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in almost every quarter may be received in America as some kind of atonement, or peace offering. I have never believed that there was any real danger of a quarrel between the two countries; but it is of immense importance that we should be firm friends: and this is our natural state; for, though there is a portion of the higher and middle classes of Great Britain who so dread and hate democracy that they cannot wish prosperity and power to a democratic people, I sincerely believe that this feeling is not general, even in our privileged classes. Most of the dislike and suspicion which have existed towards the United States were the effect of pure ignorance, — ignorance of your history, and ignorance of your feeling and disposition as a people. It is difficult for you to believe that this ignorance could be as dense as it really was. But the late events have begun to dissipate it; and, if your Government and people act as I fully believe they will in regard to the important questions which now await them, there will be no fear of their being ever again so grossly misunderstood, at least in the lives of the present generation.
As to the mode of dealing with these great questions, it does not become a foreigner to advise those who know the exigencies of the case so much better than he does. But as so many of my countrymen are volunteering advice to you at this crisis, perhaps I may be forgiven if I offer mine the contrary way. Every one is eagerly inculcating gentleness, and only gentleness, as if you had shown any signs of a disposition to take a savage revenge. I have always been afraid of one thing only,— that you would be too gentle. I should be sorry to see any life taken after the war is over (except those of the assassins), or any evil inflicted in mere vengeance; but one thing I hope will be considered absolutely necessary, - to break altogether the power of the slaveholding caste. Unless this is done, the abolition of slavery will be merely nominal. If an aristocracy of ex-slaveholders remain masters of the State
Legislatures, they will be able effectually to nullify a great part of the result which has been so dearly bought by the blood of the Free States. They and their dependants must be effectually outnumbered at the polling places; which can only be effected by the concession of full equality of political rights to negroes, and by a large immigration of settlers from the North: both of them being made independent by the ownership of land. With these things, in addition to the Constitutional Amendment (which will enable the Supreme Court to set aside any State legislation tending to bring back slavery in disguise), the cause of freedom is safe, and the opening words of the Declaration of Independence will cease to be a reproach to the nation founded by its authors.
RESOLUTION OF HON. F. H. MORSE,
AT A MEETING OF AMERICANS, HELD IN THAT CITY, MAY I, 1865.
CHAT we have heard with the greatest indignation, and 1 the most profound sorrow, of the assassination which has deprived our country of its beloved Chief Magistrate, as well as of the murderous assault which has greatly perilled the lives of the Secretary and Assistant-Secretary of State; and that we regard the taking of the life of our chief executive officer, while our country is passing through unparalleled trials, after all loyal Americans had learned to love him, and all good men the world over to confide in him, and when so much of national and individual welfare and happiness depended on his existence, as the great crime of the nineteenth century, memorable in its atrocity, and entailing on its perpetrators the execration of inankind.” He denounced the assassination in terms of appropriate indignation, and paid a warm tribute to the memory of President Lincoln, who, he said, had fought not only for the maintenance of the Union, but had struggled wisely and successfully to wipe out the one black stain from his country's banner, slavery. He worked the point little by little, until he had brought the country up to a state of feeling which had resulted in the prohibition of slavery throughout the length and breadth of the American land. And it was after the war was virtually over, when Richmond had capitulated, and the surrender of the generalissimo of the South, with the elite of the rebel army, and when
Abraham Lincoln was engaged in the work of reconstruction, the first step in which he had so successfully carried, — that he was stricken down by the hands of the assassin. But the principles of Mr. Lincoln as the successful champion had not died with him. They would be carried out by his successor. He (Mr. Morse) had long been intimately acquainted with Andrew Johnson, and could, from personal knowledge, refute the calumnies which had gone forth against his character. Twenty years ago, he entered the Congress of the United States, a young man, with Andrew Johnson, then a representative for Tennessee. That was in 1844. He sat upon a committee with Andrew Johnson for two years, meeting three or four times a week; and subsequently, during three or four years, he had acted with him up to the year 1861, and all that time he never heard one word whispered against his fair fame. He had seen him day by day, and knew him well, and could safely assert, that the charge of habitual intemperance against him was one of the vilest and most unfounded slanders that had ever been cast on man. There was no need of the slightest mistrust in that noble-minded man, who had thus, by the force of his character and of his talents, raised himself from the lowest ranks of the people up to the highest position in the nation. His antecedents were a sufficient guarantee for his future conduct. If ever the hand of Providence had been seen in guiding a nation in its great trials, it was in the events which had marked the history of America during the last four years; and they might rest assured that that divine Hand would not fail them now, – that it would not place at the head of the Government a man to undo all that had been done. It was the will of Heaven to deprive them of their beloved and well-tried chief magistrate, and to appoint another to carry out the good work which he had so successfully commenced; it was their duty to bow to that will in all humility and in all confidence.
M Y LORDS, – I rise to ask Your Lordships to address Her
VI Majesty, praying Her Majesty, that, in any communication she may be pleased to make, expressing her abhorrence of the great crime which has been committed in America by the assassination of President Lincoln, Her Majesty may at the same time be pleased to express the sorrow and indignation felt by us at the great crime which has recently been committed. My Lords,– Her Majesty has already directed me to express to the Government of the United States the shock which she felt when the intelligence reached this country of this great crime, and also of her sympathy with the Government and people of the United States. Her Majesty also has been pleased to write a private letter to Mrs. Lincoln, expressing her sympathy with her on her great and sudden bereavement. I think Your Lordships will agree with me in saying, that in modern times there has hardly been any crime of so horrible a character committed. President Lincoln had been legally elected President of that great Republic; and, after the secession of a part of the States, he was re-elected President by the large majority of those States which remained faithful. He bore his honors meekly; and he was in the discharge of his functions at the very moment when the assassin attacked him in the theatre, — where he had gone, in order to please the people of