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grudgingly, but fully and fairly. [Applause.] I hope that, by thus dealing with you, we will become better acquainted, and be better friends.
And now, my friends, with these few remarks, and again returning my thanks for this compliment, and expressing my desire to hear a little more of your good music, I bid you good-night.
This closed Mr. Lincoln's public speeches down to the date of his inauguration.
FROM THE INAUGURATION TO THE MEETING OF CONGRESS,
JULY 4, 1861.
THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS.-ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.—THE
BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER.—PASSAGE OF TROOPS TIIROTGA BALTIMORE.-INTERVIEW WITH THE MAYOR OF BALTIMORE.—THE BLOCKADE OF REBEL PORTS.—THE PRESIDENT AND TIIE VIRGINIA COMMISSIONERS.-INSTRUCTION TO OUR MINISTERS ABROAD.-RECOGNITION OF THE REBELS AS BELLIGERENTS.--RIGHTS OF NEUTRALS.
On the 4th of March, 1861, Mr. Lincoln took the oath and assumed the duties of the Presidential office. He was quite right in saying, on the eve of his departure from his home in Springfield, that those duties were greater than had devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. A conspiracy which had been on foot for thirty years had reached its crisis. Yet in spite of all that had been done by the leading spirits in this movement, the people of the slaveholding States were by no means a unit in its support. Seven of those States—South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana-had passed secession ordinances, and united in the establishment of a hostile Confederacy ; but in nearly all of them a considerable portion of the people were opposed to the movement, while in all the remaining slaveholding States a very active canvass was carried on between the friends and the opponents of secession. In Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee especially, the Government of the United States was vindicated and its authority sustained by men of pre-eminent ability and of commanding reputation, and there seemed abundant reason for hoping that, by the adoption of prudent meas ures, the slaveholding section might be divided, and the Border Slave States retained in the Union. The authorities of the rebel Confederacy saw the importance of push
ing the issue to an instant decision. Under their directions nearly all the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, custom-houses, &c., belonging to the United States, within the limits of the seceded States, had been seized, and were held by representatives of the rebel government. The only forts in the South which remained in possession of the Union were Forts Pickens, Taylor, and Jefferson on the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and preparations were far advanced for the reduction and capture of these. Officers of the army and navy from the South had resigned their commissions and entered the rebel service. Civil officers representing the United States within the limits of the Southern States could no longer discharge their functions, and all the powers of that Governmeñt were practically paralyzed.
It was under these circumstances that Mr. Lincoln entered upon the duties of his office, and addressed himself to the task, first, of withholding the Border States from joining the Confederacy, as an indispensable preliminary to the great work of quelling the rebellion and restoring the authority of the Constitution.
The ceremony of inauguration took place as usual in front of the Capitol, and in presence of an immense multitude of spectators. A large military force was in attendance, under the immediate command of General Scott, but nothing occurred to interrupt the harmony of the occasion. Before taking the oath of office, Mr. Lincoln delivered the following
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 thosu 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