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constant sense of duty, taking for his political compass and guide the great principle of the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal,” reposing unwavering faith and confidence in the people; and, with unshaken fidelity to national union based on freedom, never for a moment forgetting his responsibility to God;— how this selfmade, self-educated man of the prairies, rising from the humblest position, simple, pure, humble, but firm, perfectly honest and truthful; how he was enabled to guide and control the government through this most stupendous civil war, to complete success; how he triumphed over all enemies; how he conquered the fierce rage and rancor uf opposing factions and parties; how he subdued the prejudices of enemies, and forced the oftimes reluctant respect of other nations; how he organized and held together all the loyal people of the nation against its foes, and triumphed over, or healed all rivalries and divisions among his own political friends; composed the quarrels and jealousies of rival generals; triumphed over all the enemies of his country; securing ever the love and confidence of the people; crushing the power and machinations of rebels and traitors; restoring national unity;—and crowned his glorious life by becoming the emancipator and savior of his country.
This grand career, this great drama, of which LINCOLN is the leading spirit, is my theme. I shall trace events through these terrible convulsions, and truthfully exhibit LINCOLN, always calm, sagacious, inflexible, with a prophetic faith, seeing, hoping for, and comprehending the end from the beginning. This man, who “with malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gave him to see the right;" this man to whom, under Providence, was given the sublime mission to save his country, to emancipate a race, and to restore, or rather reëstablish and consolidate unity, based on liberty to all; this man,- his deeds, his services, -I shall attempt truthfully to delineate.
I shall also record the deeds of his able and efficient helpers, in the cabinet, in Congress, in the field; at the head of the press, and in private life, by whom he was aided in his great work. But the people themselves, were above all leaders; and it was their energy, and patriotism, and self-denial, which saved the republic.
This young, enthusiastic and energetic people, themselves improvised armies, the numbers of which had no parallel; their ingenuity, industry
and invention, supplied arms, subsistence, and the material of war. By an intelligent knowledge of their resources, and of their country; by confidence in themselves, by severe taxation self-imposed, by an unselfish liberality, which literally placed the men, and the wealth, and the credit of the nation at the disposal of the government, they crushed this stupendous rebellion. This record of the deeds of this people I shall attempt to write, and to show that a government "of the people, by the people, for the people,” is the strongest and most efficient, as well as the most benign and magnanimous of all governments. It will be seen by the student, that under the guidance of LINCOLN, the nation passed through the convulsions of this war, and retained intact the old, timehonored safeguards of individual liberty and security. They have come out of the contest in the full enjoyment of an independent judiciary, the habeas corpus, trial by jury, liberty of speech, and freedom of the press. In tracing these eventful pages, we shall see the American navy, from a small and comparatively feeble beginning, rise to become, unquestionably, the most formidable naval power on earth. Our fleets of iron-clads, gun-boats and vessels of war, surpassing those of Great Britain, our great rival in maritime power, and so long the mistress of the seas.
From a little nucleus of an army of fifteen thousand soldiers, we have become a military power, counting our trained fighting men by the million. The battle-fields of these four years of war, to which space will permit only brief and passing description, in the numbers engaged, in the sad list of killed and wounded, and in the terrible engines of destruction used, far surpass Blenheim, Leipsic, and Waterloo, and all the famous battle-fields of the Old World; and the soldiers and officers engaged, (truth compels us to say, on both sides,) exhibited a valor, courage, endurance, skill and heroism, unsurpassed by any naval or military conflicts in ancient or modern times.
It will be my duty, faithfully, to write the blackest, as well as the brightest page in history. The treason, perjury, and conspiracy of the rebel leaders, who, without one single, real substantial grievance, sought to overthrow a government which had been known only by its benefits, fix upon their hearts the guilt of all the sufferings of this war. The great slaveholders, having long ruled under the forms of the constitution, when they saw that their power was likely to depart, refused submission to the legally expressed will of the people, and plunged the country into civil war. The blackest page of these annals, is that which records the barbarism and brutality produced by slavery; the moral degeneracy of a once noble race of men, becoming so depraved that their hellish passions developed a cruelty and malignity towards prisoners, black and white, unknown in the history of civilized nations. It is slavery alone which can produce men who will murder defenceless prisoners on the field of battle, after resistance has ceased, and starve them to death, as a means of carrying on war. Of such a race, it is not surprising that in their extremity, they should resort to incendiarism, and murder, and assassination.
The record I write will show the development and gradual growth of a sense of justice towards the black race, until it terminated in their emancipation and their recognition as men. The rise and rapid advance of this long servile race, from the slave to the “contraband,” from the “contraband” to the freedman, and from the freedman to the soldier, from the soldier to the citizen, vindicating his manhood on the field of battle, and his claim to citizenship by obedience to law and loyalty to the flag.
This terrible civil war, this baptism of blood, through which the nation has passed, has purified and ennobled it. The soldiers of Grant and Sherman, Thomas and Sheridan, who marched from Cairo to Savannah, from the Potomac to New Orleans, will feel that the country is now doubly dear to them. They have bled for that country; and not a family in the land but has given its sacrifice to death, that the Republic might live.
In so glorious and imperial a manner have the American people fought this great struggle for liberty, so grand is the theatre of their future, that the imagination does not set bounds to their coming greatness.
OVERTHROW OF SLAVERY.
SLAVERY FROM 1788, TO THE COMPROMISE MEASURES OF 1850.
OPINION OF THE FATHERS UPON SLAVERY-ORDINANCE OF 1787
EARLY ABOLITION SOCIETIES — SLAVERY ABOLISHED IN
is historically demonstrable that the framers of the Constitution in shaping that instrument, tolerated the existence of slavery as a temporary evil, which they regarded as incompatible with the principles of liberty embodied in the Declaration of Independence, upon which they intended to base our institutions. They believed that it was in the course of gradual extinction. It is clear that they never intended it should be a permanent institution, much less that