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 17, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 17, 1865

On this day in 1865, while the nation remained in an uproar over the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the largest manhunt in history - for John Wilkes Booth, David Herold and the other conspirators - continued in earnest under the direction of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

Conspirator Lewis Powell, the man who had attacked Secretary of State Seward in his bed (Seward survived,) was lost. Unfamiliar with the Washington area, lacking food and shelter - and without any assistance from David Herold, who was hiding in the Maryland swamps with Booth - Paine wandered into Surratt's Boarding house at the exact moment that Mary Surratt was being questioned about her knowledge of the conspiracy. Bad timing to say the least. Powell apparently claimed to be a ditch-digger hired by Mary Surratt, but she denied knowing him. They were both arrested, having apparently incriminated each other.

Meanwhile people all over the North claimed to have seen John Wilkes Booth; anyone bearing the unhappy resemblance to him was in serious risk of being captured and strung up by angry mobs.

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