Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, born in Hardin (now Larue) co., Ky., Feb. 12, 1809, died in Washington, D. 0., April 15, 1865. His ancestors were among the early settlers of Rockingham co., Va., whither they had come from Bucks co., Pa., and whence his grandparents removed to Kentucky about 1781. His father, Thomas Lincoln, born in Virginia, married Nancy Hanks, also a Virginian, in 1806. In 1816 they removed to what is now Spencer co., Ind., settling in the forest near the present village of Gentryville. Here, in October, 1818, Mrs. Lincoln died, and a year and a half later Mr. Lincoln married a widow Johnston, an old neighbor in Kentucky. With this stepmother Abraham always maintained the kindest relations. He worked with his father in clearing up the new farm, being unusually large and strong for his age. Here he received about one year of schooling, which was all that he ever had. But he became expert at figures, and the few books within his reach were diligently read. Among them were "AEsop's Fables," "Robinson Crusoe," "Pilgrim's Progress," a history of the United States, Weems's "Life of Washington," and the "Revised Statutes of Indiana." He kept a scrap book, into which he copied the striking passages of whatever he read.
In 1825 he was employed at $6 a month to manage a ferry across the Ohio at the mouth of Anderson's creek. He was famous for telling stories and making stump speeches on the farms where he worked at various times, and wrote doggerel satires on the ludicrous characters with whom he came in contact. He was noted also for his immense strength and agility, and his skill as a wrestler. He was six feet four inches high. In 1828 he went to New Orleans as "bow hand" on a flatboat with a cargo of produce. In March, 1830, the family moved to Illinois, settling 10 m. west of Decatur, where they built a log house on the north fork of the Sangamon, and cleared 15 acres of land, for the fencing of which Abraham split the rails. After becoming of age he spent a year or two in working at odd jobs for the farmers of the neighborhood, and about this time he made his first public speech; it was on the navigation of the Sangamon river, and was delivered extemporaneously in reply to one by a candidate for the legislature named Posey. In 1831, with his half brother and brother-in-law, he built a flatboat and navigated it to New Orleans, with a merchant's cargo, their wages being 50 cents a day and $60 to be divided among them for the round trip.
Just below New Salem, on the Sangamon, the boat stuck on a dam and was in danger of going to pieces, but was saved by the ingenuity of Lincoln, who invented a novel apparatus for getting it over and saving the cargo. This seems to have turned his mind to the subject of overcoming such difficulties of navigation, and in 1849 he obtained a patent for "an improved method of lifting vessels over shoals." The design is a bellows attached to each side of the hull, below the water line, to be pumped full of air when it is desired to lift the craft over a shoal. The rude model, apparently made with a pocket knife, and bearing Lincoln's signature, may still be seen in the patent office at Washington. On this trip Lincoln for the first time, at New Orleans, saw slaves chained and scourged; and from this dates his life-long detestation of slavery. On his return he received a formal challenge from a celebrated wrestler to a trial of strength, accepted it because he valued his popularity among "the boys," and was victorious. Various incidents of this sort are related of his life at New Salem, 20 m. northwest of Springfield, where he was clerk in a country store from August, 1831, till the spring of 1832, when his employer became bankrupt.
During this time he piloted the first steamboat that attempted the navigation of the Sangamon. When the store was closed, he enlisted as a private in a company raised for the Black Hawk war, but was at once chosen captain. When these volunteers were mustered out in May, Lincoln reenlisted as a private in an " independent spy company." When the war was over they were disbanded at Whitewater, Wis., and as Lincoln's horse had been stolen, he made his way home on foot and on a raft-down the Illinois. When in the fall of 1832 he became a candidate for the state legislature, his political position was not very clearly defined; his principles accorded most nearly with those of the whig party, then in process of formation, but he had a personal admiration for Jackson. He canvassed the district, but was defeated, though he received the almost unanimous vote of his own precinct. He next bought a store, with a partner named Berry, and was postmaster of New Salem from May, 1833, till 1836, when the office was discontinued. Berry proved a drunkard, and the firm became bankrupt; Berry died soon after, and Lincoln paid the debts, discharging the last one in 1849, After studying law for a few months, he accepted an invitation from the county surveyor to become his deputy.
He studied six weeks, entered upon the work, and soon became known as an expert surveyor; but in the autumn of 1834 his instruments were sold under a sheriff's execution. In the same year he was elected to the legislature as a whig, receiving a larger majority than any other candidate on the ticket. In the legislature he was a member of the committee on public accounts and expenditures. He was reelected in 1836, and served on the finance committee, and again in 1838 and 1840, in both of the latter terms being the whig candidate for speaker. His efforts in the legislature were mainly for the inauguration of a general system of internal improvements. In 1836 he first met Stephen A. Douglas, who was then at the capital seeking a political appointment. In March, 1837, the democratic majority in the legislature passed some pro-slavery resolutions, against which Lincoln and a member named Stone entered a protest on the journal of the house. Lincoln had been admitted to the bar in 1837, and with John T. Stuart opened an office at Springfield, whither the capital was removed in 1839. His subsequent partners were Stephen T. Logan and William H. Herndon. He became noted for his ability in jury trials, and finding that legislative service interfered with his practice, he declined another reelection.
On Nov. 4,1842, he married Mary, daughter of the Hon. Robert S. Todd of Lexington, Ky. Lincoln was a candidate for presidential elector in 1840, and again in 1844, and each time canvassed the state for the whig candidates, being frequently pitted against Stephen A. Douglas in joint debate. He was a warm admirer of Henry Clay, whose defeat was a sore disappointment to him. He was elected to congress in 1846 by a majority of 1,500, his competitor on the democratic ticket being the Rev. Peter Cartwright, and was the only whig representative from Illinois in the 30th congress. He was a member of the committees on post offices and post roads and war department expenses, vigorously opposed the administration of President Polk, and denounced the war with Mexico as unjust, though he always voted for the appropriations to defray its expenses. When Polk declared in a message that the Mexicans had " invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our fellow citizens on our own soil," Lincoln introduced what became famous as "the spot resolutions," wherein the president was called upon to designate the spot where the alleged outrage had been committed. His first speech in congress, Jan. 12, 1848, was in support of these resolutions, and sharply discussed the weak points of the message.
He voted for the reception of anti-slavery petitions, for inquiries into the constitutionality of slavery in the District of Columbia, and the expediency of abolishing the slave trade in the district, and for the Wil-mot proviso. On Jan. 16, 1849, he introduced a bill for abolishing slavery in the District and compensating the slave owners, provided a majority of the citizens should vote in favor of it. He declined to be a candidate for reelection. In the whig national convention of 1848 he advocated the nomination of Gen. Taylor, and during the ensuing canvass he spoke frequently in New England. In 1849 he was an unsuccessful candidate for United States senator against Gen. Shields. President Fillmore offered him the governorship of Oregon, which he declined. On July 16, 1852, he delivered at Springfield a eulogy on Henry Clay. The repeal of the Missouri compromise brought him again into the political arena, and he became the acknowledged leader of his party in Illinois. To his withdrawing from the contest for United States senator in 1855 was due the election of Mr. Trumbull over Gen. Shields. Once or twice during the canvass he met Mr. Douglas in debate, and on one of these occasions (Springfield, Oct. 4) he made one of the most powerful and successful speeches of his whole life; the fallacy of Douglas's "great principle" was effectually exposed in a single sentence: "I admit that the emigrant to Kansas and Nebraska is competent to govern himself, but I deny his rig-lit to govern any other person without that person's consent." In the republican national convention of 185G the Illinois delegation presented Mr. Lincoln's name for the vice presidency, and on the informal ballot he received 110 votes, standing next to the Hon. William L. Dayton, who was nominated.
Lincoln was placed at the head of the electoral ticket in Illinois, and canvassed the state. In June, 1858, the republican convention at Springfield nominated him for United States senator in place of Stephen A. Douglas, who was a candidate for reelection. In accepting the nomination he delivered before the convention a carefully prepared speech, which opened as follows:
" If 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 has not only Hot 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 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."
This became famous as the "house-divided-against-itself speech." On a challenge from Lincoln he and Douglas canvassed the state together, speaking in joint debate seven times. The main question under discussion was whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a free state or as a slave state; the struggle was at its height, the Dred Scott decision had intensified public interest, and the debate drew the attention of the whole country. In the course of it, in reply to questions from his antagonist, Lincoln said:
" I do not now, nor ever did, stand in favor of the unconditional repeal of the fugitive slave law. I do not now, nor ever did, stand pledged against the admission of any more slave states into the Union. I do not stand pledged against the admission of a new state into the Union with such a constitution as the people of that state may see fit to make. I do not stand to-day pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. I do not stand pledged to the prohibition of the slave trade between the different states. I am impliedly, if not expressly, pledged to a belief in the right and duty of congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States territories."
Douglas's continual assumptions of superiority and sneers at Lincoln's early poverty and occupations were met with humorous retorts and sharp exposures of sophistry; and his antagonist finally drove him to the necessity of taking ground against the Dred Scott decision, which ultimately prevented his harmonious nomination by the democratic party, and consequently his elevation to the presidency. It was generally conceded that Lincoln had the best of the argument, and on the popular vote he had a plurality of more than 4,000 over Douglas; but the legislative districts were so arranged that the democrats returned a majority of eight members, and Douglas was therefore reelected. In the autumn of 1859 Lincoln was called to Ohio to reply to Douglas, who had entered the canvass for the democratic state ticket. The latter had published in " Harper's Magazine " an elaborate exposition of his doctrine of "popular sovereignty," and Lincoln's speech included a masterly review of the article. Later in the year he visited Kansas, where he was received enthusiastically and spoke at various places.
In February, 1860, he addressed a large meeting in Cooper institute, New York, making one of his most memorable speeches, in which he showed the subsequent action of the framers of the constitution in reference to slavery. He then visited New England, speaking at several places. - The republican national convention met in Chicago on May 10, adopted a platform on the 17th, which denied "the authority of congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States," and balloted for candidates on the 18th. On the first ballot William II. Seward received 173 1/2 votes, Abraham Lincoln 102, and the others were divided among several candidates; on the second ballot Seward had 184 1/2 and Lincoln 181; the third gave Lincoln 231 1/2, lacking but 2 of a majority, and before the result was announced four votes of the Ohio delegation were changed in his favor; other votes were changed rapidly, and the nomination of Lincoln was declared. Hannibal Hamlin was then nominated for vice president.
The democratic party was divided; the extreme southern wing nominated John C. Breckinridge for the presidency, and the northern wing Stephen A. Douglas, while John Bell received the nomination of the "constitutional union" party, composed of anti-Lecompton democrats, " know-nothings," and old-line whigs. The canvass in some respects resembled the famous one of 1840; the log-cabin emblems of the one were paralleled by the rail-splitting figures of the other, and " honest old Abe" was a familiar watchword. Yet beneath all the noise and nonsense was an almost universal conviction that a great crisis had been reached. For more than 20 years Mr. Lincoln had constantly come into political collision with Mr. Douglas, and in this last contest, for the highest prize in the gift of the nation, he found him once more his chief competitor. The election, held on Nov. 6, resulted in the following popular vote: in favor of Lincoln, 1,857,610; Douglas, 1,291,-574; Breckinridge, 850,082; Bell, 646,124. The electoral vote gave Lincoln 180, Breckinridge 72, Bell 39, and Douglas 12. The period between Lincoln's election and inauguration was full of unusual perplexity.
From the peculiar state of public feeling, and his own preeminent good- nature, he desired to fill some of the more important offices with able men chosen from among his opponents; but this was rendered difficult, if not impossible, by the fact that some of the southern states had already seceded and others were threatening to do so, and the probability that the men in question would go with their states. He contemplated offering a seat in the cabinet to Alexander H. Stephens, and did make such an offer to James Guthrie of Kentucky and John A. Gilmer of North Carolina, who declined it. At Harrisburg, on his way to Washington, he was informed of a plot to assassinate him on his passage through Baltimore, and at the urgent solicitation of his friends he went through on an earlier train than the one appointed, reaching the capital on Saturday morning, Feb. 23. He was inaugurated on March 4, and delivered a long address, in which he said:
"I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservation, and with no purpose to construe the constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules. ... I hold that, in 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. ... I therefore consider that, in view of the constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states. In doing this there need be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the' duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. ... In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you.
You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government; while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.11
His cabinet, as first formed, was as follows: William II. Seward, secretary of state; Salmon P. Chase, secretary of the treasury; Simon Cameron, secretary of war; Gideon Welles, secretary of the navy; Caleb B. Smith, secretary of the interior; Montgomery Blair, postmaster general; Edward Bates, attorney general. Several of these had been among his competitors for the presidential nomination. Seven states had formally seceded from the Union, and there was danger that seven others would follow them, four of which ultimately did. During the preceding administration large quantities of arms and ammunition had been removed from the national arsenals in the north to those in the south, where they were seized by the governments of the seceding states; the army, only 16,000 strong, had been sent to remote parts of the country, and many of its best officers were going with their states; the navy had been scattered in distant seas; the treasury was empty; and the border states, heartily sympathizing with the southern, but unwilling to stand between two hostile powers, constituted the most uncertain element in the novel problem.
On March 13 Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford, as "commissioners from a government composed of seven states which had withdrawn from the American Union," signified their desire to enter upon negotiations for the adjustment of questions growing out of the separation; but the secretary of state, by direction of the president, declined to receive them, as "it could not be admitted that the states referred to had, in law or fact, withdrawn from the federal Union, or that they could do so in any other manner than with the consent and concert of the people of the United States, to be given through a national convention." The delivery of this communication was withheld, by consent of the commissioners, until April 8, when it was speedily followed by the bombardment of Fort Sumter, which precipitated the civil war. On April 15 President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling out the militia of the several states to the number of 75,000; on the 19th he proclaimed a blockade of the ports in all the seceded states; on May 3 he called for 42,000 three years' volunteers, and ordered the addition of 22,114 officers and men to the regular army and 18,000 seamen to the navy.
The attitude assumed by the administration toward the great powers of Europe, which with the exception of Russia showed an unfriendly disposition from the outset, is clearly indicated by a passage in the letter of instructions furnished to Mr. Adams, minister to England:
"You will in no case listen to any suggestions of compromise by this government, under foreign auspices, with discontented citizens. If. as the president does not at all apprehend, you shall unhappily find her majesty's government tolerating the application of the so-called seceding states, or wavering about it, you will not leave them to suppose for a moment that they can grant that application and remain the friends of the United States. You may even assure them promptly, in that case, that if they determine to recognize, they may at the same time prepare to enter into alliance with the enemies of this republic.
On June 15 the British and French ministers at Washington asked permission to read to the secretary of state instructions received from their governments. Finding that the paper contained a decision of the British government, to the effect that the United States was divided into two coordinate belligerent parties, between whom Great Britain proposed to assume the attitude of a neutral, the administration declined to receive it officially. When in the following November Capt. Wilkes took the confederate commissioners Mason and Slidell from the British mail steamer Trent, in the Bahama channel, the administration refused to sanction the act and liberated the commissioners (Dec. 26), on the ground that he should have brought the steamer into port for adjudication, instead of assuming to decide for himself as to the liability of the commissioners to capture. The president called an extra session of congress, to meet on July 4. On account of the withdrawal of the southern members, the republicans had a large majority in each house. The president sent in a message in which he recited the facts of the insurrection, discussed the fallacy of state sovereignty, and asked for 400,000 men and $400,000,000 to maintain the supremacy of the Union by a short and decisive contest.
Congress promptly passed bills ratifying the acts of the president, authorizing him to accept 500,000 volunteers, and placing $500,000,000 at the disposal of the administration, and confiscating all slaves used in military operations against the government. The house also passed, almost unanimously, a resolution pledging any amount of money and any number of men necessary to suppress the rebellion, and one declaring that the sole object of the war was to preserve the Union. The session closed on Aug. 6, 16 days after the battle of Bull Run. On Oct. 31 Gen. Scott asked to be relieved from command of the army, and the president appointed as his successor Gen. George B. McClellan, who had rendered good service in Western Virginia. On Jan. 14, 1862, Mr. Cameron was succeeded in the war department by Edwin M. Stanton, who performed the duties of the office throughout the remainder of Lincoln's administration with extraordinary zeal and ability. To prevent the border states from joining the confederacy was still the most difficult portion of the president's task, and in pursuance of this object he steadily resisted the appeals of those who advised a general emancipation, and the instructions issued to the commanders of the various departments enjoined the least practicable interference with slavery.
An order by Gen. Hunter (May 9, 1862) declaring the slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina for ever free, was repudiated and rescinded by the president, who at the time was urging upon congress and the border states a policy of gradual emancipation, with compensation to loyal masters, to be followed by the colonization of such freedmen as might wish to leave the country. Congress passed a resolution that " the United States ought to cooperate with any state which might adopt a gradual emancipation of slavery," and placed at the disposal of the president $600,000 for an experiment at colonization. About $80,000 was spent in attempts to colonize liberated slaves in New Granada and Hayti, and the project was then abandoned. On Aug. 22, 1862, in reply to an open letter addressed to him by Horace Greeley, Mr. Lincoln wrote:
"My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; if I could save it by freeing all the slaves. I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. . . . I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my views of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."
To a deputation from all the religious denominations in Chicago, who urged immediate and universal emancipation, the president replied at considerable length, arguing the probable futility of such a measure. But meanwhile he prepared a declaration that on Jan. 1, 1863, the slaves in all states or parts of states which should then be in rebellion would be proclaimed free. By the advice of Mr. Seward this was withheld until it could follow a federal victory, instead of seeming to be a measure of mere desperation. Accordingly it was put forth Sept. 22, 1862, five days after the battle of An-tietam had defeated Lee's first attempt at invasion of the north, and the promised proclamation was published on the 1st day of January following. In his message of Dec. 1, 1862, the president had proposed to congress a constitutional amendment for the abolition of slavery, with compensation, in the year 1900. A supplemental treaty with Great Britain for the suppression of the African slave trade was made on Feb. 17, 1863, and duly ratified. - After Gen. McClellan assumed command of the army of the Potomac, six months passed and no active operations had been set on foot.
The president then (January, 1862) ordered a general movement of the land and naval forces against the enemy, to begin on Feb. 22, and specifically ordered Gen. McClellan to organize an expedition for seizing a point on the railroad southwest of Manassas Junction. The general protested, had several conferences with the president, and urged his own plan of a movement up the peninsula, to which Mr. Lincoln finally assented after a council of 12 general officers had decided, 8 to 4, in favor of it (see Chicahominy); and during the months of delay which followed he constantly urged a rapid forward movement. During the operations on the peninsula the president and Gen. McClellan had a tangled correspondence, in which the latter repeatedly called for reinforcements, promised to move, explained why he did not move, and set forth his views as to the general policy of the government; while the president, after promising him McDowell's corps, told him there were no other troops to be obtained, and besought him to use his opportunities with what he had.
After the battle of Antietam (Sept, 16, 17, 1862) he again urged McClellan to follow the retreating confederates across the Potomac and advance upon Richmond. A most extraordinary correspondence ensued, in which the president set forth with great clearness the conditions of the military problem and the advantages that would attend a prompt movement by interior lines toward the confederate capital. Tired at length of McClellan's varied excuses for de-lav, he removed him from command on Nov. 7, 1862, and appointed Gen. Burnside in his place. The military operations of 1862 elsewhere than in Virginia were nearly all successful. The president's order for a general movement in February was speedily followed by the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson; the confederate forces were driven out of Missouri, Kentucky, and a large portion of Tennessee; a base was established by Burnside's expedition on the coast of North Carolina; the western coast of Florida was reclaimed; Fort Pulaski, guarding the entrance to Savannah harbor, was reduced; and New Orleans was captured.
But Mr. Adams, United States minister at London, found it impossible to induce the British government to stop the fitting out of confederate privateers in English ports, though in repeated instances he offered the most specific evidence as to the character of the vessels. When the No. 290, afterward famous as the Alabama, escaped from the yard of the Messrs. Laird at Birkenhead (July, 1862), the British government was notified that the United States would hold it responsible for whatever damage the vessel might inflict on American commerce. On Sept. 5, 1863, Earl Russell, the secretary for foreign affairs, having announced to Mr. Adams that the government would do nothing to prevent the fitting out in Liverpool of two iron-clad rams for the confederates, Mr. Adams in his reply said: "It would be superfluous in me to point out to your lordship that this is war. ... In my belief it is impossible that any nation, retaining a proper degree of self-respect, could tamely submit to a continuance of relations so utterly deficient in reciprocity." The British government receded- from the position it had taken, and ordered the detention of the rams.
A few days later Mr. Adams received from Washington instructions to do that which he had already done, and the letter added: "If this condition of things is to remain and receive the deliberate sanction of the British government, the navy of the United States will receive instructions to pursue these enemies into the ports which thus, in violation of the law of nations and the obligations of neutrality, become harbors for the pirates." The emperor of the French, after failing to secure the cooperation of England and Russia in an attempt at mediation between the federal government and the confederates, made the offer alone, intimating that separation was " an extreme which could no longer be avoided." The president's reply, Feb. 6, 1863, after briefly reciting what had been accomplished in recapturing large portions of the seceded states, emphatically rejected the idea that the government could ever consent to hold a conference with rebels in arms to discuss a possible dissolution of the Union, and pointed out the fact that the empty seats in congress were still accessible to representatives constitutionally chosen from the insurrectionary states, and that congress was the proper and sufficient arbiter on all questions between the states and the general government.
This put an end to the talk of foreign intervention. In December, 1862, Secretary Smith was succeeded by John P. Usher of Indiana. West Virginia was admitted into the Union on the 81st. - The president had first suspended the writ of habeas corpus on May 3, 1861, in an order addressed to the commander of the forces on the Florida coast. On the 27th of the same month Gen. Cadwalader, being authorized by the president, refused to obey a writ issued by Chief Justice Taney for the release of a Maryland secessionist imprisoned in Fort McHenry. The chief justice then read an opinion that the president could not suspend the writ, and most of the journals opposed to the administration violently assailed its action; whereupon some of them were refused transmission in the mails, and at the same time restrictions were placed upon the use of the telegraph. The suspension of the writ was continued in spite of the opinion of the chief justice, and under it, on Sept. 16, nine members of the Maryland house of delegates, with the officers of both houses, were arrested by Gen. McClellan to prevent the passage of an ordinance of secession which was contemplated for the next day.
Congress passed an act (December, 1861) approving the action of the president, and authorizing the suspension of the writ so long as he should deem it necessary. In July, 1862, Attorney General Bates sent in an elaborate opinion on the subject, favorable to suspension; and thereafter the war department, to which the power had been transferred in February, exercised it freely for the imprisonment of notorious or suspected spies and secessionists, and of persons in the northern states who discouraged enlistments, opposed drafts, or promoted desertions. The most noted case was that of Clement L. Vallandigham, who for a violent disunion speech was arrested by Gen. Burn-side, May 4, 1863, and condemned by a military commission to imprisonment; the president commuted the sentence to banishment beyond the military lines. The affair created considerable excitement, and the action of the government was formally condemned by a large meeting of opponents of the administration at Albany, N. Y., among whom was the governor of the state, and by similar meetings elsewhere.
In reply to the Albany resolutions the president wrote a letter in which he discussed at considerable length and in his usual clear and forcible style the constitutional provision for suspension of the writ and its application to the circumstances then existing. At the next state election in Ohio Mr. Vallandigham was the democratic candidate for governor, but was defeated by a majority of 100,000. - Colored soldiers were first enlisted into the federal service in January, 1863, and within the year their number reached 100,000, about 50,000 actually bearing arms; before the close of the war they numbered about 170,000. These were not assigned as state troops, though credited to the quotas of the states from which they enlisted, but mustered in as "United States colored volunteers." The atrocities committed by the confederates when colored soldiers were captured, caused the president to issue an order, July 30, 1863, that "for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works."
But Mr. Lincoln's natural tender-heartedness prevented him from ever ordering such an execution. In July serious riots occurred in the city of New York in opposition to the draft, and Gov. Seymour addressed a letter to the president, complaining of unjust apportionments, and asking that the draft be suspended until the constitutionality of the law could be tested in the courts. The president replied that he would take measures to remedy unjust apportionments, but refused to waste time by waiting the slow process of judicial decisions, and the draft was continued. - Gen. Burnside had lost the battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1802, and in January was succeeded by Gen. Hooker, who met with a severe check at Chancellorsville in May, and in June was succeeded by Gen. Meade, who won the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, which destroyed the last hope of invading the north, and proved to be the turning point of the war. At the dedication of the cemetery in which the slain of this battle were buried (Nov. 19, 1863) President Lincoln made a brief address which is perhaps the finest ever delivered on a similar occasion, and has become familiar to the entire English-reading world:
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth."
The surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson early in July restored the Mississippi to federal control, and divided the confederacy in twain. The president appointed the 6th of August for a day of national thanksgiving. In the autumn elections of 1862 many states had given majorities for the party opposed to the administration; in those of 1863 every state except New Jersey was carried by its friends. On Dec. 8 the president by proclamation offered full pardon to all then in arms against the government (except civil and diplomatic officers of the confederate government, soldiers above the rank of colonel, those who had resigned seats in congress or commands in the national service, and a few others), on condition of their taking a prescribed oath to defend the constitution and the Union and all acts of congress and proclamations of the president respecting slavery, so far as not modified or declared void by the supreme court. - A new peril was seen in the entrance of a French army into Mexico, ostensibly to enforce the rights of French citizens there, but really to enthrone the archduke Maximilian as its emperor.
In September, 1863, Mr. Dayton, United States minister at Paris, was directed to call the attention of the French government to the apparent deviations of the forces in Mexico from the assurances that permanent occupation was not intended; and in a despatch dated a few days later the position of the administration was set forth at length:
"The United States have neither the right nor the disposition to intervene by force on either side in the lamentable war which is going on between France and Mexico. On the contrary, they practise in regard to Mexico, in every phase of that war, the non-intervention which they require all foreign powers to observe in regard to the United States. But notwithstanding this self-restraint, this government knows full well that the inherent normal opinion of Mexico favors a government there republican in form and domestic in its organization, in preference to any monarchical institutions to be imposed from abroad. This government knows also that this normal opinion of the people of Mexico resulted largely from the influence of popular opinion in this country, and is continually invigorated by it. The president believes, moreover, that this popular opinion of the United States is just in itself and eminently essential to the progress of civilization on the American continent, which civilization, it believes, can and will, if left free from European resistance, work harmoniously together with advancing refinement on the other continents. . . . Nor is it necessary to practise reserve upon the point that if France should, upon due consideration, determine to adopt a policy in Mexico adverse to the American opinion and sentiments which I have described, that policy would probably scatter seeds which would be fruitful of jealousies which might ultimately ripen into collision between France and the United States and other American republics."
The request of the French government that the United States would recognize the government of Maximilian was steadily refused, and the action of the administration was approved by the house of representatives in a resolution of April 4, 1864 - On Oct. 16, 1863, the president had called for 300,000 volunteers, to take the place of those whose term was about to expire; and on March 15, 1864, he called for 200,000 more, to supply the navy and provide a reserve for contingencies. The grade of lieutenant general was revived, and on March 9 the president gave the commission to Gen. Grant, who thus became commander-in-chief of all the armies (a post previously held by Gen. Halleck), and took personal command of the army of the Potomac. In April the governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin offered the government a force of 100,000 men for 100 days' service, which was accepted. When Gen. Grant was about to launch out on the campaign of 1864, the president wrote to him, under date of April 30: "Not expecting to see you before the spring campaign opens, I wish to express in this way my entire satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I understand it. The particulars of your plans I neither know nor seek to know.
You are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with this, I wish not to obtrude any restraints or constraints upon you. If there be anything wanting which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it." For the general plan and scope of the campaign, see Grant, Ulysses S.; for descriptions of the battles, see "Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Petersburg. On May 18, just after the bloody struggle at Spottsylvania, a spurious proclamation, announcing that Grant's campaign was closed, appointing a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, and ordering a new draft for 400,000 men, found its way into the New York "World" and "Journal of Commerce." The other morning papers, suspecting its character, refused to publish it. It was issued just as the mails were being made up for Europe, and was telegraphed all over the country before the fraud was discovered. By order of the president, the offices of those two journals were closed and their publication suspended until it should be made apparent that they had published the proclamation in good faith. This action was denounced as an outrage on the liberty of the press, and Gov. Seymour attempted to have Gen. Dix and others indicted for it.
On June 22 Mr. Lincoln visited the army before Petersburg, and met with a hearty reception; but the country felt a keen disappointment that the bloody march from the Rappahannock to the James had not resulted in the immediate capture of the confederate capital or destruction of the confederate army, and congress, just before adjourning on July 4, requested the president to appoint a day of fasting and prayer. The general depression was somewhat relieved by news of the sinking of the Alabama, but returned when Early's raid down the Shenandoah and across the Potomac threatened Washington. The fugitive slave law was repealed in June, 1864, and about the same time, in an interview with some gentlemen from the west, Mr. Lincoln said: " There have been men base enough to propose to me to return to slavery our black warriors of Port Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come what will, I will keep my faith with friend and foe. My enemies pretend I am now carrying on this war for the sole purpose of abolition.
So long as I am president it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of restoring the Union; but no human power can subdue this rebellion without the use of the emancipation policy and every other policy calculated to weaken the moral and physical forces of the rebellion." - The national republican convention, June 8, 18(54, renominated Mr. Lincoln, with Andrew Johnson for vice president. The platform approved "the determination of the government of the United States not to compromise with rebels, nor to offer any terms of peace except such as may be based upon an unconditional surrender," and recommended the complete prohibition of slavery throughout the United States by constitutional amendment. Secretary Chase resigned on June 30, and was succeeded on July 5 by William P. Fessenden. On July 18 the president called for 500,000 men, ordering a draft in case the quotas were not filled by Sept. 5. In that time volunteering reduced the number required to 300,000. The democratic convention, Aug. 29, nominated Gen. McClellan for president and George II. Pendleton for vice president.
The essential portion of the platform was the following resolution:
"That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that, alter four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity, of a war power higher than the constitution, the constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private rights alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate convention of all the states, or other peaceable means to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the federal union of the states."
Although the force of this resolution was materially reduced by the news of the fall of Fort Morgan and by the immediately following capture of Atlanta, the issue thus squarely presented was maintained throughout the canvass, and the election was looked to for a popular verdict whether the war should be continued. A convention of radical republicans, held at Cleveland, Ohio, May 31, had nominated John C. Fremont, who in September withdrew from the contest. A fragment of the republican party attempted a movement for the nomination of Gen. Grant; but his prompt declaration that he would not be a candidate put an end to it. The action of the government in surrendering to the Spanish authorities Don Jose Agustin Arguelles, charged with selling a cargo of negroes into slavery in Cuba, was used as a political weapon against Mr. Lincoln, and Senator Wade of Ohio and Representative Davis of Maryland (both republicans) made a violent attack on him for refusing to sign a reconstruction bill which had been passed by congress on the last day of the session.
The refusal of the confederate authorities to exchange colored soldiers captured in battle, and their demand (as a condition of the release of civilians car-ried off from Pennsylvania by Lee) that the government agree not to arrest any one on account of his opinions or his sympathy with the confederate cause, resulted in a suspension of the system of exchanges. When Sherman seemed likely to effect the release of the prisoners at Andersonville, the confederate government offered to forego its discrimination against colored soldiers, and exchange man for man; which offer was of course declined. The ill treatment of federal prisoners in the southern stockades then became more barbarous than ever, and the opposition journals boldly held Lincoln's administration alone responsible for the suffering caused thereby. In July several agents of the confederate government appeared at Clifton, Canada, and communicated with Mr. Horace Greeley on the subject of peace, professing to be authorized to negotiate for that end, and asking for safe-conduct to Washington, that they might confer with the president.
Mr. Lincoln wrote the safe-conduct and intrusted it to Mr. Greeley, who, finding that the supposed commissioners were not authorized to do or say anything definite, would not deliver it without further instructions. Considerable correspondence ensued, and then the president sent the following by his private secretary, which was delivered to the confederate agents on July 20:
"To whom it may concern: Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, will be received and considered by the executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on substantial and collateral points, and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have sale-conduct both ways."
On receipt of this, the confederate agents addressed a long letter to Mr. Greeley, declaring that it " precluded negotiation, and prescribed in advance the terms and conditions of peace," and revealing in the closing paragraphs that the main if not the sole purpose of the proceeding had been to influence the pending presidential election. Mr. Lincoln was charged with having suddenly and entirely changed his views and the terms on which the agents were to be received at Washington. At the president's request, Postmaster General Blair resigned on Sept. 23, and William Denison of Ohio was appointed in his place. During September and October Gen. Sheridan, by several brilliant victories, swept the Shenandoah valley clean of the confederate forces that had occupied it under Early. Hood was defeated in all his operations against Sherman's communications, and finally dashed himself to pieces against the defences of Nashville. The early state elections in Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana were carried by the republicans, and Maryland, by a close vote, adopted a new constitution forbidding slavery. As the presidential election approached, threats and rumors of revolution at the north were rife, and a body of soldiers under Gen. Butler was sent to New York to prevent an outbreak.
Such precautions were taken in other places also that the election was the quietest ever known, though a heavy vote was polled. On the popular vote Lincoln received 2,223,035; McClellan, 1,811,754. The latter carried New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky, while all the other states which held an election gave their votes to Lincoln. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia held no election. In responding to a serenade, Nov. 10, the president said: " So long as I have been here 1 have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom. While I am duly sensible to the high compliment of a reelection, and duly grateful, as I trust, to Almighty God for having directed my countrymen to a right conclusion, as I think, for their good, it adds nothing to my satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed by the result. May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this same spirit toward those who have? " In counting the electoral votes, congress excluded those of Louisiana and Tennessee; their admission, however, would not have changed the result.
The total number counted was 233, of which Lincoln and Johnson had 212, McClellan and Pendleton 21. On Nov. 19 the president by proclamation opened the ports of Norfolk, Va., and Fernandina, Fla. The confederate cruiser Florida, while in the port of Bahia, Oct. 7, had been seized by a man-of-war, and the affair caused a slight disturbance in the diplomatic relations between the United States and Brazil. But the government promptly disowned the act of the commander, surrendered the crew, and was only prevented from restoring the Florida by the fact that she sunk in Hampton Roads from injuries received in a collision. Attorney General Bates resigned on Dec. 1, and was succeeded by James Speed of Kentucky. Chief Justice Taney had died in October, and on Dec. 6 the president conferred the office on Salmon P. Chase. The annual message to congress (Dec. 6, 1864) closed with this paragraph:
"In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the national authority on the part of the insurgents as the only indispensable condition to ending the war on the part of the government, I retract nothing heretofore said as to slavery. I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that while I remain in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation. Nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation or by any of the acts of congress. If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an executive duty to reenslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it. In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the government whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.11
- As the call of July 18 had been largely filled by the application of credits for men previously enlisted, the president on Dec. 19 called for 200,000 more. The release by a Canadian justice of raiders who had recrossed to Canada after committing robbery and murder in St. Albans, Vt., when they were demanded under the extradition treaty, caused intense indignation; but an order by Gen. Dix directing the troops under his command to cross the border if necessary to capture such raiders in future, was promptly revoked by the president. The latter, however, ordered that no person should enter the country without a passport, except emigrants coming directly by sea; and congress directed the president to give notice to the Canadian government of the termination of the reciprocity treaty, which was made in 1854 and had proved largely advantageous to Canada. Sherman completed his grand march through Georgia in time to present the government with the city of Savannah "as a Christmas gift;" Grant's lines were extended further around Petersburg, cutting off the Weldon railroad; and in January Fort Fisher, commanding the harbor of Wilmington, where blockade-running had been most successful, was captured by a desperate assault.
The house of representatives on Jan. 31 passed a resolution submitting to the legislatures a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, which had been passed by the senate early in the preceding term. In January Mr. Francis P. Blair went to Richmond on his own responsibility, and returned on the 16th bearing a letter addressed to himself, wherein Jefferson Davis expressed his willingness to "renew the effort to enter into a conference with a view to secure peace between the two countries." The president at once authorized Mr. Blair to return to Richmond, carrying a written assurance that Mr. Lincoln was "ready to receive any agent whom Mr. Davis, or any other influential person now resisting the national authority, may informally send me, with a view of securing peace to the people of our common country." On Jan. 29 Alexander II. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell applied for permission to enter the federal lines and negotiate for peace. On Feb. 3 President Lincoln and Secretary Seward held an informal conference with them of four hours' duration, on a gunboat in Hampton Roads. The president insisted that three things were indispensable to any formal settlement: 1, restoration of the national authority throughout all the states; 2, no receding from the position of the national executive on the subject of slavery; 3, no cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and the disbanding of the forces hostile to the government.
The confederate commissioners broached the idea that if hostilities were suspended while the two governments united in driving the French out of Mexico and practically upholding the Monroe doctrine, the result would probably be a better feeling between the people of the two sections, and the restoration of the Union. This was rejected as too vague, and the conference had no practical result except as it gave the people a renewed assurance of Mr. Lincoln's firmness. - The morning of Lincoln's second inauguration was very stormy, but the sky cleared just before noon, and the sun shone brightly as he appeared before an immense throng in front of the cap-itol, took the oath, and delivered an address remarkable alike for its striking expressions and conciliatory spirit. He said:
"On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago. all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. . . . Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish; and the war came. . . . Both read the same Bible, and pray to the 6ame God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us iudge not, that we be not judged. The prayer of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. . . . With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.11
The only change in the cabinet was the appointment of Hugh McCullough of Indiana as secretary of the treasury, in place of Mr. Fes-senden, who had been elected to the senate. The confederates having attempted on March 3 to open peace negotiations with Gen. Grant, the president instructed him to have no conference with Gen. Lee unless it should be for the capitulation of Lee's army, or on some other purely military matter, and forbidding him to decide, discuss, or confer upon any political question. President Lincoln visited the army before Petersburg on March 24, and remained with it until the fall of Richmond, which he entered on the day after it was occupied, accompanied only by his son and Admiral Porter and a few sailors. He walked to the headquarters of Gen. Weitzel (in the house occupied two days before by Jefferson Davis), and on the way was rapidly surrounded by a throng of negroes shouting, crying, and calling down blessings on him. A few days later he revisited Richmond, but was suddenly recalled to Washington by an accident to Secretary Seward, who had been severely injured by being thrown from his carriage.
On April 11, two days after Lee's surrender, he delivered a public address in which he discussed the question of reconstruction, intimating that he was undecided as to the best plan, but was anxious to have the seceded states restored to their proper relations with the general government as soon as possible, setting aside as immaterial any specific theory as to whether they had ever been out of the Union. Most of the blockaded ports were immediately opened by proclamation, all drafting, recruiting, and purchases of arms and supplies were stopped, and all military restrictions removed from trade. - President Lincoln had been frequently warned of the danger of assassination, as well as threatened with it in anonymous letters, but had never taken any precautions against it, believing on the one hand that it was not likely to 15e attempted, as the confederates could gain nothing by it, and on the other that if it were contemplated no precaution could protect one who must be so accessible to the people as the president of the United States. On the evening of Good Friday, April 14, he visited Ford's theatre, accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and two or three personal friends.
The play was " Our American Cousin." A few minutes past 10 o'clock an obscure actor, John Wilkes Booth, entered the box, having first barred the passage leading to it, approached the president from behind, placed a pistol close to his head, and fired. He then leaped from the front of the box upon the stage, brandishing a dagger, shouted " Sic semper tyrannis ! The south is avenged!" disappeared behind the scenes, passed out at the stage door, and escaped. (See Booth.) The president's head fell slightly forward, his eyes closed, and consciousness never returned. He was removed to a private house on the opposite side of the street, where he died at 22 minutes past 7 o'clock the next morning. At the same hour when the president was shot, Secretary Seward was attacked in his house by a desperate assassin; and it became known that an elaborate plot had been formed for murdering simultaneously nearly all the chief civil officers of the government, and perhaps Gen. Grant also. The conspiracy had gradually grown out of a design to abduct the president, and was participated in to a greater or less extent by at least nine persons, eight of whom were tried by a military commission, and four of them (including a woman) were executed, while three were sentenced to hard labor on the Dry Tortugas for life, and one for six years; one died there, and the other three were pardoned by President Johnson. An investigation failed to show that the confederate government had any knowledge of the plot or was in any way directly responsible for it.
It was an act of fanaticism which Mr. Seward had apprehended for two or three years, but which the simplicity of Lincoln's nature forbade him to contemplate. - Lincoln was the most remarkable product of the remarkable possibilities of American life. From the poverty in which he was born, through the rowdyism of a frontier town, the rudeness of frontier society, the discouragement of early bankruptcy, and the fluctuations of popular politics, he rose to the championship of union and freedom when the two seemed utterly inconsistent, never lost his faith when both seemed hopeless, and was suddenly snatched from life when both had been secured. He was a hater of slavery from the beginning, but was never an abolitionist until abolition became constitutional. At the head of the nation in a crisis when precedents were worthless and no man could forecast the future, his conduct was governed by the events of the day as they appealed to his love of justice and keen sense of the fitness of things, always guided by what has been called his " grand old wisdom of sincerity." He would ride 20 miles post haste to pardon a deserter, but on no account would he slacken the war against those who were in arms to divide the country.
No feeling of jealousy ever prevented him from selecting the ablest men for the offices within his gift, and in his ministers of state, war, and finance he was singularly fortunate. Scores of his sayings have become proverbial, and when he spoke of the country as one "where every man has a right to be equal with every other man," he gave a new definition to the Declaration of Independence. The funeral honors paid to him have seldom been surpassed in grandeur, and perhaps never equalled in popular sorrow. The body was embalmed, and lay in state in the rotunda of the capitol on April 20, and on the 21st the funeral train started for Springfield, Illinois, by the same route he had traversed in first going to Washington. The remains lay in state in Baltimore, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, and Springfield, and the interment took place at Oak Ridge cemetery, near Springfield, on May 4. On Oct. 15, 1874, the remains were removed to an elaborate tomb surmounted by a statue of Lincoln, an obelisk, and four symbolical figures. - See H. J. Raymond's " Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln, together with his State Papers " (New York, 1865); J. G. Holland's "Life of Abraham Lincoln" (Springfield, Mass., 1865); "The President's "Words" (Boston, 1865); "The Lincoln Memorial" (New York, 1865); F. B. Carpenter's " Six Months at the White House" (New York, 1866); A.Boyd's "Memorial Lincoln Bibliography" (Albany, 1870); and W. H. Lamon's "Life of Abraham Lincoln" (vol. i., Boston, 1870).