Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/181

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especially Willard's, where the President had taken quarters till he moved into the White House. Among Republicans as well as all classes of their opponents, the entire uncertainty of the outlook caused a feeling of vague apprehension. On the one hand, all attempts in Congress to heal the running secession sore in the Federal body through the Crittenden compromise and the measures proposed by Senators Seward, Anthony, and Powell, and Representatives Vallandigham, Clingman, and Corwin, had failed. The so-called Peace Congress had likewise just miscarried. On the other hand, the seven rebellious States showed the boldest defiance, and were striving with the utmost determination to solidify the structure of the Southern Confederacy they had erected during the winter, and to widen and strengthen it by dragging the Border States after them. There was great division of opinion as to the wisest course to be pursued by the incoming Administration, even among its own supporters. Such leading Republicans as Horace Greeley and Thurlow Weed came out openly in favor of peaceful separation rather than the use of force by the Federal Government against the rebels. Other leaders were willing to go to great lengths in conciliating the South through Federal and State legislation concerning the “peculiar institution.” The bulk of the Republican party and the majority of its Representatives in Congress were ready and anxious, however, for the utmost use of Federal power for the reduction of the Southern insurrection and the maintenance of the Union; but not a few of their principal guides, including Seward, still thought that the secession fever would run for a time, but gradually lose force and die out under proper treatment by Mr. Lincoln. The latter himself still held this belief. The prospect of the preservation of peace seemed to grow steadily less, yet only the outright secessionists were inclined to contemplate the spectre of a sanguinary struggle with complacency. The doubtfulness of the situation was increased by the open sympathy and readiness to concede all that