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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On March 21, 1864

On this day in 1864, President Lincoln responded to a letter from two young sisters, Clara and Julia Brown (aged 11 and 13) which had accompanied the gift of an Afghan. I am somewhat amused to report that today - this date, March 21 - Lincoln seemed to be universally succinct in his correspondences, and it does not appear that Lincoln gave any major speeches on this day, other than appearing once again in the evening political debates of 1844.

This letter does demonstrate something that Lincoln was noted for: his love of children (and his respect for them as people in their own right;) along with this his willingness to take time out of his busy schedule to converse with people of all ages, classes and situations.

Executive Mansion Washington
March 21 1864

Misses Clara & Julia Brown

The Afgan you sent is received, and gratefully accepted. I especially like my little friends; and although you have never seen me, I am glad you remember me for the country's sake, and even more, that you remember, and try to help, the poor Soldiers.

Yours very truly A. LINCOLN


[1] Copy, DLC-HW. This letter is misdated March 2, 1864, in Tracy (p. 238). The copy was sent to Herndon by H. C. Brown, Nyack on the Hudson, February 13, 1867: "I enclose one [letter] recd by by [sic] my little daughters (then 11 & 13 years old respectively). . . .'' (Ibid.). A note on the bottom of the copy explains that a photograph of Clara and Julia was sent with the afghan. The letter from Clara and Julia, dated at Buffalo, New York, March 9, 1864, is as follows:

"Please accept this Afghan from your little friends who desire to express their regard. . . . The afghan was exhibited at the 'Central Fair' recently held here, and now we are very happy in sending it to our Dear President.

"Please remember that you have little friends in Buffalo who pray for you, that you may be cheerful, strong and wise.'' (DLC-RTL).

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