“There are some who are sufferers, great sufferers, whom we can reach and relieve without endangering political or military plans, and in the spirit of Him who ignored the petty political distinctions of Jew and Samaritan, and regarded both as entitled to His sympathy and relief, I cannot but think it is within the scope and interest of the great Sanitary Commission to extend a portion of their Christian regard to the unfortunate sufferers from this dreadful war, the prisoners in our fortresses, and to those who dwell upon the borders of the contending sections.”
In a letter of March 23, to William L. Ransom, Esq., of Litchfield, Connecticut, he, perhaps unconsciously, enunciates one of the fundamental beliefs of that great president whom he so bitterly opposed:—
“I hardly know how to comply with your request to have a ’short, pithy, Democratic sentiment.’ In glancing at the thousand mystifications which have befogged so many in our presumed intelligent community, I note one in relation to the new-fangled application of a common foreign word imported from the monarchies of Europe. I mean the word ‘loyalty,’ upon which the changes are daily and hourly sung ad nauseam.
“I have no objection, however, to the word if it be rightly applied. It signifies ‘fidelity to a prince or sovereign.’ Now if loyalty is required of us, it should be to the Sovereign. Where is this Sovereign? He is not the President, nor his Cabinet, nor Congress, nor the Judiciary, nor any nor all of the Administration together. Our Sovereign is on a throne above all these. He is the People, or Peoples of the States. He has issued his decree, not to private individuals only, but to President and to all his subordinate servants, and this sovereign decree his servant the is the Constitution. He who adheres faithfully to this written will of the Sovereign is loyal. He who violates the embodiment of the will of the Sovereign, is disloyal, whether he be a Constitution, this President, a Secretary, a member of Congress or of the Judiciary, or a simple citizen.”
As a firm believer in the Democratic doctrine of States’ Rights Morse, with many others, held that Lincoln had overridden the Constitution in his Emancipation Proclamation.