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railway stock. They could not procure an adequate supply of iron and skilled labor, to repair and renew the stock and tracks. The failure of the crops, and the desolation of war, produced great suffering and want among the people.

Meanwhile, the confidence of the loyal men of the United States in Abraham Lincoln and his administration was becoming deep and pervading. His success in the field, his continued triumph over the most formidable financial difficulties, the great ability and success with which our foreign relations were managed, and above all, the moral power arising from Mr. Lincoln's open, unequivocal position in favor of universal justice and liberty, had secured the favor of the great masses of the loyal people. Abraham Lincoln had gradually secured the respect, love, and veneration of nearly all, by his integrity, his unselfishness, his simplicity, his wisdom, and his love of justice and right. Their verdict through the ballot box, in the autumn of 1863, was everywhere favorable. The President in his letter to a mass meeting of the Union men of Illinois, held in September, 1863, explained, in his own frank, clear, and masterly manner, the condition of the country, and the policy he was pursuing. To these old friends and neighbors he said:

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“There are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say: You desire

peace,

and
you

blame me that we do not have it. But how can we obtain it? There are but three conceivable ways: First, to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. This I am trying to do. Are you

for it? If you are, so far we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is to give up the Union. I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you should say so plainly. If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise.

"I do not believe that any compromise embracing the maintenance of the Union is now possible. All that I learn leads to a directly opposite belief. The strength of the rebellion is its military, its army. That army dominates all the country and all the people within its range. Any offer of terms made by any man or men, within that position to that army, is simply nothing for the present; because such man or men have no power whatever to enforce their side of a compromise, if one were made with them.”

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He thus vindicates his policy in regard to the negro, and emancipation :

means.

“But to be plain. You are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely there is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free, while you, I suppose, do not. Yet I have neither adopted nor proposed any measure which is not consistent, with even your view, provided that you are for the Union. I suggested compensated emancipation; to which you replied you wished not to be taxed to buy negroes. But I had not asked you to be taxed to buy negroes, except in such way as to save you from greater taxation to save the Union exclusively by other

You dislike the emancipation proclamation, and perhaps would have it retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently. I think the Constitution invests its Commander-in-Chief with the law of war, in time of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is, that slaves are property. Is there, has there ever been any question, that by the law of war, property, both of enemies and friends, may be taken when needed? And is it not needed whenever it helps us, and hurts the enemy? Armies, the world over, destroy enemies' property when they cannot use it; and even destroy their own to keep it from the en. emy. Civilized belligerents do all in their power to help themselves or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions are the massacre of vanquished foes and noncombatants, male and female. But the proclamation, as law, either is valid or is not valid. If it is not valid, it needs no retraction. If it is valid, it cannot be retracted, any more than the dead can be brought to life. Some of you profess to think its retraction would operate favor. ably for the Union. Why better after the retraction than before the issue? There was more than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion before the proclamation was issued, the last one hundred days of which, passed under an explicit notice that it was coming, unless averted by those in revolt returning to their allegiance. has certainly progressed as favorably for us since the issue of the Proclamation as before."

The war

He then states that the Emancipation proclamation and the employment of negro troops had been the heaviest blowy given to the rebel cause, and that at least one of the successes of the Union army could not have been achieved without the aid of the black soldiers.

He concluded this admirable paper as follows:

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Do you

"You

say
that
you

will not fight to free negroes. Some of them,' said he with severe reproach, “ seem willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively, to save the Union? I issued the Proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that, in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. think differently? I thought whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes,

like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept.

“ The signs look better. The Father of Waters' again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for it, nor yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone, and Jersey, hewing their way right and left. The army South, too, in more colors than one also lent a helping hand. On the spot, their part of the history was jotted down in black and white. The job was a great National one, and let none be slighted who bore an honorable part in it. And while those who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard to say that anything has been more bravely and well done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and on many fields of less note. Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present, not only on the deep sea, the broad bay and the rapid river, but also up

the narrow and muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all. For the great Republic—for the principle it lives by, and keeps alive — for man's vast future, thanks to all.

“ Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It will then have been proved that among freemen there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the cost. And there will be some black men who can remember that with silent tongue, and clenched teeth and steady eye, and well poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation, while I fear there will be some white ones unable to forget that with malignant heart and deceitful speech they have striven to hinder it.

“Still let us not be over sanguine of a speedy, final triumph. Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in His own good time, will give us the rightful result.” *

Every State in which elections were held, except New Jersey, gave majorities for the administration. In Ohio, Vallandigham, who had been nominated for Governor, was defeated by a majority in favor of the Union candidate of nearly one hundred thousand votes.

It was under these hopeful circumstances that the first session of the Thirty-eighth Congress assembled, and the year 1863 closed.

• McPherson, p. 335-8.

1

OHAPTER XX.

FIRST SESSION OF 38TH CONGRESS,-1863-4.

GIVEN

TO

THEIR

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE-REPEAL OF FUGITIVE SLAVE LAWS-PAY OF COLORED SOLDIERS-FREEDOM

FAMILIES-CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ABOLISHING AND PROHIBITING SLAVERY THROUGHOUT THE REPUBLIC-DEBATES UPON IT IN THE SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE.

ON ,

Schuyler Colfax of Indiana was elected speaker, Edward McPherson of Pennsylvania clerk, and Dr. Channing, a radical abolitionist, a nephew of the great anti-slavery writer, Dr. William E. Channing, was elected Chaplain of the House.

There were elected to the Seriate and returned to the House, constituting the 38th Congress, several new members of very distinguished ability. Among others were Governor E. D. Morgan of New York, elected to the Senate in place of Preston King; Reverdy Johnson, long at the head of the bar of his State, and a leading statesman of Maryland in place of Kennedy.

From Missouri was elected to the Senate the brilliant leader of the anti-slavery party of that State, B. Gratz Brown. From California came the staunch Union man and able debater John Conness, in place of Latham. From Minnesota, Governor Alexander Ramsey in place of Rice.

To the House of Representatives were elected, James W. Patterson a learned scholar and college professor from New Hampshire, and Frederick W. Woodbridge an able lawyer from Vermont.

From Massachusetts George S. Boutwell, late Governor of that State, and an able, earnest, and radical anti-slavery man, also John D. Baldwin, a very distinguished editor and journalist.

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