Page:Abraham Lincoln address (1909).djvu/7

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and ideal of the North; but we do object to, and protest against, his being proclaimed to the world as the exemplar and representative of the South and its people. We proclaim Washington, Henry, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, Joseph E. and Albert Sydney Johnston, Wade Hampton, Jeb Stuart, and such like men, as our heroes and ideals and as the exemplars for our children and our children's children.


There are three reasons which we think in great measure account for the erroneous conceptions and extravagant portrayals now being made of Mr. Lincoln, viz:

(1) The cause of which he was the official head has, temporarily at least, been deemed a success.

(2) The manner of his death was such as to shock all right-thinking people and to create sympathy in his behalf; for, like the great Roman Germanicus, it may well be said, he was most fortunate in the circumstances of his death.

(3) He was the first President of the Republican party—the party which has practically dominated this country ever since Mr. Lincoln's first election.

The acts and doings of that party during the time he was its official head, many of which were illegal, unconstitutional, tyrannical and oppressive, will be judged, to a degree at least, by the character and conduct of the man who held that official position; and the representatives of that party have, therefore, hesitated at nothing to try to make it appear that their official leader was a great and good man, and that, therefore, they were justified in following his leadership.

In the course of this address we shall say but little of Mr. Lincoln's private life, and shall refer to it only to show that much of it was utterly at variance with the life of the man now being portrayed to us; and we shall certainly not criticise his humble and obscure birth and origin, but, on the contrary, we extol him for being able to rise so far as he did above these, believing, as we do, with Pope, that

"Honor and shame from no condition rise,
Act well your part; there all the honor lies."