Abraham Lincoln Online Education Links
Home | News | Books | Speeches | Places | Resources | Education | Timelines | Index | Search

Lincoln Statue by Lot Flannery
Lincoln Statue by Lot Flannery
© Abraham Lincoln Online

Tribute to Abraham Lincoln by Benjamin B. French

Of all the Lincoln likenesses in Washington, D.C., this statue probably ranks among the least known. On April 15, 1868, the third anniversary of the president's death, it became the city's first statue dedicated in his honor. It was erected outside City Hall, now the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Designed by Lot Flannery and hailed as an accurate depiction, it eventually fell out of favor and was removed in 1919; only after a public outcry was it restored in 1923.

On dedication day a crowd estimated at 15,000 to 20,000 pressed near the statue, filling the streets, gazing from roofs and windows, even clinging to treetops. Flags hung at half-staff, guns boomed on the half hour, and public buildings and schools stood closed. Prominent guests gathered on a wooden platform but members of Congress were conspicuously absent; they were preoccupied with impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, who unveiled the statue.

The ceremonies included prayer, music, a Masonic dedication, a formal address, poetry, and the sculptor's introduction. The speaker, Benjamin B. French, knew the president well because he served as his Commissioner of Public Buildings. Before delivering his speech he stood in the mud and drizzling rain for half an hour while the Masonic ceremonies proceeded.

French's remarks retain their interest today mainly because of his striking first-hand impressions of Lincoln. He drew upon his now-famous journal when recalling events such as Lincoln's first inauguration and the Gettysburg Address. He also quoted from a newspaper article he wrote describing the president's death and funeral services. A Washington printer, McGill A. Witherow, published the statue dedication speech in booklet form during 1868. The text below appeared in the April 15, 1868, Washington Evening Star.

We have met here this day, my fellow citizens, to dedicate to the people of the United States, here, in the central part of their own Capital, the form and semblance of one whom they dearly loved in life, and whose memory they can never cease to revere; who three years ago this day yielded up his life a martyr to his love of his country -- his love of his fellow men, and his unshaken confidence in the affection and reverence for his person of all around him.

The statue, which we now inaugurate, is emphatically the offering of the citizens of Washington to the memory of the man whose form and features it represents.

In April, 1865, the Councils of the city adopted a resolution unanimously appointing a committee to consist of the Mayor and three members of each Board for the purpose of forming a "Washington Lincoln Monument Association." That committee, in conformity with the resolution, elected a large number of their most respectable citizens, who, with the original committee, formed the Association with the Hon. Richard Wallach, Mayor, as President; C.S. Noyes, Esq., as Secretary, and Geo. W. Riggs Esq., as Treasurer. Subscriptions were solicited from the citizens of Washington and a sum sufficient to secure the erection the the statue was obtained. A contract was entered into with Mr. Lot Flannery, of Washington, to furnish the statue, and it now stands before you the work of his hands.

Who can ever forget that night of horror when the awful intelligence was borne by the telegraphic wires all through the land, that Abraham Lincoln had been struck down by the hands of an assassin.

"Oh night, of woe, How are you joined with hell in triple knot."

And that day of grief which followed, when the messenger of death went forth with the sad tidings that our good President was no longer of earth -- can it be forgotten? There is not one within the reach of my voice -- and I think I may truly add, there is not one in this broad land -- to whom it is not a wonder and a mystery how the people bore up as they did under so terrible, so appalling a calamity. But they did bear up; and, although the President whom they almost adored was dead, the nation lived. And let me say here, that I believe nothing save the final disruption of "the great globe itself" can destroy this nation. The providence of God watches over us, sustains us through all our trials, and will preserve us as a free and independent people through all time.

It does not require any monument or any words to perpetuate the memory of that great and good and pure man. Monumental marble may crumble into dust; bronze may melt away; granite may perish from the earth; but the memory of Abraham Lincoln shall live in human bosoms, and be perpetuated on the living pages of history as long as any nation or people shall exist on earth. [Applause.]

But it is a satisfaction and a pleasure, tinged with melancholy, to look upon that venerated form and to view those features, which, whatever else they may indicate, if true to the life, will glow with goodness, kindness, and love, and whereupon never rested for a moment a single characteristic other than such as gave outward proof of a good and loving heart, a conscience void of offence, and charity toward all mankind. Oh, Heaven! that such a man should have died at such a time, and in such a manner!

I hardly know, my fellow-citizens, where to begin, on an occasion like this. Although the field is ample, it has been thoroughly gleaned by the pen of the historian, and the harvest has been garnered in the bosoms of a loving people. Still I am aware of your affection for his memory, and that you never tire in listening to a rehearsal of his virtues. [Cries of "Never."]

Abraham Lincoln was unlike any other man. He seemed to be born to fill the very station he occupied for the last five years of his life, and the faith that was in us stands firm to this day, that he alone could have carried the country safely through the awful perils that beset it while he filled the responsible and dangerous position of Chief Magistrate. [Cries of "That's so."] We can say of him with as much truth as it was said of one of the greatest and best of English statesmen, he was, indeed,

"The pilot that weathered the storm."

Let us attempt to analyze the man. He was possessed of a heart as pure as the snow flake as it falls from above. Although of great simplicity of mind and manner, there was in that mind a penetration which seemed to read the very thoughts of others, and which spoke through the eye in language more powerful than could be uttered in words, a defiance to any one who sought to deceive him. I have heard it called "shrewdness." It was more than shrewdness, and I hardly know how otherwise to characterize it, but in the strong language of the Apostle, as the "sword of the Spirit;" for, as I have myself seen the searching, powerful, inquisitive expression of that remarkable eye when turned upon one whose statement the President had cause to doubt, it has seemed to me to pierce the buckler of deception through and through, and that the wearer was conscious of his discomfiture before a word was uttered.

With a disposition as genial as a bright May morning, with a temper that could hardly be ruffled by the most untoward circumstances, with a soul absolutely beaming through the eyes, with an affection that captivated every one, he was possessed of a firmness of purpose, in his determination to do right, that could not be overcome.

Pride of place was unknown to his character. To him that spark of the Eternal which gleamed in the bosom of the most humble shone as bright as if it animated the breast of the proudest and highest in the land; and the widow and the fatherless ever found a ready listener to the tale of distress, and never left him without words of consolation and acts which spoke louder than words.

Even the language he used was as peculiar to him as was any other peculiarity of his nature -- terse, pointed, plain; never wandering among the mazes of rhetoric after adornment, but simple as the man himself, and going as straight to the mark at which he aimed as an arrow from the bow of Tell. Solomon, in all the glory of his proverbs, might have envied him had he lived in these days of diffusive writing and still more diffusive speaking!

That single sentence in his last inaugural coming up undefiled from the pure well of his noble heart -- "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us [to] see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in" -- spoke the character of the man, and will live among the sayings of great and good men as long as human lips can speak or types can print; and as we read it now, we can scarcely repress a tear as we reflect how soon after it was said the voice that said it was silenced forever, and the work that he was in was finished.

The first we know of Abraham Lincoln as a National man is that he came into the House of Representatives of the United States, as a member from Illinois, at the first session of the 30th Congress on the first Monday of December, 1847. He served through that Congress without any particular distinction, except that he was regarded as an honest, kind hearted, genial, mirth loving man, popular with all who knew him, and the few speeches he then made, indicated a man of no inconsiderable talent. But no one, as I think, mistrusted the hidden mine of ability which existed under the unpretending exterior.

In the spirited canvases between him and the lamented Douglas, in 1858, he so conducted his part in the controversy, as to convince his eloquent and talented competitor that he had "a foeman worthy of his steel," and the eyes of the whole people were turned upon him as "the rising man."

Whenever the people begin really to love a man, when he has fairly stolen away their hearts, they invariably bestow upon him a pet name. I believe I may say that the homelier the name the better the individual is beloved. So we find in the annals of those days that "Honest Old Abe," as a synonym for Abraham Lincoln, began to be a household phrase. There is probably no better indication of the love of the people -- the real genuine affection of the masses -- for men, than in this pet nomenclature that they give. We can readily call to mind "The Father of his Country," "The Mill boy of the Slashes," "Old Hickory" "The Defender of the Constitution, "Old Zack," with his "little more grape Capt. Bragg," "Old Ironsides," and many more. But we must return to the subject of our remarks.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the Republican candidate for President of the United States, and the nomination was hailed throughout the loyal portion of the Union with an enthusiasm that gave assurance that he was truly the candidate of the friends of the Federal Government. He was triumphantly elected; and his election was, as we all know, the signal for the commencement of that dreadful effort to dissolve the Union, that ended in four years of disastrous war, and the final triumph of the old flag, but at a terrible sacrifice of human life, and an immense expense of national treasure. Through this fratricidal war, Abraham Lincoln stood at the head of the Government, calm, cool, firm, and determined. Ever hopeful, in the darkest hours of the struggle, and never for a moment ceasing to place his trust in that

"Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we will.

But the history of those dreadful years has been so many times written, and is so familiar to you all, that it would be a trespass upon your time and patience to repeat it here. I shall, therefore, content myself by saying that President Lincoln was found grandly equal to the great trust reposed in him, and performed every duty with a heroic firmness which met the admiration of all his friends.

But, while I refrain from recapitulating to you the public history that marked the momentous era of his term of office, I will endeavor to interest you by relations touching his more private life and character, some of which, in consequence of the official relations, which, for nearly his entire occupancy of the Presidential chair existed between us, are probably known to no other person. No week passed that I did not see him, and I was often with him many times a week. This, of course, with a man like him, led to numerous conversations between us, and enabled me, with no particular intention of doing so, to observe the peculiar characteristics of Mr. Lincoln.

I will take the liberty, however, before commencing that part of my address, to give you a brief account of the inauguration ceremonies of March 4, 1861, as written down by myself at the time, I having been honored with the Chief Marshalship of the occasion.

"At a few minutes after eleven, the procession being formed in line, in front of the City Hall, wheeled out into column of march and moved towards Willard's. In front of Willard's, it again formed into line, and so remained until 10 minutes past 12, where President Buchanan, who had been detained at the Capitol by official duty, arrived. He, with President Lincoln, Col. Baker, and Mr. Pearce, of the Senate, then took their seats in an open carriage, which was received into the column of march with a proper salute from the military, music, and the cheering of the populace. The column then moved towards the Capitol. No more imposing, or more orderly pageant ever passed along Pennsylvania avenue. At the north door of the Capitol, the President and President elect were received and escorted in. In a few minutes they, with their attendants, appeared on the platform of the eastern portico, when Mr. Lincoln delivered his inaugural, and was sworn into office.

* * * * "The inauguration ceremonies over, we escorted the new President to the White House, where he received all comers with that cordial welcome that so strongly marks the sincerity of the man.

"In the procession was a triumphal car splendidly trimmed, ornamented, and arranged, in which rode thirty-four young girls. On our return the girls all alighted, and I conducted them in and introduced them to the President. He wished to be allowed to kiss them all, and did so. It was a very interesting scene, and elicited much applause." The kisses bestowed by that good man on those young lips will only be forgotten when death has set his seal upon them. Such was the peaceful inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, which so many had prophesied could never be accomplished without the shedding of human blood! What I shall now say is from memoranda made at the time.

In August 1862, just before the second battle of Bull Run in a conversation with the President, he asked me my age. I gave it to him, when he remarked, with much emphasis, "ten years older than I am, and ten years younger." I replied that he must not view his own years so disparagingly, when he repeated "Yes, Mr. French, I am actually ten years older than you are, the cares and troubles that are upon me are ageing me rapidly -- I feel it, and you will live to see me in my coffin." This was said with deep solemnity, so much so that I felt sad, and tried to speak cheering words. Never, in all my intercourse with Mr. Lincoln, except on this occasion and upon the death of his son William, did I witness any manifestation in words of despondency or grief. When Willie died, although he bore himself like a man and a Christian, his affections would assume their control over his sterner self at times and nature have her way.

As an evidence of Mr. Lincoln's power over his feelings, I will mention that on arriving at the Executive Mansion on Monday evening, March 2, 1863, to attend the reception then to take place, the President informed me that he had just received the news of the capture of our steam ram Indianola; but, said he, "it is known to no one else here, and as I do not wish it known until the reception is over, please not to mention it." He made some further remarks as to the misfortunes that were befalling us. The visitors commenced arriving, and as he stood there shaking hands and conversing in his usual cordial and pleasant manner, until the reception was over, when he turned to me and said "I am glad this reception is over; I have been assuming a cheerfulness that I could not feel for I could not forget that we have lost the Indianola."

That President Lincoln was beloved by every loyal heart we all know, but I cannot refrain from copying from my own description of the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg the following:

"As soon as the hymn (the consecration hymn) was sung, Marshal Lamon introduced the President of the United States, who, in a few brief but most appropriate words, dedicated the cemetery. Abraham Lincoln is the idol of the American people at this moment. Any one who saw and heard, as I did, the hurricane of applause that met his every movement at Gettysburg, would know that he lived in every heart. It was no cold, faint shadow of a kind reception, it was a tumultuous outpouring of exultation from true and loving hearts at the sight of a man whom every one knew to be honest and true, and sincere in every act of his life and every pulsation of his heart. It was the spontaneous outburst of the heartfelt confidence of the people in their own President."

Perhaps no man living ever had a keener relish for the ludicrous than Mr. Lincoln, and his power of illustration by story and anecdote was beyond that of any one with whom I was ever acquainted; and such was the tendency of his mind to mirth that I have known him when a grave question was prepounded to him to reply to it by relating some story perfectly illustrative of the answer required, but of such a nature that no one could resist an audible expression of merriment, in which he was certain most heartily to join, and although the surplus electricity of his nature seemed ever ready to pass off in a manner to make all around him innocently happy, he was ever careful to guard against injury to the feelings of any human being. And I think I can give you the assurance that not one in a hundred of the gross stories that are now imputed to him were ever even heard of by him.

To recall any of the illustrations that I have heard from his lips would be out of place here; but I cannot refrain from stating one of his quaint and humorous pieces of advice to me, which you will all appreciate. The basement of the Executive Mansion was at one time so infested with rats as to render it almost uninhabitable. I called the President's attention to the fact, and he said to me, with that inimitable twinkle of the eye and expression of the countenance so remarkable in him -- "Can you not procure a ferret; one of those little fellows that drive away the rats? And while you are about it, perhaps it would be well to get several and distribute them about the Departments, for there are rats everywhere!" And the good President was so pleased with the idea that he asked me afterwards if I had got those ferrets!

The kindness of his disposition and his readiness to indulge his children, may be illustrated by two occurrences that fell under my own observation. The preparations had all been made for the family to leave the city house, and establish themselves for the summer, at the Soldiers' Home. The carriage was at the door and Mrs. Lincoln and Tad were in it. The President came out to join them, when Tad said: "I have not got my cat." The President replied, "you shall have your cat," and he went into the house and returned in a few minutes with Tad's cat in his arms.

At another time when I was with him in his office, conversing on official business, come of the servants came in and spoke to him. He at once turned to me and asked me to excuse him for a short time, and [sic] he must go and give Tad his medicine, which he would take from no one else.

Such acts as these do honor to human nature, no matter whether done by Presidents or peasants, every one who has a soul, will appreciate them, and I have thought a thousand times, as I have seen the evidences of the minute attention given by the great and good Washington, to the smallest matters that concerned his household and his home, while leading the armies of the United States, or exercising the high functions of President of the infant Republic, how like, in many particulars, were these two truly great Presidents.

Although President Lincoln was always ready to assume any official responsibility that his position required, his innate sense of propriety was such that he never, knowingly, encroached on the prerogatives of his subordinates, no matter what their position might be. A somewhat curious instance of the delicacy of the President in this particular occurred in November, 1864. The day after the certain information of Mr. Lincoln's re-election reached this city it occurred to him that the laborers at the Executive Mansion ought to be granted a holiday. Almost any other man, being President of the United States, and possessing the power to command, would have issued an order giving them a holiday. President Lincoln did no such thing, and what was my surprise at receiving a card from him, in his well known hand, and which I now have --

"If Commissioner of Public Building chooses to give laborers at White House a holiday, I have no objection."
"November 9, 1864." "A. Lincoln."

Of course, the Commissioner did choose, and the holiday was given.

The autographs of the beloved President are eagerly sought for and highly valued; and as an evidence of this, I may say that I have seen a simple card, similar to the one above alluded to, on which some request was written by Mr. Lincoln, elegantly framed and suspended in the library of a gentleman in Massachusetts, and considered so a precious memorial that no money can purchase it! And the last manuscript he ever wrote with a pen, on the evening of his assassination, is sacredly preserved, in like manner, in this city, by the gentleman for whom it was written. I do not know how I can more appropriately close this, perhaps already too long address, than by reading an article prepared by myself for one of the city newspapers, on the 23d of April, 1865. It is as follows:

"On Friday morning last, at 7 o'clock, all that was mortal of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of these United States, was borne from the Capitol, taking their departure for his home in Illinois, where they are to rest until the final resurrection.

"The past week has been a sad one to the whole nation. It has been particularly sad for Washington; for here the unparalleled atrocity that deprived a people of a President whom they dearly loved and almost worshipped, and came near snatching from them a Secretary of State, particularly eminent for a head and a heart that gave him an exalted place in the affections of all who knew him, was committed; and as the awful news spread abroad on the wings of the lightning, it carried with it sadness to every heart that beat responsive to the great principles of humanity which were so strongly implanted in the bosom of our beloved Chief Magistrate.

"At half-past ten o'clock on Friday evening, the 14th instant, the bullet of the assassin sped through the brain of his illustrious victim, and from that instant he was as if he were dead, although he continued to breathe until the next morning at 22 minutes past 7.

"That Friday night was an awful one for Washington. The theatre, where the horrid event occurred, was filled with people, and the appalling news spread, as it were, in a moment to all parts of the city. There was no sleep that night. The long roll -- that startling call to all military men, and to all civilians who understand it -- was beat in the various camps within and about the city, and the troops were speedily under arms.

"Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which, but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness.

* * * * * *

"And there was mounting in hot haste, the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war.

"Many knew not, for a time, what it all meant, but every one knew that some terrible calamity was upon us; and ere long the dread reality that our President had been assassinated, and our Secretary of State stricken down by the dagger of some fiend in human shape, came to be known, and a cordon of troops was soon posted all around the city, to prevent, if possible, any egress from it, and be prepared for any emergency that an extended conspiracy might render necessary.

"There was a general rush of our citizens to Tenth street, where, in a dwelling opposite the theatre, lay the dying form of Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by his almost distracted wife, his weeping son, his Cabinet ministers, generals, eminent physicians, and many others whose positions gained them ready admittance to the side of the dying President.

"I stood at his bedside in the early hours of the morning, and there witnessed such a scene of solemnity and grief as I never saw before, and hope never to see again.

"There was a silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath."

as if it were almost sacrilege to interrupt the solemn stillness about that dying couch.

"The stern Secretary of War sat with his head bowed down in grief; the good and kind Secretary of the Navy stood as if transfixed with sorrow; the ever mild and sunny countenances of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Interior, the Postmaster General, and Attorney General, were now overspread with the clouds of distress and mourning; Major General Halleck, who had naturally assumed the direction of affairs, was quietly moving about, fixing his large and most expressive eyes on everything that seemed to require attention, and directing, in whispering tones of sadness, what should be done. The noble form of Sumner, seated near the head of the bed, was bowed low, and tears were flowing from many, many eyes unused to weep.

"Not long after sunrise, I should think, (time could not well be counted, and the heavens were weeping in a gentle rain,) at the request of some of the personal friends of Mrs. Lincoln, I went, in the President's carriage, after Mrs. Secretary Welles, and ere I could return the noble martyr had ceased breathing. I witnessed the bearing of the remains to the Presidential Mansion; saw them removed from the temporary coffin in which they were borne there, and from that time until they were placed in the car at the railroad depot, for transportation to Illinois, I was much of the time with them. My official duties made me almost one of the President's household, and, on all public occasions, I stood at his side or near him, and I felt as if, even had duty not demanded my presence, I could not leave the inanimate form of him whom I had seen so much, and whom I loved so well in life.

"The days of preparation passed by: the lying in state in the East Room, where thousands stood at the side of their beloved and martyred chief and paid to his memory the tribute of respect, with streaming eyes; the funeral services, attended by the noble assemblage of all who aided the Executive in the performance of his arduous duties in Washington -- hundreds of the most respectable civilians of the country; the full diplomatic corps, whose rich dresses were in marked contrast to their sad, sad countenances, for they all loved Abraham Lincoln -- the mourners, not only of the family, but from his native and his adopted States; the reverend clergy in full numbers. I witnessed it all.

"I listened with a most melancholy but proud satisfaction to the religious services, full of submissive piety, but also full of exalted patriotism. I saw the immense concourse of people, civil and military, who crowded Pennsylvania avenue from Georgetown to the Capitol, as the funeral cortege passed along, marking by their bowed forms, and their sighs and tears, their deep grief at the loss of one whom they had looked upon as their father. I saw the sacred remains deposited on the catafalque, in the centre of the rotunda of the Capitol, with the semblages of grief all around it, and heard the pious and eloquent divine, who had been from the first at the side of the departed and his mourning family, (Dr. Gurley,) repeat with great impressiveness, earnestness, and devotion, so much of the burial service as was appropriate, ending with a prayer.

"The crowd then departed. The guard of honor, which had been ever present since the sad catastrophe, consisting of at least one Major General and his staff, and often of two, were left in charge of the body.

"At eight o'clock on Thursday morning the coffin was opened and the crowd admitted, and between that time and ten o'clock in the evening nearly forty thousand persons looked in sorrow and in tears upon that beloved face.

"At six o'clock a.m. on Friday, there were assembled in the rotunda all the Cabinet ministers, the committee who were to accompany the remains, Rev. Dr. Gurley, Lieut. General Grant, and many other high officers of the army, the police of the Capitol, and a few prominent citizens. Dr. Gurley addressed with deep fervor and great impressiveness the Throne of Grace, and his prayer found a solemn response, I doubt not, in every bosom.

"The coffin was then closed, and was borne by twelve sergeants to the hearse, and being escorted by a battalion of the Veteran Reserve Corps, was followed by Lieut. General Grant and Brig. General Hardee, arm in arm, and many other officers of the army; the Commissioner of Public Buildings and Captain of the Capitol Police, all on foot; and by the President and heads of the Departments, and the committee, in carriages, to the Baltimore depot, where it was placed in a car deeply and most appropriately draped in mourning and prepared for the occasion, where the reverend clergyman again offered up a prayer to the Father of us all; and at 8 o'clock the train moved off, and he whom we all loved so well and for whom we would have willingly given our own lives, was borne in solemnity and gloom towards his final resting place in the bosom of the State who gave him to us.

"Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb,
Take this new treasure to thy trust,
And give these sacred relics room
To slumber in the silent dust."

Thus the remains of Abraham Lincoln left us to find a resting place in the capital of his adopted and beloved home. It was one grand, solemn and imposing funeral procession from Washington to Illinois, and I have been told by a gentleman who accompanied it that no dwelling was passed in all that distance, whether the palace of the rich or the humble cottage of the poor, that did not exhibit some outward badge of the grief that reigned within.

And now, my fellow citizens, we have erected, as I believe the first public statue to the memory of that President, who, more than any other since Washington lived and ever will live in the hearts of the loyal people. Here, where he won from all who knew him -- and who is there who did not know him -- golden opinions; here, where in the midst of his friends, while enjoying a brief respite from the cares and perplexities of his exalted but laborious station, he was struck down in death, by the hand of the foul and cowardly assassin, have we this day placed upon its pedestal the plain unassuming, but almost speaking semblance, of that plain unassuming, but noble and godlike specimen of human nature. [Applause.]

We have erected it where the earliest kiss of rosy day, as she approaches from the East, may fall upon it, and where the last gleam of evening's mellow light may salute it as the twilight darkens into night. Here it stands, as it were, in the plaza of the city; and here it will stand, we hope, to be seen by generations long hence to come. [Cries of "It will."]

Let the fathers of the city, in times of trouble, gather around it, and acquire inspiration by calling to mind the firmness, patience, fidelity, zeal, and nobleness of character of him whom it represents. Let the generations of young men gather around it, and recall, as their example and their guide, the virtue, sobriety, modesty, and uprightness of life and purpose of that great man. And let us all bear in mind and ever profit by the remembrance how Abraham Lincoln placed all his trust in God, and implored His blessing upon every act of his exemplary life!

* * * * "God called him
Hence to lay his armor down,
To take his more than conqueror's wreath
His martyr's glorious crown.

In the great hosts of freedom's sons,
Our Lincoln leads the van,
Himself the greatest, 'noblest work
Of God, an honest man.'

Arise, then, oh, my country, rise!
Be worthy of his fame,
Lift high the banner of the Right,
Put all its foes to shame.

Follow where Lincoln's footsteps led --
His spirit be your own --
'Twill lead you on to victory; 'twill
Lead you to God's throne!"
[Immense applause.]

Home | News | Education | Timelines | Places | Resources | Books | Speeches | Search

Introduction and photo copyright © 2020 Abraham Lincoln Online. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy