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most care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with, property, or any disturbance of, peaceful citizens of any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this date.
"Deeming that the present condition of public aifairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are, therefore, summoned to assemble at their respective Chambers at twelve o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.
"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the City of Washington, this fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
"abraham Lincoln. "By the President,
"william H. Seward, Secretary of State."
This was followed, on the 19th, by the celebrated Blockading Proclamation, which is here appended:
By the President of the United States.
44 Whereas, An insurrection against the government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be efficiently executed therein conformable to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States;
"And, whereas, a combination of persons, engaged in such insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque, to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of the good citizens of the country, lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in waters of the United States;
"And, whereas, an Executive Proclamation has already issued, requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and convening Congress in extraordinary session to deliberate and determine thereon;
"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful
proceedings, or until the same shall have ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and of the laws of nations, in such cases provided. For this purpose, a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave any of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning; and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for such proceedings against her and her cargo, as prizes, as may be deemed advisable.
"And I hereby proclaim and declare, that if any person, under the pretended authority of such States, or under any other pretence, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such persons will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.
"By the President. Abraham Lincoln.
"william H. Seward, Secretary of State.
"washington, April 19, 1861."
These documents convinced all that war would be waged until rebellion should be suppressed, and they intensified the popular enthusiasm.
In this State all eyes were turned toward Springfield. It was known that Governor Yates had expressed himself determined to use every means to maintain the unity of the States, and none doubted that his measures would be promptly taken. It was known that, in view of possible war, Judge Allen C. Fuller had accepted the position of Adjutant General of the State, and there was confidence in his integrity and executive ability.
On Tuesday morning, it was ascertained that the following dis patch had been received at Springfield:
"washington, April 15, 1861. "His Excellency, Richard Yates: "Call made on you by to-night's mail for six regiments for immediate service.
"Simon Cameron, Secretary of War."
On the same date Governor Yates issued the following Proclamation:
"Springfield, 111., April 15, 1861. "I, Richard Yates, Governor of the State of Illinois, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, hereby convene the Legislature of the State, and THROUGH BALTIMORE. 79
the members of the twenty-second session of the General Assembly are hereby required to be and appear in their respective places, at the Capitol, on Tuesday, the twenty-third day of April, A. J). 1861, for the purpose of enacting such laws and adopting such measures as may be deemed necessary, upon the following subjects: The more perfect organization and equipment of the militia of the State, and placing the same upon the best footing to render assistance to the General Government in preserving the Union, enforcing the laws and protecting the property and rights of the people; also, the raising of such money and other means as may be required to carry out the foregoing object; and also to provide for the expenses of such session.
"In testimony whereof, I hereunto set my hand, and have caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed at the City of Springfield, the 15th day of April, A. D. 1861.
"richard Yates* "By order of the Governor:
"0. M. Hatch, Secretary of State."
General Order No. 1 was issued on the 15th, from the headquarters at Springfield, directing all commandants of divisions, brigades, regiments and companies to hold themselves ready for actual service; and on the 16th, Order No. 2 provided for the immediate organization of the six regiments, and within ten days, more than ten thousand men had offered their services; and in addition to the force dispatched to Cairo, more than the full quota was in camp at Springfield.
A little later two other circumstances increased the intensity of public feeling. The first, the news of the assault on the Massachusetts sixth and Pennsylvania troops by the Baltimore mob. Nobly has that city redeemed itself from that disgrace, but when the news was read in Chicago, on the morning of the 20th, that on the day preceding, brave men, rushing to the defense of the Capital, were murdered in the streets of Baltimore, there was a demand for the sternest measures. Excited groups, pale with indignation, gathered on the corners and asked to be armed and led to Washington through Baltimore. Said a minister of eminence, in his sacred calling: "I was born in Baltimore; I have loved its name; my kindred are there, but I should rejoice to know that it was laid in ashes." The State was agitated beyond description when it was learned that the route to "Washington was thus closed by violence. In common with sister States, it demanded that the way should be opened, not around the city, as alarmists suggested, but through it. The policy which consented temporarily to another route was condemned as an unwise and undignified concession to a brutal mob, itself the tool of the secession leaders. That mob was expected to stay the march of Union troops until Washington should be captured. Its failure was felt to be the first rebel defeat of the campaign.
The other was the course of Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Mr. Lincoln's competitor for the Presidency. They had been political antagonists, and, as we have seen, had represented opposing policies. Mr. Douglas possessed great popular power. He had a commanding will—was bold to audacity; as an orator, he had few equals, whether he spoke to the American Senate, or to the masses who gathered on the prairies of his own State. In the great uprising, there were whispers that there were parts of the State whose sympathies, from ancestry, trade and political affinities were with the South, and that they would not go with Mr. Lincoln in the coercion of sovereign States. It was said they would range themselves under another banner, and that the southern counties of Indiana were with them.
These localities had been devoted to Mr. Douglas, and had steadily and enthusiastically supported him. He waited on the President, and expressed his concurrence in the policy of calling out the troops and maintaining the national honor at all hazards, and on the 18th set his face toward the West.
Reaching Springfield, on the 25th he addressed the two houses of the Illinois Legislature in a style of magical power. He said:
"For the first time since the adoption of the Federal Constitution, a wide-spread conspiracy exists to overthrow the best government the sun of heaven ever shone upon. An invading army is marching upon Washington. The boast has gone forth from the Secretary of War of the so-called Confederate States, that by the first of May the rebel army will be in possession of the National Capital, and, by the first of July, its headquarters will be in old Independence Hall.
"The only question for us is, whether we shall wait supinely for the invaders, or rush, as one man, to the defence of that we hold most dear. Piratical flags are afloat on the ocean, under pretended letters of marque. Our Great River has been closed to the commerce of the Northwest. *******
So long as a hope remained of peace, I plead and implored for compromise Now, that all else has failed, there is but one course left, and that is to rally, as one man, under the flag of Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and Franklin. At what time since the government was organized, have the constitutional rights of the South been more secure than now? For the first time since the Constitution SENATOR DOUGLAS—HIS LAST WORK. 81
was adopted, there is no legal restriction against the spread of slavery in the territories. When was the Fugitive Slave Law more faithfully executed? What single act has been done to justify this mad attempt to overthrow the Republic? We are told that because a certain party has carried a Presidential election, therefore the South chose to consider their liberties insecure! I had supposed it was a fundamental principle of American institutions, that the will of the majority, constitutionally expressed, should govern! [Applause.] If a defeat at the ballot-box is to justify rebellion, the future history of the United States may be read in the past history of Mexico.
"It is a prodigious crime against the freedom of the world, to attempt to blot the United States out of the map of Christendom. ******
flow long do you think it will be ere the guillotine is in operation? Allow me to say to my former political enemies, you will not be true to your country if you seek to make political capital out of these disasters [applause] ; and to my old friends, you will be false and unworthy of your principles if you allow political defeat to convert you into traitors to your national land. [Prolonged applause.] The shortest way now to peace is the most stupendous and unanimous preparations for war. [Storms of applause.]
"Gentlemen, it is our duty to defend our Constitution and protect our flag."
While in Springfield, he and Governor Yates met. Between these two gentlemen there had been bitter feelings, growing out of political contests. But what were past party conflicts to them now, as they stood face to face, each bent on the salvation of his country? Nothing and less than nothing.
The Senator next proceeded to Chicago, where men of all parties hailed his coming with a grand ovation. He again spoke; this time —and the last—in the "Republican Wigwam," the building in which was held the Convention which nominated his successful rival, Abraham Lincoln. It was an effort worthy the last public hours of the statesman's life. Its arguments were unanswerable—its appeals irresistible. He closed, returned to his rooms at the Tremont House, to die!
It is scarcely too much to say that those two speeches united the West, and prevented the horrors of civil war on this side of the Mississippi River. They were as the word of the prophets of old, falling upon the public conscience and the public heart. His voice had such power as had no other.
"One blast upon his bugle horn Was worth a thousand men." 'His speeches were transmitted by telegraph; they were copied into