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Speech at Buffalo. Our Difficulties without Precedent.
have been proper for all citizens to have greeted him as you now greet me. It is an evidence of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution, the Union, and the perpetuity of the liberties of this country. I am unwilling, on any occasion, that I should be so meanly thought of as to have it supposed for a moment that these demonstrations are tendered to me personally. They are tendered to the country, to the institutions of the country, and to the perpetuity of the liberties of the country for which these institutions were made and created. Your worthy mayor has thought fit to express the hope that I may be able to relieve the country from the present, or, I should say, the threatened difficulties. I am sure I bring a heart true to the work. For the ability to perform it, I trust in that Supreme Being who has never forsaken this favored land, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people. Without that assistance I should surely fail; with it I cannot fail. When we speak of the threatened. difficulties to the country, it is natural that it should be expected that something should be said by myself with regard to particular measures. Upon more mature reflection, however, I think, and others will agree with me-that, when it is considered that these difficulties are without precedent, and never have been acted upon by any individual situated as I am, it is most proper that I should wait and see the developments, and get all the light possible, so that, when I do speak authoritatively, I may be as near right as possible. When I shall speak authoritatively, I hope to say nothing inconsistent with the Constitution, the Union, the rights of all the States, of each State, and of each section of the country, and not to disappoint the reasonable expectations of those who have confided to me their votes. In this connection, allow me to say that you, as a portion of the great American peopl only to maintain your composure, stand up to convictions of right, to your obligations to and act in accordance with those ent
Deputation at Albany.
Speech at Albany.
Americans one People.
clouds which now arise in the horizon will be dispelled, and we shall have a bright and glorious future; and, when this generation shall have passed away, tens of thousands shall inhabit this country where only thousands inhabit it now. I do not propose to address you at length. I have no voice for it. Allow me again to thank you for this magnificent reception, and bid you farewell."
Mr. Lincoln then proceeded from Buffalo to Albany. Here he was met by the Mayor, the City Councils, and the Legislative Committees, and was conducted to the Capitol, where he was welcomed by Governor Morgan, and responded briefly, as follows:
"GOVERNOR MORGAN:-I was pleased to receive an invitation to visit the capital of the great Empire State of this nation, while on my way to the Federal capital. I now thank you, and you, the people of the capital of the State of New York, for this most hearty and magnificent welcome. If I am not at fault, the great Empire State at this time contains a larger population than did the whole of the United States of America at the time they achieved their national independence; and I was proud to be invited to visit its capital, to meet its citizens as I now have the honor to do. I am notified by your governor that this reception is tendered by citizens without distinction of party. Because of this, I accept it the more gladly. In this country, and in any country where freedom of thought is tolerated, citizens attach themselves to political parties. It is but an ordinary degree of charity to attri ute this act to the supposition that, in thus attaching them selves to the various parties, each man, in his own judgment, supposes he thereby best advances the interests of the wholo country. And when an election is passed, it is altogether befitting a free people that, until the next election, they should be one people. The reception you have extended me to-day is not given to me personally. It should not be so, but as the representative, for the time being, of the majority of the nation
Speech at Albany.
Addresses the Legislature.
If the election had fallen to any of the more distinguished citizens, who received the support of the people, this same honor should have greeted him that greets me this day, in testimony of the unanimous devotion of the whole people to the Constiution, the Union, and to the perpetual liberties of succeeding generations in this country. I have neither the voice nor the strength to address you at any greater length. I beg you will, therefore, accept my most grateful thanks for this manifest devotion-not to me but to the institutions of this great and glorious country."
He was then conducted to the Legislative halls, where, in reply to an address of welcome, he again adverted to the troubles of the country in the following terms:
"MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE LEGISLATURE of THE STATE OF NEW YORK:-It is with feelings of great diffidence, and, I may say, feelings even of awe, perhaps greater than I have recently experienced, that I meet you here in this place. The history of this great State, the renown of its great men, who have stood in this chamber, and have spoken their thoughts, all crowd around my fancy, and incline me to shrink from an attempt to address you. Yet I have some confidence given me by the generous manner in which you have invited me, and the still more generous manner in which you have received me. You have invited me and received me without distinction of party. I could not for a moment suppose that this has been done in any considerable degree with any reference to my personal self. It is very much more grateful to me that this reception and the invitation preceding it were given to me as the representative of a free people, than it could possibly have been were they but the evidence of devotion to me or to any one man. It is true that, while I hold myself, without mock-modesty, the humblest of all the individuals who have ever been elected President of the United States, I yet have a more difficult task to perform than any one of them has ever encountered. You have here generously tendered
Deputation from N. Y. City.
New York Legislature.
Speech at Poughkeepsie.
me the support, the united support, of the great Empire State. For this, in behalf of the nation-in behalf of the President and of the future of the nation-in behalf of the cause of civil liberty in all time to come-I most gratefully thank you. I do not propose now to enter upon any expressions as to the particular line of policy to be adopted with reference to the difficulties that stand before us in the opening of the incoming administration. I deem that it is just to the country, to myself, to you, that I should see every thing, hear every thing, and have every light that can possibly be brought within my reach to aid me before I shall speak officially, in order that, when I do speak, I may have the best possible means of taking correct and true grounds. For this reason, I do not now announce any thing in the way of policy for the new Administration. When the time comes, according to the custom of the Government, I shall speak, and speak as well as I am able for the good of the present and of the future of this country for the good of the North and of the South-for the good of one and of the other, and of all sections of it. In the meantime, if we have patience, if we maintain our equanimity, though some may allow themselves to run off in a burst of passion, I still have confidence that the Almighty Ruler of the Universe, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people, can and will bring us through this difficulty, as he has heretofore brought us through all preceding difficulties of the country. Relying upon this, and again thanking you, as I forever shall, in my heart, for this generous reception you have given me, I bid you farewell."
At Albany, he was met by a delegation from the city authorities of New York, and on the 19th started for that city. At Poughkeepsie, he was welcomed by the Mayor of the city. Mr. Lincoln, in reply, said:
"I am grateful for this cordial welcome, and I am gratified that this immense multitude has come together, not to meet
Speech at Poughkeepsie.
Speech in New York.
the individual man, but the man who, for the time being, will humbly but earnestly represent the majesty of the nation. These receptions have been given me at other places, and, as here, by men of different parties, and not by one party alone. It shows an earnest effort on the part of all to save, not the country, for the country can save itself, but to save the institutions of the country-those institutious under which, for at least three-quarters of a century, we have become the greatest, the most intelligent, and the happiest people in the world. These manifestations show that we all make common cause for these objects; that if some of us are successful in an election, and others are beaten, those who are beaten are not in favor of sinking the ship in consequence of defeat, but are earnest in their purpose to sail it safely through the voyage in hand, and, in so far as they may think there has been any mistake in the election, satisfying themselves to take their chance of setting the matter right the next time. That course is entirely right. I am not sure-I do not pretend to be sure that in the election of the individual who has been elected this term, the wisest choice has been made. I fear it has not. In the purposes and in the principles that have been sustained, I have been the instrument selected to carry forward the affairs of this Government. I can rely upon you, and upon the people of the country; and with their sustaining hand, I think that even I shall not fail in carrying the Ship of State through the storm."
The reception of President Lincoln in New York City was a most imposing demonstration. Places of business were generally closed, and hundreds of thousands were in the streets. On the next day, he was welcomed to the city by Mayor Wood, and replied as follows:
"MR. MAYOR: It is with feelings of deep gratitude that I make my acknowledgments for the reception given me in the great commercial city of New York. I cannot but remember