made what will probably be his last speech previous to the Inauguration, at Washington
, on Thursday evening, in reply to a serenade from his Republican friends.--He said:
My friends — I suppose that I may take this as a compliment paid to me, and as such please accept my thanks for it. I have reached this city of Washington
under circumstances considerably differing from those under which any other man has ever reached it. I am here for the purpose of taking an official position amongst the people, almost all of whom were politically opposed to me, and are yet opposed to me, as I suppose.
[Loud cries of "No, no;" "Go on, sir;" "You are mistaken in that; indeed you are; "] I propose no lengthy address to you. I only propose to say, as I did say on yesterday, when your worthy Mayor
and Board of Aldermen called upon me, that I thought much of the ill-feeling that has existed between you and the people of your surroundings and the people from amongst whom I come, has depended, and now depends, upon a misunderstanding. ["That's so," and applause.]
I hope that, if things shall go along as prosperously as I believe we all desire they may, I may have it in my power to remove something of this misunderstanding; [cries of "Good!" "Good!" and applause;] that I may be enabled to convince you and the people of your section of the country that we regard you as in all things being our equal — in all things entitled to the same respect and same treatment that we claim for ourselves; ["Good!" "Good!" and applause;] that we are in nowise disposed, if it were in our power, to oppress you, or deprive you of any of your rights under the Constitution of the United States
, or even narrowly to split hairs with you in regard to those rights; [prolonged applause;] but are determined to give you, as far as lies in our hands, all your rights under the Constitution
— not grudgingly, but fully and fairly. ["Good!" and applause.]-- I hope that, by thus dealing with you, we will become better acquainted, and be better friends.
[Loud cheers.] And now, my friends, with these few remarks, and again returning my thanks for this compliment, and expressing my desire to hear a little more of your good music, I bid you good night.
retired amidst three big cheers.
The band played Yankee Doodle
, and six cheers were given for the Union