Page images
PDF
EPUB

ption more gratefully than I could do did I believe it were to me as an individual.

-y 21, 1861.—ADDRESS TO THE ASSEMBLY OF NEW JERSEY. peaker and Gentlemen: I have just enjoyed the honor of a n by the other branch of this legislature, and I return to 1 them my thanks for the reception which the people of New have given through their chosen representatives to me as the ntative, for the time being, of the majesty of the people of ted States. I appropriate to myself very little of the demonis of respect with which I have been greeted. I think little be given to any man, but that it should be a manifestation erence to the Union and the Constitution. I understand mybe received here by the representatives of the people of New a majority of whom differ in opinion from those with whom acted. This manifestation is therefore to be regarded by me >ressing their devotion to the Union, the Constitution, and the es of the people.

1, Mr. Speaker, have well said that this is a time when the brand wisest look with doubt and awe upon the aspect presented by ational affairs. Under these circumstances you will readily see I should not speak in detail of the course I shall deem it best !rsue. It is proper that I should avail myself of all the inforon and all the time at my command, in order that when the arrives in which I must speak officially, I shall be able to take ground which I deem best and safest, and from which I may no occasion to swerve. I shall endeavor to take the ground I n most just to the North, the East, the West, the South, and the le country. I take it, I hope, in good temper, certainly with no ice toward any section. I shall do all that may be in my power romote a peaceful settlement of all our difficulties. The man s not live who is more devoted to peace than I am, none who ild do more to preserve it, but it may be necessary to put the t down firmly. [Here the audience broke out into cheers so loud I long that for some moments it was impossible to hear Mr. Linn's voice.] And if I do my duty and do right, you will sustain , will you not? [Loud cheers, and cries of "Yes, yes; we will."] ceived as I am by the members of a legislature the majority of 10m do not agree with me in political sentiments, I trust that I ay have their assistance in piloting the ship of state through this yage, surrounded by perils as it is; for if it should suffer wreck w, there will be no pilot ever needed for another voyage. Gentlemen, I have already spoken longer than I intended, and Just beg leave to stop here.

February 21, 1861.-REPLY TO THE MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

Mr. Mayor and Fellow-citizens of Philadelphia: I appear before you to make no lengthy speech, but to thank you for this reception. VOL. I.—44.

The reception you have given me to-night is not to me, the man, the individual, but to the man who temporarily represents, or should represent, the majesty of the nation. It is true, as your worthy mayor has said, that there is great anxiety amongst the citizens of the United States at this time. I deem it a happy circumstance that this dissatisfied portion of our fellow-citizens does not point us to anything in which they are being injured or about to be injured; for which reason I have felt all the while justified in concluding that the crisis, the panic, the anxiety of the country at this time, is artificial. If there be those who differ with me upon this subject, they have not pointed out the substantial difficulty that exists. I do not mean to say that an artificial panic may not do considerable harm; that it has done such I do not deny. The hope that has been expressed by your mayor, that I may be able to restore peace, harmony, and prosperity to the country, is most worthy of him; and most happy, indeed, will I be if I shall be able to verify and fulfil that hope. I promise you that I bring to the work a sincere heart. Whether I will bring a head equal to that heart will be for future times to determine. It were useless for me to speak of details of plans now; I shall speak officially next Monday week, if ever. If I should not speak then, it were useless for me to do so now. If I do speak then, it is useless for me to do so now. When I do speak, I shall take such ground as I deem best calculated to restore peace, harmony, and prosperity to the country, and tend to the perpetuity of the nation and the liberty of these States and these people. Your worthy mayor has expressed the wish, in which I join with him, that it were convenient for me to remain in your city long enough to consult your merchants and manufacturers; or, as it were, to listen to those breathings rising within the consecrated walls wherein the Constitution of the United States, and, I will add, the Declaration of Independence, were originally framed and adopted. I assure you and your mayor that I had hoped on this occasion, and upon all occasions during my life, that I shall do nothing inconsistent with the teachings of these holy and most sacred walls. I have never asked anything that does not breathe from those walls. All my political warfare has been in favor of the teachings that come forth from these sacred walls. May my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if ever I prove false to those teachings. Fellow-citizens, I have addressed you longer than I expected to do, and now allow me to bid you good-night.

February 22, 1861.-ADDRESS IN INDEPENDENCE HALL,
PHILADELPHIA.

Mr. Cuyler: I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my hands is the task of restoring peace to our distracted country. I can say in return, sir, that all the political sentiments I

entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated in and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here and framed and adopted that Declaration. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by ' the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that independence. I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved on that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. Now, in my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a course; and I may say in advance that there will be no bloodshed unless it is forced upon the government. The govern

ment will not use force, unless force is used against it.

My friends, this is wholly an unprepared speech. I did not expect to be called on to say a word when I came here. I supposed I was merely to do something toward raising a flag. I may, therefore, have said something indiscreet. [Cries of "No, no."] But I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and, if it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by.

February 22, 1861.-ADDRESS ON RAISING A FLAG OVER
INDEPENDENCE HALL, PHILADELPHIA.

Fellow-citizens: I am invited and called before you to participate in raising above Independence Hall the flag of our country, with an additional star upon it. I propose now, in advance of performing this very pleasant and complimentary duty, to say a few words. I propose to say that when the flag was originally raised here, it had but thirteen stars. I wish to call your attention to the fact that, under the blessing of God, each additional star added to that flag has given additional prosperity and happiness to this country, until it has advanced to its present condition; and its welfare in the future, as well as in the past, is in your hands. Cultivating the spirit that animated our fathers, who gave renown and celebrity to this hall, 1 The State of Kansas, which was admitted into the Union January 29, 1861.

cherishing that fraternal feeling which has so long characterized us as a nation, excluding passion, ill temper, and precipitate action on all occasions, I think we may promise ourselves that not only the new star placed upon that flag shall be permitted to remain there to our permanent prosperity for years to come, but additional ones shall from time to time be placed there until we shall number, as it was anticipated by the great historian, five hundred millions of happy and prosperous people.

With these few remarks I proceed to the very agreeable duty assigned to me.

February 22, 1861.-REPLY TO GOVERNOR CURTIN OF

PENNSYLVANIA, AT HARRISBURG.

Governor Curtin and Citizens of the State of Pennsylvania: Perhaps the best thing that I could do would be simply to indorse the patriotic and eloquent speech which your governor has just made in your hearing. I am quite sure that I am unable to address to you anything so appropriate as that which he has uttered.

Reference has been made by him to the distraction of the public mind at this time and to the great task that is before me in entering upon the administration of the General Government. With all the eloquence and ability that your governor brings to this theme, I am quite sure he does not in his situation he cannot-appreciate as I do the weight of that great responsibility. I feel that, under God, in the strength of the arms and wisdom of the heads of these masses, after all, must be my support. As I have often had occasion to say, I repeat to you- I am quite sure I do not deceive myself when I tell you I bring to the work an honest heart; I dare not tell you that I bring a head sufficient for it. If my own strength should fail, I shall at least fall back upon these masses, who, I think, under any circumstances will not fail.

Allusion has been made to the peaceful principles upon which this great commonwealth was originally settled. Allow me to add my meed of praise to those peaceful principles. I hope no one of the Friends who originally settled here, or who lived here since that time, or who lives here now, has been or is a more devoted lover of peace, harmony, and concord than my humble self.

While I have been proud to see to-day the finest military array, I think, that I have ever seen, allow me to say, in regard to those men, that they give hope of what may be done when war is inevitable. But, at the same time, allow me to express the hope that in the shedding of blood their services may never be needed, especially in the shedding of fraternal blood. It shall be my endeavor to preserve the peace of this country so far as it can possibly be done consis tently with the maintenance of the institutions of the country. With my consent, or without my great displeasure, this country shall never witness the shedding of one drop of blood in fraternal strife.

And now, my fellow-citizens, as I have made many speeches, will you allow me to bid you farewell?

February 22, 1861.-ADDRESS TO THE LEGISLATURE OF
PENNSYLVANIA, AT HARRISBURG.

Mr. Speaker of the Senate, and also Mr. Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Gentlemen of the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania: I appear before you only for a very few brief remarks in response to what has been said to me. I thank you most sincerely for this reception, and the generous words in which support has been promised me upon this occasion. I thank your great commonwealth for the overwhelming support it recently gave, not me personally, but the cause which I think a just one, in the late election.

Allusion has been made to the fact-the interesting fact perhaps we should say that I for the first time appear at the capital of the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania upon the birthday of the Father of his Country. In connection with that beloved anniversary connected with the history of this country, I have already gone through one exceedingly interesting scene this morning in the ceremonies at Philadelphia. Under the kind conduct of gentlemen there, I was for the first time allowed the privilege of standing in old Independence Hall to have a few words addressed to me there, and opening up to me an opportunity of manifesting my deep regret that I had not more time to express something of my own feelings excited by the occasion, that had been really the feelings of my whole life.

Besides this, our friends there had provided a magnificent flag of the country. They had arranged it so that I was given the honor of raising it to the head of its staff, and when it went up I was pleased that it went to its place by the strength of my own feeble arm. When, according to the arrangement, the cord was pulled, and it floated gloriously to the wind, without an accident, in the bright, glowing sunshine of the morning, I could not help hoping that there was in the entire success of that beautiful ceremony at least something of an omen of what is to come. Nor could I help feeling then, as I have often felt, that in the whole of that proceeding I was a very humble instrument. I had not provided the flag; I had not made the arrangements for elevating it to its place; I had applied but a very small portion of even my feeble strength in raising it. In the whole transaction I was in the hands of the people who had arranged it, and if I can have the same generous coöperation of the people of this nation, I think the flag of our country may yet be kept flaunting gloriously.

I recur for a moment but to repeat some words uttered at the hotel in regard to what has been said about the military support which the General Government may expect from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a proper emergency. To guard against any possible mistake do I recur to this. It is not with any pleasure that I contemplate the possibility that a necessity may arise in this country for the use of the military arm. While I am exceedingly gratified to see the manifestation upon your streets of your military force here,

« PreviousContinue »