Injustice Towards Mr. Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln may think that he has friends among the abolitionists, for whom he has sacrificed everything. He has managed the game of emancipation so as to bring about emancipation in his way, and as sweeping and complete as the abolitionists have ever asked. Yet they are not satisfied. They do not like his statement that if he could not maintain the constitution in the states in revolt he certainly could not enforce a proclamation of negro freedom. The Chicago ministers and deacons debated the subject with him, and, although, Lincoln like, he would not tell them that he would have to do what they dictated, he proceeded, within a week, to carry out their behests; not in their particular way, of course, but in accordance with his uniform policy of preserving his peculiar individuality in the exercise of the presidential functions.
They do not like his statement that he thinks the proclamation will be of no utility as a war measure. Though as thorough an abolitionist as any of them, he speaks deprecatingly of the measure, thinking that by this he may make fair weather with the conservative portion of his party, with whom he hopes to gain the reputation of an honest purpose, though he may have erred in an experiment recommended by the uncompromising fanatics. With these fanatics he lost caste when he told the southern loyal members that he would like to go with them in the preservation of their rights, but the pressure from those who elected him, inhibited it; that it was unreasonable to ask him to sacrifice his prospects of a remuneration, by adhering to the pledges of his early messages and the pledges of congress.
Though all has been done that these abolition disunionists have required at his hands, and though he is body and soul a revolutionist as zealous as themselves, he has made no friends among them, for the reason that he has not done everything in their particular way, and at their designated moment. They were impressed with the belief that abolishment should be proclaimed when the army was full and vigorous, but he thought it better to proclaim it when the army was exhausted and diminished, and when no more troops could be raised for an abolition war.
In all this the abolitionists are unreasonable. They are naturally malignant towards the people of the south, and of southern origin. They incessantly invoke evils and miseries of unheard of invention towards these objects of their implacable hate. Mr. Lincoln has managed to have four armies beaten everywhere, and now he has achieved his great end, of exhausting the armies of the south, and at the same time of not fighting them to a submission to the Union — an even which would have "saved slavery," to use one of his phrases. He now withdraws from the field of active operations, and turns the slaves loose upon the south, to do the work of death — and worse, Cunningly he divided McClellan's army, so that the could not capture Richmond by the southern approaches. Harper's Ferry was opened to the return of the foe, by intrigues which will not "escape history." Twice was McClellan set aside for generals more likely to yield to suggestions. Fredericksburg's impregnability was a card not overlooked. Vicksburg served a double purpose of New England "monopoly," as stated by Gov. Yates, and of proof that the president desired to capture the place, though it was not undertaken till it was known to be impossible; and now, at last, we are informed that the president himself intends to take the field in person, owing, possibly, to an apprehension that his policy of "impediments" may be violated by an honest army, who having become disgusted with these inexplicable and sanguinary losses, may give way to a patriotic resistance of authority, and suddenly assail the enemy to a suppression of the rebellion. Step by step, Mr. Lincoln has, as he supposes, reduced the southern people to such a state of weakness that he can now turn loose upon them their four millions of slaves, thus producing at once the happy massacre of the slaveholders and the glorious freedom of the slaves. What more than this could the envenomed abolitionists ask? Could they have planned it better for the gratification of their hate of southern blood? Is there one among them who would have sacrificed more lives than Mr. Lincoln has in carrying out this policy of inhuman punishment? Then why denounce him simply for doing the thing differently from what they would have done it, when he has done it quite as well?