despotism, sparing neither life nor property — if she wishes the streets of her towns and cities grown with grass, and the steamboats of her rivers to lie rotting at her wharves, then let her join the Southern Confederacy; but if she would have the bright waters of that river flow on in their gladness — if she would have her harvests peacefully gathered to her garners — if she would have the lullabies of her cradles and the songs of her homes uninvaded by the cries and terrors of battle — if she would have the streets of her towns and cities again filled with the hum and throngs of busy trade, and her rivers and her shores once more vocal with the steamer's whistle,--that anthem of a free and prosperous commerce,--then let her stand fast by the Stars and Stripes, and do her duty, and her whole duty as a member of this Union.
Let her brave people say to the President
of the United States
: “You are our chief magistrate; the Government
you have in charge, and are striving to save from dishonor and dismemberment, is our Government; your cause is indeed our cause; your battles are our battles; make room for us, therefore, in the ranks of your armies, that your triumph may be our triumph also.”
Even as with the Father
of us all I would plead for salvation, so, my countrymen, as upon my very knees, would I plead with you for the life, aye for the life, of our great and beneficent institutions.
But if the traitor's knife, now at the throat of the republic, is to do its work, and this Government is fated to add yet another to that long line of sepulchres which whiten the highway of the past, then my heartfelt prayer to God is, that it may be written in history, that the blood of its life was not found upon the skirts of Kentucky