London, Saturday, March 16, 1861The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1079, p. 236.
March 16, 1861
. . . That the American journals should lend any credence to the tale that the disaffected Southerners had actually planned the assassination of the new President shows to what a pitch party feelings have been brought in the Republic. In the absence of further evidence we are reluctant to believe in the story of the infernal machine said to have been found in the railway-car in which Mr. Lincoln travelled, but it is certain that the President finished his journey to Washington with a rapidity originally unintended, and without making his friends aware of his movements. To read of the President's wife in tears, and urging her husband to depart suddenly, seems like turning back the page of history for a couple of hundred years. If we rightly understand his act it was a wise precaution to prevent any popular disturbance, and no man on either side the Atlantic will question the courage of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Douglas, his most formidable antagonist, has had an interview with him, and, it is said, urged him to decide upon a pacific course; but Mr. Lincoln is too wary a man to fall into any trap, and made the same sort of answer that Lord Palmerston would give under such circumstances, namely—that the question was under his best consideration. But news of the inauguration will, in all probability, arrive in time to be found in another column. Meantime the latest news is of the alarmist character, and speaks of the President's intention to reinforce Fort Sumter, and collect the dues by means of war-vessels, while the leading New York journal says that all hope of adjustment has passed, and the South is preparing for battle.