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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On February 10, 1864

On this day in 1864 Lincoln undoubtedly signed a number of documents, he may have met with his cabinet, and he might have spoken with dignitaries and callers at the White House. He undoubtedly wrote several letters.

One of these letters commuted the sentence of one Private Dennis McCarty; from death, to five years of hard labor.

To Joseph Holt
Dennis McCarty February 10, 1864
Sentence of death at Cumberland, Md.

Sentence commuted to imprisonment at hard labor in the Penitentiary for five years.


Feb. 10. 1864


AES, DNA WR RG 153, Judge Advocate General, MM 372. See Lincoln to Kretz, October 15, 1863, supra. Lincoln's endorsement is written on the court-martial record of Private Dennis McCarty, sentenced to death on charges of assault with intent to kill. AGO Special Orders No. 107, March 5, 1864, announced the commutation of McCarty's sentence, to be done at Albany, New York.

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