President Lincoln Meets with Maryland Union Committee

November 17, 1864

The Central Committee of the Maryland Union Party – the 1864 replacement for the Republican Party – meets with President and former Postmaster General Montgomery Blair introduces each member to Lincoln.             President Lincoln responds to a speech by Chairman William H. Purnell : “’He had to confess that he was fully notified of the intention thus kindly to call upon him, and by that means he had a fair opportunity offered to be ready with a set speech; but he had not prepared one, having been very busy with his public duties; therefore, he could only speak as the thoughts might occur to him. He would not attempt to conceal from them the fact that he was gratified at the results of the Presidential election, and he would assure them that he had kept as near as he could to the exercise of his best judgment, for the promotion of the interests of the whole country; and now, to have the seal of approbation marked on the course he had pursued was exceedingly gratifying to his feelings. He might go further and say that, in as large proportion as any other man, his pleasure consisted in the belief that the policy he had pursued would be the best and the only one that could save the country. He had said before, and would now repeat, that he indulged in no feeling of triumph over any one who thought or acted differently from himself. He had no such feeling towards any living man.

When he thought of Maryland in particular, it was that the people had more than double their share in what had occurred in the elections. He thought the adoption of their free State constitution was a bigger thing than their part in the Presidential election. He could, any day, have stipulated to lose Maryland in the Presidential election to save its free constitution, because the Presidential election comes every four years and the adoption of the constitution, being a good thing, could not be undone. He therefore thought in that they had a victory for the right worth a great deal more than their part in the Presidential election, although he thought well of that. He once before said, and would now say again, that those who had differed from us and opposed us would see that it was better for their own good that they had been defeated, rather than to have been successful. Thanking them for their compliment, he said he would bring to a close that short speech.’


Published in: on November 17, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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