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

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On February 8, 1865

On this day in 1865, Lincoln wrote the following comments after signing H.R. 126; which ruled that that the states Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee were in "such condition on the eighth day of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, that no valid election was held" and thus would not be represented when electoral votes were tallied.

It is obvious that Lincoln felt awkward signing this bill because it pertained to his own re-election, and nullified the voting rights of citizens in the Confederacy (although the Southern states - having seceded from the Union - had effectively given up their Federal voting rights long before the 1864 election took place.)

To the Honorable, the Senate February 8, 1865
and House of Representatives:

The Joint Resolution entitled, "Joint Resolution declaring certain States not entitled to representation in the Electoral College," has been signed by the Executive, in deference to the view of Congress implied in its passage and presentation to him. In his own view, however, the two Houses of Congress, convened under the Twelfth Article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal; and it is not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a veto, as would be the case if his action were at all essential in the matter. He disclaims all right of the Executive to interfere in any way in the matter of canvassing or counting electoral votes; and he also disclaims that by signing said Resolution he has expressed any opinion on the recitals of the preamble or any judgment of his own upon the subject of the Resolution.

Executive Mansion
February 8, 1865.

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