Reply to Governor Morgan of New York, at Albany, February 18, 1861.

GOVERNOR MORGAN:--I was pleased to receive an invitation to visit the capital of the great Empire State of this nation while on my way to the Federal capital. I now thank you, Mr. Governor, and you, the people of the capital of the State of New York, for this most hearty and magnificent welcome. If I am not at fault, the great Empire State at this time contains a larger population than did the whole of the United States of America at the time they achieved their national independence, and I was proud--to be invited to visit its capital, to meet its citizens, as I now have the honor to do. I am notified by your governor that this reception is tendered by citizens without distinction of party. Because of this I accept it the more gladly. In this country, and in any country where freedom of thought is tolerated, citizens attach themselves to political parties. It is but an ordinary degree of charity to attribute this act to the supposition that, in thus attaching themselves to the various parties, each man in his own judgment supposes he thereby best advances the interests of the whole country. And when an election is past it is altogether befitting a free people, as I suppose, that, until the next election, they should be one people. The reception you have extended me to-day is not given to me personally,--it should not be so,--but as the representative, for the time being, of the majority of the nation. If the election had fallen to any of the more distinguished citizens who received the support of the people, this same honor should have greeted him that greets me this day, in testimony of the universal, unanimous devotion of the whole people to the Constitution, the Union, and to the perpetual liberties of succeeding generations in this country.

I have neither the voice nor the strength to address you at any greater length. I beg you will therefore accept my most grateful thanks for this manifest devotion--not to me, but the institutions of this great and glorious country.