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of all men.
Independence. I have pondered over the racy composed exclusively of the fiftoils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that In
teen Slave States, Baltimore would dependence. I have often inquired of my- hold the position that New York enself, what great principle or idea it was that joys in the Union, being the great kept this confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation ship-building, shipping, importing of the Colonies from the mother-land; but and commercial emporium, whitenthat sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave Liberty, not alone to the ing the ocean with her sails, and people of this country, but, I hope, to the gemming Maryland with the palaces world, for all future time. It was that reared from her ample and everwhich gave promise that, in due time, the weight would be lifted from the shoulders expanding profits. That aristocracy
This is a sentiment embodied had been, for the most part, thorin the Declaration of Independence. Now, oughly corrupted by these insidious my friends, can this country be saved on that basis? If it can, I will consider myself whispers, and so were ready to rush one of the happiest men in the world, if I into treason. At the other end of can help to save it. If it cannot be saved on that basis, it will be truly awful. But,
the social scale was the mob-reckif this country cannot be saved without | less and godless, as mobs are apt to giving up that principle, I was about to say be, especially in slaveholding comspot than surrender it. Now, in my view munities—and ready at all times to of the present aspect of affairs
, there need do the bidding of the Slave Power. be no bloodshed or war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a
Between these was the great middle course; and I may say, in advance, that class, loyal and peacefully inclined, there will be no bloodshed, unless it be
as this class usually is-outnumberforced upon the Government, and then it will be compelled to act in self defense." ing both the others, but hitherto diviArrived at Harrisburg, however, | ded between the old pro-Slavery par
the 22d, Mr. Lincoln, looking ties, and having arrived, as yet, at no across the slave line, experienced sud- common understanding with regard to denly a decided change in the politi- the novel circumstances of the councal barometer. It had been arranged try and the events visibly impending. that he should next day pass through The city government was in the Baltimore, the center of a grand pro- hands of the Breckinridge Democcession--a cynosure of admiring eyes racy, who had seized it under a cry --the object of enthusiastic acclama- of reform; and the leaders of that tions--as he had, thus far, passed Democracy were deep in the counsels through nearly all the great cities of of treason. It had been proclaimed, the Free States. But Baltimore was in many quarters, and through varia slaveholding city, and the spirit of ous channels, that Mr. Lincoln should Slavery was nowhere else more ram- never live to be inaugurated ; and pant and ferocious. The mercantile The Baltimore Republican of the and social aristocracy of that city had 22d had a leading article directly been sedulously, persistently, plied calculated to incite tumult and vioby the conspirators for disunion with lence on the occasion of Mr. Lincoln's artful suggestions that, in a confede passage through the city. The police
18 The Baltimore Exchange of February 23d, significantly said:
suite this afternoon by special train from Harrisburgh, and will proceed, we learn, directly to Washington. It is to be hoped that no opportunity will be afforded him--or that, if it be afforded, he will not embrace it to repeat in our
“Mr. Lincoln, the President elect of the United States, will arrive in this city with his
MR. LINCOLN'S INAUGURATION,
was directed by Marshal George P. oath of office that he would be asKane, who, after a sojourn in Fort sassinated in the act, if no other mode McHenry, fled in 1863 to the conge- of preventing it should promise suenial associations of Richmond and cess--had been so freely and loudly the Confederate Army. It being made, that apprehensions of some considered certain that an attempt concerted attempt at violence or tuto assassinate the President would mult were widely entertained and be made, under cover of mob vio- fully justified. Lieut.-Gen. Scott had lence, should he pass through the taken the fullest military precautions city as was originally intended, Mr. that his limited force of regulars Lincoln was persuaded to take the perhaps one thousand in all—would cars secretly, during the evening of permit; and there was a considerable the 22d, and so passed through Bal- muster of uniformed Militia. The timore, unknown and unsuspected, procession, partly civic, which esearly on the morning of the 230— corted the retiring and incoming reaching Washington about the hour Presidents, who rode in the same that he was expected to leave Har- carriage, to the Capitol, was quite risburg. The prudence of this step respectable unusually so for that has since been abundantly demon- non-enthusiastic, and, as yet, strongly strated; but it wounded, at the time, pro-Slavery, metropolis. the sensibilities of many friends, who
The Senate had been sitting would have much preferred to form through most of the preceding foran escort of one hundred thousand ty-eight hours, though this was Monarmed men to see him safely through day, and barely concluded the labors Baltimore, than to have him pass of the session in time to allow Vicethrough it clandestinely and like a President Breckinridge to resign the hunted fugitive.
Chair in a few courteous words, and The 4th of March, 1861, though take his seat on the floor as a memits early morning had been cloudy ber, while Vice-President Hamlin left and chilly, was a remarkably bright the floor to take the Chair with as and genial day at Washington. To little parade—the two thus exchangthe children of harsh New England, ing places. This done, and several it seemed more like May than March. other new Senators beside Mr. BreckExpectations and threats of convul- inridge having been sworn in, the sion had rather increased than les- space in the Chamber allotted for sened the throng, wherein all sections this occasion to the Embassadors of of the unseceded States were liberally Foreign Powers (*Dixie' not inclurepresented, though the Federal Dis- ded) was promptly filled by the diptrict and the adjacent counties of Ma- lomatic body in full dress; the magryland and Virginia doubtless sup- nates blazing with stars and orders. plied by far the larger share of it. Soon, the Justices of the Supreme Menaces that the President elect Court entered in a body, and the aswould never be permitted to take the semblage rose in silent homage, and stood till they were seated. The re- elected me, did so with the full knowledge maining space on the floor was now declarations
midst the sentiments which he is reported to have expressed yesterday in Philadelphia.''
[The "sentiments” thus deprecated are those
uttered in reply to Mr. Cuyler, and quoted on the preceding page.]
19 In Richmond and other journals.
, and had never recanted them.
that I had made this, and many similar filled to its utmost capacity by mem- And, more than this, they placed in the platbers of the House, just adjourned; form, for my acceptance, and as a law to and it was soon afterward announced themselves and to me,the clear and emphatic
resolution which I now read: that the Presidential party had en
" Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of tered the edifice. On its appearance, the rights of the States, and especially the right the whole assemblage proceeded to the mestic institutions according to its own judg
of each State to order and control its own domagnificent and spacious Eastern por- ment exclusively, is essential to that balance of tico of the Capitol, on which a platform power on which the perfection and endurance
of our political fabric depend; and we denounce had been erected, and in front of which the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil
of any State or Territory, no matter under what a considerable space had been clear
pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.” ed, and was held, by the Military.
I now rëiterate these sentiments; and, in The President elect was barely intro- doing so, I only press upon the public attenduced to the vast concourse by Col.
tion the most conclusive evidence of which
the case is susceptible, that the property, Edward D. Baker, Senator from Ore- peace, and security, of no section are to be gon, and received with cheers from in anywise endangered by the now incoming
Administration. perhaps a fourth of the thirty thou
I add, too, that all the protection which, sand persons confronting him. Si consistently with the Constitution and the lence having succeeded, Mr. Lincoln laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given
to all the States, when lawfully demanded, unrolled a manuscript, and, in a firm, for whatever cause, as cheerfully to one secclear, penetrating voice, read the fol- tion as to another.
There is much controversy about the lowing
delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of
its provisions : Fellow-Citizens of the United States :
"No person held to service or labor in one In compliance with a custom as old as State under the laws thereof, escaping into the Government itself, I appear before you another, shall, in consequence of any law or regto address you briefly, and to take, in
take, in your
ulation therein, be discharged from such serpresence, the oath prescribed by the Con- vice or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim stitution of the United States to be taken
of the party to whom such service or labor may
be due." by the President, before he enters on the execution of his office.
It is scarcely questioned that this proI do not consider it necessary, at present, vision was intended by those who made it for me to discuss those matters of adminis- for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive tration about which there is no special anxi-slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is ety or excitement. Apprehension seems to
the law. exist among the people of the Southern All members of Congress swear their States, that, by the accession of a Republi- support to the whole Constitution—to this can Administration, their property and their provision as well as any other. To the peace and personal security are to be en- proposition, then, that slaves whose cases dangered. There has never been any rea- come within the terms of this clause " shall sonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, be delivered up,” their oaths are unanimous. the most ample evidence to the contrary Now, if they would make the effort in has all the while existed, and been open to good temper, could they not, with nearly their inspection. It is found in nearly all equal unanimity, frame and pass a law by the published speeches of him who now means of which to keep good that unaniaddresses you. I do but quote from one of mous oath? those speeches, when I declare that "I have There is some difference of opinion no purpose, directly or indirectly, to inter- whether this clause should be enforced by fere with the institution of Slavery in the National or by State authority; but surely States where it exists." I believe I have no that difference is not a very material one. lawful right to do so; and I have no inclina- If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be tion to do so. Those who nominated and of but little consequence to him or to others
MR. LINCOLN AGAINST SECESSION.
by which authority it is done; and should proposition that in legal contemplation the any one, in any case, be content that this
Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history oath shall go unkept on a merely unsub- of the Union itself. stantial controversy as to how it shall be The Union is much older than the Conkept?
stitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Again, in any law upon this subject, ought | Articles of Association in 1774. It was not all the safeguards of liberty known in matured and continued in the Declaration civilized and humane jurisprudence to of Independence in 1776. It was further be introduced, so that a free man be not, in matured, and the faith of all the then thirany case, surrendered as a slave ? And teen States expressly plighted and engaged might it not be well at the same time to that it should be perpetual, by the Articles provide by law for the enforcement of that of Confederation, in 1778; and, finally, in clause in the Constitution which guarantees 1787, one of the declared objects for ordainthat "the citizens of each State shall be ing and establishing the Constitution was entitled to all the privileges and immunities to form a more perfect union. But, if the of citizens in the several States ?”
destruction of the Union by one or by a I take the official oath to-day with no part only of the States be lawfully possible, mental reservations, and with no purpose to the Union is less than before, the Constituconstrue the Constitution or laws by any tion having lost the vital element of perhypercritical rules; and, while I do not petuity. choose now to specify particular acts of It follows from these views that no State, Congress as proper to be enforced, I do sug- upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get gest that it will be much safer for all, both out of the Union; that resolves and ordiin official and private stations, to conform nances to that effect, are legally void ; and to and abide by all those acts which stand that acts of violence within any State or unrepealed, than to violate any of them, States against the authority of the United trusting to find impunity in having them | States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, held to be unconstitutional.
according to circumstances. It is seventy-two years since the first I therefore consider that, in view of the inauguration of a President under our Na- Constitution and the laws, the Union is tional Constitution. During that period, unbroken, and, to the extent of my ability, fifteen different and very distinguished citi- I shall take care, as the Constitution itself zens have in succession administered the expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of executive branch of the government. They the Union shall be faithfully executed in all have conducted it through many perils, and the States. Doing this, which I deem to generally with great success.
Yet, with all be only a simple duty on my part, I shall this scope for precedent, I now enter upon perfectly perform it, so far as is practicable, the same task, for the brief constitutional unless my rightful masters, the American term of four years, under great and peculiar people, shall withhold the requisite power, difficulties.
or in some authoritative manner direct the A disruption of the Federal Union, here- | contrary. tofore only menaced, is now formidably I trust this will not be regarded as attempted. I hold that, in the contemplation menace, but only as the declared purpose of of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union that it will constitutionally defend the Union of these States is perpetual. / and maintain itself. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in In doing this, there need be no bloodshed the fundamental law of all national govern- or violence, and there shall be none unless ments. It is safe to assert that no govern- it is forced upon the national authority. ment proper ever had a provision in its The power confided to me will be used to organic law for its own termination. Con- hold, occupy, and possess the property and tinue to execute all the express provisions places belonging to the Government, and colof our national Constitution, and the Union lect the duties and imposts; but, beyond will endure forever, it being impossible to what may be necessary for these objects, destroy it except by some action not pro- there will be no invasion, ño using of force vided for in the instrument itself.
against or among the people anywhere. Again, if the United States be not a Where hostility to the United States shal! government proper, but an association of be so great and so universal as to prevent States in the nature of a contract merely, competent resident citizens from holding can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade the Federal offices, there will be no attempt by less than all the parties who made it? to force obnoxious strangers among the One party to a contract may violate it-people for that object. While the strict legal break it, so to speak; but does it not require right may exist of the Government to enall to lawfully rescind it? Descending force the exercise of these offices, the atfrom these general principles, we find the tempt to do so would be so irritating, and
so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem The Constitution does not expressly say. it better to forego for the time the uses of Must Congress protect Slavery in the Terrisuch offices.
tories? The Constitution does not expressThe mails, unlegs repelled, will continue ly say. From questions of this class spring to be furnished in all parts of the Union. all our constitutional controversies, and we
So far as possible, the people everywhere divide upon them into majorities and minorshall have that sense of perfect security | ities. which is most favorable to calmn thought If the minority will not acquiesce, the and reflection,
majority must, or the government must The course here indicated will be fol
There is no alternative for continlowed, unless current events and experience uing the government but acquiescence on shall show a modification or change to be the one side or the other. If a minority in proper; and in every case and exigency my such a case will secede rather than acquiesce, best discretion will be exercised according they make a precedent which in turn will to the circumstances actually existing, and ruin and divide them; for a minority of their with a view and hope of a peaceful solution own will secede from them whenever a maof the national troubles, and the restoration jority refuses to be controlled by sucli a of fraternal sympathies and affections. minority. For instance, why not any por
That there are persons, in one section or tion of a new confederacy, a year or two another, who seek to destroy the Union at hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as all events, and are glad of any pretext to do | portions of the present Union now claim to it, I will neither affirm nor deny. But, if there secede from it? All who cherish disunion be such, I need address no word to them. sentiments are now being educated to the
To those, however, who really love the exact temper of doing this. Is there suchi Union, may I not speak? Before entering perfect identity of interests among the upon so grave a matter as the destruction of States to compose a new Union as to proour national fabric, with all its benefits, its duce harmony only, and prevent renewed memories, and its hopes, would it not be secession? Plainly, the central idea of well to ascertain why we do it? Will you secession is the essence of anarchy. hazard so desperate a step, while any por- A majority held in restraint by constitution of the ills you fly from, have no real tional check and limitation, and always
Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones popular opinions and sentiments, is the only you fly from? Will you risk the commis- true sovereign of a free people. Whoever sion of so fearful a mistake? All profess | rejects it, does, of necessity, fly to anarchy to be content in the Union if all constitu- or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; tional rights can be maintained. Is it true, the rule of a minority, as a permanent arthen, that any right, plainly written in the rangement, is wholly inadmissible. So that, Constitution, has been denied ? I think not. rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or Happily, the human mind is so constituted, despotism in some form is all that is left. that no party can reach to the audacity of I do not forget the position assumed by doing this.
some that constitutional questions are to be Think, if you can, of a single instance in decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I which a plainly written provision of the deny that such decisions must be binding in Constitution has ever been denied. If, by any case upon the parties to a suit, as to the the mere force of numbers, a majority should object of that suit, while they are also endeprive a minority of any clearly-written titled to very high respect and consideration constitutional right, it might, in a moral in all parallel cases by all other departments point of view, justify revolution; it cer- of the government; and, while it is obvioustainly would, if such right were a vital one. ly possible that such decision may be erroBut such is not our case.
neous in any given case, still, the evil effect All the vital rights of minorities and of following it, being limited to that particular individuals are so plainly assured to them case, with the chance that it may be overby affirmations and negations, guaranties ruled and never become a precedent for and prohibitions, in the Constitution, that other cases, can better be borne than could controversies never arise concerning them. the evils of a different practice. But no organic law can ever be framed with At the same time, the candid citizen must a provision specifically applicable to every confess that, if the policy of the government question which may occur in practical ad- upon the vital questions affecting the whole ministration. No foresight can anticipate, people is to be irrevocably fixed by the denor any document of reasonable length con- cisions of the Supreme Court, the instant tain, express provisions for all possible ques- they are made, as in ordinary litigation tions. Shall fugitives from labor be surren- between parties in personal actions, the dered by National or by State authority? | people will have ceased to be their own