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sands inhabit it now. I do not propose to address you at length; I have no voice for it. Allow me again to thank you for this magnificent reception, and bid you farewell.
The following brief recognition of his welcome at Utica, is marked by a trait of that whimsical humor which did much to smooth the rugged road over which Mr. Lincoln was called to pass to glory and the grave.
Ladies and Gentlemen—I have no speech to make to you, and no time to speak in. I appear before you that I may see you, and that you may see me; and I am willing to admit, that so far as the ladies are concerned, I have the best of the bargain, though I wish it to be understood that I do not make the same acknowledgment concerning the men. [Laughter and applause.]
SPEECH IN THE HALL OF ASSEMBLY AT ALBANY.
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Legislature of the State of New York-It is with feelings of great diffidence, and I may say, with feelings of awe, perhaps greater than I have recently experienced, that I meet you here in this place. The history of this great State, the renown of those great men who have stood here, and spoken here, and been heard here, all crowd around my fancy, and incline me to shrink from any attempt to address you. Yet I have some confidence given me by the generous manner in which you have invited me, and by the still more
ther. You have invited and received me without distinction of party. I cannot for a moment suppose that this has been done, in any considerable degree, with reference to my personal services, but that it is done in so far as I am regarded at this time as the representative of the majesty of this great nation. I doubt not this is the truth, and the whole truth of the case, and this is as it should be. It is much more gratifying to me that this reception has been given to me as the representative of a free people, than it could possibly be if tendered as an evidence of devotion to me, or to any one man personally. And now I think it were more fitting that I should close these hasty re
modesty, the humblest of all individuals that have ever been elevated to the Presidency, I have a more difficult task to perform than any one of them. You have generously tendered me the united support of the great Empire State. For this, in behalf of the nation-in behalf of the present and future of the nation-in behalf of civil and religious liberty for all time to come, most gratefully do I thank you. I do not propose to enter into an explanation of any particular line of policy as to our present difficulties, to be adopted by the incoming Administration. I deem it just to you, to myself, and to all, that I should see everything, that I should hear everything, that I should have every light that can be brought within my reach, in order that when I do so speak, I shall have enjoyed every opportunity to take correct and true grounds; and for this reason I don't propose to speak, at this time, of the policy of the Government. But when the time comes I shall speak, as well as I am able, for the good of the present and future of this country, for the good both of the North and the South of this country, for the good of the one and the other, and of all sections of the country. [Rounds of applause.] In the meantime, if we have patience, if we restrain ourselves, if we allow ourselves not to run off in a passion, I still have confidence that the Almighty, the Maker of the Universe, will, through the instrumentality of this great and intelligent people, bring us through this as he has through all the other difficulties of our country. Relying on this, I again thank you for this generous reception.” [Applause and cheers.]
SPEECH AT THE ASTOR HOUSE, NEW YORK.
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen-I am rather an old man to avail myself of such an excuse as I am now about to do. Yet the truth is so distinct, and presses itself so distinctly upon me, that I cannot well avoid it-and that is, that I did not understand when I was brought into this room that I was brought here to make a speech. It was not intimated to me that I was brought into the room where DANIEL WEBSTER and HENRY CLAY had made speeches, and where, in my position, I might be expected to do something like those men, or do something worthy of myself or my audience. I, therefore, will beg you to make very great allowance for the circumstances in which I have been by surprise brought before you. Now, I have been in the habit of thinking and speaking sometimes upon political questions that have for some years past agitated the country; and if I were disposed to do so, and we could take up some one of the issues, as the lawyers call them, and I were called upon to make an argument about it to the best of my ability, I could do so without much preparation. But, that is not what you desire to be done here to-night.
I have been occupying a position, since the Presidential election, of silence, of avoiding public speaking, of avoiding public writing. I have been doing so, because I thought, upon full consideration, that was the proper course for me to take. [Great applause.] I am brought before you now, and required to make a speech, when you all approve more than anything else of the fact that I have been keeping silence. [Great laughter, cries of “Good,” and applause.] And now it seems to me that the response you give to that remark ought to justify me in closing just here. [Great laughter.] I have not kept silence since the Presidential election from any party wantonness, or from any indifference to the anxiety that pervades the minds of men about the aspect of the political affairs of this country. I have kept silence for the reason that I supposed it was peculiarly proper that I should do so until the time came when, according to the custom of the country, I could speak officially.
A voice—The custom of the country ?
I heard some gentleman say, “ According to the custom of the country.” I alluded to the custom of the President-elect, at the time of taking the oath of office. That is what I meant by “the custom of the country." I do suppose that, while the political drama being enacted in this country, at this time, is rapidly shifting its scenes—forbidding an anticipation, with any degree of certainty, to-day, what we shall see to-morrow_it .
was peculiarly fitting that I should see it all, up to the last minute, before I should take ground that I might be disposed (by the shifting of the scenes afterwards) also to shift. [Applause.] I have said, several times, upon this journey, and I now repeat it to you, that when the time does come, I shall then take the ground that I think is right—[applause)—the ground that I
think is right-[applause, and cries of “Good, good"}-right · for the North, for the South, for the East, for the West, for the
whole country. [Cries of "Good,” “Hurrah for Lincoln," and applause.) And in doing so, I hope to feel no necessity pressing upon me to say anything in conflict with the Constitution; in conflict with the continued union of these States—[applause]— in conflict with the perpetuation of the liberties of this people -[applause]—or anything in conflict with any thing whatever that I have ever given you reason to expect from me. [Applause.) And now, my friends, have I said enough? [Loud cries of "No, no," and three cheers for Lincoln.] Now, my friends, there appears to be a difference of opinion between you and me, and I really feel called upon to decide the question myself. [Applause, during which Mr. Lincoln descended from the table.]
AT THE CITY HALL, NEW YORK,
Mr. Lincoln was formally received by the then Mayor, Mr. Fernando Wood, in the following words :
Mr. Lincoln—As Mayor of New York, it becomes my duty to extend to you an official welcome in behalf of the Corporation. In doing so permit me to say, that this city has never offered hospitality to a man clothed with more exalted powers, or resting under graver responsibilities, than those which circumstances have devolved upon you. Coming into office with a dismembered Government to reconstruct, and a disconnected and hostile people to reconcile, it will require a high patriotism, and an elevated comprehension of the whole country and its varied interests, opinions, and prejudices, to so conduct public affairs as to bring it back ågain to its former harmonious, consolidated, and prosperous condition. If I refer to this topic, sir, it is
because New York is deeply interested. The present political divisions have sorely.afflicted her people. All her material interests are paralyzed. Her commercial greatness is endangered. She is the child of the American Union. She has grown up under its maternal care, and been fostered by its paternal bounty, and we fear" that if the Union dies, the present supremacy of New York may perish with it. To you, therefore, chosen under the forms of the Constitution as the head of the Confederacy, we look for a restoration of fraternal relations between the States-only to be accomplished by peaceful and conciliatory means, aided by the wisdom of Almighty God.
Events showed the utter foolishness and presumption of Mr. Wood in thus attempting to dictate to Abraham Lincoln, and in his declaration that New York was the child of the American Union and that the Union in its integrity and prosperity was to be restored only by peaceful and conciliatory means. Mr. Lincoln met these solemn platitudes with the following expression of his clear-headed common sense and patriotism.
Mr. Mayor—It is with feelings of deep gratitude that I make my acknowledgments for the reception that has been given me in the great commercial city of New York. I cannot but remember that it is done by the people, who do not, by a large majority, agree with me in political sentiment. It is the more grateful to me, because in this I see that for the great principles of our Government the people are pretty nearly or quite unanimous. In regard to the difficulties that confront us at this time, and which you have seen fit to speak so becomingly and so justly, I can only say that I agree with the sentiments expressed. In my devotion to the Union I hope I am behind no man in the nation. As to my wisdom in conducting affairs so as to tend to the preservation of the Union, I fear too great confidence may have been placed in me. I am sure I bring a heart devoted to the work. There is nothing that could ever bring me to consent-willingly to consent to the destruction of this Union (in