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"But, while holding this ground of prudence, I desire to disclaim every sentiment of vengeance or punishment, and also every thought of delay or procrastination. Here I do not yield to the President, or to any other person. Nobody more anxious than I to see this chasm closed forever.
"There is a long way and a short way. There is a long time and a short time. If there be any whose policy is for the longest way or for the longest time, I am not of the number. I am for the shortest way, and also for the shortest time.” 1
Then in considering Reconstruction in the Senate, March 16, 1867, I said:
"But I ask nothing in vengeance or unkindness. I propose is for their good, with which is intertwined the good of all. I would not impose any new penalty or bear hard upon an erring people. Oh, no! I simply ask a new safeguard for the future, that these States, through which so much trouble has come, may be a strength and a blessing to our common country, with prosperity and happiness everywhere within their borders. I would not impose any new burden; but I seek a new triumph for civilization. For a military occupation bristling with bayonets I would substitute the smile of Peace."
I then said:
"But this cannot be without Education. As the soldier disappears, his place must be supplied by the schoolmaster. The muster-roll will be exchanged for the school-register, and our headquarters will be in a school-house."
And I accompanied this with a proposition to require in the reconstructed States " a system of public schools open to all, without distinction of race or color," which was lost by a tie vote, being 20 to 20.2
1 Ante, Vol. XI. pp. 5, 6.
2 Ibid., pp. 146, 158-59, 163. Congressional Globe, 40th Cong. 1st Sess., pp. 165, 167, 170.
The subject recurred again in the Senate July 13, 1867, when, after declaring regret at the inadequacy of the pending measure, especially in not securing a system of Public Education, and not excluding Rebel influence, I remarked:
"In saying this, I desire to add, that, in my judgment, all exclusions belong to what I call the transition period. When Reconstruction is accomplished, the time will come for us to open the gates."1
In these few words will be found the ruling principle which I have recognized in Reconstruction.
The address," Are We a Nation?" made at the Cooper Institute, November 19, 1867, testifies again to Reconciliation. After showing how the national supremacy in the guardianship of equal rights is consistent with local self-government, and vindicating the two in their respective spheres, it says:
"There will be a sphere alike for the States and Nation. Local self-government, which is the pride of our institutions, will be reconciled with the national supremacy in maintenance of human rights, and the two together will constitute the elemental principles of the Republic. The States will exercise a minute jurisdiction required for the convenience of all; the Nation will exercise that other paramount jurisdiction required for the protection of all. The reconciliation-God bless the word!—thus begun will embrace the people, who, forgetting past differences, will feel more than ever that they are one." 2
Then again, in addressing the Republican State Convention at Worcester, September 22, 1869, I said:
1 Ante, Vol. XI. p. 408. Congressional Globe, ut supra, p. 625. 2 Ante, Vol. XII. p. 248.
"Do not think me harsh; do not think me austere. not. I will not be outdone by anybody in clemency; nor at the proper time will I be behind any one in opening all doors of office and trust. . . . . Who can object, if men recently arrayed against their country are told to stand aside yet a little longer, until all are secure in their rights? Here is no fixed exclusion, nothing of which there can be any just complaint, nothing which is not practical, wise, humane, nothing which is not born of justice rather than victory. In the establishment of Equal Rights conquest loses its character, and is no longer conquest,
For then both parties nobly are subdued,
HERE I suspend this testimony. Such is the simple and harmonious record, showing how from the beginning I was devoted to peace, how constantly I longed for reconciliation, how with every measure of Equal Rights this longing found utterance, how it became an essential part of my life, how I discarded all idea of vengeance or punishment,-how Reconstruction was to my mind a transition period, and how earnestly I looked forward to the day, when, after the recognition of Equal Rights, the Republic should again be one in reality as in name. If there are any who ever maintained a policy of hate, I was never so minded; and now in protesting against any such policy, I only act in obedience to the irresistible promptings of my soul.
In embracing the opportunity unexpectedly presented at this election, I keep myself still in harmony with the past. Unable to vote a second time for President Grant,
1 Ante, Vol. XIII. pp. 115-16.
and confident that the choice of Horace Greeley will tend to assure that triumph of peace which has occupied so much of my desires, it only remains to vote for him. I would not expect too much; but, knowing something of the spirit in which the Democratic party has adopted him as its candidate, and knowing something also of his eminent character, I cannot doubt that with his election there will be a new order of things, where the harsh instrumentalities of power will yield to a sentiment of good-will, and surviving irritations will be lost in concord. The war is ended. There must be an end also to belligerent passions; and the freedman, assured in rights, must enter upon a new career of happiness and prosperity. Such, at least, is the object I now seek. Even those differing from me in faith at this critical moment will not deny that such a result would mark an epoch in American history. And now, in the hope of its accomplishment, I forget personal consequences, and think only of the inestimable good.
PREJUDICE AND INVENTION.
THE partisans of Reelection, resorting to prejudice and invention, insist, first, that the Democratic party, which has adopted as its candidate an original Republican on a Republican platform, will prove untrue, and, secondly, that the candidate himself will prove untrue,
as if the Democratic party were not bound now to the very principles declared at Philadelphia, without the viscous alloy of Grantism, and as if the life and character of the candidate were not a sufficient answer to any such slander.
ADHESION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
EVIDENTLY there are individuals, calling themselves Democrats, who feel little sympathy with the movement, and there are others who insist upon the old hates, whether towards the North or towards the freedman. Unhappily, this is only according to human nature. It must be so. Therefore, though pained in feeling, my trust is not disturbed by sporadic cases cited in newspapers, or by local incidents. This is clear: in spite of politicians, and against their earnest efforts, the people represented in the Democratic Convention adopted a Republican nomination and platform. Baltimore answered to Cincinnati. A popular uprising, stirred by irresistible instinct, triumphed over all resistance. The people were wiser than their leaders, illustrating again the saying of the French statesman, so experienced in human affairs, that above the wisdom of any individual, however great, is the wisdom of all. But this testifies to that Providence which shapes our ends: "So Providence for us, high, infinite,
Makes our necessities its watchful task."
Plainly in recent events there has been a presiding influence against which all machinations have been powerless. Had the Convention at Philadelphia nominated. a good Republican, truly representing Republican principles without drawback, there is no reason to believe that Horace Greeley would have been a candidate. The persistence for President Grant dissolved original bonds, and gave practical opportunity to the present movement. The longing for peace, which in existing antagonisms of party was without effective expression, at last found free