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The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1080, p. 256.

March 23, 1861


The ceremony of Mr. Lincoln's inauguration as President of the United States took place on the 4th inst. at Washington. The congregation on and before the east front of the Capitol was immense—larger, it is said, than was ever known before. Senator Baker, of Oregon, introduced Mr. Lincoln to the assembly. On Mr. Lincoln advancing to the stand he was cheered, though not vehemently. Unfolding his manuscript, he read his inaugural speech, which is given in full at page 272 of our Supplement. At the conclusion of the address Chief Justice Taney administered to him the oath of office as follows:—"I, Abraham Lincoln, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

President Lincoln had nominated the following gentlemen as his Cabinet:—William H. Seward, of New York, Secretary of State; Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury; Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, Secretary of War; Gideon Welles, of Connecticut, Secretary of the Navy; Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, Secretary of the Interior; Montgomery Blair, of Maryland, Postmaster-General; Edward Bates, of Missouri, Attorney-General. The nomination of this Cabinet was confirmed by the United States' Senate on the 5th of March.

It is asserted that President Lincoln and his Cabinet have resolved to throw reinforcements into Fort Sumter, General Scott being of opinion that such a measure can be easily executed.

The labours of the thirty-sixth Congress ended on the 4th inst. at noon. The Senate signalised its last hours by the passage of the resolution recommending an amendment to the Constitution rendering it unalterable in respect to the power of the people to so amend it as to disturb slavery as it exists in the States except by the consent of all the States where slavery prevails. No business of importance was transacted in the House.

The new Tariff Act was signed by President Buchanan on the 2nd inst., and will come into operation on April 1.

Arkansas has elected a majority of Unionists. North Carolina had elected sixty-five Unionists and thirty-three Secessionists. Missouri has declined to secede. Virginia is on the point of secession, the State Convention having passed an ordinance "dissolving the political connection between Virginia and the Northern States of the Union."

All the United States' ships now in the Pacific and Mediterranean have been ordered home to northern ports. All the troops now in Mexico and Texas have also been recalled.


Lord Lyons has notified to the Washington Government that the British Government will not recognise the blockade of the southern ports unless such blockade be complete and effectual. It was stated that the French Government would shortly give a similar notice, and that this course would be followed by the leading European Powers interested.

The Southern Congress has passed a bill providing for the formation of an army which will, it is said, be composed of 50,000 men.

The Southern Commissioners have arrived at Washington, and were, according to one account, to communicate the object of their mission to President Lincoln on Tuesday, the 12th inst.; whilst, according to another rumour, they could not be recognised at Washington.

The Louisiana Convention has passed an ordinance transferring to the Southern Government the sum of 536,000 dollars from the amount of customs moneys seized at New Orleans.

General Beauregard has been dispatched by the Southern Government to take the command of Charleston. He has expressed his confidence that Fort Sumter would be reduced.

The Governor of Georgia has released the barque Adjuster, which he recently seized.

The Texan State troops were contemplating an attack on Fort Brown. The revenue-cutter Dodge had been seized by the authorities of Texas in Galveston Bay. The second officer in command resigned, and tendered his services to the Governor.

The following is the Cabinet of the Southern Confederacy as at present constituted:—Secretary of State, Robert Toombs, of Georgia; Secretary of the Treasury, C.L. Memminger, of South Carolina; Secretary of War, Leroy P. Walker, of Alabama; Secretary of the Navy, Stephen M. Mallory, of Florida; Postmaster-General, John H. Reagan, of Texas; Attorney-General, Judah P. Benjamin, of Louisiana.

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