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its solution, and they wait with breathless anxiety to know whether this form of government, which has been the admiration of the world, is to be a failure or not. It is the earnest and united prayer of our people, that the same kind Providence which protected us in our colonial struggles, and has attended us thus far in our prosperity and greatness, will so imbue your mind with wisdom, that you may dispel the dark clouds that hang over our political horizon, and thereby secure the return of harmony and fraternal feeling to our now distracted and unhappy country. Again I bid you a cordial welcome to our Capital."
To this noble greeting Mr. Lincoln responded as follows:
"Gentlemen of the Senate and Citizens of Ohio: It is true, as has been said by the President of the Senate, that very great responsibility rests upon me in the position to which 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 name-perhaps 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 has never forsaken them. “Allusion has been made to the interest felt in relation to the policy of the new administration. In this I have received 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 from the past, it has 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 circumstance that when we look out there is nothing that really hurts anybody. We entertain different views upon political questions, but nobody is suffering anything. 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."
The reporter for the Ohio State Journal, describing the incidents of the day, says that the impression produced by the President elect was most agreeable. "His great hight," he continues, “was conspicuous, even in that crowd of goodly
men, and lifted him fully in view as he walked up the aisle. When he took the speaker's stand, a better opportunity was afforded to look at the man upon whom more hopes hang than upon any other living. At first, the kindness and amiability of his face strikes you; but as he speaks, the greatness and determination of his nature are apparent. Something in his manner, even more than in his words, told how deeply he was affected by the enthusiasm of the people; and when he appealed to them for encouragement and support, every heart responded with mute assurance of both. There was the simplicity of greatness in his unassuming and confiding manner, that won its way to instant admiration. He looked somewhat worn with travel and the fatigues of popularity, but warmed to the cordiality of his reception."
After the conclusion of the formalities in the hall, Mr. Lincoln went to the western steps of the Capitol, to say a word to the people. The address he made here consisted simply of commonplaces and phrases that had already become hackneyed. The hand-shaking that succeeded was something fearful. Every man in the crowd was anxious to wrench the hand of Abraham Lincoln. He finally gave both hands to the work, with great good nature. To quote one of the reports of the occasion: "people plunged at his arms with frantic enthusiasm, and all the infinite variety of shakes, from the wild and irrepressible pump-handle movement, to the dead grip, was executed upon the devoted dexter and sinister of the President. Some glanced at his face as they grasped his hand; others invoked the blessings of Heaven upon him; others affectionately gave him their last gasping assurance of devotion; others, bewildered and furious, with hats crushed over their eyes, seized his hands in a convulsive grasp, and passed on as if they had not the remotest idea who, what, or where they were." The President at last escaped, and took refuge in the Governor's residence, although he held a levee at the State House in the evening, where, in a more quiet way, he met many prominent citizens.
On the fourteenth, the presidential party left Columbus, for
Pittsburgh. The morning was rainy, but large numbers witnessed the departure of the train, and assembled at the stations along the route. At Steubenville, about five thousand people had assembled, and these Mr. Lincoln briefly addressed. The rain interfered very materially with the proposed reception at Pittsburgh, as did also the darkness, for it was night when the party arrived. At the Monongahela House, Mr. Lincoln addressed a large concourse of people in a few words of acknowledgment, and deferred his more formal remarks until the morning of the fifteenth. These latter were not charged with particular interest. They were rather an apology for not speaking at all, upon the great subject of which all wished to hear, than any exposition of opinion or policy upon any subject. A single paragraph showed that he still deemed a peaceful solution of the national difficulties possible:
"Notwithstanding the troubles across the river, there is really no crisis springing from anything 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 sides keep their self-possession, and just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so will this, and this great nation shall continue to prosper as heretofore."
The next place at which he was to be received was Cleveland, Ohio; and the party set out for this beautiful city in a hard shower of rain, that had not the power to dampen the enthusiasm of the Pittsburgh people who cheered their departing guests with great heartiness. There were the usual incidents along the road, and at four o'clock the train arrived
at the Euclid Street Station of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad, where a very large escort waited to conduct Mr. Lincoln to the Weddell House. The President took his seat in a carriage drawn by four white horses. Notwithstanding the unpleasantness of the weather, Euclid Street was crowded from one end to the other, with persons who acted almost like wild men, in their anxiety to catch a glimpse of the President. Mr. I. U. Masters, the President of the City Council, made a formal speech of welcome, and was followed by Hon. Sherlock G. Andrews, who welcomed the guest of the occasion on behalf of the citizens' committee. Here, in his response, Mr. Lincoln repeated the substance of the remarks he made at Pittsburgh about the artificial nature of the crisis that was upon the country. "It was not argued up," he said, "and cannot, therefore, be argued down. Let it alone and it will go down of itself." In these remarks, and in all like these, he must have taken counsel of his hopes rather than his convictions; for in the same speech, while alluding to the grateful fact that his reception was by the citizens generally, without distinction of party, he said: "If all don't join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage." There was a general reception and hand-shaking in the evening, and after the distinguished guest had become too tired for further honors, he was permitted to retire for the night.
Early the next morning the party took their leave, but they found many up and ready to get a parting glance of Mr. Lincoln, who, taking his seat in the rear car, appeared upon the platform as the train moved out of the depot, and bowed his farewell to the people who had so generously and cordially received him. His next public reception was at Buffalo, where he arrived late in the afternoon of the sixteenth, having received all along the route those testimonials of interest which had come to be as wearisome at last, as they were grateful at the first. On the arrival of the train at Buffalo, Mr. Lincoln was met by a very large concourse of citizens, with Ex-President Fillmore at their head. After being conducted to his
hotel, the acting mayor gave him a formal welcome, to which Mr. Lincoln responded with hearty thanks, and such phrases of apology for not saying anything as had already become threadbare, and with his often repeated promise to say what the people wished to hear, when he should be called upon to do it officially.
From Buffalo, Mr. Lincoln and his party proceeded to Albany, receiving many demonstrations of respect from the beautiful cities along the route of three hundred miles. At Albany he was welcomed by Governor Morgan, to whom he made a brief response; and then he was conducted into the presence of the legislature, where he had another formal reception. To the speech addressed to him here, he made an unusually graceful and feeling response. He said:
"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 mans
"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 me the support, the united support, of the great Empire State. For this, in behalf of the nation-in behalf of the present 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 everything, hear everything, and have every light