Puslapio vaizdai

Speech at Harrisburg.

-that I, for the first time, appear at the Capital of the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania upon the birthday of the Father of his Country, in connection with that beloved anniversary connected with the history of this country. I have already gone through one exceedingly interesting scene this morning in the ceremonies at Philadelphia. Under the high conduct of gentlemen there, I was, for the first time, allowed the privilege of standing in Old Independence Hall, to have a few words addressed to me there, and opening up to me an opportunity of expressing, with much regret, that I had not more time to express something of my own feelings, excited by the occasion, somewhat to harmonize and give shape to the feelings that had been really the feelings of my whole life. Besides this, our friends there had provided a magnificent. flag of the country. They had arranged it so that I was given the honor of raising it to the head of its staff. And when it went up I was pleased that it went to its place by the strength of my own feeble arm; when, according to the arrangement, the cord was pulled, and it flaunted gloriously to the wind without an accident, in the bright glowing sunshine of the morning, I could not help hoping that there was in the entire success of that beautiful ceremony at least something of an omen of what is to come. Nor could I help feeling then, as I often have felt, in the whole of that proceeding, I was a very humble instrument. I had not provided the flag; I had not made the arrangements for elevating it to its place. I had applied but a very small portion of my feeble strength in raising it. In the whole transaction I was in the hands of the people who had arranged it; and if I can have the same generous coöperation of the people of the nation, I think the flag of our country may yet be kept flaunting gloriously. I recur for a moment but to repeat some words uttered at the hotel in regard to what has been said about the military support which the General Government may expect from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Allusion to the Flag.

Military Support.

Pennsylvania's Interests.


in a proper emergency. To guard against any possible mistake do I recur to this. It is not with any pleasure that I contemplate the possibility that a necessity may arise in this country for the use of the military arm. While I am exceedingly gratified to see the manifestation upon your streets of your military force here, and exceedingly gratified at your promise here to use that force upon a proper emergencywhile I make these acknowledgements, I desire to repeat, in order to preclude any possible misconstruction, that I do most sincerely hope that we shall have no use for them; that it will never become their duty to shed blood, and most especially never to shed fraternal blood. I promise that, so far as I have wisdom to direct, if so painful a result shall in any wise be brought about, it shall be through no fault of mine. Allusion has also been made by one of your honored speakers to some remark recently made by myself at Pittsburg, in regard to what is supposed to be the especial interest of this great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. now wish only to say, in regard to that matter, that the few remarks which I uttered on that occasion were rather carefully worded. I took pains that they should be so. I have seen no occasion since to add to them or subtract from them. I leave them precisely as they stand, adding only now, that I am pleased to have an expression from you, gentlemen of Pennsylvania, significant that they are satisfactory to you. And now, gentlemen of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, allow me to return you again my most sincere thanks."


Arrangements had been made for his departure from Harrisburg on the following morning; but the timely discovery of a plot to assassinate him on his way through Baltimore—a plot in which several of the leading citizens of that place were believed to be interested, although the work was to be done by other hands-caused a change in the schedule, and on the evening of the day on which he had been received by

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the Legislature, he left on a special train for Philadelphia, and thence proceeded in the sleeping-car attached to the regular midnight train to Washington, where he arrived at an early hour on the morning of the 23d.

As an evidence how little the extent to which unscrupulous men were prepared to go, was understood at this time, it may be remarked that not a few made themselves very merry over this midnight ride-a leading pictorial even indulging itself in an attempt at a humorous illustration of it, an act which, viewed in the light of a startling event but little more than four years later, in which a native of the same city was directly concerned, would hardly have been repeated.


Speech at Washington.


Speeches at Washington - The Inaugural Address Its Effect-The Cabinet-Commissioners from Montgomery-Extract from A. H. Stephens's speech-Virginia Commissioners-Fall of Fort Sumter.


A FEW days after his arrival in Washington, the President elect was waited upon by the Mayor and other municipal authorities, welcoming him the city, to whom he made the following reply:

"Mr. MAYOR: I thank you, and through you the municipal authorities of this city who accompany you, for this welcome. And as it is the first time in my life since the present phase of politics has presented itself in this country, that I have said anything publicly within a region of country where the institution of slavery exists, I will take this occasion to say that I think very much of the ill feeling which has existed, and still exists, between the people in the sections from whence I came and the people here, is dependent upon a misunderstanding of one another. I therefore avail myself

Speech at Washington.

Remarks at a Serenade.

of this opportunity to assure you, Mr. Mayor, and all the gentlemen present, that I have not now, and never have had, any other than as kindly feelings towards you as towards the people of my own section. I have not now, nor never have had, any disposition to treat you in any respect otherwise than as my own neighbors. I have not now any purpose to withhold from you any of the benefits of the Constitation, under any circumstances, that I would not feel myself constrained to withhold from my neighbors; and I hope, in a word, that when we shall become better acquainted, and I say it with great confidence, we shall like each other the more. I thank you for the kindness of this reception."

On the following evening, at the close of a serenade tendered him by the Republican Association, he thus addressed the crowd:

"MY FRIENDS: I suppose that I may take this as a compliment paid to me, and as such please accept my thanks for it. I have reached this city of Washington under circumstances considerably differing from those under which any other man has ever reached it. I am here for the purpose of taking an official position amongst the people, almost all of whom were politically opposed to me, and are yet opposed to me as I suppose. I propose no lengthy address to you. I only propose to say, as I did on yesterday, when your worthy Mayor and Board of Aldermen called upon me, that I thought much of the ill feeling that has existed between you and the people of your surroundings and that people from amongst whom I came, has depended, and now depends, upon a misunderstanding.

"I hope that, if things shall go on as prosperously as I believe we all desire they may, I may have it in my power to remove something of this misunderstanding, that I may be enabled to convince you, and the people of your section of the country, that we regard you as in all things our equals, and in all things entitled to the same respect and the same treat

Constitutional Rights.

Anxiety for the Inaugural.

ment that we claim for ourselves; that we are in nowise disposed, if it were in our power, to oppress you, to deprive you of any of your rights under the Constitution of the United States, or even narrowly to split hairs with you in regard to those rights, but are determined to give you, as far as lies in our hands, all your rights under the Constitutionnot grudgingly, but fully and fairly. 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."

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Never, in the history of the country, has the inaugural address of any President been so anxiously awaited as was that of Mr. Lincoln. The most of his countrymen, even in States whose loyalty to the Government was beyond suspicion, were certain to be disappointed, whatever that inaugural might prove to be. An impression prevailed, for which no good grounds could be shown, that somehow, in some inexplicable way, this particular address would operate as a panacea to heal the nation's malady. One class, who knew not the man, hoped, almost against hope, that such concessions would be made to the rebels as would bridge over existing difficulties, and restore the good old times when men could vend their goods and principles-or what served them in lieu thereof-without being annoyed by war or rumor of Another would be satisfied with nothing short of the most positive and unqualified denunciations of the rebels, coupled with the details in advance of dealing with them. Still another were simply curious in the premises to know what could be said. Whisperings, too, that the address would be prevented by violence, and hints of assassination were heard here and there.


All necessary precautions, however, having been taken to guard against the latter contingencies, Mr. Lincoln appeared

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