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peaceful solution of the national troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.
Argument, persuasion, entreaty followed:
Physically speaking, we can not separate; we can not remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not 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 friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends ? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical question as to terms of intercourse are again upon you. ...
If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there is still no single reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulties.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Government; while I shall have the most solemn one to“ preserve, protect and defend” it.
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
After bowing response to the applause of his auditors, he turned to Chief Justice Taney, at his side, and repeated from his lips the required official oath. Then followed a salute from the cannons of the battery near at hand, while the procession re-formed and began its return march to the White House. At its door, James Buchanan took courteous leave, with benedictions on his successor, and Abraham Lincoln entered as its master. • At all times, a change of administration implies a general change of civil officers having direct relations with the President or with the heads of departments. Now there were extraordinary reasons for a thorough reorganization. The matter of appointments received immediate and laborious attention from the new President; some there were who thought his time too much occupied in this way at such a juncture; but the event showed that the work was not overdone. The Cabinet officers, already settled in his own mind before the inauguration, were nominated to the Senate the next day and promptly confirmed — namely: Secretary of State, William H. Seward, of New York; of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio; of War, Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania; of the Navy, Gideon Welles, of Connecticut; of the Interior, Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana; Attorney-General, Edward Bates, of Missouri; Postmaster-General, Montgomery Blair, of Maryland.
Next in importance was the diplomatic service, largely filled with Southern men or with others as hostile to the Republican policy: men, too, who were in some instances exerting themselves in opposition to the Union and the Government which accredited them. Among the new foreign appointments were: Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts — the personal choice of Secretary Seward — as Minister to England; William L. Dayton, of New Jersey, Minister to France; Norman B. Judd, of Illinois, to Prussia; Cassius M. Clay, of Kentucky, to Russia; John L. Motley, of Massachusetts, to Austria; Carl Schurz, of Wisconsin, to Spain; James W. Webb, of New York, to Turkey — afterward transfered to Brazil; Thomas Corwin, of Ohio, to Mexico; Anson Burlingame, of Massachusetts, to China — the third mission given to the “ ancestral ” State; and other Republicans to the minor courts of the Old World and the New. Consular officers, a numerous body, were also mostly changed.
It took no long time to ascertain that Disunionists in the late Cabinet had willingly left the new administration as destitute as possible of everything it would need even for self-defense. The treasury was unsupplied except through temporary expedients adopted at the eleventh hour, after loyal John A. Dix had succeeded Howell Cobb as Secretary. For under the latter's financiering, the Government had been reduced to the strait and the humiliation of being unable to effect a necessary loan, small in amount, except on terms which the usurer might accept from a profligate. The army was insignificant in numbers at the best, and nearly all of it that was left after Twiggs surrendered to the Texas secessionists in February was out of immediate reach. The navy had few vessels which were not cruising or idling far away in foreign waters. With two or three exceptions, every fort on the Southern coast beyond Old Point Comfort, whether in the confederated seceding States or not, and the navy-yards beyond Norfolk, as well as the arsenals, mints, subtreasuries and Federal property in general in the Cotton States, had been tamely permitted to pass into the hands of the Confederates.
First Forty Days — The Fort Sumter Problem.
The new President still hoped for some adjustment of the national troubles; though hope is not identical with faith. He was certainly less sanguine than Mr. Seward, who had been laboring in his own way for months past to establish an effective Union party in the South. In his inaugural, Lincoln had spoken favorably of calling a national convention, as provided for in the Constitution – a measure which Calhoun himself had once thought preferable to rash secession; had promised a continuance of the mail service to the recusant States, unless repelled, and had expressed his desire to maintain such pacific conditions as would give opportunity for calm consideration.
There was encouragement in the fact that eight of the slave-holding States, having a decided majority of the Southern population, * had resisted secession and appeared to be still devoted to the Union - an encouragement quite substantial, provided only that the Union sentiment was earnest and increasing, not faint and failing. To retain Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina,
* Excluding slaves, these eight States had (in 1860) a population of 5,632,993; and the seven Secession States only 2,661,879. Of slaves the former States had an aggregate of 1,636,159; the latter, 2,307,262.
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