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, May 19, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On May 19, 1860

On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln met with a delegation that had traveled all the way from Chicago to Springfield so that they could personally inform Lincoln that the Republican Convention had chosen him to be the party's candidate for President.

Lincoln's response:

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I tender [to] you, and through you [to] the Republican National Convention, and all the people represented in it, my profoundest thanks for the high honor done me, which you now formally announce.

Deeply, and even painfully sensible of the great responsibility which is inseparable from that [this high] honor---a responsibility which I could almost wish had fallen upon some one of the far more eminent men and experienced statesmen whose distinguished names were before the Convention, I shall, by your leave, consider more fully the resolutions of the Convention, denominated the platform, and without unseasonable [unnecessary or unreasonable] delay, respond to you, Mr. Chairman, in writing---not doubting now, that the platform will be found satisfactory, and the nomination [gratefully] accepted.

And now, I will not longer defer the pleasure of taking you, and each of you, by the hand.

I wonder, as the war dragged on and on in future years... if he ever regretted it?

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