Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

R. B. ANderson.

THE

HE ripest and fairest fruit that has yet fallen from American tree of civilization is Abraham Lincoln. His private character was stainless, his public life pure, wise, courageous, statesmanlike. In both, he will shine the brighter as years and centuries roll on. Among the many orbs that illuminate the pages of our history, he is the sun himself, whose light was not darkened by the most cloudy and stormy days of our civil war. When he had saved our country, and wiped out the black stain that marred the beauty of so many of our fair states, envy could find no more shining mark for its poisoned shafts, and like the good Balder in our ancient mythology, and like, Christ and Socrates of old, he was made to die, that truth and righteousness might live. I can name no name of any age or country that in private and public life outshines that of the great ABRAHAM LINCOLN. His memory will be cherished by the latest generations of this earth.

চman

MADISON, 1880.

[blocks in formation]

EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH DELIVERED DECEMBER, 1839.

Of the slave power he said, Broken by it? I, too, may be asked to bow to it, I never will! The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause which I deem to be just. It shall not deter me. If I ever feel the soul within me elevate and expand to dimensions not wholly unworthy of its almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and alone, and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors. Here, without contemplating consequences, before high Heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eternal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the land of my life, my liberty, and my love!

And who that thinks with me, will not adopt the oath that I take? Let none falter who thinks he is right, and we may succeed. But if, after all, we shall fall, be it so. We shall have the proud consolation of saying to our conscience, and to the departed shade of our country's freedom, that the course approved by our judgments and adored by our hearts, in disaster, in chains, in torture, and in death, We never faltered in defending.

[blocks in formation]

A

BRAHAM LINCOLN was a man of noble charac

ter,—of lofty aims. He brought to the duties of the presidential office the highest qualities of manhood, a wide knowledge of humanity, and a superb courage to carry out his convictions. It was a most fortunate circumstance that he was our President during those momentous years in our country's history.

пкации

U. S. ARMY,

1882.

RESOLUTIONS UPON DOMESTIC SLAVERY

IN THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE.

March 3, 1837.

The following protest was presented to the House, which was read and ordered to be spread on the journals,

to wit:

"Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both branches of the General Assembly, at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest against the passage of the same.

"They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

"They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the different States.

"They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power, under the Constitution, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia; but that the power ought not to be exercised unless at the request of the people of said District. The difference between these opinions and those contained in the said resolutions, is their reason for entering this protest.

(Signed)

"DAN. STONE,

"A. LINCOLN,

"Representatives from the County of Sangamon."

LYMAN ABBOTT.

81

[ocr errors]

O comprehend the current of history sympathetically, to appreciate the spirit of the age, prophetically, to know what God, by his providence, is working out in the epoch and the community, and so to work with him as to guide the current and embody in noble deeds the spirit of the age in working out the divine problem, this is true greatness. The man who sets his powers, however gigantic, to stemming the current and thwarting the divine purposes, is not truly great.

Abraham Lincoln was made the Chief Executive of a nation whose Constitution was unlike that of any other nation on the face of the globe. We assume that, ordinarily, public sentiment will change so gradually that the nation can always secure a true representative of its purpose in the presidential chair by an election every four years. Mr. Lincoln held the presidential office at a time when public sentiment was revolutionized in less than four years. When he was called to the presidency, only a very insignificant minority in the nation was willing that slavery should be interfered with, and only a bare majority of the loyal North were prepared even to enforce the laws in rebellious States. Before his term of office had expired, a great body of the North were ready, not only to put down rebellion by force of arms, but in doing this to enfranchise the negro and to put arms into his hands. It was the peculiar genius of Abraham Lincoln, that he was able, by his sympathetic insight, to perceive the change in public sentiment without waiting for

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »