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tion in the production of the staples which have constituted our exports, in which the commercial world has an interest scarcely less than our own. This common interest of producer and consumer can only be intercepted by an exterior force which should obstruct its transmission to foreign markets, a course of conduct which would be detrimental to manufacturing and commercial interests abroad.

Should reason guide the action of the government from which we have separated, a policy so detrimental to the civilized world, the Northern States included, could not be dictated by even a stronger desire to inflict injury upon us; but if it be otherwise, a terrible responsibility will rest upon it, and the suffering of millions will bear testimony to the folly and wickedness of our aggressors. In the mean. time there will remain to us, besides the ordinary remedies before suggested, the well-known resources for retaliation upon the commerce of an enemy.

We have changed the constituent parts but not the system of our government. The Constitution formed by our fathers is that of these Confederate States. In their exposition of it, and in the judicial construction it has received, we have a light which reveals its true meaning. Thus instructed as to the just interpretation of that instrument, and ever remembering that all offices are but trusts held for the people, and that delegated powers are to be strictly construed, I will hope by due diligence in the performance of my duties, though 1 may disappoint your expectation, yet to retain, when retiring, something of the good-will and confidence which will welcome my entrance into office.

It is joyous in the midst of perilous times to look around upon a people united in heart, when one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole, where the sacri.


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fices to be made are not weighed in the balance, against honor, right, liberty, and equality. Obstacles may retard, but they cannot long prevent, the progress of a movement sanctioned by its justice and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which by his blessing they were able to vindicate, establish, and transmit to their posterity; and with a continuance of his favor, ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, to prosperity.

86_Orations-Vol. VIII.


A BRAHAM LINCOLN was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, on February

12, 1809. His father, Thomas Lincoln, and his mother, Nancy Hanks, were both natives of Virginia. When Lincoln was eight years of age, his father moved into Indiana, buying a farm in what is now Spencer County. Schools were rare and the teachers were only qualified to impart the rudiments of instruction. “When I came of age,” wrote the future President, “I didn't know much; still I could read, write and cipher to the rule of three, but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity.” At the age of 19, Lincoln made a journey as a hired hand on a flat boat to New Orleans, and two years later with his father emigrated to Macon, Illinois. Lincoln helped to build a cabin, clear a field and split rails to fence it.. At the age of 21, he assisted in building a flat boat and in floating it down the Sangamon, Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. Afterward he was a clerk in a country store, but, when the Black Hawk Indian War broke out, he volunteered, was elected the captain of a company and took part in the campaign. Having failed in store-keeping, he was glad to accept the office of County Surveyor of Sangamon. In 1834 he was chosen a member of the Illinois Legislature, and was re-elected successively in 1836, 1838 and 1840, after which he declined a nomination. Having been admitted to the bar in 1836 he removed to Springfield, which soon afterward became the capital of the State. In 1846, he was elected a member of the National House of Representatives. In 1854, Lincoln, who hitherto had been a member of the Whig party, took an energetic part in the slavery agitation, and joined the Republican parly when it was organized in 1856. In 1858 he contested in public debate with Stephen A. Douglas the nomination to a seat in the Federal Senate, but was defeated. The remarkable campaign, however, attracted close attention in every part of the Union, and Lincoln's speeches gave him a national fame which caused him to be nominated for the Presidency at the Republican Convention held in Chicago on May 16, 1860. In the inaugural address pronounced by him on March 4, 1861, he declared the Union perpetual and all acts of secession void, and announced the determination of the Federal Govern. ment to defend its authority. After having vigorously conducted the war for the restoration of the Union for nearly two years, he issued on January 1, 1863, a proclamation emancipating all persons held to servitude in certain specified States and parts of States. The action which he then took was finally embodied in a Constitutional amendment, which was not passed, however, until after his death. He was re-elected to the Presidency on November 8, 1864, by an enormous majority of the electoral vote, and he lived to witness the surrender of Lee's army on April 9, 1865. On the evening of April 14 of the same year he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, by John Wilkes Booth, and he breathed his last upon the following morning.



JUNE 16, 1858


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention :
F WE could first know where we are, and whither we

are tending, we could better judge what to do, and

how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation not only has not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not. cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect that it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South. Have we no tendency to the latter condition? Let any one who doubts carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination piece of machinery, so to speak-compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision. Let him consider not only what work the machinery is adapted to do and how well adapted, but also let him study the history of its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidences of design and con. cert of action among its chief architects from the beginning.

The new year of 1854 found slavery excluded from more than half the States by State Constitutions, and from most of the national territory by Congressional prohibition. Four days later commenced the struggle which ended in repealing that Congressional prohibition. This opened all the national territory to slavery, and was the first point gained. But, so far, Congress only had acted, and an indorsement, by the people, real or apparent, was indispensable, to save the point already gained and give chance for more. This necessity had not been overlooked, but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of "squatter sovereignty,” otherwise called “sacred right of selfgovernment”—which latter phrase though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so per. verted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this: That, if any one man choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object. That argument was incorporated with the Nebraska Bill itself, in the language which follows: “It being the true intent and meaning of this act, not to legislate slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom; but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institu. tions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution

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