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The unwillingness of Mr. Lincoln to speak on public questions at this time is evident enough from these remarks; but he could not resist the inclination to expose some of his ideas, touching certain words which were then in circulation, and they undoubtedly conveyed hints concerning his policy.
On the following day, Mr. Lincoln and his party started by a special train for Cincinnati. An immense crowd assembled, and cheered them as they moved off. The train was composed of four passenger cars, the third and fourth of which were occupied by the Cincinnati committee of reception, who greeted Mr. Lincoln at once-Judge Este on behalf of the citizens, and Major Dennis J. Yoohey on behalf of the Board of Common Council. Mr. Lincoln responded briefly. The first stop was at Shelbyville, where Mr. Lincoln was obliged to show himself to the enthusiastic assemblage, though, from the brevity of the stop, he could say nothing. At Greensburgh and Lawrenceburgh Mr. Lincoln made brief remarks to the crowds that had assembled. The wisest and most characteristic thing that he uttered at the latter place was in these words: "Let me tell you that if the people remain right, your public men can never betray you. If, in my brief term of office, I shall be wicked or foolish, if you remain right and true and honest you cannot be betrayed. My power is temporary and fleeting-yours as eternal as the principles of liberty. Cultivate and protect that sentiment, and your ambitious leaders will be reduced to the position of servants.'
The train passed by the burial place of General Harrison who had occupied briefly the presidential chair, and here the family of the deceased patriot were assembled. Mr. Lincoln bowed his respects to the group and to the memory of his predecessor.
The twelfth day of February was remarkably sunny and cheerful, and a large concourse of citizens had assembled to give Mr. Lincoln greeting and to catch a glimpse of his face. All the streets leading to the railroad depot were thronged with people; and the windows and roofs and every perch from which a lookout could be obtained were occupied. It took a
large force of military and police to keep the way clear. A distant cannon announced the approach of the train, and then there went up from the multitude such a cheer as such a multitude alone can give. After some difficulty the party reached their carriages, and then the crowd went wild with enthusiasm, cheering the President and the Union, Mr. Lincoln rising in the carriage with uncovered head, and acknowledging the greetings that met him at every crossing. Mr. Lincoln's carriage was drawn by six white horses, and was surrounded by a detachment of police to keep off the crowd. Mayor Bishop occupied a seat by his side. All along the route of the procession houses were decorated with the national colors, and various devices for expressing personal and patriotic feeling. The Court House, Custom House, Catholic Institute, city buildings, newspaper offices, hotels, &c., were all gaily decorated. Banners, transparencies and patriotic emblems and mottoes were everywhere. At the Orphan Asylum, all the children came out and sang "Hail Columbia." Some incidents occurred that created special and peculiar interest, and some that excited no little amusement. A brawny German took a little girl in his arms, and carried her to the carriage, when she modestly presented to the President a single flower, which compliment he acknowledged by stooping and kissing the child. It was a small incident-a very pretty incident-but incidents like these depend for their effect upon the susceptibilities of the observers; and many of the excited multitude were touched to tears. One German devised a characteristic compliment. He took a seat upon a huge beer barrel, and, with a glass of its contents in his hand, addressed the President thus: "God be with you! Enforce the laws and save our country! Here's your health!" From the depot to the Burnet House, he rode through a dense mass of men, women and children, who took every mode of expressing their enthusiastic good will. It would have been impossible for Cincinnati to do more to receive an emperor or reward a
The Burnet House was reached at five o'clock, and soon
afterwards Mr. Lincoln appeared upon the balcony. Mayor Bishop introduced him to the people and gave him a formal welcome "in the name of the people of all classes." Mr. Lincoln then replied:
“Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen: Twenty-four hours ago, at the Capital of Indiana, I said to myself, 'I have never seen so many people assembled together in winter weather.' I am no longer able to say that. But it is what might reasonably have been expected-that this great city of Cincinnati would thus acquit herself on such an occasion. My friends, I am entirely overwhelmed by the magnificence of the reception. which has been given, I will not say to me, but to the President elect of the United States of America. Most heartily do I thank you one and all for it. I am reminded by the address of your worthy Mayor, that this reception is given not by one political party; and even if I had not been so reminded by His Honor, I could not have failed to know the fact by the extent of the multitude I see before me now. I could not look upon this vast assemblage without being made aware that all parties were united in this reception. This is as it should be. It is as it should have been if Senator Douglas had been elected; it is as it should have been if Mr. Bell had been elected; as it should have been if Mr. Breckinridge had been elected; as it should ever be when any citizen of the United States is constitutionally elected President of the United States. Allow me to say that I think what has occurred here to-day could not have occurred in any other country on the face of the globe, without the influence of the free institutions which we have unceasingly enjoyed for three-quarters of a century. There is no country where the people can turn out and enjoy this day precisely as they please, save under the benign influence of the free institutions of our land. I hope that, although we have some threatening national difficulties now, while these free institutions shall continue to be in the enjoyment of millions of free people of the United States, we will see repeated every four years what we now witness. In a few short years 1 and every other individual man who is now living will pass away. I hope that our national difficulties will also pass away, and I hope we shall see in the streets of Cincinnati-good old Cincinnati-for centuries to come, once every four years, the people give such a reception as this to the constitutionally elected President of the whole United States. I hope you will all join in that reception, and that you shall also welcome your brethren across the river to participate in it. We will welcome them in every state in the Union, no matter where they are from. From away South, we shall extend to them a cordial good will, when our prescnt differences shall have been forgotten and blown to the winds forever.
"I have spoken but once before this in Cincinnati. That was a year previous to the late presidential election. On that occasion, in a playful manner but with sincere words, I addressed much of what I said to the Kentuckians. I gave my opinion that we as republicans would ultimately beat them as democrats, but that they could postpone that result longer by nominating Senator Douglas for the presidency than they could in any other way. They did not in the true sense of the word nominate Douglas, and the result has come certainly as soon as I expected. I also told them how I expected they would be treated after they should have been beaten; and I now wish to call or recall their attention to what I then said upon that subject. I then said: When we do, as we say, beat you, you perhaps will want to know what we will do with you. We mean to treat you as near as we possibly can as Washington, Jefferson and Madison treated you. We mean to leave you alone and in no way to interfere with your institutions, to abide by all and every compromise of the Constitution; and, in a word, coming back to the original proposition to treat you as far as degenerate men, if we have degenerated, may, according to the examples of those noble fathers Washington, Jefferson and Madison. We mean to remember that you are as good as we-that there is no difference between usother than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize and bear in mind always that you have as good, hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as good as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly.'
“Fellow-citizens of Kentucky, Friends, Brethren: May I call you such? In my new position I see no occasion and feel no inclination to retract a word of this. If it shall not be made good, be assured that the fault shall not be mine.”
This little speech, remarkable for nothing so much as its thoroughly friendly feeling toward all classes and men of all opinions, was received with warm approval. Subsequently he was called upon by a procession of two thousand Germans, who, in their formal address, indicated a desire for some utterance touching his public policy. In his response, Mr. Lincoln begged to be excused from entering upon such an exposition. "I deem it due to myself and the whole country," said Mr. Lincoln, “in the present extraordinary condition of the country and of public opinion, that I should wait and see the last development of public opinion before I give my views, or express myself at the time of the inauguration. I hope at that time to be false to nothing you have been taught to expect of me.”
On the morning of the thirteenth, the party started for Columbus, the capital of Ohio. The scenes of the previous day were repeated on the route, in the gathering of large crowds at all the intermediate stations. The reception in Columbus had been a fortnight in preparation, the legislature taking the initiative. At noon, on the thirteenth, it was calculated that five thousand strangers were in the city. As the time approached for the arrival of the train, the crowd around the depot became almost overwhelming. A thirty-four-gun salute announced the coming train, and as it drove slowly into the depot, the crowd called upon the President elect to show himself. He stepped out upon the platform of the rear car, and with head uncovered bowed his acknowledgments to the hearty greeting he received. On alighting and entering a carriage for the passage to the State House, the scenes at Cincinnati were re-enacted. Streets were full of people, the air was ringing with shouts and huzzas, and the same kind sun smiled upon all. He was received in the hall of the House of Representatives, and Governor Dennison introduced him to the Legislature. The President of the Senate responded in a speech of welcome which so concisely and happily conveyed the feelings of the people at that time, and so justly measured the nature and importance of the crisis, that it deserves record. He addressed Mr. Lincoln in the following words:
"Sir: On this day, and probably this very hour, the Congress of the United States will declare the verdict of the people, making you their President. It is my pleasurable duty, in behalf of the people of Ohio, speaking through this General Assembly, to welcome you to their Capital. Never in the history of this Government has such fearful responsibility rested upon the Chief Executive of the nation as will now devolve upon you. Never since the memorable time our patriotic fathers gave existence to the American Republic, have the people looked with such intensity of feeling to the inauguration and future policy of a President, as they do to yours. I need not assure you that the people of Ohio have full confidence in your ability and patriotism, and will respond to you in their loyalty to the Union and the Constitution. It would seem, sir, that the great problem of self-government is to be solved under your administration. All nations are deeply interested in