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, May 15, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On May 15, 1863

Imagine Lincoln's frustration.

The war was going badly for the North, and the Union death tolls were staggering. Meanwhile he was forced to deal with and intercede in political infighting between his generals, and ridiculous squabbles between politicians. His annoyance definitely shows in some of his telegraphed correspondences.

Executive Mansion,
May 15, 1863. [9 P.M.]

Hon. H. T. Blow
C. D. Drake & others
St. Louis, Mo

Your despatch of to-day is just received. It is very painful to me that you in Missouri can not, or will not, settle your factional quarrel among yourselves. I have been tormented with it beyond endurance for months, by both sides. Neither side pays the least respect to my appeals to your reason. I am now compelled to take hold of the case. A. LINCOLN


[1] ALS, RPB. The telegram to which Lincoln replied reads as follows: "The Telegraph reports the probable appointment of Gen Schofield to command this Dept. We a committee last Monday by the largest meeting of Union people ever held in St Louis pray to suspend that appointment until you hear from us'' (DLC-RTL).

In reply to a despatch from Major General Francis J. Herron, commanding at Rolla, Missouri, threatening to resign rather than serve under Schofield, Stanton replied on May 17 that the president ``directs me to say that he is unaware of any valid objection to General Schofield, he having recently commanded the Department of the Missouri, giving almost universal satisfaction so far as the President ever heard. He directs me to add that he has appreciated the services of General Herron and rewarded them by rapid promotions, but that, even in him, insubordination will be met as insubordination, and that your resignation will be acted upon as circumstances may require whenever it is tendered.'' (OR, I, XXII, II, 285).

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