March 9, 1861
|Many in the South felt like the North was|
treating them like George III, above, treated
the 13 original Colonies in 1776.
The inference of Lincoln's Inaugural is that the watchful Providence has decreed that our Abolitionist enemies shall not escape the ruin they have meditated for their Southern brethren; and that God has hardened their hearts, and placed them under the guidance of false prophets and blind guides, so that they shall assuredly reach disaster by the broadest road.
All the reasons which justified the secession of the Colonies from the rule of Great Britain, and even of more strength, are ours; and all the wisdom which might have taught George III and his Ministers, to save their credit, and save their blood money, by forbearing to attempt the arrest of a revolution which was inevitable - neither to be checked nor overpowered - are still potent to counsel the ruling powers at Washington of the suicidal folly of any hostile policy adopted in regard to the Cotton States. And there are other reasons now, which the age of George III had not reached, which confirm and enforce the policy which would leave the seceding States to their peaceful independence. The American doctrine has, for eighty years, taught that government flows only from the consent of the governed parties - that ours was a bond of fraternal union, based on like necessities and sympathies, and depending upon relations and feelings very far superior, in their character, to mere law and legislative processes. That one section of a people, which has been linked by bonds of this nature, should now proceed, deliberately, to attempt war and the butchery of another section; which, in return for long seasons of wrong and brutal injury, simply resolves to break from a connection which is dangerous and hateful, and proposes neither aggression nor assault; is, perhaps, one of the most monstrous of all outrages upon humanity. We simply say, "let us part in peace, since we can no longer live together in peace;" and the program suggested, forsooth, is to set on the dogs of war; without pause, in hot haste, regardless of right, justice, reason or the consequences. But the Overruling Power of the world, the Master of all human government, still rules as He did six thousand years ago. Can it be that He is then willing that the despotism, grown bloated and insolent, is allowed to goad itself to that fury, fatal to wisdom, which drives it headlong to its fall? The very impotence and perversity of thought and conduct, so evident in all that Lincoln has said, thought and done - so conclusive of his own and the incapacity of his counsellors - would seem to be conclusive that he and the presumptuous men whom he represents, is no longer sane, but is the victim of that judgment which blinds, and that impulse that hasten to the precipice.