« AnteriorContinuar »
Union, or which will prove inimical to the liberties of the people, or to the peace of the whole country. And, furthermore, when the time arrives for me to speak on this great subject, I hope I may say nothing to disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially if the expectation has been based upon any thing which I may have heretofore said. Notwithstanding the troubles across the river-(the speaker pointing southwardly across the Monongahela, and smiling)—there is no crisis but an artificial one. What is there now to warrant the condition of affairs presented by our friends over the river ? Take even their own view of the questions involved, and there is nothing to justify the course they are pursuing. I repeat, then, there is no crisis, excepting such a one as may be gotten up at any time by turbulent men, aided by designing politicians. My advice to them, under such circumstances, is to keep cool. If the great American people only keep their temper on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country will be settled, just as surely as all other difficulties of a like character which have originated in this Government have been adjusted. Let the people on both sides keep their self-possession, and just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so will this great nation continue to prosper as heretofore. But, fellow-citizens, I have spoken longer on this subject than I intended at the outset.
It is often said that the Tariff is the specialty of Pennsylvania. Assuming that direct taxation is not to be adopted, the Tariff question must be as durable as the Government itself. It is a question of national housekeeping. It is to the Government what replenishing the meal-tub is to the family. Every varying circumstance will require frequent modifications as to the amount needed, and the sources of supply. So far there is little difference of opinion among the people. It is only whether, and how far, the duties on imports shall be adjusted to favor hoine productions. In the home market that controversy begins. One party insists that too much protection oppresses one class for the advan. tage of another, while the other party argues that with all its incidents, in the long run, all classes are benefited. In the Chicago Platform there is a plank upon this subject, which should be a general law to the incoming Administration. We should do neither more nor less than we gavo the people reason to believe we would when they gave us their votes. That plank is as I now read.
Mr. Lincoln's private secretary then read section twelfth of the Chicago Platform, as follows:
That while providing revenue for the support of the General Government, by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as will encourage the development of the industrial interest of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exchanges which secures to working-men liberal wages, to agriculturo resounerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers adequate reward for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.
Mr. Lincoln resumed: As with all general propositions, doubtless thero will be shades of difference in construing this. I have by no means a thoroughly matured judgment upon this subject, especially as to details; some general ideas are about all. I have long thought to produce any necessary article at home which can be made of as good quality and with as little labor at home as abroad, would be better policy, at least by the difference of the carrying from abroad. In such a case, the carrying is demonstrably a dead loss of labor. For instance, labor being the true standard of value, is it not plain that if equal labor gets a bar of railroad iron out of a mine in England, and another out of a mine in Pennsylvania, each can be laid down in a track at home cheaper than they could exchange countries, at least by the cost of carriage? If there be a present cause why one can be both made and carried cheaper in money price than the other can be made without carrying, that cause is an unnatural and injurious one, and ought naturally, if not rapidly, to be removed. The condition of the treasury at this time would seem to render an early revision of the Tariff indispensable. The Morrill Tariff Bill, now pending before Congress, may or may not become a law. I am not posted as to its particular provisions, but if they are generally satisfactory, and the bill shall now pass, there will be an end of the matter for the present. If, however, it shall not pass, I suppose the wholo subject will be one of the most pressing and important for the next Congress. By the Constitution, the Executive may recommend measures which he may think proper, and he may veto those he thinks improper, and it is supposed that he may add to these certain indirect influences to affect the action of Congress. My political education strongly inclines me against a very free use of any of these means by the Executive to control the legislation of the country. As a rule, I think it better that Congress should originate as well as perfect its measures without external bias. I, therefore, would rather recommend to every gentleman who knows he is to be a member of the next Congress to take an enlarged view, and inform himself thoroughly, so as to contribute his part to such an adjustment of the tariff as shall produce a sufficient revenue, and in its other bearings, so far as possible, be just and equal to all sections of the country, and all classes of the people.
Mr. Lincoln left Pittsburg immediately after the delivery of this speech, being accompanied to the dépôt by a long procession of the people of the city. The train reached Cleveland at half-past four in the afternoon, and the President-elect was received by a long procession, which marched, amidst the roar of artillery, through the principal streets to the Weddell House, where Mr. Lincoln, in reply to an address of welcome from the Mayor, made the following remarks :
MR. CHAIRMAN AND FELLOW-CITIZENS OF CLEVELAND:-We have been marching about two miles through snow, rain, and deep mud. The large numbers that have turned out under these circumstances testify that you are in earnest about something or other. But do I think so meanly of you as to suppose that that earnestness is about me personally? I would be doing you injustice to suppose it was. You have assembled to testify your respect to the Union, and the Constitution and the laws. And here let me state that it is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the Union and the Constitution, and not with any one man. It rests with you alone. This fact is strongly impressed on my mind at present. In a community like this, whose appearance testifies to their intelligence, I ain convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in our national politics, and it is as well that I should also allude to it here. I think that there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation there are differences of opinion on politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now addresses you.
What is happening now will not hurt those who are further away from here. Have they not all their rights now as they ever have had? Do not they have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever? Have they not the same Constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position ? (Cries
of "No.") What, then, is the matter with them? Why all this excite· ment? Why all these complaints? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial! It has no foundation in fact. It was not " argued up," as the
เ” saying is, and cannot therefore be argued down. Let it alone, and it will go down of itself, [Laughter.] Mr. Lincolu said that they must be content with but a few words from him. He was very much fatigued, and had spoken so much that he was already hoarse. Ho thanked them for the cordial and magnificent reception they had given him. Not less did he thank them for the votes they gave him last fall; and quite as much he thanked them for the efficient aid they had given the cause which he represented-a cause which he would say was a good
He had one more word to say. He was given to understand that this reception was tendered not only by his own party supporters, but by men of all parties. This is as it should be. If Judge Douglas had been elected, and had been here, on his way to Washington, as I am to-night, the Republicans should have joined his supporters in welcoming him,
jast as his friends have joined with mine to-night. If all do not joir now to save the good old ship of the Union on this voyage, nobody wil. have a chance to pilot her on another voyage. He concluded by thank. ing all present for the devotion they had shown to the cause of the Union.
On the morning of the 16th the Presidential party left Cleveland for Buffalo. At Erie, where they dined, loud calls were made upon Mr. Lincoln for a speech, in response to which he made a few remarks, excusing himself for not expressing his opinions on the exciting questions of the day. He trusted that when the time for speaking should come, he should find it necessary to say nothing not in accordance with the Constitution, as well as with the interests of the people of the whole country. At Northeast Station he took occasion to state that during the campaign he had received a letter from a young girl of the place, in which he was kindly admonished to do certain things, and among others to let his whiskers grow; and, as he had acted upon that piece of advice, he would now be glad to welcome his fair correspondent, if she was among the crowd. In response to the call a lassie made her way through the crowd, was helped on the platform, and was kissed by the President.
Arriving at Buffalo, Mr. Lincoln had the utmost diffi. culty to make his way through the dense crowd which had assembled in anticipation of his arrival. On reaching the American Hotel, he was welcomed in a brief speech by Acting-Mayor Bemis, to which he responded as follows:
MR. MAYOR AND FELLOW-CITIZENS OF BUFFALO AND THE STATE OF New YORK :—I am here to thank you briefly for this grand reception given to me, not personally, but as the representative of our great and beloved country. (Cheers.] Your worthy Mayor has been pleased to mention, in his address to me, the fortunate and agreeable journey which I have had from home, only it is a rather circuitous route to the Federal Capital. I am very happy that he was enabled in truth to congratulate myself and company on that fact. It is true we have had nothing thus far to mar the pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone by them, but by the whole population of the country through which we have passed. This is as it should be. Had the election fallen to any other of the distinguishod candidates instead of myself, under the peculiar circumstances, to say the least, it would have been proper for all citizens to have greeted him as you now greet me. It is an evidence of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution, the Union, and the perpetuity of the liberties of this country. (Cheers.] I am unwilling on any occasion that I should be so meanly thought of as to have it supposed for a moment that these demonstrations are tendered to me personally. They are tendered to the country, to the institutions of the country, and to the perpetuity of the liberties of the country, for which these institutions were made and created.
Your worthy Mayor has thought fit to express the hope that I may be able to relieve the country from the present, or, I should say, the threatened difficulties. I am sure I bring a heart true to the work. [Tremen
I dous applause.] For the ability to perform it, I must trust in that Supreme Being who has never forsaken this favored land, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people. Without that assistance I shall surely fail; with it, I cannot fail. When we speak of threatened difficulties to the country, it is natural that it should be expected that something should be said by myself with regard to particular measures. Upon more mature reflection, however—and others will agree with me that, when it is considered that these difficulties are without precedent, and never have been acted upon by any individual situated as I am, it is most proper I should wait and see the developments, and get all the light possible, so that when I do speak authoritatively, I may be as near right as possible.
Ι (Cheers.) When I shall speak authoritatively, I hope to say nothing inconsistent with the Constitution, the Union, the rights of all the States, of each State, and of each section of the country, and not to disappoint the reasonable expectations of those who have confided to me their votes. In this connection allow me to say that you, as a portion of the great American people, need only to maintain your composure, stand up to your sober convictions of right, to your obligations to the Constitution, and act in accordance with those sober convictions, and the clouds which now arise in the horizon will be dispelled, and we shall have a bright and glorious future; and when this generation has passed away, tens of thousands will inhabit this country where only thousands inhabit it now. I do not propose to address you at length; I have no voice for it. Allow me again to thank you for this magnificent reception, and bid you farewell.
Mr. Lincoln remained at Buffalo over Sunday, the 17th, and on the morning of the 18th left for Albany. On reaching Rochester, he was introduced by the Mayor to a crowd of several thousands, to whom he said :
I confess myself, after having seen many large audiences since leaving home, overwhelmed with this vast number of faces at this hour of the morning. I am not vain enough to believe that you are here from any wish to see me as an individual, but because I am for the timo bring the