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LINCOLN'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
what may be necessary for these objects there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere."
be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity in having He concluded his address in the fol them held to be unconstitutional. lowing words: "If it were admitted A disruption of the federal that you who are dissatisfied hold the 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 deUnited 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, as sion may have strained, it must not the Constitution itself expressly enjoins break our bonds of affection. 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 there shall be none unless it is forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and collect the duties and imposts; but beyond York, secretary of state; Salmon P
The oath of office was then administered to Mr. Lincoln by the aged Chief justice Taney, and the new president entered upon the duties of his office. He selected for his cabinet the following gentlemen: William H. Seward, of New
Chase, of Ohio, secretary of the treasury; Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, secretary of war; Gideon Welles, of Connecticut, secretary of the navy; Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, secretary of the interior; Montgomery Blair, of Maryland, postmaster general; and Edward Bates, of Missouri, attorneygeneral. The next day, March 5th, these appointments were confirmed in the Senate, assembled in extra session.* Considerable debate was had on the allexciting topics of the day, but without any result of moment; and the Senate adjourned towards the close of the month.
Sad and cheerless, for the most part, was the prospect which Abraham Lincoln had before him as James Buchan
an's successor. Seven states were already ranged under the flag of rebellion.† Several others on the borders between the free and slave states were almost wild with excitement, and strongly inclined to join the disunionists in their fratricidal attempts against the life of the nation. The whole country was in a state of unparalleled ferment, not knowing what a day might bring forth. At the North and West the people, as a whole, were quite unable to realize that the Republic was on the eve of war in its direst form, and were full of anxious solicitude as to the course which the new president would adopt in the existing crisis.
* Among the principal diplomatic appointments were, Charles Francis Adams to England, William L. Dayton to France, and Cassius M. Clay to Russia. These gentlemen, with the others sent abroad in their country's service, were active and energetic in the charge of their several duties.
See note, vol. iii. p. 556.
At the South, the secession, revolu tionary element was overriding every thing, and the minds of the majority were inflamed more and more with fu rious eagerness to rush into the contest. The forts and strongholds and public property of the United States were seized upon everywhere, in the seceded states, without scruple or hesitation. In the loyal states there was no preparation for war; there was, with few ex, ceptions, no belief in the near approach of war. There were thousands pledged to oppose and embarrass the incoming administration in every possible way. There was little, if any, unanimity, or concord, or agreement, as to what the
named four plans for Mr. Lincoln's consideration in the present emergency: "I. Throw off the old and assume a new designation-the Union party. Adopt
the conciliatory measures proposed by Mr. Crittenden or the peace convention, and my life upon it we shall have no new case of secession; but on the contrary, an early return of many, if not all of the states which have already broken off from the Union. Without some equally benign measure, the remaining slave-holding in less than sixty days; when this city, being included states will probably join the Montgomery confederacy in a foreign country, would require a permanent garri
son of at least thirty-five thousand troops to protect the government within it. II. Collect the duties on foreign
goods outside the ports of which the government has lost the command, or close such ports by acts of Constates by invading armies. No doubt this might be done in two or three years by a young and able gen
gress and blockade them. III. Conquer the seceded
dred thousand disciplined men, estimating a third for garrisons and the loss of a greater number by skirmishes, sieges, battles and southern fevers. The destruction of life and property on the other side would be
eral-a Wolf, a Dessaix, or a Hoche-with three hun
frightful, however perfect the moral discipline of the invader. The conquest completed at that enormous
waste of human life to the North and Northwest-with at least $250,000,000 added thereto, and cui bono? Fifteen devastated provinces! not to be brought into harmony with their conquerors, but to be held for generations by heavy garrisons, at an expense quadrudis-ple the net duties and taxes which it would be possible to extort from them, followed by a protector or an emperor. 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 known, 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 integrity of the Union. There were many who were not satisfied with this course. There were men who longed for the fiery energy and action of Andrew Jackson in the presidential chair; and who repeated the contemptuous sneers of southern demagogues and traitors, that the North could not be kicked into a war. On the other hand, sober and reflecting men, appreciating to some extent the greatness of the questions involved, were willing to see, 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 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 not, by every other means legally in Disunion has become a fixed and certain fact, why may his power. And so, they were measur
Abraham Lincoln had never as yet been a prominent man in national af fairs. He was, comparatively, little known throughout the country; and having been taken up by the republican party as their candidate, rather as a compromise than because he was the ablest man in their ranks, the people, after his election, were deeply
* Mayor Wood, of New York, offers a curious illus tration of the state of things at the beginning of this year. Under date of January 6th, 1861, he addressed a
aggrieved southern brethren of the slave states," of
as the following at the close of the message: "When
not New York disrupt the bonds which bind her to a menial and corrupt master-to a people and a party
that have plundered her revenues, attempted to ruin her commerce, taken away the power of self-government, and destroyed the confederacy of which she was
the proud Empire City? Amid the gloom which the present and prospective condition of things must cast over the country, New York, as a Free City, may shed the only light and hope of a future reconstruction of our once blessed confederacy."
ably content to wait patiently the issue of events, hoping and trusting, even amidst the excitement and ferment all
around, that the honor and unity of our country would not suffer in Mr. Lincoln's hands.
For a month or so, after the inaugu