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Recollections and Experiences of an Abolitionist
Chapter V - The Slaveholders Rebellion

FOR many months after the death of John Brown, I felt that the defeat of his plans at Harper's Ferry was a great calamity to the enslaved. I saw nothing in store for them but toil and bondage for another generation. For who, at that time, foresaw the mighty conflict that was soon to be inaugurated by the haughty slave-holders, in which they and their cherished institution were to be completely overthrown.

The seed sown at Harper's Ferry, had fallen into rich soil. The slaveholders were convinced that unless they could obtain from the North further guarantees for the protection of the institution of slavery—that secession from the Free States was their only salvation. Their insolent demands upon the North were met by a quiet determination upon the part of the people; that not another foot of the public domain should be given up to slavery. Northern politicians had become so accustomed to yielding obedience to the commands of the slave drivers, that strong efforts were made to effect a compromise with the pro-slavery leaders in Congress.

But the patience of the peace-loving people of the Free States, was at length exhausted; they had submitted to the outrageous provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law; they had looked on and seen the champions of freedom in Congress insuited and assaulted by the slave drivers of the South; they had borne for years the taunts and sneers of the Southern chivalry ; and now, they resolved to assert their just rights and privileges as citizens of a free country.

The threats and demands of the slaveholders were treated with the contempt they deserved.


A few months after the inauguration of President Lincoln, I received a letter from a friend in Washington, requesting me to visit him at my very earliest convenience; that he desired to confer with me on a subject of importance.

The day after my arrival in Washington, my friend introduced me to the President. Mr. Lincoln received me very cordially, and invited me to dine with him that day. Assembled at the President's table were several prominent gentlemen, to whom Mr. Lincoln introduced me as "a red-hot abolitionist from Canada."

One of the guests, a prominent member of Congress (severely injured in after years by coming in contact with the credit Mobilier), remarked, in a slurring manner, that he wished all the negroes of the United States would emigrate to Canada, as we Canadians were so fond of them. Mr. Lincoln said: "It would be all the better for the negroes, that's certain."

"Yes," I replied, a little warmly, "it would be all the better for the negroes; for, under our flag, the blackest negro is entitled to, and freely accorded every right and privilege enjoyed by native Canadians. We make no distinction in respect to the colour of a man's skin. It is true, we live under a monarchial form of government; but, under that government, every man, and woman, whether white, black, or brown, have equal rights before our laws."

Mr. Lincoln, in a jocular way, said to the member of Congress, "If you are not careful, you will bring on a war with Canada. I think we have got a big enough job on hand now."

The conversation then turned on the attitude of England toward the Free States in their contest with the slaveholders. One gentleman remarked that he was surprised to see so many manifestations of unfriendliness on the part of the English and Canadian people, and asked me how I accounted for it. I replied, "How can you expect it otherwise, when there exists in the Northern States so wide a diversity of opinion as to the justness of your cause? The unfriendly expressions of an English statesman, or the avowed sympathy of a few English and Canadian papers, are noted by you with painful surprise; while the treasonable utterances and acts of some of your own political leaders and people are quite overlooked. Besides, you cannot expect the sympathy of the Christian world in your behalf, while you display such an utter disregard for the rights and liberties of your own citizens, as I witnessed in this city yesterday."

Mr. Lincoln asked what I alluded to. I replied, "A United States Marshall passed through Washington yesterday, having in his charge a coloured man, who he was taking over to Virginia under the provisions of your Fugitive Slave Law. The man had escaped from his master— who is an open rebel—and fled to Wilmington, Delaware, where he was arrested, and taken back into slavery."

After dinner, Mr. Lincoln led me to a window, distant from the rest of the party, and said, "Mr. S. sent for you at my request. We need a confidential person in Canada to look after the rebel emissaries there, and keep us posted as to their schemes and objects. You have been strongly recommended to me for the position. Your mission shall be as confidential as you please. No one here but your friend Mr. S. and myself, shall have any knowledge of your position. Your communications may be sent direct to me, under cover to Major ----. Think it over to-night; and if you can accept the mission, come up and see me at nine o'clock to-morrow morning." When I took my leave of him, he said, "I hope you will decide to serve us."

The position thus offered, was one not suited to my tastes or feelings, but, as Mr. Lincoln appeared very desirous that I should accept it, I concluded to lay aside my prejudices and accept the responsibilities of the mission. I was also persuaded to this conclusion by the wishes of my friend.

At nine o'clock next morning, I waited upon the President, and announced my decision. He grasped my hand in a hearty manner, and said "Thank you; thank you; I am glad of it,"

I said: "Mr. Lincoln, if even one of the objects of your Government was the liberation from bondage of the poor slaves of the South, I would feel justified in accepting any position where I could best serve you, but when I see so much tenderness for that vile institution and for the interests of slaveholders, I almost-doubt whether your efforts to crush the rebellion will meet with the favour of heaven."

He replied: "I sincerely wish that all men were free, and I especially wish for the complete abolition of slavery in this country; but my private wishes and feelings must yield to the necessities of my position. My first duty is, to maintain the integrity of the Union. With that object in view, I shall endeavour to save it, either with or without slavery. I have always been an anti-slavery man. Away back in 1839, when I was a member of the Legislature of Illinois, I presented a resolution asking for the emancipation of slavery in the District of Columbia, when, with but few exceptions, the popular mind of my State was opposed to it. If the destruction of the institution of slavery should be one of the results of this conflict which the slaveholders have forced upon us, I shall rejoice as hearty as you. In the meantime, help us to circumvent the machinations of the rebel agents in Canada. There is no doubt they will use your country as a communicating link with Europe, and also with their friends in New York. It is quite possible also that they may make Canada a base, to annoy our people along the frontier. Keep us well posted of what they say and do."

After a lengthy conversation relative to private matters connected with my mission, I rose to leave, when he said: "I will walk down to 'Wi!lards' with you, the hotel is on my way to the Capitol, where I have an engagement at noon."

Before we reached the hotel, a man came up to the President, and thrust a letter into his hand, at the same time applying for some office in Wisconsin. I saw that the President was offended at the rudeness, for he passed the letter back without looking at it, saying: "No, sir! I am not going to open shop here." This was said in a most emphatic manner, but accompanied by a comical gesture which caused the rejected applicant to smile. As we continued our walk, the President remarked on the annoyances incident to his position, saying: "These office-seekers are a curse to this country. No sooner was my election certain, than I became the prey of hundreds of hungry, persistent applicants for office, whose highest ambition is to feed at the government crib."

When he bid me good-bye, he said: "Let me hear from you once a week at least."

As he was about to leave me, a young army officer stopped him, and made some request, to which the President replied with a good deal of humour: "No; I can't do that. I must not interfere: they would scratch my eyes out, if I did. You must go to the proper department."

I could not help watching the receding form of the President, as with long, indifferent strides he wended his way towards the Capitol. What a dreadful responsibility rested on that man! The hopes of millions of Republicans throughout the world were fixed upon him; while twenty millions of his own people looked to him for the salvation of the Republic, and four millions of poor down-trodden slaves in the South looked to him for freedom.

Mr. Lincoln was no ordinary man. He had a quick and ready perception of facts, a retentive memory, and a logical turn of mind, which patiently and unwaveringly followed every link in the chain of thought on every subject which he investigated. He was honest, temperate, and forgiving. He was a good man—a man of noble and kindly heart. I never heard him speak unkindly of any man; even the rebels received no word of anger from him.


Immediately upon my arrival in Montreal, I sought opportunities to familiarize myself with the names, habits, and occupations of the various Confederates in Canada. I had but little difficulty in accomplishing this purpose, as the Confederates looked upon all Canadians as their friends.

The principal Confederate agent in Canada at that time, was an ex-Member of Buchanan's administration. The contemptible conduct of this man (while still a member of the Government), in warning the rebels of Charleston of the sailing of the Steamer "Star of the West," with provisions for the beseiged garrison at Fort Sumpter, will furnish a good index to his character.

The plots and schemes devised by him and his subordinates to furnish the rebels with clothing, boots and shoes, &c., via Nassau and Cuba, and to keep open a channel of communication with the Confederate States, kept me continually on the qui .vive to frustrate their designs.


Toward the close of 1862, I received satisfactory information that a regular system of postal service was in operation between the Confederate States and Europe, via Canada. Diligently and earnestly I sought for a clue, week after week passed away, but nothing was discovered. I placed detectives on all the trains leaving Montreal, with instructions to closely watch every stranger, and especially those of southern aspect. All my efforts, however, were unsuccessful.

I finally concluded to go to Detroit, and institute some enquiries in that section. With that object in view, I sent for a cabman one that I usually employed, to convey me to the depot for the 9 p. m. night train west; he came to inform me that it would be impossible for him to drive me that night, as he was obliged to take a lady from Lapraire to Champlain, a small village in the State of New York, not far from the boundary line between Canada and the United States. He said he had a brother living at Laprarie, who, was regularly employed to carry a lady once a fortnight from Laprarie to Champlain ; but that he was ill, and had sent for him to take his place. Some further questions from me elicited the fact that my cabman had on one former occasion filled his brother's place to carry the same lady over the same route.

My suspicions were now aroused, I felt confident that this lady had something to do with the Confederate postal service, and I closely questioned him as to her appearance and habits, and ostensible business, and why she travelled in such an unusual manner and by such a roundabout route. I put these questions in such a way as not to excite suspicion in his mind as to my object. The information I obtained from him was of such importance that I decided to reach Champlain in advance of the cabman and his strange passenger. I consequently took the evening train to Rouse's Point, and from thence was driven in a carriage to Champlain.

I engaged quarters at the principal hotel in the village, and in a short time won the confidence of the talkative and consequential little landlord, who finally, on my referring to the lady in question, informed me that she was a Mrs. "Williams," (an alias, no doubt,) an agent for a religious tract society ; that she passed over this route from Canada about once a fortnight; and that she was a very excellent person indeed. He, however, knew nothing about her, except that she said she was a tract distributer, travelling between Upper Canada and Boston. He finally remarked, "I expect her here either to-night or to-morrow night, on her way to Boston. She always arrives here in the night: sometimes it's early morning."

Securing a front bed-room, I was in a position to observe whoever came down the road leading from Canada, as the hotel fronted the road. Patiently I waited at the window from 10 p.m. to 3 am., looking out into the darkness. Shortly after three o'clock, I heard the rumbling of an approaching carriage coming down the road, and in a short time a cab drove up, and I saw my Montreal cabman alight and open the door of the carriage, from which a lady, closely muffled, stepped and entered the house. She was placed in a room on the opposite side of the hail to the one I occupied. To prevent her leaving the house without my knowledge, I determined to remain awake the rest of the night. At six o'clock I saw my cabman drive away towards Canada.

At the breakfast table, I sat vis-a-vis with the object of my search. She was a keen, intelligent, witty, and handsome woman of medium size, with black eyes and hair, about 45 years of age. She conversed quite freely with the landlord's wife, but at times she would check herself, betraying a startled half-frightened look. Her conversation was principally upon her experiences as an agent of a "Religious Tract Society." At length an opportunity offered for me to engage in conversation with her. When I informed her that I was Canadian, she became less reserved in her manner, and chatted familiarly on her trips through Canada I soon learned that it was her intention to go to Rouse's Point by the noon train,

As soon as breakfast was over, I telegraphed to a detective at Rouse's Point to meet me, on the arrival of the train, prepared to make an arrest. When Mrs. Williams was seated in the car, I took a seat near her, to prevent her from escaping. Before the train reached the Point, it slackened up, and a detective officer came into the cars. I pointed out Mrs. Williams to him, and ordered him to take her to his house as soon as she stepped from the car, to watch every movement she made, and not permit her to have any communication with confederates.


As soon as the train entered the depot at Rouse's Point, the detective arrested her, and, with the aid of an assistant, took her to his house, where I immediately followed. I directed the wife of the detective to rigidly search her, and, if any documents were found, to call her husband and give them to him. Notwithstanding her protests, tears, and prayers, Mrs. Williams was thoroughly searched, and with good results, for eighty-two letters were found sewed into her under garments. The majority of them were addressed to rebel emissaries in Europe, the balance, to private individuals in the Northern States. After copying the address, and placing a number on each letter, I secured them safely on my person, and telegraphed to the President the substance of the above facts. In less than an hour I received instructions to hasten to Washington with the confiscated letters.

Before leaving Rouse's Point I had an interview with Mrs. Williams, during which I offered to secure her release, providing she would disclose certain information, that I knew she possessed, relative to the rebel mail route from the Confederacy to Europe via Canada. She, however, positively refused, and declared that she would die in prison before she would disclose the secret.

Having instructed the officer to keep Mrs. Williams under close arrest until he received further orders from me, I left for Washington. On my arrival there (about midnight), I went direct to the Executive mansion, and sent my card to the President, who had retired to bed. In two or three minutes the porter returned, and requested me to accompany him to the President's office, where, in a short time, Mr. Lincoln would join me. The room into which I was ushered, was the same in which I had spent several hours with the President on the occasion of my first interview with him fourteen months before. Scattered about the floor, and lying open on the table, were several military maps and documents indicating recent use. On the wall I observed a picture of John Bright, of England.


In a few minutes, the President came in, and received me in the most friendly manner. I expressed my regret at disturbing him at such an hour. He replied in a good humoured manner, saying, "No, no, you may route rue up whenever you please. I have slept with one eye open since I came to Washington I never close both, except when an office-seeker is looking for me."

"I am glad (referring to a letter I had sent him) you are pleased with the Emancipation Proclamation (issued a few weeks previously), but there is work before us yet ; we must make that Proclamation effective by victories over our enemies. It's a paper bullet after all, and of no account, except we can sustain it."

The President's efforts being now directed to give freedom to the poor, despised, and long suffering people of the South, I expressed my belief that God would now aid the cause of the Union. He replied, "Well, I hope so! but the suffering and misery that attends this conflict, is killing me by inches. I wish it was over."


I then laid before the President the "rebel mail." He carefully examined the address of each letter, making occasional remarks. At length he found one addressed to an ex-President of the United States, then residing in New Hampshire, and another to an ex-Attorney General of the United States, also a resident of that State. He appeared much surprised, and remarked with a sigh, but, without the slightest tone of asperity, " I will have copies made of these letters, after which they shall be sent enclosed in official envelopes to these parties." When he had finished examining the addresses, he tied up all those addressed to private individuals, saying, "I will not bother with them ; but these look like official letters I guess I'll go through them now." He then opened one after the other, and read their contents slowly and carefully.

While he was thus occupied, I had an excellent opportunity of studying this extraordinary man. A marked change had taken place in his countenance since my first interview with him. He looked much older, and bore traces of having passed through months of painful anxiety and trouble. There was a sad, serious look in his eyes that spoke louder than words of the disappointments, trials, and discourage in he had encountered since the war began. The wrinkles about the eyes and forehead were deeper; the lips were firmer, but indicative of kindness and forbearance. The great struggle had brought out the hidden riches of his noble nature, and developed virtues and capacities which surprised his oldest and most intimate friends. He was simple but astute: he possessed the rare faculty of seeing things just as they are : he was a just, charitable, and honest man.


Having finished reading a letter, he said "Read this (handing me a letter signed by the Confederate Secretary of State), and tell me what you think of it." The letter was addressed to the rebel envoy at the French Court, and stated that preparations were being made to invade the Eastern frontier of the United States in the vicinity of Calais, Maine. It also expressed the opinion that an attack in so unexpected a quarter would dishearten the Northern people, and encourage the Democrats to oppose the continuation of the war.

I told the President that this confirmed the truth of the information I had received several weeks previously, and satisfied me that the rebels would make an attempt to raid on some of the Eastern States from the British Provinces. He replied: "I wish you would go to New Brunswick, and see what the rebels are up to. The information contained in these despatches is of great importance. Two of them I cannot read, as they are written in cipher; but I'll find some way to get at their contents."

I then rose to go, saying that I would go to the hotel, and have a rest. 'No, no! it is now three o'clock; you shall stay here while you are in town. Come with me, I'll find you a bed," said the President ; and, leading the way, he took me into a bedroom, saying: "Take a good sleep, you shall not be disturbed." Bidding me "Good-night," he left the room to go back and pore over the rebel letters until daylight, as he afterwards told me.

If ever the Almighty raised up an individual to perform a special service, that person was Abraham Lincoln. No parent could evince a greater interest in the welfare of his family than he did for the safety and influence of his country. Every faculty he possessed was devoted to the salvation of the Union.

I did not awake from my sleep until eleven o'clock in the forenoon, soon after which Mr. Lincoln came to my room, and laughingly said: "When you are ready, I'll pilot you down to breakfast," which he did; and, seating himself at the table, expressed his fears that trouble was brewing in the Province of New Brunswick that he had gathered further information on that point from the correspondence, that convinced him that such was the case. He was here interrupted by a servant, who handed him a card ; upon reading which he left me, saying, "Come up to my room after breakfast."

On entering his room, I found him busily engaged in writing, at the same time repeating in a low voice the words of a poem, which I remembered reading many years before. When he stopped writing, I asked him who was the author of that poem. He replied, "I do not know. I have written the verses down from memory at the request of a lady who is much pleased with them. I wish I knew who was the author of them." He passed the sheet on which he had written the verses to me, saying, "Have you ever read them ?" I replied that I had many years ago; and that I should be happy to have a copy of them in his handwriting, when he had time and inclination for such work. He said, "Well, you may keep that copy, if you wish."

The following is the poem as copied from Mr. Lincoln's manuscript given me on that occasion:-


Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willows shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
As the young and the old, the low and the high,
Shall crumble to dust, and together shall die.

The infant a mother attended and loved
The mother that infant's affection who proved
The father, that mother and infant who blest—
Each, all are away to that dwelling of rest.

The maid, on whose brow, on whose cheek, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure—her triumphs are by
And alike from the minds of the living erased,
Are the memories of mortals that loved her and praised.

The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne;
The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn;
The eye of the sage, the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap;
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep;
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass which we tread.

So the multitude goes, like the flower or the weed,
That withers away to let others succeed
.So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that has often been told..

For we are the same our fathers have been
We see the same sights they often have seen;
We drink the same stream, we see the same sun,
And. run the same course our fathers have run.

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers did think;
From the death we are shrinking, our fathers did shrink;
To the life we are clinging, our fathers did cling;
But it speeds from us all like the bird on the wing.

They loved—but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned—but the heart of the haughty is cold
They grieved—but no wail from their slumbers will come.
They joyed—but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

They died ; ah! they died. We things that are now
That walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
And make in their dwelling a transient abode—
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

Yea, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, and the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other like surge upon surge.

'Tis the wink of an eye, the draught of a breath,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud.
Oh I why should the spirit of mortal be proud.


The rebel documents contained abundant evidence that the Confederate Government was organizing a band in Canada to raid upon the United States frontier, and the President requested me to "go to New Brunswick, and ascertain what the rebels were up to in that quarter."

That night I left Washington, and arrived in Boston iii time to take the steamer for St. John, N. B. The boat was crowded with passengers; and I had to share my stateroom with a gentleman who came aboard at Portland. The features of my room companion were dark and coarse  his hair black and curling. He was about six feet in height, of tough and wiry frame. His language and general appearance was strikingly Southern. I retired to my berth before him, selecting the top one, that I might the more readily observe him; for I had already concluded that my room-companion was a Confederate.


When he entered the stateroom, he introduced himself as the owner of one of the berths, and said: 'I am glad you are not a Yankee." I asked him how he knew that. He replied: "I asked the clerk, and he said you were a Canadian; besides, you don't look like a Yankee." "Well," I said, "you do not look like a Canadian or a Yankee either; I would take you to be a Southern military officer." This touched his vanity, and he admitted that he had been in the military set-vice of the Confederacy, but that he was now engaged on special service. I felt now that I had sprung the mine. I told him that I thought the Confederate Government were blind to their own interests, in this, that no advantage had been taken of the Canadian frontier to harass and annoy the Yankees along the border.


"Well," said he, "we have had all we could do to keep the Yanks from our homes; but they will soon know how it feels to have the war carried into their own homes. I tell you, before long, you will hear something exciting." I replied: "I have heard that so frequently that I don't place much reliance upon such reports." 1 saw he was nettled at what I had said, and hoped it-would make him indiscreet. He remained silent a moment, and then said "What I have told you is the truth, and before two weeks are over you will hear something exciting from Eastport. I don't mind telling you, because you are a Canadian, and the Canadians are all on our side. Yes, sir; we have already a number of picked men in St. Andrews and St. Johns, New Brunswick, and we have a good supply of stores on Grand Menan Island. I expect thirty men from Canada next week. As soon as they arrive, we shall all go to Grand Menan, and prepare for an attack on Eastport; and, by ------, we intend to wipe it out. And then we shall attack Calais in the rear, and, if hard pressed, retreat into New Brunswick." This astounding news corroborated the information obtained from the captured letters.


On the arrival of the steamer at Eastport, I secured the arrest of my new acquaintance, and had him placed in prison. I telegraphed to Washington the information obtained from the rebel officer, and a gunboat was sent from Portland to Eastport. In forty-eight hours from my arrival, Eastport and Calais were fully prepared to meet the raiders. The Provincial authorities were also warned from Washington, and prompt steps taken to prevent any infraction of the Neutrality Laws on the New Brunswick border.

Returning to Portland, I sent the President a detailed narrative of the facts above related, and then returned to Montreal. In a few days, I received the following letter from Mr. Lincoln :-



The cruel and unnecessary arrest of the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, Consul General of the United States, at Montreal, for the alleged connivance at the kidnapping of one Redpath, was incited by the Confederates in Montreal. Red- path had fled to Canada to escape punishment for crimes committed during the draft riots in New York. A detective officer was sent to Montreal to arrest him. He was arrested, ironed, placed in a close carriage, and driven to the depot. Where he was then guarded by an assistant while the New York detective went to the United States Consulate, and told Mr. Giddings that he had arrested a man charged with murder in New York ; and that having complied with the requirements of the Extradition Treaty, he wished Mr. Giddings to give him a letter to General Dix advising the General to compensate the detective for the services of an assistant required to convey Redpath to New York. Mr. Giddings, without ascertaining (for which he was in fault) whether all the formalities of the extradition treaty had been complied with, gave the detective a note to General Dix, in which he simply requested the General to remunerate the detective for the service of an assistant When the detective reached New York with his prisoner, Redpath obtained legal advice. The result of which was, that the Canadian authorities demanded the return of Redpath to Canada. He was consequently brought back and liberated. Then the Southern agents in Montreal, took charge of this criminal, and induced him to prosecute Mr. Giddings. This was done to gratify their feelings of hatred toward a man who had for thirty years fought for the cause of human freedom.


Mr. Giddings was arrested on Sunday evening while dining at the house of a friend. The arrest was made on a day and at an hour when it was hoped he would be unable to obtain bail, and consequently would have to lay in jail over night. Messrs. Harrison Stephens and Ira Gould, two prominent and wealthy citizens of Montreal gave bonds for thirty thousand dollars for Mr. Giddings's appearance at the trial of the case. Thus his enemies were baulked in their mean attempt to throw an innocent old man into prison. Mr. Giddings was in poor health at the time this outrage was perpetrated; and he fretted and grieved over it continually. After the rebel agents had used Redpath for their purpose, they cast him off. I concluded it was now a good time to get rid of Redpath and this persecution of Mr. Giddings. I found the miserable creature after considerable search, and prevailed upon him to withdraw the suit, and confess that he had been urged by the Confederate agents in in Montreal to take action against Mr. Giddings. This persecution, I have no doubt, hastened the death of this noble old standard-bearer of liberty.


He died suddenly while amusing himself with a game of billiards in the St. Lawrence Hall. In Congress, Mr. Giddings stood shoulder to shoulder with John Quincy Adams, in resisting the tyrannical and despotic demands of the slave drivers. On one occasion when Mr. Giddings was addressing the House in behalf of freedom, a Southern member approached him with a bowie knife in his hand, and threatened to kill him on the spot, if he did not cease speaking. Mr. Giddings was immediately surrounded by his friends, and continued his speech, while the cowardly ruffian who threatened him sneaked back to his seat. Mr. Giddings was not only a good man, but he was morally and physically a brave man. He espoused the cause of the slave at a time when an abolitionist was despised and persecuted; and he remained all his life a warm and constant friend of the oppressed. The many happy hours passed in his company, during the darkest periods of the war, will ever remain bright spots in my memory.


The following Acts and Proclamation indicate the progressive steps by which, in the end, complete emancipation was reached.

Attention is hereby called to an Act of Congress, entitled "An Act to make an additional article of war," approved March 13, 1862, and which Act is in the words and figures following :

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Conqress assembled: That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war, for the government of the army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such:

Article. All officers or persons in the military or naval ser- vice of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor, who may have escaped from any persons to whom such labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article, shall be dismissed from the service.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That this Act shall take effect from and after its passage.

Also, to the ninth and tenth sections of an Act entitled, "An Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes," approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following Sac. 9. And be it farther enacted, That all slaves or persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them and coming under the control of the Government of the United States; and all slaves of such persons found on (or being within) any place occupied by rebel forces and afterward occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captures of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.

Sac. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any State, territory, or the district of Columbia, from any of the States shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime or some offence against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first makeoath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due, is his lawful owner, and has not been in arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto; and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, arsumc to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labour of any other person, or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service.


By the President of the United States of America.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a Proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing among other things the following, to wit;

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforth and forever free, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then he in rebellion against the United States, and the fact that any State or the people thereof, shall on that (lay be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed Rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said Rebellion, do, on this first (lay of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to (10, publicly proclaim for the full period of one hundred (lays from the day of the first above-mentioned order, and designate, as the States and part of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this (lay in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit: ARKANSAS, TEXAS, LOUISIANA (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of Orleans), Mississippi, ALABAMA,

FLORIDA, GEORGIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA, and VIRGINIA (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Aeconae, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this Proclamation had not been issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward SHALL BE FREE! and that the Executive Government of the United states, including the Military and Naval author- ities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free, to abstain from all violence, unless in self-defence, and I recommend to them that in all cases, when allowed, they labour faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favour of Almighty God.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed..


The National Convention which assembled at Baltimore on the 7th of June, 1864, and there nominated ABRAHAM LINCOLN for re-election as President, with ANDREW JOHNSON as Vice-President, adopted and presented to the American people the following :-

Resolved, That, as Slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength, of this rebellion, and as it must be always and everywhere hostile to the principles of Republican government, justice, and the national safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic; and that we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defence, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil. We are in favour, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and for ever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.


FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued seemed very fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented.

The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction wit regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all sought to avoid it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were coloured slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest, was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.

Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes the aid against the other. It may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that mail whom the offence cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of these offences, which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that lie gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may soon pass away. Vet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn by the sword; as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity to all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

The following amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified by vote of the Legislative Branches of the United States Government, February i, 1865 :-


SEC. 1. Neither Slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject during their jurisdiction.

SEC. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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