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very different from what was anticipated by the great body of the people is unquestionably true. Few men of any party then understood the secret influences that were conspiring against the peace and integrity of the Union, and fewer still were willing to believe any considerable portion of the people capable of so gigantic a crime as the attempted overthrow of the great Republic of the world, either to revenge a party defeat or to perpetuate the slavery of the negro race. No man can justly be held responsible even for the consequences of his own action, any farther than, in the exercise of a just and fair judgment, he can foresee them. In electing Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency, the American people intended to erect a permanent bulwark against the territorial extension of slavery, and the perpetuation of its political power. If they had foreseen the madness of its defenders, they might have shrunk from the dreadful ordeal through which that madness has compelled the nation to pass, but in this, as in all the affairs of human life, ignorance of the future often proves the basis and guarantee of its wise development: and we believe that even now, with their experience, through three of the stormiest and most terrible years this nation has ever seen, of the sagacity, integrity, and unswerving patriotism with which President Lincoln has performed the duties of his high office, and with their clearer perception of the ultimate issue of that great contest between freedom and slavery, which the progress of events had rendered inevitable, the people look back with entire satisfaction upon the vote which, in 1860, made Mr. Lincoln President of the United States.




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