« PreviousContinue »
What Freedom gives us.
How it weakens the Rebellion.
} other policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion.
“Freedom has given us two hundred thousand men raised on Southern soil. It will give us more yet. Just so much it has subtracted from the enemy; and, instead of checking the South, there are now evidences of a fraternal feeling growing up between our men and the rank and file of the rebel soldiers. Let my enemies prove to the country that the destruction of slavery is not necessary to the restoration of the Union. I will abide the issue."
On the 19th of October, the President having been serenaded by the loyal Marylanders of the District of Columbia,
"I am notified that this is a compliment paid me by the loyal Marylanders resident in this district. I infer that the adoption of the new Constitution for the State furnishes the occasion, and that in your view the extirpation of slavery constitutes the chief merit of the new Constitution.
“Most heartily do I congratulate you, and Maryland, and the Nation, and the world upon the event. I regret that it did not occur two years sooner, which, I am sure, would have saved to the nation more money than would have met all the private loss incident to the measure ; but it has come at last, and I sincerely hope its friends may fully realize all their anticipations of good from it, and that its opponents may, by its ef :cts, be agreeably and profitably disappointed.
' word upon another subject : Something said by the Secretary of State, in his recent speech at Auburn, has been construed by some into a threat that, if I shall be beaten at the election, I will between then and the end of my constitutional term do what I may be able to ruin the Government. Others regard the fact that the Chicago Convention adjourned, not sine die, but to meet again, if called to do so by a particular individual, as the ultimatum of a purpose that, if the
Speech to Loyal Marylanders.
The Country and its Liberties.
nominee shall be elected, he will at once seize control of the Government.
"I hope the good people will permit themselves to suffer no uneasiness on either point. I am struggling to maintain the Government, not to overthrow it. I therefore say that, if I shall live, I shall remain President until the fourth of March. And whoever shall be constitutionally elected, therefore, in November, shall be duly installed as President on the fourth of March ; and that, in the interval, I shall do my utmost that whoever is to hold the helm for the next voyage, shall start with the best possible chance to save the ship.
“ This is due to our people, both on principle and under the Constitution. Their will, constitutionally expressed, is the ultimate law for all. If they should deliberately resolve to have immediate peace, even at the loss of their country and their liberties, I know not the power or the right to resist them. It is their own business, and they must do as they please with their own.
“I believe, however, that they are all resolved to preserve their country and their liberty; and in this, in office or out of it, I am resolved to stand by them. I may add, that in this purpose—to save the country and its liberties
--no class of people seem so nearly unanimous as the soldiers in the field and the seamen afloat. Do they not have the hardest of it? Who shall quail, when they do not ? God bless the soldiers and seamen and all their brave commanders 1"
Campaign of 1864.
Presidential Campaign of 1864-Fremont's Withdrawal-Wade and Davis - Peace and War
Democrats--Rebel Sympathizers--October Election-Result of Presidential ElectionSpeech to Pennsylvanians-Speech at a Serenade-Letter to a Soldier's Mother Opening of Congress Last Annual Message.
THE Presidential campaign of 1864, was, in several of its aspects, an anomaly. The amount of low blackguard and slang dealt out against the Administration, was perhaps to have been expected in a land where personal abuse seems to have become regarded as so vital an accompaniment of a National Election, that its absence in any exciting canvass would give rise to grave fears that positive Constitutional requirements had been disregarded.
Though freedom, in such instances, far too often is wrested into the vilest abuse, it was in truth passing strange that an Administration should be so violently assailed by its opponents as despotic and tyrannical, when the very fact that such strictures and comments were passed upon it, without let or hindrance, by word of mouth and on the printed page, afforded a proof that the despotism, if such there were, was either too mild or too weak to enforce even a decent treatment of itself and its acts. It is safe to say, that, within the limits of that section with which we were under any circumstances to establish harmonious and peaceful relations, according to the requirements of the opposition, not one speech in a hundred, not one editorial in a thousand, would have been permitted under precisely similar circumstances.
General Fremont withdrew his name shortly after the Chicago nominations, that he might not distract and divide
Wade and Davis.
the friends of the Union. In his letter of withdrawal he said :
“The policy of the Democratic party signifies either separation, or reëstablishment, with slavery. The Chicago platform is simply separation. General McClellan's letter of acceptance, is reestablishment with slavery.
The Republican candidate, on the contrary, is pledged to the reëstablishment of Union without slavery."
Senator Wade and Henry Winter Davis, who had joined in a manifesto to the people, bitterly denunciatory of the President's course in issuing his reconstruction proclamation, entered manfully into the canvass in behalf of the Baltimore nominees. The ranks of the supporters of the Government closed steadily up, and pressed on to a success, of which they could not, with their faith in manhood and republican principles, suffer themselves to doubt.
The Opposition were not entirely in accord. It was a delicate position in which the full-blooded Peace Democrat found himself, obliged as he was to endorse a man whose only claim for the nomination was the reputation which he had made as a prominent General engaged in prosecuting an "unnatural, unholy war.” Nor did it afford much alleviation to his distress to remember that this candidate had been loudly assailed in the Convention as the first mover in the matter of arbitrary arrests, against which a sturdy outcry had long been raised by himself and friends. It was unpleasant, moreover, not to be able to forget that the same candidate had been the first to suggest a draft-or "conscription," as your true peace man would call it: that measure so full of horrors, against which unconstitutional act such an amount of indignation had been expended.
Nor was the situation of the War Democrat, if he were indeed honestly and sincerely such, much better. He could not shut his eyes to the fact, that his candidate's military record, whatever else it might have established, did not evince
Campaign of 1864.
The State Elections.
very remarkable vigor and celerity in his movements, as compared with other Generals then and since prominently before the public. Even had he blundered energetically, in that there would have been some consolation. The thought, not unpleasant to the Pendletonian, of the possibility of the General's death during his term of office, stirred up certain other thoughts which he would rather have avoided.
However, it must be said, that, taken as a whole, the Opposition came up to the work more vigorously than might have been supposed, and carried on their campaign in as blustering and defiant a style as if victory were sure to perch upon their banners. There was the usual amount of cheap enthusiasm, valiant betting, and an unusual amount, many thought, of cheating—at least, the results of investigations at Baltimore and Washington, conducted by a military tribunal, to a casual observer appeared to squint in that direction.
Richmond papers were, for a marvel, quite unanimous in the desire that Mr. Lincoln should not be reělected. The rebel Vice-President declared that the Chicago movement was "the only ray of light which had come from the North during the war." European sympathizers with the rebellion, likewise, were opposed to Mr. Lincoln's reëlection, and their organs on the Continent and in the provinces did their best to abuse him shockingly.
The State elections in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, occurring in October, created much consternation in the opposition ranks>that in the latter State particularly, which had been set down positively as upon their side, but insisted, upon that occasion, in common with the first two in pronouncing unequivocally in favor of the Administration candidates.
The result could no longer be doubtful. Yet the most of the supporters of McClellan kept up their talk, whatever their thoughts may have been.
No opportunity for talk, even, was afforded when the results of the election of November 8th became known.