American Eloquence, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about American Eloquence, Volume 4.

During this long period of almost continuous exertion of national power there were many subsidiary measures, such as the laws authorizing the appointment of supervisors for congressional elections, and the use of Federal troops as a posse comitatus by Federal supervisors, which were not at all in line with the earlier theory of the division between Federal and State powers.  The Democratic party gradually abandoned its opposition to reconstruction, accepting it as a disagreeable but accomplished fact, but kept up and increased its opposition to the subsidiary measures.  About 1876-7 a reaction became evident, and with President Hayes’ withdrawal of troops from South Carolina, Federal control of affairs in the Southern States came to an end.

Foreign affairs are not strictly a part of our subject; but, as going to show one of the dangerous features of the Civil War, the possibility of the success of the secession sentiment in England in obtaining the intervention of that country, the speech of Mr. Beecher in Liver-pool, with the addenda of his audience, has been given.


OF ILLINOIS. (BORN 1809, DIED 1865.)

First inaugural address, march 4, 1861.


In compliance with a custom as old as the government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President “before he enters on the execution of his office.”

I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.

Apprehension seems to exist, among the people of the Southern States, that by the accession of a Republican administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered.  There never has been any reasonable cause for such apprehension.  Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection.  It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you.  I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.  I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”  Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them.  And more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: 

“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its judgment exclusively, is essential to the balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

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American Eloquence, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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