THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION DOING WHAT THE LAST SHOULD HAVE DONE. In the course which Mr. Lincoln is pursuing just now, he is precisely following the advice which we gave in these columns to Mr. Buchanan three months before Mr. Lincoln’s inauguration. When South Carolina seceded, and there were bruited abroad various threats of an assault on Washington, we suggested to the late President to raise a force of a hundred thousand men, if necessary, from the States of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and the border States, for the protection of the national capital. As far back as January 3, we said, “Let the President be empowered to put a militia force of from sixty to eighty thousand men under the command of Gen. Scott, summoned from the States adjoining the national capital, and the country will have perfect confidence in his ability and wisdom to secure us from danger there. This is the first necessity.” Such was our counsel then to Mr. Buchanan, reiterated again and again; but it unfortunately was not followed – a circumstance which at the time we reprobated and deplored – or else the present troubles had never arisen.
However, if Mr. Lincoln confines his war policy to the seceded States alone, he may be able to settle all our difficulties in a year or two, and the country will go on as prosperously as heretofore, and may perhaps be then in a position to return the compliment to England and France; for they too have their troubles before them, if a couple of years’ war should cut off the supplies of cotton from the South. At the same time it is very much to be regretted that the former administration did not take our advice in the matter of taking more vigorous measures; and calling for a strong volunteer force when the present storm showed itself as a mere speck on the horizon, just as Mr. Lincoln has done in his recent proclamation.