Columbus Daily Capital City Fact, March 5, 1861
Probably more anxiety has been felt throughout the country to read the inaugural address of Mr. LINCOLN than was ever felt in reference to the first official paper of a previous President. The course foreshadowed for himself by Mr. LINCOLN is that which his opponents so faithfully and so patriotically sought in vain to forestall—not that of a President of the people, but of a section. He promises to make use of the power conferred upon him by the Constitution, or which he construes to be so conferred, to coerce the seceding States back into the Union by the strong arm of the Army and Navy, thus holding himself and the Republican party responsible for all the horrors of internecine war which must be the inevitable result. The inaugural is a concise and lucid resume or synopsis of Mr. LINCOLN's debates and speeches previous to the election, and a positive reaffirmation of the doctrines enunciated by the Chicago platform; and if its provisions and recommendations are carried out, blood will stain the soil and color the waters of the entire continent—brother will be arrayed in hostile front against brother—servile insurrection will lay waste the South, and carnage, rapine and retributive vengeance will have become the occupation of the now manacled slave, then freed to his licentious orgies by wild fanaticism. Would to heaven that the South could be prevailed upon to relinquish the properties illegally withheld from the Government, that the general devastation threatened by this small man made great might be averted. But will the South do this? No! Not an inch will she relinquish of the 'vantage ground surreptitiously assumed, and the consequences will be, should LINCOLN meet with encouragement in his menaces, too terrible for calm contemplation. Are the People prepared for the prospective carnival?
The influence of Mr. LINCOLN's inaugural upon the peace propositions submitted to the people for approval or rejection, will be unpropitious. The Border States, who are for the Union under any ordinary circumstances, will certainly receive the inaugural as a virtual declaration of war upon the institution of slavery. They will see that there is no hope of honorable compromise with the present administration, at least, and will feel the less anxiety that the pacific and conciliatory measures proposed by Messrs. FRANKLIN and CORWIN receive a two-third[s] vote of the States. Its effect upon the already seceded States cannot be otherwise than an incentive to renewed determination to hold aloof from a section that boldly menaces them through the Chief Executive officer. This unfortunate document will most probably end all hope of compromise, and these measures will go to the people to be by them rejected. It has cast a sullen gloom over the feelings of thousands who but yesterday were buoyant and cheerful in the hope that a better day was dawning.
But one hope yet remains for the salvation of the country, and that is, in the wisdom and might of a people who have been outraged and distracted by unprincipled demagogues and lying politicians. It is possible that LINCOLN may be deterred from carrying out the programme of blood by the wiser advice of his Cabinet. If so, and war be averted, it becomes the imperative duty of the unbought and incorruptible yeomanry of the country to take their own destinies into their own hands, and by the popular voice bid the wild fanatic strife to cease. Politics, as a trade, has well nigh damned the country, and politicians, as such, must be ostracised. If necessary, the elections of LINCOLN and DAVIS should be treated as though they had never been held. Better this than tamely relinquish the heritage of our fathers, who bequeathed it with their blood.
"The voice of the people is the voice of God," and the voice of the people is for the perpetuity of the Union. They have been betrayed North and South by the ambitions, the jealousies, and the misrepresentations of those whom they have trusted with the honors of place and the emoluments of office. "If," says the New York News, "the decision of the people could have been fairly taken, North and South, with reference to the Union—if it could have been submitted to them whether it was to be maintained, no matter what injustice was suffered, we are convinced that a majority in every State (with, it may be, one exception) would have responded enthusiastically for its preservation at all hazards and under every contingency. To this sentiment we trust for its re-edification and the glorious accomplishment of reunion. They will be potent enough to forbid any Administration to embroil them in domestic war, and will patiently wait for mutual interests and restored affection to reknit the severed political ties."