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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 16, 1865



On this day in 1865 - Easter Sunday - the nation was in a state of shock and mourning. All across the country, clergymen praised and eulogized the fallen president from the pulpit. In the April 19, 1865 Harper's Weekly - the first edition in print after the presidents' assassination - a remarkable account of the assassination, and the following dirge:

A DIRGE.

LOWER the starry flag Amid a sovereign people's lamentation For him the honored ruler of the nation ;

Lower the starry flag !

Let the great bells be toll'd

Slowly and mournfully in every steeple, Let them make known the sorrow of the people; Let the great bells be toll'd !

Lower the starry flag, And let the solemn, sorrowing anthem, pealing, Sound from the carven choir to fretted ceiling; Lower the starry flag!

Let the great bells be toll'd,

And let the mournful organ music, rolling, Tune with the bells in every steeple tolling; Let the great bells be toll'd !

Lower the starry flag;

The nation's honored chief in death is sleeping, And for our loss our eyes are wet with weeping; Lower the starry flag !

Let the great bells be toll'd ;

His honest, manly heart has ceased its beating, His lips no more shall speak the. kindly greeting;

Let the great bells be toll'd!

Lower the starry flag;

No more shall sound his voice 'in scorn of error, Filling the traitor's heart with fear and terror; Lower the starry flag !

Let the great bells be toll'd ;

He reverenced the gift which God has given, Freedom to all, the priceless boon of Heaven, Let the great bells be toll'd !

Lower the starry flag;

Hit dearest hopes were wedded with' the nation, He valued more than all the land's salvation ;

Lower the starry flag!

Let the great bells be toll'd ;

His name shall live on History's brightest pages, His voice shall sound through Time's remotest ages ; Let the great bells be toll'd !

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