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Speech at Columbus.
The Ohio Legislature.
Reliance on God.
not be made good be assured that the fault shall not be mine.”
On the next morning he left Cincinnati, and arrived at Columbus, where he was received with every demonstration of enthusiasm. He visited the Governor in the Executive Chamber, and was subsequently introduced to the members of the Legislature in joint session, when he was formally welcomed by the Lieutenant-Governor, to whom Mr. Lincoln responded in these words :
"It is true, as has been said by the President of the Senate, that very great responsibility rests upon me in the position to wbich the votes 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 nameperhaps without a reason why I should have a name—there has fallen upon me a task such as did not rest 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 turn, then, and look to the American people, and to that God who bas never forsaken them.
“Allusion has been made to the interest felt in relation to the policy of the new Administration. In this, I have re ceived from some a degree of credit for having kept silence, from others some depreciation. I still think I was right. In the varying and repeatedly shifting scenes of the present, without a precedent which could enable me to judge for the past, it bas seemed fitting, that before speaking upon the difficulties of the country I should have gained a view of the whole field. To be sure, after all, I would be at liberty to modify and change the course of policy as future events might make a change necessary.
"I have not maintained silence 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 circum
Speech at Steuben ville.
Speech at Pittsburgh.
stance that when we look out there is nothing that really hurts anybody. We entertain different views upon political questions, but nobody is suffering any thing. This is a most consoling circumstance, and from it I judge that all we want is time and patience, and a reliance on that God who has never forsaken this people."
On the 14th of February, Mr. Lincoln proceeded to Pittsburgh. At Steubenville, on the route, in reply to an address, he said :
“I fear the great confidence placed in my ability is unfounded. Indeed, I am sure it is. Encompassed by vast difficulties, as I am, nothing shall be wanted 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 instrument that causes difficulties. The only dispute is · What are their rights ?' If the majority should not rule who should be the judge? Where is such a judge to be found ? We should all be bound by the majority of the American people -if not, then the minority must control. Would that be right? Would it be just or generous ? Assuredly not." He reiterated, the majority should rule. If he adopted a wrong policy, then the opportunity to condemn him would occur in four years' time. “ Then I can be turned out and a better man with better views put in nly place.”
The next morning he left for Cleveland, but before his departure he made an address to the people of Pittsburgh, in which he said :
" In every short address I have made to the people, and in every crowd through which I have passed of late, some allusion has been made to the present distracted condition of the country. It is naturally expected that I should say something upon this subject, but to touch upon it at all would involve an elaborate discussion of a great many questions nel circumstances, would require more time than I can at
Speech at Pittsburgh.
Condition of the Country.
Crisis an artificial one.
present command, and would perhaps unnecessarily commit me upon matters which have not yet fully developed themselves.
“ The condition of the country, fellow-citizens, is an extraordinary one, and fills the mind of every patriot with anxiety and solicitude. My intention is to give this subject all the consideration which I possibly can before I speak fully and definitely in regard to it, so that, when I do speak, I may be as nearly right as possible. And when I do speak, fellow-citizens, I hope to say nothing in opposition to the spirit of the Constitution, contrary to the integrity of the Union, or which will in any way 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 to say nothing which will disappoint the reasonable expectations of any man, or disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially if their expectations bave been based upon any thing which I may have heretofore said.
“Notwithstanding the troubles across the river [tbe speaker, smiling, pointed southwardly to the Monongabela river), there is really no crisis springing from any thing in the Government itself. In plain words, there is really no crisis except an artificial one. What is there now to warrant the condition of affairs presented by our friends over the river ?' Take even their own view of the questions involved, and there is nothing to justify the course which they are pursuing. I repeat it, then, there is no crisis, except such a one as may be gotten up at any time by turbulent men, aided by designing politicians. My advice, then, under such circumstances, is to keep cool. If the great American people will only keep their temper on both sides of the line, the trouble will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like character which have originated in this government have been adjusted. Let the people on both
Speech at Pittsburgh.
Speech at Cleveland.
sides keep their self-possession, and just as other clouds bave cleared away in due time, so will this, and this great nation shall continue to prosper as heretofore.”
He then referred to the subject of the tariff, and said :
"According to my political education, I am inclined to believe that the people in the various portions of the country should have their own views carried out through their representatives in Congress. That consideration of the tariff bill should not be postponed until the next session of the National Legislature. No subject should engage your representatives more closely than that of the tariff. If I have any recommendation to make, it will be that every man who is called upon to serve the people, in a representative capacity, should study the whole subject thoroughly, as I intend to do myself, looking to all the varied interests of the common country, so that, when the time for action arrives, adequate protection shall be extended to the coal and iron of Pennsylvania, and the corn of Illinois. Permit me to express the hope that this important subject may receive such consideration at the hands of your representatives that the interests of no part of the country may be overlooked, but that all sections may share in the common benefits of a jus and equitable tariff.”
Mr. Lincoln, upon his arrival in Cleveland, adverted to the same subject in the following terms:
“It is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the Union and the Constitution, and not with any one man. It rests with you alone. This fact is strongly impressed on my mind at present. In a community like this, whose appearance testifies to their intelligence, I am convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in national politics. I think there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation, there are differences
Speech at Cleveland.
The Deputation at Buffalo.
Speech at Buffalo
of opinion in politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now addresses you. And how is it with those who are not here? Have they not all their rights as they ever had ? Do they not have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever ? Have they not the same Constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position ? Wbat, then, is the matter with them? Why all this excitement ? Why all these complaints ? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in fact. It was 'argued up,' as the saying is, and cannot be argued down. Let it alone, and it will go down itself.”
On Saturday he proceeded to Buffalo, where be arrived at evening, and was niet by an immense concourse of citizens, headed by Ex-President Fillmore.
Arriving at the hotel, Mr. Lincoln was welcomed in a brief speech by the acting chief magistrate, to which be made a brief reply, as follows:
“MR. MAYOR AND FELLOW CITIZENS :-I am here to thank you briefly for this grand reception given to me not personally, but as the representative of our great and beloved country. Your worthy Mayor has been pleased to mention in his address to me, the fortunate and agreeable journey which I have bad from home-only it is rather a circuitous route to the Federal Capitol. I am very happy that he was enabled, in truth, to congratulate myself and company on that fact. It is true, we bave had nothing thus far to mar the pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone, but by the wbole population of the country through which we have passed. This is as it should be. Had the election fallen to any other of the distinguished candidates instead of myself, under the peculiar circumstances, to say the least, it would