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vereignty defied and broken in pieces, and yet waiting with patient, brotherly, magnanimous kindness, until insurrection, having spent its fury, should reach out its hand for a peaceful arrangement. Men began to call it cowardice, on the one hand; and we, who watched closely the crisis, feared that this effort to be magnanimous would demoralize the conscience and the courage of the North. We were afraid that, as the hour went by, the virtue of the people, white-heat as it stood on the 4th day of March, would be cooled by the temptations, by the suspense, by the want and suffering, that were stalking from the Atlantic to the Valley of the Mississippi. We were afraid the Government would wait too long, and find, at last, that instead of a united people, they ere deserted, and left alone to meet the foe. At this time, the South knew, recognized, by her own knowledge of constitutional questions, that the Government could not advance one inch towards acknowledging secession; that when
April 19th (search for this): chapter 85
people of these States have too large brains and too many ideas to fight blindly — to lock horns like a couple of beasts, in the sight of the world. (Applause.) Cannon think in this Nineteenth Century; and you must put the North in the right — wholly, undeniably, inside of the Constitution and out of it — before you can justify her in the face of the world; before you can pour Massachusetts like an avalanche through the streets of Baltimore, (great cheering,) and carry Lexington and the 19th of April south of Mason and Dixon's Line. (Renewed cheering.) Let us take an honest pride in the fact that our Sixth Regiment made a way for itself through Baltimore, and were the first to reach the threatened capital. In the war of opinions, Massachusetts has a right to be the first in the field. I said I knew the whole argument for secession. Very briefly let me state the points. No Government provides for its own death; therefore there can be no constitutional right to secede. But ther<
April 28th (search for this): chapter 85
e. Europe may think — some of us may — that we are fighting for forms and parchments, for sovereignty and a flag. But really, the war is one of opinion; it is Civilization against Barbarism — it is Freedom against Slavery. The cannon shots against Fort Sumter was the yell of pirates against the Declaration of Independence: the war-cry of the North is its echo. The South, defying Christianity, clutches its victim. The North offers its wealth and blood in glad atonement for the selfishness of seventy years. The result is as sure as the Throne of God. I believe in the possibility of Justice, in the certainty of Union. Years hence, when the smoke of this conflict clears away, the world will see under our banner all tongues, all creeds, all races--one brotherhood; and on the banks of the Potomac, the Genius of Liberty, robed in light, four and thirty stars for her diadem, broken chains under her feet, and an olive branch in her right hand. (Great applause.)--N. Y. Times, April 28
mes whether he were really the head of the Government. To-day he is at any rate Commander-in-chief. The delay in the action of Government has doubtless been necessity, but policy also. Traitors within and without made it hesitate to move till it had tried the machine of the Government just given it. But delay was wise, as it matured a public opinion definite, decisive, and ready to keep step to the music of the Government march. The very postponement of another session of Congress till July 4, plainly invites discussion — evidently contemplates the ripening of public opinion in the interval. Fairly to examine public affairs, and prepare a community wise to cooperate with the Government, is the duty of every pulpit and every press. Plain words, therefore, now, before the nation goes mad with excitement, is every man's duty. Every public meeting in Athens was opened with a curse on any one who should not speak what he really thought. I have never defiled my conscience from fe
ung martyrs, you and I owe it, that their blood shall be the seed of no mere empty triumph, but that the negro shall teach his children to bless them for centuries to come. (Applause.) When Massachusetts goes down to that Carolina fort to put the Stars and Stripes again over its blackened walls, (enthusiasm,) she will sweep from its neighborhood every institution that hazards their ever bowing again to the Palmetto. (Loud cheers.) All of you may not mean it now. Our fathers did not think in 1775 of the Declaration of Independence. The Long Parliament never thought of the scaffold of Charles the First, when they entered on the struggle; but having begun, they made thorough work. (Cheers.) It is an attribute of the Yankee blood — Slow to fight, and fight once. (Renewed cheers.) It was a holy war, that for Independence: this is a holier and the last — that for Liberty. (Loud applause.) I hear a great deal about Constitutional Liberty. The mouths of the Concord and Lexington guns
e this position. She did not. She had a right to ignore revolution until this condition was complied with; and she did not. She waived it. In obedience to the advice of Madison, to the long history of her country's forbearance, to the magnanimity of nineteen States, she waited; she advised the Government to wait. Mr. Lincoln, in his inaugural, indicated that this would be the wise course. Mr. Seward hinted it in his speech, in New York. The London Times bade us remember the useless war of 1776, and take warning against resisting the principles of Popular Sovereignty. The Tribune, whose unflinching fidelity and matchless ability, make it, in this tight, the white plume of Navarre, has again and again avowed its readiness to waive forms and go into convention. We have waited. We said, any thing for peace. We obeyed the magnanimous statesmanship of John Quincy Adams. Let me read you his advice, given at the Jubilee of the Constitution, to the New York Historical Society, in the y
of her right to remodel her Government whenever the people found it would be for their happiness. So far, right. the people — mark you! South Carolina presents herself to the Administration at Washington, and says, There is a vote of my Convention, that I go out of the Union. I cannot see you, says Abraham Lincoln. (Loud cheers.) As President, I have no eyes but. constitutional eyes; I cannot see you. (Renewed cheers.) He was right. But Madison said, Hamilton said, the Fathers said, in 1789, No man but an enemy of liberty will ever stand on technicalities and forms, when the essence is in question. Abraham Lincoln could not see the Commissioners of South Carolina,: but the North could; the nation could; and the nation responded, If you want a Constitutional Secession, such as you claim, but which I repudiate, I will waive forms — let us meet in convention, and we will arrange it. (Applause.) Surely, while one claims a right within the Constitution, it may without dishonor or i
d take warning against resisting the principles of Popular Sovereignty. The Tribune, whose unflinching fidelity and matchless ability, make it, in this tight, the white plume of Navarre, has again and again avowed its readiness to waive forms and go into convention. We have waited. We said, any thing for peace. We obeyed the magnanimous statesmanship of John Quincy Adams. Let me read you his advice, given at the Jubilee of the Constitution, to the New York Historical Society, in the year 1839, he says: Recognizing this right of the people of a State--mark you, not a State, the Constitution knows no States; the right of revolution knows no States; it knows only the people. Mr. Adams says: The people of each State in the Union have a right to secede from the Confederated Union itself. Thus stands the right. But the indissoluble link of union between the people of the several States of this Confederated Nation is, after all, not in the right, but in the heart. If the da
eld by two races, white and black. Suppose those black men flare in our faces the Declaration of Independence. What are we to say? Are we to send Northern bayonets to keep slaves under the feet of Jefferson Davis? (Many voices--No, never. ) In 1842, Gov. Wise, of Virginia, the symbol of the South, entered into argument with Quincy Adams, who carried Plymouth Rock to Washington. (Applause.) It was when Joshua Giddings offered his resolution stating his Constitutional doctrine that Congress hl, is this besieged Government to see millions of its subjects in arms, and have no right to break the fetters which they are forging into swords? No; the war power of the Government can sweep this institution into the Gulf. (Cheers.) Ever since 1842, that statesmanlike claim and warning of the North has been on record, spoken by the lips of her most moderate, wisest, coolest, most patriotic son. (Applause.) When the South cannonaded Fort Sumter, the bones of Adams stirred in his coffin.
fate hung trembling in the balance, and he wished to gather around him the sympathies of the liberals of Europe, he no sooner set foot in the Tuileries than he signed the edict abolishing the slave trade against which the Abolitionists of England and France had protested for many years in vain. And the trade went down, because Napoleon felt that he must do something to gild the darkening hour of his second attempt to clutch the sceptre of France. How did the slave system go down? When, in 1848, the Provisional Government found itself in the Hotel de Ville, obliged to do something to draw to itself the sympathy and liberal feeling of the French nation, they signed an edict — it was the first from the rising republic — abolishing the death penalty and Slavery. The storm which rocked the vessel of State almost to foundering, snapped forever the chain of the French slave. Look, too, at the history of Mexican and South American emancipation; you will find that it was, in every instanc
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