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Lincoln Quiz

On February 11, 1861, Lincoln left his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, for the White House. What happened that morning?

Lincoln was one day shy of his fifty-second birthday when he stepped onto the train which took him on his inaugural journey. At his side was Robert Lincoln, his eldest son. Mrs. Lincoln and their two younger sons met the inaugural train the next day in Indianapolis.

On board the train were many Lincoln friends and associates, including Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, previously a law clerk in Lincoln's office. Ellsworth would be killed a few months later in Alexandria, Virginia after removing a secession flag from a hotel. Lincoln referred to Ellsworth as "the greatest little man I ever met."

Before the train left the station, Lincoln delivered a short speech known as the Farewell Address. Thomas D. Jones, a sculptor who was in the crowd, said it was "the last and best speech ever delivered in Springfield." Lincoln's friend James Conkling noticed, "There was scarcely a dry eye in all that vast crowd."

The Farewell Address was an impromptu speech and Lincoln only wrote it down at the urging of Henry Villard, a reporter for the New York Herald. Villard, who was on the inaugural train, wanted to preserve the speech for posterity and wired it to his newspaper from the next telegraph office.

As Lincoln closed his speech, he asked his friends and neighbors to pray for him. Dr. Phineas D. Gurley, Lincoln's Washington pastor, remembered this when he preached Lincoln's White House funeral message on April 19, 1865. He said, "Their prayer was heard, and the answer appears in all his subsequent history; it shines forth with a heavenly radiance in the whole course and tenor or his administration...God raised him up for a great and glorious mission, furnished him for his work, and aided him in its accomplishment."

Other Quizzes

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  • What event happened on May 26, 1854, which re-awakened Lincoln's interest in politics?
  • By what route was Lincoln's body returned to his hometown?
  • Which speech did Lincoln say would "wear as well as--perhaps better than--any thing I have produced"?
  • Which Lincoln relative died on January 17, 1851?
  • How did Lincoln spend Christmas week as President and President-elect?
  • Which impact did Lincoln's election have on his professional life?
  • Which friend of Lincoln was killed on October 21, 1861?
  • Which two things would Lincoln not want you to know?
  • How did Lincoln bring fame to Beardstown, Illinois?
  • How did Lincoln spend the Fourth of July?
  • What was Lincoln's postal job like?
  • What happened behind the scenes with Lincoln's First Inaugural Address?

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