November 21, 1860: Lincoln reassures the South

Lyman Trumbull
Lyman Trumbull

A speech by Senator Lyman Trumbull on November 21, was reported in the Illinois State Journal, including this paragraph written for him by president-elect Lincoln:

It should be a matter of rejoicing to all true Republicans, that they will now have an opportunity of demonstrating to their political adversaries and to the world, that they are not for interfering with the domestic institutions of any of the States, nor the advocates of negro-equality or amalgamation, with which political demagogues have so often charged them. When this is shown, a re-action will assuredly take place in favor of Republicanism, the Southern mind even will be satisfied, the rights of Northern men will be respected, and the fraternal feeling existing in olden times, when men from all parts of the country went forth together to battle for a common cause, against a common enemy, will be restored.

Linden p. 183-184.

This was Lincoln’s perhaps somewhat naive position. Sadly, the Cotton states would not wait for an “overt act”, but seceded out of the fear that Lincoln would move against slavery.

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