This display of military force the mayor of this city officially declared to be

This display of military force the mayor of this city

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This display of military force the mayor of this city officially declared to be necessary,” so wrote our Harvard University friend, old Josiah Quincy. He also added, that summer in ’54, “Slaveholders have multiplied their black cattle by the million; and are every day increasing their numbers, and extending their cattle field into the wilderness...” I respond to those impressive words with mine, since the slave issue dies hard. The ant who has toiled and dragged a crumb to his nest will furiously defend the fruit of his labor against whatever robber assails him. So plain that the most dumb and stupid slave that ever toiled for a master does constantly know that he is wronged. So plain that no one, high or low, ever does mistake it, except in a plainly selfish way; for although volume after volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself. Certainly, though a man may escape death and injury in the front lines, changes brought about by the war may alienate him at home, after he leaves the army, if he still has a home. The black who has fought for the North may find his Southern neighbors have become enemies. The black who has found a measure of recognition while serving will find a lack of recognition after the war. We have made little or no provision for the wounded. Our hospitals are inadequate. Southerners will return to their farms 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 my hope that the church may help democratize. As I study the Washington archive I learn essential facts, but these facts are not disseminated. How are we to coordinate these state laws? Missouri hardly comprehends the laws of Massachusetts. 696
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L INCOLN S J OURNAL Justice—many strive for justice. Efforts must be doubled. I hope it may be said that I was just. There are nights when I can not sleep. I get up and pace the floor of my bedroom or go into my office. Many continue to threaten my life; so I do not walk the streets of Washington. If I were home again I could walk freely. In Springfield, it is pleasant to imagine, I would shake off the war trauma. I think old skies would reassure me. But days in Springfield will not return. I have lost more than half my life here—but it was not the ax that cut me down. What was it, in all truth? Craving for glory? For power? I accept those weaknesses but above them is my desire to help my country, to balance the welfare of our people. The White House —cold, rainy— Very often my commanding officers prove to be inadequate and I have to substitute one for another. Most officers, I find, shun advice or suggestions. Grant and Sherman are the best listeners. Ours is a mutual respect. Grant has the essential military skill to control the entire armed force. He also has ample courage for his job (it takes courage to fling men into battle; I also send men to death).
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