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Speech to the Workingmen.

Sound Principles.

The Prudent Beginner.

exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with that capital hire or buy another few to labor for them.

"A large majority belong to neither class-neither work for others nor have others working for them. In most of the Southern States a majority of the whole people, of all colors, are neither slaves nor masters, while, in the Northern States, a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families--wives, sons, and daughters—work for themselves on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital—that is, they labor with their own hands and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

"'Again. As has already been said, there is not of necessity any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or lands for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length bires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system which opens the way to all-gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty - none less inclined to take or touch aught wbich they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to

Speech to the Workingmen.

Property Desirable.

Speech in Baltimore,

fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.'

“ The views then expressed remain unchanged_nor have I much to add. None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people. Let them beware of prejudices working disunion and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer, was the hanging of some working people by other working people. It should never be so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself; thus, by example, assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.'

And in Baltimore - that Baltimore through which, in February, 1861, he had been compelled to pass by stealth, to avoid the assassin, on his way to his inauguration-on the 18th of April, 1864, the anniversary eve of that murder of loyal citizens armed in defence of their imperilled countryMr. Lincoln spoke at a similar Fair, and spoke, too, of slavery, as of an institution practically annihilated in Maryland.

Truly some advance had been made during those three years, so pregnant with events !

“ LADIES AND GENTLEMEN :--Calling it to mind that we are in Baltimore, we cannot fail to note that the world moves. Looking upon the many people I see assembled here to serve as they best may the soldiers of the Union, it occurs to me

Speech at Baltimore.

Definition of Liberty.


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that three years ago those soldiers could not pass through Baltimore. I would say, blessings upon the men who have wrought these changes, and the ladies who have assisted them. This change which has taken place in Baltimore, is part only of a far wider change that is taking place all over the country.

" When the war commenced, three years ago, no expected that it would last this long, and no one supposed that the institution of slavery would be materially affected by it. But here we are. The war is not yet ended, and slavery has been very materially affected or interfered with. So true is it that man proposes and God disposes.

“ The world is in want of a good definition of the word liberty. We all declare ourselves to be for liberty, but we do not all mean the same thing. Some mean that a man can do as he pleases with himself and his property. With others, it means that some men can do as they please with other men and other men's labor. Each of these things are called liberty, although they are entirely different. To give an illustration : A shepherd drives the wolf from the throat of his sheep when attacked by him, and the sheep, of course, thanks the shepherd for the preservation of his life; but the wolf denounces him as despoiling the sheep of his libertyespecially if it be a black sheep.

“This same difference of opinion prevails among some of the people of the North. But the people of Maryland have recently been doing something to properly define the meaning of the word, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for what they have done and are doing.

"It is not very becoming for a President to make a speech at great length, but there is a painful rumor afloat in the country, in reference to which a few words shall be said. It is reported that there has been a wanton massacre of some hundreds of colored soldiers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, during a recent engagement there, and it is fit to explain

Massacre at Fort Pillow,

President's Policy on Slavery.

some facts in relation to the affair. It is said by some persons that the Government is not, in this matter, doing its duty. At the commencement of the war, it was doubtful whether black men would be used as soldiers or not. The matter was examined into very carefully, and after mature deliberation, the whole matter resting as it were with himself, he, in his judgment, decided that they should.

“He was responsible for the act to the American people, to a Christian nation, to the future historian, and above all, to his God, to whom he would have, one day, to render

count of his stewardship. He would now say that in his opinion the black soldier should have the same protection as the white soldier, and he would have it. It was an error to say that the Government was not acting in the matter. The Government has no direct evidence to confirm the reports in existence relative to this massacre, but he himself believed the facts in relation to it to be as stated. When the Government does know the facts from official sources, and they prove to substantiate the reports, retribution will be surely given.”

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Mr. Lincoln's policy upon the question of slavery, is tersely presented in the following letter written by him to a Kentuckian, dated Executive Mansion, Washington, April 4, 1864. "A. G. HODGES, Esq., Frankfort, Ky. :

“MY DEAR SIR:- You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally said the other day in your presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon.

It was about as follows:

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think and feel. And yet, I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took, that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, pro

His Answer to Kentuckians.

Slavery Subordinate to the Country.

tect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view, that I might take an oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understood, too, that in ordinary civil administration, this oath even forbade me to practically indulge my primary, abstract judgment, on the moral question of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times, and in many ways. And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery.

“I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, the Government-that Nation-of which that Constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the Nation, and yet preserve the Constitution ?

“By general law, life and limb must be protected : yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I feel that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution, through the preservation of the Nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground and now avow it. I could not feel that to the best of my ability I had even tried to preserve the Constitution, if to save slavery or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of Government, Country and Constitution, all together When early in the war, Gen. Fremont attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then think it an indispensable necessity. When a little later, Gen. Cameron, then Secretary of War, suggested the arming of the blacks, I objected, because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity. When, still later, Gen. Hunter attempted military emancipation, I again forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable necessity had come.

When, in March, and May, and July, 1862, I made

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