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Mr. Greeley was authorized by Mr. Lincoln in his letter of July 9th, to tender the Confederate agents safe conduct, only upon the condition that they professed to have a proposition of Jefferson Davis in writing, for peace, embracing the restoration of the Union, and abandonment of slavery. But it seems he did not communicate this to the rebel agents. Mr. Greeley was entrapped, and did not discover it. Mr. Lincoln, feeling the injustice which a partial publication of this correspondence did to him, and to the country, asked Mr. Greeley to permit the whole correspondence to be published, omitting certain passages in Mr. Greeley's letters which were calculated in his judgment, to injure and depress the country. Mr. Greeley declined, unless the whole was published, and Mr. Lincoln with characteristic magnanimity, submitted in silence to the injustice, writing the following letter to Mr. Raymond:

"EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, August 15, 1864. « Hon. HENRY J. RAYMOND:

My Dear Sir:- I have proposed to Mr. Greeley that the Niagara correspondence be published, suppressing only the parts of his letters over which the red pencil is drawn in the copy, which I herewith send. He declines giving his consent to the publication of his letters, unless these parts be published with the rest. I have concluded that it is better for me to submit for the time, to the consequences of the false position in which I consider he has placed me, than to subject the country to the consequences of publishing these discouraging and injurious parts. I send you this, and the accompanying copy, not for publication, but merely to explain to you, and that you may preserve them until their proper time shall come.

“ Yours truly,



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The rebels, under John Morgan, made a desperate raid into Kentucky, and although checked and defeated by General Burbridge at Cynthiana, received so much encouragement and sympathy from the citizens, that Mr. Lincoln felt compelled to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus, and declare martial law in that State.

• Raymond's Life of Lincoln, p, 587.

The Presidential election approached, coming now in the midst of a civil war, which wrapt the whole country, and aroused everywhere the most intense and violent passions; it was felt that it was a fearful ordeal through which the country must pass. The Confederates still held their Capital; three great rebel armies still held the field; the public debt was steadily and rapidly increasing. Under the pressure of an imperative military necessity, the administration had used its Constitutional right of suspending the Habeas Corpus, the great safeguard of civil liberty; and dealt with individuals deemed dangerous with a severity as absolute as the most energetic governments of Europe had been accustomed to do in time of war. Taxes were increasing; the President ordered new drafts to fill up the ranks of the decimated armies. But yet victory, a restored Union, and universal liberty, began to be clearly visible as the results. The democratic party availed itself of every means to secure popular favor and success at the elections. It was in the midst of the conflict, when the administration was straining every nerve to crush the rebellion, that the Democratic National Convention had met at Chicago, and declared the war a failure, and demanded that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, etc. The following is the important resolution upon which the election turned:

Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of military necessity, or 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 cessution of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate Convention of the States or other

peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States." *

The Union War party joyfully accepted the issue thus boldly tendered. With this frank avowal they did not doubt

• Raymond's Life of Lincoln, p. 592.

the result, and they prosecuted the canvass with energy and confidence. Whether the war should go on with vigor, to the complete and final overthrow of slavery and the rebellion, or whether hostilities should cease, was the condition of the canvass. With this great and overshadowing issue, the people cared little for the wrangling over the petty questions which arise in a Presidential canvass.

The President sought no disguise that the war was now "for liberty and Union.He said during the canvass to a citizen of the West, in substance: “ There are now in the service of the United States nearly two hundred thousand colored men, most of them under arms. The Democratic strategy demands that these forces be disbanded, and that the masters be conciliated by restoring them to slavery. The black men who now fight for us, and who assist Union prisoners to escape, are to be converted into our enemies in the vain hope of gaining the good will of their masters.” “Take” said he,“ 200,000 men from our side, and put them in the battle-field or corn-field against us, and we would be compelled to abandon the war. There are men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery our black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought!" “Should I do so?" said he, with indignation glowing in every feature, “I should deserve to be damned in time and in eternity. Come what may,” said he, “I will keep my faith with the black man. Freedom has given us 200,000 men raised on Southern soil. It will give us more. No human power can subdue this rebellion without the emancipation policy. I will abide the issue." He did abide the issue, and the glorious cause of liberty, blessed by God, and sustained by the people, triumphed. The victories of Sheridan and Sherman, Farragut and Grant, re-acted upon the people, and swelled the majority by which Lincoln was reelected. He received all the electoral votes given, except those of three States, New Jersey, Delaware and Kentucky. His majority on the popular vote was more than 400,000, a larger majority than was ever before given for any Presidential candidate. Those who feared the ordeal of a popular election in the midst of the passions of civil war, were compelled to acknowledge

the calmness, the wisdom and dignity with which the American people passed through this crisis. They came out of it stronger, more resolute, and more united than ever before. An observing world was compelled to acknowledge this people capable of self government.

At a late hour on the night of the election Mr. Lincoln was serenaded, and in response said:

“I am thankful to God for this approval of the people. But while deeply grateful for this mark of their confidence in me, if I know my own heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph. I do not impugn the motives of any one opposed to me.

It is not in my nature to triumph over any one, but I give thanks to Almighty God for this evidence of the people's resolution to stand by free government and the rights of humanity.”







E now come to the Second Session of the 38th Congress,

and the last Annual Message of President Lincoln, Congress had never before during his administration opened under such happy auspices. Victories in the East and in the West, and increasing and accumulating evidence of the exhaustion of the Confederacy, indicated the early triumph of the Union cause. Mr. Lincoln had just been re-elected by a majority unprecedented; thereby stamping upon his administration the approval of the people.

The Emancipation Proclamation, the employment of negro soldiers, and the Constitutional Amendment prohibiting slavery, had been distinctly presented to the people, and had received their emphatic approval. It was under these cheer. ing circumstances that in December 1864, Congress met and received from Abraham Lincoln his last Annual Message. He commenced this peculiarly interesting State paper, by expressing the “profoundest gratitude to Almighty God.” The careful student of Mr. Lincoln's State papers, and other writings will observe a constantly increasing religious sentiment exhibiting itself. Especially is this discernible after the death of his idolized son Willie, in February, 1862.

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