Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02.
we come to the capitol, I tell you that our President and our Vice-President must be inaugurated and administer the government as all their predecessors have done.  Sir, it would be humiliating and dishonorable to us if we were to listen to a compromise [only] by which he who has the verdict of the people in his pocket should make his way to the Presidential chair.  When it comes to that you have no government....  If a State secedes, although we will not make war upon her, we cannot recognize her right to be out of the Union, and she is not out until she gains the consent of the Union itself; and the chief magistrate of the nation, be he who he may, will find under the Constitution of the United States that it is his sworn duty to execute the law in every part and parcel of this Government; that he cannot be released from that obligation....  Therefore, it will be incumbent on the chief magistrate to proceed to collect the revenue of ships entering their ports precisely in the same way and to the same extent that he does now in every other State of the Union.  We cannot release him from that obligation.  The Constitution in thunder tones demands that he shall do it alike in the ports of every State.  What follows?  Why, sir, if he shuts up the ports of entry so that a ship cannot discharge her cargo there, or get papers for another voyage, then ships will cease to trade; or, if he undertakes to blockade her, and thus collect it, she has not gained her independence by secession.  What must she do?  If she is contented to live in this equivocal state, all would be well perhaps; but she could not live there.  No people in the world could live in that condition.  What will they do?  They must take the initiative and declare war upon the United States; and the moment that they levy war, force must be met by force; and they must, therefore, hew out their independence by violence and war.  There is no other way under the Constitution, that I know of, whereby a chief magistrate of any politics could be released from this duty.  If this State, though seceding, should declare war against the United States, I do not suppose there is a lawyer in this body but what would say that the act of levying war is treason against the United States.  That is where it results.  We might just as well look the matter right in the face....

  [Sidenote] “Globe,” Dec. 17, 1860, pp. 100-104.

I say, sir, I stand by the Union of these States.  Washington and his compatriots fought for that good old flag.  It shall never be hauled down, but shall be the glory of the Government to which I belong, as long as my life shall continue....  It is my inheritance.  It was my protector in infancy, and the pride and glory of my riper years; and although it may be assailed by traitors on every side, by the grace of God, under its shadow I will die.

  [Sidenote] Ibid., Dec. 20, 1860, p. 158.

The Senate Committee of Thirteen was duly appointed on December 20 as follows:  Lazarus W. Powell and John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky; R.M.T.  Hunter, of Virginia; Wm. H. Seward, of New York; Robert Toombs, of Georgia; Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois; Jacob Collamer, of Vermont; Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi; Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio; William Bigler, of Pennsylvania; Henry M. Rice, of Minnesota; James E. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, and James W. Grimes, of Iowa.

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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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