Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

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, just as his friends have joined with mine to-night. If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage. He concluded by thanking 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 difficulty 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 distinguished 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. [Tremendous 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. [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 time being the representative of the American people. I could not, if I would, address you at any length. I have not the strength, even if I. had the time, for a speech at each of these many interviews that are afforded me on my way to Washington. I appear merely to see you, and to let you see me, and to bid you farewell. I hope it will be understood that it is from no disinclination to oblige anybody that I do not address you at greater length.”

At Syracuse, where preparations had been made to give him a formal reception, he made the following remarks in reply to an address of welcome from the Mayor:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I see you have erected a very fine and handsome platform here for me, and I presume you expected me to speak from it. If I should go upon it, you would imagine that I was about to deliver you a much longer speech than I am. I wish you to understand that I mean no discourtesy to you by thus declining. I intend discourtesy to no one. But I wish you to understand that, though I am unwilling to go upon this platform, you are not at liberty to draw any inferences concerning any other platform with which my name has been or is connected. [Laughter and applause..] I wish you long life and prosperity individually, and pray that with the perpetuity of those institutions under which we have all so long lived and prospered, our happiness may be secured, our future made brilliant, and the glorious destiny of our country established forever. I bid you a kind farewell.

At Utica, where an immense and most enthusiastic assemblage of people from the surrounding country had gathered to see him, Mr. LINcoLN contented himself by saying:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I have no speech to make to you, and no time to speak in. I appear before you that I may see you, and that you may see me; and I am willing to admit, that so far as the ladies are concerned, I have the best of the bargain, though I wish it to be understood that I do not make the same acknowledgment concerning the men. [Laughter and applause.]

The train reached Albany at half past two in the afternoon, where Mr. LINcoln was formally received by the Mayor in a complimentary address, to which he thus replied:

MR. MAYOR: I can hardly appropriate to myself the flattering terms in which you communicate the tender of this reception, as personal to myself. I most gratefully accept the hospitalities tendered to me, and will not detain you or the audience with any extended remarks at this time. I presume that in the two or three courses through which I shall have to go, I shall have to repeat somewhat, and I will therefore only repeat to you my thanks for this kind reception.

A procession was then formed, which escorted Mr. LINcoLN to the steps of the Capitol, where he was welcomed by the Governor, in presence of an immense mass of the people, whom he addressed as follows:

MR. GovKRNOR: I was pleased to receive an invitation to visit the capital of the great Empire State of the nation, on my way to the Federal Capital, and I now thank you, Mr. Governor, and the people of this capital, and the people of the State of New York, for this most hearty and magnificent welcome. If I am not at fault, the great Empire State at this time contains a greater population than did the United States of America at the time she achieved her national independence. I am proud to be invited to pass through your capital and meet them, as I now have the honor to do.

I am notified by your Governor that this reception is given without distinction of party. I accept it the more gladly because it is so. Almost all men in this country, and in any country where freedom of thought is tolerated, attach themselves to political parties. It is but ordinary charity to attribute this to the fact that in so attaching himself to the party which his judgment prefers, the citizen believes he thereby promotes the best interests of the whole country; and when an election is passed, it is altogether befitting a free people that, until the next election, they should be as one people. The reception you have extended to me to-day is not given to me personally. It should not be so, but as the representative for the time being of the majority of the nation. If the election had resulted in the selection of either of the other candidates, the same cordiality should have been extended to him as is extended to me this day, in testimony of the devotion of the whole people to the Constitution and the whole Union, and of their desire to perpetuate our institutions, and to hand them down in their perfection to succeeding generations. I have neither the voice nor the strength to address you at any greater length. I beg you will accept my most grateful thanks for this devotion—not to me, but to this great-and glorious free country.

Mr. LINcoLN was then escorted to the Hall of Assembly, and was formally received on behalf of the members of the Legislature, to whom he made the following address:

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE of NEw York: It is with feelings of great diffidence, and, I may say, with feelings of awe, perhaps greater than I have recently experienced, that I meet you here in this place. The history of this great State, the renown of those great men who have stood here, and spoke here, and been heard here, all crowd around my fancy, and incline me to shrink from any attempt to address you. Yet I have some confidence given me by the generous manner in which you have invited me, and by the still more generous manner in which you have received me, to speak further. You have invited and received me without distinction of party. I cannot for a moment suppose that this has been done in any considerable degree with reference to my personal services, but that it is done in so far as I am regarded at this time as the representative of the majesty of this great nation. I doubt not this is the truth, and the whole truth, of the case, and this is as it should be. It is much more gratifying to me that this reception has been given to me as the representative of a free people, than it could possibly be if tendered as an evidence of devotion to me, or to any one man personally. And now I think it were more fitting that I should close these hasty remarks. It

« AnteriorContinuar »