Philadelphia North American and United States Gazette, March 7, 1861
There have been several incidents of the late agitation respecting the peace at Washington which will make the people forever honor and admire Gen. Scott. Whatever the degree of danger on the day of inauguration, it is not to be doubted that, while treason was rampant in the Cabinet, it was really intended to make a desperate effort for possession of the seat of the nation's power. It was at least quite as likely that this seizure should be attempted, as that any one of a dozen of the extraordinary and insane acts of the secessionists should have been committed. Through all that time of trial and of danger, Gen. Scott was the boldest and most decisive man in responsible place. His energy unquestionably saved very much that would otherwise have been lost, and he pursued his purpose with singular determination and success, down to the moment when he could say, "Thank God, we have a government!" Nothing more touching can be conceived than his bearing on the critical day which was to decide whether our institutions were to be obeyed, and our honor preserved, when the executive authority changed hands, or whether disgrace, disorder, and possible anarchy, were then to be installed.
The country will hereafter exalt General Scott to its very highest place of honorable regard. He is a patriot even more than a soldier, though the first soldier of his country, if not of the age. He has crowned a long life of public service with acts which can never grow dim in the eyes of his fellow-citizens. If a competent Executive and a patriotic Cabinet had been in power, there would have been no especial honor in what then would have been assigned him to do; but with incompetence in the Chief Executive chair, and treason to advise and mislead it, he was in a position of extreme difficulty, as regards even liberty of action. The malignant epithets constantly applied to him for weeks, by the secession press of the south, testify to the energy with which he resisted the disorganizing and traitorous influences by which he was surrounded, and which were then in what they deemed was the full tide of triumph.
It is almost incumbent on the people to proceed at once to bestow some signal mark of their regard on this honored head of the army, and this first among living patriots. In the purpose of signifying our wish to recognize these services without delay, and to stimulate others to the expression of what all right-minded men must feel, we have written what is here said.