were of the same race, and their enslavement in violation of the laws of nature.
Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws.
The negro, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.
The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material — the granite-then comes the brick or the marble.
The substratum of our society is made of the-material fitted by nature for it; and by experience we know that it is the best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the Creator.
It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another in glory.”
The great objects of humanity are best attained when conformed to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else.
Our Confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws.
This stone, which was rejected by the first builders, “is become the chief stone of the corner” in our new edifice.
I have been asked, What of the future?
It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world.
I care not who or how many they may be; when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, we are obliged to and must triumph.
With regard to future accessions to the Confederacy
, Mr. Stephens
Our growth by accessions from other States will depend greatly upon whether we present to the world, as I trust we shall, a better government than that to which they belong.
If we do this, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas, cannot hesitate long; neither can Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.
They will necessarily gravitate to us by an imperious law. We made ample provision in our Constitution for the admission of other States.
It is more guarded-and wisely so, I think-than the old Constitution on the same subject; but not too guarded to receive them so fast as it may be proper.
Looking to the distant future-and perhaps not very distant either — it is not beyond the range of possibility, and even probability, that all the great States of the North-West shall gravitate this way, as well as Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, etc. Should they do so, our doors are wide enough to receive them; but not until they are ready to assimilate with us in principle.
The process of disintegration in the old Union may be expected to go on with almost absolute certainty.
We are now the nucleus of a growing power; which, if we are true to ourselves, our destiny, and our high mission, will become the controlling power on this continent.
To what extent accessions will go on, in the process of time, or where it will end, the future will determine.
So far as it concerns States of the old Union, they will be upon no such principle of reconstruction as is now spoken of, but upon reorganization and new assimilation.
[Loud applause.] Such are some of the glimpses of the future as I catch them.
Mr. Abraham Lincoln
, on the 11th of February, left his home at Springfield, Illinois
, for Washington
, receiving on the way advices that he had been, upon a careful canvass and comparison of the Electoral votes by Congress, proclaimed1
by Vice-President Breckinridge
the duly elected President
of the United States
, for four years from the 4th of March ensuing.
Immense crowds surrounded the stations at which the special train halted wherein he, with his family and a few friends, was borne eastward through Indianapolis
, New York City, Trenton
, and Harrisburg
, on his way to the White House
He was everywhere received and honored as the chief of a free people; and his unstudied remarks in reply to the complimentary addresses which he day by day received indicated his decided disbelief in any bloody issue of our domestic complications.
Thus, at Indianapolis
, where he spent the first night of his journey, he replied to an address of welcome from Gov. Morton
, as follows: