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and as his life-long habit was to listen patiently to counsel from all quarters, it is safe to say that no President ever approached his task better informed of the temper of his followers, and none decided more deliberately upon his


general course of conduct. Yet, here as afterwards, he followed the practice of holding his convictions open to the latest moment, and of not irrevocably committing himself to specific acts till the instant of their execution.

Neither in the formation of his Cabinet nor in his proposed administrative policy, however, did this final consultation with his party friends work any essential alteration of his own wellformed opinions. His executive counselors were chosen upon plans long since matured in his own mind; and his inaugural address, composed and privately printed at Springfield, received on the last days several slight changes in the text, and a number of verbal changes, mainly suggested by the very few individuals to whom he submitted it. Judge David Davis read it while in Springfield. Hon. O. H. Browning read it in Indianapolis after the presidential journey was begun, and suggested perhaps the most important modification which he made. Hon. Francis P. Blair, Sr., read it in Washington, and highly commended it, suggesting no changes. As would be natural in any great political leader scanning his successful rival's first act of practical statesmanship, the most careful scrutiny of the document was made by Mr. Seward. The President-elect handed him a copy some time during the day of his arrival; and the next day being Sunday, Mr. Seward

seems to have spent the greater part of it in examining the inaugural and in writing out the list of alterations and amendments which he thought advisable. On Sunday evening he wrote the following letter, which with his list of suggestions he sent to Mr. Lincoln:

"SUNDAY EVENING, February 24th, 1861. "MY DEAR SIR: I have suggested many changes of little importance severally, but in their general effect tending to soothe the public mind. Of course the concessions are, as they ought to be, if they are to be of avail, at the cost of the winning, the triumphant party. I do not fear their displeasure. They will be loyal, whatever is said. Not so the defeated, irritated, angered, frenzied party. I, my dear sir, have devoted myself singly to the study of the case here - with advantages of access and free communication with all parties of all sections. I have a common responsibility and interest with you, and I shall adhere to you faithfully in every case. You must, therefore, allow me to speak frankly and candidly. In this spirit, I declare to you my conviction, that the second and third paragraphs, even if modified as I propose in my amendments, will give such advantages to the Disunionists that Virginia and Maryland will secede, and we shall within ninety, perhaps within sixty, days be obliged to fight the South for this capital, with a divided North for our reliance, and we shall not have one loyal magistrate or ministerial officer south of the Potomac.

"In that case the dismemberment of the Republic would date from the inauguration of a Republican administration. I therefore most respectfully counsel the omission of those paragraphs. I know the tenacity of party friends, and I honor and respect it. But I know also that they know nothing of the real peril of the crisis. It has not been their duty to study it, as it has been mine. Only the soothing words which I have spoken have saved us and carried us along thus far. Every loyal man, and indeed every disloyal man, in the South will tell you this.

"Your case is quite like that of Jefferson. He brought the first Republican party into power against and over a party ready to resist and dismember the Government. Partisan as he was, he sank the partisan in the patriot in his inaugural address, and propitiated his adversaries by declaring: We are all Federalists, all Republicans.' I could wish that you would think it wise to follow this example in this crisis. Be sure that while all your administrative conduct will be in harmony with Republican principles and policy, you cannot lose the Republican party by practicing in your advent to office the magnanimity of a victor. Very faithfully your friend, "[WM. H. SEWARD.] "THE HONORABLE ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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peace." Mr. Lincoln's policy was, without prejudice or passion to state frankly and maintain firmly the position and doctrines assumed by the American people in the late presidential election. Mr. Seward believed himself to be the past and the coming peacemaker; and thus his whole effort was to soften, to postpone, to use diplomacy. His corrections of the inaugural were in this view: a more care

seized by the rebels, but for the present to declare only that he would hold those yet in possession of the Government. One other somewhat important change Mr. Lincoln himself made. In the original draft any idea of an amendment of the Constitution was rather repelled than invited. In the revision Mr. Lincoln said he should "favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it," and further expressed his willingness to accept the amendment recently proposed by Congress. All these various alterations, proposed or adopted, are added as notes to the text of the inaugural in this chapter, where the critical student will compare them with special interest.

It was in the closing paragraph of the inaugural that Mr. Lincoln's mastery in literary art clearly revealed itself. Mr. Seward, as we have seen in the postscript of his letter, thought that "some words of affection - some of calm and cheerful confidence," "to meet and remove prejudice and passion in the South, and despondency and fear in the East," ought to be added. In the original draft the concluding sentence, addressing itself to "my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen," was: "With you and



ful qualification of statement, a greater ambiguity of phrase, a gain in smoothness, but a loss in brevity and force. Mr. Lincoln adopted either in whole or in part nearly all the amendments proposed by Mr. Seward. But those which he himself modified, and such further alterations as he added of his own accord, show that whatever the inaugural gained in form and style in these final touches came as much through his own power of literary criticism as from the more practiced pen of Mr. Seward. The most vital change in the document was in adopting a suggestion of his friend Browning, not to announce a purpose to recapture Sumter and other forts and places Seward, Senate Speech, January 12th, 1861. Globe,



not with me is the solemn question, Shall it be peace or a sword?" This ending Mr. Seward proposed to strike out, and submitted two drafts of a closing paragraph to take its place. One of them was long and commonplace; under the other lurked a fine poetic thought awkwardly expressed. This Mr. Lincoln took, but his more artistic sense transformed it into an illustration of perfect and tender beauty.

The acts of the last ten days of Mr. Buchanan's administration were entirely colorless and negative. The deliberations and recommendations of the much-vaunted Peace Conference proved as barren and worthless as Dead Sea fruit. The concluding labors of Congress were of considerable importance, but of no immediate effect. There was, therefore, as little in pub

lic affairs as in public advice to cause the President elect to reconsider or remodel his thoughts and purposes.

Inauguration Day fell on Monday, and the ceremonies took place with somewhat unusual attention to display and very uncommon precautions to insure public order and the safety of all the participants. General Stone, who had charge of the military arrangements, has related them with some minuteness.

"On the afternoon of the 3d of March, General Scott held a conference at his headquarters, there being present his staff, General Sumner, and myself; and then was arranged the programme of the procession. President Buchanan was to drive to Willard's Hotel and call upon the President-elect. The two were to ride in the same carriage, between double files of a squadron of the District of Columbia cavalry. The company of sappers and miners were to march in front of the presidential carriage, and the infantry and riflemen of the District of Columbia were to follow it. Riflemen in squads were to be placed on the roofs of certain commanding houses which I had selected along Pennsylvania Avenue, with orders to watch the windows on the opposite side, and to fire upon them in case any attempt should be made to fire from those windows on the presidential carriage. The small force of regular cavalry which had arrived was to guard the sidestreet crossings of Pennsylvania Avenue, and to move

from one to another during the passage of the procession. A battalion of District of Columbia troops were to be placed near the steps of the Capitol, and riflemen in the windows of the wings of the Capitol. On the arrival of the presidential party at the Capitol the troops were to be stationed so as to return in the same order

after the ceremony."*

General Stone does not mention another item of preparation,-that on the brow of the hill, not far from the north entrance to the Capitol, commanding both the approach and the broad plateau of the east front, was stationed a battery of flying artillery, in the immediate vicinity of which General Scott remained a careful observer of the scene during the entire ceremonies, ready to take personal command and direction should any untoward occurrence render it necessary.

The closing duties of the session, which expired at noon, kept President Buchanan at the Capitol till the last moment. Accompanied by the committee of the Senate, he finally reached Willard's and conducted the President-elect to his carriage, in which, side by side, they rode in the procession, undisturbed by the slightest disorder. When they reached the Senate Chamber, already densely packed with officials and civilians, the ceremony of swearing-in the Vice-President was soon performed.

General C. P. Stone, "Washington on the Eve of the War." THE CENTURY, July, 1883.

The dramatic element of the scene in another view has been noticed by Dr. Holland, in his "Life of Lincoln," p. 278, where he says: "Mr. Lincoln himself must have wondered at the strange conjunction of personages and events. The 'Stephen' of his first speech in the old senatorial campaign was a defeated candidate VOL. XXXV.-40.

Then in a new procession of dignitaries Mr. Lincoln was escorted through the corridor of the great edifice to the east portico, where below the platform stood an immense throng in waiting. The principal actors—the Senate Committee of Arrangements, the out going President, the President-elect and his family, the Chief-Justice in his robe, the Clerk of the Court with the Bible - took their places in a central group on the front of the platform, in full view of the waiting multitude. Around this central group other judges in their robes, senators, representatives, officials, and prominent guests crowded to their seats.

To the imaginative spectator there might have been something emblematic in the architectural concomitants of the scene. The construction of the great dome of the Capitol was in mid-progress, and huge derricks held by a network of steel ropes towered over the incomplete structure. In the grounds in front stood the bronze statue of Liberty, not then lifted to the pedestal from which she now greets the rising sun. At that moment, indeed, it required little poetic illusion to fancy her looking with a center of all eyes and hearts; and could she mute appeal for help to the man who was the have done so, her gaze would already have been rewarded with a vision of fateful prophecy. For in the central group of this inauguration ceremony there confronted each other four historic personages in the final act of a political drama which in its scope, completeness, and consequence will bear comparison_with those most famous in human record,- Senator Douglas, the author of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, representing the legislative power of the American Government; Chief-Justice Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision, representing the influence of the judiciary; and President Buchanan, who by his Lecompton measures and messages had used the whole executive power and patronage to intensify and perpetuate the mischiefs born of the repeal and the dictum. Fourth in the group stood Abraham Lincoln, President-elect, illustrating the vital political truth announced in that sentence of his Cincinnati speech in which he declared:

"The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." t

When the cheers which greeted his appear

for the presidency, who then stood patriotically at his side, holding the hat of the republican President, which he had politely taken at the beginning of the inaugural address; James' had just walked out of office to make room for him; Franklin' had passed into comparative obscurity or something worse; and Roger' had just administered to him the oath of office."

ance had somewhat abated, Senator Baker of Oregon rose and introduced Mr. Lincoln to the audience; and stepping forward, the Presidentelect, in a firm, clear voice, thoroughly practiced in addressing the huge open-air assemblages of the West, read his inaugural, to which every ear listened with the most intense eagerness.


FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES: In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of his office."

I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And, more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: "Resolved, that the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil

1Mr. Lincoln's original draft contained at this point the following paragraphs:

"The more modern custom of electing a Chief Magistrate upon a previously declared platform of principles supersedes in a great measure the necessity of re-stating those principles in an address of this sort. Upon the plainest grounds of good faith, one so elected is not at liberty to shift his position. It is necessarily implied, if not expressed, that in his judgment the platform which he thus accepts binds him to nothing either unconstitutional or inexpedient.


Having been so elected upon the Chicago platform, and while I would repeat nothing in it, of aspersion or epithet, or question of motive, against any man or party, I hold myself bound by duty, as well as impelled by inclination, to follow, within the Executive sphere, the principles therein declared. By no other course could I meet the reasonable expectations of the country."

Mr. Seward proposed either to omit the whole, or to amend them as follows:

"The more modern custom of nominating a Chief Magistrate upon a previously declared summary of

of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."

I now reiterate these sentiments; and, in doing so,

I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that be in anywise endangered by the now incoming Adthe property, peace, and security of no section are to ministration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause-as cheerfully to one section, as to another.


There is much controversy about the 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 :

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'No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution— to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition then, that slaves, whose cases come within the terms of this clause, "shall be delivered up" their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not, with nearly equal unanimity, frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him, or to others, by which authority it is done. And should any one, in any case, be content that his oath shall go unkept, on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?

Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced so that a free man principles supersedes in a great measure the necessity of re-stating those principles in an address of this sort. It is necessarily implied, if not expressed, that the summary binds the officer elected to nothing either unconstitutional or inexpedient. With this explanation I deem it my duty, as I am disposed in feeling, to follow, so far as they apply to the Executive sphere, the principles on which I was brought before the American People.'

Mr. Lincoln adopted Mr. Seward's preference of the alternative suggestions made, and omitted the whole.

In the original draft this sentence stood: "The protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States," etc.

Mr. Seward proposed to amend it thus: "will be cheerfully given in every case and under all circumstances to all the States," etc.

Mr. Lincoln did not adopt the suggestion, but himself modified it so as to read: "will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—

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