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be not, in any case, surrendered as a slave ? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that "the citizen of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States ?"
I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.
It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have, in succession, administered the Executive branch of the Government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted."
I hold that, in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all National Governments. It is safe to assert that no Government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever-it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
Again, if the United States be not a Government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably un
The remainder of this paragraph was not in the original draft. Mr. Lincoln added it of his own accord. This sentence stood in the original: "They have conducted it through many perils; and on the whole, with great success.
Mr. Lincoln adopted Mr. Seward's suggestion to make it read: "and generally with great success."
In the original this sentence read: "A disruption of the Federal Union is menaced, and, so far as can be on paper, is already effected. The particulars of what has been done are so familiar and so fresh, that I need not waste any time in recounting them."
Mr. Seward proposed to change it as follows: "A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted."
Mr. Lincoln adopted the suggestion.
This sentence originally stood: "It was further matured and expressly declared and pledged to be perpetual," etc.
Mr. Lincoln of his own accord amended it as follows: "It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual," etc.
'In the original, this paragraph concluded as follows: "The Union is less perfect than before, which contradicts the Constitution, and therefore is absurd.” Mr. Seward proposed to strike out the words "and therefore is absurd." Mr. Lincoln adopted this suggestion,and in addition remodeled the whole sentence, so as
made by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it — break it, so to speak, but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured," and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was, "to form a more perfect Union.” But if destruction of the Union by one, or by a part only, of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
It follows from these views, that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances. I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States." Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary." I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself."
In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon to read: "The Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity." "The first half of this sentence originally closed: dinances to that effect are legally nothing," and the second half, "are insurrectionary or treasonable, according to circumstances." Mr. Seward's suggestions to strike out the word "nothing" and substitute the word "void," and to strike out the word "treasonable" and substitute the word "revolutionary," were adopted. "In the original this sentence stood: "I therefore consider that the Union is unbroken; and, to the extent of my ability, I shall take care that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States."
Mr. Seward proposed to amend it as follows: "I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States." Mr. Lincoln adopted the change.
10 This phrase originally stood: " or in some tangible way direct the contrary.
Mr. Seward's suggestion, to strike out the words "tangible way" and substitute therefor the words "authoritative manner," was adopted.
"This sentence originally closed: "will have its own and defend itself." Mr. Seward's suggestion, to strike out these words and insert "will constitutionally defend and maintain itself," was adopted.
the national authority." The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States, in any interior locality, shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.
The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union." So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised according to circumstances actually existing, and with a
"In the original draft this paragraph, after the first sentence, stood as follows:
"All the power at my disposal will be used to reclaim the public property and places which have fallen: to hold, occupy, and possess these, and all other property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion of any State. Where hostility to the United States, in any interior locality, shall be so great and so universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist
in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices."
Mr. Seward proposed to strike out all the above, and to insert the following:
"The power confided to me shall be used indeed with efficacy, but also with discretion in every case and exigency, according to the circumstances actually exist ing, and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections. There are in this government as in every other, emergencies when the exercise of power lawful in itself is less certain to secure the just ends of administration, than a temporary forbearance from it, with reliance on the voluntary though delayed acquiescence of the people in the laws which have been made by themselves and for their own benefit. I shall not lose sight of this obvious maxim."
Mr. Lincoln, however, did not adopt this proposal, but made a slight change which had been suggested by another friend. At Indianapolis he gave a copy of his original draft to Hon. O. H. Browning, who after carefully reading it on his return, wrote to Mr. Lincoln (February 17th, 1861) referring to this paragraph: "Would it not be judicious so to modify this as to make it read, All the power at my disposal will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government, and to collect the duties and imposts. etc,' omitting the declaration of the purpose of reclamation, which will be construed into a threat or menace, and will be irritating even in the
view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections."
That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them." To those, however, who really love the Union, may I not speak?
Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake? All profess to be content in the Union, if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written in the Constitution, has been denied?" I think not. Happily the human mind is so constituted," that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution
border States? On principle the passage is right as it now stands. The fallen places ought to be reclaimed. But cannot that be accomplished as well or even better without announcing the purpose in your inaugural ? Mr. Lincoln adopted Mr. Browning's advice, and modified his own phraseology as proposed.
He also made in this paragraph another slight change of phraseology. For, "there will be no invasion of any State," he substituted, "there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere."
"This phrase originally was," The mails, unless refused, will continue to be furnished," etc. Mr. Lincoln himself changed this to read: "The mails, unless re pelled."
"This paragraph originally closed with the following sentence: "This course will be pursued until current experience shall show a modification or change to be proper." Mr. Lincoln himself changed this so as to read: "The course here indicated will be followed, unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper." He also added a part of the language proposed by Mr. Seward for the previous paragraph, as will be seen by comparison.
This sentence originally stood: “That there are persons who seek to destroy the Union," etc. Mr. Seward proposed to amend so as to make it read: "That there are persons in one section as well as in the other, who seek to destroy the Union," etc. Mr. Lincoln changed the amendment to, “That there are persons in one section or another who seek," etc.
Mr. Seward also proposed to add to the last clause of the sentence, after the word " them," the following: "because I am sure they must be few in number and of little influence when their pernicious principles are fully understood."
Mr. Lincoln did not adopt the suggestion.
1 Mr. Lincoln himself struck out the word "Union" as it originally appeared in this sentence, and inserted in lieu the words "fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes."
"Mr. Seward proposed to insert the word "distinct " after the words, "Is it true, then, that any," in the second sentence of this paragraph.
Mr. Lincoln did not adopt the suggestion.
1 In this sentence Mr. Lincoln himself changed the word "constructed" to "constituted."
has ever been denied. If, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution-certainly would, if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guarantees and prohibitions," in the Constitution, that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration." No foresight can anticipate, nor any document of reasonable length contain, express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.
From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease. There is no other alternative; for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other." If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them; for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.
"The phrase, "by affirmations and negations," Mr. Seward proposed to make, "by affirmations and negations, guarantees and prohibitions."
Mr. Lincoln adopted the suggestion.
The phrase, applicable to every question," Mr. Seward proposed to change to, "applicable to every possible question."
Mr. Lincoln did not adopt the change.
"In this paragraph Mr. Seward proposed to substitute the words "acquiesce" and "acquiescence" for submit" and "submission."
Mr. Lincoln adopted the suggestion.
The original phrase, "a minority of their own number will secede from them," Mr. Lincoln himself changed to, "a minority of their own will secede from them."
In the original these sentences ran as follows: "For instance, why may not South Carolina, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede from a new Southern Confederacy, just as she now claims to secede from the present Union? Her people, and, indeed, all secession people, are now being educated to the precise temper of doing this."
Mr. Seward proposed to substitute the names "Alabama or Florida for "South Carolina"; and the word "communities " for " people."
Instead of adopting this, Mr. Lincoln re-wrote the whole, as follows: "For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this."
Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new Union as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed secession ? "
Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
I do not forget the position, assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding, in any case, upon the parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government." And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled, and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice." At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the
For the original phrase," a Southern Union," Mr. Lincoln himself substituted, "a new Union."
The original sentence, "A constitutional majority is the only true sovereign of a free people," Mr. Seward proposed to change to, "A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign," etc.
Mr. Lincoln adopted the change.
In the original this phrase ran: "the greater evils of a different rule." Mr. Seward proposed to substitute "practice" for "rule," and Mr. Lincoln struck out the word "greater," making it read, "the evils of a different practice.'
In the original this sentence stood: "But if the policy of the Government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, it is plain that the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having turned their government over to the despotism of the few life officers composing the court."
Mr. Seward proposed to amend it as follows: "At the same time the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, made in the ordinary course of litigation between parties in personal actions,
court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes."
One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave-trade, are each as well enforced," perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured; and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections, than before. The foreign slave-trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section; 33 while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.
Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens, than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are again upon you.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary
the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
Mr. Lincoln adopted the amendment, first changing the phrase, "made in the ordinary course of litigation," to," the instant they are made in ordinary litigation," and also the phrase, "having practically resigned," to," having to that extent practically resigned." The original draft here contained the following paragraph:
The Republican party, as I understand, have avowed the purpose to prevent, if they can, the extension of slavery under the national auspices; and upon this arises the only dispute between the sections."
Mr. Seward proposed to strike out the whole paragraph, and Mr. Lincoln adopted the suggestion.
In the original this phrase stood: "One section believes slavery is right," etc. Mr. Seward proposed to make it read: "One section of our country believes slavery is right," etc.
Mr. Lincoln adopted the amendment. "The phrase, "as well enforced as any law," Mr. Seward suggested should read: "as well enforced, perhaps, as any law," etc.
The suggestion was adopted.
The phrase," where the moral sense of the people is against the law itself," Mr. Seward suggested should read: "where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself."
of the existing Government they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." I cannot be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the National Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution which amendment, however, I have not seen — has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose, not to speak of particular amendments, so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.
The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have conferred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this also if they choose; but the Executive, as such, has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences
The suggestion was adopted.
The phrase, "would be revived," Mr. Seward suggested should read: "would be ultimately revived.' The suggestion was adopted.
"Following the words, "dismember and overthrow it," the original continued:
"As I am not much impressed with the belief that the present Constitution can be improved, I make no recommendations of amendments. I am rather for the old ship, and the chart of the old pilots. If, however, the people desire a new or an altered vessel, the matter is exclusively their own, and they can move in the premises, as well without as with an executive recommendation. I shall place no obstacle in the way of what may appear to be their wishes."
Mr. Seward proposed to change the first sentence of the above to the following: "While so great a diversity of opinion exists on the question what amendments, if indeed any, would be effective in restoring peace and safety, it would only tend to aggravate the dispute if I were to attempt to give direction to the public mind in that respect.'
Mr. Lincoln did not adopt Mr. Seward's suggestion; but struck out all the above, and remodeled the whole paragraph to the form in which it now stands in the text.
35 The original phrase "can do this if they choose," Mr. Lincoln himself changed to read, “ can do this also if they choose."
is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South," that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.
By the frame of the Government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.3
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject." Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time." If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while
*The original phrase," is either party without faith in the right?" Mr. Lincoln himself changed to, "is either party without faith of being in the right?"
"The original phrase, " be on our side or on yours," Mr. Seward suggested should read: "be on the side of the North, or of the South, of the East, or of the West."
Mr. Lincoln changed it to read: “be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South."
"The original phrase, "While the people remain patient and true to themselves, no man, even in the presidential chair, can," etc., Mr. Seward proposed to change to, "While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no legislature and no administration can," etc. Mr. Lincoln changed it to read as follows: "While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can," etc. "The original phrase, "take time and think well," Mr. Seward suggested should read: "think calmly and think well."
Mr. Lincoln changed it to, "think calmly and well." The original sentences: "Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. Nothing worth preserving is either breaking or burning," Mr. Seward proposed to strike out.
Mr Lincoln retained the first, and struck out the second.
"In the original sentence, "The Government will not assail you, unless you first assail it," Mr. Seward suggested striking out the last clause.
Mr. Lincoln adopted the suggestion.
The original draft, after the words, "preserve, protect, and defend it," concluded as follows, addressing itself to "my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen": "You can forbear the assault upon it, I cannot shrink from the defense of it. With you, and not with me, is the solemn question of Shall it be peace or a sword?'" Mr. Seward did not like this termination; his letter, previously quoted, suggested that "something besides or in addition to argument is needful- to meet and remove prejudice and passion in the South, and despondency and fear in the East. Some words of affection some of calm and cheerful confidence." Accordingly he submitted two separate drafts for a closing paragraph, from which Mr. Lincoln might choose one to substitute for the two sentences which he proposed to strike out.
the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you." You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect and defend it." "
I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our na
Suggestions for a closing paragraph:
"However unusual it may be at such a time to speak of sections or to sections, yet in view of the misconceptions and agitations which have strained the ties of brotherhood so far, I hope it will not be deemed a departure from propriety, whatever it may be from custom, to say that if in the criminations and misconstructions which too often imbue our political contests, any man south of this capital has been led to believe that I regard with a less friendly eye his rights, his interests, or his domestic safety and happiness, or those of his State, than I do those of any other portion of my country, or that I would invade or disturb any legal right or domestic institution in the South, he mistakes both my principles and feelings, and does not know me. I aspire to come in the spirit, however far below the ability and wisdom, of Washington, of Madison, of Jackson, and of Clay. In that spirit I here declare that in my administration I shall know no rule but the Constitution, no guide but the laws, and no sentiment but that of equal devotion to my whole country, east, west, north, and south."
"I close. We are not, we must not be, aliens or enemies, but fellow-countrymen and brethren. Although passion has strained our bonds of affection too hardly, they must not, I am sure they will not, be broken. The mystic chords which, proceeding from so many battle-fields and so many patriot graves, pass through all the hearts and all hearths in this broad continent of ours, will yet again harmonize in their ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of
The first of these drafts, containing 139 words in its opening sentence, and made up of phrases which had become extremely commonplace by iteration in the six years' slavery discussion, was clearly inadmissible. The second draft, containing the germ of a truly poetic thought amid its somewhat chaotic rhetoric, Mr. Lincoln took, and, in a new development and perfect form, gave it the life and spirit and beauty which have made it celebrated in the text.