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FOUR MONTHS OF EXCITEMENT.
golden opportunity which rarely comes more than once in a lifetime. Of Buchanan's Cabinet, General Cass, Howell Cobb, and John B. Floyd all resigned at an early day, and Jacob Thompson later-Cass in the spirit of profound attachment to the Constitution; the others with defiance and threats. The two Houses of Congress were two theatres. The galleries were filled with excited spectators. Few speeches were made by the Union men, and almost none by the Republicans, until honest Ben Wade, of Ohio, broke silence and gave tongue to the feelings of an outraged people. Especially was Philadelphia an interesting scene during these initial months. The meeting at the Board of Trade Rooms on Thursday, the 3d of January, 1861, called to decide “What measures should be adopted in the present condition of our national affairs," was an extraordinary event.
The veteran Colonel Cephas G. Childs presided. There were some differences between those who participated, but the sentiment of devotion to the Union was almost unani
That meeting resulted in a committee to make preparations for a larger demonstration at National Hall, on the evening of the Saturday succeeding, January 5, 1861. In looking over the names of those who took part in that monster and electric popular upheaval I find representatives of all parties. Many have passed away. We no longer see the familiar forms of Commodore Charles Stewart, Evans Rogers, J. Murray Rush, Joseph R. Ingersoll, Edward Coles, George W. Nebinger, John B. Myers, John Grigg, Oswald Thompson, Henry Horn, Cephas G. Childs, Edward Gratz, George A. Coffey, John M. Butler, James Landy, Edward G. Webb, Robert T. Carter, and George W. Thorn. All these have gone. Among the resolutions adopted and indorsed by the Republicans and many of the Democratic leaders of Philadelphia, was the following axiomatic and fundamental declaration :
“That all persons who wage war against the United States for the purpose of destroying the Government established by
our fathers, and for any other purpose whatever, or who aid, sanction, counsel, or encourage them, can not be regarded in any other light than as public enemies."
The gentleman who introduced the resolutions was J. Murray Rush, since deceased, son of the late venerable Richard Rush, widely known as a consummate statesman. Co-operating with him were such Philadelphia Democrats as General Robert Patterson, Lewis C. Cassidy, William A. Porter, George Northrop, Benjamin Rush, and George W. Nebinger. The veteran William D. Lewis, who presided, and whose speech was as full of fire as any of the younger orators, and Horace Binney, who wrote a glowing appeal, now almost a centenarian, are yet among us.
Other cities and towns were equally prompt and outspoken, but Philadelphia, with Boston, took the start and maintained it. When war was inevitable, Philadelphia, like Boston, became a rendezvous of loyal spirits. She symbolized her purpose by her memorable reception of Mr. Lincoln at Independence Hall, on the ead of February, 1861; by her first welcome to the Union troops as they passed along Washington Avenue to the national capital; by the impromptu organization of the CooperShop Refreshment Saloon, which soon became a national Mecca; by her magnificent Sanitary Fair; and her great Union League, beginning with a few gentlemen at a social meeting, and increasing into a brotherhood of seventeen hundred, wielding a potential influence in local, State, and general politics-a society not less distinguished for the culture of its members than for the gracious hospitalities extended to liberal strangers of every sect and clime.
On the day after the firing upon Fort Sumter I met Stephen A. Douglas upon Pennsylvania Avenue, in the city of Washington. Naturally anxious to ascertain what part he would take in coming events, I put the question to him, "What is now to
I be done? My dear friend, what are we to do?”
STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.
I shall never forget his answer : “We must fight for our country and forget all differences. There can be but two parties— the party of patriots and the party of traitors. We belong to the first." Abraham Lincoln was President. His old adversary, who had defeated him for Senator in 1858, and whom he (Lincoln) had defeated for President in 1860, called that very day at the White House and proffered his counsel and his services. The firing upon Sumter on the 14th of April, followed by the attack upon the Massachusetts troops on the 19th of the same month, raised the question how the soldiers of the North were to reach the capital, already beleaguered by the prepared hosts of the South. It was in the discussion of this question that Mr. Lincoln made the memorable remark, “If we can not pass over Baltimore, or under Baltimore, we must necessarily pass through Baltimore;” and it was in one of his interviews that Judge Douglas pressed the suggestion which originated in Massachusetts that we might go round Baltimore, and reach Washington viâ Annapolis by water-a suggestion subsequently successfully carried out. During this cordial intercourse Mr. Lincoln solicited Judge Douglas to go to the West and raise his voice in favor of the Government; and it was in response to this request that the great Senator turned his face homeward, and made the magnetic speech which aroused his followers, and gave to the Administration that timely support which helped to fill our armies, to increase the Republican column, and to add to Republican counsels the culture and courage of the flower of the Democratic party. Let me quote this his farewell speech at Chicago on the first of May, 1861– the faithful echo to Mr. Lincoln's affectionate appeal in the preceding April. These golden words should never be forgotten :
“The election of Mr. Lincoln is a mere pretext. The present secession movement is the result of an enormous conspiracy formed more than a year since-formed by leaders in the Southern Confederacy more than twelve months ago. They use the
slavery question as a means to aid the accomplishment of their ends. They desired the election of a Northern candidate by a sectional vote, in order to show that the two sections can not live together. When the history of the two years from the Lecompton question down to the Presidential election shall be written it will be shown that the scheme was deliberately made to break up this Union.
“They desired a Northern Republican to be elected by a purely Northern vote, and then assign this fact as a reason why the sections can not live together. If the Disunion candidate in the late Presidential contest had carried the united South, their scheme was, the Northern candidate successful, to seize the capital last spring, and, by a united South and a divided North, hold it. Their scheme was defeated in the defeat of the Disunion candidate in several of the Southern States.
“ But this is no time for a detail of causes. The conspiracy is now known; armies have been raised; war is levied to accomplish it. There are only two sides to the question. Every man must be for the United States or against it. There can be no neutrals in this war-only patriots or traitors."
A little more than a month after (June 3, 1861), Stephen A. Douglas died at Chicago, aged forty-eight years and two months. But Abraham Lincoln did not forget him. He directed the Departments to be clothed in mourning and the colors of the different Union regiments to be craped. Nor did his sympathy end in words. He seized the first occasion to honor the sons of Douglas-an example fitly followed by General Grant. Robert Martin Douglas is one of the President's private secretaries, and his brother, Stephen A. Douglas, Jr., a leading Republican in North Carolina, in full accord with the Administration. It is gratifying to add, as I feel I may now do by authority, that had Judge Douglas lived he would have been called into the Administration of Abraham Lincoln, or placed in one of the highest military commands. The relations of the present Chief
Magistrate to the friends of Douglas were closer and more intimate than those of Mr. Lincoln, and it is more than probable that had Douglas survived he would to-day be one of the counselors of President Grant, who himself was a citizen of Illinois at the time Judge Douglas was sweeping the Buchanan hosts out of the field. John A. Rawlins, the nearest friend and Secretary of War of Grant, was also the nearest friend of Douglas. What a power Douglas would have been, enlisted on the right side, with all his prophecies proved, all his Southern enemies crushed, with his plan of transcontinental railroads vindicated and increased, with our new Territories controlled and freed by the voice of the people, with the Mormon problem he so boldly attacked on the eve of solution, and the great West realizing every day his hopes of supreme empire !
[December 10, 1871.]
No member of the Geneva Conference raised under the Treaty of Washington to adjust questions arising out of that convention will attract more notice than the senior counsel of the American members, Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts. Born on the 17th of January, 1800, and therefore on the verge of seventy-two, he is, for his years, one of the most vigorous intellects in the world. His long career of more than half a century has been singularly varied. A graduate of Harvard College in 1817, subsequently a tutor of mathematics and natural philosophy, he studied law at Cambridge, and settled at Newburyport, still his Massachusetts residence, to practice the profession which he formally entered in 1822. In 1825-26 he served in the Legislature of the State, in 1829 visited Europe, and published on his return "Reminiscences of Spain," a de