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accompanied him from Illinois, and the facts laid before him. He was urged to start at once for Washington, taking the train that night, by which he would reach the Capital early the following morning; and thus he would pass through Baltimore in the night, and two days earlier than the conspirators anticipated, and so avoid the danger. pointments to meet the citizens of Philadelphia at Independence IIall, and the Legislature of Pennsylvania at Ilarrisburg. He therefore declined starting for Washington that night, but was finally persuaded to allow his friends to arrange for him to return to Philadelphia, and go to Washing. ton the evening after the ceremonies at Harrisburg. On the next day, the 22d of February, Mr. Lincoln visited the old Independence Hall, where the Congress of the Revolution adopted, amidst the most solemn deliberation and grave debate, the Declaration of Independence. This had ever been the Bible of Mr. Lincoln's political faith. However others might differ, he believed, with his whole heart, in the Declaration of Independence. It was to him no tissue of “glittering generalities,” but he gave to it an honest, hearty homage and reverence. He made the following speech on the occasion. He said:

All the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated in, and were given to the world from this hall. I never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

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It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that, in due time, the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of men. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider inyself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful! But if this country cannot be saved without giving up the principle, I was about to say, “I would rather be assassinated on the spot, than surrender it."

I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and if it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by.


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The allusion to the assassination was not accidental. The subject had been brought to his attention in such a way that, although he did not feel there was serions danger, yet he had just been assured positively, by a detectivė, whose veracity his friends vouched for, that a secret conspiracy was organized, at a neighboring city, to take his life on his way to the Capital.

He went to Harrisburg, according to arrangement; met the Legislature, and retired to his room. Meanwhile, General Scott and Mr. Seward had learned, through other sources, the existence of the plot to assassinate him, and had despatched Mr. F. W. Seward, a son of Senator Seward, to apprise him of the danger.

Information coming to him from both these sources, each independent of the other, induced him to yield to the wishes of his friends, and anticipate his journey to Washington. Besides, from Baltimore there had reached him no committee, either of the municipal authorities or of citizens, to tender him the hospitalities, and to extend to him the courtesies of that city, as had been done by every city through which he had passed. He was persuaded to permit the detective to arrange for his going to Washington that night. The telegraph wires to Baltimore were cut; and, with one friend, wearing, not a Scotch cap, (as alleged by the daily press ), but a felt hat, which some friend had presented to him, he arrived at Philadelphia, drove to the Baltimore depot, and the next morning the Capital was startled by the announcement of his arrival.

Mr. Lincoln, long afterwards, declared: “I did not then, nor do I now, believe I should have been assassinated, had I gone through Baltimore, as first contemplated; but I thought it wise to run no risk, where no risk was necessary.

Those who review the facts, in regard to the conspiracy, in the light of his subsequent assassination, can entertain no doubt, either of the existence of the plot, the fiendish determination of the conspirators, nor that many prominent rebels were knowing and consenting to it. wing and consenting to it. A letter is in ex

A istence, from the Governor of a border slave State, written before that date, and in reply to an application for arms, asking whether they would be used “to kill Lincoln and his men ?”+

• Stated to the apthor by Mr. Lincoln, from whom the foregoing facts, in regard to the assassination plot, were obtained.

# It is due to this Governor, to say, that he was subsequently a devoted Unionist, and explained this letter, by stating it to bave been a joke.

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General Scott, Joseph Holt, Secretary of War, Edwin M Stanton Attorney General, and others, had made such arrangements as secured his immediate safety. General Sumner, then colonel; General Hunter, then major in the regular army, and other devoted and watchful friends, were around him.

So many of his supporters, from the free States, followed him, that a large body of citizens could have been immediately organized as soldiers, if necessary.





R. Lincoln availed himself of the earliest opportunity,

after his arrival at the Capital, to express his kindly feelings to the people of Washington and the Southern States. On the 27th of February, when waited upon by the Mayor and Common Council of Washington, he assured them, and through them the South, that he had no disposition to treat them in any other way than as neighbors, and that he had no disposition to withhold from them any constitational right. He assured the people that they should have all their rights under the Constitution.

“Not grudgingly, but fully and fairly."

On the 4th of March, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugu. rated President of the United States. An inauguration, so impressive and solemn as this, had not occurred since that of Washington. The ceremonies took place, as usual, at and on the eastern colonnade of the Capitol. General Scott had gathered a few soldiers of the regular army, and had caused to be organized some militia, to preserve peace, order and security.

Thousands of Northern voters thronged the streets of Washington, only a very few of them conscious of the volcano of treason and murder, thinly concealed, around them. The public offices and the departments were full of plotting traitors. Many of the rebel generals, including Lee, the Johnstons, Ewell, Hill, Stewart, Magruder, Pemberton, and others,

held commissions under the government they were about to abandon and betray. Spies were everywhere. The people of Washington were, a large portion of them, in sympathy with the conspirators.

None who witnessed it will ever forget the scene of that inauguration. On the magnificent eastern front of the Capitol, surrounded by the Senate and House of Representatives, the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Diplomatic Corps, the high officers of the Army and the Navy, a vast crowd outside of the guards ; a crowd of mingled patriots and traitors; men looking searchingly into the eyes of every stranger, to discover whether he gazed on a traitor or a friend. Standing in the most conspicuous position, amidst scowling traitors, with murder and treason in their hearts, Lincoln was perfectly cool and determined. Near him was President Buchanan, with his white neck-tie, seemingly bowed down with the consciousness of duties unperformed; there were Chief Justice Taney and his associates, who had disgraced American jurisprudence by the Dred Scott decision; there was Chase with his fine and imposing presence; and the venerable Scott, his towering form still unbroken by years; the ever hopeful and philosophical statesman Seward; the scholarly, uncompromising Sumner; blunt Ben. Wade. There were distinguished governors of states, and throngs of eminent men from every section of the Union. But there was no man more observed than the great rival of Mr. Lincoln,-Douglas. He had been most marked and thoughtful in his attentions to the President elect, and now his small but sturdy figure in striking contrast to the towering form of Lincoln, was conspicuous; gracefully extending every courtesy to his successful competitor.* His bold eye, from which flashed energy and determination, was eagerly scanning the crowd, not unconscious it is believed, of the personal danger which encircled the President, and perfectly ready to share it with bim. Lincoln's calmness arose from an entire absence of self-consciousness; he was too fully absorbed with the grav

• The author is here reminded of the following incident: As Mr. Lincoln removed his hat, before commencing the reading of his “ Inaugural"- from the proximity of the crowd, he saw nowhere to place it; and Mr. Douglas, by his side, seeing this, instantly extended his band and held the President's bat while he was occupied in reading the address.


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