History of the Administration of President Lincoln: Including His Speeches, Letters, Addresses, Proclamations, and Messages. With a Preliminary Sketch of His Life

By Henry J. Raymond | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.
THE CONGRESSIONAL SESSION OF 1862-'63.--MESSAGE OF THE
PRESIDENT, AND GENERAL ACTION OF THE SESSION.

THE third session of the Thirty-seventh Congress opened on the first day of December, 1862--the supporters of the Administration having a large majority in both branches. The general condition of the country, and the progress made in quelling the rebellion, are clearly set forth in the following Message of President LINCOLN, which was sent in to Congress at the beginning of the session :

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Since your last annual assembling, another year of health and bountiful harvests has passed, and while it has not pleased the Almighty to bless us with a return of peace, we can but press on, guided by the best light He gives us, trusting that, in his own good time and wise way, all will be well.

The correspondence, touching foreign affairs, which has taken place during the last year, is herewith submitted, in virtual compliance with a request to that effect made by the House of Representatives near the close of the last session of Congress. If the condition of our relations with other nations is less gratifying than it has usually been at former periods, it is certainly more satisfactory than a nation so unhappily distracted as we are might reasonably have apprehended. In the month of June last there were some grounds to expect that the maritime Powers which, at the beginning of our domestic difficulties, so unwisely and unnecessarily, as we think, recognized the insurgents as a belligerent, would soon recede from that position, which has proved only less injurious to themselves than to our own country. But the temporary reverses which afterward befel the National arms, and which were

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