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opinion of the Secretary of War on the alleged conspiracy against the capital, and even the message of Mr. Buchanan himself on the same subject, can be satisfactorily explained on no other theory than that both the peril and deliverance were great.
Mr. Lincoln began his address by a reference to the apprehensions existing at the South, that by the accession of a Republican administration their property, peace, and security would be in danger. He assured the people of that section that there had never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Quoting a previous assertion of his own, that he had "no purpose directly or indirectly with the institution of slavery in the States," referring to the resolution of the convention that nominated him for the Presidency, and affirming that the Republican party would never interfere with "the right of each State to order and control its domestic institutions," he noted it as "conclusive evidence" that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the incoming administration. Admitting that the rendition clause in the Constitution applied to escaped fugitives from slavery, and that it should be enforced, he suggested that any law on the subject should be so framed that all the "safeguards known in civilized and humane institutions should be introduced"; and he suggested, in connection with this subject, that a law should be passed for the enforcement of the guaranty of the Constitution that the citizens of each State should be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of the citizens in the several States. He held that, in the contemplation of universal law and the Constitution, the "Union of these States is perpetual." If the Union was merely a contract, he contended that it could not be peaceably unmade except by all the parties that made it; 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. Considering that the Union is unbroken, he pledged himself that he should take care that "the laws of the Union shall be faithfully executed in all the States." He expressed
the hope that this avowal would not be regarded as a menace,' but as only the "declared purpose of the Union" to maintain itself. "In doing this," he said, "there need be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it is forced on the national authority." Pledging himself that the power confided to him would be used" to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duty on imports," he affirmed that there would be no invasion, no using of force, beyond what was necessary for these objects. Declaring that "the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy," he reminded the secessionists that any portion of their new confederacy might secede precisely as they now claimed to do. He said the only substantial dispute was that "one section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it wrong and ought not to be extended." "A husband and wife," he said, "might be divorced and pass out of the presence of each other, but different parts of the country could not do it." They cannot but remain face to face. "If they went to war," he said, "they could not fight always; aliens could not make treaties easier than friends could make laws, and treaties could not be more easily enforced among aliens than laws among friends." Earnestly recommending a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people," he reverently said: "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, the American People."
He closed his address, so long and anxiously waited for by the country, with these words of tender and touching pathos : "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 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 is still no single 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 difficulties. 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 can have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the gov ernment; while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend' it. I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. sion may have strained, it must not break, our bonds of affec tion. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the bet ter angels of our nature."
The Inaugural was variously interpreted and received at the North. While its felicitous language, its tender, conciliatory, and Christian spirit, were approved and admired, there were those who regarded its tone as too deprecatory, and its terms as conceding too much, transcending the limitations of both governmental dignity and moral obligation. Generally, how ever, its explicit denial of all right of secession and the firm determination to maintain the supremacy and see to the faithful execution of the laws, were applauded. Men, of course, did not, as they could not, fully appreciate all it involved, and the fearful demands that would be found necessary to vindicate and make good the proclaimed purpose their leader had avowed. Had they comprehended more fully what they after ward so dearly learned, they might have hesitated and been less brave and determined. Doubtless it was but another illustration of "blindness to the future kindly given."
But all its conciliatory words, its kind and fraternal expres
sions of affectionate regard, and the proffered olive-branch of peace were lost upon the South, and met with no favoring responses from those who meditated disunion, and whom he would dissuade. The "Richmond Enquirer" declared that "no action of our convention can now maintain the peace, and Virginia must fight." And the Richmond "Whig," then professedly a Union paper, declared that the " policy indicated toward the seceding State will meet with stern, unyielding resistance by the united South." The Charleston "Mercury" declared it to be their wisest policy "to accept it as a declaration of war." It was denounced too, though in more measured terms, by some politicians and presses in the North. The "Baltimore Sun" said that the message was "sectional and mischievous "; that, "if it means what it says, it is the knell and requiem of the Union." The Philadelphia Pennsylvanian," the leading organ of the Democracy of that State, declared that Mr. Lincoln had not receded a step; that he stood on the Chicago platform. "Let the border States," it said, "submit to the Abolition rule of this Lincoln administration if they like; but don't let the miserable submissionists pretend to be deceived: make any cowardly excuse but this."
Position of Maryland. Governor Hicks's refusal to convene the legislature. Its importance. Confident expectations of the Rebels. — Governor Hicks's character and avowals. Maryland conservative and Southern. - Secession measures and menaces. -Charges of inconsistency. — Dilemma. Patriotic support. — Anna E. Carroll. — Governor's persistency. — Neutrality. Legislature convened. - Governor's reasons and message.Appeals to the President. Seward's reply. -Christian delegation.-Presi dent's reply. Increasing loyalty. - Kentucky and Missouri desire neutrality. Governor Magoffin's message. - Guthrie's views. Governor's Proc lamation. Kentucky retained in the Union. - Missouri. — Large slaveholders. Convention. - Union majority. - Francis P. Blair and Nathaniel Lyon. Earnest and successful Union efforts. Governor Jackson's unavail. ing efforts to take the State out of the Union.
Of the three border slave States, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, the first-mentioned, though inferior in size, population, and resources, was, from its position, of the greatest importance to both parties in the conflict. It not only embraced originally the District of Columbia, now containing the national capital, but it stood in the track of those who would rush to the defence of that imperilled city. Very naturally, therefore, its adhesion to their cause became of prime importance to the conspirators. To secure it, as has been shown, was among the first things on the Rebel programme. Nor did they allow themselves to doubt of success. Thoroughly imbued with the Southern spirit, as it had shown itself in the long-continued antislavery conflict now hastening to its culmination; owning fifty million dollars of property in slaves, with a slave code on its statute-books, and a State government in spirit and administration in complete harmony with the other slaveholding States, the disunion leaders were confident of its support in the new policy they were inaugurating. By careful canvass,