previous next
[508] of the Act is tested. You can scan the immediate future as well as I. The temper of the people to-day you can readily learn.

At this time, Democratic organizations and meetings were denouncing the Draft as unconstitutional, and calling on the Governor to invoke the military power of the State to maintain its sovereignty and rightful jurisdiction, and protect its citizens from a ruthless conscription.

President Lincoln, in response1 to the Governor's appeal, after proposing to suspend the Draft in the City districts, in so far as it was claimed to be excessive, until after a fair and rigid scrutiny, said:

I do not object to abide the decision of the United States Supreme Court, or of the Judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the Draft law. In fact, I should be willing to facilitate the obtaining of it. But I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being obtained. We are contending with an enemy who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaughter-pen. No time is wasted, no argument is used. This produces an army which will soon turn upon our now victorious soldiers already in the field, if they shall not be sustained by recruits as they should be. It produces an army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side, if we first waste time to reexperiment with tile volunteer system, already deemed by Congress, and palpably, in fact, so far exhausted as to be inadequate; and then more time to obtain a Court decision as to whether a law is constitutional which requires a part of those not now in the service to go to the aid of those who are already in it; and still more time to determine with absolute certainty that we get those who are to go in the precisely legal proportion to those who are not to go. My purpose is to be in my action just and constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the important duty with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and the free principles of our common country.

The Autumnal Elections inevitably hinged on and embodied the popular judgment on the issues thus made up; and the brighter prospects of the National cause were reflected in the general success of the Republican candidates.

Vermont--the first to vote thereafter2--did, indeed, show a reduction of her always heavy Republican majority — the Democratic party having made no effort3 in 1862, and now doing its best; whereas, her election in the former year had been unaffected by the wave of depression and discouragement that swept soon afterward over the loyal States. California voted next:4 going “Union ” throughout by a very large majority5--nearly equal to that of 1861; but Maine--voting somewhat later6--felt the full impulse of the swelling tide, and showed it in her vote.7

But the October Elections were far more significant and decisive. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Andrew G. Curtin--who had aided the war to the extent of his ability — was presented by the Republicans for reelection; while the Democrats opposed to him Judge Geo. W. Woodward8 who, it was certified, had declared in 1861--“If the Union is to be divided, I want the line of separation run north of Pennsylvania” --and who, not far from the day of election, united with

1 Aug. 7.

2 Sept. 1.


1862. Republican. Democratic.
Gov. Holbrook, 30,032. Smalley, 3,724.
1863 Republican. Democratic.
J. G. Smith, 29,613. Redfield, 11,962.

4 Sept. 3.


1863. Union. Democratic.
Gov. F. F. Low, 64,447. Downey, 44,715.

6 Sept. 14.


1862. Repub. War Dem. Peace Dem.
Gov. Coburn, Jameson, Bradbury,
45,534 7,178 32,331
1863-- Gov. Cony, Bradbury,
  68,299 50,583

8 See his “ Peace” speech, Vol. I., pp. 363-5.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Bradbury (2)
George W. Woodward (1)
J. G. Smith (1)
George W. Smalley (1)
Redfield (1)
F. F. Low (1)
A. Lincoln (1)
Jameson (1)
Holbrook (1)
Downey (1)
Andrew G. Curtin (1)
Samuel Cony (1)
John Coburn (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1863 AD (3)
1862 AD (3)
1861 AD (2)
October (1)
September 14th (1)
September 3rd (1)
September 1st (1)
August 7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: