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took possession of the arsenal at Baton Rouge. In all the seaports the Secessionists seized the revenue-cutters. The new Secretary of the Treasury, John Adams Dix, sent Mr. Jones to New Orleans with an order to Captain Breshwood, commanding the revenue-cutter there, to sail to New York. Breshwood was a Secessionist, and prepared to haul down the Stars and Stripes and turn the vessel over to the Governor of the State. This the despatch sent by Mr. Dix:
“If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.”
The people of the Northern States had been stupefied by the succession of events. They had seen the Union crumbling to pieces—the Secessionists having everything their own way, without a word of protest from President Buchanan or anybody else connected with the Administration. The despatch awakened intense enthusiasm for maintaining the honor of the country's flag.
Florida was the first of the States (January 12, 1861) to follow South Carolina out of the Union, and then Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas in turn seceded. In the hall of Willard's Hotel in Washington delegates from all
the States except those which had seceded assembled in what Feb. 4, 1861.
was called a Peace Convention- an effort to bring about har
mony. The seceding States on the same day assembled in convention at Montgomery, Alabama, to organize a Confederate Government.
Had we been in Springfield during those days and inquired for Abraham Lincoln, his secretary would have informed us that he could not be seen. He was not in the State , house neither in his own house, but in an out-of-the-way chamber over a store, the key turned in the lock. Upon the table before him were books containing a speech of Henry Clay, made in 1850, upon the compromise measures then before the country; President Andrew Jackson's proclamation, made when South Carolina, thirty years before, attempted to nullify the laws of the United States; and Daniel Webster's speech in the Senate in reply to Hayne in 1830, together with the Constitution of the United States. He was preparing the address to be delivered at his inauguration. He submitted it to no one, asked no advice as to what he should say.
The time had come when he must bid good-bye to his friends. He visited Farmington, Coles County, where was still standing the log-cabin which he assisted in building. He gave directions for the erection of a suitable monument to his father, and then rode to Charleston, where his step-mother was living. A great crowd had gathered to welcome him. Many remembered him as he appeared on that day when he put Dan Needham on his back in the wrestling-match (see page 60).
“I am afraid your enemies will kill you, Abraham,” said Mrs. Lincoln.
His voice was tremulous, and the tears coursed down his cheeks as he gave the good-bye kiss. There had ever been the utmost confidence between them: she was loving and helpful he obedient, kind, and tender.
Returning to Springfield, he found his old
friends of New Salem THE CHAPMAN HOUSE, CHARLESTON, ILL.
there to shake hands (Where Abraham Lincoln bade farewell to his step-mother. From a photo with him once more; graph taken by the author in October. 1890.)
among them Hannah Armstrong, whose son he defended when accused of murder.
"I am afraid that those bad people will kill you,” said Hannah. “Well, they can't do it but once,” the reply.(4)
It was late in the afternoon, and the sun was setting when Isaac Colgate called. They talked of old times, of those whom he used to know in New Salem. Mr. Lincoln spoke tenderly of Ann Rutledge. “I have ever loved the name of Rutledge. I loved Ann honestly, truly, dearly. She was beautiful, intellectual, good. I think of her often."(*) So he unbosomed himself to his dear old friend in the twilight of that winter evening.
His business in Springfield was closed, his trunks packed. He enFeb. 10. tered the office of Lincoln & Herndon to bid his partner fare
1861. well. He was weary, and threw himself upon the lounge. He was once more looking far away. He broke the silence at last.
· Billy, how long have we been together?”
“Don't take down the sign, Billy ; let it swing that our clients may understand that the election of a President makes no change in the firm of Lincoln & Herndon.” He took a farewell glance at the room—the books, the table, the chairs. Together the partners descended the stairs.
“Oh, Billy, I am sick of office-holding, and I shudder when I think of what is before me. The chances are that I never shall return."
The old sadness was upon him.
“Oh, that is an illusory notion. It is not in harmony or keeping with the popular ideal of a President,” the remark of Herndon, who did not know what else to say.
“But it is in keeping with my philosophy. Good-bye." (9)
The Provisional Government of the Confederate States had been organized—Jefferson Davis, President, and Alexander H. Stephens, Vice
president of the Confederacy. Mr. Davis was on his way from ise 1.Mississippi to Montgomery, addressing the people in all the prin
cipal towns. He stood upon the balcony of the Exchange Hotel in that city the evening before his inauguration, with a negro by his side holding a tallow candle, which threw its flickering light upon the crowd in the street.
“ England,” he said, “ will not allow our great staple, cotton, to be dammed within our present limits. If war must come, it must be on Northern, not on Southern soil. A glorious future is before us. The grass will grow in Northern cities where the pavements have been worn off by the tread of commerce. We will carry war where it is easy to advance, where food for the sword and torch await our armies in the densely populated cities.”
Mr. Davis had some reason for using such language, for a great many people in the Northern States had assured the Secessionists that they sympathized with them.
“ If there is to be any fighting, it will be within our own borders, and in our own streets," wrote ex-President Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire. Fernando Wood, Mayor of New York, proposed that New York City secede from the State of New York.
“ If force is to be used, it will be inaugurated at home," said the Democratic politicians of Albany.
“If the cotton States can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace,” wrote Horace Greeley, editor of the New York" Tribune," who had done what he could to elect Mr. Lincoln.
The snow was falling in Springfield, but people were hastening to the railroad station to see once more the man whom they honored and
loved. The conductor of the train which was to bear the PresiFeb. 10. dential party to Washington was about to give the signal for
starting, but waited, for Mr. Lincoln was standing upon the platform of the car with his hand uplifted. These his parting words:
“My friends. No one not in my situation can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place and the kindness of these people I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one of them is buried. I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon