Speech by Secretary Seward
|SPEECH BY SECRETARY SEWARD; The Military and Political Situation Reviewed. Gen. Sherman's Victory at Atlanta. The Chicago Convention. Its Cowardly Policy. (1864)
|Campaign speech for election of 1864. Published in the New York Times, 7 September 1864.|
SPEECH BY SECRETARY SEWARD; The Military and Political Situation Reviewed. GEN. SHERMAN'S VICTORY AT ATLANTA. THE CHICAGO CONVENTION. ITS COWARDLY POLICY. Published: September 7, 1864
From the Auburn Union, Sept. 5.
Saturday was a gala day in Auburn, over the splendid victory of Gen. SHERMAN in the capture of Atlanta. At an early hour all the flags in the city were run up, giving it a very gay and patriotic appearance. At 5 o'clock P.M. all the bells struck up a merry peal, and about the same hour a salute of one hundred guns was fired. Immediately a large crowd, including several hundred volunteers, who were waiting to be mustered in, assembled in front of the Western Exchange, and were briefly addressed by Hon. CHRISTOPHER MORGAN and Provost-Marshal KNAPP. After the speeches, it was proposed that the assemblage form in procession and march to the residence of Gov. SEWARD. The band led off with a lively tune, and the line of march was immediately taken up. On arriving in front of Gov. SEWARD's residence, the assemblage became so large that it was found necessary to continue the march to the park adjoining Gov. SEWARD's grounds.
After the procession had halted, Gov. SEWARD was called for, and came forward and addressed the crowd in one of his most earnest and effective speeches, which was received with unbounded enthusiasm. After he concluded, three cheers were called for and given with a will, for the following persons: Sherman, Grant, Sheridan, Meade, Stanton, Farragut, Lincoln and Seward. Three more rousing ones were given for the soldiers and the Union. The crowd then separated. In the evening Gov. SEWARD was serenaded by the Auburn Band, and responded to the compliment in a brief speech.
The following is the speech of Gov. SEWARD delivered in the Park:
MY DEAR FRIENDS: It is so that I like to see you come -- marching to the time of national airs, under the folds of the old national flag. I thank you for this hospitable and patriotic welcome. It proves that though you deal rigorously with your public servants, exacting reasons for their policy, energy in their conduct of affairs, and explanations for failures, and disappointments in their administration, yet you are nevertheless just, because you willingly allow them to rejoice with you, when you have successes, victories and triumphs, to celebrate. The news that brings us together is authentic. [A VOICE -- Do you think it is reliable?] Yes. Mere is a telegram which I received this morning from the Secretary of War:
VAN DUZER reports that SHERMAN's advance entered Atlanta about noon to-day. Particulars not yet received. EDWIN M. STANTON.
[Three cheers were given for Atlanta.] Now, this news comes in a good shape. It is pleasant to have a grand result at the first, and it protracts the interest of the thing, to have particulars coming in afterward. [Yes, yes, we can wait for the particulars.] This victory comes in the right connection. It falls in with the echoes of the capture of Forts Gaines and Morgan, which I understand to be the Particulars of FARRAGUT's glorious naval battle, in the Bay of Mobile -- a battle equalled by no other in American history but the naval achievements of the same veteran Admiral at New-Orleans and Fort Hudson; and all these have no parallel in naval warfare but the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar. [A voice -- "I wish we were all Farraguts."] Well, my friend, I know the Admiral well, and I confess that we all can't be Farraguts. Indeed, very few of us can. But we may take this comfort ourselves, that as a whole people, we can appreciate the veterans. We can also appreciate SHERMAN, who has performed the most successful and splendid march through a mountainous and hostile country recorded in modern history, and in doing this we show ourselves inferior in virtue to no other nation. By the way, everybody admired FARRAGUT's heroism in climbing the topmast to direct the battle. But there was another "particular" of that contest that no less forcibly illustrates his heroic character. "Admiral," said one of his officers, the night before the battle, "won't you consent to give Jack a glass of grog in the morning -- not enough to make him drunk, but just enough to make him fight cheerfully?" "Well," replied the Admiral, "I have been to sea considerable, and have seen a battle or two, but I never found that I wanted rum to enable me to do my duty. I will order two cups of good coffee to each man at 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock, I will pipe all hands to breakfast in Mobile Bay. [Hurrah for FARRAGUT.] And he did give Jack the coffee, and then he went up to the masthead and did it.
The victory at Atlanta comes at the right place. The rebellious district is in the shape of an egg. It presents equal resistance on its whole surface. But if you could break the shell at either of the two ends. Richmond and Atlanta, the whole must crumble to pieces. While SHERMAN under GRANT has been striking the big end. MEADE under GRANT has been striking just as hard blows upon the lesser end. The whole shell will now be easily crushed, for it has grown brittle with the exhaustion of vitality within.
This glorious victory comes in good time for another reason. Just now we are calling upon you for 300,000 more volunteers, if you will -- drafted men if we must -- to end the war. You were getting a little tired of long delays and disappointed expectations. In Indiana, a portion of the people, instigated by rebel plotters, at the Clifton House, in Canada, were importing British revolvers in boxes, which passed the Custom-house as stationery, under pretence of arming to defend themselves, but really to resist the draft, and bring the Government down to ruin, through a subordinate and auxiliary civil war. True, no arms have been imported here. Yet delegates went out from among you and sat down in council at Chicago with those Indiana conspirators, and agreed with them not only that that importation of arms should be defended in the election canvass, but also to demand the cessation of the war upon the ground that success in restoring the Union is unattainable. Already under the influence of the cheering news from Atlanta, all this discontent and this despondency have disappeared. We shall have no draft because the army is being reinforced at the rate of five to ten thousand men per day by volunteers. [Hurrah for the volunteers.] May I not add that this victory at Atlanta comes in good time as the victory in Mobile Bay does, to vindicate the wisdom and the energy of the war administration. FARRAGUT's fleet did not make itself, nor did he make it. It was prepared by the Secretary of the Navy, and he that shall record the history of this war truthfully, and impartially, will write that since the days of CARNOT, no man has organized war with the ability of STANTON. [Cheers for STANTON, cheers for the Secretary of the Navy.]
But auspicious as the occasion is, it has nevertheless failed to bring out some whom we might have expected here. Why are they not here to rejoice in the victories that will thrill the hearts of the lovers of Freedom throughout the world. Alas, that it must be confessed, it is party spirit that holds them aloof. All of them are partisans. Some are Republicans, who cannot rejoice in the national victories because this war, for the life of the nation, is not, in all respects, conducted according to their own peculiar radical ideas and theories. They want guarantees for swift, and universal, and complete emancipation, or they do not want the nation saved. Others stay away because they want to be assured that in coming out of the revolutionary storm, the Ship of State will be found exactly in the same condition as when the tempest assailed it, or they do not want the ship saved at all, as if anybody could give each guarantees in the name of a people of thirty million. Others are Democrats. They received from their fathers the axiom that only Democrats could save the country, and they must save it by Democratic formulas and combinations which the progress of the age has forever exploded. They cannot come up to celebrate achievements which condemn their narrow and hereditary bigotry.
Others, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, are willing that the nation shall be saved, provided it is done by some one of their chosen and idolized chiefs, which chief they mutually denounce and revile. They cannot honor GRANT, and SHERMAN, and FARRAGUT, and PORTER, because by such homage they fear that FARRAGUT and MCCLELLAN's fame may be eclipsed.
Nevertheless, there are enough here of the right sort, ["Yes, that's true,"] enough of men who once were Republicans, but who, taking that word in a partisan sense, are Republicans no longer, and men who once were Democrats, but who, taking that word in its narrow application, are Democrats no longer, all of whom are now Union men, because they found out at the beginning of this tremendous civil war, or at some period in its progress, that no man, no party, no formula, no creed, could save the Union, but that only the people could save it, and they could save it only by ceasing to become partisans, and becoming patriots and Union men. [Cheers for the Union.]
Yes, my friends, when this war shall be ended in the restoration of the Union, no man then living will exult in the recollection that during its continuance he was either a Radical or a Conservative, a Republican or a Democrat, but every man will claim to have been throughout an unreserved and unconditional Union man.
But why should party spirit, especially at this [???]uncture, divide the American people. And why should I, a member of the Executive Administration, allude to it on such an occasion as this? The answer is at hand. The Constitution of our country commands that Administration to surrender its powers to the people, and the people to designate agents to assume and exercise them four years. You receive the Executive Government in a condition very different and highly improved. We found it practically expelled from the whole country south of the Delaware, the Ohio, and the Missouri, with the most of the army and navy betrayed of fallen into the hands of insurgents, and a new and treasonable Confederacy with the indirect but effective cooperation of foreign powers, establishing itself on the Gulf of Mexico. We cheerfully give the Government back to you, with large and conquering armies, and a triumphant navy, with the hateful Confederacy falling into pieces, and the rebellious States, one after another, returning to their allegiance.
Regarding myself now, therefore, not as a Secretary, but simply as one of the people. I, like you, am called by my vote to determine into whose hands the precious trust shall now be confided. We might wish to avoid, or at least to postpone that duty, until the present fearful crisis is passed. But it cannot and it ought not to be avoided or adjourned. It is a constitutional trial, and the nation must go through it deliberately and bravely.
I shall therefore cheerfully submit, for your consideration, the course which I have concluded to adopt, and the reasons for it.
First, I beg you to remember that the present is no common or customary Presidential election. It occurs in the midst of civil war, arising out of a disputed succession to the Executive power. Disputed successions are the most frequent causes of civil wars, not only in republics, but even in monarchies. A dispute about the succession of the President, periodically begets an abortive or a real revolution, in each one of the Spanish and American Republics. So the disputed succession of the Spanish throne begot that memorable thirty-years' war which convulsed all Europe. A dispute whether JUAREZ was the lawful President brought on the present civil war, with the consequence of French intervention in Mexico. A dispute whether the present King of Denmark, who succeeded to the throne last Winter, is lawful heir to the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, brought about the civil war in that country, which through German intervention, has just now ended with the dismemberment of the Danish Kingdom. It is remarkable also, that civil wars produced by disputed successions, invariably begin with resistance, by some one or more of the States or provinces which constitute the Kingdom, Empire, or Republic, which is disturbed. It was so with the United States of Mexico. It was so in the United States of Colombia, and the case was the same in the United States of Venezuela. Now it is certain that in 1860, we elected ABRAHAM LINCOLN, lawfully and constitutionally to be President of the whole United States of America. Seven of the States Immediately thereon, rushed into disunion, and summoning eight more to their alliance, they set up a Revolutionary Government. They levied war against us, to effect a separation, and establish a distinct sovereignty and independence.
We accepted the war in defence of the Union. The only grievance of the insurgents was that their choice of JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE for President was constitutionally overruled by the election of LINCOLN. They rejected LINCOLN and set up a usurper. The Executive power of the United States is now, therefore, by force practically suspended, between the usurper JEFFERSON DAVIS and that constitutional President, ABRAHAM LINCOLN. The war is waged by the usurper to expel that constitutional President from the Capital, which, in some sort, is constantly held in siege, and to conquer the States which loyally adhere to him. The war is maintained on our side to suppress the usurper, and to bring the insurgent States back under the authority of the constitutional President. The war is at its crisis. It is clear, therefore, that we are fighting to make ABRAHAM LINCOLN President of the whole United States, under the election of 1860, to continue until the [???]th of March, 1865. In voting for a President of the United States, can we wisely or safely vote out the identical person whom, with force and arms, we are fighting into the Presidency?
[No, no.] You justly say no. It would be nothing less than to give up the very object of the war at the ballot-box. The moral strength which makes our loyal position impregnable would pass from us; and when that moral strength bas passed away material forces are no longer effective, or even available. By such a proceeding we shall have agreed with the enemy, and shall have given him the victory. But in that agreement the Constitution and the Union will have perished, because when it shall have once been proved that a minority can by force or circumvention, defeat the full accession of a constitutionally chosen President, no President thereafter, though elected by ever so large a majority, can hope to exercise the Executive powers unopposed throughout the whole country. One of two things must follow that fatal error. Either a contest between your newly-elected compromise President, and the same usurper, in which the usurper must prevail, or else a combination between them through which the usurper or his successor, subverting your Constitution and substituting his own, will become President, King, or Emperor of the United States without foreign aid, if he can, with foreign intervention if necessary. [That's so.] To be sure it is so; nothing is more certain than that either he United States and their Constitutional President, or the so-called Confederate States, and their usurping President, must rule within the limits of this Republic. I therefore regard the pending Presidential election, as involving the question whether hereafter we shall have a Constitution and a country left us. How shall we vote then to save our country from this fearful danger? [Vote LINCOLN in again.] You have hit it exactly my friend. We must vote LINCOLN [???]n again, and fight him in at the same time. If we do this the rebellion will perish, and leave no root. If we do otherwise, we have only the alternatives of acquiescence in a perpetual usurpation, or of entering an endless succession of civil and social wars. Upon these grounds, entirely irrespective of platform and candidate, I consider the recommendations of the Constitution at Chicago, as tending to subvert the Republic. [It's so, that's a fact.]
It will seem a hard thing when I imply, that a party like the Democratic party can either meditate or blindly adopt measures to overthrow the Republic. All experience, however, shows that it is by the malice or madness of great parties that Free States have been brought down to destruction. You often hear alarms that a party in power is subverting the State, and it sometimes happens so. But nine times out of ten, it is a party out of power that in its impatience or ambition overthrows a Republic.
The Democratic party, of course leaving off the loyal Union Democrats, opposed the election of ABRAHAM LINCOLN in 1860. In doing so, they divided and organized in three columns. One, a treasonable column of State rights disunion Democrats, under BRECKINRIDGE. A second, a loyal Northern column, under DOUGLAS. The third, a conciliatory flying column, under JOHN BELL, who has since joined the insurgents. We therefore invited the two loyal columns to combine with the Republican party to oppose the disunion Democratic column. They declined. On the eve of the election in 1860, I told the followers of DOUGLAS and of BELL that when the election should have closed, they would find that they had inadvertently favored disunion and rebellion. They persisted, and the attempted revolution came. Disunion then presented itself, in the practical form of preventing ABRAHAM LINCOLN from assuming the Executive authority. Thus the Democratic party produced that calamity, the Southern Democrats acting from design, the Northern Democrats passive through inadvertence. The disputed succession still remains unadjusted. A new election has come on. For a time, the Northern Democrats, with notable exceptions, gave a more or less liberal support to the Government, against the Democratic insurgents of the South. But the same Democratic forces which figured in the election of 1860, now appear in the political field, with positions and policy unchanged since that time, as I think, except for the worse. The Southern Democracy is still in arms under the usurper at Richmond. The Douglas and Bell columns consolidated, are found at Chicago, and all three of the parties are compassing the rejection of the Constitutional President of the United States. They agree not only in this attempt, but they assign the same reasons for it, namely, that ABRAHAM LINCOLN is a tyrant.
They agree, also, that the real usurper at Richmond is blameles and pure; at least, the Richmond Democracy affirm it, and the Chicago Democracy do not gainsay it. To me, therefore, the Democracy at Richmond and the Democracy at Chicago, like CAESAR and POMPEY, seem to retain all their original family resemblance. They are very much alike -- especially POMPEY. But it is not in mere externals that their similarity lies. They talk very much alike, as I have already shown you. When you consider that among the Democrats at Chicago the Indiana Democrats were present, who have imported arms to resist the national authority and defeat the national laws, and that all the Democrats there assembled agreed to justify that proceeding, I think you will agree with me that the Richmond Democrats and the Chicago Democrats have lately come to act very much alike.
I shall now go further and prove to you that they not only have a common policy, and a common way of defending it, but they have even adopted that policy in concert with each other. You know that when the Chicago Convention was approaching in July last, GEORGE SANDERS, CLEMENT C. CLAY and J.P. HOLCOMB appeared at the Clifton House, on the Canada bank of the Niagara River, fully invested with the confidence and acquainted with the purposes of JEFFERSON DAVIS and his Confederates at Richmond. You know, also, that Chicago Democrats resorted there in considerable numbers to confer with these emissaries of JEFFERSON DAVIS. Here is the fruit of that Conference, and no one can deny the authenticity of my evidence. It is extracted from the London Times, the common organ of all the enemies of the United States. The New-York correspondent of the London Times, writing from Niagara Falls, under date of Aug. 8, says:
"Clifton House has become a centre of negotiations between the Northern friends of peace and Southern agents, which propose a withdrawal of differences from the arbitrament of the sword. The correspondent then goes on to explain that an effort is to be made to nominate a candidate for the Presidency on the ground of an armistice and a Convention of the States, and to thwart by all possible means the efforts of Mr. LINCOLN for reelection."
Mark now, that on the 8th of August. 1864. Northern Democrats and Richmond agents agree upon three things to be done at Chicago.
Namely: 1. A withdrawal of the differences between the Government and the insurgents from the arbitrament of the sword. 2. A nomination for President of the United States on a platform of an armistice and ultimately a convention of the states. 3. To thwart by all possible means the reelection of ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Such a conference, held in a neutral country, between professedly loyal citizens of the United States and the agents of the Richmond traitors in arms, has a very suspicious look. But let that pass. Political elections must be free, and therefore they justly excuse many extravagances. We have now seen what the agents of POMPEY and CAESAR agreed at Niagara that POMPEY should do at Chicago. Here is what he actually did:
Resolved [???] this convention does explicitly declare as the sense of the American people, that, after four years or failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity of war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of all the States, or other peaceable means to the end that at the earliest practical moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.
The Democracy at Chicago did there just what had been agreed upon by the Richmond agents at Niagara, namely, they pronounced for an abandonment of the military defence of the Union against the insurgents, with a view to an ultimate National Convention, and the defeat of the election of Abraham Lincoln. That is to say, they proposed to eject ABRAHAM LINCOLN from the Presidential chair at Washington on the 4th of March next, and at the same time leave the usurper, DAVIS, unas[???]iled, secure and unmolested in his seat at Richmond, with a view to an ultimate convention of States, which that usurper's constitution will allow no one of the insurgent States to enter. What now, if there be a constitution at all, or if the convention fall to agree on a submission to the Federal authority? JEFFERSON DAVIS then remains in authority, his Confederacy established, and the Union with all its glories is gone forever. Nay, more, if such, a thing could happen as that the Chicago candidate, nominated upon such an agreement, should be elected President of the United States on the first Tuesday of November next, who can vouch for the safety of the country against the rebels during the interval which must elapse before the new Administration can constitutionally come into power? It seems to me that such an election would tend equally to demoralize the Union and to invite the insurgents to renew their efforts for its destruction.
It remains for me now only to give you the proof, that although the way in which the Chicago Democracy did what had been agreed upon in their behalf at Niagara was not altogether satisfactory, yet what they actually aid was accepted as a full execution of the previous compact:
ST. CATHERINES, C.W., Sept. 1.
To Hon. D. Wier, Halifax:
Platform and Presidential nominee unsatisfactory. Vice-President and speeches satisfactory. Tell PHILMORE not to oppose.(Signed) GEORGE N. SANDERS.
D. WIER is a Richmond accomplice at Halifax, and PHILMORE is understood to be the conductor of the insurgent organ in London.
Here then we have a nomination and a platform which were made by treaty formally contracted between the Democratic traitors at Richmond and the Democratic opposition at Chicago, signed, sealed, attested, and delivered in the presence of the London Times, and already ratified at Richmond. ["By Heaven, we've got 'em."] Got them, to be sure you've got them, my friends. They say I am always too sanguine of the success of national candidates and of the national arms. But it seems to me that the verlest croaker in all our loyal camp will take new courage and become heroic when he sees that the last hope of the rebellion hangs upon the ratification of this abominable and detestable compact by the American people.
Yes, you have got them; but how did you get them? Not by any skill or art of the Administration, or even through the sagacity, or activity of the loyal people, hut through the cunning of the conspirators, overreaching itself, and thus working out their own defeat and confusion. They do say that the father of evil always indulges his chosen disciples, with such an excess of subtlety, as to render their ultimate ruin and punishment inevitable.
And what a time is this to proclaim such a policy, conceived in treachery, and brought forth with shameless effrontery. A cessation of hostilities on the heel of decisive naval and land battles, at the very moment that the rebellion, without a single fort in its possession on the coast, or on either of the great rivers or lakes, is crumbling to the earth, and at the same time a dozen new ships-of-war are going to complete the investment by sea, and three hundred thousand volunteers are rushing to the lines, to complete the work of restoration and pacification.
There is a maxim which thoughtful teachers always carefully inculcate: it is that inconstancy is imbecility, and that perseverance is necessary to insure success. This maxim was set forth in the form of a copy in the writing-book, when I was young -- "Perseverance always conquers." Even infantile beginners encountered the instruction in the form of a fable in WEBSTER's spelling-book. The story was, that after using soft words and tufts of grass, the farmer tried what virtue, there was in stones, and by persistance in that application, he brought the rude boy, who was stealing apples, down from the tree, and made him ask the farmer's pardon. Our Chicago teachers tell us that just as the rude boy is coming down, we must lay down the stones and resort again to the use of grass, with the consequence, of course, that the farmer must beg pardon of the trespasser. But what makes this Chicago policy more contemptible and even ridiculous, is that it is nothing different from the policy with which the same parties now contracting actually ushered in disunion in 1801, in the closing hours of the Administration of JAMES BUCHANAN. Yes, my dear friends, when we of this Administration came into our places in March, 1861, we found there existing just the system which is now recommended at Chicago. Namely, first, a treasonable Confederacy in arms against the Federal authority. Second, a truce between the Government of the United States and the rebels, a veritable armistice which was so construed that while the national ports and forts were thoroughly invested along the sea coast and rivers by the insurgents, they could be neither reinforced nor supplied even with food by the Government. Third, a languid debate with a view to an ultimate National Convention which the rebels haughtily despised and contemptuously rejected. What were the alternatives left us. Either to surrender ourselves and the government, at discretion, or to summon the people to arms, terminate the armistice, adjourn the demoralizing debate, and "repossess" ourselves of the National forts and ports. And now has all the treasure that has been spent, and all the precious blood that has been poured forth, gone for nothing else but to secure an ignominious retreat, and return at the end of four years to the hopeless imbecility and rapid process of national dissolution, which existed when ABRAHAM LINCOLN took into his hands the reins of Government.
Every one of you knows that but for that accession of ABRAHAM LINCOLN just at that time, the Union would in less than three months have fallen into absolute and irretrievable ruin.
I will not dwell long on the complaints which misguided but not intentionally perverse men, bring against the Administration of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. They complain of military arrests of spies and lurking traitors in the loyal States, as if the Government could justify itself for waiting without preventive measures, for more States to be invaded or to be carried off into secession.
They complain that when we call for volunteers we present the alternative of a draft, as it when the ship has been scuttled the Captain ought to leave the sleeping passengers to go to the bottom without calling upon them to take their turn at the pump.
They are not content with plotting sedition in secret places, but they go up and down the public streets uttering treason, vainly seeking to provoke arrest in order that they may complain of a denial of the liberty of speech. The impunity they everywhere enjoy under the protection of constitutional debate, shows alone and the same time, that their complaints are groundless, and that the Union in the element of moral stability is stronger than they know.
The chief complaint against the President is that he will not accept peace on the basis of the integrity of the Union, without having also the abandonment of Slavery. When and where have the insurgents offered him peace on the basis of the integrity of the Union? Nobody has offered it. The rebels never will offer it. They are determined and pledged; to rule this Republic or ruin it. I told you here a year ago, that practically Slavery was no longer in question -- that it was perishing, under the operation of the war. That assertion has been confirmed.
The Union men in all the Slave States that we have delivered are even more anxious than we are to abolish Slavery. Witness Western Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas. JEFFERSON DAVIS tells you in effect, the same thing. He says that it is not Slavery, but Independence and Sovereignty, for which he is contending. There is good reason for this. A hundred dollars in gold is only a year's purchase of the labor of the working man in every part of the United States. At less than half that price you could buy all the slaves in the country. Nevertheless, our opponents want a distinct exposition of the President's views on the ultimate solution of the Slavery question.
Why do they want it? For the same reason that the Pharisees and Sadduces wanted an authoritative resolution of the questions of casuistry which arose in their day. One of those sects believed in a Kingdom to come, and the other denied the resurrection of the dead. Nevertheless, they walked together in loving accord in search of instruction concerning the spirit-world. "Master," said they, "there was a man of our nation who married a wife and died, leaving six brothers. These brothers successively married the widowed woman, and afterward died. And last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection which of the seven shall have this woman to wife."
Now what was it to them whether one or all should have the woman to wife in Heaven. It could be nothing to the Sadduces in any case. What was it to any human being on this side of the grave? What was it to any human being in Heaven except the woman and her seven husbands -- absolutely nothing. Yet they would have an answer. And they received one. The answer was that white in this mortal state, men and women shall never cease to marry and to die, there will be in the resurrection neither death nor marrving or giving in marriage.
Although altogether unauthorised to speak for the President upon hypothetical questions, I think I can give an answer upon the subject of Slavery at the present day -- an answer which will be explicit, and I hope not altogether unsatisfactory. While the rebels continue to wage war against the Government of the United States, the military measures affecting Slavery, which have been adopted from necessity, to bring the war to a speedy and successful end, will be continued, except so far as practical experience shall show that they can be modified advantageously, with a view to the same end. When the insurgents shall have disbanded their armies, and laid down their arms, the war will instantly cease, and all the war measures then existing, including those which affect Slavery, will cease also, and all the moral, economical and political questions, as well questions affecting Slavery as others which shall then be existing between individuals and States and the Federal Government, whether they arose before the civil war began, or whether they grew out of it, will, by force of the Constitution, pass over to the arbitrament of courts of law, and to the councils of legislation.
I am not unsophisticated enough to expect that conspirators while yet unsubdued, and exercising an unresisted despotism in the insurrectionary States, will either sue for, or even accept, an amnesty based on the surrender of the power they have so recklessly usurped. Nevertheless, I know that if any such conspirator should tender his submission upon such terms, that he will at once receive a candid hearing, and an answer prompted purely by a desire for peace, with the maintenance of the Union. On the other hand, I do expect propositions of peace with a restoration of the Union, to come not from the Confederates in authority, nor through them, but from citizens and States under and behind them. And I expect such propositions from citizens and States to come over the Confederates in power, just so fast as those citizens and States shall be delivered by the Federal arms, from the usurpation by which they are now oppressed. All the world knows, that so far as I am concerned, and, I believe, so far as the President is concerned, all such applications will receive just such an answer as it becomes a great, magnanimous and humane people, to grant to brethren who have come back from their wanderings to seek a shelter in the common ark of our national security and happiness.
The sun is setting. So surely as it shall rise again, so surely do I think that the great events we have now celebrated prelude the end of our national troubles, and the restoration of the national authority with peace, prosperity and freedom throughout the whole land, from the lakes to the gulf, and from ocean to ocean.
And so I bid you good night; and may God have you, with our whole country, always in His holy and paternal keeping.
Enthusiastic cheers were given at the conclusion of the speech.