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This display of military force the mayor of this city officiallydeclared to be necessary,” so wrote our Harvard Universityfriend, old Josiah Quincy. He also added, that summer in ’54,“Slaveholders have multiplied their black cattle by themillion; and are every day increasing their numbers, andextending their cattle field into the wilderness...”I respond to those impressive words with mine, since theslave issue dies hard.The ant who has toiled and dragged a crumb to his nestwill furiously defend the fruit of his labor against whateverrobber assails him. So plain that the most dumb and stupidslave that ever toiled for a master does constantly know thathe is wronged. So plain that no one, high or low, ever doesmistake it, except in a plainly selfish way; for althoughvolume after volume is written to prove slavery a very goodthing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the goodof it by being a slave himself.Certainly, though a man may escape death and injury inthe front lines, changes brought about by the war mayalienate him at home, after he leaves the army, if he still hasa home. The black who has fought for the North may find hisSouthern neighbors have become enemies. The black whohas found a measure of recognition while serving will find alack of recognition after the war.We have made little or no provision for the wounded. Ourhospitals are inadequate. Southerners will return to theirfarms with little more than the horse that saw combat.Custom dictates that he reject the negro.As a nation, we are in a maelstrom of change. It is myhope that the church may help democratize. As I study theWashington archive I learn essential facts, but these facts arenot disseminated. How are we to coordinate these statelaws? Missouri hardly comprehends the laws ofMassachusetts.696
LINCOLN’SJOURNALJustice—many strive for justice. Efforts must be doubled. Ihope it may be said that I was just.There are nights when I can not sleep. I get up and pacethe floor of my bedroom or go into my office.Many continue to threaten my life; so I do not walk thestreets of Washington. If I were home again I could walkfreely. In Springfield, it is pleasant to imagine, I would shakeoff the war trauma. I think old skies would reassure me. Butdays in Springfield will not return. I have lost more than halfmy life here—but it was not the ax that cut me down. Whatwas it, in all truth? Craving for glory? For power? I acceptthose weaknesses but above them is my desire to help mycountry, to balance the welfare of our people.The White House—cold, rainy—Very often my commanding officers prove to be inadequateand I have to substitute one for another. Most officers, I find,shun advice or suggestions. Grant and Sherman are the bestlisteners. Ours is a mutual respect. Grant has the essentialmilitary skill to control the entire armed force. He also hasample courage for his job (it takes courage to fling men intobattle; I also send men to death).