mise, passed in 1820, provided that Missouri might come in as a slave
state if slavery was never allowed north of 36Â° 30' north latitude. In
1853 Nebraska, which was north of the free line established by the
Missouri Compromise, desired to be organized as a territory, and Ste-
phen A. Douglas, a member from Illinois of the Senate of the United
States, introduced a bill giving both Nebraska and Kansas the govern-
ment they asked. Later he added to this bill an amendment repealing
the Missouri Compromise and permitting settlers in the new territory
to reject or establish slavery as they should see fit. This bill was passed.
In October of 1854 Douglas came to Springfield to explain his bill to
his Illinois constituents whom it had disturbed. Lincoln's answer to
this speech made a profound impression and forced Douglas at once
into a defense of his measure. Lincoln's chief argument was made in
1854 at Peoria, on October 16.
20 10 p7v tanto : by so much, to that extent.
25 "^^ after the Defeat of 18^6'" : In 1856 Lincoln publicly broke his
connection with the Whig party and joined the Republican party, which
had been organized that year in Illinois. He made some fifty speeches
during the campaign for Fremont, who was the Republican candidate
for the presidency. Fremont was defeated, though he had nearly one
hundred thousand votes in Illinois, and the Republican candidate for
governor of the state, Bissell, was elected.
26 IS The Dred Scott decision was pronounced by Chief Justice
Taney on March 6, 1857. Nicolay and Hay, in their "Abraham Lincoln :
A History" (Vol. II, p. 73), summarize its leading conclusions as fol-
lows : " That the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of
the United States do not include or refer to negroes otherwise than as
property ; that they cannot become citizens of the United States or
sue in the federal courts ; that Dred Scott's claim to freedom by reason
of his residence in Illinois was a Missouri question, which Missouri law
had decided against him ; that the Constitution of the United States
recognizes slaves as property, and pledges the federal government to
protect it; and that the Missouri Compromise act and like prohibitory
laws are unconstitutional ; that the circuit court of the United States
had no jurisdiction in the case and could give no judgment in it, and
must be directed to dismiss the suit."
28 19 The President to whom Lincoln here refers was James Bu-
chanan ; he had been questioned in a memorial signed by Professor
Benjamin Silliman of Yale College, and other citizens of New England,
concerning the Dred Scott decision, and he had replied in a public
letter in which he said that slavery existed in Kansas under the Con-
stitution of the United States ; that this had been decided by the high-
est tribunal known to our laws ; and he added, " How it could have
ever been seriously doubted is a mystery."
28 25 In 1857 a convention was held at Lecompton, Kansas, to
frame a constitution for the new territories. It included a clause
permitting slavery ; this clause, submitted apart from the rest of the
constitution, was adopted in December, 1857. In Januar}% 1858, the
constitution as a whole was submitted and rejected.
31 5 The four workmen to whom Lincoln refers as " Stephen,
Franklin, Roger, and James" are Senator Stephen A. Douglas, author
of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise ; Franklin Pierce, fourteenth
president of the United States, who agreed to make the repeal of the
Missouri Compromise a party measure ; Roger B. Taney, chief justice
of the United States, who pronounced the Dred Scott decision ; and
James Buchanan, fifteenth president of the United States, who defended
35 24 Francis Preston Blair, known as Frank Blair, was a Missouri
politician and a prominent leader of Union sentiment in his state.
Gratz Brown was also a Missouri Unionist. Both men were active
supporters of the emancipation of the negro.
128 ABRAHAM LINCOLN
37 ^^LincoMs Autobiography'''' : One of the first Illinois politicians
to conceive the idea that Lincoln might be an available candidate for
the presidency in i860 was Jesse W. Fell of Bloomington, Illinois.
While the Lincoln and Douglas debates were going on, Fell was
traveling in the East. He was surprised to find the people generally
interested in Lincoln's arguments. He frequently was questioned about
Lincoln's personality. On his return Fell talked to him about the advis-
ability of putting out a sketch that would satisfy the curiosity which had
been awakened by the speeches. Lincoln refused to believe that Fell was
right. It was not until December of 1859, a year after the suggestion was
made, that he consented to write the little sketch of his life here printed.
37 19 Since Lincoln's death the effort to identify his family with
the New England family of the same name has resulted in something
more definite than the similarity of Christian names of which he speaks.
A series of researches in official documents extending over fifty years
has established beyond doubt that Abraham Lincoln was a direct de-
scendant of Samuel Lincoln, who came to New England in 1637. The
fullest and most authoritative account of his pedigree is to be found in
the "Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln " by Lea and Hutchinson.
39 " Slavoy as ike Fathers viezoed it " .* Cooper Union had been
open but a few months when Lincoln spoke there. He had one of the
most notable audiences which have ever gathered in New York. This
was due largely to the impression his debates with Douglas had made.
Many of his friends feared that he would not be able to hold the audience,
but his success was pronounced. The speech was one of the most im-
portant and convincing Lincoln ever made.
53 9 A little over four months before the Cooper Union meeting, on
October 16, 1859, John Brown and a small group of followers had seized
the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. They hoped to arm a band of
negroes and incite insurrection. The raid was unsuccessful. Brown was
captured on October 18, tried by the commonwealth of Virginia, and was
executed on December 2, 1859.
55 19 pari passu : proportionately.
75 15-21 As originally written this address closed with the words,
" You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government,"
etc. On reaching Washington in February before his inauguration,
Lincoln gave William H. Seward, Secretary of State, a copy of the ad-
dress. Mr. Seward objected to his closing words and suggested the
following paragraph :
I close. We are not, we must not be, aliens or enemies, but fellow countrj-men
and brethren. Although passion has strained our bonds of affection too hardly, they
must not. I am sure they will not, be broken. The mystic chords which, proceed-
ing from so many battlefields and so many patriotic graves, pass through all the
hearts and all hearths in this broad continent of ours, will yet again harmonize in
their ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of the nation.
Mr. Lincoln rewrote the above suggestion of Mr. Seward, making of
it the now famous paragraph here printed. The changes made, fur-
nish an admirable study of the way in which Lincoln handled English. ^
76 "Z/;/rc/Â«'j- Reply to Secretajy Seward's Offer to become the Head
of the Administration " ." Mr. Seward undoubtedly believed sincerely
that x\braham Lincoln was unfit for the presidency, and that one of his
secretaries would be obliged to assume the leadership. When he accepted
the appointment of Secretary of State, it was with the idea that he would
be obliged to assume the responsibilities of the administration, and all
his early work was done under this conviction. On April i, 1861, he
sent Lincoln " Some Thoughts for the President's Consideration." Mr.
Lincoln's reply shows the astonishing suggestions in these '" thoughts,"
though it is so courteously worded that it does not fully reveal their
nature. Mr. Lincoln never showed to any one but his private secretaries
Seward's communication and his reply. It is only fair to say that when
Mr. Seward finally realized Lincoln's ability, he w-as quick to acknowl-
79 '^' Message to Congress J'econunending Compensated Ematicipation^^ :
In connection with this message on compensated emancipation the
reader's attention is called to the chapter on Lincoln and Emancipa-
tion in the second volume of Tarbell's " Life of Abraham Lincoln."
81 ^'^ Letter to Horace Greeley"" : The demand for the immediate eman-
cipation of the negroes was strong in the North by the summer of 1862.
The radicals brought heavy pressure to bear when Mr. Lincoln did not
seem to sympathize with their program. On August 20 Horace Greeley
printed in the New York Tribune a signed editorial entitled " The Prayer
of 20,000,000," to which the letter here reprinted is a reply. As a matter
of fact the President had in his desk at that time the first draft of the
1 The reader interested in the First Inaugural of Lincoln should not fail to
read the admirable chapter on the subject in Vol. Ill of Nicolay and Hay"s
! "Abraham Lincoln: A Histor}-," where Mr. Seward's criticisms are given
I30 ABRAHAM LINCOLN
85 6 Mr. Lincoln's calculations of the population which this country
ought to have by 1900 have proved to be far wide of the mark. He
calculated that in 1900 we ought to have a population of 103,208,415,
and as a matter of fact we had but 76,303,387, â€” 374,485 less than he
estimated we would have in 1890. The population of 1910 he fixed at
138,918,526. The recent census shows that we have about 92,000,000.
94 11 General Burnside had been given the command of the Army
of the Potomac on November 10, 1862. He succeeded General Mc-
Clellan. On December 13, 1862, Burnside fought the battle of Fred-
ericksburg and was defeated. On January 25, 1863, Lincoln ordered
General Hooker to relieve Burnside. The next day the President wrote
Hooker the letter here printed. Noah Brooks heard General Hooker
read the letter soon after its receipt, and as he folded it up say, " That
is just such a letter as a father might write to his son."
97 ^"^ Letter stating his Positio7i in regard to the War and to Email -
cipation^\' In August, 1863, James C. Conkling of Illinois, a leading
Republican, wrote Mr. Lincoln, requesting him to come to the state to
speak at a mass meeting to be held in Springfield in favor of '' law and
order and constitutional government." Mr. Lincoln could not leave
Washington, but he wrote a letter which he himself said was '' rather
a good letter," and which Nicolay and Hay, in their account of it, call
his " last stump speech." The following extract from their " Abraham
Lincoln : A History " shows what reception was given it.^
Nothing he ever uttered had a more instantaneous success. Mr. Sumner
immediately wrote to him : '' Thanks for your true and noble letter. It is a
historical document. The case is admirably stated, so that all but the wicked
must confess its force. It cannot be answered." Henry Wilson wrote to him :
" God Almighty bless you for your noble, patriotic, and Christian letter. It will
be on the lips and in the hearts of hundreds of thousands this day." Among the
letters which the President most appreciated was one from the venerable Josiah
Quincy, then ninety-one years of age, who wrote : " Old age has its privileges,
which this letter will not exceed ; but I cannot refrain from expressing to you
my gratitude for your letter to the Illinois Convention, â€” happy, timely, conclu-
sive, and effective. What you say concerning emancipation, and your course of
proceeding in relation to it, was due to truth and to your own character, shame-
fully assailed as it has been. The development is an imperishable monument of
wisdom and virtue." After discussing the question of emancipation he continued :
" I write under the impression that the victory of the United States in this war
is inevitable â€” compromise is impossible. Peace on any other basis would be the
1 Vol. VII, p. 385.
NOTES . 131
establishment of two nations, each hating the other, both militar}', both neces-
sarily warlike, their territories interlocked with a tendency of never-ceasing
hostility. Can we leave to posterity a more cruel inheritance, or one more
hopeless of happiness and prosperity?" Mr. Lincoln answered this letter in
a tone expressive of his reverence for the age and illustrious character of
101 ^^Proclaffiatio7i for Thanksgiving, i86j " .â€¢ This proclamation is
the first making of Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. Up to this
date it had been observed according to the discretion of the governors
of different states. In 1846 Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey^s
Lady^s Book and the author of " Mary had a Little Lamb," first sug-
gested that the day be made national. Regularly after that, every fall,
she sent out to the governors of all the states an appeal that they
choose the last Thursday of November for the celebration. Finally, in
1863, for the first time, Mr. Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving
Day. The custom thus inaugurated has been followed ever since.
103 " The Gettysburg Address " .â€¢ The version of the Gettysburg speech
here given is that made by Mr. Lincoln at the request of the Honorable
George Bancroft for the benefit of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Fair held
in Baltimore in 1864. Any one interested in studying the history of
the Gettysburg speech will find full material with copies of the four
different versions in a pamphlet called " The Gettysburg Address,"
written by Major William H. Lambert and printed by J. B. Lippincott
Company of Philadelphia.
109 IG The election of Governor Hahn was of great importance, it
being the first attempt at reconstruction in a Southern state from which
Confederate forces had been driven. The election was conducted by
the military commander, General Banks ; three tickets were in the
field and 1 1,000 votes were cast. General Banks said, in his official report
to Mr. Lincoln, that the ordinary vote of the state had been 40,000
and that the proportion of the vote cast at this election was nearly
equal to the proportion covered by the federal army. Governor Hahn
was inaugurated on March 4, without any interference from the military
authorities. The convention of which Mr. Lincoln speaks in the letter
here printed began early in April and continued until July 25. In the
constitution adopted slavery was abolished, means for educating colored
children were provided, the negro was placed on equal footing before
the law with the white man, and the power to grant him suffrage was
conferred upon the legislature.
132 ABRAHAM LINCOLN
111 5 The difficulty with the question of emancipation, which Mr.
Lincoln had at the beginning of his first administration, is well illus-
trated by General Fremont's attempt in August, 1861, to free the slaves
in his department. An excellent account of this attempt will be found
in Vol. IV of Nicolay and Hay's " Abraham Lincoln: A History."
112 "-^ Letter to Gefteral U. S. Grant'''' : Mr. Lincoln first met General
Grant in March, 1864; this was after Grant had captured Vicksburg
and carried on successfully the campaign in East Tennessee. Congress
had revived for Grant's benefit the rank of lieutenant general, and on
February 29 Lincoln appointed him to that rank. The President now
asked Grant to take charge of the campaign against Lee. The general
immediately reorganized the Army of the Potomac. By the end of
April he was ready to open an active campaign.
119 ^"^The Last Public Address'''': The news of Lee's surrender to
General Grant on Sunday, April 9, 1S65, caused great rejoicing through
the country. On Monday evening a large crowd gathered about the
"White House in Washington to congratulate Mr. Lincoln and to ask
for a speech. He told them that if they would come back the next
evening he would be ready to say something to them, but that he
wanted to be particular that what he said was right, for everything got
into print and he wanted to be careful not to make mistakes. The next
evening, Tuesday, April 11, an immense crowd gathered, and it was
then that the remarks here quoted were made.
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