fellow-citizens of the State of Indiana: I am here to thank you much for this magnificent welcome, and still more for the very generous support given by your State to that political cause which, I think, is the true and just cause of the whole country and the whole world.
Solomon says, “There is a time to keep silence;” and, when men wrangle by the month with no certainty that they mean the same thing while using the same word, it perhaps were as well if they would keep silence.
The words coercion “ and ” invasion “ are much used in these days, and often with some temper and hot blood.
Let us make sure, if we can, that we do not misunderstand the meaning of those who use them.
Let us get the exact definitions of these words, not from dictionaries, but from the men themselves, who certainly deprecate the things they would represent by the use of the words.
What, then, is ” coercion “? What is ” invasion “? Would the marching of an army into South Carolina without the consent of her people, and with hostile intent toward them, be invasion?
I certainly think it would be ” invasion, “ and coercion” also, if the South Carolinians were forced to submit.
But, if the United States should merely hold and retake her own forts and other property, and collect the duties on foreign importations, or even withhold the mails from places where they were habitually violated, would any or all these things be “invasion” or “coercion” ? Do our professed lovers of the Union, but who spitefully resolve that they will resist coercion and invasion, understand that such things as these on the part of the United States would be “coercion” or “ invasion” of a State?
If so, their idea of means to preserve the object of their great affection would seem to be exceedingly thin and airy.
If sick, the little pills of the homoeopathist would be much too large for it to swallow.
In their view, the Union, as a family relation, would seem to be no regular marriage, but rather a sort of free-love arrangement, to be maintained on “passional attraction.”
By the way, in what consists the special sacredness of a State?
I speak not of the position assigned to a State in the Union by the Constitution; for that is the bond we all recognize.
That position, however, a State cannot carry out of the Union with it. I speak of that assumed primary right of a State to rule all which is less than itself, and to ruin all which is larger than itself.
If a State and a County, in a given case, should be equal in extent of territory and equal in number of inhabitants, in what, as a matter of principle, is the State better than the County?
Would an exchange of names be an exchange of rights?
Upon principle, on what rightful ground may a State, being no more than one-fiftieth part of the nation in soil and population, break up the nation, and then coerce a proportionally larger subdivision of itself in the most arbitrary way?
What mysterious right to play tyrant is conferred on a district of country, with its people, by merely calling it a State?
Fellow-citizens, I am not asserting anything.
I am merely asking questions for you to consider.
And now, allow me to bid you farewell.
At Columbus, Ohio
, he said:
I have not maintained silence from any want of real anxiety.
It is a good thing that there is no more than anxiety; for there is nothing going wrong.
It is a consoling circumstance that, when we look out, there is nothing that really hurts anybody.
We entertain different views upon political questions: but nobody is suffering anything.
This is a most consoling circumstance; and from it we may conclude that all we want is time, patience, and a reliance on that God who has never forsaken this people.
At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
, on the 15th, he said:
Notwithstanding the troubles across the river [the speaker pointing southwardly across the Monongahela, and smiling], there is no crisis but an artificial one.
What is there now to warrant the condition of affairs presented by our friends over the river?
Take even their own views of the questions involved, and there is nothing to justify the course they are pursuing.
I repeat, then, there is no crisis, except such a one as may be gotten up at any time by turbulent men, aided by designing politicians.
My advice to them, under the circumstances, is to keep cool.
If the great American people only keep their temper both sides of the line, the trouble will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country be settled, just as surely as all other difficulties, of a like character, which have originated in this Government, have been adjusted.
Let the people on both sides keep their self-possession, and, just as other clouds have cleared away in due time, so will this great national continue to prosper as heretofore.
, being required to assist at the solemn raising of the United States
flag over Independence Hall, Mr. Lincoln
, in reply to an address of welcome by Mr. Theodore Cuyler
I have often pondered over the dangers incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of