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Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Debates of Lincoln and Douglas: Carefully Prepared by the Reporters of Each Party at the times of their Delivery., Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, at Columbus Ohio, September, 1859. (search)
lars and cents, a sort of question as to how they shall deal with brutes, that between us and the negro here there is no sort of question, but that at the South the question is between the negro and the crocodile. That is all. It is a mere matter of policy; there is a perfect right according to interest to do just as you please-when this is done, where this doctrine prevails, the miners and sappers will have formed public opinion for the slave-trade. They will be ready for Jeff. Davis and Stephens and other leaders of that company, to sound the bugle for the revival of the slave-trade, for the second Dred Scott decision, for the flood of slavery to be poured over the free States, while we shall be here tied down and helpless and run over like sheep. It is to be a part and parcel of this same idea, to say to men who want to adhere to the Democratic party, who have always belonged to that party, and are only looking about for some excuse to stick to it, but nevertheless hate slaver
t Smith, and John Wentworth. In the Senate Douglas had made his appearance for the first time. The Little Giant is always in sight! Robert C. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, was chosen Speaker. John Quincy Adams, Horace Mann, Caleb Smith, Alexander H. Stephens, Robert Toombs, Howell Cobb, and Andrew Johnson were important members of the House. With many of these the newly elected member from Illinois was destined to sustain another and far different relation. On the 5th of December, the dongs here, a characteristic letter which he wrote me regarding a man who was destined at a later day to play a far different role in the national drama. Here it is: Washington, Feb. 2, 1848. Dear William: I just take up my pen to say that Mr. Stephens, of Georgia, a little, slim, pale-faced, consumptive man, with a voice like Logan's, has just concluded the very best speech of an hour's length I ever heard. My old, withered, dry eyes are full of tears yet. If he writes it out anything like
ends made any agreements for him they did so over his expressed direction and without his knowledge. At another time he said that he wanted to give the South, by way of placation, a place in his cabinet; that a fair division of the country entitled the Southern States to a reasonable representation there, and if not interfered with he would make such a distribution as would satisfy all persons interested. He named three persons who would be acceptable to him. They were Botts, of Virginia; Stephens, of Georgia; and Maynard, of Tennessee. He apprehended no such grave danger to the Union as the mass of people supposed would result from the Southern threats, and said he could not in his heart believe that the South designed the overthrow of the Government. This is the extent of my conversation about the cabinet. Thurlow Weed, the veteran in journalism and politics, came out from New York and spent several days with Lincoln. He was not only the representative of Senator Seward, but re
General James Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, Chapter 40: talk of peace. (search)
should enact a law providing a supreme commander of the Confederate armies, this law to be approved by the President, who should then call General Lee to the exercise of the functions of that office. The intention was to invest him with dictatorial power. During the early days of February, Hon. Montgomery Blair visited Richmond upon a mission of peace, and brought about a meeting at Hampton Roads between President Lincoln and Secretary Seward and the Confederate Vice-President, Alexander H. Stephens, and the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter and Judge J. A. Campbell. President Lincoln was firm for the surrender of the Confederate armies and the abolition of slavery, which the Confederate President did not care to consider. About the 15th of February, Major-General J. C. Breckenridge was appointed Secretary of War, and Brigadier-General F. M. St. John was appointed commissary-general of subsistence. General Ord, commanding the Army of the James, sent me a note on the 20th of February
perience of his seniors. As to speechmaking, he wrote, by way of getting the hang of the House, I made a little speech two or three days ago on a post-office question of no general interest. I find speaking here and elsewhere about the same thing. I was about as badly scared, and no worse, as I am when I speak in court. I expect to make one within a week or two in which I hope to succeed well enough to wish you to see it. And again, some weeks later: I just take my pen to say that Mr. Stephens of Georgia, a little, slim, pale-faced consumptive man with a voice like Logan's, has just concluded the very best speech of an hour's length I ever heard. My old, withered, dry eyes are full of tears yet. He was appointed the junior Whig member of the Committee on Post-offices and Post-roads, and shared its prosaic but eminently useful labors both in the committee-room and the House debates. His name appears on only one other committee,--that on Expenditures of the War Department,-
Chapter 12. Lincoln's cabinet program members from the South questions and answers correspondence with Stephens action of Congress peace convention preparation of the inaugural Lincoln's farewell address the journey to Washington Lincoln's midnight journey During the long presidential campaign of 1860, between the Chicago convention in the middle of May and the election at the beginning of November, Mr. Lincoln, relieved from all other duties, had watched political t I have bad men to deal with, both North and South; men who are eager for something new upon which to base new misrepresentations; men who would like to frighten me, or at least to fix upon me the character of timidity and cowardice. Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, who afterward became Confederate Vice-President, made a strong speech against secession in that State on November 14; and Mr. Lincoln wrote him a few lines asking for a revised copy of it. In the brief correspondence which ens
Buchanan's neglect disloyal cabinet members Washington central cabal Anderson's transfer to Sumter Star of the West Montgomery rebellion Davis and Stephens corner-stone theory Lincoln inaugurated his inaugural address Lincoln's cabinet the question of Sumter Seward's memorandum Lincoln's answer bombated a constitution and government under the title of The Confederate States of America, of which they elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi President, and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia Vice-President. It needs to be constantly borne in mind that the beginning of this vast movement was not a spontaneous revolution, but a chrlave law. It is a matter which has been gathering head for thirty years. The central motive and dominating object of the revolution was frankly avowed by Vice-President Stephens in a speech he made at Savannah a few weeks after his inauguration: The prevailing ideas entertained by him [Jefferson] and most of the leading sta
explaining that though opposed to secession, and deprecating war, I could take no part in an invasion of the Southern States. He resigned his commission in a letter written on April 20, and, without waiting for notice of its acceptance, which alone could discharge him from his military obligation, proceeded to Richmond, where he was formally and publicly invested with the command of the Virginia military and naval forces on April 22; while, two days later, the rebel Vice-President, Alexander H. Stephens, and a committee of the Richmond convention signed a formal military league making Virginia an immediate member of the Confederate States, and placing her armies under the command of Jefferson Davis. The sudden uprising in Maryland and the insurrectionary activity in Virginia had been largely stimulated by the dream of the leading conspirators that their new confederacy would combine all the slave States, and that by the adhesion of both Maryland and Virginia they would fall heir
from Richmond, and characterizing them as despotic. Under such circumstances a defiant cry of independence would not reassure anybody; nor, on the other hand, was it longer possible to remain silent. Mr. Blair's first visit had created general interest; when he came a second time, wonder and rumor rose to fever heat. Impelled to take action, Mr. Davis had not the courage to be frank. After consultation with his cabinet, a peace commission of three was appointed, consisting of Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President; R. M. T. Hunter, senator and ex-Secretary of State; and John A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War-all of them convinced that the rebellion was hopeless, but unwilling to admit the logical consequences and necessities. The drafting of instructions for their guidance was a difficult problem, since the explicit condition prescribed by Mr. Lincoln's note was that he would receive only an agent sent him with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common c
John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion, Chapter 1: secession. (search)
Toombs and Iverson, and others — were conspicuous ringleaders. The more rabid fire-eaters desired that the Legislature should at once pass an act of secession; Stephens and other conservatives opposed this course. The Legislature were not elected for such a purpose, said he. They came here to do their duty as legislators. Theyt of demanding new guarantees for slavery, they were decidedly against disunion. Thereupon the conspirators invented a bold trick. The truth is, explains Alexander H. Stephens, in my judgment the wavering scale in Georgia was turned by a sentiment the key-note to which was given in the words, We can make better terms out of the U with a view to a more certain reformation of the Union. The heresy of supreme State allegiance was, however, the final and all-conquering engine of treason. Mr. Stephens himself, in his memorable speech in defence of the Union, is the striking illustration of Gulliver helpless in the cobwebs of Lilliput. To secede, he declared
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