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HIS PROGRESS IN LIFE.
he honoured from boyhood. For the rest, volved upon any other man since Washingfrom day to day, he lived the life of the ton. He never would have succeeded, exAmerican people; walked in its light; rea- cept for the aid of Divine Providence, upon soned with its reason, thought with its pow- which he at all times relied. On the same er of thought ; felt the beatings of its mighty Almighty Being I place my reliance. Pray heart; and so was in every way a child of that I may receive that Divine assistance, nature a child of the West -- a child of without which I cannot succeed, but with America.
which success is certain.” To the men of Indiana he said: “I am but an accidental,
temporary instrument; it is your business At nineteen, feeling impulses of ambition to rise up and preserve the Union and libto get on in the world, he engaged himself erty.”. Åt the capital of Ohio he said: to go down the Mississippi in a flat boat, “Without a name, without a reason why I receiving ten dollars a month for his wages, should have a name, there has fallen upon and afterwards he made the trip once more. me a task such as did not rest even upon At twenty-one he drove his father's cattle the Father of his country.” At various as the family migrated to Illinois, and split places in New York, especially at Albany rails to fence in the new homestead in the before the Legislature, which tendered him wild. At twenty-three he was a captain of the united support of the great Empire volunteers in the Black Hawk war. He State, he said: “ While I hold myself the kept a shop; he learned something of sur- humblest of all the individuals who have veying; but of English literature he added ever been elevated to the Presidency, I to Bunyan nothing but Shakespeare's plays. have a more difficult task to perform than At twenty-five he was elected to the Legis- any of them. I bring a true heart to the lature of Illinois, where he served eight work. I must rely upon the people of the years. At twenty-seven he was admitted whole country for support; and with their to the bar. In 1837 he chose his home at sustaining aid even I, humble as I am, canSpringfield, the beautiful centre of the not fail to carry the ship of State safely richest land in the State. In 1847 he was through the storm.” To the Assembly of a member of the national Congress, where New Jersey, at Trenton, he explained: “I he voted about forty times in favour of the shall take the ground I deem most just to principle of the Jefferson proviso. In 1854 the North, the East, the West, the South,
gave his influence to elect from Illinois and the whole country, in good temper, to the American Senate a democrat who certainly with no malice to any section. I would certainly do justice to Kansas. In am devoted to peace, but it may be neces1858, as the rival of Douglas, he went be- sary to put the foot down firmly.". In the fore the people of the mighty Prairie State, old Independence Hall of Philadelphia he saying: “This Union cannot permanently said: "I have never had a feeling politiendure, half slave and half free; the Union cally that did not spring from the sentiwill not be dissolved, but the house will ments embodied in the Declaration of Incease to be divided.” And now, in 1861, dependence, which gave liberty, not alone with no experience whatever as an exec- to the people of this country, but to the utive officer, while States were madly fly- world in all future time. If the country ing from their orbit, and wise men knew cannot be saved without giving up that not where to find counsel, this descendant principle, I would rather be assassinated on of Quakers, this pupil of Bunyan, this the spot than surrender it. I have said child of the great West was elected Presi- nothing but what I am willing to live and dent of America.
He measured the difficulty of the duty that devolved on him, and was resolved to fulál it.
Travelling in the dead of night to escape
assassination, Lincoln arrived at WashingAs on the eleventh of February, 1861, he ton nine days before his inauguration. The left Springfield, which for a quarter of a outgoing President, at the opening of the century bad been his happy home, to the session of Congress had still kept as the crowd of his friends and neighbours whom majority of his advisers men engaged in
IN WHAT STATE HE FOUND THE
never more to meet, he spoke a treason : had declared that in case of even solemn farewell : “I know not how soon I an imaginary” apprehension of danger shall see you again. A duty has devolved from notions of freedom among the slaves, upon me, greater than that which has de- “ disunion would become inevitable.” Lin
HE GOES TO WASHINGTON.
coln and others had questioned the opinion of of the South, or any decision of the SuTaney; such impugning he ascribed to the preme Court; and, nevertheless, the seced“ factious temper of the times." The fa- ing States formed at Montgomery a provivorite doctrine of the majority of the sional government, and pursued their redemocratic party on the power of a terri- lentless purpose with such success that the torial legislature over slavery he condemned Lieutenant-General feared the city of as an attack on “ the sacred rights of pro- Washington might find itself “ included in perty.” The State Legislatures, he insist- a foreign country,” and proposed, among ed, must repeal what he called “their un- the options for the consideration of Lincoln, constitutional and obnoxious enactments,” to bid the seceded States “ depart in peace.” and which, if such, were “ null and void,” The great republic seemed to have its emor “it would be impossible for any human blem in the vast unfinished capitol, at that power to save the Union !” Nay! if these moment surrounded by masses of stone and unimportant acts were not repealed, “ the prostrate columns never yet lifted into injured States would be justified in revolu- their places : seemingly the monument of tionary resistance to the government of the high but delusive aspirations, the confused Union.” He maintained that no State wreck of inchoate magnificence, sadder might secede at its sovereign will and than any ruin of Egyptian Thebes, or pleasure; that the Union was meant for Athens. perpetuity; and that Congress might attempt to preserve, but only by conciliation ;
HIS INAUGURATION. that “ the sword was not placed in their The fourth of March came. With inhands to preserve it by force;” that “the stinctive wisdom the new President, speaklast desperate remedy of a despairing peo- ing to the people on taking the oath of ple” would be “an explanatory amend- office, put aside every question that divided ment recognizing the decision of the Su- the country, and gained a right to univerpreme Court of the United States.” .The sal support, by planting himself on the American Union he called " a confederacy" single idea of Union. That Union he deof States, and he thought it a duty to make clared to be unbroken and perpetual ; and the appeal for amendment“ before any of he announced his determination to fulfil these States should separate themselves “ the simple duty of taking care that the from the Union.” The views of the Lieu- laws be faithfully executed in all the tenant-General, containing some patriotic States.” Seven days later, the convention advice, “ conceded the right of secession,” of confederate States unanimously adopted pronounced a quadruple rupture of the a constitution of their own; and the new Union " a smaller evil than the reuniting of government was authoritatively announthe fragments by the sword,” and “eschew- ced to be founded on the idea that slaveed the idea of invading a seceded State. ry is the natural and normal condition After changes in the Cabinet, the Presi- of the negro race. The issue was made up dent informed Congress that “matters were whether the great republic was to mainstill worse;” that the South suffered se- tain its providential place in the history of rious grievances,” which should be redress- mankind, or a rebellion founded on negro ed " in peace.” The day after this message slavery gain a recognition of its principle the flag of the Union was fired upon from throughout the civilized world. To the Fort Moultrie, and the insult was not disaffected Lincoln had said: “You have revenged or noticed. Senators in Congress no conflict without being yourselves the age telegraphed to their constituents to seize gressors.” To fire the passions of the Souththe national forts, and they were not ar- ern portion of the people the confederate rested. The finances of the country were government chose to become aggressors; grievously embarrassed.
Its little army and on the morning of the 12th of April was not within reach – the part of it in began the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Texas, with all its stores, were made over and compelled its evacuation. by its commander to the seceding insurgents. One State after another voted in convention to go out of the Union. A • It is the glory of the late President th peace Congress, so-called, met at the re- he had perfect faith in the perpetuity quest of Virginia, to concert the terms of the Union. Supported in advance capitulation for the continuance of the Douglas, who spoke as with the voice Union. Congress in both branches sought million, he instantly called a meetin to devise conciliatory expedients; the ter- Congress, and summoned the peop! ritories of the country were organized in a come up and repossess the forts, placi manner not to conflict with any pretensions i property which had been seized fro
UPRISING OF THE PEOPLE
Union. The men of the North were trained in an eminent degree attained to freedom in schools ; industrious and frugal; many of industry and the security of person and of them delicately bred, their minds teem- property. Its middle class rose to greatness. ing with ideas and fertile in plans of enter- Out of that class sprung the noblest poets prise; given to the culture of the arts; and philosophers, whose words built up the eager in the pursuit of wealth, yet employ- intellect of its people; skilful navigators, ing wealth less for ostentation than for de to find out the many paths of the ocean; veloping the resources of their country; discoverers in natural science, whose invenseeking happiness in the calm of domestic tions guided its industry to wealth, till it life; and such lovers of peace that for gen- equalled any nation of the world in letters, erations they have been reputed unwarlike. and excelled all in trade and commerce. Now, at the cry of their country in its dis. But its government was become a governtress, they rose up with unappeasable patri- ment of land, and not of men; every blade otism: not hirelings — the purest and of the of grass was represented, but only a small best blood in the land ; sons of a pious minority of the people. In the transition ancestry, with a clear perception of duty, from the feudal forms, the heads of the sounclouded faith and fixed resolve to succeed, cial organization freed themselves from the they thronged round the President to sup- military services which were the conditions port the wronged, the beautiful flag of the of their tenure, and throwing the burden on nation. The halls of theological semi- the industrial classes, kept all the soil to naries sent forth their young men, whose themselves. Vast estates that had been lips were touched with eloquence, whose managed by monasteries as endowments for hearts kindled with devotion to serve in the religion and charity were impropriated to ranks, and make their way to command swell the wealth of courtiers and favorites; only as they learned the art of war. Strip- and the commons, where the poor man once lings in the colleges, as well as the most had his right of pasture, were taken away, gentle and the most studious; those of and, under forms of law, enclosed distribsweetest temper and loveliest character and utively within their own domains. Although brightest genius passed from their classes to no law forbade any inhabitant from purthe camp. The lumbermen sprang forward chasing land, the costliness of the transfer from the forest, the mechanics from their constituted a prohibition; so that it was the benches, where they had been trained by rule of that country that the plough should the exercise of political rights to share not be in the hands of its owner. The the life and hope of the Republic, to feel church was rested on a contradiction, their responsibility to their forefathers, claiming to be an embodiment of absolute their posterity and mankind, went forth re- truth, and yet was a creature of the statute solved that their dignity as a constituent book. part of this republic should not be impaired. Farmers and sons of farmers left the land but halt ploughed, the grain but half plant- The progress of time increased the terried, and, taking up the musket, learned to ble contrast between wealth and poverty ; face without fear the presence of peril and in their years of strength, the laboring peothe coming of death in the shocks of war, ple, cut off from all share in governing the while their hearts were still attracted to the State, derived a scanty support from the charms of their rural life, and all the tender severest toil, and had no hope for old age affections of home. Whatever there was of but in public charity or death. A grasping truth and faith and public love in the com- ambition had dotted the world with military mon heart broke out with one expression. posts, kept watch over our borders on the The mighty winds blew from every quarter northeast, at the Bermudas, in the West to fan the flame of the sacred and unquench- Indies, held the gates of the Pacific, of the able fire.
Southern and of the Indian Ocean, hover
ed on our northwest at Vancouver, held the For a time the war was thought to be trances to the old Mediterranean and Red
whole of the newest continent, and the enconfined to our own domestic affairs; but Sea; and garrisoned forts all the way from it was soon seen that it involved the desti- Madras to China. nies of mankind, and its principles and
That aristocracy had causes shook the politics of Europe to the gazed with terror on the growth of a comcentre, and from Lisbon to Pekin, divided monwealth where freeholds existed by the the governinents of the world.
million, and religion was not in bondage to the state ; and now they could not repress
their joy at its perils. They had not one There was a kingdom whose people had I word of sympathy for the kind-hearted
THE WAR A WORLD-WIDE WAR.
poor man's son whom America had chosen land. Thrice only in all its history has that for her chief; they jeered at his large hands, yearning been fairly met; in the days of and long feet, and ungainly stature; and Hampden and Cromwell
, again in the first the British secretary of state for foreign af- ministry of the elder Pitt, and once again in fairs made haste to send word through the the ministry of Shelburne. Not that there palaces of Europe that the great republic have not at all times been just men among was in its agony, that the republic was no the peers of Britain — like Halifax in the more, that a head stone was all that remain- days of James the Second, or a Granville, an ed due by the law of nations to “ the late Argyll
, or a Houghton in ours; and we canUnion." But it is written : “Let the dead not be indifferent to a country that produces bury their dead;" they may not bury the statesmen like Cobden and Bright; but the living. Let the dead bury their dead; let best bower anchor of peace was the working a bill of reform remove the worn-out gov- class of England, who suffered most from ernment of a class, and infuse new life into our civil war, but who, while they broke the British constitution by confiding right- their diminished bread in sorrow, always enful power to the people.
couraged us to persevere.
FRANCE AND THE MONROE DOCTRINE. But while the vitality of America is inde- The act of recognizing the rebel belligerstructible, the British government hurried ents was concerted with France; France, so to do what never before had been done by beloved in America, on which she had conChristian powers, what was in direct con- ferred the greatest benefits that one people flict with its own exposition of public law in ever conferred on another; France, which the time of our struggle for independence. stands foremost on the continent of Europe Though the insurgent States had not a ship for the solidity of her culture, as well as for in an open harbor, it invested them with the bravery and generous impulses of her all the rights of a belligerent, even on the sons ; France, which for centuries had been ocean; and this, too, when the rebellion moving steadily in its own way towards inwas not only directed against the gentlest tellectual and political freedom. The poliand most beneficent government on earth, cy regarding further colonization of Ameriwithout a shadow of justifiable cause, but ca by European powers, known commonly when the rebellion was directed against hu- as the doctrine of Monroe, had its origin in man nature itself for the perpetual enslave- France; and if it takes any man's name, ment of a race. And the effect of this re- should bear the name of Turgot. It was cognition was that acts in themselves pirati- adopted by Louis the Sixteenth, in the cabical found shelter in British courts of law. net of which Vergennes was the most imThe resources of British capitalists, their portant member. It is emphatically the poliworkshops, their armories, their private ar-cy of France; to which, with transient desenals, their shipyards, were in league with viations, the Bourbons, the First Napoleon, the insurgents, and every British harbor in the House of Orleans have ever adhered. the wide world became a safe port for British ships, manned by British sailors, and armed with British guns, to prey on our peaceful The late President was perpetually harcommerce; even on our ships coming from assed by rumors that the Emperor Napoleon British ports, freighted with British pro- the Third desired formally to recognize the ducts, or that had carried gifts of grain to States in rebellion as an independent power, the English poor. The prime minister in and that England held him back by her rethe House of Commons, sustained by cheers, luctance, or France by her traditions of scoffed at the thought that their laws could freedom, or he himself by his own better be amended at our request, so as to pre-judgment and clear perception of events. serve real neutrality; and to remonstrances But the republic of Mexico, on our borders, now owned to have been just, their secreta- was, like ourselves, distracted by a rebellion, ry answered that they could not change and from a similar cause. The monarchy their laws ad infinitum.
of England had fastened upon us slavery which did not disappear with independence;
in like manner, the ecclesiastical policy esThe people of America then wished, as tablished by the Spanish council of the Inthey always have wished, as they still wish, dies, in the days of Charles the Fifth and friendly relations with England; and no Philip the Second, retained its vigor in the man in Europe or America can desire it Mexican Republic. The fifty years of civil more strongly than I. This country has al- war under which she had languished was ways yearned for good relations with Eng-i due to the bigoted system which was the
THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON AND MEXICO.
RELATIONS WITH ENGLAND.
legacy of monarchy, just as here the inheri- | for its overthrow ? These momentous tance of slavery kept alive political strife, questions are by the invasion of Mexico and culminated in civil war. As with us thrown up for solution. A free State once there could be no quiet but through the end truly constituted should be as undying as its of slavery, so in Mexico there could be no people; the republic of Mexico must rise prosperity until the crushing tyranny of in- again. tolerance should cease. The party of slavery in the United States sent their emissa- THE POPE OF ROME AND THE REBELLION. ries to Europe to solicit aid ; and so did the It was the condition of affairs in Mexico party of the church in Mexico, as organized that involved the Pope of Rome in our difby the old Spanish council of the Indies, ficulties so far that he alone among temporal but with a different result. Just as the re- sovereigns recognized the chief of the Conpublican party had made an end of the re- federate States as a president, and his supbellion, and was establishing the best gov- porters as a people;
and in letters to two ernment ever known in that region, and giv- great prelates of the Catholic Church in the ing promise to the nation of order, peace,
United States gave counsels for peace at a and prosperity, word was brought us, in the time when peace meant the victory of semoment of our deepest affliction, that the cession. Yet events move as they are orFrench emperor, moved by a desire to erect dered. The blessing of the Pope at Rome in North America a buttress for Imperial- on the head of Duke Maximilian could not ism, would travsform the republic of Mexico revive in the nineteenth century the eccleinto a secundo-geniture for the house of siastical policy of the sixteenth; and the reHapsburgh. America might complain ; she sult is only a new proof that there can be no could not then interpose, and delay seemed prosperity in the State without religious justifiable. It was seen that Mexico could freedom. not, with all its wealth of land, compete in cereal products with our northwest, por, in
THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA. tropical products, with Cuba; nor could it, When it came home to the consciousness under a disputed dynasty, attract capital, or of the Americans that the war which they create public works, or develop mines, or were waging was a war for the liberty of all borrow money; so that the imperial system the nations of the world, for freedom itself, of Mexico, which was forced at once to rec- they thanked God for the severity of the ognize the wisdom of the policy of the repub- trial to which he put their sincerity, and lic by adopting it, could prove only an un- nerved themselves for their duty with an remunerating drain on the French treasury inexorable will. The President was led for the support of an Austrian adventurer. along by the greatness of their self-sacrifi
cing example; and as a child, in a dark THE PERPETUITY OF REPUBLICAN INSTI- night on a rugged way, catches bold of the
band of its father for guidance and support, Meantime, a new series of momentous he clung fast to the hand of the people, and questions grows up, and forces themselves moved calmly through the gloom. While on the consideration of the thoughtful. Re- the statesmanship of Europe was scoffing publicanism has learned how to introduce at the hopeless vanity of their efforts, they into its constitution every element of order, put forth such miracles of energy as the as well as every element of freedom ; but history of the world ,bad never known. thus far the continuity of its government has The navy of the United States drawing into seemed to depend on the continuity of elec- the public service the willing militia of the tions. It is now to be considered how per- seas, doubled its tonnage in eight months, petuity is to be secured against foreign oc- and established an actual blockade from cupation. The successor of Charles the Cape Hatteras to the Rio Grande. In the First of England dated his reign from the course of the war it was increased five fold death of his father; the Bourbons, coming in men and in tonnage, while the inventive back after a long series of revolutions, genius of the country devised more effecclaimed that the Louis who became king was tive kinds of ordnance, and new forms of the eighteenth of that name. The present naval architecture in wood and iron. There emperor of the French, disdaining a title went into the field, for various terms of from election alone, is called the third of his service, about two million men; and in
Shall a republic have less power of March last the men in service exceeded a continuance when invading armies prevent million; that is to say, one of every two a peaceful resort to the ballot box?' What able-bodied men took some part in the war; force shall it attach to intervening legisla- and at one time every fourth able-bodied tion ? What validity to debts contracted i man was in the field. In one single month,