Page images
PDF
EPUB

whose weary days and nights had left their imprint upon his placid brow; and now, with calm resignation to the decrees of Divinity, he looked forward only to the fulfillment of its laws-the perpetuity of the Government of the State of Georgia-the interests of the Southern people, and a Christian definition of Divine law, as applicable to the "nigger."

Let this marvelous speech of the illustrious son of the South, find a place in every catechism and textbook within the limits of the late Confederacy, and be the caudal appendage of every Democratic platform while that party has a name.

17

CHAPTER XVI.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN LEAVES SPRINGFIELD FOR WASHINGTON. — JAMES BUCHANAN LEAVES THE EXECUTIVE CHAIR. - REPUBLICAN PARTY ENTER UPON THE ADMINISTRATION OF AFFAIRS.-ATTACK ON SUMTER. — WAR BEGUN.-DEMOCRATS JOIN THE REBELS. -JEFFERSON DAVIS ISSUES A PROCLAMATION. — WAR SPIRIT OF THE FREE STATES. - MASSACHUSETTS SENDS THE FIRST SOLDIERS. THEY ARE ATTACKED AT BALTIMORE. -THE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR TROOPS.-TERMS OF COMPROMISE.-HORATIO SEYMOUR.-HIS COMPLICITY WITH THE REBELS.-LETTER FROM GEORGE N. SANDERS.-SEEMING SUCCESS OF THE REBELS.-SOUTHERN SPEECHES, RESOLUTIONS AND THE PRESS AGAINST COMPROMISE -FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, RECOMMENDS ITS SECESSION.-HE PREDICTS A PACIFIC CONFEDERACY.-POLICY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DURING THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF THE WAR.-ANNOUNCEMENT OF EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.-EFFECT OF.-EXTRACTS FROM LINCOLN'S MESSAGE OF 1861.-HARMONY OF THE GOVERNMENT.-DEMOCRATS PLOT TO FIRE NORTHERN CITIES.-CONFESSION OF KENNEDY.-CONTAGIOUS DISEASE SPREAD AMONG UNION SOLDIERS.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the newly elected President, left his home in Springfield, Illinois, on his way to the Capital at Washington, on the 11th of February, 1861. It had been reported that a certain conspiracy to assassinate him was organized (which afterwards proved to be true), and as he approached the Capital he took a different route from the one proposed, and entered the City of Washington in disguise, and before the time he was expected, thus thwarting the plans of his would-be assassins. The greatest preparations ever made for a Presidential inauguration were arranged to welcome Mr. Lincoln; militia companies, numbering several thousand, were in the city.

A little after noon on the 4th of March, 1861, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln entered the Senate arm-in-arm, and shortly after Mr. Lincoln read his Inaugural Address, took the necessary oath of office, and

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

was declared President of the United States, while Mr. Buchanan retired from the highest position in the American Government to be forgotten forever; or, if remembered, only to be execrated by an injured people. As he departed from the halls of the Nation, the past power, influence and corruption of the party he represented took its flight, never to return, unless in a form so helpless and corrupt that it could neither injure nor deceive.

The Republican party, for the first time in the history of the country, were in power, and the Democracy in all the Free States completely overthrown.

The new party came into power surrounded with an ocean of unprecedented difficulties. The fifteen Slave States had not participated in the fall election, or rather had refused to vote for Lincoln, and already a number of them had confederated themselves together and established a hostile Government. They had, in January preceding, levied war against the United States by firing upon the steamship Star of the West as she was entering Charleston harbor.

The standard bearer of the new administration entered cheerfully upon his duties. He selected his Cabinet from among the truest patriots and statesmen of the Republic. (See Appendix.) Neither in the platform upon which he was elected nor in his address was there anything that could, by any possibility, be construed to mean an infringement upon the rights of the people of any section. But the leaders of the Slave States had declared that they would not serve under Republican rule.

The second act of aggression by the South was the attack on Fort Sumter. This was made by General Beauregard, on the order of the Secretary of War of the

« PreviousContinue »