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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 26, 1861 & 1865

On this day in 1861, Lincoln formally addressed the 'Frontier Guard;' a unit assigned to protect the White House itself. The Guard was composed mostly of Kansas men under the command of Kansas Senator James "Bloody Jim" Lane.

On April 18th of 1861, Lincoln's aide John Hay recalled in his diary:

"The White House is turned into barracks. Jim Lane marshaled his Kansas Warriors today at Willard's and placed them at the disposal of Mj. Hunter, who turned them tonight into the East Room. It is a splendid company—worthy of such an armory. Besides the western Jayhawkers it comprises some of the best materiel of the East. Senator [Samuel C.] Pomeroy and old Anthony Bleecker stood shoulder to shoulder in the ranks. Jim Lane walked proudly up and down the ranks with a new sword that the Major had given him."

Lincoln's words to the Frontier Guard were as follows, according to the New York Tribune, May 1, 1861:

April 26, 1861

I have desired as sincerely as any man---I sometimes think more than any other man---that our present difficulties might be settled without the shedding of blood. I will not say that all hope is yet gone. But if the alternative is presented, whether the Union is to be broken in fragments and the liberties of the people lost, or blood be shed, you will probably make the choice, with which I shall not be dissatisfied.

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth was shot in the neck by Union Sergeant Boston Corbett as he tried to leave a burning tobacco barn - set on fire by surrounding Union forces - on the Garrett farm near Port Royal, Virginia. Paralyzed, Booth was dragged out of the burning building and died at the scene after several hours.

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