Mr. Lincoln's Speeches

St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, February 15, 1861

The speeches of Mr. LINCOLN, since the commencement of his progress to Washington, have been looked for with great interest, in the hope that they might give some inkling of his Administrative policy, and present, also, some insight into the character of the man. So far as his policy is concerned, it may be said that he did not use too strong terms to his Kentucky visitor, when, after being told that the Kentucky Legislature had, by nearly an unanimous vote, passed resolutions against Coercion of the Seceding States, he told Kentucky to "prepare for war." His speech at Indianapolis is in perfect consonance with this idea. The forts, arsenals, mint and custom-houses, in possession of the Seceding States must be retaken, according to the President, and to do this the army must be called into requisition, as well as the navy, and so civil war begins—the North against the South, and the latter to be subjugated at all hazards.

Mr. LINCOLN may begin this war if he likes it, but the end of his term will see him further than ever from the object in view, nor can he ever bring back the slave States into the Union by the employment of a military force; and if coercion be attempted—if war be made in the territory of the Border States, he will meet an army at the threshold quite powerful enough to destroy him.

At Columbus, Ohio, the President improvised a little—and certainly it is the most remarkable speech on record. The burden of it is that "nobody is hurt"—"nobody is suffering" from the present condition of affairs, pecuniary and political. Was the like of that ever heard? What could he have meant? With a perfect knowledge that the Union has been virtually dissolved—that six of the States have renounced this confederacy and formed a new government; with official information that the government was bankrupt, and that on the 4th of March not a dollar will be found in the Treasury, but pressing demands for at least eight millions, acknowledged to be due, but without the means of payment; with a knowledge that the Secretary of the Treasury had asked for means of any kind to meet the necessities of the office, and that even the indorsement of States had been solicited to give character to the national credit; with a congressional appropriation of the credit of the United States for from fifty to sixty-five millions of dollars, authorized for the ordinary wants of the Government; with communications before him, stating that not a dollar of money could be obtained by him for carrying on his government until all difficulties between the States are settled—he proceeds to tell us, that "nobody is hurt," and "nobody is suffering," from the present condition of the country.

"Nobody hurt—nobody suffering"—what does this mean? We ask the people of St. Louis to respond to this inquiry? How has it happened that commerce is checked in every department; that our merchants are forced to curtail, and even to close their business; that hundreds and thousands of worthy men are thrown out of employment, and left with their families to starve—how is this the case if, according to Mr. LINCOLN, there is "no suffering?" What say you, men of the foundries, and of the machine shops, and of the factories, and the carpenter shops, and of all the other industrial classes, is there no suffering among you, and in your families? What say the masons, and the bricklayers, and the men who aid in building houses, is there "no suffering" among you since Mr. LINCOLN's election? Have you full employment and good wages, and are you happy in your present condition of want, if not poverty? What say the draymen, the laborers, the men who strive for honest employment, and yet cannot get it, are you not "suffering," and are you not "hurt" by the present condition of affairs, growing out of the election of Mr. LINCOLN? Politically and socially, did the United States ever present such an aspect of complete wreck and abandonment, and yet Mr. LINCOLN tells us "nobody is hurt" and "nobody is suffering!"

So, too, we have no doubt that the Black Republicans of this city will tell us, that all is prosperous; that, though we have reached the starvation-point, it is incumbent on us that we should vote their ticket for the Convention; that it may become necessary, but it is for our wholesome, that they should shoot down some portion of the people on Monday next; that they have organized for this purpose, and it would be wrong for us to deprive the "Black Guard" of this pastime. Mr. LINCOLN's Columbus speech and the entertainments provided for the people in the lower wards of the city bear no little similarity to each other, in the indifference which they manifest for the welfare and the peace of society.