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, March 13, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On March 13, 1862

(A newly discovered photo that may show Lincoln riding on horseback. Look for the tall, dark stovepipe hat above the crowd and in the center top of the picture.)

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln gave a short speech before a delegation from Massachusetts concerning the gift of a whip.

Yes... a whip. It was apparently a very nice whip, but both gift and speech seem a little strange.

The speech has what appears to be a repeated segment (the second "but of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes" seems confusing when it directly follows "or of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes.") Is this an editing error in the New York Times? I suppose it wouldn't be the first.

Speech to a Massachusetts Delegation

March 13, 1862.

I thank you, Mr. TRAIN, for your kindness in presenting me with this truly elegant and highly creditable specimen of the handiwork of the mechanics of your State of Massachusetts, and I beg of you to express my hearty thanks to the donors. It displays a perfection of workmanship which I really wish I had time to acknowledge in more fitting words, and I might then follow your idea that it is suggestive, for it is evidently expected that a good deal of whipping is to be done. But, as we meet here socially, let us not think only of whipping rebels, or of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes, but of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes, but of those pleasant days which it is to be hoped are in store for us, when, seated behind a good pair of horses, we can crack our whips and drive through a peaceful, happy and prosperous land. With this idea, gentlemen, I must leave you for my business duties.


New York Times, March 22, 1862. Lincoln replied to a short speech by Representative Charles R. Train, who presented "an elegant whip, made by a Massachusetts whip company." Among the delegation was Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had come to Washington to gather impressions for an article to appear in the Atlantic Monthly for July, 1862, but being unable to get a personal appointment with the president, thus availed himself of the best opportunity.

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