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The President's Mes
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE.
power to drive that one out of the Union, it is presumed the whole class of seceder politicians would at once deny the power, and denounce the act as the greatest outrage upon State rights. But suppose that precisely the same act, instead of being called driving the one out,' should be called 'the seceding of the others from that one:' it would be exactly what the seceders claim to do; unless, indeed, they make the point, that the one, because it is a minority, may rightfully do what the others, because they are a majority, may not rightfully do. These politicians are subtle and profound on the rights of minorities. They are not partial to that power which made the Constitution, and speaks from the preamble, calling itself We, the People. '
"It may well be questioned whether there is, today, a majority of the legally qualified voters of any State, except perhaps South Carolina, in favor of disunion. There is much reason to believe that the Union men are the majority in many, if not in every other one, of the so-called seceded States. The contrary has not been demonstrated in an one of them. It is ventured to affirm this even of Virginia and Tennessee; for the result of an election held in military camps, where the bayonets are all on one side of the question voted upon, can scarcely be considered as demonstrating popular sentiment. At such an election all that large class who are, at once, for the Union and against coercion, would be coerced to vote against the Union.
“It may be affirmed, without extravagance, that the free institutions we enjoy have developed the powers, and improved the condition, of our whole people, beyond any example in the world. Of this we now have a striking and an impressive illustration. So large an army as the Government
has now on foot was never before known without a soldier in it but who had taken his place there of his own free choice. But more than this, there are many single regiments whose members, one and another, possess full practical knowledge of all the arts, sciences, professions, and whatever else, wheth er useful or elegant, is known in the world; and there is scarcely one from which there could not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a Congress, and perhaps a Court, abundantly competent to administer the Government itself! Nor do I say this is not true also in the army of our late friends, now adversaries, in this contest; but if it is, so much better the reason why the Government, which has conferred such benefits on both them and us, should not be broken up.
The President's Message.
better he is likely to get in its stead, whether the substitute will give, as he intended to give, so much of good to the people. There are some foreshadowings on this subject.
"Our adversaries have adopted some declarations of independence, in which, unlike the good old one penned by Jefferson, they omit the words,' all men are created equal.' Why? They have adopted a temporary National Constitution in the preamble of which, unlike our good old one signed by Washing. ton, they omit, We, the people,' and substitute We, the Deputies of the sovereign and independent States.'
Why? Why this deliberate pressing out of view the rights of men, and the authority of the people?
"This is essentially a people's contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of Government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men-to lift artificial weights from all shoulders-to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all-to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race
of life. Yielding to partial and temporary depar tures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the Government for whose existence we contend.
"I am most happy to believe that the plain people understand and appreciate this. It is worthy of note that while, in this the Government's hour of trial, large numbers of those in the Army and Navy who have been favored with the offices have resign
ed, and proved false to the hand which had pampered them, not one common soldier or common
sailor is known to have deserted his flag.
"Great honor is due to those officers who remained true, despite the example of their treacherous associates; but the greatest honor, and most important fact of all, is the unanimous firmness of the common soldiers and common sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts of those whose commands, but an hour before, they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patriotic instinct of plain people. They understand, without an argument, that the destroying the Government which was made by Washington means no good to them.
"Our popular Government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled: the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains: its successful maintenance against a formidable internal It is now for them to deattempt to overthrow it. monstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and conference to what principle it is that he does it, what stitutionally decided, there can be no successful ap.
"Whoever in any section proposes to abandon such a Government would do well to consider in de
The President's Message.
peal back to bullets; that there | what might follow. In full view of his great recan be no successful appeal ex-sponsibility, he has, so far, done what he has deemed cept to ballots themselves, at his duty. You will now, according to your own judgsucceeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of ment, perform yours. He sincerely hopes that peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by your views and your action may so accord with his an election, neither can they take by a war; teach- as to assure all faithful citizens who have been dising all the folly of being the beginners of a war. turbed in their rights, of a certain and speedy restoration to them,under the Constitution and the laws.
"Lest there be some uneasiness in the minds of candid men as to what is to be the course of the
Government towards the Southern States after the rebellion shall have been suppressed, the Executive deems it proper to say it will be his purpose then, as ever, to be guided by the Constitution and the laws, and that he probably will have no different understanding of the powers and duties of the Federal Government, relatively to the rights of the States and the people under the Constitution, than that expressed in the Inaugural Address.
"He desires to preserve the Government, that it may be administered for all as it was administered by the men who made it. Loyal citizens everywhere have the right to claim this of their Government; and the Government has no right to withhold or neglect it. It is not perceived that in giving it, there is any coercion conquest, or any subjugation, in any just sense of those terms.
"The Constitution provides, and all the States have accepted the provision, that "the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of Government.' But if a State may lawfully go out of the Union, having done so, it may also discard the republican form of Government; so that to prevent its going out is an indispensable means to the end of maintaining the guarantee mentioned; and when an end is lawful and obligatory, the indispensable means to it are also lawful and obligatory.
"And, having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.
Reception of the Message.
July 4th, 1861. ABRAHAM LINCOLN." The reading was interrupted with repeated applause in the House, by members and the galleries. In the Senate the expression of approval was made pleagingly manifest. No Congress convened since the adoption of the Constitution can be regarded as exceeding in importance this extra session; and this document, announcing the policy of the Administration, may be pronounced one of the most important that ever emanated from Executive hands. Its publication was awaited by the people with the most feverish anxiety. That it would meet the crisis manfully, patriotically, all regarded as certain; yet, there was experienced an agreeable surprise at its wholesome vigor and It impressed the impressive earnestness. reader, first, with a sense of its candor; second, with its kindness; third, with its truth; thus carrying conviction to the mind, and preparing it to accept the issue involved
"It was with the deepest regret that the Execu-the necessity for great sacrifices, great extive found the duty of employing the war power in defense of the Government forced upon him. He could but perform this duty, or surrender the existence of the Government. No compromise by public
servants could in this case be a cure; not that compromises are not often proper, but that no popular Government can long survive a marked precedent that those who carry an election can only save the Government from immediate destruction by giving up the main point upon which the people gave the election. The people themselves, and not their servants, can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.
pense, great endurance, in sustaining the Executive. It is probable that no message, even upon the minor questions of Executive policy, ever met with such hearty and almost general approval among those still acknowledging the supremacy of the Federal Gov
Report of the Secretary of the Treasury
The reports from the Secretaries of the Treasury, War and Navy were very lucid and admirable papers. Mr. Chase opened his budget, with its enormous estimates, with confidence. The amount subhave consented that these institutions shall perish; mitted as requisite for the fiscal year of 1863 was set down at $318,519,580. To raise this sum his suggestions were to increase the duty list of the tariff so as
As a private citizen, the Executive could not
much less could he, in betrayal of so vast and so sacred a trust as these free people had confided to him. He felt that he had no moral right to shrink, nor even to count the chances of his own life, in
to make it net
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
Report of the Secretary of the Treasury.
$57,000,000; to raise by direct taxation $20,000,000; by loan from the people $100,000,000, or so much as may be subscribed for, (on 7.30 per cent treasury notes, interest payable semi-annually, and redeemable at the pleasure of the United States after three years,) and $140,000,000 or the amount requisite to make up $240,000,000 by issue of Government bonds, of various denominations, redeemable in a period not exceeding thirty years, bearing an interest not exceeding seven per cent., and to be sold at not less than par value.
"Under the acts of February
tary of the Treasury.
and March, 1861, the present Report of the SecreSecretary, in April, 1861, disposed of $3,099,000 in bonds, at rates varying from eighty-five per centum to par, and $4,901,000 in treasury notes at above par, realizing for the $8,000,000 offered the sum of $7,814,898 to the trea sury, and in May, 1861, he further disposed of $7,310,000.
"The present Secretary also invited proposals, at par, for $13,978,000, being the balance of the loan authorized by the act of June, 1861. No bids were received except three for twelve thousand in the aggregate, which having been made under misapprehension, were permitted to be withdrawn, or ap
His exhibit of the condition of the finances, plied as offers for treasury notes at par, or for bids was as follows:
“The Secretary has already said that on the supposition that $80,000,000 may be raised by taxation in the mode proposed, or derived from the sales of the public lands and miscellaneous sources, it will still be necessary, in order to meet the extraordinary demands of the present crisis, to raise the sum of $240,000,000 by loans. A comparison of the acts by which loans have been already authorized and of the loans actually made, will show what resources of this description are available under the existing laws.
under the act of February, at eighty-five per cent. March, 1861, issued treasury notes to offerers at par, The Secretary has since, under the authority of and in payment to public creditors to the amount of $2,584,550.
"The only authority now existing for obtaining money by loans is, therefore, found in the act of the 2d of March, 1861, which authorizes the issuing of bonds bearing an interest of six per cent., or in default of offers at par, the issue or payment of treasury notes bearing the same rate of interest at par to the amount of $10,000,000 in bonds at rates
“The act of June 22, 1860, authorized the bor-varying from eighty-five to ninety-three per cent., rowing of $21,000,000, at an interest not above six per cent. Under this authority, Mr. Secretary Cobb, in October, 1860, negotiated a loan of $20,000,000;
but, from causes not necessary to be here specified,
the takers of $2,978,000 failed to make good their offers. The amount realized, therefore, was only
$17,022,000, leaving for future negotiation under the act the sum of $3,978,000.
"The act of the 8th of February, 1861, authorized
another loan of $25,000,000 on bonds at six per cent., and permitted the acceptance of the best bids, whether above or below par. Under this act, in February, 1861, Mr. Secretary Dix disposed of bonds to the amount of $8,006,000, at rates varying from 90.15 to 96.10 for each $1,000, and realizing the sum of $7,243,500.35, leaving to be negotiated the sum of $16,994,000.
"The act of March 2d, 1861, commonly called the tariff act, authorized another loan of $10,000,000, at an interest not exceeding six per cent., and also authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue treasury notes in exchange for coin or in payment of
and $1,684,000 in treasury notes at par, realizing for the $8,994,000 offered, the sum of $7,922 553.45; and in the act of June 22d, 1860, as modified by the act of March 2d, 1860, under which treasury notes at six per cent. may be issued or paid to creditors
at par to the amount of $11,393,450, making in all the aggregate of loans authorized in some form,
This authority, under existing circumstances, is no further available than as creditors may desire to
accept payment in treasury notes at six per cent., which is not to be expected except, perhaps, as an alternative for delays, of which a just or prudent Government will not, unless under extreme necessity, permit the occurrence. It needs no further argument to work the conviction that under the existing laws little or nothing of the required sum can be realized. The magnitude of the occasion requires other measures, as the contest in which the Government is now engaged is a contest for National existence and the sovereignty of the people."
He proposed articles to be added to the
debts for the amount of any bids not accepted under tariff schedule-enhanced the duties on others
the act of February 3d, 1861, and for the amount of any loan restricted to par, not taken under the proposals authorized by the act of January 18th, 1860, or by the tariff act itself.
-suggested the reduction, by ten per cent., of salaries of Government employees-proposed the ways and means for opening and carrying out the National 7.30 per cent. loan
Report of the Secretary of War.
-suggested the propriety of his being au- | overpowered by rebel troops at thorized to issue, as a source of immediate the command of disloyal Govrevenue, small treasury notes to the amount ernors. The Government arof $50,000,000, redeemable in one year, with-senals at Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Mount Vernon, out interest. The Secretary anticipated no Apalachicola, Augusta, Charleston and Fayetteville; the ordnance depot at San Antonio, and all the other necessity of looking abroad for purchasers of Government works in Texas, which served as the the bonds, hoping that the sure basis of redepots of immense stores of arms and ammunition, demption created would, added to the patriotism of the people, suffice to absorb the entire amount required over and above the $80,000,000 obtained from duties and direct
By studying the exhibit above it will be seen that the resources of the treasury were to be created almost anew. From having a surplus of $60,000,000-as during the early part of Mr. Buchanan's term-it rested upon the verge of bankruptcy before the close of his Administration, and was only saved from that disgrace by the energy of, and confidence inspired among capitalists by, Mr. Dix during his brief service in the Department, [see Vol. I, pages 388-92.] Mr. Chase assumed the chest to find it in a "shinning" condition, with such demands upon it as never before were made of the Department. His early conduct of the finances challenged the admiration of friends, and turned the sneers of Foreign journals to exclamations of surprise.
Congress approved the Secretary's views and suggestions and afterwards adopted them with slight modifications.
Report of the Secre tary of War.
To the report from Mr. Cameron, Secretary of War, public attention was particularly directed. As it embodied a resume of War affairs from his assumption of office up to July 1st, we transcribe those portions found to possess permanent historical interest : "It forms no part of the duty of this Department to enter upon a discussion of the preliminary cir cumstances which have contributed to the present condition of public affairs. The secession ordinance of South Carolina was passed on the 20th of Deecmber last, and from that period until the majesty of the Government was made manifest, immediately after you had assumed the chief magistracy, the conspirators against its Constitution and laws have left nothing undone to perpetuate the memory of their infamy. Revenue steamers have been deliberately betrayed by their commanders, or, where treason could not be brought to consummate the defection, have been
have been surrendered by the commanders or seized by disloyal hands. Forts Macon, Caswell, Johnson, Clinch, Pulaski, Jackson, Marion, Barrancas, McKee, Morgan, Gaines, Pike, Macomb, St. Phillip, Livingston, Smith, and three at Charleston; Oglethorpe Barracks, Barrancas Barracks, New Orleans Barracks, Fort Jackson on the Mississippi; the battery at Bienvenue, Dupre, and the works at Ship Island,
have been successively stolen from the Govern ment or betrayed by their commanding officers.
The Custom Houses at New Orleans, Mobile, Sa
Vannah, Charleston, and other important points, con
taining vast amounts of Government funds, have been treacherously appropriated to sustain the cause of rebellion. In like manner the Branch Mints at
New Orleans, at Charlotte, and at Dahlonega, have been illegally seized, in defiance of every principle of common honesty and honor. The vio lent seizure of the United States Marine Hospital at New Orleans was only wanting to complete the catalogue of crime. The inmates, who had been disabled by devotion to their country's service, and who there had been secured a grateful asylum, were cruelly ordered to be removed, without the slightest provision being made for their support or comfort. In Texas the large forces detailed
upon the frontier for protection of the inhabitauts
against the attacks of marauding Indians, were ignominiously deserted by their commander, Brigadier-General Twiggs. To the infamy of treason to his flag was added the crowning crime of deliberately handing over to the armed enemies of his Government all the public property entrusted to his charge, thus even depriving the loyal men under his command of all means of transportation out of the State.
"A striking and honorable contrast with the recreant conduct of Brigadier-General Twiggs and other traitorous officers has been presented in the heroic and truly self-sacrifising course pursued by Major Robert Anderson and the small and gallant band of officers and men under his command at Fort Sumter, and also by Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer, his officers and men, at Fort Pickens. In referring, with strongest commendation, to the conduct of these brave soldiers, under the trying circumstances which surrounded them, I only echo the unanimous voice of the American people. In
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.
Report of the Secretary of War.
Report of the Secretary of War.
this connection it is a pleasura- | which are on duty in the field. ble duty to refer to the very In a similar patriotic spirit, the gallant action of Lieutenant loyal people of Missouri raised a Roger Jones at Harper's Ferry, and the handsome force of eleven thousand, four hundred and forty-five and successful manner in which he executed the officers and men, making, in round numbers, twelve orders of the Government at that important post. organized regiments, to sustain the Government and "The determination of the Government to use to put down rebellion in that State. And so, also, the its utmost power to subdue the rebellion, has been citizens of the District of Columbia, emulating these sustained by the unqualified approval of the whole honorable examples, furnished no less than two people. Heretofore theleaders of this conspiracy thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three officers have professed to regard the people of this country and men, making in all four full regiments, all of as incapable of making a forcible resistance to re- which are yet in the field, doing active and efficient bellion. The error of this conclusion is now be- service. Thus, notwithstanding the refusal of dising made manifest. History will record that men loyal Governors to respond, the Government, inwho, in ordinary times, were solely devoted to the stead of having been furnished with only the numarts of peace, were yet ready, on the instant, to ber of troops called for under your proclamation of rush to arms in defense of their rights when as- the 15th of April last, has received and has now in sailed. At the present moment the Government service under that call, in round numbers, at least presents the striking anomaly of being embarrass- eighty thousand. ed by the generous outpouring of volunteers to sustain its action. Instead of laboring under the difficulty of monarchical Governments-the want of men to fill its armies (which in other countries has compelled a resort to forced conscriptions)-regiments have been accepted, but on condition of one of its main difficulties is to keep down the proportions of the army, and to prevent it from swelling beyond the actual force required.
"Under your second proclamation of the 4th of May last, calling for volunteers to serve during the war, there have been accepted up to this date two hundred and eight regiments. A number of other
being ready to be mustered into the service within a specified time, the limitation of which has, in some instances, not expired. It is not possible to state how many of these may be ready before the meeting of Congress. Of the regiments accepted, all are infantry and riflemen, with the exception of two battalions of artillery and four regiments of cavalry. A number of regiments mustered as infantry have, however, attached to them one or more artillery companies, and there are also some regiments partly made up of companies of cavalry. Of the two hundred and eight regiments accepted for three years, there are now one hundred and fifty-three in active service, and the remaining fiftyfive are mostly ready, and all of them will be in the field within the next twenty days.
The commanding officers of the regiments in the volunteer service, both for the three months' service and for the war, have, in many instances, not yet furnished the Department with the muster rolls of their regiments. For the want of these returns it is impossible to present as accurate an enumeration of the volunteer force accepted and in the field as could be desired. Under the proclamation issued by you on the 15th of April last, the Governors of different States were called upon to detach from the militia under their command a certain quota, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged. The call so made amounted in the aggregate to ninety-four regiments, making 73,391 officers and men. Of the States call-puted as follows: ed upon, the Governors of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri, peremptorily refused to comply with the requirements made by the Department. All the other States promptly furnished the number required of them, except Maryland, whose Governor, though manife-ting entire readiness to comply, was prevented from so doing by the outbreak at Baltimore.
"In the States of Virginia and Missouri, notwithstanding the positive refusal of their executive officers to co-operate with the Government, patriotic citizens voluntarily united together and organized regiments for the Government service. Delaware and Virginia furnished each a regiment, both of
"The total force now in the field may be com
Regulars and volunteers for three months
Add to this fifty-five regiments of vol-
Total force now at command of Government.....
.310,000 Deduct the three months' volunteers....... 80,000 Force for service after the withdrawal of the three months' men......
"It will thus be perceived that after the discharge of the three months' troops, there will be still an available force of volunteers amounting to one hun dred and eighty-eight thousand, which, added to