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SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE

TO CONGRESS, DECEMBER 1, 1862.

PHYSICALLY speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable for a national boundary, upon which to divide. Trace through, from east to west, upon the line between the free and slave country, and we shall find a little more than one-third of its length are rivers, easy to be crossed, and populated-or soon to be populated -thickly upon both sides; while nearly all its remaining length are merely surveyors' lines, over which people may walk back and forth without any consciousness of their presence.

No

SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.

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part of this line can be made any more difficult to pass by writing it down on paper or parchment as a national boundary. The fact of separation, if it comes, gives up, on the part of the seceding section, the fugitive slave clause, along with all other Constitutional obligations upon the section seceded from, while I should expect no treaty stipulation would ever be made to take its place.

Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we here -Congress and Executive-can secure its adoption? Wili not the good people respond to a united and earnest appeal from us? Can we, can they, by any other means, so certainly or so speedily, assure these vital objects? We can succeed only by concert. It is not, "can any of us imagine better?" but "can we all do better?" Object whatsoever is possible, still the question recurs, "can we do better?" The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the

Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We-even we here-hold the power and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free-honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just—a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.

A return to specie payments, however, at the earliest period compatible with due regard to all interests concerned, should ever be kept in view. Fluctuations in the value of currency are always injurious, and to reduce these fluctuations to the lowest possible point will always be a leading purpose in wise legislation. Convertibility -prompt and certain convertibility-into coin is generally acknowledged to be the best and surest safeguard against them; and it is extremely doubtful whether a circulation of United States notes, payable in coin and sufficiently large for the wants of the people, can be permanently, usefully and safely maintained.

A. CLEVELAND COXE.

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LINCO

INCOLN was as evidently raised up of God for 1861, as Washington was for 1776. Two more unlike each other could hardly be produced in the history of a common country, among those who have identified themselves with its progress; but their common elements of character were those of the Anglo-Saxon race (so-called), a love of freedom and of law; perceptions of the right thing to do and of the right time to do it; all regulated by a sober faith in divine Providence, and a willingness to be His instrument for good to mankind.

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EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION,

JANUARY FIRST, 1863.

WHEREAS, on the 22d day of September, in the year of our Lord, 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, 1863, all persons held as slaves, within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be thenceforth and forever free, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any effort they may make for their actual freedom; that the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, issue a proclamation, designating the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people therein, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States, and the fact that any State or the people thereof, shall, on that day, be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not in rebellion against the United States.

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