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LINCOLN'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
be much safer for all, both in official what may be necessary for these oband private stations, to conform to and jects there will be no invasion, no using abide by all those acts which stand un- of force against or among the people repealed, than to violate any of them, anywhere." trusting to find impunity in having He concluded his address in the folthem held to be unconstitutional. lowiug words: “If it were admitted
A disruption of the federal that you who are dissatisfied hold thi Union, heretofore only menaced, is now right side in the dispute, there is still formidably attempted. I hold that in no single reason for precipitate action. the contemplation of universal law and Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, of the Constitution the union of these and a firm reliance on Him who has states is perpetual
. Perpetuity is im- never yet forsaken this favored land, plied, if not expressed, in the funda- are still competent to adjust, in the mental law of all national governments. best way, all our present difficulties,
It follows from these In your hands, my dissatisfied fellowviews that no state, upon its own mere countrymen, and not in mine, is the motion, can lawfully get out of the momentous issue of civil war. The Union; that resolves and ordinances to government will not assail you. You that effect are legally void, and that can have no conflict without being acts of violence within any state or yourselves the aggressors.
You have states against the authority of the no oath registered in Heaven to de. United States, are insurrectionary, or stroy the government; while I shall revolutionary, according to circum- have the most solemn one to 'preserve, stances. I therefore consider that, in protect, and defend' it. I am loath to view of the Constitution and the laws, close. We are not enemies, but friends. the Union is unbroken, and, to the ex- We must not be enemies. Though pastent of my ability I shall take care, assion may have strained, it must not the Constitution itself expressly enjoins break our bonds of affection. The upon me, that the laws of the Union mystic cords of memory, stretching shall be faithfully executed in all the from every battle-field and patriot-grave states.
I trust this will to every living heart and hearthstone not be regarded as a menace, but only all over this broad land, will yet swell as the declared purpose of the Union, the chorus of the Union, when again that it will constitutionally defend and touched, as surely they will be, by the maintain itself. In doing this there better angels of our nature.” need be no bloodshed or violence, and The oath of office was then adminis. there shall be none unless it is forced tered to Mr. Lincoln by the aged Chiefupon the national authority. The power justice Taney, and the new president confided to me will be used to hold, oc- entered upon the duties of his office. cupy and possess the property and places He selected for his cabinet the following belonging to the government, and collect gentlemen : William H. Seward, of New the duties and imposts; but beyond York, secretary of state ; Salmon P
Chase, of Ohio, secretary of the trea- At the South, the secession, revola sury; Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, tionary element was overriding every secretary of war; Gideon Welles, of thing, and the minds of the majority Connecti :ut, secretary of the navy; were inflamed more and more with fu Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, secretary rious eagerness to rush into the contest. of the interior ; Montgomery Blair, of The forts and strongholds and public Maryland, postmaster · general; and property of the United States were Edward Bates, of Missouri, attorney seized upon everywhere, in the seceded general. The next day, March 5th, these states, without scruple or hesitation. appointments were confirmed in the In the loyal states there was no prepaSenate, assembled in extra session.* ration for war; there was, with few ex, Considerable debate was had on the all- ceptions, no belief in the near approach exciting topics of the day, but without of war. There were thousands pledged any result of moment; and the Senate to oppose and embarrass the incoming adjourned towards the close of the administration in every possible way. month.
There was little, if any, unanimity, or Sad and cheerless, for the most part, concord, or agreement, as to what the was the prospect which Abraham Lin- named four plans for Mr. Lincoln's consideration in coln had before him as James Buchan. the present emergency: "I. Throw off the old and an's successor. Seven states were already the conciliatory measures proposed by Mr. Crittenden
assume a new designation-the Union party. Adopt ranged under the flag of rebellion.t or the peace convention, and my life upon it we shall Several others on the borders between have no new case of secession; but on the contrary, an
early return of many, if not all of the states which have the free and slave states were almost already broken off from the Union. Without some wild with excitement, and strongly in- equally benign measure, the remaining slave-holding clined to join the disunionists in their states will probably join the Montgomery confederacy
in less than sixty days; when this city, being included fratricidal attempts against the in a foreign country, would require a permanent garri1861. life of the nation. The wbole son of at least thirty-five thousand troops to protect the
government within it. II. Collect the duties on foreign country was in a state of unparalleled goods outside the ports of which the government has ferment, not knowing what a day lost the command, or close such ports by acts of Con
gress and blockade them. III. Conquer the seceded might bring forth. At the North and states by invading armies. No doubt this might be West the people, as a whole, were quite done in two or three years by a young and able genunable to realize that the Republic was dred thousand disciplined men, estimating a third for
era)--a Wolf, a Dessais, or a Hoche-with three hun. on the eve of war in its direst form, garrisons and the loss of a greater number by skirmand were full of anxious solicitude as ishes, sieges, battles and southern fevers. The destruc
tion of life and property on the other side would be to the course which the new president frightful, however perfect the moral discipline of the would adopt in the existing crisis. I invader. The conquest completed at that enormous
waste of human life to the North and Northwest-with * Among the principal diplomatic appointments at least $250,000,000 added thereto, and cui bono! were, Charles Francis Adams to England, William L. | Fifteen devastated provinces! not to be brought into Dayton to France, and Cassius M. Clay to Russia. harmony with their conquerors, but to be held for These gentlemen, with the others rent abroad in their generations by heavy garrisons, at an expense quadrucountry's service, were active and energetic in the dis- ple the net duties and taxes which it would be possible charge of their several duties.
to extort from them, followed by a protector or an em• + See note, vol. iii. p. 556.
peror. IV. Say to the seceded states-Wayward sis General Scott, in a note to Mr. Seward, March 2d, ters, depart in peace !"
MR. LINCOLN'S POSITION AND TRIALS.
emergency really was, or how it was to interested in everything which tended be met.* War, it was felt, was a ter. to indicate what were Lis qualifications rible alternative; war must be avoid. for the high office he was about to ased, if it were possible ; and even up to sume. They were naturally very de the very last moment, even when South sirous to know in how far he was fitted Carolina stood ready to fire the first to take the helm of state at a time gun, and initiate the horrible struggle, when was to be tested the ability of there were those who would not, who the Constitution and Union to weather could not believe, that war was the in the storm just ready to burst in every evitable issue, and that by force only direction. Up to this date, when Mr. could the rightful supremacy of the Lincoln became fully invested with the Constitution be maintained. Truly, powers of the presidential office, his it was a gloomy picture to look upon, sentiments and views, so far as made and it well might unnerve the stoutest kuown, pointed clearly to a policy of heart to feel that the responsibility of conciliation, and a desire to yield on all decision and action rested now almost points where it was possible to yield, wholly upon one man.
in order to preserve peace and the inAbraham Lincoln had never as yet tegrity of the Union.
There were been a prominent man in national af many who were not satisfied with this fairs. He was, comparatively, little course. There were men who longed
known throughout the country; for the fiery energy and action of An
and having been taken up by drew Jackson in the presidential chair; the republican party as their candidate, and who repeated the contemptuous rather as a compromise than because he sneers of southern demagogues and was the ablest man in their ranks, the traitors, that the North could not be people, after his election, were deeply kicked into a war. On the other hand,
sober and reflecting men, appreciating * Mayor Wood, of New York, offers a curious illus- to some extent the greatness of the tration of the state of things at the beginning of this
questions involved, were willing to see, year. Under date of January 6th, 1861, he addressed a message to the Common Council, in which he speaks in the utterances of Mr. Lincoln, clear of “dissolution of the Union as inevitable,” of “our evidences of spirit and determination to aggrieved southern brethren of the slave states," of the “ fanatical spirit of New England,” etc. Although maintain the integrity and completeness not quite ready to recommend extremes or present vio of the Union, peaceably if possible, if lent action, he nevertheless dared to use such language as the following at the close of the message : "When not, by every other means legally in Disunion has become a fixed and certain fact, why may
And so, they were measur. not New York disrupt the bonds which bind her to a ably content to wait patiently the issue menial and corrupt master—to a people and a party that have plundered her revenues, attempted to ruin of events, hoping and trusting, even her commerce, taken away the power of self-govern- amidst the excitement and ferment all ment, and destroyed the confederacy of which she was the proud Empire City ? Amid the gloom which the around, that the honor and unity of our present and prospective condition of things must cast country would not suffer in Mr. Lin. over the country, New York, as a Free City, may shed coln's hands. the only light and hope of a future reconstruction of Our once blessed confederacy."
For a month or so, after the inaugu.
ration, the new administration gave no great forbearance, and allowed them to clear or distinct indications of its line remain in Washington in pursuit of
of policy. Secession, encour- plans and objects striking at the very
aged, no doubt, by what seemed root of its power and majesty. hesitation or inefficiency on the part of Mr. Seward declined all official government, as bold, active, haughty intercourse, and frankly but plainly told in its course and pretensions.* Not these rebel commissioners, that what only, as we have before said, were forts, had taken place, in various parts of the arsenals, dock-yards and public property South, was only “ a perversion of a temtaken possession of without scruple, but porary and partisan excitement to the also a loan of $15,000,000 was author- inconsiderate purpose of an unjustifi ized by the Confederate Congress, and able and unconstitutional aggression other measures resolved upon in view upon the rights and the authority vestof war, which might speedily be ex. ed in the Federal Government, and pected. Early in April, however, Mr. hitherto benignly exercised, as from Lincoln and his cabinet decided upon their very nature they always must be the course to be pursued, and thence so exercised, for the maintenance of the forward, though tardily, bent all their Union, the preservation of liberty, and energies to preserve the Union un- the security, peace, welfare, happiness broken, and, if need be, to put down and aggrandizement of the American tieason and rebellion by force of arms. people.” This was under date of March
Acting upon their assumed position 15th. Several weeks elapsed before the as an independent government, the so- gentlemen just alluded to inquired for called confederate authorities sent three the secretary of state's communication; gentlemen to Washington, for the pur- and then, with some violence of lan pose of arranging and settling all points guage about "accepting the gage of of difference growing out of the acts of battle thus thrown down to them," the seceded states. They reached the and an expression of pity for the “decapital, March 5th, and soon after at- lusions” of the government, they gave tempted to obtain recognition of what up the attempt to force themselves into they thought to be their rank and obli- official relations at Washington. gations. The government acted with The convention of Virginia being in
session at this date, sent Messrs. Pres* Russell, in “ My Diary North and South," p. 118, ton, Stuart and Randolph as delegates under date April 18th, 1861, at Charleston, gives a good to call on President Lincoln, and to deal of chit-chat
, showing the feelings of the people he “ ask hiin to communicate to this conmet, on the subject of the North and the association with northerners by the southern chivalry and cava- vention the policy which the Federal liers: “They affect the agricultural faith and the be-executive intends to pursue in regard lief of a landed gentry. It is not only over the wineglass that they ask for a Prince to reign over them; I to the confederate states.” The presihave heard the wish repeatedly expressed within the dent's reply, April 13th, reaffirmed his last two days that we could spare them one of our
previously expressed determination “to young Princes, but never in jest, or in any frivolous
hold, occupy, and
FORT SUMTER BOMBARDED.
and places belonging to the govern. there was no possible chance that ment, and to collect the duties and im- Major Anderson and his handful of posts."
While disclaiming any pur- brave men could long withstand the aspose of needless invasion, or infringe. sault. On the 11th, a brief correspond
ment upon the rights of others, ence ensued between Beaure
Mr. Lincoln distinctly gave these gard and Anderson. The latter gentlemen to understand, that, if neces- agreed to evacuate the fort on the 15th, consequence of conduct like that unless otherwise ordered by his
governof the attack upon Fort Sumter, he ment; but this was not what the hot would,“ to the best of his ability, repel bloods of the day wanted; and when force by force."
the Harriet Lane arrived off the harbor The government having, to this ex- with supplies, on the evening of the tent at least, determined upon its course, 10th, they pushed matters to an imorders were given, early in April, to mediate extremity. All considerations send vessels and men for the purpose of the awful character of what they of reinforcing Fort Sumter,* and also were about to do, were thrown to the to save, if possible, Fort Pickens at the winds; and at half.past four, on Friday entrance of the harbor of Pensacola, morning, April 12th, the first gun was Florida. But the leaders in rebellion, fired upon Fort Sumter. The United knowing how important it was to them States vessels, just outside, could give to “strike a blow," as some of them no help, owing partly to bad weather phrased it, and to gain à victory and to the batteries in all directions, of some kind, resolved immediately but were compelled to wait the inevitto compel Major Anderson to sur-able result, when the stars and stripes render. On the 5th of April, Beaure. should be lowered. The cannonading gard, who had deserted the flag of his was furious and incessant. Major An. country and taken service under the derson and his men bravely withstood confederate authorities, stopped all and replied to the onslaught, and the supplies for the garrison heretofore re- guns of the fort were served with all ceived from the city. The government the vigor and spirit possible under the resolved to send provisions to Major circumstances; but ere long, being withAnderson and his men, and accordingly out provisions and the fort partly in announced the fact to the governor of flames, surrender was the only thing South Carolina, on the 8th of April; left to them. They gave up the conwhereupon the rebels insisted upon test, so unequal and useless to continue, the immediate reduction of the fort. and having been allowed to embark on Every preparation had been made for board the United States steamer Baltic, this contingency on their part. Numer. Major Anderson and his company reachous batteries bad been constructed, and, ed New York on the 18th of April. apart from the question of starvation, Immediately official notice was sent to
the war department, as follows :—“Off * See vol. iii. pp. 562, 3, for the position of affairs in regard to Fort Sumter up to this date.
Sandy Hook, April 18th, 1861. Having