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 36 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 36 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the sale of lands were $137,476.20 a sum much less than the expenses
of our land system during the same period. The homestead law, whici
will take effect on the 1st of January next, otters such inducements i:
<etuers that sales for cash cannot be expected, to an extent sufficient to
us.-et the expense of the General Laud Office, and the cost of surveying
ijnd bringing the land into market.

The discrepancy between the sum here stated as arising from the
sales of the public lands, and the sum derived from the same source aa
reported from the Treasury Department, arises, as I understand, from
the fact that the periods of time, though apparently, were not rcalh
coincident at the beginning-point the Treasury report including a con
siderable sum now which had previously been reported from the inte
rior sufficiently large to greatly overreach the sum derived from the
three months now reported upon by the Interior, and not by the

The Indian tribes upon our frontiers have, during the past year, mani
fested a spirit of insubordination, and, at several points, have engaged in
open hostilities against the white settlements in their vicinity. The
tribes occupying the Indian country south of Kansas renounced their
allegiance to the United States, and entered into treaties with the insur
gents. Those who remained loyal to the United States were driven from
the country. The chief of the Cherokees has visited this city for the
purpose of restoring the former relations of the tribe with the Ui.ited
States. He alleges that they were constrained, by superior force, to en
ter into treaties with the insurgents, and that the Uuitecl States neg-
levted to furnish the protection which their treaty stipulations required.

In the month of August last, the Sioux Indians in Minnesota attacked
the settlement in their vicinity with extreme ferocity, killing, indiscrimi
nately, men, women, and children. This attack was wholly unexpected,
and therefore no means of defence had been provided. It is estimated
that not less than eight hundred persons were killed by the Indians, ap<t
a large amount of property was destroyed. How this outbreak was in
duced is not definitely known, and suspicions, which may be unjust, need
not be stated. Information was received by the Indian Bureau, from
different sources, about the time hostilities were commenced, that a si
multaneous attack was to be made upon the white settlements by all the
tribes between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. The
State of Minnesota lias suffered great injury from this Indian war. A
large portion of her territory has been depopulated, and a severe low


bas been sustained by the destruction of property. The people of that
State manifest much anxiety for the removal of the tribes beyond th
limits of the State as a guarantee against future hostilities. The Cora
inissioner of Indian Affairs will furnish full details. I submit for youi
especial consideration whether our Indian system shall not be remodelled
Many wise and good men have impressed me with the belief that this can
be profitably done.

/ submit a statement of the proceedings of commissioners, which show
the progress that has been made in the enterprise of constructing th-
Pacific Railroad. And this suggests the earliest completion of this road,
and also the favorable action of Congress upon the projects now pending
before them for enlarging the capacities of the great canals in New York
and Illinois, as being of vital and rapidly increasing importance to the
whole nation, and especially to the vast interior region hereinafter to be
noticed at some greater length. I purpose having prepared and laid be
fore you at an early day some interesting and valuable statistical informa
tion upon this subject. The military and commercial importance of
enlarging the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and improving the Illinois
River, is presented in the report of Colonel Webster to the Secretary of
War, and now transmitted to Congress. I respectfully ask attention to it

To carry out the provisions of the act of Congress of the 15th of Ma)
last, I have caused the Department of Agriculture of the United States
to be organized.

The Commissioner informs me that within the period of a few months
this department has established an extensive system of correspondence
and exchanges, both at home and abroad, which promises to effect highly
beneficial results in the development of a correct knowledge of recent
improvements in agriculture, in the introduction of new products, and io
the collection of the agricultural statistics of the different States. Also,
that it will soon be prepared to distribute largely seeds, cereals, plants,
and cuttings, and has already published and liberally diffused much valu-
ab e information in anticipation of a more elaborate report, which will i:
due time be furnished, embracing some valuable tests in chemical science
now in progress in the laboratory.

The creation of this department was for the more immediate benefit
of a large class of our most valuable fellow-citizens ; and I trust that the
liberal basis upon which it has been organized will not only meet your
approbation, but that it will realize, at no distant day, all the fondest
anticipations of its most sanguine friends, and become the fruitful source
f advantage to all our people.

On the 2 l Jd day of September last, a proclamation was issued by the
Executive, a copy of which is herewith submitted.

In accordance with tfc.e purpose expressed in the second paragraph oi
that paper, I now respectfully call your attention to what inav le called
compensated emancipation."

A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its uwa


The territory is the only part which is of certain durability. One
ation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the earth abidetb
forever." It is of the first importance to duly consider and estimate tint
Ydr-endttring part. That portion of the earth s surface which is owned
and inhabited by the people of the United States is well adapted to the
home of one national family, and it is not well adapted for two or more
Its vast extent, and its variety of climate and productions, are of advan
tage in this age for one people, whatever they might have been in forme
ages. Steam, telegraphs, and intelligence have brought these to be a
advantageous combination for one united people.

In the Inaugural Address I briefly pointed out the total inadequacy of
disunion as a remedy for the differences between the people of the two
sections. I did so in language which I cannot improve, and which, there
fore, I beg to repeat:

" One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be
erf-ended; while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be
extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive slave clause
of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave-
trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a
community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the
iaw itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation
in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, cannot be
cured ; and it would be worse, in both cases, after the separation of the
sections than before. The foreign slave-trade, now imperfectly suppressed,
would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section; while
fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered
at all by the other.

"Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our
respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between
them. A husband and wife may be divorcee^ .^d go out of the presence
and beyond the reach of each other ; but the different parts of our coun
try cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face ; and intercourse,
either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it, possible,
then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory
after separation than before ? Can aliens make treaties easier than friend?
can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens
than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight
always; arid when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either,
you cease lighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse,

There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a national boundary,
upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west, upon the line
between the free and slave country, and we shall find a little more than
one-third of its length are rivers, easy to be crossed, and populated, 01
8<><m to be populated, thickly upon both sides; while nearly all its re
maining length are merely surveyors lines, over which people may wall*
back and forth without any consciousness of their presence. No part of
this line can be made any more difficult to pass by writing it down or
or parchment & a national boundary, Tlis fact of separation, if i*


coit-es, /i/eo up, on the part of the seceding section, the fugitive slave
clause, aiong with all other constitutional obligations upon the section
seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation would ever be
made to tako its place.

But there is another difficulty. The great interior region, bounded east
by the Allognanies, north by the British dominions, west by the Rocky
Mountains, and south by the line along which the culture of corn and
cottOii meets, and which includes part of Virginia, part of Tennessee, il!
of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missc.nri,
Kansas, lovra, Minnesota, and the Territories of Dakota, Nebraska, and
part of Colorado, already has above ten millions of people, and will huvo
fifty millions within tift,y years, it not prevented by any political folly or
mistake. It contains more than one-third of the country owned by the
United fe!:ai-es certainly more than one million of square miles. Onco
half as populous as Massachusetts already is. it would have more than
seventy-five millions of people. A glance at the map shows that, terri
torially speakiiig, it is the great body of the Republic. The other parts
are but marginal borders to it, the magnificent region sloping west from
the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific being the deepest, and also the richest
In undeveloped resources. In the production of provisions, grains, grasses,
and all which proceed from them, this great interior region is naturally
one of the most important of the world. Ascertain from the statistics the
small propoition of the region which has as yet been brought into culti
vation, and also the large and rapidly increasing amount of its products^
and we shall be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the prospect pro
sented. And yet this region has no sea-coast touches no ocean any
where. As part of one nation, its people now find, and may forever find^
their way to Europe by New York, to South America and Africa by New
Orleans, and to Asia by San Francisco. But separate our common coun
try into two nations, as designed by the present rebellion, and every man
of this great interior region is thereby cut off from some one or more of
these outlets, not perhaps by a physical barrier, but by embarrassing and
onerous trade regulations.

And this is true, wherever a dividing or boundary line may be fixe/
Place it between the now free and slave country, or place it south
Kentucky, or north of Ohio, and still the truth remains that none soim
of it can trade to any port or place north of it, and none north of it can
trade to any port or place south of it, except upon terms dictated by a
Government foreign to them. These outlets, east, west, and south, are
indispensable to the well-being of the people inhabiting and to inhabit
this vast interior region. "Which of the three may be the best is no
proper question. All are better than either, and all of right belong
to that people and to their successors forever. True to themselves,
they will not ask where a line of separation shall be, but will vo\f
rather that there shall be no such line. Nor are the marginal region!
le&j interested in these communications to and through them to the greul


outside world. They too, and each of them, must have access to thi*
Egypt of the West, without paying toll at the crossing of any national

Our national strife springs not from our permanent part; not from the
land we inhabit; not from our national homestead. There is no possible
severing of this, but would multiply and not mitigate evils among us. IP
ail its adaptations and aptitudes it demands union and abhors separation.
In fact, it would ere long force reunion, however much of blood and
treasure the separation might have cost.

Our strife pertains to ourselves to the passing generations of men ;
and it can, without convulsion, be hushed forever with the passing of one

In tiiis view, I recommend the adoption of the following resolution and
articles amendatory to the Constitution of fche United States :

Resolved ~by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
Stales of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of both Houses con
ourring), That the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures (or
Conventions) of the several States as amendments to the Constitution of
the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-
fourths of the said Legislatures (or Conventions), to be valid as part or
parts of the said Constitution, viz. :

AKTIGLE. Every State, wherein slavery now exists, which shall abolisii
the same therein at any time or times before the first day of January, in
the year of our Lord one thousand and nine hundred, shall receive com
pensation from the United States as follows, to wit :

The President of the United States shall deliver to every such State

bonds of the United States, bearing interest at the rate of per cent.

per annum, to an amount equal to the aggregate sum of for each

slave shown to have been therein by ths eighth census of the United
States, said bonds to be delivered to such State by instalments, or in one
parcel, at the completion of the abolishment, accordingly as the same
shall hare been gradual, or at one time, within such State; and interest
shall begin to run upon any such bond only from the proper time of its
delivery as aforesaid. Any State having received bonds as aforesaid, and
afterwards reiiitroducuig or tolerating slavery therein, shall refund to the
United States the bonds so received, or the value thereof, and all interest
raid thereon.

; AKTICLK. All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual treedom by the
aiices of the war, at any time before the end of the rebellion, shall bo
I ever free; but all owners of such, who shall not have been disloyal,
shall be compensated for them at the same rates as is provided for States
adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way that no slave shall be
twice accounted for.

ARTICLE. Congress may appropriate money, and otherwise provide
for colonizing free colored persons, with their own consent, at any place
or places without the United States.

I beg indulgence to discuss these proposed articles at some length.
Without slavery the rebellion could never have existed; without slavery
it cou.d not continue.

Among the friends of the Union them is great diversity of


and of policy in regard to slavery and the African race amongst us
Some would perpetuate slavery; some would abolish it suddenly, and
without compensation ; some would abolish it gradually, and with com
pensation; some would remove the freed people from us, and some
would retain them with us: and there are yet other minor diversities.
Because of these diversities we waste much strength among ourselves.
By mutual concession we should harmonize and act together. This
would be compromise; but it would be compromise among the friends,
nd not with the enemies of the Union. These articles are intended to
embody a plan of such mutual concessions. If the plan shall be adopted,
it is assumed that emancipation will follow in at least several :f the

As to the first article, tlie main points are : first, the emancipation ;
secondly, the length of time for consummating it thirty -seven years;
and, thirdly, the compensation.

The emancipation will be unsatisfactory to the advocates of perpetual
slavery ; but the length of time should greatly mitigate their dissatisfac
tion. The time spares both races from the evils of sudden derangement
in fact, from the necessity of any derangement; while most of those
whose habitual course of thought will be disturbed by the measure will
have passed away before its consummation. They will never see it.
Another class will hail the prospect of emancipation, but will deprecate
the length of time. They will feel that it gives too little to the now liv
ing slaves. But it really gives them much. It saves them from the vagrant
destitution which must largely attend immediate emancipation in localities
where their numbers are very great; and it gives the inspiring assuranco
tLut their posterity shall be free forever. The plan leaves to each State
choosing to act under it, to abolish slavery now, or at the end of the cen
tury, or at any intermediate time, or by degrees, extending over the whole
or any part of the period ; and it obliges no two States to proceed alike.
It also provides for compensation, and generally the mode of making it.
This, it would seem, must further mitigate the dissatisfaction of those who
favor perpetual slavery, and especially of those who are to receive the
compensation. Doubtless some of those who are to pay and not receive
1 will object. Yet the measure is both just and economical. In a certain
sense the liberation of slaves is the destruction of property property
acquired by descent or by purchase, the same as any other property. It
is no less true for having been often said, that the people of the South are
not more responsible for the original introduction of this property than
are the people of the North ; and when it is remembered how unhesitat
ingly we all use cotton and sugar, and share the profits of dealing in them,
it may not be quite safe to say that the South has been more re_<pon-
sible than the North for its continuance. If, then, for a common object
this property is to be sacrificed, is it not just that it be done at a common
charge ? if with less money, 01 money more easily paid, we can preaerv*


the benefits of the Fnion by this means than we can by the war alone, ia
it riot also economical to do it? Let us consider it, then. Let us ascer
tain the sum we have expended in the war since compensated emancipation
was proposed last March, and consider whether, if that measure had teen
promptly accepted by even some of the slave States, the same sum we uhl
not have done more to close the war than has been otherwise done. If
BO, the measure would save money, and, in that view, would be a prud ent
and economical measure. Certainly it is not so easy to pay sometl .nj^ as
it is pay nothing ; but it is easier to pay a large sum than it is to Day t
larger one. And it is easier to pay any sum when we are able, than it is
to pay it before we are able. The war requires large sums, and requires
them at once. The aggregate sum necessary for compensated emancipa
tion of course would be large. But it would require no ready cash, nor
the bonds even, any faster than the emancipation progresses. This might
not, and probably would not, close before the end of the thirty-seven
years. At that time we shall probably have a hundred millions of people
to share the burden, instead of thirty-one millions, as now. And not only
so, but the increase of our population may be expected to continue for &
long time after that period as rapidly as before ; because our territory will
not have become full. I do no state this inconsiderately.

At the same ratio of increase which we have maintained, 031 an average
from our first national census, in 1790, until that of 1860, we ^Jould, in
1900, have a population of one hundred And three million two hundred
and eight thousand four hundred and fifteen. And why may we not con
tinue that ratio far beyond that period ? Our abundant room our broad
national homestead is our ample resource. Were our territory as limited
as are the British Isles, very certainly our population could not expand aa
stated. Instead of receiving tho foreign born as now, we should be com
pelled to send part of the native born away. But such is not our condi
tion. We have two million nine hundred and sixty-three thousand
square miles. Europe has three million and eight hundred thousand,
with a population averaging seventy-three and one-third persons to the
square mile. Why may not our country at some time average as many ?
Is it less fertile ? Has it rnc re waste surface, by mountains, rivers, lakes,
deserts, or other causes ? Is it inferior to Europe in any natural advan
tage? If then we are, at some time, to be as populous as Europe, how
aoon ? As to when this may be, we can judge by the pas*, and the present ;
as to when it will be, if ever, depends much on whether we maintain the
Union. Several of our States are already above the average of Europe
seventy-three and a third to the square mile. Massachusetts one hundred
and fifty-seven ; Rhode Island one hundred and thirty-three ; Connecticut
ninety-nine ; New York and New Jersey, each eighty. Also two other
great States, Pennsylvania and Ohio, are not far below, the former having
sixty-three and the latter fifty-nine. The States already above th
European average, except New York, have increased in as rapid a ratio,
in -e passing that point, as ever bylbre ; while no one of them is equal to


orae other parts of our country in natural capacity for sustaining a denw

Taking the nation in the aggregate, and we find its population and ratio
of increase, for the several decennial periods, to he as follows

1799 8 929 827

1800 5^30o ,937 35.02 per cent, ratio of increase

1810 7,239,814 36.45 " " "

1820 9,638,131 33.13 " " "

1830 12,866,020 33.49 " " "

1810 17,069,453 32.67 " "

1850 23,191,876 35.87 " " "

1860 31,443,790 35.58 " " "

This shows an average decennial increase of 34.00 per cent, in popnia
tion through the seventy years, from our first to our last census yet taken.
It is seen that the ratio of increase, at no one of these two periods, is
either two per cent, below or two per cent, above the average ; thus show
ing how inflexible, and consequently how reliable, the law of increase in
our case is. Assuming that it will continue, it gives the following re
sults :

1870 42,323,341

1880 56,967,216

1890 76,677,872

1900 103,208,415

1910 138,918,526

1920 186,984,335

1930 251,680,914

These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now
is at some point between 1920 and 1930 say about 1925 our territory,
at seventy-three and a third persons to the square mile, being of capacity
to contain two hundred and seventeen million one hundred and eighty-
fix thousand.

And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the chaae^
iy the folly and evils of disunion, or by long and exhausting wars spring
ing from the only great element of national discord among us. While it
cannot be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of secession,
breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard population, civilization, and
prosperity, no one can doubt that the extent of it would be very great and

The proposed emancipation would shorten the war, perpetuate peace,
insure this increase of population, and proportionately the wealth of the
country. With these we should pay all the emancipation would cost,
together with our other debt, easier than we should pay our other debt with
out it. If we had allowed our old national debt to run at six per cent, per
annum, simple interest, from the end of our Revolutionary struggle intiS
to-day, without paying anything on either principal or interest, each nun.
of us would ow4> lens upon tiiat <fobt now than each man owa4 BI> i*


and this because our increase of men, through the whole jeriod,

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 36 of 42)