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“I also told them how I expected they would be treated after they should have been beaten, and now wish to call their attention to what I then said :
• • When we do, as we say we will, beat you, you perhaps want to know what we will do with you. I will tell you—as far as I am authorized to speak for the opposition-what we mean to do with you.
We mean to treat you as near as we possibly can, as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison treated you. WA mean to leave you alone, and in no way to interfere with your institutions; to abide by all and every compromise of the Constitution. 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 example 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 us othur 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 we claim to have, and to. 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.'
In the evening he had a reception, when large crowds called upon him.
On the next morning he left Cincinnati, and arrived at Columbus, where he was received with every demonstration of enthusiasm. He visited the Governor in the Executive Chamber, and was subsequently introduced to the members of the Legislature in joint session, when he was formally welcomed by the Lieutenant-Governor, to whom Mr. Lincoln responded in these words :
“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. 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 tum 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 for 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 Becessary.
“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 any thing. 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.”
On the 14th of February, Mr. Lincoln proceeded to Pittsburgh. At Steubenville, on the route, in reply to an address, he said :
“I fear the great confidence placed in my ability is unfounded. Indeed, I am sure it is. * Encompassed by vast difficulties, as I am, nothing shall be wanted on my part, if sustained by the American people and God. I believe the devotion to the Constitution is equally great on both sides of the river. It is only the different understanding of that instrument that causes difficulties. The only dispute is · What are their rights ?' If the inajority should not rule who should be the judge? Where is such a judge to be found? We should all be bound by the majority of the American people—if not, then the minority must control. Would that be right? Would it be just or generous ? Assuredly not.” He reiterated, the majority should rule. If he adopted a wrong policy, then the opportunity to condemn him would occur in four years' time. “ T'hen I can be turned out and a better man with better views put in my place.”
The next morning he left for Cleveland, but before his departure he made an address to the people of Pittsburgh, in which he said :
“In every short address I have made to the people, and in every crowd through which I have passed of late, some allusion has been made to the present distracted coudition of the country. It is naturally expected that I should say something upon this subject, but to touch upon it at all would involve an elaboratě discussion of a great many questions and circum
stances, would require more time than I can at present command, and would perhaps unnecessarily commit me upon matters which have not yet fully developed themselves.
“The condition of the country, fellow-citizens, is an extraordinary one, and fills the mind of every patriot with anxiety and solicitude. My intention is to give this subject all the consideration which I possibly can before I speak fully and definitely in regard to it, so that, when I do speak, I may be as nearly right as possible. And when I do speak, fellowcitizens, I hope to say nothing in opposition to the spirit of the Constitution, contrary to the integrity of the Union, or which will in any way prove inimical to the liberties of the people or to the peace of the whole country. And, furthermore, when the time arrives for me to speak on this great subject, I hope to say nothing which will disappoint the reasonable expectations of any man, or disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially if their expectations have been based upon any thing which I may have heretofore said.
“ Notwithstanding the troubles across the river, [the speaker, smiling, pointed southwardly to the Monongabela River,] there is really no crisis springing from any thing 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.” He then referred to the subject of the tariff, and said :
According to my political education, I am inclined to believe that the people in the various portions of the country should have their own views carried out through their representatives in Congress. That consideration of the Tariff bill should not be postponed until the next session of the National Legislature. No subject should engage your representatives more closely than that of the tariff. If I have any recommendation to make, it will be that every man who is called upon to serve the people, in a representative capacity, should study the whole
subject thoroughly, as I intend to do myself, looking to all : Je varied interests of the common country, so that, when the tiwe for action arrives, adequate protection shall be extended to the coal and iron of Pennsylvania and the corn of Illinois. Permit me to express the hope that this important subject may receive such consideration at the hands of your representatives that the interests of no part of the country may be overlooked, but that all sections may share in the common benefits of a just and equitable tariff."
Mr. Lincoln, upon his arrival in Cleveland, adverted to the same subject in the following terms:
“It is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the Union and the Constitution, and not with any one man. It rests with you alone. This fact is strongly impressed on my mind at present. In a community like this, wnose appearance testifies to their intelligence, I am convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in national politics. I think there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation, there are differences of opinion in politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now addresses you. And how is it with those who are not here? Have they not all their rights as they ever had ? Do they not have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever ? Have they not the same Constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years ? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position ? What, then, is the matter with them ? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints ? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in fact. It was 'argued up, as the saying is, and cannot be argued down. Let it alone, and it will go down itself.”
On Saturday he proceeded to Buffalo, where he arrived at evening, and was met by an immense concourse of citizens, headed by Ex-President Fillmore.
Arriving at the hotel, Mr. Lincoln was welcomed in a brief speech by the acting chief magistrate, to which he made a brief reply, as follows:
“Mr. Mayor and Fellow-Citizens :- I am here to thank you briefly for this grand reception given to me, not personally, but as the representative of our great and beloved country. Your worthy mayor has been pleased to mention in his address to me, the fortunate and agreeable journey which I have had from home-only it is rather a circuitous route to the Federal Capital. I am very happy that he was enabled, in truth, to congratulate myself and company on that fact. It is true, we have had nothing thus far to mar the pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone, but by the whole population of the, coantry through which we have passed. This is as it should be.' Had the election fallen to any other of the distinguished candidates instead of myself, under the peculiar circumstances, to say the least, it would have been proper for all citizens to have greeted him as you now greet me. It is an evidence of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution, the Union, and the perpetuity of the liberties of this country. I am unwilling, on any occasion, that I should be so meanly thought of as to have it supposed for a moment that these demonstrations are tendered to me personally. They are tendered to the country, to the institutions of the country, and to the perpetuity of the liberties of the country for which these institutions were made and created. Your worthy mayor has thought fit to express the hope that I may be able to relieve the country from the pre. sent, or, I should say, the threatened difficulties. I am sure I bring a heart true to the work. For the ability to perform it, I trust in that Supreme Beiug who has never forsaken this favored land, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people. Without that assistance I should surely fail; with it I cannot fail. When we speak of the threatened difficulties to the country, it is natural that it should be expected that something should be said by myself with regard to particular mea sures. Upon more mature reflection, however-and others will agree with me—that, when it is considered that these difficulties are without precedent, and never have been acted upon by any individual situated as I am, it is most proper I should wait and see the developments, and get all the light possible, so that, when I do speak authoritatively, I may be as near right as possible. When I shall speak authoritatively, I hope to say nothing inconsistent with the Constitution, the Union, the rights of all the States, of each State, and of each section of the country, and not to disappoint the reasonable expectations of those who have confided to me their votes. In this connection, allow me to say that you, as a portion of the great American people, peed only to maintain your composure, stand up to your sober convictions of right, to your obligations to the Constitution, and act in accordance with those sober convictions, and the clouds which now arise in the horizon will be dispelled, and we shall have a bright and glorious future; and, when this generation shall have passed away, tens of thousands shall inhabit this country where only thousands inhabit it now. I do not propose to address you at length. I have no voice for it. Allow me