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 21, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On April 21, 1865



On this day in 1865, Lincoln's body began the long trip home by train to Springfield, Illinois, where he would be buried on May 4th.

300 mourners rode the train called "The Lincoln Special," which carried the body of Lincoln and his dead son Willie through 180 cities and seven states, retracing the same route Lincoln took when he came to Washington to assume the presidency in 1861.

Scheduled stops were made all along the route, and were published by newspapers in advance so that mourners could view the president.

Huge crowds turned out at every planned stop, waiting as long as five hours to pass by Lincoln's casket. At each stop along the route, Lincoln's coffin was carried off of the train, placed on a decorated horse-drawn hearse, and led by a solemn procession to a local public building for public viewing. Even in death, Abraham Lincoln was the president of the people; and was made available to the people so that they could come together and mourn his passing.



While in Philadelphia, Lincoln's body lay in state on in the east wing of Independence Hall; the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Lincoln's 11-year-old son Willie had died suddenly in Washington during Lincoln's second year in office, most likely of typhoid fever. The family had always planned to take Willie's body back to Springfield when Lincoln left office. After Lincoln's assassination, Willie's body was disinterred from the mausoleum in Washington, D.C. and placed on the train with Lincoln's casket so the two could be buried together in the family plot.

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