Page images

ridge, and 1,275,821 over Mr. Bell; and the vote was subsequently proclaimed by Congress to be as follows: For Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois....

180 For John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky.

72 For John Bell, of Tennessee...

39 For Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois..

12 To describe the various movements and projects which were devised and consummated in the South between the time that Mr. Lincoln was elected and the date of his inauguration, would require a much larger work than that which we now offer to the public, and we will therefore confine our account merely to those which it is unavoidably necessary to mention. The principal and most diabolical plot conceived and recommended by the traitors, was to prevent the inauguration by obtaining possession of the Federal Capital, or by assassinating Mr. Lincoln while on his way thither, or upon the day that the ceremonies were to take place. Whatever may have been the plan, or however large the reward offered to the villain who would accomplish the murderous deed, the object of their vindictiveness escaped their machinations, and still continues to administer the government wisely and faithfully.


OVATIONS ON THE ROUTE. The President Elect left his home in Springfield, Illinois, on the eleventh of February, 1861, for Washington, having before leaving the depot addressed the following words of farewell to the thousands of his fellow-citizens who had assembled at the place of departure :

" My friends : No one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I

Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century. Here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves


[graphic][merged small]

apon me which is perhaps greater than that wbich has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and in the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again, I bid you all an affectionate farewell."

Along the route, multitudes assembled at the railway stations to greet him. At Toledo, in response to repeated calls, Mr. Lincoln appeared on the platform and said :

"I am leaving you on an errand of national importance, attended, as you are aware, with considerable difficulties. Let us believe, as some poet has expressed it, ' Behind the cloud the sun is shining still.' I bid you an affectionate farewell.”

He next proceeded to Indianapolis, where Mr. Lincoln was welcomed by the Governor of the State, and escorted by a procession composed of both Houses of the Legislature, the public officers, municipal authorities, military, and firemen. On reaching the Hotel he addressed the people as follows:

Fellow-citizens of the State of Indiana : I am here to thank you much for this magnificent welcome, and still more for the very generous support given by your State to that political cause, which I think is the true and just cause of the whole country and the whole world. Solomon says there is a time to keep silence;' and when men wrangle by the mouth, with no certainty that they mean the same thing while using the same words, it perhaps were as well if they would keep silence. The words coercion' and 'invasion' are much used in these days, and often with some temper and hot blood. Let us make sure, if we can, that we do not misunderstand the meaning of those who use them. Let us get the exact definitions of these words, not from dictionaries, but from the men themselves, who certainly deprecate the things they would represent by the use of the words. What, then, is coercion ? What is 'invasion ?' Would the marching of an army into South Carolina, without the consent of her people, and with hostile intent towards them, be in. vasion ? I certainly think it would, and it would be coercion' also if the South Carolinians were forced to submit. But if the United States should merely hold and retako its own forts and other property, and collect the duties on foreign importations,

or even withhold the mails from places where they were babitdally violated, would any or all of these things be invasion' or

coercion ? Do our professed lovers of the Union, but who spitefully resolve that they will resist coercion and invasion, understand that such things as these, on the part of the United States, would be coercion or invasion of a State? If so, their idea of means to preserve the object of their great affection would seem to be exceedingly thin and airy. If sick, the little pills of the homeopathist would be much too large for it to swallow. In their view, the Union, as a family relation, would seem to be no regular marriage, but rather a sort of 'free-love' arrangement, to be maintained on passional attraction. By the way, in what consists the special sacredness of a State? I speak not of the position assigned to a State in the Union by the Constitution, for that is the bond we all recognize. That position, however, a State cannot carry out of the Union with it. I speak of that assumed primary right of a State to rule all which is less than itself, and to ruin all which is larger than itself. If a State and a County, in a given case, should be equal in extent of territory and equal in number of inhabitants, in what, as a matter of principle, is the State better than the County? Would an exchange of name be an exchange of rights ? Upon what principle, upon what rightful principle, may a State, being no more than one-fiftieth part of the nation in soil and population, break up the nation, and then coerce a proportionably larger subdivision of itself in the most arbitrary way? What mysterious right to play tyrant is conferred on a district of country with its people, by merely calling it a State ? Fellow-citizens, I am not asserting any thing. I am merely asking questions for you to consider. And now allow me to bid you farewell."

Proceeding to Cincinnati, he received a most enthusi. astic welcome. Having been addressed by the mayor of the city, and escorted by a civic and military procession to the Burnet House, he addressed the assemblage in these words :

Fellow-citizens : I have spoken but once before this in Cin cinnati. 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 the result longer by nominating Senator Douglas for the Presidency than they could in any other way. They did not, in any true sense of the word, nominate Mr. Douglas, and the result has como certainly as soon as ever I expected.

« PreviousContinue »