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“ [453] before you admit a single State to the Union, you oblige it to give every loyal man in it the ballot,--the ballot, which secures education; the ballot, which begets character where it lodges responsibility; the ballot, having which no class need fear injustice or contempt; the ballot, which puts the helm of the Union into the hands of those who love and have upheld it. Land, where every man's title-deed, based on confiscation, is the bond which ties his interest to the Union; ballot, the weapon which enables him to defend his property and the Union, --these are the motives for the white man. The negro needs no motive but his instinct and heart. Give him the bullet and ballot; he needs them, and while he holds them the Union is safe. To reconstruct now without giving the negro the ballot would be a greater blunder, and considering our better light, a greater sin, than our fathers committed in 1789; and we should have no right to expect from it any less disastrous results.”

This is the lesson God teaches us in the blood of Lincoln. Like Egypt, we are made to read our lesson in the blood of our first-born and the seats of our princes left empty. We bury all false magnaminity in this fresh grave, writing over it the maxim of the coming four years, “Treason is the greatest of crimes, and not a mere difference of opinion.” That is the motto of our leader to-day; that the warning this atrocious crime sounds throughout the land. Let us heed it, and need no more such costly teaching. [Loud applause.]

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Abraham Lincoln (1)
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