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The reception at Cincinnati; Speech of Mr. Lincoln

CINCINNATI, Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The train arrived at the appointed time at the foot of Fifth-street, which was literally blocked with people. The locomotive was once compelled to stop. The crowd was so great it was impossible to get out of the way at the depot, and it was found necessary to bring the military and police forces into requisition to clear the way.

The reception was an era in the history of Cincinnati. The weather was mild and beautiful. The streets were crowded with citizens and people from this and the neighboring States. The streets through which the procession passed were crowded at an early hour, and the windows filled with ladies. The Burnett House, where the Presidential party stop, was handsomely decorated, and every arrangement made for the comfort of the distinguished guests. The stars and stripes were flying from all the public, and a number of private buildings.

At 2 1/2 o'clock, the military, which made a fine display, and the Committee of Arrangements, were at the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad depot. On the arrival of the train, Mayor BISHOP introduced and welcomed the President elect to Cincinnati. Mr. LINCOLN took a seat in a barouche drawn by six white horses, amid the deafening cheers of a vast concourse of people. The procession, in charge of MILES GREENWOOD, took up its march passing through the principal streets, amid the cheers of men, and waving of flags and handkerchiefs by the ladies, to the Burnet House, where it arrived at 5 1/2 o'clock, which Mr. LINCOLN entered, amid deafening cheers, -- Mentor's Band playing "Hail Columbia" and "Star-spangled Banner."

After a few moment's rest, Mr. LINCOLN made his appearance on the balcony, accompanied by Mayor BISHOP, who made a short introductory address. Mr. LINCOLN then spoke.

He said: I have spoken but once before this in Cincinnati. That was a year previous to the late Presidential election. On that occasion, in a playful manner, but with small words, I addressed much of what I said to the Kentuckians. I gave my opinion that we, as Republicans, would ultimately beat them, as Democrats, but that they could postpone that result longer by nominating Senator DOUGLAS for the Presidency, that they could in any other way. They did not, in any true senye of the word, nominate Mr. DOUGLAS, and the result has come certainly as soon as ever I expected. I also told them how I expected they would be treated after they should have been beaten; and I now wish to call their attention to what I then said upon that subject. I then said, "When we do as we say, beat you, you perhaps want to know what we will do with you. I will tell you, as far as I am authorized to speak for the Opposition, what we mean to do with you. We mean to treat you, as near as we possibly can, as WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON and MADISON treated you. We mean to leave you alone, and in no way to interfere with your institutions; to abide by all and every compromise of the Constitution; and, in a word, coming back to the original proposition, to treat you so far as degenerate men, if we have degenerated, may, according to the example of those noble fathers, WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, and MADISON. We mean to remember that you are as good as we; that there is no difference between us, other than the difference of circumstances. We mean to recognize and bear in mind always that you have as good hearts in your bosoms as other people, or as we claim to have, and treat you accordingly.

Fellow-citizens of Kentucky! friends! brethren, may I call you in my new position. I see no occasion, and feel no inclination to retract a word of this. If it shall not be made good, be assured the fault shall not be mine."

The remarks were received with great enthusiasm. In passing to his room those that could rushed at him, throwing their arms around him, patting him on the back, and almost wrenching his arms off. Politicians were thick; among them GEORGE N. SANDERS and others.

This evening, in the grand hall of the Burnet House, which has been decorated for the occasion, Mr. LINCOLN will receive the people generally. He looks well, and is in good spirits.

The whole arrangements thus far, which have been under the charge of W.S. WOOD, have been admirable; nothing has occurred to mar the pleasure of the journey.

Originally Published February 12, 1861 - The New York Times

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