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, April 07, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 7, 1865


After a day spent reviewing the troops, Lincoln sent the following telegraph to General Grant in the field:

City-Point,
Head Quarters Armies of the United States, Lieut Gen. Grant.
April 7. 11 AM. 1865


Gen. Sheridan says "If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender." Let the thing be pressed. A. LINCOLN

Two days later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

Grant pursued and harassed Lee's Army of Northern Virginia as they moved West after the fall of Richmond; engaging the Confederates in daily battles, and attempting to outflank the army and surround them. On April 7th, Grant began a dialogue with Lee via notes that were passed through the lines:

"General R.E. Lee, Commanding C.S.A.:

5 P.M., April 7th, 1865.The results of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.
U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General"

The note was carried through the Confederate lines and Lee promptly responded:

"April 7th, 1865.

General: I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender.
R.E. Lee, General."

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