Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Mr. Lincoln’s Indianapolis Speech,” February 19, 1861

    Source citation
    “Mr. Lincoln’s Indianapolis Speech,” Cleveland (OH) Herald, February 19, 1861, p. 2: 1.
    Newspaper: Publication
    Daily Cleveland Herald
    Newspaper: Headline
    Mr. Lincoln’s Indianapolis Speech
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.


    Some of the Union papers of the Border Slave States are very severe in their criticisms upon Mr. Lincoln’s speech at Indianapolis, as foreshadowing the policy of the Administration. Now what did that speech say? Condensed to its most compact compass in matter, and expanded to its utmost limit in spirit, that speech was but an avowal, on the part of Mr. Lincoln, that he will execute the laws.

    It is of the very essence of the oath of office that the President will execute the laws, that he will protect Federal property; and distort it as you may, in length, breadth, and depth, Mr. Lincoln’s Indianapolis speech had that extent, no more.

    It is the most discouraging sign of the times that the Union men of the Border Slave States advocate the policy of non-resistance to traitors; advocate the propriety of treating with armed treason. What is our government worth if the remedy for evils is peaceful rebellion? – for such a paradox is advanced by even what are called Union men.

    What was Mr. Lincoln elected for but to execute the laws? And for merely avowing that he would do what his oath makes obligatory upon him, he is denounced – and by men, too, whose boasted political platform in the late campaign was the Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws.

    There is but little hope of reconciliation while those who profess to be friends of the Union, in Kentucky and other Border States, attempt to carry water on both shoulders – Union man and yet ready to bow to treason.

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