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

Monday, April 06, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 6, 1865

On this day in 1865, Mrs. Lincoln rejoined her husband on the 'River Queen,' in City Point, Virginia as Lincoln began preparations to return to Washington.

The previous day, Lincoln received word from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that Secretary of State Seward had been thrown from his carriage and seriously injured. Stanton - with whom Lincoln was in daily contact via telegraph while he was in City Point - suggested that Lincoln was needed in Washington, but later updated this advice to allow time for Mrs. Lincoln to arrive in City Point so that the family could travel back together.

Meanwhile, Lincoln continued to tackle the issues associated with formerly bringing the state of Virginia back into the Union.

On this subject, Lincoln sent the following message to Grant:

Head Quarters Armies of the United States,
April. 6. 12. M. 1865

Lieut. Genl. Grant
In the Field.

Secretary Seward was thrown from his carriage yesterday and seriously injured. This, with other matters, will take me to Washington soon. I was at Richmond yesterday and the day before, when and where Judge Campbell (who was with Messrs. Hunter and Stephens in February) called on me and made such representations as induced me to put in his hands an informal paper, repeating the propositions in my letter of instructions to Mr. Seward (which you remember) and adding that if the war be now further persisted in by the rebels, confiscated property shall, at the least, bear the additional cost; and that confiscations shall be remitted to the people of any State which will now promptly, and in good faith, withdraw its troops and other support, from resistance to the government. Judge Campbell thought it not impossible that the rebel Legislature of Virginia would do the latter, if permitted; and accordingly, I addressed a private letter to Gen. Weitzel (with permission for Judge Campbell to see it) telling him, Gen. W. that if they attempt this, to permit and protect them, unless they attempt something hostile to the United States, in which case to give them notice and time to leave, and to arrest any remaining after such time.

I do not think it very probable that anything will come of this; but I have thought best to notify you, so that if you should see signs, you may understand them. From your recent despatches it seems that you are pretty effectually withdrawing the Virginia troops from opposition to the government. Nothing I have done, or probably shall do, is to delay, hinder, or interfere with you in your work. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


ALS, The Rosenbach Company, Philadelphia and New York. Stanton telegraphed Lincoln on April 5 at 6 P.M.: "About two hours ago Mr Seward was thrown from his carriage his shoulder bone at the head of the joint broken off. his head and face much bruised and he is in my opinion dangerously injured. I think your presence here is needed. Mrs Lincoln with a party of friends left here this morning . . . for City Point. Please let me know when you may be expected'' (DLC-RTL).

On April 6, Stanton sent Lincoln further reports, and to Mrs. Lincoln en route to City Point, the following: "Mr Seward although severely injured is not in danger. I telegraphed the Prest. last night that you were on the road and also that the Surgeon Genl saw no reason for alarm. There can be no objection to the President remaining at City Point until your arrival there and I have so telegraphed him'' (ibid.).

Mrs. Lincoln endorsed the telegram in pencil, presumably to forward it to Lincoln: "We will be ready to leave tomorrow eve 6 o'clock do wait & return with us. M.L.''

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