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Abraham Lincoln, a History — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, a History Volume 02.

  [Sidenote] “Globe,” Dec. 10, 1860, pp. 40, 41.

The city of New York will cling to the Union to the last; while she will look upon the last hour of its existence as we would upon the setting sun if we were never to see it more, yet when the call for force comes—­let it come when it may—­no man will ever pass the boundaries of the city of New York for the purpose of waging war against any State of this Union which, through its constituted authorities and sustained by the voice of its people, solemnly declares its rights, its interests, and its honor demand that it should seek safety in a separate existence....  The city of New York is now a subjugated dependency of a fanatical and puritanical State government that never thinks of the city except to send its tax-gatherers among us or to impose upon us hateful officials, alien to our interests and sympathies, to eat up the substance of the people by their legalized extortions....  Nothing has prevented the city of New York from asserting her right to govern herself, except that provision of the Federal Constitution which prohibits a State from being divided without its own consent....  When that restraint shall no longer exist, when the obligation of those constitutional provisions, which forbid the division of a State without its own consent, shall be suspended, then I tell you that imperial city will throw off the odious government to which she now yields a reluctant allegiance; she will repel the hateful cabal at Albany, which has so long abused its power over her, and with her own flag sustained by the courage and devotion of her own gallant sons, she will, as a free city, open wide her gates to the civilization and commerce of the world.

Doubtless the secessionists drew hopeful auguries and fresh inspiration from this and other visionary talk frequent amid the unsteady political thought of that day.  But, if so, it would have been wiser to ponder deeply the significance of the following utterances coming from a different quarter, and representing a more persistent influence, a more extended geographical area, and a greater numerical force.  Clement L. Vallandigham, of Ohio, said: 

  [Sidenote] “Globe,” Dec. 10, 1860, p. 38.

I speak now as a Western man; and I thank the gentleman from Florida heartily for the kindly sentiments towards that great West to which he has given utterance.  Most cordially I reciprocate them, one and all.  Sir, we of the North-west have a deeper interest in the preservation of this Government in its present form than any other section of the Union.  Hemmed in, isolated, cut off from the seaboard upon every side; a thousand miles and more from the mouth of the Mississippi, the free navigation of which under the law of nations we demand and will have at every cost; with nothing else but our other great inland seas, the lakes, and their outlet, too, through a foreign country—­what is to be our destiny?  Sir, we have fifteen
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