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DURING the Presidential canvass of 1864, the author of this work prepared for its publishers a volume upon the Administration of President Lincoln. Its main object was to afford the American people the materials for forming an intelligent judgment as to the wisdom of continuing Mr. Lincoln, for four years more, in the Presidential office.
That canvass resulted in his re-election. But he had scarcely entered upon the duties and responsibilities of his second term, when his career was closed by assassination. He had lived long enough, however, to finish the great work which had devolved upon him. Before his eyes were closed, they beheld the overthrow of the rebellion, the extirpation of slavery, and the restoration, over all the land, of the authority of the Constitution of the United States.
Not the people of his own country alone, but all the world, will study with interest the life and public acts of one whose work was at once so great and so successful. The principles which guided his conduct, and the policy by which he sought to carry them outthe temper and character which were the secret sources of his strength-will be sought and found in the acts and words of his public life. For more truly, perhaps,
than any other man of his own or of any other time, Mr. Lincoln had but one character and one mode of action, in public and private affairs.
It is the purpose of this work, so far as possible, to facilitate this inquiry. Every public speech, message, letter, or document of any sort from his pen, so far as accessible, will be found included in its pages. These documents, with the narrative by which they are accompanied, may, it is hoped, aid the public in understanding aright the character and conduct of the most illustrious actor, in the most important era, of American history.
Early Life of Abraham Lincoln.-His Own Record.-His Ancestry.-Changes of Residence.-Death and Funeral of his Mother.-Entrance upon Political Life.-A Member of the Legislature and of Congress.-The Mexican War....
THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE.
Presidential Campaign of 1856.-Douglas at Springfield in 1857.-Lincoln's Reply. The Great Debate.-Eloquent Defence of the Doctrines of the Republican Party.-Result of the Contest..
MR. LINCOLN AND THE PRESIDENCY.
The Campaign of 1859 in Ohio.-Mr. Lincoln's Speeches at Columbus and Cincinnati. His Visit to the East.-In New York City.-The Great Speech at Cooper Institute.-Mr. Lincoln nominated for the Presidency. -His Election....
FROM THE ELECTION, NOVEMBER 6, 1860, TO THE INAUGURATION, MARCH 4, 1861.
The Presidential Election.-Secession of South Carolina.-Formation of the Rebel Confederacy.-The Objects of Secession.-Secession Movements in Washington.-Debates in Congress.-The Crittenden Resolutions.-Conciliatory Action of Congress.-The Peace Conference.-Action of Congress.-The Secession Movement unchecked...... ... Page 107
FROM SPRINGFIELD TO WASHINGTON.
Speech at Indianapolis.-Arrival and Speech at Cincinnati.-Speech at Columbus.-Speech at Pittsburg.-Arrival and Speech at Cleveland.-Arrival at Buffalo.-At Rochester and Syracuso.-At Albany.-Speech at
Poughkeepsie. In New York.-Reply to the Mayor of New York.-In New Jersey.-Arrival at Philadelphia.-Speech in Philadelphia.-At Harrisburg.-Arrival and Reception at Washington....
FROM THE INAUGURATION TO THE MEETING OF CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1861. The Inaugural Address.—Organization of the Government.-The Bombardment of Fort Sumter.-Passage of Troops through Baltimore.-Interview with the Mayor of Baltimore.-The Blockade of Rebel Ports.-The President and the Virginia Commissioners.-Instruction to our Ministers abroad.-Recognition of the Rebels as Belligerents.-Rights of Neu
THE EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS, AND THE MILITARY EVENTS OF THE SUMMER OF 1861.
First Annual Message.-Action of Congress.-Slavery and Confiscation.-The Defeat at Bull Run.-Treatment of the Slavery Question.-General Fremont and the President.-The Trent Affair....
THE REGULAR SESSION OF CONGRESS, DECEMBER, 1861.-THE MESSAGE.— DEBATES, ETC.
Meeting of Congress.-President's Message.-Disposition of Congress.Slavery in Territories and District of Columbia.-Proposed Aid to Emancipation by Slave States.-The Debate in Congress.-The President and General Hunter.-The Border State Representatives.-The Border State Reply. The Finances.-The Confiscation Bill.-The President's Action and Opinions.-The President's Message.-Message in Regard to Mr. Cameron.-The President and his Cabinet.-Close of the Session of Congress.-The President's Letter to Mr. Greeley.-The President and the Chicago Convention.-Proclamation of Emancipation....
THE MILITARY ADMINISTRATION OF 1862.- -THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL M'CLELLAN.
General McClellan succeeds McDowell.-The President's Order for an Advance.-The Movement to the Peninsula.-Rebel Evacuation of Manassas.-Arrangements for the Peninsular Movement.-The President's Letter to General McClellan.-The Rebel Strength at Yorktown.-The