(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
VISIT TO PRESIDENT LINCOLN BY THE MASSACHUSETTS DELEGATION.-- Several state
delegations of Congressmen paid their respects to Mr. Lincoln Tuesday, including
those of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Charles R. Train, in behalf of the
Massachusetts delegation, said Massachusetts had read the inaugural address,
and would stand by it, and from none would it meet with a more cordial support
than from the old Bay state. Mr. Lincoln replied:
"I am thankful for this renewed assurance of kind feeling, and confidence
and support of the old Bay state. In so far as you have expressed, in behalf
of those your represent, your sanction of what I have enunciated in my inaugural
address, this is very grateful to my feelings. The subject was one of very great
delicacy. In presenting my views at the opening of an administration under the
peculiar circumstances attending my entrance upon the official duties connected
with the government, I studied all points with great anxiety, and presented
them with whatever of ability and sense of justice I could bring to bear. If
it meets the approbation of our good friends in Massachusetts, I shall be exceedingly
gratified, while I hope it will meet with the approbation of our friends everywhere.
I am thankful for the approval of those who voted with us, and like every other
man of you, I certainly enjoy them as do others. (Laughter.) As President, in
the administration of government I hope to be man enough not to know one citizen
from another. I shall be gratified to have our good friends of Massachusetts,
and others who have thus far supported me in these national views, still support
me in carrying them out."
Mr. Lincoln then retired.
The Massachusetts delegation then visited Gen. Scott and ex-Secretary Holt.
Mr. Holt expressed himself honored by the visit, and regretted that the brief
period he had been in the war department had not enabled him to do more for
the country in this time of trouble.
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Abraham Lincoln won Massachusetts solidly in the 1860 election, earning around two-thirds of the popular vote and all its Electoral College delegates. When the Massachusetts delegation came to him soon after his election, he was facing a friendly audience. Antislavery activism and a traditional dislike for the Democratic party led many to side with the Republicans when the party first emerged in the 1856 election. For the next sixty years Massachusetts would remain solidly Republican. After the delegation left the president they visited Gen. Winfield Scott (1786-1866), the general-in-chief of the army. Scott had been a hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Just eight days before this report was printed in the Greenfield Gazette, Scott had submitted four possible plans to deal with secession. One which argued that to reconquer the south it would take two or three years, 300,000 men and a remarkable leader; in exchange it would leave "15 devastated provinces" that would have to be "held, for generations, by heavy garrisons." Although this report was discounted it proved entirely correct except on one point: direct garrisoning of the south ended after only ten years.
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"Visit to President Lincoln by the Massachusetts Delegation"
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Mar 11, 1861
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 5.5"
| width 2.5"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L02.119
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