previous next

An alleged proclamation of President Lincoln.

The following statement in reference to an alleged proclamation of Mr. Lincoln, said to have been prepared but never published, has been going the rounds of the press.

The letter from Judge Campbell, which we append, shows the inaccuracy of at least a part of the “unwritten history,” and we doubt not that a thorough sifting would prove that the whole story is a canard. Who can give us additional facts?

[from Washington letter to New York Sun.]

In the dark and uncertain days preceding the outbreak of the rebellion there was much doubt in the mind of Mr. Lincoln regarding the disposition of the people North of the recognized dividing line between freedom and slavery to sustain aggressive measures for the preservation of the Union. State after State had seceded, and no demonstration had been made at the North to counteract the force of such movements at the South. On the contrary, there were public men who openly advocated a division of the Union into such parts as would suit geographical lines and their own interests and ambition. Notably, Mr. Hendricks favored a northwestern confederacy; some New Yorkers saw in the confusion of the times an opportunity to make their city the Venice of America; and some Californians thought a republic on the Pacific, with San Francisco for its commercial and political capital, would develop into mighty proportions before the end of the century. Horace Greeley had advocated in the Tribune peaceable separation and boldly proclaimed: “Let the erring sisters go in peace.” The Indianapolis Journal, in the West, inspired by an ambition to “take a position,” occupied the same ground. The Northern States sent peace commissioners to Washington to plead with the South for a peaceable solution of the difficulties and a maintenance of the Union. The Government, under Mr. Buchanan, did nothing to repress the military preparations making in the South, and when Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated there were nine States defying his authority and ready for war. His administration had a most formidable opposition in the two remaining States that seceded, and in those also that attempted to do so. His support at the North, in the event of war, he regarded as uncertain, and anarchy appeared inevitable.

In this condition of affairs commissioners appointed by Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, appeared on the scene, and through Judge Campbell, then late of the Supreme Court, who had resigned on the secession of Louisiana, commenced a negotiation for the surrender to that State of the Government forts and property within its limits. The commissioners were also aided by Dr. Todd,

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.
Abraham Lincoln (4)
John A. Campbell (2)
Todd (1)
Pickens (1)
Hendricks (1)
Horace Greeley (1)
Franklin Buchanan (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: