Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Constitution, sir. we earnestly rcquese your acceptance of this nomination.

To this letter, Mr. Lincoln replied in the following words:

Executive Mansion, ") Washington, June 27, 1864.} Hon. "william Dennison and others, a Committee of the Union National Convention: Gentlemen—Your letter of the 14th instant, formally notifying mo that I have been nominated by the Convention you represent for the Presidency of the United States, for four years from the 4th of March next, has been received. The nomination is gratefully accepted, as the resolutions of the Convention—called the platform—are heartily approved.

While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of republican government upon the Western Continent is fully concurred in, there might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government in relation to the action of France and Mexico, as assumed through the State Department, and indorsed by the Convention, among the measures and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave that position pertinent and applicable.

I am especially gratified that the soldier and the seamen wero not forgotten by the Convention, as they forever must and will be remembered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives.

Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in which you have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the Convention, I subscribe myself Your obedient servant,

Abraham Lincoln.

Every-where through the loyal States, and not less among our heroic armies fighting for the Republic on disloyal soil, and among our brave forces afloat on gunboats and men-of-war, the nomination of Abraham Lincoln for a second term was received with joy, and ratified with hearty good will. More than thirty years had passed since any President of the United States had received the honor of a reelection. Never, as yet, had any President from the North been chosen for a second term, although every Southern President, elected as such, until tho time of Mr. Polk, had served for eight years. Aside from merely personal considerations, there was undoubtedly a feeling that the policy of the Administration, being satisfactory, should not be materially changed at this important juncture, and that the name associated with the policy of emanci pation, in its inception, should be connected with its ultimata triumph.

There was also a certain earnest devotion in President Lincoln's calm faith in tho guidance and aid of Divine Providence, which strong];.' impressed all sober minds—a religious trust which became wore and more his support in the severe trials of his official station. This trait of his character, and the confidence reposed in him by the churches, can not be better illustrated than by giving tho following address of sympathy and loyal attachment which belongs to this period, although of somewhat earlier date than the President's re-nomination—presented in person by a delegation of distinguished clergymen, headed by Bishop Ames, on behalf of the General Conference of Methodist Episcopal churches, together with the brief, unpremeditated reply made on that occasion.

To His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President Of The United States: Tho General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, now in session in the city of Philadelphia, representing nearly seven thousand ministers, and nearly a million of members, mindful of their duty as Christian citizens, takes the earliest opportunity to express to you the assurance of the loyalty of the Church, her earnest devotion to the interests of tho country, and her sympathy with you in the great responsibilities of your high position in this trying hour.

With exultation we point to the record of our Church as having never been tarnished by disloyalty. She was the first of the churches to express, by a deputation of her most distinguished ministers, the promise of support to the Government in the days of Washington. In her Articles of Religion she has enjoined loyalty as a duty, and has ever given to the Government her most decided support.

In this present struggle for the nation's life, many thousands of her members, and a largo number of her ministers, have rushed to amis to maintain the cause of God and humanity. They have sealed their devotion to the country with their blood, on every battle-field of this terrible war.

Wo regard this dreadful scourge now desolating our land and wasting the nation's life, as the result of a most unnatural utterly unjustifiable rebellion; involving the crime of treason against the best of human governments, and sin against God. It required our Government to submit to its own dismemberment and destruction, leaving it no alternative but to preserve the national integrity by the use of the national resources. If the Government had failed to use its power to prcservo the unity of the nation, and maintain its authority, it would have been justly exposed to the wrath of Heaven, and to the reproach and scorn of the civilized world.

Our earnest and constant prayer is, that this cruel and wicked rebellion may be speedily suppressed; and we pledge you our hearty cooperation in all appropriate means to secure this object.

Loyal and hopeful in national adversity, in prosperity thankful, we most heartily congratulate you on the glorious victories recently gained, and rejoice in the belief that our complete triumph is near.

We believe that our national sorrows and calamities have resulted, in a great degree, from our forgetfulness of God, and oppression of our fellow-men. Chastened by affliction, may the nation humbly repent of her sins, lay aside her haughty pride, honor God in all future legislation, and render justice to all who have been wronged.

We honor you for your proclamations of liberty, and rejoice in all the acts of the Government designed to secure freedom to the enslaved.

We trust that when military usages and necessities shall justify interference with established institutions, and the removal of wrongs sanctioned by law, the occasion will be improved, not merely to injure our foes and increase the national resources, but, also, as an opportunity to recognize our obligations to God, and to honor His law. We pray that the time may speedily come when this shall be truly a republican and free country, in no part of which, either State or Territory, shall slavery bo known.

The prayers of millions of Christians, with an earnestness never manifested for rulers before, daily ascend to Heaven, that you may be endued with all needed wisdom and power. Actuated by the sentiments of the loftiest and purest patriotism, our prayer shall be continually for the preservation of our country undivided, for the triumph of our cause, and for a permanent peace, gained by the sacrifice of no moral principles, but founded on the Word of God, and securing, in righteousness, liberty and equal rights to all.

Signed, in behalf of the General Conference of the Metho dist Episcopal Church. Philadelphia, May 14, 1864.

President Lincoln replied in the following words:

Gentlemen: In response to your address, allow me tc attest the accuracy of its historical statements, indorse the sentiments it expresses, and thank you, in the nation's name, for the sure promise it gives.

Nobly sustained, as the Government has been by all the churches, I would utter nothing which might in tiie least appear invidious against any. Yet, without this, it may fairly be said that the Methodist Episcopal Church, not less devoted than the best, is, by its greater numbers, the most important of all. It is no fault in others that the Methodist Church sends more soldiers to the field, more nurses to the hospitals, and more prayers to heaven than any. God bless the Methodist Church; bless all the churches; and blessed be God, who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches.

There was some corresponding action on the part of nearly or quite all the general ecclesiastical bodies of the United States. "All the churches," without regard to sectarian difference, not only confided in his high character, but also received from him a reciprocation of kindly feeling and thankfulness.

The first stage of the Presidential canvass was now passed. The nominations were made. The Administration platform was before the people. It now remained to be determined whether the Republican Union party should continue in the ascendant—whether a majority of the people of the nation, entitled to a voice on the question, should fully confirm and ratify what the party itself had with such cordial unanimity agreed upon, or should intrust tho power of the nation to new men, on an entirely different basis of publio policy.

CHAPTER IV.

Congress.—The Constitutional Amendment prohibiting Slavery.—Its Defeat in the House.—Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Laws.—New Bureaus Established.—Other Important Legislation.—" Reconstruction."—Opposition to tho President's Policy.—The Davis Bill.— Disagreement of the two Houses Thereon.—Its Final Passage.— The President withholds his Signature.—His Proclamation on tho Subject.—The Wade-Davis Manifesto.—Letters of Mr. Lincoln in regard to Matters in New Orleans and St. Louis.—President Lincoln's Speech at the Philadelphia Fair.—A Democratic National Convention Called and Postponed.—Clay, Thompson and other Conspirators in Canada.—The Greeley Negotiations with them.—President Lincoln's Action in the Case.—North-western Conspiracy.— The Chicago Nominations and Platform, 1864.

The first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress terminated on the 4th day of July, 1864. On the 10th day of February, Mr. Trumbull, in the Senate, had reported from the Committee on the Judiciary a joint resolution proposing to the legislatures of the several States (to become valid when ratified by three-fourths of the same) the following article as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

Article XIII.—Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This resolution passed the Senate on tho 8th of April, by a vote of 38 to 6 (the negative votes being given by Messrs. Davis and Powell, of Kentucky, Riddle and Salisbury, of Delaware, Hendricks, of Indiana, and McDougall, of California). The resolution having been transmitted to the House of Representatives, was taken up on the 31st of May, when, Mr.

« AnteriorContinuar »