Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 18, 1861Lincoln's Administration
The character of Lincoln's administration is sufficiently presaged by the brief but concise addresses which he made in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, etc. He will do his sacred duty, and he will do his whole duty, toward the Constitution as well as toward the Republican party.
The Springfield Journal, which is undoubtedly familiar with Lincoln's aims, confirms this. This publication writes:
"We would be guilty of neglecting our duty, if we did not urge the Republicans to abide by the principles upon which they elected Mr. Lincoln president. We know that he will be true to them until the last. We can be just, and we can be generous, but we cannot surrender the highest and most sacred principle that ever inspired men in a political or military battle. Mr. Lincoln is on his way to Washington, and in a few days, if he lives that long, his ideas, policies, and purposes will be made known to the world. They will 2be admired and supported by all good men in this country and in other countries. His heart embraces the entire country; he will speak and act in behalf of this nation, and, if necessary, he will lay down his life for it. No friend of humanity, of liberty, of the Constitution, of the Union, and of the high ideals of this country need have the slightest doubt that Abraham Lincoln will firmly support them. He believes that the Republican cause is just, and he will not desert it. Some party leaders may succumb to the storm of treason and be swept away, but that will not happen in the case of the brave, loyal, truth-loving President whom we have elected. He may be broken by the power of slavery or by the treason of friends, but he will not submit to them.
"Mr. Lincoln believes that the people of the United States can alter or abolish their present form of government if they wish to do so. He will place no obstacle in their way. If the people desire to change the Constitution, he will not try to hinder them. But as long as the Constitution remains what it is--the highest law of the country--he 3will look upon it as such, and will faithfully execute the laws which have been enacted in accordance to this law, as he has sworn to do. He can do no less, and he is not the least inclined to do less. His oath, to perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution, is recorded in heaven. He will perform these duties, come what may. He will insist that all forts, arsenals, postoffices, mints, and other national property now being illegally withheld, be returned to its rightful owner, except in those cases where the United States' right to possession has been transferred elsewhere, in constitutional manner. This is a duty imposed upon him by the Constitution, and everyone who loves our Government, regardless of his party affiliations or the section of the country in which he lives, will support Mr. Lincoln and assist him in doing his duty.
"We have appealed to the Republicans to abide by their principles. Since we love our country, the only free country in the whole world, we could do no less. We have demanded that these principles shall not be surrendered, not for the attainment of party purposes nor to humiliate political enemies; 4for we believe that everything which free men in this country and in every other country esteem very highly depends on the triumph of these principles.
"We do not imagine that freedom can keep the upper hand in this country without a battle, but we are ready and willing to fight. We have never despaired of the life of the Republic, and we do not despair now. Men who are influenced by the madness which is now prevalent may injure the most sacred cause of our time, and states may leave the Union which the majority of their inhabitants love, but reason will return, and misguided states and people will return to their duties. Through this seeming impenetrable darkness our faith perceives the glorious sun of the future. We believe that Abraham Lincoln will do his full duty to his country and the cause which he advocates, no matter how difficult that task may be, and that in 1864 he will leave a united, prosperous, and happy country to his successor in office."
I J, I G
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