THE ADDRESS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Delivered at Cooper Institute, New York,
February 27, 1860.
With Introduction by Charles C. Nott; Historical and
Analytical Notes by
Charles C. Nott and Cephas Brainerd, and with the Correspondence between
Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Nott as Representative of the Committee of the Young
Men’s Republican Union.
The address delivered by Lincoln at the Cooper Institute in February, 1860 in response to the invitation of certain representative New Yorkers, was, as well in its character as in its results, the most important of all of his utterances.
The conscientious study of the historical and constitutional record, and the arguments and conclusions based upon the analysis of this record, were accepted by the Republican leaders as constituting the principles and the policy to be maintained during the Presidential campaign of 1860, a campaign in which was involved not merely the election of a President, but the continued existence of the republic.
Under the wise counsels represented by the words of Lincoln, the election was fought out substantially on two contentions:
First, that the compact entered into by the Fathers and by their immediate successors should be loyally carried out, and that slavery should not be interfered with in the original slave States, or in the additional territory that had been conceded to it under the Missouri Compromise; and, secondly, that not a single further square mile of soil, that was still free, should be left available, or should be made available, for the incursion of slavery.
It was the conviction of Lincoln and of his associates, as it had been the conviction of the Fathers, that under such a restriction slavery must certainly in the near future come to an end. It was because these convictions, both in the debates with Douglas and in the Cooper Institute speech, were presented by Lincoln more forcibly and more conclusively than had been done by any other political leader, that Lincoln secured the nomination and the presidency. The February address was assuredly a deciding factor in the great issue of the time, and it certainly belongs, therefore, with the historic documents of the republic.
NEW YORK, September 1, 1909.
(From Robert Lincoln)
July 27, 1909.
DEAR MAJOR PUTNAM: