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[234] however extreme and however illegal, was received with acclamations, and a suggestion of opposition or dissent was treated as a kind of treason.

Before proceeding to describe the effect of this proclamation upon tile people of the border States, I desire to call your attention to a circumstance well calculated to cause them to interpret it most unfavorably to their own security.

Mr. Lincoln had been elected by a minority of the voters of the United States, but by a majority of the people of the Northern States.

While his party expressed no purpose or desire to interfere with slavery in the States in which it was established, it was openly hostile to the institution and ready to resolve all questions concerning it, that might come within the scope of Federal power and jurisdiction, unfavorably to it.

Among his supporters were most of the Abolitionists, as they were then known, who were in favor of any measure that would lead to the destruction of slavery, and violent in their denunciations of the Southern people and their institutions.

This part of the supporters of Mr. Lincoln viewed, at least with complacency, such measures for the overthrow of slavery as the effort to incite servile insurrection in Virginia, and looked upon the leader of that attempt as a martyr. When, therefore, the border State people were called upon to obey the proclamation, they could not shut their eyes to the fact that in executing Mr. Lincoln's designs against the cotton States, and in maintaining popular government, and in avenging wrongs in obedience to a popular demand, the army to be employed might consist of those who did not regard the governments of any of the slave States as popular governments and who looked upon the execution of John Brown as a wrong. I do not, by any means, intend to imply that this was the reason they resented the proclamation as they did, but it is a circumstance to be considered in judging the conduct of those who took part in the events of that day.

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