New Orleans Daily Crescent, November 12, 1860
Abraham Lincoln is President elect of the United States. All the Northern States, with the exception of gallant and glorious New Jersey, have voted for him, and in most of them his majorities are very great. These majorities are more significant and suggestive than anything else—more so than the election itself—for they unmistakably indicate the hatred to the South which animates and controls the masses of the numerically strongest section of the Confederacy.
In emergencies of this kind it is the height of folly for men to strive to shut their eyes and stop their ears against stubborn facts. Especially is this proposition true in regard to the people of the threatened section. They, of all others, should look at the facts as they are, and should prepare themselves accordingly to meet whatever circumstances it is legitimately inferrable the future may have in store for them. They must, if they would pluck the flower of safety from the nettle of danger, neither be blind nor deaf nor inert. They must boldly, but deliberately, calmly and judiciously, meet whatever questions or dangers Northern abolition sectionalism may force upon them—and to meet them as they should be met, the sooner the proper steps are taken the better for all the parties to the controversy which seems to be unavoidable and imminent.
In a crisis like this there should be neither hesitation, vacillation or faltering. We should either submit quietly to Abolition domination, and do nothing, or we should go to work with resolution, prudence and inflexible determination. If we are going to submit, let us do so without any fuss or excitement. If we are going to fight, let us prepare for the conflict, while we have time, without ostentation or parade, and then go into the battle determined to preserve our liberties or perish in the attempt. If we are going to act at all, let us act forthwith; but, in the name of common propriety, let us have as little talk as possible, no matter which alternative is adopted.
Since the election of Lincoln most of the leading Northern Abolition papers have essayed the herculean task of reconciling the Southern people to his Presidential rule. Having succeeded to their heart's content in electing him—having villified and maligned the South through a long canvass, without measure or excuse—they now tell us that Mr. Lincoln is a very good man, a very amiable man; that he is not at all violent in his prejudices or partialities; that, on the contrary, he is a moderate, kindly-tempered, conservative man, and if we will only submit to his administration for a time, we will ascertain that he will make one of the best Presidents the South or the country ever had! "Will you walk into my parlor said the spider to the fly."
Now, as it is generally believed most things are possible, Mr. Lincoln may be all that these Abolition journals say he is. But, we do not believe a word they say. We are clearly convinced that they are telling falsehoods to deceive the people of the South, in order to carry out their own selfish and unpatriotic purposes the more easily. They know that, although Lincoln is elected to the Presidency, he is not yet President of the United States, and they are shrewd enough to know that grave doubts exist whether he ever will be. The chances are that he will not, unless the South is quieted; and if any such catastrophe happens, all their past labors and all their expected plunders and spoliations will elude their rapacious grasp. Hence the indecent and hypocritical haste with which they are attempting to conciliate the Southern people.
We propose to measure Mr. Lincoln by his own standard. None of his friends in this or any other latitude can object to such measurement. Mr. Lincoln is quite an old man, and we shall quote nothing against him which can be charged to the indiscretion of youth.
Some years ago the free negroes of Ohio presented Gov. Chase with a silver pitcher as a token of their affection for him. The ceremony of presentation took place in Cincinnati, and Abraham Lincoln was present. Mr. Lincoln was called upon, and made a speech. In that speech he said:
I embrace with pleasure this opportunity of declaring my disapprobation of that clause of the Constitution which denies to a portion of the colored people the right of suffrage.
True democracy makes no inquiry about the color of the skin, or place of nativity, or any other circumstance or condition. I regard, therefore, the exclusion of the colored people, as a body, from the elective franchise, as incompatible with true democratic principles.
Mr. Lincoln made a speech at Peoria, Illinois, on the 16th of October, 1854. Here is an extract from that speech:
That no man is good enough to govern another man without the other's consent. I say this is the leading principle—the SHEET-ANCHOR of American Republicanism . . . the master not only governs the slave without his consent, but he governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for himself. Allow all the governed an EQUAL VOICE IN THE GOVERNMENT, and that and that only, is self-government. (Howell's Life of Lincoln, page 279.)
On the 17th of June, 1858, Mr. Lincoln delivered a set speech at Springfield, Illinois. Here is a paragraph from that speech:
We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advoCates will push it forward until it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.
Still later, in a speech at Chicago, July 10, 1858, we find Mr. Lincoln promulgating sentiments like these:
If I were in Congress, and a vote should come up on a question whether slavery should be prohibited in a new Territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it should.
All the foregoing extracts prove Mr. Lincoln to be a thorough radical Abolitionist, without exception or qualification; and in the last one he declared his willingness to violate his oath were he in Congress, sooner than allow slavery to exist in a Territory. If he was so anxious to perjure himself as a Congressman, it is barely possible he will be particularly scrupulous about his oath as President.
We have presented the above extracts, not with a view of stimulating excitement, but for the general information. We wish our people to be fully posted, so that when they act, they may act advisedly, and with full knowledge of every important matter pertaining to the past which has any bearing upon the present.