each locality for
  producing a _greater_ surplus; the natural means of transportation,
  and their susceptibility of improvement; the hindrances, delays,
  and losses of life and property during transportation, and the
  causes of each, would be among the most valuable statistics in
  this connection. From these it would readily appear where a given
  amount of expenditure would do the most good. These statistics
  might be equally accessible, as they would be equally useful, to
  both the Nation and the States. In this way, and by these means,
  let the nation take hold of the larger works, and the States the
  smaller ones; and thus, working in a meeting direction, discreetly,
  but steadily and firmly, what is made unequal in one place may be
  equalized in another, extravagance avoided, and the whole country
  put on that career of prosperity, which shall correspond with its
  extent of territory, its natural resources, and the intelligence
  and enterprise of its people.”

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Delivered in the House, July 27, 1848._)


  “Mr. SPEAKER:--Our Democratic friends seem to be in great distress
  because they think our candidate for the Presidency don’t suit
  _us_. Most of them can not find out that General Taylor has any
  principles at all; some, however, have discovered that he has
  _one_, but that that one is entirely wrong. This one principle
  is his position on the veto power. The gentleman from Tennessee
  (Mr. Stanton) who has just taken his seat, indeed, has said
  there is very little if any difference on this question between
  General Taylor and all the Presidents; and he seems to think it
  sufficient detraction from General Taylor’s position on it, that
  it has nothing new in it. But all others whom I have heard speak
  assail it furiously. A new member from Kentucky (Mr. Clarke) of
  very considerable ability, was in particular concern about it.
  He thought it altogether novel and unprecedented for a President,
  or a Presidential candidate, to think of approving bills whose
  Constitutionality may not be entirely clear to his own mind. He
  thinks the ark of our safety is gone, unless Presidents shall
  always veto such bills as, in their judgment, may be of _doubtful_
  Constitutionality. However clear Congress may be of their authority
  to pass any particular act, the gentleman from Kentucky thinks the
  President must veto it if _he_ has _doubts_ about it. Now I have
  neither time nor inclination to argue with the gentleman on the
  veto power as an original question; but I wish to show that General
  Taylor, and not he, agrees with the earliest statesmen on this
  question. When the bill chartering the first Bank of the United
  States passed Congress, its Constitutionality was questioned;
  Mr. Madison, then in the House of Representatives, as well as
  others, had opposed it on that ground. General Washington, as
  President, was called on to approve or reject it. He sought and
  obtained, on the Constitutional question, the separate written
  opinions of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Edmund Randolph, they then
  being respectively Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury,
  and Attorney General. Hamilton’s opinion was for the power; while
  Randolph’s and Jefferson’s were both against it. Mr. Jefferson,
  in his letter dated February 15th, 1791, after giving his opinion
  decidedly against the Constitutionality of that bill, closed with
  the paragraph which I now read:

  “‘It must be admitted, however, that unless the President’s mind,
  on a view of every thing which is urged for and against this bill,
  is tolerably clear that it is unauthorized by the Constitution; if
  the pro and the con hang so even as to balance his judgment, a just
  respect for the wisdom of the Legislature would naturally decide
  the balance in favor of their opinion; it is chiefly for cases
  where they are clearly misled by error, ambition, or interest,
  that the Constitution has placed a check in the negative of the

  “General Taylor’s opinion, as expressed in his Allison letter, is
  as I now read:

  “‘The power given by the veto is a high conservative power; but,
  in my opinion, should never be exercised, except in cases of clear
  violation of the Constitution, or manifest haste and want of
  consideration by Congress.

  “It is here seen that, in Mr. Jefferson’s opinion, if, on the
  Constitutionality of any given bill, the President _doubts_, he
  is not to veto it, as the gentleman from Kentucky would have him
  to do, but is to defer to Congress and approve it. And if we
  compare the opinions of Jefferson and Taylor, as expressed in these
  paragraphs, we shall find them more exactly alike than we can often
  find any two expressions having any literal difference. None but
  interested fault-finders, can discover any substantial variation.

  “But gentlemen on the other side are unanimously agreed that Gen.
  Taylor has no other principle. They are in utter darkness as to
  his opinions on any of the questions of policy which occupy the
  public attention. But is there any doubt as to what he will _do_
  on the prominent question, if elected? Not the least. It is not
  possible to know what he will or would do in every imaginable case;
  because many questions have passed away, and others doubtless will
  arise which none of us have yet thought of; but on the prominent
  questions of currency, tariff, internal improvements, and Wilmot
  proviso, General Taylor’s course is at least as well defined as is
  General Cass’s. Why, in their eagerness to get at General Taylor,
  several Democratic members here have desired to know whether, in
  case of his election, a bankrupt law is to be established. Can
  they tell us General Cass’s opinion on this question? (Some member
  answered, ‘He is against it.’) Aye, how do you know he is? There is
  nothing about it in the platform, nor elsewhere, that I have seen.
  If the gentleman knows any thing which I do not, he can show it.
  But to return: General Taylor, in his Allison letter says:

  “‘Upon the subject of the tariff, the currency, the improvement of
  our great highways, rivers, lakes, and harbors, the will of the
  people, as expressed through their Representatives in Congress,
  ought to be respected and carried out by the Executive.’

  “Now, this is the whole matter--in substance, it is this: The
  people say to General Taylor, ‘If you are elected shall we have a
  National bank?’ He answers, ‘_Your_ will, gentlemen, not _mine_.’
  ‘What about the tariff?’ ‘Say yourselves.’ ‘Shall our rivers and
  harbors be improved?’ ‘Just as you please.’ ‘If you desire a bank,
  an alteration of the tariff, internal improvements, any or all, I
  will not hinder you; if you do not desire them, I will not attempt
  to force them on you. Send up your members of Congress from the
  various districts, with opinions according to your own, and if they
  are for these measures, or any of them, I shall have nothing to
  oppose; if they are not for them, I shall not, by any appliances
  whatever, attempt to dragoon them into their adoption.’ Now, can
  there be any difficulty in understanding this? To you, Democrats,
  it may not seem like principle; but surely you can not fail to
  perceive the position plain enough. The distinction between it and
  the position of your candidate is broad and obvious, and I admit
  you have a clear right to show it is wrong, if you can; but you
  have no right to pretend you can not see it at all. We see it, and
  to us it appears like principle, and the best sort of principle at
  that--the principle of allowing the people to do as they please
  with their own business. My friend from Indiana (Mr. C. B. Smith)
  has aptly asked, ‘Are you willing to trust the people?’ Some of
  you answered, substantially, ‘We are willing to trust the people;
  but the President is as much the representative of the people as
  Congress.’ In a certain sense, and to a certain intent, he is the
  representative of the people. He is elected by them, as well as
  Congress is. But can he, in the nature of things, know the wants
  of the people as well as three hundred other men coming from all
  the various localities of the Nation? If so, where is the propriety
  of having a Congress? That the Constitution gives the President a
  negative on legislation, all know; but that this negative should be
  so combined with platforms and other appliances as to enable him,
  and, in fact, almost compel him, to take the whole of legislation
  into his own hands, is what we object to--is what General Taylor
  objects to--and is what constitutes the broad distinction between
  you and us. To thus transfer legislation is clearly to take it from
  those who understand with minuteness the interests of the people,
  and give it to one who does not and can not so well understand it.
  I understand your idea, that if a Presidential candidate avow his
  opinion upon a given question, or rather upon all questions, and
  the people, with full knowledge of this, elect him, they thereby
  distinctly approve all those opinions. This, though plausible, is
  a most pernicious deception. By means of it measures are adopted
  or rejected, contrary to the wishes of the whole of one party,
  and often nearly half of the other. The process is this: Three,
  four, or half a dozen questions are prominent at a given time; the
  party selects its candidate, and he takes his position on each of
  these questions. On all but one his positions have already been
  indorsed at former elections, and his party fully committed to
  them; but that one is new, and a large portion of them are against
  it. But what are they to do? The whole are strung together, and
  they must take all or reject all. They can not take what they like
  and leave the rest. What they are already committed to, being the
  majority, they shut their eyes and gulp the whole. Next election,
  still another is introduced in the same way. If we run our eyes
  along the line of the past, we shall see that almost, if not quite,
  all the articles of the present Democratic creed have been at
  first forced upon the party in this very way. And just now, and
  just so, opposition to internal improvements is to be established
  if Gen. Cass shall be elected. Almost half the Democrats here
  are for improvements, but they will vote for Cass, and if he
  succeeds, their votes will have aided in closing the doors against
  improvements. Now, this is a process which we think is wrong. We
  prefer a candidate who, like Gen. Taylor, will allow the people to
  have their own way regardless of his private opinion; and I should
  think the internal-improvement Democrats at least, ought to prefer
  such a candidate. He would force nothing on them which they don’t
  want, and he would allow them to have improvements, which their own
  candidate, if elected, will not.

  “Mr. Speaker, I have said Gen. Taylor’s position is as well defined
  as is that of Gen. Cass. In saying this, I admit I do not certainly
  know what he would do on the Wilmot proviso. I am a Northern
  man, or, rather, a Western free State man, with a constituency I
  believe to be, and with personal feelings I know to be, against the
  extension of slavery. As such, and with what information I have,
  I hope, and _believe_, Gen. Taylor, if elected, would not veto
  the proviso; but I do not _know_ it. Yet, if I knew he would, I
  still would vote for him. I should do so, because, in my judgment,
  his election alone can defeat Gen. Cass; and because, _should_
  slavery thereby go into the territory we now have, just so much
  will certainly happen by the election of Cass; and, in addition,
  a course of policy leading to new wars, new acquisitions of
  territory, and still further extensions of slavery. One of the two
  is to be President; which is preferable?

  “But there is as much doubt of Cass on improvements as there is
  of Taylor on the proviso. I have no doubt myself of Gen. Cass on
  this question, but I know the Democrats differ among themselves as
  to his position. My internal improvement colleague (Mr. Wentworth)
  stated on this floor the other day, that he was satisfied Cass was
  for improvements, because he had voted for all the bills that he
  (Mr. W.) had. So far so good. But Mr. Polk vetoed some of these
  very bills; the Baltimore Convention passed a set of resolutions,
  among other things, approving these vetoes, and Cass declares, in
  his letter accepting the nomination, that he has carefully read
  these resolutions, and that he adheres to them as firmly as he
  approves them cordially. In other words, Gen. Cass voted for the
  bills, and thinks the President did right to veto them; and his
  friends here are amiable enough to consider him as being on one
  side or the other, just as one or the other may correspond with
  their own respective inclinations. My colleague admits that the
  platform declares against the Constitutionality of a general system
  of improvement, and that Gen. Cass indorses the platform; but he
  still thinks Gen. Cass is in favor of some sort of improvements.
  Well, what are they? As he is against _general_ objects, those he
  is _for_, must be _particular_ and _local_. Now, this is taking the
  subject precisely by the wrong end. _Particularity_--expending the
  money of the _whole_ people for an object which will benefit only a
  _portion_ of them, is the greatest real objection to improvements,
  and has been so held by Gen. Jackson, Mr. Polk, and all others,
  I believe, till now. But now, behold, the objects most general,
  nearest free from this objection, are to be rejected, while those
  most liable to it are to be embraced. To return: I can not help
  believing that Gen. Cass, when he wrote his letter of acceptance,
  well understood he was to be claimed by the advocates of both sides
  of this question, and that he then closed the door against all
  further expressions of opinion, purposely to retain the benefits of
  that double position. His subsequent equivocation at Cleveland, to
  my mind, proves such to have been the case.

  “One word more, and I shall have done with this branch of the
  subject. You Democrats, and your candidate, in the main are in
  favor of laying down, in advance, a platform--a set of party
  positions, as a unit; and then of enforcing the people, by every
  sort of appliance, to ratify them, however unpalatable some of them
  may be. We, and our candidate, are in favor of making Presidential
  elections and the legislation of the country distinct matters; so
  that the people can elect whom they please, and afterward legislate
  just _as_ they please, without any hindrance, save only so much as
  may guard against infractions of the Constitution, undue haste,
  and want of consideration. The difference between us is clear as
  noonday. That we are right we can not doubt. We hold the true
  Republican position. In leaving the people’s business in their
  hands we can not be wrong. We are willing, and even anxious, to go
  to the people on this issue.

  “But I suppose I can not reasonably hope to convince you that we
  have any principles. The most I can expect is, to assure you that
  we think we have, and are quite contented with them. The other day,
  one of the gentlemen from Georgia (Mr. Iverson), an eloquent man,
  and a man of learning, so far as I can judge, not being learned
  myself, came down upon us astonishingly. He spoke in what the
  Baltimore _American_ calls the ‘scathing and withering style.’ At
  the end of his second severe flash I was struck blind, and found
  myself feeling with my fingers for an assurance of my continued
  physical existence. A little of the bone was left, and I gradually
  revived. He eulogized Mr. Clay in high and beautiful terms, and
  then declared that we had deserted all our principles, and had
  turned Henry Clay out, like an old horse, to root. This is terribly
  severe. It can not be answered by argument; at least, I can not
  so answer it. I merely wish to ask the gentleman if the Whigs are
  the only party he can think of, who sometimes turn old horses out
  to root? Is not a certain Martin Van Buren an old horse which your
  own party have turned out to root? and is he not rooting a little
  to your discomfort about now? But in not nominating Mr. Clay, we
  deserted our principles, you say. Ah! in what? Tell us, ye men
  of principles what principle we violated? We say you did violate
  principle in discarding Van Buren, and we can tell you how. You
  violated the primary, the cardinal, the one great living principle
  of all Democratic representative government--the principle that
  the representative is bound to carry out the known will of his
  constituents. A large majority of the Baltimore Convention of 1844
  were, by their constituents, instructed to procure Van Buren’s
  nomination if they could. In violation, in utter, glaring contempt
  of this, you rejected him--rejected him, as the gentlemen from
  New York (Mr. Birdsall), the other day expressly admitted, for
  _availability_--that same ‘general availability’ which you charge
  upon us, and daily chew over here, as something exceedingly odious
  and unprincipled. But the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Iverson),
  gave us a second speech yesterday, all well considered and put down
  in writing, in which Van Buren was scathed and withered a ‘few’
  for his present position and movements. I can not remember the
  gentlemen’s precise language, but I do remember he put Van Buren
  down, down, till he got him where he was finally to ‘stink’ and

  “Mr. Speaker, it is no business or inclination of mine to defend
  Martin Van Buren. In the war of extermination now waging between
  him and his old admirers, I say, devil take the hindmost--and the
  foremost. But there is no mistaking the origin of the breach;
  and if the curse of ‘stinking’ and ‘rotting’ is to fall on the
  first and greatest violaters of principle in the matter, I
  disinterestedly suggest, that the gentleman from Georgia and his
  present co-workers are bound to take it upon themselves.”

Mr. Lincoln then proceeded to speak of the objections against Gen.
Taylor as a mere military hero; retorting with effect, by citing the
attempt to make out a military record for Gen. Cass; and referring, in
a bantering way, to his own services in the Black Hawk war, as already
quoted. He then said:

  “While I have Gen. Cass in hand, I wish to say a word about his
  political principles. As a specimen, I take the record of his
  progress on the Wilmot Proviso. In the Washington Union, of March
  2, 1847, there is a report of the speech of Gen. Cass, made the day
  before in the Senate, on the Wilmot Proviso, during the delivery of
  which, Mr. Miller, of New Jersey, is reported to have interrupted
  him as follows, to wit:

  “‘Mr. Miller expressed his great surprise at the change in the
  sentiments of the Senator from Michigan, who had been regarded as
  the great champion of freedom in the North-west of which he was a
  distinguished ornament. Last year the Senator from Michigan was
  understood to be decidedly in favor of the Wilmot Proviso; and, as
  no reason had been stated for the change, he (Mr. Miller) could not
  refrain from the expression of his extreme surprise.’

  “To this Gen. Cass is reported to have replied as follows, to wit:

  “Mr. Cass said, that the course of the Senator from New Jersey was
  most extraordinary. Last year he (Mr. Cass) should have voted for
  the proposition had it come up. But circumstances had altogether
  changed. The honorable Senator then read several passages from the
  remarks as given above, which he had committed to writing, in order
  to refute such a charge as that of the Senator from New Jersey.’

  “In the ‘remarks above committed to writing,’ is one numbered 4, as
  follows, to wit:

  “‘4th. Legislation would now be wholly imperative, because no
  territory hereafter to be acquired can be governed without an act
  of Congress providing for its government. And such an act, on its
  passage, would open the whole subject, and leave the Congress,
  called on to pass it, free to exercise its own discretion,
  entirely uncontrolled by any declaration found in the statute book.’

  “In Niles’ Register, vol. 73, page 293, there is a letter of
  General Cass to A. O. P. Nicholson, of Nashville, Tennessee dated
  December 24, 1847, from which the following are correct extracts:

  “‘The Wilmot Proviso has been before the country some time. It has
  been repeatedly discussed in Congress, and by the public press. I
  am strongly impressed with the opinion that a great change has been
  going on in the public mind upon this subject--in my own as well as
  others; and that doubts are resolving themselves into convictions,
  that the principle it involves should be kept out of the National
  Legislature, and left to the people of the Confederacy in their
  respective local Governments.

  “‘Briefly, then, I am opposed to the exercise of any jurisdiction
  by Congress over this matter; and I am in favor of leaving the
  people of any territory which may be hereafter acquired, the right
  to regulate it themselves, under the general principles of the
  Constitution. Because,

  “‘1. I do not see in the Constitution any grant of the requisite
  power to Congress; and I am not disposed to extend a doubtful
  precedent beyond its necessity--the establishment of territorial
  governments when needed--leaving to the inhabitants all the rights
  compatible with the relations they bear to the Confederation.’

  “These extracts show that, in 1846, General Cass was for the
  Proviso _at once_; that, in March, 1847, he was still for it,
  _but not just then_; and that in December, 1847, he was _against_
  it altogether. This is a true index to the whole man. When the
  question was raised in 1846, he was in a blustering hurry to
  take ground for it. He sought to be in advance, and to avoid the
  uninteresting position of a mere follower, but soon he began to see
  glimpses of the great Democratic ox-gad waving in his face, and to
  hear indistinctly, a voice saying, ‘back,’ ‘back, sir,’ ‘back a
  little.’ He shakes his head and bats his eyes, and blunders back to
  his position of March, 1847; but still the gad waves, and the voice
  grows more distinct, and sharper still--‘back, sir!’ ‘back, I say!’
  ‘further back!’ and back he goes to the position of December, 1847;
  at which the gad is still, and the voice soothingly says--‘So!’
  ‘Stand still at that.’

  “Have no fears, gentlemen, of your candidate; he exactly suits you,
  and we congratulate you upon it. However much you may be distressed
  about _our_ candidate, you have all cause to be contented and happy
  with your own. If elected, he may not maintain all, or even any of
  his positions previously taken; but he will be sure to do whatever
  the party exigency, for the time being, may require; and that is
  precisely what you want. He and Van Buren are the same ‘manner of
  men;’ and like Van Buren, he will never desert _you_ till you first
  desert _him_.”

After referring at some length to extra “charges” of General Cass upon
the Treasury, Mr. Lincoln continued:--

  “But I have introduced General Cass’s accounts here, chiefly to
  show the wonderful physical capacities of the man. They show that
  he not only did the labor of several men at the same _time_, but
  that he often did it, at several _places_ many hundred miles apart,
  _at the same time_. And at eating, too, his capacities are shown to
  be quite as wonderful. From October, 1821, to May, 1822, he ate ten
  rations a day in Michigan, ten rations a day here, in Washington,
  and nearly five dollar’s worth a day besides, partly on the road
  between the two places. And then there is an important discovery in
  his example--the art of being paid for what one eats, instead of
  having to pay for it. Hereafter, if any nice young man shall owe
  a bill which he can not pay in any other way, he can just board
  it out. Mr. Speaker, we have all heard of the animal standing in
  doubt between two stacks of hay, and starving to death; the like
  of that would never happen to General Cass. Place the stacks a
  thousand miles apart, he would stand stock-still, midway between
  them, and eat them both at once; and the green grass along the line
  would be apt to suffer some too, at the same time. By all means
  make him President, gentlemen. He will feed you bounteously--if
  if--there is any left after he shall have helped himself.

  “But as General Taylor, is, par excellence, the hero of the Mexican
  war; and, as you Democrats say we Whigs have always opposed the
  war, you think it must be very awkward and embarrassing for us to
  go for General Taylor. The declaration that we have always opposed
  the war, is true or false accordingly as one may understand the
  term ‘opposing the war.’ If to say ‘the war was unnecessarily and
  unconstitutionally commenced by the President,’ be opposing the
  war, then the Whigs have very generally opposed it. Whenever they
  have spoken at all, they have said this; and they have said it
  on what has appeared good reason to them: The marching an army
  into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the
  inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property
  to destruction, to _you_ may appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful,
  unprovoking procedure; but it does not appear so to _us_. So to
  call such an act, to us appears no other than a naked, impudent
  absurdity, and we speak of it accordingly. But if, when the war had
  begun, and had become the cause of the country, the giving of our
  money and our blood, in common with yours, was support of the war,
  then it is not true that we have always opposed the war. With few
  individual exceptions, you have constantly had our votes here for
  all the necessary supplies. And, more than this, you have had the
  services, the blood, and the lives of our political brethren in
  every trial, and on every field. The beardless boy and the mature
  man--the humble and the distinguished, you have had them. Through
  suffering and death, by disease and in battle, they have endured,
  and fought, and fallen with you. Clay and Webster each gave a son,
  never to be returned. From the State of my own residence, besides
  other worthy but less known Whig names, we sent Marshall, Morrison,
  Baker, and Hardin; they all fought, and one fell, and in the fall
  of that one, we lost our best Whig man. Nor were the Whigs few in
  number, or laggard in the day of danger. In that fearful, bloody,
  breathless struggle at Buena Vista, where each man’s hard task was
  to beat back five foes, or die himself, of the five high officers
  who perished, four were Whigs.

  “In speaking of this, I mean no odious comparison between the
  lion-hearted Whigs and Democrats who fought there. On other
  occasions, and among the lower officers and privates on _that_
  occasion, I doubt not the proportion was different. I wish to do
  justice to all. I think of all those brave men as Americans, in
  whose proud fame, as an American, I too have a share. Many of them,
  Whigs and Democrats, are my constituents and personal friends; and
  I thank them--more than thank them--one and all, for the high,
  imperishable honor they have conferred on our common State.

  “But the distinction between the cause of the _President_ in
  beginning the war, and the cause of the _country_ after it was
  begun, is a distinction which you can not perceive. To _you_, the
  President and the country seem to be all one. You are interested
  to see no distinction between them; and I venture to suggest
  that _possibly_ your interest blinds you a little. We see the
  distinction, as we think, clearly enough; and our friends, who have
  fought in the war, have no difficulty in seeing it also. What those
  who have fallen would say, were they alive and here, of course
  we can never know; but with those who have returned there is no
  difficulty. Colonel Haskell and Major Gaines, members here, both
  fought in the war; and one of them underwent extraordinary perils
  and hardships; still they, like all other Whigs here, vote on
  the record that the war was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally
  commenced by the President. And even General Taylor himself, the
  noblest Roman of them all, has declared that, as a citizen, and
  particularly as a soldier, it is sufficient for him to know that
  his country is at war with a foreign nation, to do all in his power
  to bring it to a speedy and honorable termination, by the most
  vigorous and energetic operations, without inquiring about its
  justice, or any thing else connected with it.

  “Mr. Speaker, let our Democratic friends be comforted with the
  assurance that we are content with our position, content with our
  company, and content with our candidate; and that although they, in
  their generous sympathy, think we ought to be miserable, we really
  are not, and that they may dismiss the great anxiety they have on
  _our_ account.”

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Delivered at Springfield, Ill., June 26, 1857._)

  “FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I am here, to-night, partly by the invitation
  of some of you, and partly by my own inclination. Two weeks ago
  Judge Douglas spoke here, on the several subjects of Kansas, the
  Dred Scott decision, and Utah. I listened to the speech at the
  time, and have read the report of it since. It was intended to
  controvert opinions which I think just, and to assail (politically,
  not personally) those men who, in common with me, entertain those
  opinions. For this reason I wished then, and still wish to make
  some answer to it which I now take the opportunity of doing.

  “I begin with Utah. If it prove to be true, as is probable, that
  the people of Utah are in open rebellion against the United States,
  then Judge Douglas is in favor of repealing their territorial
  organization, and attaching them to the adjoining States for
  judicial purposes. I say, too, if they are in rebellion, they ought
  to be somehow coerced to obedience; and I am not now prepared to
  admit or deny, that the Judge’s mode of coercing them is not as
  good as any. The Republicans can fall in with it, without taking
  back any thing they have ever said. To be sure, it would be a
  considerable backing down by Judge Douglas, from his much vaunted
  doctrine of self-government for the territories; but this is only
  additional proof of what was very plain from the beginning, that
  that doctrine was a mere deceitful pretence for the benefit of
  slavery. Those who could not see that much in the Nebraska act
  itself, which forced Governors, and Secretaries, and Judges on the
  people of the territories, without their choice or consent, could
  not be made to see, though one should rise from the dead.

  “But in all this, it is very plain the Judge evades the only
  question the Republicans have ever pressed upon the Democracy in
  regard to Utah. That question the Judge well knew to be this: ‘If
  the people of Utah shall peacefully form a State Constitution
  tolerating polygamy, will the Democracy admit them into the Union?’
  There is nothing in the United States Constitution or law against
  polygamy; and why is it not a part of the Judge’s ‘sacred right of
  self-government’ for the people to have it, or rather to keep it,
  if they choose? These questions, so far as I know, the Judge never
  answers. It might involve the Democracy to answer them either way
  and they go unanswered.

  “As to Kansas. The substance of the Judge’s speech on Kansas, is
  an effort to put the Free State men in the wrong for not voting
  at the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention. He
  says: ‘There is every reason to hope and believe that the law will
  be fairly interpreted and impartially executed, so as to insure
  to every bona fide inhabitant the free and quiet exercise of the
  elective franchise.’

  “It appears extraordinary that Judge Douglas should make such a
  statement. He knows that, by the law, no one can vote who has
  not been registered; and he knows that the Free State men place
  their refusal to vote on the ground that but few of them have been
  registered. It is possible this is not true, but Judge Douglas
  knows it is asserted to be true in letters, newspapers, and public
  speeches, and borne by every mail, and blown by every breeze to the
  eyes and ears of the world. He knows it is boldly declared, that
  the people of many whole counties, and many whole neighborhoods
  in others, are left unregistered; yet he does not venture to
  contradict the declaration, or to point out how they can vote
  without being registered; but he just slips along, not seeming to
  know there is any such question of fact, and complacently declares,
  ‘There is every reason to hope and believe that the law will be
  fairly and impartially executed, so as to insure to every bona fide
  inhabitant the free and quiet exercise of the elective franchise.’

  “I readily agree that if all had a chance to vote, they ought to
  have voted. If, on the contrary, as they allege, and Judge Douglas
  ventures not particularly to contradict, few only of the Free State
  men had a chance to vote, they were perfectly right in staying from
  the polls in a body.

  “By the way, since the Judge spoke, the Kansas election has come
  off. The Judge expressed his confidence that all the Democrats in
  Kansas would do their duty--including ‘Free State Democrats’ of
  course. The returns received here, as yet, are very incomplete;
  but, so far as they go, they indicate that only about one-sixth
  of the registered voters, have really voted; and this, too, when
  not more, perhaps, than one-half of the rightful voters have been
  registered, thus showing the thing to have been altogether the
  most exquisite farce ever enacted. I am watching with considerable
  interest, to ascertain what figure ‘the Free State Democrats’ cut
  in the concern. Of course they voted--all Democrats do their
  duty--and of course they did not vote for Slave State candidates.
  We soon shall know how many delegates they elected, how many
  candidates they have pledged to a free State, and how many votes
  were cast for them.

  “Allow me to barely whisper my suspicion, that there were no
  such things in Kansas as ‘Free State Democrats’--that they were
  altogether mythical, good only to figure in newspapers and speeches
  in the free States. If there should prove to be one real, living
  free State Democrat in Kansas, I suggest that it might be well
  to catch him, and stuff and preserve his skin, as an interesting
  specimen of that soon to be extinct variety of the genus Democrat.

  “And now, as to the Dred Scott decision. That decision declares two
  propositions--first, that a negro cannot sue in the United States
  Courts; and secondly, that Congress can not prohibit slavery in the
  Territories. It was made by a divided court--dividing differently
  on the different points. Judge Douglas does not discuss the merits
  of the decision, and in that respect, I shall follow his example,
  believing I could no more improve upon McLean and Curtis, than he
  could on Taney.

  “He denounces all who question the correctness of that decision, as
  offering violent resistance to it. But who resists it? Who has, in
  spite of the decision, declared Dred Scott free, and resisted the
  authority of his master over him?

  “Judicial decisions have two uses--first, to absolutely determine
  the case decided; and secondly to indicate to the public how other
  similar cases will be decided when they arise. For the latter use,
  they are called ‘precedents’ and ‘authorities.’

  “We believe as much as Judge Douglas (perhaps more) in obedience
  to, and respect for the judicial department of Government. We think
  its decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled,
  should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the
  general policy of the country subject to be disturbed only by
  amendments of the Constitution, as provided in that instrument
  itself. More than this would be revolution. But we think the Dred
  Scott decision is erroneous. We know the court that made it has
  often overruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we can to
  have it overrule this. We offer no resistance to it.

  “Judicial decisions are of greater or less authority as precedents,
  according to circumstances. That this should be so, accords both
  with common sense, and the customary understanding of the legal

  “If this important decision had been made by the unanimous
  concurrence of the judges, and without any apparent partisan
  bias, and in accordance with legal public expectation, and with
  the steady practice of the departments, throughout our history,
  and had been in no part based on assumed historical facts which
  are not really true; or, if wanting in some of these, it had been
  before the court more than once, and had there been affirmed and
  re-affirmed through a course of years, it then might be, perhaps
  would be, factious, nay, even revolutionary, not to acquiesce in it
  as a precedent.

  “But when, as is true, we find it wanting in all these claims to
  the public confidence, it is not resistance, it is not factious,
  it is not even disrespectful, to treat it as not having yet quite
  established a settled doctrine for the country. But Judge Douglas
  considers this view awful. Hear him:

  “‘The courts are the tribunals prescribed by the Constitution and
  created by the authority of the people to determine, expound, and
  enforce the law. Hence, whoever resists the final decision of
  the highest judicial tribunal, aims a deadly blow to our whole
  Republican system of government--a blow which, if successful,
  would place all our rights and liberties at the mercy of passion,
  anarchy and violence. I repeat, therefore, that if resistance
  to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, in a
  matter like the points decided in the Dred Scott case, clearly
  within their jurisdiction as defined by the Constitution, shall
  be forced upon the country as a political issue, it will become a
  distinct and naked issue between the friends and enemies of the
  Constitution--the friends and enemies of the supremacy of the laws.’

  “Why, this same Supreme Court once decided a national bank to
  be Constitutional; but General Jackson, as President of the
  United States, disregarded the decision, and vetoed a bill for
  a re-charter, partly on Constitutional ground, declaring that
  each public functionary must support the Constitution, ‘as he
  understands it.’ But hear the General’s own words. Here they are,
  taken from his veto message:

  “‘It is maintained by the advocates of the bank, that its
  Constitutionality, in all its features, ought to be considered as
  settled by precedent, and by the decision of the Supreme Court. To
  this conclusion I can not assent. Mere precedent is a dangerous
  source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding
  questions of Constitutional power, except where the acquiescence
  of the people and the States can be considered as well settled. So
  far from this being the case on this subject, an argument against
  the bank might be based on precedent. One Congress, in 1791,
  decided in favor of a bank; another, in 1811, decided against it.
  One Congress, in 1815, decided against a bank; another, in 1816,
  decided in its favor. Prior to the present Congress, therefore,
  the precedents drawn from that source were equal. If we resort to
  the States, the expression of legislative, judicial, and executive
  opinions against the bank have been probably to those in its favor
  as four to one. There is nothing in precedent, therefore, which,
  if its authority were admitted, ought to weigh in favor of the act
  before me.’

  “I drop the quotations merely to remark, that all there ever was,
  in the way of precedent up to the Dred Scott decision, on the
  points therein decided, had been against that decision. But hear
  General Jackson further:

  “‘If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of
  this act, it ought not to control the co-ordinate authorities of
  this Government. The Congress, the Executive and the Court, must
  each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution.
  Each public officer, who takes an oath to support the Constitution,
  swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it
  is understood by others.’

  “Again and again have I heard Judge Douglas denounce that bank
  decision, and applaud General Jackson for disregarding it. It
  would be interesting for him to look over his recent speech, and
  see how exactly his fierce philippics against us for resisting
  Supreme Court decisions, fall upon his own head. It will call to
  mind a long and fierce political war in this country, upon an issue
  which, in his own language, and, of course, in his own changeless
  estimation, was ‘a distinct issue between the friends and the
  enemies of the Constitution,’ and in which war he fought in the
  ranks of the enemies of the Constitution.

  “I have said, in substance, that the Dred Scott decision was, in
  part, based on assumed historical facts which were not really true,
  and I ought not to leave the subject without giving some reasons
  for saying this; I, therefore, give an instance or two, which I
  think fully sustain me. Chief Justice Taney, in delivering the
  opinion of the majority of the Court, insists at great length, that
  negroes were no part of the people who made, or for whom was made,
  the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution of the United

  “On the contrary, Judge Curtis, in his dissenting opinion, shows
  that in five of the then thirteen States, to wit: New Hampshire,
  Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina, free
  negroes were voters, and, in proportion to their numbers, had the
  same part in making the Constitution that the white people had.
  He shows this with so much particularity as to leave no doubt of
  its truth; and as a sort of conclusion on that point, holds the
  following language:

  “‘The constitution was ordained and established by the people of
  the United States, through the action, in each State, of those
  persons who were qualified by its laws to act thereon in behalf
  of themselves and all other citizens of the State. In some of the
  States, as we have seen, colored persons were among those qualified
  by law to act on the subject. These colored persons were not only
  included in the body of ‘the people of the United States,’ by whom
  the Constitution was ordained and established; but in at least five
  of the States they had the power to act, and, doubtless, did act,
  by their suffrages, upon the question of its adoption.’

  “Again, Chief Justice Taney says: ‘It is difficult, at this day to
  realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate
  race, which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of
  the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when
  the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted.’ And
  again, after quoting from the Declaration, he says: ‘The general
  words above quoted would seem to include the whole human family,
  and if they were used in a similar instrument at this day, would be
  so understood.’

  “In these the Chief Justice does not directly assert, but plainly
  assumes, as a fact, that the public estimate of the black man is
  more favorable now than it was in the days of the Revolution.
  This assumption is a mistake. In some trifling particulars, the
  condition of that race has been ameliorated; but as a whole,
  in this country, the change between then and now is decidedly
  the other way; and their ultimate destiny has never appeared so
  hopeless as in the last three or four years. In two of the five
  States--New Jersey and North Carolina--that then gave the free
  negro the right of voting, the right has since been taken away;
  and in the third--New York--it has been greatly abridged; while it
  has not been extended, so far as I know, to a single additional
  State, though the number of the States has more than doubled. In
  those days, as I understand, masters could, at their own pleasure,
  emancipate their slaves; but since then such legal restraints have
  been made upon emancipation as to amount almost to prohibition. In
  those days ‘Legislatures held the unquestioned power to abolish
  slavery in their respective States; but now it is becoming quite
  fashionable for State Constitutions to withhold that power from the
  Legislatures. In those days by common consent, the spread of the
  black man’s bondage to the new countries was prohibited; but now,
  Congress decides that it will not continue the prohibition--and
  the Supreme Court decides that it could not if it would. In those
  days our Declaration of Independence was held sacred by all, and
  thought to include all; but now, to aid in making the bondage
  of the negro universal and eternal, it is assailed, sneered at,
  construed, hawked at, and torn, till, if its framers could rise
  from their graves, they could not at all recognize it. All the
  powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him. Mammon is after
  him; ambition follows, philosophy follows, and the theology of the
  day is fast joining the cry. They have him in his prison-house;
  they have searched his person, and left no prying instrument with
  him. One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon
  him; and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a
  hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the concurrence
  of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and
  they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they
  stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and
  matter, can be produced to make the impossibility of his escape
  more complete than it is.

  “It is grossly incorrect to say or assume, that the public estimate
  of the negro is more favorable now than it was at the origin of the

  “Three years and a half ago, Judge Douglas brought forward his
  famous Nebraska bill. The country was at once in a blaze. He
  scorned all opposition, and carried it through Congress. Since then
  he has seen himself superseded in a Presidential nomination, by
  one indorsing the general doctrine of his measure, but at the same
  time standing clear of the odium of its untimely agitation, and its
  gross breach of national faith; and he has seen that successful
  rival Constitutionally elected, not by the strength of friends, but
  by the division of his adversaries, being in a popular minority
  of nearly four hundred thousand votes. He has seen his chief aids
  in his own State, Shields and Richardson, politely speaking,
  successively tried, convicted, and executed, for an offence not
  their own, but his. And now he sees his own case, standing next on
  the docket for trial.

  “There is a natural disgust, in the minds of nearly all white
  people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the
  white and black races; and Judge Douglas evidently is basing his
  chief hope upon the chances of his being able to appropriate the
  benefit of this disgust to himself. If he can, by much drumming
  and repeating, fasten the odium of that idea upon his adversaries,
  he thinks he can struggle through the storm. He, therefore, clings
  to this hope, as a drowning man to the last plank. He makes an
  occasion for lugging it in from the opposition to the Dred Scott
  decision. He finds the Republicans insisting that the Declaration
  of Independence includes ALL men, black as well as white, and
  forthwith he boldly denies that it includes negroes at all, and
  proceeds to argue gravely that all who contend it does do so only
  because they want to vote, eat and sleep, and marry with negroes.
  He will have it that they can not be consistent else. Now, I
  protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes that because
  I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want
  her for a wife. I need not have her for either. I can just leave
  her alone. In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in
  her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands,
  without asking leave of any one else, she is my equal, and the
  equal of all others.

  “Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits
  that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the
  whole human family; but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors
  of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact
  that they did not at once actually place them on an equality with
  the whites. Now, this grave argument comes to just nothing at all,
  by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterward,
  actually place all white people on an equality with one another.
  And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the
  Senator for doing this obvious violence to the plain, unmistakable
  language of the Declaration.

  “I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include
  _all_ men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal _in all
  respects_. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size,
  intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined
  with tolerable distinctness in what respects they did consider all
  men created equal--equal with ‘certain inalienable rights, among
  which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ This they
  said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious
  untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor
  yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In
  fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to
  declare the _right_, so that the _enforcement_ of it might follow
  as fast as circumstances should permit.”

       *       *       *       *       *


(_At Chicago, on the evening of July 10, 1858._)

  “MY FELLOW-CITIZENS: On yesterday evening, upon the occasion of the
  reception given to Senator Douglas, I was furnished with a seat
  very convenient for hearing him, and was otherwise very courteously
  treated by him and his friends, for which I thank him and them.
  During the course of his remarks my name was mentioned in such a
  way as, I suppose, renders it at least not improper that I should
  make some sort of reply to him. I shall not attempt to follow him
  in the precise order in which he addressed the assembled multitude
  upon that occasion, though I shall perhaps do so in the main.

  “There was one question to which he asked the attention of the
  crowd, which I deem of somewhat less importance--at least of
  propriety for me to dwell upon--than the others, which he brought
  in near the close of his speech, and which I think it would not
  be entirely proper for me to omit attending to, and yet if I were
  not to give some attention to it now, I should probably forget it
  altogether. While I am upon this subject, allow me to say that I do
  not intend to indulge in that inconvenient mode sometimes adopted
  in public speaking, of reading from documents; but I shall depart
  from that rule so far as to read a little scrap from his speech,
  which notices this first topic of which I shall speak--that is,
  provided I can find it in the paper. [Examines the morning’s paper.]

  “‘I have made up my mind to appeal to the people against the
  combination that has been made against me! the Republican leaders
  having formed an alliance, an unholy and unnatural alliance,
  with a portion of unscrupulous federal office-holders. I intend
  to fight that allied army wherever I meet them. I know they
  deny the alliance, but yet these men who are trying to divide
  the Democratic party for the purpose of electing a Republican
  Senator in my place, are just as much the agents and tools of the
  supporters of Mr. Lincoln. Hence I shall deal with this allied army
  just as the Russians dealt with the allies at Sebastopol--that is,
  the Russians did not stop to inquire, when they fired a broadside,
  whether it hit an Englishman, a Frenchman, or a Turk. Nor will
  I stop to inquire, nor shall I hesitate, whether my blows shall
  hit these Republican leaders or their allies, who are holding the
  federal offices and yet acting in concert with them.’

  “Well, now, gentlemen, is not that very alarming? Just to think of
  it! right at the outset of his canvass, I, a poor, kind, amiable,
  intelligent gentleman, I am to be slain in this way. Why, my
  friends, the Judge, is not only, as it turns out, not a dead lion,
  nor even a living one--he is the rugged Russian Bear!

  “But if they will have it--for he says that we deny it--that there
  is any such alliance as he says there is--and I don’t propose
  hanging very much upon this question of veracity--but if he will
  have it that there is such an alliance--that the Administration men
  and we are allied, and we stand in the attitude of English, French
  and Turk, he occupying the position of the Russian, in that case,
  I beg that he will indulge us while we barely suggest to him that
  these allies took Sebastopol.

  “Gentlemen, only a few more words as to this alliance. For my part,
  I have to say, that whether there be such an alliance, depends,
  so far as I know, upon what may be a right definition of the term
  _alliance_. If for the Republican party to see the other great
  party to which they are opposed divided among themselves, and not
  try to stop the division and rather be glad of it--if that is an
  alliance, I confess I am in; but if it is meant to be said that
  the Republicans had formed an alliance going beyond that, by which
  there is contribution of money or sacrifice of principle on the one
  side or the other so far as the Republican party is concerned, if
  there be any such thing, I protest that I neither know any thing
  of it, nor do I believe it. I will, however, say--as I think this
  branch of the argument is lugged in--I would, before I leave it,
  state, for the benefit of those concerned, that one of those same
  Buchanan men did once tell me of an argument that he made for his
  opposition to Judge Douglas. He said that a friend of our Senator
  Douglas had been talking to him, and had among other things said to
  him: ‘Why, you don’t want to beat Douglas?’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘I do
  want to beat him, and I will tell you why. I believe his original
  Nebraska Bill was right in the abstract, but it was wrong in the
  time that it was brought forward. It was wrong in the application
  to a Territory in regard to which the question had been settled;
  it was brought forward in a time when nobody asked him; it was
  tendered to the South when the South had not asked for it, but when
  they could not well refuse it; and for this same reason he forced
  that question upon our party; it has sunk the best men all over the
  nation, everywhere; and now when our President, struggling with the
  difficulties of this man’s getting up, has reached the very hardest
  point to turn in the case, his deserts him, and I _am_ for putting
  him where he will trouble us no more.’

  “Now, gentlemen, that is not my argument--that is not my argument
  at all. I have only been stating to you the argument of a Buchanan
  man. You will judge if there is any force in it.

  “Popular sovereignty! everlasting popular sovereignty! Let us for
  a moment inquire into this vast matter of popular sovereignty.
  What is popular sovereignty? We recollect that in an early period
  in the history of this struggle, there was another name for the
  same thing--_Squatter Sovereignty_. It was not exactly Popular
  Sovereignty, but Squatter Sovereignty. What do those terms mean?
  What do those terms mean when used now? And vast credit is taken
  by our friend, the Judge, in regard to his support of it, when he
  declares the last years of his life have been, and all the future
  years of his life shall be, devoted to this matter of popular
  sovereignty. What is it? Why it is the sovereignty of the people!
  What was Squatter Sovereignty? I suppose if it had any significance
  at all it was the right of the people to govern themselves, to be
  sovereign in their own affairs while they were squatted down in a
  country not their own, while they had squatted on a Territory that
  did not belong to them, in the sense that a State belongs to the
  people who inhabit it--when it belonged to the nation--such right
  to govern themselves was called ‘Squatter Sovereignty.’

  “Now I wish you to mark. What has become of that Squatter
  Sovereignty? What has become of it? Can you get any body to tell
  you now that the people of a Territory have any authority to
  govern themselves, in regard to this mooted question of slavery,
  before they form a State Constitution? No such thing at all,
  although there is a general running fire, and although there has
  been a hurrah made in every speech on that side, assuming that
  policy had given the people of a Territory the right to govern
  themselves upon this question; yet the point is dodged. To-day it
  has been decided--no more than a year ago it was decided by the
  Supreme Court of the United States, as is insisted upon to-day,
  that the people of a Territory have no right to exclude slavery
  from a Territory, that if any one man chooses to take slaves into
  a Territory, all of the rest of the people have no right to keep
  them out. This being so, and this decision being made one of the
  points that the Judge approved, and one in the approval of which
  he says he means to keep me down--_put_ me down I should not say,
  for I have never been up. He says he is in favor of it, and sticks
  to it, and expects to win his battle on that decision, which says
  that there is no such thing as Squatter Sovereignty; but that any
  one man may take slaves into a Territory, and all the other men
  in the Territory may be opposed to it, and yet by reason of the
  Constitution they can not prohibit it. When that is so, how much is
  left of this vast matter of Squatter Sovereignty I should like to
  know? [A voice--‘It is all gone.’]

  “When we get back, we get to the point of the right of the people
  to make a Constitution. Kansas was settled, for example, in 1854.
  It was a Territory yet, without having formed a Constitution, in
  a very regular way, for three years. All this time negro slavery
  could be taken in by any few individuals, and by that decision
  of the Supreme Court, which the Judge approves, all the rest of
  the people can not keep it out; but when they come to make a
  Constitution they may say they will not have slavery. But it is
  there; they are obliged to tolerate it some way, and all experience
  shows it will be so--for they will not take negro slaves and
  absolutely deprive the owners of them. All experience shows this to
  be so. All that space of time that runs from the beginning of the
  settlement of the Territory until there is sufficiency of people
  to make a State Constitution--all that portion of time popular
  sovereignty is given up. The seal is absolutely put down upon it by
  the Court decision, and Judge Douglas puts his on the top of that,
  yet he is appealing to the people to give him vast credit for his
  devotion to popular sovereignty.

  “Again, when we get to the question of the right of the people
  to form a State Constitution as they please, to form it with
  slavery or without slavery--if that is any thing new, I confess
  I don’t know it. Has there ever been a time when any body said
  that any other than the people of a Territory itself should form
  a Constitution? What is now in it that Judge Douglas should have
  fought several years of his life, and pledge himself to fight
  all the remaining years of his life for? Can Judge Douglas find
  any body on earth that said that any body else should form a
  Constitution for a people? [A voice, ‘Yes.’] Well, I should like
  you to name him; I should like to know who he was. [Same voice,
  ‘John Calhoun.’]

  “No, Sir, I never heard of even John Calhoun saying such a
  thing. He insisted on the same principle as Judge Douglas; but
  his mode of applying it in fact, was wrong. It is enough for my
  purpose to ask this crowd, when ever a Republican said any thing
  against it? They never said any thing against it, but they have
  constantly spoken for it; and whosoever will undertake to examine
  the platform, and the speeches of responsible men of the party,
  and of irresponsible men, too, if you please, will be unable to
  find one word from anybody in the Republican ranks, opposed to
  that Popular Sovereignty which Judge Douglas thinks that he has
  invented. I suppose that Judge Douglas will claim in a little
  while, that he is the inventor of the idea that the people should
  govern themselves; that nobody ever thought of such a thing until
  he brought it forward. We do remember, that in that old Declaration
  of Independence, it is said that ‘We hold these truths to be
  self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed
  by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these
  are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure
  these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their
  just powers from the consent of the governed.’ There is the origin
  of the Popular Sovereignty. Who, then, shall come in at this day
  and claim that he invented it”?

After referring, in appropriate terms, to the credit claimed by Douglas
for defeating the Lecompton policy, Mr. Lincoln proceeds:

  “I defy you to show a printed resolution passed in a Democratic
  meeting--I take it upon myself to defy any man to show a printed
  resolution of a Democratic meeting, large or small, in favor of
  Judge Trumbull, or any of the five to one Republican who beat the
  bill. Every thing must be for the Democrats! They did every thing,
  and the five to the one that really did the thing, they snub over,
  and they do not seem to remember that they have an existence upon
  the face of the earth.

  “Gentlemen, I fear that I shall become tedious. I leave this branch
  of the subject to take hold of another. I take up that part of
  Judge Douglas’s speech in which he respectfully attended to me.

  “Judge Douglas made two points upon my recent speech at
  Springfield. He says they are to be the issues of this campaign.
  The first one of these points he bases upon the language in a
  speech which I delivered at Springfield, which I believe I can
  quote correctly from memory. I said there that ‘we are now far on
  in the fifth year since a policy was instituted for the avowed
  object, and with the confident promise of putting an end to slavery
  agitation; under the operation of that policy, that agitation had
  not only not ceased, but had constantly augmented. I believe it
  will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.
  A house divided against itself can not stand. I believe this
  Government can not endure permanently half slave and half free.
  I do not expect the Union to be dissolved’--I am quoting from my
  speech--‘I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it
  will cease to be divided. It will come all one thing or the other.
  Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the spread of it, and
  place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is
  in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it
  forward until it shall have become alike lawful in all the States,
  North as well as South.’

  “In this paragraph which I have quoted in your hearing, and to
  which I ask the attention of all, Judge Douglas thinks he discovers
  great political heresy. I want your attention particularly to what
  he has inferred from it. He says I am in favor of making all the
  States of this Union uniform in all their internal regulations;
  that in all their domestic concerns I am in favor of making them
  entirely uniform. He draws this inference from the language I have
  quoted to you. He says that I am in favor of making war by the
  North upon the South for the extinction of slavery; that I am also
  in favor of inviting, as he expresses it, the South to a war upon
  the North, for the purpose of nationalizing slavery. Now, it is
  singular enough, if you will carefully read that passage over, that
  I did not say that I was in favor of any thing in it. I only said
  what I expected would take place. I made a prediction only--it may
  have been a foolish one perhaps. I did not even say that I desired
  that slavery should be put in course of ultimate extinction. I do
  say so now, however, so there need be no longer any difficulty
  about that. It may be written down in the next speech.

  “Gentlemen, Judge Douglas informed you that this speech of mine
  was probably carefully prepared. I admit that it was. I am not
  master of language; I have not a fine education; I am not capable
  of entering into a disquisition upon dialects, as I believe you
  call it; but I do not believe the language I employed bears any
  such construction as Judge Douglas puts upon it. But I don’t care
  about a quibble in regard to words. I know what I meant, and I will
  not leave this crowd in doubt, if I can explain it to them, what I
  really meant in the use of that paragraph.

  “I am not, in the first place, unaware that this Government has
  endured eighty-two years, half slave and half free. I know that. I
  am tolerably well acquainted with the history of the country, and
  I know that it has endured eighty-two years, half slave and half
  free. I _believe_--and that is what I meant to allude to there--I
  _believe_ it has endured, because during all that time, until the
  introduction of the Nebraska bill, the public mind did rest all
  the time in the belief that slavery was in course of ultimate
  extinction. That was what gave us the rest that we had through
  that period of eighty-two years; at least, so I believe. I have
  always hated slavery, I think, as much as any Abolitionist. I have
  been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always
  been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the
  Nebraska Bill began. I always believed that everybody was against
  it, and that it was in course of ultimate extinction. [Pointing to
  Mr. Browning, who stood near by:] Browning thought so; the great
  mass of the Nation have rested in the belief that slavery was in
  the course of ultimate extinction. They had reason so to believe.

  “The adoption of the Constitution and its attendant history led
  the people to believe so; and that such was the belief of the
  framers of the Constitution itself. Why did those old men, about
  the time of the adoption of the Constitution, decree that slavery
  should not go into the new territory, where it had not already
  gone? Why declare that within twenty years the African slave-trade,
  by which slaves are supplied, might be cut off by Congress? Why
  were all these acts? I might enumerate more of such acts--but
  enough. What were they but a clear indication that the framers of
  the Constitution intended and expected the ultimate extinction of
  that institution? And now, when I say, as I said in this speech
  that Judge Douglas has quoted from, when I say that I think the
  opponents of slavery will resist the further spread of it, and
  place it where the public mind shall rest with the belief that it
  is in course of ultimate extinction, I only mean to say, that they
  will place it where the founders of this Government originally
  placed it.

  “I have said a hundred times, and I have no inclination to take
  it back, that I believe there is no right, and ought to be no
  inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the
  slave States, and to interfere with the question of slavery at all.
  I have said that always. Judge Douglas has heard me say it--if not
  quite a hundred times, at least as good as a hundred times; and
  when it is said that I am in favor of interfering with slavery
  where it exists, I know that it is unwarranted by any thing I have
  ever intended, and, as I believe, by any thing I have ever said.
  If, by any means, I have ever used language which could fairly be
  so construed (as, however, I believe I never have), I now correct

  “So much, then, for the inference that Judge Douglas draws, that I
  am in favor of setting the sections at war with one another. I know
  that I never meant any such thing, and I believe that no fair mind
  can infer any such thing from any thing I have ever said.

  “Now in relation to his inference that I am in favor of a general
  consolidation of all the local institutions of the various States.
  I will attend to that for a little while, and try to inquire, if
  I can, how on earth it could be that any man could draw such an
  inference from any thing I said. I have said, very many times, in
  Judge Douglas’s hearing, that no man believed more than I in the
  principle of self-government; that it lies at the bottom of all my
  ideas of just government, from beginning to end. I have denied that
  his use of that term applies properly. But for the thing itself, I
  deny that any man has ever gone ahead of me in his devotion to the
  principle, whatever he may have done in efficiency in advocating
  it. I think that I have said it in your hearing--that I believe
  each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with
  himself and with the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise
  interferes with any other man’s rights--that each community, as
  a State, has a right to do exactly as it pleases with all the
  concerns within that State that interfere with the right of no
  other State, and that the General Government, upon principle, has
  no right to interfere with any thing other than that general class
  of things that does concern the whole. I have said that at all
  times. I have said as illustrations, that I do not believe in the
  right of Illinois to interfere with the cranberry laws of Indiana,
  the oyster laws of Virginia, or the liquor laws of Maine. I have
  said these things over and over again, and I repeat them here as my

  “So much then as to my disposition--my wish--to have all the State
  Legislatures blotted out, and to have one consolidated government,
  and a uniformity of domestic regulations in all the States; by
  which I suppose it is meant, if we raise corn here, we must make
  sugar-cane grow here too, and we must make those which grow North
  grow in the South. All this I suppose he understands I am in
  favor of doing. Now, so much for all this nonsense--for I must
  call it so. The Judge can have no issue with me on a question of
  established uniformity in the domestic regulations of the States.

  “A little now on the other point--the Dred Scott decision. Another
  of the issues he says that is to be made with me, is upon his
  devotion to the Dred Scott decision, and my opposition to it.

  “I have expressed heretofore, and I now repeat my opposition to the
  Dred Scott decision, but I should be allowed to state the nature of
  that opposition, and I ask your indulgence while I do so. What is
  fairly implied by the term Judge Douglas has used, ‘resistance to
  the decision?’ I do not resist it. If I wanted to take Dred Scott
  from his master, I would be interfering with property, and that
  terrible difficulty that Judge Douglas speaks of, of interfering
  with property would arise. But I am doing no such thing as that,
  but all that I am doing is refusing to obey it as a political rule.
  If I were in Congress, and a vote should come up on a question
  whether slavery should be prohibited in a new Territory, in spite
  of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it should.

  “That is what I would do. Judge Douglas said last night, that
  before the decision he might advance his opinion, and it might
  be contrary to the decision when it was made; but _after_ it was
  made he would abide by it until it was reversed. Just so! We let
  this property abide by the decision, but we will try to reverse
  that decision. [Loud applause.] We will try to put it where Judge
  Douglas will not object, for he says he will obey it until it is
  reversed. Some body has to reverse that decision, since it was
  made, and we mean to reverse it, and we mean to do it peaceably.

  “What are the uses of decisions of courts? They have two uses. As
  rules of property they have two uses. First--they decide upon the
  question before the court. They decide in this case that Dred Scott
  is a slave. Nobody resists that. Not only that, but they say to
  everybody else, that persons standing just as Dred Scott stands,
  is as he is. That is, they say that when a question comes up upon
  another person, it will be so decided again unless the court
  decides in another way, unless the court overrules its decision.
  Well, we mean to do what we can to have the court decide the other
  way. That is one thing we mean to try to do.

  “The sacredness that Judge Douglas throws around this decision,
  is a degree of sacredness that has never been before thrown
  around any other decision. I have never heard of such a thing.
  Why, decisions apparently contrary to that decision, or that good
  lawyers thought were contrary to that decision, have been made
  by that very court before. It is the first of the kind; it is an
  _astonisher_ in legal history. It is a new wonder of the world. It
  is based upon falsehoods in the main as to the facts--allegation
  of facts upon which it stands are not facts at all in many
  instances, and no decision made on any question--the first instance
  of a decision made under so many unfavorable circumstances--thus
  placed, has ever been held by the profession as law, and it has
  always needed confirmation before the lawyers regarded it as
  settled law. But Judge Douglas will have it that all hands must
  take this extraordinary decision, made under these extraordinary
  circumstances, and give their vote in Congress in accordance with
  it, yield to it and obey it in every possible sense. Circumstances
  alter cases. Do not gentlemen here remember the case of that same
  Supreme Court, twenty-five or thirty years ago, deciding that a
  National Bank was Constitutional? I ask, if somebody does not
  remember that a National Bank was declared to be Constitutional?
  Such is the truth, whether it be remembered or not. The Bank
  charter ran out, and a re-charter was granted by Congress. That
  re-charter was laid before General Jackson. It was urged upon him,
  when he denied the Constitutionality of the Bank, that the Supreme
  Court had decided that it was Constitutional; and that General
  Jackson then said that the Supreme Court had no right to lay down a
  rule to govern a co-ordinate branch of the Government, the members
  of which had sworn to support the Constitution--that each member
  had sworn to support that Constitution as he understood it. I will
  venture here to say, that I have heard Judge Douglas say that he
  approved of General Jackson for that act. What has now become of
  all his tirade about ‘resistance to the Supreme Court?’ * * *

  “We were often--more than once, at least--in the course of Judge
  Douglas’s speech last night, reminded that this Government was made
  for white men--that he believed it was made for white men. Well,
  that is putting it into a shape in which no one wants to deny it;
  but the Judge then goes into his passion for drawing inferences
  that are not warranted. I protest, now, and forever, against that
  counterfeit logic which presumes that because I did not want a
  negro woman for a slave, I do necessarily want her for a wife.
  My understanding is that I need not have her for either; but, as
  God made us separate, we can leave one another alone, and do one
  another much good thereby. There are white men enough to marry all
  the white women, and enough black men to marry all the black women,
  and in God’s name let them be so married. The Judge regales us with
  the terrible enormities that take place by the mixture of races;
  that is the inferior race bears the superior down. Why, Judge, if
  you do not let them get together in the Territories they won’t mix

  “Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, some time
  about the Fourth of July, for some reason or other. These Fourth of
  July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me,
  I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

  “We are now a mighty nation; we are thirty, or about thirty millions
  of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the
  dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages
  of history for about eighty-two years, and we discover that we were
  then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to
  what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country, with vastly
  less of every thing we deem desirable among men--we look upon the
  change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity,
  and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way
  or other being connected with this rise of posterity. We find a
  race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and
  grandfathers; they were iron men; they fought for the principle
  that they were contending for; and we understood that by what
  they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity which
  we now enjoy has come to us. We hold this annual celebration to
  remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time,
  of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically
  connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor
  with ourselves--we feel more attached the one to the other, and
  more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are
  better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live,
  for these celebrations. But after we have done all this, we have
  not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected
  with it. We have, besides these--men descended by blood from our
  ancestors--those among us perhaps, half our people, who are not
  descendants at all of these men; they are men who have come from
  Europe--German, Irish, French, and Scandinavian--men that have
  come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither
  and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things.
  If they look back through this history to trace their connection
  with those days by blood, they find they have none; they cannot
  carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves
  feel that they are part of us; but when they look through that old
  Declaration of Independence, they find that those old men say that
  ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
  equal,’ and then they feel that that moral sentiment, taught on
  that day, evidences their relation to those men, that it is the
  father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right
  to claim it as though they were blood of the blood and flesh of the
  flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, and so they are. That
  is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of
  patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those
  patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds
  of men throughout the world.

  “Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea of
  ‘don’t care if slavery is voted up or voted down,’ for sustaining
  the Dred Scott decision, for holding that the Declaration of
  Independence did not mean any thing at all, we have Judge Douglas
  giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence
  means, and we have him saying that the people of America are
  equal to the people of England. According to his construction,
  you Germans are not connected with it. Now I ask you in all
  soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if
  confirmed and indorsed, if taught to our children and repeated
  to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the
  country, and to transform this Government into a government of some
  other form. These arguments that are made, that the inferior race
  are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of
  enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition
  will allow--what are these arguments? They are the arguments
  that Kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the
  world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of King-craft
  were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people,
  not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better
  off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument
  of the Judge is the same old serpent that says: You work, and I
  eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn it whatever
  way you will--whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse
  for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men
  of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race,
  it is all the same old serpent, and I hold if that course of
  argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public
  mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does
  not stop with the negro. I should like to know if, taking this old
  Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal
  upon principle, you begin making exceptions to it, where you will
  stop? If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say
  it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the
  truth, let us get the statute book, in which we find it, and tear
  it out! Who is so bold as to do it? If it is not true, let us tear
  it out! [cries of ‘no, no,’]; let us stick to it then; let us stand
  firmly by it then.

  “It may be argued that there are certain conditions that make
  necessities and impose them upon us, and to the extent that a
  necessity is imposed upon a man, he must submit to it. I think that
  was the condition in which we found ourselves when we established
  this Government. We had slaves among us; we could not get our
  Constitution unless we permitted them to remain in slavery; we
  could not secure the good we did secure if we grasped for more; and
  having, by necessity, submitted to that much, it does not destroy
  the principle that is the charter of our liberties. Let that
  charter stand as our standard.

  “My friend has said to me that I am a poor hand to quote Scripture.
  I will try it again, however. It is said in one of the admonitions
  of our Lord: ‘As your Father in heaven is perfect, be ye also
  perfect.’ The Saviour, I suppose, did not expect that any human
  creature could be perfect as the Father in Heaven; but He said:
  ‘As your Father in Heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect.’ He set
  that up as a standard, and he who did most toward reaching that
  standard, attained the highest degree of moral perfection. So I say
  in relation to the principle that all men are created equal, let it
  be as nearly reached as we can. If we cannot give freedom to every
  creature, let us do nothing that will impose slavery upon any other
  creature. Let us then turn this Government back into the channel in
  which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it. Let us
  stand firmly by each other. If we do not do so we are turning in
  the contrary direction, that our friend Judge Douglas proposes--not
  intentionally--as working in the traces tends to make this one
  universal slave nation. He is one that runs in that direction, and
  as such I resist him.

  “My friends, I have detained you about as long as I desired to
  do, and I have only to say, let us discard all this quibbling
  about this man and the other man--this race and that race and the
  other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an
  inferior position--discarding our standard that we have left us.
  Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout
  this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men
  are created equal.

  “My friends, I could not, without launching off upon some new
  topic, which would detain you too long, continue to-night. I thank
  you for this most extensive audience that you have furnished me
  to-night. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in
  your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are
  created free and equal.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--On Saturday last, Judge Douglas and myself
  first met in public discussion. He spoke one hour, I an hour and a
  half, and he replied for half an hour. The order is now reversed. I
  am to speak an hour, he an hour and a half, and then I am to reply
  for half an hour. I propose to devote myself during the first hour
  to the scope of what was brought within the range of his half-hour
  speech at Ottawa. Of course there was brought within the scope of
  that half-hour’s speech something of his own opening speech. In
  the course of that opening argument Judge Douglas proposed to me
  seven distinct interrogatories. In my speech of an hour and a half,
  I attended to some other parts of his speech, and incidentally,
  as I thought, answered one of the interrogatories then. I then
  distinctly intimated to him that I would answer the rest of his
  interrogatories on condition only that he should agree to answer as
  many for me. He made no intimation at the time of the proposition,
  nor did he in his reply allude at all to that suggestion of mine.
  I do him no injustice in saying that he occupied at least half of
  his reply in dealing with me as though I had _refused_ to answer
  his interrogatories. I now propose that I will answer any of the
  interrogatories, upon condition that he will answer questions from
  me not exceeding the same number. I give him an opportunity to
  respond. The judge remains silent. I now say that I will answer his
  interrogatories, whether he answers mine or not; and that after I
  have done so, I shall propound mine to him.

  “I have supposed myself, since the organization of the Republican
  party at Bloomington, in May, 1856, bound as a party man by the
  platforms of the party, then and since. If in any interrogatories
  which I shall answer, I go beyond the scope of what is within these
  platforms, it will be perceived that no one is responsible but

  “Having said thus much, I will take up the judge’s interrogatories
  as I find them printed in the Chicago _Times_, and answer them
  _seriatim_. In order that there may be no mistake about it, I have
  copied the interrogatories in writing, and also my answers to them.
  The first one of these interrogatories is in these words:

  Question 1. “‘I desire to know whether Lincoln to-day stands, as he
  did in 1854, in favor of the unconditional repeal of the Fugitive
  Slave law?’

  Answer. “I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the
  unconditional repeal of the Fugitive Slave law.

  Q. 2. “‘I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to-day, as
  he did in 1854, against the admission of any more slave States into
  the Union, even if the people want them?’

  A. “I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission
  of any more slave States into the Union.

  Q. 3. “‘I want to know whether he stands pledged against the
  admission of a new State into the Union with such a Constitution as
  the people of that State may see fit to make?’

  A. “I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new State
  into the Union, with such a Constitution as the people of that
  State may see fit to make.

  Q. 4. “‘I want to know whether he stands to-day pledged to the
  abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia?’

  A. “I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in
  the District of Columbia.

  Q. 5. “‘I desire him to answer whether he stands pledged to the
  prohibition of the slave-trade between the different States?’

  A. “I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave-trade
  between the different States.

  Q. 6. “‘I desire to know whether he stands pledged to prohibit
  slavery in all the Territories of the United States, North as well
  as South of the Missouri Compromise line?’

  A. “I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the
  _right_ and _duty_ of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the
  United States Territories.

  Q. 7. “‘I desire him to answer whether he is opposed to the
  acquisition of any new territory unless slavery is first prohibited

  A. “I am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory;
  and, in any given case, I would or would not oppose such
  acquisition, accordingly as I might think such acquisition would or
  would not agitate the slavery question among ourselves.

  “Now, my friends, it will be perceived upon an examination of these
  questions and answers, that so far I have only answered that I
  was not _pledged_ to this, that or the other. The judge has not
  framed his interrogatories to ask me any thing more than this, and
  I have answered in strict accordance with the interrogatories, and
  have answered truly that I am not _pledged_ at all upon any of the
  points to which I have answered. But I am not disposed to hang upon
  the exact form of his interrogatory. I am rather disposed to take
  up at least some of these questions, and state what I really think
  upon them.

  “As to the first one, in regard to the Fugitive Slave law, I have
  never hesitated to say, and I do not now hesitate to say, that I
  think, under the Constitution of the United States, the people of
  the Southern States are entitled to a Congressional Slave law.
  Having said that, I have had nothing to say in regard to the
  existing Fugitive Slave law, further than that I think it should
  have been framed so as to be free from some of the objections that
  pertain to it, without lessening its efficiency. And inasmuch
  as we are not now in an agitation in regard to an alteration or
  modification of that law, I would not be the man to introduce it as
  a new subject of agitation upon the general question of slavery.

  “In regard to the other question, of whether I am pledged to the
  admission of any more Slave States into the Union, I state to
  you very frankly that I would be exceedingly sorry ever to be put
  in a position of having to pass upon that question. I should be
  exceedingly glad to know that there would never be another slave
  State admitted into the Union; but I must add, that if slavery
  shall be kept out of the Territories during the Territorial
  existence of any one given Territory, and then the people shall,
  having a fair chance and a clear field, when they come to adopt
  the Constitution, do such an extraordinary thing as to adopt a
  slave Constitution, uninfluenced by the actual presence of the
  institution among them, I see no alternative if we own the country,
  but to admit them into the Union.

  “The third interrogatory is answered by the answer to the second,
  it being, as I conceive, the same as the second.

  “The fourth one is in regard to the abolition of slavery in the
  District of Columbia. In relation to that, I have my mind very
  distinctly made up. I should be exceedingly glad to see slavery
  abolished in the District of Columbia. I believe that Congress
  possesses the constitutional power to abolish it. Yet as a member
  of Congress, I should not with my present views, be in favor of
  _endeavoring_ to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia,
  unless it would be upon these conditions: _First_, that the
  abolition should be gradual; _second_, that it should be on a vote
  of the majority of qualified voters in the District; and _third_,
  that compensation should be made to unwilling owners. With these
  three conditions, I confess I would be exceedingly glad to see
  Congress abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and, in the
  language of Henry Clay, ‘sweep from our Capital that foul blot upon
  our nation.’

  “In regard to the fifth interrogatory, I must say here, that
  as to the question of the abolition of the slave-trade between
  the different States, I can truly answer, as I have, that I am
  _pledged_ to nothing about it. It is a subject to which I have not
  given that mature consideration that would make me feel authorized
  to state a position so as to hold myself entirely bound by it.
  In other words, that question has never been prominently enough
  before me to induce me to investigate whether we really have the
  Constitutional power to do it. I could investigate it if I had
  sufficient time to bring myself to a conclusion upon that subject;
  but I have not done so, and I say so frankly to you here, and to
  Judge Douglas. I must say, however, that if I should be of opinion
  that Congress does possess the Constitutional power to abolish
  slave-trading among the different States, I should still not be in
  favor of the exercise of that power unless upon some conservative
  principle as I conceive it, akin to what I have said in relation to
  the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia.

  “My answer as to whether I desire that slavery should be prohibited
  in all Territories of the United States, is full and explicit
  within itself, and can not be made clearer by any comments of
  mine. So I suppose in regard to the question whether I am opposed
  to the acquisition of any more territory unless slavery is first
  prohibited therein, my answer is such that I could add nothing by
  way of illustration, or making myself better understood, than the
  answer which I have placed in writing.

  “Now in all this, the judge has me, and he has me on the record.
  I suppose he had flattered himself that I was really entertaining
  one set of opinions for one place and another set for another
  place--that I was afraid to say at one place what I uttered at
  another. What I am saying here I suppose I say to a vast audience
  as strongly tending to Abolitionism as any audience in the State
  of Illinois, and I believe I am saying that which, if it would be
  offensive to any persons and render them enemies to myself, would
  be offensive to persons in this audience.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “WASHINGTON, April 9, 1862.

  “MY DEAR SIR: Your dispatches, complaining that you are not
  properly sustained, while they do not offend me, do pain me very

  “Blenker’s division was withdrawn from you before you left here,
  and you know the pressure under which I did it, and, as I thought,
  acquiesced in it--certainly not without reluctance.

  “After you left, I ascertained that less than twenty thousand
  unorganized men, without a single field battery, were all you
  designed to be left for the defence of Washington and Manassas
  Junction, and part of this even was to go to Gen. Hooker’s old
  position. General Banks’ corps, once designated for Manassas
  Junction, was diverted and tied up on the line of Winchester and
  Strasburgh, and could not leave it without again exposing the Upper
  Potomac and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This presented, or
  would present, when McDowell and Sumner should be gone, a great
  temptation to the enemy to turn back from the Rappahannock and
  sack Washington. My explicit order that Washington should, by the
  judgment of all the commanders of army corps, be left entirely
  secure, had been neglected. It was precisely this that drove me to
  detain McDowell.

  “I do not forget that I was satisfied with your arrangement to
  leave Banks at Manassas Junction: but when that arrangement was
  broken up, and nothing was substituted for it, of course I was
  constrained to substitute something for it myself. And allow me to
  ask, do you really think I should permit the line from Richmond,
  _via_ Manassas Junction, to this city, to be entirely open, except
  what resistance could be presented by less than twenty thousand
  unorganized troops? This is a question which the country will not
  allow me to evade.

  “There is a curious mystery about the number of troops now with
  you. When I telegraphed you on the 6th, saying you had over a
  hundred thousand with you, I had just obtained from the Secretary
  of War a statement taken, as he said, from your own returns, making
  one hundred and eight thousand then with you and _en route_ to
  you. You say you will have but eighty-five thousand when all _en
  route_ to you shall have reached you. How can the discrepancy of
  twenty-three thousand be accounted for?

  “As to General Wool’s command, I understand it is doing for you
  precisely what a like number of your own would have to do if that
  command was away.

  “I suppose the whole force which has gone forward for you is with
  you by this time. And if so, I think it is the precise time for
  you to strike a blow. By delay, the enemy will relatively gain
  upon you--that is, he will gain faster by fortifications and
  reinforcement than you can by reinforcements alone. And once more
  let me tell you, it is indispensable to you that you strike a blow.
  I am powerless to help this. You will do me the justice to remember
  I always insisted that going down the bay in search of a field,
  instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only shifting, and not
  surmounting a difficulty; that we would find the same enemy, and
  the same or equal intrenchments, at either place. The country will
  not fail to note, is now noting, that the present hesitation to
  move upon an intrenched enemy is but the story of Manassas repeated.

  “I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to
  you in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller
  purpose to sustain you, so far as, in my most anxious judgment, I
  consistently can. But you must act.

    “Yours, very truly,

    “Maj.-Gen. MCCLELLAN.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, May 27, 1863.

  “Gen. J. M. SCHOFIELD--_Dear Sir_: Having removed Gen. Curtis and
  assigned you to the command of the Department of the Missouri, I
  think it may be of some advantage to me to state to you why I did
  it. I did not remove Gen. Curtis because of my full conviction that
  he had done wrong by commission or omission. I did it because of a
  conviction in my mind that the Union men of Missouri, constituting,
  when united, a vast majority of the people, have entered into a
  pestilent, factious quarrel among themselves, Gen. Curtis, perhaps
  not of choice, being the head of one faction, and Gov. Gamble that
  of the other. After months of labor to reconcile the difficulty, it
  seemed to grow worse and worse, until I felt it my duty to break it
  up somehow, and as I could not remove Gov. Gamble, I had to remove
  Gen. Curtis. Now that you are in the position, I wish you to undo
  nothing merely because Gen. Curtis or Gov. Gamble did it, but to
  exercise your own judgment, and do right for the public interest.
  Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invaders
  and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass
  and persecute the people. It is a difficult _role_, and so much
  more will be the honor if you perform it well. If both factions, or
  neither, shall abuse you, you will probably be about right. Beware
  of being assailed by one and praised by the other.

    “Yours, truly,      A. LINCOLN.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “WHEREAS, The term of service of part of the volunteer forces
  of the United States will expire during the coming year; and
  _whereas_, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it
  is deemed expedient to call out three hundred thousand volunteers,
  to serve for three years or the war--not, however, exceeding three

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States
  and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the
  militia of the several States when called into actual service,
  do issue this my proclamation, calling upon the Governors of the
  different States to raise and have enlisted into the United States
  service, for the various companies and regiments in the field from
  their respective States, their quotas of three hundred thousand men.

  “I further proclaim that all the volunteers thus called out and
  duly enlisted shall receive advance pay, premium and bounty, as
  heretofore communicated to the Governors of States by the War
  Department, through the Provost-Marshal General’s office, by
  special letters.

  “I further proclaim that all volunteers received under this call,
  as well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly
  credited and deducted from the quotas established for the next

  “I further proclaim that, if any State shall fail to raise the
  quota assigned to it by the War Department under this call; then a
  draft for the deficiency in said quota shall be made in said State,
  or on the districts of said State, for their due proportion of
  said quota, and the said draft shall commence on the fifth day of
  January, 1864.

  “And I further proclaim that nothing in this proclamation shall
  interfere with existing orders, or with those which may be issued
  for the present draft in the States where it is now in progress or
  where it has not yet been commenced.

  “The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the
  War Department, through the Provost-Marshal General’s office, due
  regard being had for the men heretofore furnished, whether by
  volunteering or drafting, and the recruiting will be conducted in
  accordance with such instructions as have been or may be issued by
  that department.

  “In issuing this proclamation I address myself not only to the
  Governors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal
  people thereof, invoking them to lend their cheerful, willing
  and effective aid to the measures thus adopted, with a view to
  reinforce our victorious armies now in the field and bring our
  needful military operations to a prosperous end, thus closing
  forever the fountains of sedition and civil war.

  “In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
  of the United States to be affixed.

  “Done at the city of Washington, this seventeenth day of October,
  in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,
  and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, December 23, 1863.

  “I have just looked over a petition signed by some three dozen
  citizens of St. Louis, and their accompanying letters, one by
  yourself, one by a Mr. Nathan Ranney, and one by a Mr. John D.
  Coalter, the whole relating to the Rev. Dr. McPheeters. The
  petition prays, in the name of justice and mercy, that I will
  restore Dr. McPheeters to all his ecclesiastical rights.

  “This gives no intimation as to what ecclesiastical rights are
  withdrawn. Your letter states that Provost Marshal Dick, about
  a year ago, ordered the arrest of Dr. McPheeters, pastor of the
  Vine-street Church, prohibited him from officiating, and placed
  the management of affairs of the church out of the control of the
  chosen trustees; and near the close you state that a certain course
  ‘would insure his release.’ Mr. Ranney’s letter says: ‘Dr. Samuel
  McPheeters is enjoying all the rights of a civilian, but can not
  preach the gospel!’ Mr. Coalter, in his letter, asks: ‘Is it not a
  strange illustration of the condition of things, that the question
  who shall be allowed to preach in a church in St. Louis shall be
  decided by the President of the United States?’

  “Now, all this sounds very strangely; and, withal, a little as if
  you gentlemen making the application do not understand the case
  alike--one affirming that this doctor is enjoying all the rights
  of a civilian, and another pointing out to me what will secure his
  _release_! On the second of January last, I wrote to Gen. Curtis
  in relation to Mr. Dick’s order upon Dr. McPheeters; and, as I
  suppose the Doctor is enjoying all the rights of a civilian, I
  only quote that part of the letter which relates to the church. It
  was as follows: ‘But I must add that the United States Government
  must not, as by this order, undertake to run the churches. When
  an individual, in a church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the
  public interest, he must be checked; but the churches, as such,
  must take care of themselves. It will not do for the United States
  to appoint trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches.’

  “This letter going to Gen. Curtis, then in command, I supposed, of
  course, it was obeyed, especially as I heard no further complaint
  from Dr. Mc. or his friends for nearly an entire year. I have never
  interfered, nor thought of interfering, as to who shall or shall
  not preach in any church; nor have I knowingly or believingly
  tolerated any one else to interfere by my authority. If any one is
  so interfering by color of my authority, I would like to have it
  specifically made known to me.

  “If, after all, what is now sought is to have me put Dr. Mc. back
  over the heads of a majority of his own congregation, that, too,
  will be declined. I will not have control of any church on any side.”

    “A. LINCOLN.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, January 20, 1864.

  “MAJ. GEN. STEELE: Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas
  petition me that an election may be held in that State, at
  which to elect a Governor; that it be assumed at that election,
  and henceforward, that the Constitution and laws of the State,
  as before the rebellion, are in full force, except that the
  Constitution is so modified as to declare that there shall be
  neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in the punishment
  of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; that
  the General assembly may make such provisions for the freed people
  as shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom, and provide
  for their education, and which may yet be construed as a temporary
  arrangement, suitable to their condition as a laboring, landless,
  and homeless class; that said election shall be held on the 28th
  of March, 1864, at all the usual places of the State, or all such
  as voters may attend for that purpose; that the voters attending
  at 8 o’clock in the morning of said day may choose judges and
  clerks of election for such purpose; that all persons qualified
  by said Constitution and laws, and taking the oath presented in
  the President’s proclamation of December 8, 1863, either before
  or at the election, and none others, may be voters; that each
  set of judges and clerks may make returns directly to you on or
  before the --th day of ---- next; that in all other respects said
  election may be conducted according to said Constitution and laws;
  that on receipt of said returns, when five thousand four hundred
  and six votes shall have been cast, you can receive said votes
  and ascertain all who shall thereby appear to have been elected;
  that on the -- day of ---- next, all persons so appearing to have
  been elected, who shall appear before you at Little Rock, and take
  the oath, to be by you severally administered, to support the
  Constitution of the United States, and said modified Constitution
  of the State of Arkansas, may be declared by you qualified and
  empowered to immediately enter upon the duties of the offices to
  which they shall have been respectively elected.

  “You will please order an election to take place on the 28th of
  March, 1864, and returns to be made in fifteen days thereafter.

    “A. LINCOLN.”

Later, the President wrote the following letter:

  “WILLIAM FISHBACK, ESQ.: When I fixed a plan for an election in
  Arkansas, I did it in ignorance that your Convention was at the
  same work. Since I learned the latter fact, I have been constantly
  trying to yield my plan to theirs. I have sent two letters to Gen.
  Steele, and three or four dispatches to you and others, saying that
  he (Gen. Steele) must be master, but that it will probably be best
  for him to keep the Convention on its own plan. Some single mind
  must be master, else there will be no agreement on anything; and
  Gen. Steele, commanding the military, and being on the ground, is
  the best man to be that master. Even now citizens are telegraphing
  me to postpone the election to a later day than either fixed by the
  Convention or me. This discord must be silenced.

    “A. LINCOLN.”

       *       *       *       *       *


  “WHEREAS, By the Act approved July 4, 1864, entitled ‘An Act
  further to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out
  the National Forces, and for other purposes,’ it is provided that
  the President of the United States may, at his discretion, at any
  time hereafter, call for any number of men as volunteers, for the
  respective terms of one, two, or three years, for military service,
  and ‘that in case the quota, or any part thereof, of any town,
  township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of a
  county not so subdivided, shall not be filled within the space of
  fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately
  order a draft for one year to fill such quota, or any part thereof,
  which may be unfilled.’

  “AND WHEREAS, The new enrollment heretofore ordered is so far
  completed as that the aforementioned Act of Congress may now be
  put in operation for recruiting and keeping up the strength of the
  armies in the field, for garrisons, and such military operations
  as may be required for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion
  and restoring the authority of the United States Government in the
  insurgent States.

  “Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
  States, do issue this, my call, for five hundred thousand
  volunteers for the military service; provided, nevertheless, that
  all credits which may be established under Section Eight of the
  aforesaid Act, on account of persons who have entered the naval
  service during the present Rebellion, and by credits for men
  furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore
  made for volunteers, will be accepted under this call for one, two,
  or three years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to the
  bounty provided by the law for the period of service for which they

  “And I hereby proclaim, order, and direct, that immediately after
  the fifth day of September, 1864, being fifty days from the date
  of this call, a draft for troops to serve for one year, shall be
  held in every town, township, ward of a city, precinct, election
  district, or a county not so subdivided, to fill the quota which
  shall be assigned to it under this call, or any part thereof which
  may be unfilled by volunteers on the said fifth day of September,

  “In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused
  the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of
  Washington, this eighteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord,
  one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence
  of the United States the eighty-ninth.

    “By the President:      ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

    “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

       *       *       *       *       *


This letter was written by the President prior to his re-election
to Mrs. Eliza P. Gurney, an American lady, the widow of the late
well-known Friend and philanthropist, Joseph John Gurney, one of the
wealthiest bankers of London.

  “MY ESTEEMED FRIEND: I have not forgotten, probably never shall
  forget, the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends
  visited me on a Sabbath forenoon two years ago. Nor had your kind
  letter, written nearly a year later, ever been forgotten. In all
  it has been your purpose to strengthen my reliance in God. I am
  much indebted to the good Christian people of the country for their
  constant prayers and consolations, and to no one of them more than
  to yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must
  prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive
  them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible
  war, long before this, but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise.
  We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own errors therein;
  meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best lights He gives us,
  trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He
  ordains. Surely, He intends some great good to follow this mighty
  convulsion which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.

  “Your people--the Friends--have had, and are having very great
  trials, on principles and faith opposed to both war and oppression.
  They can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard
  dilemma, some have chosen one horn and some the other.

  “For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds I have done and
  shall do the best I could, and can, in my own conscience under my
  oath to the law. That you believe this, I doubt not, and believing
  it, I shall still receive for our country and myself your earnest
  prayers to our father in Heaven.

    “Your sincere friend,
    “A. LINCOLN.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    “_Executive Mansion_, Washington, D. C.,
    Saturday, October 22, 1864


“GENTLEMEN: On the fifteenth day of this month, as I remember, a
printed paper manuscript, with a few manuscript interlineations, called
a protest, with your names appended thereto, and accompanied by another
printed paper, purporting to be a proclamation by ANDREW JOHNSON,
Military Governor of Tennessee, and also a manuscript paper purporting
to be extracts from the code of Tennessee, were laid before me.”

[The protest is here recited, and also the proclamation of GOV.
JOHNSON, dated September 30, to which it refers, together with a list
of the counties in East, Middle, and West Tennessee; also extracts
from the code of Tennessee in relation to electors of President and
Vice President, qualifications of voters for members of the General
Assembly, and places of holding elections and officers of popular

  “At the time these papers were presented as before stated, I had
  never seen either of them, nor heard of the subject to which they
  relate, except in a general way, only one day previously.

  “Up to the present moment, nothing whatever upon the subject has
  passed between GOV. JOHNSON, or any one else connected with the
  proclamation and myself.

  “Since receiving the papers, as stated, I have given the subject
  such brief consideration as I have been able to do, in the midst of
  so many pressing duties.

  “My conclusion is, that I can have nothing to do with the matter,
  either to sustain the plan as the Convention and GOV. JOHNSON have
  initiated it, or to modify it as you demand. By the Constitution
  and laws the President is charged with no duty in the Presidential
  election in any State. Nor do I, in this case, perceive any
  military reason for his interference in the matter.

  “The movement set a-foot by the Convention and GOV. JOHNSON does
  not, as seems to be assumed by you, emanate from the National

  “In no proper sense can it be considered other than as an
  independent movement of at least a portion of the loyal people of

  “I do not perceive in the plan any menace, or violence, or coercion
  toward any one.

  “GOV. JOHNSON, like any other loyal citizen of Tennessee has the
  right to form any political plan he chooses, and as Military
  Governor it is his duty to keep the peace among and for the loyal
  people of the State.

  “I cannot discern that by his plan he purposes any more--but you
  object to the plan.

  “Leaving it alone will be your perfect security against it. It is
  not proposed to force you into it.

  “Do as you please on your own account peaceably and loyally, and
  GOV. JOHNSON will not molest you, but will protect you against
  violence so far as in his power.

  “I presume that the conducting of a Presidential election in
  Tennessee, in strict accordance with the old code of the State, is
  not now a possibility.

  “It is scarcely necessary to add, that if any election shall be
  had, and any votes shall be cast in the State of Tennessee for
  President and Vice-President of the United States, it will belong
  not to the military agents nor yet to the Executive Department, but
  exclusively to another department of the Government, to determine
  whether they are entitled to be counted in conformity with the
  Constitution and laws of the United States.

  “Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to
  interfere in any way with any Presidential election.



Transcriber’s Notes:

The original book contained many unprinted characters. Those omissions
are too numerous to enumerate here, and have been silently corrected
unless more than one alternative existed. Those exceptions are noted

Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected.

Unbalanced and mismatched single- and double-quotation marks remedied
only when the correction was unambiguous.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained. Inconsistent
hyphenation retained unless there was a predominant preference for one

Text mostly uses “any thing” but sometimes uses “anything”.

Text uses both “Chancelor” and “Chancellor”.

Page 44: “the tenth commandment” probably should be “amendment”.

Page 56: “rule of political action.” should end with a question mark,
not with a period.

Page 195 does not have a “Second” order.

Page 244: “acknowledgment” in “as a grateful acknowledgment” was
misprinted. It was spelled correctly in Lincoln’s original handwritten
letter and that spelling is used here.

Page 376: “reportively replied” was incompletely printed with empty
space before “portively”. Transcriber added “re” as it seemed to be the
best fit.

Page 386: “homely often” was incompletely printed with empty space
before “omely”. Transcriber added “h” as it seemed to be the best fit.

Page 409: “_wholly_ good; almost every” originally had a period after
“good”. Changed here to a semi-colon, but perhaps the following word
should have been capitalized instead, as “Almost”.

Page 413: “[Here Mr. Meade ... every improvement?]” was missing a
closing square bracket. Added by Transcriber based on context.

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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.