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improper interference in the midst of our adversity, and, as they supposed, of our weakness, will learn that this is a Government of the people possessing power enough to make itself felt and respected.

"In the midst of our rejoicing, we must not forget to drop a tear for those gallant fellows who have shed their blood that their Government must triumph. We cannot forget them when we view the many bloody battle-fields of the war, the new-made graves, our maimed friends and relatives, who have left their limbs, as it were, on the enemy's soil, and others who have been consigned to their long narrow houses, with no winding-sheet save their blankets saturated with their blood.

"One word more, and I have done. It is this: I am in favor of leniency; but, in my opinion, evil-doers should be punished. [Cries of 'That's so.'] Treason is the highest crime known in the catalogue of crimes, and for him that is guilty of it — for him that is willing to lift his impious hand against the authority of the nation - I would say death is too easy a punishment. My notion is that treason must be made odious and traitors must be punished and impoverished, their social power broken, though they must be made to feel the penalty of their crime. You, my friends, have traitors in your very midst, and treason needs rebuke and punishment here as well as elsewhere. It is not the men in the field who are the greatest traitors. It is the men who have encouraged them to imperil their lives, while they themselves have remained at home, expending their means and exerting all their power to overthrow the Government. Hence I say this: 'The halter to intelligent, influential traitors.' But to the honest boy, to

the deluded man, who has been deceived into the rebel ranks, I would extend leniency; I would say, 'Return to your allegiance, renew your support to the Government, and become a good citizen;' but the leaders I would hang. I hold, too, that wealthy traitors should be made to remunerate those men who have suffered as a consequence of their crime, - Union men who have lost their property, who have been driven from their

homes, beggars and wanderers among strangers. It is well to talk about these things here to-day, in addressing the wellinformed persons who compose this audience. You can, to a very great extent, aid in moulding public opinion, and in giving it a proper direction. Let us commence the work. We have put down these traitors in arms; let us put them down in law, in public judgment, and in the morals of the world."


The fall of Richmond was followed by the surrender of Lee's army on the 9th of April. Five days after, on the evening of the 14th, the bullet of the assassin struck down the head of the Nation, but it did not still the pulsations of its heart nor paralyze the action of its limbs. As the dreadful intelligence flashed over the electric wire, throughout the length and breadth of the land, the whole country stood for a moment, speechless and breathless, appalled by the dastardly outrage. first thought of the Nation was for the safety of its Government. Self-perpetuating, the Government received, but scarcely felt, a shock which would have overthrown the dynasties of the Old World. The wires were yet trembling with the burden of the sad message, "Abraham Lincoln died this morning at twenty-two minutes after seven o'clock," when they were again called to proclaim that "Andrew Johnson was sworn into office as President of the United States, by Chief Justice Chase, to-day at eleven o'clock."

The formal ceremonies were brief but dignified, promptly performed, but invested with an unusual solemnity by the sad event which had rendered

them necessary.

Immediately on the death of President Lincoln, Hon. James Speed, AttorneyGeneral of the United States, waited upon VicePresident Johnson with the following official communication:

"WASHINGTON CITY, April 15, 1865.

"ANDREW JOHNSON, Vice-President of the United States.


SIR, — ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, was shot by an assassin last evening at Ford's Theatre, in this city, and died at the hour of twenty-two minutes after seven o'clock. About the same time at which the President was shot, an assassin entered the sick chamber of Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, and stabbed him in several places in the throat, neck, and face, severely, if no tmortally, wounding him. Other members of the Secretary's family were dangerously wounded by the assassin, while making his escape.

"By the death of President Lincoln the office of President has devolved, under the Constitution, upon you. The emergency of the Government demands that you should immediately qualify according to the requirements of the Constitution, and enter upon the duties of President of the United States. If you will please make known your pleasure, such arrangements as you deem proper will be made.

"Your obedient servants,

"HUGH MCCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury; EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War; GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Nary; WILLIAM DENNISON, Postmaster-General; J. P. USHER, Secretary of the Interior; JAMES SPEED, AttorneyGeneral."

Mr. Johnson suggested ten o'clock as the hour, and his apartments at the Kirkwood House as the place, where, at the hour designated, the ceremony was performed.

After the oath had been administered, President Johnson delivered the following address:

"GENTLEMEN, I must be permitted to say that I have been almost overwhelmed by the announcement of the sad event which has so recently occurred. I feel incompetent to perform duties so important and responsible as those which have been so unexpectedly thrown upon me. As to an indication of any policy which may be pursued by me in the administration of the Government, I have to say, that that must be left for development as the administration progresses. The message or declaration must be made by the acts as they transpire. The only assurance that I can now give of the future, is by reference to the past. The course which I have taken in the past, in connection with this rebellion, must be regarded as a guarantee of the future. My past public life, which has been long and laborious, has been founded, as I in good conscience believe, upon a great principle of right, which lies at the basis of all things. The best energies of my life have been spent in endeavoring to establish and perpetuate the principles of free government, and I believe that the Government, in passing through its present trials, will settle down upon principles consonant with popular rights more permanent and enduring than heretofore. I must be permit ted to say, if I understand the feelings of my own heart, I have long labored to ameliorate and alleviate the condition of the great mass of the American people. Toil, and an honest advocacy of the great principles of free government, have been my lot. The duties have been mine - the consequences are God's. This has been the foundation of my political creed. I feel that in the end the Government will triumph. and that these great principles will be permanently established.

In conclusion, gentlemen, let me say that I want your encouragement and countenance. I shall ask and rely upon you and others in carrying the Government through its present perils. I feel, in making this request, that it will be heartily responded to by you, and all other patriots and lovers of the rights and interests of a free people."



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MR. CHAIRMAN : I have for some days attempted to obtain possession of the floor when the House has been in Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and having at length succeeded, I may not confine myself to the pending question, but diverge to others of a more general character, as other gentlemen have done who have preceded me in debate. I make the admission frankly that I shall introduce some general topics of discussion in the course of my argument, if anything that I shall say may be dignified with the appellation of an argument. However, as an hour is but a very limited time in which to speak on such varied and important questions as present themselves to my mind, I shall directly address myself to those questions, and if I cannot embody all my views, I may be able to present the outline, the bones, the general contour of those subjects, and leave to those who may feel sufficient interest in them to listen to my remarks to fill up the outlines and clothe the bones with suitable muscles and flesh.

For the last two or three days, and I may say

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