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[454] utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with, property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens of any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this late.

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are, therefore, summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the 4th day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this 15th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

Abraham Lincoln. By the President: Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.

This Proclamation was received throughout the Free States with very general and enthusiastic approval. Nearly all of them on this side of the Rocky Mountains had Republican Governors and Legislatures, who vied with each other in proffers of men, money, munitions, and everything that could be needed to vindicate the authority and maintain the integrity of the Union. The only1 Governor not elected as a Republican was William Sprague, of Rhode Island--an independent “conservative” --who not merely raised promptly the quota required of him, but volunteered to lead it to Washington, or wherever its services might be required. No State was more prompt and thorough in her response, and none sent her troops into the field more completely armed and serviceably equipped, than did Rhode Island. Among the privates in her first regiment was one worth a million dollars, who destroyed the passage-ticket he had bought for a voyage to Europe, on a tour of observation and pleasure, to shoulder his musket in defense of his country and her laws.

Hitherto, the Democrats and other ‘conservatives’ of the Free States had seemed2 to sympathize rather with “the South” than with the new Administration, in so far as they were at variance, though not usually to the extent of justifying Secession. Now, public meetings, addresses, enlistments, the mustering of companies and of regiments on all sides, seemed for a time to indicate an almost unbroken unanimity in support of the Government. The spirit of the hour is very fairly exhibited in the leading article of The New York Tribune of April 15th, as follows:

Fort Sumter is lost, but freedom is saved. There is no more thought of bribing or coaxing the traitors who have dared to aim their cannon-balls at the flag of the Union, and those who gave their lives to defend it. It seems but yesterday that at least two-thirds of the journals of this city were the virtual allies of the Secessionists, their apologists, their champions. The roar of the great circle of batteries pouring their iron hail upon devoted Sumter has struck them all dumb. It is as if one had made a brilliant and effective speech, setting forth the innocence of murder, and, having just bidden adieu to the cheers and the gas-lights, were to be confronted by the gory form and staring eyes of a victim of assassination, the first fruit of his oratorical success.

For months before the late Presidential election, a majority of our journals predicted forcible resistance to the Government as the natural and necessary result of a Republican triumph; for months since, they have been cherishing and encouraging the Slaveholders' Rebellion, as if it were a very natural

1 Those of California and Oregon were exceptions; but, being far away, and not called on for Militia, their views were then undeveloped.

2 See especially pages 355-6, and thenceforward.

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