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to form a Southern Confederacy a peace Attorney-General resigned because the Presiconvention met at Washington to consider dent was too pacific. Secretary Cass and these various plans and endeavor to work out Secretary Cobb followed him, Secretary Cobb some scheme of compromise. In this con- because the President was not pacific enough. vention twenty-one States were represented, The disorganized Administration did nothing to and among the delegates were men of high prepare for the impending war. The Southern character and recognized leadership. But it Confederacy, with far fewer resources, pushed came to nothing. No common ground could forward its preparations with great energy. be found for Republicans who demanded It is perhaps the greatest weakness of the acquiescence in Lincoln's election, Southern- United States Constitution that it provides ers who demanded Constitutional guarantees an interregnum of four months between the for slavery, and Northern conservatives will- election of a new President in November and ing to accede to almost anything to prevent his inauguration in March. The outgoing disunion.
President hesitates to initiate any policy, James Buchanan, elected President four partly because he cannot execute it, partly years before by a coalition of Southern advo- because it will embarrass his successor. The cates of slavery and Northern advocates of incoming President cannot initiate any policy compromise, was a man of good intentions, because he has no authority. During this but without either the intellectual or the interregnum, from November 7, 1860, to moral strength required for such a crisis. In March 4, 1861, the country drifted—drifted his conduct of the Administration during the - drifted. The official leader of the people Kansas imbroglio he had shown himself pos- refused to lead. The people, confused by a sessed of too much conscience to be the sub- multitude of unofficial and conflicting leaders, servient tool of the slave power, and of too could do nothing. little courage to be its frank and fearless Mr. Lincoln did not assume leadership. He enemy. He belonged to that very consider- answered frankly and fearlessly any questions able class of public men whose only method put to him by any one who had a right to of determining what their public action shall question, but he took no part in the increasing be is by endeavoring to foresee its proba- public agitation in the North. The people ble consequences. He was guided by his had decided by the election what to do, hopes and fears, not by his faith in any great and had intrusted him with the doing of moral principle. He could not have followed it. The time for discussion had passed ; Emerson's advice and hitched his wagon to a the time for action had come; and he star, because he could not see the star. In waited till the time should arrive when he his Message of December 3 following the would have authority to embody in action election of Mr. Lincoln he argued against the decision of the people. In his Cooper disunion. He appealed to the North by Union speech, delivered on the evening of declaring that a State had no right to secede; February 27, 1860, he had defined both the he appealed to the South by declaring that policy which the North should adopt and the the Government had no right to coerce a principle upon which that policy was founded. State if it did secede. He attempted to The Republican party by nominating him had settle the controversy between North and adopted that policy and that principle, and in South by the pleasing assumption that there his election both had been adopted by the is always truth on both sides, an assumption Nation. The policy was: Slavery sectional, often made, but not always true, and in liberty National. The principle I quote in great crises never a remedy. His Attorney- his own words: General, Jeremiah Black, attempted to show “ If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, him a way out : Do not coerce a State, he and constitutions against it are themselves said ; simply collect the taxes, which is a wrong and should be silenced and swept sufficient exercise of Federal authority for the away. If it is right, we cannot justly object present. For this purpose you do not need to its nationality-its universality. If it is to take possession of the Custom-House in wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its exCharleston ; you can put a revenue cutter in tension-its enlargement. All they ask we the harbor. But this counsel required doing could readily grant if we thought slavery something, not merely saying something, and right; all we ask they could as readily grant doing something required a courage which if they thought it wrong.” President Buchanan did not possess. The This speech has been deservedly praised
A LESSON FROM HISTORY
for its clearness, its compact reasoning, and first loyalty was due to their State, not to the its condensed and accurate history. A con- Nation, Mr. Lincoln spoke no word of bittertemporaneous critic says of it: A single, ness against either the President at Washingeasy, simple sentence of plain Anglo-Saxon ton, his disloyal counselors, or the secessionwords contains a chapter of history that, in ists in the South. His first speech after his some instances, has taken days of labor to election expressed the spirit which never verify, and which must have cost the author departed from him. "In all our rejoicings, months of investigation to acquire.” What in let us neither express nor cherish any hard that speech most impressed me, one of the feelings towards any citizen who by his vote audience, was its clearness of moral vision has differed with us. Let us at all times and its strength of moral purpose. With remember that all American citizens are nothing of the dramatic brilliance of John B. brothers of a common country and should Gough, or the passionate emotionalism of dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feelHenry Ward Beecher, or the rapier-like keen- ing." But this kindliness of feeling was ness of Wendell Phillips, or the cultivated accompanied with a heroic inflexibility of grace of George William Curtis, it had a purpose. To every suggestion of compromoral power unsurpassed by that of any mise, and many were made to him, he had orator I have ever heard. It possessed a but one answer, repeated again and again in kind of indefinable force such as I imagine conversation and in letters : “ Entertain no might have characterized Moses in giving the proposition for a compromise in regard to the Ten Commandments to Israel.
extension of slavery. The instant you do, The issue then was not as clear as it seems they have us under again; all our labor is now; the grounds for compromise seemed lost and sooner or later must be done over." greater. The argument of the slaveholder No pacifist of his day was more eager for was very simple and, if his premise was peace than Abraham Lincoln. Nothing he granted, unanswerable. The slave was prop- ever wrote has greater pathetic power than the erty and was implicitly recognized as property appeal to the South with which he closed his by the Constitution. Every citizen of the first inaugural : “ I am loth to close. We United States had a right to have his prop- are not enemies, but friends. We must not erty protected in every part of the United be enemies. Though passion may have States. Therefore the slaveholder had a strained, it must not break, our bonds of right to take his slave into any Territory of affection. The mystic chords of memory, the United States and into the several States. stretching from every battlefield and patriot The argument of the Northern conservatives grave to every living heart and hearthstone was equally simple. No benefit to the slave all over this broad land, will yet swell the could compensate for the disaster to the chorus of the Union when again touched, Nation and to the world from the disruption as surely they will be, by the better angels of of the Union. The answer to both argu- our nature.” But when South Carolina ments was that furnished by Abraham Lincoln responded to this plea for peace by the in his Cooper Union speech: If slavery was bombardment of Fort Sumter, President right, the slaveholders were entitled to carry Lincoln made no further plea. Fort Sumter their slaves with them into every part of the fell on the 14th of April. On the 15th United States; if slavery was wrong, the North of April the President issued his call for sevhad no right to allow slaves to be carried into enty-five thousand volunteers to protect the States and Territories from which the North honor of the Nation. With that call ended had Constitutional authority to exclude them. the spirit of pacifism in the perplexed peoIf slavery was right, no compromise with it ple, and the conflicting and futile plans for was necessary; if slavery was wrong, no com- compromise which that spirit had inspired. promise with slavery was justifiable.
And throughout the four years' tragedy of During that trying interregnum, when a the awful war which followed never once did timid, vacillating President, guided by his Mr. Lincoln swerve from the conviction that fears, not by his faith, pursued a policy of peace is never to be made with unrighteousgentle persuasion, while traitors in his Cabinet ness, never to be purchased at the expense conspired for the overthrow of the Govern- of liberty and justice. ment which they had sworn to protect and At length the war drew toward its close. co-operated with citizens outside who, with General McClellan was nominated by the an almost fanatical enthusiasm, believed their Democratic party on a peace platform. And
Horace Greeley, the foremost pacifist of his Nothing came of this because there was no time, who in 1860 had proposed to purchase person authorized by or in belialf of the peace by letting the South secede, made an- Southern Confederacy to consider peace on other effort to open peace negotiations with any such terms. Nine months later came the the Southern Confederacy. The question of surrender of General Lee to General Grant Mr. Lincoln's re-election was approaching. at Appomattox Court-House, and with it The result was gravely doubted. Mr. Greeley peace on the only terms on which abiding was among the doubters. A scheme was peace can ever be attained—by a decisive concocted, whether by friends of the Confed- victory over wrong. Some one has recently eracy or by ambitious busybodies or by both called attention to the difference between a combined is not quite clear, to seduce Mr. pacifist and a pacificator. Horace Greeley Lincoln into taking action which would create a pacifist. The pacificators of that a public impression that he was suing for time were Abraham Lincoln and General peace. Mr. Greeley, whose humane senti- Grant. ments were greater than his knowledge of Probably nothing could have prevented the men, allowed himself to become the negoti- Civil War. The difference between the feuator for these schemes. He wrote to the dalism of the South and the democracy of President a passionate plea for peace, urging the North was too radical to be settled by him to open negotiations with pseudo peace argument, and the passions which had been commissioners from the South. “ I venture excited both by a mistaken conscience and an to remind you,” he wrote, “ that our bleed- unscrupulous ambition were too intense to be ing, bankrupt, almost dying country also longs assuaged except by blood. But it is certain for peace; shudders at the prospect of fresh that the war was needlessly prolonged by conscriptions, of further wholesale devasta- the unpreparedness of the North, the comtions, and of new rivers of human blood. promising spirit in Northern pacifists, and And a widespread conviction that the Gov- the timidity and vacillation of the Nation's ernment and its prominent supporters are President. not anxious for peace, and do not improve I have great respect for many of the pacifist proffered opportunities to achieve it, is doing leaders of this time, as I had for those of fiftygreat harm now, and is morally certain, unless five years ago. Some among them I esteem removed, to do far greater in the approach- as personal friends. But their supreme wish ing elections.” Mr. Lincoln promptly replied for peace is not mine. As long as there is that if Mr. Greeley could find any person, injustice in the world, so long I wish to war anywhere, professing to have any proposition against it. Whether in this eternal war against from Jefferson Davis, in writing, for peace, wrong one shall fight with voice or pen or embracing the restoration of the Union and sword must depend partly on the nature of the abandoment of slavery, Mr. Greeley the wrong, partly on the best method of atmight bring him to the President. This offer tack, and partly on his personal abilities. But brought no other response than a further acquiescence in wrong or compromise with effort for an unconditional peace conference,
wrong-never ! to which Mr. Lincoln replied in the following I have lived through one terrible war, explicit paper:
fought against slavery and secession, and
have seen the peace won by that war blessing Executive Mansion, Washington, July 18, 1854.
an emancipated and united people. I expect To Ilhom It May Concern :
to see peace for the world won, as it was won Any proposition which einbraces the restora- for my own dear land, not by compromise tion of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, with wrong, but by conquering it. I expect and the abandonment of slavery, and which
to see, though perhaps not with mortal eyes, comes by and with an authority that can con
the ocean untroubled by undersea pirates, the trol the armies now at war against the United
air undarkened by human birds of prey, and States, will be received and considered by the Executive Government of the United States,
Europe, emancipated from the militarism and will be met by liberal terms on other sub).
which she has created, drawn together in a stantial and collateral points, and the bearer or
brotherhood transcending race, religion, and bearers thereof shall have sale-conduct both
nationality, and inspired by a spirit of univerways.
sal justice and universal liberty.
BY AMELIA JOSEPHINE BURR
Beauty she had, and health ; a brilliant mind;
II-IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
A chill December night of sleet
To stare into the night. ...
AMERICAN BUSINESS AS AFFECTED BY
PEACE AND PREPAREDNESS THE COMPOSITE OPINION OF 1,629 AMERICAN
BY THEODORE H. PRICE
NSTEAD of writing an original article for Our previous inquiry was addressed to this issue of The Outlook, I have asked about two thousand men of affairs through
the editors to allow me to publish some- out the United States, and was sent out thing that seems to me far more important January 21, 1915. At that time many were and informing than anything that I could say. in doubt whether this country could prosper
It is the composite opinion of 1,629 Ameri- while Europe was involved in a war which can business men in regard to American busi- had then been in progress only five months. ness as affected by the political and economic The replies which we received and the conditions by which we are now, or may letters that we were permitted to publish shortly be, confronted at home and abroad. indicated the general individuality of confi
It is derived from an elaborate investiga- dence in the future of each respondent's tion made for their own and their clients' business that has since been fused in the guidance by Harris, Winthrop & Co., a well- widespread commercial prosperity that we known firm of investment bankers having are now enjoying. offices in both New York and Chicago.
Such service as we may have rendered The complete report and the letters which was in making faith infectious and encouragaccompany it comprise a pamphlet of some ing a justifiable optimism which most people sixty pages, advance proofs of which I have
felt but hesitated to express. been permitted to read and which will proba- We are now again confronted by a situably be published about the same time as this tion that engenders doubt. There are many issue of The Outlook.
who fear that we shall have a business recesAs such documents do not generally circu- sion in the United States with the advent of late outside the comparatively limited circle peace in Europe. of those to whom they are sent for financial This fear is due to the belief that our presreasons, and as this one seems to have ex- ent prosperity is artificial and abnormal in ceptional public interest just now, I feel that that it is the result of the war-induced deI am doing a real service to the readers of mand for our products and the protection to The Outlook in putting it at their disposal. our industry which the present military preAs it is difficult, if not impossible. to improve occupation of Europe provides. upon the bankers' summary of their own With the object of ascertaining whether report and the conclusions to which it points, this apprehension was justified by the inI quote it in full. I hope those who read trinsic facts, we submitted some seventeen it will agree with me as to its practical value questions to about forty-five hundred men of to business men in the present somewhat affairs throughout the United States, including perplexing situation. This is the report: all those who had answered our previous in
quiry. Our investigation included every State, In January, 1915, we made an investiga- the number of business men addressed in each tion into business conditions in the United State being proportioned to its population. States, the result of which we published in a [The questions referred to will be found on pamphlet dealing with “ The Present and the accompanying double-page table.] Future of American Business."
Those replying were asked to cross out This pamphlet came to have a wide circu- the answers least accurately describing the lation, and many of our friends have been conditions inquired about, and to amplify good enough to say that it was at the time their views by writing us at greater length if an important influence in re-establishing the convenient. confidence of the people of this country in In the selection of those whose opinions themselves and the commercial future of the we have thus sought to obtain, we have inNation.
cluded but few bankers and have omitted