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, April 03, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 3, 1865

Federal Troops entering Petersburg

On this day in 1865, Lincoln and his son Tad visited General Ulysses S. Grant in recently conquered Petersburg, Virginia.

At around 8 A.M., Lincoln sent a quick telegram to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, alerting him that Petersburg had been evacuated by the Confederates, and that he and Tad were leaving City Point 'in a few minutes' to travel there for a meeting with Grant.

Head Quarters Armies of the United States.
April 3. 8/00 A.M. 1865

Hon. Sec. of War
Washington D.C.

This morning Gen. Grant reports Petersburg evacuated; and he is confident Richmond also is. He is pushing forward to cut off if possible, the retreating army. I start to him in a few minutes.


While enroute to Petersburg on a special train, Lincoln received a telegram from his oldest son Robert, advising the president that he would be meeting the train at Hancock Station. The three Lincolns (Robert was a captain in the Union army) would spend around five hours together.

While in Petersburg, Lincoln passed by ruined houses, churches and stores riddled by cannon and Union shells from the recent fighting. Much of the city was now in ruins; and witnesses claim that Lincoln shook his head sadly when confronted by the destruction all around him. Lincoln and Grant met in a small house that had escaped damage. The two men spoke for an hour and a half, before the President returned to his train.

Lincoln sent another telegram to Stanton around 5 p.m., with news that Richmond was now in Union hands, and that he and Tad planned to visit the city on the following day.

Head Quarters Armies of the United States,
April 3. 5. P.M. 1865

Hon. Sec. of War
Washington, D.C.

Yours received. Thanks for your caution; but I have already been to Petersburg, staid with Gen. Grant an hour & a half and returned here. It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I will go there to-morrow. I will take care of myself.


Grant departed Petersburg and headed directly to Appomattox.

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