Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: Copybook verses, 1824-1826

The young Abe Lincoln seemed to enjoy writing verses (rhymes) along the margins of this arithmetic book. In later years he was known to write longer poetry, but his earliest poetic musings were scrawled in his school 'copybooks.'

This text appears on various pages of an arithmetic book that Lincoln made by hand. It was later given to Lincoln's former law partner William H. Herndon by Lincoln's step-mother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows When

Abraham Lincoln is my name
And with my pen I wrote the same
I wrote in both hast and speed
and left it here for fools to read

(Guilty as charged!)

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