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 more backward in proclaiming themselves “the greatest nation upon earth.” In 1860 Lincoln was elected President, and the catastrophe, which Grant hoped might have been averted, arrived. He had in 1860 no vote, but things were now come to that pass that he felt compelled to make his choice between minority rule and rule by the majority, and he was glad, therefore, to see Lincoln elected. Secession was imminent, and with secession, war; but Grant confesses that his own views at that time were those officially expressed later on by Mr. Seward, that “the war would be over in ninety days.” He retained these views, he tells us, until after the battle of Shiloh. Lincoln was not to come into office until the spring of 1861. The South was confident and defiant, and in the North there were prominent men and newspapers declaring that the government had no legal right to coerce the South. It was unsafe for Mr. Lincoln, when he went to be sworn into office in March 1861, to travel as President-elect; he had to be smuggled into Washington. When he took on the 4th of March his oath of office to maintain the Union, eleven States had gone out of it. On the 11th of April, Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour
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