Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: Stick to American Principles

President Lincoln’s first conclusion (that Mason and Slidell should be released) was the real ground on which the Administration submitted. “We must stick to American principles concerning the rights of neutrals.” It was to many, as Secretary of the Treasury Chase declared it was to him, “gall and wormwood.” James Russell Lowell’s verse expressed best the popular feeling:

We give the critters back, John, Cos Abram thought ‘twas right; It warn’t your bullyin’ clack, John, Provokin’ us to fight.

The decision raised Mr. Lincoln immeasurably in the view of thoughtful men, especially in England.