Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) online

. (page 13 of 42)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 42)
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The following preamble was then offered by Mr. Guthrie, and agreed

To the Congress of the United States :

The Convention assembled upon the invitation of the State of Virginia,
bo adjust the unhappy differences which now disturb the peace of th
Union and threaten its continuance, make known to the Congress of tha


United States that their body convened in the City of Washington on the
4th instant, and continued in session until the 27th.

There were in the body, when action was taken upon that which it
here submitted, one hundred arid thirty-three commissioners, represent
ing the following States : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu
setts, lili ode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky,
Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas.

They have approved what is herewith submitted, and respectfu.;y re
quest that your honorable body will submit it to conventions in the
States as an article of amendment to the Constitution of the United

In the Senate, on the 2d day of March, a communica
tion was received from the President of the Peace Con
gress, communicating the resolutions thus adopted in that
body. They were at once referred to a committee consist
ing of Messrs. Crittenden, Bigler, Thomson, Seward, and
Trumbull. The next day they were reported to the Sen
ate for its adoption, Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, the
minority of the Committee, dissenting from the majority,
and proposing the adoption of a resolution calling on the
legislatures of the States to express their will in regard
to calling a Convention for amending the Constitution.

The question then came up on adopting the resolutions
of the Peace Conference. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved
to substitute the first of Mr. Crittenden s resolutions for
the first of those reported by the committee. Mr. Crit
tenden opposed it, and urged the adoption of the proposi
tions of the Peace Conference in preference to his own.
Mr. Mason, of Virginia, opposed the resolutions of the
Peace Conference, on the ground that it would not satisfy
the South. Mr. Baker, of Oregon, advocated it. Mr.
Green, of Missouri, opposed it, as surrendering every
Southern principle, in which he was seconded by Mr.
Lane, of Oregon.

At this stage of the proceedings, Mr. Douglas gave a
new turn to the form of the proceedings of the Senate, by
moving to take up the resolution adopted by the House
to amend the Constitution so as to prohibit forever any
Interference with slavery in the States. This motion was


carried. Mr. Pugh moved to amend by substituting for
tins resolution the resolutions of Mr. Crittenden. This
was rejected ayes 14, noes 25. Mr. Brigham, of Michi
gan, next moved to substitute a resolution against any
amendment of the Constitution, and in favor of enforcing
the laws. This was rejected ayes 13, noes 25. Mr.
Grimes, of Iowa, then moved to substitute the resolution
of Messrs. Seward and Trumbull, as the minority of the
Select Committee, calling on the State Legislatures to ex
press their will in regard to calling a Convention to amend
the Constitution. This \vas rejected ayes 14, noes 25.
The propositions of the Peace Conference were then
movod by Mr. Johnson, of Arkansas, and rejected ayes
8, noes 34. Mr. Crittenden s resolutions were then taken
up, ar>d lost by the following vote :

AYES. Cessrs. Bayard, Bright, Bigler, Crittenden, Douglas, GWIIL
Hunter, Jonnson of Tennessee, Kennedy, Lane, Latham, Mason, Nichol
son, Polk, Pugh, Rice, Sebastian, Thomson, and Wigfall 19.

$ToE&. Messrs. Anthony, Bingliam, Chandler, Clark, Dixon, Doolittle^
Durkee, Fessendeu, Foote, Foster, Grimes, Haiian, King, Merrill, Sum-
ner, Ten Eyck, Trumbull, Wade, Wilkinson, and Wilson 20.

The resolutions were thus lost, in consequence of the
withdrawal of Senators from the disaffected States. The
question was then taken on the House resolution to amend
the Constitution so as to prohibit forever any amendment
of the Constitution interfering with slavery in any State,
and the resolution was adopted by a two-thirds vote
ayes 24, nays 12.

This closed the action of Congress upon this important
subject. It was strongly Eepublican in both branches,
yet it had done every thing consistent with its sense of
justice and fidelity to the Constitution to disarm the ap
prehensions of the Southern States, and to remove all
provocation for their resistance to the incoming Adminis
tration. It had given the strongest possible pledge that
it had no intention of interfering with slavery in any
State, by amending the Constitution so as to make such
interference forever impossible. It created governments
for three new Territories, Nevada, Dakotah, and Colors


do, and passed no law excluding slavery from any one of
them. It had severely censured the legislation of some
of the Northern States intended to hinder the recovery of
fugitives from labor; and in response to its expressed
wishes, Rhode Island repealed its laws of that character,
and Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin had
the subject under consideration, and were ready to take
similar action, Yet all this had no effect whatever in
changing or chev .kmg tl*e secession movement in the
Uouthern States,






FROM the date of Ms election, Mr. LINCOLN maintained
silence on the affairs of the country. The Government
was to remain for three months longer in the hands of Mr.
Buchanan, and the new President did not deem it becom
ing or proper for him to interfere, in any way, with the
regular discharge of its duties and responsibilities. On
the 11 th of February, 1861, he left his home in Spring
field, Illinois, accompanied to the railroad depot by a
large concourse of his friends and neighbors, whom he
bade farewell in the following words :

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
or. of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see yon again. A duty
. volves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved
1 [>on any other man since the days of WASHINGTON. He never woiiU
have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he
at all times relied. I fed that I cannot succeed without the same Divine
aid which sustained him, on the same Almighty Beinf, I place my re
liance for support ; and I hope you, my friends, will all Lray that I may
receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with
which success is certain. Again I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

As the train passed through the country, the President
was greeted with hearty cheers and good wishes by the
thousands who assembled at the railway stations along


the route. Party spirit seemed to have been forgotten,
and the cheers were always given for " Lincoln and the
Constitution." At Tolono he appeared upon the platform,
and in response to the applause which hailed his appear
ance, he 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 baa
expressed it, "Behind the cloud the sun is still shining." I bid you au
affectionate farewell.

At Indianapolis the party was welcomed "by a salute *
thirty-four guns, and the President-elect was received by
the Governor of the State in person, and escorted to a
carriage in waiting, which proceeded followed by a pro
cession of the members of both houses of the legislature,
the municipal authorities, the military, and firemen to
the Bates House. Appearing on the balcony of this hotel,
Mr. Lincoln was greeted by the hearty applause of the
large crowd which had assembled in the street, to which
he addressed the following remarks :


Most heartily do 1 thank you for this magnificent reception, and while
I cannot take to myself any share of the compliment thus paid, moie
than that which pertains to a mere instrument, an accidental instrument,
perhaps I should say, of a great cause, I yet must look upon it as a most
magnificent reception, and as such most heartily do thank you for it.
You have been pleased to address yourself to me chiefly in behalf of this
glorious Union in which we live, in all of which you have my hearty
sympathy, and, as far as may be within my power, will have, one and
inseparably, my hearty consideration. While I do not expect, upon this
occasion, or until I get to Washington, to attempt any lengthy 8pecr,h.
will only say to the salvation of the Union there needs but one sin
tiling the hearts of a people like yours. [Applause.]

The people, when they rise in mass in behalf of the Union and the
liberties of their country, truly may it be said, "The gates of hell cannot
prevail against them." [Renewed applause.] In all trying positions in
which I shall be placed and, doubtless, I shall be placed in many such
my reliance will bo placed upon you and the people of the United States;
and I wish you to remember, now and forever, that it is your business,
and not mine; that if the union of these States, and the liberties of this
people shall be lost, it is but little to any one man of fifty-two years of
age, but a great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these


United States, and to their posterity in all coming time. It is your busi
ness to rise up and preserve the Union and liberty for yourselves, and not
for me.

I desire they should be constitutionally performed. I, as already inti
mated, am but an accidental instrument, temporary, and to serve but for
a limited time; and T appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that
with you, and not \vith politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-
seekers, but with you is the question, Shall the Union and shall tho liber
ties of this country be preserved to the latest generations ? [Cheers.]

In the evening the members of the legislature waited
upon him in a body at his hotel, where one of their num
ber, on behalf of the whole, and in presence of a very
large assemblage of the citizens of the place, made a brief
address of welcome and congratulation, which Mr. Lincoln
acknowledged in the following terms :

much for this magnificent welcome, and still more for the generous sup
port 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 ihing^ while
using the same word, 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
ns get on art definitions of these words, not from dictionaries, but from
tlio men themselves, who certainly depreciate the things they would
represent by the use of words. What, then, is "Coercion?" What is
" Invasion ?" Would the inarching of an army into South Carolina, with
out the consent of her people, and with hostile intent towards 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 these
things be "invasion" or "coercion?" Do our professed lovers of the
Union, but who spitefully resolve that they will resist coercion and inva
sion, 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 affection would seem exceedingly
thin and airy. If sick, the little pills of the homceopathists would ba
too iUrge for it to swallow. In their view, the Union^ as % famil?


relation, would seem to be no regular marriage, but a sort of " free-love"
arrangement, to be maintained only on " passional attraction."

By-the-way, in what consists the special sacredness of a State ? I speak
not of the position assigned to a Stato in the Union, by the Constitution;
for that, by the bond, we all recognize. That position, however, a State
cannot carry out of the Union witli it. I speak of that assumed primary
right of a State to rule all which is less than itself, and ruin all which is
larger than itself. If a State and a county, in a given case, shoukl be
equal in extent of territory, and equal in number of inhabitants, in what
ft* a matter of principle, is the State better than the county ? Would a
exchange of names be an exchange of rights upon principle? On what
rightful principle may a State, being not more than one-fiftieth part of
the nation, in soil and population, break up the nation and then coerce a
proportionally larger subdivision of itself, in the most arbitrary way?
What mysterious right to play tyrant is conferred on a district of country,
with its people, by merely calling it a State?

Fellow-citizens, I am not asserting any thing ; I am merely asking ques
tions for you to consider. And now allow me to bid you farewell.

On the morning of the 12th, Mr. Lincoln took his depart
ure and arrived at Cincinnati at about noon, having been
greeted along the route by the hearty applause of the
thousands assembled at the successive stations. His
reception at Cincinnati was overwhelming. The streets
were^so densely crowded that it was with the utmost diffi
culty the procession could secure a passage. Mr. Lincoln
was escorted to the Burnett House, which had been hand
somely decorated in honor of his visit. He was welcomed
by tfce Mayor of the city in a few remarks, in response to
which he said :

KB. MATOK AND FELLO w- 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 that result longer by nominating Senator Douglas for the
Presidency than they could in any other way. They did net, in any true
tense 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 I now wish to call
their attention to what I then said upon that subject. I then said, "When
ire do a* we say, beat you, you perhaps want to know what we will do
you. I will tell you, as far as I am authorized to speak for the oppo-


eition, what we mean to do with yon. "We mean to treat yon, as near ns
we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison treated you. We
mean to leave you alone, and in no way to interfere with your institu
tions; 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
degenerate men, if we have degenerated, may, according to the example
of thoso noble fathers, WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, and MADISON. We mean
to remember that you are as good as we ; that there is no difference be
tween us, other than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recog
nize and bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosomt
as other people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly.

Fellow-citizens of Kentucky ! friends ! brethren, may I call you 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 the fault shall not be

In the everting the German Republican associations called
upon Mr. Lincoln and presented him an address of con
gratulation, to which he responded, warmly indorsing the
wisdom of the Homestead bill, and speaking of the advan
tages offered by the soil and institutions of the United
States to foreigners who might wish to make it their home.
He left Cincinnati on the morning of the 13th, accompanied
by a committee of the Ohio Legislature, which had come
from the capital to meet him. The party reached Colum
bus at two o* clock, and the President was escorted to the
hall of the Assembly, where he was formally welcomed
by Lieutenant- Governor Kirk on behalf of the legislature,
which had assembled in joint session, to which he made
the following reply :

ASSEMBLY: 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
rotos 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 even 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
tarn, then, and look to the great American people, and to that God who
lias never forsaken them.

Almsion has been made t. the interest felt in relation to the policy of
the new Administration. In this I have received from some a degree OJL


credit for having kept silence, and from others some depreciation. I still
think that I was right. In the varying and repeatedly shifting scenes of
the present, and without a precedent which could enahle me to judge by
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 so as to be
sure after all at liberty to modify and change the course of policy as
future events may make a change necessary. I have not maintained
gilence 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 any
body. We entertain different views upon political questions, but nobody
is suffering any thing. This is a most consoling circumstance, and froi i
it we may conclude that all we want is time, patience, and a reliance on
that God who has never forsaken this people. Fellow-citizens, what I
have said I have said altogether extemporaneously, and will now come to
a close.

Both houses then adjourned. In the evening Mr. Lin
coln held a levee, which was very largely attended. On
the morning of the 14th, Mr. Lincoln left Columbus. At
Steubenville he had a formal though brief reception, being
addressed by Judge Floyd, to whose remarks he made
the following reply :

I fear that the great confidence placed in my ability is unfounded. In
deed, I am sure it is. Encompassed by vast difficulties as I am, nothing
shull be wanting 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 instru
ment that causes difficulty. The only dispute on both sides is, "What are
their rights ?" If the majority should not rule, who should be the judge I
Where is such a judge to be found? We should all be bound by t .ie
majority of the American people if not, then the minority must control
Would that be right? Would it be just or generous? Assuredly not. ij
reiterate, that the majority should rule. If I adopt a wrong policy, th^
opportunity for condemnation will occur in four years time. Then I can
be turned out, and a better man with better views put in my place.

The train reached Pittsburg in the evening, and Mr
Lincoln was received with the -utmost enthusiasm at the
Monongahela House by a large crowd which had assembled
to greet him. He acknowledged their reception briefly :

He said he would not give them a speech, as he thought it more rare.
if not more wi&t, for a public uu.u to abstain from much speaking. H


expressed his gratitude and surprise at seeing so great a crowc and such
boundless enthusiasm manifested in the night-time, and unde.r such un
toward circumstances, to greet so unworthy an individual as himself. This
was undoubtedly attributable to the position which more by accident
than by worth he had attained. He remarked further, that if all those
whole-souled people whom he saw this evening before him, were for the
preservation of the Union, he did not see how it could be in much dan
ger, lie had intended to say a few words to the people of Pittsburg
the greatest manufacturing city of the United States upon such matters
us they were interested in ; but as he had adopted the plan of holding his
tongue for the most part during the last canvass, and since his election,
no thought he had perhaps better now still continue to hold his tongue.
[Cries of " Go on," " go on."] "Well, I am reminded that there is an Alle-
ghany City as well as an Alleghany County, the former the banner town,
and the latter the banner county, perhaps, of the world. I am glad to
see both of them, and the good people of both. That I may not disap
point these, I will say a few words to you to-morrow as to the peculiar
interests of Alleghany County.

On the morning of the 15th, the Mayor and Common
Council of the City of Pittsburg waited in a body npon
the President-elect. The Mayor made him an address of
formal welcome in presence of a very large number of
citizens who had assembled to witness the ceremony.
After the applause which greeted his appearance had
subsided, Mr. Lincoln made the following remarks :

I most cordially thank His Honor Mayor Wilson, and the citizens of
Pittsburg generally, for their flattering reception. I am the more grate
ful because I know that it is not given to me alone, but to the cause I
present, which clearly proves to me their good-will, and that sincere
jling is at the bottom of it. And here I may remark, that in every
short address I have made to the people, in every crowd through which
I have passed of late, some allusion has been made to the present dis
tracted condition of the country. It is natural to expect that I should
say something on this subject; but to touch upon it at all would involve
an elaborate discussion of a great many questions and circumstances,
requiring more time than I can at present command, and would, perhaps,
unnecessarily commit me upon matters which have not yet fully devel
oped themselves. The condition of the country is an extraordinary one,
and fills the mind of every patriot with anxiety. It is my intention to
give this subject all the consideration I possibly can before specially
deciding in regard to it. so that when I do speak it may be as nearly
right as possible. Wher \ do speak, I hope I may say nothing in opposi
tion to the spirit of the Constitution, contrary to the integrity of the


Onion, or which will 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 I may say nothing
to disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially if
the expectation has been based upon any thing which I may have hereto
fore said. Notwithstanding the troubles across the river (the speaker
pointing southwardly across the Monongahela, and smiling) there is n<-
crisis but an artificial one. What is there now to warrant the conditio

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 42)