Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln's speeches complete online

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For the first time — strange to say — and in this volume,
are presented to the pubHc, the speeches of Abraham
Lincoln, as full and complete as is possible for any one
to collate them; and in this form we gladly dedicate
them to all lovers of liberty, and place them in her ma-
jestic temple, where they will certainly impart more glory
than they can possibly receive.

"Lincoln," says Secretary Usher, "was one of the
greatest men who ever lived. It has now been many
years since I was in his Cabinet"^ ^ but his extraordinary
personality is one of the most distinct things in my
memory." "The name of Lincoln" says Merl de Aubigne,
"will remain one of the greatest that history has to in-
scribe on its annals." "Of all the men I ever met," said
Gen. Sherman, "Lincoln seemed to possess more of the
elements of greatness, combined with goodness, than any
other." "Lincoln," says Emilo Castelar, "is the hum-
blest of the humble before his conscience, the greatest of
the great before history."

"The greatest man of rebellion times," says Gen.
Longstreet, "the one matchless among forty millions for

(4)



PREFACE. 5

the peculiar difficulties of the period." "He beheved in
the great laws of truth," said the Hon. Leonard Swett,
''and the rigid discharge of duty, accountability to God,
the ultimate triumph of the right, and the overthrow of
wrong." "A great and po\verful lover of mankind," says
a biographer, "especially of those not favored by fortune."
"Lincoln," said Gen. Grant, after having met the rulers
of almost every civilized country in the world, "impresses
me as the greatest intellectual force with which I have
ever come in contact."

Abraham Lincoln, in his great speeches, still lives,
and must forever live as a power for good among men.
Whatever may attach to his mere biography, that reveals
a life of struggle, and disadvantage in early years— un-
paralleled in fact, in this respect— the truth is, the
MAN LINCOLN is not in the "early cabin home," but in
words that never die, in the compiled utterances of this
volume, that reveal and perpetuate the soul life of him
who spoke so often, so fully, and truly, of life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness, and of a government "that
is of the people, by the people, and for the people!"

J. B. McCLURE.

Chicago, July 4, 1891.




Lincoln's First Speech : _ . .

Showing His Hand : _ _ . _

Forquer's Lightning Rod Struck :
The Perpetuity of Our Free Institutions
First Speech in the Supreme Court :
Exculpating the Whigs : _ _ _

National Banks vs. Sub-Treasury :
The Mexican War : _ _ . -

The Issue, - - -

Claim Against Claim, _ - - -

The So-called Treaty,. - - - -

A Singular Fact, - - - - -

A Feverish Dream, - . - -

How Shall the War Terminate ?
Speech on Internal Improvements :

General Positions, _ _ _ _

Improvements on the Mississippi River, -
Tonnage Duties, - - - - -

"I shall never get 'em on," _ - -

The General Proposition, - _ -

Improvements, _ _ - - -

Speech om the Presidency and Politics:
The National Issue, - . -

A Presidency for the People, - - -

[6]



17

17
18

19

23

23
24

28
30
32
33
36

39

41

44
40

49
55
56

57
58
62

64
65



86
88
89



CONTENTS. /

Gen. Taylor and the Wihrot Proviso, - - 68

Platforms, - - """ ^

Henry Clay, - - """ ^

Lincoln as a Military Hero, " " ' " ^^

Physical Capacities of Gen. Cass, - - - 79

Clay and Webster each loses a Son in the War, IJ

An Important Distinction, - - - " /

So
The Missouri Compromise : - - '

The Great Northwest, - - - " ' 3

Valuable History, -""""" ^^

New Mexico, Utah and California, -

How California was kept out of the Union, -

The Compromise of 1850,

Kansas and the Repeal, ^ - ' ' ^o

Lincoln's Objection to Slavery, - - - 9i

Lincoln's Views, - - - " ^

The Arguments, - - - 94

What Lincoln Voted For, - - - - 9^

Congress Said "No," - - - " ■ ^9

"The Stake Played For," - - " ' ^^^^

Human Sympathy, - - ' ' ' ^

The Sacred Right of Self Government, - - 109

A Whole Man or a Half Man, - - - ^^^

The Preservation of Our Liberties, - - - i ^ /

You Cannot Repeal Human Nature, - - ^^

Bowie Knives and Six-Shooters, - - - ^^9

Stand by the Right, - - " " "

A String of Important Facts, - - "

The Ordinance of '87, - - - " "

How Illinois came into the Union, - - - 129

The Age is Not Dead : - - - " - 1 39



1-0

124
128



^ CONTENTS.

The World Moves, - ^ . . - 139

The Ballot vs. the Bullet : - - » - 139

Let There be Peace, - - - - - 140

In Reply to Judge Douglas : - - - _ 141

Kansas, - - -._ j^^

Gen. Jackson, - - - _ _ - 146

The Declaration of Independence, - - 150

The Whole Human Family, - - • - _ 1^2

''All Men are Created Equal," - - _ 153

Firing Solid Shot at Douglas, - - -154

Lincoln "Linked to Truth :" - - - 160

"The House Divided Against Itself Speech :" 161

A Few Important Facts, - - - - 162

Voting it Up or Voting it Down, - - - 164

Working Points, - - - - - - i6s

A String of Facts, - - - - - 166

Power of State, - - - - - - 168

"A Living Dog is Better than a Dead Lion," - 170

But We Shall Not Fail ; the Victory is Sure, - 171

Lincoln's Reply to Douglas in Chicago : - 173

The Alleged Alliance, - - - - - 1/3

What is Popular Sovereignty? - - - 176

Half Slave and Half Free, - - - -182

Self Government, - - - _ - 184

Dred Scott Decision, - - - _ - 185

"Three Cheers for Lincoln," - - - - 188

A Mighty Nation, - - - - - - 189

The Sentiment of Liberty, - _ _ _ iqq

Inequalities of THE Contest : - - - 192

We Must Fight the Battle on Principle, - - 194.

Seven Interrogatories Answered : - - 205



CONTENTS. 9

Lincoln's Position Fully Defined, - - - 208

Lincoln's First Speech in Ohio: - - 211

Correcting the Editor, - - - 212

The Little Giant, - - - - - 215

Genuine Sovereignty, - - - - - 218

The State vs. the Territory, - - - 224
'T Tremble for my Country when 1 Remember

God is Just," __ - - 227

What the Dash of a Pen Can Do, - - 230
How Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wis-
consin v^ere Admitted into the Union, - - 234
The Constitution of the United States, - 235
Revolutionary Heroes and Freedom, - - 236
A Rifle Shot, - - - 238

A Paradox, - - - - - - 239

Making the Most Money out of the Old Horse, - 240

Squinting, - - - - - - - 241

Constitutional Powers, _ _ - - 243

Public Sentiment, - - - - - 250

Henry Clay's Views, - - - - - 251

Lincoln's Speech to the Kentuckians: - 253

Shooting Over the Line, - - - - 256

The Issue, - - - - - - - 258

Sharers in the Declaration of Independence, - 262

A Great Change, _ 1 . - . 263

A Running Fire, _ - - - - 266

Scope of the Constitution, _ - - - 267

What we Mean to Do, - - - - 277

What Will You Do.' - - - - - 277

Will you Make War.? - - - 278

Relation of Capital and Labor. - - - 287



lO CONTENTS.

Lincoln's Experience as a Laboring Man, - 289

Lincoln's Views on Labor, - _ _ _ 290

Lincoln's Position, _ _ _ _ _ 293

Anxious for the Whole Union, _ _ _ 294

Lincoln's First Proclamation of Freedom: - 296

The Great Cooper Institute Speech, New York: 297

Our Fathers and the Constitution, - - 297

The Great Issue, _ _ _ _ _ 298

The First Congress, _ _ _ _ . 300

George Washington, - - - - 301

The Louisiana Countr}', _ _ _ _ ^02

Views of the Fathers, - - - 304

Amendments to the Constitution, - - 307

What is Conservatism? - - - - 313

Rails, and Making Rails: - - - _ 326

First Talk After Reviewing Telegram of his

Nomination for the Presidency: - - 327
First Speech AFTER Nomination: - - - 327
Way-Side Speeches from Springfield to Wash-
ington: - _ - - 329
Bidding Home Friends Adieu, • - - 329
Speech at Tolono, 111., - - - - 330
Speech at Indianapolis, - - - _ 330
Second Speech at Indianapolis, _ - _ 332
Speech at Cincinnati, _ _ _ _ 334
To the Germans, - - - 337
Speech at Columbus, - - - - 337
Speech at Steubenville, - - - - 339
Speech at Pittsburg, - - - - - 339
Speech at Cleveland, ..„_ - 344
Speech at Buffalo, _____ 347



CONTENTS. I I

Speech at Rochester, - - - 349

Speech at Syracuse, - - - - 35^

Speech at Albany, - - - - 35^

Speech at Troy, - - - - - -355

Speech at Hudson, - - - - -355

Speech at Poughkeepsie, - - - - 35^

Speech at Peekskill, - - - - 357

Speeches in New York City, - - - - 35^^

In Jersey City, - - - 363

In Newark, - - - - ^64

Speeches at Trenton, - - - 364

Speeches in Philadelphia, _ _ _ - 368
Speech at Lancaster, - - - - -373

Speech at Harrisburg, - - - - - 374

Speech at Washington,, - _ - - 377

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address : - - 381

Position Stated, - - - 382

Union of States Perpetual, _ - - - 384

What Shall be Done? - - - 386

To Those Who Love the Union, _ . - 387

The Majorities vs. the Minorities, - - - 388

We Cannot Separate, - - - - - 39^

The People, - - - - - - - 39i

"My Countrymen One and All," - - - 392

Gradual Emancipation : _ _ - - 395

Shielding Gen. McClellan : _ . _ 398

To a Deputation From Chicago : - - - 401

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation : 406

Preliminary Proclamation Speech.? - - 4^0

The FfNAL Emancipation Proclamation : - 412

To The Working Men : - - - - - 4^5



12 CONTENTS.

To CONKLING, - - - - - - 416

A Fourth OF July Speech: - - - - 418

Lincoln's \Vonderful Speech at Gettysburg: 420

"God Bless THE Women OF America:" - - 422

Man Proposes and God Disposes: - - - 423

Speech on the War: - _ _ _ _ 426

Speech After the Battle of the Wilderness: 428

Speech to a Delegation of Clergymen: - - 429

Speech on his Renomination for the Presidency: 430

Speech to the Ohio Delegation: - - - 431

Response to the National League: - - 432

On Accepting the Renomination: - - - 433

Speech to Ohio Soldiers: - - - - 435

To THE 148TH Ohio Regiment: - - - 437

To the Marylanders: - - - - - 438

Speech on the Night of Presidential Election: 441

Address After His Second Election: - - 442

Gen. Sherman's March to the Sea: - - 444

A Vase of Leaves from Gettysburg; - - 445

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: - - 447
"With Malace Towards None, with Charity for

all," - - - _- 447

Retrospective, ______ ^^g

Let us Judge Not, ______ ^^g

Speech to the 140TH Indiana Regiment. - - 450

On the Capture OF THE Tune "Dixie:" - - 452

Not Wishing to Make Mistakes: - - - 453

Lincoln's Last Speech: - - - 454

Secretary Usher's Reminiscences of Lincoln: 461

Lincoln's Ambition, - - - - - 462

Lincoln's Nature, - - - 462



CONTENTS. ^ 3

Lincoln and the Ladies: _ - - 4^3

Lincoln's Temper, - - - " ' 4H

Lincoln's Sadness, - - - " ' 4^5

Lincoln's Kindness, - - - " ' 4^5

Seward and Lincoln, " " ' \

' How Lincoln Became President, - - ■ 407

Careless of His Life. ^ . - ■ - 468

Lincoln's Plan of Reconstruction, - 4^8

The Assassination of President Lincoln: - 469

The Effects of the President's Death, - - 472

Funeral Ceremonies, - - - " ' 475





No-
Abraham Lincoln, — 1860, First Campaign Photo. .. i
Abraham Lincohi, — 1860, A Favorite Photograph

with Mr. Lincohi's Intimate Friends, 2

A. Lincohi, the i6th President of the United



States



Birth Place of Abraham Lincoln, 4

Lincoln's Early Home in Kentucky, 5

Lincoln's Early Home in Indiana, 6

Lincoln's Early Home in Illinois 7

John Hanks, 8

Mrs. Sarah Bush Lincoln, — Lincoln's Stepmother,. . .9

Lincoln's Residence at Springfield, 111 10

Old State House, Where Lincoln had a Law Office

and Headquarters in 1 86(3 11

Lincoln's Law Office Book Case, and Library 12

Lincoln's Law Office Chair, 13

Lincoln's Law Office Inkstand, 14

W. S. Herndon, — Lincoln's Law Partner, Spring-
field, 111. .15

Tomb of Lincoln's Father, Thomas, near Farming-
ton, Coles County, 111., 16

Wigwam Building, Chicago, w^here Mr. Lincoln
Was Nominated in 1860 for the Presidency, 17

(H)



illustrations; i5

Passenger Station, Great Western Railway, Spring-
field, Where Lincoln Delivered his Farewell

Speech, Feb. I2th, 1861, 18

Lincoln Raising the old Flag at Independence

Hall, Philadelphia, ^9

Inauguration of President Lincohi at Washington,

1861, 20

President Lincoln and His Family, 21

Peterson House — Washington, 22

Final Funeral Cermonies at Oak Ridge Cemetery,

Springfield, ^3

Lincoln's Monument in Oak Ridge Cemetery,

Springfield, "^4

Groups of Statuary, etc., Lincoln's Monument, 25





ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

'TAX LAWTKK.




ABRAHAM LINCOLN, — I 860.
"One day," says the Artist — Mr. Hesler, of Chicago — "when it was
known that Mr. Lincoln might be a candidate for the Presidency, some
of his Chicago friends brought him into my gallery for a picture. Mr.
Lincoln could not understand it, and insisted that a photograph of as
homely a man as he was, could not be of any ccnsetjuence, but he finallv
took the chair, with the above result, — the first campaign photograph."




ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 1 860.

"Come down to Springfield," said Mr. Lincoln, jocose'y to his Chicago
artist "and I will dress up and you may get a better picture."— referring
to the one Mr. Hesler had taken as the first campaign photo. Accordingly
later on, Mr. Hesler went down to Springfield and found ^Ir. Lincoln
"dressed up" as shown in the above photograph taken from the original
negative. It is a favorite picture.





u *'



•^-^



ABRAHAM LINXOLN.

The 1 6th" President of the United States.



1/




EARLY HOME OF A. LINCOLN, NEAR ELIZABETHTOWN, KY

•'His Father built this Cabin and moved into it when Abraham was an infant, and

resided there till he was seven years of age when he removed to Indiana."




Lincoln's early home in Illinois.

Located in Macon County in the Sangamon Valley about ten miles from
Decatur. It was while living h^-re that Lincoln and John Hanks split
several thousand rails.




JOHN HANKS,

Linculus Kail Splitting Co.npaiuon.




W>!!^mi



MRS. SARAH BUSH LINCOLN.

Lincoln's Beloved Stepmother.

Lincoln's love for his second mother was most filial and affectionate.
In a letter of Nov. 4. 1851, just after the death of his father, he writes
to her as follows:

"Dear Mother:

Chapman tells me he wants you to go and live with him. If I
were you I would try it awhile. If you get tired of it (as I think you
will not) you can return to your own home. Chapman feels very kindly
to you; and I have no doubt he will make your situation very pleasant.

Sincerely your son,

A. Lincoln."




Lincoln's law office library, book case, desk and

GHAIR; SPRINGFIELD, ILL.




Lincoln's law office chaik, Springfield, ill.




LINCOLN S LAW OFFICE INKSTAND, SPRINGFIELD, ILL.




';1.M



W. H. HERNDON,

Lincoln's Law Partner, Springfield, 111

It was Mr. Lincoln's intention to return from Washington and con-
tinue the practice of law with Mr. Herndon. In their last interview in
the office, referring to their sign-board, Lincoln said: "Let it hang there
undisturbed. Give our clients to understand that the election of a Presi-
dent makes no change in the firm of Lincoln and Herndon. If I live I'm
coming back sometime, and then we'll go right on practicing law as if
nothing had ever happened."




TOMB OF LINCOLN S FATHER, AT FAKMINGTON, ILL.







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LINCOLN'S TOMB IN OAK RIDGE CEMETERY, SPRINGFIELD.






GROUPS OF STATUARY, ETC., LINCOLN'S MONUMENT,



LINCOLN'S SPEECHES,



COMPLETE, FROM BOYHOOD TO THE GRAVE.



LINCOLN'S FIRST SPEECH.

[Delivered in 1832, at Pappsville, near Springfield, 111., just after the
close of a " public sale, "at which time and place, speaking, in those early
days, was in order. Mr. Lincoln, at this time was only 23 years of age.
Being loudly called for, he mounted a stump, and spoke as follows:]

Gentlemen and Fellow-Citizens: — I presume you
all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I
have been solicited by many friends to become a candi-
date for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet,
like the old woman's dance. I am in favor of a National
Bank. I am in favor of the internal improvement sys-
tem, and a high protective tariff. These are my senti-
ments, and political principles. If elected, I shall be
thankful; if not, it will be all the same.

SHOWING HIS HAND.

[ Delivered at New Salem, 111. June 13, 1836, to the voters of Sanga-
mon county. 111., after being called upon to " show his hand." ]

Fellow- Citizens: — The candidates are called upon,
I see, to show their hands. Here is mine. I go for all

■ (17)



1 8 Lincoln's speeches complete.

sharing the privileges of government who assist in bear-
ing its burdens. Consequently, I go for admitting all the
whites to the rights of suffrage Who pay taxes or bear
arms, by no means excluding the females.

If elected, I shall consider the whole people of Sanga-
mon county my constituents, as well those who op-
pose, as those who support me. While acting as their
Kepresentative, I shall be governed by their will on all
subjects upon which I have the means of knowing what
their will is; and upon all others, I shall do what my
judgment tells me will best advance their interests.

Whether elected or not, I go for distributing the pro-
ceeds of the sales of the public lands to the several
States, to enable our State, in common with others, to
dig canals and construct railroads without borrowing
money and paying the interest on it. If alive on the first
day in November, I shall vote for Hugh L. White for
President.



FORQUER'S LIGHTNING ROD IS STRUCK.

[ Lincoln's opponent for the Legislature in 1836 was the Hon. Geo.
Forquer, of Springfield, 111., who was celebrated for having "changed his
coat" politically, and as having introduced the first and only lightning-rod
in Springfield at this time. He said in a speech, in Lincoln's presence,
' ' this young man (Lincoln) would have to be taken down, and I am sorry
the task devolves upon me;" and then proceeded to try and " take him
down." Mr. Lincoln made a reply, and in closing, turned to the crowd,
and made these remarks:

Fellow-Citizens: — It is for you, not for me, to say

.whether I am up, or down. The gentlemen has alluded

to my being a young man; I am older in years than I am

in the tricks and trades of politicians. I desire to live,

and I desire place and distinction as a politician; but I



THE PERPETUITY OF OUR FREE INSTITUTIONS. 1 9

would rather die now than, like the gentleman, live to
see the day that I would have to erect a lightning rod to
protect a guilty conscience from an offended God.



THE PERPETUITY OF OUR FREE INSTI-
TUTIONS .

[Delivered before the Springfield, 111. Lyceum, in January, 1837 when
28 years of age. Coming, as he did upon this occasion, before a literary
society, Mr. Lincoln's Websterian diction is more observable.]

Ladies and Gentlemen: — In the great journal of
things happening under the sun, we, the American peo-
ple, find our account running under date of the nine-
teenth century of the Christian era. We find ourselves
in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the
earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and
salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the gov-
ernment of a system of political institutions conducing
more essentially to the ends of civic and religious liberty
than any of which history of former times tell us.

We, when mounting the stage of existence, found our-
selves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.
We toiled not in the acquisition or establishment of
them; they are a legacy bequeathed to us by a once hardy,
brave and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race
of ancestors. Theirs was the task (and nobly they per-
formed it) to possess themselves, and, through themselves,
us, of this goodly land to uprear upon its hills and val-
leys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis
ours to transmit these— the former unprofaned by the
foot of an intruder, the latter undecayed by the lapse of
time and untorn by usurpation— to the generation that



20 lin'coln's speeches complete.

fate shall permit the world to know. This task, grati-
tude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity

all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it ? At what point shall
we expect the approach of danger ? Sha.ll we expect that
some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and
crush us at a tlow ? Never! All the armies of Europe,
Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasures of the
earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a
Bonaparte for a comnoander, could not, by force, take a
drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge,
in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point,, then, is this approach of danger to be
expected ? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring
up amongst ns. It cannot come from abroad. If de-
struction be our lot„ we must ourselves be its author and
finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through
all time or die by su icide.

I hope I am not ever-wary; but, if I am not, there is
even now something- of ill omen amongst us. I mean
the increasing disregard for law which pervades the
country, the disposition to substitute the wild and furi-
ous passions in lieu of the sober judgement of courts,
and the worse than savage mobs for the executive minis-
ters of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any
community, and that it now exists in ours, though grat-
ing- to our feelings to admit it, it would be a violation of
truth and an insult to deny. Accounts of outrages com-
mitted by mobs form the every day news of the times.
They have pervaded the country from New Englaud to
Louisiana they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows



THE PERPETUITY OF OUR FREE INSTITUTIONS. 2 1

of the former, nor the burning sun of the latter. They
are not the creature of chmate, neither arc they confined
to the slave-holding or non-slaveholding States. Alike
they spring up among the pleasure-hunting masters of
Southern slaves and the order-loving citizens of the land
of steady habits. Whatever, then, their cause may be,
it is common to the whole country.

Many great and good men, sufficiently qualified for aary
task they may undertake, may ever be found, whose am-
bition would aspire to nothing beyond a seat in Congress,
a gubernatorial, or a presidential chair; but such belong
not to the family of the lion, or the tribe of the eagle.

What! Think you these places would satisfy an Alex-
ander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon > Never! Towering
genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto
unexplored. It sees no distinction in adding story to
story upon the monuments of fame, erected to the memo-
ry of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve
under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footpaths of
any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns
for distinction, and if possible, it will have it, whether at
the expense of emancipating the slaves, or enslaving free-
men.

Another reason which once was, but which, to the^
same extent, is now no more, has done much in main^
taining our institutions thus far. I mean the powerful
influence which the interesting scenes of the Revolution
had upon the passions of the people, as distinguished
from their judgment.

But these histories are gone. They can be read no^
more forever. They were a fortress of strength. But



22 LINCOLN S SPEECHES COMPLETE.

what the invading foeman could never do, the silent ar-
tillery of time has done — the levelling of its walls. They
were a forest of giant oaks; but the all-resistless hurricane
has swept over them and left only here and there a lone
trunk, despoiled of its verdure, shorn of its foliage, un-
shading and unshaded, to murmur in a few more gentle
breezes and to combat with its mutilated lim^bs a few
more rude storms, then to sink and be no more. They
were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now that
they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless
we, the descendants, supply the places with pillars hewn
from the same solid quarry of sober reason.

Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will
in future be our enemy.

Reason — cold, calculatmg, unimpassioned reason —
must furnish all the materials ' for our support and de-



Online LibraryAbraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln's speeches complete → online text (page 1 of 31)