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documents have only historical value, an abstract of their contents is given. However, if even as much as a phrase is expressive of Lincoln's personality, it is quoted in his exact words.
The state papers are arranged under the following heads:
1. General Messages to Congress;
2. Proclamations, Messages, etc., Concerning Slavery;
3. Proclamations and Recommendations of Days of Thanksgiving, Fasting, and Prayer;
4. Proclamations, Messages to Congress, and Military Orders Relating to the Conduct of the War;
5. Messages and Despatches on Foreign Affairs;
6. Messages and proclamations on Financial, Indian, and Administrative Affairs.
Some documents could with propriety appear in more than one class: for example, the proclamations regarding slavery are necessarily connected with the conduct of the war-military necessity being advanced as the reason for their promulgation. One classification, therefore, would be logically sufficient, but Lincoln's preeminent fame as the great emancipator justifies from a practical point of view the segregation of those papers relating to slavery. For a similar reason the proclamations of days of thanksgiving, fasting, and prayer have been taken out of the military papers and put in a class by themselves. They present Lincoln's official recognition of a divine guidance in the affairs of nations.
In each division the papers are arranged in chronological order.
BY JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
There have been many painful crises since the impatient vanity of South Carolina hurried ten prosperous Commonwealths into a crime whose assured retribution was to leave them either at the mercy of the nation they had wronged, or of the anarchy they had summoned but could not control, when no thoughtful American opened his morning paper without dreading to find that he had no longer a country to love and honor. Whatever the result of the conyulsion whose first shocks were beginning to be felt, there would still be enough square miles of earth for elbow-room; but that ineffable sentiment made up of memory and hope, of instinct and tradition, which swells every man's heart and shapes his thought, though perhaps never present to his consciousness, would be gone from it, leaving it common earth and nothing more. Men might gather rich crops from it, but that ideal harvest of priceless associations would be reaped no longer; that fine virtue which sent up messages of courage and security from every sod of it would have evaporated beyond recall. We should be irrevocably cut off from our past, * Published in the North American Review for January, 1864.
and be forced to splice the ragged ends of our lives upon whatever new conditions chance might leave dangling for us.
We confess that we had our doubts at first whether the patriotism of our people were not too narrowly provincial to embrace the proportions of national peril. We felt an only too natural distrust of immense public meetings and enthusiastic cheers.
That a reaction should follow the holiday enthusiasm with which the war was entered-on, that it should follow soon, and that the slackening of public spirit should be proportionate to the previous over-tension, might well be foreseen by all who had studied human nature or history. Men acting gregariously are always in extremes ; as they are one moment capable of higher courage, so they are liable, the next, to baser depression, and it is often a matter of chance whether numbers shall multiply confidence or discouragement. Nor does deception lead more surely to distrust of men, than self-deception to suspicion of principles. The only faith that wears well and holds its color in all weathers is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience. Enthusiasm is good material for the orator, but the statesman needs something more durable to work in,—must be able to rely on the deliberate reason and consequent firmness of the people, without which that presence of mind, no less essential in times of moral than of material peril, will be wanting at the critical moment. Would this fervor of the Free States hold out? Was it kindled by a just feeling of the value of constitutional liberty? Had it body enough to withstand the inevitable dampening of checks, re