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Letter to Ohio Democrats.

Against Prosecuting the War.

a greater degree than to any other cause; and it is due to him personally in a greater degree than to any other one

man.

“These things have been notorious, known to all, and of course known to Mr. Vallandigham. Perhaps I would not be wrong to say they originated with his especial friends and adherents. With perfect knowledge of them he has frequently, if not constantly, made speeches in Congress and before popular assemblies; and if it can be shown that, with these things staring him in the face, he has ever uttered a word of rebuke or counsel against them, it will be a fact greatly in bis favor with me, and one of which, as yet, I am totally ignorant. When it is known that the whole burden of his speeches has been to stir up men against the prosecution of the war, and that in the midst of resistance to it he has not been known in any instance to counsel against such resistance, it is next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counselled directly in favor of it.

“With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have nominated Mr. Vallandigham for Governor of Obio, and both they and you have declared the purpose to sustain the National Union by all constitutional means; but, of course, they and you, in common, reserve to yourselves to decide what are constitutional means, and, unlike the Albany meeting, you omit to state or intimate that, in your opinion, an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying that very Union. At the same time, your nominee for Governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you, and to the world, to declare against the use of an army to suppress the rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those who incline to desert and to

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“After a personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the Committee, I can not say I think you desire this effect to follow your attitude; but I assure you that both friends and enemies of the Union look upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by consequence, a real strength to the enemy. If it is a false hope, and one which you would willingly dispel, I will make the way exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in order that you, or a majority of you, may, if you choose, indorse your names upon one of them, and return it thus indorsed to me, with the understanding.that those signing are thereby committed to the following propositions, and to nothing else :

“1. That there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object and tendency of which is to destroy the National Union; and that, in your opinion, an army and navy are constitutional means for suppressing that rebellion.

"2. That no one of you will do any thing which, in bis own judgment, will tend to binder the increase, or favor the decrease, or lessen the efficiency of the Army and Navy, while engaged in the effort to suppress that rebellion; and

"3. That each of you will, in his sphere, do all he can to have the officers, soldiers, and seamen of the Army and Navy, while engaged in the effort to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and otherwise well provided and supported.

"And with the further understanding that upon receiving the letter and names thus indorsed, I will cause them to be published, which publication shall be, within itself, a revocation of the order in relation to Mr. Vallandigham.

" It will not escape observation that I consent to the release of Mr. Vallandigham upon terms not embracing any pledge from him or from others as to what he will or will not do. I do this because he is not present to speak for himself,

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Letter to Ohio Democrats.

Speech at Washington

or to authorize others to speak for him ; and hence I shal! expect that on returning he would not put himself practically in antagonism with the position of his friends. But I do it chiefly because I thereby prevail on other influential gentlemen of Ohio to so define their position as to be of immense value to the army_thus more than compensating for the consequences of any mistake in allowing Mr. Vallandigham to return, so that, on the whole, the public safety will not have suffered by it. Still, in regard to Mr. Vallandigham and all others, I must hereafter, as heretofore, do so much as the public service may seem to require. "I have the honor to be respectfully, yours, etc.,

“A BRAHAM LINCOLN."

CHAPTER XVI.

LETTERS AND SPEECHES.

Speech at Washington--Letter to General Grant-Thanksgiving Proclamation-Letter

concerning the Emancipation Proclamation--Proclamation for Annual ThanksgivingDedicatory Speech at Gettysburg.

On the evening of the 4th of July, 1863, having been serenaded by inany of the citizens of Washington, jubilant over the defeat of the rebels at Gettysburg, the President acknowledged the compliment thus :

“ FELLOW-CITIZENS :-I am very glad indeed to see you tonight, and yet I will not say I thank you for this call; but I do most sincerely thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How long ago is it-eighty odd years since, on the 4th of July, for the first time in the history of the world, a nation, by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth, that all men are created equal ? That was the birthday of the United States of Amer

Fourth of July.

Battle of Gettysburg.

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ica. Since then, the 4th of July has had several very peculiar recognitions. The two men most distinguished in the framing and support of the Declaration, were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—the one having penned it, and the other sustained it the most forcibly in debate—the only two, of the fifty-five who signed it, who were elected Presidents of the United States. Precisely fifty years after they put their hands to the paper, it pleased Almighty God to take both from this stage of action. This was indeed an extraordinary and remarkable event in our history. Another President, five years after, was called from this stage of existence on the same day and month of the year; and now, on this last 4th of July just passed, when we have a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all men were created equal, we have the surrender of a most powerful position and army on that very day. And not only so, but in a succession of battles in Pennsylvania, near to us, through three days, so rapidly fought that they might be called one great battle, on the 1st, 2d, and 3d of the month of July, and on the 4th the cohorts of those who opposed the declaration that all men are created equal, “turned tail' and run. Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech; but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion. I would like to speak in terms of praise due to the many brave officers and soldiers who have fought in the cause of the Union and liberties of their country from the beginning of the war. These are trying occasions, not only in success, but for the want of success. I dislike to mention the name of one single officer, lest I might do wrong to those I might forget. Recent events bring up glorious names, and particularly prominent ones; but these I will not mention. Having said this much, I will now take the music.

The following letter, addressed to General Grant after the capture of Vicksburg, gives an insight into the transparent candor and frankness of the President:

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Letter to Gen. Grant.

National Thanksgiving.

" Executive Mansion, Washington, July 13th, 1863. “MAJOR-GENERAL U. S. GRANT-My Dear General: I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowlednement of the almost inestimable service you bave done the country. I write to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally didmarch the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks, and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment, that you were right and I was wrong.

“Yours, truly,

“A. LINCOLN." The following was issued in commemoration of the victories at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Gettysburg :

“ BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. -A PROCLAMATION.-It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe to the Army and Navy of the United States, on the land and on the sea, victories so signal and so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confidence that the Union of these States will be maintained, their Constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently secured; but these victories have been accorded, not without sacrifice of life, limb, and liberty, incurred by brave, patriotie, and loyal citizens. Domestic affliction, in every part of the country, follows in the train of these fearful bereavements. It is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty Father, and the power of his hand equally in these triumphs and these sorrows.

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