previous next


Lincoln's message.

--We have already said more with regard to this document than it is actually worth. Yet we cannot forbear calling the attention of the reader to the following paragraph:

‘ "It continues to develop that the insurrection is targets, if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular government — the rights of the people. Conclusive evidence of this is found in the most grave and maturely considered public documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In these documents we find the abridgement of the existing right of suffrage, and the dental to the people of all right to participate in the selection of public officers, except the legislative body, advocated with labored arguments to prove that large control of the Government in the people is the source of all political evil, Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of the people. In my present position I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism."

’ This is said by Abraham Lincoln, the man who, under pretence of preserving the Constitution, has actually demolished it so thoroughly that not a vestige of it remains. The man who has suspended the habeas corpus right, all over his dominions. The man who has suppressed the right of speech, and the right of printing and publishing wherever his authority extends. The man who says that States have no rights distinct from counties, and who, acting in accordance with it, has arrested members of a State Legislature upon suspicion of opposition to his measures. The man who has made the military the supreme, and, indeed, the only law within the realms that acknowledge his rule. The man that has converted the whole Northern States into a dungeon. The man who has filled his bastiles with persons arrested on suspicion, and against whom nothing had been proved. The man who has established an inquisition in every house, and who rules by means of spies and informers. The man who has filled his dungeons with women and children. The man who never brings his victims to trial, and never allows them to know who are their accusers. The man, in a word, who has crushed the liberties of the Yankee nation and erected an iron despotism upon their ruins. This man bids his lieges beware of restricting the right of suffrage, lest they introduce the government of a despot. This man calls upon the people to beware of restricting the right of suffrage! Probably the best argument ever furnished by experience against universal suffrage is that it has produced such a man!

But the main object of the paragraph quoted, and that portion of the message which refers to labor and capital, is evidently to arouse and enlist the Red Republican element of this country and Europe in behalf of his savage crusade against the Southern States. In the complications to which the American contest is giving rise both in this country and Europe, the combined demagogue and despot who sits in the Executive chair at Washington is craftily endeavoring to secure the sympathies and co-operation of that discontented and disaffected portion of European population, commonly classified under the names of Red Republicans, Agrarians, Socialists, and Chartists, but which may all be accurately described by the comprehensive designation of Enemies of Society. Hitherto, every movement and development in Lincoln's foreign policy, and in the important legislation of his Congress affecting European interests, have had the effect of alienating from the United States the friendship and respect of the Governments and people of Europe. The uncontrolled despot of America, despairing of the sympathy and co-operation of all civilized and honest people, is now endeavoring to rally to his flag the robbers, pirates, and plunderers of all Christendom, in a congenial war upon the property and civilization of the sunny South But, long before we ever heard of Lincoln, we entertained and expressed a decided conviction that the Red Republicans of Europe are as unreliable in action as they are unsound in theory. In France, in Italy, in Germany, they have alike proved a broken reed that pierced the hand that leaned upon it. The Italian success was only achieved by putting the Mazzinis entirely out of the ring; their only brave men, Orsini and Fierri, rose simply to the dignity of assassins; the triumph of the Reds in France, after the flight of Louis Phillippe, was as brief as it was ridiculous. The power and permanence of Louis Napoleon's mighty throne are as much the expression of universal French hatred of Red Republicanism as of devotion to the Bounaperie dynasty. The inconsistency of a President of the United States, in his frenzied efforts to preserve the Union, rallying all the destructive of Europe to the work of conservation in America, and all the radical Republicans of the old world to change the only Republic in the new to the worst kind of despotism, does not appear at all to disturb the serene contemplations of that precious paragon of consistency the President of the United States.

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (3)
France (France) (2)
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)
Louis Phillippe (1)
Louis Napoleon (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: