Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/252
238 Southern Historical Society Papers.
On the fourth day of March, 1861, in his first inaugural ad- dress, he reaffirmed his previous public avowals of duty and right by these declarations :
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so and I have no inclination to do so.
"That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depends, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Ter- ritory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest crimes.
And yet, on the fifteenth day of the next month after this address was delivered, President Lincoln called forth the militia in the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to invade, by armed force, the States of the South. And, on the first day of January, 1863, by proclamation, he declared :
"That all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free, and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and main- tain the freedom of such persons."
And over against Abraham Lincoln there would be Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, who, from his child- hood to his grave, was conspicuous for a purity of life, a refine- ment of sentiment and thought, an elevation of aim and enlight- enment of mind, an unswerving inflexibility of purpose and an unselfish devotion to duty, which his more fortunate rival did neither imitate or understand.
And there would be Ulysses S. Grant, the triumphant Com- mander of the Armies of the United States, a graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, equipped with all the attain- ments which the instruction there received could confer upon him. Of his personal career, both before and after his more