Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

History of the administration of President Lincoln: including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 46)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln: including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 46)
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"k^ - '''-irrz,^



j: c. derby & ]S". c. miller,

, 1864.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year ISM,


In the Clerk's OflBce of the District Court of the United States for tne
Southern District of New York.




This volume does not profess to "be, in any exact
and important sense,. a History of the Administra-
tion of President LiisrcoLF. Such a work would
require access to sources of information which
cannot, from the nature of the case, be open to the
public for many years to come.

Its object is merely to collect and collate the
speeches, messages, proclamations, and other doc-
uments in which the President has embodied, from
\une to time, his seutunents on the affiiii's of tlie
.-ountry, and set forth the motives which have
prompted the successive acts of his Administration.
In the narrative which accompanies these papers
the writer has sought only to record the cii'cum-
stances essential to an appreciation of the papers
themselves, and not by any means to give a com-
plete history of the events by which this momen-
tous period in the career of our country has been

If the public sliall find in tliis work any import-
ant aid in foi-miug a judgment of the policy by
which President Lincoln is seeking to carry the
Nation through the crisis of a civil war, its pur-
pose will have been accomplished.

H. J. K

New York, May 5, 18G4.



Sketch of the Life of Abraham Lincoln 13


From the Election, November 6, 1860, to the Inauguration, Murch

4, 1861 53

From Springfield to "Washin;?ton 78

From the Inauguration to the Meeting of Congress Ill


The Extra Session of Congress, and the Military Events of the

Summer of 18G1 138


The Regular Session of Congress, December, 1861. — The Message.

— Debates, etc 165


The Mihtnry Administration of 1862. — The President and General

McClellan 220


The Congressional Session of 1862-63. — Message of the President,

and General Action of the Session 308



Arbitrary Arrests. — The Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Cor-
pus 339


Military Events of 1SG3. — The Rebel Defeat at Gettysburg. — Fall

of Vicksburg and Port Hudson 376

Political Morements m Missouri. — The State Elections of 1863 392


The Congress of 1863-'64. — Message of the President. — Action of

the Session > 416


Movements towards Reconstruction. — The Rebellion and Labor. —
The President on Benevolent Associations. — ^Advancing Ac-
tion concerning the Negro Race 449


General Scott and General McClellan 487

A Draft urged by General McClellan 490

The President's Suggestion for an Advance, in Deeember, 1861. . . . 491

The Position of Kentucky 492

The President to General McClellan 494

Index 495


Abraham Lincoln was born on the 12tli of Feb-
ruary, 1809, in Hardin county, Kentucky. His early
life, like that of most of the great men whom our
country has produced, was spent in poverty and in
toil. At seven years of age he was sent to school to
a Mr. Hazel, carrying with him an old copy of Dil-
worth's Spelling Book, one of the three books that
formed the family library. His father keenly felt the
disadvantages arising from his own lack of education,
and determined, in spite of difficulties almost incon-
ceivable, to give his son better facilities for study than
he had himself enjoyed. His mother was a Christian
woman, and desired earnestly that he should learn to
read the Bible.

Thomas Lincoln, his father, finding a life in a Slave
State a most unsatisfactory one for himself, and pre-
senting only the prospect of a hopeless struggle in the
future for his children, determined upon removal, and
when Abraham was in the eighth 3-ear of his age, the
plan was carried into execution. The old home was
sold, their small stock of valuables placed upon a raft,
and the little family took its way to a new home in
the wilds of Indiana, where free labor would have no
competition with slave labor, and the poor white man


might hope that in time his childi'en could take an
honorable position, won by industry and careful econo-
my. The place of their destination was Spencer county,
Indiana. For the last few miles they were obliged to
cut their road as they went on. " With the resolution
of veteran pioneers they toiled, sometimes being able
to pick their way for a long distance without chopping,
and then coming to a standstill in consequence of dense
forests. Suffice it to say, that they were obliged to cut
a road so much of the way that several days were em-
ployed in going eighteen miles. It was a difficult,
wearisome, trying journey, and Mr. Lincoln often said,
that be never passed through a harder experience than
he did in going from Thompson's Ferry to Spencer
county, Indiana."

Thus, before he was eight years old, Abraham Lin-
coln began the serious business of life. Their cabin
was built of logs, and even the aid of such a mere
child was of account in the wilderness where they now
f^und themselves, after seven days of weary travel.
Their neighbors, none of whom lived nearer than two
or three miles, welcomed the strangers, and lent a hand
towards building the rude dwelling in which the future
President lay down, after fatiguing but healthful toil,
to dream the dreams of childhood, undisturbed by
thoughts of the future.

In this log-house, consisting of a room below and a
room above, furnished by Thomas Lincoln and his
son's own hands, Abraham passed the next twelve
years of his life. So long as his mother lived, she
assisted him in learning to read, and before her death,
which occurred when he was ten years of age, she had


the satisfaction of seeing him read that Book which ho
has never since neglected.

After a while he learned to write. This was an
accomplishment which some of the friendly neighbors
thought unnecessary, but his father quietly persisted,
and the boy was set down as a prodigy when he wrote
to an old friend of his mother's, a travelling preacher,
and begged him to come and preach a sermon over his
mother's grave. Three months after, Parson Elkins
came, and friends assembled, a year after her death, to
pay a last tribute of respect to one universally beloved
and respected. Her son's share in securing the pres-
ence of the clergyman was not unmentioned, and Abra-
ham soon found himself called upon to write letters for
his neighbors.

His father married a second time a Mrs. Sally John-
ston, who proved an excellent mother to her step-son,
and who now survives to take her share of the credit
to which she is entitled for her faithful care. In the
course of a year or two a Mr. Crawford, one of the set-
tlers, opened a school in his own cabin, and Abraham's
father embraced the opportunity to send him, in order
that he might add some knowledge of arithmetic to
his reading and writing. With buckskin clothes, a
raccoon skin cap, and an old arithmetic which had
been somewhere found for him, he commenced his
studies in the "higher branches." His progress was
rapid, and his perseverance and faithfulness won the
interest and esteem of his teacher.

In that thinly settled country a book was a great
rarity, but whenever Mr. Lincoln heard of one he en-
deavored to procure it for Abraham's perusal. In this


way he became acquainted witK Banyan's Pilgrim's
Progress, Esop's Fables, a Life of Henry Clay, and
Weems's Life of Washington. The " hatchet" story of
Washington, which has done more to make boys truth-
ful than a hundred solemn exhortations, made a strong
impression upon Abraham, and was one of those un-
seen, gentle influences, which helped to form his charac-
ter for integrity and honesty. Its effect may be traced
in the following story, which bids fair to become as
never-failing an accompaniment to a Life of Lincoln as
the hatchet case to that of Washington.

Mr. Crawford had lent him a copy of Eamsay's
Life of Washington. During a severe storm Abra-
ham improved his leisure by reading his book. One
night he laid it down carefully, as he thought, and the
next morning he found it soaked through ! The wind
had changed, the storm had beaten in through a crack
in the logs, and the appearance of the book was ruined.
How could he face the owner under such circumstan-
ces ? He had no money to oifer as a return, but he
took the book, went directly to Mr. Crawford, showed
him the irreparable injury, and frankly and honestly
offered to work for him until he should be satisfied.
Mr. Crawford accepted the offer and gave Abraham the
book for his own, in return for three days' steady la-
bor in "pulling fodder." His manliness and straight-
forwardness won the esteem of the Crawfords, and
indeed of all the neighborhood.

At nineteen years of age he made a trip to New-
Orleans, in company with a son of the owner of a flat-
boat, who intrusted a valuable cargo to their care. On
the way they were attacked by seven negroes, and their


lives and property were in great danger, bnt owing to
tlieir good use of the mascular force they liad acquired
as backwoodsmen, they succeeded in driving off the in-
vaders, and pushing their boat out into the stream in
safety. The result of the voyage was satisfactory
to the owner, and Abraham Lincoln gained, in addition
to his ten dollars a month, a reputation as a youth of
promising business talent.

In 1830 Thomas Lincoln decided to make another
change, and the log cabin which had been so long their
home was deserted for a new one near Decatur, Illinois.
This time the journey occupied fifteen days. Abraham
was now twenty-one, but he did not begin his inde-
pendent life until he had aided his father in settling
his family, breaking the ground for corn, and making
a rail fence around the farm. These rails have passed
into song and story. " During the sitting of the Ke-
publican State Convention at Decatur, a banner, at-
tached to two of these rails, and bearing an appropriate
inscription, was brought into the assemblage, and form-
ally presented to that body, amid a scene of unparal-
leled enthusiasm. After that they were in demand in
every State of the Union in which free labor is honored,
where they were borne in processions of the people, and
hailed by hundreds of thousands of freemen, as a sym-
bol of triumph, and as a glorious vindication of free-
dom and of the rights and dignity of free labor. These,
however, were far from being the first or only rails
made by Lincoln. He was a practised hand at the
business. Mr. Lincoln has now a cane made from one
of the rails split by his own hands in boyhood."
After the first winter in IHinois, which was one of un-


common severity, and required more than his father's
care to keep the family in food, which was mostly ob-
tained by hunting, Abraham Lincoln began life for
himself Sometimes he hired .himself out as a farm-
hand, sometimes his learning procured him a situation
as clerk in a store. When the Black Hawk war broke
out in 1832, he joined a volunteer company, and was
made captain. "He was an efficient, faithful officer,
watchful of his men, and prompt in the discharge of
duty, and his courage and patriotism shrank from no
dangers or hardships." Thus the Commander-in-Chief
of our armies has not been without a bit of military
experience — much moi^, in fact, than the most of our
Brigadier-Grenerals had had before the commencement
of the war.

After his military life was over he looked about for
something to do. He ran for the Legislature, but was
beaten, though his own precinct gave him 277 votes
out of 284 This was the only time he was ever
beaten before the people. He bought a store and
stock of goods on credit, and was appointed Post-
master. The store proved unprofitable, and he sold
out. AU this time he pursued his studies. He had
already learned grammar, and he had now opportunities
for more extensive reading. He wrote out a synopsis
of every book he read, and thus fixed it in his memory.

About this time he met John Calhoun, since Presi-
dent of the Lecompton (Kansas) Constitutional Con-
vention. He proposed to Lincoln to take up survey-
ing, and himself aided in his studies. He had plenty
of employment as a surveyor, and won a good reputa-
tion in this new line of business.


In 1834 lie was sent to the Legislature, and the po-
litical life commenced which his countrymen's votes
have since shown they fully appreciated. When the
session of the Legislature was over, he set himself to the
study of law in good earnest. In 1836 he obtained a
law license, and in April, 1837, he removed to Spring-
field and commenced the practice of the law in partner-
ship with his friend and former colleague in the Legis-
lature, Hon. John T. Stuart.

One incident of his law practice we cannot refrain
from narrating. When Lincoln first went out into the
world to earn a living for himself, he worked for a Mr.
Armstrong, of Petersburg, Menard Co., who, with his
wife, took a great interest in him, lent him books to
read, and, after the season for work was over, en-
couraged him to remain with them until he should
find something to " turn his hand to." They also
hoped much from his influence over their son, an over-
indulged and somewhat unruly boy. We cannot do
better than to transcribe the remarks of the Cleveland
Leader upon this interesting and touching incident.

" Some few years since, the eldest son of Mr. Lincoln's old friend,
Armstrong, the chief supporter of his widowed mother — the good old
man having some time previously passed from earth, — was arrested on
the charge of murder. A young man had been killed during a riotous
melee, in the night time at a camp-meeting, and one of his associates
stated that the death-wound was inflicted by young Armstrong. A pre-
liminary examination was gone into, at which the accuser testified so
positively, that there seemed no doubt of the guilt of the prisoner, and
therefore he was held for trial. As is too often the case, the bloody
act caused an undue degree of excitement in the public mind. Every
improper incident in the life of the prisoner — each act which bore the
least semblance of rowdyism — each schoolboy quarrel, — was suddenly
remembered and magnified, until they pictured him as a fiend of the


most horrible hue. As these rumors spread abroad they were received
as gospel truth, and a feverish desire for vengeance seized upon the in-
fatuated populace, -whilst only prison bars prevented a horrible death
at the hands of a mob. The events were heralded in the county
papers, painted in highest colors, accompanied by rejoicing over the
certainty of punishment being meted out to the guilty party. The
prisoner, overwhelmed by the circumstances under which he found
himself placed, fell into a melancholy condition bordering on despair,
and the widowed mother, looking through her tears, saw no cause for
hope from earthly aid.

" At this juncture, the widow received a letter from Mr. Lincoln, vol-
unteering his services in an effort to save the youth from the impending
stroke. Gladly was his aid accepted, although it seemed impossible for
even his sagacity to prevail in such a desperate case ; but the heart
of the attorney was in his work, and he set about it with a will that
knew no such word as fail. Feehng that the poisoned condition of the
public mind was such as to preclude the possibility of impanoUing an
impartial jury in the court having jurisdiction, he procured a change of
venue and a postponement of the trial. He then went studiously to
work unraveUing the history of the case, and satisfied himself that his
client was the victim of malice, and that the statements of the accuser
were a tissue of falsehoods.

" When the trial was called on, the prisoner, pale and emaciated, with
hopelessness written on every feature, and accompanied by his half-
hoping, half-despairing mother — whose only hope was in a mother's
belief of her son's innocence, in the justice of the God she worshipped,
and in the noble counsel, who, without hope of fee or reward upon
earth, had undertaken the cause — took his seat in the prisoners' box,
and with a ' stony firmness' listened to the reading of the indictment.
Lincoln sat quietly by, whilst the large auditory looked on him a3
though wondering what he could say in defence of one whose guilt
they regarded as certain. The examination of the witnesses for the
State was begun, and a well-arranged mass of evidence, circumstantial
and positive, was introduced, which seemed to impale the prisoner be-
yond the possibihty of extrication. The counsel for the defence pro-
pounded but few questions, and those of a character which excited no
uneasiness on the part of the prosecutor — merely, in most cases, requi-
ring the main witnesses to be definite as to the time and place. "When
the evidence of the prosecution was ended, Lincoln introduced a few
\vitnosso8 to remove some erroneous impressions in regard to the previ-


ous character of his client, who, though somewhat rowdyish, had
never been known to commit a vicious act ; and to show that a greater
degree of ill-feeUng existed between the accuser and the accused, than
the accused and the deceased.

'' The prosecutor felt that the case was a clear one, and his opening
speech was brief and formal. Lincoln arose, while a deathly silence
pervaded the vast audience, and in a clear and moderate tone began
his argument. Slowly and carefully he reviewed the testimony, point-
ing out the hitherto unobserved discrepancies in the statements of the
principal witness. That which had seemed plain and plausible ho
made to appear crooked as a serpent's path. The witness had stated
that the affair took place at a certain hour in the evening, and that,
by the aid of the brightly shining moon, he saw the prisoner inflict the
death-blow with a slung-shot. Mr. Lincoln showed that at the hour
referred to the moon had not yet appeared above the horizon, and
consequently the whole tale was a fabrication.

" An almost instantaneous change seemed to have been wrought in the
minds of his auditors, and the verdict of ' not guilty' was at the end
of every tongue. But the advocate was not content with this intel-
lectual achievement. His whole being had for months been bound up
in this work of gratitude and mercy, and as the lava of the over-
charged crater bursts from its imprisonment, so great thoughts and
burning words leaped forth from the soul of the eloquent Lincoln. He
drew a picture of the perjurer so horrid and ghastly, that the accuser
could sit under it no longer, but reeled and staggered from the court-
room, whilst the audience fancied they could see the brand upon his
brow. Then in words of thrilling pathos Lincoln appealed to the jurors
as fathers of some who might become fatherless, and as husbands of
wives who might be widowed, to yield to no previous impressions, no
LU-founded prejudice, but to do his client justice ; and as he alluded to
the debt of gratitude which he owed the boy's sire, tears were seen to
fall from many eyes unused to weep.

" It was near night when he concluded, by saying that if justice was
done — as he believed it would be — before the sun shoidd set, it would
shine upon his client a free man. The jury retired, and the court ad-
journed for the day. Half an hour had not elapsed, when, as tlie offi-
cers of the court and the volunteer attorney sat at the tea-table of their
hotel, a messenger announced that the jury had returned to their seats.
All repaired inamediately to the court-house, and whilst the prisoner
was being brought from the jail, the court-room was filled to overflow-


ing with citizens from the town. "When the prisoner and his mother
entered, silence reigned as completely as though the house were empty.
Tlie foreman of the jury, in answer to the usual inquiry from the court,
delivered the verdict of ' Not Guilty I' The widow dropped into the
arms of her son, who lifted her up and told her to look upon him as
before, free and innocent. Then, with the words, ' Where is Mr. Lin-
coln ?' he rushed across the room and grasped the hand of his dehverer,
whilst his heart was too full for utterance. Lincoln turned his eyes
towards the West, where the sun still Imgered in view, and then, turn-
ing to the youth, said, ' It is not yet sundown and you are free.' I
confess that my cheeks were not wholly unwet by tears, and I turned
from the affecting scene. As I cast a glanco behind, I saw Abraham
Lincoln obeying the Divine injunction by comforting tlie widowed and

Mr. Lincoln was three times elected to the Legisla-
ture ; and here commenced his political acquaintance
with Stephen A. Douglas. He then remained six years
in private life, devoting himself to the practice of the
law, displaying remarkable ability, and gaining an
enviable reputation. His interest in politics never sub-
sided, and in 1844 he stumped the entire State of Illi-
nois during the Presidential campaign. We have before
mentioned that one of his earliest books was the " Life
of Henry Clay," and his enthusiastic admiration for
that Statesman, aroused in his boyhood, continued in
full force during his life. In 1847 Mr. Lincoln took
his scat in Congress, and was the only Whig representa-
tive from Illinois, which had then seven members in

The Congress of which Mr. Lincoln was a member,
had before it questions of great importance and interest
to the country. The Mexican War was then in pro-
gress, and Congress had to deal with grave questions
arising out of it, besides the many which were to be


passed upon as to tlic means by which it was to be carried
on. The irrepressible Slavery Question was there, also,
in many of its Protean forms, in questions on the right
of petition, in questions as to tlie District of Columbia,
in many questions as to the Territories.

Mr. Lincoln was charged by his enemies in later years,
when political enmity was hunting sharply for material
out of which to make political capital against him, with
lack of patriotism, in that he voted against the war.
The charge was sharply and clearly made by Judge
Douglas, at the first of their joint discussions in the
Senatorial contest of 1858. In his speech at Ottawa,
he says of Mr. Lincoln, that " while in Congress he
distinguished himself by his opposition to the Mexican
war, taking the side of the coinraon enemy against his
oivn country^ and when he returned home he found
that the indignation of the people followed him every-

No better answer can be given to this slander than
that which Mr. Lincoln himself made in his reply to
this speech. He says : " I was an old Whig, and when-
ever the Democratic party tried to get me to vote that
the war had been righteously begun by the President,
I would not do it. But whenever they asked for any
money or land-warrants or any thing to pay the soldiers
there, during all that time I gave the same vote that
Judge Douglas did. You can think as you please as
to whether that was consistent. Such is the truth, and
the Judge has a right to make all he can out of it. But
when he, by a general charge conveys the idea that I
withheld supplies from the soldiers who were fighting
in the Mexican war, or did any thing else to hinder the


soldiers, he is, to say the least, grossly and altogether
mistaken, as a consultation of the records will prove
to him."

"We should need no better proof of the falsity of this
charge than this explicit denial. And it is a noticeable
fact, that during all the remaining joint debates between
Lincoln and Douglas, the latter never repeated the
slander until the last half hour of the last debate, to
which Mr. Lincoln had no opportunity of replying.

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln: including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 46)