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Harrisburg on the following morning, but the discovery of a plot to assassinate him as he passed through Baltimore-a plot in which some of the principal residents of that city were interested, although their projects were to be accomplished by means of paid emissaries—caused a change in the schedule, and on the evening of the day that he had been received by the Legislature, he left in a special train for Philadelphia, and from thence proceeded in the sleeping-car attached to the regular midnight train to Washington, where he arrived at an early hour on the morning of the twenty-third.
The sudden departure of Mr. Lincoln from the Pennsylvania State Capital maturally astonished the people of the country; and while the loyal citizens exulted in the fact that he was safe in Washington, the traitors and their sympathizers were greatly exasperated at the failure of their nefarious designs, and pronouncing the movement an act of cowardice, solemnly declared that he should never be inaugurated.
IS WELCOMED TO WASHINGTON BY THE
AUTHORITIES. A few days after his arrival he was waited upon by the Mayor and other municipal authorities,' who welcomed him to the city, and to whom he made the following reply :
“Mr. Mayor: I thank you, and through you the municipal authorities of this city who accompany you, for this welcome. And as it is the first time in my life since the present phase of politics has presented itself in this country, that I have said any thing publicly within a region of country where the institution of slavery exists, I will take this occasion to say that I think very much of the ill-feeling that has existed, and still exists, between the people in the sections from whence I came and the people here, is dependent upon a misunderstanding of one another. I therefore avail myself of this opportunity to assure you, Mr. Mayor, and all the gentleman present, that I have not now, and never have had, any other than as kindly
feelings towards you as the people of my own section. I have not now, and never have had, any disposition to treat you in any respect otherwise than as my own neighbors. I have not now any purpose to withhold from you any of the benefits of the Constitution, under any circumstances, that I would not feel myself constrained to withhold from my neighbors ; and I hope, in a word, that, when we shall become better acquainted, and I say it with great confidence, we shall like each other the more. I thank you for the kindness of this reception.”
ADDRESSES THE REPUBLICAN ASSOCIATION.
On the following evening the Republican Association tendered him a delightful serenade, at the conclusion of which he made the following remarks to the assembled crowd :
“My friends : I suppose that I may take this as a compliment paid to me, and as such please accept my thanks for it. I have reached this city of Washington under circumstances considerably differing from those under which any other man has ever reached it. I am here for the purpose of taking an official position amongst the people, almost all of whom wero politically opposed to me, and are yet opposed to me as I suppose. I propose no lengthy address to you. I only propose to say, as I did on yesterday, when your worthy Mayor and Board of Aldermen called upon me, that I thought much of the ill-feeling that has existed between you and the people of your surroundings and that people from amongst whom I came, has depended, and now depends, upon a misunderstanding.
“I hope that, if things shall go along as prosperously as I believe we all desire they may, I may have it in my power to remove something of this misunderstanding; that I may be enabled to convince you, and the people of your section of the country, that we regard you as in all things our equals, and in all things entitled to the same respect and the same treatment that we claim for ourselves; that we are in nowise disposed, if it were in our power, to oppress you, to deprive you of any of your rights under the Constitution of the United States, or even narrowly to split hairs with you in regard to those rights, but are determined to give you, as far as lies in our hands, all your rights under the Constitution—not grudgingly, but fully and fairly. I hope that, by thus dealing with you, we will become better acquainted, and be better friends. And now, my friends, with these few remarks, and again returning my thanks for this compliment, and expressing my desire to hear a little more of your good music, I bid you good-night.”
IS INAUGURATED PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES. On the fourth of March, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated the Sixteenth President of the United States, the ceremonies incident to the event being of the most imposing description. A large number of troops participated in the procession, and every arrangement was made to frustrate any movement, the Secessionists or their friends might make to prevent the choice of a majority of the voters of the nation from taking the oath of office. From a platform erected in the usual position on the east front of the capitol, and in the presence of not less than ten thousand persons, Mr. Linooln delivered the following Inaugural Address : INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “Fellow-citizens of the United States :
“In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President, before he enters on the execution of his office.
“I do not consider it necessary, at present, for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement. Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States, that, by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches, when I declare that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me, did so with the full knowledge that I had made this, and made many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And more than this, they placed in the platform, for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:
“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.'
“I now reiterate these sentiments; and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in anywise endangered by the now incoming Administration.
"I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause, as cheerfully to one section as to another.
“ There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. T'he clause I bow read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions :
“No person held to service or labor in one State under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.'
“It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law.
"All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution—to this provision as well as any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause “shall be delivered up,' their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not, with nearly equal unanimity, frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?
“There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slare is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is done; and should any one, in any case, be content that this oath shall go unkept on a merely un :ubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept ?
"Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in the civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution, which guarantees that:' the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States ?'
“I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.
• It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our national Constitution. During that period fifteen different and very distinguished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through many perils, and ge:erally with great success. Yet, with all this scope for precedent, I now enter upon the same task, for the brief constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar difficulties.
"A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted. I hold that in the contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our national Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it ex. ccpt by some action pot provided for in the instrument itself.
"Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of a contract inerely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it-break it, 80 to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it? Descending from these general principles, we find the proposi. tion that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual, con: firmed by the history of the Union itself.
“The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation, in 1778; and, finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was to form a more perfect Union. But if the destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less than before, the Constitution having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
“It follows from these views that no State, upon its own merg motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void ; and that acts of vio