these bands the Abolitionists of course took the most prominent part.
we were energetic, vigilant, almost revolutionary.
We recommended the employment of any means, however desperate, to promote and defend the cause of freedom.
At one of these meetings Lincoln
was called on for a speech.
He responded to the request, counselling moderation and less bitterness in dealing with the situation before us. We were belligerent in tone, and clearly out of patience with the Government
opposed the notion of coercive measures with the possibility of resulting bloodshed, advising us to eschew resort to the bullet.
“You can better succeed,” he declared, “with the ballot.
You can peaceably then redeem the Government
and preserve the liberties of mankind through your votes and voice and moral influence. .. .. Let there be peace.
Revolutionize through the ballot box, and restore the Government
once more to the affections and hearts of men by making it express, as it was intended to do, the highest spirit of justice and liberty.
Your attempt, if there be such, to resist the laws of Kansas
by force is criminal and wicked; and all your feeble attempts will be follies and end in bringing sorrow on your heads and ruin the cause you would freely die to preserve!”
These judicious words of counsel, while they reduced somewhat our ardor and our desperation, only placed before us in their real colors the grave features of the situation.
We raised a neat sum of money, Lincoln
showing his sincerity by joining in the subscription, and forwarded it to our friends in Kansas