The Lasting Impact of Abraham Lincoln

 In this temple As in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union The memory of Abraham Lincoln Is enshrined forever  Inscription above the Lincoln Memorial Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty, Too.  The mortal remains

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April 29, 1865: Johnson Postpones Day of Mourning For Lincoln

    On April 29, 1865, President Johnson in his second Presidential Proclamation postpones the national day of mourning that he proclaimed in his first Proclamation: By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation     Whereas

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Sic Transit John Wilkes Booth

    Judging from his melodramatic “Sic, Semper Tyrannis!” at Ford’s Theater after murdering Lincoln, Booth perceived his role of assassin as  being his greatest role, a chance to play in real life a doomed Romantic hero, an avenger of

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April 19, 1865: Funeral Sermon on Abraham Lincoln

  Although it was a  Wednesday, many contemporary observers in the United States thought that April 19, 1865 felt like a Sunday.  Funeral rites were being conducted for Abraham Lincoln at the White House and a national holiday, a national

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Mourning Lincoln

  My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and

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Now He Belongs to the Ages

  “Now he belongs to the ages.”  So said Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, who had kept vigil at Lincoln’s deathbed, after Lincoln died from an assassin’s bullet. In hundreds of posts since 2008 at The American Catholic and Almost

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Abraham Lincoln: February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the

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April 14, 1865: Toward an Indefinite Shore

  On Friday April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln and his wife planned to go to Ford’s Theater in the evening.  But first, Lincoln had a day of work ahead of him, which included a cabinet meeting. Gideon Welles, Secretary of

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Lincoln’s Last Speech

  On April 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln made his last speech.  It was to a jubilant crowd that had gathered at the White House in celebration of the surrender of Lee.  The speech was an impromptu effort and clearly indicated

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April 4, 1865: Lincoln Visits Richmond

  When studying the past one of the primary rules is to remember how different one time is from another.  This rule comes jarringly to mind when we recall Lincoln’s visit to Richmond the day after it fell.  Lincoln was

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Lincoln and His Second Term

One hundred and fifty years ago Lincoln was at the high point of his Presidency.  The Civil War was coming to a victorious conclusion.  His popularity would zoom to heights not reached by any President since Washington when on April

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The Peacemakers

  A historic meeting occurred between Lincoln, Grant and Sherman on March 27-28, 1865 at City Point, Virginia.  Sherman had no idea that President Lincoln was going to be there, he having traveled by sea from North Carolina to coordinate

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Lincoln to City Point

    Anyone looking at photographs of Lincoln in 1860 and 1865 can’t help but see how much the War aged him.  By March 1865 Grant thought that Lincoln could use some time away from Washington, and suggested to him

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March 17, 1865: Lincoln Comments on Confederate Plans to Enlist Black Troops

Making a short speech on March 17, 1865 to the 140th Indiana Infantry regiment, Lincoln commented on the plans of the Confederacy to enlist black soldiers: FELLOW CITIZENS—It will be but a very few words that I shall undertake to say.

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John Wilkes Booth: Born Under an Unlucky Star

  Since the fall of 1864 John Wilkes Booth along with others had been plotting against Lincoln.  A supporter of the Confederacy, Booth was also a popular actor, a son of the great actor Junius Brutus Booth who had written 

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March 15, 1865: Lincoln and the Almighty

On March 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln took time to scribble a thank you note to Thurlow Weed.  A political fixer of the first order and a political powerhouse in New York, Weed had been critical of Lincoln after the Emancipation

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By the People

  Something for the weekend.  Kids at the 2013 Illinois State Fair reciting the Gettysburg Address.  Seemed appropriate to recall Lincoln’s second greatest speech on the weekend following the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s greatest speech, which has never had the

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March 4, 1865: God, Lincoln and the Second Inaugural Address

Hands down the most moving  inaugural address in American history is the second inaugural address given by President Lincoln on March 4, 1865, little over a month before his death.  It is short, to the point and powerful.  It is also

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February 12, 1865: Lincoln’s Last Birthday

Lincoln was a long man. He liked out of doors, He liked the wind blowing And the talk in country stores He liked telling stories, He liked telling jokes. “Abe’s quite a character,” Said quite a lot of folks. Lots

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February 10, 1865: Lincoln Reports to the House

On February 10, 1865, pursuant to a House of Representatives Resolution drafted by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Lincoln sent a report to the House which basically consisted of a timeline of the events that led up to the Hampton Roads Conference. 

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February 8, 1865: Lincoln to Grant

      As news spread of the abortive Hampton Roads Conference, members of Congress demanded to know what was said.  Lincoln sent the following telegraph to Grant on February 8, 1865: Lieut. Gen. Grant Executive Mansion City Point, Va.

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Faces of Lincoln

Something for the weekend.   This video purports to have in it every known photograph of Mr.  Lincoln.  The songs in the video are Lincoln and Liberty Too, perhaps the most stirring campaign song in American history, Dixie, ironically a favorite

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February 5, 1865: Lincoln Proposes Compensated Emancipation

Throughout the War Lincoln had made several attempts to propose compensated emancipation to end the War.  All such initiatives were still-born, killed by the twin facts that Congress was uninterested in providing the funding and that the slaveholders were uninterested

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February 3, 1865: Hampton Roads Conference

The Hampton Roads Conference between President Lincoln and three representatives of the Confederacy, led by Lincoln’s old friend, and fellow former Whig, Vice President Alexander Stephens, was an exercise in pointlessness, as Lincoln and Stephens both knew it would be. 

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National Freedom Day

    One hundred and fifty years ago President Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment which had just been passed by Congress.  Unknown to most Americans, it is also National Freedom Day, so proclaimed by President Truman on January 25, 1949.  Here

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January 18, 1865: Lincoln Note to Blair

  After Francis P. Blair returned to Washington from Richmond with a note from Jefferson Davis indicating a willingness to enter into negotiations, go here and here for background on Blair’s mission and his meeting with Davis, Lincoln had a decision to make. 

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December 22, 1864: Sherman’s Christmas Gift

        Sherman and his men completed their March to the Sea with the siege of Savannah, Georgia.  The end of the siege was anti-climactic with Lieutenant General W. J. Hardee evacuating his garrison from the city of

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Union Christmas Dinner

Published on December 31, 1864, and drawn by Thomas Nast,  the above picture has Lincoln inviting the starving Confederate states to join the Christmas dinner of the Union States.  The print brings  to mind the phrase that  Lincoln would make

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December 10, 1864: Letter From Lamon to Lincoln

    Virginia born Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s lawyer friend from Bloomington, Illinois, spent a frustrating Civil War attempting to protect the President, who appointed him the US Marshal for the District of Columbia.  Lincoln took a fatalistic attitude towards security, assuming that

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Lincoln’s Final Annual Message

  Lincoln’s Final Annual Message to Congress, what we would call the State of the Union speech, dated December 6, 1864, is a good corrective to the idea that nothing occurred during the Lincoln administration except the Civil War.  Most

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Thanksgiving Proclamation: 1864

By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation   It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in

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November 21, 1864: Letter to Mrs. Bixby

Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 21, 1864. Dear Madam,   I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously

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Mini-Abe to the Rescue

Something for the weekend.  Mini-Abe to the rescue, to the song Up Where We Belong, played at the conclusion of An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), a good ending to an otherwise forgettable flick.  This is one of a series

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