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Lincoln's inaugural

Union or Secession
  • "Mr. Lincoln's inaugural will be well received"
On March 5, 1861, the editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, a Republican Party newspaper, praised the inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln.
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    Archibald W. Campbell
« Return to Abraham Lincoln is Inaugurated on March 4

"Mr. Lincoln's inaugural will be well received"

Editorial in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, March 6, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln took office as president of the United States and delivered his inaugural address on March 4, 1861. Virginians' reactions to the address ranged from enthusiasm to condemnation. Archibald W. Campbell, editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, was one of Virginia's Republican Party leaders. In the 1860 presidential election, Lincoln received 771 votes in Wheeling and in Ohio County. Campbell reviewed Lincoln's inaugural address and concluded that it would calm the country. He wrote, "On the whole, we think Mr. Lincoln's inaugural will be well received by the country generally. There may be some timid men who fear that it will provoke a collision. It will do nothing of the sort, and we believe time will prove it."

Editorial in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, March 6, 1861.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN's Inaugural appears to render, so far as we can hear, very general satisfaction. It does not, at least, disappoint any just expectations of his friends. He plants himself firmly and squarely upon the Constitution, and declares that while he will spare no efforts to carry out its provisions impartially, yet the action of the Government shall not be aggressive; it will act only on the defensive. It will make no war; it will simply protect itself. This will, of course, be denounced by the secession leaders, who stigmatise self-protection as "coersion," and who are enraged because they cannot prevent the Inauguration of an administration which will have both the will and the power to protect the property of the Government. But the effect of the inauguration of such an administration will be at once to strengthen the hands of the Union men all over the South, and to them, and them only, we look for a practical solution of this question of secession, and we believe they will solve it. They will do it by rising in their might, and crushing out the hydra-headed monster among them.
While the President will use all endeavors to maintain the integrity of the Government, he will yet temper justice with mercy, his object being not to subjugate any part of the people of the country, but to restore, by wise counsels and moderate measures, the era of unity and good feeling.
The President expresses himself favorable to the assembling of a national convention; a measure approved by many good and able men, and one that has a strong popular feeling in its favor. We cannot see that any harm could come of such a convention, assembled under the forms prescribed by the Constitution, and much good might grow out of it.
On the whole, we think Mr. Lincoln's inaugural will be well received by the country generally. There may be some timid men who fear that it will provoke a collision. It will do nothing of the sort, and we believe time will prove it. The secessionists will now have a government to deal with which they will respect, and they will hesitate a long time before they assault it, without which there can be no collision.