Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

expressed his gratitude and sarprise at seeing so great a crowd and such boundless enthusiasm manifested in the night-time, and under such untoward circumstances, to greet so unworthy an individual as himself. This was undoubtedly attributable to the position which more by accident than by worth he had attained. He remarked further, that if all those whole-souled people whom he saw this evening before him, were for tho preservation of the Union, he did not see how it could be in much danger. He had intended to say a few words to the people of Pittsburgthe greatest manufacturing city of the United States—upon such matters as thoy were interested in; but as he had adopted the plan of holding his tongue for the most part during the last canvass, and since his election, he thought he had perhaps better now still continue to hold his tongne. [Ories of “Go on," " go on.") Well, I am reminded that there is an Alleghany Oity as well as an Alleghany County, the former the banner town, and the latter the banner county, perhaps, of the world. I am glad to see both of them, and the good people of both. That I may not disappoint these, I will say a few words to you to-morrow as to the peculiar interests of Alleghany County.

On the morning of the 15th, the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Pittsburg waited in a body upon the President-elect. The Mayor made him an address of formal welcome in presence of a very large number of citizens who had assembled to witness the ceremony. After the applause which greeted his appearance had subsided, Mr. Lincoln made the following remarks :

I most cordially thank His Honor Mayor Wilson, and the citizens of Pittsburg generally, for their flattering reception. I am the more grateful because I know that it is not given to me alone, but to the cause I represent, which clearly proves to me their good-will, and that sincero feeling is at the bottom of it. And here I may remark, that in every short address I have made to the people, in every crowd through which I have passed of late, some allusion has been made to the present distracted condition of the country. It is natural to expect that I should say something on this subject; but to touch upon it at all would involve 40 elaborate discussion of a great many questions and circumstances, requiring more time than I can at present command, and would, perhaps, unnecessarily commit me upon matters which have not yet fully devel. oped themselves. The condition of the country is an extraordinary one, and fills the mind of every patriot with anxiety. It is my intention to give this subject all the consideration I possibly can before specially deciding in regard to it, so that when I do speak it may be as nearly right as possible. When I do speak, I hope I may say nothing in opposi. uion to the spirit of the Constitution, contrary to the integrity of the

[ocr errors]

Union, or which will prove inimical to the liberties of the people, or to the peace of the whole country. And, furthermore, when the time arrives for nie to speak on this great subject, I hope I may say nothing to disappoint the people generally throughout the country, especially if the expectation has been based upon any thing which I may have heretofore said. Notwithstanding the troubles across the river-(the speaker pointing southwardly across the Monongahela, and smiling)—there is no crisis but an artificial one. What is there now to warrant the condition of affairs presented by our friends over the river ? Take even their own view of the questions involved, and there is nothing to justify the course they itre pursuing. I repeat, then, there is no crisis, excepting such a one as may be gotten up at any time by turbulent men, aided by designing politicians. My advice to them, under such circumstances, is to keep cool. If the great American people only keep their temper on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end, and the question which pow distracts the country will be settled, just as surely as all other difficulties of a like character which have originated in this Government have been adjusted. Let the people on both sides keep their self-possession, and just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so will this great nation continue to prosper as heretofore. But, fellow-citizens, I have spoken longer on this subject than I intended at the outset.

It is often said that the Tariff is the specialty of Pennsylvania. Assuming that direct taxation is not to be adopted, the Tariff question must be as durable as the Government itself. It is a question of national housekeeping. It is to the Government what replenishing the meal-tub is to the family. Every varying circunstance will require frequent modifications as to the amount needed, and the sources of supply. So far there is little difference of opinion among the people. It is only whether, and how far, the duties on imports shall be adjusted to favor home productions. In the home market that controversy begins. One party insists that too inuch protection oppresses one class for the advan. tage of another, while the other party argues that with all its incidents, in the long run, all classes are benefited. In the Chicago Platform there is a plank upon this subject, which should be a general law to the incoming Administration. We should do neither more nor less than we gave the people reason to believe we would when they gave us their votes. That plank is as I now read.

Mr. Lincoln's private secretary then read section twelfth of the Chicago Platform, as follows:

That while providing revenue for the support of the General Government, by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imports as will encourage the development of the industrial interest of the whole country; and we commend that policy of national exchanges which secures to working-men liberal wages, to agriculturo remunerative prices, to mechanics and manufacturers adequate reward

for their skill, labor, and enterprise, and to the nation commercial prosperity and independence.

NU

I

Mr. Lincoln resumed; As with all general propositions, doubtless there will be shades of difference in construing this. I have by no means a thoroughly matured judgment upon this subject, especially as to details; some general ideas are about all. I have long thought to produce any necessary article at home which can be made of as good quality and with as little labor at home as abroad, would be better policy, at least liv the difference of the carrying from abroad. In such a case, the carryi demonstrably a dead loss of labor. For instance, labor being the true standard of value, is it not plain that if equal labor gets a bar of railroad iron out of a nine in England, and another out of a mine in Pennsylvania, each can be laid down in a track at home cheaper than they could exchange countries, at least by the cost of carriage? If there bo a pregent cause why one can be both made and carried cheaper in money price than the other can be made without carrying, that cause is an unnatural and injurious one, and ought naturally, if not rapidly, to be removed. The condition of the treasury at this time would seem to render an early revision of the Tariff indispensable. The Morrill Taritf Bill, now pending before Congress, may or may not become a law. I am not posted as to its particular provisions, but if they are generally satisfactory, and the bill shall now pass, there will be an end of the matter for the present. If, however, it shall not pass, I suppose the whole subject will be one of the most pressing and important for the next Congress. By the Constitution, the Executive may recommend measures which he may think proper, and he may veto those he thinks improper, and it is supposed that he may add to these certain indirect influences to affect the action of Congress. My political education strongly inclines me against a very free use of any of these means by the Executive to control the legislation of the country. As a rule, I think it better that Congress should originate as well as perfect its measures without external bias. I, therefore, would rather recommend to every gentleman who knows he is to be a member of the next Congress to take an enlarved view, and inform himself thoroughly, so as to contribute his part to such an adjustment of the tariff as shall produce a sufficient revenue, and in its other bearings, so far as possible, be just and equal to all sections of the country, and all classes of the people.

Mr. Lincoln left Pittsburg immediately after the delivery of this speech, being accompanied to the dépôt by a long procession of the people of the city. The train reached Cleveland at half-past four in the afternoon, and the President-elect was received by a long procession, which marched, amidst the roar of artillery, through the princi

pal streets to the Weddell House, where Mr. Lincoln, in reply to an address of welcome from the Mayor, made the following remarks :

MR. CHAIRMAN AND Fellow-Citizens OF CLEVELAND:—We have been marching about two miles through snow, rain, and deep mud. The large numbers that bave turned out under these circumstances testify that you are in earnest about something or other. But do I think so meanly of you as to suppose that that earnestoess is about une personally? I would be doing you injustice to suppose it was. You have assembled to testify your respect to the Union, and the Constitution and the laws. And here let me state that it is with you, the people, to advance the great cause of the Union and the Constitution, and not with any one man. It rests with you alope. This fact is strongly impressed on my mind at present. In a community like this, whose appearance testifies to their intelligence, I am convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in our national politics, and it is as well that I should also allude to it here. I think that there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation there are differences of opinion on politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now nddresses you. What is happening now will not hurt those who are further away from here. Have they not all their rights now as they ever have had? Do not they have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever ? Ilave they not the same Constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position ? (Cries of "No.") What, then, is the matter with them? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints ? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial! It has no foundation in fact. It was not “argued up," as the saying is, and cannot therefore be argued down. Let it alone, and it will go down of itself. [Laughter.) Mr. Lincoln said that they must be content with but a few words from him. He was very much fatigued, and had spoken so much that he was already boarse. Ho thanked them for the cordial and magnificent reception they had given himn. Not less did he thank them for the votes they gave him last fall; and quite as much he thanked them for the efficient aid they bad given the cause which he represented--a cause which he would say was a good one.

He had one more word to say. He was given to understand that this reception was tendered not only by his own party supporters, but by juen of all parties. This is as it should be. If Judge Douglas had been elected, and had been here, on his way to Washington, as I am to-night, the Republicans should have joined his supporters in welcoming him,

[ocr errors]

just as his friends have joined with mine to-night. If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union on this voyage, nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage. He concluded by thanking all present for the devotion they had shown to the cause of the Union.

On the morning of the 16th the Presidential party left Cleveland for Buffalo. At Erie, where they dined, loud calls were made upon Mr. Lincoln for a speech, in response to which he made a few remarks, excusing himself for not expressing his opinions on the exciting questions of the day. He trusted that when the time for speaking should come, he should find it necessary to say nothing not in accordance with the Constitution, as well as with the interests of the people of the whole country. At Northeast Station he took occasion to state that during the campaign he had received a letter from a young girl of the place, in which he was kindly admonished to do certain things, and among others to let his whiskers grow ; and, as he had acted upon that piece of advice, he would now be glad to welcome his fair correspondent, if she was among the crowd. In response to the call a lassie made her way through the crowd, was helped on the platform, and was kissed by the President

Arriving at Buffalo, Mr. Lincoln had the utmost diffi. culty to make his way through the dense crowd which had assembled in anticipation of his arrival. On reaching the American Hotel, he was welcomed in a brief speech by Acting-Mayor Bemis, to which he responded as follows:

MB. MAYOR AND FELLOW-CITIZENS OF BUFFALO AND THE STATE OF NEW YORK:- I am here to thank you briefly for this grand reception given to me, not personally, but as the representative of our great and beloved country. [Cheers.] Your worthy Mayor has been pleased to mention, in his address to me, the fortunate and agreeable journey which I have had from home, only it is a rather circuitous route to the Federal Capital. I am very happy that he was enabled in truth to congratulate myself and company on that fact. It is true we have had nothing thus far to mar the pleasure of the trip. We have not been met alone by those who assisted in giving the election to me; I say not alone by them, but by the whole population of the country through which we have passed. This is as it should be. Had the election fallen to any other of the distinguished

« AnteriorContinuar »