State of the Union

James Monroe
State of the Union

The Project Gutenberg EBook of State of the Union Addresses
by Abraham Lincoln (#15 in our series of US Presidential State of the
Union Addresses)
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Title: State of the Union Addresses of Abraham Lincoln
Author: Abraham Lincoln
Release Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5024] [Yes, we are more than

one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 11,
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

This eBook was produced by James Linden.
The addresses are separated by three asterisks: ***
Dates of addresses by Abraham Lincoln in this eBook: December 3,
1861 December 1, 1862 December 8, 1863 December 6, 1864

State of the Union Address Abraham Lincoln December 3, 1861
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:
In the midst of unprecedented political troubles we have cause of great
gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant harvests.
You will not be surprised to learn that in the peculiar exigencies of the
times our intercourse with foreign nations has been attended with
profound solicitude, chiefly turning upon our own domestic affairs.
A disloyal portion of the American people have during the whole year
been engaged in an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. A nation
which endures factious domestic division is exposed to disrespect
abroad, and one party, if not both, is sure sooner or later to invoke
foreign intervention.
Nations thus tempted to interfere are not always able to resist the
counsels of seeming expediency and ungenerous ambition, although
measures adopted under such influences seldom fail to be unfortunate
and injurious to those adopting them.
The disloyal citizens of the United States who have offered the ruin of
our country in return for the aid and comfort which they have invoked

abroad have received less patronage and encouragement than they
probably expected. If it were just to suppose, as the insurgents have
seemed to assume, that foreign nations in this case, discarding all moral,
social, and treaty obligations, would act solely and selfishly for the
most speedy restoration of commerce, including especially the
acquisition of cotton, those nations appear as yet not to have seen their
way to their object more directly or clearly through the destruction than
through the preservation of the Union. If we could dare to believe that
foreign nations are actuated by no higher principle than this, I am quite
sure a sound argument could be made to show them that they can reach
their aim more readily and easily by aiding to crush this rebellion than
by giving encouragement to it.
The principal lever relied on by the insurgents for exciting foreign
nations to hostility against us, as already intimated, is the
embarrassment of commerce. Those nations, however, not improbably
saw from the first that it was the Union which made as well our foreign
as our domestic commerce. They can scarcely have failed to perceive
that the effort for disunion produces the existing difficulty, and that one
strong nation promises more durable peace and a more extensive,
valuable, and reliable commerce than can the same nation broken into
hostile fragments.
It is not my purpose to review our discussions with foreign states,
because, whatever might be their wishes or dispositions, the integrity of
our country and the stability of our Government mainly depend not
upon them, but on the loyalty, virtue, patriotism, and intelligence of the
American people. The correspondence itself, with the usual
reservations, is herewith submitted.
I venture to hope it will appear that we have practiced prudence and
liberality toward foreign powers, averting causes of irritation and with
firmness maintaining our own rights and honor.
Since, however, it is apparent that here, as in every other state, foreign
dangers necessarily attend domestic difficulties, I recommend that
adequate and ample measures be adopted for maintaining the public
defenses on
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