Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

As President-elect Abraham Lincoln traveled from Springfield to Washington in February 1860, he deliberately avoided making policy statements that might be misinterpreted in either North or South. Historian Daniel J. Ryan noted that “Lincoln of course, was shrewdly refraining from decisive statements while he was not yet the official head of the nation, though as later occasion demanded it, his forceful, effective actions were evident.” 1 Mr. Lincoln saved his policy prescriptions for the Inaugural Address he would deliver in early March. The President-elect had begun drafting his First Inaugural Address in Springfield in January 1861. Sculptor Thomas D. Jones recalled: “Not long after taking my first sitting of Lincoln, he commenced preparing his addresses to be delivered in different cities through he was to pass from Springfield to Washington. His speeches or addresses were very deliberately composed, in my room. I sharpened all the Fabers pencils he required. He generally wrote with a small portfolio and paper resting on his knee, with a copy of his published speeches lying beside him for reference. After completing one of his compositions he would very modestly read it to me.” 2
Lincoln aide John G. Nicolay wrote of the inaugural address: “When it was finished the manuscript was entrusted to the publisher of the Illinois State Journal, who taking a trusty compositor and a case of type, locked himself in a room of the Journal office, and remained there until the document was set up, the necessary proofs taken, and the form secure in the office safe until Mr. Lincoln could correct and revise the proofs. A second and a third revision necessitated slight changes after which an edition of about a dozen copies was printed, and the type distributed – all under the eyes of the publisher. Perfect secrecy was maintained, perfect faith was kept. Only the persons authorized knew that the work was done.” 3
Mr. Lincoln reviewed the drafting process with journalist Ben Perley Poore. “A number of sentences had been reconstructed several times before they were entirely satisfactory and then four copies had been printed on foolscap paper. These copies had been locked up in what Mr. Lincoln called a ‘gripsack’and entrusted to his eldest son Robert,” wrote Poore. Mr. Lincoln recalled: “When we reached Harrisburg and had washed up, I asked Bob where the message was, and was taken aback by his confession that in the excitement caused by the enthusiastic reception he believed he had let a waiter take the gripsack. My heart went up into my mouth, and I started down-stairs, where I was told that if a waiter had taken the gripsack I should probably find it in the baggage-room. Going there I saw a large pile of gripsacks and other baggage, and thought that I discovered mine. My key fitted it, but on opening there was nothing inside but a few paper collars and a flask of whiskey. A few moments afterward I came across my gripsack, with the document in it all right….” 4
Other contemporaries place this incident much earlier on the trip to Washington – at Indianapolis, Indiana. John G. Nicolay gave a slightly different account of the missing speech. “Though the Inaugural had then been successfully written and printed it was yet destined to run serious danger of coming to premature publicity,” recalled Nicolay. “At one point on the train trip to Washington, President-elect Lincoln gave his eldest son a carpetbag containing the manuscript and asked him to safeguard it. Later, Mr. Lincoln asked Robert about it and was told that he had given the bag to a hotel clerk. When Robert told him that the clerk had “Set it on the floor behind the counter,” reported Nicolay, “A look of stupefaction passed over the countenance of Mr. Lincoln, and visions of that Inaugural in all the next morning’s newspapers floated through his imagination. Without a word he opened the door of his room, forced his way through the crowded corridor down to the office, where, with a single stride of his long legs, he swung himself across the clerk’s counter, behind which a small mountain of carpetbags of all colors had accumulated. Then drawing a little key out of his pocket he began delving for the black ones, and opened one by one those that the key would unlock, to the great surprise and amusement of the clerk and bystanders, as their miscellaneous contents came to light. Fortune favored the President-elect, for after the first half dozen trials, he found his treasures. The somewhat stern admonition which Robert received, was compensated for by the fact that during the remainder of the trip he did not again have to carry that carpetbag, Mr. Lincoln carefully keeping it under his own hands and eyes.” 5
Secrecy was important to President-elect Lincoln. Scholar Lois Einhorn wrote that President-elect Lincoln’s policy of silence helped build suspense about what he would say in his ‘Inaugural Address.'” 6 Those few to whom Mr. Lincoln showed the speech were sworn to silence. In Springfield, Mr. Lincoln showed it to longtime friend Orville H. Browning. In Washington, Mr. Lincoln showed copies of the address to Francis P. Blair, a longtime Washington journalist, and Senator William H. Seward.
Browning biographer Maurice G. Baxter wrote Mr. “Lincoln had given a copy of his inaugural address to Browning in Indianapolis and on Feb. 7. Browning sent him his critique on February 17. “In explaining his stand on the portion of the address which he wanted to be revised. He indicated his ideas about secession generally. The first move to supply or reinforce Sumter, he said, would induce South Carolina to attack the fort. Then, without an aggressive act by the Federal government, the South, would appear in an unjustifiable position. Lincoln accepted Browning’s suggestion, and the final draft of the inaugural omitted the clause concerning reclamation.” 7
Seward worked hard on his suggested changes and historian Jay B. Hubbell argued that Seward took his inspiration for his suggested conclusions from James Madison’s Federalist Papers. 8 Lincoln scholar Douglas L. Wilson wrote: “Seward’s suggested modifications in the text of the address number about fifty, and their general tenor is to take much of the sting out of Lincoln’s words and the sharper edges off his arguments.” 9 Wilson wrote: “As David Herbert Donald has written, ‘The draft that he completed before leaving Springfield was a no-nonsense document.’ The address that emerged under Seward’s tutelage was, by contrast, almost a model of conciliation.” 10 Seward contributed language that Lincoln transformed in what Wilson calls “one of the most memorable passages in American English.” 11
In between meetings and receptions in Washington, Mr. Lincoln completed his speech. On the morning of March 4, President-elect “Lincoln and his wife were awakened by the sound of artillery wagons, cavalry horses and soldiers tramping down the streets below their suite at Willard’s Hotel,” wrote Lincoln chronicler Larry Mansch. “In the distance cannon fire could be heard; Winfield Scott was making sure that any potential troublemakers were aware of the army’s presence. Storm clouds threatened overhead and the wind blew steadily from the northwest, and many of the thousands of people milling about expected rain at any moment.” 12 Mr. Lincoln reviewed his speech that morning and even read it to his assembled family. There was considerable anxiety in Washington – for Mr. Lincoln, his safety, and the future of the country.
The city overflowed with more people than could find lodging. It was understood that some might not be friendly to the new president. General Scott had taken careful precautions to prevent a violent incident at the inauguration. Scott biographer John Eisenhower wrote: “…Notified that someone planned to blow up the platform on which Lincoln would stand during the ceremony, he directed Stone to place troops beneath the stands and across the foot of the stairway. To protect the presidential carriage along Pennsylvania Avenue, he stationed riflemen on the roofs of certain commanding houses with orders to watch the windows on the opposite side. A small force of regular cavalry was to guard the side street crossings and to move from one to another during the passage of the procession. A company of sappers and miners from West Point was to march in front of the presidential carriage, and the infantrymen of the District of Columbia were to follow it. Finally, a battalion of District of Columbia troops were to be placed near the steps of the Capitol.” 13
Dr. William Jayne, a longtime Springfield friend of Mr. Lincoln, later recalled: ” By ten o’clock the temperature had changed thirty degrees, but notwithstanding the frosty, biting air, Pennsylvania avenue was crowded with a mass of moving humanity. That cold, bleak day fitly illustrated the stormy and tempestuous path which he was entering upon.” 14 Historian James G. Randall wrote: “As a solemn public pageant, the inauguration ceremonies left nothing to be desired. The early morning was chill and cloudy, with a sharp northwest wind which swirled clouds of dust through the streets; but noon brought calm and a bright, cheerful sun. The usual host of visitors had surged into the capital, but with one sharp difference from previous years – few Southerners had come. Both Buchanan and Lincoln were busy at an early hour; the President signing bills at the Capitol, for the Senate had sat all night, and the President-elect giving a final touch to his address and receiving Bates, Welles, Cameron, Trumbull, David Davis, and other visitors. By nine o’clock crowds were filling the downtown streets, gazing at the volunteer soldiery who had begun to march and counter-march, and listening to the bands play patriotic music. Gradually the throng thickened; gradually the mounted marshals under B.B. French, with blue scarves, white rosettes, and blue-and-gold batons, got the procession into line.'” 15
Shortly after Noon, outgoing President Buchanan accompanied President-elect Lincoln in an open carriage down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. “Buchanan continually sighed and muttered to himself as Lincoln occasionally nodded to the crowd lining the street,” wrote historian Mark Scroggins. “The two men said little to each other.” 16 The New York Times reported: “The procession, as usual, was behind-hand a little, but its order was excellent, Nothing noteworthy occurred on the route. As it ascended the Capitol hill, towards the north gate, the company of United States Cavalry and the President’s mounted guard took their positions each side of the carriage-way by which the President’s party entered the north wing of the Capitol to go to the Senate Chamber.” 17
Vice President Hannibal Hamlin had already taken his oath of office in a brief ceremony in the Senate. The outgoing Maine senator said: “Senators, an experience of several years as a member of this body has taught me many of the duties of its Presiding Officer, which are delicate, sometimes embarrassing, and always responsible. With a firm and inflexible purpose to discharge these duties faithfully, relying upon the courtesy and cooperation of Senators, and invoking the aid of Divine Providence, I am now ready to take the oath required by the Constitution, and to enter upon the discharge of the official duties entrusted to me in the confidence of the generous public.” 18
The New York Times reported: “Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Lincoln entered, arm in arm, the former pale, sad, and nervous; the latter’s face slightly flushed, with compressed lips.” 19 After Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln were seated in the Senate chamber, Hamlin announced the order of procession from the Senate chamber to the platform outside. William O. Stoddard recalled: “There was the long procession up to the west front of the Capitol, and the crowds on the sidewalk – some earnestly anxious lest evil might befall the nations’chosen servant; and some glaring at the plain man from Illinois, as he sat in his carriage, with eyes full of bitter hatred which the war has since found an expression for.” 20
The outgoing and incoming Presidents proceeded first to the Senate chamber. Congressman George W. Julian recalled that Buchanan “was so withered and bowed with age that in contrast with the towering form of his successor he seemed little more than half a man. The public curiosity to see the President reached its climax as he made his appearance on the east portico of the Capitol.” 21 Iowan Charles Aldrich recalled: “The platform had been erected about halfway up the northeast steps, and extended in the direction of the street. There was a multiplicity of seats provided for such people as could gain admittance. At the outer edge of the platform a wide board was set up on its end, and formed the back of the seat from which the occupant could face the President while he was speaking.” 22
According Stoddard: “I stood within a few feet of him while he delivered his inaugural, and it seemed that all who listened must be willing to trust the man who uttered those solemn appeals and as solemn warnings. A dark cloud seemed to overshadow the city. Treason, treachery, cowardice and folly seemed to rule the hour. The great question was – not ‘who is the best man?’but ‘whom, in God’s name, can we trust?'” 23 Larry Mansch wrote: “Lincoln took his place at the center of the platform, next to Buchanan. They were flanked by Hamlin, Chief Justice Taney and the Supreme Court clerk William Thomas Carroll, and surrounded by 300 congressmen, military personnel, judges, diplomats and their guests. Mary sat proudly nearby, her sons next to her, Stephen Douglas and his wife, Adele, next to them.” 24
Illinoisan Robert Brewster Stanton remembered: “I was then fifteen years of age, but I stood near to him and drank in every word he said. My mind had been prepared by the discussion of possible events since the election of the previous November, and startled by the President-elect coming to Washington in disguise…to save him from threatening enemies, so that I was in a frame of mind full of excitement and expectation as I stood listening to those gentle, yet firm and earnest, utterances in that first inaugural, surrounded as I was, so close to the platform on which he stood, by that band of determined Northern and Western men, who known to but a few and unrecognizable to the crowd, were armed to the teeth to protect him and repel the threatened attack upon his person.” Stanton recalled: “What impressed me then, and remains as clear to-day as ever, was the man and his character as they came to me not so much in what he said, but in the manner in which he spoke: gentle, loving, yet earnest, unafraid, determined, ready to take up any burden or any task and carry it through as God gave him the strength.” 25
Journalist Poore later wrote: “At the inauguration, when Mr. Lincoln came out on the platform in front of the eastern portico of the Capitol, his tall, gaunt figure rose above those around him. His personal friend, Senator Edward D Baker, of Oregon, introduced him to the assemblage, and as he bowed acknowledgments of the somewhat faint cheers which greeted him, the usual genial smile lit up his angular countenance. He was evidently perplexed, just then, to know what to do with his new silk hat and a large, gold-headed cane. The cane he put under the table, but the hat appeared to be good to place on the rough boards. Senator Douglas saw the embarrassment of his old friend, and rising, took the shining hat from its bothered owner and held it during the delivery of the inaugural address.” 26
New York Republican Abram J. Dittenhoefer wrote: “His voice sounded shrill, but he was talking at a high pitch in order that he might be heard by as many as possible of the immense crowd. The assemblage was orderly, respectful, and attentive. Little by little his auditors warmed toward him, until finally the applause became overwhelming, spontaneous, and enthusiastic.” 27 Journalist William A. Croffut recalled: “During the first two minutes it became obvious that Mr. Lincoln possessed a voice of great carrying power and that his words would be conveyed to the auditors who were most remote. He was calm and unperturbed and his tall form overtopped the distinguished assembly. The stories current about him served to excite an extraordinary interest in his unique personality, in addition to the extraordinary significance of the occasion.” 28
One female observer wrote: “Mr. Lincoln unrolled the paper, which seemed to be in the form of galley proof, placed it upon the desk or lectern and put a cane across the top to prevent its rolling up, and to keep it in place. Although the portico and the projecting steps were well filled, they were not crowded. There was no great number of people on the open ground immediately in front of the President and it was easy to move up close to him. All who were anxious to hear could get within earshot. Whether it was due to fear or to some other cause, the majority of those in front of the President were evidently disposed to keep at a respectful distance. Captain Reynolds and I stood directly in front of Mr. Lincoln, not over twelve or fifteen feet off, and had plenty of room to move around. We saw above us an honest, kind but careworn face, shadowed into almost preternatural seriousness.” 29
Charles Francis Adams, Jr., son of a Massachusetts congressman, was as critical as his father was of the new President. The younger Adams, himself a grandson and great-grandson of Presidents, wrote: “As a spectacle, it was not heartening. The Capitol, it must be remembered, was at that time in a wholly unfinished condition, and derricks rose from the great dome as well as from the Senate and Representative wings. On the staging front I saw a tall, ungainly man addressing a motley gathering – some thousands in number – with a voice elevated to its highest pitch; but his delivery as I remember it, was good – quiet, accompanied by little gesture and with small pretence at oratory. The grounds at the east front are so large that it is difficult ever to compute correctly an audience there gathered. I should say, however, that the mob of citizens on that occasion did not exceed four or five thousand. Probably there were many more. It was a very ordinary gathering with a somewhat noticeable absence of pomp, ceremony, or even of constabulary. As I remember, not a uniform was to be seen. I recall it as a species of mass meeting evincing little enthusiasm; but silent, attentive, appreciative and wonderfully respectable and orderly.” 30
Lincoln scholar Paul M. Angle wrote: “With his election to the Presidency Lincoln was compelled to rely as never before upon his command of words. The situation in which he took office in the spring of 1861 was as threatening a one as a President could ever face- the South in panic at the election of a Republican, seven states in secession, civil war imminent. What Lincoln would say when he stood on the east portico of the Capitol on that raw day in March was all-important. On the one hand, the slightest slip would precipitate conflict; on the other, there was the possibility that passions might be cooled and peace restored.” 31 Another scholar of Mr. Lincoln’s rhetoric, Theodore C. Blegen, wrote: “The habits of a a lifetime did not desert Lincoln when, at a grave moment in the nation’s life, he delivered his first inaugural address. That lasting fame of the closing lines has obscured certain other passages in which his ideas were conveyed through imagery. One occurs in that part of the address where Lincoln pointed out that the country could not remove its ‘respective sections from each other.’ It could not ‘build an impassable wall between them.’ This seemed clear enough, but Lincoln was not satisfied, and so he added, ‘A husband and a wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this.'” 32
As usual, Mr. Lincoln’s speech was characterized by logic and rationality. Historian Angle wrote: “The inaugural address was calm, reasoned, but firm.” But at the speech’s conclusion, “Lincoln made an attempt to touch the emotions as well as the reason of his auditors.” 33 Historian Susan-May Grant wrote that “Lincoln’s first inaugural address…is justly famous both for the way in which it established the found on which the Union would be defended and for the powerful invocation of those forces that he believed held the Union together.” 34 Historian Christopher J. Olsen noted that President Lincoln “appealed to anxious Southerners, hoping to keep as many states from the upper South in the Union as possible. Like most Northerners, he believed that Southern Unionists were the true silent majority, and that if he appeared as moderate and conciliatory as possible, they would overwhelm the radical secessionists.” 35
The New York Times reported that the speech’s “conciliatory tone, and frank, outspoken declaration of loyalty to the whole country, captured the hearts of many heretofore opposed to Mr. Lincoln, and its firm enunciation of purpose to fulfill his oath to maintain the Constitution and laws, challenge universal respect.” 36 New York Tribune Editor Horace Greeley said the speech was “a masterly effort at persuasion and conciliation by one whose command of logic was as perfect as his reliance on it was unqualified.” 37 Journalist Poore wrote: “Mr. Lincoln was listened to great earnestness, and evidently desired to convince the multitude before him rather than to bewilder or dazzle them. It was plain that he honestly believed every word that he spoke, especially the concluding paragraphs, one of which I copy from the original print:
“I am loath to close, We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may be strained it must not break our bonds of affection
The mystic chords of memory, which stretch from every battle-field and patriot grave to every loved heart and hearthstone all over our broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as they surely will be by the better angels of our nature.” 38
The New York Times reported: “After the delivery of the address Judge Taney stood up, and all removed their hats, while he administered the oath to Mr. LINCOLN. Speaking in a low tone the form of the oath, he signified to Mr. LINCOLN, that he should repeat the words, and in a firm but modest voice, the President took the oath as prescribed by the law, while the people, who waited until they saw the final bow, tossed their hats, wiped their eyes, cheered at the top of their voices, hurrahed themselves hoarse, and had the crowd not been so very dense, they would have demonstrated in more lively ways, their joy, satisfaction and delight.” 39
Young Robert Stanton remembered “What impressed me then, and remains as clear to-day as ever, was the man and his character as they came to me not so much in what he said, but in the manner in which he spoke: gentle, loving yet earnest, unafraid, determined, ready to take up any burden or any task and carry it through as God gave him the strength.” 40 One Massachusetts Republican later wrote “There is nothing elsewhere in our literature of plaintive entreaty to be compared with this. It combines the eloquence of the orator with the imagery and inspiration of the poet.” 41
At least in the nation’s capital, peace was largely preserved on that First Inaugural day. After the conclusion of the official ceremonies, Mr. Lincoln accompanied a parade back to the White House. That night, a young woman who had grown up next to the Lincoln’s Springfield house, attended a reception at the Executive Mansion. She recalled: “The great room and the lights! But Mr. Lincoln as he stood shaking hands with people was just Mr. Lincoln next door. As I passed in front of him, he remarked, ‘Well, here we are, and look at these gloves, Annie; they were clean when we began!'” 42 Incoming Attorney General Edward Bates wrote in his diary on March: “The inauguration of President Lincoln took place in peace and without an accident – the day was fine, the crowd immense, and perfect order prevailed every where.” 43
Journalist Lawrence A. Gobright wrote that at the parade: “Mr. Lincoln kissed the thirty-four States of the Union, as represented by the thirty-four young ladies,” wrote Gobright. “The President was escorted to the Executive Mansion in the same order that he was attended to the Capitol. Mr. Buchanan accompanied him to the White House, and there took his leave, expressing the hope in kindly terms, that his administration might prove to be happy and prosperous.” 44 Gobright recalled: “The military arrangements showed that apprehensions existed of a murderous plot against the President elect. His carriage was closely surrounded on all sides by marshals and cavalry, so as almost to hide from view. A shot could not have possibly reached him, owing to the denseness of the military enclosure. The guard of honor was selected from the most efficient companies of regular troops and marines. One of the notable features of the procession was a large card, supplied by the Republican Association, to allegorize the Constitution and the Union. The States and Territories were represented by a corresponding number of little girls, dressed in white, and displaying miniature flags; the whole drawn by two horses, on the covering of which the word ‘Union’was printed in large letters. Besides this there were numerous delegations on foot from the several States and Territories, accompanied by citizens of Washington, of the same political sentiments as those of the President elect.” 45
Presidential aide John Hay may be forgiven a natural bias when he wrote in an anonymous newspaper dispatch that day: “The openness, candor, and magnanimity in which President Lincoln’s inaugural is conceived, exhibit him as a man of probity, from whose love of justice and fair play the country has everything to hope. He stands ready to concede to every section its full constitutional rights, without quibbling over phrases or seeking to take advantage of doubtful constructions. The inaugural is as conciliatory as it could possibly be in consistency with the obligation imposed by the official oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” Hay concluded that “President Lincoln is very firm in his determination to execute the laws, but very desirous, at the same time, to cause no needless irritation, and to restore friendly sentiments. A carping and captious spirit may distort the inaugural, and so find matter to condemn; but no candid citizen can fail to approve it, and augur well of the new administration.” 46
Croffut wrote: “Some of the exclamations heard during the delivery of the address, uttered in so loud a tone as to be a serious annoyance, were ‘That won’t do!’ ‘Never! Never!’ Worse than I expected.’ ‘Too late!’ ‘We defy your threats!’- this when the President avowed his intention to preserve the authority of the government and retain possession of its property.” But not all were hecklers and critics. “Among the auditors was the famous statesman and wit, James W. Nye, who held no office but was perhaps the most eloquent orator of the Republican party. He stood upon a slight mound, and when hisses and yells interrupted Mr. Lincoln he led the applause which drowned them. At the close of the exercises hisses and denunciations were renewed, when Nye, raising himself to his full height, and shaking his fist at the noisiest band of secessionists near by, shouted, ‘Now you’ve heard the truth for once in your lives, you damned traitors! That’s the best speech that’s been delivered since Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.” 47 Nye was subsequently appointed as territorial governor of Nevada.
In reality, noted Lincoln scholar Charles M. Segal: “Widespread reaction to Lincoln’s Inaugural Address followed party lines. Some considered it ‘firm and explicit’; others, ‘weak, rambling and loose-joined.’ Denunciation was almost universal in the press of the seceded states. South Carolina’s Charleston Mercury talked about Lincoln’s insolence’and ‘brutality’manifested in the address, and attacked the United States as ‘a mobcratic Empire,’amenable to the new President’s war strategy.’ The Chicago Tribune commended Lincoln on his freedom from diplomatic vagueness and hackneyed political phrases.’ The New York Tribune lauded Lincoln’s ‘ability, directness, candor and purpose,’stating the Inaugural was devoid of all misgivings ‘concerning his success as Chief Magistrate. But there were papers like the Baltimore Sun, which maintained that the address ‘breathes the spirit of mischief’and ‘intimates the design to exercise…authority to any extent of war and bloodshed, qualified only by the withholding of the requisite means…by the American people.'” 48
Lois Einhorn wrote: “Selective listening, in effect, means that people hear what they expect and perhaps want to hear. All people listen selectively, hearing only part of any message. In the case of Lincoln’s Inaugural, one could expect a great deal of selective listening because the situation was marked by a high degree of prejudice and because Lincoln had said little to counter these prejudiced views. Many of the editorials evaluating the ‘Inaugural Address’support the view that selective listening and selective perception help account for the divergent reactions to the speech…..Northern and Southern editorials tended to quote different portions of the speech: Northern editorials usually quoted the speech’s conciliatory peroration, while Southern editorials usually quoted Lincoln’s forceful statements about how he would treat the South.” 49
After the ceremony, former President Buchanan and President Lincoln again took a carriage ride down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Lincoln’s new home. As he took his leave, Buchanan reportedly said: “Sir, if you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed.” 50


  1. Daniel J. Ryan, “Lincoln and Ohio,” Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, 1923, p. 2.
  2. Rufus Wilson Rockwell, editor, Lincoln Among His Friends (Thomas D. Jones, Sacramento Weekly Union, November 4, 1861), p. 258-259.
  3. Michael Burlingame, editor, An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln, John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (“Some Incidents in Lincoln’s Journey from Springfield to Washington”), p. 108.
  4. Michael Burlingame, editor, An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln, John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (“Some Incidents in Lincoln’s Journey from Springfield to Washington”), pp. 108-110.
  5. Lois Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln the Orator, p. 59.
  6. Maurice G. Baxter, Orville H. Browning: Lincoln’s Friend and Critic, pp. 109-110.
  7. Jay B. Hubbell, “Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address,” The American Historical Review, April 1931, pp. 551-552.
  8. John Eisenhower, Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott, p. 354.
  9. Mark Scroggins, Hannibal: The Life of Abraham Lincoln’s First Vice President, p. 166.
  10. David Herbert Donald and Harold Holzer, editors, Lincoln in the Times; The Life of Abraham Lincoln as Originally Reported in The New York Times (New York Times, March 5, 1861), p. 76.
  11. Mark Scroggins, Hannibal: The Life of Abraham Lincoln’s First Vice President, p. 166.
  12. Michael Burlingame, editor, Dispatches from Lincoln’s White House: The Anonymous Civil War Journalism of Presidential Secretary William O. Stoddard, February 22, 1864, p. 212.
  13. Allen Thorndike Rice, editor, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (George W. Julian), p. 49.
  14. Michael Burlingame, editor, Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln’s Secretary, William O. Stoddard (White House Sketches, No. 1), p. 146.
  15. Abram J. Dittenhoefer, How We Elected Lincoln, p. 45.
  16. Paul M. Angle, “Lincoln’s Power with Words”, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 1981, p. 19.
  17. David Herbert Donald and Harold Holzer, editors, Lincoln in the Times; The Life of Abraham Lincoln as Originally Reported in The New York Times (New York Times), March 5, 1861, p. 80.
  18. Allen Thorndike Rice, editor, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Perley Poore), p. 224.
  19. Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, p. 61.
  20. Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, p. 63.
  21. Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, p. 67.
  22. Larry Mansch, Abraham Lincoln, President-Elect: The Four Critical Months from Election to Inauguration, p. 195.
  23. Dr. William Jayne, Abraham Lincoln: Personal Reminiscences of the Martyred President, p. 47.
  24. Allan Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln: Prologue to Civil War 1859-1861, Volume II, p. 457.
  25. Larry Mansch, Abraham Lincoln, President-Elect: The Four Critical Months from Election to Inauguration, p. 197.
  26. David Herbert Donald and Harold Holzer, editors, Lincoln in the Times; The Life of Abraham Lincoln as Originally Reported in The New York Times (New York Times, March 5, 1861), p. 77.
  27. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Charles Aldrich, Annals of Iowa), April 1907, pp. 364-365.
  28. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Robert Brewster Stanton, Century Magazine), February 1920, p. 339.
  29. Allen Thorndike Rice, editor, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Perley Poore), pp. 225-226.
  30. William A. Croffut, An American Procession 1855-1914: A Personal Chronicle of Famous Men, p. 42.
  31. Allen C. Clark, Abraham Lincoln in the National Capital, Journal of the Columbia Historical Society, Volume XXVII, p. 14-15.
  32. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Charles Francis Adams, Jr. Massachusetts Historical Society), February 1909, p. 368.
  33. Theodore C. Blegen, Lincoln’s Imagery: A Study in Word Power, p. 28.
  34. Paul M. Angle, “Lincoln’s Power with Words”, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, 1981, p. 19.
  35. Susan-May Grant, The War for a Nation: The American Civil War, p. 45.
  36. Christopher J. Olsen, The American Civil War: A Hands-On History, p. 61.
  37. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Robert Brewster Stanton, Century Magazine), February 1920, p. 339.
  38. Lois Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln the Orator, p. 59.
  39. Howard K. Beale, editor, The Diary of Edward Bates, 1859-1866, March 4, 1860, p. 176.
  40. Lawrence. A. Gobright, Recollection of Men and Things at Washington During the Third of a Century, p. 290.
  41. Lawrence. A. Gobright, Recollection of Men and Things at Washington During the Third of a Century, p. 287-288.
  42. Michael Burlingame, editor, Lincoln’s Journalist: John Hay’s Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860-1864, March 4, 1861, p. 52.
  43. William A. Croffut, An American Procession 1855-1914: A Personal Chronicle of Famous Men, p. 42-43.
  44. Charles M. Segal, editor, Conversations with Lincoln, p. 94.
  45. Lois Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln the Orator, p. 60.
  46. Mark Scroggins, Hannibal: The Life of Abraham Lincoln’s First Vice President, p. 167.
  47. Douglas L. Wilson, Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (Horace Greeley, “Greeley’s Estimate of Lincoln: An Unpublished Address by Horace Greeley,” Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, July 1891, p. 376.), p. 71.
  48. Allen Thorndike Rice, editor, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln (George S. Boutwell), p. 132.
  49. David Herbert Donald and Harold Holzer, editors, Lincoln in the Times; The Life of Abraham Lincoln as Originally Reported in The New York Times (New York Times), March 5, 1861, pp. 78-79.
  50. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln (Anna Eastman Johnson interview with A. Longfellow Fiske, Commonweal), March 2, 1932, p. 136.


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