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 15 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 15 of 42)
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others that have been tendered to me, doubtless emanates from all the
political parties, and not from one alone. As such I accept it the more
gratefully, since it indicates an earnest desire on the part of the whole
people, without regard to political differences, to save not the country,
because the country will save itself but to save the Institutions of the
country those institutions under which, in the last three-quarters of a
century, we have grown to be a great, an intelligent, and a happy people
the greatest, the most intelligent, and the happiest people in the world

l*Ai Eii{s OF AiiiiAiLui LINCOLN 147

These noble manifestations indicate, with unerring certainty, that the
whole people are willing to make common cause for this object; that if,
as it ever must be, some have been successful in the recent election, and
some have been beaten if some are satisiied, and some are dissatisfied,
the defeated party are not in favor of sinking the ship, but are desirou*
of running it through the tempest in safety, and willing, if they think thd
people have committed an error in their verdict now, to wait in the hopo
of reversing it, and setting it right next time. I do not say that in th
recent election the people did the wisest thing that could have been done;
indeed, I do not think they did; but I do say, that in accepting the groat
trust committed to me, which I do with a determination to ejideavor to
\ rove worthy of it, I must rely upon you, upon the people of the whole
country, for support; and with their sustaining aid, even I, humble as I
am, cannot fail to carry the ship of State safely through the storm.

I have now only to thank you warmly for your kind attendance, and
bid you all an affectionate farewell.

At Peekskill, in reply to a brief address from Judge
Nelson, lie said :

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I have but a moment to stand before you, t<i
listen to and return your kind greeting. I thank yon for this reception,
and for the pleasant manner in which it is tendered to me, by our mutual
friend. I will say in a single sentence, in regard to the difficulties th&f
lie before me and our beloved country, that if I can only be as generously
and unanimously sustained as the demonstrations I have witnessed ind?
cate I shall be, I shall not fail ; but without your sustaining hands I an
sure that neither I, nor any other man, can hope to surmount these diffi
culties. I trust that in the course I shall pursue I shall be sustained, no$
only by the party that elected me, but by the patriotic people of the wholo

The President-elect reached New York at three o clock,
and was received by an immense demonstration of pop a
tar enthusiasm. Places of business were generally closed,
and the streets w^re rilled with people, eager to catch a
glimpse of his person. On reaching the Astor House, he
was compelled by the importunity of the assembled crowd
to appear on the balcony, from which he said :

FELLOW-CITIZENS: I have stepped before you merely in compliance
with what appears to be your wish, and not with the purpose of making
a speech. I do not propose making a speech this afternoon. I could not
be heard by any but a small fraction of you, at best ; but, what is stil
worse than that, I have nothing just now to wiy that is worthy of your
tearing. [Applause.] I beg you to -believe that 1 do not now refuse U*

- >


address you from any disposition to disoblige you, but to the contrary.
But, at the same time, I beg of you to excuse ine for the present.

In the evening, Mr. Lincoln received a large deputation
from the various Republican associations which had
taken an active part in the election canvass, and in reply
to a brief welcome from Mr. E. D. Smith, on their behalf,
he thus addressed them :

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: I am rather an old ma to aval.
myself of such an excuse as I am now about to do. Yet the truth is so
distinct, and presses itself so distinctly upon me, that I cannot well avoid
it and that is, that I did not understand when I was brought into thia
room that I was brought here to make a speech. It was not intimated to
me that I was brought into the room where DANIEL WEBSTER and HENRY
CLAY had made speeches, and where, in my position, I might be expected
to do something like those men, or do something worthy of myself or my
audience. I, therefore, will beg you to make very great allowance for
the circumstances in which I have been by surprise brought before
you. Now, I have been in the habit of thinking and speaking sometime*
upon political questions that have for some years past agitated the coun
try ; and, if I were disposed to do so, and we could take up some one of
the issues, as the lawyers call them, and I were called upon to make an
argument about it to the best of my ability, I could do so without much
preparation. But that is not what you desire to be done here to-night.

I have been occupying a position since the Presidential election of
silence, of avoiding public Freaking, of avoiding public writing. I have
been doing so, because I tlu^ght, upon full consideration, that was the
proper course for me to take. [Great applause.] I am brought before
you now, and required to make a speech, when you all approve more than
any thing else of the fact that I have been keeping silence. [Great laugh
ter, cries of " Good," and applause.] And now it seems to me that the
response you give to that remark ought to justify me in closh g just here.
[Great laughter.] I have not kept silence since the Presidential election
from any party wantonness, or from any indifference to the anxiety that
pervades the minds of men about the aspect of the political affairs of this
country. I have kept silence for the reason that I supposed it was pecu
liarly proper that I should do so until the time came when, according to
the custom of the country, I could speak officially.

A voice The custom of the country ?

I heard some gentleman say, " According to the custom of the country."
I alluded to tb<* custom of the President-elect, at the time of taking the
oath of office. That is what I meant by "the custom of the country."
I do suppose that, while the political drama being enacted, in this coun
try, ac this time, is rapidly shifting its scenes forbidding an anticipation*

- * r - - /


with aiiy degree of certainty, to-day, what we shall see to-morrow it
was peculiarly fitting that I should see it all, up to the last minute, before
I should take ground that I might be disposed (by the shifting of the
scenes afterwards) also to shift. [Applause.] I have said, several times,
upon this journey, and I now repeat it to you, that when the time doe*
?ome, I shall then take the ground that I think is right [applause] the
rnmnd that I think is right [applause, and cries of "Good, good - right
I M] the North, for the South, for the East, for the West, for the whole
country. [Cries of " Good," "Hurrah for Lincoln," and applause.] And
jn doing so, I hope to feel 110 necessity pressing upon me to say any thing
in conflict with the Constitution; in conflict with the continued union of
these States [applause] in conflict with the perpetuation of the liberties
of tiiis people [applause] or any thing in conflict with any thing what
ever that I have ever given you reason to expect from me. [Applause.]
And now, my friends, have I said enough? [Loud cries of "No, no,"
and three cheers for Lincoln.] Now, my friends, there appears to be a
difference of opinion between you and me, and I really feel called upon
to decide the question myself. [Applause, during which Mr. Lincoln
descended from the table.]

On tlie morning of the 20th Mr. Lincoln proceeded to
the City Hall, where it had been arranged that he should
have an official reception. He was there addressed by
Mayor Wood in the following terms :

MR. LINCOLN: As Mayor of New York, it becomes my duty to extend
to you an official welcome in behalf of the Corporation. In doing so, per
mit me to say, that this city has never offered hospitality to a man clothed
with more exalted powers, or resting under graver responsibilities, than
,ihose which circumstances have devolved upon you. Coming into ofiice
; ith a dismembered Government to reconstruct, and a disconnected aid
; ustile people to reconcile, it will require a high patriotism, and an eleva
tad comprehension of the whole country and its varied interests, opinions,
and prejudices, to so conduct public affairs as to bring it back again to its
former harmonious, consolidated, and prosperous condition. If I refer to
this topic, sir, it is because New York is deeply interested. The present
political divisions have sorely afflicted her people. All her material inter
ests are paralyzed. Her commercial greatness is endangered. She is the
child of the American Union. She has grown up under its maternal care,
and been fostered by its paternal bounty, and we fear that if the Union
dies, the preseut supremacy of New York may perish with it. To y<n.
therefore, chce^n under the forms of the Constitution as the head of the
Confederacy, we look for a restoration of fraternal relations between i^e
States- -only Vo b3 accomplished by peaceful and conciliatory mow*,
V the wisdom of Almighty God,


To this address Mr. Lincoln made the followin re-

MR. MAYOR: It is with feelings of deep gratitude that I make mj
acknowledgments for the reception that has been given me in the great
commercial City of New York. I cannot hut remember that it is done by
he people, who do not, by a large majority, agree with me in political
sentiment. It is the more grateful to me, because in this I see that for
the great principles of our Government the people are pretty nearly or
quite unanimous. In regard to the difficulties that confront us at this
time, and of which you have seen fit to speak so becomingly and so jiittJy,
I can only say that I agree with the sentiments expressed. In my devo
tion to the Union I hope I am behind no man in the nation. As to my
uisdom in conducting affairs so as to tend to the preservation of the
Union, I fear too great confidence may have been placed in me. I am
saro I bring a heart devoted to the work. There is nothing that could
erer bring me to consent willingly to consent to the destruction of this
Union (in which not only the great City of New York, but the whole
country, hate acquired its greatness), unless it would be that thing for
which the Union itself was made. I understand that the ship is made for
the carrying and preservation of the cargo ; and so long as the ship is
g,j,fe with the cargo, it shall not be abandoned. This Union shall never
be abandoned, unless the possibility of its existence shall cease to exist,
without the necessity of throwing passengers ard cargo overboard. So
long, then, as it is possible that the prosperity and liberties of this people
can be preserved within this Union, it shall be my purpose at all times to
preserve it. And now, Mr. Mayor, renewing my thanks for this cordial
reception, allow me to come to a close. [Applause.]

Oil the morning of Thursday, the 21st, Mr. Lincoln left
N"ew York for Philadelphia, and on reaching Jersey City
was met and welcomed, on behalf of the State, by the
Hon. W. L. Dayton, to whose remarks he made this re

only thank you briefly for this very kind reception given me, not person
ally, but as the temporary representative of the majesty of the nation.
[Applause.] To the kindness of your hearts, and of the hearts of your
brethren in your State, I should be very proud to respond, but I shall not
have strength to address you or other assemblages at length, even if I had
the time to do so. I appear before you, therefore, for little else than to
Rreet yea, and to briefly say farewell. You have done me the very high
honor to present your reception courtesies to me through your great man
-a man with whom it is an honor to be associated anywhere, ard in
owning whom no State can be poor. [Applause.] He has said enough,


and by tlie saying of it suggested enough, to require a response of an honr
well considered. [Applause.] I could not in an hour make a worth j
response to it. I therefore, ladies and gentlemen of New Jersey, cor- tent
myself with saying, most heartily do I indorse all the sentiments he h;w
expressed. [Applause.] Allow me, most gratefully, to bid you farewell.

At Newark he was welcomed "by the Mayor, to whonj
he said :

MB. MAYOR : I thank you for this reception at the city of Newark,
With regard to the great work of which you speak, I will say that I bring
to it a heart tilled with love for my country, and an honest desire to do
what is right. I am sure, however, that I have not the ability to do any
thing unaided of God, and that without his support, and that of this free,
happy, prosperous, and intelligent people, no man can succeed in doing
that the importance of which we all comprehend. Again thanking you
for the reception you have given me, I will now bid you farewell, and
proceed upon my journey.

At Trenton he was received by a committee of the
legislature, and escorted to both branches, which were
la session. The President of the Senate welcomed him in
& brief address, to which he made the following reply :

STEW 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 strug
gle few of the States among the Old Thirteen had more of the battle-fields
of the country within their limits than old New Jersey. May I be par
doned 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,
<mch s one as few of the younger members have ever seen, " WEEAI S IJ*/*
>lf Washington." I remember all the accounts there given of the battie-
lields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed them
selves 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 thero
must have been something more than com in on that these 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


r,nme I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and
tho liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance witl 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 most chosen people, as the chosen instrument also in the
hands of the Almighty 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 Unite-r
States as citizens of the United States to meet the man who, for tin-
time being, is the representative man of the nation united by a purpose
to perpetuate the Union and liberties of the people. As aucL, I accept
this reception more gratefully than I could do did I believe it was ten
dered to me as an individual.

Mr. Lincoln then passed to the Assembly Chamber,
where, in reply to the Speaker, he said :

MR. SPEAKER AND GENTLEMEN: I have just enjoyed the honor of n
reception by the other branch of this legislature, and I return to you
and them my thanks for the reception which the people of Few Jersey
have given through their chosen representatives to me as the representa
tive, 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 representa
tives 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 Consti
tution, and the liberties of the people. You, Mr. Speaker, have well said
that this is a time when the bravest and wisest look with doubt and awe
apoii the aspect presented by our national affairs. Under these circum
stances, you will readily see why I should not speak in detail of the coun-e
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
occasior to swerve. I shall endeavor to take the ground I deem most
just to W y^rth, the East, the West, the South, and the whole country,
J 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 de
voted to peace than I am. [Cheers, j None who would do more to pn*


erve it, hut it maybe necessary to put the foot down firmly. [Here the
ludience broke out into cheers so loud and long, that for some moments
t was impossible to hear Mr. Lincoln s voice.] And if I do my duty and
lo right, you will sustain me, will you not ? [Loud cheers, and cries of
4 Yes, yes, we will."] Eeceived, as I am, by the members of a legislature,
ihe 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
I through this voyage, surrounded by perils as it is ; for if it should suffer
wreck now, there will be no pilot ever needed for another voyage. Gen
tlemen, I have already spoken longer than I intended, and must beg leave
to stop here.

The procession then moved to the Trenton House,
where the President-elect made the following speech to
the crowd outside :

I have been invited by your representatives to the Legislature to visit
this, the capital of your honored State, and in acknowledging their kind
invitation, compelled to respond to the welcome of the presiding officers of
each body, and I suppose they intended I should speak to you through
them, as they are the representatives of all of you ; and if I was to speak
again here, I should only have to repeat, in a great measure, much that I
have said, which would be disgusting to my friends around me who have
met here. I have no speech to make, but merely appear to see you and
let you look at me ; and as to the latter, I think I have greatly the best of
the bargain. [Laughter.] My friends, allow me to bid you farewell.

The party arrived at Philadelphia at 4 o clock, and the
President-elect, proceeding immediately to the Continen
tal Hotel, was welcomed in a brief speech from Mayor
* Henry, to which he replied as follows :

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 individ
ual, but to the man who temporarily represents, or should represent, the
majesty of the nation. [Cheers.] It is true, as your worthy Mayor has
said, that there is anxiety amongst the citizens of the United States at this
time. I deem it a happy circuru stance that this dissatisfied position of our
fellow-citizens does r<ot point us to any thing in which they are being
injured, or about to ne injured; for which reason, I have felt all the while
justified in concluding that the crisis, the panic, the anxiety of the coun
try at thia 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 consid
erable harm ; that it h;ts done such I do not deny. The hope that ha*


been expressed by your Mayor, that I may be able to restore peace, har
mony, 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. [Tre-
i r vendous cheering.] 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 of 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 ground 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
Las expressed the wish, in which I join with him, that it were convenient
for me to remain in your city lung enough to consult your merchants and
manufacturers; or, as it were, to listen to those breathings rising within
tlie consecrated walls wherein the Constitution of the United States, and,
I will add, the Declaration of Independence, were originally framed and
adopted. [Enthusiastic applause.] I assure you and your Mayor that I
hid 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
sucred 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
cime forth from these sacred walls. May my right hand forget its cun
ning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if ever I prove false
to those teachings. Fellow-citizens, I have addressed you longer than I
expected to do, and now allow me to bid you good-night.

On the 21st, Mr. Lincoln visited the old Independence
Hall, from which was originally issued the Declaration
of Independence. He was received in a cordial speed,
by Mr. Theodore Cuyler, to which he made the follow
\ng response :

MR. CUTLER: I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing
liere in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriot
ism, 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 in and wore given to the world
from thk hall I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring
from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I
havo often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men
who assembled here, and framed and adopted tfiat Declaration of Ind*-


pendence. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the oflfi-
<iers 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 sep
aration of the Colonies from the mother-land, hut 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. [Great ap
plause.] It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight
would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is the sentiment eic

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 15 of 42)