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Proclamation for a Fast.
Humiliation and Prayer Becommended.
of the Nation to know and to do his will, humbly believing that it is not in accord ever with his will that our place should be maintained as a wicked people among the family of nations; to implore him to grant to our armed defenders and the masses of the people that courage, power of resistance, and endurance necessary to secure that result; to implore him in his infinite goodness to soften the hearts, enlighten the minds, and quicken the consciences of those in rebellion, that they may lay down their arms and speedily return to their allegiance to the United States, that they may not be utterly destroyed, that the effusion of blood may be stayed, and that unity and fraternity may be restored, and peace established throughout all our borders.'
“Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, cordially concurring with the Congress of the United States in the penitential and pious sentiments expressed in the aforesaid resolution, and heartily approving of the devotional design and purpose thereof, do hereby appoint the first Thursday of August next, to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of National humiliation
"I do hereby further invite and request the heads of the Executive Department of this Government, together with all legislators, all Judges and magistrates, and all other persons exercising authority in the land, whether civil, military, or naval, and all soldiers, seamen and marines in the National service, and all other loyal and law-abiding people of the United States, to assemble in their professed places of public worship on that day, and there to render to the Almighty and merciful Ruler of the universe such homage and sucb confessions, and to offer bim such supplications, as the Congress of the United States have in their aforesaid resolution so solemnly, so earnestly, and so reverently recommended.
“In testimony whereof, I have hereunto sed my bana, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Speech to Soldiers.
A Great Work.
“Done at the City of Washington, this, the seventh day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth. By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “ WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
To some Ohio volunteers, about to return home at the expiration of their term of service, who had called upon the President to pay him their respects, he spoke, on the 18th of August, thus :
“ SOLDIERS : You are about to return to your homes and your friends, after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you and to all who have come forward at the call of their country.
"I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of government and every form of human rights is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every one. There is involved in this struggle the question whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this, in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose.
" There may be some inequalities in the practical working of our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion for the value of bis property ; but if we should wait, before collecting a tax, to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion to every other man, we should never coliect any tax at all. There may be mistakes made
Speech to Soldiers.
Thanks of the Country.
A Great and Free Government.
somewhere ; things may be done wrong, which the officers of Government do all they can to prevent mistakes.
“But I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes, rise up to the height of a generation of men, worthy of a free government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon."
And again, on the 22d of August, under similar circumstances :
“SOLDIERS :-I suppose you are going home to see your families and friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and the country.
"I almost always feel inclined, when I say any thing to soldiers, to impress upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of success in this contest. It is not merely for to-day, but for all time to come, that we should perpetuate for our children's children that great and free Government which we have enjoyed all our lives. I beg you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours. I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child bas.
“ It is in order that each one of you may have, through this free Government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence ; that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life, with all its desirable human aspirations ; it is for this that the struggle should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights-not only for one, but for two or three years.
"To Whom It May Concern."
The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an unquestionable jewel."
During the excitement accompanying the rebel attempts upon the National Capitol, during the month of July, hereto fore noticed, representations were made to the President that certain individuals, professing to represent the rebel leaders, were in Canada, anxious to enter into negotiations, with a view to the restoration of peace.
In response to this suggestion, Mr. Lincoln issued the following paper, which was very unsatisfactory to those who affected to believe that peace could be secured upon any basis short of the recognition of the Southern Confederacy, unless the rebels in arms were thoroughly defeated, dated, Executive Mansion, Washington, July 18, 1864.
“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. —Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the Executive Government of the United States, and will be met hy liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points, and the bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both ways.
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN." This ended that attempt to divide the supporters of the Administration.
On the 29th of August, 1864, assembled at Chicago the National Convention of the Democratic party. This had been preceded by a “ Mass Peace Convention," at Syracuse, on the 18th of August, at which it had been resolved, among other things, that it was the duty of the Chicago Convention to give expression to a beneficent sentiment of peace and to declare as the purpose of the Democratic party, if it should recover power, to cause the desolating war to cease by the walling of a National Convention, in which all the States
Democratic National Convention.
Gen. McClellan Nominated.
should be represented in their sovereign capacity.; and that, to that end, an immediate armistice should be declared of sufficient duration to give the States and the people ample time and opportunity to deliberate upon and finally conclude a form of Union.
There were two factions represented at Chicago : one, unqualifiedly in favor of peace at any price, upon any terms, with any concessions; the other, disposed to take every possible advantage of the mistakes of the Administration, but not possessed of effrontery sufficient to pronounce boldly for a cessation of hostilities in any and every event.
Thus embarrassed, what was left of the still great Democratic party—that party which had swayed the country for so many years, and whose disruption in 1860 was the immediate occasion of the war that ensued-determined to do what it never before, in all its history, had ventured upon. It essayed to ride, at one and the same time, two horses going in diametrically opposite directions.
To conciliate wbatever feeling in favor of a prosecution of the war there might be in their ranks, without at the same time going too far in that direction, and to secure as many soldiers' votes as possible, they put in nomination for the Presidency, Gen. McClellan. To neutralize this apparent tendency toward war, they associated the General with George H. Pendleton, of Ohio, as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency–a man, who, during his entire Congressional career as member of the National House of Representatives, had avowed himself and voted as a Peace-at-any-price individual, from the very outset.
The bane and antidote having thus been blended, as only. political chemists would have attempted, the candidates were placed upon a platform, the second resolution of which was as follows:
"Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as